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[93] At the beginning of spring, Antony set sail from Athens to Tarentum with 300 ships to assist Octavius as he had promised. But the latter had changed his mind and postponed his movement until his own ships should be finished. When called upon again and told that Antony's forces were ready and sufficient, he advanced other reasons for delay. It was evident that he was again offended with Antony about something, or that he disdained his assistance because his own resources were abundant. Antony was vexed, but he remained, nevertheless, and communicated
Y.R. 716
with Octavius again, because the expense of his fleet was
B.C. 36
burdensome. Moreover, he needed Italian soldiers for his war against the Parthians, and he contemplated exchanging his fleet for a part of Octavius' army; for, although it was provided in their treaty that each of them might recruit soldiers in Italy, it would be difficult for him to do so when Italy had fallen to the lot of Octavius. Accordingly, Octavia betook herself to her brother to act as mediator between them. Octavius complained that he had been abandoned by Antony when he was overtaken by danger in the straits. She replied that that had been explained through Mæcenas. Octavius said that Antony had sent his freedman Callias to Lepidus in Africa to induce the latter to make an alliance against him. She replied that she knew that Callias had been sent to make arrangements about a marriage, because Antony desired, before setting out on his Parthian expedition, to marry his daughter to the son of Lepidus, as had been agreed. After Octavia had made this statement Antony sent Callias to Octavius with permission to put him to torture [in order to learn the truth]. Octavius would not receive him, but said that he would go and have an interview with Antony between Metapontum and Tarentum, at a place where there is a river of the latter name between them.1

1 The river Taras.

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