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.[1]

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.[2] 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).

Caesar's Civil War
Part of the Roman civil wars
Jean Fouquet - The Flight of Pompey after the Battle of Pharsalus - WGA08035

The Flight of Pompey after the Battle of Pharsalus-15th century
Date10 January 49 BC17 March 45 BC
(4 years, 2 months and 1 week)
Result Caesarian victory
Julius Caesar and supporters, the Populares Roman Senate, the Optimates
Commanders and leaders
Gaius Julius Caesar
Gaius Scribonius Curio
Mark Antony
Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus
Publius Cornelius Sulla
Gnaeus Domitius Calvinus
Titus Labienus
Metellus Scipio
Cato the Younger
Gnaeus Pompeius
Publius Attius Varus
Sextus Pompey

Pre-war politico–military situation

Caesar's Civil War resulted from the long political subversion of the Roman Government's institutions, begun with the career of Tiberius Gracchus, continuing with the Marian reforms of the legions, the bloody dictatorship of Lucius Cornelius Sulla, and completed by the First Triumvirate over Rome.

The First Triumvirate (so denominated by Cicero), comprising Julius Caesar, Crassus, and Pompey, ascended to power with Caesar's election as consul, in 59 BC. The First Triumvirate was unofficial, a political alliance the substance of which was Pompey's military might, Caesar's political influence, and Crassus' money. The alliance was further consolidated by Pompey's marriage to Julia, daughter of Caesar, in 59 BC. At the conclusion of Caesar's first consulship, the Senate (rather than granting him a provincial governorship) tasked him with watching over the Roman forests. This job, specially created by his Senate enemies, was meant to occupy him without giving him command of armies, or garnering him wealth and fame.

Caesar, with the help of Pompey and Crassus, evaded the Senate's decrees by legislation passed through the popular assemblies. By these acts, Caesar was promoted to Roman Governor of Illyricum and Cisalpine Gaul. Transalpine Gaul (southern France) was added later. The various governorships gave Caesar command of an army of (initially) four legions. The term of his proconsulship, and thus his immunity from prosecution, was set at five years, rather than the customary one year. His term was later extended by another five years. During this ten-year period, Caesar used his military forces to conquer Gaul and invade Britain, without explicit authorisation by the Senate.

Mondo romano nel 56 aC al tempo del primo triumvirato
Roman world in 56 BC, when Caesar, Crassus and Pompey meet at Luca for a conference in which they decided: to add another five years to the proconsulship of Caesar in Gaul; to give the province of Syria to Crassus and both Spains and Africa to Pompey

In 52 BC, at the First Triumvirate's end, the Roman Senate supported Pompey as sole consul; meanwhile, Caesar had become a military hero and champion of the people. Knowing he hoped to become consul when his governorship expired, the Senate, politically fearful of him, ordered he resign command of his army. In December of 50 BC, Caesar wrote to the Senate agreeing to resign his military command if Pompey followed suit. Offended, the Senate demanded he immediately disband his army, or be declared an enemy of the people: an illegal political bill, for he was entitled to keep his army until his term expired.

A secondary reason for Caesar's immediate desire for another consulship was to delay the inevitable senatorial prosecutions awaiting him upon retirement as governor of Illyricum and Gaul. These potential prosecutions were based upon alleged irregularities that occurred in his consulship and war crimes committed in his Gallic campaigns. Moreover, Caesar loyalists, the tribunes Mark Antony and Quintus Cassius Longinus, vetoed the bill, and were quickly expelled from the Senate. They then joined Caesar, who had assembled his army, whom he asked for military support against the Senate; agreeing, his army called for action.

In 50 BC, at his Proconsular term's expiry, the Pompey-led Senate ordered Caesar's return to Rome and the disbanding of his army, and forbade his standing for election in absentia for a second consulship; because of that, Caesar thought he would be prosecuted and rendered politically marginal if he entered Rome without consular immunity or his army; to wit, Pompey accused him of insubordination and treason.

