Memnon: History of Heracleia

    - chapters 22 - 40

Translated from Jacoby's Greek text (FGrH_434). The numbers in red are the chapter numbers in Jacoby's edition. See key to translations for an explanation of the format.

← Previous chapters (1-21)

[22] G   After this, the grievous war between the Romans and Mithridates king of Pontus broke out; the apparent cause of this war was the seizure of Cappadocia. Mithridates gained control of Cappadocia when he captured his nephew Arathes after breaking his oath concerning a truce, and then killed him with own hands. This Arathes was the son of Ariarathes and of the sister of Mithridates. 2 Mithridates was a persistent murderer since his childhood. He had become king at the age of 13 years, and soon afterwards he imprisoned his mother, whom his father had left as joint ruler with him, and eventually put an end to her by violence; he also killed his brother. 3 He increased his realm by subduing the kings around the river Phasis in war as far as the regions beyond the Caucasus, and grew extremely boastful. 4 On account of this the Romans regarded his intentions with suspicion, and they passed a decree that he should restore to the kings of the Scythians their ancestral territory. Mithridates obeyed this order reasonably, but gathered as his allies the Parthians, the Medes, Tigranes the Armenian, the kings of the Phrygians and [the king of] the Iberians. 5 He provided other pretexts for war. For instance, after the Roman senate had appointed Nicomedes, the son of Nicomedes and Nysa, to be king of Bithynia, Mithridates set up [Socrates] called Chrestus as a rival to Nicomedes. However the Romans' wishes prevailed, despite the opposition of Mithridates.

6 Later, when Sulla and Marius were engaged in fighting for control of the Roman state, Mithridates gave 40,000 foot-soldiers and 10,000 cavalry to his general Archelaus, and ordered him to march against the Bithynians. When they met in battle, Archelaus was victorious, and Nicomedes escaped with only a few companions. After hearing this news, Mithridates, who now had his allied forces with him, set off from the plain of Amaseia and marched through Paphlagonia, leading an army of 150,000 men. 7 Manius confronted (?) Menophanes the general of Mithridates with just a few Roman soldiers, because the soldiers of Nicomedes who were with him ran away as soon as they heard of the approach of Mithridates; Manius was defeated and fled, losing all his army. 8 Then Mithridates invaded Bithynia with impunity and captured the cities and countryside without a battle. Some of the other cities in Asia were captured and others allied themselves with Mithridates, so that there was a complete transformation in the state of affairs. The Rhodians alone maintained their alliance with the Romans. Therefore Mithridates waged war with them by land and by sea, though the Rhodians had the better of the contests, and Mithridates himself came close to being captured in a naval battle. 9 Then Mithridates, because he had heard that the Romans who were scattered throughout the cities were hindering his designs, wrote to all the cities instructing them to kill the Romans in their midst on a specific day. And many obeyed these instructions, making such a slaughter that on that one day 80,000 people were killed by the sword.

10 When Eretria, Chalcis and the whole of Euboea had gone over to Mithridates, along with other cities, and the Spartans had been defeated, the Romans sent out Sulla against him with a suitable army. 11 On his arrival, Sulla won over some cities which changed sides of their own will, and captured others by force, and he routed a large army from Pontus in battle. He also captured Athens, and the city would have been destroyed, if the senate had not quickly put a stop to Sulla's intentions. 12 There were many skirmishes, in most of which the men of Pontus had the upper hand, and the situation changed as a result of their successes. But the royal troops suffered from a lack of supplies, because they used up what they held recklessly and did not know how to preserve what they had acquired. They would have been in desperate trouble, if Taxiles had not captured Amphipolis, after which the rest of Macedonia went over to his side, and he was able to provide plentiful supplies.

13 Taxiles and Archelaus joined up their armies, so that they had over 60,000 men, and they took up position in the territory of Phocis, awaiting Sulla. Sulla received reinforcements from Lucius Hortensius, who brought more than 6,000 men from Italy, and camped opposite them at a considerable distance. While Archelaus' men were carelessly foraging, Sulla unexpectedly attacked his enemies' camp. He immediately killed the men whom he captured if they were strong, but he placed those from whom he had nothing to fear around the camp and told them to light fires, so as to receive those returning from foraging without giving them any suspicion of what had happened. This turned out as he planned, and Sulla's men won a brilliant victory.

[23] G   Mithridates accused the Chians of aiding the Rhodians, and sent Dorylaus against them. Dorylaus captured the city with some difficulty. Then he allotted the land to men from Pontus, and he transported the Chians by sea to Pontus. 2 The Heracleians, who were allies of the Chians, attacked the Pontic ships carrying the captives as they sailed past and brought them back to the city without resistance, because the ships were not equipped to defend themselves. The Heracleians promptly revived the Chians by providing them unstintingly with everything they needed, and later restored them to their fatherland, after offering generous gifts to them.

