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|Millennium:||1st millennium BC|
This article concerns the period 49 BC – 40 BC.
- 1 Events
- 1.1 49 BC
- 1.2 48 BC
- 1.3 47 BC
- 1.4 46 BC
- 1.5 45 BC
- 1.6 44 BC
- 1.7 43 BC
- 1.8 42 BC
- 1.9 41 BC
- 1.10 40 BC
- 2 Significant people
- 3 Births
- 4 Deaths
- 5 References
By place and Date
- Consuls: Lucius Cornelius Lentulus Crus, Gaius Claudius Marcellus Maior.
- The Great Roman Civil War commences:
- January 1 – The Roman Senate receives a proposal from Julius Caesar that he and Pompey should lay down their commands simultaneously. The Senate responds that Caesar must immediately surrender his command.
- January 10 – Julius Caesar leads his army across the Rubicon, which separates his jurisdiction (Cisalpine Gaul) from that of the Senate (Italy), and thus initiates a civil war. In response, the Roman senate invokes the senatus consultum ultimum.
- February – Pompey's flight to Epirus (in Western Greece) with most of the Senate.
- March 9 – Caesar advances against Pompeian forces in Spain.
- April 19 – Siege of Massilia: Caesar commences a siege at Massilia against the Pompeian Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus. He leaves the newly raised legions XVII, XVIII and XIX to conduct the siege. Decimus Brutus — victor over the Veneti (see 56 BC) — is in charge of the fleet to blockade the harbor.
- June – Caesar arrives in Spain; seizes the Pyrenees passes against the Pompeians L. Afranius and Marcus Petreius.
- June 7 – Cicero slips out of Italy and goes to Salonika.
- July 30 – Caesar surrounds Afranius and Petreius's army in Ilerda.
- August 2 – Pompeians in Ilerda surrender to Caesar and are granted pardon.
- August 24 – Caesar's general Gaius Scribonius Curio is defeated in North Africa by the Pompeians under Attius Varus and King Juba I of Numidia (whom he defeated earlier in the Battle of Utica), in the Battle of the Bagradas River, and commits suicide.
- September – Brutus defeats the combined Pompeian-Massilian naval forces in the naval Battle of Massilia, while the Caesarian fleet in the Adriatic is defeated near Curicta (Krk).
- September 6 – Massilia surrendered to Caesar, coming back from Spain.
- October – Caesar appointed Dictator in Rome.
- Consuls: Gaius Julius Caesar, Publius Servilius Vatia Isauricus.
- Civil War:
- January 4 – Caesar lands at Dyrrhachium (Durazzo).
- March – Mark Antony joins Caesar.
- April – Siege of Dyrrhachium, Caesar builds a fortified line of entrenchments and besiege Pompey.
- May – Publius Servilius Vatia Isauricus, co-consul with Julius Caesar, destroys Caelius's magistrate's chair on his tribunal.
- July 10 – Battle of Dyrrhachium, Julius Caesar barely avoids a catastrophic defeat to Pompey in Macedonia; he retreats to Thessaly.
- August 9 – Battle of Pharsalus: Caesar decisively defeats Pompey at Pharsalus and Pompey flees to Egypt. Pompey's army by and large pardoned.
- September 28 – Pompey the Great is assassinated on orders of King Ptolemy of Egypt after landing in Egypt (may have occurred September 29, records unclear).
- October – Julius Caesar reached Alexandria, city founded by Alexander the Great. He is met by an Egyptian delegation from Ptolemy XIII. The Egyptians offered him gifts: the ring of Pompey and his head.
- Caesar is named consul for a period of five years.
- Roman temple to Bellona on the Capitolinus outside Rome is burnt to the ground.
- Siege of Alexandria: Queen Cleopatra VII returns to the palace rolled into a Persian carpet and has it presented to Caesar by her servant. The Egyptian princess, only twenty-one years old, becomes his mistress.
