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Caesar And Pompey

Updated April 27, 2019

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Caesar And Pompey essay

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Caesar And Pompey The conference at Luca was a very important marker in the course of events in Rome during this time. The principal result of the conference was that Caesar was assured of sufficient time to complete the conquest of Gaul, but conceded parity of armament to his partners and gave Pompey the sole control of affairs in the capital. Soon after that very violent and threatening riots arose in Rome.

The riots brought about an emergency coalition between the Senate and Pompey. Why should this alliance not be extend to other objects? asked many of Pompeys loyal senators. This swelling group of extremists began to desire to rid themselves of Caesar totally. For the next two years they campaigned on a mission which actively pursued this goal.

Early in 51 B.C., Caesar sent a request to the Senate for a further prolongation of his command in Gaul until the end of 49, thus closing the gap between his proconsulship and his second consulship(Cary 277). These loyal extremists swiftly rejected this proposal and reacted by making a counter proposal. It stated that Caesars term would be abbreviated so as to expire on 1 March 50, on the plea that the reduction of Gaul was now complete(Cary 268). This motion was vetoed by C.

Scribonius Curio, but the extremist group did not stop. They demanded that Caesar and Pompey each surrender one legion for service against the Parthians. Since Pompey, as expected, asked for the return of one of his legions from Spain, which he had lent to Caesar in 53, the net result of this square deal was that Caesar lost two legions(Cary 268). Curio, with Caesars best interest at heart, proposed a new deal which would declare the joint disarmament of both Caesar and Pompey. This proposal was shot down by a vote of three hundred seventy votes to twenty-two votes.

The extreme corner of the Senate then appealed to Pompey to ignore constitutional scruples and to save the Republic by mobilizing his troops in order to bring immediate pressure upon Caesar(Cary 268). Pompey fell to the persuasion and followed the advice of the extremist senators. From this moment the die was as good as cast. Caesar replied to Pompeys actions by summoning his legions from France to his winter quaters near Ravenna. This made the remaining talks between the two leaders like that of two men pointing guns at each other. Caesar made several attempts to reach peace.

One example came late in December when he offered to surrender Transalpine Gaul at once and his other province on the day of his election to a second consulship(Cary 268). However, when the extremist group of the Senate saw that Pompey was taking Caesars offer under consideration, they were able to compel him to reject it all together. Another attempt at peace which Caesar made came on New Years Day 49 B.C. Caesar repeated the proposal made by Curio for joint disarmament, but this time Pompey himself said without hesitation, no. The extremist group again tried to have Caesar relived of his duty in Gaul prematurely, but again it was vetoed.

Then Pompey pressured the Senate to pass the Decree of Emergency, thus handing the Republic to the care of the consuls and proconsuls, which meant, in effect, to Pompey. Three days later Caesar was informed of this resolution — equivalent to an ultimatum bidding him to surrender himself. Caesar was now faced with a very hard decision. After an anxious hour of reflecting in solitude, he made his decision. His reply was to cross the Rubicon and to invade Italy. He made six further overtures in the course of the next eighteen months.

Some of these advances were rejected by Pompey himself, while others were rejected by the escort of extremists that stood guard over him. The civil war was now in full motion, and the question was, who was to blame? From the point of view of formal law Caesar was the person mainly responsible for the civil war(268 Cary). In 59 B.C., he had laid himself open to prosecution by using physical force for political ends(268 Cary). His demand for an additional extension of his proconsulship in order to evade impeachment was unconstitutional and set a bad precedent. Lastly, in crossing the Rubicon he committed high treason.

On the other hand, the privileges which Caesar demanded were no more irregular than the position actually held by Pompey in Spain. Furthermore, in calling upon Pompey to put military pressure upon the Senate and in overriding M. Antoniuss veto at the beginning of 49, the enemies of Caesar became guilty of violating the constitution of which they were the champions. On broader grounds it may be said that the civil war was not directly made by Caesar. Because Caesar was faced with the choice of either self defense or political extension by the Senate, he can not be totally to blame.

