Philippi 42 BC: The death of the Roman Republic (Campaign)
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Immortalized in Shakespeare's play on the life and death of Julius Caesar, the battle of Philippi was the final battle between the forces of Mark Antony and Octavian against the forces of Caesar's assassins Brutus and Longinus during the Roman civil wars that took place in the 40s and 30s BC. Si Sheppard takes a detailed look at the campaign that was waged around the Macedonian city of Philipi. The first engagement on the 3rd of October was indecisive as Octavian's forces were routed by those of Brutus, but Cassius' camp was captured by Mark Antony's men; wrongly fearing that Brutus was dead and that all was lost for his cause, Cassius committed suicide - depriving the Republicans of their most gifted commander. In the meantime, the Republicans' naval forces had managed to intercept and destroy the supply ships of the Triumvirs in the Adriatic, a serious blow to Octavian and Mark Anthony. Expertly detailing the changing fates of the opposing sides, their successes and failures illustrated in a range of maps, the book then turns to the final stages of the campaign. As the Triumvirs' forces slowly moved their fieldworks towards their enemies' positions, Brutus, ignorant of the destruction of Calvinus's fleet and seeing few other options available to him, decided to give battle. In the bloody and close combat, legionary fought legionary amid great slaughter, until Brutus' forces were finally routed and his camp overrun. Brutus fled and committed suicide the following day. The Republican movement crushed, Rome now rested in the hands of the Second Triumvirate. This is the history of the Philippi campaign that sounded the final death knell for the Republican movement.
clash of arms would commence when the commander displayed a flag, the vexillum, to signal the advance. The segmented nature of the legion allowed for a great deal of flexibility in its deployment allowing commanders to adjust to specific terrain and threat profiles to maximum effect. Typically, each legion would form up in three horizontal lines, the front line consisting of four cohorts, its centuries arranged ten wide by eight deep, the second and third lines of three cohorts each, their
issue and leave the Republicans no alternative. His plan was to construct a passage through the marsh - secretly, if possible - in order to get in the enemy's rear without their knowledge and cut off their supply route to Thasos. He continued to array his forces for battle every morning with all their standards displayed, so that it might seem that his entire army was drawn up, but in reality he was working night and day to force a narrow passage through the marsh. His engineers cut down reeds to
with Cassius's remaining legions on the far side of the wall. As the camp was in a strong position it was guarded by only a few men, and Antony easily overcame them. Cassius's soldiers on the plain were already being beaten, and when they saw that their camp was taken they scattered in disorderly flight. Antony's triumph was offset by the disaster that befell his junior colleague. Octavian had drawn out his army in support of Antony, but was too ill to command his men in person and his soldiers,
years until he was finally able to lay siege to Jerusalem in the spring of 37 BC aided by a Roman commitment under Gaius Sosius of 11 legions, 6,000 cavalry and auxiliary troops to supplement his own 30,000-strong force. In the summer, Herod at last took the city and executed Antigonus. He would be recognized as the sole ruler of Judea for the next 34 years and prove a loyal ally to Antony, though by no means his closest confidant. That role was usurped by Cleopatra, and her influence would
contubernales, 'tent-mates'. The ramparts they erected, surrounded by ditch (fossa), dyke (agger) and palisade (valium), did not accord shelter merely to the combat troops, however; a large number of slaves, calones, were attached to a legion, many men having at least one personal slave attendant, and the presence of camp followers, lixae, was TOP LEFT The pila was the primary missile weapon of the legionary but could be kept in hand for use under certain scenarios, for example to repulse a