- Pharnaces, King of Bosporus defeats Gnaeus Domitius Calvinus, a loyal partisan of Caesar, in the Battle of Nicopolis (or Nikopol).
- December – Battle in Alexandria, Egypt between the forces of Caesar and his ally Cleopatra VII and those of rival King Ptolemy XIII of Egypt and Queen Arsinoe IV. The latter two are defeated and flee the city, but during the battle part of the Library of Alexandria catches fire.
- Consuls: Quintus Fufius Calenus, Publius Vatinius.
- Civil War:
- January 13 – Pharaoh Cleopatra VII promotes her younger brother Ptolemy XIV of Egypt to co-ruler.
- February – Roman general Julius Caesar and his ally Cleopatra VII of Egypt defeat the forces of the rival Egyptian Queen Arsinoe IV in the Battle of the Nile. Ptolemy is killed; Caesar, with the aid of Mithridates I of the Bosporus, then relieves his besieged forces in Alexandria.
- September 2 – Pharaoh Cleopatra VII promotes her son Caesarion to co-ruler.
- August 2 – Caesar defeats Pharnaces II of Pontus, king of the Bosphorus, in the Battle of Zela (the war Caesar tersely describes as veni, vidi, vici).
- Battle at Mount Tabor in Judea: Roman troops, commanded by Gabinius, defeat the forces of Alexander, son of Aristobulus II of Judea, attempting to re-establish Judean independence. Some 10,000 Jews died at the hands of the Romans.
- Consuls: Gaius Julius Caesar, Marcus Aemilius Lepidus
- Civil War:
- January 4 – Titus Labienus fights Julius Caesar in the Battle of Ruspina.
- April 6 – Julius Caesar defeats the combined army of Pompeian followers and Numidians under Metellus Scipio and Juba I of Numidia at Thapsus. After the battle Caesar grants Legio V Alaudae the right to bear the elephant symbol on its shields and standards, for bravery against a charge of elephants.
- April 20 – Cicero, in Rome, writes to Varro "If our voices are no longer heard in the Senate and in the Forum, let us follow the example of the ancient sages and serve our country through our writings, concentrating on questions of ethics and constitutional law."
- Caesar's erstwhile mistress, Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt, and his son by her, Caesarion, take up residence in one of the dictator's estates on the Tiber.
- September 26 – Julius Caesar dedicates a temple to his mythical ancestor Venus Genetrix in fulfillment of a vow he made at the battle of Pharsalus.
- November – Caesar leaves for Hispania to deal with a fresh outbreak of resistance.
- Caesar reforms the Roman calendar to create the Julian calendar. The transitional year is extended to 445 days to synchronize the new calendar and the seasonal cycle. The Julian Calendar would remain the standard in the western world for over 1600 years, until superseded by the Gregorian Calendar in 1582.
- Caesar appoints his nephew Octavian his heir.
- Caesar subdues a mutiny of his Tenth Legion.
- Caesar celebrates his Gallic Triumph, after which Vercingetorix is executed. The celebrations for forty days in Rome, included public banquets, plays and gladiatorial games.
- Vitruvius described Etruscan and Roman architecture.
- Consuls: Gaius Julius Caesar, without colleague.
- January 1 – The Julian calendar takes effect as the civil calendar of the Roman Empire, establishing January 1 as the new date of the new year.
- March 17 – Civil War: In his last victory, Julius Caesar defeats the Pompeian forces of Titus Labienus and Pompey the younger in the Battle of Munda. Labienus dies in battle, Pompey the younger is executed, but Sextus Pompey escapes to take command of the remnants of the Pompeian fleet.
- The veterans of Julius Caesar's Legions Legio XIII Gemina and Legio X Equestris demobilized. The veterans of the 10th legion are settled in Narbo, while those of the 13th are given somewhat better lands in Italia itself.
- Caesar is named dictator for life.
- Caesar probably writes his Commentaries in this year.
- Consuls: Gaius Julius Caesar (death), Mark Antony.
