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I. The grandfather of Lucullus was a man of consular rank, and his uncle on the mother’s side was Metellus, surnamed Numidicus. His father was convicted of peculation, and his mother, Caecilia, had a bad name as a woman of loose habits. Lucullus, while he was still a youth, before he was a candidate for a magistracy and engaged in public life, made it his first business to bring to trial his fathers accuser, Servilius the augur, as a public offender; and the matter appeared to the Romans to be creditable to Lucullus, and they used to speak of that trial as a memorable thing. It was, indeed, the popular notion, that to prefer an accusation was a reputable measure, even when there was no foundation for it, and they were glad to see the young men fastening on offenders, like well-bred whelps laying hold of wild beasts. However, there was much party spirit about that trial, and some persons were even wounded and killed; but Servilius was acquitted. Lucullus had been trained to speak both Latin and Greek competently, so that Sulla, when he was writing his memoirs, dedicated them to Lucullus as a person who would put them together and arrange his history better than himself; for the style of the oratory of Lucullus was not merely suited to business and prompt, like that of the other orators which disturbed the Forum

“As a struck tunny throws about the sea,"

but when it is out of the Forum is

Dry, and for want of true discipline half dead

but he cultivated the appropriate and so-called liberal sciences, with a view to self-improvement, from his early youth. When he was more advanced in years he let his mind, as it were, after so many troubles, find tranquillity and repose in philosophy, rousing to activity the contemplative portion of his nature, and seasonably terminating and cutting short his ambitious aspirations after his difference with Pompeius. Now, as to his love of learning, this also is reported, in addition to what has been mentioned: when he was a young man, in a conversation with Hortensius, the orator, and Sisenna, the historian, which began in jest, but ended in a serious proposition, he agreed that if they would propose a poem and a history, Greek and Roman, he would treat the subject of the Marsic war in whichsoever of these two languages the lot should decide; and it seems that the lot resulted in a Greek history, for there is still extant a Greek history of the Marsic war by Lucullus. Of his affection to his brother Marcus there were many proofs, but the Romans speak most of the first; being older than his brother, he did not choose to hold a magistracy by himself, but he waited till his brother was of the proper age, and so far gained the public favour that his brother in his absence was elected aedile jointly with him.

II. Though he was a young man during the Marsic war, he gave many proofs of courage and prudence; but it was rather on account of the solidity of his character and the mildness of his temper that Sulla attached Lucullus to himself, and from the beginning he constantly employed him in affairs of the greatest importance; one of which was the matter relating to the coinage. It was Lucullus who superintended the coining of most of the money in the Peloponnesus during the Mithridatic war, and it was named Lucullean after him, and continued for a long time to have a ready circulation, in consequence of the demands of the war. Afterwards, Sulla, who was in possession of the country about Athens, but was shut out from supplies by sea by the enemy, who had the command of it, sent Lucullus to Egypt and Libya to get ships there. It was now the depth of winter, but still he set sail with three Greek piratical ships, and the same number of Rhodian birèmes, exposing himself to a wide sea and to hostile vessels, which, owing to their having the superiority, were cruising about in great numbers and in all directions. However, he landed at Crete, and made the people friendly to his cause; and, finding the Cyrenaeans in a state of confusion, owing to continual tyrannies and wars, he tranquillised and settled the state, by reminding the citizens of a certain expression of Plato, which the philosopher had addressed to them in a prophetic spirit. They asked him, as it appears, to draw up laws for them, and to settle their democracy after the model of a well-ordered polity; but he replied that it was difficult to legislate for the Cyrenaeans while they were so prosperous. Nothing, indeed, is more difficult to govern than a man who considers himself prosperous; and, on the other hand, there is nothing more obedient to command than a man when he is humbled by fortune. And it was this that made the Cyrenaeans tractable to Lucullus in his legislation for them. Sailing from Cyrene to Egypt, he lost most of his vessels by an attack of pirates; but he escaped himself, and entered Alexandria in splendid style; for the whole fleet came out to meet him, as it was used to do when a king entered the port, equipped magnificently. The young king, Ptolemaeus, showed him other surprising marks of attention, and gave him a lodging and table in the palace, though no foreign general had ever before been lodged there. He also offered him an allowance for his expenditure, not such as he used to offer to others, but four times as much; Lucullus, however, would not receive anything more than his necessities required, nor yet any present, though the king sent presents to the value of eighty talents. It is said that Lucullus did not go up to Memphis, nor make inquiry about any other of the wondrous and far-famed things in Egypt; he said that such things befitted an idle spectator, and one who had only to enjoy himself: not a man like himself, who had left the Imperator encamped under the bare sky, and close to the enemy’s battlements.

Plutarch begins his Treatise which is intitled To an Uninstructed Prince with the same story about Plato and the Cyrenaeans (Moralia, ed. Wyttenbach, vol. iv.).]

III. Ptolemaeus declined the alliance, being afraid of the war; but he gave Lucullus ships to convoy him as far as Cyprus, and when he was setting sail he embraced him and paid him great attention, and presented him with an emerald set in gold, of great price. Lucullus at first begged to be excused from taking the present; but when the king showed him that the engraving contained his royal likeness, Lucullus was afraid to refuse the present, lest, if he should be supposed to sail away at complete enmity with the king, he might be plotted against on the sea. In his voyage along the coast Lucullus got together a number of vessels from the maritime towns except such as participated in piratical iniquities, and passed over to Cyprus, where, hearing that his enemies were lying in wait for him with their ships at the headlands, he drew up all his vessels, and wrote to the cities about winter quarters and supplies, as if he intended to stay there till the fine season. As soon as a favourable opportunity offered for his voyage, he launched his ships and got out to sea, and by sailing during the day with his sails down and low, and putting them up at night, he got safe to Rhodes. The Rhodians supplied him with some more ships, and he persuaded the people of Kos and Knidus to quit the king’s side, and join him in an attack on the Samians. He drove the king’s party also out of Chios, and he gave the people of Kolophon freedom by seizing Epigonus, their tyrant. It happened about this time that Mithridates had left Pergamum, and was shut up in Pitane. While Fimbria was keeping the king blockaded there on the land side and pressing the siege, Mithridates, looking to the sea, got together and summoned to him ships from every quarter, having given up all design of engaging and fighting with Fimbria, who was a bold man and had defeated him. Fimbria observing this, and being deficient in naval force, sent to Lucullus, and prayed him to come with his fleet and help him to take the most detested and the most hostile of kings, in order that Mithridates, the great prize, which had been followed through many contests and labours, might not escape the Romans, now that he had given them a chance of seizing him, and was caught within the nets. He said, if Mithridates was taken, no one would have more of the glory than he who stopped his flight and laid hold of him when he was trying to steal away; that if Mithridates were shut out from the land by him, and excluded from the sea by Lucullus, there would be a victory for both of them, and that as to the vaunted exploits of Sulla at Orchomenus and Chaeronea, the Romans would think nothing of them in comparison with this. There was nothing unreasonable in all that Fimbria said; and it was plain to every man that if Lucullus, who was at no great distance, had then accepted the proposal of Fimbria, and led his ships there and blockaded the port with his fleet, the war would have been at an end, and all would have been delivered from innumerable calamities. But whether it was that Lucullus regarded his duty to Sulla above all private and public interests, or that he detested Fimbria, who was an abandoned man, and had lately murdered his own friend and general, merely from ambition to command, or whether it was through chance, as the Deity would have it, that he spared Mithridates, and reserved him for his own antagonist he would not listen to Fimbria, but allowed Mithridates to escape by sea, and to mock the force of Fimbria. Lucullus himself, in the first place, defeated off Lektum in the Troad, the king’s ships, which showed themselves there, and again observing that Neoptolemus was stationed at Tenedos with a larger force, he sailed against him ahead of all the rest, in a Rhodian galley of five banks which was commanded by Demagoras, a man well affected to the Romans, and exceedingly skilful in naval battles. Neoptolemus came against him at a great rate, and ordered the helmsman to steer the ship right against the vessel of Lucullus; but Demagoras, fearing the weight of the king’s vessel and the rough brass that she was fitted with, did not venture to engage head to head, but he quickly turned his ship round and ordered them to row her stern foremost, and the vessel being thus depressed at the stern received the blow, which was rendered harmless by falling on those parts of the ship which were in the water. In the meantime his friends coming to his aid, Lucullus commanded them to turn his ship’s head to the enemy; and, after performing many praiseworthy feats, he put the enemy to flight, and pursued Neoptolemus.

IV. After this, Lucullus joined Sulla in the Chersonesus, as he was going to cross the Hellespont, and he made the passage safe for him, and assisted his army in getting over. When the treaty was made, and Mithridates had sailed off to the Euxine, and Sulla had imposed a contribution of twenty thousand talents on Asia, and Lucullus had been appointed to collect the money, and to strike coin, it appeared some small consolation to the cities of Asia for the harshness of Sulla that Lucullus not only behaved with honesty and justice, but conducted himself mildly in the discharge of so oppressive and disagreeable a duty. Though the Mitylenaeans had openly revolted, Lucullus wished them to come to their senses, and to submit to some reasonable penalty for their ill-conduct in the matter of Marius; but perceiving that they were under the influence of some evil daemon, he sailed against them, and defeated them in a battle, and, after shutting them up in their walls, and establishing a blockade, he sailed out in open day to Elaea, but he returned by stealth, and laying an ambuscade near the city, kept quiet. The Mitylenaeans approached in disorder, and with confidence in the expectation of plundering a deserted camp; but Lucullus falling on them took a great number alive, and killed five hundred of them who made resistance. He also took six thousand slaves, and the rest of the booty was past count. But in the miseries which Sulla and Marius were at that time bringing on the people of Italy, without limit and of every kind, he had no share, being detained by his business in Asia by some happy fortune. Nevertheless, he had not less favour with Sulla than the rest of his friends; for, as I have said Sulla dedicated his memoirs to Lucullus, as a token of his affection, and finally he appointed him the guardian of his son, and passed by Pompeius. And this was probably the origin of the difference and the jealousy between Lucullus and Pompeius; for they were both young, and burning for distinction.

V. Shortly after Sulla’s death, Lucullus was consul with Marcus Cotta, about the hundred and seventy-sixth Olympiad. Many persons were again attempting to stir up the Mithridatic war, and Marcus said that the war was not ended, but only stopped for a time. It was for this reason that Lucullus was annoyed at the lot giving him for his province Gaul within (south of) the Alps, which offered no opportunity for great exploits. But the reputation of Pompeius, who was now in Iberia, stung him most, as it was expected that Pompeius, in preference to any one else, would be forthwith chosen to the command of the war against Mithridates, if it should happen that the Iberian war should be brought to a close. Accordingly, when Pompeius asked for money, and wrote to say that if they did not send it he would leave Iberia and Sertorius, and lead his troops hack to Italy, Lucullus did all he could to get money sent, and to prevent Pompeius returning from Iberia on any pretence whatever while he was consul; for he considered that the whole State would be at the disposal of Pompeius if he were at Rome with so large an army. Cethegus, also, who had then the power in his hands by always speaking and acting with a view to popularity, was at enmity with Lucullus, who detested his habits of life, which were nothing but a course of unnatural lusts, insolence, and violence. With Cethegus then Lucullus was at open war. There was, indeed another demagogue, Lucius Quintius, who had set himself against Sulla’s measures, and attempted to disturb the present settlement of affairs; but Lucullus, by much persuasion in private and reproof in public, drew him from his designs, and quieted his ambition, in as politic and wholesome a way as a man could do, by taking in hand so great a disease at its commencement.

