Chapter

The Lupercalia Drama

Edited by Luciano Canfora and Julian Stringer

in Julius Caesar

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780748619368
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670734 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748619368.003.0031
The Lupercalia Drama

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The most striking and theatrical incident was provoked by Antony, at the very moment when rumours of an imminent, openly monarchical shift in Caesar's aspirations were being nourished from several sides. Once again suspicion turned to the possible role of Cleopatra as the moving force behind the scenes, especially since she had borne Caesar a son. This led to a persistent rumour that the dictator was about to move his seat permanently to Alexandria. Suppositions concerning these alleged ‘Oriental’ plans were finally shown to be false only when Caesar's will was read after his death. Then not only was the preeminent position of Octavius seen, but also the complete absence of Cleopatra's son from Caesar's testamentary arrangements. As for Antony, he was no longer openly out of favour with Caesar: on the contrary, he was his colleague in the consulate for the year 44 bc. But he was not reappointed magister equitum, and had to resign himself to being appointed consul suffectus (deputy consul) by Dolabella. On 15 February 44 bc, during the festival of the Lupercalia, he became the central figure in a spectacular event: an attempt to crown Caesar king.

Keywords: Julius Caesar; Antony; king; monarchy; Cleopatra; Alexandria; Octavius

Chapter.  2460 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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