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By Plutarch

(legendary, died 56 B.C.E.)

Translated by John Dryden

The grandfather of Lucullus had been consul; his uncle by the mother's
side was Metellus, surnamed Numidicus. As for his parents, his father
was convicted of extortion, and his mother Caecilia's reputation was
bad. The first thing that Lucullus did before ever he stood for any
office, or meddled with the affairs of state, being then but a youth,
was to accuse the accuser of his father, Servilius the augur, having
caught him in offence against the state. This thing was much taken
notice of among the Romans, who commended it as an act of high merit.
Even without the provocation the accusation was esteemed no unbecoming
action, for they delighted to see young men as eagerly attacking injustice
as good dogs do wild beasts. But when great animosities ensued, insomuch
that some were wounded and killed in the fray, Servilius escaped.
Lucullus followed his studies and became a competent speaker, in both
Greek and Latin, insomuch that Sylla, when composing the commentaries
of his own life and actions, dedicated them to him, as one who could
have performed the task better himself. His speech was not only elegant
and ready for purposes of mere business, like the ordinary oratory
which will in the public market-place- 

"Lash as a wounded tunny does the sea," but on every other occasion
shows itself- 

"Dried up and perished with the want of wit;" but even in his younger
days he addicted himself to the study, simply for its own sake, of
the liberal arts; and when advanced in years, after a life of conflicts,
he gave his mind, as it were, its liberty, to enjoy in full leisure
the refreshment of philosophy; and summoning up his contemplative
faculties, administered a timely check, after his difference with
Pompey, to his feelings of emulation and ambition. Besides what has
been said of his love of learning already, one instance more was,
that in his youth, upon a suggestion of writing the Marsian war in
Greek and Latin verse and prose, arising out of some pleasantry that
passed into a serious proposal, he agreed with Hortensius the lawyer
and Sisenna the historian, that he would take his lot; and it seems
that the lot directed him to the Greek tongue, for a Greek history
of that war is still extant. 

Among the many signs of the great love which he bore to his brother
Marcus, one in particular is commemorated by the Romans. Though he
was elder brother, he would not step into authority without him, but
deferred his own advance until his brother was qualified to bear a
share with him, and so won upon the people as, when absent, to be
chosen Aedile with him. 

He gave many and early proofs of his valour and conduct in the Marsian
war, and was admired by Sylla for his constancy and mildness, and
always employed in affairs of importance, especially in the mint;
most of the money for carrying on the Mithridatic war being coined
by him in Peloponnesus, which, by the soldiers' wants, was brought
into rapid circulation and long continued current under the name of
Lucullean coin. After this, when Sylla conquered Athens, and was victorious
by land but found the supplies for his army cut off, the enemy being
master at sea, Lucullus was the man whom he sent into Libya and Egypt
to procure him shipping. It was the depth of winter when he ventured
with but three small Greek vessels, and as many Rhodian galleys, not
only into the main sea, but also among multitudes of vessels belonging
to the enemies who were cruising about as absolute masters. Arriving
at Crete he gained it, and finding the Cyrenians harassed by long
tyrannies and wars, he composed their troubles, and settled their
government; putting the city in mind of that saying which Plato once
had oracularly uttered of them, who, being requested to prescribe
laws to them, and mould them into some sound form of government, made
answer that it was a hard thing to give laws to the Cyrenians, abounding,
as they did, in wealth and plenty. For nothing is more intractable
than man when in felicity, nor anything more docile, when he has been
reduced and humbled by fortune. This made the Cyrenians so willingly
submit to the laws which Lucullus imposed upon them. From thence sailing
into Egypt, and pressed by pirates, he lost most of his vessels; but
he himself narrowly escaping, made a magnificent entry into Alexandria.
The whole fleet, a compliment due only to royalty, met him in full
array, and the young Ptolemy showed wonderful kindness to him, appointing
him lodging and diet in the palace, where no foreign commander before
him had been received. Besides, he gave him gratuities and presents,
not such as were usually given to men of his condition, but four times
as much; of which, however, he took nothing more than served his necessity
and accepted of no gift, though what was worth eighty talents was
offered him. It is reported he neither went to see Memphis, nor any
of the celebrated wonders of Egypt. It was for a man of no business
and much curiosity to see such things, not for him who had left his
commander in the field lodging under the ramparts of his enemies.

Ptolemy, fearing the issue of that war, deserted the confederacy,
but nevertheless sent a convoy with him as far as Cyprus, and at parting,
with much ceremony, wishing him a good voyage, gave him a very precious
emerald set in gold. Lucullus at first refused it, but when the king
showed him his own likeness cut upon it, he thought he could not persist
in a denial, for had he parted with such open offence, it might have
endangered his passage. Drawing a considerable squadron together,
which he summoned as he sailed by out of all the maritime towns except
those suspected of piracy, he sailed for Cyprus, and there understanding
that the enemy lay in wait under the promontories for him, he laid
up his fleet, and sent to the cities to send in provisions for his
wintering among them. But when time served, he launched his ships
suddenly, and went off and hoisting all his sails in the night, while
he kept them down in the day, thus came safe to Rhodes. Being furnished
with ships at Rhodes, he also prevailed upon the inhabitants of Cos
and Cnidus to leave the king's side, and join in an expedition against
the Samians. Out of Chios he himself drove the king's party, and set
the Colophonians at liberty, having seized Epigonus the tyrant, who
oppressed them. 

About this time Mithridates left Pergamus, and retired to Pitane,
where being closely besieged by Fimbria on the land. and not daring
to engage with so bold and victorious a commander, he was concerting
means for escape by sea, and sent for all his fleets from every quarter
to attend him. Which when Fimbria perceived, having no ships of his
own, he sent to Lucullus, entreating him to assist him with his, in
subduing the most odious and warlike of kings, lest the opportunity
of humbling Mithridates, the prize which the Romans had pursued with
so much blood and trouble, should now at last be lost, when he was
within the net and easily to be taken. And were he caught, no one
would be more highly commended than Lucullus, who stopped his passage
and seized him in his flight. Being driven from the land by the one,
and met in the sea by the other, he would give matter of renown and
glory to them both, and the much applauded actions of Sylla at Orchomenus
and about Chaeronea would no longer be thought of by the Romans. The
proposal was no unreasonable thing; it being obvious to all men, that
if Lucullus had hearkened to Fimbria, and with his navy, which was
then near at hand, had blocked up the haven, the war soon had been
brought to an end, and infinite numbers of mischiefs prevented thereby.
But he, whether from the sacredness of friendship between himself
and Sylla, reckoning all other considerations of public or of private
advantage inferior to it, or out of detestation of the wickedness
of Fimbria, whom he abhorred for advancing himself by the late death
of his friend and the general of the army, or by a divine fortune
sparing Mithridates then, that he might have him an adversary for
a time to come, for whatever reason, refused to comply, and suffered
Mithridates to escape and laugh at the attempts of Fimbria. He himself
alone first, near Lectum, in Troas, in a sea-fight, overcame the king's
ships; and afterwards, discovering Neoptolemus lying in wait for him
near Tenedos, with a greater fleet, he went aboard a Rhodian quinquereme
galley, commanded by Damagoras, a man of great experience at sea,
and friendly to the Romans, and sailed before the rest. Neoptolemus
made up furiously at him, and commanded the master, with all imaginable
might, to charge; but Damagoras, fearing the bulk and massy stem of
the admiral, thought it dangerous to meet him prow to prow, and, rapidly
wheeling round, bid his men back water, and so received him astern;
in which place, though violently borne upon, he received no manner
of harm, the blow being defeated by falling on those parts of the
ship which lay under water. By which time, the rest of the fleet coming
up to him, Lucullus gave order to turn again, and vigorously falling
upon the enemy, put them to flight, and pursued Neoptolemus. After
this he came to Sylla, in Chersonesus, as he was preparing to pass
the strait, and brought timely assistance for the safe transportation
of the army. 

Peace being presently made, Mithridates sailed off to the Euxine sea,
but Sylla taxed the inhabitants of Asia twenty thousand talents, and
ordered Lucullus to gather and coin the money. And it was no small
comfort to the cities under Sylla's severity, that a man of not only
incorrupt and just behaviour, but also of moderation, should be employed
in so heavy and odious an office. The Mitylenaeans, who absolutely
revolted, he was willing should return to their duty, and submit to
a moderate penalty for the offence they had given in the case of Marius.
But finding them bent upon their own destruction, he came up to them,
defeated them at sea, blocked them up in their city and besieged them;
then sailing off from them openly in the day to Elaea, he returned
privately, and posting an ambush near the city, lay quiet himself.
And on the Mitylenaeans coming out eagerly and in disorder to plunder
the deserted camp, he fell upon them, took many of them, and slew
five hundred, who stood upon their defence. He gained six thousand
slaves and a very rich booty. 

He was no way engaged in the great and general troubles of Italy which
Sylla and Marius created, a happy providence at that time detaining
him in Asia upon business. He was as much in Sylla's favour, however,
as any of his other friends; Sylla, as was said before, dedicated
his Memoirs to him as a token of kindness, and at his death, passing
by Pompey, made him guardian to his son; which seems, indeed, to have
been the rise of the quarrel and jealousy between them two, being
both young men, and passionate for honour. 

A little after Sylla's death, he was made consul with Marcus Cotta,
about the one hundred and seventy-sixth Olympiad. The Mithridatic
war being then under debate, Marcus declared that it was not finished,
but only respited for a time, and therefore, upon choice of provinces,
the lot falling to Lucullus to have Gaul within the Alps, a province
where no great action was to be done, he was ill-pleased. But chiefly,
the success of Pompey in Spain fretted him, as, with the renown he
got there, if the Spanish war were finished in time, he was likely
to be chosen general before any one else against Mithridates. So that
when Pompey sent for money, and signified by letter that, unless it
were sent him, he would leave the country and Sertorius, and bring
his forces home to Italy, Lucullus most zealously supported his request,
to prevent any pretence of his returning home during his own consulship;
for all things would have been at his disposal, at the head of so
great an army. For Cethegus, the most influential popular leader at
that time, owing to his always both acting and speaking to please
the people, had, as it happened, a hatred to Lucullus, who had not
concealed his disgust at his debauched, insolent, and lawless life.
Lucullus, therefore, was at open warfare with him. And Lucius Quintius,
also, another demagogue, who was taking steps against Sylla's constitution,
and endeavouring to put things out of order, by private exhortations
and public admonitions he checked in his designs, and repressed his
ambition, wisely and safely remedying a great evil at the very outset.

