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“A generation plants trees; another takes the shadow. "
(Chinese proverb)

It is while reading the Lives of Suetonius that one encounters the famous phrase uttered by Caesar while recognizing Brutus among the conspirators who are stabbing him: "Tu quoque Brute fili mi?" Theatrical conclusion (Shakespeare will also take it up) for a story that fits perfectly among the wrong examples of family succession. Sometimes, in fact, fathers are blind and unable to see the reality they have before their eyes, until the moment of irreversible disaster. At the age of just over fifty, Cesare had already done everything that can be done in a lifetime: conquered Gaul, defeated enemies and adversaries, eliminated even the last competitor Pompey, he had already been appointed dictator for life. One thing had failed him: he had had only one daughter, Giulia, but she had died. In the East he had an affair with Queen Cleopatra, from whom he was born a son, Caesarion, who will also become pharaoh (with the name of Ptolemy XV) and will die at 17, but in Rome he could not be recognized as a legitimate heir. And then there was that story of his youth, with the beautiful Servilia ... Caesar, and not only him, was left with the doubt that her son, Giunio Brutus, was also his son. But Caesar was always very busy and, therefore, Brutus was adopted by a maternal uncle (to inherit his property) while Caesar, officially left without his children, adopted the young Octavian while he was busy in the East. But “that” doubt remained, and it reappeared - terrible - at the moment of the stab of Brutus, who could have been his son. The subsequent events are known: the Caesaricides will flee and will be routed in Philippi, while Antony and Octavian, to share Caesar's political legacy, begin a long and bloody tug-of-war that will end with the battle of Actium and the absolute power of Augustus. . Cesare will become an icon. But that death in the senate hall, with the final gesture of covering his face with the toga after seeing that Brutus was also among those who stabbed him, perfectly captures the blindness of a father who did not want to see and understand. Could she recognize Brutus and adopt him when the time was right? The children - and a painless passage of the family witness - must be followed, prepared ... cultivated. Things don't happen by themselves. Or rather: they happen anyway ... But if you have not found the time and the way to prepare a succession, any succession: family, business or political, changes little and in the end you risk not being able to control events anymore, a lot less to govern them. And, at that point, the children's choices are almost never what the fathers would have wanted ... but it's always too late. Then the unexpected and brutal reality can do a lot of harm, to the father as well as to the children and to the company itself ... Like a sudden stab.


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