|Died||57/56 BC (aged 61 or 62)|
|Office||Consul of Rome (74 BC)|
Lucius Licinius Lucullus ( // ; 118 –57/56 BC) was an optimas politician of the late Roman Republic, closely connected with Lucius Cornelius Sulla. In the culmination of over twenty years of almost continuous military and government service, he became the conqueror of the eastern kingdoms in the course of the Third Mithridatic War, exhibiting extraordinary generalship in diverse situations, most famously during the Siege of Cyzicus in 73–72 BC, and at the Battle of Tigranocerta in Armenian Arzanene in 69 BC. His command style received unusually favourable attention from ancient military experts, and his campaigns appear to have been studied as examples of skillful generalship.
Lucullus returned to Rome from the east with so much captured booty that the vast sums of treasure, jewels, priceless works of art, and slaves could not be fully accounted for. On his return Lucullus poured enormous sums into private building projects, husbandry and even aquaculture projects, which shocked and amazed his contemporaries by their magnitude. He also patronized the arts and sciences lavishly, transforming his hereditary estate in the highlands of Tusculum into a hotel-and-library complex for scholars and philosophers. He built the famous horti Lucullani (Palace and gardens of Lucullus) on the Pincian Hill in Rome, and became a cultural innovator in the deployment of imperial wealth. He died during the winter of 57–56 BCand was buried at the family estate near Tusculum.
The conquest agnomen of Ponticus is sometimes incorrectly appended to his name in modern texts. In ancient sources it is attributed to only his consular colleague Marcus Aurelius Cotta after the latter’s capture and brutal destruction of Heraclea Pontica during the Third Mithridatic War.
Lucullus was included in the biographical collections of Roman leading generals and politicians, originating in the biographical compendium of famous Romans published by his contemporary Marcus Terentius Varro. Two biographies of Lucullus survive today, Plutarch's Lucullus in the famous series of Parallel Lives , in which Lucullus is paired with the Athenian aristocratic politician and Strategos Cimon, and # 74 in the slender Latin Liber de viris illustribus, of late and unknown authorship, the main sources for which appear to go back to Varro and his most significant successor in the genre, Gaius Julius Hyginus.
Lucullus was a member of the prominent gens Licinia , and of the family, or stirps, of the Luculli, which may have been descended from the ancient nobility of Tusculum. He was grandson of Lucius Licinius Lucullus, consul in 151 BC, and son of Lucius Licinius Lucullus, praetor in 104 BC, who was convicted for embezzlement during his Sicilian command (104/3) and exiled in 102/1.
The family of his mother Caecilia Metella (born c. 137 BC) was one of the most powerful of the plebeian nobilitas, and was at the height of its success and influence in the last quarter of the 2nd century BC when Lucullus was born. She was the youngest child of Lucius Caecilius Metellus Calvus (consul 142 and censor 115–14), and half-sister of two of the most important members of the Optimates of their time, Quintus Caecilius Metellus Numidicus (consul 109 and censor 102), and Lucius Caecilius Metellus Dalmaticus (consul 119 and Pontifex Maximus), who was the father of Sulla's third wife Caecilia Metella.
His first known military service was as tribune of soldiers serving in Sulla's army in Campania during the bellum Italicum (Social War (91–88 BC)),when he is said to have distinguished himself for daring and intelligence. He wrote a history of the war in Greek.
Lucullus was elected Quaestor in winter of 89-88 during the same elections Sulla was chosen as Consul with his friend Quintus Pompeius Rufus (whose son was married to Sulla's eldest daughter, Cornelia). Lucullus was probably the Quaestor mentioned as the sole officer in Sulla's army who could stomach accompanying the Consul when he marched on Rome.
In autumn of the same year Sulla sent Lucullus ahead to Greece to assess the situation while he himself oversaw the embarkation of his army. Lucullus arrived in Greece and took over from Quintus Bruttius Sura who had been able to stop the Mithridatic invasion in northern Greece.
When Sulla arrived with the main army, Lucullus served him as a quaestor again; he minted money that was used during the war against Mithridates in southern Greece (87-86 BC). The money Lucullus minted, as per Roman custom, bore his name: the so called Lucullea.
