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[114] 'Oh! but what about that oarsman in Coponius's fleet,'1 you say, 'didn't he truly foretell what afterwards came to pass? ' He did indeed, and the very things that all of us at the time feared would happen. For news was coming to us that the armies of Caesar and Pompey were facing each other in Thessaly. We thought that Caesar's troops had more reckless courage because they were fighting against their country and greater strength because of their long military training. Besides there was not one of us who did not dread the outcome of the battle, but our apprehension was not openly shown and was such as not to be discreditable to men of strong character. As for that Greek sailor, is it strange if, in the extremity of his fear, he, as most people do in such cases, lost his courage, reason, and self-control? In his mental excitement and aberration, he merely stated that things would occur, which, when he was himself, he feared would come to pass. In heaven's name, pray tell me, then, which you think was more likely to have had the power to interpret the decrees of the immortal gods—that crazy sailor, [p. 501] or someone of our party then on the ground-Cato, Varro, 2 Coponius or I?

1 Cf. i. 32. 68.

2 Marcus Varro, the most learned Roman of his time.

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