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Caesar was a risk taker and he would regularly devise strategies that were very risky and even reckless. However, his gambles were always calculated ones and he would take great care with his plans and his tactics and strategies were always well-thought out. Caesar believed that the best way to win was to launching daring and rapid attacks, in this way he was not a conventional commander <ref>Holland, Tom, Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic (London, Anchor Books, 2003), p. 213</ref>. At times his risk-taking resulted in problems. He was often reckless, and this meant that he often advanced further than his logistics could supply him. It was noted at the time that Caesar would often run out of food on his campaigns. For example, when he defeated the Helvetii his troops had run out of food and other supplies. However, the great gambler was ready to be reckless if he could achieve his twin goals of speed and surprise. It was often stated that Caesar was very fortunate, but his remarkable victories were usually a result of speed and tactical surprise. A good example of this was his victory at Thapsus in modern Tunisia where his speed enabled him to defeat a larger alliance of Optimates and allied tribes. Despite being a risk taker, Caesar was flexible and was a master of the strategic retreat. That is, he could disengage from a battle or situation and regroup and then fight when the circumstances were more advantageous.
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19TH century painting of the assassination of Caesar]]
Caesar’s victories changed the Roman Empire and he decisively shaped not only the future of Rome but also Europe. He was a great commander and never suffered a defeat in a battle, with the possible exception of the Battle of Dyrrhachium (48 BC). He was able to prevail over many enemies, including those who were numerically superior and armies who were led by great commanders such as Pompey. Time and again he demonstrated his genius on the battlefield. He was fortunate in that he commanded an army that was very formidable, highly trained and disciplined. However, the achievements of Caesar were unmatched in the Roman era. The factors that have earned Caesar the reputation as one of the greatest generals of all time were his leadership skills. He could inspire and cajole his men, and under his command, they performed remarkable feats. Caesar was an innovator and he was able to use artillery such as catapults in ways that changed the ancient battlefield. He was a brilliant strategist and he emphasized speed and surprise and this ensured that the Roman general secured many victories against the odds.