At this time news came that Octavius, the governor of Cilicia, was
dead, and many were eager for the place, courting Cethegus, as the
man best able to serve them. Lucullus set little value upon Cilicia
itself, no otherwise than as he thought, by his acceptance of it,
no other man besides himself might be employed in the war against
Mithridates, by reason of its nearness to Cappadocia. This made him
strain every effort that that province might be allotted to himself,
and to none other; which led him at last into an expedient not so
honest or commendable, as it was serviceable for compassing his design,
submitting to necessity against his own inclination. There was one
Praecia, a celebrated wit and beauty, but in other respects nothing
better than an ordinary harlot; who, however, to the charms of her
person adding the reputation of one that loved and served her friends,
by making use of those who visited her to assist their designs and
promote their interests, had thus gained great power. She had seduced
Cethegus, the first man at that time in reputation and authority of
all the city, and enticed him to her love, and so had made all authority
follow her. For nothing of moment was done in which Cethegus was not
concerned, and nothing by Cethegus without Praecia. This woman Lucullus
gained to his side by gifts and flattery (and a great price it was
in itself to so stately and magnificent a dame, to be seen engaged
in the same cause with Lucullus), and thus he presently found Cethegus
his friend, using his utmost interest to procure Cilicia for him;
which when once obtained, there was no more need of applying himself
either of Praecia or Cethegus; for all unanimously voted him to the
Mithridatic war, by no hands likely to be so successfully managed
as his. Pompey was still contending with Sertorius, and Metellus by
age unfit for service; which two alone were the competitors who could
prefer any claim with Lucullus for that command. Cotta, his colleague,
after much ado in the senate, was sent away with a fleet to guard
the Propontis, and defend Bithynia. 

Lucullus carried with him a legion under his own orders, and crossed
over into Asia and took the command of the forces there, composed
of men who were all thoroughly disabled by dissoluteness and rapine,
and the Fimbrians, as they were called, utterly unmanageable by long
want of any sort of discipline. For these were they who under Fimbria
had slain Flaccus, the consul and general, and afterwards betrayed
Fimbria to Sylla; a willful and lawless set of men, but warlike, expert
and hardy in the field. Lucullus in a short time took down the courage
of these, and disciplined the others, who then first, in all probability,
knew what a true commander and governor was; whereas in former times
they had been courted to service, and took up arms at nobody's command,
but their own wills. 

The enemy's provisions for war stood thus: Mithridates, like the Sophists,
boastful and haughty at first, set upon the Romans, with a very inefficient
army, such, indeed, as made a good show, but was nothing for use;
but being shamefully routed, and taught a lesson for a second engagement,
he reduced his forces to a proper, serviceable shape. Dispensing with
the mixed multitudes, and the noisy menaces of barbarous tribes of
various languages, and with the ornaments of gold and precious stones,
a greater temptation to the victors than security to the bearers,
he gave his men broad swords like the Romans', and massy shields;
chose horses better for service than show, drew up an hundred and
twenty thousand foot in the figure of the Roman phalanx, and had sixteen
thousand horse, besides chariots armed with scythes, no less than
a hundred. Besides which, he set out a fleet not at all cumbered with
gilded cabins, luxurious baths, and women's furniture, but stored
with weapons and darts, and other necessaries, and thus made a descent
upon Bithynia. Not only did these parts willingly receive him again,
but almost all Asia regarded him as their salvation from the intolerable
miseries which they were suffering from the Roman money-lenders and
revenue farmers. These, afterwards, who like harpies stole away their
very nourishment, Lucullus drove away, and at this time, by reproving
them, did what he could to make them more moderate, and to prevent
a general secession, then breaking out in all parts. While Lucullus
was detained in rectifying these matters, Cotta, finding affairs ripe
for action, prepared for battle with Mithridates; and news coming
from all hands that Lucullus had already entered Phrygia, on his march
against the enemy, he, thinking he had a triumph all but actually
in his hands, lest his colleague should share in the glory of it,
hasted to battle without him. But being routed, both by sea and land,
he lost sixty ships with their men, and four thousand foot, and himself
was forced into and besieged in Chalcedon, there waiting for relief
from Lucullus. There were those about Lucullus who would have had
him leave Cotta, and go forward, in hope of surprising the defenceless
kingdom of Mithridates. And this was the feeling of the soldiers in
general, who were indignant that Cotta should by his ill-counsel not
only lose his own army, but hinder them also from conquest, which
at that time, without the hazard of a battle, they might have obtained.
But Lucullus, in a public address, declared to them that he would
rather save one citizen from the enemy, than be master of all that
they had. 

Archelaus, the former commander in Boeotia under Mithridates, who
afterwards deserted him and accompanied the Romans, protested to Lucullus
that, upon his bare coming, he would possess himself of all Pontus.
But he answered, that it did not become him to be more cowardly than
huntsmen, to leave the wild beasts abroad and seek after sport in
their deserted dens. Having so said, he made towards Mithridates with
thirty thousand foot and two thousand five hundred horse. But on being
come in sight of his enemies, he was astonished at their numbers,
and thought to forbear fighting, and wear out time. But Marius, whom
Sertorius had sent out of Spain to Mithridates with forces under him,
stepping out and challenging him, he prepared for battle. In the very
instant before joining battle, without any perceptible alteration
preceding, on a sudden the sky opened, and a large luminous body fell
down in the midst between the armies, in shape like a hogshead, but
in colour like melted silver, insomuch that both armies in alarm withdrew.
This wonderful prodigy happened in Phrygia, near Otryae. Lucullus
after this began to think with himself that no human power and wealth
could suffice to sustain such great numbers as Mithridates had for
any long time in the face of an enemy, and commanded one of the captives
to be brought before him, and first of all asked him how many companions
had been quartered with him and how much provision he had left behind
him, and when he had answered him, commanded him to stand aside; then
asked a second and a third the same question; after which, comparing
the quantity of provision with the men, he found that in three or
four days' time his enemies would be brought to want. This all the
more determined him to trust to time, and he took measures to store
his camp with all sorts of provision, and thus living in plenty, trusted
to watch the necessities of his hungry enemy. 

This made Mithridates set out against the Cyzicenians, miserably shattered
in the fight at Chalcedon, where they lost no less than three thousand
citizens and ten ships. And that he might the safer steal away unobserved
by Lucullus, immediately after supper, by the help of a dark and wet
night, he went off, and by the morning gained the neighbourhood of
the city, and sat down with his forces upon the Adrastean mount. Lucullus,
on finding him gone, pursued, but was well pleased not to over-take
him with his own forces in disorder; and he sat down near what is
called the Thracian village, an admirable position for commanding
all the roads and the places whence, and through which, the provisions
for Mithridates's camp must of necessity come. And judging now of
the event, he no longer kept his mind from his soldiers, but when
the camp was fortified and their work finished, called them together,
and with great assurance told them that in a few days, without the
expense of blood, he would give them victory. 

Mithridates besieged the Cyzicenians with ten camps by land, and with
his ships occupied the strait that was betwixt their city and the
mainland, and so blocked them up on all sides; they, however, were
fully prepared stoutly to receive him, and resolved to endure the
utmost extremity, rather than forsake the Romans. That which troubled
them most was, that they knew not where Lucullus was, and heard nothing
of him, though at that time his army was visible before them. But
they were imposed upon by the Mithridatians, who, showing them the
Romans encamped on the hills, said, "Do you see those? those are the
auxiliary Armenians and Medes, whom Tigranes has sent to Mithridates."
They were thus overwhelmed with thinking of the vast numbers round
them, and could not believe any way of relief was left them, even
if Lucullus should come up to their assistance. Demonax, a messenger
sent in by Archelaus, was the first who told them of Lucullus's arrival;
but they disbelieved his report, and thought he came with a story
invented merely to encourage them. At which time it happened that
a boy, a prisoner who had run away from the enemy, was brought before
them; who, being asked where Lucullus was, laughed at their jesting,
as he thought, but, finding them in earnest, with his finger pointed
to the Roman camp; upon which they took courage. The lake Dascylitis
was navigated with vessels of some little size; one, the biggest of
them, Lucullus drew ashore, and carrying her across in a wagon to
the sea, filled her with soldiers, who, sailing along unseen in the
dead of the night, came safe into the city. 

The gods themselves, too, in admiration of the constancy of the Cyzicenians,
seem to have animated them with manifest signs, more especially now
in the festival of Proserpine, where a black heifer being wanting
for sacrifice, they supplied it by a figure made of dough, which they
set before the altar. But the holy heifer set apart for the goddess,
and at that time grazing with the other herds of the Cyzicenians,
on the other side of the strait, left the herd and swam over to the
city alone, and offered herself for sacrifice. By night, also, the
goddess appearing to Aristagoras, the town clerk, "I am come," said
she, "and have brought the Libyan piper against the Pontic trumpeter;
bid the citizens, therefore, be of good courage." While the Cyzicenians
were wondering what the words could mean, a sudden wind sprung up
and caused a considerable motion on the sea. The king's battering
engines, the wonderful contrivance of Niconides of Thessaly, then
under the walls, by their cracking and rattling soon demonstrated
what would follow; after which an extraordinarily tempestuous south
wind succeeding shattered, in a short space of time, all the rest
of the works, and, by a violent concussion, threw down the wooden
tower a hundred cubits high. It is said that in Ilium Minerva appeared
to many that night in their sleep, with the sweat running down her
person, and showed them her robe torn in one place, telling them that
she had just arrived from relieving the Cyzicenians; and the inhabitants
to this day show a monument, with an inscription, including a public
decree, referring to the fact. 

