CHAPTER VIThe Armies of Asinius, Plancus, and Ventidius -- Octavius gains Possession of the Army of Calenus -- Antony's Wife and Mother join him at Athens -- Octavius begins to suspect Antony -- He holds a Conversation on the Subject with Lucius -- Antony sets Sail for Italy -- Meets Ahenobarbus in the Adriatic -- Antony arrives at Brundusium and lays Siege to it -- Octavius marches thither -- Antony sends to Macedonia to bring his Army -- The Soldiers of the Two Armies fraternize -- Death of Fulvia
 Now Asinius, Plancus, Ventidius, Crassus, Ateius, and the others of that party, who had forces not to be despised, numbering about thirteen legions of disciplined LIVIA AS PRIESTESS OF AUGUSTUS From Pompeii, in the Museum at Naples troops and upward of 6500 horse, considering Lucius the chief actor in the war, retired to the sea-coast by various routes, some to Brundusium, some to Ravenna, some to Tarentum, some to Murcus and Ahenobarbus, and still others to Antony. The friends of Octavius followed them, offering terms of peace, and harassing those who refused, especially the infantry. From among them only two legions, belonging to Plancus, who were intercepted at Cameria, were persuaded by Agrippa to desert to him. Fulvia fled with her children to Dicæarchia,1 and thence to Brundusium, with 3000 horse, who were sent with her by the generals as an escort. At Brundusium there were five war-ships which had been sent for from Macedonia, and she embarked and put to sea, accompanied by Plancus, who abandoned the remains of his army through cowardice. These soldiers chose Ventidius as their commander. Asinius drew over Ahenobarbus to the side of Antony. Both Asinius and Ventidius wrote these facts to Antony, and they prepared landing-places, in expectation of his early arrival, and stores of provisions throughout Italy.  Octavius was planning to get possession of another considerable army belonging to Antony, that was under the command of Fufius Calenus near the Alps. He already had suspicions of Antony, and he hoped, if the latter remained friendly, to preserve these forces for him, or, if war should break out, to add this large force to his own strength. While he was still delaying and looking around for a fair-seeming occasion, Calenus died. Octavius, believing that he had found a good excuse for both transactions, went and took possession of the army and of Gaul and Spain besides, which were Antony's provinces.2 Fufius, the son of Calenus, was terrified, and delivered everything over to him without a fight. Octavius, having acquired eleven legions of soldiers and these large provinces by one stroke, dismissed the chief officers from their commands, substituted his own, and returned to Rome.  As it was still winter, Antony retained the deputies of the colonized veterans, who had been sent to him, and concealed his intentions. In the spring he set out from Alexandria and proceeded by land to Tyre, and thence by sea, touching at Cyprus and Rhodes, to the province of Asia. There he learned of the doings at Perusia and he blamed his brother and Fulvia, and, most of all, Manius. He found Fulvia at Athens, whither she had fled from Brundusium. His mother, Julia, who had fled to Pompeius, had been sent thither by him from Sicily with warships, and escorted by some of the optimates of his party, by Lucius Libo, his father-in-law, by Saturninus and others, who, being attracted by Antony's capacity for great deeds, sought to bring him into friendly relations with Pompeius and to form an alliance between them against Octavius. Antony replied that he thanked Pompeius for sending his mother and that he would requite him for the service in due time; that if there should be a war with Octavius he would ally himself with Pompeius, but that if Octavius should adhere to their agreements he would endeavor to reconcile him with Pompeius. Such was his answer.  When Octavius returned from Gaul to Rome he heard about those who had set sail for Athens. Not knowing exactly what answer Antony had given them, he began to excite the colonized soldiers against the latter, representing that Antony intended to bring back Pompeius with the owners of the lands which the soldiers now held, for most of the owners had taken refuge with Pompeius. Although this cause of irritation was plausible, the soldiers would not even then take up arms against Antony with any zeal, the reputation he had gained at Philippi having made him popular. Octavius considered himself far superior to Antony, to Pompeius, and to Ahenobarbus in the number of troops, as he now had more than forty legions, but as he had no ships and no time to make any, while they had 500, he feared lest they should bring famine upon Italy by patrolling the coast. While meditating on those things, and while he had the choice of many virgins in marriage, he wrote to Mæcenas to make an engagement for him with Scribonia,3 the sister of Libo, the father-in-law of Pompeius, so that he might have the means of coming to an arrangement with the latter if need be. When Libo heard of this he wrote to his family that they should betroth her to Octavius without delay. Then Octavius, on various pretexts, sent away, to this place and that, such of Antony's friends and soldiers as he could not trust, and he sent Lepidus to Africa, the province assigned to him, and with him the six of Antony's legions who were under suspicion.  