Cronología del brundisio

Cronología del brundisio


Cronología de Espartaco

Datos breves e información a través de la línea de tiempo de Spartacus
El contenido de este artículo proporciona historia, hechos e información interesantes a través de la línea de tiempo de Spartacus.

Historia, hechos e información a través de la línea de tiempo de Spartacus *** Información interesante a través de la línea de tiempo de Spartacus - Historia y cronología de Roma de un vistazo *** Línea de tiempo de Spartacus *** Cronología de nombres clave, fechas clave, personas clave y eventos clave en el Historia Cronología de Espartaco *** Historia romana con la Cronología de Espartaco que contiene una interesante cronología de hechos, fechas e información *** Cronologías de fechas clave, historia, hechos e información *** Detalles rápidos y precisos a través de la Cronología del Reino de Roma - Personajes famosos, lugares famosos y eventos famosos


Contenido

El padre de Libo del mismo nombre fue el pretor, o funcionario judicial en jefe, en el 80 a. C., y su madre era Cornelia Sulla, la hija de Pompeia Magna (y también la nieta de Pompeyo el Grande) y su primer marido Fausto Cornelio. Sulla, el único hijo del dictador Sulla. & # 911 & # 93 & # 912 & # 93 & # 913 & # 93 & # 914 & # 93

Libo era miembro de la familia Scribonia, que era plebeya, no miembro de la élite gobernante. Estuvo estrechamente relacionado con la familia de Pompeyo a través de su abuela Pompeia Magna. Los lazos se fortalecieron en el 55 a. C. después de que el hijo de Pompeyo, Sexto Pompeyo, se casara con la hija de Libo, Escribonia. & # 915 & # 93 Se supone que Libo alcanzó el cargo de pretor en el año 50 a. C. & # 916 & # 93

En el 50 a. C., el Senado, encabezado por Pompeyo, ordenó al político populista y general Julio César que disolviera su ejército y regresara a Roma porque su mandato como gobernador había terminado. & # 917 & # 93 César pensó que sería procesado si entraba en Roma sin la inmunidad de que goza un magistrado. El 10 de enero de 49 a. C., César cruzó el río Rubicón e inició la Guerra Civil de César. Marchó rápidamente sobre Roma y la capturó. Pompeyo y la mayor parte del Senado huyeron a Grecia. Libo fue nombrado uno de los legados de Pompeyo, una posición militar de alto rango, y se le dio el mando de Etruria. & # 918 & # 93

Después de que Libo fuera expulsado de Etruria por Mark Antony, asumió el mando de los nuevos reclutas en Campania de Ampius Balbus. & # 919 & # 93 Luego acompañó a Pompeyo durante su retirada a Brundisium, y allí actuó como intermediario de Pompeyo con Cayo Caninius Rebilus, un íntimo amigo personal, a quien Julio César le había encomendado la tarea de negociar con Pompeyo. & # 9110 & # 93 Rebilus le advirtió a Libo que si podía convencer a Pompeyo de que llegara a un acuerdo con César, César le daría crédito a Libo por detener la guerra civil antes de que comenzara en serio. Aunque Libo informó sobre las propuestas de César, Pompeyo le dijo a Libo que no podía aceptar nada sin la presencia de los cónsules. & # 9111 & # 93

Siguiendo a Pompeyo a Macedonia, Libo fue puesto a cargo de parte de la flota de Pompeyo junto a Marco Octavio, con instrucciones de evitar que las fuerzas de César cruzaran si era posible. & # 9112 & # 93 Frente a la costa dálmata derrotaron a una flota al mando de Publius Cornelius Dolabella. Siguieron esto derrotando a Gaius Antonius, que había intentado ayudar a Dolabella, y que se vio obligado a huir a Corcyra Nigra. A falta de suministros, pronto se rindió a Libo, quien lo llevó a él y a sus tropas a Pompeyo. & # 9113 & # 93 Para cuando César aterrizó en Epiro y tomó Oricum, Pompeyo había enviado a Libo a unirse a Marco Calpurnio Bíbulo, que estaba a cargo de la flota de Pompeyo y estaba bloqueando a César en Oricum, pero que estaba enfermo y no podía recuperarse. suministros. & # 9114 & # 93 Para romper el estancamiento, Bibulus y Libo navegaron hacia Oricum y solicitaron una tregua para negociar con César. César estuvo de acuerdo y Libo intentó engañar a César haciéndole pensar que estaban actuando según las instrucciones de Pompeyo. & # 9115 & # 93 Cuando César no pudo hacer que Libo aceptara dar salvoconducto a los enviados de César, César concluyó que las negociaciones eran una farsa diseñada para permitir que Bíbulo reabasteciese sus barcos, por lo que se negó a extender la tregua y rompió las negociaciones. & # 9116 & # 93

Con la muerte de Bíbulo a principios del 48 a. C., Libo recibió el mando de la flota pompeyana, que comprendía unas cincuenta galeras. & # 9117 & # 93 Continuó bloqueando a Oricum, pero llegó a la conclusión de que, si podía aislar a Brundisium del mar, podría aislar a César de los refuerzos y podría volver a desplegar la flota en otra parte. Trasladándose a Brundisium, sorprendió al comandante local, Mark Antony, desprevenido. Libo quemó varios barcos de almacenamiento, capturó uno lleno de grano y desembarcó tropas en la isla que dominaba la entrada al puerto, expulsando a un escuadrón de las tropas de Antonio en el proceso. Confiado en el éxito, envió una carta a Pompeyo, advirtiéndole que había asegurado el puerto y que el resto de la flota debía repararse y descansar. & # 9118 & # 93 Antony, sin embargo, logró engañar a Libo para que persiguiera algunos barcos señuelo, lo que provocó que el escuadrón de Libo fuera atacado. La mayor parte de la flota de Libo logró escapar, pero las tropas que desembarcó en la isla quedaron atrapadas y capturadas. & # 9119 & # 93


Guerra Civil [editar]

Cruzando el Rubicón [editar]

El 10 de enero de 9952, al mando de la Legio XIII, César cruzó el río Rubicón, el límite entre la provincia de la Galia Cisalpina al norte e Italia propiamente dicha al sur. Como estaba prohibido cruzar el Rubicón con un ejército, para que un general que regresara no intentara un golpe de estado, esto desencadenó la consiguiente guerra civil entre César y Pompeyo.

La población en general, que consideraba a César como un héroe, aprobó sus acciones. Los registros históricos difieren sobre qué comentario decisivo hizo César al cruzar el Rubicón: un informe es Alea iacta est (normalmente traducido como "La suerte está echada").

El propio relato de César sobre la Guerra Civil no menciona el cruce del río y, en cambio, simplemente afirma que marchó a Rimini, una ciudad al sur del Rubicón, con su ejército. & # 913 & # 93

Marcha sobre Roma y la primera campaña hispana [editar]

La marcha de César sobre Roma fue una procesión triunfal. El Senado, sin saber que César poseía una sola legión, temió lo peor y apoyó a Pompeyo. Pompeyo declaró que Roma no se podía defender se escapó a Capua con aquellos políticos que lo apoyaban, los aristocráticos Optimates y los cónsules reinantes. Más tarde, Cicerón caracterizó el "signo exterior de debilidad" de Pompeyo como lo que permitió la consolidación del poder de César.

A pesar de haberse retirado al centro de Italia, Pompeyo y las fuerzas del Senado estaban compuestas por al menos dos legiones: unos 11.500 soldados y algunas tropas italianas apresuradas al mando de Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus. A medida que César avanzaba hacia el sur, Pompeyo se retiró hacia Brundisium, inicialmente ordenando a Domicio (involucrado en el levantamiento de tropas en Etruria) que detuviera el movimiento de César en Roma desde la dirección de la costa del Adriático.

Tardíamente, Pompeyo pidió a Domicio que también se retirara al sur y se reuniera con las fuerzas de Pompeyo. Domicio ignoró la petición de Pompeyo y, después de ser aislado y atrapado cerca de Corfinium, se vio obligado a entregar su ejército de treinta y un cohortes (unas tres legiones). Con deliberada clemencia, César liberó a Domicio y a los demás senadores que lo acompañaban e incluso devolvió 6.000.000 de sestercios que Domicio había tenido que pagar a sus tropas. Las treinta y una cohortes, sin embargo, fueron obligadas a prestar un nuevo juramento de lealtad a César y finalmente fueron enviadas a Sicilia bajo el mando de Asinius Pollio. & # 914 & # 93

Pompeyo escapó a Brundisium, allí esperando transporte marítimo para sus legiones, a Epiro, en las provincias griegas orientales de la República, esperando que su influencia produjera dinero y ejércitos para un bloqueo marítimo de Italia propiamente dicha. Mientras tanto, los aristócratas, incluidos Metelo Escipión y Catón el Joven, se unieron a Pompeyo allí, mientras dejaban una retaguardia en Capua.

