Charles Rollin.

The ancient history of the Egyptians, Carthaginians, Assyrians ..., Volume 8 online

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«1ei5ired to h ive a conference with him. What made him earnest
for ttiis interview was hU fear of Fimbria, who having killed Flac-
ca:?, of whom mantion hiis been made before, and put himself at
the head of that consul's army, was advancing by great marches
aj^in^ Mithridates; and this it was which determhied that prince
to raike peace witli S/lJs^. They had an interview at Dardania,
a city of tlie TroiJ. Mithridates had with him 200 galleys, 20,000
toot, 6003 horse, and a great number of chariots armed with
«cytho3 ; and Sylia had only four cohorts and 200 horse in his com-
pany. Wiiea Mithridates aivancod to meet him, and oifered him
jiis hind, Sylla asked him whether he a(?cepted the proposed con-
iUtioa:s ? As the king kept silence, Sylla continued, '* Do you not
kaow^ Mithridates, that it is for suppliants to speak, and for tho
victorioiw to hear ani be silent ?" Upon this Mithridates began a
long apology, endeavouring to ascribe the cause of the war, partly
to the gods, and. partly to the Romans. Sylla interrupted him, and
after having made a long detail of the violences and inhumanities
he had committed, ha demanded of him a second time, whether he
wouU ratify the conditions which Archelaus had laid before him?
Mithridates, surprised at the haughtiness and pride of the Roman
general, having answered in the atlirmative, Sylla then received his
i»mbraces, and afterwards presenting the kings Ariobarzaiies and
i>Jicoraede4 to hun, he reconciled them to each other. Mithridates,
after the delivery of the seventy galleys, entirely equipped^ and
500 archers, re-embarked.

Sylla saw plainly, that this treaty of peace was highly disagree-
able to hiis troops. They could not bear that a prince, who of all
kings was tho most .mortal, enemy to Rome, and who in one day
i»ad caused 100,000 R&ma citiB^ns, dispersed in Asia, to bd pot to


44 nirroRY dr

tbe sword, should be treated with io much favoar, and even lio-
nour, and declared the friend and ally of the Romans, whilst aJ-
most still reekine with their blood. Syila, to justify his conduct,
gave them to understand, that if he had rejected his projiosaJs of
peace, Mithridates, on his refusal, would not have failed to treat
with Fimbria ; and that if those two enemies had joined their
forces, they would have obliged him either to abandon his con-
quests, or nazard a battle against troops superior in nuiuber, under
the command of two great captains, who in one day might have
deprived him of the fruit of all his victories.

Thus ended the first war with Mithridates, which had lasted four
years, and in which Sylla had destroyed more than X 60,000 of the
enemj;; recovered Greece, Macedonia, Ionia, Asia, and many other
provinces, of which Mithridates had possessed himself; and having
deprived him of a great part of his fleet, compelled him to confine
himself within the bounds of his hereditary dominions. But what
has been most admired in SyUa is,* that during three years, whilst
the factions of Marius and Cinua had enslaved Italy, he did not
dissemble his intendmg to turn his arms against them] and yet did
not discontinue the war he had begun, convinced that it was ne-
cessary to conquer a foreign enemy, before he reduced and pun-
ished those at home. He has been also highly praised for his
constancy in not hearkening to any proposals from Mithridates, who
offered mm considerable aid against liis enemies, till that prince
had accepted the conditions of peace he 4)rescribed him.

Some days after, Sylla began his march against Fimbria, who
was encamped under the walls of Tiiyatira, m Lydia ; and, hav«
mg marked out a camp near his, he began his uitrenchments. Fim-
bria's soldiers coming out unarmed, ran to salute and embrace
those of Sylla, and assisted them with great pleasure in forming
their lines. Fimbria, seeing this change in his troops, and fearin|ar
Sylla as an irreconcilable enemy, from whom he could expect no
mercy, after having attempted in vain to get him assassinated, kill-
ed himself.

Sylla condemned Asia in general to pav 20,000 talents^f and,
besides that fine, rifled individuals exceedingly, by abandoning their
houses to the insolence and rapaciousness of his troops, whom he
quartered upon them, and who lived at discretion, as in conquered
cities. For he gave orders, that every host should pay each sol-
dier quartered on him four drachmas| a dav, and enterlain at table
himself, and as many of his friends as he should think fit to invite;
that each captain should have fifty drachmas,} and besides thai, a
robe to wear in the house, and another when he went abroad.