[24] G   The senate sent Valerius Flaccus and Fimbria to fight against Mithridates. It ordered them to share with Sulla in the war, if he co-operated with the senate, but if not, to make war against him first. 2 Flaccus suffered various misfortunes to start with (such as lack of food and losses in battle) but mostly he was successful. He crossed over to Bithynia with the help of the Byzantines, and from there he went to Nicaea, where he halted. Likewise Fimbria crossed over with his troops. 3 Flaccus was annoyed because most of the army preferred to be led by Fimbria, because he was a considerate commander. While Flaccus was bitterly rebuking Fimbria and the most distinguished soldiers, two of them, who were roused to greater fury than the others, murdered him. The senate was angry with Fimbria for this; but it disguised its anger, and arranged for him to be elected consul. Fimbria, thus becoming commander of the whole force, won over some cities by agreement and captured others by force.

4 Mithridates' son, accompanied by the generals Taxiles, Diophantus and Menander, confronted Fimbria with a large force. To start with the barbarians had the upper hand; and Fimbria decided to use a stratagem to repair his defeats in battle (the enemy army was much larger than his). When both armies arrived at a certain river, with the river in between them, and a storm broke out at dawn, the Roman general unexpectedly crossed the river. He fell on the enemy while they were still asleep, and killed most of them before they knew what was happening. A few of the leaders and the cavalry escaped the slaughter, including Mithridates the son of Mithridates, who rode off and escaped to his father in Pergamon along with some others. 5 After the king's army had suffered this overwhelming defeat, most of the cities went over to the Romans.

[25] G   After Marius, one of the opposite faction, had been restored to Rome from his exile, Sulla was afraid that he might be forced into a similar exile because of his harsh treatment of Marius; so he sent envoys to Mithridates, proposing a truce between him and the Romans. Mithridates, who gladly accepted the proposal, asked to meet to agree the terms. Sulla set out promptly, 2 and after advancing towards each other, they met at Dardanus to discuss the treaty. When their attendants had withdrawn, they came to an agreement, that Mithridates would surrender Asia to the Romans, that the Bithynians and Cappadocia would be ruled by their native kings, that Mithridates would be confirmed as king of all of Pontus, as long as he provided 80 triremes and 3,000 talents to Sulla personally for his return to Rome, and that the Romans would not punish the cities for their support of Mithridates. In fact the Romans did not abide by this last part of the treaty, and they afterwards forced many of the cities into slavery. 3 So Sulla returned in glory to Italy, and Marius again withdrew from Rome. Mithridates went back home, and set about subduing many of the nations which had revolted from his rule after the disaster which he suffered.

[26] G   Murena was sent out as commander by the senate, and Mithridates sent envoys to him, reminding him of the treaty which Sulla had made and asking him to abide by it. But Murena took no notice of the envoys (they were mostly Greeks and philosophers, and disparaged Mithridates instead of supporting him) and he set off against Mithridates. He established Ariobarzanes as king of Cappadocia, and founded the city of Licinia by the border of Mithridates' kingdom. 2 Meanwhile Murena and Mithridates both sent envoys to the Heracleians, each calling on them to become their allies. The Heracleians considered the power of the Romans to be formidable, but were afraid of Mithridates because he was their neighbour. Therefore they replied to the envoys that when such great wars were breaking out, they could scarcely protect their own territory, let alone come to the assistance of others. 3 Some of Murena's advisers said that he should attack Sinope and start a war for control of the king's capital, because if he captured that city, he would easily win over the other places. But Mithridates protected Sinope with a large force and prepared for open war. 4 In the opening skirmishes the king's forces had the advantage, but the subsequent battle was evenly balanced, and this battle blunted the two sides' enthusiasm for war. Mithridates went away to the regions around the river Phasis and the Caucasus, while Murena returned to Asia; and they both looked after their own affairs.

[27] G   Soon afterwards Sulla died at Rome, and the senate sent Aurelius Cotta to Bithynia and Lucius Lucullus to Asia, both of them with orders to fight against Mithridates. 2 Mithridates assembled another large army and 400 triremes, together with a considerable number of smaller ships, including fifty-oar ships and kerkouroi. He sent Diophantus (?) Mitharus with a force to Cappadocia, to establish garrisons in the cities and, if Lucullus marched towards Pontus, to confront him and prevent him from advancing further. 3 Mithridates took with him an army of 150,000 foot-soldiers, 12,000 cavalry and 120 scythed chariots, as well as an equal number of workmen. He advanced through Paphlagonia Timonitis into Galatia, and nine days later arrived in Bithynia 4 Lucullus ordered Cotta to sail to the harbour of Chalcedon with all his ships.