César persiguió a Pompeyo hasta Brundisium, esperando la restauración de su alianza de diez años antes durante las primeras etapas de la Gran Guerra Civil Romana, César frecuentemente le propuso a Pompeyo que ambos generales envainaran sus espadas. Pompeyo se negó, argumentando legalmente que César era su subordinado y, por lo tanto, estaba obligado a dejar de hacer campaña y despedir a sus ejércitos antes de cualquier negociación. Como comandante elegido por el Senado, y con el respaldo de al menos uno de los cónsules actuales, Pompeyo tenía legitimidad, mientras que el cruce militar del Rubicón por parte de César lo convirtió en un de jure enemigo del Senado y del Pueblo de Roma. Luego, César intentó atrapar a Pompeyo en Brundisium bloqueando la boca del puerto con topos de tierra de ambos lados, unidos en la parte más profunda por una serie de balsas, cada una de nueve metros cuadrados, cubiertas con una calzada de tierra y protegidas con pantallas y torres. Pompeyo respondió construyendo torres de artillería pesada en varios barcos mercantes y las usó para destruir las balsas mientras flotaban en su posición. Finalmente, en marzo de 9952, Pompeyo escapó, huyendo por mar a Epiro, dejando a César al mando completo de Italia. & # 915 & # 93

Aprovechando la ausencia de Pompeyo del continente italiano, César llevó a cabo una marcha forzada sorprendentemente rápida de 27 días con rumbo al norte para destruir, en la Batalla de Ilerda, el ejército pompeyano políticamente sin líderes de Hispania, comandado por los legados Lucius Afranius y Marcus Petreius. , luego de pacificar la Hispania romana durante la campaña, las fuerzas cesáreas —seis legiones, 3.000 jinetes (veteranos de la campaña gala) y el guardaespaldas personal de 900 caballos de César— sufrieron sólo 70 hombres muertos en acción, mientras que las bajas de Pompeya fueron 200 hombres muertos y 600 herido.

Al regresar a Roma en diciembre de 9952, César fue nombrado dictador, con Marco Antonio como su maestro de caballos. César mantuvo su dictadura durante once días, período suficiente para ganarle un segundo mandato como cónsul con Publius Servilius Vatia Isauricus como su colega. Posteriormente, César renovó su búsqueda de Pompeyo en Grecia.

Campañas griegas, ilirias y africanas [editar]

Desde Brundisium, César cruzó el Estrecho de Otranto con siete legiones hasta el Golfo de Valona (no Palaesta en Epirus [Palase / Dhermi moderno, Albania], según lo informado por Lucan), & # 916 & # 93 lo que llevó a Pompeyo a considerar tres cursos de acción : (i) para hacer una alianza con el rey de Partia, un antiguo aliado, muy al este (ii) para invadir Italia con su armada superior y / o (iii) para forzar una batalla decisiva con César. Una alianza parta no era factible: un general romano que luchaba contra legiones romanas con tropas extranjeras era cobarde y el riesgo militar de una invasión italiana era políticamente desagradable, porque los italianos (que treinta años antes se habían rebelado contra Roma) podrían levantarse contra él. Por lo tanto, siguiendo el consejo de sus consejeros, Pompeyo decidió diseñar una batalla decisiva. & # 91 cita necesaria ]

Al final resultó que, Pompeyo se habría visto obligado a tomar la tercera opción de todos modos, ya que César había forzado su mano persiguiéndolo a Iliria, por lo que, el 10 de julio de 9953, los dos lucharon en la Batalla de Dyrrhachium. Con una pérdida de 1.000 legionarios veteranos, César se vio obligado a retirarse hacia el sur. Al negarse a creer que su ejército había superado a las legiones de César, Pompeyo malinterpretó la retirada como una finta en una trampa y no la persiguió para entregar la decisión decisiva. golpe de gracia, perdiendo así la iniciativa y su oportunidad de concluir rápidamente la guerra. Cerca de Pharsalus, César lanzó un vivac estratégico. Pompeyo atacó, pero, a pesar de su ejército mucho más grande, fue definitivamente derrotado por las tropas de César. Una de las principales razones de la derrota de Pompeyo fue la falta de comunicación entre los jinetes de la caballería de vanguardia.

Lucha dinástica egipcia [editar]

Pompeyo huyó a Egipto, donde fue asesinado por un oficial del rey Ptolomeo XIII. César persiguió al ejército pompeyano hasta Alejandría, donde acampó y se involucró en la Guerra Civil Alejandrina entre Ptolomeo y su hermana, esposa y corregente, Cleopatra VII. Quizás como resultado del papel de Ptolomeo en el asesinato de Pompeyo, César se puso del lado de Cleopatra; se dice que lloró al ver la cabeza de Pompeyo, que le fue ofrecida como regalo por el chambelán de Ptolomeo, Potino.

En cualquier caso, César fue sitiado en Alejandría y después de que Mitrídates relevó la ciudad, César derrotó al ejército de Ptolomeo e instaló a Cleopatra como gobernante, con quien engendró a su único hijo biológico conocido, Ptolomeo XV César, más conocido como "Cesarión". César y Cleopatra nunca se casaron, debido a la ley romana que prohibía el matrimonio con un ciudadano no romano.

Guerra contra las Farnaces [editar]

Después de pasar los primeros meses de 9954 en Egipto, César fue a Siria, y luego a Ponto para tratar con Farnaces II, un rey cliente de Pompeyo que se había aprovechado de la guerra civil para atacar al Deiotarus amistoso con los romanos y convertirse en gobernante. de Colchis y Armenia menor. En Nicópolis, Farnaces había derrotado la poca oposición romana que pudo reunir el gobernador de Asia, Cneo Domicio Calvino. También había tomado la ciudad de Amisus, que era un aliado de los romanos, convirtió a todos los niños en eunucos y vendió a los habitantes a los traficantes de esclavos. Después de esta demostración de fuerza, Farnaces retrocedió para pacificar sus nuevas conquistas.

Sin embargo, el acercamiento extremadamente rápido de César en persona obligó a Farnaces a volver su atención a los romanos. Al principio, reconociendo la amenaza, hizo ofertas de sumisión, con el único objeto de ganar tiempo hasta que la atención de César cayera en otra parte, pero en vano César rápidamente derrotó a Farnaces en la Batalla de Zela (Zile moderno en Turquía) con solo un pequeño destacamento de caballería. La victoria de César fue tan rápida y completa que, en una carta a un amigo en Roma, dijo sobre la guerra corta, "Veni, vidi, vici" ("Vine, vi, conquisté"). De hecho, para su triunfo póntico, esa bien puede haber sido la etiqueta que se muestra sobre el botín.

El propio Farnaces huyó rápidamente de regreso al Bósforo, donde logró reunir una pequeña fuerza de tropas escitas y sármatas, con las que pudo hacerse con el control de unas pocas ciudades, sin embargo, un ex gobernador suyo, Asandar, atacó a sus fuerzas y mató él. El historiador Appian afirma que Pharnaces murió en la batalla Cassius Dio dice que Pharnaces fue capturado y luego asesinado.

Campaña posterior en África y la guerra en Cato [editar]

Mientras César había estado en Egipto instalando a Cleopatra como único gobernante, cuatro de sus legiones veteranas acamparon fuera de Roma bajo el mando de Marco Antonio. Las legiones estaban esperando su baja y la bonificación que César les había prometido antes de la batalla de Farsalia. Mientras César permanecía en Egipto, la situación se deterioró rápidamente. Antonio perdió el control de las tropas y comenzaron a saquear propiedades al sur de la capital. Se enviaron varias delegaciones de diplomáticos para intentar sofocar el motín.

Nada funcionó y los amotinados continuaron pidiendo sus bajas y pagos atrasados. Después de varios meses, César finalmente llegó para dirigirse a las legiones en persona. César sabía que necesitaba estas legiones para lidiar con los partidarios de Pompeyo en el norte de África, que habían reunido 14 legiones propias. César también sabía que no tenía los fondos para darles a los soldados su salario atrasado, y mucho menos el dinero necesario para inducirlos a volver a alistarse para la campaña del norte de África.

Cuando César se acercó al estrado del orador, un silencio cayó sobre los soldados amotinados. La mayoría estaban avergonzados por su papel en el motín en presencia de César. César preguntó a las tropas qué querían con su voz fría. Avergonzados de exigir dinero, los hombres empezaron a pedir su baja. César se dirigió sin rodeos a ellos como "ciudadanos" en lugar de "soldados", una indicación tácita de que ya se habían dado de baja en virtud de su deslealtad.

Continuó diciéndoles que todos serían dados de alta inmediatamente. Dijo que les pagaría el dinero que les debía después de ganar la campaña del norte de África con otras legiones. Los soldados se sorprendieron. Habían pasado 15 años de guerra con César y se habían vuelto ferozmente leales a él en el proceso. Nunca se les había ocurrido que César no los necesitaba.