Vid qnidquam io Sylle operibiui clarios duxerim, quAm qudd, cum per trieniijiini
CinnaiuB MaiianaBque paries italiam oboderent, neque Hlaturaili ee helium Usdiasinm
lavit, nee quod erat in manibua omisit ; existimavitqtte antd franf endum bofltem, qukm
ulcisoeiidum civem ; repolMraue eztemo ipetu, uU quod aUenuoi easet vicinet, sopt.

•^?iL2.?!i:^^****''*"'/f?- ''"^ *• «• ""• **• t About 9,000,0001. ateSof

lAbouitwoaUlUniib ( About flve^ad-twenlj tliUUiigi. ^


l»ONTIi$. #5

After having thus jpunished A^a,* he set oat from fiphesus witk
all his ships, and arrived the third day at the Pireeus. Having
been initiated in the great mysteries, he took for his own use the
hbrary of Apeilicon, in which were the works of Aristotle. That
{ftiilosopher, at his death, had lei% his writings to Theophrastu8,one
of his ntost illustrious disciples. The latter had transferred them
to Neleus of Scepsis, a city in the neighbourhood of Pergamus in
Asia ; ai'ter whose dedtii, those works fell into the hands of hia
heirs, ignorant persons, who kept them shut up in a chest. When
the kings of Pergamus began to collect industriously all sorts kX
books for their library, as the city of Scepsis was dependant upon
tbem, those iioirs, apprehending these works would be taken
from tbem, thought proper to hide them in a vault .under ground,
where they remained almost a hundred and thirty years ; till the
heirs or* Neleus's lainily, who after several generations were fallen
into extreme poverty, brought them out to sell to Apeilicon, a rich
Athenian, who sought every where after the most curious books
tor his library. As they were very much damaged by the length
of tima, arid the damp place where they had laid, Apeilicon had
copies immediately taken of them, in which there were many
cliasms ; because the originals were either rotted in many places*
or worm-eaten an J obliterated. These blanks, words, and letters^
were filled up ae well as they could be by conjecture, and that ui
some places with sufficient want of judgment. From hence arose
tlie nidny difficulties in those works which have ever smce exer-
cised the teamed world. 'Apeilicon being dead some short time
before Sylla's arrival at Athens, he seized upon his library, aiMJl
with these works of Aristotle, which he found in it, enriched his
own at Rome. A famous grammarian of those times, named Ty-
rannion, who Uved then at Rome, having a great desire for these
works of Aristotle, obtained permissii/a from Sylla's librarian to
take a copy of them. That copy was communicated to Andronir
cus the Rhodian, who afterwards imparted it to the public, and to
him the world is obliged for the works of that great philosopher*


Becoad i«'ar agaiTkgt Milhrldatcs, andtsr Mureua, oi only Uuee ye^Jirs' difratioa. MIUi-
riilates prepares to renew the war. He cuiiciudes a treaiy with Bertorius TiiirU
war witii Mithridates. LucuUus Uie consul sent against him. He obligbs \mi tp
raise the nege of Cyy.icuni, and defeats his troops, lie gains a cooipjets victory ovi^
Iiini, and reduces liuu to fly into Pontus. Tragicai end of Ow sisters and yv'ives o^
MiUiridales. He endeavours to retire to Tigianes bis sou-^n-law. Xucunua feguiatdi
tba aflainKif Asia • .

A. M. 3931. Sylla,f oq settujg out for Rome, had left the

AnL J. c. 83. gDverRmeat of Asia to Murena, with the two le-

• Ptat in Syll. p^468. ^trab. I. ztU. p. 009. Athen. 1. vii. y. 9)4. Laert in Theo{il4
O 2


If U181*OftY OF

gknt that had served under Finibna« to ke^ Ute jnoviaoe in d)e>

aience. This Murena is the father of him tar whom Ckero mads
the fine oration which bears his name His son at this time made
his first campaigns under him.

After Sylla's departure, Mithridates ueuig returned into Pontus,
turned his arms against the people of Chakis and the Bos^phorus,
who had revolted against him. They first demanded his son Idith*
ridates for their king, and having obtained him, immediately returried-
to their duty. The king, imagining this conduct was the result of
his son's intrigues, took umbrage at it ; and having caused him to
come to him, ne ordered him to be bound with chains of gold, and
soon after put him to death. That son had done him great services
in the war against Fimbria. We see here a new instance of the
jealousy which the excessive love of power is apt to excite, and to
what a height the prince., who abandons himself to it, is capable of
carrying his suspicions against, his own blood; always ready to pro-
ceed to the most fatal extremities, and to sacrifice whatever is dear-
est to him to the slightest distrust. As for the inhabitants of the
Bosphorus, he prepared a great fleet and a numerous army, which
gave reason to believe his designs were against the Romans. And,
m fact, he had not restored all Cappadocia to Ariobarzanes, but
reserved part of it in his own hands; and he began to suspect Ar-
chelaus, as having engaged him in a peace equally shameful end

