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Doings of Sextus Pompeius in Spain -- He sails to Sicily -- Sea-fight between Pompeius and Salvidienus -- Salvidienus put to Flight -- Octavius and Antony cross the Adriatic -- Their Advance Guard march to Philippi and occupy the Passes of the Mountains of Thrace -- Brutus and Cassius move toward Philippi

[83] With Pompeius the situation was as follows. Being the younger son of Pompey the Great, he was at first disregarded by Gaius Cæsar in Spain as not likely to accomplish anything of importance on account of his youth and inexperience. He roamed about the ocean with a few followers, committing piracy and concealing the fact that he was Pompeius. When larger numbers joined him for the purpose of pillage, and his force became powerful, he revealed his name. Presently those who had served with his father and his brother, and who were leading a vagabond life, drifted to him as their natural leader, and Arabio, who had been deprived of his ancestral kingdom, as I have related previously, came to him from Africa.1 His forces being thus augmented, his doings were now more important than robbery, and as he flew from place to place the name of Pompeius spread through the whole of Spain,2 which was the most extensive of the provinces; but he avoided coming to an engagement with the governors of it appointed by Gaius Cæsar. When Cæsar learned of his doings he sent Carinas with a stronger army to fight him. Pompeius, however, being the more nimble of the two, would show himself and then disappear, and so he wore out his enemy and got possession of a number of towns, large and small.

[84] Then Cæsar sent Asinius Pollio as successor to Carinas to prosecute the war against Pompeius. While they were carrying on the same kind of warfare, Cæsar was assassinated and the Senate recalled Pompeius. The latter came to Massilia and there watched the course of events at Rome. Having been appointed commander of the sea with the same powers that his father had exercised, he did not yet come back to the city, but, taking what ships he found in the harbors, and joining them with those he had brought from Spain, he put to sea. When the triumvirate was established he sailed to Sicily, and as Bithynicus, the governor, would not yield the island, he besieged him, until Hirtius and Fannius, two men who had been proscribed and had fled from Rome, persuaded Bithynicus to surrender Sicily to Pompeius.

[85] In this way Pompeius possessed himself of Sicily, and thus had ships, and an island lying convenient to Italy, and an army, now of considerable size, composed of those whom he had before, and those who had fled from Rome, both freemen and slaves, or those sent to him by the Italian cities which had been proclaimed as prizes of victory for the soldiers. These cities dreaded a victory of the triumvirs more than anything else, and whatever they could do against them secretly they did. The wealthy citizens fled from a country that they could no longer consider their own and took refuge with Pompeius, who was near by and greatly beloved by all at that time. There were present with him also many seafaring men from Africa and Spain, skilled in naval affairs, so that Pompeius was well provided with officers, ships, troops, and money. When Octavius learned these facts he sent Salvidienus with a fleet to come alongside of Pompeius and destroy him, as though it were an easy task, while he passed through Italy himself with the intention of joining Salvidienus at Rhegium. Pompeius advanced with a large fleet to meet Salvidienus, and a naval engagement took place between them at the entrance of the straits near the promontory of Scyllæum. The ships of Pompeius, being lighter and manned by better sailors, excelled in swiftness and skill, while those of the Romans, being of great tonnage and size, labored heavily. When the usual rush of waves through the straits came on, and the sea dashed hither and thither under the influence of the current, the ships of Pompeius suffered less than their adversaries, because they were accustomed to the agitation of the waters; while those of Salvidienus, being unable to maintain their position firmly, or to work their oars, or manage their rudders, by reason of their inexperience, were thrown into confusion. Accordingly, about sunset, Salvidienus was the first to give the signal of retreat. Pompeius withdrew also. The ships suffered about equally on both sides. Salvidienus retired to the port of Balarus, facing the straits, where he repaired what was left of his damaged and wasted fleet.

