Pharsalus 48 BC: Caesar and Pompey - Clash of the Titans by Si Sheppard

By Si Sheppard

Expanding rigidity among Julius Caesar and Pompeius Magnus (Pompey the good) after the dying of Marcus Licinius Crassus quickly degenerated into army clash. along with his hand significantly bolstered through his election as Dictator through the Senate in Rome, Caesar knew that energy could in simple terms be a truth as soon as he had militarily defeated Pompey. by way of August 49BC, Caesar had successfully destroyed Pompey's armies in Spain, yet, by the point he had crossed the Adriatic pursuing him eastward, his forces have been seriously outnumbered. in spite of the reinforcements introduced via Mark Antony, his try and weigh down Pompey via laying siege to Dyrrachium was once unsuccessful and he finally needed to withdrew into Thessaly, with Pompey in pursuit. The degree was once set for the ultimate conflict of the 2 titans of the Roman international and the percentages have been seriously in Pompey's favour, with 45,000 males opposed to Caesar's 22,000. even though, the veteran legions dependable to Caesar have been the simplest within the Roman military and the problem he confronted in actual fact prompted Caesar's tactical genius for conflict. Guessing that Pompey might try to crush his correct wing together with his cavalry, he hid elite cohorts of legionnaries in the back of his personal seriously outnumbered horsemen with orders to struggle at shut quarters like pikemen. Caesar's predictions have been right and, faraway from overwhelming his uncovered correct flank, Pompey's left flank was once routed, permitting Caesar to envelop and scatter the remainder of his military. Simon Sheppard expertly charts the occasions prime as much as the Pharsalus crusade, the process the conflict itself and the seismic implications of this decisive conflict among the 2 maximum generals in their age.

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Extra info for Pharsalus 48 BC: Caesar and Pompey - Clash of the Titans

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This is the perspective of the plain of Pharsalus from the site of Caesar's camp looking west towards Mt Dogantzes (far left) and north-west towards the line of hills bordering the plain where Pompey had established his camp. (Author's collection) It was the opportunity Caesar had been waiting for; 'we shall not easily get the chance again', he snapped to his officers. He ordered the march halted and displayed a purple flag, the signal for battle. The camp must have burst into a hive of frantic activity as men scrambled to drop their packs and make ready for combat.

Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY) Two legionaries of the late republican period from the altar of Domitius Ahenobarbus. (Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY) tactical unit of the old legion was the maniple. Three maniples made up a cohort, and ten cohorts constituted a legion. Marius retained the ten cohorts but subdivided them into three maniples of two centuries. Each of the centuries, or approximately 80 men, was commanded by a centurion up front and an optio in the rear and had a signifer (standard bearer) attached.

Author's collection) Caesar moved on to Metropolis (Paleo Kastro) the next day; after displaying the unfortunate city fathers of neighbouring Gomphi, he found this town much more compliant. In fact, apart from Larisa, which was occupied by Scipio, all the cities of Thessaly swung over to Caesar. Moving on, Caesar next encamped astride the ancient road from Larisa via Palaepharsalus (Krini) to Pharsalus (Farsala) where it crossed the north bank of the River Enipeus, near the modern village of Vasili.

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