Ptolemy XIII

Battle of Pharsalus – August 8, 48 BC

Pharsalus, modern-day Farsala, is a city in central Greece, in southern Thessaly. It was the site of one of the most important Roman battles – the climactic clash between Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great, on August 9, 48 BC. When Caesar crossed the Rubicon River with Legio XIII Gemina, a treasonous act in January of 49 BC, he knew he was declaring war against the Senate and the optimates. Although he was heading from Gaul to Rome with only one legion, it was enough to force Pompey and most of the Senate to flee to Greece. Caesar didn’t have the resources to chase them, so he worked to strengthen his forces and through Spain gained the fleet he needed. Pompey had the backing of most of the Senate and had a far more substantial number of troops to command. However, the army Caesar did have...

Ptolemy XIII – March 25, 47 BC

At the time, Cleopatra VII Thea Philopater was coregent with her father, Ptolemy XII Neos Dionysos Theos Philopater Theos Philadelphos, before his death. During Spring, 51 BC, Ptolemy XIII Theos Philopater succeeded his father, and became co-ruler with his sister, Cleopatra, as per Ptolemy’s will, executed by the Roman Senate. Cleopatra married her co-ruler brother, and their leadership roles reversed in October, 50 BC. Since Ptolemy was only 11 or 12 at the time, the eunuch Pothinus was appointed regent for him. Cleopatra was seven years older than her brother and over the next two years her influence as queen grew steadily – her portrait appeared on coinage, whereas Ptolemy’s name didn’t appear on official documents. In Spring, 48 BC, Ptolemy and Pothinus attempted to depose Cleopatra, b...

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