Civil War

Crossing the Rubicon

Julius Caesar pausing on the banks of the Rubicon

On January 10, 49 BC, commanding the Legio XIII Gemina, Caesar crossed the Rubicon River, the boundary between the province of Cisalpine Gaul to the north and Italy proper to the south. As crossing the Rubicon with an army was prohibited, lest a returning general attempt a coup d'etat, this triggered the ensuing civil war between Caesar and Pompey.

The general population, who regarded Caesar as a hero, approved of his actions. The historical records differ about which decisive comment Caesar made on crossing the Rubicon: one report is Alea iacta est (usually translated as "The die is cast").

Caesar's own account of the Civil War makes no mention of the river crossing and instead simply states that he marched to Rimini, a town South of the Rubicon, with his army. [3]

March on Rome and the early Hispanian campaign

Column of Julius Caesar, where he addressed his army to march on Rome and start the Civil War, Rimini, Italy

Caesar's march on Rome was a triumphal procession. The Senate, not knowing that Caesar possessed only a single legion, feared the worst and supported Pompey. Pompey declared that Rome could not be defended; he escaped to Capua with those politicians who supported him, the aristocratic Optimates and the regnant consuls. Cicero later characterised Pompey's "outward sign of weakness" as allowing Caesar's consolidation of power.

Despite having retreated into central Italy, Pompey and the Senatorial forces were composed of at least two legions: some 11,500 soldiers and some hastily levied Italian troops commanded by Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus. As Caesar progressed southwards, Pompey retreated towards Brundisium, initially ordering Domitius (engaged in raising troops in Etruria) to stop Caesar's movement on Rome from the direction of the Adriatic seaboard.

Belatedly, Pompey requested Domitius to retreat south also, and rendezvous with Pompey's forces. Domitius ignored Pompey's request, and, after being isolated and trapped near Corfinium, was forced to surrender his army of thirty-one cohorts (about three legions). With deliberate clemency Caesar released Domitius and the other senators with him and even returned 6,000,000 sesterces which Domitius had had to pay his troops. The thirty-one cohorts, however, were made to swear a new oath of allegiance to Caesar and they were eventually sent to Sicily under the command of Asinius Pollio.[4]

Pompey escaped to Brundisium, there awaiting sea transport for his legions, to Epirus, in the Republic's eastern Greek provinces, expecting his influence to yield money and armies for a maritime blockade of Italy proper. Meanwhile, the aristocrats—including Metellus Scipio and Cato the Younger—joined Pompey there, whilst leaving a rear guard at Capua.

Caesar pursued Pompey to Brundisium, expecting restoration of their alliance of ten years prior; throughout the Great Roman Civil War's early stages, Caesar frequently proposed to Pompey that they, both generals, sheathe their swords. Pompey refused, legalistically arguing that Caesar was his subordinate and thus was obligated to cease campaigning and dismiss his armies before any negotiation. As the Senate's chosen commander, and with the backing of at least one of the current consuls, Pompey commanded legitimacy, whereas Caesar's military crossing of the Rubicon rendered him a de jure enemy of the Senate and People of Rome. Caesar then tried to trap Pompey in Brundusium by blocking up the harbour mouth with earth moles from either side, joined across the deepest part by a string of rafts, each nine metres square, covered with a causeway of earth and protected with screens and towers. Pompey countered by constructing towers for heavy artillery on a number of merchant ships and used these to destroy the rafts as they were floated in position. Eventually, in March 49 BC, Pompey escaped, fleeing by sea to Epirus, leaving Caesar in complete command of Italy.[5]

Taking advantage of Pompey's absence from the Italian mainland, Caesar effected an astonishingly fast 27-day, north-bound forced march to destroy, in the Battle of Ilerda, Hispania's politically leader-less Pompeian army, commanded by the legates Lucius Afranius and Marcus Petreius, afterwards pacifying Roman Hispania; during the campaign, the Caesarian forces—six legions, 3,000 cavalry (Gallic campaign veterans), and Caesar's 900-horse personal bodyguard—suffered only 70 men killed in action, while the Pompeian casualties numbered 200 men killed and 600 wounded.