When Archelaus perceived it, well knowing the master he had
to deal with, ho took refuge with Murena, and solicited Iiim ws/mly
to turn his arms against Mithridates. Murena, who passioiiAtely
desired to obtain .the honour of a triumph, suftered himself to be
easily persuaded. He made an irruption into Cappadocia, and made
himself master of Comana, the most powerful city of that kin^dcm.
Mithridates sent ambassadors to hiin, to compkin of his violating
the treaty the Romans had made with him. Murena replied, that
he knew of no treaty made with their master. There was* in reahty
nothing reduced to writing on Sylla's part, the whole having passed
by verbal agreement. In consequence, he continued to ravage his
country, and took up bis winter- quarters in it. Mithridates sent
ambassadors to Rome, to make his complaints to Sylla and the se-
nate. .
A. M. »J22. There came a commissioner from Rome, but
Anu J. C.82. without a decree of the senate, who publicly or
dered Murena not to molest the king of Pontus. But, as they con-
ferred together in private, this was looked upon as a mere collusion;
and indeed Murena persisted in ravaging his country. Mithridates
therefore took the field, and, having passed the river Halys, gave
Murena battle, defeated him, and obliged him to retire into Ph^iria
with very great loss. ^^

aIl J * r??^ ®y^*' ^^^ ^^^ ^®" appointed dictator, not bein^

*M. i». u. « i^ijjg jg g^g.g J ^y longer that Mithridates, oaDtia^


to the tieaty he had granted him, should Wnioleisted, sent GuhiniiA
to Murena^to order hba in earnest to desist from making war with
that prince, and to reconcile him with Ariobarzanes^. He obeyed
Mithridates having put one of his sons, only four years old, into the
hands of Ariobarzane8,as a hostage, under that pretext retained the
cities in which he had garrisons, promising no doubt to restore them
in time. He then gave a great feast, in which he promised prizes
for^such as should excel the rest in drinking, eating, singing, and
rallying: fit objects of emulation! Gabinius was the only one who
did not think proper to enter these lists. Thus ended the second
war with Mithridates, which lasted only three years. Murena, at
ilia return to Rome, received the honour of a triumph, to which h«
had no great claim.

A. H. Duss. Mithridates at length restored Cappadocia to

Aat. J. c. 78. Ariobarzanes, being compelled so to do by Sylla,

who died the same year. But he contiived a stratagem to deprive
him entirely of it. Tigranes had lately built a great city in Arme-
nia, which, from his own name, he called Tigranoccrta. Mithridates
persuaded his son-in-law to conquer Cappadocia, and to transport
the inhabitants into the new city and the other parts of his domi-
nions, that were not well peopled. He did so, and took away threo
hundred thousand souls. From thenceforth, wherever he carried
his victorious arms, he acted in the same manner for the better
peopling of his own dominions.

A. M. 39i^. The extraordinary reputation of Sertorius,* who

Am. J. c. 7G. ^ag giving the Romans terrible employme^it in

Spain, made Mithridates conceive the thouglit of sending an embassy
to him, in order to engage him to join forces against the common
ejismy. Tiie flatterers, who compared him to Pyrrhus, and Serto-
rius to Hannibal, insinuated mat the Romans, attacked at the same
time on different sides, would never be able to oppose two such
formidable powers, when the most able and experienced of geiierals
should act in concert with the greatest of kings. He therefore sent
ambassadors to Spain, with letters and instructions for treating with
Sertorius; to whom they offered, in his name, a fleet and money to
carry on the war, upon condition that he would suffer that prince
to recover tlie provinces of Asia, wiiich the necessity of his affairs
had reduced him to abandon bythe treaty he had made with Sylla.
As 'soon as tliose ambassadors arrived in Spain, and had openeil
their commission to Sertorius, he assembled his council, which he
called ihe senate. They were unanimously o^ opinion, that he should
accept that prince's offers with joy; and the rather, because so im-
mediate and effective an aid, as the offered Heet and money, would
cost him only a vain consent to an enterprise which it did not in any
manner depend upon him to prevent. But Sertorius, with a truly
Roman greatness of soul, protested, that he would never consent to

• Applan. p^ 916, 5U7. PluL to SeiJor» p. 5e0, 581.



