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Armenians and Medes, whom Tigranes has sent to Mithri-
dates." They were thus overwhelmed with thinking of
the vast numbers round them, and could not believe any
way of relief was left them, even if Lucullus should come
up to their assistance. Demonax, a messenger sent in by
Archelaus, was the first who told them of Lucullus's arrival ;
but they disbelieved his report, and thought he came with
a story invented merely to encourage them. At which
time it happened that a boy, a prisoner who had run away
from the enemy, was brought before them; who, being
asked where Lucullus was, laughed at their jesting, as
he thought, but, finding them in earnest, with his finger
pointed to the Roman camp j upon which they took cour-



1 22 PL UTAECR ' S LIVES.

age. The lake Dascylitis was navigated with vessels ol
some little size ; one, the biggest of them, Lucullus drew
ashore, and carrying her across in a wagon to the sea,
filled her with soldiers, who, sailing along unseen in the
dead of the night, came safe into the city.

The gods themselves, too, in admiration of the constancy
of the Cyzicenians, seems to have animated them with mani-
fest signs, more especially now in the festival of Proserpine,
where a black heifer being wanting for sacrifice, they sup-
plied it by a figure made of dough, which they set before
the altar. But the holy heifer set apart for the goddess*
and at that time grazing with the other herds of the Cyzi-
cenians on the other side of the strait, left the herd and
swam over to the city alone, and offered herself for sacri-
fice. By night, also, the goddess appearing to Aristagoras,
the town clerk, " I am come," said she, " and have brought
the Libyan piper against the Pontic trumpeter ; bid the citi-
zens, therefore, be of good courage." While the Cyzicen-
ians were wondering what the words could mean, a sudden
wind sprung up and caused a considerable motion on the
sea. The king's battering engines, the wonderful contriv-
ance of Niconides of Thessaly, then under the walls, by their
cracking and rattling soon demonstrated what would follow ;
after which an extraordinarily tempestuous south wind suc-
ceeding shattered, in a short space of time, all the rest of
the works, and, by a violent concussion, threw down the
wooden tower a hundred cubits high. It is said that in
Ilium Minerva appeared to many that night in their sleep,
with the sweat running down her person, and showed them
her robe torn in one place, telling them that she had just
arrived from relieving the Cyzicenians ; and the inhabitants
to this day show a monument, with an inscription including
a public decree, referring to the fact.

Mithridates, through the knavery of his officers, not
knowing for some time the want of provision in his camp,
was troubled in mind that the Cyzicenians should hold out



LUCULLUS. 128

against him. But his ambition and anger fell, when he
saw his soldiers in the extremity of want, and feeding on
man's flesh ; as, in truth, Lucullus was not carrying on the
war as mere matter of show and stage-play, but, according
to the proverb, made the seat of war in the belly, and did
everything to cut off their supplies of food. Mithridates,
therefore, took advantage of the time while Lucullus was
storming a fort, and sent away almost all his horse to Bi-
thynia, with the sumpter cattle, and as many of the foot as
were unfit for service. On intelligence of which, Lucullus,
while it was yet night, came to his camp, and in the morn-
ing, though it was stormy weather, took with him ten
cohorts of foot, and the horse, and pursued them under
falling snow and in cold so severe that many of his soldiers
were unable to proceed ; and with the rest coming upon the
enemy, near the river Rhyndacus, he overthrew them with
so great a slaughter that the very women of Apollonia came
out to seize on the booty and strip the slain. Great num-
bers, as we may suppose, were slain ; six thousand horses
were taken, with an infinite number of beasts of burden,
and no less than fifteen thousand men. All which he led
along by the enemy's camp. I cannot but wonder on this
occasion at Sallust, who says that this was the first time
camels were seen by the Romans, as if he thought those
who, long before, under Scipio defeated Antiochus, or
those who lately had fought against Archelaus near Orcho-
menus and Chseronea, had not known what a camel was.
Mithridates himself, fully determined upon flight, as mere
delays and diversions for Lucullus, sent his admiral Aris-
tonicus to the Greek sea ; who, however, was betrayed in the
very instant of going off, and Lucullus became master of him,
and ten thousand pieces of gold which he was carrying with
him to corrupt some of the Roman army. After which,
Mithridates himself made for the sea, leaving the foot offi-
cers to conduct the army, upon whom Lucullus fell, near
the river Graaicus, where he took a vast number alive, and



124 PLUTARCH'S LIVES.

slew twenty thousand. It is reported that the total numbei
killed, of fighting men and of others who followed the camp,,
amounted to something not far short of three hundred
thousand.