Returning to Rome in December of 49 BC, Caesar was appointed Dictator, with Mark Antony as his Master of the Horse. Caesar kept his dictatorship for eleven days, tenure sufficient to win him a second term as consul with Publius Servilius Vatia Isauricus as his colleague. Afterwards, Caesar renewed his pursuit of Pompey in Greece.

Greek, Illyrian and African campaigns

From Brundisium, Caesar crossed the Strait of Otranto with seven legions to the Gulf of Valona (not Palaesta in Epirus [modern Palase/Dhermi, Albania], as reported by Lucan), [6] prompting Pompey to consider three courses of action: (i) alliance with the King of Parthia, an erstwhile ally, far to the east; (ii) invade Italy with his superior navy; and/or (iii) force a decisive battle with Caesar. A Parthian alliance was not feasible: a Roman general fighting Roman legions with foreign troops was craven; and the military risk of an Italian invasion was politically unsavoury, because the Italians (who thirty years earlier had rebelled against Rome) might rise against him. Thus, on the advice of his councillors, Pompey decided to engineer a decisive battle.

As it turned out, Pompey would have been obliged to take the third option anyway, as Caesar had forced his hand by pursuing him to Illyria, so, on 10 July 48 BC, the two fought in the Battle of Dyrrhachium. With a loss of 1,000 veteran legionaries Caesar was forced to retreat southwards. Refusing to believe that his army had bested Caesar's legions, Pompey misinterpreted the retreat as a feint into a trap, and did not give chase to deliver the decisive coup de grâce, thus losing the initiative and his chance to quickly conclude the war. Near Pharsalus, Caesar pitched a strategic bivouac. Pompey attacked, but, despite his much larger army, he was conclusively defeated by Caesar's troops. A major reason for Pompey's defeat was a miscommunication among front cavalry horsemen.

Egyptian dynastic struggle

Pompey fled to Egypt, where he was murdered by an officer of King Ptolemy XIII. Caesar pursued the Pompeian army to Alexandria, where he camped and became involved with the Alexandrine civil war between Ptolemy and his sister, wife, and co-regent, Cleopatra VII. Perhaps as a result of Ptolemy's role in Pompey's murder, Caesar sided with Cleopatra; he is reported to have wept at the sight of Pompey's head, which was offered to him by Ptolemy's chamberlain Pothinus as a gift.

In any event, Caesar was besieged at Alexandria and after Mithridates relieved the city, Caesar defeated Ptolemy's army and installed Cleopatra as ruler, with whom he fathered his only known biological son, Ptolemy XV Caesar, better known as "Caesarion". Caesar and Cleopatra never married, due to Roman law that prohibited a marriage with a non-Roman citizen.

War against Pharnaces

After spending the first months of 47 BC in Egypt, Caesar went to Syria, and then to Pontus to deal with Pharnaces II, a client king of Pompey's who had taken advantage of the civil war to attack the Roman-friendly Deiotarus and make himself the ruler of Colchis and lesser Armenia. At Nicopolis Pharnaces had defeated what little Roman opposition the governor of Asia, Gnaeus Domitius Calvinus, could muster. He had also taken the city of Amisus, which was a Roman ally, made all the boys eunuchs, and sold the inhabitants to slave traders. After this show of strength, Pharnaces drew back to pacify his new conquests.

Nevertheless, the extremely rapid approach of Caesar in person forced Pharnaces to turn his attention back to the Romans. At first, recognizing the threat, he made offers of submission, with the sole object of gaining time until Caesar's attention fell elsewhere, to no avail; Caesar quickly routed Pharnaces at the Battle of Zela (modern Zile in Turkey) with just a small detachment of cavalry. Caesar's victory was so swift and complete that, in a letter to a friend in Rome, he famously said of the short war, "Veni, vidi, vici" ("I came, I saw, I conquered"). Indeed, for his Pontic triumph, that may well have been the label displayed above the spoils.

