Immagini della pagina

escape him, and by putting an end to so important a war. Fimbria and Lucullus were of two different factions. The latter would not be concerned n the affairs of the other; so that Mithridates escaped by sea to Mitylene, and extricated himself out of the hands of the Romans. This fault cost them very dear, and is not unusual in states where misunderstandings subsist between the ministers and generals of the army, which make them neglect the public gooi lest they should contribute to the glory of their rivals.

Lucullus afterwards twice defeated Mithridates's ficet, and gained two great victories over nim. This happy success was the moro surprising, as it was not expected that Lucullus would distinguishi hiniselt

' by military exploits. He had passed his youth in the studies of the bar; and during his being quæstor in Asia, the province had always enjoyed peace. But so happy a genius as his did not wait to be taught by experience, which is not to be acquired by lessons, and is generaliy the growth of many years. He supplied that de fect in sonie nicasiirė, by employing the whole time of his journeys, by land and sea, partly in asking questions of persons experienced in the art of war, and partly in instructing himself by the reading of history. So that he arrived in Asia a complete general, though he had left Roine with only a moderate knowledge in the art of war.' Let our young warriors consider this with due attention, and observe in what manner great men are formed.

Whilst Sylla was very successful in Greece, the faction that opposed him, and at that time engrossed all power at Rome, had declared hiin an enemy of the commonwealth. Cinna and Carbo treated the most worthy and most considerable persons with every kind of cruelty and injustice. Most of these, to avoid this insun portable tyranny, had chosen to retiro to Sylla's camp, as to a port of safety; so that in a small time Sylla had a little senate about him His wite Metelia, having escaped with great difficulty with her children, brought him an account that his enemies had burnt his house and ravaged his lands, and begged him to depart immediately tɔ the relief of those who remained in Rome, and were upon tho point of being made victims of the same tury.

Sylla was in the greatest perplexity. On the one side, the mi serable condition to which his country was reduced, inclined him to march directly to its re!ief; on the other, he could not resolve to leave imperfect so great and important an affair as the war with Mithridates. Whilst he was under this cruel einbarrassinent, a merchant came to him

to treat with bim in secret from the general

* Ad Mithridaticum bellum missus à senatu, non modò opinionem vicit omnium quo de virtute cjus erat, sed etiam glorjanı superiorum. Idque eð fuit mirabilius, quòd ab eo laus imperatoria non expeciabatur, qui adolescentiam in fiorensi operâ, questurm dinturnt tenipus, Murena bellum in Ponto gerente, in Asiæ pace consuinps Sed incredibilis qu:edam ingenii magnitudo non desideravii indocilem usùs disciplinam. Itaque cum corum iter ci navigationem consumpsissci, partim in percontando à peritis, partim in rebus gestis legendis; in Asim factus imperator venit, com esset koruà pro lectus rei militaris rudis, Cic. Acad. Quæst. I. vi. 1.. 2 VOL. VIII.


Archelaus, and to make him some proposals of an accommodation. He was so exceedingly rejoiced when this inan had explained his commission, that he made all possible haste to have a conference with that general.

They had an interview upon the sea-coast, near the little city of Delium. Archelaus, who was not ignorant how important it was to Sylla to have it in his power to repass into Italy, proposed to him the uniting his interests with those af Mithridatos: and added, that his master would supply him with money, troops, and sl:ips, to maintain a war against the taction of Cinna and Marius.

Sylla, without seerning offended at first with such proposals, exhorted him on his side to withdraw himself from the slavery in which he lived, under an imperious and cruel prince. He added, that he migli' take upon him the title of king in his government, and offered to have him declared the ally and friend of the Roman people, if he would deliver up to him Mithridates's fleet under his command. Archelaus rejected such a proposal with indignation, and even cxpressed to the Roman general, how much he thought himself affrorto ed by the supposition of his being capable of such treachery. Upon which Sylla, assuming the air of grandeur and dignity so natural to the Roinars, said to him: “ If, being only a slave, and at best but an officer of a barbarian king, you look upon it as base to quit the service of your master, how dared you to propose the abandoning the interests of the republic to such a Roman as myself? Do you imagine our condition, and the state of affairs between us, to be equal? Have you forgotten my victories? Do you not remember, that you are the same Archelaus whom I have defeated in two battles, and forced in the last to hide himself in the marshes of Orcho. menus?"

