Rome and the Battle of Philippi

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Peter1469
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Rome and the Battle of Philippi

Postby Peter1469 » Sat Oct 22, 2016 8:25 pm

Philippi


After Caesar was assassinated Rome fell into civil war.

Octavian and Antony had 28 legions. Brutus and his allies had 19 legions heavily supplemented with axillaries from the eastern provinces. Octavian prevailed and continued to contribute to western history.

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As Octavian's and Antony's armies arrived and assembled near Dyrrhachium, the site of Caesar's near defeat to Pompey 6 years earlier, Octavian battled with his own poor health. Often described as a sickly youth, he was apparently stricken with a terrible illness just as the fate of the Roman world was about to be decided. Antony, however, likely saw a grand opportunity to win a great victory for his own cause without being forced to share any credit with his young fellow triumvir and rival. As Antony marched his army east towards the Macedonian - Thracian and border and confrontation with the enemy, Octavian had no choice but to follow, despite his illness, or risk being left out of the battle to revenge his adoptive father.

Initially both sides jockeyed for position, and the 'Liberators' hoped to win a battle of attrition by delaying Antony's advance. Antony however, often considered second only to Caesar in military ability during this era, would have none of it and forced the enemy into battle. On October 3, the two armies drew up near the Macedonian town of Philippi. Cassius commanded the left wing of the Republican forces directly across from Antony while Brutus confronted Octavian's army with the right wing. Octavian, however, despite his presence in the area was still terribly ill.

He was forced to stay behind the lines in his tent, while his officers conducted the battle on his behalf. As the battle opened, Antony had a clear advantage over Cassius, and overran the Republican left. Brutus, though, had nearly equal success against Octavian and pushed his lines back. Octavian was forced to flee his camp, taking refuge in a nearby marsh.

Cassius' defeat was significant and yet the entire affair could've been stabilized by Brutus's success. Cassius though was certainly unaware of his ally's good fortune and decided to take his own life, rather than submit to Antony. Despite his own loss, Cassius was the stronger military mind of the Republican side and his own death began to sound the end of their ability to resist. Brutus managed to regroup and take command of Cassius' remaining army, but the writing was on the wall. Antony assuredly reveled in his own victory while Octavian was forced to retreat, but Brutus held his ground and delayed Antony's triumph. On October 23, perhaps losing the confidence of his men, or willing to risk a final last ditch effort at victory, Brutus launched an attack.

At the Battle of 2nd Philippi, Octavian was seemingly recovered from his illness and commanded his own army. He and his men were certainly embarrassed by their defeat just 3 weeks earlier and were prepared to give a better account. This time they proved themselves up to the challenge, and the triumvir's army overran Brutus. Octavian's forces captured Brutus' camp and they were atoned for their previous defeat.

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Re: Rome and the Battle of Philippi

Postby UncleRansom » Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:51 am

Cool stuff, Peter

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Re: Rome and the Battle of Philippi

Postby Peter1469 » Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:00 am

I tried to post a picture of the Arch of Titus- I have to learn this need platform better.

It is near the Coliseum heading towards Palatine Hill and the Forum. It was built to commemorate the destruction of the Second Temple.


Image

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The Arch of Titus is a Roman Triumphal Arch which was erected by Domitian in c. 81 CE at the foot of the Palatine hill on the Via Sacra in the Forum Romanum, Rome.

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Re: Rome and the Battle of Philippi

Postby MisterD » Sun Oct 23, 2016 12:12 pm

This thread made me think of Shakespeare's play.


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