This came to a clim… They slowed their advance and launched their javelins at the enemy, but loyalists held their positions and fired javelins of their own. He chose to first eliminate the larger army before they could organize. Pompey broke the blockade but failed to crush Caesar’s army. Britannica Kids Holiday Bundle! Leaving behind seven cohorts at his camp, Pompey drew up his legions in three lines perpendicular to the Enipeus. There he built fortifications around the city and blockaded it for six months, during which time Antony was able to reach Caesar with the four legions from Brundisium. They then marched east. With the war with Julius Caesar raging, Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Pompey) ordered the Roman Senate to flee to Greece while he raised an army in the region. Pompey was thoroughly stunned by his army’s destruction and fled by sea to Egypt in the hope that young Ptolemy XIII would grant him refuge. Myles Hudson was an Editorial Intern at Encyclopædia Britannica. Caesar's victory marked the end of the Roman republic. Seeking to deliver the deciding blow of the war, Caesar pursued Pompey's retreating army and compelled four legions to surrender the following day. He is expected to graduate from the University of Chicago in 2021 with bachelor’s degrees in English language and literature and political... Julius Caesar, marble bust; in the Capitoline Museums, Rome. Pompey was the sole consul at the time, and, although he was once Caesar’s fellow triumvir, he was now a firm defender of the Senate and the republic. He has appeared on The History Channel as a featured expert. His army destroyed, Pompey fled to Egypt seeking aid from King Ptolemy XIII. Some sources indicate that battle may have taken place on June 6/7 or June 29. Labienus. Nevertheless, scholars on both sides agree that Pompey positioned his legions on a slope a few miles away from Caesar’s camp in the valley and that the Enipeus was a defining natural landmark. According to Suetonius (Roman historian who wrote The Life of the Caesars), Caesar uttered the phrase alea iacta est (“the die has been cast”). Pompey had the backing of a majority of senators, and his army significantly outnumbered the experienced Caesarean legions. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. Shortly after arriving at Alexandria, he was murdered by the Egyptians. Battle of Pharsalus; Battle of Pharsalus. He briefly returned to Rome in April, where he pardoned his political opponents, installed a new Senate, and raised at least 14 legions. The bountiful eastern provinces and client kingdoms raised the Senate’s fighting force to nine legions on the ground and a 300-ship fleet that dominated the sea. Rubicon River divided Gaul provinces from Italy. Where did Caesar attack before he faced Pompey. Julius Caesar won a major triumph over the forces of Pompey the Great at Pharsalus, in 48 B.C. simply cite Caesar’s “brilliance as a general,” which alone brought victory at the battle.2 Similarly, Caesar’s “personal military superiority” wo… The Senate expected Caesar to cross the Adriatic in the spring of 48 bce, when the weather would be warmer and the winds stronger. When hostilities finally abated in 45 bce, Caesar returned to Rome as the undisputed victor of the civil war and dictator of the Roman Republic. Pompey’s flight and subsequent murder handed Caesar the ultimate victory. Biography of Pompey the Great, Roman Statesman, The Battle of Cowpens in the Revolutionary War, American Civil War: Battle of Fisher's Hill, The Battle of Gaugamela During the Wars of Alexander the Great, English Civil War: Battle of Marston Moor, Wars of the Alexander the Great: Battle of Chaeronea, M.S., Information and Library Science, Drexel University, B.A., History and Political Science, Pennsylvania State University. Additionally, Caesar reported capturing 24,000, including Marcus Junius Brutus, and showed great clemency in pardoning many the Optimate leaders. He left two cohorts at his camp and advanced to meet Pompey with 22,000 men drawn into three thinner lines. Enipeus River. was a baby that would change the history of Rome, Gaius Julius Caesar. Ptolemy, advised by his regent, the eunuch Pothinus, and his rhetoric tutor Theodotus of Chios, had failed to take into account that Caesar was granting amnesty to a great number of those of the senatorialfaction in their defeat. Pompey himself donned plain clothes and evaded capture. The Triumvirate broke down after Crassus was killed at the Battle of Carrhaeand Julia died. Caesar hoped to kill this plan in its infancy. Understanding Pompey's advantage in cavalry, Caesar pulled 3,000 men from his third line and arrayed them in a diagonal line behind his cavalry to protect the army's flank. The battle of Pharsalus (9 August 48 BC) was the decisive battle of the Great Roman Civil War, and saw Caesar defeat Pompey and the Senate’s main army.Although the war continued for another three