Jump to content
UNRV Ancient Roman Empire Forums
  • Time Travel Rome

spittle

Caesar's Planned Dacian Campaign

Recommended Posts

Before his assassination Ceasar was planning a military campaign into Dacia (modern day Transylvania). It was to curtail the power of a local King (Burebista) who was building himself a wealthy little empire and had in fact been Caesars plan when he first became a military legate but events in Gaul kept him occupied then the unpleasantness with Pompey and, just when it looked like it might finally happen, he was murdered.

 

My question is this:

Did anyone ever get around to doing what Caesar wanted to do? Or did Burebista die an old and wealthy King unbothered by Rome?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Surely it was PARTHIA not Dacia he intended to invade - to retrieve the eagles lost by Crassus at Carrhae and to avenge his friend and fellow triumvir?

 

Phil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He did also have plans for Dacia Phil, but yes, it would appear Parthia was first on his hit list.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All the info comes from Goldworthy's 'Caesar: Life of a Colossus'. I am far less knowledgable than you guys and have long since learned that authors can be wrong but he does go into some detail concerning Caesars long time wish to invade Burebista's Dacia.

 

Maybe Parthia was another area Caesar was intent on invading. For a man of his energies maybe there were several planned military campaigns?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I must have a look at what Goldsworthy says, but I thought that the "lure" of parthia (for the reasons I gave above) was underlined by the fact that within a few years Antonius was campaigning there.

 

Phil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He had plans of attacking Dacia after Parthia (some say instead). Burebista was assainated shortly after Caesar and his kingdom was split first in 4, later in 5 kingdoms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quote from Goldworthy's Caesar

This is concerning troop positions during the huge Helvetii migration in 58BC

"...He had four legions at his command, but only one of these was was in Transalpine Gaul. The other three were near the border of Cisalpine Gaul.....It is hard to avoid the conclusion that Caesar was still thinking very much in terms of a balkan campaign...."

 

Dacia?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote from Goldworthy's Caesar

This is concerning troop positions during the huge Helvetii migration in 58BC

"...He had four legions at his command, but only one of these was was in Transalpine Gaul. The other three were near the border of Cisalpine Gaul.....It is hard to avoid the conclusion that Caesar was still thinking very much in terms of a balkan campaign...."

 

Dacia?

 

I always thought he more interested in settling the region of the Danube, but not greater Dacia itself. Considering that Raetia, Noricum and Pannonia were still marginally independent, and that control of Illyria was not complete, I believe that the focus would've been on this territory that made more logistic sense. However, a punitive expedition across the Danube could still have been attempted I suppose. And of course, I wouldn't put it past Caesar to march through hostile territory without secured supply lines in order to punish an enemy for such a personal affront (supporting Pompey over himself).

 

In the end, I think the death of Burebista proved satisfactory enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For he planned and prepared to make an expedition against the Parthians; and after subduing these and marching around the Euxine by way of Hyrcania, the Caspian sea, and the Caucasus, to invade Scythia; and after overrunning the countries bordering on Germany and Germany itself, to come back by way of Gaul to Italy, and so to complete this circuit of his empire, which would then be bounded on all sides by the ocean.

 

From Plutarch for what it's worth. Seems to include Dacia in his grand plan, although Plutartch doesn't mention it by that name.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahhh....the unfulfilled plans of dictators. I wonder when Santa Caesar planned to squeeze in this Dacian campaign? He really already had his plate quite full, what with the plan to build a canal through the isthmus of Corinth, the plan to invade Parthia, the plan to reclaim farmland from the swampy areas of Italy, the plan to end Italian famine, and the plan to bring social justice to all and to all a good night.

 

Like Hitler's plan for a Speer-crafted 1000-year Reich and Stalin's endless 5-year-plans, Caesar's plans suffered from the grandiosity of all newly minted dictators--a flush of excitement in what is easy to imagine. But an imagined goal is really the cheapest part of a plan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ahhh....the unfulfilled plans of dictators. I wonder when Santa Caesar planned to squeeze in this Dacian campaign? He really already had his plate quite full, what with the plan to build a canal through the isthmus of Corinth, the plan to invade Parthia, the plan to reclaim farmland from the swampy areas of Italy, the plan to end Italian famine, and the plan to bring social justice to all and to all a good night.

 

Like Hitler's plan for a Speer-crafted 1000-year Reich and Stalin's endless 5-year-plans, Caesar's plans suffered from the grandiosity of all newly minted dictators--a flush of excitement in what is easy to imagine. But an imagined goal is really the cheapest part of a plan.

 

Whether practical or not... it doesn't mean he didn't convince himself and those around him that such a campaign was possible and therefore planned on it. I think you'd agree that the man had a highly inflated opinion of his own abilities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Compared to Gaul, Dacia and environs is not different. Actually a tactically easier situation. Parthia is another matter, but then Caesar had the entire empire at his beck and call at this point. Hardly a stretch of the imagination, since later lesser men pulled off at least one of those.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To conquer, to hold, and to improve--these are three very different proposals. Caesar often conquered areas in Gaul and was forced to take them again because he was unable to make a lasting settlement. Ultimately, he resorted to what was to become the typical Roman strategy: to make a desert and call it peace. Contrast this with the remarkable settlements affected by Caesar's betters--in Asia, in Greece, in Spain, and in Africa.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To conquer, to hold, and to improve--these are three very different proposals. Caesar often conquered areas in Gaul and was forced to take them again because he was unable to make a lasting settlement. Ultimately, he resorted to what was to become the typical Roman strategy: to make a desert and call it peace. Contrast this with the remarkable settlements affected by Caesar's betters--in Asia, in Greece, in Spain, and in Africa.

 

There is no evidence to suggest that Gaul was left anything close to a desert. Now how you consider Spain's 100 years war (200-100BC of constant conflict), and Africa after the destruction of Carthrage, as shining examples of settlement, is beyond me. Considering the size and population of Gaul, the fact that he had to deal with only one major rebellion in that time and the inheritors of empire after him with little more, his conquest of Gaul was one of the lesser bloody conquests. Hispania, Britannia, Judea, Pannonia, Moesa, Italia, all I think saw worse in total.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Map of the Roman Empire

×