5 Mithridates' navy sailed past Heracleia; it was not admitted into the city, but the Heracleians provided supplies when they were asked for them. While the sailors and inhabitants were mingling together, as was natural, Archelaus, the commander of the navy, seized Silenus and Satyrus, two distinguished Heracleians, and did not release them until he had persuaded them to provide five triremes to assist in the war against the Romans. As a result of this action, as Archelaus had contrived, the people of Heracleia were regarded as enemies by the Romans. Therefore the Romans, who were exacting requisitions from the other cities, demanded contributions from Heracleia as well. 6 When the money-collectors arrived in the city, they disregarded the laws of the state, and their demands for money distressed the citizens, who regarded this as the beginning of slavery. They wanted to send a delegation to the senate to ask to be released from the requisitions, but they were persuaded by the one of the most audacious men in the city to make away with the money-collectors in secret, in such a way that no-one was sure how they died.

7 The navies of Rome and Pontus met in battle by the city of Chalcedon, and a battle also broke out on land between the king's army and the Romans; the generals of the two sides were Mithridates and Cotta. In the land battle the Bastarnae routed the Italians, and slaughtered many of them. There was a similar outcome in the naval battle, and on one and the same day the land and sea were covered with the bodies of dead Romans. In the naval battle 8,000 men were killed and 4,500 were captured; in the land battle 5,300 of the Italians were killed, and out of Mithridates' army about 30 Bastarnae, and 700 others. Everyone was cowed by this success of Mithridates. 8 But Lucullus, who was camped by the river Sangarius when he heard of the disaster, spoke to his soldiers and encouraged them not to be despondent.

[28] G   Mithridates confidently moved on to Cyzicus and decided to besiege the city. Lucullus followed him and in the ensuing fighting he utterly defeated the Pontic army. In a short time he killed many tens of thousands, and he took 13,000 prisoners. 2 The Fimbrian soldiers were concerned that their leaders would regard them as disloyal because of their crime against Flaccus, and they secretly sent to Mithridates, promising to desert to him. Mithridates though this message was a stroke of luck, and when night came he sent Archelaus to confirm the agreement and to bring the deserters over to him. But when Archelaus arrived, the Fimbrian soldiers seized him and killed his companions. 3 On top of this misfortune, the king's army was gripped by famine and many of them died. Despite suffering all these setbacks, Mithridates did not desist from the siege; but later, after inflicting and receiving many losses, he withdrew from the city without capturing it. He appointed Hermaeus and (?) Marius to lead the foot-soldiers, with an army of over 30,000 men, while he made his way back by sea. Various disasters occurred as he boarded the triremes, because the men who were still waiting to board them grasped the ships and hung onto them, both the ships which were already full and the ones which remained. So many men did this that some of the ships were sunk and others were capsized. 4 When the citizens of Cyzicus saw this, they attacked the Pontic camp, slaughtered the exhausted troops who were left there and pillaged everything that had been left in the camp. Lucullus pursued the army as far as the river Aesepus, where he surprised it and killed a great number of the enemy. Mithridates recovered as best he could and besieged Perinthus, but failed to take it and crossed back over to Bithynia.

5 Then (?) Barba arrived at the head of a large force of Italians and Triarius the Roman general advanced and started to besiege Apameia; the citizens of Apameia resisted as much as they could, but finally they opened their gates and let the Romans in. 6 The Roman army also captured the city of Prusa, which lies at the foot of the Asian Mount Olympus. 7 From there Triarius took his army to the city of Prusias by the sea. In ancient times Prusias was called Cierus, which is the scene of many stories, such as the arrival of the Argo, the disappearance of Hylas and Heracles' wanderings in search of Hylas. When Triarius arrived there, the inhabitants of Prusias drove out the Pontic soldiers and willingly let him in.

8 From there Triarius went on to Nicaea, where Mithridates had placed a garrison. But the Pontic soldiers realised that the inhabitants of Nicaea were inclining towards the Romans, and so they withdrew at night towards Mithridates at Nicomedeia; after that the Romans gained control of the city without a fight. 9 The city of Nicaea took its name from a Naiad (river nymph) called Nicaea, and it was established by the men of Nicaea who fought in Alexander's army. After Alexander's death they founded and settled this city in memory of their homeland. The nymph Nicaea is said to have been the daughter of Cybele and Sangarius, who was the ruler of the country. Preferring virginity to cohabitation with a man, she spent her life hunting in the mountains. Dionysus fell in love with her, but she rejected his advances. After his rejection Dionysus tried to achieve his desire by a trick. He filled the spring, from which Nicaea used to drink when she was worn out from hunting, with wine instead of water. She suspected nothing and, acting as normal, took her fill of the deceptive liquid. Then drunkenness and sleep took hold of her, and she submitted to the wishes of her lover, even against her will. Dionysus had intercourse with her, and fathered Satyrus and other sons by her. 10 The men who founded and settled the city of Nicaea originally came from the Nicaea which is next to Phocis. They had often fought against the Phocians, who eventually deprived them of their homeland, subduing it and obliterating it with great zeal. 11 That is how Nicaea was named and founded, and how it went over to the Romans.

