|Do not fly Iberia
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Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book III Chapter 8: Vitellius versus Antonius Primus. Verona as head-quarter[AD 69]
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|The next question was, what place should be selected as the seat of war. Verona seemed the most eligible, surrounded as it was with open plains, suitable for the action of cavalry, in which they were very strong. At the same time it was thought that in wresting from Vitellius a colony so rich in resources there would be both profit and glory. They secured Vicetia by simply passing through it. Though in itself a small gain, for the town is but of moderate strength, it was considered an important advantage when they reflected that in this town Caecina was born, and that the general of the enemy had lost his native place. The people of Verona were a valuable aid; they served the cause by the example of their zeal and by their wealth, and the army thus occupied a position between Rhaetia and the Julian Alps. It was to cut off all passage at this point from the armies of Germany that they had barred this route. All this was done either without the knowledge, or against the commands of Vespasian. He gave orders that the army should halt at Aquileia and there await Mucianus; and these orders he supported by the argument, that as Aegypt, which commanded the corn supplies, and the revenues of the wealthiest provinces were in his hands, the army of Vitellius would be compelled to capitulate from the want of pay and provisions. Mucianus in frequent letters advised the same policy; a victory that should cost neither blood nor tears, and other objects of the kind, were his pretexts; but in truth he was greedy of glory, and anxious to keep the whole credit of the war to himself. Owing, however, to the vast distances, the advice came only after the matter was decided.
|Quaesitum inde quae sedes bello legeretur. Verona potior visa, patentibus circum campis ad pugnam equestrem, qua praevalebant: simul coloniam copiis validam auferre Vitellio in rem famamque videbatur. possessa ipso transitu Vicetia; quod per se parvum (etenim modicae municipio vires) magni momenti locum obtinuit reputantibus illic Caecinam genitum et patriam hostium duci ereptam. in Veronensibus pretium fuit: exemplo opibusque partis iuvere; et interiectus exercitus Raetiam Iuliasque Alpis, [ac] ne pervium illa Germanicis exercitibus foret, obsaepserat. quae ignara Vespasiano aut vetita: quippe Aquileiae sisti bellum expectarique Mucianum iubebat, adiciebatque imperio consilium, quando Aegyptus, claustra annonae, vectigalia opulentissimarum provinciarum obtinerentur, posse Vitellii exercitum egestate stipendii frumentique ad deditionem subigi. eadem Mucianus crebris epistulis monebat, incruentam et sine luctu victoriam et alia huiusce modi praetexendo, sed gloriae avidus atque omne belli decus sibi retinens. ceterum ex distantibus terrarum spatiis consilia post res adferebantur.