|Do not fly Iberia
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Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book III Chapter 6: Vitellius versus Antonius Primus. Primus in Italy[AD 69]
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|Antonius, as he hurried with the veteran soldiers of the cohorts and part of the cavalry to invade Italy, was accompanied by Arrius Varus, an energetic soldier. Service under Corbulo, and successes in Armenia, had gained for him this reputation; yet it was generally said, that in secret conversations with Nero he had calumniated Corbulo's high qualities. The favour thus infamously acquired made him a centurion of the first rank, yet the ill-gotten prosperity of the moment afterwards turned to his destruction. Primus and Varus, having occupied Aquileia, were joyfully welcomed in the neighbourhood, and in the towns of Opitergium and Altinum. At Altinum a force was left to oppose the Ravenna fleet, the defection of which from Vitellius was not yet known. They next attached to their party Patavium and Ateste. There they learnt that three cohorts, belonging to Vitellius, and the Sebonian Horse had taken up a position at the Forum Alieni, where they had thrown a bridge across the river. It was determined to seize the opportunity of attacking this force, unprepared as it was; for this fact had likewise been communicated. Coming upon them at dawn, they killed many before they could arm. Orders had been given to slay but few, and to constrain the rest by fear to transfer their allegiance. Some indeed at once surrendered, but the greater part broke down the bridge, and thus cut off the advance of the pursuing enemy.