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[114] On the fourth day, with difficulty, they arrived at the waterless region which they say was formerly inundated by a stream of fire that ran down as far as the sea and dried up all the streams in the district. The inhabitants of the country traverse it only by night, on account of the stifling heat and the dust and ashes with which it abounds. Being ignorant of the roads and fearing ambush, Cornificius and his men did not dare to march through it by night, especially as there was no moon, nor could they endure the daytime, because of suffocation. Moreover, the bottoms of their feet were burned (especially those who had no shoes), as it was now the hottest part of the summer. On account of the tormenting thirst they could not delay. They could no longer charge upon their assailants, but received wounds without any means of defence. When they saw the place of exit from this burned district occupied by enemies, the able-bodied ones, heedless of their sick and barefooted companions, dashed at the defiles with amazing courage and overpowered the enemy with all their remaining strength. When they found the next defiles occupied by hostile forces they gave way to despair and succumbed to thirst and heat. Cornificius aroused them by showing them a spring of water near by; and again they overpowered the enemy, but with heavy loss to themselves. Another body of enemies held possession of the fountain, and now Cornificius' men lost all courage and gave way completely.

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    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), AETNA
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