Chapter

From the Rubicon to Pharsalus

Edited by Luciano Canfora and Julian Stringer

in Julius Caesar

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780748619368
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670734 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748619368.003.0021
From the Rubicon to Pharsalus

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In the light of the total defeat and flight of the enemy commanders, Caesar quickly resolved that his first priority must be to pursue Pompey. There has been much discussion of this decision, which led Caesar into the near death-trap of Alexandria. Napoleon castigates Caesar, his main charge being that, ‘immediately after Pharsalus Caesar proceeded at once to the African coast to forestall Cato and Scipio’. Caesar's hot pursuit of Pompey as he fled to Egypt, as impetuous as it was rash, once again had a political reason. Caesar could certainly not have foreseen that Pompey would be murdered by his own client, Ptolemy. His intention was to seize the defeated Pompey before the latter could reform his scattered troops and his entourage. Caesar was attempting, from a position of strength following a victorious battle, to bring about a favourable new political order and to put an end to the ongoing conflict and Cato's determined opposition.

Keywords: Julius Caesar; Pompey; Egypt; Cato; Pharsalus; Ptolemy; opposition

Chapter.  8022 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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