The Coins of Munda. Part One;

The Battle of Munda…

March 17, 46 BC…

Written by Jesús Vico and Marisa Ollero;

During the Civil Wars, the Republicans had initially been led by Pompey, until the Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC and Pompey’s death soon afterwards. However, in April 46 BC, Caesar’s forces destroyed the Pompeian army at the Battle of Thapsus.
After this, military opposition to Caesar was confined to Hispania (the Iberian Peninsula, comprising modern Spain and Portugal). During the spring of 46 BC, two legions in Hispania Ulterior, largely formed by former Pompeian veterans enrolled in Caesar’s army, had declared themselves for Gnaeus Pompeius (son of Pompey the Great) and driven out Caesar’s proconsul. Soon they were joined by the remnants of the Pompeian army. These forces were commanded by the brothers Gnaeus Pompeius and Sextus (sons of Pompey) and by the talented general Titus Labienus, who had been one of the most trusted of Caesar’s generals during the Gallic Wars. Using the resources of the province they were able to raise an army of three legions. These were the two original veteran legions, and one additional legion recruited from Roman citizens and local inhabitants in Hispania. They took control of almost all Hispania Ulterior, including the important Roman colonies of Italica and Corduba (the capital of the province). Caesar’s generals Quintus Fabius Maximus and Quintus Pedius did not risk a battle and remained encamped at Obulco (present-day Porcuna), about 56 km east of Corduba, requesting help from Caesar.vcoins
Thus, Caesar was forced to move from Rome to Hispania to deal with the Pompeius brothers. He brought two trusted veteran legions (X Equestris and V Alaudae) and some newer legions (including III Gallica and VI Ferrata), but in the main was forced to rely on the recruits already present in Hispania. Caesar covered the 2,400 km from Rome to Obulco in less than one month, arriving in early December (he immediately wrote a short poem, Iter, describing this journey). Caesar had called for his great-nephew Octavian to join him, but due to his health, Octavian was only able to reach him after the conclusion of the campaign; continued in part two…

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