48 BC

Year 48 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Caesar and Vatia (or, less frequently, year 706 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 48 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.48 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

Millennium: 1st millennium BC
48 BC in various calendars
Gregorian calendar48 BC
Ab urbe condita706
Ancient Egypt eraXXXIII dynasty, 276
- PharaohCleopatra VII, 4
Ancient Greek era183rd Olympiad (victor
Assyrian calendar4703
Balinese saka calendarN/A
Bengali calendar−640
Berber calendar903
Buddhist calendar497
Burmese calendar−685
Byzantine calendar5461–5462
Chinese calendar壬申(Water Monkey)
2649 or 2589
    — to —
癸酉年 (Water Rooster)
2650 or 2590
Coptic calendar−331 – −330
Discordian calendar1119
Ethiopian calendar−55 – −54
Hebrew calendar3713–3714
Hindu calendars
 - Vikram Samvat9–10
 - Shaka SamvatN/A
 - Kali Yuga3053–3054
Holocene calendar9953
Iranian calendar669 BP – 668 BP
Islamic calendar690 BH – 689 BH
Javanese calendarN/A
Julian calendarN/A
Korean calendar2286
Minguo calendar1959 before ROC
Nanakshahi calendar−1515
Seleucid era264/265 AG
Thai solar calendar495–496
Tibetan calendar阳水猴年
(male Water-Monkey)
79 or −302 or −1074
    — to —
(female Water-Rooster)
80 or −301 or −1073


By place

Roman Republic





Argedava (Argedauon, Sargedava, Sargedauon, Zargedava, Zargedauon, Ancient Greek: Αργεδαυον, Σαργεδαυον) was an important Dacian town mentioned in the Decree of Dionysopolis (48 BC), and potentially located at Popeşti, a district in the town of Mihăilești, Giurgiu County, Romania.

Battle of Dyrrhachium (48 BC)

The Battle of Dyrrachium (or Dyrrhachium) on 10 July 48 BC was a battle during Caesar's Civil War that took place near the city of Dyrrachium (in what is now Albania). It was fought between Julius Caesar and an army led by Gnaeus Pompey who had the backing of the majority of the Roman Senate. The battle was a victory for Pompey, albeit not a decisive one. The battle preceded the Battle of Pharsalus which was the decisive battle of the Civil War.

Battle of Pharsalus

The Battle of Pharsalus was the decisive battle of Caesar's Civil War. On 9 August 48 BC at Pharsalus in central Greece, Gaius Julius Caesar and his allies formed up opposite the army of the republic under the command of Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus ("Pompey the Great"). Pompey had the backing of a majority of the senators, of whom many were optimates, and his army significantly outnumbered the veteran Caesarian legions.

The two armies confronted each other over several months of uncertainty, Caesar being in a much weaker position than Pompey.

The former found himself isolated in a hostile country with only 22,000 men and short of provisions, while on the other side of the river he was faced by Pompey with an army about twice as large in number. Pompey wanted to delay, knowing the enemy would eventually surrender from hunger and exhaustion. Pressured by the senators present and by his officers, he reluctantly engaged in battle and suffered an overwhelming defeat, ultimately fleeing the camp and his men, disguised as an ordinary citizen.

Caesar's Civil War

The Great Roman Civil War (49–45 BC), also known as Caesar's Civil War, was one of the last politico-military conflicts in the Roman Republic before the establishment of the Roman Empire. It began as a series of political and military confrontations, between Julius Caesar (100–44 BC), his political supporters (broadly known as Populares), and his legions, against the Optimates (or Boni), the politically conservative and socially traditionalist faction of the Roman Senate, who were supported by Pompey (106–48 BC) and his legions.Prior to the war, Caesar had served for eight years in the Gallic Wars. He and Pompey had, along with Marcus Licinius Crassus, established the First Triumvirate, through which they shared power over Rome. Caesar soon emerged as a champion of the common people, and advocated a variety of reforms. The Senate, fearful of Caesar, demanded that he relinquish command of his army. Caesar refused, and instead marched his army on Rome, which no Roman general was permitted to do. Pompey fled Rome and organized an army in the south of Italy to meet Caesar.

