created by Dr. Pelham Mead III
Lesson Plan for the Study of Julius Caesar.
Review the Chronology of Caesar’s life to get an understanding why he choose take his Legions to fight the Barbarians. When Caesar started to return to Rome to face Pompey he had to cross the Rubicon river which is the dividing line between Rome and Gaul. Pompey fled Rome when he realized Caesar was about to seize Rome. Pompey went to Further Spain to assemble troops loyal to him and then he fled to Greece. Caesar followed Pompey to Greece where he had two decisive battles. Pompey flees to Egypt and the Generals there betray Pompey and kill him thinking that would please Caesar. Caesar was so mad he had all the Egyptian Generals Killed for betraying their own General and killing him. See Lesson assignments at the end.
1-Chronology of Caesar’s life
• 49 BC
◦ January 1: The Roman Senate receives a proposal from Julius Caesar that he and Pompey should lay down their commands simultaneously. The Senate responds that Caesar must immediately surrender his command.
◦ January 10: Julius Caesar leads his 13th Legion across the Rubicon, which separates his jurisdiction (Cisalpine Gaul) from that of the Senate (Italy), and thus initiates a civil war.
◦ February 15: Caesar begins the Siege of Corfinium against Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus who held the city against Pompey’s orders.
◦ February 21: Corfinium is surrendered to Caesar after a bloodless week in which Ahenobarbus is undermined by his officers.
◦ February, Pompey’s flight to Epirus (in Western Greece) with most of the Senate, despite Caesar’s siege of Brundisium in March
◦ March 9, Caesar’s advance against Pompeian forces in Hispania
◦ April 19, Caesar’s siege of Massilia against the Pompeian Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, later the siege was conducted by Caesarian Gaius Trebonius
◦ June, Caesar’s arrival in Hispania, where he was able to seize the Pyrenees passes defended by the Pompeian L. Afranius and M. Petreius.
◦ July 30, Caesar surrounded Afranius and Petreius’s army in the Battle of Ilerda
◦ August 2, Pompeians in Ilerda surrendered to Caesar
◦ August 24: Caesar’s general Gaius Scribonius Curio, is defeated in North Africa by the Pompeians under Attius Varus and King Juba I of Numidia (whom he defeated earlier in the Battle of Utica) in the Battle of the Bagradas River), and commits suicide.
◦ September Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus, a Caesarian, defeated the combined Pompeian-Massilian naval forces in the naval Battle of Massilia, while the Caesarian fleet in the Adriatic was defeated near Curicta (Krk)
◦ September 6, Massilia surrendered to Caesar, coming back from Hispania
◦ October, Caesar appointed Dictator in Rome; presides over his own election as consul and resigns after eleven days
• 48 BC:
◦ January 4, Caesar landed at Caesar’s Beach in Palasë (Palaeste)
◦ March, Antony joined Caesar
◦ July 10: Battle of Dyrrhachium, Julius Caesar barely avoids a catastrophic defeat by Pompey in Macedonia, he retreats to Thessaly.
◦ August 9: Battle of Pharsalus: Julius Caesar decisively defeats Pompey at Pharsalus and Pompey flees to Egypt.
◦ September 28, Caesar learned that Pompey was assassinated.
◦ Siege of Alexandria
◦ December, Pharnaces, King of Bosporus defeated the Caesarian Gnaeus Domitius Calvinus in the Battle of Nicopolis (or Nikopol)
◦ December: Battle in Alexandria, Egypt between the forces of Caesar supported by his ally Cleopatra VII of Egypt and those of rival King Ptolemy XIII of Egypt and Queen Arsinoe IV. During the battle part of the Library of Alexandria catches fire and is partially burned down.
◦ Caesar is named Dictator for one year.
• 47 BC
◦ February: Caesar and his ally Cleopatra defeat the forces of her rivals Egyptian King Ptolemy XIII and Queen Arsinoe IV in the Battle of the Nile, Ptolemy was killed, Caesar then relieved his besieged forces in Alexandria. Caesar makes Cleopatra joint-ruler of Egypt with her younger brother Ptolemy XIV.
◦ May: Caesar defeated Pharnaces II of Pontus, king of the Bosporus in the Battle of Zela. (This is the war that Caesar tersely described veni, vidi, vici.)
◦ Pharaoh Cleopatra VII of Egypt promotes her younger brother Ptolemy XIV of Egypt to co-ruler.
◦ August, Caesar quelled a mutiny of his veterans in Rome.
