Ancient Rome (Ancient Civilizations) by Michael Anderson

By Michael Anderson

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Pompey fled across the sea to Greece. Caesar seized the treasury in Rome and set up a temporary government, with himself as dictator. Four years of civil war followed. After a successful campaign in Spain, Caesar sailed for Greece and decisively defeated Pompey at Pharsalus (48 bc). Pompey fled to Egypt and was murdered there before Caesar could catch up with him. Caesar placed Cleopatra on Egypt’s throne Caesar Crossing the Rubicon, Jean Fouquet. As he crossed the Rubicon River to declare war on Rome, Caesar is said to have declared, “Alea jacta est” (“The die is cast”).

He found that his opponents had gone to Africa to raise forces against him. Caesar crossed over to Africa in 46 bc and crushed them. Soon after he went again to Spain to destroy the last of the Pompeian forces, led by Pompey’s sons. He was then master of the Greco-Roman world. The Dictatorship and Assassination of Caesar In 44 bc Caesar was powerful enough to have himself made dictator for life. He planned to use his power to put through many far-reaching and much-needed reforms. Deeming himself a person of high destiny, he lived with pomp and ceremony.

The last of the Western Roman emperors, Romulus Augustulus, was deposed by the barbarian leader Odoacer in 476. The Roman Empire was at an end, and the barbarian kingdoms of the Middle Ages took its place. The Byzantine Empire, however, lasted another 1,000 years. Attila and the Huns, already feared throughout Europe, invaded Gaul and then Italy in 450. Kean Collection/Archive Photos/Getty Images 57 CHAPTER 5 Achievements of the Ancient Romans T he overarching achievement of ancient Rome was its reorganization of world politics and economics in the form of the Roman Empire.

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