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Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book II Chapter 24: Otho versus Vitellius. An ambuscade[AD 69]
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Meanwhile, brilliant successes were gained under the command of Celsus and Paullinus. Caecina was greatly annoyed by the fruitlessness of all his undertakings, and by the waning reputation of his army. He had been repulsed from Placentia; his auxiliaries had been recently cut up, and even when the skirmishers had met in a series of actions, frequent indeed, but not worth relating, he had been worsted; and now that Valens was coming up, fearful that all the distinctions of the campaign would centre in that general, he made a hasty attempt to retrieve his credit, but with more impetuosity than prudence. Twelve miles from Cremona (at a place called the Castors) he posted some of the bravest of his auxiliaries, concealed in the woods that there overhang the road. The cavalry were ordered to move forward, and, after provoking a battle, voluntarily to retreat, and draw on the enemy in hasty pursuit, till the ambuscade could make a simultaneous attack. The scheme was betrayed to the Othonianist generals, and Paullinus assumed the command of the infantry, Celsus of the cavalry. The veterans of the 13th legion, four cohorts of auxiliaries, and 500 cavalry, were drawn up on the left side of the road; the raised causeway was occupied by three Praetorian cohorts, ranged in deep columns; on the right front stood the first legion with two cohorts of auxiliaries and 500 cavalry. Besides these, a thousand cavalry, belonging to the Praetorian guard and to the auxiliaries, were brought up to complete a victory or to retrieve a repulse.
Event: Otho versus Vitellius