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Julius Caesar, Chapter 52: Julius Caesar and Cleopatra.
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He had love affairs with queens too, including Eunoe the Mauretanian, wife of Bogudes, on whom, as well as on her husband, he bestowed many splendid presents, as Naso writes; but above all with Cleopatra, with whom he often feasted until daybreak, and he would have gone through Egypt with her in her state-barge almost to Aethiopia[i.e., Kush], had not his soldiers refused to follow him. Finally he called her to Rome and did not let her leave until he had ladened her with high honors and rich gifts, and he allowed her to give his name to the child [Note 1] which she bore. In fact, according to certain Greek writers this child was very like Caesar in looks and carriage. Marcus Antonius declared to the senate that Caesar had really acknowledged the boy, and that Gaius Matius, Gaius Oppius, and other friends of Caesar knew this. Of these Gaius Oppius, as if admitting that the situation required apology and defence, published a book, to prove that the child whom Cleopatra fathered on Caesar was not his. Helvius Cinna, tribune of the plebeians, admitted to several that he had a bill drawn up in due form, which Caesar had ordered him to propose to the people in his absence, making it lawful for Caesar to marry what wives he wished, and as many as he wished, 'for the purpose of begetting children' [the words Liberorum Quaerendorum Causa are a legal formula indicating that the purpose of marriage is to beget legal heirs]. But to remove all doubt that he had an evil reputation both for shameless vice and for adultery, I have only to add that the elder Curio in one of his speeches calls him every woman's man and every man's woman. |
Note 1: child = Caesarion
Event: Julius Caesar and Cleopatra
|Dilexit et reginas, inter quas Eunoen Mauram Bogudis uxorem, cui maritoque eius plurima et immensa tribuit, ut Naso scripsit; sed maxime Cleopatram, cum qua et conuiuia in primam lucem saepe protraxit et eadem naue thalamego paene Aethiopia tenus Aegyptum penetrauit, nisi exercitus sequi recusasset, quam denique accitam in urbem non nisi maximis honoribus praemiisque auctam remisit filiumque natum appellare nomine suo passus est. quem quidem nonnulli Graecorum similem quoque Caesari et forma et incessu tradiderunt. M. Antonius adgnitum etiam ab eo senatui adfirmauit, quae scire C. Matium et C. Oppium reliquosque Caesaris amicos; quorum Gaius Oppius, quasi plane defensione ac patrocinio res egeret, librum edidit, non esse Caesaris filium, quem Cleopatra dicat. Heluius Cinna tr. pl. plerisque confessus est habuisse se scriptam paratamque legem, quam Caesar ferre iussisset cum ipse abesset, uti uxores liberorum quaerendorum causa quas et quot uellet ducere liceret. at ne cui dubium omnino sit et impudicitiae et adulteriorum flagrasse infamia, Curio pater quadam eum oratione omnium mulierum uirum et omnium uirorum mulierem appellat.|