Cassius Dio.

Dio's Rome, Volume 2 An Historical Narrative Originally Composed in Greek During the Reigns of Septimius Severus, Geta and Caracalla, Macrinus, Elagabalus and Alexander Severus; and Now Presented in E online

. (page 1 of 30)
Online LibraryCassius DioDio's Rome, Volume 2 An Historical Narrative Originally Composed in Greek During the Reigns of Septimius Severus, Geta and Caracalla, Macrinus, Elagabalus and Alexander Severus; and Now Presented in E → online text (page 1 of 30)
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HERBERT BALDWIN FOSTER, A.B. (Harvard), Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins), Acting
Professor of Greek in Lehigh University

SECOND VOLUME _Extant Books 36-44 (B.C. 69-44)_.




Book Thirty-six

Book Thirty-seven

Book Thirty-eight

Book Thirty-nine

Book Forty

Book Forty-one

Book Forty-two

Book Forty-three

Book Forty-four



Metellus subdues Crete by force (chapters 1, 2)[1]

Mithridates and Tigranes renew the war (chapter 3).

Lucullus does not take advantage of his victory: a successor is
appointed: he captures Tigranocerta (chapter 4).

Arsaces, the Parthian, lends aid to neither party (chapter 5).

Lucullus, after a rather disastrous conflict, besieges and captures
Nisibis (chapters 6-8).

Meanwhile he loses the Armenias: Fabius is conquered (chapters 10, 11).

Triarius follows Mithridates to Comana: is afterwards overcome by him
(chapters 12-15).

Uprising in Lucullus's army: Mithridates regains everything (chapters

Insolence of the pirates (chapters 20-23).

The consequent war, in spite of opposition on the part of many, is by
the Gabinian law entrusted to Pompey and is very quickly brought to an
end (chapters 23-37).

Cornelian laws in regard to canvassing for office and edicts of praetors:
the Roscian in regard to seats for the knights: the Manilian in regard
to the voting of freedmen (chapters 38-42).

The Mithridatic war by the Manilian law is given in charge of Pompey
(chapters 43, 44).

Pompey vanquishes Mithridates in a night battle (chapters 45-50).

Tigranes, the father, surrenders himself: his son is put in chains
(chapters 51-53).

An attack of the Albani is repulsed (chapter 54).


Q. Hortensius, Q. Caecilius Metellus Creticus Coss. (B.C. 69 = a.u. 685.)

L. Caecilius Metellus (dies,[2] then) Q. Marcius Rex alone.(B.C. 68 =
a.u. 686.)

M. Acilius Glabrio, C. Calpurnius Piso. (B.C. 67 = a.u. 687.)

L. Volcatius Tullus, M. Aemilius Lepidus. (B.C. 66 = a.u. 688.)


The beginning of this book is missing in the MSS. The gist of the lost
portion may in all probability be gathered from the following sentences
of Xiphilinus (p. 3, R. Steph.):

"When the consuls drew lots, Hortensius obtained the war against the
Cretans. Because of his fondness, however, for residence in the capital,
and because of the courts (in which his influence was only second to
Cicero's) he voluntarily relinquished the campaign in favor of his
colleague and himself remained at home. Metellus accordingly started for
Crete ...

"Lucius Lucullus at about this period worsted the lords of
Asia, - Mithridates and Tigranes the Armenian, - in the war, and having
compelled them, to avoid a pitched battle proceeded to besiege
Tigranocerta. The barbarians did him serious injury by means of their
archery as well as by the naphtha which they poured over his engines.
This chemical is full of bitumen and is so fiery that whatever it
touches it is sure to burn to a cinder, and it can not be extinguished
by any liquid. As a consequence Tigranes recovered courage and marched
forth with an army of such huge proportions that he actually laughed
heartily at the appearance of the Romans present there. He is said to
have remarked that in cases where they came to make war only a few
presented themselves, but when it was an embassy, many came. However,
his amusement was of short duration, and he forthwith discovered how far
courage and skill surpass any mere numbers. Relics of his subsequent
flight were found by the soldiers in the shape of his tiara and the band
that goes around it; and they gave them to Lucullus. In his fear that
these marks might lead to his recognition and capture he had pulled them
off and thrown them away."

