The Battle of the Nile
in 47 BC saw the combined Roman
armies of Julius Caesar
and Cleopatra VII
defeat those of the rival Queen Arsinoe IV
and King Ptolemy XIII
and secure the throne of Egypt.
After pursuing his rival Pompey
to Egypt, Caesar, recently victorious in a civil war
closer to home, became entwined in the Alexandrine civil war after his rival, Pompey
Magnus, was killed in an attempt to please Caesar.
From August 48 until January 47, Caesar was besieged in Alexandria
, Egypt with about 4,000 men. He was attempting to adjudicate the Egyptian Civil War between Ptolemy XIII and his sister Cleopatra. When Caesar began to appear to favor Cleopatra over him, Ptolemy fled, or was released by Caesar, and gathered his army to besiege the Romans in a small area of Alexandria.
The Egyptians could never completely cut the Romans off from reinforcements and resupply, but had begun to get the upper hand by January. Caesar had requested reinforcements from his ally, Mithridates of Pergamum
, who marched overland from Asia Minor
to assist him. Arriving in the Nile
delta in January, Mithridates defeated one Egyptian force sent to stop him. Caesar, getting a message that his allies were close, left a small garrison in Alexandria and hurried to meet them. The combined force, about 20,000 strong, met the Egyptians in February 47 BC at the Battle of the Nile. The Egyptian army, equipped in the Greek manner, was probably about the same size.
Caesar attacked the Egyptians in... Read More