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[109] Pompeius suspected that Octavius had gone to the camp of Taurus for the purpose of attacking Tauromenium, which was the fact. So, directly after supper, he sailed to Messana, leaving a part of his forces at Mylæ so that Agrippa might think that he was still there. Agrippa, as soon as his army was sufficiently rested, bestirred himself and set sail for Tyndaris, which had offered to surrender. He entered the town, but the garrison fought valiantly and drove him out. Some other towns espoused his cause and received his garrisons, and he returned that evening. In the meantime, Octavius had sailed from Scylacium to Leucopetra,1 having learned for a certainty that Pompeius had gone from Messana to Mylæ on account of Agrippa. He was about to cross the straits from Leucopetra to Tauromenium by night, but learning of the sea-fight he changed his mind, thinking that a victor ought not to steal his passage, but to cross with his army boldly by daylight; for he was fully convinced that Pompeius was still confronting Agrippa. Looking down from the mountains upon the sea at daybreak and finding that it was clear of enemies, he set sail with as many troops as the ships could carry, leaving the rest with Messala until the fleet could return to him. Arriving at Tauromenium, he sent messengers to demand its surrender. As his guards were not admitted, he made sail to the river Onobalas and the temple of Venus, and moored his fleet at the shrine of the Archegetes, the god of the Naxians,2 intending to pitch his camp there and attack Tauromenium. The Archegetes is a small statue of Apollo, erected by the Naxians when they first migrated to Sicily.

1 The modern Capo dell' Armi.

2 The word Αρχηγέτης means the Founder, i.e., the founder of a colony. It was applied here to the god Apollo, in whose honor an altar and a small statue had been erected at Naxos (the modern Capo di Schiso), in Sicily. Immediately following this word in all the codices are the words ἀξιῶν τὸν θεὸν, in which Musgrave detected an error for Ναξίων τὸν θεὸν febv (the god of the Naxians). Schweighäuser was of the opinion that these words had been written as a marginal note on some copy and afterwards introduced into the text. Cluver in his Sicilia Antiqua points out an explanatory passage in Thucydides (vi. 3. r) of the following tenor: "The Chalcideans were the first of the Greeks who sailed from Eubœa, under the leadership of Theucles, and built Naxos and erected the altar to Apollo Archegetes, which now stands outside of the town, upon which the Theori, as often as they make voyages from Sicily, first offer sacrifice." The river Onobalas is now called the Cantara.

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  • Cross-references to this page (6):
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), ACESINES
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), MESSA´NA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), MYLAE
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), NAXOS
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), SICI´LIA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), TY´NDARIS
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