[B.C. 69 (_a.u._ 685)]

[-1-] ... and because he had enjoyed the extremes of fortune in both
respects, he allowed it. For after his many defeats and victories no
fewer, he had a firm belief that he had in consequence become more
versed in generalship. His foes accordingly busied themselves as if they
were then for the first time beginning war, sending an embassy to their
various neighbors, including among others Arsaces the Parthian, although
he was hostile to Tigranes on account of some disputed territory. This
they offered to vacate for him, and proceeded to malign the Romans,
saying that the latter, should they conquer them while isolated, would
immediately make a campaign against him. Every victorious force was
inherently insatiable of success and put no bound to acquisition, and
the Romans, who had won the mastery over many, would not choose to leave
him alone.

[-2-] While they were so engaged, Lucullus did not follow up Tigranes,
but allowed him to reach safety quite at leisure. Because of this he was
charged by the citizens, as well as others, with refusing to end the
war, in order that he might retain his command a longer time. Therefore
they then restored the province of Asia to the praetors, and later, when
he apparently acted in this way again, sent to him the consul of that
year, to relieve him. Tigranocerta he did seize when the foreigners that
dwelt with the natives revolted to the side of the Armenians. The most
of these were Cilicians who had once been deported, and they let in the
Romans during the night. Thereupon everything was laid waste except what
belonged to the Cilicians; and many wives of the principal chiefs
Lucullus held, when captured, free from outrage: by this action he won
over their husbands also. He received further Antiochus, king of
Commagene (the Syrian country near the Euphrates and the Taurus), and
Alchaudonius, an Arabian chieftain, and others who had made proposals
for peace.

[-3-] From them he learned of the embassy sent by Tigranes and
Mithridates to Arsaces, and despatched to him, on his part, some of the
allies with threats, in case he should aid the foe, and promises, if he
should espouse the Roman cause. Arsaces at that time (for he still
nourished anger against Tigranes and felt no suspicion toward the
Romans) sent a counter-embassy to Lucullus, and established friendship
and alliance. Later, at sight of Secilius,[3] who had come to him, he
began to suspect that the emissary was there to spy out the country and
his power. It was for this cause, he thought, and not for the sake of
the agreement which had already been made that a man distinguished in
warfare had been sent. Hence he no longer rendered them any help. On the
other hand, he made no opposition, but stood aloof from both parties,
naturally wishing neither to grow strong. He decided that an evenly
balanced contest between them would bring him the greatest safety.

[B.C. 68 (_a.u._ 686)]

[-4-] Besides these transactions Lucullus this year subdued many parts
of Armenia. In the year of Quintus Marcius (Note by the author. - By this
I mean that although he was not the only consul appointed, he was the
only one that held office. Lucius Metellus, elected with him, died in
the early part of the year, and the man chosen in his stead resigned
before entering upon office, wherefore no one else was appointed.), - in
this year, then, when summer was half way through (in the spring it was
impossible to invade hostile territory by reason of the cold), Lucullus
entered upon a campaign and devastated some land purposing to draw the
barbarians, while defending it, imperceptibly into battle. As he could
not rouse them for all that, he attacked. [-5-]In this engagement the
opposing cavalry gave the Roman cavalry hard work, but none of the foe
approached the infantry; indeed, whenever the foot-soldiers of Lucullus
assisted the horse, the adversaries of the Romans would turn to flight.
Far from suffering harm, however, they shot backward at those pursuing
them, killing some instantly and wounding great numbers. Such wounds
were dangerous and hard to heal. This was because they used double
arrow-points and furthermore poisoned them, so that the missiles,
whether they stuck fast anywhere in the body or were drawn out, would
quickly destroy it, since the second iron point, having no attachment,
would be left within.