- February – Rome celebrates the festival of the Lupercal. Mark Antony presents Caesar with a royal diadem, urging him to take it and declare himself king. He refuses this offer and orders the crown to be placed in the Temple of Jupiter.
- March 15 (the Ides of March) – Julius Caesar, dictator of Rome, is assassinated by a group of senators, amongst them Gaius Cassius Longinus, Marcus Junius Brutus, and Caesar's Massilian naval commander, Decimus Brutus.
- March 20 – Caesar's funeral is held. Marcus Antony gives a eulogy and in his Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears speech he makes accusations of murder and ensures a permanent breach with the conspirators against Caesar. He snatches Caesar's purple toga to show the crowd the stab wounds, the citizens tear apart the forum and cremate their Caesar on a makeshift pyre. Antony becomes the first man in Rome.
- April – Octavian returns from Apollonia in Dalmatia to Rome to take up Caesar's inheritance, against advice from Atia (his mother and Caesar's niece) and consul Antony.
- April 18–April 21 – Octavian engages in a charm offensive with consular Cicero who is fulminating against Mark Antony.
- June – Antony is granted a five-year governorship of northern and central Transalpine Gaul (France) and Cisalpine Gaul (Northern Italy).
- September 2
- December – Antony besieges Brutus Albinus in Mutina (Modena), with Octavian, an ally of Decimus, who is one of his uncle's assassins, close by.
- A Denarius with a portrait of Julius Caesar is made. It is now kept at the American Numismatic Society in New York.
- Consuls: Gaius Vibius Pansa Caetronianus and Aulus Hirtius. The Roman Senate confirms Octavian as propraetor with joint responsibility for the campaign against Antony. Hirtius and Octavian mobilize troops for the march to Mutina, while Pansa continues the levy. Embassy dispatched to treat with Antony.
- Gaius Antonius is defeated by Marcus Junius Brutus at Dyrrachium. Brutus proceeds to secure his position in Thrace and Macedonia. Gaius Cassius Longinus campaigns in Syria and defeats the army of Publius Cornelius Dolabella at Laodicea.
- March – Vibius Pansa set out to link up with Hirtius and Octavian, bringing four legions of recruits, having left one, the legio urbana, to defend Rome.
- April 14 – Battle of Forum Gallorum: Mark Antony, besieging Caesar's assassin Decimus Brutus in Mutina, defeats the forces of the consul Pansa, but is then immediately defeated by the army of the other consul, Hirtius. Both consuls are killed (Hirtius does not die until after the Battle of Mutina).
- April 21
- Antony marches to Parma (which is sacked) and Placentia. He then crosses the Ligurian Alps to Vada Sabatia, 50 km (31 mi) south-west of Genoa, and joins with Aemilius Lepidus, soon after Decimus Brutus is killed by brigands. The Senate declares Antony a hostis, an enemy of the state. Sextus Pompey becomes supreme commander of the Roman navy and Gaius Cassius proconsul of Syria.
- Summer – Gaius Cassius captures Rhodes after refusing paying tribute. Their fleet is defeated by Roman galleys in the Aegean Sea. He lands a military force on the island and plunders the city. Cassius puts to death 50 of the leading citizens and seizes all the gold he could lay hands on.
- July–August – Antony is again at the head of a large army; Octavian enters Rome in force without opposition. It is clear that Cicero's plan to divide them against each other has failed.
- August 19th – Gaius Octavian taking office as consul, the day before his 20th birthday, is prevailed to pass the lex Pedia, a law establishing the murder of Caesar as a capital crime.
- November 26 – Octavian meets Antony and Lepidus in Bononia and the three enter into an official five-year autocratic pact, the Second Triumvirate (see lex Titia). To cement their reconciliation Octavian agrees to marry Clodia, a daughter of Antony's wife Fulvia by her former husband Publius Clodius Pulcher.
- November – The triumvirs introduce proscriptions in which allegedly 130 senators and 2,000 equites are branded as outlaws and deprived of their property.
