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Julius CaesarThe People's Dictator$
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Luciano Canfora

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780748619368

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748619368.001.0001

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From the Rubicon to Pharsalus

From the Rubicon to Pharsalus

(p.165) Chapter 21 From the Rubicon to Pharsalus
Julius Caesar
Luciano Canfora, Julian Stringer
Edinburgh University Press

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

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