As the Roman siege of Athens was drawing towards a successful conclusion, Sulla's strategic attention began to focus more widely on subsequent operations against the main Pontic forces, and combating Mithridates' control of the sea lanes. He sent Lucullus to collect such a fleet as may be possible from Rome's allies along the eastern Mediterranean seaboard, first to the important but currently disturbed states of Cyrene and Ptolemaic Egypt.Lucullus set out from the Piraeus in mid winter 87-6 BC with three Greek yachts (myoparones) and three light Rhodian biremes, hoping to evade the prevailing sea power of the Pontic fleets and their piratic allies by speed and taking advantage of the worst sailing conditions. He initially made Crete, and is said to have won over the cities to the Roman side. From there he crossed to Cyrene where the famous Hellenic colony in Africa was in dire condition following a vicious and exhausting civil war of nearly seven years' duration. Lucullus' arrival seems to have put a belated end to this terrible conflict, as the first official Roman presence there since the departure of the proconsul Caius Claudius Pulcher, who presided over its initial administrative incorporation into the Roman Republic in 94 BC. He then sailed to Egypt to try and secure ships from king Ptolemy IX Soter II. In Alexandria, Ptolemaic Egypt's capital, he was well received, but there would be no aid or help. Ptolemy had decided to sail a safe course between Rome and Pontus. From Alexandria Lucullus sailed to Cyprus; evading the Cilician pirates, he went to Rhodos (Rome's naval ally). The Rhodians supplied him with additional ships. Rhodos was famous for its naval strength and the marine acumen of its sailors; the Rhodian contingent would turn out to be a most welcome aid. In the waters near Rhodos Lucullus' fleet defeated a Mithridatic contingent. He then secured Cnidus and Cos, drove the Mithridatic military from Chios, and attacked Samos. From there he would work his way North. Lucullus won another victory off Cape Lecton. From Lecton Lucullus sailed to Tenedos where the Mithridatic fleet lay in wait.
After Lucullus had defeated the Mithridatic admiral Neoptolemus in the Battle of Tenedos, he helped Sulla cross the Aegean to Asia. After a peace had been agreed, Lucullus stayed in Asia and collected the financial penalty Sulla imposed upon the province for its revolt. Lucullus, however, tried to lessen the burden that these impositions created.
Lucullus is noted for his magnanimous administration of Asia province; he managed to calm Rome's resentful, near rebellious, Asian subjects and establish a modicum of peace. When Asia's Roman governor, Lucius Licinius Murena, started and fought the brief, so-called Second Mithridatic War (83-81 BC), Lucullus was not involved.
Mytilene, capital of the island of Lesbos, rebelled during Lucullus administration of Asia. Lucullus tried to solve the conflict through diplomacy, but eventually he launched an attack on the city state, defeated her militia in a pitched battle in front of her walls and started a siege. After some time Lucullus pretended to give up on the siege and sailed away. When the Mytileneans entered the remnants of his camp, Lucullus ambushed them killing 500 of the enemy and enslaving 6,000.
Lucullus returned in 80 BC and was elected curule aedile for 79, along with his brother Marcus Terentius Varro Lucullus, and gave splendid games.
The most obscure part of Lucullus' public career is the year he spent as praetor in Rome, followed by his command of Roman Africa, which probably lasted the usual two-year span for this province in the post-Sullan period. Plutarch's biography entirely ignores this period, 78 BC to 75 BC, jumping from Sulla's death to Lucullus' consulate. However Cicero briefly mentions his praetorship followed by the African command,while the surviving Latin biography, far briefer but more even as biography than Plutarch, comments that he "ruled Africa with the highest degree of justice". This command is significant in showing Lucullus performing the regular, less glamorous, administrative duties of a public career in the customary sequence and, given his renown as a Philhellene, for the regard he showed for subject peoples who were not Greek.
In these respects his early career demonstrates a generous and just nature, but also his political traditionalism in contrast to contemporaries such as Cicero and Pompey, the former of whom was always eager to avoid administrative responsibilities of any sort in the provinces, while Pompey rejected every aspect of a normal career, seeking great military commands at every opportunity which suited him, while refusing to undertake normal duties in peaceful provinces.
Two other notable transactions took place in 76 or 75 BC following Lucullus' return from Africa: his marriage to Claudia, the youngest daughter of Appius Claudius Pulcher, and his purchase of the Marian hilltop villa at Cape Misenum from Sulla's eldest daughter Cornelia.
