21 April

The Battle of Mutina was fought on this day in 43 BC between the forces of Mark Antony and the forces of Octavian.

The battle took place a week after the bloody and uncertain Battle of Forum Gallorum ended with heavy losses on both sides and the mortal wounding of consul Vibius Pansa. The other consul Aulus Hirtius and the young Caesar Octavian launched a direct attack on the camps of Mark Antony in order to break the front of encirclement around Modena. The fighting was very fierce and bloody; the Republican troops raided camps but Antony’s veterans counter-attacked; Hirtius the consul was killed in the melee; Octavian personally intervened and managed to avoid defeat, while Decimus Brutus also participated in the fighting with part of his forces locked in the city.

After the battle, Mark Antony decided to give up the siege and retreated with skill west along the Via Emilia, escaping the enemy forces and reconnecting with reinforcements of lieutenant Publius Ventidius Basso. The battle ended the brief war of Modena in favour of the Republicans allied with Octavian but soon the situation would change with the formation of the Second Triumvirate of Antony, Octavian and Lepidus.