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 The centre of Pompey's formation was commanded by his father-in-law, Scipio, the left wing by Domitius Ahenobarbus, and the right by Lentulus. Afranius and Pompey guarded the camp.1 On Cæsar's side the commanders were P. Sulla, Antony, and Cn. Domitius. Cæsar took a convenient place in the tenth legion, as was his custom. When the enemy saw this they transferred, to face that legion, the best of their horse, in order to surround it if they could, by their superiority of numbers. When Cæsar perceived this movement he placed 3000 of his bravest foot-soldiers in ambush and ordered them, when they should see the enemy trying to flank him, to rise, dart forward, and thrust their spears directly in the faces of the men because, as they were fresh and inexperienced and still in the bloom of youth, they could not endure injury to their faces.2 Thus they laid their plans against each other, and each commander passed through the ranks of his own troops, attending to what was needful, exhorting his men to courage, and giving them the watchword, which on Cæsar's side was "Venus the Victorious," and on Pompey's "Hercules the Invincible."
1 This is a strange blunder, and is inconsistent with the author's own account of Pompey's subsequent movements. A few lines below he says that after the line of battle was formed each commander moved about among the ranks encouraging his men, and in Sec. 81 he says that when Pompey saw the flight of his men he slowly retired to his camp. Cæsar says that Pompey commanded the left wing of his army in person. Plutarch says he commanded the right wing. Of course Cæsar's testimony is to be preferred.
2 Cæsar's account of this manœuvre is as follows: " Fearing lest his right wing should be surrounded by the greater number of the enemy's horse he rapidly withdrew from the third line one cohort from each legion, and from these formed a fourth line and ranged them in opposition to the enemy's cavalry and explained what he wished them to do and admonished them that the success of this day depended on their valor." (iii. 89.) He says nothing about aiming at the faces of the enemy. It is mentioned by Plutarch, by Lucan, and by Florus, but is probably a fable.
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