The main theme of this issue is the crucial campaign between Caesar and Pompey and the defenders of the Republic in the Balkans, the last good chance for the Republicans to defeat Caesar and at least prolong the existence of the Republic. Caesar was outnumbered, suffered an early setback at Dyrrhacium, and still managed to come back and defeat the Republicans at Pharsalus. With the main Republican army defeated, Caesar was able to establish his personal authority in Rome, and even his assassination wasn't enough to save the Republic.
The issue begins with a look at the road to war, starting with the Senate's rejection of Pompey, a move that forced him into an alliance with Crassus and Caesar. That in turn gave Caesar his Gallic command, and the war that he needed to secure his fame, but also provoked his opponents in Rome into the ill judged moves that ended in civil war. Next is a look at how Caesar attempted to present himself as the restorer of liberty in his own account of the civil war. Two articles look at the key battles - one on the crossing to the Balkans and Pompey's victory at Dyrrhacium, the other at Caesar's victory at Pharsalus. Next is a look at the differences between the two armies, which are bigger than often acknowledged. Finally there is a look at why Pompey did so badly, when he was such an experienced commander. As the title of the article suggests, his willingness to obey the Senate probably played a part in his defeat, forcing him to fight when he didn't need to.
Away from the theme there is a look at the sources for the Legionary Cavalry, a typically obscure part of the Roman army, a study of how hard it actually was to launch a successful ambush, and an examination of the brief appearance of the armoured cataphract in north-western Europe.
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Road to civil war - Caesar, Pompey and the senate
Restitutor Libertatis - Propaganda in the Bellum Civile
What they least expect - Preparations for the campaign
A defeat for Caesar - The Dyrrhacium Campaign
When eagles clashed - The Battle of Pharsalus
Warlord's soldiers - The armies of Caesar and Pompey
Shackled to a corpse - Pompey and the senate
Glorious horsemen - the cavalry of the legion
Roman cataphracts - Armoured cavalry in the north
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