Lydia and the ‘Place of Prayer’ at Philippi | Marg Mowczko
SCENE I. The plains of Philippi. Enter OCTAVIUS They mean to warn us at Philippi here, Answering before we To meet all perils very constantly. BRUTUS . To tell thee thou shalt see me at Philippi. GHOST. To tell you that you'll see me at Philippi. BRUTUS. Well, then I shall see thee again? BRUTUS. Then I'll. Battle of Philippi, (3 and 23 October 42 bce). The climactic battle in the war that followed the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 bce, Philippi saw the final.
But ultimately it was to rule the world! October 3, 42 BC The battle of Philippi actually took place in two separate phases. The first occurred on October 3rd, and the second, a few weeks later. This occurred on his birthday with the help of Pindarus. Ironically, Cassius used the same dagger that he used to kill Julius Caesar!
Brutus lost an experienced general and had his remains cremated and buried on the island of Thassos, just off the coast from Philippi. An interesting side note: I have tried to follow up on this report but have not been successful. Whether it is true or not, remains a mystery to me.
Brutus, on the other hand, was victorious. His forces overran the camp of Octavian and plundered it, but they did not pursue the enemy. Their greed for material possessions robbed them of the ultimate victory over their foes!
Octavian was fortunate to escape with his life.YouTube Rome The Battle of Philippi 1
He had been sick the whole campaign. While lying in bed the night before the battle, he was warned in a dream to flee the camp. The superstitious Octavian heeded the warning and fled the camp. His life was spared and he went on to eventually rule the world!
Philippi (42 BCE)
The first battle ended in a stalemate. Both sides won a victory and both sides suffered a defeat. But Brutus lost a good general. For the next three weeks, Brutus carried out a war of attrition with the opposing forces. Among other things, he diverts the river to flood the camps of Mark Antony and Octavian. Their troops were not happy campers! October 23, 42 BC Just before the second battle of Philippi, there were several ill-omens for Brutus.
Brutus realized this was not going to be his day! By all accounts, Brutus should have won the day. He had superior forces and a superior position. Mark Antony and Octavian were running out of money and food, and their supplies were cut off.
They also found out that the Liberators navies had defeated their navies in the Ionian Sea. Their forces were getting weaker. Brutus only finds this out right before the battle. From a military perspective, Brutus should have waited a bit longer, but the battle ensued.
At the end of the day, Mark Antony was victorious. Brutus, a man of virtue and honor, committed suicide. Mark Antony had some respect for Brutus and gave him a proper Roman burial. His head, however, was decapitated and sent to Rome to be placed at the foot of a statue of Julius Caesar!
The Aftermath of the Battle Brutus and Cassius had both committed suicide. After the battle was over, a general amnesty was proclaimed and many of Brutus and Cassius forces joined Antony and Octavian. This was the high-point in the military career of Mark Antony. He was a great general, but he had the morals of an alley cat. The triumvirs had to send a legion south to Achaia to collect more supplies.
The morale of the troops was boosted by the promise of a further 5, denarii for each soldier and 25, for each centurion. Brutus had less military experience than Cassius and, even worse, he could not command the same respect from his allies and his soldiers, although after the battle he offered another gift of 1, denarii for each soldier.
In the next three weeks, Antony was able to slowly advance his forces south of Brutus's army, fortifying a hill close to Cassius's former camp, which had been left unguarded by Brutus. Second Battle of Philippi To avoid being outflanked Brutus was compelled to extend his line to the south and then the east, parallel to the Via Egnatia, building several fortified posts. While still holding the high ground he wanted to keep to the original plan of avoiding an open engagement and waiting for his naval superiority to wear out the enemy.
The traditional understanding is that Brutus, against his better judgment, subsequently abandoned this strategy because his officers and soldiers were tired of the delaying tactics and demanded he offer another open battle.
Brutus and his officers may have feared that their soldiers would desert to the enemy if they appeared to have lost the initiative. Plutarch also reports that Brutus had not received news of Domitius Calvinus' defeat in the Ionian Sea.
As he said "I seem to carry on war like Pompey the Great, not so much commanding as commanded. If the triumvirs were allowed to continue stretching their lines unimpeded to the east they would ultimately cut off his supply route to Neapolis and pin him against the mountains. If that happened, the tables would be turned; Brutus would either be starved into submission or be forced to retreat by taking his entire army via the hazardous northern trail that had brought him to Philippi.
The battle which ensued resulted in close combat between two armies of well-trained veterans. Ranged weapons such as arrows or javelins were largely ignored; instead, the soldiers packed into solid ranks and fought face-to-face with their swords, and the slaughter was terrible.
