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Για παραπομπή :
Συγγραφή :
Keaveney Arthur
Keaveney Arthur , "Mithridatic War III", 2002, Εγκυκλοπαίδεια Μείζονος Ελληνισμού, Κωνσταντινούπολη
URL: <>
Mithridatic War III
Περίληψη :
The Third Mithridatic war lasted between 74 and 63 BC. It was fought in Asia Minor, Pontus and Armenia and ended with the suicide of
Mithridates. The Roman campaigns were conducted first by Lucullus and then by Pompey.
74-63 BC
Γεωγραφικός Εντοπισμός
Asia Minor, Pontus, Armenia
1. The causes
The Third Mithridatic War has its roots in the Peace of Dardanus that was never ratified. When a Pontic delegation arrived in Rome
in 78 BC to do so, it was rebuffed. Both sides knew this would eventually lead to war and Mithridates VI immediately began to
overhaul and augment his forces. By 75 BC a casus belli was at hand. Mithridates laid claim to Bithynia even though its childless king
had decided to bequeath it to Rome. A clash between the two sides became inevitable and when the king of Bithynia died early in 74
BC Mithridates invaded and overwhelmed the small Roman force which had occupied the area. The command against the king of
Pontus was given in that same year to general Lucullus together with the provinces of Asia and Cilicia. He had as his co-commander
C. Aurelius Cotta who shared the consulship with him in that year.
2. The events
2.1. Lucullus against Mithridates VI
Lucullus’ first act on reaching Asia was to assist his colleague C. Aurelius Cotta at a siege at Chalcedon in Bithynia (Üsküdar) by
Mithridates VI. The king then put Cyzicus (Kapıdağı) under siege but was in turn besieged by Lucullus who forced him to flee early
in 73 BC. The remaining Pontic garrisons were then cleared from Asia and the grip of the Pontic navy on the Aegean was broken.
The invasion of the Kingdom of Pontus followed. The year 72 BC was spent in pursuing Mithridates and, although Lucullus managed
to defeat him at Cabira (Niksar) in Pontus, the king proved elusive finally taking refuge 71 BC with his son-in-law Tigranes I of
Most of 70 BC was taken up by Lucullus’ administration of Asia. He levied taxes to pay for the province’s defence but more notably
he introduced several measures to relieve the debt crisis of the cities. To meet the financial penalties Sulla had imposed on them, these
cities had borrowed heavily and were now in debt to the Roman publicans (moneylenders). The measures of Lucullus were salutary
and the debt was cleared within four years. In 69 BC, when Tigranes would not yield Mithridates, Lucullus invaded Armenia and
destroyed its capital Tigranocerta (Sivan).
After this Lucullus’ fortune steadily deteriorated. His reforms in Asia had alienated the publicans, who had now contrived a way to
have Asia and Cilicia removed from his command. Nevertheless, Lucullus soldiered on in Armenia only to witness a resurgence in the
fortunes of Mithridates and the onset of mutiny in his own army who resented the long campaigns. Mithridates defeated Lucullus’
legate at Zela in 67 BC. Full mutiny followed later in 67 BC and at the same time the remaining provinces of Lucullus, Bithynia and
Pontus, were taken from him. Finally, the lex Manilia of 66 BC deprived him of his command which passed on to Pompey.
2.2. Pompey against Mithridates VI
Pompey had just defeated the pirates and was in Cilicia (66 BC) when news came that the lex Manilia had given him the command
against Mithridates instead of Lucullus. Mithridates’ response to this news was to propose a truce but the terms proposed by
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Για παραπομπή :
Συγγραφή :
Keaveney Arthur
Keaveney Arthur , "Mithridatic War III", 2002, Εγκυκλοπαίδεια Μείζονος Ελληνισμού, Κωνσταντινούπολη
URL: <>
Mithridatic War III
Pompey proved unacceptable. The king therefore withdrew into the interior of his kingdom. He managed to escape a siege at
Dasteina (Pürk) but was subsequently defeated at the Belgazi gorge.
At this point Mithridates was abandoned by his erstwhile ally Tigranes, King of Armenia, not to mention that the Parthians also began
negotiating with Pompey. He was obliged therefore to flee to Colchis. Pompey sent a force in pursuit but himself turned into Armenia.
He overthrew Tigranes but then restored him to his kingdom as a friend and ally of Rome. The Romans then (Dec. 66 BC) wintered
on the banks of the river Cyrnus, where an attack by the neighbouring Albanians was repulsed and they were obliged to surrender.