[-6-] Lucullus, since many were being wounded, some were dying, and some
were being maimed, and provisions at the same time were failing them,
retired from that place and marched against Nisibis. This city is built
in the region called Mesopotamia (Author's note. - Mesopotamia is the
name given to all the country between the Tigris and Euphrates.) and now
belongs to us, being considered a colony of ours. But at that time
Tigranes, who had seized it from the Parthians, had deposited in it his
treasuries and most of his other possessions, and had stationed his
brother as guard over it. Lucullus reached this city in summer time, and
although he directed his attacks upon it in no half-hearted fashion, he
effected nothing. For the walls being of brick, double and of great
thickness, with a deep moat intervening, could be neither shaken down
nor dug through and consequently Tigranes was not lending them
assistance.[-7-] When winter set in, and the barbarians were behaving
rather carelessly, inasmuch as they had the upper hand and were all but
expecting to drive out the Romans, Lucullus waited for a night without a
moon, when there was a violent storm of thunder and rain, so that the
foe, not being able to see ahead or hear a sound, left the outer city
(all but a few of them) and the intervening moat. He then assailed the
wall at many points, ascending it without difficulty from the mounds,
and easily slew the guards, not many in number, who had been left behind
upon it. In this way he filled up a part of the moat - the barbarians had
broken down the bridges in advance - and got across, since in the
downpour neither archery nor fire could harm him. Immediately he
captured nearly everything, for the inner circle was not very strong by
reason of the confidence felt in the outer works beyond it. Among those
that fled to the acropolis, whom he subsequently caused to capitulate,
was the brother of Tigranes. He also obtained considerable money and
passed the winter there.

[-8-] Nisibis, then, he overpowered as described, but many localities of
Armenia and the other countries around Pontus he lost. Tigranes had not
aided the town in question through the idea that it could not be
captured, but had hurried to the aforementioned places to see if he
could acquire them before Lucullus, while the latter was occupied near
the other city. Despatching Mithridates to his native land, Tigranes
himself entered his own district of Armenia. There he was opposed by
Lucius Fannius, whom he cut off and besieged, however, until Lucullus
ascertaining it sent assistance. [-9-]Meanwhile Mithridates had invaded
the other Armenia and surrounding neighborhood, where he fell upon and
destroyed many of the Romans to whom he appeared unexpectedly as they
were wandering about the country. Others he annihilated in battle, and
thereby won back speedily most of the positions. For the men of that
land were well disposed toward him because of kinship and because of his
being hereditary monarch: they hated the Romans because the latter were
foreigners and because they had been ill treated by those set over them.
Consequently they sided with Mithridates and afterward conquered Marcus
Fabius, leader of the Romans in that place. The Thracians, who had
formerly been mercenaries under Mithridates, but were then with Fabius,
and the slaves present in the Roman camp gave them vigorous assistance.
Thracians sent ahead by Fabius to reconnoitre brought back to him no
reliable report, and later, when Mithridates suddenly fell upon him as
he was proceeding along in a rather unguarded fashion, they joined in
the attack on the Romans. At the same instant the slaves (to whom the
barbarians had proclaimed freedom) took a hand in the work. They would
have crushed their adversaries, had not Mithridates while occupied with
the enemy - although over seventy years old he was in the battle - been
hit with a stone. This caused the barbarians to fear that he might die;
and while they halted battle on this account, Fabius and the others were
able to escape to safety.[-10-] The Roman general was subsequently shut
up and besieged in Cabira, but was rescued by Triarius. The latter was
in that vicinity on his way from Asia to Lucullus. Having learned what
had happened he collected as large a force as was possible with the
resources at hand and in his advance so alarmed Mithridates (probably by
the size of the Roman detachment) as to make him withdraw before
Triarius came in view. At this the Romans took courage, and pursuing the
enemy as far as Comana, whither he had retired, won a victory over him.
Mithridates was in camp on the opposite side of the river from the point
where the Romans approached, and was anxious to join battle while they
were worn out from the march. Accordingly he himself met them first, and
directed that at the crisis of the battle others should cross from
another direction, by a bridge, to take part in the attack. But whereas
he fought an equal conflict a long time he was deprived of
reinforcements by the confusion on the bridge across which many were
pushing at one time, crowded all, together.

[-11-] Thereafter they both retreated to their own fortifications and
rested, for it was now winter. Comana belongs to the present territory
of Cappadocia and was reported to have preserved right through to that
time the Tauric statue of Artemis and the race of Agamemnon. As to how
these reached them or how remained there I can find no certain account,
since there are various stories. But what I understand accurately I will
state. There are two cities in Cappadocia not far apart and of the same
name which contend for the same honors. Their myths and the relics they
exhibit are alike, and both treasure a sword, which is supposedly the
very one connected with the story of Iphigenia.

