Julius Caesar: The Background, Strategies, Tactics and by Nic Fields

By Nic Fields

Osprey Command sequence #4

One of the best army commanders in heritage, Julius Caesar's most renowned crusade - the conquest of Gaul - was once to him little greater than a stepping stone to energy. An audacious and decisive basic, his victories over the Gauls allowed him to problem for the political management of Rome. prime a unmarried legion around the Rubicon in forty nine BC, Caesar introduced a civil battle that will sign the top of the Roman Republic and bring in the Roman Empire lower than his followed son, Octavian. This examine seems on the elements in the back of Caesar's quite a few battlefield successes, significantly the well-known Caesariana celeritas - Caesar's pace of although and motion.

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Thapsus (Ras Dimasse, Tunisia) was a port town that sat on a cape overlooking the Mediterranean, and it was here that Caesar with 20,000 legionaries, 2,000 archers and slingers and 1,200 cavalry fought a Pompeian army of 28,000 legionaries and 12,000 Gallic, Iberian and Numidian cavalry. In support were 64 Numidian elephants, split equally between the two wings, and large numbers of light-armed Numidians. Metellus Scipio and Labienus commanded the Pompeians, Iuba of Numidia the Numidians. Also present were those two Pompeian warhorses Lucius Afranius and Marcus Petreius.

51). A major task of an ancient general was to draw up his battle line and issue relevant orders for preplanned moves to be executed when battle was joined. Before battle Pompey could sketch out a plan that was always good, but he did not seem to have the knack to modify it according to circumstances. At Pharsalus, his one and only defeat, he had the advantage in cavalry and was so confident his 7,000 or so horsemen could carry the day that he seems to have almost held off his legionaries. As we have seen, his plan was to have all his cavalry on the left, rout their opponents and then swing in behind Caesar’s legions.

This inborn feeling of fraternity did not undermine Caesar’s authority as leader; on the contrary, it served to enhance it. Yet now he was addressing the battle-hardened veterans as citizens, just men off the street. He was implying, of course, that he now considered them discharged from his service. Possibly raised by Caesar personally when he was governor of Hispania Ulterior (61–60 BC), legio X was with him in Gaul (58–49 BC), Iberia (49 BC), and fought at Pharsalus (48 BC) and Thapsus (46 BC).

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