Monday, April 13, 2020

Who Was The Better General, Caesar Or Pompey Most Would Agree That Es

Who was the better general, Caesar or Pompey? Most would agree that Caesar was by far the better general, simply based upon the outcome of the Roman Civil War of 49 BC to 46 BC. Two of Romes finest generals, Caesar and Pompey, were pitted against each other, with Caesar emerging victorious after one of Romes most devastating civil wars. Caesar first discovered his military prowess while campaigning in Spain and honed his expertise during his ten year conquest of Gaul. Pompey had proven himself, with the defeat of Spratacus, in the slave revolt. And against Mithridates in the glamorous Eastern Command, but was Pompey deserving of the fame and recognition he gained? The civil war began with Caesars crossing of the Rubicon, he committed the first act of war by bringing his army onto Italian soil and was declared an enemy of the state by the Senate. Pompey was given the ominous duty of defeating Caesar and his legions, at first glance it appeared that Pompey had the upper hand, he had the awesome might of Rome behind him and had a vastly larger army than Caesar. Why then was Caesar able to defeat Pompey? Caesar won the war by using masterful techniques of diplomacy, his genius in military strategy, and Pompeys ineptness as a military commander. These factors all contributed to Caesars victory over Pompey and his eventual rise to supreme power, which changed Roman politics until the collapse of the Empire some 500 years later. Caesar was a master in the art of diplomacy and was able to use these skills to alter the tide during the course of the war. From the beginning of Caesars career with help from Crassus, he held large circuss for the mobs, this made him very popular with people of Rome. With his triumphant conquering of Gaul, he was hailed as a hero by the mob, and enjoyed popular support entering the civil war. Caesar was far outnumbered at the onset of the war, and had to increase the size of his army. To solve this dilemma Caesar granted amnesty to all defeated armies, by doing this Caesar was able to simply absorb surrendered armies into his own. Armies of the day were filled with professional soldiers who cared more about their salary, then the cause they were fighting for. Caesar also declared that he would not attack any Roman citizen if they did not bear arms against him. Thus, Pompey's legionnaires were faced with guaranteed amnesty if they surrendered to Caesar or deserted from Pompey. The morale in Pompey's camp would be severely affected by this act.1 In another act of diplomacy, in 49 BC Caesar granted Roman citizenship to the Gauls who had fought for him during his conquering of Gaul. This made the Gauls fiercely loyal to Caesar.2 Caesar was easily able to tip the scales of power in the war by using diplomacy to his advantage. Caesar was also able to take the upper hand in the conflict, by being the superior general. It is no stretch of the imagination to declare Caesar as the best general that ever lived, and if not the greatest, he is most certainly at par with the likes of Alexander, Hannibal, and Napoleon. Caesar was known for acting swiftly and decisively in battle, he deployed this rapid action strategy perfectly against Pompey. Once he crossed the Rubicon, he marched his army towards Rome on such a pace that made Pompey first flee Rome, then Italy all together. This gave Caesar control of the centre of the Roman universe and now he had all of Romes riches behind him. Caesar was able to use this strategy to take the advantage in the war, with out fighting a single battle. Another reason for Caesars success as a General was that he was beloved by his troops, they were fiercely loyal to him and would easily put their life on the line for their commander. Caesar did this by leading by example, as seen with his relentless pursuit of Pompey. He marched so fast that he left all his army behind him, except six hundred chosen horse and five legions, with which he put to sea in the very middle of winter, about the beginning of the month