[B.C. 67 (_a.u._ 687)]

[-12-] To resume our narrative. The following year, in the consulship of
Manius Acilius and Gaius Piso, Mithridates encamped against Triarius
near Gaziura, trying to challenge and provoke him to battle; for
incidentally he himself practiced watching the Romans and trained his
army to do so. His hope was to engage and vanquish Triarius before
Lucullus came up and thus get back the rest of the province. As he could
not arouse him, he sent some men to Dadasa, a garrison where the Romans'
baggage was deposited, in order that his opponent by defending it might
be drawn into conflict. And so it was. Triarius for a time fearing the
numbers of Mithridates and expecting Lucullus, whom he had sent for,[4]
remained quiet. But when news came of the siege of Dadasa, and the
soldiers in fear for the place got disturbed and kept threatening that
if no one would lead them out they would go to the rescue at their own
bidding, he reluctantly left his position. As he was now moving forward
the barbarians fell upon him, surrounded and overwhelmed by their
numbers those near at hand, and encompassed with cavalry and killed
those who, not knowing that the river had been directed into the plain,
had fled thither.[-13-] They would have destroyed them utterly, had not
one of the Romans, pretending to come from the allies of Mithridates - no
few of whom, as I have said, were along with the expedition on an equal
footing with the Romans, - approached the leader, as if wishing to make
some communication, and wounded him. To be sure, the fellow was
immediately seized and put to death, but the barbarians were so
disheartened in view of the occurrence that many of the Romans escaped.

When Mithridates had had his wound cured, he suspected that there were
some others, too, of the enemy in the camp. So he held a review of the
soldiers as if with a different purpose, and gave the order that they
should retire singly to their tents with speed. Then he despatched the
Romans, who were thus left alone. [-14-] At this juncture the arrival of
Lucullus gave the idea to some that he would conquer Mithridates easily,
and soon recover all that had been let slip: however, he effected
nothing. For his antagonist, entrenched on the high ground near Talaura,
would not come out against him, and the other Mithridates from Media,
son-in-law of Tigranes, fell upon the Romans while scattered, and killed
many of them. Likewise the approach of Tigranes himself was announced.

Then there was mutiny in the army; for the Valerians,[5] who had been
exempted from military service and afterward had started on a campaign
again, had been restless even at Nisibis on account of the victory and
ensuing idleness, and also because they had had provisions in abundance
and the bulk of the management, Lucullus being absent on many errands.
But it was chiefly because a certain Publius Clodius (whom some called
Claudius) under the influence of an innate love of revolution solidified
the seditious element among them, though his sister was united in
wedlock to Lucullus. They were especially wrought up at that time,
moreover, through hearing that Acilius the consul, who had been sent out
to relieve Lucullus for reasons mentioned, was drawing near. They held
him in slight repute, regarding him as a mere private citizen.
[-15-]Lucullus was in a dilemma both for these reasons and because
Marcius[6] (consul the year before Acilius), who was en route to
Cilicia, the province he was destined to govern, had refused a request
of his for aid. He hesitated to depart through a barren country and
feared to stand his ground: hence he set out against Tigranes, to see if
he could repulse the latter while off his guard and tired from the
march, and thus put a stop, to a certain extent, to the mutiny of the
soldiers. He attained neither object. The army accompanied him to a
certain spot from which it was possible to turn aside into Cappadocia,
and all with one consent without a word turned off in that direction.
The Valerians, indeed, learning that they had been exempted from the
campaign by the authorities at home, withdrew altogether.

[-16-] Let no one wonder that Lucullus, who had proved himself of all
men most versed in warfare, and was the first Roman to cross the Taurus
with an army and for hostile operations, who had vanquished two powerful
kings and would have captured them if he had chosen to end the war
quickly, was unable to rule his fellow-soldiers, and that they were
always revolting and finally left him in the lurch. He required a great
deal of them, was difficult of access, strict in his demands for labor,
and inexorable in his punishments: he did not understand how to win over
a man by argument, or to attach him to himself by kindliness, or to make
a comrade of him by sharing honors or wealth, - all of which means are
necessary, especially in a large body, and most of all in a body of
soldiers. Hence the soldiers, as long as they prospered and got booty
that was a fair return for their dangers, obeyed him: but when they
encountered trouble and fell into fear instead of hopes, they no longer
heeded him at all. The proof of this is that Pompey took these same men
(he enrolled the Valerians again) and kept them without the slightest
show of revolt. So much does man differ from man.