The war was a four-year-long politico-military struggle, fought in Italy, Illyria, Greece, Egypt, Africa, and Hispania. Pompey defeated Caesar in 48 BC at the Battle of Dyrrhachium, but was himself defeated much more decisively at the Battle of Pharsalus. The Optimates under Marcus Junius Brutus and Cicero surrendered after the battle, while others, including those under Cato the Younger and Metellus Scipio fought on. Pompey fled to Egypt and was killed upon arrival. Scipio was defeated in 46 BC at the Battle of Thapsus in North Africa. He and Cato committed suicide shortly after the battle. The following year, Caesar defeated the last of the Optimates in the Battle of Munda and became Dictator perpetuo (Dictator in perpetuity or Dictator for life) of Rome. The changes to Roman government concomitant to the war mostly eliminated the political traditions of the Roman Republic (509–27 BC) and led to the Roman Empire (27 BC–AD 476).

Cotys I (Sapaean)

Cotys I (Ancient Greek: Κότυς; died 48 BC) was a Sapaean client king of the Odrysian kingdom of Thrace from c. 57 BC to c. 48 BC. He was the son of Rhoemetalces.Cotys was an ally of the Roman general Pompey, to whom he sent a body of auxiliaries under his son Rhescuporis I in 48 BC for use in the Roman civil war against Julius Caesar.

On Cotys' death, Rhescuporis I became king under the regency of Rhoemetalces I, Cotys' younger brother.

Decree of Dionysopolis

The Decree of Dionysopolis was written around 48 BC by the citizens of Dionysopolis (today's Balchik, on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria) to Akornion, who traveled far away in a diplomatic mission to meet somebody's farther in Argedauon. The decree, a fragmentary marble inscription, is located in the National Historical Museum in Sofia.

Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus Marcellinus

Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus Marcellinus (c. 90 BC – 48 BC) was a Roman statesman and consul of 56 BC. He was married at least twice. His first wife is unknown but his second wife was probably Scribonia, at least twenty years his junior, who later became the second wife of Augustus.

By his first wife he was the father of Lentulus Marcellinus, Caesar's quaestor put in command of his fortifications at Dyrrhachium in 48 BC; by Scribonia he was father of Cornelius Marcellinus, who probably died before reaching adulthood.

Marcellinus died before 47 BC. Scribonia remarried to Publius Cornelius Scipio Salvito, with whom she had two children, Cornelius Scipio and Cornelia Scipio, and later she married Augustus and became mother to his only child, Julia the Elder.

Legio IV Macedonica

Legio quarta Macedonica ("Macedonian Fourth Legion"), was a legion of the Imperial Roman army founded in 48 BC by Gaius Julius Caesar (dictator of Rome 49-44 BC) with Italian legionaries. The legion was disbanded in AD 70 by Emperor Vespasian. The legion symbols were a bull (as with all of Caesar's legions) and a capricorn.

In 48 BC, the Roman Republic was decaying rapidly. Caesar had crossed the Rubicon River in the year before, starting a civil war. Pompey, Cato the younger and the rest of the conservative faction of the senate had fled to Greece. Caesar was preparing to follow in pursuit and, among other preparations, levied Legio IV. The first battles of the legion were Dyrrhachium and Pharsalus, where Caesar defeated Pompey. After this, the legion was stationed in the province of Macedonia, attaining thus its cognomen.

IV Macedonica sided always with Julius Caesar's adopted son, Octavian, first against Caesar's murderers in the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC, then against Mark Antony in the naval Battle of Actium in 31 BC.

Octavian, now Augustus, sent the legion to Hispania Tarraconensis in 30 BC, to take part in the Cantabrian Wars. In 25 BC, they served as the decisive force in the Battle of Vellica under the personal command of Augustus. After Augustus' victory in 13 BC, the legion remained in the province, but its effectives were spread through the Iberian Peninsula.

In 43, the legion was transferred to Germania Superior, to replace XIV Gemina as the garrison of Moguntiacum (modern Mainz). Along with XXII Primigenia, the legion supported Vitellius, governor of Germania Superior, in the Year of the Four Emperors (69), first against Otho, then Vespasian, who would become emperor in the end.

During the Batavian rebellion (69/70), IV Macedonica secured Moguntiacum and fought under Petillius Cerialis against the rebels. Their actions deserved no reproach but Vespasian did not trust its men, probably due to their support for Vitellius. The legion was disbanded in 70, but reconstituted shortly afterwards under the name of Legio IV Flavia Felix.

But we have older references about Legio IV.

Cicero, in Somnium Scipionis, refers Scipio Aemilianus as a tribune of the Fourth Legion.

"1 (6.9) Cum in Africam venissem M'. Manilio consuli ad quartam legionem tribunus...".

