power, primarily by concluding an alliance with the Senate. Crassus died in 53, thereby dissolving the Triumvirate.

In 52 the Senate made Pompey sole consul and two years later ordered Caesar to disband his army with his campaign against the Gauls successfully completed. Instead, Caesar crossed the Rubicon into Italy proper early in 49 and marched against Rome, precipitating yet another civil war. In a series of battles he defeated Pompey, who fled to the east. Caesar secured Spain, then pursued Pompey to Greece, defeating him at Pharsalus in 48 BC. Pompey escaped with remnants of his army to Egypt, where he was murdered. Caesar followed Pompey to Egypt and was soon drawn into the civil war there.

In Rome, Caesar was now firmly in control of the government. He set about reforming the laws and reorganizing the administration of the colonies. Under Caesar, Rome controlled all of Italy, Gaul, Spain, Numidia, Macedonia, Greece, Palestine, Egypt, and virtually all of the Mediterranean islands. Greek art and philosophy had permeated Roman culture, and Rome perceived itself as civilizing the barbarians.

Caesar, made dictator for life in 44BC, seemed to be moving toward a monarchical system. On March 15 his autocratic rule was cut short; republican conspirators, led by Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus, stabbed Caesar to death in the Senate.

The Fall of the Republic

Caesar's opponents had underestimated the allegiance of Caesar's partisans; they were now galvanized into action by Mark Antony and by Octavian (later emperor Augustus), Caesar's grandnephew and heir. Antony, Octavian, and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus formed the Second Triumvirate and forced the Senate to accept their rule. They instituted a reign of terror, and at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC they defeated the forces of Brutus and Cassius, both of whom committed suicide. By 31 BC, Octavian had defeated Antony and had successfully established himself as princeps, or first citizen. The Senate conferred numerous honors upon him, among them the military command (imperium), hence the modern term 'emperor'. The republic was dead.

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