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 There is another hill not far from Philippi which is called the Hill of Dionysus, in which are gold mines called the Asyla. Ten stades farther are two other hills, at a distance of eighteen stades from Philippi itself and eight stades from each other. On these hills Cassius and Brutus were encamped, the former on the southern and the latter on the northern of the two. They did not advance against the retreating army of Norbanus because they learned that Antony was approaching, Octavius having been left behind at Epidamnus on account of sickness. The plain was admirably situated for fighting and the precipitous hill-tops for camping, since on one side of them were marshes and ponds stretching as far as the river Strymon, and on the other gorges destitute of roads and impassable. Between these hills, eight stades apart, lay the main pass from Europe to Asia as between gates. Across this space they built a fortification from camp to camp, leaving a gate in the middle, so that the two camps became virtually one. Alongside this fortification flowed a river, which is called by some the Ganga and by others the Gangites,1 and behind it was the sea, where they could keep their supplies and shipping in safety. Their depot was on the island of Thasos, 100 stades distant. Their triremes were anchored at Neapolis, at a distance of seventy stades. Brutus and Cassius were satisfied with the position and they proceeded to fortify their camps.
1 This is the river Angites mentioned in Herodotus vii. 113, where Xerxes paused and offered a sacrifice of white horses to the river Strymon. Its present name is the Anghista.
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