VI. In the meantime news arrived of the death of Octavius, the Governor of Cilicia. Now there were many eager competitors for the province, who courted Cethegus as the person who was best able to help them to it. As to Cilicia itself, Lucullus made no great account of that province; but, inasmuch as he thought, if he should get Cilicia, which bordered on Cappadocia, no one else would be sent to conduct the war against Mithridates, he left no means untried to prevent the province falling into other hands; and, at last, contrary to his natural disposition, he submitted from necessity to do an act which was not creditable, or commendable, though it was useful towards the end he had in view. There was a woman named Praecia, who was famed through Rome for her beauty and gallantry, and though in other respects she was no better than a common prostitute, yet, as she availed herself of her influence with those who visited her and talked to her, for the purpose of forwarding the interests and political views of her friends, she added to her other attractions the reputation of being a woman who was much attached to her friends, and very active in accomplishing anything, and she obtained great influence. Cethegus, who was then at the height of his popularity, and directed the administration, was captivated by Praecia, and began to cohabit with her, and thus the whole power of the State fell into her hands; for no public measure was transacted if Cethegus was not for it, and if Praecia did not recommend it to Cethegus. Now Lucullus gained over Praecia by presents and flattery; and, indeed, it was in itself a great boon to a proud woman, fond of public display, to be seen using her influence on behalf of Lucullus; and thus he soon had Cethegus speaking in his favour, and trying to get Cilicia for him. When Lucullus had once gained the province of Cilicia, it was no longer necessary for him to call in the aid of Praecia or Cethegus, but all alike readily put into his hands the conduct of the Mithridatic war, believing that it could not be managed better by any other person; for Pompeius was still fighting against Sertorius, and Metellus had withdrawn from service by reason of his age, and these were the only persons who could be considered as rivals to Lucullus in any dispute about the command in the war. However, Cotta, the colleague of Lucullus, after making earnest application to the Senate, was sent with some ships to watch the Propontis, and to defend Bithynia.

VII. Lucullus, with one legion which he had raised at home, crossed over into Asia, where he took the command of the rest of the forces, all of whom had long been spoiled by luxurious habits and living at free quarters; and the soldiers of Fimbria were said to have become difficult to manage, from being accustomed to obey no commander. They were the men who joined Fimbria in putting to death Flaccus, who was a consul and their general, and who gave up Fimbria himself to Sulla self-willed and lawless men, but brave and full of endurance, and experienced soldiers. However, in a short time, Lucullus took down the insolence of these soldiers, and changed the character of the rest, who then, for the first time, as it seems, knew what it was to have a genuine commander and leader; for under other generals, they were used to be courted, and spirited on to military service in such wise as was agreeable to them. As to the enemy, matters were thus: Mithridates, like most of the sophists, full of boasting at first, and rising up against the Romans arrogantly, with an army unsubstantial in fact, but in appearance brilliant and pompous, had failed in his undertaking, and exposed himself to ridicule: but now, when he was going to commence the war a second time, taught by experience he concentrated his powers in a real and effectual preparation. Rejecting those motley numbers and many-tongued threats of the barbarians, and arms ornamented with gold and precious stones, which he considered to be the spoils of the victors, and to give no strength to those who possess them, he set about having Roman swords made, and heavy shields manufactured; and he got together horses which were well trained, instead of horses which were well caparisoned; and one hundred and twenty thousand foot-soldiers who were disciplined to the Roman order of battle, and sixteen thousand horse-soldiers, without reckoning the scythe-bearing four-horse chariots, and these were a hundred; besides, his ships were not filled with tents embroidered with gold, nor with baths for concubines, nor apartments for the women luxuriously furnished; but fitting them out fully with arms, missiles, and stores, he invaded Bithynia, where he was again gladly received by the cities, and not by these cities only, for a return of their former calamities had visited all Asia, which was suffering past endurance from the Roman money-lenders and farmers of the taxes. These men, who, like so many harpies, were plundering the people of their substance, Lucullus afterwards drove out; but, for the time, he endeavoured by reproof to make them more moderate in their conduct, and he stopped the insurrection of the towns, when, so to speak, not a single man in them was quiet.

VIII. While Lucullus was busied about these matters, Cotta, thinking it a good opportunity for himself, was preparing to fight with Mithridates; and, though many persons brought him intelligence that Lucullus was encamped in Phrygia on his advanced march, Cotta, thinking that he had the triumph all but in his hands, hastened to engage, that Lucullus might have no share in it. But he was defeated by land and by sea at the same time; and he lost sixty vessels with all the men in them, and four thousand foot-soldiers, and he was shut up in Chalkedon and besieged there, and obliged to look for help at the hands of Lucullus. Now there were some who urged Lucullus not to care for Cotta, but to advance forward, as he would be able to seize the kingdom of Mithridates, which was unprotected; and this was the language of the soldiers especially, who were indignant that Cotta, not satisfied with ruining himself and those with him by his imprudent measures, should be a hindrance to their getting a victory without a contest when it was in their power; but Lucullus said in reply to all this in an harangue, that he would rather save one Roman from the enemy than get all that the enemy had. And when Archelaus, who had commanded for Mithridates in Boeotia, and afterwards had left him, and was now in the Roman army, maintained that if Lucullus would only show himself in Pontus, he might make himself master of everything at once, Lucullus replied that he was not a greater coward than huntsmen, which he should be if he passed by the wild beasts and went to their empty dens. Saying this he advanced against Mithridates, with thirty thousand foot-soldiers and two thousand five hundred cavalry. On arriving in sight of the enemy, he was startled at their numbers, and wished to avoid a battle and to protract the time. Marius, however, whom Sertorius had sent from Iberia to Mithridates in command of a force, came out to meet Lucullus, and challenged him to the contest, on which Lucullus put his army in order of battle; and they were just on the point of commencing the engagement, when, without any evident change, but all at once, the sky opened, and there appeared a huge flame-like body, which came down between the two armies, in form most like a cask, and in colour resembling molten silver, so that both armies were alarmed at the sight and separated. This, it is said, took place in Phrygia, at a place called Otryae. Lucullus, considering that it was not possible for any human resources or wealth to maintain for any length of time, and in the presence of an enemy, so many thousands as Mithridates had, ordered one of the prisoners to be brought to him, and asked him first how many messmates he had, and then how much provision he had left in his tent. When the man had given his answer, he ordered him to be removed, and he put the same question to a second, and to a third. Then comparing the amount of provisions that the enemy had with the number of those who were to be fed, he concluded that the enemy’s provisions would fail them in three or four days. He now stuck still more closely to his plan of protracting the time, and he employed himself in getting into his camp a great store of provision, that he might have abundance himself, and so wait till the enemy was reduced to want.

IX. In the meantime Mithridates resolved to attack the Kyzikeni, who had received a blow in the battle at Chalkedon, for they had lost three thousand men and ten ships. Accordingly, wishing to give Lucullus the slip, he put himself in motion immediately after supper, taking advantage of a dark and rainy night; and he succeeded in planting his force at daybreak right opposite to the city, at the base of the mountain tract of the Adrasteia. Lucullus, who perceived his movements and followed him, was well satisfied that he had not come up with the enemy while his own troops were out of battle order; and he posted his army near the village named Thrakia, in a position excellently adapted to command the roads and the places from which and through which the soldiers of Mithridates must bring their supplies. Now, as he had in his own mind a clear comprehension of the issue, he did not conceal it from his men; but as soon as he had chosen his ground, and the men had finished the entrenchments, he summoned them together, and confidently told them that he would, in a few days, give them a victory which would cost no blood. Mithridates had hemmed in the Kyzikeni with ten camps on the land side, and towards the sea with his ships, by blocking up the narrow channel which separates the city from the mainland, and thus he was besieging them on both sides. Though the citizens were disposed to resist the enemy boldly, and had determined to sustain all hardships for the sake of the Romans, they were troubled at not knowing where Lucullus was, and at having heard nothing of him. Yet the army of Lucullus was visible and in sight of the city; but the citizens were deceived by the soldiers of Mithridates, who pointed to the Romans in their entrenchments on the higher ground, and said, “Do you see them? That is the army of the Armenians and Medes, which Tigranes has sent to support Mithridates.”

The Kyzikeni were alarmed to see such a host of enemies around them, and they had no hopes that they could be released, even if Lucullus should come. However, Demonax, who was sent to them by Archelaus, was the first to inform them of Lucullus being there. While they were distrusting his intelligence, and thinking that he had merely invented this story to comfort them in their difficulties, there came a youth, who had been captured by the enemy and made his escape. On their asking him where he supposed Lucullus to be, he laughed outright, for he thought they were making sport of him; but, seeing that they were in earnest, he pointed with his hand to the Roman camp, and the citizens again took courage. Now the lake Daskylitis is navigable for boats of a considerable size, and Lucullus, drawing up the largest of them, and conveying it on a waggon to the sea-coast, put into it as many soldiers as it would hold. The soldiers crossed over by night unobserved, and got into the city.

X. It appears that the deity, also, admiring the bravery of the Kyzikeni, encouraged them by other manifest signs, and especially by this: the festival called Persephassia was at hand, and as they had not a black cow to sacrifice, they made one of dough, and placed it at the altar. The cow which was intended to be the victim, and was fattening for the goddess, was pasturing, like the other animals of the Kyzikeni, on the opposite mainland; but on that day, leaving the rest of the herd by itself, it swam over the channel to the city and presented itself to be sacrificed. The goddess also appeared in a dream to Aristagoras, the town-clerk, and said: “For my part, I am come, and I bring the Libyan fifer against the Pontic trumpeter. Bid the citizens, then, be of good cheer.” The Kyzikeni were wondering at these words, when at daybreak the sea began to be disturbed by an unsteady, changing wind that descended upon it, and the engines of the king, which were placed near the walls admirable contrivances of Nikonides the Thessalian by their creaking and rattling showed what was going to happen: then a south-west wind, bursting forth with incredible fury, broke to pieces the other engines in a very short time, and shook and threw down the wooden tower, which was a hundred cubits high. It is told that Athena appeared to many of the people in Ilium in their sleep, streaming with copious sweat, showing part of her peplus rent, and saying that she had just returned from helping the Kyzikeni. And the people of Ilium used to show a stele which contained certain decrees and an inscription about these matters.

XI. Mithridates, so long as he was deceived by his generals and kept in ignorance of the famine in his army, was annoyed at the Kyzikeni holding out against the blockade. But his ambition and his haughtiness quickly oozed away when he had discovered the straits in which his army was held, and that they were eating one another; for Lucullus was not carrying on the war in a theatrical way, nor with mere show; but, as the proverb says, was kicking against the belly, and contriving every means how he should cut off the food. Accordingly, while Lucullus was engaged in besieging a certain garrisoned post, Mithridates, seizing the opportunity, sent off into Bithynia nearly all his cavalry, with the beasts of burden, and all his superfluous infantry. Lucullus hearing of this, returned to his camp during the night, and early in the following morning, it being winter time, getting ready ten cohorts and the cavalry, he followed the troops of Mithridates, though it was snowing, and his soldiers suffered so much that many of them gave in by reason of the cold, and were left behind: however, with the rest he came up with the enemy at the river Rhyndakus, and gave them such a defeat that the women came from the town of Apollonia and carried off the baggage and stripped the dead. Many fell in the battle, as might be supposed, but there were taken six thousand horses, with a countless number of baggage-beasts, and fifteen thousand men, all whom he led back past the camp of the enemy. I wonder at Sallustius saying that this was the first time that the Romans saw the camel; for he must have supposed that the soldiers of Scipio, who some time before had defeated Antiochus, and those who had also fought with Archelaus at Orchomenus and Chaeronea, were unacquainted with the camel. Now Mithridates had determined to fly as soon as he could; but, with the view of contriving something which should draw Lucullus in the other direction, and detain him in his rear, he sent his admiral, Aristonikus, to the Grecian sea, and Aristonikus was just on the point of setting sail when he was betrayed to Lucullus, who got him into his power, together with ten thousand pieces of gold which he was carrying to bribe a part of the Roman army with. Upon this Mithridates fled to the sea, and his generals led the land forces off. But Lucullus falling upon them at the river Granikus, took many prisoners, and slew twenty thousand of them. It is said that near three hundred thousand persons were destroyed out of the whole number of camp-followers and fighting-men.

