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[95] He crossed from Rhegium to Messana and went to Lilybæum.1 Here, learning that Cato was guarding the enemy's magazines with a fleet and a part of the land forces at Utica, and that he had with him 300 men who had for a long time constituted their council of war and were called the Senate, and that the commander, L. Scipio, and the flower of the army were at Adrumetum, he sailed against
Y.R. 708
the latter. He arrived at a time when Scipio had gone
B.C. 46
away to meet Juba, and he drew up his forces for battle near Scipio's very camp in order to come to an engagement with the enemy at a time when their commander was absent. Labienus and Petreius, Scipio's lieutenants, attacked him, defeated him badly, and pursued him in a haughty and disdainful manner until Labienus' horse was wounded in the belly and threw him, and his attendants carried him off. Petreius, thinking that he had made a thorough test of the army and that he could conquer whenever he liked, drew off his forces, saying to those around him, "Let us not deprive our general, Scipio, of the victory." In one part of the day's work did Cæsar's luck show itself, in that the victorious enemy seems to have abandoned the field at the very moment of success. It is said that in the flight Cæsar dashed up to his whole line2 and turned it around and seizing one of those who carried the principal standards (the eagles) dragged him to the front. Finally, Petreius retired and Cæsar was glad to do the same. Such was the result of Cæsar's first battle in Africa.

1 The modern Marsala, at the western extremity of Sicily. It was the port nearest the African coast. Hirtius says that Cæsar arrived there on the 14th day before the Calends of January and sailed eight days later.

2 ἐγχρίμπτων ἅπασιν. How could he dash up to all of them at once? Mendelssohn suggests ἀποδρᾶσιν, i.e. he dashed up to the runaways.

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