La resistencia de los soldados se derrumbó. Abarrotaron el estrado y suplicaron que los llevaran al norte de África. César fingió indignación y luego se dejó conquistar. Cuando anunció que les permitiría unirse a la campaña, una gran ovación surgió entre las tropas reunidas. A través de esta psicología inversa, César reclutó a cuatro entusiastas legiones de veteranos para invadir el norte de África sin gastar un solo sestercio.

César rápidamente obtuvo una victoria significativa en Thapsus en 9955 sobre las fuerzas de Metellus Scipio, Catón el Joven y Juba (quienes se suicidaron).

Segunda campaña hispana y fin de la guerra [editar]

Sin embargo, los hijos de Luca, Cneo Pompeyo y Sexto Pompeyo, junto con Titus Labienus (antiguo legado propretoriano de César (legatus propraetore) y segundo al mando en la Guerra de las Galias) se escapó a Hispania. César lo persiguió y derrotó a los últimos restos de la oposición en la batalla de Munda en marzo de 9956. Durante este tiempo, César fue elegido para su tercer y cuarto mandato como cónsul en 9955 (con Marcus Aemilius Lepidus) y 9956 (sine collega, sin colega).


Logros

  • A la vanguardia del neoclasicismo, West sintió que el arte debería transmitir virtudes ideales y relatos moralizantes para educar y civilizar al público en general. Basándose en fuentes visuales y literarias clásicas, así como en la filosofía de la época de la Ilustración, el énfasis del arte neoclásico en la simetría, la estabilidad y la nobleza fue un intento de inculcar esos mismos valores en la ciudadanía.
  • Mientras pintaba principalmente para una audiencia europea, específicamente británica, West tuvo cuidado de eludir las tensiones entre Inglaterra y sus colonias del Nuevo Mundo. Aunque sensible a los sentimientos ingleses, West todavía insistía en pintar temas tomados del Nuevo Mundo, incluidos los nativos americanos y las batallas coloniales.
  • West, sin embargo, no se contentó con contar cuentos de hace mucho tiempo y en su lugar incorporó eventos contemporáneos y vestimenta en sus pinturas. Si bien fue criticado por desobedecer las reglas del neoclasicismo defendidas por la Royal Academy of London, la apuesta de West dio sus frutos. Su Muerte del general Wolfe fue tremendamente popular y una de las pinturas más reproducidas de la época.
  • La inclinación de West por la innovación y su habilidad para saber qué era popular entre el público lo llevaron a abrazar el romanticismo al final de su carrera. Haciendo hincapié en una narración más dramática y evocando lo sublime, las obras posteriores de West todavía cautivaron al espectador, pero apelando a su sentido de la emoción en lugar de a la razón.

El asalto de Hannibal [editar]

Marco Livio, el gobernador de la ciudad, era un buen soldado, pero se dice que es un hombre de hábitos indolentes y lujosos. La noche señalada por Aníbal para el ataque, estaba de fiesta con amigos y se retiró a descansar, cargado de comida y vino. En medio de la noche se despertó cuando los conspiradores tocaron la alarma con unas trompetas romanas y encontraron a Aníbal y 10.000 de sus soldados ya dentro de la ciudad. Muchos de los soldados romanos estaban dormidos o borrachos y fueron asesinados por los cartagineses cuando salieron a la calle a trompicones. Hannibal mantuvo el control de sus tropas hasta el punto de que no hubo saqueos generales. Comprometido con el respeto de la libertad tarentina, Hannibal pidió a los tarentinos que marcaran las casas donde vivían los tarentinos. Sólo fueron saqueadas aquellas casas que no estaban tan señalizadas y que por tanto pertenecían a los romanos. Marcus Livius logró llevar a sus tropas sobrevivientes a la ciudadela donde mantuvieron a raya a los cartagineses durante la guerra. Sin embargo, la ciudad se perdió. Todas las ciudades griegas del sur de Italia, con la excepción de Regio, estaban ahora bajo el control de Aníbal.


Matrimonios y problema [editar]

Se sabía que Antonio tenía una obsesión con las mujeres y el sexo. & # 91151 & # 93 & # 91152 & # 93 & # 91153 & # 93 & # 91154 & # 93 & # 91155 & # 93 Tenía muchas amantes (incluida Cytheris) y se había casado sucesivamente con Fadia, Antonia, Fulvia, Octavia y Cleopatra, y dejó tras de él una serie de hijos. & # 91156 & # 93 & # 91157 & # 93 A través de sus hijas de Octavia, sería antepasado de los emperadores romanos Calígula, Claudio y Nerón.

  1. Matrimonio con Fadia, hija de un liberto. Según Cicerón, Fadia le dio a Antonio varios hijos. No se sabe nada sobre Fadia o sus hijos. Cicerón es la única fuente romana que menciona a la primera esposa de Antonio.
  2. Matrimonio con la prima primera paterna Antonia Hybrida Minor. Según Plutarco, Antonio la echó de su casa en Roma porque se acostó con su amigo, el tribuno Publius Cornelius Dolabella. Esto ocurrió en 9954 y Antonio se divorció de ella. De Antonia, tuvo una hija:
      , se casó con el rico griego Pythodoros de Tralles.
  3. Matrimonio con Fulvia, de quien tuvo dos hijos:
      , asesinado por Octavio en 9971. , se casó con Claudia Marcella Major, hija de Octavia.
  4. Matrimonio con Octavia el Joven, hermana de Octavio, más tarde emperador Augusto tuvieron dos hijas:
      (también conocida como Julia Antonia Major), & # 91158 & # 93 se casó con Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus (cónsul 9985), abuela materna de la emperatriz Valeria Messalina y abuela paterna del emperador Nerón. (también conocida como Julia Antonia Minor), & # 91158 & # 93 se casó con Nero Claudius Drusus, el hijo menor de la emperatriz Livia Drusilla y hermano del emperador Tiberio, madre del emperador Claudio, abuela paterna del emperador Calígula y la emperatriz Agrippina la Joven, y bisabuela materna del emperador Nerón.
  5. Hijos de la reina Cleopatra VII de Egipto, ex amante de Julio César: se casó con el rey Juba II de Numidia y más tarde Mauritania, la reina de Siria, Zenobia de Palmira, descendía según se informa de Selene y Juba II. .

César, Julio: Guerra civil

Después de que terminó el Primer Triunvirato, el Senado apoyó a Pompeyo, quien se convirtió en cónsul único en el 52 a. C. Mientras tanto, César se había convertido en un héroe militar y en un campeón del pueblo. El senado le temía y quería que abandonara su ejército, sabiendo que esperaba ser cónsul cuando expirara su mandato en la Galia. En diciembre del 50 a. C., César escribió al Senado que renunciaría a su ejército si Pompeyo renunciaba al suyo. El Senado escuchó la carta con furia y exigió que César disolviera su ejército de inmediato o fuera declarado enemigo del pueblo, un proyecto de ley ilegal, porque César tenía derecho a mantener su ejército hasta que terminara su mandato.

Dos tribunos fieles a César, Marco Antonio y Quinto Casio Longino (véase bajo Casio) vetaron el proyecto de ley y fueron rápidamente expulsados ​​del Senado. Huyeron a César, quien reunió a su ejército y pidió el apoyo de los soldados contra el Senado. El ejército llamó a la acción, y el 19 de enero de 49 a. C., César con las palabras Iacta alea est [la suerte está echada] cruzó el Rubicón, el arroyo que bordeaba su provincia, para entrar en Italia. Había comenzado la guerra civil.

La marcha de César a Roma fue un avance triunfal. El senado huyó a Capua. César se dirigió a Brundisium, donde sitió a Pompeyo hasta que Pompeyo huyó (marzo de 49 a. C.) con su flota a Grecia. César partió de inmediato para España, que ocupaban los legados de Pompeyo, y pacificó esa provincia. Al regresar a Roma, César mantuvo la dictadura durante 11 días a principios de diciembre, el tiempo suficiente para ser elegido cónsul, y luego partió hacia Grecia en busca de Pompeyo.

César reunió en Brundisium un pequeño ejército y una flota —tan pequeños, de hecho, que Bíbulo, que esperaba con una flota mucho más grande para evitar que cruzara a Epiro, aún no se molestó en vigilarlo— y cruzó el estrecho. Se encontró con Pompeyo en Dyrrhachium, pero se vio obligado a retroceder y comenzar una larga retirada hacia el sur, con Pompeyo en la persecución. Cerca de Farsalia, César acampó en un lugar muy estratégico. Pompeyo, que tenía un ejército mucho más grande, atacó a César pero fue derrotado (48 a. C.) y huyó a Egipto, donde fue asesinado.

César, habiendo perseguido a Pompeyo a Egipto, permaneció allí durante algún tiempo, viviendo con Cleopatra, tomando parte en contra de su hermano y esposo Ptolomeo XIII y estableciéndola firmemente en el trono. De Egipto fue a Siria y Ponto, donde derrotó (47 aC) a Farnaces II con tanta facilidad que relató su victoria con las palabras Veni, vidi, vici [vine, vi, conquisté]. Ese mismo año reprimió personalmente un motín de su ejército y luego partió hacia África, donde habían huido los seguidores de Pompeyo, para poner fin a la oposición liderada por Catón.