Legio I Germanica

Legio I Germanica, the 1st Germanic Legion, was a legion of the Imperial Roman army, possibly founded in 48 BC by Gaius Julius Caesar to fight for him in the civil war against Pompey. The title germanic is a reference to its service in Germany, rather than the place of origin of its soldiers. After the Revolt of the Batavi (AD 70), the remaining men of the Germanica were added to Galba's seventh legion, which became VII Gemina. The emblem of Legio I is unknown, but it was probably Taurus, like all the other legions levied by Caesar (except the V Alaudae).

Legio XIII Gemina

Legio tertia decima Geminia, in English the 13th Twin Legion, also known as Legio tertia decima Gemina, was a legion of the Imperial Roman army. It was one of Julius Caesar's key units in Gaul and in the civil war, and was the legion with which he famously crossed the Rubicon on January 10, 49 BC. The legion appears to have still been in existence in the 5th century AD. Its symbol was the lion.

Legio XXII Deiotariana

Legio vigesima secunda Deiotariana ("Deiotarus' Twenty-Second Legion") was a legion of the Imperial Roman army, founded ca. 48 BC and disbanded during the Bar Kokhba revolt of 132–135. Its cognomen comes from Deiotarus, a Celtic king of Galatia. Its emblem is unknown.

List of Roman legions

This is a list of Roman legions, including key facts about each legion, primarily focusing on the Principate (early Empire, 27 BC – 284 AD) legions, for which there exists substantial literary, epigraphic and archaeological evidence.

When Augustus became sole ruler in 31 BC, he disbanded about half of the over 50 legions then in existence. The remaining 28 legions became the core of the early Imperial army of the Principate (27 BC – AD 284), most lasting over three centuries. Augustus and his immediate successors transformed legions into permanent units, staffed by entirely career soldiers on standard 25-year terms.

During the Dominate period (near the end of the Empire, 284–476), legions were also professional, but are little understood due to scarcity of evidence compared to the Principate. What is clear is that late legions were radically different in size, structure, and tactical role from their predecessors, despite several retaining early period names. This was the result of the military reforms of Emperors Diocletian and Constantine I, and of further developments during the 4th century.

The legions were identified by Roman numerals, though the spelling sometimes differed from the modern "standard". For example, in addition to the spellings "IV", "IX", "XIV", "XVIII" and "XIX", the respective spellings "IIII", "VIIII", "XIIII", "XIIX" and "XVIIII" were commonly used.

List of state leaders in the 1st century BC

State leaders in the 1nd century BC – State leaders in the 1st century bc– State leaders by yearThis is a list of state leaders in the 1st century BC (1oo years ago–1 BC).

Lucius Cornelius Lentulus Crus

Lucius Cornelius Lentulus Crus (bef. 97 BC - 48 BC) was Consul of the Roman Republic in 49 BC, an opponent of Caesar and supporter of Pompeius in the Civil War during 49 – 48 BC.

Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus

Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus (c. 102 BC – 48 BC) was a politician of the Roman Republic, who served in several magisterial positions alongside Julius Caesar and conceived a lifelong enmity towards him. In 59 BC he was consul alongside Julius Caesar. Their partnership was contentious to the extent that Caesar arranged for Bibulus to be doused in feces in Rome's main forum on the eve of an important vote. After this Bibulus withdrew from public politics for the rest of his term.

In 51 – 50 BC he was Governor of Syria where he was effective, but alienated the army by taking too much personal credit for the repulse of the Parthians. In 49, after civil war broke out between Caesar and Pompey, Bibulus aligned himself with Pompey. He was in charge of the fleet tasked with preventing Caesar from shipping his army across the Adriatic. He failed to do so, and subsequently failed to effectively cut off Caesar's supplies. Whilst on blockade duty in 48 BC he fell ill and died.


Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Classical Latin: [ˈgnae̯.ʊs pɔmˈpɛj.jʊs ˈmaŋ.nʊs]; 29 September 106 BC – 28 September 48 BC), usually known in English as Pompey or Pompey the Great, was a military and political leader of the late Roman Republic. He came from a wealthy Italian provincial background, and his father had been the first to establish the family among the Roman nobility. Pompey's immense success as a general while still very young enabled him to advance directly to his first consulship without meeting the normal requirements for office. His success as a military commander in Sulla's second civil war resulted in Sulla bestowing the nickname Magnus, "the Great", upon him. His Roman adversaries insulted him as adulescentulus carnifex, "the teenage butcher", after his Sicilian campaign. He was consul three times (twice with Crassus and once a consul without a partner) and celebrated three triumphs.

