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[87] Now Tigranes and Mithridates traversed the country
B.C. 68
collecting a new army, the command of which was committed to Mithridates, because Tigranes thought that his disasters must have taught him some lessons. They also sent messengers to Parthia to solicit aid from that quarter. Lucullus sent opposing legates asking that the Parthians should either help him or remain neutral. Their king made secret agreements with both, but was in no haste to help either of them. Mithridates manufactured arms in every town. The soldiers he recruited were almost wholly Armenians. From these he selected the bravest to the number of about 70,000 foot and half that number of horse and dismissed the rest. He divided them into companies and cohorts as nearly as possible according to the Italian system, and turned them over to Pontic officers to be trained. When Lucullus moved toward them Mithridates, with all the foot-soldiers and a part of the horse, held his forces together on a hill. Tigranes, with the rest of the horse, attacked the Roman foragers and was beaten, for which reason the Romans foraged more freely afterward even in the vicinity of Mithridates himself, and encamped near him. Again a great dust arose indicating the approach of Tigranes. The two kings had resolved to surround Lucullus. The latter perceived their movement and sent forward the best of his horse to engage Tigranes at as great a distance as possible, and prevent him from deploying from his line of march into order of battle. He also challenged Mithridates to fight. 1 He began to surround him with a ditch, but could not draw him out. Finally, winter came on and interrupted the work on both sides.

1 At this place there is a lacuna in the text.

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