Nor was she disappointed. She obtained an army, and commenced her march
toward Egypt, following the same track which Antony and Gabinius had
pursued in coming to reinstate her father. Pothinus raised an army and
went forth to meet her. He took Achillas as the commander of the troops,
and the young Ptolemy as the nominal sovereign; while he, as the young
king's guardian and prime minister, exercised the real power. The troops
of Pothinus advanced to Pelusium. Here they met the forces of Cleopatra
coming from the east. The armies encamped not very far from each other,
and both sides began to prepare for battle.

The battle, however, was not fought. It was prevented by the occurrence
of certain great and unforeseen events which at this crisis suddenly
burst upon the scene of Egyptian history, and turned the whole current
of affairs into new and unexpected channels. The breaking out of the
civil war between the great Roman generals Caesar and Pompey, and their
respective partisans, has already been mentioned as having occurred soon
after the death of Cleopatra's father, and as having prevented Pompey
from undertaking the office of executor of the will. This war had been
raging ever since that time with terrible fury. Its distant thundering
had been heard even in Egypt, but it was too remote to awaken there any
special alarm. The immense armies of these two mighty conquerors had
moved slowly--like two ferocious birds of prey, flying through the air,
and fighting as they fly--across Italy into Greece, and from Greece,
through Macedon, into Thessaly, contending in dreadful struggles with
each other as they advanced, and trampling down and destroying every
thing in their way. At length a great final battle had been fought at
Pharsalia. Pompey had been totally defeated. He had fled to the
sea-shore, and there, with a few ships and a small number of followers,
he had pushed out upon the Mediterranean, not knowing whither to fly,
and overwhelmed with wretchedness and despair. Caesar followed him in
eager pursuit. He had a small fleet of galleys with him, on board of
which he had embarked two or three thousand men. This was a force
suitable, perhaps, for the pursuit of a fugitive, but wholly
insufficient for any other design.

[...]
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