In mid-60 BC, Pompey joined Marcus Licinius Crassus and Gaius Julius Caesar in the unofficial military-political alliance known as the First Triumvirate, which Pompey's marriage to Caesar's daughter Julia helped secure. After the deaths of Julia and Crassus, Pompey sided with the optimates, the conservative faction of the Roman Senate. Pompey and Caesar then contended for the leadership of the Roman state, leading to a civil war. When Pompey was defeated at the Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC, he sought refuge in Egypt, where he was assassinated. His career and defeat are significant in Rome's subsequent transformation from Republic to Empire.

Publius Servilius Vatia Isauricus (consul 48 BC)

Publius Servilius Vatia Isauricus was a Roman consul elected in 48 BC along with Gaius Julius Caesar. He is generally regarded as a puppet of Caesar, having a long friendship with the Dictator. He was the son of Publius Servilius Vatia Isauricus, and husband of Junia Prima.

In 54 BC, Vatia was praetor. As praetor he opposed Gaius Pomptinus in his endeavour to obtain a triumph. At the start of the civil war, Vatia defected from the optimates to Caesar. Caesar made him his colleague as consul for 48 BC. Caesar soon left Rome to fight Pompey in Greece and left Vatia in command of the city.

In March 48, praetor Caelius Rufus began talking of abolishing all debt in the city, as even the upper classes had begun to feel the pressure of shortage of money; even Cicero's wife Terentia was forced to sell most of her jewelry. Caelius, however, had no jurisdiction on the standing of debts, his only magistracy being in the administration of foreigners in Rome; instead, debts fell under Trebonius' jurisdiction.

After Caelius set up a tribunal within earshot of Trebonius in the Forum for the second time, Vatia Isauricus himself went to the Forum to confront the rogue magistrate, followed by a retinue of fasces-wielding guards. After a heated argument on the tribunal, Vatia Isauricus famously pulled an axe out of one of the fasces and destroyed Caelius's wooden magistrate's chair. Caelius and Vatia Isauricus nearly came to blows, and the mob became so confrontational with the Consul that the guards actually needed to unsheathe their axes to ward them off.

Caelius made fun of Vatia Isauricus by holding up his repaired magistrate's chair, which was held together with leather straps. Famously, Vatia Isauricus was beaten by his father with a strap of leather, which was shameful for the family name, though Vatia Isauricus himself claimed it had toughened him up. Caelius repeatedly escaped Vatia Isauricus, and was not arrested but went to join Titus Annius Milo in an insurrection against Caesar, and were both captured and executed.

After Caesar's murder, Vatia took the side of the Senate against Mark Antony. When Octavian, to whom Vatia's daughter Servilia was engaged to be married, deserted the cause of the Senate and made peace with Mark Anthony, Vatia deserted the cause of the Senate as well. On the formation of the Triumvirate, Octavian broke his engagement with Servilia in order to marry Clodia, the daughter of Fulvia, the wife of Antony. As compensation for this injury, Vatia was made consul in 41 BC with Lucius Antonius as his colleague. Servilia seems to have married Lepidus the Younger, the son of the triumvir.

Titus Annius Milo

Titus Annius Milo Papianus () was a Roman political agitator. The son of Gaius Papius Celsus, he was adopted by his maternal grandfather, Titus Annius Luscus. In 52 BC, he was prosecuted for the murder of Publius Clodius Pulcher. He was unsuccessfully defended by his friend, Marcus Tullius Cicero, in the speech Pro Milone.

Venus Genetrix (sculpture)

The sculptural type of Venus Genetrix shows the Roman goddess Venus in her aspect of Genetrix (mother), as she was honoured by the Julio-Claudian dynasty of Rome, who followed the precedent of Julius Caesar in claiming her as their ancestor. Through this historical chance, a Roman designation is applied to an iconological type of Aphrodite that originated among the Greeks.

On the night before the decisive battle of Pharsalus (48 BC), Julius Caesar vowed to dedicate a temple at Rome to Venus, supposed ancestor of his gens. In fulfilment of his vow he erected a temple of Venus Genetrix in the new forum he constructed. Contemporary references identify the cult statue in the temple as by a certain Greek sculptor, Arkesilaos.

Two types, represented in many Roman examples in marble, bronze, and terra cotta, contend among scholars for identification as representing the type of this draped Venus Genetrix. Besides the type described further below, is another, in which Venus carries an infant Eros on her shoulder.

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