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The fight of Utica (49 BC) was an initial success won by G. Scribonius, Caesar"s command in phibìc Africa, over Pompey"s supporters (Great roman inn Civil War).

While Caesar led his main military into Spain, G. Scribonius Curio was provided command of four legions that were to secure Sicily and also North Africa. Few of these legions had only recently changed sides, having surrendered to Caesar in ~ Corfinium during his march on Rome, and also their commitment was thus suspect.

The Pompeian forces in phibìc Africa to be commanded through P. Attius Varus. He had two soldier at Utica and a third at Hadrumentum, and additionally had the support of King Juba that Numidia, who had a personal grudge versus both Caesar and Curio.


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war of the an excellent Roman civil War, 49-45 BC

Curio easily secured Sicily, and also then led 2 of his legions and also 500 cavalry across to north Africa. Curio landing somewhere close come Cape Bon (near Clupea, modern-day Kelibia). That then advanced around what is now the Gulf of Tunis, getting to the Bagradas flow after 2 days. In ancient times this flow flowed right into the sea simply to the southern of Utica, which to be then a coastal city.

Curio notified his soldier to prevent at the river and then led his mounties towards Utica, to investigate the possibility of utilizing the Cornelian camp together his very own base. This rocky headland had been supplied by Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus during his siege the the city 150 year earlier, and also was roughly one mile from the city together the raven flies.

After looking at this place Curio continued on to research the city. Varus to be camped just exterior the city, in a solid position close come the city walls and also protected by the suburbs and a surrounding theatre. Throughout this enlightenment Curio ambushed a supply column, dispersing a force of Numidian cavalry and capturing the stores. At about the exact same time his fleet got to the city, and intimidated roughly 200 seller ships into sailing to the Cornelian Camp.

After this successful raid Curio relocated his entire army up to Utica, and also began to construct a camp. When his men were functioning on the camp news got to him that fresh troops from King Juba were close by, marching to join the garrison that Utica. Curio comment by sending out his mounties to attack the Numidians, who were caught by surprise. The Numidian cavalry managed come escape into the town, yet their infantry endured some heavy losses.

On the following night two of Curio"s centurions, previous members the the legions the had adjusted sides in ~ Corfinium, deserted and fled right into Utica. They persuaded Varus that the rest of Curio"s army would also adjust sides if given the chance, and so ~ above the adhering to morning Varus led his legions the end of their camp and also formed up all set for battle. Curio go the same and the two militaries faced each other across a narrow valley. Some of Varus"s males were able come mingle with their opponents, developing something that a sense of paranoia among Curio"s officers, yet the legions stayed loyal and also both armies retreated into their camps. After ~ a the supervisory board of battle Curio do a decided to his troops which Caesar claims secured their loyalty. The then chose to seek out fight on the next possible occasion.

On the following day both armies formed increase again, v the same valley in between them. This challenging ground supposed that whichever military moved an initial would be in ~ a serious disadvantage. Varus action first, sending out his cavalry and also some light infantry to assault Curio"s left wing. Curio responded by sending his own cavalry and two cohorts the infantry. Varus"s males were defeated, his cavalry fled and his light infantry massacred. Curio took benefit of this by leading his men in an assault on Varus"s line. Discouraged by the loss of your cavalry, Varus"s men turned and also fled earlier into Utica and their camp.

According to Caesar"s account Varus lost around 600 dead and also 1,000 wounded, many in the crush to get ago into the city and the rest in the mounties fight. That doesn"t give casualty figures for the mounties fight, yet claimed the only one of his guys was killed throughout the main component of the battle, one Fabius who acquired ahead of the remainder of the army and nearly killed Varus prior to being reduced down. This would indicate that the daunting ground in between the two armies slowed Curio"s guys down so lot that they were unable to record up with their opponents.

Although Varus had regulated to keep regulate of his strengthened camp in the immediate results of the battle, many of his wounded guys moved right into the city. This forced Varus to abandon his camp, and also move every one of his men into Utica.

On the day after this fight Curio determined to besiege Utica. Only the news that King Juba to be on his way with a relief military prevented the citizens indigenous surrendering to Curio, who was thus forced to begin a regular siege. This was a short-lived affair, and ended when Curio learnt that Juba was on his way. Curio i was withdrawn to the Cornelian Camp, however after receiving false information about Juba"s strength progressed out to attack, experiencing a catastrophic defeat at the fight of the Bagradas flow (24 July 49 BC).




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How to point out this article:Rickard, J (22 November 2010), Battle that Utica, 49 BC , http://www.londonchinatown.org/articles/battles_utica_49.html