Great Roman Civil War

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46 BCE Apr 3

Battle of Thapsus

Ras Dimass, Tunisia

The forces of the Optimates, led by Quintus Caecilius Metellus Scipio, were decisively defeated by the veteran forces loyal to Julius Caesar. It was followed shortly by the suicides of Scipio and his ally, Cato the Younger, Numidian King Juba, his Roman peer Marcus Petreius, and the surrender of Cicero and others who accepted Caesar's pardon.


The battle preceded peace in Africa—Caesar pulled out and returned to Rome on July 25 of the same year. However, Caesar's opposition was not done yet; Titus Labienus, the sons of Pompey, Varus and several others managed to gather another army in Baetica in Hispania Ulterior. The civil war was not finished, and the Battle of Munda would soon follow. The Battle of Thapsus is generally regarded as marking the last large scale use of war elephants in the West.

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