|Do not fly Iberia
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Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book III Chapter 41: Vitellius versus Antonius Primus. Actions of Valens[AD 69]
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|He wrote to Vitellius asking for aid. Three cohorts with some British cavalry arrived, a force too numerous to elude observation, too small to force its way. Even amidst such perils Valens could not keep himself clear of the infamous reputation of grasping at unlawful gratifications and polluting the houses of his hosts with intrigue and violation. He had power, he had money, and he indulged the lusts that are the last solace of desperate fortunes. At length on the arrival of the infantry and cavalry the folly of his plans became evident. With so small a force, even had it been thoroughly loyal, he could not have made his way through the enemy, and the loyalty they had brought with them was not beyond suspicion. Yet shame and respect for the presence of their general held them in check, no lasting restraint with men who loved danger and were careless of disgrace. Moved by this apprehension, Valens, while he retained a few attendants whom adversity had not changed, sent on the infantry to Ariminum and ordered the cavalry to cover his rear. He then himself made his way to Umbria, and thence to Etruria, where, having learnt the issue of the Battle of Cremona, he conceived a plan not wanting in vigour, and which, had it succeeded, would have had terrible results. This was to seize some ships, to land on some part of Gallia Narbonensis, to rouse Gaul with its armies as well as the tribes of Germany, and so to kindle a fresh war.