Pompey had the numbers, and Caesar was in enemy country isolated with no hope of reinforcements. Pompey wanted to besiege Caesar at his camp, but the optimates wanted a decisive victory that would show their superiority and ultimately undermine Caesar. Pompey as their puppet decided to engage Caesar. Caesar knew surrender was not an option. He thinned his ranks out to ensure a hidden fourth rank. Caesar’s men were experienced in vicious fighting in Gaul, and this helped make up for their lack of numbers. Caesar tore into Pompey’s army, and gave the order for the fourth rank to attack, Pompey’s cavalry crumbled. Pompey fled to Egypt and Caesar followed. He was understanding that his old friend had been led astray and deceived. Caesar was merciful and to many opponents he granted amnesty. He wanted resolution. But on Pompey’s arrival, the Pharaoh Ptolemy XIII had him assassinated, in believing he would win Caesar’s good graces. The opposite happened; Caesar aligned with the pharaoh’s sister Cleopatra against her brother. Egypt had now been brought into the Roman Empire.
It was clear to all that Caesar had triumphed and on his return to Rome he became dictator for life. He carried out much needed reforms, he relieved debt, enlarged the senate, granted citizenships, and revised the calendar.
Caesar still had enemies remaining, who feared he wanted to become a king and was proclaiming himself to be godlike. As a result, Caesar was assassinated.
To the dismay of the conspirators, the Republic failed to be restored to its former glory. Caesar had been loved by the people; they were angry at the assassination of their hero. These events initiated a final round of civil wars that ultimately ended the Republic and Caesar’s great nephew and designated heir Octavian become Rome’s first emperor, renaming himself as Caesar Augustus.