Sulla dedicated his memoirs to Lucullus, and upon his death made him guardian of his son Faustus and daughter Fausta, preferring Lucullus over Pompey.
In 74 BC Lucullus served as consul along with Marcus Aurelius Cotta, the half-brother of Aurelia the mother of Julius Caesar.During his consulship he defended Sulla's constitution from the efforts of Lucius Quinctius to undermine it. He supported a plea from Pompey, campaigning against the rebel Sertorius on the Iberian peninsula, for funds and reinforcements. And he was probably involved in the decision to make Cyrene into a Roman province.
Initially, he drew Cisalpine Gaul as his proconsular command in the lots, but he got himself appointed governor of Cilicia after its governor (Lucius Octavius) died, reputedly by recommendation from Praecia.He also got himself the command of the Third Mithridatic War against Mithridates VI of Pontus. This was a highly sought after command for Mithridates ruled very rich lands.
On his way to Cilicia, his proconsular province, Lucullus landed his legion somewhere in Asia province.He initially planned to march from Asia to western Cilicia and invade Pontus from the south. In Asia province he found the two Fimbrian legions, veterans from the previous Mithridatic Wars, waiting for him. Upon hearing the news of Cotta's defeat he set out to relieve the besieged Cotta in Bithynia. Lucullus had to fight Mithridates by land and sea therefore he assembled a large army and also raised a fleet amongst the Greek cities of Asia. With this fleet he defeated the enemy's fleet off Ilium and then off Lemnos. On land, through careful manoeuvring and trickery, he was able to trap Mithridates' army at Cyzicus. According to Appian and Plutarch Lucullus had 30,000 infantry and 1,600-2,500 cavalry while Mithridates was rumoured to have as many as 300,000 men in his force. Since Mithridates had superior numbers Lucullus refused to give battle, he decided to starve his enemy into submission. Lucullus blockaded Mithridates' huge army on the Cyzicus peninsula and let famine and plague do his work for him. Mithridates was able to escape Lucullus's siege, but most of his soldiers perished at Cyzicus.
The Pontic fleet tried to sail east into the Aegean, but Lucullus led his fleet against them. He captured a detachment of 13 ships between the island of Tenedos and the mainland harbor of the Achaeans. The main Pontic force, however, had drawn their ships to shore at a site difficult of approach, the small island of Neae between Lemnos and Scyros; Lucullus then sent infantry by land across Neae to their rear, killing many and forcing the rest back to sea.Lucullus sunk or captured 32 ships of the royal fleet.
Lucullus finished off the Mithridatic army in Bithynia and then moved through Galatia (which was allied to Rome by now) into Pontus. He was wary of drawing into a direct engagement with Mithridates, due to the latter's superior cavalry. However, after several small battles and many skirmishes, Lucullus finally defeated him at the Battle of Cabira. He did not pursue Mithridates immediately, but instead he finished conquering the kingdom of Pontus and setting the affairs of Asia into order. His attempts to reform the rapacious Roman administration in Asia made him increasingly unpopular among the powerful publicani back in Rome.
Mithridates had fled to Armenia and in 71 BC Lucullus sent his brother-in-law Appius Claudius Pulcher (later consul 54 BC) as envoy to the Armenian King of Kings Tigranes II to demand the surrender of the Pontic king. In the letter conveyed by Appius, Lucullus addressed Tigranes simply as "king" ( basileus ), something received as an insult, and probably intended as such in order to provoke the proud Armenian monarch to war. Keaveney denies such an interpretation, arguing that Lucullus was acting as a typical philhellene with no empathy towards the sensibilities of non-Greeks.However, this is refuted by Lucullus' conduct during his administration of Africa province (c. 77–75 BC, see above), the period of his career most conspicuously missing from the Greek biography by Plutarch.
In 69 BC Lucullus invaded Armenia. He began a siege of the new Armenian imperial capital of Tigranocerta in the Arzenene district. Tigranes returned from mopping up a Seleucid rebellion in Syria with an experienced army which Lucullus nonetheless annihilated at the Battle of Tigranocerta. This battle was fought on the same (pre-Julian) calendar date as the Roman disaster at Arausio 36 years earlier, the day before the Nones of October according to the reckoning of the time (or October 6),which is Julian October 16, 69 BC. Tigranes retired to the northern regions of his kingdom to gather another army and defend his hereditary capital of Artaxata, while Lucullus moved off south-eastwards to the kingdom of the Corduene on the frontiers of the Armenian and Parthian empires. During the winter of 69–68 BC both sides opened negotiations with the Parthian king, Arsaces XVI, who was presently defending himself against a major onslaught from his rival Phraates III coming from Bactria and the far east.