But the eastern flank of Brutus's line had inferior numbers because it had been extended to avoid being outflanked. Having broken through, the triumvirs swung to their left to take Brutus in his flank and rear.
Octavian's soldiers were able to capture the gates of Brutus's camp before the routing army could reach this defensive position. Brutus was able to retreat into the nearby hills with the equivalent of only 4 legions. Aftermath[ edit ] Plutarch reports that Antony covered Brutus's body with a purple garment as a sign of respect. Many other young Roman aristocrats lost their lives in the battle or committed suicide after the defeat, including the son of great orator Hortensiusand Marcus Porcius Catothe son of Cato the Youngerand Marcus Livius Drusus Claudianusthe father of Liviawho became Octavian's wife.
Apparently the nobles did not want to deal with the young and merciless Octavian.
Antony's audacity, although he was driven to it by necessity, confounded the enemy when they saw him pitch his camp so near them and in such a contemptuous manner as soon as he arrived. He raised numerous towers and fortified himself on all sides with ditches, wall, and palisade.
The enemy also completed their fortification wherever their work was defective. Cassius, observing that Antony's advance was reckless, extended his fortification at the only place where it was still wanting, from the camp to the marsh, a space which had been overlooked on account of its narrowness, so that there was now nothing unfortified except the cliffs on Brutus' flank and the marsh on that of Cassius and the sea lying against the marsh.
In the center everything was intercepted by ditch, palisade, wall, and gates. When they had done all that they intended and Octavian had arrived for, although he was not yet strong enough for a battle, he could be carried along the ranks reclining in a litterhe and Antony prepared for battle forthwith.
Brutus and Cassius also drew out their forces on their higher ground, but did not come down. They decided not to give battle, hoping to wear out the enemy by want of supplies. There were nineteen legions of infantry on each side, but those of Brutus and Cassius lacked something of being full, while those of Octavian and Antony were complete.
Of cavalry the latter had 13, and the former 20, including Thracians on both sides. Thus in the multitude of men, in the spirit and bravery of the commanders, and in arms and munitions, was beheld a most magnificent display on both sides; yet they did nothing for several days. Brutus and Cassius did not wish to engage, but rather to continue wasting the enemy by lack of provisions, since they themselves had abundance from Asia, all transported by the sea from close at hand, all the enemy had nothing in abundance and nothing from their own territory.
They could obtain nothing through merchants in Egypt, since that country was exhausted by famine, nor from Spain or Africa by reason of Pompeius,note[Sextus Pompeius, son of Pompey the Great. Macedonia and Thessalywhich were the only countries then supplying them, wouldn't suffice much longer. Antony, fearful of the delay, resolved to force them to an engagement. He formed a plan of effecting a passage through the marsh secretly, if possible, in order to get in the enemy's rear without their knowledge, and cut off their avenue of supply from Thasos.
So he arrayed his forces for battle with all the standards set each day, so that it might seem that his entire army was drawn up, while a part of his force was really working night and day making a narrow passage in the marsh, cutting down reeds, throwing up a causeway upon them, and flanking it with stone, so that the earth should not fall away, and bridging the deeper parts with piles, all in the profoundest silence.
The reeds, which were still growing around his passage-way, prevented the enemy from seeing his work. After working ten days in this manner he sent a column of troops by night suddenly, who occupied all the strong positions within his lines and built several redoubts at the same time.
The Battle of Philippi: The Battle that Changed the Course of Western Civilization
Cassius was amazed at the ingenuity as well as the secrecy of this work, and he formed the counter design of cutting Antony off from his redoubts. He carried a transverse wall across the whole marsh from his camp to the sea, cutting and bridging in the same manner as Antony had done, and setting up the palisade on the top of his mounds, thus intercepting the passage made by Antony, so that those inside could not escape to him, nor he render assistance to them.
He carried tools and ladders intending to take it by storm and force his way into Cassius' camp. While he was making this audacious charge, obliquely and up hill, across the space that separated the two armies, the soldiers of Brutus were provoked at the insolence of the enemy in dashing boldly athwart their front while they stood there armed.
So they charged on their own account, without any order from their officers, and killed with much slaughter as natural in a flank attack all they came up with. The battle once begun they charged upon the army of Octavianalso, which was drawn up opposite, put it to flight, pursued it to the camp which Antony and Octavian had in common, and captured it.
Octavian himself was not there, having been warned in a dream to beware of that day, as he has himself written in his Memoirs. So he continued his charge, as he had begun it, on the run, and advanced under a shower of missiles, and forced his way till he struck the troop of Cassius which had not moved from its assigned position and which was amazed at this unexpected audacity.