Pharnaces himself fled quickly back to the Bosporus, where he managed to assemble a small force of Scythian and Sarmatian troops, with which he was able to gain control of a few cities; however, a former governor of his, Asandar, attacked his forces and killed him. The historian Appian states that Pharnaces died in battle; Cassius Dio says Pharnaces was captured and then killed.

Later campaign in Africa and the war on Cato

While Caesar had been in Egypt installing Cleopatra as sole ruler, four of his veteran legions encamped outside of Rome under the command of Mark Antony. The legions were waiting for their discharges and the bonus pay Caesar had promised them before the battle of Pharsalus. As Caesar lingered in Egypt, the situation quickly deteriorated. Antony lost control of the troops and they began looting estates south of the capital. Several delegations of diplomats were dispatched to try to quell the mutiny.

Nothing worked and the mutineers continued to call for their discharges and back pay. After several months, Caesar finally arrived to address the legions in person. Caesar knew he needed these legions to deal with Pompey's supporters in north Africa, who had mustered 14 legions of their own. Caesar also knew that he did not have the funds to give the soldiers their back pay, much less the money needed to induce them to reenlist for the north African campaign.

When Caesar approached the speaker's dais, a hush fell over the mutinous soldiers. Most were embarrassed by their role in the mutiny in Caesar's presence. Caesar asked the troops what they wanted with his cold voice. Ashamed to demand money, the men began to call out for their discharge. Caesar bluntly addressed them as "citizens" instead of "soldiers," a tacit indication that they had already discharged themselves by virtue of their disloyalty.

He went on to tell them that they would all be discharged immediately. He said he would pay them the money he owed them after he won the north African campaign with other legions. The soldiers were shocked. They had been through 15 years of war with Caesar and they had become fiercely loyal to him in the process. It had never occurred to them that Caesar did not need them.

The soldiers' resistance collapsed. They crowded the dais and begged to be taken to north Africa. Caesar feigned indignation and then allowed himself to be won over. When he announced that he would suffer to bring them along, a huge cheer arose from the assembled troops. Through this reverse psychology, Caesar reenlisted four enthusiastic veteran legions to invade north Africa without spending a single sesterce.

Caesar quickly gained a significant victory at Thapsus in 46 BC over the forces of Metellus Scipio, Cato the Younger and Juba (who all committed suicide).

Second Hispanian campaign and the end of the war

Nevertheless, Pompey's sons Gnaeus Pompeius and Sextus Pompeius, together with Titus Labienus (Caesar's former propraetorian legate (legatus propraetore) and second in command in the Gallic War) escaped to Hispania. Caesar gave chase and defeated the last remnants of opposition in the Battle of Munda in March 45 BC. During this time, Caesar was elected to his third and fourth terms as consul in 46 BC (with Marcus Aemilius Lepidus) and 45 BC (sine collega, without a colleague).



Caesar was later proclaimed dictator first for ten years and then in perpetuity. The latter arrangement triggered the conspiracy leading to his assassination on the Ides of March in 44 BC. Following this, Antony and Caesar's adopted son Octavius would fight yet another civil war against remnants of the Optimates and Liberatores faction, ultimately resulting in the establishment of the Roman Empire.


