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[71] The next day they all withdrew to the camps at Mutina. After so severe a disaster Antony decided not to come to a general engagement with his enemies at present, not even if they should attack him, but merely to harass them daily with his cavalry until Decimus, who was reduced to extremity by famine, should surrender. For this very reason Hirtius and Octavius decided to push on a fight. As Antony would not come out when they offered battle, they moved toward the other side of Mutina where it was less closely besieged on account of the badness of the ground, as if about to force their way into the town with their strong army. Antony followed their movement with his cavalry and this time also with those alone. As the enemy fought him with their cavalry only, moving the rest of their army in whatever way they chose, Antony, lest he should lose Mutina, drew out of his entrenchments two legions. Then his enemies rejoiced at this, turned and delivered battle. Antony ordered up other legions from other camps, but as they came slowly, by reason of the suddenness of the call or the long distance, the army of Octavius won the victory. Hirtius even broke into Antony's camp, where he was killed, fighting near the general's tent. Octavius rushed in and carried off his body and possessed himself of the camp. A little later he was driven out by Antony. Both sides passed the night under arms.1

1 This battle was fought on the 27th. While it was in progress Decimus made a sortie from Mutina and completed the victory. This is mentioned in a letter of Cicero (Ad Fam. xi. 14). Also in a letter from Marcus Brutus to Cicero (Ad Brutum, 4). Antony fled from the field toward the Alps with a very small force of infantry and those without arms, but by opening the workhouses and impressing all sorts of people on the road, he collected a considerable number of men. So Decimus Brutus reported to Cicero, May 5. (Ad farm. xi. 10.)

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