[29] G   Cotta wanted to make amends for his earlier failures, and advanced from Chalcedon, where he had been defeated, to Nicomedeia, where Mithridates was staying. He camped 150 stades from the city, but was reluctant to join battle. Without waiting to be summoned, Triarius hastened to join Cotta, and when Mithridates withdrew inside the city the Roman army prepared to besiege it from both sides. 2 But the king heard that the Pontic navy had been defeated in two sea battles, which it had fought with Lucullus near Tenedos and in the Aegean, and he did not think that he was strong enough to withstand the Roman army which confronted him. Therefore he (?) embarked his forces and sailed up the river. He lost some of his triremes in a violent storm, but he reached the river Hypius with most of his ships. 3 There he spent the winter, and with many promises and gifts of money he urged Lamachus of Heracleia, an old friend of his who he heard was a leader of the state, to arrange for him to be received into the city. Lamachus agreed to the request. He prepared a magnificent feast for the citizens outside of the city, and plied the people with drink, after instructing that the city gates should be left open during the feast. But he had arranged beforehand that Mithridates should come up secretly on the same day, and in this way Mithridates gained control of the city before the Heracleians even realised that he had arrived. 4 On the next day, Mithridates assembled the people and greeted them with conciliatory words. He advised them to maintain their goodwill towards him, and established a garrison of 4,000 men, with Connacorex as commander of the garrison, on the pretext that if the Romans decided to attack them, the garrison would defend the city and save the inhabitants. Then he distributed money to the residents, especially to those in positions of authority, and sailed off to Sinope. 5 Lucullus, Cotta and Triarius, the commanding generals of the Romans, came together at Nicomedeia, and set off to invade Pontus. But when they heard about the capture of Heracleia - they did not know it had been betrayed, but thought that the whole city had changed allegiance - they decided that Lucullus should march with most of the army through the inland districts into Cappadocia, in order to attack Mithridates and his entire kingdom; that Cotta should attack Heracleia; and that Triarius should gather the naval forces around the Hellespont and Propontis, and lie in wait for the return of the ships which Mithridates had sent to Crete and Spain. 6 When Mithridates heard of their plans, he made his own preparations, and sent envoys to the kings of the Scythians, to the king of Parthia and to his son-in-law Tigranes the king of Armenia. The others gave him no help, but Tigranes, after ignoring many entreaties from Mithridates' daughter, eventually agreed to an alliance with him. 7 Mithridates sent different generals to fight against Lucullus. When they came to battle, they had varying success, but on most occasions the Romans had the upper hand. 8 The king was disheartened by this, but nevertheless he assembled 40,000 infantry and 8,000 cavalry, and sent them out in addition to the previous army, with Diophantus and Taxiles as their generals. After they had joined up with the others, at first the two sides tested each other in skirmishes almost every day, and then there were two cavalry battles, in the first of which the Romans were victorious, and in the second the men of Pontus won. 9 As the war dragged on, Lucullus sent some men to Cappadocia to fetch supplies, and when Taxiles and Diophantus heard of this, they sent off a force of 4,000 infantry and 2,000 cavalry to attack and plunder the men who were bringing back the supplies. But when the two forces clashed, the Romans had the upper hand, and after Lucullus sent reinforcements to his side, it turned into a complete rout of the barbarians. In their pursuit of the fleeing barbarians the Roman army reached the camp of Diophantus and Taxiles, and proceeded to mount a fierce assault on them. The Pontic army withstood the attack for a while, but then they all gave way, with their generals being the first to turn to flight. The generals went to Mithridates as the messengers of their own defeat; and a large number of the barbarians were killed.

