Not long after Julius Caesar was assassinated, a comet shone for seven successive days. This signified Julius Caesar’s ascension to Godhood, and propaganda for Caesar’s nephew. The comet was described as: “To make that soul a star that burns forever, Above the Forum and the gates of Rome.”

Caesar’s Comet

Caesar’s Comet (also Sidus Iulium (“Julian Star”); Caesaris astrum (“Star of Caesar”); Comet Caesar; the Great Comet of 44 BC; numerical designation C/-43 K1) was a seven-day cometary outburst seen in July 44 BC. It was interpreted by Romans as a sign of the deification of recently assassinated dictator, Julius Caesar (100–44 BC). It was perhaps the most famous comet of antiquity.

Based on two sketchy reports from China (May 30) and Rome (July 23), an infinite number of orbit determinations can fit the observations, but a retrograde orbit is inferred based on available notes. The comet approached Earth both inbound in mid-May and outbound in early August. It came to perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) on May 25, −43 at a solar dist… Continue Reading (6 minute read)

6 thoughts on “Not long after Julius Caesar was assassinated, a comet shone for seven successive days. This signified Julius Caesar’s ascension to Godhood, and propaganda for Caesar’s nephew. The comet was described as: “To make that soul a star that burns forever, Above the Forum and the gates of Rome.””

  1. comrade_batman

    Everything that could have gone wrong for the senatorial conspirators did go wrong, by killing Caesar they only sped up the process of the death of the Republic and the birth of a true Roman Empire, under Augustus. Not only was Caesar popular with the people, but having this comet being used to declare his ascension to Godhood would only have made him more of a martyr to them, and made him even more popular in death.

    Edit: If anyone wants to listen to it, [In Our Time has done a good podcast episode on Caesar](https://youtu.be/Pu1JhrrCaNA), in which his life is discussed from the start and the events that lead him to take over. I recently listened to it as part of some broader ‘reading’ for my MA course. They start to discus him and the Senate, after winning the Civil War at around the 30 minute mark.

  2. Crab-Bucket

    Man really did ascend, most of us still know who Caesar was even if it’s us only knowing him as the guy that was stabbed a bunch

  3. ben_is_second

    Augustus was extremely politically savvy for using this to his advantage.

  4. OakParkCemetary

    This reminds me of the animated movie “Road to El Dorado” where the main characters imply that they are gods and coincidentally a local volcano erupts. They are revealed as frauds when they cannot replicate it.

  5. SmallsTheHappy

    Similar story to a certain Tiber Septum

  6. Busterlimes

    Man, propaganda used to be way cooler

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