«ny tnftty iiyoriout to the gloiy or ibterests o^ his country ; and thai
Le would not even desire a victory over hb own enemies, that waf-
not ac<|uired by just and honourable methods. And, having made
Mitlihdates's ambassadors come into the asscmUy, he declared to
them, that he would suffer his master to keep Bithynia and Cappa-
docia, which w*ere accustomed to be governed by kings, and to
which the Romans could have no Just pretensions; but he would
never consent that he should set his foot in Asia Minor, which ap<
pertained to the republic, and which he had renounced by a solemn

When this answer was related to Mithridates, it struck him with
amazement; and he is affirmed to have said to his friends, *' What
orders may we not expect from Sertorius, when he shall sit in the
tcnate in the midst of Rome ; who, even now, confined upon the
coast of the Atlantic ocean, dictates bounds to our dominions, and
declares war against us, if we undertake any thing against Asia ?"
A treaty was however concluded, and sworn between ihem, to this
effect; That Mithridates should have Bithynia and Cappadocia; that
fiertorius should send him troops for that purpose, and one of his
captains to command them; and that Mithridates, on his side, should
pay Sertorius three thousand talents* down, and give him forty

I^he captain sent by Sertorius into Asia,wai: one of those banish-
ed senators of Rome, who had taken refuge with him, named Marcus
Mariu8;to whom Mitiiridates paid great honours. For, when Ma-
rias i3Htered the cities, preceded by the faeces and axes, Mithridates
followed him, well satisfied with the second place, and with only
making the figure of a powerful, but mferior, ally in this procon£ul*a
company. Such was at that time the Roman greatness, that the
name ahme of that potent republic obscured the splendour and pow er
of the greatest kings. Mithridates, however, found his interest in
this conduct. Marius, as if he had been authorized by the Romcn
people and senate, discharged most of the cities from paying the
exorbitant taxes which SyTla had imposed on them; expressly de-
claring, that it was from Sertorius they received that favour, and
to him they were indebted for it. So moderate and politic a conduct
opened the !>ates of the cities to him without the help of arms, and
the name alone of Sertorius made more conquests than all the forces
of Mithridates.

A.M. 3929. Nicoraedes, king of Bithynia,! died this year,

Ant. J.c. 75. and made the Roman people his lieirs. His coun-
try became thereby, as I. have observed elsewhere, a province of the
Roman empire. Mithridates immediately formed a resolution to
renew the war against them upon this oc<fasion, and employed the
rreatest part of the year in making the necessary preparations ia

* About four hundred and fifly Uiousand iiouiuis.
t AppUm. «te b«Uo Mitiirkl. p, 17&


PONTU* • 69

carrying it on with vigour. He believed, that, after tiie death of
Sylla,and daring tlie troubles with which the repubhc was agitated,
the conjuncture was tavourable for re-entering upon the conquesU
he had given up.

Instructed by his misfortunes and experience,* lie banished from
his army all armour adorned with gold and jev/els, which he began
to consider as the allurement of the victor, and not as the stiengtb
of those who v/ore them. He caused swords to be forged after the
Roman fashion, with solid and weighty bucklers; he collected horses,
rather well made and trained than magnificently adorned; assembled
a huudred and twenty thousand foot, armed and disciplined like the
Roman infantry, and sixteen thousand horse well equipped for ser-
vice, besides a hundred chariots armed with lonff scythes, and drawn
by four horses. He also fitted out a considerable number of galleys,
which glittered no longer, as before, with gilt flags, but were filled
with all sorts of arms, offensive and defensive; and provided immense
sums pf money for the pay and subsistence of the troops.

Mithridates had begun by seizing Paphlagonia and Bithynia.
The province of Asia, which found itself exhausted by the exactions
of the Roman tax-gatherers and usurers, to deliver themselves from
their oppression, declared a second time for him. Such was tae
cause of the third Mithridatic war, which bubsisted almost twelve

A. M. 3J30. The two consuls, LuciiUus and Cotta, were sem

AnL J. c. 74. against him, each of them with an army under him.

Liiicullus had Asia, Cihcia, and Cappadocia, for his province; the
other, Bithynia and Propontis.

