Homeschool Project - Roman Empire

Map 7

30 BC

30BC : Caesar

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In 74 BC another kingdom was bequeathed to Rome, this time the eastern kingdom of Bithynia. With Sulla dead, Mithridates once again decided to take an ambitious chance. A Roman army was soon upon him however, and he was forced to flee after a series of crushing defeats. By 70 BC Pontus was a roman territory, although the Romans found themselves able to make only little gain further into the east. In 66 BC Rome sent another general to ensure Mithridates demise. Pompey, Sulla's capable successor, was fresh from a successful anti-piracy campaign. Pompey pursued his enemy through his fevered escape into Armenia and then beyond.  In 63 BC Mithridates committed suicide after he and his allies had suffered numerous  defeats at the hands of Pompey. Armenia surrendered and Rome gained an even stronger hold on the east.

Pompey returned to Rome and disbanded his army, and was soon approached by a politician who had been gaining rapid success, Julius Caesar Together with Crassus, one of the most wealthy Romans, they supported each other in attaining further power through Roman politics. Caesar was appointed consul to Gaul in 58 BC, and immediatly began a campaign to eject the celtic tribes migrating to the region. By 53 BC Caesar had conquered the entirety of Gaul and had even made two expeditions to Great Britain, although he decided that the island wasn't worth the effort. Meanwhile in Rome, violence between political parties was spilling on to the streets. Pompey was made sole consul of Rome in 52BC in order to quell the escalating violence, leaving him with incredible power over the politics of the republic.

While Caesar and Pompey were busy in the west, Crassus had been taking charge in the east. He achieved the consulship of Syria and formed an army, most likely in an attempt to gain some military victories for himself. He struck into Mesopotamia in 54 BC against the long time enemy of Rome, Parthia. His army was defeated by the Parthian king's cavalry the next year, and Crassus was killed. Back in the west Pompey and Caesar clashed with each other, Pompey attempting to deprive Caesar of power long enough for him to be convicted for the methods he utilized in Gaul. In 49 BC, left with a choice between fighting against Pompey or destruction, Caesar marched his forces across the Rubicon, out of the province of Gaul and on to Rome. Pompey retreated and sailed east to muster more forces while Caesar took control of Rome as dictator.

By 48 BC most of Pompey's forces had either joined with Caesar or been destroyed. Pompey fled to Egypt, where he was assassinated by the egyptian goverment. Caesar gave chase and landed in Egypt as well, only to learn of his target's death. He was soon swept up into Egyptian politics, and then into a war with the royal guard. In 47 BC, a force allied to Caesar crushed the Egyptian King's forces, and Caesar soon put the king's sister on the throne. He left Egypt that year and continued compaigns against the allies of Pompey in Africa and Spain until 45 BC, when at long last they were all defeated. In 44 BC Caesar was killed in Rome, for fear of his wanting complete power over the republic.

With Caesar's death the republic was once again fractured. His assassins, fearing for their safety, barricaded themselves in the outskirts of the republic. Marcus Antonius (Marc Antony), Caesar's top lieutenant, was ready to take control for himself. However, Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, Caesar great-nephew that Caesar had designated as his heir, soon arrived on the scene and threatened the future of both Antony and the senators who had killed his great-uncle. Antony and Octavius put together a tentative alliance and crushed their opposition. They then divided the empire, Octavius in the west and Antony in the east. This was not to last however, for in 32 BC Antony rejected his marriage with Octavian's sister and married the Egyptian Cleopatra instead. Octavian declared war and chased Antony and his lover into Egypt. In 30 BC both Antony and Cleopatra killed themselves, leaving Octavian the sole ruler of Rome.

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Original Web Upload November 2002
Last Update: December 21, 2002