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The Battle of Pharsalus (48 BC) (Hardback)

Caesar, Pompey and their Final Clash in the Third Roman Civil War

Ancient History > Rome & the Roman Provinces Military

By Gareth C Sampson
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 16 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526793621
Published: 7th June 2023


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In August 48 BC, following the earlier battle at Dyrrhachium, the two greatest Roman commanders of their generation met in battle again at Pharsalus in Greece. Julius Caesar, conqueror of Gaul, had been defeated at Dyrrhachium and forced to retreat but now stood at bay to face Pompey the Great, conqueror of the East. At stake lay the future of the ailing Roman Republic, each man believing he alone had the solution to restoring Republican government.

Gareth Sampson examines the campaigns which led up to the battle as well as the role played by the various regional powers who got drawn into the Roman Civil War. The Battle of Pharsalus itself is analysed in detail to determine the strengths and weakness of both armies and their various commanders, as well as the organization, equipment and tactics of the forces involved in the battle which culminated in a decisive victory for Caesar. The author concludes with consideration of the aftermath of the battle, which saw Pompey murdered in Egypt and Caesar distracted by the affairs of the East.

Review as featured in

Historical Miniatures Gaming Society, November 2023

Informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a section of B/W photos, an Introduction (The Battle of Pharsalus: Winners, Losers, and the Judgement of History), a Timeline (Pre-Third Civil War 70-49 BC), Notes on Roman Names, two Appendices, eight pages of Notes, a six page Bibliography, and a three page Index, "The Battle of Pharsalus (48 BC): Caesar, Pompey and their Final Clash in the Third Roman Civil War" is a welcome addition to the growing library of Ancient Roman Military History studies and highly recommended for personal, professional, community, and college/university collections.

Read the full review here

Midwest Book Review

Review as featured in

VaeVictis Magazine, September 2023
 Gareth C Sampson

About Gareth C Sampson

After a career in corporate finance, Gareth C Sampson returned to the study of ancient Rome and gained his PhD from the University of Manchester, where he taught for a number of years. He now lives in Plymouth with his wife and children.

Perfect Partner

The Battle of Dyrrhachium (48 BC) Caesar, Pompey, and the Early Campaigns of the Third Roman Civil War (Hardback)

In 49 BC the Roman Republic collapsed once more into bloody civil war. At the heart of this war lay the two greatest living Roman commanders, and former allies, Pompey the Great and Julius Caesar, each having built their own factions within the Roman oligarchy and refusing to compromise. The subsequent civil war would be fought for control of the Republic with each man determined to restore peace and stability to Rome, under their leadership. Yet despite this clash it was eighteen months before the two men met in Battle at Dyrrhachium in Albania. Gareth Sampson outlines the strategic background,…

By Gareth C Sampson

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