[30] G   After he had suffered this manifest disaster, Mithridates ordered that the princesses of the royal house should be killed, and decided to escape from Cabeira, where he was staying, without the knowledge of his subjects. But he was pursued by some Gauls, who did not realise who he was, and he would have been captured, if they had not come across a mule which was carrying Mithridates' gold and silver, and they stopped to plunder this treasure. Mithridates himself reached Armenia, 2 though Lucullus sent Marcus Pompeius in pursuit of him. Then Lucullus advanced to Cabeira with his entire army, and surrounded the city; he gained control of the walls after the barbarians agreed to surrender under a truce. 3 From there he went to Amisus, and tried to persuade the inhabitants to come to terms with the Romans, but as they did not listen to him, he moved away and began to besiege Eupatoria. There he pretended to conduct [the siege] negligently, in order that he might lull the enemy into the same attitude of negligence, and then achieve his object by mounting a sudden attack. The result was as he expected, and he captured the city by this stratagem. Lucullus suddenly ordered his soldiers to bring up ladders, when the defenders were paying little attention because they expected nothing of the sort, and he sent the soldiers up the ladders to the top of the walls. In this way Eupatoria was captured, and it was immediately destroyed. 4 Shortly afterwards Amisus was captured in a similar fashion - the enemy mounted its walls with ladders. Many of the citizens of Amisus were slaughtered immediately, but then Lucullus put an end to the killing. He restored the city and its territory to the remaining citizens, and treated them considerately.

[31] G   Mithridates was now staying in the territory of his son-in-law [Tigranes], who refused to meet him, but gave him a bodyguard and all the other marks of hospitality. 2 Lucullus sent Appius Claudius as an ambassador to Tigranes, to demand the surrender of Mithridates, but Tigranes refused to hand him over, saying that he would incur universal censure if he betrayed the father of his wife; therefore, though he knew the worthless character of Mithridates, he would respect their ties of kinship. 3 Tigranes wrote a letter to Lucullus, containing the same message, but the letter only irritated the Roman, because it did not address him as "general", in response to his own letters which had not addressed Tigranes as "king of kings".

At this point, the 15th book of the history comes to an end.

[32] G   The contents of the next part of the history are as follows. Cotta marched with the Roman army against Heracleia, but first he led it to Prusias. Prusias had previously been called Cierus, from the river which flows by it, but the king of Bithynia renamed it after himself when he took it away from the Heracleians. From there he went down to the [Euxine] sea; he marched along the shore, and stationed his men by the highest point of the walls. 2 The Heracleians were made confident by the natural strength of the site, and when Cotta pressed the attack they fought back along with the garrison. A large number of the Roman soldiers were killed, though the Heracleians received many wounds from missiles. Therefore Cotta drew back his army from attacking the walls, and camped a short distance away. He turned his attention to preventing supplies from reaching the besieged inhabitants. When the citizens ran short of basic necessities, they sent envoys to their colonies, asking them to provide supplies in return for money, which the colonies readily agreed to.

[33] G   Shortly before this, Triarius set off from Nicomedeia with the Roman fleet to confront the Pontic triremes which, as has been said previously, had been sent out to Crete and Spain. He learnt that they were withdrawing to Pontus, after losing many ships which had been sunk in storms and in various battles. He intercepted the remaining ships and fought a battle against them near Tenedos, in which he had 70 triremes and the Pontic navy had just under 80. 2 When the two sides met, the king's ships offered some resistance to start with, but later they were completely routed and the Roman navy won a decisive victory. And so the entire naval force, which had sailed out to Asia with Mithridates, was destroyed.

[34] G   Cotta, who was encamped near Heracleia, did not attack the city with his whole army, but sent forward detachments, some from the Romans, and many from the Bithynians. But as many of his men were injured or killed, he constructed various siege engines, including the Tortoise, which rather alarmed the defenders of the city. He brought this forward in full force against a certain tower which seemed susceptible to damage; however after one or two blows, not only did the tower remain standing, but the head of the battering ram was broken off. This restored the spirits of the Heracleians, but disheartened Cotta, who worried that the city would never be captured. 2 The next day Cotta brought up the siege engine again, but without success; so he burnt the engine, and beheaded the men who had made it. Leaving a guard by the walls, he decamped with the rest of his army to the so-called plain of Lycaea, which gave him a plentiful supply of provisions. From there he laid waste the entire territory of Heracleia, causing great hardship to the citizens. 3 So they sent another embassy, to ask the inhabitants of the Scythian Chersonese and Theodosia and the kings of the Bosporus for an alliance, but the embassy returned without achieving anything. 4 The citizens suffered almost as much from ill-treatment inside as they did from the enemy's attacks outside, because the garrison were not content with the same provisions as the populace survived on, and by assaulting the citizens they forced them to provide what they could not easily afford. Connacorex, the commander of the garrison, was even more brutal than his men; instead of restraining their violence, he encouraged it.

