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 As Cæsar could obtain no supplies by sea, on account of Pompey's naval superiority, his army began to suffer from hunger and was compelled to make bread from herbs.1 When deserters brought loaves of this kind to Pompey, thinking that he would be gladdened by the spectacle, he was not at all pleased, but said, "What kind of wild beasts are we fighting with ?" Then Cæsar, compelled by necessity, drew his whole army together in order to force Pompey to fight even against his will. The latter occupied a number of the redoubts that Cæsar had vacated and remained quiet. Cæsar was greatly vexed at this and ventured upon an extremely difficult and chimerical task; that is, to carry a line of circumvallation around the whole of Pompey's positions from sea to sea, thinking that even if he should fail he would acquire great renown from the boldness of the enterprise.2 The circuit was 1200 stades.3 So, great was the work that Cæsar undertook. Pompey built a line of countervallation. Thus they parried each other's efforts. Nevertheless, they fought one great battle in which Pompey defeated Cæsar in the most brilliant manner and pursued his men in headlong flight to his camp and took many of his standards. The eagle (the standard held in highest honor by the Romans) was saved with difficulty, the bearer having just time to throw it over the palisade to those within.
1 Both Plutarch and Cæsar say roots. "Those who were away from the fortifications," says the latter, " found a kind of root which is called 'chara,' which, mixed with milk, greatly relieved their want of food. They fashioned it into the similitude of bread, and they had abundance of it." (iii. 48.)
2 Cæsar says that his reasons for this were threefold: to prevent Pompey from interfering with his foragers, to prevent Pompey himself from foraging, and to destroy his prestige by showing him to the world besieged, and as one who dared not fight in the open. (iii. 43.)
3 The text here is probably corrupt. The distance mentioned is equal to 133 miles. Cæsar (iii. 63) says that it was 17 miles; Florus (iv. 2) says 16 miles.
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