La enciclopedia electrónica de Columbia, 6ª ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. Reservados todos los derechos.

Ver más artículos de la Enciclopedia sobre: Historia antigua, Roma: biografías


Vida temprana y carrera

Cicerón era hijo de una familia adinerada de Arpinum. Admirablemente educado en Roma y en Grecia, hizo el servicio militar en el 89 bajo Pompeyo Estrabón (el padre del estadista y general Pompeyo) e hizo su primera aparición en los tribunales defendiendo a Publio Quincio en el 81. Su brillante defensa, en el 80 o principios del 79 , de Sextus Roscius contra una acusación fabricada de parricidio estableció su reputación en la barra, y comenzó su carrera pública como cuestor (una oficina de administración financiera) en el oeste de Sicilia en 75.

Como pretor, funcionario judicial de gran poder en esta época, en el 66 pronunció su primer discurso político importante, cuando, contra Quinto Lutatius Catulus y los principales Optimates (el elemento conservador en el Senado romano), habló a favor de conferir a Pompeyo mando de la campaña contra Mitrídates VI, rey del Ponto (en el noreste de Anatolia). Su relación con Pompeyo, cuyo odio hacia Marco Licinio Craso compartía, sería el punto focal de su carrera en la política. Su elección como cónsul por el 63 se logró a través de Optimates que temía las ideas revolucionarias de su rival, Catiline.

En el primero de sus discursos consulares se opuso al proyecto agrario de Servilius Rullus, en interés del ausente Pompeyo pero su principal preocupación era descubrir y hacer públicas las intenciones sediciosas de Catilina, quien, derrotado en el 64, volvió a aparecer en la elecciones consulares en el 63 (presididas por Cicerón, con armadura debajo de la toga). Catilina perdió y planeó llevar a cabo levantamientos armados en Italia e incendio provocado en Roma. Cicerón tuvo dificultades para persuadir al Senado del peligro, pero el "último decreto" (Senatus consultum ultimum), algo así como una proclamación de la ley marcial, fue aprobada el 22 de octubre. El 8 de noviembre, después de escapar de un atentado contra su vida, Cicerón pronunció el primer discurso contra Catilina en el Senado, y Catilina abandonó Roma esa noche. Se obtuvieron las pruebas que incriminaban a los conspiradores y, tras un debate senatorial en el que Catón el Joven habló a favor de la ejecución y Julio César en contra, fueron ejecutados bajo la responsabilidad de Cicerón. Cicerón, anunciando su muerte a la multitud con una sola palabra vixerunt (“Están muertos”), recibió una tremenda ovación de todas las clases, lo que inspiró su posterior llamado en política a concordia ordinum, "Concordia entre las clases". Catulus lo aclamó como "padre de su país". Este fue el clímax de su carrera.


Gran Guerra Civil Romana, 50-44 a. C.

La Gran Guerra Civil Romana (50-44 aC) fue desencadenada por la rivalidad entre Julio César y su oposición conservadora en el Senado, y vio a César derrotar a todos sus enemigos en batallas esparcidas por todo el mundo romano, antes de ser asesinado en Roma el los idus de marzo, desencadenando una nueva ronda de guerras civiles.

La Gran Guerra Civil Romana fue la parte media de una serie de guerras civiles que sacudieron y finalmente destruyeron la República Romana. La política romana era a menudo bastante cruel, pero el bajo nivel de violencia casi normal se convirtió primero en una guerra civil por la rivalidad entre Marius y Sulla.

Mario fue uno de los grandes héroes militares de la República, cónsul durante cinco años consecutivos desde el 104 a. C. hasta el 100 a. C., y responsable de la derrota de los cimbris y los teutones, dos tribus germánicas que derrotaron a los ejércitos romanos en la Galia e intentaron invadir Italia. y el comandante romano a principios de la Guerra Social (91-88 aC).

Sulla War, un próximo comandante. Había servido bajo el mando de Marius en África y contra los cimbri y los teutones, y se hizo un nombre en el mando independiente durante la Guerra Social. Aunque Sulla y Marius originalmente habían trabajado juntos, al final de la Guerra Social eran rivales acérrimos.

En el 88 a. C. Sila fue uno de los dos cónsules. Una de las recompensas de ese puesto fue que sería seguido por un comando militar, y a Sila se le dio el mando de la guerra contra Mitrídates el Grande del Ponto (Primera Guerra Mitrídatica). Sin embargo, Mario también quería el mando, y encontró un aliado en el tribuno P. Sulpicius, que se había peleado con Sila por la integración de los nuevos ciudadanos italianos en el sistema de votación romano. Cuando Sulpicio intentó distribuir a los italianos entre las treinta y cinco tribus romanas, para que sus votos tuvieran algún significado, Sila se opuso a él. Sulpicius y Marius formaron una alianza, los cónsules intentaron suspender todos los asuntos públicos y estallaron disturbios. Sulla se vio obligado a refugiarse con Marius y aceptó apoyar las leyes italianas. Luego regresó a su ejército, que estaba sitiando a Nola. Una vez que Sulla estuvo fuera de la ciudad, Sulpicius usó sus poderes para transferir el mando oriental de Sulla a Marius.

Mario y Sulpicio habían juzgado mal a Sila. Cuando le llegó la noticia, Sulla decidió llevar a su ejército a Roma, una decisión trascendental, rompiendo un tabú tan antiguo como la República. Todos menos uno de sus oficiales lo abandonaron cuando se hizo pública la decisión, pero las tropas se pusieron del lado de Sila y asesinaron a un grupo de tribunos militares enviados por Marius para tomar el mando. Marius y Sulpicius no tenían soldados a su disposición, ninguno estaba permitido en Roma, y ​​las fuerzas improvisadas que pudieron reunir no pudieron hacer frente a los hombres de Sulla (batalla del Foro Esquilino, 88 a. C.). Sulpicius fue traicionado y asesinado, pero Marius logró escapar a África.

El asentamiento de Sulla se desmoronó en el 87 a. C. Uno de los cónsules del año, Lucius Cornelius Cinna, se opuso a las reformas de Sila. Después de que fracasara un intento de introducir una reforma electoral, fue expulsado de la ciudad, reunió un ejército y regresó para sitiar Roma. Fue apoyado por Marius, que regresó de África, y la ciudad cayó. Mario manchó bastante su reputación con una masacre de sus supuestos enemigos, pero murió a principios del 86 a. C., justo después de comenzar su séptimo consulado. Esto dejó a Cinna como la figura dominante en Italia durante los próximos años.

Mientras esto sucedía, Sulla hizo campaña en el este, donde logró expulsar a Mitrídates de todas sus conquistas. Un ejército mariano enviado para oponerse a Sila hizo campaña contra Mitrídates, después de que su comandante original fuera derrocado por uno de sus tribunos. Hacia el 85 a. C. Mitrídates estaba listo para hacer la paz, poner fin a la guerra y liberar a Sila para que regresara a Italia. Cinna murió en un motín entre las tropas que no querían arriesgar el viaje por mar a los Balcanes para enfrentarse a Sulla, dejando a Carbo para liderar la resistencia a Sulla.

En el 83 a. C. Sila regresó a Italia. La campaña del 83 a. C. fue indecisa y la guerra continuó hasta el 82 a. C. El foco principal de la guerra en ese año fue un largo asedio de Praeneste, donde el joven Marius se vio obligado a refugiarse después de sufrir la derrota en la batalla de Sacriportus. Los marianos hicieron varios intentos para levantar el sitio, pero todos fracasaron. Sus aliados samnitas incluso intentaron atacar Roma y fueron derrotados en una batalla desesperada fuera de la Puerta Colline. Poco después de esto, los defensores de Praeneste se rindieron. Marius committed suicide, while Carbo fled from Italy, and died soon afterwards. Pompey the Great was sent to deal with the Marians in Sicily and Africa, only leaving the forces of Sertorius in Spain.

Sulla's rule began badly, with the infamous proscriptions. A series of lists of his political opponents were posted in the Forum, and it was legal to kill anyone who was on the list. Several of his allies, most notoriously Crassus, used the proscriptions to become rich, getting the names of innocent but wealthy men added to the lists. Eventually Sulla ended the bloodbath, but it was a permanent stain on his reputation.

Next came his constitutional reforms. Sulla believed that the popular assemblies and the Tribunes of the Plebs were largely responsible for political instability in Rome (rather ignoring the role of ambitious aristocrats such as himself). First he made himself 'Dictator for the Reconstitution of the State', giving his actions a veneer of legality based on ancient precedent. He eliminated the powers of the Tribunes to veto or put forward laws, and barred anyone who had served as tribune from holding any further offices, in an attempt to make the post less attractive. The popular assemblies were only allowed to vote on laws that the Senate had already approved. The career structure for Roman aristocrats was more firmly controlled. Each post would have to be held in turn, from quaestor to praetor to consul, and age limits were imposed - 30 for quaestor, 42 for consul. The number of quaestors was increased to twenty, and they were given automatic entry into the Senate, reducing the power of the censors. The number of normal praetors was increased to eight. Nobody could hold the same post twice within ten years. The aim was to produce a stable system dominated by the aristocracy, but Sulla failed to address the biggest problem that would be faced by the Republic over the next few years - the power of the army. After setting up his new constitution Sulla stood down as dictator, and returned to private life. His constitution didn't last terribly long after his death in 78 BC.