5 After ravaging the countryside, Cotta again attacked the walls. But he saw that the soldiers were reluctant to press the siege, so he led them away again from the walls, and sent to Triarius, asking him to come quickly with his triremes and prevent food reaching the city by sea. 6 Triarius took the ships which he had with him and 20 Rhodian ships, making a total of 43 ships. He crossed into the [Euxine] sea and informed Cotta of the date when he would arrive. On the same day as Triarius' squadron of ships appeared, Cotta brought his army up to the walls. 7 The Heracleians were alarmed by the sudden arrival of the ships. They put 30 of their own ships out to sea, though even these were not fully manned, and the rest of the men turned to defending the city. The Heracleian ships sailed out to confront the approaching squadron of the enemy, and the Rhodians (who were reputed to be braver and more experienced sailors than the others) were the first to attack them. Three Rhodian and five Heracleian ships were sunk immediately. Then the Romans joined in the fighting; both sides suffered heavy losses, but the Romans inflicted the most damage on their enemies. Eventually the ships from Heracleia were routed and they were forced to flee back to the city; 14 of their ships were lost, and the ones which escaped were placed in the great harbour.

8 Cotta also moved up the land army to renew the siege. Triarius' ships took up station on each side of the harbour, so as to prevent supplies of food reaching those inside the city, and the city was gripped by such a severe famine, that a choinix of corn was sold for 80 Attic [drachmas]. 9 On top of these other evils, a plague struck the citizens, caused either by a change in climate or by their poor diet. The plague consumed its victims with many different kinds of suffering, including Lamachus, who endured a particularly slow and painful death. The garrison suffered most of all from the disease, which killed one thousand out of their three thousand men; and their affliction was obvious to the Romans.

[35] G   Connacorex was dismayed by these disasters and decided to betray the city to the Romans, purchasing his own safety by the ruin of the Heracleians. He was joined in this undertaking by a Heracleian called Damopheles, an adherent of Lamachus' party who had been chosen to be a leader of the city guards after the death of Lamachus. 2 Connacorex did not approach Cotta, whom he regarded as oppressive and untrustworthy, but he made an arrangement with Triarius, which Damopheles readily consented to. After agreeing terms which they hoped would assure their well-being, they prepared to betray the city. 3 The nature of the traitors' plans became known to the people of the city, who rapidly met in assembly and summoned the leader of the garrison. Brithagoras, one of the leading citizens, went to see Connacorex. He described the situation in Heracleia, and implored him, if he wished, to negotiate with Triarius for the common safety of them all. After Brithagoras had delivered this request with much lamentation, Connacorex stood up and refused to arrange such a treaty, pretending that he was upholding their freedom and had great expectations. He said that he had learnt through letters that the king [Mithridates] had received a friendly reception from his son-in-law Tigranes, and he expected sufficient assistance to arrive from there before long. Connacorex had invented all of this, but the Heracleians were deceived by his words, and believed his fabrications as if they were true; for men always choose to believe what they really wish for. 4 Connacorex, realising that he had successfully deceived them, quietly embarked his army onto the triremes in the middle of the night, and sailed away; for the pact with Triarius stipulated that his men could leave unharmed, and take with them any booty which they had acquired. Damopheles then opened the gates, and Triarius and the Roman army poured into the city; some of them entered through the gates, and others climbed over the top of the walls.

5 It was only then that the Heracleians realised that they had been betrayed. Some of them surrendered, and others were killed. Their valuables and their other possessions were looted, and the citizens were subjected to all kinds of brutality, as the Romans remembered their losses in the sea battle, and the hardships they had endured during the siege. The Romans did not even spare those who had fled into the temples, but cut them down by the altars and the images of the gods. 6 Therefore many of the Heracleians, fearing inevitable death, escaped over the walls and scattered around the surrounding countryside, and some of them were forced to give themselves up to Cotta. From them Cotta learnt about the capture of the city, the slaughter of the citizens and the looting of their property. He was filled with anger, and immediately proceeded to the city. His army shared in his anger, not only because they had been robbed of the glory of victory, but also because all the wealth of the city had already been plundered by the other soldiers. They would have started a fight with their fellow soldiers, and the two armies would have proceeded to kill each other, if Triarius had not realised what they intended. By making many conciliatory speeches, and promising to make the booty available for them all to share, he averted the outbreak of internal strife.

7 But when they realised that Connacorex had captured Tius and Amastris, Cotta immediately sent Triarius to take the cities away from him. Meanwhile Cotta seized the men who had surrendered to him and the prisoners of war, and he treated them all with the utmost cruelty. In his search for treasure he did not even spare the contents of the temples, but removed from them many fine statues and images. 8 He removed the statue of Heracles from the market-place, along with its equipment from the pyramid; which in preciousness and size, as well as harmony, grace and artistry, was not inferior to the most famous [works of art]. It included a club beaten out of refined gold, with a large lion skin engraved on it, and a quiver fashioned from the same material, filled with arrows and a bow. He loaded onto his ships many other beautiful and remarkable offerings which he had carried away from the temples and the city. Lastly he ordered the soldiers to set fire to the city, and burnt down many parts of it. 9 The city had withstood the siege for two years before it was captured.