years, Pharsalus ended any realistic chance that Caesar could be defeated, and the war would have ended soon if Caesar hadn’t become entangled in Egyptian affairs. Still undeterred, Caesar and his legions slinked away from their camp by night. Battle of Pharsalus, (48 bce), the decisive engagement in the Roman civil war (49–45 bce) between Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great. Pompey’s army suffered some 15,000 casualties, and 24,000 of its soldiers were taken prisoner. Using their javelins to thrust at the enemy cavalry, Caesar's men halted the attack. This saw his men execute a direct assault against the town when he had desired them to conduct a false retreat to lure Vercingetorix off a nearby hill. The Populares, a group of leaders from the senatorial class, had taken to using people’s assemblies and popular support to achieve greater power and forward their policies. Though Caesar's first two lines were under heavy pressure from Pompey's larger army, this attack, coupled with the entry of his reserve line, swung the battle. With which element were Caesars men able to push back Pompey's cavalry. Knowing that he had a larger and better-trained cavalry force, he concentrated his horse on the left. on what historians calculate is about Aug. 9. On the flank, Titus Labienus led Pompey's cavalry forward and made progress against their counterparts. Pharsalus Battlefield was the setting for one of the most decisive and important battles of ancient Rome – the defeat of Pompey the Great by Julius Caesar. At Caesar’s order, his first and second lines charged forward for a short distance before realizing that Pompey’s legions had not responded. Pompey was defeated at Pharsalus, and he fled to Alexandria. The resulting battle saw Pompey win a victory and Caesar was forced to back away. Uniting with their own cavalry, they charged and drove Labienus' troops from the field. Pompey had even married Caesar’s daughter Julia to help cement the alliance between them. The Senate was certain that towns and cities along Caesar’s march south would rally to the defense of the republic, but that assumption quickly proved false. When Caesar reached Rome, then, the city opened its gates to him. Prelude to the Battle. AncientPages.com - On 9 August 48 BC, the Battle of Pharsalus was fought between Julius Caesar and Pompeius Magnus ("Pompey the Great") who fled to Egypt. With the whole of the Italian Peninsula now in his grasp, Caesar observed that while Pompey’s small army was across the Adriatic Sea, seven loyalist legions were still stationed in Hispania, albeit without a general. Moving down into the valley, Pompey anchored his right flank on the Enipeus River and deployed his men in the traditional formation of three lines, each ten men deep. He was soon swayed from this course by his generals, various senators, and other influential Romans who wished him to give battle. Battle of Pharsalus. Caesar made a near disastrous attack on Pompey's camp, and was forced to pull away to regroup. https://www.britannica.com/event/Battle-of-Pharsalus. Page 4 of 4 - About 39 essays. He was loath to surrender the rest of his legions, nine of which were wintering in Gaul. However, when the Egyptians stayed in their positions, the Roman army then engaged the Egyptian forces at the hill, resulting in fierce fighting between the two forces. Labienus began to divide his horsemen into smaller divisions in preparation for a coordinated flanking maneuver. Caesar’s legions then rushed forward again, this time engaging in combat with their swords. By March he had been reinforced with four of his Gallic legions and advanced on Brundisium, but not before Pompey and the Senate abandoned Italia to regroup in Epirus. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. ... + Born to Gaius Julius Marius Caesar and Aurelia Cotta in 13th of Quintilis (July) 100 B.C. At this point Pompey ordered Labienus on his left to charge with the cavalry against Caesar’s right wing, and the mass of horses thundered across the plain with the archers and slingers in tow. Both sides prepared to engage the following day, August 9. 12 Literary Piece 1670 Words | 7 Pages. A more recent theory with growing support finds that he camped north of the river on a slope next to Palaepharsalus (“old Pharsalus,” possibly modern Kríni), in which case the battle would be properly termed the Battle of Palaepharsalus. The Battle of Pharsalus cost Caesar between 200 and 1,200 casualties while Pompey suffered between 6,000 and 15,000. When the cohorts that had routed Labienus’s cavalry barreled through Pompey’s scattering missile troops and into his exposed left flank, the legions began to break. Caesar motivated his actions with the revenge for the v… However, neither Pompey nor Labienus saw the eight cohorts that Caesar had planted behind his cavalry. Each morning Caesar would edge his legions closer to the hill, and Pompey would respond by moving his men a little farther down the slope. 