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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 38

Hopes were entertained that the lesser and least of the protected states--Numidia, Syria, the Greek republics--would successively rebel, and that the provinces would revolt, particularly the west of Asia Minor, the victim of unbounded oppression. Efforts were made to excite a Thracian rising, and even to arouse Macedonia to revolt. Piracy, which even previously was flourishing, was now everywhere let loose as a most welcome ally, and with alarming rapidity squadrons of corsairs, calling themselves Pontic privateers, filled the Mediterranean far and wide. With eagerness and delight accounts were received of the commotions among the Roman burgesses, and of the Italian insurrection subdued yet far from extinguished.

No direct relations, however, were formed with the discontented and the insurgents in Italy; except that a foreign corps armed and organized in the Roman fashion was created in Asia, the flower of which consisted of Roman and Italian refugees. Forces like those of Mithradates had not been seen in Asia since the Persian wars. The statements that, leaving out of account the Armenian auxiliary army, he took the field with 250,000 infantry and 40,000 cavalry, and that 300 Pontic decked and 100 open vessels put to sea, seem not too exaggerated in the case of a warlike sovereign who had at his disposal the numberless inhabitants of the steppes.

His generals, particularly the brothers Neoptolemus and Archelaus, were experienced and cautious Greek captains; among the soldiers of the king there was no want of brave men who despised death; and the armour glittering with gold and silver and the rich dresses of the Scythians and Medes mingled gaily with the bronze and steel of the Greek troopers. No unity of military organization, it is true, bound together these party-coloured masses; the army of Mithradates was just one of those unwieldy Asiatic war-machines, which had so often already--on the last occasion exactly a century before at Magnesia-- succumbed to a superior military organization; but still the east was in arms against the Romans, while in the western half of the empire also matters looked far from peaceful.

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