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Nothing of this escaped the Vitellianists, for, as is usual in civil wars, there were many deserters, and the spies, while busy in inquiring into the plans of the enemy, failed to conceal their own. Meanwhile Cæcina and Valens remained quiet, and watched intently for the moment when the enemy in his blindness should rush upon destruction, and found the usual substitute for wisdom in waiting for the folly of others. They began to form a bridge, making a feint of crossing the Padus, in the face of an opposing force of gladiators; they wished also to keep their own soldiers from passing their unoccupied time in idleness. Boats were ranged at equal distances from each other, connected at both ends by strong beams, and with their heads turned against the current, while anchors were thrown out above to keep the bridge firm. The cables, however, instead of being taut, hung loose in the water, in order that as the stream rose the vessels might rise without their arrangement being disturbed. On the end of the bridge was placed a turret; it was built out on the last boat, and from it engines and machines might be worked to repel the enemy. The soldiers of Otho also raised a turret on the opposite bank, and hurled from it stones and flaming missiles.

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Padus (Italy) (1)

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