XII. Upon entering Kyzikus, Lucullus took his pleasure, and enjoyed a friendly reception suitably to the occasion; he next visited the Hellespont, and got his navy equipped. Arriving at the Troad, he placed his tent within the sacred precincts of Aphrodite, and as he was sleeping there he thought that he saw the goddess in the night standing by him, saying:

“Why slumber, lion of the mighty heart?
The fawns are near at hand.”

Waking from sleep, Lucullus called his friends and told them his dream, while it was still night; and there came persons from Ilium, who reported that thirteen of the king’s quinqueremes had been seen near the Achaean harbour, moving in the direction of Lemnos. Immediately setting sail, Lucullus captured these vessels and killed their commander, Isidorus, and he then advanced against the other captains. Now, as they happened to be at anchor, they drew all their vessels together up to the land, and, fighting from the decks, dealt blows on the men of Lucullus; for the ground rendered it impossible to sail round to the enemy’s rear, and, as the ships of Lucullus were afloat, they could make no attack on those of the enemy, which were planted close to the land and securely situated. However, with some difficulty, Lucullus landed the bravest of his soldiers in a part of the island which was accessible, who, falling on the rear of the enemy, killed some and compelled the rest to cut their cables and make their escape from the land, and so to drive their vessels foul of one another, and to be exposed to the blows of the vessels of Lucullus. Many of the enemy perished; but among the captives there was Marius, he who was sent from Sertorius. Marius had only one eye, and the soldiers had received orders from Lucullus, as they were setting out on the expedition, to kill no one-eyed man; for Lucullus designed to make Marius die a shameful and dishonourable death.

XIII. As soon as he had accomplished this, Lucullus hastened in pursuit of Mithridates; for he expected still to find him about Bithynia, and watched by Voconius, whom he had sent with ships to Nikomedia to follow up the pursuit. But Voconius lingered in Samothrakia, where he was getting initiated into mysteries and celebrating festivals. Mithridates, who had set sail with his armament, and was in a hurry to reach Pontus before Lucullus returned, was overtaken by a violent storm, by which some of his ships were shattered and others were sunk; and all the coast for many days was filled with the wrecks that were cast up by the waves. The merchant-vessel in which Mithridates was embarked could not easily be brought to land by those who had the management of it, by reason of its magnitude, in the agitated state of the water, and the great swell, and it was already too heavy to hold out against the sea, and was water-logged; accordingly the king got out of the vessel into a piratical ship, and, intrusting his person to pirates, contrary to expectation and after great hazard he arrived at Heraklea in Pontus. Now it happened that the proud boast of Lucullus to the Senate brought on him no divine retribution. The Senate was voting a sum of three thousand talents to equip a navy for the war, but Lucullus stopped the measure by sending a letter, couched in vaunting terms, in which he said, that without cost and so much preparation, he would with the ships of the allies drive Mithridates from the sea. And he did this with the aid of the deity; for it is said that it was owing to the anger of Artemis Priapine that the storm fell on the Pontic soldiers, who had plundered her temple and carried off the wooden statue.

XIV. Though many advised Lucullus to suspend the war, he paid no heed to them: but, passing through Bithynia and Galatia, he invaded the country of the king. At first he wanted provisions, so that thirty thousand Galatians followed him, each carrying on his shoulders a medimnus of wheat; but as he advanced and reduced all into his power, he got into such abundance of everything that an ox was sold in the camp for a drachma, and a slave for four drachmae; and, as to the rest of the booty, it was valued so little that some left it behind, and others destroyed it; for there were no means of disposing of anything to anybody when all had abundance. The Roman army had advanced with their cavalry and carried their incursions as far as Themiskyra and the plains on the Thermodon, without doing more than wasting and ravaging the country, when the men began to blame Lucullus for peaceably gaining over all the cities, and they complained that he had not taken a single city by storm, nor given them an opportunity of enriching themselves by plunder. “Nay, even now,” they said, “we are quitting Amisus, a prosperous and wealthy city, which it would be no great matter to take, if any one would press the siege, and the general is leading us to fight with Mithridates in the wilds of the Tibareni and Chaldaeans." Now, if Lucullus had supposed that these notions would have led the soldiers to such madness as they afterwards showed he would not have overlooked or neglected these matters, nor have apologised instead to those men who were blaming his tardiness for thus lingering in the neighbourhood of insignificant villages for a long time, and allowing Mithridates to increase his strength. “This is the very thing,” he said, “that I wish, and I am sitting here with the design of allowing the man again to become powerful, and to get together a sufficient force to meet us, that he may stay, and not fly from us when we advance. Do you not see that a huge and boundless wilderness is in his rear, and the Caucasus is near, and many mountains which are full of deep valleys, sufficient to hide ten thousand kings who decline a battle, and to protect them? and it is only a few days’ march from Kabeira into Armenia, and above the plains of Armenia Tigranes the King of Kings has his residence, with a force which enables him to cut the Parthian off from Asia, and he removes the inhabitants of the Greek cities up into Media, and he is master of Syria and Palestine, and the kings, the descendants of Seleucus, he puts to death, and carries off their daughters and wives captives. Tigranes is the kinsman and son-in-law of Mithridates. Indeed, he will not quietly submit to receive Mithridates as a suppliant; but he will war against us, and, if we strive to eject Mithridates from his kingdom we shall run the risk of drawing upon us Tigranes, who has long been seeking for a pretext against us, and he could not have a more specious pretext than to be compelled to aid a man who is his kinsman and a king. Why, then, should we bring this about, and show Mithridates, who does not know it, with whose aid he ought to carry on the war against us? and why should we drive him against his wish, and ingloriously, into the arms of Tigranes, instead of giving him time to collect a force out of his own resources and to recover his courage, and so fight with the Kolchi, and Tibareni, and Cappadocians, whom we have often defeated, rather than fight with the Medes and Armenians?”

XV. Upon such considerations as these, Lucullus protracted the time before Amisus without pushing the siege; and, when the winter was over, leaving Murena to blockade the city, he advanced against Mithridates, who was posted at Kabeira, and intending to oppose the Romans, as he had got together a force of forty thousand infantry and four thousand horse on whom he relied most. Crossing the river Lykus into the plain, Mithridates offered the Romans battle. A contest between the cavalry ensued, in which the Romans fled, and Pomponius, a man of some note, being wounded, was taken prisoner, and brought to Mithridates while he was suffering from his wounds. The king asked him if he would become his friend if his life were spared, to which Pomponius replied, “Yes, if you come to terms with the Romans; if not, I shall be your enemy.” Mithridates admired the answer, and did him no harm. Now, Lucullus was afraid to keep the plain country, as the enemy were masters of it with their cavalry, and he was unwilling to advance into the hilly region, which was of great extent and wooded and difficult of access; but it happened that some Greeks were taken prisoners, who had fled into a cave, and the eldest of them, Artemidorus, promised Lucullus to be his guide, and to put him in a position which would be secure for his army, and also contained a fort that commanded Kabeira. Lucullus, trusting the man, set out at nightfall after lighting numerous fires, and getting through the defiles in safety; he gained possession of the position; and, when the day dawned, he was seen above the enemy, posting his soldiers in a place which gave him the opportunity of making an attack if he chose to fight, and secured him against any assault if he chose to remain quiet. At present neither general had any intention of hazarding a battle; but it is said, that while some of the king’s men were pursuing a deer, the Romans met them and attempted to cut off their retreat, and this led to a skirmish, in which fresh men kept continually coming up on both sides. At last the king’s men had the better, and the Romans, who from the ramparts saw their comrades falling, were in a rage, and crowded about Lucullus, praying him to lead them on, and calling for the signal for battle. But Lucullus, wishing them to learn the value of the presence and sight of a prudent general in a struggle with an enemy and in the midst of danger, told them to keep quiet; and, going down into the plain and meeting the first of the fugitives, he ordered them to stand, and to turn round and face the enemy with him. The men obeyed, and the rest also facing about and forming in order of battle, easily put the enemy to flight, and pursued them to their camp. Lucullus, after retiring to his position, imposed on the fugitives the usual mark of disgrace, by ordering them to dig a trench of twelve feet in their loose jackets, while the rest of the soldiers were standing by and looking on.

XVI. Now there was in the army of Mithridates a prince of the Dandarii, named Olthakus (the Dandarii are one of the tribes of barbarians that live about the Maeotis), a man distinguished in all military matters where strength and daring are required, and also in ability equal to the best, and moreover a man who knew how to ingratiate himself with persons, and of insinuating address. Olthakus, who was always engaged in a kind of rivalry for distinction with one of the princes of the kindred tribes, and was jealous of him, undertook a great exploit for Mithridates, which was to kill Lucullus. The king approved of his design, and purposely showed him some indignities, at which, pretending to be in a rage, Olthakus rode off to Lucullus, who gladly received him, for there was a great report of him in the Roman army; and Lucullus, after some acquaintance with him, was soon pleased with his acuteness and his zeal, and at last admitted him to his table and made him a member of his council. Now when the Dandarian thought he had a fit opportunity, he ordered the slaves to take his horse without the ramparts, and, as it was noontide and the soldiers were lying in the open air and taking their rest, he went to the general’s tent, expecting that nobody would prevent him from entering, as he was on terms of intimacy with Lucullus, and said that he was the bearer of some important news. And he would have entered the tent without any suspicion, if sleep, that has been the cause of the death of many generals, had not saved Lucullus; for he happened to be asleep, and Menedemus, one of his chamber-attendants, who was standing by the door, said that Olthakus had not come at a fit time, for Lucullus had just gone to rest himself after long wakefulness and many toils. As Olthakus did not go away when he was told, but said that he would go in, even should Menedemus attempt to prevent him, because he wished to communicate with Lucullus about a matter of emergency and importance, Menedemus began to get in a passion, and, saying that nothing was more urgent than the health of Lucullus, he shoved the man away with both his hands. Olthakus being alarmed stole out of the camp, and, mounting his horse, rode off to the army of Mithridates, without effecting his purpose. Thus, it appears, it is with actions just as it is with medicines time and circumstance give to the scales that slight turn which saves alive, as well as that which kills.

XVII. After this Sornatius, with ten cohorts, was sent to get supplies of corn. Being pursued by Menander, one of the generals of Mithridates, Sornatius faced about and engaged the enemy, of whom he killed great numbers and put the rest to flight. Again, upon Adrianus being sent with a force, for the purpose of getting an abundant supply of corn for the army, Mithridates did not neglect the opportunity, but sent Menemachus and Myron at the head of a large body of cavalry and infantry. All this force, as it is said, was cut to pieces by the Romans, with the exception of two men. Mithridates concealed the loss, and pretended it was not so great as it really was, but a trifling loss owing to the unskilfulness of the commanders. However, Adrianus triumphantly passed by the camp of the enemy with many waggons loaded with corn and booty, which dispirited Mithridates, and caused irremediable confusion and alarm among his soldiers. Accordingly it was resolved not to stay there any longer. But, while the king’s servants were quietly sending away their own property first, and endeavouring to hinder the rest, the soldiers, growing infuriated, pushed towards the passages that led out of the camp, and, attacking the king’s servants, began to seize the luggage and massacre the men. In this confusion Dorylaus the general, who had nothing else about him but his purple dress, lost his life by reason of it, and Hermaeus, the sacrificing priest, was trampled to death at the gates. The king himself, without attendant or groom to accompany him, fled from the camp mingled with the rest, and was not able to get even one of the royal horses, till at last the eunuch Ptolemaeus, who was mounted, spied him as he was hurried along in the stream of fugitives, and leaping down from his horse gave it to the king. The Romans, who were following in pursuit, were now close upon the king, and so far as it was a matter of speed they were under no difficulty about taking him, and they came very near it; but greediness and mercenary motives snatched from the Romans the prey which they had so long followed up in many battles and great dangers, and robbed Lucullus of the crowning triumph to his victory; for the horse which was carrying Mithridates was just within reach of his pursuers, when it happened that one of the mules which was conveying the king’s gold either fell into the hands of the enemy accidentally, or was purposely thrown in their way by the king’s orders, and while the soldiers were plundering it and getting together the gold, and fighting with one another, they were left behind. And this was not the only loss that Lucullus sustained from their greediness; he had given his men orders to bring to him Kallistratus, who had the charge of all the king’s secrets; but those who were taking him to Lucullus, finding that he had five hundred gold pieces in his girdle, put him to death. However, Lucullus allowed his men to plunder the camp.

