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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 53

Critical Position of Sulla - Want of a Fleet

The Epicurean schoolmaster had thus been vanquished; but the position of Sulla remained in the highest degree difficult, and even desperate. He had now been more than a year in the field without having advanced a step worth mentioning; a single port mocked all his exertions, while Asia was utterly left to itself, and the conquest of Macedonia by Mithradates' lieutenants had recently been completed by the capture of Amphipolis. Without a fleet--it was becoming daily more apparent--it was not only impossible to secure his communications and supplies in presence of the ships of the enemy and the numerous pirates, but impossible to recover even the Piraeeus, to say nothing of Asia and the islands; and yet it was difficult to see how ships of war were to be got.

As early as the winter of 667-8 Sulla had despatched one of his ablest and most dexterous officers, Lucius Licinius Lucullus, into the eastern waters, to raise ships there if possible. Lucullus put to sea with six open boats, which he had borrowed from the Rhodians and other small communities; he himself merely by an accident escaped from a piratic squadron, which captured most of his boats; deceiving the enemy by changing his vessels he arrived by way of Crete and Cyrene at Alexandria; but the Egyptian court rejected his request for the support of ships of war with equal courtesy and decision.

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