  1. ^ Kohn, G.C. Dictionary of Wars (1986) p. 374
  2. ^ Hornblower, S., Spawforth, A. (eds.) The Oxford Companion to Classical Civilization (1998) pp. 219–24
  3. ^
  4. ^ John Leach, Pompey the Great, p.183
  5. ^ John Leach, Pompey the Great, p.185
  6. ^ Longhurst (2016) "Caesar's Crossing of the Adriatic Countered by a Winter Blockade During the Roman Civil War" The Mariner's Mirror Vol. 102; 132–152


  • The Commentarii de Bello Civili (Commentaries on the Civil War), events of the Civil War until immediately after Pompey's death in Egypt.
  • De Bello Hispaniensi (On the Hispanic War) campaigns in Hispania
  • De Bello Africo (On the African War), campaigns in North Africa
  • De Bello Alexandrino (On the Alexandrine War), campaign in Alexandria.
  • E.S. Gruen, The Last Generation of the Roman Republic, California U.P. 1974, pp. 449–497. ISBN 0-520-20153-1
  • Gelzer, Caesar — Politician and Statesman, Chapter 5. Harvard University Press, 1968.
  • Cynthia Damon and William Batstone Caesar's Civil War (Oxford Approaches to Classical Literature, 2006) ISBN 9780195165104
  • ed. Cynthia Damon, Brian Breed, and Andreola Rossi Citizens of Discord: Rome and its Civil Wars (Oxford University Press, 2010) ISBN 9780195389579

External links

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 Ilerda

The Battle of Ilerda took place in June 49 BC between the forces of Julius Caesar and the Spanish army of Pompey the Great, led by his legates Lucius Afranius and Marcus Petreius. Unlike many other of the battles of the civil war, this was more a campaign of manoeuvre than actual fighting.

Battle of Lauro

The Battle of Lauro (45 BC) was the last stand of Gnaeus Pompeius the Younger, son of Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, against the followers of Julius Caesar during the civil war of 49–45 BC. After being defeated during the Battle of Munda, the younger Pompeius unsuccessfully attempted to flee Hispania Ulterior by sea, but was eventually forced to land. Pursued by Caesarian forces under Lucius Caesennius Lento, the Pompeians were cornered at a wooded hill near the town of Lauro, where most of them, including Pompeius the Younger, were killed in battle.

Battle of Munda

The Battle of Munda (17 March 45 B.C.), in southern Hispania Ulterior, was the final battle of Caesar's civil war against the leaders of the Optimates. With the military victory at Munda, and the deaths of Titus Labienus and Gnaeus Pompeius (eldest son of Pompey), Caesar was politically able to return in triumph to Rome, and then govern as the elected Roman dictator. Subsequently, the assassination of Julius Caesar began the Republican decline that led to the Roman Empire, initiated with the reign of the Roman Emperor Augustus.

Battle of Pharsalus

The Battle of Pharsalus was a 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.

Battle of Ruspina

The Battle of Ruspina was fought on 4 January 46 BC in the Roman province of Africa, between the Republican forces of the Optimates and forces loyal to Julius Caesar. The Republican army was commanded by Titus Labienus, Caesar's former supporter who had defected to the Republican side at the beginning of the civil war.

Battle of Thapsus

The Battle of Thapsus was an engagement in Caesar's Civil War that took place on April 6, 46 BC near Thapsus (in modern Tunisia). The Republican forces of the Optimates, led by Quintus Caecilius Metellus Scipio, were decisively defeated by the veteran forces loyal to Julius Caesar. It was followed shortly by the suicides of Scipio and his ally, Cato the Younger.

Battle of Utica (49 BC)

The Battle of Utica (49 BC) was fought between Julius Caesar's general Gaius Scribonius Curio and Pompeian legionaries commanded by Publius Attius Varus supported by Numidian cavalry and foot soldiers sent by King Juba I of Numidia. Curio defeated the Pompeians and Numidians and drove Varus back into the town of Utica.

Battle of the Bagradas (49 BC)

The Battle of the Bagradas (49 BC) occurred near the Bagradas River (the classical name of the Medjerda) in what is now Tunisia on 24 August and was fought between Julius Caesar's general Gaius Scribonius Curio and the Pompeian Republicans under Publius Attius Varus and King Juba I of Numidia. The result was a crushing defeat for the Caesarean forces and the death of Curio.