XVIII. After taking Kabeira and most of the other forts Lucullus found in them great treasures, and also places of confinement, in which many Greeks and many kinsmen of the king were shut up; and, as they had long considered themselves as dead, they were indebted to the kindness of Lucullus, not for their rescue, but for restoration to life and a kind of second birth. A sister also of Mithridates, Nyssa, was captured, and so saved her life; but the women who were supposed to be the farthest from danger, and to be securely lodged at Phernakia, the sisters and wives of Mithridates, came to a sad end, pursuant to the order of Mithridates, which he sent Bacchides, a eunuch, to execute, when he was compelled to take to flight. Among many other women there were two sisters of the king, Roxana and Statira, each about forty years of age and unmarried; and two of his wives, Ionian women, one of them named Berenike from Chios, and the other Monime a Milesian. Monime was much talked of among the Greeks, and there was a story to this effect, that though the king tempted her with an offer of fifteen thousand gold pieces, she held out until a marriage contract was made, and he sent her a diadem with the title of queen. Now Monime hitherto was very unhappy, and bewailed that beauty which had given her a master instead of a husband, and a set of barbarians to watch over her instead of marriage and a family; and she lamented that she was removed from her native country, enjoying her anticipated happiness only in imagination, while she was deprived of all those real pleasures which she might have had at home. When Bacchides arrived, and told the women to die in such manner as they might judge easiest and least painful, Monime pulled the diadem from her head, and, fastening it round her neck, hung herself. As the diadem soon broke, “Cursed rag!” she exclaimed, “you won’t even do me this service;” and, spitting on it, she tossed it from her, and presented her throat to Bacchides. Berenike took a cup of poison, and gave a part of it to her mother, who was present, at her own request. Together they drank it up; and the strength of the poison was sufficient for the weaker of the two, but it did not carry off Berenike, who had not drunk enough, and, as she was long in dying, she was strangled with the assistance of Bacchides. Of the two unmarried sisters of Mithridates it is said, that one of them, after uttering many imprecations on her brother and much abuse, drank up the poison. Statira did not utter a word of complaint, or anything unworthy of her noble birth; but she commended her brother for that he had not neglected them at a time when his own life was in danger, and had provided that they should die free and be secure against insult. All this gave pain to Lucullus, who was naturally of a mild and humane temper.

XIX. Lucullus advanced as far as Talaura, whence four days before Mithridates had fled into Armenia to Tigranes. From Talaura Lucullus took a different direction, and after subduing the Chaldaei and Tibareni, and taking possession of the Less Armenia, and reducing forts and cities, he sent Appius to Tigranes to demand Mithridates; but he went himself to Amisus, which was still holding out against the siege. This was owing to Kallimachus the commander, who by his skill in mechanical contrivances, and his ingenuity in devising every resource which is available in a siege, gave the Romans great annoyance, for which he afterwards paid the penalty. Now, however, he was out-generailed by Lucullus, who, by making a sudden attack, just at that time of the day when he was used to lead his soldiers off and to give them rest, got possession of a small part of the wall, upon which Kallimachus quitted the city, having first set fire to it, either because he was unwilling that the Romans should get any advantage from their conquest, or with the view of facilitating his own escape. For no one paid any attention to those who were sailing out; but when the flames had sprung up with violence, and got hold of the walls, the soldiers were making ready to plunder. Lucullus, lamenting the danger in which the city was of being destroyed, attempted from the outside to help the citizens against the fire, and ordered it to be put out; yet nobody attended to him, and the soldiers called out for booty, and shouted and struck their armour, till at last Lucullus was compelled to let them have their way, expecting that he should thus save the city at least from the fire. But the soldiers did just the contrary; for, as they rummaged every place by the aid of torches, and carried about lights in all directions, they destroyed most of the houses themselves, so that Lucullus, who entered the city at daybreak, said to his friends with tears in his eyes, that he had often considered Sulla a fortunate man, but on this day of all others he admired the man’s good fortune, in that when he chose to save Athens he had also the power; “but upon me,” he said, “who have been emulous to imitate his example, the daemon has instead brought the reputation of Mummius." However, as far as present circumstances allowed, he endeavoured to restore the city. The fire indeed was quenched by the rains that chanced to fall, as the deity would have it, at the time of the capture, and the greatest part of what had been destroyed Lucullus rebuilt while he stayed at Amisus; and he received into the city such of the Amisenes as had fled, and settled there any other Greeks who were willing to settle, and added to the limits of the territory a tract of one hundred and twenty stadia. Amisus was a colony of the Athenians, planted, as one might suppose, at that period in which their power was at its height and had the command of the sea. And this was the reason why many who wished to escape from the tyranny of Aristion sailed to the Euxine and settled at Amisus, where they became citizens; but it happened that by flying from misfortune at home they came in for a share of the misfortunes of others. Lucullus, however, clothed all of them who survived the capture of the city, and, after giving each two hundred drachmae besides, he sent them back to their home. On this occasion, Tyrannio the grammarian was taken prisoner. Murena asked him for himself, and on getting Tyrannio set him free, wherein he made an illiberal use of the favour that he had received; for Lucullus did not think it fitting that a man who was esteemed for his learning should be made a slave first and then a freedman; for the giving him an apparent freedom was equivalent to the depriving him of his real freedom. But it was not in this instance only that Murena showed himself far inferior to his general in honourable feeling and conduct.

XX. Lucullus now turned to the cities of Asia, in order that while he had leisure from military operations he might pay some attention to justice and the law, which the province had now felt the want of for a long time, and the people had endured unspeakable and incredible calamities, being plundered and reduced to slavery by the Publicani and the money-lenders, so that individuals were compelled to sell their handsome sons and virgin daughters, and the cities to sell their sacred offerings, pictures and statues. The lot of the citizens was at last to be condemned to slavery themselves, but the sufferings which preceded were still worse the fixing of ropes and barriers, and horses, and standing under the open sky, during the heat in the sun, and during the cold when they were forced into the mud or the ice; so that slavery was considered a relief from the burden of debt, and a blessing. Such evils as these Lucullus discovered in the cities, and in a short time he relieved the sufferers from all of them. In the first place, he declared that the rate of interest should be reckoned at the hundredth part, and no more; in the second, he cut off all the interest which exceeded the capital; thirdly, what was most important of all, he declared that the lender should receive the fourth part of the income of the debtor; but any lender who had tacked the interest to the principal was deprived of the whole: thus, in less than four years all the debts were paid, and their property was given back to them free from all encumbrance. Now the common debt originated in the twenty thousand talents which Sulla had laid on Asia as a contribution, and twice this amount was repaid to the lenders, though they had indeed now brought the debt up to the amount of one hundred and twenty thousand talents by means of the interest. The lenders, however, considered themselves very ill used, and they raised a great outcry against Lucullus at Rome, and they endeavoured to bribe some of the demagogues to attack him; for the lenders had great influence, and had among their debtors many of the men who were engaged in public life. But Lucullus gained the affection of the cities which had been favoured by him, and the other provinces also longed to see such a man over them, and felicitated those who had the good luck to have such a governor.

XXI. Appius Clodius, who was sent to Tigranes (now Clodius was the brother of the then wife of Lucullus), was at first conducted by the king’s guides through the upper part of the country, by a route unnecessarily circuitous and roundabout, and one that required many days’ journeying; but, as soon as the straight road was indicated to him by a freedman, a Syrian by nation, he quitted that tedious and tricky road, and, bidding his barbarian guides farewell, he crossed the Euphrates in a few days, and arrived at Antiocheia, near Daphne. There he waited for Tigranes, pursuant to the king’s orders (for Tigranes was absent, and still engaged in reducing some of the Phoenician cities), and in the meantime he gained over many of the princes who paid the Armenian a hollow obedience, among whom was Zarbienus, King of Gordyene, and he promised aid from Lucullus to many of the enslaved cities, which secretly sent to him bidding them, however, keep quiet for the present. Now the rule of the Armenians was not tolerable to the Greeks, but was harsh; and what was worse, the king’s temper had become violent and exceedingly haughty in his great prosperity; for he had not only everything about him which the many covet and admire, but he seemed to think that everything was made for him. Beginning with expectations which were slight and contemptible, he had subdued many nations, and humbled the power of the Parthians as no man before him had done; and he filled Mesopotamia with Greeks, many from Cilicia and many from Cappadocia, whom he removed and settled. He also removed from their abodes the Skenite Arabians, and settled them near him, that he might with their aid have the benefit of commerce. Many were the kings who were in attendance on him; but there were four who were always about him, like attendants or guards, and when he mounted his horse they ran by his side in jackets; and when he was seated and transacting business, they stood by with their hands clasped together, which was considered to be of all attitudes the most expressive of servitude, as if they had sold their freedom, and were presenting their bodies to their master in a posture indicating readiness to suffer rather than to act. Appius, however, was not alarmed or startled at the tragedy show; but, as soon as he had an opportunity of addressing the king, he told him plainly that he was come to take back Mithridates, as one who belonged to the triumphs of Lucullus, or to denounce war against Tigranes. Though the king made an effort to preserve a tranquil mien, and affected a smile while he was listening to the address, he could not conceal from the bystanders that he was disconcerted by the bold speech of the youth, he who had not for near five-and-twenty years heard the voice of a free man; for so many years had he been king, or rather tyrant. However, he replied to Appius that he would not give up Mithridates, and that he would resist the Romans if they attacked him. He was angry with Lucullus because he addressed him in his letter by the title of King only, and not King of Kings, and, accordingly in his reply, Tigranes did not address Lucullus by the title of Imperator. But he sent splendid presents to Appius, and when they were refused he sent still more. Appius, not wishing to appear to reject the king’s presents from any hostile feeling, selected from among them a goblet, and sent the rest back; and then with all speed set off to join the Imperator.