Mithridates, through the knavery of his officers, not knowing for
some time the want of provision in his camp, was troubled in mind
that the Cyzicenians should hold out against him. But his ambition
and anger fell, when he saw his soldiers in the extremity of want,
and feeding on men's flesh; as, in truth, Lucullus was not carrying
on the war as mere matter of show and stage-play, but, according to
the proverb, made the seat of war in the belly, and did everything
to cut off their supplies of food. Mithridates, therefore, took advantage
of the time while Lucullus was storming a fort, and sent away almost
all his horse to Bithynia, with the sumpter cattle, and as many of
the foot as were unfit for service. On intelligence of which, Lucullus,
while it was yet night, came to his camp, and in the morning, though
it was stormy weather, took with him ten cohorts of foot, and the
horse, and pursued them under falling snow and in cold so severe that
many of his soldiers were unable to proceed; and with the rest coming
upon the enemy, near the river Rhyndacus, he overthrew them with so
great a slaughter that the very women of Apollonia came out to seize
on the booty and strip the slain. Great numbers, as we may suppose,
were slain; six thousand horses were taken, with an infinite number
of beasts of burden, and no less than fifteen thousand men. All which
he led along by the enemy's camp. I cannot but wonder on this occasion
at Sallust, who says that this was the first time camels were seen
by the Romans, as if he thought those who, long before, under Scipio
defeated Antiochus, or those who lately had fought against Archelaus
near Orchomenus and Chaeronea, had not known what a camel was. Mithridates
himself, fully determined upon flight, as mere delays and diversions
for Lucullus, sent his admiral Aristonicus to the Greek sea; who,
however, was betrayed in the very instant of going off, and Lucullus
became master of him, and ten thousand pieces of gold which he was
carrying with him to corrupt some of the Roman army. After which,
Mithridates himself made for the sea, leaving the foot officers to
conduct the army, upon whom Lucullus fell, near the river Granicus,
where he took a vast number alive, and slew twenty thousand. It is
reported that the total number killed, of fighting men and of others
who followed the camp, amounted to something not far short of three
hundred thousand. 

Lucullus first went to Cyzicus, where he was received with all the
joy and gratitude suiting the occasion, and then collected a navy,
visiting the shores of the Hellespont. And arriving at Troas, he lodged
in the temple of Venus, where, in the night, he thought he saw the
goddess coming to him, and saying- 

"Sleep'st thou, great lion, when the fawns are nigh?" Rising up hereupon,
he called his friends to him, it being yet night, and told them his
vision; at which instant some Ilians came up and acquainted him that
thirteen of the king's quinqueremes were seen off the Achaean harbour,
sailing for Lemnos. He at once put to sea, took these, and slew their
admiral Isidorus. And then he made after another squadron, who were
just come into port, and were hauling their vessels ashore, but fought
from the decks, and sorely galled Lucullus's men; there being neither
room to sail round them, nor to bear upon them for any damage, his
ships being afloat, while their stood secure and fixed on the sand.
After much ado, at the only landing-place of the island, he disembarked
the choicest of his men, who, falling upon the enemy behind, killed
some, and forced others to cut their cables, and thus making from
the shore, they fell foul upon one another, or came within the reach
of Lucullus's fleet. Many were killed in the action. Among the captives
was Marius, the commander sent by Sertorius, who had but one eye.
And it was Lucullus's strict command to his men before the engagement,
that they should kill no man who had but one eye, that he might rather
die under disgrace and reproach. 

This being over, he hastened his pursuit after Mithridates, whom he
hoped to still find in Bithynia, intercepted by Voconius, whom he
sent out before to Nicomedia with part of the fleet to stop his flight.
But Voconius, loitering in Samothrace to get initiated and celebrate
a feast, let slip his opportunity, Mithridates being passed by with
all his fleet. He, hastening into Pontus before Lucullus should come
up to him, was caught in a storm, which dispersed his fleet and sunk
several ships. The wrecks floated on all the neighbouring shore for
many days after. The merchant ship, in which he himself was, could
not well in that heavy swell be brought ashore by the masters for
its bigness, and it being heavy with water and ready to sink, he left
it and went aboard a pirate vessel, delivering himself into the hands
of pirates, and thus unexpectedly and wonderfully came safe to Heraclea,
in Pontus. 

Thus the proud language Lucullus had used to the senate ended without
any mischance. For they having decreed him three thousand talents
to furnish out a navy, he himself was against it, and sent them word
that without any such great and costly supplies, by the confederate
shipping alone, he did not in the least doubt but to rout Mithridates
from the sea. And so he did, by divine assistance, for it is said
that the wrath of Diana of Priapus brought the great tempest upon
the men of Pontus, because they had robbed her temple and removed
her image. 

Many were persuading Lucullus to defer the war, but he rejected their
counsel, and marched through Bithynia and Galatia into the king's
country, in such great scarcity of provision at first, that thirty
thousand Galatians followed, every man carrying a bushel of wheat
at his back. But subduing all in his progress before him, he at last
found himself in such great plenty that an ox was sold in the camp
for a single drachma, and a slave for four. The other booty they made
no account of, but left it behind or destroyed it; there being no
disposing of it, where all had such abundance. But when they had made
frequent incursions with their cavalry, and had advanced as far as
Themiscyra, and the plains of the Thermodon, merely laying waste the
country before them, they began to find fault with Lucullus, asking
"why he took so many towns by surrender, and never one by storm, which
might enrich them with the plunder? and now, forsooth, leaving Amisus
behind, a rich and wealthy city, of easy conquest, if closely besieged,
he will carry us into the Tibarenian and Chaldean wilderness, to fight
with Mithridates." Lucullus, little thinking this would be of such
dangerous consequence as it afterwards proved, took no notice and
slighted it; and was rather anxious to excuse himself to those who
blamed his tardiness, in losing time about small, pitiful places not
worth the while, and allowing Mithridates opportunity to recruit.
"That is what I design," said he, "and sit here contriving by my delay,
that he may grow great again, and gather a considerable army, which
may induce him to stand, and not fly away before us. For do you not
see the wide and unknown wilderness behind? Caucasus is not far off,
and a multitude of vast mountains, enough to conceal ten thousand
kings that wished to avoid a battle. Besides this, a journey but of
few days leads from Cabira to Armenia, where Tigranes reigns, king
of kings, and holds in his hands a power that has enabled him to keep
the Parthians in narrow bounds, to remove Greek cities bodily into
Media, to conquer Syria and Palestine, to put to death the kings of
the royal line of Seleucus, and carry away their wives and daughters
by violence. This same is relation and son-in-law to Mithridates,
and cannot but receive him upon entreaty, and enter into war with
us to defend him; so that, while we endeavour to dispose Mithridates,
we shall endanger the bringing in of Tigranes against us, who already
has sought occasion to fall out with us, but can never find one so
justifiable as the succour of a friend and prince in his necessity.
Why, therefore, should we put Mithridates upon this resource, who
as yet does not see how he may best fight with us, and disdains to
stoop to Tigranes; and not rather allow him time to gather a new army
and grow confident again, that we may thus fight with Colchians and
Tibarenians whom we have often defeated already, and not with Medes
and Armenians." 

Upon these motives, Lucullus sat down before Amisus, and slowly carried
on the siege. But the winter being well spent, he left Murena in charge
of it, and went himself against Mithridates, then rendezvousing at
Cabira, and resolving to await the Romans, with forty thousand foot
about him and fourteen thousand horse, on whom he chiefly confided.
Passing the river Lycus, he challenged the Romans into the plains,
where the cavalry engaged, and the Romans were beaten. Pomponius,
a man of some note, was taken wounded; and sore, and in pain as he
was, was carried before Mithridates, and asked by the king if he would
become his friend if he saved his life. He answered, "Yes, if you
become reconciled to the Romans; if not, your enemy." Mithridates
wondered at him, and did him no hurt. The enemy being with their cavalry
master of the plains, Lucullus was something afraid, and hesitated
to enter the mountains, being very large, woody, and almost inaccessible,
when by good-luck, some Greeks who had fled into a cave were taken,
the eldest of whom, Artemidorus by name, promised to bring Lucullus,
and seat him in a place of safety for his army, where there was a
fort that overlooked Cabira. Lucullus, believing him, lighted his
fires, and marched in the night; and safely passing the defile, gained
the place, and in the morning was seen above the enemy, pitching his
camp in a place advantageous to descend upon them if he desired to
fight, and secure from being forced if he preferred to lie still.
Neither side was willing to engage at present. But it is related that
some of the king's party were hunting a stag, and some Romans wanting
to cut them off, came out and met them. Whereupon they skirmished,
more still drawing together to each side, and at last the king's party
prevailed, on which the Romans, from their camp seeing their companions
fly, were enraged, and ran to Lucullus with entreaties to lead them
out, demanding that the sign might be given for battle. But he, that
they might know of what consequence the presence and appearance of
a wise commander is in time of conflict and danger, ordered them to
stand still. But he went down himself into the plains, and meeting
with the foremost that fled, commanded them to stand and turn back
with him. These obeying, the rest also turned and formed again in
a body, and thus, with no great difficulty, drove back the enemies,
and pursued them to their camp. After his return, Lucullus inflicted
the customary punishment upon the fugitives, and made them dig a trench
of twelve foot, working in their frocks unfastened, while the rest
stood by and looked on. 

There was in Mithridates's camp one Olthacus, a chief of the Dandarians,
a barbarous people living near the lake Maeotis, a man remarkable
for strength and courage in fight, wise in council, and pleasant and
ingratiating in conversation. He, out of emulation, and a constant
eagerness which possessed him to outdo one of the other chiefs of
his country, promised a great piece of service to Mithridates, no
less than the death of Lucullus. The king commended his resolution,
and, according to agreement, counterfeited anger, and put some disgrace
upon him; whereupon he took horse, and fled to Lucullus, who kindly
received him, being a man of great name in the army. After some short
trial of his sagacity and perseverance, he found way to Lucullus's
board and council. The Dandarian, thinking he had a fair opportunity,
commanded his servants to lead his horse out of the camp, while he
himself, as the soldiers were refreshing and resting themselves, it
being then high noon, went to the general's tent, not at all expecting
that entrance would be denied to one who was so familiar with him,
and came under pretence of extraordinary business with him. He had
certainly been admitted had not sleep, which has destroyed many captains,
saved Lucullus. For so it was, and Menedemus, one of the bedchamber,
was standing at the door, who told Olthacus that it was altogether
unseasonable to see the general, since, after long watching and hard
labour, he was but just before laid down to repose himself. Olthacus
would not go away upon this denial, but still persisted, saying that
he must go in to speak of some necessary affairs, whereupon Menedemus
grew angry, and replied that nothing was more necessary than the safety
of Lucullus, and forced him away with both hands. Upon which, out
of fear, he straightway left the camp, took horse, and without effect
returned to Mithridates. Thus in action as in physic, it is the critical
moment that gives both the fortunate and the fatal effect.

After this, Sornatius being sent out with ten companies for forage,
and pursued by Menander, one of Mithridates's captains, stood his
ground, and after a sharp engagement, routed and slew a considerable
number of the enemy. Adrianus being sent afterward, with some forces,
to procure food enough and to spare for the camp, Mithridates did
not let the opportunity slip, but despatched Menemachus and Myro,
with a great force, both horse and foot, against him, all which except
two men, it is stated, were cut off by the Romans. Mithridates concealed
the loss, giving it out that it was a small defeat, nothing near so
great as reported, and occasioned by the unskillfulness of the leaders.
But Adrianus in great pomp passed by his camp, having many wagons
full of corn and other booty, filling Mithridates with distress, and
the army with confusion and consternation. It was resolved, therefore,
to stay no longer. But when the king's servants sent away their own
goods quietly, and hindered others from doing so too, the soldiers
in great fury thronged and crowded to the gates, seized on the king's
servants and killed them, and plundered the baggage. Dorylaus, the
general, in this confusion, having nothing else besides his purple
cloak, lost his life for that, and Hermaeus the priest was trod underfoot
in the gate. 

