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Mithridates the Great: Rome's Indomitable Enemy
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Mithridates the Great: Rome's Indomitable Enemy (Hardback)

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A military biography of Mithridates VI 'the Great' of Pontus, Rome's most persistent enemy. The Mithridiatic wars stretched over half a century and two continents, and have a fascinating cast of pirates, rebels, turncoats and poisoners (though an unfortunate lack of heroes with untarnished motives). There are pitched battles, epic sieges, double-crosses and world-class political conniving, assassinations and general treachery. Through it all, the story is built about the dominant character of Mithridates, connoisseur of poisons, arch-schemer and strategist; resilient in defeat, savage and vindictive in victory. Almost by definition, this book will break new ground, in that nothing has been written on Mithridates for the general public for almost half a century, though scholarly journals have been adding a steady trickle of new evidence, which is drawn upon here. Few enough leaders went to war with Rome and lived long to tell the tale, but in the first half of the first century BC, Mithridates did so three times. At the high point of his career his armies swept the Romans out of Asia Minor and Greece, reversing a century of Roman expansion in the region.

Even once fortune had turned against him he would not submit. Upto the day he died, a fugitive drive to suicide by the treachery of his own son, he was still planning an overland invasion of Roman itself.

More books by Philip Matyszak

Customer Reviews

"Do you not know that the Romans turned their arms in this direction only after Ocean had blocked their westward progress?" These words Sallust records in the letter Mithridates sent to Arsaces of Parthia in 69 BC. By then, the last of the Mithridatic Wars was in progress, Arsaces would not sent any help (Rome's clash with Parthia would follow in the next decade), and the war would end in 63 BC with the death of Mithridates in the citadel of Panticapaeum on Cimmerian Bosporus. Conflict between Rome and Kingdom of Pontus was inevitable, if Mithridates was to be anything more then a client king to the ever-expanding Roman Republic. Claiming ancestry from both Persian kings and Alexander's generals, Mithridates became ruler of Kingdom of Pontus on the south shore of Black Sea in 120 BC. Having obtained control of Colchis and Bosporan Kingdom (on the north shore of Black Sea), Mithridates turned to Asia Minor and acquisition of Roman client states that provoked war with Rome in 89 BC. Roman Republic was in the middle of the Social War so Mithridates easily took Roman province of Asia and ordered massacre of its Roman settlers. From there he came to Greece and proclaimed himself the liberator of Greek World from Roman barbarians. Sulla "the Lucky one" ousted him out of Greece, and the conflict ended in 81 BC, restoring prewar situation. Mithridates again attacked Roman forces in 73 BC, Lucullus, then Pompey were sent againts him. Kingdom of Pontus was lost, Mithridates withdrew to the Bosporan Kingdom and ended his life in 63 BC. This excellent book describing Mithridatic Wars is one of the fine "Pen & Sword" titles, and essential to any Roman history student. After reading this book, do read Plutarch Lives.

- 23/03/2013
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