XXII. Now, up to this time, Tigranes had not deigned to see Mithridates, nor to speak to him, though Mithridates was allied to him by marriage, and had been ejected from so great a kingdom; but, in a degrading and insulting manner, he had allowed Mithridates to be far removed from him, and, in a manner, kept a prisoner in his abode, which was a marshy and unhealthy place. However, he now sent for him with demonstrations of respect and friendship. In a secret conference which took place in the palace, they endeavoured to allay their mutual suspicions, by turning the blame on their friends, to their ruin. One of them was Metrodorus of Skepsis, an agreeable speaker, and a man of great acquirements, who enjoyed so high a degree of favour with Mithridates that he got the name of the king’s father. Metrodorus, as it seems, had once been sent on an embassy from Mithridates to Tigranes, to pray for aid against the Romans, on which occasion Tigranes asked him, “But you, Metrodorus, what do you advise me in this matter?” Metrodorus, either consulting the interests of Tigranes, or not wishing Mithridates to be maintained in his kingdom, replied, that, as ambassador, he requested him to send aid, but, in the capacity of adviser, he told him not to send any. Tigranes reported this to Mithridates, to whom he gave the information, not expecting that he would inflict any extreme punishment on Metrodorus. But Metrodorus was forthwith put to death, and Tigranes was sorry for what he had done, though he was not altogether the cause of the misfortune of Metrodorus: indeed what he had said merely served to turn the balance in the dislike of Mithridates towards Metrodorus; for Mithridates had for a long time disliked Metrodorus, and this was discovered from his private papers, that fell into the hands of the Romans, in which there were orders to put Metrodorus to death. Now, Tigranes interred the body with great pomp, sparing no expense on the man, when dead, whom he had betrayed when living. Amphikrates the rhetorician also lost his life at the court of Tigranes, if he too deserves mention for the sake of Athens. It is said that he fled to Seleukeia, on the Tigris, and that when the citizens there asked him to give lectures on his art, he treated them with contempt, saying, in an arrogant way, that a dish would not hold a dolphin. Removing himself from Seleukeia, he betook himself to Kleopatra, who was the daughter of Mithridates, and the wife of Tigranes; but he soon fell under suspicion, and, being excluded from all communion with the Greeks, he starved himself to death. Amphikrates also received an honourable interment from Kleopatra, and his body lies at Sapha, a place in those parts so called.

XXIII. After conferring on Asia, the fulness of good administration and of peace, Lucullus did not neglect such things as would gratify the people and gain their favour; but during his stay at Ephesus he gained popularity in the Asiatic cities by processions and public festivals in commemoration of his victories, and by contests of athletes and gladiators. The cities on their side made a return by celebrating festivals, called after the name of Lucullus, to do honour to the man; and they manifested towards him what is more pleasing than demonstrations of respect, real affection. Now, when Appius had returned, and it appeared that there was to be war with Tigranes, Lucullus again advanced into Pontus, and, getting his troops together, he besieged Sinope, or rather the Cilicians of the king’s party, who were in possession of the city; but the Cilicians made their escape by night, after massacring many of the Sinopians, and firing the city. Lucullus, who saw what was going on, made his way into the city, and slaughtered eight thousand of the Cilicians, who were left there; but he restored to the rest of the inhabitants their property, and provided for the interests of Sinope, mainly by reason of a vision of this sort: he dreamed that a man stood by him in his sleep, and said, “Advance a little, Lucullus; for Autolykus is come, and wishes to meet with you.” On waking, Lucullus could not conjecture what was the meaning of the vision; but he took the city on that day, and, while pursuing the Cilicians, who were escaping in their ships, he saw a statue lying on the beach, which the Cilicians had not had time to put on board; and the statue was the work of Sthenis, one of his good performances. Now, somebody told Lucullus that it was the statue of Autolykus, the founder of Sinope. Autolykus is said to have been one of those who joined Herakles from Thessalia, in his expedition against the Amazons, and a son of Deimachus. In his voyage home, in company with Demoleon and Phlogius, he lost his ship, which was wrecked at the place called Pedalium, in the Chersonesus: but he escaped with his arms and companions to Sinope, which he took from the Syrians: for Sinope was in possession of the Syrians, who were descended from Syrus, the son of Apollo, according to the story, and Sinope, the daughter of Asopus. On hearing this, Lucullus called to mind the advice of Sulla, who in his ‘Memoirs’ advised to consider nothing so trustworthy and safe as that which is signified in dreams. Lucullus was now apprised that Mithridates and Tigranes were on the point of entering Lycaonia and Cilicia, with the intention of anticipating hostilities by an invasion of Asia, and he was surprised that the Armenian, if he really intended to attack the Romans, did not avail himself of the aid of Mithridates, in the war when he was at the height of his power, nor join his forces to those of Mithridates when he was strong but allowed him to be undone and crushed; and now began a war that offered only cold hopes, and throw himself on the ground to join those who were already there and unable to rise.

XXIV. Now, when Machares also, the son of Mithridates, who held the Bosporus, sent to Lucullus a crown worth one thousand gold pieces, and prayed to be acknowledged a friend and ally of the Romans, Lucullus, considering that the former war was at an end, left Sornatius in those parts to watch over the affairs of Pontus with six thousand soldiers. He set out himself with twelve thousand foot soldiers, and not quite three thousand horse, to commence a second campaign, wherein he seemed to be making a hazardous move, and one not resting on any safe calculation; for he was going to throw himself among warlike nations and many thousands of horsemen, and to enter a boundless tract, surrounded by deep rivers and by mountains covered with perpetual snow; so that his soldiers, who were generally not very obedient to discipline, followed unwillingly and made opposition: and at Rome the popular leaders raised a cry against him, and accused him of seeking one war after another, though the State required no wars, that he might never lay down his arms so long as he had command, and never stop making his private profit out of the public danger; and in course of time the demagogues at Rome accomplished their purpose. Lucullus, advancing by hard marches to the Euphrates, found the stream swollen and muddy, owing to the winter season, and he was vexed on considering that it would cause loss of time and some trouble if he had to get together boats to take his army across and to build rafts. However, in the evening the water began to subside, and it went on falling all through the night, and at daybreak the bed of the river was empty. The natives observing that some small islands in the river had become visible, and that the stream near them was still, made their obeisance to Lucullus; for this had very seldom happened before, and they considered it a token that the river had purposely made itself tame and gentle for Lucullus, and was offering him an easy and ready passage. Accordingly, Lucullus took advantage of the opportunity, and carried his troops over: and a favourable sign accompanied the passage of the army. Cows feed in that neighbourhood, which are sacred to Artemis Persia, a deity whom the barbarians on the farther side of the Euphrates venerate above all others; they use the cows only for sacrifice, which at other times ramble at liberty about the country, with a brand upon them, in the form of the torch of the goddess, and it is not very easy, nor without much trouble, that they can catch the cows when they want them. After the army had crossed the Euphrates one of these cows came to a rock, which is considered sacred to the goddess, and stood upon it, and there laying down its head, just as a cow does when it is held down tight by a rope, it offered itself to Lucullus to be sacrificed. Lucullus also sacrificed a bull to the Euphrates, as an acknowledgment for his passage over the river. He encamped there for that day, and on the next and the following days he advanced through Sophene without doing any harm to the people, who joined him and gladly received the soldiers; and when the soldiers were expressing a wish to take possession of a fortress, which was supposed to contain much wealth, “That is the fortress,” said Lucullus, “which we must take first,” pointing to the Taurus in the distance; “but this is reserved for the victors.” He now continued his route by hard marches, and, crossing the Tigris, entered Armenia.

XXV. Now, as the first person who reported to Tigranes that Lucullus was in the country got nothing for his pains, but had his head cut off, nobody else would tell him, and Tigranes was sitting in ignorance while the fires of war were burning round him, and listening to flattering words, That Lucullus would be a great general if he should venture to stand against Tigranes at Ephesus, and should not flee forthwith from Asia, at the sight of so many tens of thousands. So true it is, that it is not every man who can bear much wine, nor is it any ordinary understanding that in great prosperity does not lose all sound judgment. The first of his friends who ventured to tell him the truth was Mithrobarzanes; and he, too, got no reward for his boldness in speaking; for he was sent forthwith against Lucullus, with three thousand horsemen and a very large body of infantry, with orders to bring the general alive, and to trample down his men. Now, part of the army of Lucullus was preparing to halt, and the rest was still advancing. When the scouts reported that the barbarian was coming upon them, Lucullus was afraid that the enemy would fall upon his troops while they were divided and not in battle order, and so put them into confusion. Lucullus himself set to work to superintend the encampment, and he sent Sextilius, one of his legati, with sixteen hundred horsemen, and hoplitae and light-armed troops, a few more in number, with orders to approach close to the enemy, and wait till he should hear that the soldiers who were with him had made their encampment. Sextilius wished to follow his orders; but he was compelled to engage by Mithrobarzanes, who was confidently advancing against him. A battle ensued, in which Mithrobarzanes fell fighting; and the rest, taking to flight, were all cut to pieces with the exception of a few. Upon this Tigranes left Tigranocerta, a large city which he had founded, and retreated to the Taurus, and there began to get together his forces from all parts: but Lucullus, allowing him no time for preparation, sent Murena to harass and cut off those who were collecting to join Tigranes, and Sextilius on the other side to check a large body of Arabs, who were approaching to the king. It happened just at the same time that Sextilius fell on the Arabs as they were encamping and killed most of them, and Murena, following Tigranes, took the opportunity of attacking him as he was passing through a rough and narrow defile with his army in a long line. Tigranes fled, and left behind him all his baggage; and many of the Armenians were killed and still more taken prisoners.

XXVI. After this success Lucullus broke up his camp and marched against Tigranocerta, which he surrounded with his lines, and began to besiege. There were in the city many Greeks, a part of those who had been removed from Cilicia, and many barbarians who had fared the same way with the Greeks, Adiabeni, and Assyrians, and Gordyeni and Cappadocians, whose native cities Tigranes had digged down, and had removed the inhabitants and settled them there. The city was also filled with wealth and sacred offerings, for every private individual and prince, in order to please the king, contributed to the increase and ornament of the city. For this reason Lucullus pressed the siege, thinking that Tigranes would not endure this, but even contrary to his judgment, would come down in passion and fight a battle; and he was not mistaken. Now, Mithridates, both by messengers and letters, strongly advised Tigranes not to fight a battle, but to cut off the enemy’s supplies by means of his cavalry; and Taxiles also, who had come from Mithridates to join Tigranes, earnestly entreated the king to keep on the defensive, and to avoid the arms of the Romans, as being invincible. Tigranes at first readily listened to this advice: but when the Armenians and Gordyeni had joined him with all their forces, and the kings were come, bringing with them all the power of the Medes and Adiabeni, and many Arabs had arrived from the sea that borders on Babylonia, and many Albanians from the Caspian, and Iberians, who are neighbours of the Albanians; and not a few of the tribes about the Araxes, who are not governed by kings, had come to join him, induced by solicitations and presents, and the banquets of the king were filled with hopes and confidence and barbaric threats, and his councils also, Taxiles narrowly escaped death for opposing the design of fighting, and it was believed that Mithridates wished to divert Tigranes from obtaining a great victory, merely from envy. Accordingly, Tigranes would not even wait for Mithridates, for fear he should share in the glory; but he advanced with all his force, and greatly complained to his friends, it is said, that he would have to encounter Lucullus alone, and not all the Roman generals at once. And his confidence was not altogether madness nor without good grounds, when he looked upon so many nations and kings following him, and bodies of hoplitae, and tens of thousands of horsemen; for he was at the head of twenty thousand bowmen and slingers and fifty-five thousand horsemen, of whom seventeen thousand were clothed in armour of mail, as Lucullus said in his letter to the Senate, and one hundred and fifty thousand hoplitae, some of whom were drawn up in cohorts and others in phalanx; and of road-makers, bridge-makers, clearers of rivers, timber-cutters, and labourers for other necessary purposes, there were thirty-five thousand, who, being placed behind the fighting men, added to the imposing appearance and the strength of the army.

