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Caesar at Play: Some Preparations for the Parthian Campaign, 44 BCE

Caesar at Play: Some Preparations for the Parthian Campaign, 44 BCE This study examines three instances of Caesar's public behaviour in January-March 44, the last ten weeks of his life: the assumption of a new and unprecedented dictator title; his appearance at the Lupercalia to certify to all that he was not interested in becoming king; and the extraordinary innovation of personal coin portraiture. The thesis is that in each case he was preparing politically for the Parthian Expedition, scheduled to begin on the 19 March. And each demonstrates his inventiveness and energy in facing unusual problems. Keywords: Caesar, dictator, Lupercalia, denarii, portrait The historians, both ancient and modern, tell us nothing about Caesar's Parthian Campaign, since of course it never happened. They also tell us virtually nothing about the preparations for the campaign, although these did happen and had consequences. They were bound to have occupied Caesar's mind intensively in 45 and 44 BCE.1 The new campaign was not to resemble a quick trip to Africa (as in 46) or to Spain (45), those mopping-up operations against Pompeian left-overs. In this case the punishment of Dacian trouble-makers in Macedonia was to be followed by a lengthy, full-scale attack on the Parthian Empire. For that the preparations will have http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Ancient History de Gruyter

Caesar at Play: Some Preparations for the Parthian Campaign, 44 BCE

Journal of Ancient History , Volume 3 (2) – Dec 1, 2015

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 by the
ISSN
2324-8106
eISSN
2324-8114
DOI
10.1515/jah-2015-0018
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study examines three instances of Caesar's public behaviour in January-March 44, the last ten weeks of his life: the assumption of a new and unprecedented dictator title; his appearance at the Lupercalia to certify to all that he was not interested in becoming king; and the extraordinary innovation of personal coin portraiture. The thesis is that in each case he was preparing politically for the Parthian Expedition, scheduled to begin on the 19 March. And each demonstrates his inventiveness and energy in facing unusual problems. Keywords: Caesar, dictator, Lupercalia, denarii, portrait The historians, both ancient and modern, tell us nothing about Caesar's Parthian Campaign, since of course it never happened. They also tell us virtually nothing about the preparations for the campaign, although these did happen and had consequences. They were bound to have occupied Caesar's mind intensively in 45 and 44 BCE.1 The new campaign was not to resemble a quick trip to Africa (as in 46) or to Spain (45), those mopping-up operations against Pompeian left-overs. In this case the punishment of Dacian trouble-makers in Macedonia was to be followed by a lengthy, full-scale attack on the Parthian Empire. For that the preparations will have

Journal

Journal of Ancient Historyde Gruyter

Published: Dec 1, 2015

References