[86] When Octavius arrived he gave a solemn promise to the inhabitants of Rhegium and Vibo that they should be exempt from the list of prizes of victory, for he feared them on account of their nearness to the straits. As Antony had sent him a hasty summons, he set sail to join the latter at Brundusium, having Sicily and Pompeius on his left hand; and postponing the conquest of the island for the time being. On the approach of Octavius, Murcus withdrew a short distance from Brundusium in order that he might not be between Antony and Octavius, and there he watched for the passage of the transports that were carrying the army across from Brundusium to Macedonia. The latter were escorted by triremes, but a strong and favorable wind having sprung up they darted across fearlessly, needing no escort. Murcus was vexed, but he lay in wait for the empty ships on their return. Yet these returned, took on board the remainder of the soldiers, and crossed again with full sails until the whole army, together with Octavius and Antony, had passed over. Although Murcus recognized that his plans were frustrated by some fatality, he held his position nevertheless, in order to hinder as much as possible the passage of the enemy's munitions and supplies, or supplementary troops. Domitius Ahenobarbus3 was sent by Brutus and Cassius to coöperate with him in this work, which they deemed most useful, together with fifty additional ships, one legion, and a body of archers; for, as the triumvirs did not have a plentiful supply of provisions from elsewhere, it was deemed important to cut off their convoys from Italy. And so Murcus and Domitius, with their 130 long ships and a still greater number of small ones, and their large military force, sailed hither and thither harassing the enemy.

[87] Decidius4 and Norbanus, whom Octavius and Antony had sent in advance with eight legions to Macedonia, proceeded from that country a distance of 1500 stades toward the mountainous part of Thrace until they had passed beyond the city of Philippi, and seized the passes of the Corpileans and the Sapæans, tribes under the rule of Rhascupolis, where lies the only known route of travel from Asia to Europe. Here was the first obstacle encountered by Brutus and Cassius after they had crossed over from Abydus to Sestus. Rhascupolis and Rhascus were brothers of the royal family of Thrace, ruling one country. They differed in opinion at that time in regard to the proper alliance. Rhascus had taken up arms for Antony and Rhascupolis for Cassius, each having 3000 horse. When the Cassians came to inquire about the roads, Rhascupolis told them that the one by way of Ænus and Maronea was the short and usual and most travelled route, but that it led to the gorge of the Sapæans, which was occupied by the enemy and hence was impassable, but that there was a roundabout road which was difficult and three times as long.

[88] Brutus and Cassius, thinking that the enemy had taken that position not so much to close the passage to them as to transfer themselves from Macedonia to Thrace for want of provisions, marched toward Ænus and Maronea from Lysimacheia and Cardia,5 which clasp the neck of the Thracian Chersonesus like gates. The next day brought them to the gulf of Melas.6 Here they reviewed their army, Coast of Thrace, showing the Field of Philippi

which contained in all nineteen legions of infantry. Of these Brutus had eight and Cassius nine, not full, but among them were two legions that were nearly full, so that they mustered about 80,000 foot-soldiers. Brutus had 4000 Gallic and Lusitanian horse, 3000 Thracian and Illyrian,7 and 2000 Parthian and Thessalian. Cassius had 2000 Spanish and Gallic horse and 4000 mounted bowmen, Arabs, Medes, and Parthians. The allied kings and tetrarchs of the Galatians in Asia followed him, leading a large additional force of foot-soldiers and about 5000 horse.

1 See Sec. 54.

2 καὶ ὄνομα τοῦ Πομπηίου . . . περίθεοντός τε καὶ μεθιπταμένου. Mendelssohn suggests, in place of the second clause, περιέθει ἐπιόντος τε.

3 This was the son of Cæsar's enemy of the same name who was killed during the retreat of the Pompeians from the field of Pharsalus. Ahenobarbus is a Latin surname meaning bronze-beard, the equivalent of Barbarossa. The codices contain an amusing series of blunders here. One manuscript has Δομίτιος ἀοινόβαρος (Domitius not heavy with wine), another Δομίτιος ἀηνοβάρβαρος (Domitius, the bronze barbarian), four others have Δομίτιος δ᾽ ἦν βάρβαρος (Domitius was a barbarian).

4 The name of this man was Decidius Saxa. He is mentioned in Syr. 51 and in the Epitome of Livy, cxxvii.

5 The text says that they marched toward Ænus and Maronea and thence toward Lysimacheia and Cardia, which would be the reverse of the route they actually took to Philippi. Schweighäuser judged that this was a copyist's blunder.

6 Here we have more geographical confusion. The gulf of Melas, i.e., the Black Gulf, was a day's journey east instead of west of Ænus. Cardia was situated on it. Probably the safest conclusion is that Appian did not know the exact situation of any of these places except Lysimacheia and Cardia. These he has placed correctly at the neck of the Thracian Chersonesus.

7 The number of Thracian and Illyrian horse is not given in the text. The number is inferred from the second enumeration found in Sec. 108 infra.

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