XXVII. When Tigranes had crossed the Taurus, and, showing himself with all his forces, looked down on the Roman army, which was encamped before Tigranocerta, the barbarians in the city hailed his appearance with shouts and clapping of hands, and from their walls with threats pointed to the Armenians. As Lucullus was considering about the battle, some advised him to give up the siege, and march against Tigranes; others urged him not to leave so many enemies in his rear, nor to give up the siege. Lucullus replied, that singly they did not advise well, but that taken both together the counsel was good; on which he divided his army. He left Murena with six thousand foot to maintain the siege; and himself taking twenty-four cohorts, among which there were not above ten thousand hoplitae, with all his cavalry and slingers and bowmen, to the number of about one thousand, advanced against the enemy. Lucullus, encamping in a large plain by the bank of the river, appeared contemptible to Tigranes, and furnished matter for amusement to the king’s flatterers. Some scoffed at him, and others, by way of amusement, cast lots for the spoil, and all the generals and kings severally applied to the king, and begged the matter might be intrusted to each of them singly, and that Tigranes would sit as a spectator. Tigranes also attempted to be witty, and, in a scoffing manner, he uttered the well-known saying, “If they have come as ambassadors, there are too many of them; if as soldiers, too few.” Thus they amused themselves with sarcastic sayings and jokes. At daybreak Lucullus led out his troops under arms. Now the barbarian army was on the east side of the river; but, as the river makes a bend towards the west, at a part where it was easiest to ford, Lucullus led his troops out, and hurried in that direction, which led Tigranes to think that he was retreating; and calling Taxiles to him he said, with a laugh, “Don’t you see that these invincible Roman warriors are flying?” Taxiles replied: “I should be pleased, O king, at any strange thing happening which should be lucky to you; but the Roman soldiers do not put on their splendid attire when they are on a march; nor have they then their shields cleaned, and their helmets bare, as they now have, by reason of having taken off the leathern coverings; but this brightness of their armour is a sign they are going to fight, and are now marching against their enemies.” While Taxiles was still speaking the first eagle came in sight; for Lucullus had now faced about, and the cohorts were seen taking their position in manipuli for the purpose of crossing the river: on which Tigranes, as if he were hardly recovering from a drunken bout, called out two or three times, “What, are they coming against us?” and so, with much confusion, the enemy’s soldiers set about getting into order, the king taking his position in the centre, and giving the left wing to the King of the Adiabeni, and the right to the Mede, on which wing also were the greater part of the soldiers, clad in mail, occupying the first ranks. As Lucullus was going to cross the river, some of the officers bade him beware of the day, which was one of the unlucky days which the Romans call black days; for on that day Caepio and his army were destroyed in a battle with the Cimbri. Lucullus replied in these memorable words: “Well, I will make it a lucky day for the Romans.” The day was the sixth of October.

XXVIII. Saying this, and bidding his men be of good cheer, Lucullus began to cross the river, and advanced against the enemy, at the head of his soldiers, with a breastplate of glittering scaly steel, and a cloak with a fringed border, and he just let it be seen that his sword was already bare, thereby indicating that they must forthwith come to close quarters with the enemy, who fought with missiles, and by the rapidity of the attack cut off the intervening space, within which the barbarians could use their bows. Observing that the mailed cavalry, which had a great reputation, were stationed under an eminence, crowned by a broad level space, and that the approach to it was only a distance of four stadia, and neither difficult nor rough, he ordered the Thracian cavalry and the Gauls who were in the army, to fall on them in the flank, and to beat aside their long spears with their swords. Now the mailed horsemen rely solely on their long spears, and they can do nothing else, either in their own defence or against the enemy, owing to the weight and rigidity of their armour, and they look like men who are walled up in it. Lucullus himself, with two cohorts, pushed on vigorously to the hill, followed by his men, who were encouraged by seeing him in his armour, enduring all the fatigue on foot, and pressing forwards. On reaching the summit, Lucullus stood on a conspicuous spot, and called out aloud: “We have got the victory! Fellow soldiers, we have got the victory!” With these words he led his men against the mailed horsemen, and ordered them not to use their javelins yet, but every man to hold them in both hands, and to thrust against the enemy’s legs and thighs, which are the only parts of these mailed men that are bare. However, there was no occasion for this mode of fighting; for the enemy did not stand the attack of the Romans, but, setting up a shout and flying most disgracefully, they threw themselves and their horses, with all their weight, upon their own infantry, before the infantry had begun the battle, so that so many tens of thousands were defeated before a wound was felt or blood was drawn. Now the great slaughter began when the army turned to flight, or rather attempted to fly, for they could not really fly, owing to the closeness and depth of their ranks, which made them in the way of one another. Tigranes, riding off at the front, fled with a few attendants, and, seeing that his son was a partner in his misfortune, he took off the diadem from his head, and, with tears, presented it to him, at the same time telling him to save himself, as he best could, by taking some other direction. The youth would not venture to put the diadem on his head, but gave it to the most faithful of his slaves to keep. This slave, happening to be taken, was carried to Lucullus, and thus the diadem of Tigranes, with other booty, fell into the hands of the Romans. It is said that above one hundred thousand of the infantry perished, and very few of the cavalry escaped. On the side of the Romans, a hundred were wounded, and five killed. Antiochus the philosopher, who mentions this battle in his ‘Treatise on the Gods,’ says that the sun never saw a battle like it. Strabo, another philosopher, in his ‘Historical Memoirs,’ says that the Romans were ashamed, and laughed at one another, for requiring arms against such a set of slaves. And Livius observed that the Romans never engaged with an enemy with such inferiority of numbers on their side, for the victors were hardly the twentieth part of the defeated enemy, but somewhat less. The most skilful of the Roman generals, and those who had most military experience, commended Lucullus chiefly for this, that he had out-generalled the two most distinguished and powerful kings by two most opposite manoeuvres, speed and slowness; for he wore out Mithridates, at the height of his power, by time and protracting the war; but he crushed Tigranes by his activity: and he was one of the very few commanders who ever employed delay when he was engaged in active operations, and bold measures when his safety was at stake.

XXIX. Mithridates made no haste to be present at the battle, because he supposed that Lucullus would carry on the campaign with his usual caution and delay; but he was advancing leisurely to join Tigranes. At first he fell in with a few Armenians on the road, who were retreating in great alarm and consternation, and he conjectured what had happened, but as he soon heard of the defeat from a large number whom he met, who had lost their arms and were wounded, he set out to seek Tigranes. Though he found Tigranes destitute of everything, and humbled, Mithridates did not retaliate for his former haughty behaviour, but he got down from his horse, and lamented with Tigranes their common misfortunes; he also gave Tigranes a royal train that was attending on him, and encouraged him to hope for the future. Accordingly, the two kings began to collect fresh forces. Now, in the city of Tigranocerta the Greeks had fallen to quarrelling with the barbarians, and were preparing to surrender the place to Lucullus, on which he assaulted and took it. Lucullus appropriated to himself the treasures in the city, but he gave up the city to be plundered by the soldiers, which contained eight thousand talents of coined money, with other valuable booty. Besides this, Lucullus gave to each man eight hundred drachmae out of the produce of the spoils. Hearing that many actors had been taken in the city, whom Tigranes had collected from all quarters, with the view of opening the theatre which he had constructed, Lucullus employed them for the games and shows in celebration of the victory. The Greeks he sent to their homes, and supplied them with means for the journey, and in like manner those barbarians who had been compelled to settle there; the result of which was that the dissolution of one city was followed by the restoration of many others, which thus recovered their citizens, by whom Lucullus was beloved as a benefactor and a founder. Everything else also went on successfully and conformably to the merits of the general, who sought for the praise that is due to justice and humanity, and not the praise that follows success in war: for the success in war was due in no small degree, to the army and to fortune, but his justice and humanity proved that he had a mild and well-regulated temper; and it was by these means that Lucullus now subdued the barbarians without resorting to arms; for the kings of the Arabs came to him to surrender all that they had, and the Sopheni also came over to him. He also gained the affection of the Gordyeni so completely that they were ready to leave their cities, and to follow him, as volunteers, with their children and wives, the reason of which was as follows: Zarbienus, the King of the Gordyeni, as it has been already told, secretly communicated, through Appius, with Lucullus about an alliance, being oppressed by the tyranny of Tigranes; but his design was reported to Tigranes, and he was put to death, and his children and wife perished with him, before the Romans invaded Armenia. Lucullus did not forget all this; and, on entering Gordyene, he made a funeral for Zarbienus, and, ornamenting the pile with vests, and the king’s gold, and the spoils got from Tigranes, he set fire to it himself, and poured libations on the pile, with the friends and kinsmen of the king, and gave him the name of friend and ally of the Roman people. He also ordered a monument to be erected to him at great cost; for a large quantity of gold and silver was found in the palace of Zarbienus, and there were stored up three million medimni of wheat, so that the soldiers were well supplied, and Lucullus was admired, that without receiving a drachma from the treasury, he made the war support itself.

XXX. While Lucullus was here, there came an embassy from the King of the Parthians also, who invited him to friendship and an alliance. This proposal was agreeable to Lucullus, and in return he sent ambassadors to the Parthian, who discovered that he was playing double and secretly asking Mesopotamia from Tigranes as the price of his alliance. On hearing this Lucullus determined to pass by Tigranes and Mithridates as exhausted antagonists, and to try the strength of the Parthians, and to march against them, thinking it a glorious thing, in one uninterrupted campaign, like an athlete, to give three kings in succession the throw, and to have made his way through three empires, the most powerful under the sun, unvanquished and victorious. Accordingly he sent orders to Sornatius and the other commanders in Pontus to conduct the army there to him, as he was intending to advance from Gordyene farther into Asia. These generals had already found that the soldiers were difficult to manage and mutinous; but now they made the ungovernable temper of the soldiers quite apparent, being unable by any means of persuasion or compulsion to move the soldiers, who, with solemn asseverations, declared aloud that they would not stay even where they were, but would go and leave Pontus undefended. Report of this being carried to the army of Lucullus effected the corruption of his soldiers also, who had been made inert towards military service by the wealth they had acquired and their luxurious living, and they wanted rest; and, when they heard of the bold words of the soldiers in Pontus, they said they were men, and their example ought to be followed, for they had done enough to entitle them to be released from military service, and to enjoy repose.

XXXI. Lucullus, becoming acquainted with these and other still more mutinous expressions, gave up the expedition against the Parthians, and marched a second time against Tigranes. It was now the height of summer; and Lucullus was dispirited after crossing the Taurus, to see that the fields were still green, so much later are the seasons, owing to the coldness of the air. However, he descended from the Taurus, and, after defeating the Armenians, who twice or thrice ventured to attack him, he plundered the villages without any fear; and, by seizing the corn which had been stored up by Tigranes, he reduced the enemy to the straits which he was apprehending himself. Lucullus challenged the Armenians to battle by surrounding their camp with his lines and ravaging the country before their eyes; but, as this did not make them move after their various defeats, he broke up and advanced against Artaxata, the royal residence of Tigranes, where his young children and wives were, thinking that Tigranes would not give them up without a battle. It is said that Hannibal the Carthaginian, after the defeat of Antiochus by the Romans, went to Artaxas the Armenian, to whose notice he introduced many useful things; and, observing a position which possessed great natural advantages and was very pleasant, though at that time unoccupied and neglected, he made the plan of a city on the ground, and, taking Artaxas there, showed it to him, and urged him to build up the place. The king, it is said, was pleased, and asked Hannibal to superintend the work; and thereupon a large and beautiful city sprung up, and, being named after the king, was declared to be the capital of Armenia. Tigranes did not let Lucullus quietly march against Artaxata, but, moving with his forces on the fourth day, he encamped opposite to the Romans, placing the river Arsanias between him and the enemy, which river the Romans must of necessity cross on their route to Artaxata. After sacrificing to the gods, Lucullus, considering that he had the victory in his hands, began to lead his army across the river, with twelve cohorts in the van, and the rest placed as a reserve to prevent the enemy from attacking his flank. There was a large body of picked cavalry opposed to the Romans, and in front of them Mardi mounted archers, and Iberians armed with spears, on whom Tigranes relied more than any of his mercenaries, as being the most warlike of all. However, they showed no gallant spirit; but, after a slight skirmish with the Roman cavalry, they did not venture to stand the attack of the infantry, and separating and taking to flight on both sides they drew after them the cavalry in the pursuit. At the moment when this part of the enemy was dispersed, the cavalry, which was about Tigranes, rode forward, and Lucullus was alarmed when he saw their brave appearance and numbers. He recalled the cavalry from the pursuit, and himself was the first to meet the Satrapeni, who were posted opposite to him with the king’s chief officers; but before they came to close quarters, the enemy was panic-struck and turned to flight. Of three kings at the same time opposed to the Romans, Mithridates of Pontus appears to have fled most disgracefully; for he did not stay to hear even the shouts of the Romans. The pursuit was continued for a great distance and all night long, and the Romans were wearied with killing and taking prisoners, and getting valuables and booty. Livius says that in the former battle a greater number of the enemy, but in this more men of rank fell and were taken prisoners.

