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The Battle of the Nile (47 BC) saw the combined Roman-Egyptian armies of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra VII defeat those of the rival Queen Arsinoe IV and King Ptolemy XIII and secure the throne of Egypt.

After pursuing his rival Pompey to Egypt, Caesar became intertwined in the Alexandrine civil war after his rival, Pompey Magnus, was killed in an attempt to please Caesar, the arriving victor of Caesar's civil war.

From August, 48 BC until January, 47 BC, Julius Caesar was besieged in Alexandria, Egypt with about 4,000 men. He was attempting to adjudicate the Egyptian Civil War between Ptolemy XIII and his sister Cleopatra. When Caesar began to appear to favor Cleopatra over him, Ptolemy fled, or was released, by Caesar and gathered his army, to besiege the Romans in a small portion of Alexandria.

The Egyptians were never able to completely cut the Romans off from reinforcements and resupply but had begun to get the upper hand by January. Caesar had requested reinforcements from his ally, Mithridates of Pergamum, who marched overland from Asia Minormarker to assist him. Arriving on the Nile delta in January, Mithridates defeated one Egyptian force sent to stop him. Caesar, getting a message that his allies were close, left a small garrison in Alexandria and hurried to meet them. The combined force, about 20,000 strong, met the Egyptians in February, 47 BC at the Battle of the Nile. The Egyptian army, equipped in the Greek manner, was probably about the same size.

Caesar attacked the Egyptians, in the traditional Roman manner, under a shower of pila (plural of the Roman spear, pilum). The pike armed Egyptians were overwhelmed once the Romans used their shields and got past the pike’s point, where they began laying about with their short swords (gladius). The Roman legions destroyed an Egyptian fort, and after heavy fighting stormed Ptolemy's camp. Thousands fled, including Ptolemy, who reportedly drowned when his ship capsized. Egypt was now in the hands of Julius Caesar, who placed Cleopatra on the throne with another of her brothers, Ptolemy XIV. He then uncharacteristically lingered in Egypt until April, enjoying a liaison with the youthful queen.


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