On this day April 6 46 BC the Republican forces of the Optimates led by Metellus Scipio fought against the forces of Julius Caesar outside the African city of Thapsus (modern day Tunisia).

After the assassination of Pompey the great the remaining Optimate forces not yet willing to give up the fight against Caesar organised their resistance in the African provinces, led by Marcus Cato and Metellus Scipio. Caesar besieged Thapsus forcing the Optimates to engage with him as they could not afford to lose this important strategic location. Although apparently outnumbered Caesar’s veteran forces Were able to win a decisive victory over their opponents. Metellus was able to escape only to commit suicide several months later. The aftermath of the battle saw Cato who was garrisoned in Utica, Caesar’s next target, commit suicide upon receiving the news of Metellus’ defeat.

Featured image: By Gautier Poupeau from Paris, France – César, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35036729