They had employed
exactly the same policy against Carthage; they allowed the victim
to be set upon by the Roman hounds and forbade its defending itself
against them. Mithradates reckoned himself lost, just as the
Carthaginians had done; but, while the Phoenicians yielded from
despair, the king of Sinope did the very opposite and assembled
his troops and ships.
"Does not even he who must succumb," he is
reported to have said, "defend himself against the robber?" His son
Ariobarzanes received orders to advance into Cappadocia; a message
was sent once more to the Roman envoys to inform them of the step
to which necessity had driven the king, and to demand their
ultimatum. It was to the effect which was to be anticipated.
Although neither the Roman senate nor king Mithradates nor king
Nicomedes had desired the rupture, Aquillius desired it and war
ensued (end of 665).