Caesar's Civil War

Caesar's Civil War (49–45 BC) was one of the last politico-military conflicts of the Roman Republic before its reorganization into the Roman Empire. It began as a series of political and military confrontations, between Julius Caesar (100–44 BC), his political supporters (broadly known as Populares), and his legions, against the Optimates (or Boni), the politically conservative and socially traditionalist faction of the Roman Senate,[3] who were supported by Pompey (106–48 BC) and his legions.[4]

Caesar's Civil War
Part of the Roman civil wars

Map of the Roman Republic in the mid-1st century BC
Date10 January 49 BC17 March 45 BC
(4 years, 2 months and 1 week)
Location
Result Caesarian victory
Belligerents
Caesarians (Populares) Pompeians (Optimates)
Commanders and leaders
Julius Caesar
Mark Antony
Gaius Scribonius Curio 
Publius Cornelius Sulla
Gnaeus Domitius Calvinus
Decimus Brutus Albinus
Gaius Trebonius
Gaius Fabius
Pompey 
Titus Labienus 
Metellus Scipio 
Cato of Utica 
Publius Attius Varus 
Domitius Ahenobarbus 
Marcus Bibulus 
Lucius Afranius 
Marcus Petreius 
King Juba of Numidia 
Gnaeus Pompeius 
Sextus Pompey
Marcus Junius Brutus
Strength
Early 49 BC: 10 legions[1] Early 49 BC: 15 legions[2]

Prior to the war, Caesar had served for eight years in the Gallic Wars. He and Pompey had, along with Marcus Licinius Crassus, established the First Triumvirate, through which they shared power over Rome. Caesar soon emerged as a champion of the common people, and advocated a variety of reforms. The Senate, fearful of Caesar, reduced the number of legions he had,[5] then demanded that he relinquish command of his army. Caesar refused, and instead marched his army on Rome, which no Roman general was permitted to do by law. Pompey fled Rome and organized an army in the south of Italy to meet Caesar.

The war was a four-year-long politico-military struggle, fought in Italy, Illyria, Greece, Egypt, Africa, and Hispania. Pompey defeated Caesar in 48 BC at the Battle of Dyrrhachium, but was himself defeated much more decisively at the Battle of Pharsalus. The Optimates under Marcus Junius Brutus and Cicero surrendered after the battle, while others, including those under Cato the Younger and Metellus Scipio fought on. Pompey fled to Egypt and was killed upon arrival. Scipio was defeated in 46 BC at the Battle of Thapsus in North Africa. He and Cato committed suicide shortly after the battle. The following year, Caesar defeated the last of the Optimates under his former lieutenant Labienus in the Battle of Munda and became Dictator perpetuo (Dictator in perpetuity or Dictator for life) of Rome.[6] The changes to Roman government concomitant to the war mostly eliminated the political traditions of the Roman Republic (509–27 BC) and led to the Roman Empire (27 BC–AD 476).