48 BC: After his defeat at Dyrrhacium, Caesar fled to Pharsalus. ... Caesar won the wall building (he encircled Pompey), but Pompey won the actual fighting because he utilized his walls better. Four legions, commanded by Mark Antony, were prevented from crossing by the strong loyalist fleet and were forced to winter in Brundisium. About Pharsalus Battlefield. Despite being reinforced, Caesar was still outnumbered by Pompey's army, though his men were veterans and the enemy largely new recruits. Having recently conquered and pacified the Gallic tribes, he was stationed in Cisalpine Gaul when he received orders from the Senate to relinquish command of his 10 veteran legions. Pompey fled from Pharsalus to Egypt, where he was assassinated on the order of Ptolemy XIII. Realizing Pompey's goal, Caesar halted his army approximately 150 yards from the enemy to rest and reform the lines. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? The Battle of Pharsalus took place on August 9, 48 BC and was the decisive engagement of Caesar's Civil War (49-45 BC). By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Caesar and his forces won in 48 BC, and Caesar became the first de facto Roman emperor. Defeating Pompey's forces in Spain, he shifted east and began preparing for a campaign in Greece. The two met in battle at Pharsalus in Greece in 48 B.C., and though Caesar’s armies won… Name of the river Caesar crossed. The immensely popular Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, otherwise known as Pompey the Great, had enjoyed great military successes in Sicily and Africa, he had emphatically swept the Mediterranean clear of pirates and, most impressively of all, he had defeated Mithradates VI in the east. Caesar chose to cross over the Pindus Mountains and into the province of Macedonia, where he found a fertile valley to feed his troops while he awaited his enemies. When Caesar received news of the Roman defeat at Nicopolis, he began hasty preparations to oppose Pharnaces and win back the lands lost to the Pontic monarch. He would bear that honour until his own assassination a year later. Pompey did not immediately follow up on his success. Anchoring his left, led by Mark Antony along the river, he too formed three lines though they were not as deep as Pompey's. Caesar’s victory at Pharsalus was the deciding battle of the civil war. Caesar successfully routed Pompey’s levies somewhere near Pharsalus (now Farsala, Greece). Caesar’s own cavalry was quickly overwhelmed and retreated a little. With the bulk of its army now gone, the exiled Senate was in no position to mount an offensive. Updates? After failing to subdue his enemies at Dyrrhachium (now Dürres, Albania), Caesar clashed with Pompey somewhere near Pharsalus (now Fársala, Greece). Caesar. An indecisive winter (49–48 … 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. He fled from his camp as the enemy stormed it and made his way to the coast. He positioned his inexperienced Syrian legions in the centre, commanded by his father-in-law, Metellus Scipio. The Battle of Pharsalus cost Caesar between 200 and 1,200 casualties while Pompey suffered between 6,000 and 15,000. Who commanded Pompey's cavalry. He gathered what troops he could from his forces which had weathered the siege of Alexandria and participated in the Battle of the Nile. It was a battle which Caesar won against the odds and it all but confirmed his position as ruler of Rome, a key moment in the transition from Republic to Empire. He … In the seven months after their flight to Epirus, Pompey and the loyalist senators mustered a formidable army. The question is, what would Pompey had to have done to win this battle (and not the war, by refusing engagement until Caesar's men were starving and forced to capitulate). Following the battle of Pharsalus, Caesar and his supporters (the Populares) had won a decisive victory in the ongoing civil war against Rome. When he returned to Rome in October, Caesar’s Senate proclaimed him dictator, conferring unto him supreme authority and sweeping emergency powers. The Battle of Colmar (58 BCE): one of the first battles of the Gallic War, in which Caesar defeated an army led by the Germanic leader Ariovistus.. Ptolemy XIII sent Pompey's head to Caesar in an effort to win his favor, but instead secured him as a furious enemy. In his monumental Battle Studies (1870), Ardant du Picq dedicated five pages to quoting Caesar’s account of the battle verbatim, and then he cited “the genius of the chief” as the deciding factor.1 The lazy (or rushed!) On the right was Lucius Afranius with his seasoned Cilician legion and Spanish cohorts. Pharsalus wasn’t the end of the war, but it was the decisive battle. He swept through the region, seizing Apollonia and Oricum along the way to Dyrrhachium. Caesar pardoned all his surviving enemies. These efforts were hampered as Pompey's forces controlled the Republic's navy. River Rubicon. Exactly where Pompey camped his legions in this valley—and, accordingly, the name of the ensuing battle—has been hotly debated among scholars, a detail complicated both by discrepancies among ancient accounts and modern archaeological evidence. Although Caesar was greatly outnumbered, his veteran legions successfully routed Pompey’s diverse but undisciplined levies. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. After winning a series of minor victories, Caesar was defeated by the Gauls at Gergovia when his men failed to execute his battle plan. Battle. NOW 50% OFF! 5 hours ago. Falling back, Caesar's cavalry led Labienus' horsemen into the line of supporting infantry. Several years before the Battle of Pharsalus the Roman Republic had been controlled by three men: Caesar, Pompey and Crassus. Caesar himself stood on his right flank with legion X and a cavalry force of around 1,000 men. Also, he held his third line in reserve. Instead, Pompey waited Caesar's troops out, attempting to starve them by cutting off Caesar's supply lines. The Battle of Pharsalus was the decisive battle of Caesar's Civil War. On January 10–11, 49 bce, Caesar took Legio XIII Gemina across the Rubicon River and into Italia proper. https://www.patreon.com/battlestack/ The battle of Pharsalus took place in 48bc, and was part of the Roman civil war between Julius Caesar and Pompey. Fox News hosts question network's Ariz. call for Biden Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Caesar then ordered his third line to reinforce the fatiguing first and second lines; they had been withheld for this purpose, and they struck unease into the hearts of the loyalist legionaries. Pompey’s army maintained its position on the high ground for several days. On Caesar’s left was Mark Antony with legions IX and VIII; because legion IX had suffered greatly at Dyrrhachium, the two legions were placed close together. This act triggered civil war in Roman Republic since the appearance of the proconsul with the army in Italy was illegal. At his disposal were 47,000 legionaries overall, many of whom were recent recruits. He decided that war was favourable. Unlike the mélange of loyalist troops, Caesar’s nine legions were nearly all veterans, and many of them had fought for him in Gaul. He was beheaded by Ptolemy's advisors and his head was pickled. His exhausted and poorly supplied army was able to secure new sources of food and essentially become re-energized for the continuing campaign. Cassius Dio, The battle of Pharsalus Cassius Dio (164-c.235): Roman senator of Greek descent, historian, author of a very important Roman History . The most simplistic explanation comes from an adoration for Caesar’s mental superiority, as historians have offered plenty of declarative statements on his genius. For the next three years Caesar fought in Africa, Spain, and Turkey—after the extremely short battle of Zela, in modern Turkey, he famously said ‘Veni Vidi Vici,’ ‘I came, I saw, I won’—but by 45 BC it was officially over. He crushed the loyalists at Ilerda in August and forced the surrender of two legions in Córdoba the following month. 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’s flight to Egypt and subsequent murder handed the ultimate victory to Caesar. Additionally, Caesar reported capturing 24,000, including Marcus Junius Brutus, and showed great clemency in pardoning many the Optimate leaders. He entered the nation during a civil war between Ptolemy XIII and Cleopatra VII. What happened to Pompey in Alexandria? Under pressure to fight, Pompey planned to give battle the next morning. Though Pompey had been defeated and killed, the war continued on as Optimate supporters, including the general's two sons, raised new forces in Africa and Spain. The Senate had only two legions in Italia—the two that Caesar had sent—and faltering support in the north complicated its ability to levy fresh troops. In this decisive battle of Caesar's Civil War, on this day, Gaius Julius Caesar and his allies formed up opposite the army of the republic under the command of Pompey. The battle broke the back of republican opposition to Caesar and opened the way for his dictatorship of Rome. This was by no means the end of the war. Surprise. As his army collapsed, Pompey fled the field. Although Pompey had a larger army, he knew that Caesar's troops were more experienced, and might win in a pitched battle. His plan called for the infantry to remain in place, forcing Caesar's men to charge a long distance and tiring them before contact. Consider how Caesar won that battle, and why the United States of America could never win such a battle today, under this administration. Labienus’s horsemen were so surprised that they scrambled for safety in the hills as quickly as they had left them. However, he knew that Pompey’s cavalry vastly outnumbered his own, so he drew six or eight cohorts to form a fourth line behind his cavalry.