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[55] Thus encouraged Sextius made a sortie by which Ventidius was killed and his army put to headlong flight. Sextius pursued them, killing and taking prisoners. When Lælius heard the news he raised the siege of Cirta and joined Cornificius. Sextius, elated by his success, advanced against Cornificius himself at Utica and encamped opposite him, although the latter had the superior force. Cornificius sent Lælius with his cavalry to make a reconnoissance, and Sextius ordered Arabio to engage him with his own cavalry in front, and Sextius himself with his light troops fell upon the enemy's flank and threw them into such confusion that Lælius, although not vanquished, feared lest his retreat should be cut off and took possession of a hill near by. Arabio hung upon his rear, killed many, and surrounded the hill. When Cornificius saw this he sallied out with a larger force to assist Lælius. Sextius, who was in his rear, dashed up and attacked him, but Cornificius turned upon him and drove him back, although suffering severely.

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