- December 7 – Marcus Tullius Cicero is killed in Formiae in a litter going to the seaside, by a party led by Herennius (a centurion) and Popilius (a military tribune). His head and hands are displayed on the Rostra in the Forum Romanum.
- January – Publius Vatinius, governor of Illyricum, seized Dyrrachium and is forced to surrender his army (three legions) to Marcus Junius Brutus.
- Marcus Brutus begins to plunder the cities of Asia Minor, in order to obtain money and soldiers. The inhabitants of Lycia refused to submit to Rome, and Brutus besieged Xanthus. After destroying their suburbs, the Xanthians withdrew into the heavily fortified city. The Roman legionaries (2,000 men) forced the gate and fight their way into the forum. The citizens made an heroic stand by the temple of Sarpedon, as night falls the Roman army conquers the city. The Xanthians preferred to perish in the flames rather than to yield.
- The confederation of Lycia sent ambassadors to Brutus, promising to form a military league and contribute money for building ships. Gaius Cassius Longinus occupies Rhodes, and ordered all the other cities of Asia to pay a tribute for 10 years.
- July – Mark Antony lands with an army (28 legions) in Illyria, left Octavian ill at Dyrrachium and marched to Amphipolis. Admiral Ahenobarbus blockades with the Republican fleet (130 ships) the Adriatic Sea.
- August – Decidius Saxa and Gaius Norbanus Flaccus are appointed by Antony, to lead an advanced force of eight legions to Macedonia along the Via Egnatia into Thrace.
- September – Brutus and Cassius crossed the Hellespont, they marched to Doriscus but further progress is blocked by Saxa's occupation of the Corpili Pass.
- Saxa retreats to link up with Norbanus at the Sapaei Pass. The Republicans outflank the enemy, forging an alternate route through the mountains in the north.
- Brutus and Cassius advance to Philippi and built fortifications. Antony links up with Norbanus and Saxa at Amphipolis, Octavian arrives on a litter 10 days later.
- Sextus Pompeius leads in Sicily the naval operations in the Mediterranean Sea against the Triumvirs. He blockades the grain routes from Spain and Africa.
- October 3 – First Battle of Philippi: The Triumvirs Mark Antony and Octavian Caesar fight an indecisive battle with Caesar's assassins Marcus Brutus and Cassius. The Roman forces including 2,000 Spartans who just arrived are routed, Octavian takes refuge in the marsh. Cassius' camp is captured by Antony's men, wrongly fearing that Brutus is dead Cassius commits suicide. He ordered his freedman Pindarus to kill him, Brutus feared the impact on morale and secretly buried his beheaded body on Thasos. The Republican navy in the Adriatic, intercept and destroy the supply ships with two legions of the Triumvirs.
- October 23 – Second Battle of Philippi: Brutus' army is defeated by Antony and Octavian, the Triumvirs smash through the weakened Republican centre and take Brutus's right wing in its flank. After the battle 14.000 legionaries lay down their arms. Brutus fled to the heights of Philippi, where he commits suicide the following day. After the victory, Brutus' body is brought to Antonius' camp, where he cast his purple paludamentum over his dead body and orders an honourable funeral for his erstwhile comrade. The Republican cause crushed, Rome rested in the hands of the Second Triumvirate.
- Gaius Julius Caesar Octavian returns to Rome and arranged for ± 40.000 veterans settlements in Campania, Etruria, Picenum, Samnium, Umbria and in northern Italy.
- Consuls: Lucius Antonius and Publius Servilius Vatia Isauricus.
- Perusine War: An armed resistance breaks out across Italy; the Umbrian city of Sentinum is captured and destroyed by Quintus Salvidienus Rufus.
- Lucius Antonius occupies Perusia; he accepted the appeal of the local population. Lucius and Fulvia are defeated by Gaius Julius Caesar Octavian in the Battle of Perugia.
