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[70] When Hirtius near Mutina heard of this fight, at a distance of sixty stades, he hurried thither with the other legion that had deserted from Antony. It was already evening and the victorious Antonians were returning singing hymns of triumph. While they were in loose order Hirtius made his appearance in perfect order with his legion complete and fresh. The Antonians got themselves in line under compulsion, and performed against this foe also many splendid deeds of valor; but being wearied by their recent exertions they were overcome by the fresh army opposed to them, and the greater part of them were slain in this encounter by Hirtius, although the latter did not pursue, being apprehensive of the marshy ground. As darkness was coming on he allowed them to escape. A wide stretch of the marsh was filled with arms, corpses, wounded men, and half-dead men. Some were unhurt but were overcome by fatigue. Antony's cavalry, as many as he had with him, went to their assistance and collected them through the entire night. Some they put on horse-back in their own places, others they took on the horses with themselves, still others they urged to take hold of the horses' tails and run along with them and so secure their safety. Thus were Antony's forces, after he had fought splendidly, scattered by the coming of Hirtius. He encamped without entrenchments in a village near the plain, named Forum Gallorum.1 Antony and Pansa each lost about one-half of their men. The whole of Octavius' prætorian cohort perished. The loss of Hirtius was slight.2

1 The modern Castel Franco.

2 A letter is preserved in the correspondence of Cicero giving an account of this battle by Servius Galba, who usually commanded the Martian legion, and who actually commanded eight cohorts of it in this fight. He had been one of Cæsar's lieutenants in the Gallic war (B. G. iii. 1-6), but had joined the conspirators because Cæsar had rejected his claims to the consulship. He was great-grandfather of the Emperor Galba (Suetonius, Galba, 3). In his letter he says that he was sent 100 miles by Hirtius with the Martian legion and two prætorian cohorts to meet Pansa, who was advancing with four legions of newly raised soldiers. As they approached Forum Gallorum on their return, they passed a forest and a marsh and then met a detachment of Antony's horse and light-armed troops. When these were seen the Martian legion and the two cohorts of veterans could not be restrained from attacking, wherefore it became necessary to support them. Antony had posted two veteran legions and two prætorian cohorts in Forum Gallorum in concealment. These he drew out and attacked the Martians. Pansa ordered up two of his new legions and a furious battle ensued. Galba saw Antony personally taking part in it. Pansa's men were gradually forced back to their camp, in which they took refuge. Antony attacked the camp but was repulsed. As soon as Hirtius heard that a battle was in progress he started with twenty cohorts of veterans, met Antony as he was returning, attacked and totally routed him on the very ground where the first battle had been fought, taking two eagles and sixty standards. The letter is dated April 20. It says that the battle took place on the 15th. (Ad Fam. x. 30.) In the fourteenth Philippic (14) Cicero says that Hirtius did not lose a man in the second engagement.

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