With three attendants--two of his horsemen, and a concubine who was accustomed to follow him in male attire and to fight bravely by his side-- he made his escape thence to the fortress of Sinoria, whither a portion of his trusty followers found their way to him. He divided among them his treasures preserved there, 6000 talents of gold (1,400,000 pounds); furnished them and himself with poison; and hastened with the band that was left to him up the Euphrates to unite with his ally, the great-king of Armenia.

Tigranes Breaks With Mithradates Mithradates Crosses The Phasis

This hope likewise was vain; the alliance, on the faith of which Mithradates took the route for Armenia, already by that time existed no longer. During the conflicts between Mithradates and Pompeius just narrated, the king of the Parthians, yielding to the urgency of the Romans and above all of the exiled Armenian prince, had invaded the kingdom of Tigranes by force of arms, and had compelled him to withdraw into the inaccessible mountains. The invading army began even the siege of the capital Artaxata; but, on its becoming protracted, king Phraates took his departure with the greater portion of his troops; whereupon Tigranes overpowered the Parthian corps left behind and the Armenian emigrants led by his son, and re-established his dominion throughout the kingdom Naturally, however, the king was under such circumstances little inclined to fight with the freshly-victorious Romans, and least of all to sacrifice himself for Mithradates; whom he trusted less than ever, since information had reached him that his rebellious son intended to betake himself to his grandfather. So he entered into negotiations with the Romans for a separate peace; but he did not wait for the conclusion of the treaty to break off the alliance which linked him to Mithradates. The latter, when he had arrived at the frontier of Armenia, was doomed to learn that the great-king Tigranes had set a price of 100 talents (24,000 pounds) on his head, had arrested his envoys, and had delivered them to the Romans. King Mithradates saw his kingdom in the hands of the enemy, and his allies on the point of coming to an agreement with them; it was not possible to continue the war; he might deem himself fortunate, if he succeeded in effecting his escape along the eastern and northern shores of the Black Sea, in perhaps dislodging his son Machares--who had revolted and entered into connection with the Romans(6)--once more from the Bosporan kingdom, and in finding on the Maeotis a fresh soil for fresh projects. So he turned northward. When the king in his flight had crossed the Phasis, the ancient boundary of Asia Minor, Pompeius for the time discontinued his pursuit; but instead of returning to the region of the sources of the Euphrates, he turned aside into the region of the Araxes to settle matters with Tigranes.

Pompeius At Artaxata Peace With Tigranes

Almost without meeting resistance he arrived in the region of Artaxata (not far from Erivan) and pitched his camp thirteen miles from the city. There he was met by the son of the great-king, who hoped after the fall of his father to receive the Armenian diadem from the hand of the Romans, and therefore had endeavoured in every way to prevent the conclusion of the treaty between his father and the Romans. The great-king was only the more resolved to purchase peace at any price. On horseback and without his purple robe, but adorned with the royal diadem and the royal turban, he appeared at the gate of the Roman camp and desired to be conducted to the presence of the Roman general. After having given up at the bidding of the lictors, as the regulations of the Roman camp required, his horse and his sword, he threw himself in barbarian fashion at the feet of the proconsul and in token of unconditional surrender placed the diadem and tiara in his hands. Pompeius, highly delighted at a victory which cost nothing, raised up the humbled king of kings, invested him again with the insignia of his dignity, and dictated the peace. Besides a payment of; 1,400,000 pounds (6000 talents) to the war-chest and a present to the soldiers, out of which each of them received 50 -denarii- (2 pounds 2 shillings), the king ceded all the conquests which he had made, not merely his Phoenician, Syrian, Cilician, and Cappadocian possessions, but also Sophene and Corduene on the right bank of the Euphrates; he was again restricted to Armenia proper, and his position of great-king was, of course, at an end. In a single campaign Pompeius had totally subdued the two mighty kings of Pontus and Armenia. At the beginning of 688 there was not a Roman soldier beyond the frontier of the old Roman possessions; at its close king Mithradates was wandering as an exile and without an army in the ravines of the Caucasus, and king Tigranes sat on the Armenian throne no longer as king of kings, but as a vassal of Rome. The whole domain of Asia Minor to the west of the Euphrates unconditionally obeyed the Romans; the victorious army took up its winter-quarters to the east of that stream on Armenian soil, in the country from the upper Euphrates to the river Kur, from which the Italians then for the first time watered their horses.

The Tribes Of The Caucasus Iberians Albanians

But the new field, on which the Romans here set foot, raised up for them new conflicts. The brave peoples of the middle and eastern Caucasus saw with indignation the remote Occidentals encamping on their territory. There--in the fertile and well-watered tableland of the modern Georgia--dwelt the Iberians, a brave, well-organized, agricultural nation, whose clan-cantons under their patriarchs cultivated the soil according to the system of common possession, without any separate ownership of the individual cultivators. Army and people were one; the people were headed partly by the ruler- clans--out of which the eldest always presided over the whole Iberian nation as king, and the next eldest as judge and leader of the army--partly by special families of priests, on whom chiefly devolved the duty of preserving a knowledge of the treaties concluded with other peoples and of watching over their observance. The mass of the non-freemen were regarded as serfs of the king. Their eastern neighbours, the Albanians or Alans, who were settled on the lower Kur as far as the Caspian Sea, were in a far lower stage of culture.

The Establishment of the Military Monarchy Page 47

Italian Authors

Italian Books

Free Books in the public domain from the Classic Literature Library ©

Italian Books
Theodor Mommsen
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book