[36] G   When Triarius arrived at the cities to which he had been sent, he allowed Connacorex, who was trying to conceal his betrayal of Heracleia by holding on to the other cities, to withdraw unharmed, and he took possession of the cities without opposition. Cotta, after acting as described above, sent the infantry and cavalry to Lucullus, dismissed the allies to their homelands, and set off home with the fleet. Some of the ships which were carrying the spoils from Heracleia were sunk by their weight not far from the city, and others were forced into the shallows by a northerly wind, so that much of their cargo was lost.

[37] G   Leonippus, whom Mithridates had put in charge of Sinope along with Cleochares, gave up hope of resistance, and sent a message to Lucullus promising to betray the city. Cleochares and Seleucus, who was another general of Mithridates of equal standing to the other two, found out about the treachery of Leonippus, and denounced him at an assembly of the people. But the people did not believe them, because he seemed to be an upright man. Therefore Cleochares and his associates, alarmed at the favour which the people showed towards Leonippus, ambushed him and killed him during the night. This incident annoyed the populace, but Cleochares and his associates took control of the government and ruled in a tyrannical fashion, hoping by this means to escape punishment for the murder of Leonippus. 2 Meanwhile Censorinus, the Roman admiral in command of 15 triremes which were bringing corn from the Bosporus to the Roman army, halted near Sinope. Cleochares, Seleucus and their associates sailed out against him with the triremes at Sinope. In the ensuing naval battle, under the command of Cleochares, they defeated the Italians and seized the transport ships for their own use. 3 Cleochares and his associates were encouraged by this success, and became even more tyrannical in their government of the city. They murdered the citizens indiscriminately, and acted cruelly in every other way. 4 A dispute broke out between Cleochares and Seleucus: Cleochares wanted to persist in the war, but Seleucus wanted to slaughter all the citizens of Sinope and hand over the city to the Romans in return for a large reward. As neither of them prevailed over the other, they secretly put their possessions on boards cargo ships and sent them off to Machares the son of Mithridates, who at that time was staying in the neighbourhood of Colchis.

5 Meanwhile Lucullus, the Roman general, arrived at Sinope and vigorously besieged the city. 6 Machares the son of Mithridates sent envoys to Lucullus, asking for friendship and an alliance. Lucullus readily agreed, saying that he would regard the alliance as confirmed, if Machares did not send any supplies to the inhabitants of Sinope. Machares not only complied with this, but even sent to Lucullus the supplies which had been prepared for Mithridates' forces. 7 When Cleochares and his associates perceived this, they gave up all hope. They loaded a large amount of treasure onto their ships during the night, and at the same time allowed their soldiers to loot the city. After burning the ships which they did not need, they sailed off to the inner side of the [Euxine] sea, to the territory of the Sanegae and Lazi. 8 When the flames had grown high, Lucullus realised what was happening and ordered his soldiers to bring up ladders to the walls. The soldiers mounted the walls, and to begin with there was a considerable slaughter [of the citizens]; but Lucullus took pity on them, and put an end to the killing. 9 That was how Sinope was captured. Amaseia still held out, but not long afterwards it too yielded to the Romans.

[38] G   Mithridates had stayed in the region of Armenia for a year and eight months, and still had not come into the presence of Tigranes. Then Tigranes felt obliged to grant him an audience; he met him in a splendid parade and gave him a royal welcome. After they had spent three days in secret talks, Tigranes entertained Mithridates at a magnificent banquet, and sent hime back to Pontus with 10,000 cavalrymen. 2 Advancing through Cappadocia, whose ruler Ariobarzanes was his ally, Lucullus unexpectedly crossed the river Euphrates and brought his army up to the city in which he had heard that Tigranes kept his concubines, along with many valuable possessions. Lucullus also sent a detachment of his men to besiege Tigranocerta, and another force to attack the other important settlements. 3 Tigranes, seeing many parts of Armenia under siege in this way, recalled Mithridates and sent an army to the city in which his concubines were kept. When this army arrived at the city, the archers prevented the Romans from leaving their camp and they sent away the concubines and the most valuable items during the night. But at daybreak the Romans and Thracians attacked bravely, and there was a widespread slaughter of the Armenians. The number of Armenians captured was no less than the number killed; but the convoy which they had sent ahead reached Tigranes safely. 4 Tigranes collected an army of 80,000 men and went down to Tigranocerta, in order to lift the siege and drive away the enemy. When he arrived there and saw how small the Roman camp was, he said in contempt, "If they have come as ambassadors, there are too many of them; if they have come to fight, there are too few." After saying this, he camped next to the Romans. 5 Lucullus drew up his army for battle carefully and skilfully, and he addressed his men with encouraging words. Immediately he routed the enemy's right wing; and then the troops next to them gave way, and so on until the whole army was in flight. A dreadful and unstoppable panic seized the Armenians, and inevitably this was followed by the destruction of their army. Tigranes handed over his diadem and emblems of power to his son, and fled to one of his fortresses. 6 Lucullus returned to Tigranocerta and pressed the siege more intently, until Mithridates' generals in the city gave up all hope and surrendered the city to him in return for their own safety. 7 However Mithridates went to Tigranes and restored his spirits, reclothing him in royal apparel, no less splendid than before. Mithridates already had a considerable force, and he encouraged Tigranes to collect another army, so that he could once again strive for victory. Then Tigranes put Mithridates in overall command, trusting in his nobleness and intelligence, because he seemed most capable of maintaining a war against the Romans. 8 Tigranes himself sent an embassy to the Parthian [king] Phraates, offering to yield Mesopotamia, Adiabene and the Great Glen to him. At the same time envoys from Lucullus approached the Parthian, who privately pretended to the Romans that he was their friend and ally, and privately entered into a similar agreement with the Armenians.

