|Do not fly Iberia
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Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book XV Chapter 10: War between Armenia/Rome and Iberia/Parthia (cont.)[AD 62]
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|Paetus, ignorant of the impending danger, was keeping the 5th legion at a distance in Pontus; the rest he had weakened by indiscriminate furloughs, till it was heard that Vologeses was approaching with a powerful force bent on war. He summoned the 12th legion, and then was discovered the numerical feebleness of the source from which he had hoped for the repute of an augmented army. Yet even thus the camp might have been held, and the Parthian foe baffled, by protracting the war, had Paetus stood firm either by his own counsels or by those of others. But though military men had put him on his guard against imminent disasters, still, not wishing to seem to need the advice of others, he would fall back on some quite different and inferior plan. So now, leaving his winter-quarters, and exclaiming that not the fosse or the rampart, but the men's bodies and weapons were given him for facing the foe, he led out his legions, as if he meant to fight a battle. Then, after losing a centurion and a few soldiers whom he had sent on in advance to reconnoitre the enemy's forces, he returned in alarm. And, as Vologeses had not pressed his advantage with much vigour, Paetus once again, with vain confidence, posted 3000 chosen infantry on the adjacent ridge of the Taurus, in order to bar the king's passage. He also stationed some Pannonian troopers, the flower of his cavalry, in a part of the plain. His wife and son he removed to a fortress named Arsamosata, with a cohort for their defence, thus dispersing the troops which, if kept together, could easily have checked the desultory skirmishing of the enemy. He could, it is said, scarcely be driven to confess to Corbulo how the enemy was pressing him. Corbulo made no haste, that, when the dangers thickened, the glory of the rescue might be enhanced. Yet he ordered 1000 men from each of his three legions with 800 cavalry, and an equal number of infantry to be in instant readiness.