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DCCCXXXVIII (F X, 30)

SERVIUS SULPICIUS GALBA TO CICERO
(AT ROME)
CAMP NEAR MUTINA, 16 APRIL ON the 15th of April, the day on which Pansa was to arrive at the camp of Hirtius, with the former of whom I was—for I had gone along the road a hundred miles to hasten his arrival-Antony brought out two legions, the second and the thirty-fifth, and two praetorian cohorts, one his own and the other that of Silanus, and a party of reservists. He confronted us with such a force because he thought that we had only four legions of recruits. But in the course of the night, in order to enable us to reach the camp in greater safety, Hirtius had sent us the Martian legion—which I usually command—and two praetorian cohorts. As soon as Antony's horsemen came in sight, neither the Martian legion nor the cavalry could be held back. The rest of us were obliged to follow them, as we could not stop them. Antony was keeping his men under cover at Forum Gallorum, and did not wish it to be known that he had the legions. He was allowing none but his cavalry and light-armed men to be seen. When Pansa saw that the legion was advancing in spite of him, he ordered two legions of recruits to follow his lead. As soon as we had got past the narrow ground of marsh and forest, our line was drawn up, consisting of twelve cohorts. The two legions had not yet come up. All on a sudden Antony brought his forces out of the village on to the field, and without waiting charged. At first the fighting was as keen as it was possible for it to be on both sides: although the right wing, on which I was with eight cohorts of the Martian legion, had at the first brush put Antony's thirty-fifth legion to flight, so that it advanced more than five hundred paces beyond the line from its original ground. Accordingly, when the cavalry attempted to outflank our wing, I began to retire and to throw my light-armed troops in the way of the Moorish cavalry, to prevent their charging my men in the rear. Meanwhile, I became conscious that I was between two bodies of Antony's troops, and that Antony was himself some way on my rear. I at once galloped towards the legion of recruits that was on its way up from camp, with my shield slung behind my back. Antony's men set off in pursuit of me; while our own men began pouring in a volley of pila. It was a stroke of good luck that I got safely out of it, for I was soon recognized by our men. On the Aemilian road itself, where Caesar's praetorian cohort was stationed, the fight was protracted. The left wing, being somewhat weak, consisting of two cohorts of the Martian legion and a praetorian cohort, began to give ground, because it was in danger of being outflanked by the cavalry, in which Antony is exceedingly strong. When all our lines had retired, I began retiring myself towards the camp on the extreme rear. Antony, regarding himself as having won the victory, thought that he could capture our camp. But when he reached it he lost a large number of men without accomplishing anything. The news having reached Hirtius, he met Antony as he was returning to his own camp with twenty veteran cohorts, and destroyed or put to flight his whole force, on the same ground as the battle had been fought, namely, at Forum Gallorum. Antony, with his cavalry, reached his camp near Mutina at the fourth hour after sunset. Hirtius returned to the camp, from which Pansa had issued, where he had left the two legions which had been assaulted by Antony. Thus Antony has lost the greater part of his veteran forces. This, however, naturally could not be accomplished without some loss in our praetorian cohorts and the Martian legion. Two eagles and sixty colours of Antony's have been brought in. It is a great victory.

16 April, in camp.


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