In the summer of 68 BC Lucullus resumed the war against Tigranes, crossing the Anti-Taurus Range in a long march through very difficult mountain country directed at the old Armenian capital Artaxata. A major battle took place near the River Arsanias, where Lucullus once again routed the Armenian royal army. However, he had misjudged the time needed for a campaign so far into the Armenian Tablelands, where the good weather was unusually short lived, and when the first snows fell around the time of the autumn equinox his army mutinied and refused to advance any further. Lucullus led them back south to the warmer climes of northern Mesopotamia and had no trouble from his troops there despite setting them the difficult task of capturing the great Armenian fortress of Nisibis, which was quickly stormed and made the Roman base for the winter of 68–67 BC.
That winter Lucullus left his army at Nisibis and, taking a small, but apparently highly mobile, escort, journeyed to Syria in an attempt to permanently exclude Tigranes from all his southern possessions. Syria had been an Armenian province since 83 BC. About a decade later the dispossessed Seleucid princes had spent two years in Rome (one of them probably during Lucullus's consulship in 74 BC) lobbying the Senate and Roman aristocracy to make them (as legitimate Seleucids with a Ptolemaic mother) kings of Egypt in place of the illegitimate Ptolemy XII Auletes. Though these brothers left Rome empty handed in about 72 BC, their plight was not forgotten and Lucullus now elevated one of them as king of Syria: Antiochus XIII, known as Asiaticus owing to the time he had spent living in Roman Asia province. Lucullus' old friend Antiochus of Ascalon accompanied him on this journey and died at Antioch. However, in his absence his authority over his army at Nisibis was seriously undermined by the youngest and wildest of the Claudian brothers, Publius Clodius Pulcher, apparently acting in the interests of Pompey, who was eager to succeed Lucullus in the Mithridatic War command. Although a brother-in-law of Lucullus, Clodius was also frater in some form (whether a first cousin frater consobrinus or uterine brother) of Pompey's wife Mucia Tertia. The long campaigning and hardships that Lucullus' troops had endured for years, combined with a perceived lack of reward in the form of plunder, had caused increasing insubordination. The more daring and ruthless veterans had probably been further encouraged by Lucullus' relatively mild acceptance of their first open mutiny in the Tablelands the previous autumn -especially the so-called Fimbrian legions who had murdered their first commander Lucius Valerius Flaccus and abandoned their second commander Gaius Flavius Fimbria. Instigated by Clodius, a series of demonstrations against the commander took place in his absence and by the time of his return he had largely lost control of his army and could not conduct further offensive operations. In addition Mithridates had returned to Pontus during the same winter, and crushed the garrison force Lucullus had left there under his legates Sornatius Barba and Fabius Hadrianus. Lucullus was left with no choice but to retreat to Pontus and Cappadocia and did so in the spring of 67 BC.
Despite his continuous success in battle, Lucullus had still not captured either one of the monarchs. In 66 BC, with the majority of Lucullus' troops now openly refusing to obey his commands, but agreeing to defend Roman positions from attack, the senate sent Pompey to take over Lucullus' command, at which point Lucullus returned to Rome.
The opposition to him continued on his return. In his absence Pompey had shamefully usurped control over Sulla's children, contrary to the father's testament, and now in Pompeius' absence the latter's intimate and hereditary political ally Gaius Memmiusco-ordinated the opposition to Lucullus' claim to a triumph. Memmius delivered at least four speeches de triumpho Luculli Asiatico, and the antagonism towards Lucullus aroused by the Pompeians proved so effective that the enabling law ( lex curiata ) required to hold a triumph was delayed for three years. In this period Lucullus was forced to reside outside the pomerium, which curtailed his involvement in day-to-day politics centred on the Forum.
