Great Roman Civil War

Caesar's African campaign
47 BCE Dec 25

Caesar's African campaign

Sousse, Tunisia

Caesar ordered his men to gather in Lilybaeum on Sicily in late December. He placed a minor member of the Scipio family – one Scipio Salvito or Salutio – on this staff because of the myth that no Scipio could be defeated in Africa. He assembled six legions there and set out for Africa on 25 December 47 BC. The transit was disrupted by a storm and strong winds; only around 3,500 legionaries and 150 cavalry landed with him near the enemy port of Hadrumentum. Apocryphally, when landing, Caesar fell onto the beach but was able to successfully laugh the bad omen off when he grabbed two handfuls of sand, declaring "I have hold of you, Africa!".