What Saved Caesar 's Men And Doomed Pompey

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However, what saved Caesar’s men and doomed Pompey’s in this situation was that gap of skill. Caesar writes that his men, whether by skill or luck, managed to hold their position as the charge connected, and managed to deploy their 4th line to repel and eventually rout Pompey’s horses. Additional commentary on the engagement as detailed by Plutarch states that the men men threw their pila at the faces of the incoming cavalry, who were easily beaten by such a move, as “…young, and pluming themselves on their youthful beauty, would dread such wounds especially, and would not stand their ground…” . A more moderate commentary is provided by Appian, who instead argues that Pompey’s cavalry were not trained to deflect a blow to the face, and so fell into disarray and retreated. Regardless of the depiction of events, the differing accounts do support that the move was a result of Caesar’s men taking the initiative, as his dispatches do not mention the event but do mention them holding, and so the possibility that such an event actually took place does exist. As for the rest of their forces, Caesar details that Pompey planned to either rout Caesar’s forces, or to force him to charge Pompey’s line. Caesar details that his men planned an initial charge, but halted upon seeing no response from the Pompeian lines, and “of their own accord repressed their speed, and halted almost midway; that they might not come up with the enemy when their strength was exhausted…” . Once again, the initiative of Caesar’s men is displayed, but typical of Caesar’s pseudo-objective narrative, he states the Pompeian troops managed to hold their ground. However, this small victory was short lived, as Caesar’s right had by this point driven off the cavalry, and man... ... middle of paper ... ...ppian’s, therein lies the strategic nature of Caesar’s writing. This has been described by Cicero as “the rhetoric of the tenue (or subtile) genus, a manner suited to the task of validation…” . Essentially, the fact that Caesar writes so precisely would have made any reader – at least back then – believe that what they were reading was objective, but is really presenting a very pro-Caesar message, seeing as how he still won. Taken into context, then, this narration would have painted Caesar’s army as the ragged but mighty force, having conquered those lands mentioned, and beaten the army that days prior took several of their high ranking members hostage. Taken a step further, one can also see how the plebs would have been particularly fond of these events as depicted, as the narrative has the common Roman soldier winning the day, and not his upper class counterparts.

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