Lucullus first went to Cyzicus, where he was received
with all the joy and gratitude suiting the occasion, and
then collected a navy, visiting the shores of the Hellespont.
And arriving at Troas, he lodged in the temple of Venus,
where, in the night, he thought he saw the goddess coming
to him, and saying,

Sleep'st thou, great lion, when the fawns are nigh ?

Rising up hereupon, he called his friends to him, it being
yet night, and told them his vision ; at which instant some
Ilians came up and acquainted him that thirteen of the
king's quinqueremes were seen off the Achaean harbor, sail-
ing for Lemnos. He at once put to sea, took these, and
slew their admiral Isidorus. And then he made after an-
other squadron, who were just come into port, and were
hauling their vessels ashore, but fought from the decks,
and sorely galled Lucullus's men ; there being neither room
to sail round them, nor to bear upon them for any damage,
his ships being afloat, while theirs stood secure and fixed
on the sand. After much ado, at the only landing-place of
the island, he disembarked the choicest of his men, who,
falling upon the enemy behind, killed some, and forced
others to cut their cables, and thus making from the shore,
they fell foul upon one another, or came within the reach
of Lucullus's fleet. Many were killed in the action. Among
the captives was Marius, the commander sent by Sertorius,
who had but one eye. And it was Lucullus's strict com-
mand to his men before the engagement, that they should
kill no man who had but one eye, that he might rather die
under disgrace and reproach.

This being over, he hastened his pursuit after Mithri-
dates, whom he hoped to still find in Bithynia, intercepted



LUCULLUS. 125

by Voconius, whom he sent out before to Mcomedia with
part of the fleet, to stop his flight. But Voconius, loitering
An Samothrace to get initiated and celebrate a feast, let slip
his opportunity, Mithridates being passed by with all his
fleet. He, hastening into Pontus before Lucullus should
come up to him, was caught in a storm, which dispersed
his fleet and sunk several ships. The wreck floated on all
the neighboring shore for many days after. The merchant
ship, in which he himself was, could not well in that heavy
swell be brought ashore by the masters for its bigness, and
it being heavy with water and ready to sink, he left it and
went aboard a pirate vessel, delivering himself into the
hands of pirates, and thus unexpectedly and wonderfully
came safe to Heraclea, in Pontus.

Thus the proud language Lucullus had used to the
senate, ended without any mischance. For they having
.decreed him three thousand talents to furnish out a navy,
he himself was against it, and sent them word that without
any such great and costly supplies, by the confederate
shipping alone, he did not in the least doubt but to rout
Mithridates from the sea. And so he did, by divine assist-
ance, for it is said that the wrath of Diana of Priapus
brought the great tempest upon the men of Pontus,
because they had robbed her temple, and removed her
image.

Many were persuading Lucullus to defer the war, but he
rejected their counsel, and marched through Bithynia and
Galatia into the king's country, in such great scarcity of
provision at first, that thirty thousand Galatians followed,
every man carrying a bushel of wheat at his back. But
subduing all in his progress before him, he at last found
himself in such great plenty that an ox was sold in the
camp for a single drachma, and a slave for four. The other
booty they made no account of, but left it behind or de-
stroyed it ; there being no disposing of it, where all had
such abundance. But when they had made frequent in-



