THIS TIME SEPTIMIUS WENT east by sea. Embarking at Brundisium he sailed directly across to Asia Minor, probably landing at the Cilician port of Aegeae and completing the journey to Syria by road. The bulk of the expeditionary force, including two of the new legions, had been sent on ahead. The other new legion, II Parthica, was left in Italy, garrisoned at a new fortress thirteen miles south of Rome on the Via Appia, at Alba. Together with part of the Guard and other elements of the enlarged Rome garrison, this would be sufficient insurance against possible trouble during his absence. II Parthica was given an equestrian rather than a senatorial commander, as were the other new legions. Septimius’ friend Anullinus was City Prefect. Other close associates of Septimius were in strategic positions. Fabius Cilo ruled the key province of Upper Pannonia during the entire period of his absence, Geta was still governing Dacia and a high proportion of the other military provinces were entrusted to men of African origin or connections. Septimius was to be away from Rome for five years. There is no hint of any trouble in this period.1