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Please note that Mommsen uses the AUC chronology (Ab Urbe Condita), i.e. from the founding of the City of Rome. You can use this reference table to have the B.C. dates


IV. The Revolution

From: The History of Rome, by Theodor Mommsen
Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson

The History of Old Rome

Chapter VIII - The East and King Mithradates


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Page 33

The State of Things Intermediate between War and Peace

It was a singular complication. Mithradates was fully convinced that he could do nothing against the Romans in open conflict, and was therefore firmly resolved not to allow matters to come to an open rupture and war with them. Had he not been so resolved, there was no more favourable opportunity for beginning the struggle than the present: just at the time when Aquillius marched into Bithynia and Cappadocia, the Italian insurrection was at the height of its power and might encourage even the weak to declare against Rome; yet Mithradates allowed the year 664 to pass without profiting by the opportunity.

Nevertheless he pursued with equal tenacity and activity his plan of extending his territory in Asia Minor. This strange combination of a policy of peace at any price with a policy of conquest was certainly in itself untenable, and was simply a fresh proof that Mithradates did not belong to the class of genuine statesmen; he knew neither how to prepare for conflict like king Philip nor how to submit like king Attalus, but in the true style of a sultan was perpetually fluctuating between a greedy desire of conquest and the sense of his own weakness.

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