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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 55

Pontic Armies Enter Greece - Evacuation of the Piraeus

King Mithradates undertook to deliver his antagonist from his perilous position. He it was, to all appearance, who disapproved the defensive system of his generals and sent orders to them to vanquish the enemy with the utmost speed. As early as 667 his son Ariarathes had started from Macedonia to combat Sulla in Greece proper; only the sudden death, which overtook the prince on the march at the Tisaean promontory in Thessaly, had at that time led to the abandonment of the expedition. His successor Taxiles now appeared (668), driving before him the Roman corps stationed in Thessaly, with an army of, it is said, 100,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry at Thermopylae.

Dromichaetes joined him. Archelaus also--compelled, apparently, not so much by Sulla's arms as by his master's orders-- evacuated the Piraeeus first partially and then entirely, and joined the Pontic main army in Boeotia. Sulla, after the Piraeeus with all its greatly-admired fortifications had been by his orders destroyed, followed the Pontic army, in the hope of being able to fight a pitched battle before the arrival of Flaccus. In vain Archelaus advised that they should avoid such a battle, but should keep the sea and the coast occupied and the enemy in suspense.

Now just as formerly under Darius and Antiochus, the masses of the Orientals, like animals terrified in the midst of a fire, flung themselves hastily and blindly into battle; and did so on this occasion more foolishly than ever, since the Asiatics might perhaps have needed to wait but a few months in order to be the spectators of a battle between Sulla and Flaccus.

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