Then he summoned Lucius to his presence and praised him for his attachment to his brother, because he had taken the blame upon himself while carrying out Antony's wishes, but reproached him with ingratitude if, after meeting such a favor from himself, he should now refuse to confess concerning the aims of Antony, who was said to have formed an alliance openly with Pompeius. "Having confidence in you," he said, "when Calenus died I took charge of his provinces and army through my friends for Antony, so that they might not be without a head, but now that the plot is unveiled I shall keep them all for myself, and if you wish to go to your brother I will allow you to do so fearlessly." He spoke thus, either to test Lucius or in order that what he said might reach Antony. Lucius replied in the same spirit as before, saying, "I knew that Fulvia was in favor of the monarchy, but I joined with her and made use of my brother's soldiers to overthrow all of you. And now if my brother should come to dissolve the monarchy I would go to join him, either openly or secretly, and would fight you again in behalf of the country, although you have been a benefactor to me. If he seeks allies to assist him in maintaining the tyranny, I will fight on your side against him as long as I think that you are not trying to establish a monarchy. I shall always set my country above gratitude and above family." So spake Lucius. Octavius, holding him in the same admiration as recently [at Perusia], said that he did not wish to incite him against his brother, but that he would intrust to Lucius, because he was what he was, the whole of Spain, and the army in it, which were now under the command of his lieutenants, Peducæus and Lucius.4 So Octavius dismissed Lucius with honor, but kept a secret watch upon him by means of his lieutenants.  Antony left Fulvia ill at Sicyon, and set sail from Corcyra into the Adriatic5 with an inconsiderable army and 200 ships that he had built in Asia. Antony learned that Ahenobarbus was coming to meet him with a fleet and a large number of soldiers. Then some of Antony's friends thought that it was not safe to trust to the agreement exchanged between them, since Ahenobarbus had been condemned at the trial of Cæsar's murderers, and had been placed on the list of the proscribed, and had fought against Antony and Octavius at the time of the battle of Philippi.6 Nevertheless, Antony advanced with five of his best ships in order to seem to have confidence in Ahenobarbus, and he ordered the others to follow at a certain distance. When Ahenobarbus was observed coming forward, rowing swiftly, with his whole army and fleet, Plancus, who was standing by the side of Antony, was alarmed and advised him to check his course and send a few men forward to make a test, as to a man whose intentions were doubtful. Antony replied that he would rather die by a breach of the treaty than to be saved by an appearance of cowardice, and continued his course. Now they were drawing near, and the vessels which bore the chiefs were distinguishable by their ensigns and approached each other. Antony's first lictor, who stood on the prow as was customary, either forgetful that Ahenobarbus was a man of doubtful purpose, and that he was leading his own forces, or moved by a lofty spirit as though he were meeting subject or inferior men, ordered them to lower their flag. They did so, and laid their ship alongside of Antony's. When the two commanders saw each other they exchanged greetings, and the army of Ahenobarbus saluted Antony as imperator. Plancus recovered his courage with difficulty. Antony received Ahenobarbus in his own ship and sailed to Palœis,7 where Ahenobarbus had his infantry, and here he yielded his tent to Antony.  