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48 BC-44 BC: The Page Turns (Cupiditate Regni Adductus)

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This is Part Two of the Cupiditate Regni Adductus timeline. Read my editorial policy (on homepage) before editing.

48BC
The Mediterranean in 48 BC, right before POD 2. Red-Area under control of Caesar. Salmon-Dependencies of Caesar (Eastern Mauritania, the Thrace, the Hasmonean Kingdom

IturaeaEmessa , and Palmyra .)

Turquoise-Areas under Pompeian forces. Lime-Western Mauritania, an ally of Pompey. Navy Blue-Numidia, also allied with Pompey.

Perriwinkle-Ptolemaic Kingdom

Dark Green-Dacia Green-Parthia Purple-Pontus Brown-Natbea


Dark Blue-Armenia (client of Parthia) Yellow-Meroe  White-Tribes or other small states

48 BC

September: Caesar and Cleopatra VII

are killed in Alexandria. Arsinoe IV
and Ptolemy XIII
become co-Pharaohs of Egypt, with Achillas

, Theodotus of Chios

and Ganymedes

as generals and advisors.

Ganymedes and Achillas cut the water supplies of Alexandria. The Egyptian fleet successfully prevents the thirteenth legion and Mithridates of Pergamon

from relieving the city. In early October, the remaining Caesarian forces surrender.

Caesar's death sends shock waves through the Roman world. Mark Antony

assumed de facto control of Caesar's armies, due to Octavian
being only fifteen. However, four veteran legions encamped near Rome revolt over pay, led by a general named Publius Cornelius Dolabella

. All attempts at negotiation fail, and the legionnaires plunder Latium and Campania. Meanwhile, the Pompeians take the opportunity to attack western Mauritana, under King Bogud

and a Caesarian adventurer, Publius Sittius

. The Caesarians are defeated by the Numidian general Saburra

and Pompeian forces at Tigni.

Upon hearing of Caesar's death, Mithridates III immediately orders Surena

to begin an invasion of Syria. They succeed in conquering Syria and the Roman client states around it. Mithridates wisely remembers the Parthian allowance of religious freedom in Judea.

The Pontic army under Pharnaces II

defeats a Caesarian force under Gnaeus Domitius Calvinus

at Nicopolis, but fails to exploit the victory, due to internal affairs.




China

Emperor Yuan of Han , becomes emperor of Han Dynasty (Cupiditate Regni Adductus), succeeding his father, Xuan. Yuan sets the following in effect: a reduction of government spending to fund a large social program, places Confucians in key positions, and declares Wang Zhengjun , as empress and Prince Ao

as crown prince. However, the Emperor's advisers soon split into two camps, the Confucians, consisting of the emperor's teachers, Xiao and Zhao, as well as two imperial functionaries, Liu Gengsheng
and Jin Chang

. The anti-Confucians, or the 'court faction' consisted of Ished to Ke, the emperor's cousin, Shi , and officials Hong Gong

and Shi Xian

. The Confucians wished for Zhou-style bureaucracy, while the court faction wished to keep the status quo.

47 BC

At the beginning of the year, the situation in the Western Mediterranean looks as such: As Caesar's fleet still holds slight superiority, the twelve Pompeian legions in Africa, under Metellus Scipio , Juba I , Marcus Petreius , Titus Labienus , Publius Attius Varus

and Cato the Younger

, as well as three in Hispania , under Sextus Pompey

and Gnaeus Pompey

, must wait until a fleet is built. Mark Antony, now with five legions and Pergamene troops, marches south to confront Dolabella, whose men have looted their way north, their leader taking an ample cut.

The East

The Parthian army continues its campaign of conquest. The Parthians destroy the power of Pontus

in a three day campaign, culminating in the Battle of Comana
and Surena's remark, "We Rode. They Saw. They Fled." It is also Orodes III

's first battle. Though the Pontic King, Pharnaces II , escaped, one of his advisors, Asander , killed him, and gave the remaining troops to the Parthians. Mithridates rewarded him with the title of Satrap. Rome's eastern provinces prove vulnerable, due to Antony stripping them of troops, and Surena's troops only stop at the sea. Barzapharnes 's army turns south and destroys Natbea. The Egyptian army meets the Parthian in the Battle of Gaza . The Ptolemaic is all but destroyed in an hour. Three weeks later, Mithridates and Surena seize Alexandria. The Meroens attempt to seize southern Egypt, but the Parthians force them back. Their conquest is not a priority for Mithridates, so a peace treaty is signed with them. The Egyptian leaders commit suicide after their defeats, ending the Ptolemaic dynasty. Mithridates is crowned Pharaoh. The Parthians spend the rest of the year building a navy. However, they do conquer Gerrha

and Mazun

, in the Eastern Arab peninsula. Mithridates orders that hoplite forces be raised, using surviving Pontic officers as teachers.

