Alternate History

Julius Caesar Survives

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The Rule of Caesar

On the Ides of March in 50 BCE Gaius Julius Caesar, Dictator of Rome and Imperator of the Gaulic Legions was informed of a plot to kill him in a petition he received on the way to the Senate House. He orders a personal slave to have his bodyguard and lictors to assemble near the Senate door and recalls Marcus Antonius, the ruling Consul, from a meeting and has him meet Caesar at the Senate for the day's session. As warned, the assassins attack and attempt to kill Caesar, but with Antonius there and the lictors and bodyguards coming in at the first sign of trouble, Caesar lives with only minor wounds. The so called "Liberators" are arrested, and tried for treason.

Caesar recovers and begins to set the Republic to rights by filling the vacancies made by Senators tried for treason or for those who have been strck off the lists by the Caesarian Censors for treason, loss of property qualification, or immorality with loyal Italian tribes and Plebs. Using his power as Dictator he gives them land and income to qualify.

Caesar's Reforms

Caesar launches a series of reforms to change the way the Republic functions. First, he establishes a professional civil service that ensures that Senators have professional advice in all their domestic and provincial posts, and to replace the tax farmers that were gouging the provinces and to keep governors in line. Second, he orders the construction of a canal from Ostia to Rome and an expansion of the port. Next, Caesar professionalises the legal profession, creating licences for lawyers, has Roman Law codified, and makes the ad hoc courts continuous.

Most of the Republican offices are retained, but Caesar leaves reliable lieutenants in the Senate, the Plebian Council, and courts. Caesar leaves for his campaign east.

Caesar's Campaign

The Caesarian Legions that were used in the Gallic and Civil Wars serve as the core for a new force of 16 legions that will first be battle hardened with a punitive campaign in Spain to bring the entire peninsula under Roman yoke, and then will attack and conquer Parthia. After that Caesar will march through the Carpathian Mountains and the army will hug the Black Sea coast and march through the Russii plains and move into the backdoor of Europa and attack the Germanic and Slavic tribes from the rear, while Marcus Antonius launches a series of border offensives to keep the barbarians off balance and to protect the frontier with a roving army of four legions in addition to the frontier forces.

The campaign starts in 45 BCE and Parthia defends itself at the border and falls back to Guagamela, and fights the Romans with cavalry. Caesar studied the campaigns of Crassus and doesn't fall for the trap of just staying in a large infantry formation but uses his cavalry to counter Parthian cavalry, then break the Parthian line and have the legions follow up and roll up the line. Caesar's reserve cohorts repulse a last ditch cavalry charge from the Parthian right that smashes back into the Parthian centre and sends the Parthian army into chaos and a route. 120,000 Parthians are either killed, captured, or desert. The Romans march on the Parthian capital and crush a reserve force of fresh levies that are gathering there and kill the entire Parthian royal family, most of the aristocracy and instal Roman governors and garrisons in Assyria, Mesopotamia, and western Parthia and them march north, having the five frontier legions move up and take up occupying duties. Two new legions are dispatched from Rome to reinforce.

Caesar crosses the Carpathians and moves through southern Russii territory with little difficulty. Native scouts and an advancing screening of Roman scouts and light cavalry allow Caesar to move from a mountain pass near the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea and into Europa. Caesar has only lost ten percent of his force due to raiding, wounds, and plague. He disbands the weakest legions and merges them with the rest to bring the others up to full strength.

Marcus Antonius has succeeded in keeping the barbarians off balance by attacking an area, then moving on to the next weakest target, operating more like a large raiding force rather then a regular army. While campaigning in Dacia he hears rumours of a large army coming from the east moving west and assumes that it is Caesar's. He marshals his army, as it is stretched out in cohort sized formations that rally at specific areas for battle the disperse, following the terrain and assembling in an area of a target and attacked it. After assembling his forces Antonius marched deep into the centre of Europa following rumours of that eastern army. After encountering the southern edge of a massive marsh Antonius's cavalry meet's Caesar's and a brief skirmish occurs in the mist until identification is established. THe two armies meet and them march into Germania together crossing the Elbe they drive Germans to the Roman frontier in the Rhine and smash them, annihilating then at the battle of Tuetemborg.

Germania is turned into a Roman province, and the frontier is pushed to the Great Marshes. Leaving seven legions behind at various points, plus the frontier force from the Danube and the Rhine redeployed, Caesar turns his attention to Britain.

He lands in Britain with eight legions and marches up the island along the coast. After a year campaigning most of southern Britain is under Roman control and Caesar moves into the midlands. Within six months the whole of the island is largely under Roman control and four legions are left to occupy and solidify Roman rule. Taking Antonius's four legions home with him, Caesar returns to Rome having conquered most of the known world and more then doubled Roman territory.

Caesar's Return

Rome is at peace with it's Senate content in its new advisory role. Caesar lives another twenty years ruling Rome, and grooms his great-nephew Octavian to succeed him. Antonius dies on an inspection tour of Parthia of malaria and Octavian is named Caesar's heir. The Empire is born.

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