The Comet of 44 B.C. and Caesar's Funeral Games
This unique collaboration between a classicist and physicist at the University of Illinois at Chicago is the first work to combine the evidence from both China and Rome for the spectacular daylight comet of 44 BC, perhaps the most famous comet in antiquity. This investigation, which also examines allusions to this comet in astrological literature from later antiquity, sheds new light on the significance of the comet as a powerful symbol in the political propaganda that launched Augustus' career.
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11th hour 1des of March 1taly 23 July Antony apparent magnitude Appian Astura attested Atticus Augustan Augustus Brian Marsden bright Brutus Caesar's apotheosis Caesar's comet Caesar's honor Capricorn celebrated century Chinese sighting Chinese sources Cicero comet appeared Comet Caesar comet of 44 comet was seen eruption of Etna evidence fasti festival funeral games games in 44 Greco-Roman sources Halley Halley's honor of Venus imperial interpretation Julian calendar Julius Caesar July 44 late July later letter ludi Apollinares ludi funebres ludi Romani ludi Veneris Genetricis ludi Victoriae Caesaris magnitude Mark Antony Matius month Obsequens observed Octavian Octavian's games orbit outburst perihelion perihelion distance period Pliny pompa portents pre-Julian records reference right ascension Rome scholars Sept September to July Servius Shackleton Bailey Shen sidus lulium skyglow star stella Suet Suetonius temple Text 16 Venus Genetrix Virgil visible volcanic Vulcanius Weinstock