When Lucullus had accomplished this result on land by starving his enemies, he collected a fleet from the Asiatic province and distributed it to the generals serving under him. Trirarius sailed to Apamea, captured it, and slew a great many of the inhabitants who had taken refuge in the temples. Barba took Prusias, situated at the base of a mountain, and occupied Nicæa, which had been abandoned by the Mithridatic garrison. At the harbor of the Achæans Lucullus captured thirteen of the enemy's ships. He overtook Varius and Alexander and Dionysius on a barren island near Lemnos (where the altar of Philoctetes is shown with the brazen serpent, the bows, and the breastplate bound with fillets, to remind us of the sufferings of that hero), and dashed at them in a contemptuous manner. They stoutly held their ground. He checked his oarsmen and sent his ships toward them by twos in order to entice them out to sea. As they declined the challenge, but continued to defend themselves on land, he sent a part of his fleet around to another side of the island, disembarked a force of infantry, and drove the enemy to their ships. Still they did not venture out to sea, but hugged the shore, because they were afraid of the army of Lucullus. Thus they were exposed to missiles on both sides, landward and seaward, and received a great many wounds, and after heavy slaughter took to flight. Varius, Alexander, and Dionysius the eunuch were captured in a cave where they had concealed themselves. Dionysius drank poison which he had with him and immediately expired. Lucullus gave orders that Varius be put to death, since he did not want to have his triumph graced by a Roman senator, but he kept Alexander for that purpose. Lucullus sent letters wreathed with L. LICINIUS LUCULLUS In the Museum of the Hermitage (Duruy) laurel to Rome, as is the custom of victors, and then pressed forward to Bithynia.
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THE MITHRIDATIC WARS
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