The period between the death of Sulla and the outbreak of the Great Civil War saw some of the most famous names in Roman history come to the fore. Julius Caesar is of course the most famous of them, but at the start of the period he was a fairly junior name. The two leading figures were Pompey the Great, who first gained fame by raising a private army to help Sulla during his second civil war, and the famously wealthy Crassus, who mainly used his influence behind the scenes, taking advantage of his financial power over many of his fellow Romans. Only slightly below them in influence was Cato the Younger, an uncompromising conservative whose single minded defence of what he believed was the status-quo probably played a major part in the fall of the Republic by backing his opponents into increasingly difficult positions. The orator, lawyer and politician Cicero was less influential than he believed, but his writings provide an invaluable view of the period, and he did serve as Consul. A confusingly large cast of aristocratic figures filled out the political scene, often changing sides with bewildering speed.

The first challenge to Sulla&rsquos constitution began almost as soon as he gave up power. The consuls for 78 BC were Q. Catulus, a supporter of Sulla and M. Lepidus, one of his noisiest opponents. Lepidus began to campaign for the repeal of some of Sulla&rsquos laws almost as soon as his term of office began, possibly even while Sulla was still alive. The two consuls clashed openly after they were sent to put down a revolt in Etruria, where Lepidus decided to side with the rebels. The Senate was unwilling to stand up to him and risk another civil war, and instead gave him the province of Transalpine Gaul in an attempt to get him out of Rome. However they then summoned him to Rome to hold the elections for 77 BC, but Lepidus chose to march on the city at the head of the Etrurian rebels and demand a second term as Consul.

After wavering for a moment, the Senate regained its nerve and commissioned Catulus and Pompey to put down Lepidus&rsquos revolt. Lepidus reached Rome, where he was defeated by Catulus and Pompey near the Mulvian Bridge and the Janiculum. Catulus pursued Lepidus as he retreated to Etruria, while Pompey moved further north and besieged Lepidus&rsquos legate M. Brutus at Mutina. Mutina soon fell, and Brutus was killed (rather controversially). Pompey pursued his defeated forces to Liguria, where he captured and killed Lepidus&rsquos son Scipio. Pompey then joined Catulus in time to take part in the final battle of the brief civil war at Cosa in Etruria. Lepidus fled to Sardinia where he soon died. His surviving supporters fled to Spain under the command of Perperna, where they soon joined Sertorius, the last of Sulla&rsquos opponents still in arms against his new constitution.

With civil war averted, Pompey was ordered to disband his army, but much to the Senate&rsquos alarm he refused. Luckily for them, Pompey had no interest in seizing power. Instead he wanted to be sent to Spain, where Sertorius had won a series of victories over Senatorial armies, and was currently holding his own against Metellus Pius. Neither of the consuls for 77 BC were willing to go to Spain, and eventually the Senate gave in and sent Pompey. Once in Spain he worked fairly well with Metellus Pius, and by 72 BC Sertorius had been killed and the Sertorian War was over.

Over the next few years Roman domestic politics were dominated by attempts to restore the power of the Tribunes, greatly reduced by Sulla. However this was overshadowed in 73 BC by the outbreak of Spartacus&rsquos revolt. This began with the escape of a band of gladiators led by Spartacus from a school in Capua, but soon expanded into a full-blown revolt. Spartacus ended up with a massive army, with which he was able to roam up and down the Italian peninsula seemingly at will, defeating every army that was sent against him. Eventually the command was taken away from the Consuls and given to Crassus, who raised a massive army of his own, and trapped Spartacus in the far south of Italy. An attempt to escape to Sicily failed, and Spartacus was finally defeated by Crassus during his third attempt to escape from the far south. Much to Crassus&rsquos annoyance, Pompey had just been recalled to Italy and defeated 5,000 fleeing rebels, allowing him to claim a part in the defeat of the revolt.

In the aftermath of the revolt Pompey gained a third Triumph, for his victories in Spain, but Crassus had to make do with an Ovation, as crushing a slave revolt didn&rsquot justify a full triumph. A more significant reward was that the two men were elected as the consuls for 70 BC. They cooperated to restore the powers of the tribunes, but otherwise spent most of their year in power opposing each other. The two men staged a public reconciliation at the end of their year of office, but it isn&rsquot clear how genuine it was.

Pompey wasn&rsquot a terribly effective politician in normal times, and rather faded into the background between periods of crisis. On this occasion it was the growing threat of the Mediterranean&rsquos fleets of pirates that brought him back into the limelight. Many of the naval powers that had kept the pirates under control had been weakened by Rome, and they even threatened the Italian coast. After a series of ineffective attempts to deal with the problem, in 67 BC Pompey was given the command of the campaign against the pirates, with sweeping powers. He was given proconsular powers across the Mediterranean, and as far as fifty miles inland, with power equal to any proconsul in the area.

Pompey&rsquos campaign against the pirates was one of his most impressive achievements. He raised a massive fleet, which he divided into separate divisions that each patrolled part of the sea. Pompey himself took his main fleet to Cilicia to deal with the main pirate bases. The campaign only took three months, and by the end of the summer of 67 BC the pirates had been defeated.

Pompey&rsquos next command was against Mithridates, who had been at war with Rome since 73 BC (Third Mithridatic War). Lucullus, the Roman commander during most of the war, successfully expelled Mithridates from his kingdom of Pontus then chased him into Armenia, where he inflicted a series of defeats on the Armenians of Tigranes the Great. However he was unable to actually complete his victory, and in 67 BC Mithridates defeated the Roman forces that had been left behind in Pontus at the battle of Nicopolis and briefly regained command of his kingdom. By this time Lucullus had lost much of his political support in Rome, and in 66 BC Pompey was given command of the war. Once again Pompey moved quickly, and by the end of the year Mithridates had been defeated and forced to flee into exile. In 65 BC he reached Crimea, where he seized power from his disloyal son Machares, and began to plot for his return. However this time he was unable to keep hold of power, and was eventually forced to commit suicide after his son rebelled against him.

Over the next few years Pompey reorganised large parts of the East. He stripped away Tigranes&rsquos conquests, and claimed authority over Syria, where the last remnants of the once-mighty Seleucid Empire were swept away without any difficulties. Pompey finally returned to Rome in 62 BC, coming back as a conquering hero who had defeated one of her most persistent enemies, and gained vast new provinces for her. Unfortunately for Rome, many of the more conservative figures in the Senate distrusted Pompey because of his success, because of the irregular nature of his career, and because he wasn&rsquot &lsquoone of them&rsquo. Their unwillingness to compromise with Pompey and their persistent attempts to block his proposals would soon force him into an unexpected alliance with Crassus and Caesar.

Pompey returned to Italy towards the end of 62 BC. Many of the Senate&rsquos conservatives had feared that he would march on Rome with his army and seize power, but instead he disbanded his troops as soon as he landed, and made a peaceful progress towards Rome. He then stopped at his villa in Alba where he waited to celebrate his triumph). Pompey managed to get one of his supporters, M. Piso, elected as one of the consuls for 61 BC, but he turned out to be a great disappointment. Instead of focusing on getting Pompey&rsquos settlement of the east and land settlement for this troops approved, Piso focused on his own feud with his fellow consul M. Messalla.

Pompey eventually gave up on Piso, and managed to get another of his supporters, L. Afranius, elected as one of the consuls for 60 BC. This electoral success was probably helped by the celebration of Pompey&rsquos magnificent two-day long triumph in September 61 BC, which will have reminded the Roman people of the vast increase in wealth he had won for them. An attempt to pass a land bill in 60 BC ended in farce, with the other consul, Metellus Celer, conducting official business from prison. In the end the bill failed.

Events were now rushing towards the formation of the first triumvirate, although until the very last moment the idea that Pompey and Crassus might cooperate in such a way seemed impossible. The catalyst for this transformation of the political scene was Julius Caesar. He had just won a small war in western Spain, and had been awarded a triumph. He was also determined to stand for election as one of the consuls for 59 BC. Caesar was another of the people that Cato the Younger was bitterly opposed to. In an attempt to stop him standing for consul, Cato convinced the Senate to refuse to all Caesar to declare his candidacy without crossing the sacred boundary of Rome. Caesar was now faced with a clear choice - stay outside the boundary, celebrate his triumph but lose the chance to stand for Consul, or cross the boundary, stand for consul but lose his triumph. Caesar chose the second option, entered the city, and stood for election. Cato and his faction attempted to reduce the potential damage by suggesting that instead of being giving overseas provinces to rule, the consuls of 59 BC should be given the task of clearing the brigands out of Italy. Finally the conservatives spend large amounts of money to make sure that Cato&rsquos son-in-law M. Calpurnius Bibulus was elected at Caesar&rsquos co-consul, in an attempt to make sure that Caesar would be unable to achieve anything during his year in power.