126 PLUTARCH'S LIVES.

cursions with their cavalry, and had advanced as far aa
Themiscyra, and the plains of the Thermodon, merely lay-
ing waste the country before them, they began to find
fault with Lucullus, asking " why he took so many towns
by surrender, and never one by storm, which might enrich
them with the plunder ? and now, forsooth, leaving Amisus
behind, a rich and wealthy city, of easy conquest, if closely
besieged, he will carry us into the Tibarenian and Chaldean
wilderness, to fight with Mithridates." Lucullus 3 little
thinking this would be of such dangerous consequence as
it afterwards proved, took no notice and slighted it ; and
was rather anxious to excuse himself to those who blamed
his tardiness, in losing time about small, pitiful places not
worth the while, and allowing Mithridates opportunity to
recruit. " That is what I design," said he, " and sit here
contriving by my delay, that he may grow great again, and
gather a considerable army, which may induce him to
stand, and not fly away before us. For do you not see the
wide and unknown wilderness behind ? Caucasus is not
far off, and a multitude of vast mountains, enough to con-
ceal ten thousand kings that wished to avoid a battle.
Besides this, a journey but of few days leads from Cabira
to Armenia, where Tigranes reigns, king of kings, and holds
in his hands a power that has enabled him to keep the
Parthians in narrow bounds, to remove Greek cities bodily
into Media, to conquer Syria and Palestine, to put to death
the kings of the royal line of Seleucus, and carry away
their wives and daughters by violence. This same is rela-
tion and son-in-law to Mithridatss, and cannot but receive
him upon entreaty, and enter into war with us to defend
him ; so that, while we endeavor to dispose Mithridates,
we shall endanger the bringing in of Tigranes against us,
who already has sought occasion to fall out with us, but
can never find one so justifiable as the succor of a friend
and prince in his necessity. Why, therefore, should we
put Mithridates upon this resource, who as yet does not



LUCULLUS. 127

see how he may hest fight with us, and disdains to stoop to
Tigranes ; and not rather allow him time to gather a new
army and grow confident again, that we may thus fight
with Colchians and Tibarenians, whom we have often
defeated already, and not with Medes and Armenians."

Upon these motives, Lucullus sat down before Amisus,
and slowly carried on the siege. But the winter being well
spent, he left Murena in charge of it, and went himself
against Mithridates, then rendezvousing at Cabira, and
resolving to await the Romans, with forty thousand foot
about him, and fourteen thousand horse, on whom he
chiefly confided. Passing the river Lycus, he challenged
the Romans into the plains, where the cavalry engaged,
and the Romans were beaten. Pomponius, a man of some
note, was taken wounded ; and sore, and in pain as he was,
was carried before Mithridates, and asked by the king if he
would become his friend, if he saved his life. He answered,
" Yes, if you become reconciled to the Romans ; if not,
your enemy." Mithridates wondered at him, and did him
no hurt. The enemy being with their cavalry master of
the plains, Lucullus was something afraid, and hesitated to
enter the mountains, being very large, woody, and almost
inaccessible, when, by good luck, some Greeks who had fled
into a cave were taken, the eldest of whom, Artemidorus
by name, promised to bring Lucullus, and seat him in a place
of safety for his army, where there was a fort that over-
looked Cabira. Lucullus, believing him, lighted his fires,
and marched in the night ; and safely passing the defile,
gained the place, and in the morning was seen above the
enemy, pitching his camp in a place advantageous to
descend upon them if he desired to fight, and secure from
being forced, if he preferred to lie still. Neither side was
willing to engage at present. But it is related that some
of the king's party were hunting a stag, and some Romans
wanting to cut them off, came out and met them. Where-
upon they skirmished, more still drawing together to each



128 PLUTARCH'S LIVES.

side, and at last the king's party prevailed, on which the
Romans, from their camp seeing their companions fly, were
enraged, and ran to Lucullus with entreaties to lead them
out, demanding that the sign might be given for battle. But
he, that they might know of what consequence the presence
and appearance of a wise commander is in time of conflict
and danger, ordered them to stand still. But he went down
himself into the plains, and meeting with the foremost that
fled, commanded them to stand and turn back with him.
These obeying, the rest also turned and formed again in a
body, and thus, with no great difficulty, drove back the
enemies, and pursued them to their camp. After his
return, Lucullus inflicted the customary punishment upon
the fugitives, and made them dig a trench of twelve foot,
working in their frocks unfastened, while the rest stood by
and looked on.