Instead of returning fully to political life (although, as a friend of Cicero, he did act in some issues) he mostly retired to extravagant leisure, or, in Plutarch's words:
quitted and abandoned public affairs, either because he saw that they were already beyond proper control and diseased, or, as some say, because he had his fill of glory, and felt that the unfortunate issue of his many struggles and toils entitled him to fall back upon a life of ease and luxury...[for] in the life of Lucullus, as in an ancient comedy, one reads in the first part of political measures and military commands, and in the latter part of drinking bouts, and banquets, and what might pass for revel-routs, and torch-races, and all manner of frivolity.
He used the vast treasure he amassed during his wars in the East to live a life of luxury. He had several known luxurious villas:
He is said to have introduced the sour cherry to Italy.The one near Neapolis included fish ponds and man-made extensions into the sea, and was only one of many elite senators' villas around the Bay of Naples. Pompey is said by Pliny and Vellleius Paterculus to have referred often to Lucullus as "Xerxes in a toga".
He finally triumphed in 63 BC thanks in small part to the political maneuvering of both Cato and Cicero. His triumph was remembered mostly due to his covering the Circus Flaminius with the arms of the enemies he had faced during the campaign.
So famous did Lucullus become for his banqueting that the word lucullan now means lavish,luxurious and gourmet.
Once, Cicero and Pompey succeeded in inviting themselves to dinner with Lucullus, but, curious to see what sort of meal Lucullus ate when alone, forbade him to communicate with his slaves regarding any preparation of the meal for his guests. However, Lucullus outsmarted them, and succeeded in getting Pompey and Cicero to allow that he specify which room he would be dining in. He ordered that his slaves serve him in the Apollo Room, knowing that his service staff was schooled ahead of time as to the specific details of service he expected for each of his particular dining rooms: as the standard amount specified to be outlaid for any given dinner in the Apollo room was the large sum of 50,000 drachmae,Cicero and Pompey found themselves a short time later dining upon a most unexpectedly luxurious meal.
On another occasion, the tale runs that his steward, hearing that he would have no guests for dinner, served only one not especially impressive course. Lucullus reprimanded him saying, "What, did not you know, then, that today Lucullus dines with Lucullus?"
Among Lucullus' other contributions to fine dining, he was responsible for bringing (a species of) the sweet cherry and the apricot to Rome, developing major facilities for aquaculture, and being the only person in Rome with the ability to provide thrushes for gastronomic purposes in every season, having his own fattening coops. Cicero once called Lucullus 'Piscinarius' - fish fancier.
Among the various edible plants associated with Lucullus is a cultivar of the vegetable Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris); which is named "Lucullus" in his honor.
Lucullus was extremely well educated in Latin and Greek, and showed a keen interest in literature and philosophy from earliest adulthood. He established lifelong friendships with the Greek poet Archias of (Syrian) Antioch, who migrated to Rome around 102 BC, and with one of the leading Academic philosophers of the time, Antiochos of Ascalon.
During his long delay in the royal palace at Alexandria in the summer of 86 BC Lucullus witnessed the beginning of the major schism in the Platonic Academy in the 1st century BC, the so-called Sosos Affair. His friend and companion Antiochos of Ascalon received, evidently from the Great Library, a copy of a work by the scholarch of the Academy, Philo of Larissa, so radical in its sceptical stance that Antiochos was sufficiently disturbed to doubt the attribution of authorship to his old teacher. But more recent pupils of Philo, chiefly Herakleitos of Tyre, were able to assure him of the book's authenticity. Antiochos and Herakleitos dissected it at length in Lucullus' presence, and in the ensuing weeks while the Roman party continued to await the arrival of the king from the south, Antiochos composed a vigorous polemic against Philo entitled Sosos, which marked his definitive break with Philo's so-called "Sceptical Academy", and the beginning of the separate, more conservative, school eventually called the Old Academy.
Plutarch reports that Lucullus lost his mind towards the end of his life, intermittently developing signs of insanity as he aged. Plutarch, however, seems to be somewhat ambivalent as to whether the apparent madness was actually the result of the administration of a purported love potion or other explicable cause, hinting that his alleged precipitous mental decline (and his concomitant withdrawal from public affairs) may have been at least in part conveniently feigned in self-protection against the rise to power of his political opponents, such as the popular party, during a time in which the political stakes were often life and death.Lucullus' brother Marcus oversaw his funeral.
His tomb has been located near his villa in Tusculum.
Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, known in English as Pompey or Pompey the Great, was a leading Roman general and statesman. He played a significant role in the transformation of Rome from Republic to Empire. He was a student of Roman general Sulla as well as the political ally of Julius Caesar.
