terça-feira, 6 de novembro de 2012

History Channel Decisive Battles E09 The ascension of a King of Rome, Battle of Pharsalus, central Greece (9 August 48 BC)

File:Cesare prima Gallia 58 a.C. jpg.jpg
Rimini083.jpgThe First Triumvirate (so denominated by Cicero), comprising Julius Caesar, Crassus, and Pompey, ascended to power with Caesar's election as consul, in 59 BC. The First Triumvirate was unofficial, a political alliance the substance of which was Pompey's military might, Caesar's political influence, and Crassus' money. The alliance was further consolidated by Pompey's marriage to Julia, daughter of Caesar, in 59 BC. At the conclusion of Caesar's first consulship, the Senate (rather than granting him a provincial governorship) tasked him with watching over the Roman forests. This job, specially-created by his Senate enemies, was meant to occupy him without giving him command of armies, or garnering him wealth and fame.
Caesar, with the help of Pompey and Crassus, evaded the Senate's decrees by legislation passed through the popular assemblies. By these acts, Caesar was promoted to Roman Governor ofIllyricum and Cisalpine Gaul. Transalpine Gaul (southern France) was added later. The various governorships gave Caesar command of an army of (initially) four legions. The term of his proconsulship, and thus his immunity from prosecution, was set at five years, rather than the customary one year. His term was later extended by another five years. During this ten-year period, Caesar used his military forces to conquer Gaul and invade Britain, without explicit authorisation by the Senate.
In 52 BC, at the First Triumvirate's end, the Roman Senate supported Pompey as sole consul; meanwhile, Caesar had become a military hero and champion of the people. Knowing he hoped to become consul when his governorship expired, the Senate, politically fearful of him, ordered he resign command of his army. In December of 50 BC, Caesar wrote to the Senate agreeing to resign his military command if Pompey followed suit. Offended, the Senate demanded he immediately disband his army, or be declared an enemy of the people: an illegal political bill, for he was entitled to keep his army until his term expired.
A secondary reason for Caesar's immediate want for another consulship was delaying the inevitable senatorial prosecutions awaiting him upon retirement as governor of Illyricum and Gaul. These potential prosecutions were based upon alleged irregularities occurred in his consulship and war crimes committed in his Gallic campaigns. Moreover, Caesar loyalists, the tribunes Mark Antonyand Quintus Cassius Longinus, vetoed the bill, and were quickly expelled from the Senate. They then joined Caesar, who had assembled his army, whom he asked for military support against the Senate; agreeing, his army called for action.
In 50 BC, at his Proconsular term's expiry, the Pompey-led Senate ordered Caesar's return to Rome and the disbanding of his army, and forbade his standing for election in absentia for a second consulship; because of that, Caesar thought he would be prosecuted and rendered politically marginal if he entered Rome without consular immunity or his army; to wit, Pompey accused him of insubordination and treason.

On 10 January 49 BC, leading one legion, the Legio XIII Gemina, General Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon River, the boundary between the Cisalpine Gaul province, to the north, and Italy proper, to the south, a legally-proscribed action forbidden to any army-leading general. The proscription protected the Roman Republic from a coup d'état ; thus, Caesar's military action began a civil war.