All this was done so swiftly that those who had just now captured the fortification met Cassius' men, who had been at work in the marsh, coming to the assistance of their friends, and, with a powerful charge, put them to flight, drove them into the marsh, and then at once wheeled against the camp of Cassius itself. Cassius' soldiers outside the camp were already being beaten, and when they saw that the camp was taken they scattered in disorderly flight.
The victory was complete and alike on either side, Brutus defeating the enemy's left wing and taking their camp, while Antony overcame Cassius and ravaged his camp with irresistible courage.
There was great slaughter on both sides, but by reason of the extent of the plain and the clouds of dust they were ignorant of each other's fate. When they learned the facts they recalled their scattered forces.
Those who returned resembled porters rather than soldiers, and did not at once perceive each other nor see anything clearly. Otherwise either party would have flung down their burdens and fiercely attacked the others carrying off plunder in this disorderly fashion. According to conjecture the number of killed on the side of Cassius, including slave shield-bearers, was about 9, and on the side of Octavian double that number.
As he could not see accurately on account of the dust, nor could he see everything, but only that his own camp was captured, he ordered Pindarus, his shield-bearer, to fall upon him and kill him. While Pindarus still delayed a messenger ran up and said that Brutus had been victorious on the other wing, and was ravaging the enemy's camp. Cassius merely answered, "Tell him that I pray his victory may be complete. Why do you not deliver me from my shame? This is one account of the death of Cassius.
Others say that as some horsemen were approaching, bringing the good news from Brutus, he took them for enemies and sent Titinius to find out exactly; that the horsemen pressed around Titinius joyfully as a friend of Cassius, and at the same time uttered loud hurrahs; that Cassius, thinking that Titinius had fallen into the hands of enemies, said, "Have I waited to see my friend torn from me?
For this reason some persons think that he killed Cassius without orders. Thus Cassius ended his life on his birthday, on which, as it happened, the battle was fought, and Titinius killed himself because he had been too late.
He reproached him for haste and precipitancy, but at the same time he esteemed him happy because he was freed from cares and troubles, "which," he said, "are leading Brutus, whither, ah, whither? In the morning the enemy drew up their army in order of battle, so that they might not seem to have been beaten. Brutus, perceiving their design, exclaimed, "Let us arm also and make believe that we have suffered defeat. Brutus said to his friends, jestingly, "They challenged us when they thought we were tired out, but they dared not put us to the test.
As the enemy would not come down even then, he was disgusted, but he continued to lead out his men daily. Brutus had a part of his army in line lest he should be compelled to fight; and with another part he guarded the road by which his supplies were conveyed. There was a hill very near the camp of Cassius, which it was difficult for an enemy to occupy, because by reason of its nearness, it was exposed to arrows from the camp.
Nevertheless, Cassius had placed a guard on it, lest any one should make bold to attack it. As it had been abandoned by Brutus, the army of Octavian occupied it by night with four legions and protected themselves with wickerwork and hides against the enemy's bowmen. When this position was secured they transferred ten other legions a distance of more than a kilometer toward the sea.
The Battle of Philippi: The Battle that Changed the Course of Western Civilization
Brutus counteracted this movement by building fortified posts opposite their camps and in other ways. News of their recent disaster in the Adriatic having now reached both armies, it caused them fresh alarm, as also did the approach of winter while they were quartered in this muddy plain.
Moved by these considerations they sent a legion of troops to Achaea at once to collect all the food they could find and send it to them in haste. As they could not rest under so great an impending danger, and as their other artifices were of no avail, they ceased offering battle in the plain and advanced with shouts to the enemy's fortifications, and challenged Brutus to fight, reviling and scoffing at him, intending not so much to besiege him as by a mad assault to force him to an engagement.
He preferred to endure a siege, or anything else rather than come to an engagement with men desperate for hunger, and whose hopes rested solely on fighting because they despaired of every other resource. His soldiers, however, without reflection, entertained a different opinion. They took it hard that they should be shut up, idle and cowardly, like women, within their fortifications. Their officers also, although they approved of Brutus' design, were vexed, thinking that in the present temper of the army they might overpower the enemy more quickly.
Brutus himself was the cause of these murmurs, being of a gentle and kindly disposition toward all - not like Cassius, who had been austere and imperious in every way, for which reason the army obeyed his orders promptly, not interfering with his authority, and not criticising them when they had learned them.
But in the case of Brutus they expected nothing else than to share the command with him on account of his mildness of temper.