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Antony’s men rode up and stopped fifty feet away. Ventidius was in the lead. He was flanked by Plancus on the right and Asinius on the left.
Cornelius grabbed the hilt of his sword. He had it halfway out as if he were getting ready to charge when Asinius raised his arm and yelled, “Hold on, Cornelius. We didn’t come here to fight!”
Maecenas shouted, “Well, Asinius, if you didn’t come here to fight, then what do you call your siege of Brundisium? An act of peace?”
“Caesar blocked Antony from entering Brundisium,” said Ventidius.
“That’s a lie, and you know it, Asinius!” said Maecenas.
Ventidius said, “Young Caesar seized command of Calenus’ soldiers. Antony saw that as a declaration of war.”
Then Cornelius shouted as loud as he could, “And where was the great Antony when all of this was going on? Was he out of breath from fighting the Parthians, or was he out of breath from another tough night with Cleopatra?” Spontaneous, boisterous laughter broke out among the soldiers on both sides.
Then, as if out of nowhere, a veteran with a patch over his right eye and a large scar down the left side of his face rode forward slowly from behind Cornelius. He stopped his horse between Asinius and Maecenas and put his hand in the air. In less than a minute, there was complete silence. He began to speak…..