Whilst Lucullu3 was employed m repressing the rapaciousness
and violence of the tax-gatherers and usurers, and in reconciling
the people of the countries through which he passed, by giving them
good hopes for the time to come ; Cotta, who was already arrived,
thought he had a favourable opportunity, in the absence of his col-
league, to signalize himself by some great exploit. He therefore
prepared to givj Mithridates battle. The more he was told that
LucuUus was approaching, that he was already in Phrygia, and
would soon arrive, the greater haste he made to fight, beheving him-
self already assured of a triumph, and desirous of preventing his
colleague from having any share in it. But he was beaten by sea
and land. In the naval battle he lost sixty of his ships, with their
whole complements; and in that by land he had four thousand of
his best troops killed, and was obliged to shut himself up in the city
of Chalcedon, with no hope of any other relief than what his col-
league should think fit to- give him. All the officers of his army
enraged at Cotta's rash anu presumptuous conduct, en<leavoured to
persuade Lucullus to enter Pontus, whicji Mithridates had lefl with-
out troops, and where he might assure himself of finduag the people

' nui. tn l.ueu* p 49&


7a mSTlAT OF '

incUned tc revolt. He answered generously » that be would alwa^

esteem it more glorious to preserve a Roman citizen than to possess
himself of the whole dominions of an enemy; and without resent-
ment against his colleague, he marched to assist him with ail the
success he could have hoped. This was the first action by which
he distinguished himself, and which ought to do him more honour
thaii all his most splendid victories.
A. M. 3931. Mithridates,* encouraged by the double advan-

Ant. J. c. rj. tage he ha<f gained, undertook the siege of Cyzi*

cum, a city of the Propontis, which strenuously supported the
Roman party in this war. In making himself master of this place,
lie would have opened himself a pa'ssage from Bithynia into Asia
Minor, which would have been very aavanta^ous to him, by giv-
ing him an opportunity of carrying the war thither with all possi-
ble ease and security. It was for this reason he desired to take it.
In order to succeed, he invested it by land with three hundred
thousand men, divided into ten camps ; and by sea with four hun-
dred ships. LucuUus soon followed him thither ; and began by
seizing a post upon an eminence which was of the highest impor
tance to him, because it facilitated his receiving convoys, and gave
him the means of cutting off the enemy's provisions. He had only
thirty thousand foot, and two thousand five hundred horse. The
superiority of the enemy in number, far from dismaying, encour-
aged him; for he was convinced, that so innumerable o multitude
would soon be in want of provisions. Hence, in haranguing his
troops, he promised them in a few dayb a victory that would not
cost them a sinofle drop of blood. It was in tliis tout he placed his
glory ; for the lives of the soldiers were dear to him.

The siege was long, and carried on with extreme vigour
Mithridates battered the place on all sides with irmumerable ma
chines. The defence was no less vigorous. The besieged did
prodigies of valour, and employed all means that the most indus-
trious capacity could invent, to repulse the enemy's atta,cks, either
by burning their machines, or rendering them useless by a thousand
different obstacles which they opposed to them. What inspired
them with so much courage was their exceeding confidence in Lu-
cuUus, who had let them know, that, if they continued tc> defend
themselves with the same valour, they might assure themselves
that the place would not be taken.

Lucullus was indeed so well posted, that, without conjing to a
general action, which he always carefully avoided, he made Mith-
ridates's army suffer extremely, by intercepting his convoys, charg-
ing his foraging parties with advantage, and beating the detach-
ments he sent out from time to time. In a word, he knew so well
how to improve all occasions that offered, he weakened the army
of the besiegers so much, and used such address in cutting jff their

* not. in liiieiil p. 47—499. AppUa. p. S^j^— 9SSL


potrrxjs. I ^i

provisioin, ha^Hag shut up all avenues by which they might oe sup-
plied, that he reduced them to extreme famine. The soldiers
could find no other food but the herbage, and some went so
far as to support themselves upon human flesh, Mithridates *
A. M. 3932. who passed for the most artful captain of his times,

Ant. J. c. 73. in despair that a general, who could not yet have
bad much experience, should so often have deceived him by false
inarches and feigned movements, and had defeated him without
drawins; his sword, was at length obliged to raise the siege shame-
fully, after having spent almost two years before the place- He
fled by sea, aad his lieutenants retired with his army by land to
Nicomedia. Lucullus pur«ued them; and, having come up with
them near the Granicus, he killed twenty thousand of them upon
the spot, and to(ik an infinite number of prisoners. It ik said, that
in tliis war there perished almost three hundred thousand men,
either soldiers and servants, or other followers of the army.

After this new success, Lucullus returned to Cyzicum, entered
the city, and after having enjoyed for some days the pleasure of
hiving preserved it, and the honours which he derived from that
success, he made a rapid march along the coasts of the Hellespont,
to ct)llect ships and form a fleet.

Mithridates, after having raised the siege of Cyzicum, repaired
to Nicoma Jia, from whence he passed by sea into pQutus. He left
part of his fleet, and ten thousand of his best troops, in the Hel*
lespont, under three of his most able eenerals. Lucullus, with the

Online LibraryCharles RollinThe ancient history of the Egyptians, Carthaginians, Assyrians ..., Volume 8 → online text (page 9 of 39)