[-17-] After this action of the soldiers Mithridates won back almost all
his domain and wrought dire devastation in Cappadocia, since neither
Lucullus defended it, under the excuse that Acilius was near, nor
Acilius himself. For the latter, who in the first place was hurrying on
to rob Lucullus of the fruits of victory, now, when he learned what had
taken place, did not come to the camp, but delayed in Bithynia. As for
Marcius, the pretext which he gave for not assisting Lucullus was that
his soldiers refused to follow him. When he reached Cilicia he received
one Menemachus, a deserter from Tigranes, and Clodius who had revolted
under Lucullus, and, fearing a repetition of the doings at Nisibis, he
put him in command of the fleet; for Marcius, too, had one of his
sisters as wife. Now Clodius, after being captured by the pirates and
released by them in consequence of their fear of Pompey, came to Antioch
in Syria, declaring that he would be their ally against the Arabians,
with whom the people were then at variance. There, likewise, he caused
some to revolt, and his activity nearly cost him his life.

[-18-] ... he spares.[7] In his eagerness for supremacy he assailed even
the Cretans who had come to terms with him, and not heeding their
objection that there was a state of truce he hastened to do them harm
before Pompey came up. Octavius, who was there, had no troops and so
kept quiet: in fact, he had not been sent to do any fighting, but to
take charge of the cities. Cornelius Sisenna, the governor of Greece,
did, to be sure, when he heard the news, come to Crete and advise
Metellus to spare the villages, but on failing to persuade him made no
active opposition. Metellus, after many other outrages, captured by
treachery the city Eleuthera and extorted money from it. The traitors
had repeatedly at night saturated with vinegar a very large brick tower,
most difficult of capture, so that it became brittle. Next he took by
storm Lappa, in spite of Octavius's occupancy, and did the latter no
harm, but put to death the Cilicians, his followers. [-19-]Octavius,
incensed at this, no longer remained quiet, but first used the army of
Sisenna (that general had fallen sick and died) to aid here and there
the victims of oppression, and then, when the detachment of Metellus had
retired, proceeded to Aristion at Hieropydna, by whose side he fought.
Aristion, on the retreat from Cydonia about that time, had conquered one
Lucius Bassus who sailed out to oppose him, and had gained possession of
Hieropydna. They held out for a while, but at the approach of Metellus
left the fortification and put to sea. There they encountered a storm,
and were driven ashore, losing many men. Henceforth Metellus was master
of the entire island.

In this way the Cretans, who had been free through all preceding ages
and had never owned a foreign lord, were enslaved; and from their
subjugation Metellus obtained his title. He was, however, unable to have
Panares and Lasthenes (whom he had also captured) march in his triumph.
For Pompey had got them away beforehand by persuading one of the
tribunes that it was to him they had submitted and not to Metellus.

[-20-] I will now relate the progress of Pompey's career. The pirates,
occupied in plundering, kept troubling continually those who sailed as
well as the dwellers on land. There was never a time when piracy was not
practiced, nor may it cease so long as the nature of mankind remains the
same. But formerly plundering was limited to certain localities and
small bands operating only during the regular season on sea and on land;
whereas at this time, ever since war had been carried on continuously in
many different places, and many cities had been uprooted, while
sentences hung over the heads of all the fugitives even, and fear
confronted men in everything, large numbers turned to plundering. Now
the bandit organizations on the mainland, being rather in sight of
towns, which could thus perceive a source of injury close by, proved not
so very difficult to overwhelm and were somehow broken up with a fair
degree of ease; but those on the sea had grown to the greatest
proportions. While the Romans were busy with antagonists they
flourished. They sailed about to many quarters, adding to their band all
of like condition, and some of these, after the fashion of allies,
assisted many others.[-21-] How much they accomplished with the help of
the outsiders has been told. When those nations were overthrown, instead
of ceasing they did much serious damage alone by themselves to the
Romans and Roman allies. They were no longer in small force, but were
accustomed to sail in great expeditions; and they had generals, so that
they had acquired a great reputation. They robbed and harried first and
foremost sailors: for such not even the winter season was any longer
safe; the pirates through daring and through practice and through
success were now showing absolute fearlessness in their seamanship.

Online LibraryCassius DioDio's Rome, Volume 2 An Historical Narrative Originally Composed in Greek During the Reigns of Septimius Severus, Geta and Caracalla, Macrinus, Elagabalus and Alexander Severus; and Now Presented in E → online text (page 1 of 30)