◦ October, Caesar’s invasion of Africa, against Metellus Scipio and Labienus, Caesar’s former lieutenant in Gaul
• 46 BC
◦ January 4: Caesar narrowly escapes defeat by his former second in command Titus Labienus in the Battle of Ruspina; nearly 1/3 of Caesar’s army is killed.
◦ February 6: Caesar defeats the combined army of Pompeian followers and Numidians under Metellus Scipio and Juba in the Battle of Thapsus. Cato commits suicide. Afterwards, he is accorded the office of Dictator for the next ten years.
◦ November: Caesar leaves for Farther Hispania to deal with a fresh outbreak of resistance.
◦ Caesar, in his role as Pontifex Maximus, reforms the Roman calendar to create the Julian calendar. The transitional year is extended to 445 days to synchronize the new calendar and the seasonal cycle. The Julian Calendar would remain the standard in the western world for over 1600 years, until superseded by the Gregorian Calendar in 1582.
◦ Caesar appoints his grandnephew Gaius Octavius his heir.
• 45 BC
◦ January 1: Julian calendar goes into effect
◦ March 17: In his last victory, Caesar defeats the Pompeian forces of Titus Labienus and Pompey the younger in the Battle of Munda. Pompey the younger was executed, and Labienus died in battle, but Sextus Pompey escaped to take command of the remnants of the Pompeian fleet.
◦ The veterans of Caesar’s Legions Legio XIII Gemina and Legio X Equestris demobilized. The veterans of the 10th legion would be settled in Narbo, while those of the 13th would be given somewhat better lands in Italia itself.
◦ Caesar probably writes the Commentaries in this year
• 44 BC
◦ Julius Caesar is named Dictator perpetuo (“dictator in perpetuity”)
◦ Julius Caesar plans an invasion of the Parthian Empire
◦ Julius Caesar is assassinated on March 15, the Ides of March.
2- Caesar was never welcome in his own city, Rome.
History has shown that Caesar needs funds to move up politically in Rome so he took several Legions of Soldiers and went off to fight the Barbarians in Gaul. Caesar was often outnumbered by the Gauls but due to his building of forts and defensive barriers he managed to survive. Back at home in Rome, Pompey was becoming more and more powerful.
3-Caesar’s return to Rome.
After the Senate ruled that Caesar must return to Rome and surrender his legions, Caesar decided it was time to put some fear in the Senators as he marched on Rome. Once he crossed the Rubicon river he was theoretically invading Rome. When Caesar arrived in Rome, Pompey had already fled. Caesar knew that if he allowed Pompey to build armies in Hispania and other countries, that Pompey would march on Rome. Caesar chased after Pompey who eventually ended up in Greece.
4-Pompey’s Navy controlled the seas.
Caesar did not have a big enough Navy to challenge Pompey’s Navy, so he had to wait until Pompey’s Navy was distracted so he could make a run for Greece. Only a portion of Caesar’s Army made it to Greece. Mark Anthony was left behind to seek another way to cross the sea to Greece.
5- Pompey’s camp was on the edge of the sea with it’s back to the sea facing inland. Pompey’s army outnumbered Caesar by 60,000 soldiers to Caesar’s 20,000. Caesar began building forts around Pompey to starve him off from his supply routes. Pompey was forced to attach Caesar’s forts to gain access to their supply routes. 30,000 troops attacked one Fort of only 500 soldiers of Caesar. All of the Centurians were either killed that day or injured. When Caesar returned to his fort less than a hundred soldiers were still alive and they managed to fight off 30,000 attacking troops. Pompey fearing the experience of Caesar’s troops fled north and Caesar followed. Mark Anthony finally got across the sea with his legions and joined up with Caesar. On July 10th 48 BC Caesar’s army met with Pompey’s army at the battle of Dyrrhachium. Caesar won after many encounters. Pompey’s inexperienced troops fled from Caesar’s veteran troops.
6-Caesar’s Troops Rebel-
After the victory, Many legions wanted to go home and be paid for their services. Caesar had promised land and riches to those who would fight for him. Caesar’s solution was to send the rebellious Legions south with Mark Anthony and eventually returning to Rome because he could not trust them. Many of the soldiers were mercenaries from other countries with no real loyalty to Rome.
Project: Assignment One
Copy a Map of the Battles on Greek soils Caesar had against Pompey. Show how Caesar built forts surrounding Pompey and how Pompey’s army had the sea to their backs. Use the internet for a source for your map. Label the armies and the direction of the battles.
Project Two- Develop a Powerpoint slide show showing Caesars battles against Pompey in Greece and the final battle Dyrrhachium which Caesar won. Make mention of Pompey’s superior number of legions compared to Caesar’s lesser number of legions.
Sample battle map of Caesar and Pompey 48 BC.