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After Actium: Two Caesars Are Not Enough

After Actium: Two Caesars Are Not Enough” is a TL following the development of Roman and Asian affairs in a scenario where Octavian dies shortly after arriving in Alexandria, resulting in the survival of Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt and her children.


It won the 2013 Turtledove Award in the category Best New Ancient Period Timeline.

Points of Departure (PODs)

The major POD is the death of Octavian upon his arrival in Alexandria (30BC). The malaria which afflicted Marc Antony's troops spreads to Octavian's camp as Antony's men defect to him. Ptolemy Caesar, better known as Caesarion, is captured and brought to Octavian, as per real events, but Octavian dies before deciding the boy's fate. Word arrives of a plot back home (also historical) on behalf of the sidelined triumvir Lepidus. Caesarion is made a Roman citizen and included in Octavian's hastily amended will, which leaves Octavian's right-hand man and colleague Agrippa as his main heir. In Agrippa's hands Caesarion is a useful tool to manipulate the mob and get them on board with Agrippa, now Caesar Vipsanian. Cleopatra is deposed as Queen of Egypt and handed over to Artavasdes, a former ally Antony had betrayed shortly before Actium.

A minor POD is a second marriage for Ptolemy XII Auletes at the time of his return to Egypt (circa 54BC).

Consuls And Major Events

  • 31BC: Marcus Antonius III (only in the East) & C. Julius Caesar Octavianus III
    • Suffect Consuls: M. Valerius Messalla Corvinus, M. Titius and Cn. Pompeius (Rufus)
  • 30BC: Octavianus IV & M. Licinius Crassus I
    • Suffect Consuls: C. Antistius Vetus, M. Tullius Cicero & L. Saenius
    • C. Julius Caesar Octavianus made Augustus & Princeps shortly before death.
    • Octavian adopts Agrippa in his testament. Henceforth Vipsanian.
    • Octavian makes Caesarion a Roman citizen under the care of Vipsanian and legitimizes his position in the Julii Caesares in his will.
  • 29BC: C. Julius Caesar Vipsanianus II & Sextus Appuleius
    • Consul Suffect: Gaius Maecenas
    • Vipsanian is welcomed home with full honors.
    • Lepidus the Triumvir and his son Lepidus the Younger are both executed.
    • Caesarion and Antyllus to Apollonia to be trained with legions.
    • Octavian is deified as Divus Augustus.
    • Livia Drusilla ruptures with Vipsanian and recruits Publicola, Appuleius and L. Marcius Philippus (Octavian's cousin, nephew and step-brother). The rupture between Vipsanian and Livia Drusilla results in him being removed as consul. His friends push through the election of Maecenas to avoid civil war.
    • Vipsanian and Crassus march against enemy tribes in Moesia.
  • 28BC: Gaius Maecenas II & M. Tullius Cicero Minor II
    • Vipsanian is victorious. Triumphs are voted for both Vipsanian and Crassus.
    • Vipsanian made ‘Augustus’ & ‘Princeps’ with “imperium proconsulare maius” & “tribuncia potestas”.
    • Livia Drusilla and Publicola, now her husband, flee to Hispania. Philippus flees to Sicily.
    • The Third Triumvirate is born: Vipsanian (Eastern Mediterranean), M. Licinius Crassus Scythicus (Gaul) and Q. Pedius Publicola (Hispania).
  • 27BC: Vipsanian III & Crassus Scythicus II
    • Caesarion, now Ptolemaeus Julius Caesar, serves as tribune laticlavius in Macedonia, made a Pontiff and Quaestor eight years younger than customary.
  • 26BC: Vipsanian IV & Crassus III
  • 25BC: Vipsanian V & T. Statilius Taurus II
    • Calpurnia Pisonis, the wife of the Divine Julius and Caesarion, dies. The Senate permits the creation of a cult to her as Diva Calpurnia.
  • 24BC: Vipsanian VI & M. Iunius Silanus
  • 23BC: Vipsanian VII & Crassus IV
    • Treaty of Placentia – the Third Triumvirate (Vipsanian, Crassus & Publicola) extended for a further three years.
    • Consul Suffect: Ptolemy Caesarion & Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus II
  • 22BC: Ptolemy Caesarion II & M. Valerius Messalla Corvinus III
    • Caesarion's half sister Cleopatra VIII Selene II marries Ptolemy XVI Philip, the child King of Egypt. Caesarion accompanies her as far as Rhodes, visits King Cotys VII of Thrace.