While all of this political manoeuvring was going on, Caesar approached Pompey and Crassus to try and gain their support. Both men had found their own political ambitions blocked by the same group of aristocratic senators who now opposed Caesar. At some point they came to an agreement to support each other&rsquos laws and requirements in the following year.

At first Caesar attempted to win over the optima, acting in an apparently reasonable way. He put forward a new land bill, but attempted to remove those aspects that the conservatives had complained about in previous laws. The new land bill would be administered by a board of twenty men, and Caesar was banned from taking part. All land required would be purchased from willing sellers at its official value, using money won by Pompey. Despite all of his best efforts, his opponents still opposed the law, some because it had been proposed by Caesar and would thus win him popularity. Cato opposed it largely because it was an innovation, and others because Cato had opposed it. Caesar attempted to have Cato thrown into prison for obstructing the law, but had to back down. Finally, Caesar brought the law before the popular assemblies. Once again Bibulus refused to allow it to pass. Caesar called on Pompey, who unsurprisingly supported it. He then called on Crassus, who might well have been expected to oppose it, but apparently to most people&rsquos surprise Crassus publicly supported the bill, finally bringing the triumvirate into the open. On the day of the vote Bibulus attempted to use technical measures to make the vote invalid, while Cato attempted to protest against it, but they were removed by violence and the law passed. On the following day Bibulus was unable to get the senate to veto the law. After this failure Bibulus retired to his house, from where he attempted to declare bad auspices for every possible day on which public business could be carried out, but without any great impact. Caesar was effectively left to act as the sole consul for the year.

For the rest of the year Caesar ruled through the popular assembly. Pompey&rsquos eastern settlement was finally approved, while Crassus got the financial measures he had requested. The alliance between Caesar and Pompey was strengthened by the marriage of Pompey to Caesar&rsquos daughter Julia. A new, more radical land law was passed. Finally the previous distribution of the provinces was cancelled, and Caesar was granted Cisalpine Gaul and Illyricum for five years, with three legions. The Senate, on this occasion led by Pompey, added Transalpine Gaul and a fourth legion, in the hope that this would keep Caesar further away from Rome.

By the end of the year the triumvirs had got most of what they had wanted, but at great cost. Pompey had his eastern settlement and his land law, although had lost much of his popularity. Caesar had his year as consul and his command in Gaul, but had made permanent enemies in the Senate, who spent the entire time he was in Gaul preparing to bring him down on his return.

In 58 Caesar finally departed for Gaul, where he soon became involved in the famous Gallic War, using his provincial posting to launch one of the great wars of conquest of the Roman Republic. While he was away the politics of Rome remained as poisonous as ever. In 58 BC the main destabilising factor was the tribune Clodius, officially a supporter of Caesar, but in reality an immoral figure. During his time in office he forced Cicero into exile, using the events of Cicero&rsquos year at consul against him. However he was also a fairly skilful political operator. Clodius&rsquos election as Tribune was only legitimate if Caesar&rsquos laws from 59 BC were legitimate, as it had been Caesar who had allowed him to become a plebeian. The conservative opposition had attempted to have them declared illegal, but in 58 BC Cato agreed to accept a post as commissioner to take over the kingdom of Cyprus, which was to be taken over by Rome. By accepting this post, which he believed was in the best interests of Rome, Cato had effectively admitted that Caesar&rsquos acts of 59 BC were legal. However Clodius then turned against his patrons. He freed Tigranes, the son of the king of Armenia, a move that humiliated Pompey. The consul Gabinius protested and was attacked. Clodius then turned on Caesar, attacking the validity of his acts at consul!

In 57 BC Clodius was no longer tribune, but he was still popular and influential, and a member of the senate. The year was largely dominated by attempts to recall Cicero, and by a grain shortage, probably caused by the incompetence of the man Clodius had placed in charge of the grain commission. Clodius&rsquos actions in 58 BC had turned Pompey against him, and he campaigned in Italy in support of Cicero. Enough Italian voters came to Rome in the summer to ensure that Cicero was recalled. Cicero reached Rome in September, and was present when Pompey was given command of the grain supplies. This time he struggled to make an immediate impact, as there was a genuine shortage of grain at the time.

By 56 BC the triumvirate appeared to be in trouble. Pompey and Crassus were once again open rivals, and Caesar&rsquos enemies were gathering against him. Caesar appears to have taken the lead in restoring the alliance. In the spring he visited Crassus at Ravenna and Pompey at Luca and suggested that they should stand for the consulate in 55 BC. He would send some of his soldiers to support their candidacy. Cicero abandoned his opposition to Caesar, and Clodius fell into line, at least for the moment. The elections were held early in 55 BC, and as planned Pompey and Crassus were duly elected. They quickly dealt with their provinces for the following years. Crassus was given Syria and Pompey Spain, both for five years, while Caesar&rsquos command was extended for five years.

Collapse of the Triumvirate

The triumvirate had reached the peak of its success, and events now forced the three men apart. In 54 Crassus left for Syria, suddenly determined to revive his military reputation by conquering Parthia. Caesar was still in Gaul, so this only left Pompey in Rome. His bonds with Caesar were weakened when his wife Julia died, breaking the family connection between the two men. One of the consuls for the year was Ahenobarbus, one of the men Pompey and Crassus had stood to keep out of office in the first place, while Cato was elected at praetor. They attempted to undermine the triumvirs, but were unable to compete with the glamour of Caesar&rsquos military successes and Cicero&rsquos speeches. Their moral authority was also badly undermined when they accepted bribes from one of the consular candidates for 53 BC.

The first really serious blow came in 53 BC. Crassus finally began his invasion of Parthia, only to be defeated and killed at Carrhae. The year also began without any consuls in place, and a prolonged and violent rivalry between Clodius and Milo, both of whom raised private armies. Pompey eventually returned to the city and held the elections in the summer, by which time most people&rsquos attention had turned to the elections for 52 BC. Clodius decided to stand, and once again violence on the streets prevented the elections from happening as normal.

The rioting continued in 52 BC. Early in the year Clodius and Milo ran into each other near Bovillae outside Rome, and Clodius was killed after taking refuge in a nearby tavern. Clodius&rsquos funeral pyre was built inside the senate house, and the entire building burnt down. In response the Senate asked Pompey to restore order. Some suggested that he should be made dictator, but instead he was made sole consul. Pompey used this call to switch his support to the conservative faction. L. Domitius Ahenobarbus was put in charge of an investigation into the bribery and violence of recent months. Pompey turned down an offer to marry Caesar&rsquos great-niece and instead chose to marry Crassus&rsquos son&rsquos widow Cornelia, the daughter of Q. Metellus Scipio, an important member of the aristocratic faction. Pompey was also able to quickly restore order, and make sure that the elections for 51 BC went more smoothly.

The consuls for 51 BC were M Marcellus, an orator who had been opposed to Caesar, and Ser. Sulpicius Rufus, reputedly an honest man. Marcellus announced that he would raise the issue of replacing Caesar in Gaul, making him vulnerable to prosecution. Sulpicius opposed the plan, fearing that it would trigger another civil war. The debate on Gaul eventually took place in September 51 BC, and it was agreed that new governors would be allocated in the spring of 50 BC. Caesar would thus lose his army and his immunity months before the consular elections for 49 BC, leaving him vulnerable to prosecution. Pompey supported this measure.

The consuls for 50 BC were C. Marcellus, a cousin of M. Marcellus, and L Aemilius Paullus. Marcellus was related to Caesar by marriage and Paullus owned him a favour after Caesar lent him 1,500 talents to help complete the rebuilding of the basilica in the Roman Forum. One of the tribunes was Curio, one of Caesar&rsquos opponents during his year as consul, but soon to turn out to have changed sides. When the date allocated for the discussion of the new governor for Gaul, Curio made sure that it was delayed. Pompey suggested that Caesar should give up his command on the Ides of November, 46 days before the start of the next consular year. This would still have left him vulnerable to prosecution. Pompey now had an army of his own, ready to lead it east to deal with the Parthians, but late in the year they withdrew from Syria to deal with a civil war. Caesar was at Ravenna, still within his province, but dangerously close to Rome. However most of his army was still in Gaul, and the Senate believed that it had the stronger military position.

The final crisis began with an attack on Curio in the senate. He responded by proposing that both Caesar and Pompey should give up their commands, although he didn&rsquot specify when (he was still Caesar&rsquos man). The motion passed by 370 votes to 22. The consul C. Marcellus believed that this vote meant it was inevitable that Caesar would bring his legions to Rome, and went to Pompey to ask him to take command of the two legions ready for the Parthian War and defend the Republic. Pompey agreed to do so, &lsquoif all else fails&rsquo.