The West

Antony's men march south from Rome and confront Dolabella outside the small town of Aquae Salviae. Dolabella's veterans carve through Antony's green troops, but Antony saves his army by using the Pergamene troops and his cavalry to outflank Dolabella. When night falls, Antony retreats behind the walls of Rome. Dolabella besieges the city, but has no engines to demolish the walls. Quintus Pedius

attempts to relieve the city, but his raw recruits fail. The siege proceeds for a month, after which Dolabella's men, (now swelled by escaped and freed slaves) begin to wish easier targets. Meanwhile, in the Battle of Cape Pachynus

, the Pompeian fleet, under Sextus, defeats the Caesarian, under Gaius Didus , though Didius himself, along with several others, manage to flee. The fifteen Pompeian legions then land in southern Italia . In Gaul , now stripped of troops, the locals rise up and expel the few Roman garrisons left. News of the Pompeian landings destroys the morale of Antony's army. Most either lay down their arms and go home or join Dolabella. Watching their men open the gates of Rome to Dolabella, Antony and Octavian commit suicide. In the chaos, Vercingetorix

manages to escape, and joins with the Gauls, becoming their leader once more. Mithridates of Pergamon negotiates safe passage for his troops to Greece

. Dolabella attempts to keep his troops orderly, but they sack Rome and devolve into undisciplined bands, most looting their way north. Dolabella himself takes a quite large slice. The Pompeians land against virtually no resistance and drive out Dolabella's brigands. Dolabella himself dies trying to escape. Vergetorix thinks that the Gauls should retreat to build up their forces, but the other Gallic chiefs wish to attack. The question is settled when a large Gallic detachment is wiped out by the Pompeians.

China

The internal infighting continues. Hong and Shi use legal loopholes to have Zhao, Liu, and Xiao thrown out of court. Furthermore, Xiao commits suicide after being framed. Yuan gives Xiao an honorable funeral, and shows anger towards Hong and Shi, but does not punish them. Hong dies late in the year of natural causes.

46 BC

The Parthians have finished building their navy and ferry their army to Byzantium , which they seize. Mithridates of Pergamon organizes the Greeks into the Hellenic League , mainly anti-Parthian, but with significant anti-Roman elements. Burebista

of Dacia signs a treaty with Parthia and launches raids into Thrace. The Hellenic forces meet Burebista at Nicopolis and defeat the Dacians, who withdraw northward. However, the Hellenic army is destroyed and Mithridates of Pergamon killed when they face the Parthians at Plotinopolis. In Rome, Cassius

, due to his reputation of beating the Parthians earlier, and Sextus Pompey are elected consuls for the year, also representing the more and less radical republicans, respectively. Sextus takes charge of the fleet and Cassius takes command of the army, which lands in Epirus. He quickly forces the Greeks into surrender. Meanwhile, Surena seizes Macedonia, and advances into northern Thessaly. Cassius marches north to engage. He emplaces his army in a long defensive line at Olooson, centered around an infantry line covered by Numidians, and large numbers of caltrops. Surena's initial attacks are repulsed on the first day, but Cassius has expended most of his caltrops. On the second day, Surena sends in his infantry to pin the Roman infantry into place and then retreat, allowing his cataphracts to get close without being hindered by the caltrops. However, Cassius manages to retreat in good order. When asked what defeated him, he said, "Lack of Caltrops." He withdraws south, towards Boetia. He establishes a defensive line at Chaeronea, complete with onagri and ballistae equipped to fire caltrops, and waits. Surena attacks for three days and finds no success. Surena chooses to exploit the Parthian's superior mobility and marches around Cassius' line, forcing him to retreat south, across Lake Copais. The two armies then race to Thebes. The Parthians surround the city, but in a bloody and desperate battle, Cassius' forces break through to the city. Both armies are exhausted. However, Cassius launches a surprise attack in the middle of the night on the Parthian camps, and gains a significant victory. The Parthians retreat northward. Meanwhile, the Parthians land and seize Euboea. A stalemate takes hold. The Parthians cannot break Cassius' defensive lines, but the Romans can't close with the fast-moving Parthians. Near the end of the year, a peace treaty is signed between the two powers. In Greece, the Parthians keep southern Thrace, Macedonia, Thessaly, and all the Greek isles. The Parthians keep all their other conquests.

