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[104] For this reason Cæsar himself also was ready to move slowly until Pompeius approached him at a certain place where he was reconnoitering and accused him of cowardice. Cæsar could not endure this reproach. He drew up his forces for battle near Corduba1 and then, too, gave Venus for his watchword. Pompeius, on the other hand, gave Piety for his. When battle was joined fear seized upon Cæsar's army and hesitation was joined to fear. Cæsar, lifting his hands toward heaven, implored all the gods that his many glorious deeds be not stained by this single disaster. He ran up and encourged his soldiers. He took his helmet off his head and shamed them to their faces and exhorted them. As they abated nothing of their fear he seized a shield from a soldier and said to the officers around him, "This shall be the end of my life and of your military service." Then he sprang forward in advance of his line of battle toward the enemy so far that he was only ten feet distant from them. Some 200 missiles were aimed at him, some of which he dodged while others were caught on his shield. Then each of the tribunes ran toward him and took position by his side, and the whole army rushed forward and fought the entire day, advancing and retreating by turns until, toward evening, Cæsar with difficulty won the victory. It was reported that he said that he had often fought for victory, but that this time he had fought even for existence.2

1 The modern Cordova. The unknown author of the Commentaries on Cæsar's war in Spain places this engagement on the plain of Munda, (in campum Mundensem). Plutarch, Florus, Lucan, and the Epitome of Livy say Munda. It is doubtful, however, whether this was the Munda shown on the maps as the site of the modern Monda. The text of the Commentaries, describing the operations following the battle, implies that it was much nearer to Corduba than the present Monda is to Cordova.

2 Here we find one of those parallel passages in Plutarch -- parallel in language as well as in idea -- which suggest that both Plutarch and Appian drew from a common Greek, not Latin, source. Plutarch quotes the saying of Cæsar: πολλάκις μὲν ἀγωνίσαιτο περὶ νίκης νῦν δὲ πρῶτον περὶ ψυχῆς (Life of Cæsar, 56), which is the same as the text of Appian, except that the latter has καὶ in place of πρῶτον.

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    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), CO´RDUBA
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