[39] G   When Cotta arrived at Rome, he was honoured by the senate with the title of "Ponticus imperator", because he had captured Heracleia. But then the accusation reached Rome, that he had destroyed the great city merely for his personal gain, and his enormous wealth aroused envy, so that he became an object of public hatred. In an attempt to avoid the jealousy which his wealth provoked, he handed over much of the plunder from the city to the treasury, but this did not mollify the others, who assumed that he was giving up just a little and keeping the most part for himself. They immediately voted to release the prisoners from Heracleia. 2 Thrasymedes, one of the Heracleians, accused Cotta in the assembly. He described the goodwill of the city towards the Romans, and said that if the city had acted in any way contrary to this goodwill, it was not done by the common consent of the citizens, but they were either deceived by those who had been put in charge of affairs, or coerced by the enemies who attacked them. He complained about the devastation which the burning of Heracleia had caused, and how Cotta had taken away the statues as booty and had ransacked the temples, and all the other atrocities he had committed after he entered the city. Thrasymedes also described the immense quantity of the city's gold and silver, and the other treasures of Heracleia which Cotta had taken away for himself. 3 The Roman leaders were moved by this speech, which Thrasymedes delivered with wailing and tears, while a crowd of captives stood nearby, both men and women with their children, dressed in mourning clothes and sorrowfully holding forth olive branches in supplication. In reply, Cotta gave a short speech in his language [Latin] and then sat down. Carbo stood up and exclaimed, "Cotta, we instructed you to capture the city, not to destroy it", and afterwards speakers repeatedly censured Cotta in a similar way. Therefore many of them thought that Cotta should be sent into exile; but instead they expelled him from the senate, as a lesser punishment. They restored to the Heracleians their territory on land and sea, and their harbours; they also voted that none of the Heracleians should be made a slave.

[40] G   After achieving this, Thrasymedes sent most of the Heracleians back home. He himself stayed behind for longer with Brithagoras and Propylus (Propylus was the son of Brithagoras) in order to attend to other urgent matters; several years later, he returned to Heracleia in three light boats. 2 Upon his arrival, he tried in every way to resettle the city, so as to bring about its regeneration; but for all his efforts, he was only able to collect only about 8,000 settlers, together with the members of his own household. 3 When the condition of the city improved, Brithagoras began to hope that he could restore the liberty of the citizens. Many years had passed, and the government of the Romans had come under the control of a single man, Gaius Julius Caesar. Brithagoras set out on an embassy to Caesar, and developed a friendship with him, but he was not able immediately to win freedom for his city, because Gaius did not stay in Rome, but left on expeditions to other places. However Brithagoras did not give up, but he and Propylus accompanied Caesar all over the world, and were seen his presence, as if the dictator was indicating that he approved of their petition. 4 After he had been in attendance on Caesar for 12 years, and just as Caesar was planning to return to Rome, Brithagoras died, worn out by old age and by his continual exertions. His death caused great sadness in his homeland.

At this point, the sixteenth book of Memnon's history comes to an end.

Photius' conclusion: This history is intelligent and written in a plain style, with attention to clarity. It avoids digressions, except if its purpose necessitates the inclusion of some external events; and even then, the digression does not last for long, but concentrating on what is essential it returns neatly to the main course of the narrative. It uses a conventional vocabulary, though there are a few unusual words. We have not found a copy to read of the first eight books, or of anything after the sixteenth book.

↑ Table of Contents

Attalus' home page   |   29.02.16   |   Any comments?