This act of war on the Roman Republic by Caesar led to widespread approval amongst the Roman civilians, who believed him a hero. The historical records differ about which decisive comment Caesar made on crossing the Rubicon: one report is Alea iacta est (usually translated as "The die is cast").
Caesar's March on Rome was a triumphal progress; yet, the Senate, ignorant of Caesar's being armed only with a single legion, feared the worst and supported Pompey, who, on grasping the Republic's endangerment, said: "Rome cannot be defended", and escaped to Capua with his politicians, the aristocratic Optimates and the regnant consuls; Cicero later characterised Pompey's "outward sign of weakness" as allowing Caesar's politico-military consolidation to achieve Roman dictatorship.
Despite having retreated, in central-Italy, Pompey and the Senatorial forces disposed of at least two legions, some 11,500 soldiers (he earlier had ordered Caesar return to Italy from Gaul), and some hastily-levied Italian troops commanded by Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus (Domitius). As Caesar progressed southwards, Pompey retreated towards Brundisium, initially ordering Domitius (engaged in raising troops in Etruria) to stop Caesar's movement on Rome from the direction of the Adriatic seaboard.
Belatedly, Pompey ordered Domitius to retreat south also, and make junction with Pompey's forces. Domitius mostly ignored Pompey's orders, and, after being isolated and trapped near Corfinium was forced to surrender almost thirty cohorts of troops (about three Legions), most of whom promptly joined Caesar's army.
Pompey escaped to Brundisium, there awaiting sea transport for his legions, to Epirus, in the Republic's eastern Greek provinces, expecting his influence to yield money and armies for a maritime blockade of Italy proper. Meanwhile, the aristocrats (the Optimates)—including Metellus Scipio and Cato the Younger—joined Pompey there, whilst leaving a rear guard at Capua.
Caesar pursued Pompey to Brundisium, expecting restoration of their alliance of ten years prior; to wit, throughout the Great Roman Civil War's early stages, Caesar frequently proposed to Pompey that they, both generals, sheathe their swords. Pompey refused, legalistically arguing that Caesar was his subordinate and thus was obligated to cease campaigning and dismiss his armies before any negotiation. As the Senate's chosen commander, and with the backing of at least one of the current consuls, Pompey commanded legitimacy, whereas Caesar's military crossing of the Rubicon River frontier rendered him a de jure enemy of the Senate and People of Rome. Nevertheless, in March 49 BC, Pompey escaped Caesar at Brundisium, fleeing by sea to Epirus, in Roman Greece.
Caesar did not immediately give chase to Greece and instead consolidated power in Rome and Italy. He had other problems as well, Pompey had left him with no ships to cross the Adriatic and Spain had begun to mobilize against Caesar. After gathering the remainder of his forces from Transalpine Gaul he marched into Spain and subdued enough of the country that it wouldn't intervene during his campaign against Pompey. He then turned his full attention to Pompey. Having only built half the needed ships Caesar grew impatient and decided to gamble on sending half his army across, and to then have the ships travel back to Rome and transport the remainder. Travel across the Adriatic Sea to Greece would ordinarily be difficult, but was made more so given that it was winter and the sea was treacherous. In addition Pompey's fleet, commanded by Caesar's former junior consul Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus, lay between Caesar and Greece. As it was winter Bibulus was unprepared and Caesar was able to sail through the blockade easily and form a beachhead at Epirus with the first half of his army. Bibulus however was able to block Caesar's attempt to sail his ships back to Italy, burning most of them. Bibulus died shortly after and command fell to Lucius Scribonius Libo.
Caesar's blunder had put him in the worst possible position any army could find itself in. His army had no way to resupply from Rome due to the naval blockade, he couldn't resupply locally as Greece was pro-Pompey and closed their gates to Caesar, and his army was only at half strength. So dire was his situation that he made several attempts to discuss peace with Pompey but was refused at every channel. Realizing he was going to have to fight his way out, he attempted another winter blockade run back to Italy to lead his remaining forces to Greece. His luck was not with him and the rough seas and storms forced him back. However, his Master of the Horse Marc Antony fired up his troops and after several attempts broke Libo's blockade and managed to make it north of Caesar's position. It was now a race against time as both Caesar and Pompey rushed to meet Antony. Although Pompey reached Antony first Caesar was right on his heels and Pompey prudently moved his forces to Dyrrachium to prevent becoming caught between the two forces.
Ficheiro:Caesar campaigns from Rome to Zela-fr.svg
Caesar was now in a dire position, holding a beachhead at Epirus with only half his army, no ability to supply his troops by sea, and limited local support, as the Greek cities were mostly loyal to Pompey. Caesar's only choice was to fortify his position, forage what supplies he could, and wait on his remaining army to attempt another crossing. Pompey by now had a massive international army; however, his troops were mostly untested raw recruits, while Caesar's troops were hardened veterans. Realizing Caesar's difficulty in keeping his troops supplied, Pompey decided to simply mirror Caesar's forces and let hunger do the fighting for him. Caesar began to despair and used every channel he could think of to pursue peace with Pompey. When this was rebuffed he made an attempt to cross back to Italy to collect his missing troops but was turned back by a storm. Finally, Marc Antony rallied the remaining forces in Italy, fought through the blockade and made the crossing, reinforcing Caesar's forces in both men and spirit. Now at full strength Caesar felt confident to take the fight to Pompey.
Commanders and leaders
Gaius Julius Caesar
Mark Antony
Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus
Approximately 22,000 legionaries (elements of 9 legions), 5,000–10,000 Auxiliaries and Allies, and Allied Cavalry of 1,800Approximately 40,000–60,000 legionaries (12 legions), 4,200 Auxiliaries and Allies, and Allied Cavalry of 5,000–8,000

Pompey was camped in a strong position just south of Dyrrhachium with the sea to his back and surrounded by hills, making a direct assault impossible. Caesar ordered a wall to be built around Pompey's position in order to cut off water and pasture land for his horses. Pompey built a parallel wall and in between a kind of no man's land was created, with fighting comparable to the trench warfare of World War I. Finally the standoff was broken by a traitor in Caesar's army, who informed Pompey of a weakness in Caesar's wall. Pompey immediately exploited this information and forced Caesar's army into a full rout, but ordered his army not to pursue, fearing Caesar's reputation for setting elaborate traps. This caused Caesar to remark, "The day was theirs had there been anyone among them to take it." Pompey continued his strategy of mirroring Caesar's forces and avoiding any direct engagements. After trapping Caesar in Thessaly, the prominent Senators in Pompey's camp began to argue loudly for a more decisive victory. Although Pompey was strongly against it - he wanted to surround and starve Caesar's army instead - he eventually gave in and accepted battle from Caesar on a field near Pharsalus.

Now you are about to see the view that the generals wish to have, and see the veterans romans of barbarians wars commanded by popular leaders against the auxiliaries troops with promises of Roman citizenship commanded by aristocrats senators, the fight will decide the fate of roman empires, and the world will not be the same before!

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