Mithridates, having not one of his guards, nor even a groom remaining
with him, got out of the camp in the throng, but had none of his horses
with him; until Ptolemy, the eunuch, some little time after, seeing
him in the press making his way among the others, dismounted and gave
his horse to the king. The Romans were already close upon him in their
pursuit, nor was it through want of speed that they failed to catch
him, but they were as near as possible doing so. But greediness and
a petty military avarice hindered them from acquiring that booty which
in so many fights and hazards they had sought after, and lost Lucullus
the prize of his victory. For the horse which carried the king was
within reach, but one of the mules that carried the treasure either
by accident stepping in, or by order of the king so appointed to go
between him and the pursuers, they seized and pilfered the gold, and
falling out among themselves about the prey, let slip the great prize.
Neither was their greediness prejudicial to Lucullus in this only,
but also they slew Callistratus, the king's confidential attendant,
under suspicion of having five hundred pieces of gold in his girdle;
whereas Lucullus had specially ordered that he should be conveyed
safe into the camp. Notwithstanding all which, he gave them leave
to plunder the camp. 

After this, in Cabira, and other strongholds which he took, he found
great treasures, and private prisons, in which many Greeks and many
of the king's relations had been confined, who, having long since
counted themselves no other than dead men, by the favour of Lucullus
met not with relief so truly as with a new life and second birth.
Nyssa, also, sister of Mithridates, enjoyed the like fortunate captivity;
while those who seemed to be most out of danger, his wives and sisters
at Phernacia, placed in safety as they thought, miserably perished,
Mithridates in his flight sending Bacchides the eunuch to them. Among
others there were two sisters of the king, Roxana and Statira, unmarried
women forty years old, and two Ionian wives. Berenice of Chios and
Monime of Biletus. This latter was the most celebrated among the Greeks,
because she so long withstood the king in his courtship to her, though
he presented her with fifteen thousand pieces of gold, until a covenant
of marriage was made, and a crown was sent her, and she was saluted
queen. She had been a sorrowful woman before, and often bewailed her
beauty, that had procured her a keeper, instead of a husband, and
a watch of barbarians, instead of the home and attendance of a wife;
and, removed far from Greece, she enjoyed the pleasure which she proposed
to herself only in a dream, being in the meantime robbed of that which
is real. And when Bacchides came and bade them prepare for death,
as every one thought most easy and painless, she took the diadem from
her head, and fastening the string to her neck, suspended herself
with it; which soon breaking, "O wretched headband!" said she, "not
able to help me even in this small thing!" And throwing it away she
spat on it, and offered her throat to Bacchides. Berenice had prepared
a potion for herself, but at her mother's entreaty, who stood by,
she gave her part of it. Both drank the potion, which prevailed over
the weaker body. But Berenice, having drunk too little, was not released
by it, but lingering on unable to die, was strangled by Bacchides
for haste. It is said that one of the unmarried sisters drank the
poison, with bitter execrations and curses; but Statira uttered nothing
ungentle or reproachful, but, on the contrary, commended her brother,
who in his own danger neglected not theirs, but carefully provided
that they might go out of the world without shame or disgrace.

Lucullus, being a good and humane man, was concerned at these things.
However, going on, he came to Talaura, from whence four days before
his arrival Mithridates had fled, and was got to Tigranes in Armenia.
He turned off, therefore, and subdued the Chaldeans and Tibarenians,
with the lesser Armenia, and having reduced all their forts and cities,
he sent Appius to Tigranes to demand Mithridates. He himself went
to Amisus, which still held out under the command of Callimachus,
who, by his great engineering skill, and his dexterity at all the
shifts and subtleties of a siege, had greatly incommoded the Romans.
For which afterward he paid dear enough, and was now outmanoeuvred
by Lucullus, who, unexpectedly coming upon him at the time of the
day when the soldiers used to withdraw and rest themselves, gained
part of the wall, and forced him to leave the city, in doing which
he fired it; either envying the Romans the booty, or to secure his
own escape the better. No man looked after those who went off in the
ships, but as soon as the fire had seized on most part of the wall,
the soldiers prepared themselves for plunder; while Lucullus, pitying
the ruin of the city, brought assistance from without, and encouraged
his men to extinguish the flames. But all, being intent upon the prey,
and giving no heed to him, with loud outcries, beat and clashed their
arms together, until he was compelled to let them plunder, that by
that means he might at least save the city from fire. But they did
quite the contrary, for in searching the houses with lights and torches
everywhere, they were themselves the cause of the destruction of most
of the buildings, inasmuch that when Lucullus the next day went in,
he shed tears, and said to his friends, that he had often before blessed
the fortune of Sylla, but never so much admired it as then, because
when he was willing he was also able to save Athens, "but my infelicity
is such, that while I endeavour to imitate him, I become like Mummius."
Nevertheless, he endeavoured to save as much of the city as he could,
and at the same time, also, by a happy providence a fall of rain concurred
to extinguish the fire. He himself while present repaired the ruins
as much as he could, receiving back the inhabitants who had fled,
and settling as many other Greeks as were willing to live there, adding
a hundred furlongs of ground to the place. 

This city was a colony of Athens, built at that time when she flourished
and was powerful at sea, upon which account many who fled from Aristion's
tyranny settled here, and were admitted as citizens, but had the ill-luck
to fly from evils at home into greater abroad. As many of these as
survived Lucullus furnished every one with clothes, and two hundred
drachmas, and sent them away into their own country. On this occasion
Tyrannion the grammarian was taken. Murena begged him of Lucullus,
and took him and made him a freedman; but in this he abused Lucullus's
favour, who by no means liked that a man of high repute for learning
should be first made a slave and then freed; for freedom thus speciously
granted again was a real deprivation of what he had before. But not
in this case alone Murena showed himself far inferior in generosity
to the general. 

Lucullus was now busy in looking after the cities of Asia, and having
no war to divert his time, spent it in the administration of law and
justice, the want of which had for a long time left the province a
prey to unspeakable and incredible miseries; so plundered and enslaved
by tax-farmers and usurers that private people were compelled to sell
their sons in the flower of their youth, and their daughters in their
virginity, and the states publicly to sell their consecrated gifts,
pictures, and statues. In the end their lot was to yield themselves
up slaves to their creditors, but before this worse troubles befell
them, tortures, inflicted with ropes and by horses, standing abroad
to be scorched when the sun was hot, and being driven into ice and
clay in the cold; insomuch that slavery was no less than a redemption
and joy to them. Lucullus in a short time freed the cities from all
these evils and oppressions; for, first of all, he ordered there should
be no more taken than one per cent. Secondly, where the interest exceeded
the principal, he struck it off. The third and most considerable order
was, that the creditor should receive the fourth part of the debtor's
income; but if any lender had added the interest to the principal,
it was utterly disallowed. Insomuch, that in the space of four years
all debts were paid and lands returned to their right owners. The
public debt was contracted when Asia was fined twenty thousand talents
by Sylla, but twice as much was paid to the collectors, who by their
usury had by this time advanced it to a hundred and twenty thousand
talents. And accordingly they inveighed against Lucullus at Rome,
as grossly injured by him, and by their money's help (as, indeed,
they were very powerful, and had many of the statesmen in their debt),
they stirred up several leading senators against him. But Lucullus
was not only beloved by the cities which he obliged, but was also
wished for by other provinces, who blessed the good-luck of those
who had such a governor over them. 

Appius Clodius, who was sent to Tigranes (the same Clodius was brother
to Lucullus's wife), being led by the king's guides a roundabout way,
unnecessarily long and tedious, through the upper country, being informed
by his freedman, a Syrian by nation, of the direct road, left that
lengthy and fallacious one; and bidding the barbarians, his guides,
adieu, in a few days passed over Euphrates, and came to Antioch upon
Daphne. There being commanded to wait for Tigranes, who at that time
was reducing some towns in Phoenicia, he won over many chiefs to his
side, who unwillingly submitted to the King of Armenia, among whom
was Zarbienus, King of the Gordyenians; also many of the conquered
cities corresponded privately with him, whom he assured of relief
from Lucullus, but ordered them to lie still at present. The Armenian
government was an oppressive one, and intolerable to the Greeks, especially
that of the present king, who, growing insolent and overbearing with
his success, imagined all things valuable and esteemed among men not
only were his in fact, but had been purposely created for him alone.
From a small and inconsiderable beginning, he had gone on to be the
conqueror of many nations, had humbled the Parthian power more than
any before him, and filled Mesopotamia with Greeks, whom he carried
in numbers out of Cilicia and Cappadocia. He transplanted also the
Arabs, who lived in tents, from their country and home, and settled
them near him, that by their means he might carry on the trade.