- Mark Antony meets Cleopatra VII in Tarsus (Cilicia) and formed an alliance. He returned to Alexandria with her and they become lovers in the winter of 41–40 BC. To safeguard herself and Caesarion, she had Antony order the execution of her (half) sister Arsinoe IV, who is living at the temple of Artemis in Ephesus.
- Consuls: Gnaeus Domitius Calvinus and Gaius Asinius Pollio.
- Siege of Perusia: After a last attempt to break the siege, which failed; Lucius Antonius surrenders to Octavian. His life is spared, but the citizens are executed or sold in slavery. Fulvia fled with her children and is exiled to Sicyon, where she died of a sudden illness.
- Spring – Quintus Salvidienus Rufus marches to Transalpine Gaul to take command of the eleven legions, after the death of Quintus Fufius Calenus. Octavian divorced Clodia Pulchra and marries Scribonia, a sister of Lucius Scribonius Libo and a follower of Sextus.
- Sextus Pompey dispatched Menas with four legions and captured Sardinia, driving out Octavian's governor Marcus Lurius. He seized the capital, Caralis and occupied Corsica. Sextus besieged Cosenza in Bruttium and Thurii in Lucania, ravaging the territory with his cavalry.
- Sextus' fleet raides the ports of Puteoli and Ostia. The populace hold the Triumvirs responsible for prolonging the war, they provoked a riot on the Forum. Octavian with the Praetorian Guard went to intercept, he escaped with his life because Antony summoned troops to rescue his junior colleague.
- Treaty of Brundisium: The Triumvirs agreed to divide the Roman Republic into spheres of influence. Gaius Octavian styled himself "Imperator Caesar" and takes control of the Western provinces. Mark Antony is given the Eastern provinces; the River Drin, the boundary between the provinces Illyricum and Macedonia, would serve as their frontier. Marcus Aemilius Lepidus controls Hispania and Africa. The treaty is cemented by the marriage of Antony and Octavia, sister of Octavian.
- Quintus Labienus occupied Cilicia and marched with an army into Anatolia. Most cities surrendered without resistance, except for Alabanda and Mylasa. The Parthians restored their territory to nearly the limits of the old Achaemenid Empire, Labienus proclaimed himself "Parthian Emperor" of Asia Minor.
- Mark Antony leaves Alexandria; after receiving news of the outcome at Perusia while en route to Phoenicia, he sets sail for Italy meeting the ambassadors of Sextus Pompey in Athens.
- Athenodorus a philosopher, encounters a ghost in Athens. This popular story is one of the first of the poltergeist stories in history.
- Pacorus crosses with help of Quintus Labienus the Euphrates and invades Syria. The capital Antioch surrenders, the Parthians takes Phoenicia and Judea, the fortified city of Tyre can not besiege because they have no fleet.
- Parthians conquer Jerusalem. Hyrcanus II is removed from power, while Antigonus the Hasmonean becomes king of Judea under Parthian rule. Herod the Great flees Jerusalem to Rome. There he is titled king of Judea by Mark Antony.
- The Ji Jiu Pian dictionary published in this year during the Han Dynasty is the earliest known reference to the hydraulic-powered trip hammer device.
- Julius Caesar, Roman dictator (lived 100–44 BC, term 46–44 BC)
- Marcus Junius Brutus, Roman politician (85–42 BC)
- Mark Antony, Roman politician and general (83–30 BC)
- Pharaoh Cleopatra VII of Egypt (lived 70/69–30 BC, reigned 51–30 BC)—enters her twenties, has son Caesarion with Julius Caesar, before meeting Mark Antony
- Gaius Iulius Caesar Octavianus, Roman politician and general (62 BC–AD 14)
- Pharaoh Ptolemy XV Caesarion (lived 47–30 BC, reigned 44–30 BC)
- Gaius Cassius Longinus, Roman politician (died 42 BC)
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March 2016)
- Tiberius Claudius Nero, better known as Tiberius. He was born in 42 BC, and eventually became a Roman emperor.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March 2016)