  • 21BC: Ptolemy Caesarion III & M. Valerius Messalla Corvinus IV.
    • Consuls quarrel and Caesarion goes to Hispania.
    • Asturians defeated, Caesarion defies Senate and enters Rome in triumph.
    • Darius of Media defeats Romans at Volandum, and Albanians defeat Tiberius at Moschoi.
  • 20BC: Ptolemy Caesarion IV & M. Valerius Messalla Corvinus V.
    • Vipsanian captured at Nisibis.
    • Vipsanian made Rex Sacrorum in attempt to fulfill Syblline Oracles and defeat Parthia.
    • Caesarion marches against the Seduni, Salassi and Veragri.
    • Senate overturns Lex Atonia, Corvinus names Publicola as Dictator and Crassus as Magister Equitum.
    • Caesarion warned at Bononia and flees to Athens with supporters.
  • 19BC: Civil war. Ptolemy Caesarion V & Lucius Vipsanius Agrippa I (East); M. Valerius Messalla Corvinus VI & Lucius Arruntius (West).
    • Caesarion visits Egypt.
    • King Obodas of Nabataea assassinated on road to Klysma on Caesarion’s orders. His sister Shaqilat is made Queen and Caesarion's mistress.
    • Caesarion divorces Pomponia and marries Octavian's daughter Julia at Samos.
  • 18BC: Civil war continues;
    • Livia Drusilla is imprisoned by Publicola - violating the sacrosanctitas granted her back in 35BC. Her husband Crassus and co-conspirators assassinate Publicola. Livia severs off his head and shows it to mob, “Pacem restituio!” (I restore peace!).
    • Corvinus escapes Rome and lays waste to Campania, seizes Neapolis and Puteoli, sails to Sicily.
    • Titus Pomponius Atticus II and Lucius Vipsanius Agrippa II consuls.
    • Caesarion enters Rome and receives dictatorship from Crassus and Senate, for “restoration of peace and order within the Republic”.
    • Promulgates edict deifying Roma, makes Livia her Flaminica and re-dedicates temple of Venus Genetrix to Roma and her five epithets (Dea Roma, Mater Patriae, Isis Romae, Dea Invicta, Venus Genetrix).
    • Caesarion sails to Sicily, executes Corvinus & Gnaeus Domitius Calvinus at Morgantia.
  • 17 BC: Ptolemy Caesarion VI & M. Livius Drusus Libo.
    • Caesarion sails to Carthage, war against Massylians. King Juba comes with Caesarion to Rome and enter together in triumph.
    • End of Caesarion’s dictatorship. Caesarion is named Augustus, Princeps, and granted 'imperium maius' over troublesome/chaotic provinces for ten years (Hispania, Gaul, Asia, Syria, Cilicia, Cyprus, Egypt).
    • Cleopatra VIII Selene II of Egypt murders her husband and his mother, seizes throne, but is deposed by Caesarion.
  • 16BC: L. Sestius Albinianus Quirinalis & Lucius Calpurnius Piso
  • 15BC: M. Claudius Marcellus Aeserninus & L. Arruntius
  • 14BC: M. Lollius & C. Norbanus Flaccus
    • Suffect consuls: P. Silius Nerva, C. Sentius Saturninus, Nero Claudius Tiberius I
      • End of Parthian civil war.
      • Pact of Babylon divides Parthian Empire between Rome and Persia.
      • Julian Decree at Tigranocerta appoints prefects (praefecti consiliari) to co-rule with client-kings.
      • Conspiracy of Marcellus.
  • 13BC: Ptolemy Caesarion VII & Tiberius Claudius Nero II
    • Suffect: Iullus Antonius, Tiberius Nero III (again)
    • Caesarion celebrates his quintuple triumph over Assyria, Armenia, Media, Babylonia and Parthia
    • 2nd Settlement: Caesarion receives 'maius imperium proconsulare ' and 'tribunicia potestas', a number of honors including his own cult as Divus Invictus.
    • Birth of the Comitatus: Caesarion as the senior partner, ruling eastern Meditterranean. Junior partners given six year terms: Drusus (Gaul, Germania, Raetia), Tiberius (western Mediterranean) and Antyllus (Caucasus, Armenia and Mesopotamia).
    • Campaigning across the Alps and into Raetia.
  • 12BC: Ptolemy Caesarion VIII & Drusus
    • Suffect: C. Antistius Vetus
    • Caesarion celebrates a triumph over the Raetians.
    • Caesarion marries Livia Drusilla.
    • War against the Pannonians, who had recently raided Roman Istria. Caesarion seizes border country as far as the Dravus, a tributary of the Danube.
    • Unrest and warfare in Asia Minor involving Antyllus and Ptolemy Philadelphus. Caesarion races east and reorganizes territorial divisions in Asia Minor.
    • Cleopatra VIII Selene II married off to King Mithridates III of Commagene.