He had many kings waiting on him, but four he always carried with
him as servants and guards, who, when he rode, ran by his horse's
side in ordinary under-frocks, and attended him, when sitting on his
throne, and publishing his decrees to the people, with their hands
folded together; which posture of all others was that which most expressed
slavery, it being that of men who had bidden adieu to liberty, and
had prepared their bodies more for chastisement than the service of
their masters. Appius, nothing dismayed or surprised at this theatrical
display, as soon as audience was granted him, said he came to demand
Mithridates for Lucullus's triumph, otherwise to denounce war against
Tigranes: insomuch that though Tigranes endeavoured to receive him
with a smooth countenance and a forced smile, he could not dissemble
his discomposure to those who stood about him at the bold language
of the young man; for it was the first time, perhaps, in twenty-five
years, the length of his reign, or, more truly, of his tyranny, that
any free speech had been uttered to him. However, he made answer to
Appius, that he would not desert Mithridates, and would defend himself,
if the Romans attacked him. He was angry, also, with Lucullus for
calling him only king in his letter, and not king of kings, and, in
his answer, would not give him his title of imperator. Great gifts
were sent to Appius, which he refused; but on their being sent again
and augmented, that he might not seem to refuse in anger, he took
one goblet and sent the rest back, and without delay went off to the

Tigranes before this neither vouchsafed to see nor speak with Mithridates,
though a near kinsman, and forced out of so considerable a kingdom,
but proudly and scornfully kept him at a distance, as a sort of prisoner,
in a marshy and unhealthy district; but now, with much profession
of respect and kindness, he sent for him, and at a private conference
between them in the palace, they healed up all private jealousies
between them, punishing their favourites, who bore all the blame;
among whom Metrodorus of Scepsis was one, an eloquent and learned
man, and so close an intimate as commonly to be called the king's
father. This man, as it happened, being employed in an embassy by
Mithridates to solicit help against the Romans, Tigranes asked him,
"What would you, Metrodorus, advise me to in this affair?" In return
to which, either out of good-will to Tigranes, or a want of solicitude
for Mithridates, he made answer, that as ambassador he counselled
him to it, but as a friend dissuaded him from it. This Tigranes reported
and affirmed to Mithridates, thinking that no irreparable harm would
come of it to Metrodorus. But upon this he was presently taken off,
and Tigranes was sorry for what he had done, though he had not, indeed,
been absolutely the cause of his death; yet he had given the fatal
turn to the anger of Mithridates, who had privately hated him before,
as appeared from his cabinet papers when taken, among which there
was an order that Metrodorus should die. Tigranes buried him splendidly,
sparing no cost to his dead body, whom he betrayed when alive. In
Tigranes's court died, also, Amphicrates the orator (if, for the sake
of Athens, we may also mention him), of whom it is told that he left
his country and fled to Seleucia, upon the river Tigris, and, being
desired to teach logic among them, arrogantly replied, that the dish
was too little to hold a dolphin. He, therefore, came to Cleopatra,
daughter of Mithridates, and queen to Tigranes, but, being accused
of misdemeanours, prohibited all commerce with his countrymen, ended
his days by starving himself. He, in like manner, received from Cleopatra
an honourable burial, near Sapha, a place so called in that country.

Lucullus, when he had re-established law and a lasting peace in Asia,
did not altogether forget pleasure and mirth, but, during his residence
at Ephesus, gratified the cities with sports, festival triumphs, wrestling
games, and single combats of gladiators. And they, in requital, instituted
others, called Lucullean games, in honour to him, thus manifesting
their love to him, which was of more value to him than all the honour.
But when Appius came to him and told him he must prepare for war with
Tigranes, he went again into Pontus, and, gathering together his army,
besieged Sinope, or rather the Cilicians of the king's side who held
it; who thereupon killed a number of the Sinopians, and set the city
on fire, and by night endeavoured to escape. Which when Lucullus perceived,
he entered the city, and killed eight thousand of them who were still
left behind; but restored to the inhabitants what was their own, and
took special care for the welfare of the city. To which he was chiefly
prompted by this vision. One seemed to come to him in his sleep, and
say, "Go on a little further, Lucullus, for Autolycus is coming to
see thee." When he arose he could not imagine what the vision meant.
The same day he took the city, and as he was pursuing the Cilicians,
who were flying by sea, he saw a statue lying on the shore, which
the Cilicians carried so far, but had not time to carry aboard. It
was one of the masterpieces of Sthenis. And one told him that it was
the statue of Autolycus, the founder of the city. This Autolycus is
reported to have been son to Deimachus, and one of those who, under
Hercules, went on the expedition out of Thessaly against the Amazons;
from whence in his return with Demoleon and Phlogius, he lost his
vessel on a point of the Chersonesus, called Pedalium. He himself,
with his companions and their weapons, being saved, came to Sinope,
and dispossessed the Syrians there. The Syrians held it, descended
from Syrus, as is the story, the son of Apollo and Sinope, the daughter
of Asopus. Which as soon as Lucullus heard he remembered the admonition
of Sylla, whose advice it is in his Memoirs to treat nothing as so
certain and so worthy of reliance as an intimation given in dreams.

When it was now told him that Mithridates and Tigranes were just ready
to transport their forces into Lycaonia and Cilicia, with the object
of entering Asia before him, he wondered much why the Armenian, supposing
him to entertain any real intentions to fight with the Romans, did
not assist Mithridates in his flourishing condition, and join forces
when he was fit for service, instead of suffering him to be vanquished
and broken in pieces, and now at last beginning the war, when its
hopes were grown cold, and throwing himself down headlong with them,
who were irrevocably fallen already. But when Machares, the son of
Mithridates, and governor of Bosporus, sent him a crown, valued at
a thousand pieces of gold, and desired to be enrolled as a friend
and confederate of the Romans, he fairly reputed that war at an end,
and left Sornatius, his deputy, with six thousand soldiers, to take
care of Pontus. He himself, with twelve thousand foot and a little
less than three thousand horse, went forth to the second war, advancing,
it seemed very plain, with too great and ill-advised speed, into the
midst of warlike nations and many thousands upon thousands of horse,
into an unknown extent of country, every way inclosed with deep rivers
and mountains, never free from snow; which made the soldiers, already
far from orderly, follow him with great unwillingness and opposition.
For the same reason, also, the popular leaders at home publicly inveighed
and declaimed against him, as one that raised up war after war, not
so much for the interest of the republic, as that he himself, being
still in commission, might not lay down arms, but go on enriching
himself by the public dangers. These men, in the end, effected their
purpose. But Lucullus, by long journeys, came to the Euphrates, where,
finding the waters high and rough from the winter, he was much troubled
for fear of delay and difficulty while he should procure boats and
make a bridge of them. But in the evening the flood beginning to retire,
and decreasing all through the night, the next day they saw the river
far down within his banks, so much so that the inhabitants, discovering
the little islands in the river, and the water stagnating among them,
a thing which had rarely happened before, made obeisance to Lucullus,
before whom the very river was humble and submissive, and yielded
an easy and swift passage. Making use of the opportunity, he carried
over his army, and met with a lucky sign at landing. Holy heifers
are pastured on purpose for Diana Persia, whom, of all the gods, the
barbarians beyond Euphrates chiefly adore. They use these heifers
only for her sacrifices. At other times they wander up and down undisturbed,
with the mark of the goddess, a torch, branded on them; and it is
no such light or easy thing, when occasion requires, to seize one
of them. But one of these, when the army had passed the Euphrates,
coming to a rock consecrated to the goddess, stood upon it, and then,
laying down her neck, like others that are forced down with a rope,
offered herself to Lucullus for sacrifice. Besides which, he offered
also a bull to Euphrates, for safe passage. That day he tarried there,
but on the next, and those that followed, he travelled through Sophene,
using no manner of violence to the people who came to him and willingly
received his army. And when the soldiers were desirous to plunder
a castle that seemed to be well stored within, "That is the castle,"
said he, "that we must storm," showing them Taurus at a distance;
"the rest is reserved for those who conquer there." Wherefore hastening
his march, and passing the Tigris, he came over into Armenia.

The first messenger that gave notice of Lucullus's coming was so far
from pleasing Tigranes that he had his head cut off for his pains;
and no man daring to bring further information, without any intelligence
at all, Tigranes sat while war was already blazing around him, giving
ear only to those who flattered him, by saying that Lucullus would
show himself a great commander if he ventured to wait for Tigranes
at Ephesus, and did not at once fly out of Asia at the mere sight
of the many thousands that were come against him. He is a man of a
strong body that can carry off a great quantity of wine, and of a
powerful constitution of mind that can sustain felicity. Mithrobarzanes,
one of his chief favourites, first dared to tell him the truth, but
had no more thanks for his freedom of speech than to be immediately
sent out against Lucullus with three thousand horse, and a great number
of foot, with peremptory demands to bring him alive and trample down
his army. Some of Lucullus's men were then pitching their camp, and
the rest were coming up to them, when the scouts gave notice that
the enemy was approaching, whereupon he was in fear lest they should
fall upon him, while his men were divided and unarranged; which made
him stay to pitch the camp himself, and send out Sextilius the legate,
with sixteen hundred horse, and about as many heavy and light arms,
with orders to advance towards the enemy, and wait until intelligence
came to him that the camp was finished. Sextilius designed to have
kept this order; but Mithrobarzanes coming furiously upon him, he
was forced to fight. In the engagement, Mithrobarzanes himself was
slain, fighting, and all his men, except a few who ran away, were
destroyed. After this, Tigranes left Tigranocerta, a great city built
by himself, and retired to Taurus, and called all his forces about

But Lucullus, giving him no time to rendezvous, sent out Murena to
harass and cut off those who marched to Tigranes, and Sextilius, also,
to disperse a great company of Arabians then on the way to the king.
Sextilius fell upon the Arabians in their camp, and destroyed most
of them, and also Murena, in his pursuit after Tigranes through a
craggy and narrow pass, opportunely fell upon him. Upon which Tigranes,
abandoning all his baggage, fled; many of the Armenians were killed
and more taken. After this success, Lucullus went to Tigranocerta,
and sitting down before the city, besieged it. In it were many Greeks
carried away out of Cilicia, and many barbarians in like circumstances
with the Greeks, Adiabenians, Assyrians, Gordyenians, and Cappadocians,
whose native cities he had destroyed, and forced away the inhabitants
to settle here. It was a rich and beautiful city, every common man,
and every man of rank, in imitation of the king, studied to enlarge
and adorn it. This made Lucullus more vigorously press the siege,
in the belief that Tigranes would not patiently endure it, but even
against his own judgment would come down in anger to force him away;
in which he was not mistaken. Mithridates earnestly dissuaded him
from it, sending messengers and letters to him not to engage, but
rather with his horse to try and cut off the supplies. Taxiles, also,
who came from Mithridates, and who stayed with his army, very much
entreated the king to forbear, and to avoid the Roman arms, things
it was not safe to meddle with. To this he hearkened at first, but
when the Armenians and Gordyenians in a full body, and the whole force
of Medes and Adiabenians, under their respective kings, joined him;
when many Arabians came up from the sea beyond Babylon; and from the
Caspian sea, the Albanians and the Iberians their neighbours, and
not a few of the free people, without kings, living about the Araxes,
by entreaty and hire also came together to him; and all the king's
feasts and councils rang of nothing but expectations, boastings, and
barbaric threatenings, Taxiles went in danger of his life for giving
council against fighting, and it was imputed to envy in Mithridates
thus to discourage him from so glorious an enterprise. Therefore Tigranes
would by no means tarry for him, for fear he should share in the glory,
but marched on with all his army, lamenting to his friends, as it
is said, that he should fight with Lucullus alone and not with all
the Roman generals together. Neither was his boldness to be accounted
wholly frantic or unreasonable when he had so many nations and kings
attending him, and so many tens of thousands of well-armed foot and
horse about him. He had twenty thousand archers and slingers, fifty-five
thousand horse, of which seventeen thousand were in complete armour,
as Lucullus wrote to the senate, a hundred and fifty thousand heavy-armed
men, drawn up partly into cohorts, partly into phalanxes, besides
various divisions of men appointed to make roads and lay bridges,
to drain off waters and cut wood, and to perform other necessary services,
to the number of thirty-five thousand, who, being quartered behind
the army, added to its strength, and made it the more formidable to

