Mithridates and the End of the Mithridatic Wars
Lucullus and Pompey"Mithridates" > Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Mithridates tended to retreat when the Romans showed force. When Lucullus drove into Mithridates' kingdom of Pontus, Mithridates fled to Armenia.
Once again, Mithridates decided to retreat. Lucullus did not immediately pursue him, but instead gathered a fleet from the cities in Asia. Then, in 73, with his new fleet he almost destoyed Mithridates. Lucullus went into Pontus to fight Mithridates at Cabira. Routed, Mithridates fled to Armenia looking for help from his son-in-law Tigranes. The Armenian king was not willing to provide military aid, but only shelter.
Tigranes may not have been anxious to fight the Romans, but he wasn't about to surrender his father-in-law, Mithridates.
Meanwhile, unopposed, Lucullus captured almost the entire kingdom of Pontus. He then ordered Tigranes to surrender Mithridates. When Tigranes refused, Lucullus attacked Armenia.
Lucullus' main obstacles were his troops who mutinied, keeping him from defeating Mithridates once and for all.
Lucullus' main obstacles, at this time, were his own soldiers who refused further campaigns. This mutiny gave Mithridates the chance to take back some of the territory he had lost. Realizing they needed another leader, the Romans sent Pompey to Asia.
When properly equipped with disciplined troops and a competent general, there was no contest between Rome and Pontus.
Pompey began invading Pontus in 66 B.C. Mithridates tried unsuccessfully to enlist the support of Tigranes, but his brother-in-law had troubles of his own. Tigranes's son, backed by Rome, was seeking his father's throne. Without his ally, Mithridates fled to his possessions in the Crimea.
It is said that when Mithridates saw that the people of the Crimea supported his son over him, Mithridates endeavored to take his own life, but failed because of the resistance he'd built up to poison. He had to ask one of his mercenary soldiers to kill him.
Mithridates ResourcesH. H. Scullard's revised version of F.B. Marsh's Roman World 146-30 B.C.
Cambridge Ancient History Vol. IX, 1994.
Mithridates Picture - Public Domain Courtesy of Wikipedia.