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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 44

Organization of the Conquered Provinces

The king's views altogether grew high; he had begun the war from despair, but the unexpectedly easy victory and the non-arrival of the dreaded Sulla occasioned a transition to the most highflown hopes. He set up his home in the west of Asia Minor; Pergamus the seat of the Roman governor became his new capital, the old kingdom of Sinope was handed over to the king's son Mithradates to be administered as a viceroyship; Cappadocia, Phrygia, Bithynia were organized as Pontic satrapies. The grandees of the empire and the king's favourites were loaded with rich gifts and fiefs, and not only were the arrears of taxes remitted, but exemption from taxation for five years was promised, to all the communities- a measure which was as much a mistake as the massacre of the Romans, if the king expected thereby to secure the fidelity of the inhabitants of Asia Minor.

The king's treasury was, no doubt, copiously replenished otherwise by the immense sums which accrued from the property of the Italians and other confiscations; for instance in Cos alone 800 talents (195,000 pounds) which the Jews had deposited there were carried of by Mithradates. The northern portion of Asia Minor and most of the islands belonging to it were in the king's power; except some petty Paphlagonian dynasts, there was hardly a district which still adhered to Rome; the whole Aegean Sea was commanded by his fleets. The south- west alone, the city-leagues of Caria and Lycia and the city of Rhodes, resisted him. In Caria, no doubt, Stratonicea was reduced by force of arms; but Magnesia on the Sipylus successfully withstood a severe siege, in which Mithradates' ablest officer Archelaus was defeated and wounded. Rhodes, the asylum of the Romans who had escaped from Asia with the governor Lucius Cassius among them, was assailed on the part of Mithradates by sea and land with immense superiority of force. But his sailors, courageously as they did their duty under the eyes of the king, were awkward novices, and so Rhodian squadrons vanquished those of Pontus four times as strong and returned home with captured vessels. By land also the siege made no progress; after a part of the works had been destroyed, Mithradates abandoned the enterprise, and the important island as well as the mainland opposite remained in the hands of the Romans.

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