As soon as he had passed Taurus, and appeared with his forces, and
saw the Romans beleaguering Tigranocerta, the barbarous people within,
with shoutings and acclamations, received the sight, and threatening
the Romans from the walls, pointed to the Armenians. In a council
of war, some advised Lucullus to leave the siege, and march up to
Tigranes, others that it would not be safe to leave the siege, and
so many enemies behind. He answered that neither side by itself was
right, but together both gave sound advice; and accordingly he divided
his army, and left Murena with six thousand foot in charge of the
siege, and himself went out with twenty-four cohorts, in which were
no more than ten thousand men-at-arms, and with all the horse and
slingers and archers and about a thousand sitting down by the river
in a large plain, he appeared, indeed, very inconsiderable to Tigranes,
and a fit subject for the flattering wits about him. Some of whom
jeered, others cast lots for the spoil, and every one of the kings
and commanders came and desired to undertake the engagement alone,
and that he would be pleased to sit still and behold. Tigranes himself,
wishing to be witty and pleasant upon the occasion, made use of the
well-known saying, that they were too many for ambassadors, and too
few for soldiers. Thus they continued sneering and scoffing. As soon
as day came, Lucullus brought out his forces under arms. The barbarian
army stood on the eastern side of the river, and there being a bend
of the river westward in that part of it, where it was easiest forded,
Lucullus, while he led his army on in haste, seemed to Tigranes to
be flying; who thereupon called Taxiles, and in derision said, "Do
you not see these invincible Romans flying?" But Taxiles replied,
"Would, indeed, O king, that some such unlikely piece of fortune might
be destined you; but the Romans do not, when going on a march, put
on their best clothes, nor use bright shields, and naked headpieces,
as now you see them, with the leathern coverings all taken off, but
this is a preparation for war of men just ready to engage with their
enemies." While Taxiles was thus speaking, as Lucullus wheeled about,
the first eagle appeared, and the cohorts, according to their divisions
and companies, formed in order to pass over, when with much ado, and
like a man that is just recovering from a drunken fit, Tigranes cried
out twice or thrice, "What, are they upon us?" In great confusion,
therefore, the army got in array, the king keeping the main body to
himself, while the left wing giving in charge to the Adiabenian, and
the right to the Mede, in front of which latter were posted most of
the heavy-armed cavalry. Some officers advised Lucullus, just as he
was going to cross the river, to lie still, that day being one of
the unfortunate ones which they call black days, for on it the army
under Caepio, engaging with the Cimbrians was destroyed. But he returned
the famous answer, "I will make it a happy day to the Romans." It
was the day before the Nones of October. 

Having so said, he bade them take courage, passed over the river,
and himself first of all led them against the enemy, clad in a coat
of mail, with shining steel scales and a fringed mantle; and his sword
might already be seen out of the scabbard, as if to signify that they
must without delay come to a hand-to-hand combat with an enemy whose
skill was in distant fighting, and by the speed of their advance curtail
the space that exposed them to the archery. But when he saw the heavy-armed
horse, the flower of the army, drawn up under a hill, on the top of
which was a broad and open plain about four furlongs distant, and
of no very difficult or troublesome access, he commanded his Thracian
and Galatian horse to fall upon their flank, and beat down their lances
with their swords. The only defence of these horsemen-at-arms are
their lances; they have nothing else that they can use to protect
themselves or annoy their enemy, on account of the weight and stiffness
of their armour, with which they are, as it were, built up. He himself,
with two cohorts, made to the mountain, the soldiers briskly following,
when they saw him in arms afoot first toiling and climbing up. Being
on the top and standing in an open place, with a loud voice he cried
out, "We have overcome, we have overcome, fellow-soldiers!" And having
so said, he marched against the armed horsemen, commanding his men
not to throw their javelins, but coming up hand-to-hand with the enemy,
to hack their shins and thighs, which parts alone were unguarded in
these heavy-armed horsemen. But there was no need of this way of fighting,
for they stood not to receive the Romans, but with great clamour and
worse flight they and their heavy horses threw themselves upon the
ranks of the foot, before ever these could so much as begin the fight,
insomuch that without a wound or bloodshed, so many thousands were
overthrown. The greatest slaughter was made in the flight, or rather
in the endeavouring to fly away, which they could not well do by reason
of the depth and closeness of their own ranks, which hindered them.
Tigranes at first fled with a few, but seeing his son in the same
misfortune, he took the diadem from his head, and with tears gave
it him, bidding him save himself by some other road if he could. But
the young man, not daring to put it on, gave it to one of his trustiest
servants to keep for him. This man, as it happened, being taken, was
brought to Lucullus, and so, among the captives, the crown of Tigranes
was also taken. It is stated that above a hundred thousand foot were
lost, and that of the horse but very few escaped at all. Of the Romans,
a hundred were wounded and five killed. Antiochus the philosopher,
making mention of this fight in his book about the gods, says that
the sun never saw the like. Strabo, a second philosopher, in his historical
collection, says that the Romans could not but blush and deride themselves
for putting on armour against such pitiful slaves. Livy also says
that the Romans never fought an enemy with such unequal forces, for
the conquerors were not so much as one-twentieth part of the number
of the conquered. The most sagacious and experienced Roman commanders
made it a chief commendation of Lucullus that he had conquered two
great and potent kings by two most opposite ways, haste and delay.
For he wore out the flourishing power of Mithridates by delay and
time, and crushed that of Tigranes by haste; being one of the rare
examples of generals who made use of delay for active achievement
and speed for security. 

On this account it was that Mithridates had made no haste to come
up to fight, imagining Lucullus would, as he had done before, use
caution and delay, which made him march at his leisure to join Tigranes.
And first, as he began to meet some straggling Armenians in the way,
making off in great fear and consternation, he suspected the worst,
and when greater numbers of stripped and wounded men met him and assured
him of the defeat, he set out to seek for Tigranes. And finding him
destitute and humiliated, he by no means requited him with insolence,
but alighting from his horse, and condoling with him on their common
loss, he gave him his own royal guard to attend him, and animated
him for the future. And they together gathered fresh forces about
them. In the city Tigranocerta, the Greeks meantime, dividing from
the barbarians, sought to deliver it up to Lucullus, and he attacked
and took it. He seized on the treasure himself, but gave the city
to be plundered by the soldiers, in which were found, amongst other
property, eight thousand talents of coined money. Besides this, also,
he distributed eight hundred drachmas to each man out of the spoils.
When he understood that many players were taken in the city, whom
Tigranes had invited from all parts for opening the theatre which
he had built, he made use of them for celebrating his triumphal games
and spectacles. The Greeks he sent home, allowing them money for their
journey, and the barbarians also, as many as had been forced away
from their own dwellings. So that by this one city being dissolved,
many, by the restitution of their former inhabitants, were restored.
By all of which Lucullus was beloved as a benefactor and founder.
Other successes, also, attended him, such as he well deserved, desirous
as he was far more of praise for acts of justice and clemency, than
for feats in war, these being due partly to the soldiers, and very
greatly to fortune, while those are the sure proofs of a gentle and
liberal soul; and by such aids Lucullus, at that time, even without
the help of arms, succeeded in reducing the barbarians. For the kings
of the Arabians came to him, tendering what they had, and with them
the Sophenians also submitted. And he so dealt with the Gordyenians,
that they were willing to leave their own habitations, and to follow
him with their wives and children. Which was for this cause. Zarbienus,
King of the Gordyenians, as has been told, being impatient under the
tyranny of Tigranes, had by Appius secretly made overtures of confederacy
with Lucullus, but, being discovered, was executed, and his wife and
children with him, before the Romans entered Armenia. Lucullus forgot
not this, but coming to the Gordyenians made a solemn interment in
honour of Zarbienus, and adorning the funeral pile with royal robes,
and gold, and the spoils of Tigranes, he himself in person kindled
the fire, and poured in perfumes with the friends and relations of
the deceased, calling him his companion and the confederate of the
Romans. He ordered, also, a costly monument to be built for him. There
was a large treasure of gold and silver found in Zarbienus's palace,
and no less than three million measures of corn, so that the soldiers
were provided for, and Lucullus had the high commendation of maintaining
the war at its own charge, without receiving one drachma from the
public treasury. 

After this came an embassy from the King of Parthia to him, desiring
amity and confederacy; which being readily embraced by Lucullus, another
was sent by him in return to the Parthian, the members of which discovered
him to be a double-minded man, and to be dealing privately at the
same time with Tigranes, offering to take part with him, upon condition
Mesopotamia were delivered up to him. Which as soon as Lucullus understood,
he resolved to pass by Tigranes and Mithridates as antagonists already
overcome, and to try the power of Parthia, by leading his army against
them, thinking it would be a glorious result, thus in one current
of war, like an athlete in the games, to throw down three kings one
after another, and successively to deal as a conqueror with three
of the greatest power under heaven. He sent, therefore, into Pontus
to Sornatius and his colleagues, bidding them bring the army thence,
and join with him in his expedition out of Gordyene. The soldiers
there, however, who had been restive and unruly before, now openly
displayed their mutinous temper. No manner of entreaty or force availed
with them, but they protested and cried out that they would stay no
longer even there, but would go away and desert Pontus. The news of
which, when reported to Lucullus, did no small harm to the soldiers
about him, who were already corrupted with wealth and plenty, and
desirous of ease. And on hearing the boldness of the others, they
called them men, and declared they themselves ought to follow their
example, for the actions which they had done did now well deserve
release from service and repose. 

Upon these and worse words, Lucullus gave up the thoughts of invading
Parthia, and in the height of summer-time went against Tigranes. Passing
over Taurus, he was filled with apprehension at the greenness of the
fields before him, so long is the season deferred in this region by
the coldness of the air. But nevertheless, he went down, and twice
or thrice putting to flight the Armenians who dared to come out against
him, he plundered and burnt their villages, and seizing on the provision
designed for Tigranes, reduced his enemies to the necessity which
he had feared for himself. But when, after doing all he could to provoke
the enemy to fight, by drawing entrenchments round their camp and
by burning the country before them, he could by no means bring them
to venture out, after their frequent defeats before, he rose up and
marched to Artaxata, the royal city of Tigranes, where his wives and
young children were kept, judging that Tigranes would never suffer
that to go without the hazard of a battle. It is related that Hannibal
the Carthaginian, after the defeat of Antiochus by the Romans, coming
to Artaxas, King of Armenia, pointed out to him many other matters
to his advantage, and observing the great natural capacities and the
pleasantness of the site, then lying unoccupied and neglected, drew
a model of a city for it, and bringing Artaxas thither, showed it
to him and encouraged him to build. At which the king being pleased,
and desiring him to oversee the work, erected a large and stately
city which was called after his own name, and made metropolis of Armenia.

