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 When Octavius heard of his disaster at Cumæ he sailed out of the straits to meet Calvisius. After accomplishing the greater part of the distance and while he was passing Stylis1 and turning into Scyllæum, Pompeius darted out of Messana and fell upon his rear, pushed on to his front, attacked him all along the line, and challenged him to fight. Although beset in this way, Octavius' fleet did not give battle, since Octavius did not permit it, either because he feared to fight in the straits or because he adhered to his first determination not to fight without Calvisius. He gave orders, however, that all should hug the shore, cast anchor, and defend themselves with their prows toward the enemy. Demochares,by setting two of his ships by turns against one of the enemy's, threw them into confusion. They dashed against the rocks and against each other, and began to fill with water. And so these ships were lost, like those at Cumæ, without striking a blow, being stuck fast and battered by the enemy, who had freedom of movement to advance and retreat.2
1 Schweighäuser gives this place the Latin name of Columna Rhegina, which is referred to by Strabo (III. v. 5) as a small tower erected by the inhabitants of Rhegium at the strait of Sicily,
2 One of the mishaps to which ancient manuscripts were exposed is found here. Several codices add to this sentence the words ἐμελλ᾽, ἐπεὶ οὐδέπω κακόν γ᾽ ἀπώλετο, very likely, since nothing that is bad ever perishes. Musgrave stamped it as erroneous. Schweighäuser recognized it as an iambic verse from some poet whom he could not recall, and inferred that somebody had written it on the margin of his copy, and that the next copyist had embodied it in the text. So he rejected it. Nauck points out the original in the Philoctetes of Sophocles (446). It is found in the editio princeps of Appian and in the Latin versions of both Candidus and Geslen, whose attempts to reconcile it with the text are ingenious but futile.
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