Battle of MundaLantejuela, Spain
The Battle of Munda (17 March 45 BC), in southern Hispania Ulterior, was the final battle of Caesar's civil war against the leaders of the Optimates. With the military victory at Munda and the deaths of Titus Labienus and Gnaeus Pompeius (eldest son of Pompey), Caesar was politically able to return in triumph to Rome, and then govern as the elected Roman dictator. Subsequently, the assassination of Julius Caesar began the Republican decline that led to the Roman Empire, initiated with the reign of the emperor Augustus.
Caesar left his legate Quintus Fabius Maximus to besiege Munda and moved to pacify the province. Corduba surrendered: men in arms present in the town (mostly armed slaves) were executed and the city was forced to pay a heavy indemnity. The city of Munda held out for some time, but, after an unsuccessful attempt to break the siege, surrendered, with 14,000 prisoners taken. Gaius Didius, a naval commander loyal to Caesar, hunted down most of the Pompeian ships. Gnaeus Pompeius looked for refuge on land, but was cornered during the Battle of Lauro and killed.
Although Sextus Pompeius remained at large, after Munda there were no more conservative armies challenging Caesar's dominion. Upon his return to Rome, according to Plutarch, the "triumph which he celebrated for this victory displeased the Romans beyond any thing. For he had not defeated foreign generals, or barbarian kings, but had destroyed the children and family of one of the greatest men of Rome." Caesar was made dictator for life, though his success was short-lived;