Ironically the twenty-two extremist senators who insisted on Caesars immediate recall were in fact insisting on civil war. To them the feud with Caesar had become a higher object than the welfare of the State(Cary 269). As the civil war began it seemed that Caesar was going to be in grave danger. The total force at his command fell short of fifty thousand men, and less than one legion was stationed with him at Ravenna. Pompey, on the other hand, had at his disposal the entire resources of the Roman empire outside of Gaul.

One major difference between the two forces was that Caesars army consisted of seasoned veterans who were ready to draw together quickly, while Pompey possessed hardly any trained troops, except the two which Caesar had handed over. All in all, this made for a well matched battle between the two. Caesar began the war with his first march to Italy. The first week of the campaign of 49 virtually decided the fate of Italy(Cary 270). Because Pompey was unprepared in Italy, Caesar made his first advance at a bewildering pace, seizing two of the principal Apennine passes into Etruia unharmed. Pompey realized the obvious danger he was in at this point and fled from Rome to Capua without hesitation.

plan. Pompey, hoping Caesar would be stalled in southern Italy, planed to collect his troops and devolpe a stragety. However, these hopes were crushed by Caesars remorseless progress down the east coast of the peninsula and the rapid arrival of his remaining legions from Transalpine Gaul(Cary 270). L.

Domitius made an unauthorized attempt to intercept Caesars vanguard at Corfinium, but he found himself encircled by the enemy legions converging upon him in unexpected force. The Italian campaign then became a race for Brundisium. This race was won by Pompey. He masked his departure and drew off the whole of his remaining forces, which added up to about five legions. He shook off the pursuit of Caesar, who had no ships to follow him across the Adriatic.

This spoiled Caesars attempt to end the war without battle and gave Pompey time to organize his army for a second campaign(Cary 270). This was still a victory for Caesar ,though, because in two months time he had swept all of Italy and had almost no loss to his side. The rest of 49 B.C. for Caesar was spent in securing his rear. Caesar was now ready to return home to Rome from the battlefield. His first priority once he returned was to capture the machinery of the government for his own uses.

However most of the magistrates and leading senators had left the city with Pompey. Caesar made an attempt to call together the Senate, but it became clear that he was not going to gain their support in his fight with Pompey. Because he knew this, he made no further attempts to place his power on a constitutional basis. It was by mere right of conquest that he broke into the treasury, which his flustered adversaries had not completely emptied when they fled the city(Cary 271). Caesar also did not take the opportunity of enrolling troops after his victory in Italy. He did however incorporate in his army most of the troops captured from Pompey, to the end of the civil war he would put most his trust in veterans from Gaul.

But Caesar had already in fact dispelled the rumors which were spread by his enemy that he was just a revolutionary, bent on devastation and blackmail. His soldiers had observed an exemplary discipline, and the campaigns of 49 were overall a great success. Another main front which Caesar had to fight on was Africa. This front had a few wearisome problems with it. The governor P.

Attius Varus had declared himself against Caesar, and the Numidian king, Juba I, was Caesars personal enemy(Cary 271). Caesar made a mistake at this point in time because he underrated the strength of his opponent. He conferred the command against them to the ex-tribune Scribonius Curio, who lacked military experience, and gave him an army that contained many former soldiers of Pompey. Encouraged by an early success, which he owed to a surprise landing near Utica, Curio made a hasty dash into the valley of the Bagradas in pursuit of a Numidian force, which drew him into an ambuscade.

In this disaster Curio himself was killed, and two of the Cesarean legions were destroyed. His failure to secure Africa in the campaign of 49 had an important significance on the later stages of the civil war, and for the corn supply. But Caesar was able to avoid a food crisis in the capital by speedily taking Sicily and Sardinia, which the Pompeians abandoned without a struggle. Caesar was not just sitting ideally around while the second campaign was in progress.

Instead he himself was focusing most of his and his armies attention on Spain. In Spain Pompeys deputy-governors, L. Afranius and M. Petreius, commanded a serviceable army of five legions.

To insure himself against the double risk of Afranius and P …

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