The Ten Greatest Military Tacticians in History

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8. Julius Caesar

Gaius Julius Caesar is regarded as one of the best military general and leaders in the history of the Roman Empire. He formed the First Triumvirate with Pompey the Great and Crassus after he was elected consul and proconsul in 59 BC. He was given the Cisalpine and Transalpine provinces and made a name for himself after successful campaigns that led to the annexation of Gaul (modern-day France), parts of Germany and Britain. His forces were even able to subdue Celtic tribes in Brittany and Normandy.

At the Battle of Alesia in 52 BC, he was outnumbered by Vercingetorix’s troops 60,000 to 80,000 with 100,000 more incoming reinforcements for Vercingetroix. So Caesar fought a war of attrition. He ordered the construction of a circumvallation around the city. When some of the enemy troops escaped looking for reinforcements, he ordered a contravallation to be built.Despite being attacked on both sides, Caesar and his army were still able to defeat the relief army and force them to retreat. Vercingetorix surrendered the next morning.

His growing power scared many in the Senate and they asked him to dissolve his forces. He refused and marched across the Alps with his army, which was prohibited by the Senate. This started a civil war that was to last until late 49 BC, where he emerged as victorious over Pompey and Crassus. He chased Pompey to Egypt, and upon arriving there he fell in love with  Cleopatra and stayed in Egypt for years. When he finally did return to Rome it was as a victorious leader.

Although he became a dictator for life in 44 BC, he was later assassinated by several senators who had conspired against him. He was supposed to appear at a session of the Senate on the Ides of March on 15 March of 44 BC when the assassination plan was carried out.

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