There was in Mithridates's camp one Olthacus, a chief of
the Dandarians, a barbarous people living near the lake
Mseotis, a man remarkable for strength and courage in fight,
wise in council, and pleasant and ingratiating in conversa-
tion. He, out of emulation, and a constant eagerness
which possessed him to outdo one of the other chiefs of his
country, promised a great piece of service to Mithridates,
no less than the death of Lucullus. The king commended
his resolution, and, according to agreement, counterfeited
anger, and put some disgrace upon him ; whereupon he
took horse, and fled to Lucullus, who kindly received him,
being a man of great name in the army. After some short
trial of his sagacity and perseverance, he found way to
Lucullus's board and council. The Dandarian, thinking
he had a fair opportunity, commanded his servants to lead
his horse out of the camp, while he himself, as the soldiers
were refreshing and resting themselves, it being then high
noon, went to the general's tent, not at all expecting that
entrance would be denied to one who was so familiar with
him, and came under pretence of extraordinary business



LTfCULLVS. 129

with him. He had certainly been admitted had not sleep,
which has destroyed many captains, saved Lucullus. For
so it was, and Menedemus, one of the bedchamber, was
standing at the door, who told Olthacus that it was altogether
unseasonable to see the general, since, after long watching
and hard labor, he was but just before laid down to repose
himself. Olthacus would not go away upon this denial, but
still persisted, saying that he must go in to speak of some
necessary affairs, whereupon Menedemus grew angry, and
replied that nothing was more necessary than the safety of
Lucullus, and forced him away with both hands. Upon
which, out of fear, he straightway left the camp, took horse,
and without effect returned to Mithridates. Thus in action
as in physic, it is the critical moment that gives both the
fortunate and the fatal effect.

After this, Sornatius being sent out with ten companies
for forage, and pursued by Menander, one of Mithridates's
captains, stood his ground, and after a sharp engagement,
routed and slew a considerable number of the enemy.
Adrianus being sent afterward, with some forces, to procure
food enough and to spare for the camp, Mithridates did
not let the opportunity slip, but despatched Menemachus
and Myro, with a great force, both horse and foot, against
him, all which except two men, it is stated, were cut off by
the Romans. Mithridates concealed the loss, giving it out
that it was a small defeat, nothing near so great as reported,
and occasioned by the unskilfulness of the leaders. But
Adrianus in great pomp passed by his camp, having many
wagons full of corn and other booty, filling Mithridates
with distress, and the army with confusion and consterna-
tion. It was resolved, therefore, to stay no longer. But
when the king's servants sent away their own goods quietly,
and hindered others from doing so too, the soldiers in
great fury thronged and crowded to the gates, seized on
the king's servants and killed them, and plundered the

baggage. Dorylaus, the general, in this confusion, having
9



130 PLUTARCH 1 8 LIVES.

nothing else besides his purple cloak, lost his life foi
that, and Hermseus the priest was trod underfoot in the
gate.

Mithridates, having not one of his guards, nor even a
groom remaining with him, got out of the camp in the
throng, but had none of his horses with him ; until Ptolemy,
the eunuch, some little time after, seeing him in the press
making his way among the others, dismounted and gave his
horse to the king. The Romans were already close upon
him in their pursuit, nor was it through want of speed
that they failed to catch him, but they were as near as
possible doing so. But greediness and a petty military
avarice hindered them from acquiring that booty which in
so many fights and hazards they had sought after, and lost
Lucullus the prize of his victory. For the horse which
carried the king was within reach, but one of the mules
that carried the treasure either by accident stepping in, or
by order of the king so appointed to go between him and
the pursuers, they seized and pilfered the gold, and falling
out among themselves about the prey, let slip the great
prize. Neither was their greediness prejudicial to Lucullus
in this only, but also they slew Callistratus, the king's con-
fidential attendant, under suspicion of having five hundred
pieces of gold in his girdle ; whereas Lucullus had specially
ordered that he should be conveyed safe into the camp.
Notwithstanding all which, he gave them leave to plunder
the camp.

After this, in Cabira, and other strongholds which he took,
he found great treasures, and private prisons, in which many
Greeks and many of the king's relations had been confined,
who, having long since counted themselves no other than
dead men, by the favor of Lucullus met not with relief so
truly as with a new life and second birth. Nyssa, also, sister
of Mithridates, enjoyed the like fortunate captivity ; while
those who seemed to be most out of danger, his wives and
sisters at Phernacia, placed in safety as they thought, misera-



