|Do not fly Iberia
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Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book III Chapter 24: Vitellius versus Antonius Primus. Speech of Primus[AD 69]
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|As soon as Antonius could recognize his men and be recognized by them, he sought to kindle their courage, striving to shame some with his reproaches, stirring many with praise and encouragement, and all with hopes and promises. "Why," he demanded of the legions of Pannonia, "have you again taken up arms? Yonder is the field where you may wipe out the stain of past disgrace, and redeem your honour." Then turning to the troops of Moesia, he appealed to them as the authors and originators of the war. "Idly," he said "have you challenged the Vitellianists with threatening words, if you cannot abide their attack or even their looks." So he spoke to each as he approached them. The third legion he addressed at greater length, reminding them of old and recent achievements, how under Marcus Antonius they had defeated the Parthians, under Corbulo the Armenians, and had lately discomfited the Sarmatians. Then angrily turning to the Praetorians, Clowns," said he, "unless you are victorious, what other general, what other camp will receive you? There are your colours and your arms; defeat is death, for disgrace you have exhausted." A shout was raised on all sides, and the soldiers of the third legion saluted, as is the custom in Syria, the rising sun.
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