China

Emperor Yuan, due to budget difficulties, orders Hainan abandoned. He also brings Zhou and his student, Zhang Meng, strengthening the Confucians.

45 BC

Rome and Parthia both wish to take all of Greece for themselves, but choose to wait before confronting the the other great power. In Rome, Cato the Younger

and Gnaeus Pompey are elected consuls. In the east, most Parthian troops face Rome, but early in the year, Parthia conquers Medinitae

, the western OTL Arabian peninsula. In Rome, serious dispute begins between the Liberators , more devoted to the republic, led by Cato, Cicero , Marcus Junius Brutus , and Cassius, and the neo-Populares, led by the generals, over the issue of which parts of the Marian reforms, if any, should be repealed in order to prevent another Caesar. The Senate overwhelmingly supports the Liberators, but are blocked by the Plebian Tribunes. The proverbial pot boils over when Cassius is nearly killed by a hired mob. The liberators gather all the troops and civilians they can, and flee to North Africa. Metellus Scipio gathers ten legions and thanks to the fleet of Sextus, lands easily. However, at the Battle of Utica , Scipio's force is utterly defeated, and the general, along with Marcus Petrius and Publius Attius Varus, killed. However, Titus Labienus distinguishes himself by saving the army and leading it back to the sea. Stripped of troops, Greece up to Illyricum falls to Parthia. Despite many voices urging him to, Mithridates does not attempt to avenge on the Greeks. At this time, he assumed the title, 'The Great.' Many Greeks flee to one of the Romes. Later in the year, the Parthians conquer the rest of OTL's Arabian peninsula.

44 BC

Leaving Barzaphanes to keep order in Greece, the main Parthian army turns east, against the Pahlavas , marking the start of Mithridate's Eastern Campaign . At the Battle of Arachosia , the Pahlava army is crushed, and the Pahlava king, Gondophares , killed. However, it takes the Parthians the rest of the year to secure their new conquests against the Indo-Scythians and the Mathura .

In Dacia, against orders, some nobles attack the Parthians. Barzapharnes drives the Dacians from Thrace, and prepares to cross the Danube.

In the west, the neo-Populares prepare for a campaign to retake Gaul. However, in a meeting beforehand, Titus Labienus surprises, arrests and kills Gnaeus and Sextus Pompey. He then declares himself dictator for life, and begins campaigning against the Gauls. Vercingetorix fights hard, and Titus only takes a quarter of the country by year's end. This is considered the traditional date for the end of the Roman Republic.

In Africa, the Liberators join with the kings of Numidia and Mauritania to form a new Roman Republic, eventually known as the African Republic . The kings become 'extraconsuls,' having veto power over the senate, so long as they both agree, but can be overturned by a three-quarters majority.

China

Emperor Yuan makes Gong Yu , a Confucian, (though one who does not wish infighting) vice prime minister. His services come in need when trouble emerges with the Xiongnu , who have split into two, the south under a Han ally, Chanyu Huhanye , and the northwest, under Chanyu Zhizhi , who despite sending his son, Juyulishou , has launched many raids on the Wusun , a Han ally. Zhizhi now demands his son back. Yuan sends Juyulishou back, with a guard commander, Gu Ji. Gong senses treachery, and tells Gu to let Juyulishou go alone past Han borders, but Gu convinces Yuan otherwise. At Zhizhi's capital, Jiankun , Gong's suspicions prove right, and Gu pays with his life. Zhizhi joins with Kangju

to conquer Wusun. Despite heavy losses, Wusun holds.

Next: 43-?BC: Dismounting

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