This article concerns the period 69 BC – 60 BC.
This article concerns the period 79 BC – 70 BC.
Year 66 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Lepidus and Tullus. The denomination 66 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
The Mithridatic Wars were three conflicts fought by Rome against the Kingdom of Pontus and its allies between 88 BC and 63 BC. They are named after Mithridates VI, the King of Pontus who initiated the hostilities after annexing the Roman province of Asia into its Pontic Empire and committing massacres against the local Roman population known as the Asian Vespers. As Roman troops were sent to recover the territory, they faced an uprising in Greece organized and supported by Mithridates. Mithridates was able to mastermind such general revolts against Rome and played the magistrates of the optimates party off against the magistrates of the populares party in the Roman civil wars. Nevertheless, the first war ended with a Roman victory, confirmed by the Treaty of Dardanos signed by Lucius Sulla and Mithridates. Greece was restored to Roman rule and Pontus was expected to restore the status quo ante bellum in Asia Minor.
The First Mithridatic War was a war challenging the Roman Republic's expanding empire and rule over the Greek world. In this conflict, the Kingdom of Pontus and many Greek cities rebelling against Roman rule were led by Mithridates VI of Pontus against Rome and the allied Kingdom of Bithynia. The war lasted five years and ended in a Roman victory which forced Mithridates to abandon all of his conquests and return to Pontus. The conflict with Mithridates VI later resumed in two further Mithridatic Wars.
Lucius Licinius Murena was a Roman soldier and politician. He was notable for playing an important role in the Roman victory against the forces of Mithridates VI of Pontus at the Battle of Chaeronea in 86 BC during the First Mithridatic War and for engaging in another war, the Second Mithridatic War, against Mithridates in Asia Minor without the authorisation of the Roman senate.
The Third Mithridatic War, the last and longest of the three Mithridatic Wars, was fought between Mithridates VI of Pontus and the Roman Republic. Both sides were joined by a great number of allies dragging the entire east of the Mediterranean and large parts of Asia into the war. The conflict ended in defeat for Mithridates, ending the Pontic Kingdom, ending the Seleucid Empire, and also resulting in the Kingdom of Armenia becoming an allied client state of Rome.
The Battle of Artaxata was fought near the Arsanias River in 68 BC between an army of the Roman Republic and the army of the Kingdom of Armenia. The Romans were led by proconsul Lucius Licinius Lucullus, while the Armenians were led by Tigranes II of Armenia, who was sheltering Mithridates VI of Pontus. The battle was part of the Third Mithridatic War, and was a Roman victory.
The siege of Cyzicus took place in 73 BC between the armies of Mithridates VI of Pontus and the Roman-allied citizens of Cyzicus in Mysia and Roman Republican forces under Lucius Licinius Lucullus. It was in fact a siege and a counter-siege. It ended in a decisive Roman victory.
The Battle of Cabira was fought in 72 or 71 BC between forces of the Roman Republic under proconsul Lucius Licinius Lucullus and those of the Kingdom of Pontus under Mithridates the Great. It was a decisive Roman victory.
The Battle of Lemnos was fought on the island of Lemnos in 73 BC between a Roman fleet and a Mithridatic fleet; it was a decisive event during the Third Mithridatic War. The primary chroniclers of the battle are Appian, Cicero and Memnon, but there remain debates about the specifics in these different accounts.
The lex Manilia was a Roman law passed in 66 BC granting Pompey the military command in the East against Mithridates VI of Pontus.
Contacts between the Italian peninsula and the Armenian Highland go back to the Iron Age when the Etruscan civilization traded with the Kingdom of Urartu by way of Phrygia and Ancient Greece. Urartian bronzes; bull-headed cauldrons and pottery were excavated in various parts of Etruscan Italy, particularly in Tuscany. The Roman Republic played a pivotal role in the re-establishment of the Kingdom of Armenia in 189 BC. Antiochus III the Great was defeated at the Battle of Magnesia by the Romans which in turn allowed the Armenian strategoi of Antiochus, Artaxias and Zariadres to take control of an independent Armenian Kingdom. The Romans perceiving themselves as the legitimate successors of the Seleucids began to play a more aggressive role in the affairs of the Hellenistic world of Asia Minor starting with the acquisition of Pergamum in 133 BC. The Third Mithridatic War led Roman forces for the first time directly to the Armenian border. From that point on until the demise of the Kingdom of Armenia in 428, Rome played a significant role in the affairs of Armenia and Armenians. This article explores the history of that relationship, a relationship which alternated between harmony and conflict.