On 10 December Curio&rsquos period of office ended, and he departed to join Caesar at Ravenna. He was then chosen to bring Caesar&rsquos peace offer to the Senate. Caesar suggested that both he and Pompey should lay down their commands, and submit to the judgement of the Roman people. If Pompey didn&rsquot agree then Caesar threatened to &lsquocome quickly and avenge his country&rsquos wrongs and his own&rsquo. The Senate refused to debate this suggestion. Instead Metellus Scipio put forward a proposal that if Caesar didn&rsquot disband his armies by a fixed date then he would be declared an enemy of the state. The motion was passed, but vetoed by two of the tribunes.

One final compromise was suggested. Caesar would give up almost all of his provinces, but keep at least Illyricum and one legion until the start of his second consulship. Pompey was willing to go along with this plan, but Cato and the other conservatives blocked it. On 7 January they passed an emergency degree that the officers of the government should see that the Republic suffers no harm. Caesar&rsquos two supporters amongst the Tribunes, Antony and Cassius, were told that their safety could no longer be guaranteed. They decided to seek refuge with Caesar, joined by Curio and Caelius. When the exiled tribunes reached Caesar, he finally decided to break with the Senate and march on Rome, feeling that he had been given no choice.

The Outbreak of War

On 10 January 49 BC (by the Roman calendar, which at the time was some way out of sync with the seasons) Caesar led his single legion (Legio XIII Gemina) across the Rubicon, the river that marked the north-eastern boundary of Italy proper. By doing this he broke the law that stated that only a current magistrate could exercise Imperium, the right to command troops, in Italy. Caesar, as a proconsul and governor of Gaul, had the right to command troops within his province. Caesar recognised that he was taking a massive gamble, and was famously believed to have said 'let the die be cast',

The collapse of the Republican institutions was clearly demonstrated by the response to Caesar's invasion. It should have been the two consuls for the year, Lentulus and C. Marcellus, who led the Republican response, but instead that task was given to Pompey the Great. Caesar moved too quickly for the Republicans. He split his army in two. Antony was sent inland to Arretium, on the Via Cassia, while Caesar moved down the Adriatic coast to Ancona, on the Via Flaminia. Caesar's rapid movement caused a panic in Rome. On 17 January the news that he was already at Ancona reached the city, and Pompey decided to Rome. He ordered the consuls and senate to move south to Campania. In the meantime Caesar occupied Picenum, the area opposite Rome on the Adriatic coast.

The first resistance came at Corfinium, a crossroads town to the east of Rome. The newly appointed proconsul for Transalpine Gaul, Domitius Ahenobarbus, didn&rsquot see himself as bound to obey Pompey, who he saw as simply another proconsul. He raised an army equivalent to three legions, and attempted to defend the town. When Caesar's men turned up, Ahenobarbus's troops refused to fight and forced him to surrender. Caesar showed the clemency for which he would soon become famous, and allowed all the prisoners of senatorial or equestrian rank to go free. Ahenobarbus' troops were taken into Caesar's service, and then sent to Sicily.

Pompey had no intention of fighting in Italy. He only had access to two legions, both of which had served under Caesar and were thus of doubtful loyalty. As Caesar's army moved south, Pompey and the consuls moved to Brundisium, close to the eastern tip of Italy. On 4 March the consuls set sail for Epirus. Caesar arrived a few days later with three veteran and three new legions. He attempted to trap Pompey in Brundisium, but on 17 March Pompey managed to slip past Caesar's planned blockade, heading for Epirus.

In just over two months Caesar had forced his enemies to abandon Italy, and with it Rome. This was an impressive achievement, although his enemies still occupied large parts of the Empire - Pompey's men ruled in Spain, while the main Republican forces were now in the east. Pompey's decision not to at least attempt to defend Rome was almost certainly a mistake, abandoning the heart of the Republic to Caesar.

After failing to trap Pompey at Brundisium Caesar returned to Rome. He stayed there for two not entirely successful weeks. His attempts to at least appear to be acting legitimately were spoilt by L. Metellus, one of the tribune of the plebs, who used his right of veto to block all of Caesar's proposals. Caesar had to cross over the pomoerium, the sacred boundary of Rome, to threaten Metellus and seize the money in the treasury. This was another breach of Roman tradition, as any proconsul who crossed the pomoerium was considered to have lost his imperium, and with it his command.

España (49 BC)

Caesar's next move was to march to Spain to deal with Pompey's supporters in that area. On his way he faced opposition at Massilia, which decided to side with Pompey and the Republicans. The resulting siege of Massilia actually lasted longer than Caesar's campaign in Spain, and the city only surrendered when Caesar reappeared on his way back to Italy. Caesar couldn't afford to stop and conduct the siege in person. He left Decimus Brutus to conduct the siege (winning two naval battles outside Massilia in the process), and continued on to Spain.

Spain was the location of one of Pompey's earliest military successes, the defeat of the Roman rebel Sertorius (Sertorian War), and Spain had been his proconsular province for some years. He had three armies in Spain - L. Afranius and M. Petreius were in Hispania Citerior (eastern Spain), the scholar M. Varro was in Hispania Ulterior (southern Spain). Varro remained in his province, while Afranius and Petreius united their forces in Citerior. Caesar's forces were easily able to cross the Pyrenes, but a standoff soon developed at the town of Ilerda. For a time Caesar suffered from a lack of supplies, but eventually he had the best of the fighting, and in the summer Afranius and Petreius asked for surrender terms. Once again Caesar was generous. The two commanders were allowed to leave (going to join Pompey) and their army was dissolved. Caesar them moved against Varro, but his army also collapsed as Caesar approached, and Varro was forced to surrender.

Elsewhere things didn't go quite as well for Caesar. One of his supporters, G. Scribonius Curio, expelled Cato from Sicily, and then invaded Africa, which was held by Attius Varus. Curio won an initial battle at Utica, and then besieged the city, but he was then defeated and killed by King Juba of Numidia at the battle of the Bagradas River (24 July 49 BC). The province of Africa remained in Republican hands until the final battle of the war.

In the autumn of 49 BC Caesar returned to Rome, forcing the surrender of Massilia on the way. His main task at Rome was to make sure that he was elected as one of the Consuls for 48 C. His first problem was that only the existing consuls could run the election, and they were with Pompey in Greece. M. Lepidus found a solution. Caesar was made dictator for a few days, and conducted the elections himself. Unsurprising he was elected, alongside P. Servilius Isauricus. Caesar then restored the rights of the sons of the victims of Sulla's proscriptions, and recalled a number of people who had been condemned by Pompey. He also attempted to deal with a debt crisis, before after eleven days leaving for Brundisium to resume the war against Pompey.

Pompey and Greece, 49-48 BC

While Caesar had been campaigning in Spain, the senate in exile had moved to Thessalonica. Pompey focused on raising as large an army as possible. Two legions were raised by Lentulus Crus in Asia, and two were coming from Syria under Metellus Scipio. More troops were provided by Rome's client kings in the east, many of whom owed their position to Pompey. Pompey also had a powerful fleet, under Bibulus, Caesar's co-consul and rival in 59 BC. Pompey's troops were able to capture Curicta in Illyria, which was being held by Caesar's men, but were repulsed at Salonae.

Despite Bibulus's best efforts, Caesar managed to cross to Greece with seven legions, but the rest of his army, under Mark Antony, was trapped at Brundisium. Only after the death of Bibulus of natural causes early in 48 BC was Antony able to cross over to Illyria to join Caesar, but his fleet was swept past Caesar and Pompey, and had to land on the far side of Pompey's men. The two armies then became involved in a 'race to the sea' around Dyrrhachium, Pompey attempting to secure as large an area as possible. The two sides then settled down into the siege of Dyrrhachium (March-May 48 BC). This ended in a rare setback for Caesar. Pompey made two attempts to break through the siege lines, the second of which was successful enough to force Caesar to lift the siege (battle of Dyrrhachium, 20 May 48 BC).

Caesar's next move was to head east across Greece, to support his legate Domitius Calvinus, who was threatened by Metellus Scipio's legions coming from Syria. Pompey had two choices - he could have taken the chance to return to Italy and attempt to regain Rome, or he could follow Caesar. He decided not to risk taking the war back to Italy, and followed Caesar.

Caesar and Calvinus soon met up, and then headed east into Thessaly. On the way they quickly besieged Gomphi, on the western border of Thessaly, where their troops sacked the town. The other towns in Thessaly opened their gates to Caesar.

Pompey now came under pressure from the optima, his more conservative supporters, who didn&rsquot entirely trust him. Pompey was aware that Caesar was still in a difficult position in Greece, and would have preferred to wear him down, but instead he was forced to offer battle. The resulting battle of Pharsalus (9 August 48 BC) effectively ended any realistic chance of a Republican victory in the civil war. Despite being outnumbered Caesar won a major victory. Pompey escaped, but Domitius Ahenobarbus was killed in the battle. In the aftermath of the battle Caesar burned Pompey's correspondence and offered to pardon anyone who asked his forgiveness. Amongst those who chose to chance sides was M. Brutus, later to be one of his assassins. Cicero also decided to give up, and returned to Italy, where he was delayed at Brundisium for some time.