    • Caesarion and his mother tour the eastern provinces: Antioch, Jerusalem, Petra.
    • Birth of the Concilium Asiaticus (Council of Asia) based primarily in Nicomedia to supervise government and culture in the East; expand road network, official courier system, adjudication of legal disputes, spread of the cult of Roma, etc.
  • 11BC: Tiberius III & Drusus
  • Caesarion and Cleopatra appear in Alexandria as Pharaonic rulers and incorporated into dynastic cult as Theoi Epifaneis Philopatrai, 'the manifest country-loving gods'. Cleopatra made a Roman citizen, friend and ally of the Republic, priestess of Roma and sacrosanct. Roman officers expelled and Ptolemaic bureaucracy and military restored. Caesarion's daughter Berenike named 'basilissa' (princess).
  • The Ptolemaia festival is revived in Alexandria.
  • Assyrians erect monument to Caesarion as Aššur-nādin-apli, 'Asshur has given an heir'.
  • Caesarion consults the Sibyl, who hails him as 'conqueror, true son of his father the conqueror'.
  • Equestrian order reorganized and revitalized.
  • Caesarion's son Ptolemaeus erected consul against Caesarion's wishes, compromise leaves him as consul-designatus until his 20th year. Also changes into adult toga, made princeps iuventutis and given an 'equus publicus'.
  • Tiberius and Drusus wrap up the conquest of Noricum, a Celtic kingdom to the north-east of Italy.
  • 10BC: Ptolemy Caesarion IX & M. Livius Drusus Libo
  • Suffect: Q. Haterius
  • Tiberius completes the conquest of Pannonia.
  • Drusus made Curator Aquarum, to reform Rome's water supply.
  • Nubians in Lower Egypt revolt and storm the frontier at Syene. Buffer state of the Dodekaschoinos overrun. Caesarion marches south into Kush, looting and taking prisoners. A Roman garrison is left behind in Napata.
  • Revolt of the Bessi in Thrace; King Rhescuporis II is killed by their leader Vologaesus. Calpurnius Piso sent against them. Rhoemetacles I is made King of a united Thrace and married to Caesarion's daughter Demetria.
  • 9BC: Iullus Antonius II & L. Calpurnius Piso
  • In Alexandria Caesarion receives a wreath from the Council of Asia, giving him the victory titles Aethiopicus ('victorious in Ethiopia') and Invictus ('undefeated').
  • Babylon rebuilt and settled with foreigners.
  • Antyllus installs Oræstes II as King in Albania and restores Dynamis to the throne of the Bosporan Kingdom. He marries Livia Valeria, daughter of Livia Drusilla and Publicola.
  • Alexander Helios deposed in Parthia, flees to Antyllus. Antyllus granted command of 2 legions to restore Alexander Helios in Media.
  • Caesarion's son Isidorus changes into adult toga and made consul designate, princeps iuventutis, priest, etc. Made perpetual prefect of Egypt, Cyrenaica, Cyprus, Rhodes and Crete.
  • Civil war in Olba in Cilicia between native priest Ajax Teucrides and Philip Barypus, the penultimate Seleucid king.
  • Chatti and Sicambri raid north of Gaul. Drusus marches against them.
  • Tiberius marches against the Getae in Dacia and puts down minor revolt in Moesia.
  • Iullus Antonius puts down revolt in Aquitaine.
  • Campaign into eastern and southern Arabia. Roman forces accompanied by Nabataean, Emesene, Palmyrene and Edessan Arabs. Kingdoms of Minae, Saba, Himyar, Qataban and Hadramut all fall. Bactrians sail from Gedrosia along Persian Gulf, moving from Gerrha to Oman to Hadramut.
  • 8BC:
  • Drusus settles allied tribes in Gaul and Raetia and levies a new legion (Legio XV Germanica).
  • Cleopatra Selene flees to Antyllus in Armenia.
  • Alexander Helios abandoned by Antyllus and reconciled with Iotapa of Media.
  • Antyllus makes war on Mithridates of Commagene. When Crassus protests, Antyllus' legions defect to him. Livia Drusilla, Ptolemy Philadelphus of Galatia and the Council of Asia side with Antyllus against Crassus.
  • Crassus retrieves Vipsanian from house arrest in Athens and takes him to Drusus Libo and the Council of Asia.
  • Antyllus beheads King Archelaus of Cappadocia.
  • Cleopatra Selene hurries to Egypt, where she stages a coup and usurps the throne in Alexandria.

timelines/after_actium.1468881169.txt.gz · Last modified: 2019/03/29 15:18 (external edit)