XXXII. Elated and encouraged by this victory, Lucullus was intending to advance farther into the country, and to subdue the barbarian; but contrary to what one would have expected at the season of the autumnal equinox, they were assailed by heavy storms, generally snow-storms, and, when the sky was clear, there was hoar-frost and ice, owing to which the horses could not well drink of the rivers, by reason of the excessive cold; and they were difficult to ford, because the ice broke, and the rough edges cut the horses’ sinews. And as the greater part of the country was shaded and full of defiles and wooded, the soldiers were kept continually wet, being loaded with snow while they were marching, and spending the night uncomfortably in damp places. Accordingly, they had not followed Lucullus for many days after the battle when they began to offer resistance, at first making entreaties and also sending the tribunes to him, and then collecting in a tumultuous manner, with loud shouts in their tents by night, which is considered to be an indication that an army is in a state of mutiny. Yet Lucullus urged them strongly, and called on them to put endurance in their souls till they had taken and destroyed the Armenian Carthage, the work of their greatest enemy, meaning Hannibal. Not being able to prevail on them, he led them back by a different pass over the Taurus, and descended into the country called Mygdonike, which is fertile and warm, and contains a large and populous city, which the barbarians called Nisibis, but the Greeks Antiocha Mygdonike. The city was defended in name by Gouras, a brother of Tigranes, but in fact by the experience and mechanical skill of Kallimachus, who had given Lucullus great trouble in the siege of Amisus also. Lucullus seated himself before the city, and, by availing himself of every mode of pressing a siege, in a short time he took the city by storm. Gouras, who surrendered himself to Lucullus, was treated kindly; but he would not listen to Kallimachus, though he promised to discover concealed treasures of great value; and he ordered him to be brought in chains to be punished for the conflagration by which he destroyed Amisus and deprived Lucullus of the object of his ambition and an opportunity of displaying his friendly disposition to the Greeks.

XXXIII. So far one may say that fortune accompanied Lucullus and shared his campaigns: but from this time, just as if a wind had failed him, trying to force everything and always meeting with obstacles, he displayed indeed the courage and endurance of a good commander, but his undertakings produced him neither fame nor good opinion, and even the reputation that he had he came very near losing by his want of success and his fruitless disputes. Lucullus himself was in no small degree the cause of all this; for he was not a man who tried to gain the affection of the soldiery, and he considered everything that was done to please the men as a disparagement to the general’s power, and as tending to destroy it. But, what was worst of all, he was not affable to the chief officers and those of the same rank as himself; he despised everybody, and thought no man had any merit compared with his own. These bad qualities, it is said, that Lucullus had, though he possessed many merits. He was tall and handsome, a powerful speaker, and equally prudent in the Forum and the camp. Now, Sallustius says that the soldiers were ill-disposed towards him at the very commencement of the war before Kyzikus, and again at Amisus, because they were compelled to spend two winters in succession in camp. They were also vexed about the other winters, for they either spent them in a hostile country, or encamped among the allies under the bare sky; for Lucullus never once entered a Greek and friendly city with his army. While the soldiers were in this humour, they received encouragement from the demagogues at Rome, who envied Lucullus, and charged him with protracting the war through love of power and avarice. They said that he all but held at once Cilicia, Asia, Bithynia, Paphlagonia, Galatia, Pontus, Armenia, and the parts as far as the Phasis, and that at last he had plundered even the palace of Tigranes, as if he had been sent to strip kings and not to conquer them. This, it is said, was urged by one of the praetors, Lucius Quintus, by whom they were mainly persuaded to pass a decree to send persons to supersede Lucullus in his province. They also decreed that many of the soldiers under Lucullus should be released from service.

XXXIV. To these causes, in themselves so weighty, there was added another that, most of all, ruined the measures of Lucullus; and this was Publius Clodius, a violent man, and full of arrogance and audacity. He was the brother of the wife of Lucullus, a woman of most dissolute habits, whom he was also accused of debauching. At this time he was serving with Lucullus, and he did not get all the distinction to which he thought himself entitled. In fact, he aspired to the first rank, and, as there were many preferred before him, in consequence of his character, he secretly endeavoured to win the favour of Fimbria’s army, and to excite the soldiers against Lucullus, by circulating among them words well suited to those who were ready to hear them, and were not unaccustomed to be courted. These were the men whom Fimbria had persuaded to kill the consul Flaccus, and to choose himself for their general. Accordingly, they gladly listened to Clodius, and called him the soldier’s friend, for he pretended to feel indignant at their treatment. “Was there never to be an end,” he would say, “to so many wars and dangers, and were they to wear out their lives in fighting with every nation, and wandering over every country, and getting no equivalent for so much service, but, instead thereof, were they to convoy waggons and camels of Lucullus, loaded with cups of gold, set with precious stones, while the soldiers of Pompeius were now living as citizens, and with their wives and children were sitting quiet in the enjoyment of fertile lands and cities, though they had not driven Mithridates and Tigranes into uninhabited wildernesses, nor pulled down the palaces of Asia, but had fought with exiles in Iberia, and runaway slaves in Italy? Why, then, if there is never to be an end of our service, do we not reserve what remains of our bodies and our lives for a general who considers the wealth of the soldiers his chief glory?” By such causes as these the army of Lucullus was corrupted, and his soldiers refused to follow him either against Tigranes or against Mithridates, who immediately made an irruption from Armenia into Pontus, and endeavoured to recover his power; but alleging the winter as an excuse, the soldiers lingered in Gordyene, expecting every moment that Pompeius, or some other commander, would arrive to supersede Lucullus.

XXXV. But when news came that Mithridates had defeated Fabius, and was marching against Sornatius and Triarius, through very shame the soldiers followed Lucullus. Triarius, being ambitious to snatch the victory which he thought was in his grasp, before Lucullus, who was near, should arrive, was defeated in a great battle. It is said that above seven thousand Romans fell, among whom were a hundred and fifty centurions, and twenty-four tribunes; and Mithridates took the camp. Lucullus arrived a few days after, and secreted from the soldiers Triarius, whom in their passion, they wore looking for; and, as Mithridates was not willing to fight, but was waiting for Tigranes, who was already coming down with a large force, Lucullus determined to march back, and to fight with Tigranes before he and Mithridates could unite. As he was on his march the soldiers of Fimbria mutinied, and left their ranks, considering that they were released from service by the decree of the Senate, and that Lucullus had no longer any right to the command, now that the provinces were assigned to others. Upon this there was nothing, however inconsistent with his dignity, which Lucullus did not submit to do supplicating the soldiers individually, and going about from tent to tent in humble manner, and with tears in his eyes, and sometimes even taking the soldiers by the hand. But they rejected his proffered hand, and threw down before him their empty purses, and told him to fight with the enemy himself, for he was the only person who knew how to get rich from them. However, at the request of the rest of the army, the soldiers of Fimbria were constrained, and agreed to stay to the end of summer, and if, in the meantime, no enemy should come down to fight them, they were then to be released. Lucullus was of necessity obliged to acquiesce in this, or else to be left alone, and give up the country to the barbarians. He therefore kept the soldiers together, without making any further attempt to force them, or lead them out to battle, for he was well content if they would stay with him, and he allowed Cappadocia to be ravaged by Tigranes, and Mithridates to resume his arrogance, as to whom he had written to the Senate, to inform them that he was completely subdued; and the commissioners were now with him who had been sent to settle the affairs of Pontus, on the supposition that the country was completely in the power of the Romans. Indeed, the commissioners were now witnesses that Lucullus was not his own master, but was treated with contumely and insult by the soldiers, who carried their audacity towards their commander so far, that, at the close of the summer, they put on their armour, and drawing their swords, challenged to battle the enemy who were no longer there, but had already moved off. After uttering the war shout, and flourishing their swords in the air, they left the camp, declaring that the time was up which they had agreed to stay with Lucullus. The rest of the soldiers were summoned by Pompeius by letter, for he had been appointed to the command in the war against Mithridates and Tigranes, by the favour of the people, and through the influence of the demagogues; though the Senate and the nobles thought that Lucullus was wronged, inasmuch as he was not superseded in a war, but in a triumph; and it was not the command, but the honours of the command that he was compelled to divest himself of, and to surrender to others.

XXXVI. But it appeared a still greater wrong to those who were with Lucullus in Asia, that Lucullus had not the power either to reward or punish for anything that was done in the war; nor did Pompeius allow any person to go to him, nor to pay any attention to the orders and regulations that he was making in concert with the ten commissioners, but he obstructed him by publishing counter edicts, and by the fear which he inspired from having a larger force. However, their friends agreed to bring them together, and they met in a village of Galatia, where they saluted one another in a friendly manner, and each congratulated the other on his victories. Lucullus was the elder, but Pompeius had the greater reputation, because he had oftener had the command, and enjoyed two triumphs. Fasces, wreathed with bay, were carried before both generals in token of their victories. But, as Pompeius had made a long march through a country without water and arid, the bays upon his fasces were withered, which the lictors of Lucullus observing, in a friendly manner gave them bays out of their own, which were fresh and green. And this the friends of Pompeius interpreted as a good omen; for, in fact, the exploits of Lucullus served to set off the command of Pompeius. But the conference resulted in no amicable arrangement, and they separated with increased aversion towards each other. Pompeius also annulled the regulations of Lucullus, and he took off with him all the soldiers with the exception of sixteen hundred, whom he left to Lucullus for his triumph; and even these did not follow him very willingly: so ill suited was the temper of Lucullus, or so unlucky was he in securing that which, of all things, is the chief and greatest in a general; for, if he had possessed this quality, with the other many and great virtues that he had, courage, activity, judgment, and justice, the Roman empire would not have had the Euphrates for its limit, but the remotest parts of Asia, and the Hyrkanian Sea; for all the other nations had already been defeated by Tigranes, and the Parthian power was not such as it afterwards showed itself to be in the campaign of Crassus, nor so well combined, but owing to intestine and neighbouring wars, was not even strong enough to repel the attacks of the Armenians. But it seems to me that the services of Lucullus to his country were less than the harm he did it in other things; for his trophies in Armenia, which were erected on the borders of Parthia, and Tigranocerta, and Nisibis, and the great wealth that was brought from these cities to Rome, and the display of the diadem of Tigranes in his triumph, urged Crassus to attack Asia, and to think that the barbarians were only spoil and booty, and nothing else. But Crassus soon felt the Parthian arrows, and so proved that Lucullus had got the advantage over the enemy, not through their want of skill or cowardice, but by his own courage and ability. This, however, happened afterwards.

