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The line was supported, as it began to waver, by Antonius, who brought up the Prætorians. They took up the conflict, repulsed the enemy, and were then themselves repulsed. The troops of Vitellius had collected their artillery on the raised causeway, where there was a free and open space for the discharge of the missiles, which at first had been scattered at random, and had struck against the trees without injury to the enemy. An engine of remarkable size, belonging to the 15th legion, was crushing the hostile ranks with huge stones, and would have spread destruction far and wide, had not two soldiers ventured on a deed of surpassing bravery. Disguising themselves with shields snatched from the midst of the carnage, they cut the ropes and springs of the engine. They were instantly slain, and their names have consequently been lost; but the fact is undoubted. Fortune favoured neither side, till at a late hour of the night the moon rose and showed, but showed de- ceptively, both armies. The light, however, shining from behind, favoured the Flavianists. With them a lengthened shadow fell from men and horses, and the enemy's missiles, incorrectly aimed at what seemed the substance, fell short, while the Vitellianists, who had the light shining on their faces, were unconsciously exposed to an enemy who were, so to speak, concealed while they aimed.

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