The nearby Iberians first made an insincere parley as a preliminary to an attack but they were anticipated by Pompey who defeated
them in the spring of 65 BC near the river Pelorus and they too eventually came to terms. A Roman incursion into Colchis itself
followed but Mithridates continued to be elusive and Pompey, returning to deal with a rebellion in Albania,1 left the Roman fleet
blockading the Black Sea ports. The Albani were dealt within a battle at the river Abas. The rest of the year was devoted to
stabilising relations with tribes of the Caucasus and the Caspian. There were also negotiations with the Parthians who had established
treaties with Rome since the time of Sulla but were now worried about Pompey’s growing power and his attitude towards Armenia.
Pompey then withdrew from Albania and spent the winter of 65-64 BC in lesser Armenia where he captured a number of fortresses
belonging to Mithridates.
In early 64 BC Pompey moved to Amisus where he began the process of making arrangements for the administration of the east.
From there he began to make his way towards Syria and Arabia where his legates had already been operating. He crossed the Halys
into Cappadocia. Then after a visit to Commagene and Cilicia, Pompey passed into Syria. At Antioch most of his time was consumed
with administration. Moving on to Damascus he intervened in the Jewish civil war. Both protagonists, Aristobulus and Hyrcinus
presented themselves to him. The matter was not resolved however and Pompey laid siege to Aristobulus in Jerusalem. The fall of the
city brought the war to an end. Prior to that, however, news had come that Mithridates, desparate for further resistance, had
committed suicide. Pompey hurried to Amisus to view the embalmed body and complete his administrative arrangements. Thus,
having his mission accomplished, he returned to Rome in 62 BC.
3. The result
The end of this war was the epilogue of almost forty years of confrontation between Mithridates and Rome. Another lasting effect
was Pompey’s settlement of the East which endured for centuries.
1. The area of settlement of the Albani tribe close to the Caspian Sea.
Βιβλιογραφία :
Keaveney A.C., Lucullus. A Life, London – New York 1992
Leach J., Pompey the Great, London 1978
Seager R., Pompey. A Political Biography, Oxford 1979
Antonelli G., Lucullo, Rome 1989
Ballesteros-Pastor L., "La relación de Lúculo con los Partos durante la tercera guerra mithridática", Blázquez,
J.M. (ed.), Aspectos de la Sociedad Romana del Bajo imperio en las cartas de San Jeronimo. Homenaje
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Για παραπομπή :
Συγγραφή :
Keaveney Arthur
Keaveney Arthur , "Mithridatic War III", 2002, Εγκυκλοπαίδεια Μείζονος Ελληνισμού, Κωνσταντινούπολη
URL: <>
Mithridatic War III
al Profesor Presedo, Sevilla 1994, Filosofia y Letras, 121-129
Eckhardt K., "Die armeinischen Feldzüge des Lukullus I", Klio, 9, 1909, 400-412
Eckhardt K., "Die armeinischen Feldzüge des Lukullus II, III", Klio, 10, 1910, 72-115, 192-231
Hillman T.P., "The alleged inimicitiae of Pompeius and Lucullus 78-74", CPh, 86, 1991, 315-318
Gelzer Μ., "Lucius Licinius Lucullus", RE 8.1, 376-414
Van Ooteghem J., Lucius Licinius Lucullus, Brussels 1959
Δικτυογραφία :
The Mithridatic Wars
Γλωσσάριo :
consul, -lis
An official of the Roman state. In the period of the Republic, it was the highest military and political office: two consuls were elected each year. The
consular office survived into the Imperial period (and further into the early Byzantine period), becoming a honorary post.
lex Manilia
A law passed in Rome in 66 B.C., on the initiative of Gaius Manilius. The law mandated that Pompey took command of the war against
Mithridates instead of Lucullus.
Plutarch, Luc.
Appian, Mith. Χρονολόγιο
74 BC Lucullus is a consul, governor of Cilicia
74-67 BC Lucullus is given command of the war against Mithridates VI with command of the Roman provinces of Cilicia, Asia, Pontus and Bithynia
66 BC Lucullus returns to Rome
The Lex Manilia gives Pompey the command against Mithridates
Pompey expels Mithridates from Pontus, receives the surrender of Armenia and defeats the Iberians
65 BC Pompey defeats the Albani. Involved in affairs of Armenia and Parthia
64 BC Pompey advances into Syria
63 BC Pompey involved in Jewish war. Captures Jerusalem. Mithridates dies. Lucullus holds a triumph
62 BC Pompey returns to Rome.
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