From thence they sailed to Brundusium, which was garrisoned by five cohorts of Octavius' troops. The citizens closed their gates against Ahenobarbus, as an old enemy, and against Antony, as one introducing an enemy. Antony was indignant. Considering this a pretence, and that he was in fact shut out by Octavius' garrison at the latter's instance, he drew a ditch and palisade across the isthmus that connects the town with the mainland. The city is situated on a peninsula which fronts a crescent-shaped harbor. Now the people coming from the mainland could no longer reach the rising ground on which the city stands, as it had been cut off and walled in. Antony also surrounded the harbor, which is large, and the islands in it, with towers planted closely together. He sent forces along the coasts of Italy, whom he ordered to seize the advantageous positions. He called upon Pompeius to move against Italy with his fleet and to do whatever he could. Pompeius, with alacrity, despatched Menodorus with a numerous fleet and four legions of soldiers, who seized Sardinia, which belonged to Octavius, and two legions in it, who were panic-stricken at this agreement between Pompeius and Antony. In Italy Antony's men captured the town of Sipuntum of Ausonia.8 Pompeius besieged Thurii and Consentia and ravaged their territory with his cavalry.  Octavius, attacked so suddenly and in so many places, sent Agrippa into Ausonia to succor the distressed inhabitants. Agrippa called out the colonized veterans along the road, and they followed at a certain interval, supposing that they were moving against Pompeius, but when they learned that what had happened had been done at Antony's instance, they turned around and went back secretly. Octavius was greatly alarmed by this. Nevertheless, while marching to Brundusium with another army he again fell in with the colonized veterans, and interceded with them, and prevailed upon those who had been colonized by himself to follow him. They were ashamed to refuse, but they had the secret intention to bring Antony and Octavius into harmony with each other, and if Antony should refuse and should go to war, then to defend Octavius. The latter was detained some days at Canusium by sickness. Although his forces considerably outnumbered those of Antony, he found Brundusium walled in, and he could do nothing but encamp alongside of it and await events.  Antony was enabled by means of his intrenchments to defend himself easily, although he was much inferior in numbers. He summoned his army from Macedonia in haste, and in the meantime he resorted to the stratagem of sending war-ships and merchant vessels to sea by night secretly with a multitude of private citizens on board, which returned, one after another, the next day, in sight of Octavius, bearing armed men, as though they had just come from Macedonia. Antony had his machines already prepared and was about to attack the Brundusians, to the great chagrin of Octavius, since he was not able to defend them. Toward evening the news reached both armies that Agrippa had captured Sipuntum and that Pompeius had been repulsed from Thurii, but was still besieging Consentia. Antony was disturbed by this news. When it was announced that Servilius was coming to the assistance of Octavius with 1500 horse, Antony could not restrain his rage, but sprang up from supper, and, with such friends as he could find ready and with 400 horse, he pressed forward with the utmost intrepidity, and fell upon the 1500, who were still asleep near the town of Uria, threw them into a panic, captured them without a fight, and returned to Brundusium the same day. Thus did the reputation that Antony had gained at Philippi as an invincible man still inspire terror.  Antony's prætorian cohorts, proud of his prestige, approached the camp of Octavius in groups and reproached their former comrades for coming hither to fight Antony, to whom they all owed their safety at Philippi. When the latter replied that the others had come making war against themselves, they fell to arguing and brought charges against each other. Antony's men said that Brundusium had been closed against him and that Calenus' troops had been taken from him. The others spoke of the investment and siege of Brundusium, the invasion of Southern Italy, the agreement with Ahenobarbus, one of Cæsar's murderers, and the treaty with Pompeius, their common enemy. Finally Octavius' men revealed their purpose to the others, saying that they had come with Octavius, not because they were forgetful of Antony's merits, but with the intention of bringing them to an agreement, or, if Antony refused and continued the war, of defending Octavius against him. These things they openly said also when they approached Antony's works. While these events 'were in progress the news came that Fulvia was dead. It was said that she was dispirited by Antony's reproaches and fell sick; and it was thought that she had become a willing victim of disease on account of the anger of Antony, who had left her while she was sick and had not visited her even when he was going away. The death of this turbulent woman, who had stirred up so disastrous a war on account of her jealousy of Cleopatra, seemed extremely fortunate to both of the parties who were rid of her. Nevertheless, Antony was much saddened by this event because he considered himself in some sense the cause of it.