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[68] That same night three of Cæsar's legions started out to forage; for Cæsar himself approved Pompey's dilatory proceedings and had no idea that he would change, and accordingly sent them out to procure food. When he perceived that the enemy was preparing to fight he was delighted at the pressure which he conjectured had been put upon Pompey by his army, and he recalled all of his forces at once and made preparations on his own side. He offered sacrifice at midnight and invoked Mars and his own ancestress, Venus (for it was believed that from Æneas and his son, Ilus, was descended the Julian race, with a slight change of name), and he vowed that he would build a temple in Rome as a thank-offering to her as the Bringer of Victory if everything went well. Thereupon a flame from heaven flew through the air from Cæsar's camp to Pompey's, where it was extinguished. Pompey's men said that it signified a brilliant victory for them over their enemies, but Cæsar interpreted it as meaning that he should fall upon and extinguish the fame and power of Pompey. When Pompey was sacrificing the same night some of the victims escaped and could not be caught, and a swarm of bees settled on the altar, the type of weakness.1 Shortly before daylight a panic occurred in his army. He himself went around and quieted it and then fell into a deep sleep.

1 These prodigies, with some slight variations, are related by Plutarch, by Lucan, and by Florus. "Never," says Florus, "were there more manifest signs of impending ruin."

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