The Kingdom of Pontus was a Hellenistic kingdom, centered in the historical region of Pontus and ruled by the Mithridatic dynasty of Persian origin, which may have been directly related to Darius the Great and the Achaemenid dynasty. The kingdom was proclaimed by Mithridates I in 281 BC and lasted until its conquest by the Roman Republic in 63 BC. The Kingdom of Pontus reached its largest extent under Mithridates VI the Great, who conquered Colchis, Cappadocia, Bithynia, the Greek colonies of the Tauric Chersonesos, and for a brief time the Roman province of Asia. After a long struggle with Rome in the Mithridatic Wars, Pontus was defeated. The western part of it was incorporated into the Roman Republic as the province Bithynia et Pontus; the eastern half survived as a client kingdom until 62 AD.
Cappadocia was a province of the Roman Empire in Anatolia, with its capital at Caesarea. It was established in 17 AD by the Emperor Tiberius, following the death of Cappadocia's last king, Archelaus.
The Battle of Zela, not to be confused with the more famous battle in 47 BC, was fought in 67 BC near Zela in the Kingdom of Pontus. The battle resulted in a stunning Pontic victory and King Mithridates' successful reclamation of his kingdom. Mithridates' victory was short-lived however, as within a few years he would be completely defeated by Pompey the Great.
The Fimbrian or Valerian legions were two Roman legions which served and fought in all three wars against King Mithridates of Pontus, one of the Roman Republic's chief adversaries during the 80s, 70s and 60s BC. They became a body of long serving legionaries known for their fierce fighting reputation and also, more infamously, for mutiny and abandoning their commander. The legions take their name from the consul Lucius Valerius Flaccus, who first recruited them in 86 BC, and from his subordinate, Gaius Flavius Fimbria, who took command of the legions after inciting a mutiny and murdering Flaccus.
The Siege of Heraclea was a military investment of the city of Heraclea Pontica during the Third Mithridatic War. The siege was conducted by the Roman proconsul Marcus Aurelius Cotta and the legate Gaius Valerius Triarius. They were besieging the adherents of Mithridates of Pontus, who held the city for the Pontic king. Heraclea was located on the strategically important northern land route into the kingdom of Pontus and had been taken and garrisoned by Mithridates on his retreat from the Siege of Cyzicus. The 4,000-man strong Mithridatic garrisoned was commanded by Connacorex, one of the king's generals, and held out for almost two years. After taking Heraclea, the Romans plundered the city extensively.
Gaius Valerius Triarius was a First Century BC Roman politician and general, a member of the gens Valeria. During the Third Mithridatic War he served as a legate to Lucius Licinius Lucullus, the Roman commander in charge of the war effort against king Mithridates VI of Pontus. He played a pivotal role in the capture of Heraclea Pontica, but was later defeated by Mithridates at the Battle of Zela in 67 BC.
- ed. René Henry Photius Bibliotheque, vol.IV: Codices 223-229 (Budé, Paris, 1965), 48-99: Greek with French translation
- ed. Karl Müller FHG (Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum), vol.III, 525ff.: Greek with Latin translation
- ed. Felix Jacoby FGrH 434 (Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker, commenced 1923): Greek text, critical commentary in German
- ed. Müller FHG, III, 602ff.
- ed. Jacoby FGrH 257
- English translation and commentary by William Hansen, Phlegon of Tralles' Book of Marvels (University of Exeter Press, 1996)
- ILS 60 (Latin career elogium from Arretium)
- SIG3 743, AE 1974, 603 (both Greek from Hypata, as quaestor in late 88)
- SIG3 745 (Greek from Rhodes, when pro quaestore, 84/3)
- Ins.Délos 1620 (Latin statue base titulus from Delos when pro quaestore, 85/80)
- BE 1970, p. 426 (two Greek tituli when imperator, 72/66, from Andros and Klaros)
pt.I Introduction. Klio, 9 (1909), 400-412
pt.II Das Kriegsjahr 69. Klio, 10 (1910), 72-115
pt.III Das Kriegsjahr 68. Klio, 10 (1910), 192-231.