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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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(p.188) Chapter 23 Alexandria
Julius Caesar
Luciano Canfora, Julian Stringer
Edinburgh University Press

When Caesar reached Alexandria on 2 October 48 bc, he certainly did not expect to be greeted by the embalmed head of Pompey, but even less did he expect to be bogged down for all of nine months in a local conflict that almost cost him his life, until 28 June 47 bc, when he finally sailed from Alexandria for Syria. Suetonius writes that in that lengthy period Caesar found himself fighting a war in truth of great difficulty, convenient neither in time or place, but carried on during the winter season, within the walls of a well-provisioned and crafty foeman, while Caesar himself was without supplies of any kind and ill-prepared. The background to the Egyptian dynastic crisis in which Caesar became entangled in the middle of the civil war was the operation managed by Pompey, but also supported by Caesar, which, thanks to the ‘protection’ of Aulus Gabinius, had restored Ptolemy XII Neos Dionysos, popularly known as Auletes, on the throne in 55 bc.

Keywords:   Julius Caesar, war, Alexandria, local conflict, Pompey, dynastic conflict, Aulus Gabinius, Ptolemy XII Neos Dionysos, Auletes, Suetonius

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