And in fact, when Lucullus proceeded against it, Tigranes no longer
suffered it, but came with his army, and on the fourth day sat down
by the Romans, the river Arsanias lying between them, which of necessity
Lucullus must pass in his march to Artaxata. Lucullus, after sacrifice
to the gods, as if victory were already obtained, carried over his
army, having twelve cohorts in the first division in front, the rest
being disposed in the rear to prevent the enemy's inclosing them.
For there were many choice horse drawn up against him; in the front
stood the Mardian horse-archers, and Iberians with long spears, in
whom, being the most warlike, Tigranes more confided than in any other
of his foreign troops. But nothing of moment was done by them, for
though they skirmished with the Roman horse at a distance, they were
not able to stand when the foot came up to them; but being broken,
and flying on both sides, drew the horse in pursuit after them. Though
these were routed, yet Lucullus was not without alarm when he saw
the cavalry about Tigranes with great bravery and in large numbers
coming upon him; he recalled his horse from pursuing, and he himself,
first of all, with the best of his men, engaged the Satrapenians who
were opposite him, and before ever they came to close fight routed
them with the mere terror. Of three kings in battle against him, Mithridates
of Pontus fled away the most shamefully, being not so much as able
to endure the shout of the Romans. The pursuit reached a long way,
and all through the night the Romans slew and took prisoners, and
carried off spoils and treasure, till they were weary. Livy says there
were more taken and destroyed in the first battle, but in the second,
men of greater distinction. 

Lucullus, flushed and animated by this victory, determined to march
on into the interior and there complete his conquests over the barbarians,
but winter weather came on, contrary to expectation, as early as the
autumnal equinox, with storms and frequent snows, and, even in the
most clear days, hoar frost and ice, which made the waters scarcely
drinkable for the horses by their exceeding coldness, and scarcely
passable through the ice breaking and cutting the horses' sinews.
The country for the most part being quite uncleared, with difficult
passes, and much wood, kept them continually wet, the snow falling
thickly on them as they marched in the day, and the ground that they
lay upon at night being damp and watery. After the battle they followed
not Lucullus many days before they began to be refractory, first of
all entreating and sending the tribunes to him, but presently they
tumultuously gathered together, and made a shouting all night long
in their tents a plain sign of a mutinous army. But Lucullus as earnestly
entreated them, desiring them to have patience, till they took the
Armenian Carthage, and overturned the work of their great enemy, meaning
Hannibal. But when he could not prevail, he led them back, and crossing
Taurus by another road, came into the fruitful and sunny country of
Mygdonia, where was a great and populous city, by the barbarians called
Nisibis, by the Greeks Antioch of Mygdonia. This was defended by Guras,
brother of Tigranes, with the dignity of governor, and by the engineering
skill and dexterity of Callimachus, the same who so much annoyed the
Romans at Amisus. Lucullus, however, brought his army up to it, and
laying close siege, in a short time took it by storm. He used Guras,
who surrendered himself, kindly, but gave no attention to Callimachus,
though he offered to make discovery of hidden treasures, commanding
him to be kept in chains, to be punished for firing the city of Amisus,
which had disappointed his ambition of showing favour and kindness
to the Greeks. 

Hitherto, one would imagine fortune had attended and fought with Lucullus,
but afterwards, as if the wind had failed of a sudden, he did all
things by force, and as it were against the grain; and showed certainly
the conduct and patience of a wise captain, but in the results met
with no fresh honour or reputation; and indeed, by bad success and
vain embarrassments with his soldiers, he came within a little of
losing even what he had before. He himself was not the least cause
of all this, being far from inclined to seek popularity with the mass
of the soldiers, and more ready to think any indulgence shown to them
an invasion of his own authority. But what was worst of all, he was
naturally unsociable to his great officers in commission with him,
despising others and thinking them worthy of nothing in comparison
with himself. These faults, we are told, he had with all his many
excellences; he was of a large and noble person, an eloquent speaker,
and a wise counsellor, both in the forum and the camp. Sallust says
the soldiers were ill-affected to him from the beginning of the war,
because they were forced to keep the field two winters at Cyzicus
and afterwards at Amisus. Their other winters, also, vexed them, for
they either spent them in an enemy's country, or else were confined
to their tents in the open field among their confederates; for Lucullus
not so much as once went into a Greek confederate town with his army.
To this ill-affection abroad, the tribunes yet more contributed at
home, invidiously accusing Lucullus as one who for empire and riches
prolonged the war, holding, it might almost be said, under his sole
power Cilicia, Asia, Bithynia, Paphlagonia, Pontus, Armenia, all as
far as the river Phasis; and now of late had plundered the royal city
of Tigranes, as if he had been commissioned not so much to subdue
as to strip kings. This is what we are told was said by Lucius Quintius,
one of the praetors, at whose instance, in particular, the people
determined to send one who should succeed Lucullus in his province,
and voted, also, to relieve many of the soldiers under him from further

Besides these evils, that which most of all prejudiced Lucullus was
Publius Clodius, an insolent man, very vicious and bold, brother to
Lucullus's wife, a woman of bad conduct, with whom Clodius was himself
suspected of criminal intercourse. Being then in the army under Lucullus,
but not in as great authority as he expected (for he would fain have
been the chief of all, but on account of his character was postponed
to many), he ingratiated himself secretly with the Fimbrian troops,
and stirred them up against Lucullus, using fair speeches to them,
who of old had been used to be flattered in such a manner. These were
those whom Fimbria before had persuaded to kill the consul Flaccus,
and choose him their leader. And so they listened not unwillingly
to Clodius, and called him the soldiers' friend, for the concern he
professed for them, and the indignation he expressed at the prospect
that "there must be no end of wars and toils, but in fighting with
all nations, and wandering throughout all the world they must wear
out their lives receiving no other reward for their service than to
guard the carriages and camels of Lucullus, laden with gold and precious
goblets; while as for Pompey's soldiers, they were all citizens, living
safe at home with their wives and children, on fertile lands, or in
towns, and that, not after driving Mithridates and Tigranes into wild
deserts, and overturning the royal cities of Asia, but after having
merely reduced exiles in Spain, or fugitive slaves in Italy. Nay,
if indeed we must never have an end of fighting, should we not rather
reserve the remainder of our bodies and souls for a general who will
reckon his chiefest glory to be the wealth of his soldiers."

By such practices the army of Lucullus, being corrupted, neither followed
him against Tigranes, nor against Mithridates, when he now at once
returned into Pontus out of Armenia, and was recovering his kingdom,
but under pretence of the winter, sat idle in Gordyene, every minute
expecting either Pompey, or some other general, to succeed Lucullus.
But when news came that Mithridates had defeated Fabius, and was marching
against Sornatius and Triarius, out of shame they followed Lucullus.
Triarius, ambitiously aiming at victory before ever Lucullus came
to him, though he was then very near, was defeated in a great battle,
in which it is said that above seven thousand Romans fell, among whom
were a hundred and fifty centurions and four-and-twenty tribunes,
and that the camp itself was taken. Lucullus, coming up a few days
after, concealed Triarius from the search of the angry soldiers. But
when Mithridates declined battle, and waited for the coming of Tigranes,
who was then on his march with great forces, he resolved before they
joined their forces to turn once more and engage with Tigranes. But
in the way the mutinous Fimbrians deserted their ranks, professing
themselves released from service by a decree, and that Lucullus, the
provinces being allotted to others, had no longer any right to command
them. There was nothing beneath the dignity of Lucullus which he did
not now submit to bear, entreating them one by one, from tent to tent,
going up and down humbly and in tears and even taking some like a
suppliant by the hand. But they turned away from his salutes, and
threw down their empty purses, bidding him engage alone with the enemy,
as he alone made advantage of it. At length by the entreaty of the
other soldiers, the Fimbrians, being prevailed upon, consented to
tarry that summer under him, but if during that time no enemy came
to fight them, to be free. Lucullus of necessity was forced to comply
with this, or else to abandon the country to the barbarians. He kept
them, indeed, with him, but without urging his authority upon them;
nor did he lead them out to battle, being contented if they should
but stay with him, though he then saw Cappadocia wasted by Tigranes,
and Mithridates again triumphing, whom not long before he reported
to the senate to be wholly subdued; and commissioners were now arrived
to settle the affairs of Pontus, as if all had been quietly in his
possession. But when they came, they found him not so much as master
of himself, but contemned and derided by the common soldiers, who
arrived at that height of insolence against their general, that at
the end of summer they put on their armour and drew their swords,
and defied their enemies then absent and gone off a long while before,
and with great outcries and waving their swords in the air they quitted
the camp, proclaiming that the time was expired which they promised
to stay with Lucullus. The rest were summoned by letter Pompey to
come and join him; he by the favour of the people and by flattery
of their leaders having been chosen general of the army against Mithridates
and Tigranes, though the senate and the nobility all thought that
Lucullus was injured, having those put over his head who succeeded
rather to his triumph than to his commission, and that he was not
so truly deprived of his command, as of the glory he had deserved
in his command, which he was forced to yield to another.