The few remaining Republican leaders fled to North Africa. Cato and Pompey's sons went to Cyrenaica, just to the west of Egypt, where they hoped to meet up with Pompey. Pompey himself went to Lesbos, where he joined his wife and then decided to head for Egypt, where he expected to be supported by the young king Ptolemy XIII. Instead he was murdered on the orders of the young king's advisors as he landed on the Egyptian shore.

Three days later, on 2 October 48 BC, Caesar arrived in Egypt, at the start of a fateful stay. He arrived in the middle of a vicious dispute between the co-rulers, the 21-year old Cleopatra VII Philopater and her younger brother-husband Ptolemy XIII Theos Philopator (the Ptolomies had adopted the Egyptian custom of marriage within the Royal family). Caesar moved into the Royal palace and announced that he was going to arbitrate in the civil war. At first he shared the palace with Ptolemy, while Cleopatra was denied access to him. Famously she gained access to Caesar by hiding inside a rolled up carpet, which was presented to him.

Caesar was won over by the dramatic gesture, and sided with Cleopatra (nine months later their son Caesarion was born). Ptolomy was furious, and stormed out of the palace. Caesar's two under-strength legions were soon besieged by Ptolomy's larger army, supported by the populace of Alexandria, then the most impressive city in the world. The siege of Alexandria dragged on until March 47 BC, when reinforcements finally reached Egypt. This was an Allied army led by Mithridates of Pergamum. The combined Roman forces were able to defeat the besieging forces (battle of the Nile). Ptolomy was drowned during the battle.

Caesar probably stayed in Egypt for another couple of months after the battle, going on a river tour down the Nile with the by now heavily pregnant Cleopatra. Cleopatra was given another co-monarch, her even younger brother Ptolomy XIV, supported by three legions.

During the long siege of Alexandria the situation in the rest of the Roman Empire had turned against Caesar. Cato had moved west to the province of Africa, where he and the other surviving Republican leaders had managed to raise a powerful army. In Italy Mark Antony was making himself unpopular. After Pharsalus Caesar had been appointed dictator for a year, to cover 47 BC. Antony served as his deputy (master of the horse). He had to leave Rome to deal with a mutiny in Campania, and while he was away Dolabella, then one of the tribune of the plebs, began to campaign for debt relieve, causing disorder in Rome. Antony restored order violently, losing a great deal of his earlier popularity.

The most immediate problem was in Asia Minor. At the end of the Mithridatic Wars, Pharnaces, the son of Mithridates the Great had been left as rule of the Cimmerian Bosporus (the Crimea). He now decided to take advantage of the Roman Civil War to invade his father's old kingdom. He defeated Domitius Calvinus at Nicopolis, and briefly appeared to pose a threat to Roman authority.

Caesar quickly eliminated the threat. From Egypt he moved to Antioch and Syria, and then into Asia Minor. At Zela he easily defeated Pharnaces, leading him to make one of his most famous comments - Veni, Vidi, Vici (I came, I saw, I conquered). He would later use the ease of his victory over Pharnaces to undermine the significance of Pompey's victories over Mithridates.

After defeating Pharnaces, Caesar returned to Rome. He quickly dealt with the mutiny in Campania, partly by pointedly referring to the soldiers as citizens and not fellow soldiers. He dealt with the elections for 47 BC (rather late) and for 46 BC (rather early), and made himself Consul for 46 BC.

África, 46 BC

The Republicans now had a sizable force in Africa. Cato was its leading spirit, but the former consul Metellus Scipio was the official leader of the Republicans, and Labienus the main military figure. They also had access to Pompey's naval squadrons, and the support of King Juba. The Republicans were in contact with supporters in Spain, where Caesar's governor Q. Cassius had made himself almost universally unpopular.

Late in 48 BC Caesar prepared to depart for Africa. One attempt to delay him was made by a arúspice, one of Rome's diviners, who claimed that disaster would follow if Caesar left before the solstice. Caesar ignored this, and departed from Rome on 25 December, several weeks before the solstice on the then current calendar.

Caesar had a difficult arrival in Africa. He was soon attacked by a larger army under Labienus, in a costly drawn battle at Ruspina. Caesar was helped by Bocchus of Mauretania and P. Sittius, a Roman serving under Bocchus, who invaded Juba's kingdom. Caesar was also able to use propaganda, portraying his enemies as the tool of a barbarian king, to convince some of the Republicans to desert to him. Caesar then besieged the town of Thapsus. The Republicans attempted to lift the siege, but instead suffered a heavy defeat in the resulting battle of Thapsus.

After taking Thapsus, Caesar advanced towards the Republican base at Utica. Cato now realised that his cause was hopeless. After making sure that anyone who wanted to escape had got away, he committed suicide, denying Caesar the chance to pardon him. Metellus Scipio was intercepted while attempting to reach Spain and committed suicide. Juba committed suicide after the battle of Thapsus. However Labienus and Pompey's two sons escaped to Spain, where they managed to establish themselves.

Caesar spent a short time reorganising Africa. Juba's kingdom was split, with part going to Sittius and the Mauretanians, and the rest becoming a Roman province. Several prisoners, who had been pardoned but broken their word not to fight again were executed. He then returned to Rome.

España, 45 BC

Caesar was back in Rome by the end of July, at the start of his longest stay during the Civil War. Part of his time was spent preparing for the celebration of four triumphs in succession, to mark his victories in Gaul, Egypt, Pharnaces and Juba. Amongst the enemy leaders on display were Vercingetorix, Cleopatra's younger sister Arsineo and Juba's four year old son. Only Vercingetorix was executed after the triumph.

Towards the end of 46 BC Caesar left for Spain once again, taking one veteran legion with him. This time he was less forgiving. The rebels were treated as unforgivable enemies, and both sides committed atrocities. On one occasion Caesar's men lined their fortifications with the severed heads of their enemies.

Cn Pompeius, Pompey's elder son, caused Caesar some problems by refusing to risk a battle. However eventually he was force to fight, at Munda. This was one of Caesar's hardest fights, but he was able to motivate his men to fight on, and ended up winning a crushing victory. Labienus was killed during the battle, and Cn Pompeius a few days later. Sextus Pompeius managed to escape, and would later prove to be a thorn in the side of the Second Triumvirate, but the battle effectively ended the Great Civil War.

Caesar returned to Rome in October 45 BC. By now his political judgement appears to have been slipping. He celebrated another triumph, this time for his victory over fellow Romans. There were hints that he was considering making himself King, and he had himself appointed Dictator for Life. His actions began to worry many of his former supporters, as well as his pardoned enemies. On the Ides of March, 15 March 44 BC, Caesar was assassinated during a Senate Meeting, three days before he was due to leave for an invasion of Parthia.

The immediate result of the assassination was the renewed outbreak of Civil War. This fell into two clear stages. The first saw the Senate, supported by Caesar's heir Octavian, fight Mark Antony, Caesar's master of the horse. Although Antony was defeated, both of the consuls for the year were killed. In the aftermath of the fighting Octavian changed sides. Antony, Octavian and Lepidus formed the Second Triumvirate, a much more formal arrangement than the First Triumvirate.

The second stage saw Octavian and Antony cross to Greece to attack the Liberators, Caesar's assassins who had been forced to flee from Italy after their actions didn't meet with the universal approval they appear to have expected. The two main Liberators, Crassus and Brutus, committed suicide after the First battle of Philippi and Second battle of Philippi respectively, leaving Octavian, Antony and Lepidus to split the Roman world between them.

The third stage saw Octavian and Antony clash for control of the entire Roman world. Eventually this rivaly erupted into open warfare. Octavian crossed to the Balkans and defeated Antony and Cleopatra's armies at the naval battle of Actium. Antony and Cleopatra fled to Egypt, where they eventually committed suicide to avoid falling into Octavian's hands. This gave Octavian undisputed control over the Roman world. He proved to be a far more skillful politician than Caesar, or indeed most of his rivals, and managed to set up a system in which he had the reality of power, while keeping the Senate on his side. He was rewarded with the title of Augustus, and became the first Roman Emperor.

Brutus - Caesar's Assassin, Kirsty Corrigan. A well balanced biography of Brutus, one of the more consistent defenders of the Roman Republic, and famously one of Caesar's assassins on the Ides of March. Paints a picture of a man of generally high moral standards (with some flaws in financial matters), but also an over-optimistic plotter, who failed to make any realistic plans for the aftermath of the assassination. Does a good job of tracing Brutus's fairly obscure early years, as well as distinguishing between later legends and historically likely events [read full review]

Mark Antony - A Plain Blunt Man, Paolo de Ruggiero . Nice to have a biography devoted to Mark Antony in his own right rather than as part of someone else's story, but be aware that the author is very biased in favour of Mark Antony and rather stretches the evidence to make his case. Readable and the author knows his sources, but would be better without the bias. [read full review]