In Roman mythology, Clementia was the goddess of clemency, leniency, mercy, forgiveness, penance, redemption, absolution and salvation.She was defined as a celebrated virtue of Julius Caesar, who was famed for his forbearance, especially following Caesar's civil war with Pompey from 49 BC. In 44 BC, a temple was consecrated to her by the Roman Senate, possibly at Caesar's instigation as Caesar was keen to demonstrate that he had this virtue.

In a letter to his friend Atticus, Cicero is discussing Caesar's clementia: "You will say they are frightened. I dare say they are, but I'll be bound they're more frightened of Pompey than of Caesar. They are delighted with his artful clemency and fear the other's wrath." Again in Pro rege Deiotaro (For King Deiotarus) Cicero discusses Caesar's virtue of clementia.

There is not much information surrounding Clementia's cult; it would seem that she was merely an abstraction of a particular virtue, one that was revered in conjunction with revering Caesar and the Roman state. Clementia was seen as a good trait within a leader, it also the Latin word for "humanity" or "forbearance". This is opposed to Saevitia which was savagery and bloodshed. Yet, she was the Roman counterpart of Eleos, (not to be confused with Soteria), the Greek goddess of mercy and forgiveness who had a shrine in Athens.

In traditional imagery, she is depicted holding a branch (possibly an olive tree branch) and a scepter and may be leaning on a column.

Gaius Antonius (brother of Mark Antony)

Gaius Antonius (died 42 BC) was the second son of Marcus Antonius Creticus and Julia Antonia, and thus, younger brother of Mark Antony, who was one of the members of the second triumvirate.

Legio X Equestris

Legio X Equestris (Latin: Tenth Legion "Mounted"), a Roman legion, was levied by Julius Caesar in 61 BC when he was the Governor of Hispania Ulterior. The Tenth was the first legion levied personally by Caesar and was consistently his most trusted. The name Equestris was applied after Caesar mounted legionaries from the Tenth on horses as a ruse in a parley with the German King Ariovistus in 58 BC because he did not trust his Gallic cavalry auxiliaries from the Aedui tribe. Legio X was famous in its day and throughout history, because of its portrayal in Caesar's Commentaries and the prominent role the Tenth played in his Gallic campaigns. Its soldiers were discharged in 45 BC. Its remnants were reconstituted, fought for Mark Antony and Octavian, disbanded, and later merged into X Gemina.

Lucius Manlius Torquatus (Praetor 49 BC)

Lucius Manlius Torquatus (died 46 BC) was a Roman politician and military commander. He was active during the Crisis of the Roman Republic and Caesar's Civil War. He commanded troops at the battles of Oricum, Dyrrhachium and Thapsus. The last of these ended the war, in a defeat for the faction Torquatus supported; he escaped the field, but was captured and killed shortly after. He is portrayed by Cicero in De Finibus as a spokesman advocating Epicurean ethics.

Publius Cornelius Sulla

Publius Cornelius Sulla (died 45 BC) was a politician of the late Roman Republic and the nephew of Lucius Cornelius Sulla.

Shkëmbi i Kavajës

Shkëmbi i Kavajës (Rock of Kavajë) is a landmark named after the town of Kavajë, Albania. The outsized rock is about 6 kilometers from Kavajë and about 8 kilometers from Durrës. It is said to be the place where, in 48 BC, during Caesar's Civil War, Caesar fought against Pompey.

Siege of Massilia

The Siege and naval Battle of Massilia was an episode of Caesar's civil war, fought in 49 BC between forces loyal to the Optimates and a detachment of Caesar's army. The siege was conducted by Gaius Trebonius, one of Caesar's senior legates, while the naval operations were in the capable hands of Decimus Brutus, Caesar's naval expert.

Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus had become proconsul of Gaul and was sent to gain control of Massilia (modern Marseille) in order to oppose Caesar. As Caesar marched to Hispania (enroute to the Battle of Ilerda), the Massiliots closed their gates to him, having allied with Ahenobarbus and the Optimates. Roused by their hostile actions, he commenced a siege against Massilia, leaving the newly raised 17th, 18th, and 19th legions to conduct the siege under the command of Gaius Trebonius (These were the same legions that would be wiped out at Teutoburg Forest 58 years later). He also placed Decimus Brutus in charge of his fleet there. Caesar himself marched with his veteran legions to Hispania to fight the Pompeian generals Lucius Afranius and Marcus Petreius. He would return to the siege of Massilia after defeating his opponents at the battle of Ilerda.

After the siege had begun, Ahenobarbus arrived in Massilia to defend it against the Caesarian forces. In late June, Caesar's ships, although they were less skilfully built than those of the Massiliots and outnumbered, were victorious in the ensuing naval battle.

Gaius Trebonius, conducted the siege using a variety of siege machines including siege towers, a siege-ramp, and a "testudo-ram".

Gaius Scribonius Curio, careless in adequately guarding the Sicilian Straits, allowed Lucius Nasidius to bring more ships to the aid of Ahenobarbus. He fought a second naval battle with Decimus Brutus in early September, but withdrew defeated and sailed for Hispania.

Trebonius built a stationary tower, 30 ft. square and six stories in height, under the very walls of the city and in face of a rain of missiles from its engines. The walls of the tower were of brickwork 5 ft. thick. When the lowest storey was built it was covered with a solid fireproof roof which was not secured to the walls but rested upon them like a lid. The eaves projected

considerably, and from them screens were hung on all sides, covering all the walls. By means of screws the whole canopy, roof and screens, was now raised to the height of one storey and the workmen proceeded to build the

walls of that storey under its protection. This process was repeated in the same

manner until the full height of the tower was attained.The Massiliots valiantly defended against the siege machines and works. They threw down burning pitch and pine-shavings and the Caesarians undermined the foundations of their city walls. At one point they seemed likely to surrender and declare a truce, but at night they cunningly destroyed the siege works in a gross violation of the treaty, according to Caesar's own account (Bellum Civile 2.14; alternatively, Dio 41.25.2 records that the Massiliots destroyed these works in response to a surprise attack by the Caesarian forces). The city's inhabitants were then near surrender.

At the final surrender of Massilia, Caesar showed his usual leniency and Lucius Ahenobarbus escaped to Thessaly in the only vessel that was able to escape from the Populares. Afterwards, Massilia was allowed to keep nominal autonomy, due to ancient ties of friendship and support of Rome, along with some territories while most of its empire was confiscated by Julius Caesar.


Sulci or Sulki (in Greek Σολκοί, Steph. B., Ptol.; Σοῦλχοι, Strabo; Σύλκοι, Paus.), was one of the most considerable cities of ancient Sardinia, situated in the southwest corner of the island, on a small island, now called Isola di Sant'Antioco, which is, however, joined to the mainland by a narrow isthmus or neck of sand. South of this isthmus, between the island and the mainland, is an extensive bay, now called the Golfo di Palmas, which was known in ancient times as the Sulcitanus Portus (Ptol.).

Titus Flavius Petro

Titus Flavius Petro (fl 1st century BCE) was the paternal grandfather of the Roman Emperor Vespasian.

He was allegedly the son of a contracted laborer, who each summer crossed the Po to assist the Sabines with their harvests.

However, Suetonius wrote that his careful research failed to support this story.

Petro was born and raised in Reate, in Sabinia, Italy. He fought for Pompey in Caesar's Civil War as a centurion or a volunteer reservist. Leaving the battlefield of Pharsalus in Greece, he secured a discharge with a full pardon and became a tax collector.

He married a woman called Tertulla (c. 40 BCE - aft. 9 CE), who was the Preceptor of her grandson Vespasian, daughter of Tertullus, and had a son Titus Flavius Sabinus.

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