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[87] Decidius1 and Norbanus, whom Octavius and Antony had sent in advance with eight legions to Macedonia, proceeded from that country a distance of 1500 stades toward the mountainous part of Thrace until they had passed beyond the city of Philippi, and seized the passes of the Corpileans and the Sapæans, tribes under the rule of Rhascupolis, where lies the only known route of travel from Asia to Europe. Here was the first obstacle encountered by Brutus and Cassius after they had crossed over from Abydus to Sestus. Rhascupolis and Rhascus were brothers of the royal family of Thrace, ruling one country. They differed in opinion at that time in regard to the proper alliance. Rhascus had taken up arms for Antony and Rhascupolis for Cassius, each having 3000 horse. When the Cassians came to inquire about the roads, Rhascupolis told them that the one by way of Ænus and Maronea was the short and usual and most travelled route, but that it led to the gorge of the Sapæans, which was occupied by the enemy and hence was impassable, but that there was a roundabout road which was difficult and three times as long.

1 The name of this man was Decidius Saxa. He is mentioned in Syr. 51 and in the Epitome of Livy, cxxvii.

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