Third Mithridatic War


Third Mithridatic War

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Third Mithridatic War
partof=the Mithridatic Wars


caption=
date=75– 65 BC
place=Asia Minor
territory=Syria, Palestine, Asia Minor (provinicalised or turned into client states)
result=Roman victory, Mithridates VI of Pontus committed suicide
combatant1=Roman Republic, Bithynia
combatant2=Mithridates VI of Pontus, Kingdom of Armenia
commander1=Lucullus, Pompey
commander2=Mithridates VI of Pontus, Tigranes the Great
The Third Mithridatic War (75-65 BC) was one of three Mithridatic Wars fought between Mithridates VI of Pontus and the Roman Republic. The Romans won the war, and Mithridates committed suicide, ending the menace of Pontus and conquering the Armenian kingdom.

Mithridates VI had long been a thorn in Rome's side, having been the subject of two wars against the Roman Republic, in the early 1st century BC. In response to the chaos in Rome, following the terror of Gaius Marius and Sulla's dictatorship, the Republic was in total disorder.

Launching an attack at the same time as a revolt by Sertorius swept through the Spanish provinces, Mithridates was initially virtually unopposed. The Senate acted, by sending the consul Lucius Licinius Lucullus to deal with the Pontic threat. The only other reliable general, Pompey, was in Gaul, marching to Hispania to help crush the revolt lead by Sertorius.

Upon his arrival, Lucullus met up with several legions, which had been campaigning in Asia Minor, and marched against Mithridates, by moving east into Armenia, an ally of Mithridates. The veteran Roman legions proved superior in combat against Mithridates' army, which often used outdated weapons like chariots, to try and break through the Roman lines. Advancing deep into Armenia, Lucullus pursued Mithridates and his Armenian ally Tigranes relentlessly, eventually getting carried away with events. By 69 BC, as he raced for the Caucasus, fresh armies were being created behind him while his soldiers, many serving beyond their required service of twenty years, were growing angry with the endless marches over barren terrain.

Back in Rome, the Senate decided to replace Lucullus with Pompey, hoping to bring the war to a decisive and complete end. Pompey soon arrived in the east with his own veteran legions, and headed into Armenia, defeating feeble resistance along the way.

By this time, Mithridates' army had ceased to exist in anything other than name, while his Armenian allies were in total disarray. Pompey captured the Armenian capital, and Mithridates went to ground in the Caucasus, where he hid for two years. In 65 BC though, he realized that all hope was gone, and committed suicide, ending the third and final Mithridatic War.

ee also

*Mithridatic Wars


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