Archelaus, confounded by so haughty an answer, sustained himseif no longer in the sequel of the negotiation. Sylla got the ascen lant eniircly, and dictaiing the law as victor, proposed the following conditions: “ That Mithridates should renounce Asia and Paphlagonia; that he should restore Bithynia to Nicomedes, and Cappadocia to Ariobarzanes; that he should pay the Romans two thousand talents (abont three hundred thousand pounds sterling) for the expenses of tlie war, and deliver up to them seventy armed galleys, with their whole equipment; and that Sylla, on his side, should secure to Mithridates the rest of his doininions, and cause him to be declared the friend and ally of the Roman people.” Archelaus seemed to approve these conditions, and despatched a courier immediately to communicate them to Mithridates. Sylla set out for the Ilellespont, carrying Archelaus with him, whom he treated with great honours.

He received Mithridates's ambassadors at Larissa, who came to declare to him that their master accepted and ratified all the other articles, but that he desired he would not deprive him of Paphlagonia ; and that as to the seventy galleys, he could by no means comply

A. M. 392).

with that article. Sylla, offended at this refusal, answered thing in an angry tong: “ What say you would Mithridates keep pos session of Paphlagonia, and does he refuse me the galleys I deman:led? I expected to have seen him return n.e thanks upon his knees, if I should have only lett him the hand with which he buichered a hundre i thousand Romans.' He will change his note when I go over to Asia, though at present, in the midst of bi: court at Pergamus, he meditates plans for a war he never saw " Such was the lofty style of Sylla, who gave Mithridates to understand, at the same time, that he would not talk such language had he been present at the past battles.

The ambassadors, terrified with this answer, made no reply. Archelaus endeavoured to soften Sylla, and prornised him that he woull in luce Mithridates to consent to all the articles. He set out for that purpose, and Sylla, after having laid waste the country, returned into Macedonia.

Archelaus, upon his return, joined him at the city Ant. J. C. 31. of Philippi, and informed hiin that Mithridates would accept the proposed conditions; but that he exceedingly desired to have a conference with bim. What made him earnest for this interview was his fear of Fimbria, who having killed Flaccus, of whom mention has been made before, and put himself at the head of that consul's army, was advancing by great marches against Mithridates; and this it was which determined that prince to mike peace with Sylla. 'They had an interview at Dardania, a city of the Troad. Mithridates had with him 203 galleys, 20,000 foot, 6005 horse, and a great number of chariots armed with scythes; and Sylla had only four cohorts and 200 horse in his company. Whe. Mithridates advanced to meet him, and offered him his hini, Sylla asked him whether he accepted the proposed conditions ? As the king kept silence, Sylla continued, “ Do you not know, Mithridates, that it is for suppliants to speak, and for the victorious to hear and be silent?”. Upon this Mithridates began a long apology, endeavouring to ascribe the cause of the war, partly to the gods, and partiy to ne Romans. Sylla interrupted hiin, and after having made a long detail of the violences and inhumanities he had committed, he demanded of him a second time, whether he woul) ratity the conditions which Archelaus had laid before him? Mithridates, surprised at the haughtiness and pride of the Roman general, having answered in the affirmative, Sylla then received his embraces, and afterwards presenting the kings Ariobarzanes and Nicomedes to him, he reconciled them to each other. Mithridates, after the delivery of the seventy galleys, entirely equipped, and 500 archers, re-embarked.

Sy!la saw`plainly, that this treaty of peace was highly disagree able to his troops. They could not bear that a prince, who of all kings was the most mortal enemy to Rome, and who in one day had caused 100,000 Roman citizens, dispersed in Asia, to be put to

the sword. should be treated with so much favour, and even hoe hour, and declared the friend and ally of the Romans, whilst almost still reeking with their blood. Sylla, to justify his conduct, gave them to understand, that if he had rejected his proposals of peace, Mithridates, on his refusal, would not have failed to treat with Fimbria; and that if those two enemies had joined their forces, they would have obliged biin either to abandon his conquests, or hazard a battle against troops superior in nujber, under the command of two great captains, who in one day might have deprived him of the fruit of all his victories.

Tnus ended the first war with Mithridates, which had lasted four years, and in which Syila had destroyed more than 160,000 of the enemy; recovered Greece, Macedonia, Ionia, Asia, and many other provinces, of which Mithridates had possessed himself; and having deprived him of a great part of his fleet, coinpelled him to confine himself within the bounds of his hereditary doininions. But what has been most admired in Sylla is,* that during tnree years, whilst the factions of Marius and Cinua had enslaved Italy, he did not dissemble his intending to turn his arms against them; and yet did not discontinue the war he had begun, convinced that it was necessary to conquer a foreign enemy, before he reduced and punished those at home. He has been also highly praised for his constancy in not hearkening to any proposals from Mithridates, who offered him considerable aid against his enemies, till that prince had accepted the conditions of peace he prescribed him.

