Caesar against Rome: The Great Roman Civil War

By Ramon L. Jiménez | Go to book overview

XII
Veni, Vidi, Vici

In the months after Pharsalus, several of the surviving Pompeian generals had gathered their remaining troops, recruited any others that would join them, and made plans to continue the war against Caesar wherever they could. After abandoning their campaign in the Peloponnese, Cato and his fleet had sailed into the eastern Mediterranean and somehow made contact with Pompey's fleeing ships, learning of his death. Cato turned toward Africa and landed near the prominent Greek city of Cyrene, today a cluster of ruins on a hill in eastern Libya. There he heard that Metellus Scipio, Labienus, and other Pompeians had been welcomed in Africa by King Juba, and had established a base at Utica. Cato took his ships to the west, but when his fleet was wrecked, he set out by land for Africa with an army often thousand troops. He arrived at Utica in time to support Scipio in his dispute with Attius Varus over who would command the Pompeian army, and to prevent any harm to the city, which Juba was still trying to punish for its support of Caesar. During Caesar's interlude in Egypt, the Pompeians and Juba assembled and trained a large army at Utica, and began sending their warships to harass Italian coastal towns and shipyards, and the Adriatic coast of Macedonia.

After Cato had abandoned Dyrrachium, Caesar's commander in Illyricum, Quintus Cornificius, had moved down and taken control of the city and the Macedonian coast. But one of Pompey's admirals, Marcus Octavius, remained in command of a large fleet of warships at Corcyra, and when Cornificius found that he was unable to prevent Octavius from attacking Caesarian garrisons and preying on his vessels in the Adriatic, he sent for assistance to Publius Vatinius, one of Caesar's commanders in Brundisium.

Vatinius was among Caesar's earliest confederates, serving with him as a tribune during his Consulship, and then as a general in the Gallic War. Although he was severely afflicted with gout at the time, he rounded up a small number of warships, outfitted some other oared vessels with rams, and then manned his makeshift fleet with veteran legionaries whom Caesar had left behind on the sick list. Using a quinquereme as his flagship, he sailed north in rough weather along the coast of Illyricum until he met the Pompeian fleet, which far outnumbered his own. Recognizing Octavius' quadrireme, he boldly raced forward to ram it, Octavius doing the same, and the two ships col-

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Caesar against Rome: The Great Roman Civil War
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Maps and Figures ix
  • Preface xi
  • Chronology xiii
  • Part One - The Rise of Caesar 1
  • Prologue - Three Men 3
  • I - Sulla Against Caesar 7
  • II - Rome and Its Neighbors 15
  • III - Pompey and Cicero Conquer Rome 25
  • IV - The Road to Gaul and Back 43
  • Part Two Caesar and Pompey 63
  • V - Across the Rubicon 65
  • VI - The First Spanish Campaign 81
  • VII - The Siege of Massilia 99
  • VIII - Curio in Africa 115
  • IX - The Campaign in Macedonia 129
  • X - The Battle of Pharsalus 147
  • Part Three - Caesar and Cleopatra 165
  • XI - The Alexandrian War 167
  • XII - Veni, Vidi, Vici 187
  • XIII - The Last Campaign 205
  • XIV - The Ides of March 223
  • Epilogue 243
  • Notes 251
  • Selected Sources 261
  • Index of Persons 269
  • General Index 277
  • About the Author *
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