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In the campaign which began in the sixth summer, having reason to apprehend a general confederacy of the nations beyond the Firth of Bodotria, and fearing, in a country not yet explored, the danger of a surprise, Agricola ordered his ships to sail across the gulf, and gain bome knowledge of those new regions. The fleet, now acting, for the first time, in concert with the land forces, proceeded in sight of the army, forming a magnificent spectacle, and adding terror to the war. At the sight of the Roman fleet, the Britons, according to intelligence gained from the prisoners, were struck with consternation, convinced that every resource was cut off since the sea, which had always been their shelter, was now laid open to the invader. In this distress, the Caledonians resolved to try the issue of a battle. Without waiting for the commencement of hostilities, they stormed the Roman forts and cas les, and by provoking danger, made such an impression Ihat several officers in Agricola's army recommended a sudden retreat to avoid the disgrace of being driven back to the other side of the Firth. Meanwhile Agricola received intelligence that the enemy meditated an attack in various quarters at once, and thereupon, lest superior numbers, in a country where he was a stranger to the defiles and passes, should be able to surround him, he divided his army, and marched forward in three columns.
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