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[97] It was intended that Octavius should set sail from Puteoli, Lepidus from Africa, and Taurus from Tarentum, to Sicily, in order to surround the enemy at once, from the east, the west, and the south. The day of Octavius' sailing had been previously communicated to all. It was the tenth day after the summer solstice. This, in the Roman calendar, was the calends of the month which, in honor of the first Cæsar, they call July instead of Quintilis. Octavius fixed on this day, perhaps because he considered it propitious on account of his father, who was always victorious. Pompeius stationed Plennius at Lilybæum with one legion and a considerable body of light-armed troops, to oppose Lepidus. He guarded the whole coast of Sicily, both east and west, and especially the islands of Lipara and Cossyra, lest they should become convenient harbors and naval stations for Octavius and Lepidus against Sicily. The best part of his naval force he kept together at Messana watching its chances. In this way they made their preparations on either side.

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