THE IDEA OF MAN AND DIVINITY IN ANTIQUITY PART II: Around the astral myth of Julius Caesar

Monika Milewska 1
1 - Uniwersytet Gdański
2014; 15 (4):
ICID: 1138980
Article type: Original article
IC™ Value: 3.00
Abstract provided by Publisher
The text presents the story of a comet which appeared after the death of Julius Caesar in
July 44 BC. Comets were usually considered as bad omens bringing wars and disasters.
Therefore, young Octavian had a very difficult task to change this sinister sign into a symbol
of his rulership. At the beginning, he disguised the real nature of this phenomenon,
presenting it as a star in his visual propaganda. Only after two decades, when his power
was established in the form of Pax Augusta and aurea aetas, Octavian could openly admit
that it was a comet. This gap in the sources made some scholars doubt the real existence of
the astronomical phenomenon. My text delivers arguments for historicity of the Caesar’s
comet and shows why Roman people were inclined to consider it a sign of apotheosis of
divus Julius.
DOI: 10.5604/20842937.1138980

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