XXXVII. When Lucullus returned to Rome, first of all he found that his brother Marcus was under prosecution by Caius Memmius, for what he had done in his quaestorship at the command of Sulla. Upon Marcus being acquitted, Memmius transferred his attack to Lucullus himself, and endeavoured to excite the people against him, and persuaded them not to give him a triumph, on the ground that he had appropriated to himself much of the spoils, and had prolonged the war. Now that Lucullus was involved in a great struggle, the first and most powerful men, mingling themselves among the tribes, by much entreaty and exertion with difficulty persuaded the people to allow Lucullus to have a triumph; not, however, like some, a triumph which was striking and bustling, from the length of the procession, and the quantity of things that were displayed, but he decorated the circus of Flaminius with the arms of the enemy, of which he had a great quantity, and with the royal engines of war; and it was a spectacle in itself far from being contemptible. In the procession a few of the mailed horsemen, and ten of the scythe-bearing chariots moved along, with sixty of the king’s friends and generals, and a hundred and ten brazen-beaked ships of war also were carried in the procession, and a gold statue of Mithridates six feet high, and a shield ornamented with precious stones, and twenty litters loaded with silver vessels, and two-and-thirty loaded with golden cups, armour, and money. All this was carried on men’s shoulders; but there were eight mules that bore golden couches, and fifty-six carried silver in bars, and a hundred and seven others carried silver coin to the amount of near two million seven hundred thousand pieces. There were also tablets, on which was written the amount of money that Lucullus had supplied Pompeius with for the pirates’ war, and the amount that he had paid to those who had the care of the aerarium; and besides this, it was added that every soldier received nine hundred and fifty drachmae. After this Lucullus feasted all the city in a splendid style, and the surrounding villages which the Romans call Vici.

XXXVIII. After Lucullus had divorced Clodia, who was a loose and unprincipled woman, he married Servilia, the sister of Cato, but neither was this a happy marriage; for he thus escaped only one of the misfortunes that resulted from his union with Clodia, the scandal about her brothers: in every other respect Servilia was as abominable as Clodia and a licentious woman, and yet Lucullus was obliged to bear with her from regard to Cato; but at last he put her away. Lucullus had raised the highest expectations in the Senate, who hoped to find in him a counterpoise to the overbearing conduct of Pompeius and a defender of the aristocracy, inasmuch as he had the advantage of great reputation and influence; but he disappointed these hopes and gave up political affairs, either because he saw that they were already in a difficult position and not in a healthy state, or, as some say, because he was satisfied with glory, and wished to fall back to an easy and luxurious life, after his many contests and dangers, which had not been followed by the most fortunate of results. Some commend him for making such a change, whereby he avoided what had befallen Marius, who, after his Cimbrian victories and that great and glorious success, did not choose to dedicate himself to honour so great and to be an object of admiration, but through insatiate desire of glory and power, though an old man, entered into political warfare with young men, and so ended his career in dreadful acts, and in sufferings more dreadful than acts; and they say that Cicero also would have had a better old age if he had withdrawn from public life after the affair of Catiline, and Scipio after he had added the conquest of Numantia to that of Carthage, if he had then stopped; for there is a close to a political period also, and political contests as well as those of athletes are censured when a man’s vigour and prime have failed him. But Crassus and Pompeius sneered at Lucullus for giving himself up to pleasure and extravagant living, as if a luxurious life was not more unsuitable to persons of his age than affairs of state and military command.

XXXIX. Now in the life of Lucullus, as in an ancient comedy, we may read, in the first part, of political measures and military command, and, in the last part, of drinking and feasts, and hardly anything but revels, and torches, and all kinds of amusement; for I reckon among amusements, expensive buildings, and construction of ambulatories and baths, and still more paintings and statues, and eagerness about works of this kind, all which he got together at great cost, and to this end spent profusely the wealth which he had accumulated to a large and splendid amount in his military command; for, even now, when luxury of this kind has increased, the gardens of Lucullus are reckoned among the most sumptuous of the imperial gardens. But with respect to his works on the sea-coast and in the neighbourhood of Neapolis, where he suspended as it were hills by digging great tunnels, and threw around his dwelling-places circular pieces of sea-water and channels for the breeding of fish, and built houses in the sea, Tuberò the Stoic, on seeing them, called him Xerxes in a toga. He had also country residences in the neighbourhood of Tusculum, and towers commanding prospects, and open apartments and ambulatories, which Pompeius on visiting found fault with Lucullus, that he had arranged his house in the best way for summer, but had made it unfit to live in during the winter. On which Lucullus said, with a smile, “You think, then, I have less sense than the cranes and storks, and do not change my residence according to the seasons.” On one occasion, when a praetor was ambitious to signalize himself in the matter of a public spectacle, and asked of Lucullus some purple cloaks for the dress of a chorus, Lucullus replied, that he would see if he had any and would give them to him; and the day after he asked the praetor how many he wanted. The praetor said that a hundred would be enough, on which Lucullus told him to take twice as many; in allusion to which the poet Flaccus has remarked, that he does not consider a man to be rich, if the property that he cares not for and knows nothing about is not more than that which he sees.

XL. The daily meals of Lucullus were accompanied with all the extravagance of newly-acquired wealth; for it was not only by dyed coverlets for his couches, and cups set with precious stones, and choruses and dramatic entertainments, but by abundance of all kinds of food and dainty dishes, curiously prepared, that he made himself an object of admiration to the uninstructed. Now Pompeius gained a good reputation in an illness that he had; for the physician had ordered him to eat a thrush, and, on his domestics telling him that a thrush could not be found in the summer season except at the house of Lucullus, where they were fed, Pompeius would not consent to have one got from there; but remarking to his physician, “What, if Lucullus were not so luxurious, could not Pompeius live?” bade them get for him something else that could be easily procured. Cato, who was his friend and connected with him by marriage, was so much annoyed at his life and habits that, on one occasion, when a young man had delivered in the senate a tedious and lengthy discourse, quite out of season, on frugality and temperance, Cato got up and said, “Won’t you stop, you who are as rich as Crassus, and live like Lucullus, and speak like Cato?” Some say that a remark to this effect was made, but that it was not by Cato.

XLI. That Lucullus was not merely pleased with this mode of living, but prided himself upon it, appears from the anecdotes that are recorded. It is said, that he feasted for many days some Greeks who visited Rome, and that they, feeling as Greeks would do on the occasion, began to be ashamed and to decline the invitation, on the ground that he was daily incurring so much expense on their account; but Lucullus said to them with a smile, “It is true, Greeks, that this is partly done on your account, but mainly on the account of Lucullus.” One day, when he was supping alone, a single course and a moderate repast had been prepared for him, at which he was angry, and called for the slave whose business it was to look after such matters. The slave said, that he did not suppose that he would want anything costly, as no guest was invited. “What sayest thou?” said Lucullus, “didst thou not know that to-day Lucullus sups with Lucullus?” Now, this matter being much talked of in the city, as one might expect, there came up to Lucullus, as he was idling in the Forum, Cicero and Pompeius, of whom Cicero was among his most intimate friends; but between Lucullus and Pompeius there was some difference, arising out of the affair of the command in the Mithridatic war, and yet they were accustomed to associate and talk together frequently in a friendly manner. Accordingly, Cicero saluted him, and asked him how he was disposed to receive visitors, to which Lucullus replied, “Exceedingly well,” and invited them to pay him a visit. “We wish,” said Cicero, “to sup with you to-day, just in the same way as if preparation were made for yourself only.” Lucullus began to make some difficulty, and to ask them to allow him to name another day; but they said they would not, nor would they let him speak to his servants, that he might not have the opportunity of ordering anything more than what was preparing for himself. However, at his request, they allowed him just to tell one of his slaves in their presence, that he would sup on that day in the Apollo; for this was the name of one of his costly apartments. This trick of Lucullus was not understood by his guests; for it is said that to every banqueting-room there was assigned the cost of the feast there, and every room had its peculiar style of preparation and entertainment, so that when the slaves heard in which room their master intended to sup, they also knew what was to be the cost of the supper and the kind of decoration and arrangement. Now, Lucullus was accustomed to sup in the Apollo at the cost of fifty thousand drachmas, and this being the cost of the entertainment on the present occasion, Pompeius and Cicero were surprised at the rapidity with which the banquet had been got ready and the costliness of the entertainment. In this way, then, Lucullus used his wealth, capriciously, just as if it were a captive slave and a barbarian.

XLII. What he did as to his collection of books is worth notice and mention. He got together a great number of books which were well transcribed, and the mode in which they were used was more honourable to him than the acquisition of them; for the libraries were open to all, and the walking-places which surrounded them, and the reading rooms were accessible to the Greeks without any restriction, and they went there as to an abode of the Muses, and spent the day there in company with one another, gladly betaking themselves to the libraries from their other occupations. Lucullus himself often spent some time there with the visitors, walking about in the ambulatories, and he used to talk there with men engaged in public affairs on such matters as they might choose; and altogether his house was a home and a Greek prytaneum to those who came to Rome. He was fond of philosophy generally, and well disposed to every sect, and friendly to them all; but from the first he particularly admired and loved the Academy, not that which is called the New Academy, though the sect was then flourishing by the propagation of the doctrines of Karneades by Philo, but Old Academy, which at that time had for its head a persuasive man and a powerful speaker, Antiochus of Askalon, whom Lucullus eagerly sought for his friend and companion, and opposed to the followers of Philo, of whom Cicero also was one. Cicero wrote an excellent treatise upon the doctrines of this sect, in which he made Lucullus the speaker in favour of the doctrine of comprehension and himself the speaker on the opposite side. The book is entitled ‘Lucullus.’ Lucullus and Cicero were, as I have said, great friends, and associated in their political views, for Lucullus had not entirely withdrawn from public affairs, though he had immediately on his return to Rome surrendered to Crassus and Cato the ambition and the struggle to be the first man in the state and have the greatest power, considering that the struggle was not free from danger and great mortification; for those who looked with jealousy on the power of Pompeius put Crassus and Cato at the head of their party in the Senate, when Lucullus declined to take the lead, but Lucullus used to go to the Forum to support his friends, and to the Senate whenever it was necessary to put a check on any attempt or ambitious design of Pompeius. The arrangements which Pompeius made after his conquest of the kings, Lucullus contrived to nullify, and when Pompeius proposed a distribution of lands Lucullus with the assistance of Cato prevented it from being made, which drew Pompeius to seek the friendship of Crassus and Caesar, or rather to enter into a combination with them, and by filling the city with arms and soldiers he got his measures ratified after driving out of the Forum the partisans of Cato and Lucullus. The nobles being indignant at these proceedings, the party of Pompeius produced one Vettius, whom, as they said, they had detected in a design on the life of Pompeius. When Vettius was examined before the Senate, he accused others, and before the popular assembly he named Lucullus as the person by whom he had been suborned to murder Pompeius. But nobody believed him, and it soon became clear that the man had been brought forward by the partisans of Pompeius to fabricate a false charge, and to criminate others, and the fraud was made still more apparent, when a few days after the dead body of Vettius was thrown out of the prison; for, though it was given out that he died a natural death there were marks of strangulation and violence on the body, and it was the opinion that he had been put to death by those who suborned him.

XLIII. This induced Lucullus still more to withdraw from public affairs; and when Cicero was banished from Rome, and Cato was sent to Cyprus, he retired altogether. Before he died, it is said that his understanding was disordered and gradually failed. Cornelius Nepos says that Lucullus did not die of old age nor of disease, but that his health was destroyed by potions given him by Callisthenes, one of his freedmen, and that the potions were given him by Callisthenes with the view of increasing his master’s affection for him, a power which the potions were supposed to have, but they so far disturbed and destroyed his reason, that during his lifetime his brother managed his affairs. However, when Lucullus died, the people grieved just as much as if he had died at the height of his military distinction and his political career, and they flocked together and had his body carried to the Forum by the young men of the highest rank and were proceeding forcibly to have it interred in the Campus Martius where Sulla was interred; but, as nobody had expected this, and it was not easy to make the requisite preparations, the brother of Lucullus prayed and prevailed on the people to allow the funeral ceremony to take place on the estate at Tusculum, where preparations for it had been made. Nor did he long survive; but as in age and reputation he came a little after Lucullus, so he died shortly after him, a most affectionate brother.