LUCULLUS. 131

bly perished, Mithridates in his flight sending Bacchides the
eunuch to them. Among others there were two sisters of
the king, Roxana and Statira, unmarried women forty years
old, and two Ionian wives, Berenice of Chios and Monime of
Miletus. This latter was the most celebrated among the
Greeks, because she so long withstood the king in his court-
ship to her, though he presented her with fifteen thousand
pieces of gold, until a covenant of marriage was made, and
a crown was sent her, and she was saluted queen. She had
been a sorrowful woman before, and often bewailed her
beauty, that had procured her a keeper, instead of a hus-
band, and a watch of barbarians, instead of the home and
attendance of a wife ; and, removed far from Greece, she
enjoyed the pleasure which she proposed to herself, only in
a dream, being in the mean time robbed of that which is
real. And when Bacchides came and bade them prepare
for death, as every one thought most easy and painless, she
took the diadem from her head, and fastening the string to
her neck, suspended herself with it ; which soon breaking,
" O wretched headband ! " said she, " not able to help me
even in this small thing ! ' And throwing it away she
spat on it, and offered her throat to Bacchides. Berenice
had prepared a potion for herself, but at her mother's en-
treaty, who stood by, she gave her part of it. Both drank
of the potion, which prevailed over the weaker body. But
Berenice, having drunk too little, was not released by it,
but lingering on unable to die, was strangled by Bacchides
for haste. It is said that one of the unmarried sisters drank
the poison, with bitter execrations and curses ; but Statira
uttered nothing ungentle or reproachful, but, on the con-
trary, commended her brother, who in his own danger
neglected not theirs, but carefully provided that they might
go out of the world without shame or disgrace.

Lucullus, being a good and humane man, was concerned
at these things. However, going on, he came to Talaura,
from whence four days before his arrival Mithridates had



132 PL UTARCH ' S LIVES.

fled, and was got to Tigranes in Armenia. He turned off,
therefore, and subdued the Chaldeans and Tibarenians,
with the lesser Armenia, and having reduced all their forta
and cities, he sent Appius to Tigranes to demand Mith-
ridates. He himself went to Amisus, which still held out
under the command of Callimachus, who, by his great en-
gineering skill, and his dexterity at all the shifts and sub-
tleties of a siege, had greatly incommoded the Romans.
For which afterward he paid dear enough, and was now
out-manoeuvred by Lucullus, who, unexpectedly coming
upon him at the time of the day when the soldiers used to
withdraw and rest themselves, gained part of the wall, and
forced him to leave the city, in doing which he fired it ;
either envying the Romans the booty, or to secure his own
escape the better. No man looked after those who went
off in the ships, but as soon as the fire had seized on most
part of the wall, the soldiers prepared themselves for
plunder; while Lucullus, pitying the ruin of the city,
brought assistance from without, and encouraged his men
to extinguish the flames. But all, being intent upon the
prey, and giving no heed to him, with loud outcries, beat
and clashed their arms together, until he was compelled to
let them plunder, that by that means he might at least
save the city from fire. But they did quite the contrary,
for in searching the houses with lights and torches every-
where, they were themselves the cause of the destruction
of most of the buildings, inasmuch that when Lucullus the
next day went in, he shed tears, and said to his friends,
that he had often before blessed the fortune of Sylla, but
never so much admired it as then, because when he was
willing, he was also able to save Athens, " but my infelicity
is such, that while I endeavor to imitate him, I become like
JVlummius." Nevertheless, he endeavored to save as much
of the city as he could, and at the same time, also, by a
happy providence a fall of rain concurred to extinguish
the fire. He himself while present repaired the ruins aa



LUCULLUS. 183

much as he could, receiving back the inhabitants who had
fled, and settling as many other Greeks as were willing to
live there, adding a hundred furlongs of ground to the
place.

This city was a colony of Athens, built at that time when
she flourished and was powerful at sea, upon which account
many who fled from Aristion's tyranny settled here, and
were admitted as citizens, but had the ill-luck to fly from
evils at home, into greater abroad. As many of these as
survived Lucullus furnished every one with clothes, and
two hundred drachmas, and sent them away into their own
country. On this occasion Tyrannion the grammarian was
taken. Murena begged him of Lucullus, and took him and
made him a freedman ; but in this he abused Lucullus's
favor, who by no means liked that a man of high repute for
learning should be first made a slave and then freed ; for
freedom thus speciously granted again, was a real depriva-
tion of what he had before. But not in this case alone
Murena showed himself far inferior in generosity to the
general.

Lucullus was now busy in looking after the cities of
Asia, and having no war to divert his time, spent it in the
administration of law and justice, the want of which had
for a long time left the province a prey to unspeakable and



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