Translation of: CIVIL WAR BREAKS OUT BETWEEN CAESAR AND POMPEY-THE BATTLE OF PHARSALIA

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Propertius
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Translation of: CIVIL WAR BREAKS OUT BETWEEN CAESAR AND POMPEY-THE BATTLE OF PHARSALIA

Post by Propertius »

On pg. 222 of D'Ooge's book.

The Gallic War not even having been finished, a civil war between Caesar and Pompey began. For, Pompey, who desired the greatest power, had persuaded the senate to proclaim Caesar an enemy of the republic and to order his army to be sent away. When he learned of these things, Caesar refused to send away his army, and, having encouraged his soldiers to defend the leader so often a victor from the injuries of the enemy, he ordered them to follow him to Rome. The soldiers obeyed with the greatest zeal, and their crossing of the Rubicon marked the beginning of the civil war.
Indeed, nearly all the cities of Italy favored Caesar’s side and they kindly received him. Alarmed by this, Pompey departed from Rome before Caesar’s arrival and came to Brundisium, from where he crossed the sea to Epirus with all his troops a few days later. Caesar followed him with seven legions and five hundred horsemen, and the distinguished (soldier) amongst Caesar’s company was Publius.
After several milder battles took place, at last, the enemy troops pitched camp at Pharsalus (which was) located in Thessaly. Although Pompey’s army was twice as large as Caesar’s, however, there were many who exceedingly feared the veteran legions that had defeated the Gauls and the Germans. Labienus, the ambassador, who recently had revolted from Caesar, addressed them in the following way before the beginning of the battle: “Don’t think that this is the army of veteran soldiers. I took part in all battles nor do I rashly proclaim the unknown matter. An exceedingly small part of that army that defeated the Gauls still survives. A large part was killed, many departed to their homes, and many were abandoned in Italy. These troops that you see in hither Gaul were recently enlisted.” When he had said these things, he vowed to himself that he would not return to the camp unless he is the victor. Pompey and all the others vowed this same thing, and the troops went out of the camp with great hope and joy as if towards certain victory.
Caesar, being prepared in mind for attacking, also led out his army, and leaving seven cohorts in the camp for protection, he drew up the troops in a triple battle line. Then, the incensed soldiers being eager for the fight, he gave the signal with the trumpet. The soldiers advanced and drew their swords after throwing their spears. Nor, in truth, was the enemy without courage. For, they withstood the spears that were thrown, they warded off the attack of swords, and they preserved their rows of troops. There was fierce fighting for a long time from both sides nor did anyone retreat. Then, Pompey’s cavalry tried to surround Caesar’s battle line. When Caesar noticed that, he ordered the third battle line, which until that point had been inactive, to advance. Then, you may be sure, the exhausted enemy could not withstand the attack of the whole (army) and they all retreated. But, Pompey, despairing of his fortune, went to the camp by horseback, (and) from there he soon fled with a few horsemen.

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Re: Translation of: CIVIL WAR BREAKS OUT BETWEEN CAESAR AND POMPEY-THE BATTLE OF PHARSALIA

Post by bedwere »

Propertius wrote: Sun May 23, 2021 12:59 am On pg. 222 of D'Ooge's book.

While the Gallic War was not even finished, a civil war began between Caesar and Pompey. For, Pompey, who desired the supreme power, had persuaded the senate to proclaim Caesar an enemy of the republic and to order his army to be disbanded. When he learned of these things, Caesar refused to send away his army, and, having encouraged his soldiers to defend a commander so often victorious from the injuries of the enemy, he ordered them to follow him to Rome. The soldiers obeyed with the greatest zeal, and their crossing of the Rubicon marked the beginning of the civil war.
Indeed, nearly all the cities of Italy favored Caesar’s side and they kindly received him. Alarmed by this, Pompey departed from Rome before Caesar’s arrival and came to Brundisium, from where he crossed the sea to Epirus with all his troops a few days later. Caesar followed him with seven legions and five hundred horsemen, and Publius was distinguished in Caesar’s retinue.
After several milder battles took place, at last, the enemy troops pitched camp at Pharsalus (which was) located in Thessaly. Although Pompey’s army was twice as large as Caesar’s, there were however many who exceedingly feared the veteran legions that had defeated the Gauls and the Germans. Labienus, the ambassador, who recently had revolted from Caesar, addressed them in the following way before the beginning of the battle: “Don’t think that this is the army of veteran soldiers. I took part in all battles nor do I rashly proclaim something unknown. An exceedingly small part of that army that defeated the Gauls still survives. A large part was killed, many departed to their homes, and many were abandoned in Italy. These troops that you see in hither Gaul were recently enlisted.” When he had said these things, he vowed to himself that he would not return to the camp unless he was the victor. Pompey and all the others vowed this same thing, and the troops went out of the camp with great hope and joy as if towards certain victory.
Caesar, being prepared in mind for attacking, also led out his army, and leaving seven cohorts in the camp for protection, he drew up the troops in a triple battle line. Then, the incensed soldiers being eager for the fight, he gave the signal with the trumpet. The soldiers advanced and drew their swords after throwing their spears. Nor, in truth, was the enemy without courage. For, they withstood the spears that were thrown, they warded off the attack of swords, and they held the lines. There was fierce fighting for a long time from both sides nor did anyone retreat. Then, Pompey’s cavalry tried to surround Caesar’s battle line. When Caesar noticed that, he ordered the third battle line, which until that point had been inactive, to advance. Then, you may be sure, the exhausted enemy could not withstand the attack of the fresh troops and they all retreated. But, Pompey, despairing of his fortune, went to the camp by horseback, (and) from there he soon fled with a few horsemen.

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