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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


V. The Establishment of the Military Monarchy

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 II - Rule of the Sullan Restoration


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Page 39

Mithradates' own power was totally shattered, and one after another his remaining supports gave way; his squadrons returning from Crete and Spain, to the number of seventy sail, were attacked and destroyed by Triarius at the island of Tenedos; even the governor of the Bosporan kingdom, the king's own son Machares, deserted him, and as independent prince of the Tauric Chersonese concluded on his own behalf peace and friendship with the Romans (684). The king himself, after a not too glorious resistance, was confined in a remote Armenian mountain-stronghold, a fugitive from his kingdom and almost a prisoner of his son-in-law.

Although the bands of corsairs might still hold out in Crete, and such as had escaped from Amisus and Sinope might make their way along the hardly- accessible east coast of the Black Sea to the Sanigae and Lazi, the skilful conduct of the war by Lucullus and his judicious moderation, which did not disdain to remedy the just grievances of the provincials and to employ the repentant emigrants as officers in his army, had at a moderate sacrifice delivered Asia Minor from the enemy and annihilated the Pontic kingdom, so that it might be converted from a Roman client-state into a Roman province. A commission of the senate was expected, to settle in concert with the commander-in-chief the new provincial organization.

Beginning of the Armenian War

But the relations with Armenia were not yet settled. Thata declaration of war by the Romans against Tigranes was in itself justified and even demanded, we have already shown. Lucullus, who looked at the state of affairs from a nearer point of view and with a higher spirit than the senatorial college in Rome, perceived clearly the necessity of confining Armenia to the other side of the Tigris and of re-establishing the lost dominion of Rome over the Mediterranean. He showed himself in the conduct of Asiatic affairs no unworthy successor of his instructor and friend Sulla.

A Philhellene above most Romans of his time, he was not insensible to the obligation which Rome had come under when taking up the heritage of Alexander--the obligation to be the shield and sword of the Greeks in the east. Personal motives--the wish to earn laurels also beyond the Euphrates, irritation at the fact that the great- king in a letter to him had omitted the title of Imperator--may doubtless have partly influenced Lucullus; but it is unjust to assume paltry and selfish motives for actions, which motives of duty quite suffice to explain.

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