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Battle of Pharsalus

History -- Military history -- List of battles

Pharsalus - in Thessaly, northern Greece.

Gaius Julius Caesar defeated Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus and the Senatorial forces at the battle of Pharsalus in 48 B.C. and solidified his control over the Mediterranean world.

Pompey and the Senate's army had left Italy for Greece in 49 BC. Caesar, for lack of a fleet, solidified his control over the western Mediterranean - Spain and North Africa, specifically, before assembling ships to follow Pompey.

An indecisive winter (49/48) of blockade and siege followed. Pompey eventually pushed Caesar into Thessaly and at Pharsalus attacked. Caesar, though with a smaller army, prevailed. Pompey fled from Pharsalus to Egypt, where he was assassinated on the order of Pharaoh Ptolemy XIV Dionysus.


  • William E. Gwatkin, Jr., Some Reflections on the Battle of Pharsalus, Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association, Vol. 87. (1956), pp. 109-124.

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