Caesar's Civil War  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Great Roman Civil War (49–45 BC), also known as Caesar's Civil War, was one of the last politico-military conflicts in the Roman Republic before the establishment of 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, who were supported by Pompey (106–48 BC) and his legions.

After a four-year-long (49–45 BC) politico-military struggle, fought in Italy, Albania, Greece, Egypt, Africa, and Hispania, Caesar defeated the last of the Optimates in the Battle of Munda and became Dictator perpetuo (Perpetual Dictator) of Rome. 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).

Crossing the Rubicon

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").




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Caesar's Civil War" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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