It was yet more of just matter of pity and indignation to those who
were present; for Lucullus remained no longer master of rewards or
punishments for any actions done in the war; neither would Pompey
suffer any man to go to him, or pay any respect to the orders and
arrangements he made with advice of his ten commissioners, but expressly
issued edicts to the contrary, and could not but be obeyed by reason
of his greater power. Friends, however, on both sides, thought it
desirable to bring them together, and they met in a village of Galatia,
and saluted each other in a friendly manner, with congratulations
on each other's successes. Lucullus was the elder, but Pompey the
more distinguished by his more numerous commands and his two triumphs.
Both had rods dressed with laurel carried before them for their victories,
and as Pompey's laurels were withered with passing through hot and
droughty countries, Lucullus's lictors courteously gave Pompey's some
of the fresh and green ones which they had, which Pompey's friends
counted a good omen, as indeed, of a truth, Lucullus's actions furnished
the honours of Pompey's command. The interview however, did not bring
them to any amicable agreement; they parted even less friends than
they met. Pompey repealed all the acts of Lucullus, drew off his soldiers,
and left him no more than sixteen hundred for his triumph, and even
those unwilling to go with him. So wanting was Lucullus, either through
natural constitution or adverse circumstances, in that one first and
most important requisite of a general, which had he but added to his
other many and remarkable virtues, his fortitude, vigilance, wisdom,
justice, the Roman empire had not had Euphrates for its boundary,
but the utmost ends of Asia and the Hyrcanian sea; as other nations
were then disabled by the late conquests of Tigranes, and the power
of Parthia had not in Lucullus's time shown itself so formidable as
Crassus afterwards found it, nor had as yet gained that consistency,
being crippled by wars at home and on its frontiers, and unable even
to make head against the encroachments of the Armenians. And Lucullus,
as it was, seems to me through others' agency to have done Rome greater
harm than he did her advantage by his own. For the trophies in Armenia,
near the Parthian frontier, and Tigranocerta, and Nisibis, and the
great wealth brought from thence to Rome, with the captive crown of
Tigranes carried in triumph, all helped to puff up Crassus, as if
the barbarians had been nothing else but spoil and booty, and he,
falling among the Parthian archers, soon demonstrated that Lucullus's
triumphs were not beholden to the inadvertency and effeminacy of his
enemies, but to his own courage and conduct. But of this afterwards.

Lucullus, upon his return to Rome, found his brother Marcus accused
by Caius Memmius for his acts as quaestor, done by Sylla's orders;
and on his acquittal, Memmius changed the scene, and animated the
people against Lucullus himself, urging them to deny him a triumph
for appropriating the spoils and prolonging the war. In this great
struggle, the nobility and chief men went down, and mingling in person
among the tribes, with much entreaty and labour, scarce at length
prevailed upon them to consent to his triumph. The pomp of which proved
not so wonderful or so wearisome with the length of the procession
and the number of things carried in it, but consisted chiefly in vast
quantities of arms and machines of the king's with which he adorned
the Flaminian circus, a spectacle by no means despicable. In his progress
there passed by a few horsemen in heavy armour, ten chariots armed
with scythes, sixty friends and officers of the king's, and a hundred
and ten brazen-beaked ships of war, which were conveyed along with
them, a golden image of Mithridates six feet high, a shield set with
precious stones, twenty loads of silver vessels, and thirty-two of
golden cups, armour, and money, all carried by men. Besides which,
eight mules were laden with golden couches, fifty-six with bullion,
and a hundred and seven with coined silver, little less than two million
seven hundred thousand pieces. There were tablets, also, with inscriptions,
stating what moneys he gave Pompey for prosecuting the piratic war,
what he delivered into the treasury, and what he gave to every soldier,
which was nine hundred and fifty drachmas each. After all which he
nobly feasted the city and adjoining villages or vici. 

Being divorced from Clodia, a dissolute and wicked woman, he married
Servilia, sister to Cato. This also proved an unfortunate match, for
she only wanted one of all of Clodia's vices, the criminality she
was accused of with her brothers. Out of reverence to Cato, he for
a while connived at her impurity and immodesty, but at length dismissed
her. When the senate expected great things from him, hoping to find
in him a check to the usurpations of Pompey, and that with the greatness
of his station and credit he would come forward as the champion of
the nobility, he retired from business and abandoned public life either
because he saw the state to be in a difficult and diseased condition,
or, as others say, because he was as great as he could well be, and
inclined to a quiet and easy life, after those many labours and toils
which had ended with him so far from fortunately. There are those
who highly commend his change of life, saying that he thus avoided
the rock on which Marius split. For he, after the great and glorious
deeds of his Cimbrian victories, was not contented to retire upon
his honours, but out of an insatiable desire of glory and power, even
in his old age, headed a political party against young men, and let
himself fall into miserable actions, and yet more miserable sufferings.
Better in like manner, they say, had it been for Cicero, after Catiline's
conspiracy, to have retired and grown old, and for Scipio, after his
Numantine and Carthaginian conquests, to have sat down contented.
For the administration of public affairs has, like other things, its
proper term, and statesmen, as well as wrestlers, will break down
when strength and youth fail. But Crassus and Pompey, on the other
hand laughed to see Lucullus abandoning himself to pleasure and expense,
as if luxurious living were not a thing that as little became his
years as government of affairs at home or of an army abroad.

And, indeed, Lucullus's life, like the Old Comedy, presents us at
the commencement with acts of policy and of war, at the end offering
nothing but good eating and drinking, feastings, and revellings, and
mere play. For I give no higher name to his sumptuous buildings, porticos,
and baths, still less to his paintings and sculptures, and all his
industry about these curiosities, which he collected with vast expense,
lavishly bestowing all the wealth and treasure which he got in the
war upon them, insomuch that even now, with all the advance of luxury,
the Lucullean gardens are counted the noblest the emperor has. Tubero
the stoic, when he saw his buildings at Naples, where he suspended
the hills upon vast tunnels, brought in the sea for moats and fish-ponds
round his house, and built pleasure-houses in the waters, called him
Xerxes in a gown. He had also fine seats in Tusculum, belvederes,
and large open balconies for men's apartments, and porticos to walk
in, where Pompey coming to see him, blamed him for making a house
which would be pleasant in summer, but uninhabitable in winter; whom
he answered with a smile, "You think me, then, less provident than
cranes and storks, not to change my home with the season." When a
praetor, with great expense and pains, was preparing a spectacle for
the people, and asked him to lend him some purple robes for the performers
in a chorus, he told him he would go home and see, and if he had got
any, would let him have them; and the next day asking how many he
wanted, and being told that a hundred would suffice, bade him to take
twice as many: on which the poet Horace observes, that a house is
but a poor one where the valuables unseen and unthought of do not
exceed all those that meet the eye. 

Lucullus's daily entertainments were ostentatiously extravagant, not
only with purple coverlets, and plate adorned with precious stones,
and dancings, and interludes, but with the greatest diversity of dishes
the most elaborate cookery, for the vulgar to admire and envy. It
was a happy thought of Pompey in his sickness, when his physician
prescribed a thrush for his dinner, and his servants told him that
in summer-time thrushes were not to be found anywhere but in Lucullus's
fattening coups, that he would not suffer them to fetch one thence,
but observing to his physician, "So if Lucullus had not been an epicure,
Pompey had not lived," ordered something else that could easily be
got to be prepared for him. Cato was his friend and connection, but,
nevertheless, so hated his life and habits, that when a young man
in the senate made a long and tedious speech in praise of frugality
and temperance, Cato got up and said, "How long do you mean to go
on making money like Crassus, living like Lucullus, and talking like
Cato?" There are some, however, who say the words were said, but not
by Cato. 

It is plain from the anecdotes on record of him that Lucullus was
not only pleased with, but even gloried in his way of living. For
he is said to have feasted several Greeks upon coming to Rome day
after day, who of a true Grecian principle, ashamed, and declining
the invitations, where so great an expense was every day incurred
for them, he with a smile told them, "Some of this, indeed my Grecian
friends, is for your sakes, but more for that of Lucullus." Once when
he supped alone, there being only one course, and that but moderately
furnished, he called his steward and reproved him, who professing
to have supposed that there would be no need of any great entertainment,
when nobody was invited, was answered, "What, did not you know, then,
that to-day Lucullus dines with Lucullus?" Which being much spoken
of about the city Cicero and Pompey one day met him loitering in the
forum, the former his intimate friend and familiar, and, though there
had been some ill-will between Pompey and him about the command in
the war, still they used to see each other and converse on easy terms
together. Cicero accordingly saluted him, and asked him whether to-day
were a good time for asking a favour of him, and on his answering,
"Very much so," and begging to hear what it was, "Then," said Cicero,
"we shall like to dine with you to-day, just on the dinner that is
prepared for yourself." Lucullus being surprised, and requesting a
day's time, they refused to grant it, neither suffered him to talk
with his servants, for fear he should give order for more than was
appointed before. But thus much they consented to, that before their
faces he might tell his servants, that to-day he would sup in the
Apollo (for so one of his best dining-rooms was called), and by this
evasion he outwitted his guests. For every room, as it seems, had
its own assessment of expenditure, dinner at such a price, and all
else in accordance; so that the servants, on knowing where he would
dine, knew also how much was to be expended, and in what style and
form dinner was to be served. The expense for the Apollo was fifty
thousand drachmas, and thus much being that day laid out, the greatness
of the cost did not so much amaze Pompey and Cicero, as the rapidity
of the outlay. One might believe Lucullus thought his money really
captive and barbarian, so wantonly and contumeliously did he treat

His furnishing a library, however, deserves praise and record, for
he collected very many choice manuscripts; and the use they were put
to was even more magnificent than the purchase, the library being
always open, and the walks and reading-rooms about it free to all
Greeks, whose delight it was to leave their other occupations and
hasten thither as to the habitation of the Muses, there walking about,
and diverting one another. He himself often passed his hours there,
disputing with the learned in the walks, and giving his advice to
statesmen who required it, insomuch that his house was altogether
a home, and in a manner a Greek prytaneum for those that visited Rome.
He was fond of all sorts of philosophy, and was well read and expert
in them all. But he always from the first specially favoured and valued
the Academy; not the New one, which at that time under Philo flourished
with the precepts of Carneades, but the Old one, then sustained and
represented by Antiochus of Ascalon, a learned and eloquent man. Lucullus
with great labour made him his friend and champion, and set him up
against Philo's auditors, among whom Cicero was one, who wrote an
admirable treatise in defence of his sect, in which he puts the argument
in favour of comprehension in the mouth of Lucullus and the opposite
argument in his own. The book is called Lucullus. For, as has been
said, they were great friends, and took the same side in politics.
For Lucullus did not wholly retire from the republic, but only from
ambition, and from the dangerous and often lawless struggle for political
preeminence, which he left to Crassus and Cato, whom the senators,
jealous of Pompey's greatness, put forward as their champions, when
Lucullus refused to head them. For his friends' sake he came into
the forum and into the senate, when occasion offered to humble the
ambition and pride of Pompey, whose settlement, after his conquests
over the kings, he got cancelled, and, by the assistance of Cato,
hindered a division of lands to his soldiers, which he proposed. So
Pompey went over to Crassus and Caesar's alliance, or rather conspiracy,
and filling the city with armed men, procured the ratification of
his decrees by force, and drove Cato and Lucullus out of the forum.
Which being resented by the nobility, Pompey's party produced one
Vettius, pretending they apprehended him in a design against Pompey's
life. Who in the