Some days after, Sylla began his march against Fimbria, who was encamped under the walls of Thyatira, in Lydia ; and, have ing marked out a camp near his, he began his intrenchiments. Fimbria's soldiers coming out unarmed, ran to salute and embrace those of Sylla, and assisted them with great pleasure in forining their lines. Fimbria, seeing this change in his troops, and fearing Sylla as an irreconcilable enemy, from wbom he could expect no mercy, after having attempted in vain to get hini assassinated, killed hiinself.

Sylla condemned Asia in general to pay 20,000 talents, and, besides that fine, rifled individuals exceedingly, by abandoning their houses to the insolence and rapaciousness of his troops, whom he quartered upon them, and who lived at discretion, as in conquered cities. For he gave orders, that every host should pay each soldier quartered on him four drachmast a day, and entertain at table himself, and as many of his friends as he should think fit to invite; that each captain should have fifty drachmas, and besides that, a robe to wear in the house, and another when he went abroad.

Vid quidquam, in Syllæ operibus clarius duxerim, quàm quòd, cùm per triennium Cinnane Marianæque partes Italiam obsiderent, neque iilaturum se bellum iis dissimu. Javit, nec quod erai iu inanibus omisit; existimavitque ante frangendum hosterw, quàm ulciscemiuin civein; repulsoque externo inelui, ubi quod alienum esset vicisset, supe. raret quod erat domesticum. Veli. Paterc. I. ij. c. 21. | About 3,000,0001. sterling. * About two shillings Anoui live-and-twenty shillings.

[ocr errors]

After having thus punished Asia.* he set out from Ephesus with all his ships, and arrived the third day at the Piræcus. Having been initiated in the great mysteries, he took for his own use the library of Apellicon, in which were the works of Aristotle. That philosopher, at his death, had left his writings to Theophrastus, one of his most illustrious disciples. The latter had transferred them to Neleus of Scepsis, a city in the neighbourhood of Pergamus in Asià; after whose death, those works fell into the hands of his beirs, ignorant persons, who kept them shut up in a chest. When the kings of Pergamus began to collect industriously all sorts of books for their library, as the city of Scepsis was dependant upon them, those heirs, apprehending these works would be taken from them, thought proper to hide them in a vault under ground, where they remained almost a hundred and thirty years; tili the heirs of Neleus's family, who after several generations were fallen into extreme poverty, brought them out to sell to Apellicon, a rich Athenian, who sought every where after the most curious books for his library. As they were very much damaged by the length of time, and the dainp place where they had laid, A pellicon had copies immediately taken of them, in which there were many chasms; because the originals were either rotted in many places, or worm-eaten and obliterated. These blanks, words, and letters, were filled up as well as they could be by conjecture, and that in some places with sufficient want of judgment. From hence arose the many difficulties in those works which have ever since exercised the learned world.

Apellicon being dead soine short time before Sylla's arrival at Athens, he seized upon his library, and with these works of Aristotle, which he found in it, enriched his own at Rome. A famous grammarian of those times, named Tyrannion, who lived then at Rome, having a great desire for these works of Aristotle, obtained permissica from Sylla’s librarian to take a copy of them. That copy was communicated to Andronicus-the Rhodian, who afterwards imparted it to the public, and to him the world is obliged for the works of that great philosopher.


Second war against Mithridates, under Murena, of only three years' duration. Mill

ridates prepares to renew the war. He concludes a treaty with Sertorius. Third war with Mithridates. Lucullus the consul sent against him. He obliges him to raise the siege of Cyzicum, and defeats his troops. He gains a complete victory over him, and reduces him to fly into Pontus. Tragical end of the sisiers and wives of Mithridates. lle endeavours to retire to Tigranes his son-in-law. Lucullus regulates the aftairs of Asia.

A. M. 3921. Ant. J. C. 83,

Sylla,t on setting out for Rome, had left the government of Asia to Murena, with the two le

* Plut. in Syll. p. 468. Strab. 1, xiii.p. 609. · Athen. I. vii. p. 214. Laert in Theoph. † Appian. p. 213—216.

« IndietroContinua »