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[40] Presently news was brought to Octavius by his secret emissaries that the army at Brundusium and the colonized soldiers were incensed against Antony for neglecting to avenge the murder of Cæsar, and that they would assist him (Octavius) to do so if they could. For this reason Antony departed to Brundusium. As Octavius feared lest Antony, returning with the army, should catch him unprotected he went to Campania with money to enlist the veterans who had been colonized in those towns by his father. He first brought over those of Calatia and next those of Casilinum, two towns situated on either side of Capua, giving 500 drachmas to each man. He collected about 10,000 men, not fully armed and not mustered in regular cohorts, but serving merely as a body-guard under one banner1 The citizens of Rome were alarmed at the approach of Antony with an army, and when they learned that Octavius was advancing with another one some were doubly alarmed, while others were well pleased, believing that they could make use of Octavius against Antony. Still others, who had seen them reconciled to each other in the Capitol, considered these transactions a game of false pretences by which Antony was to have the supreme power and Octavius was to wreak vengeance on the murderers in return therefor.

1 Cicero, who was, at this time, at or near Naples, gives an account of this mustering of forces by Octavius at Calatia and Casilinum in letters to Atticus (xvi. 8, 9). Cicero was thrown into trepidation by this movement and also by the approach of Antony, who was marching from Brundusium to Rome with one legion known as the Alaudæ (the Larks), that had been raised by Cæsar in Transalpine Gaul. He says that Octavius desired to have a secret interview with him at Capua or in the vicinity, which Cicero declined. Then Octavius sent a messenger to him who asked his advice whether he had best march to Rome with 3000 of his soldiers, or attempt to prevent Antony's approach, or go and meet the three legions from Macedonia which were marching northward along the Adriatic coast and which he believed would join him. Cicero advised him to go to Rome because he thought the common people would be on his side, and that if he could gain their support the upper classes would join him also. Octavius answered that he would follow Cicero's advice and then urged him to come to Rome also, saying that he (Octavius) wished to act under the authority of the Senate. " I try to excuse myself," says Cicero. " I cannot trust his youth, I do not know his real intentions. . . . I am afraid of Antony's power and unwilling to leave the coast, and at the same time should be sorry to be absent in any crisis." He wants Atticus to advise him what to do. Velleius (ii. 61) mentions the enlistment of these veterans at Calatia and Casilinum.

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  • Cross-references to this page (4):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), EXE´RCITUS
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), CALA´TIA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), CASILI´NUM
    • Smith's Bio, Copo'nius
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