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[22] Such was the state of affairs with Mithridates. As soon as his outbreak and invasion of Asia were known at Rome they declared war against him, although they were occupied with grievous dissensions in the city and a formidable Social war, almost all parts of Italy having revolted one after another. When the consuls cast lots, the government of Asia and the Mithridatic war fell to Cornelius Sulla. As they had no money to defray his expenses they voted to sell the treasures that King Numa Pompilius had set apart for sacrifices to the gods; so great was their want of means at that time and so great their ambition for the commonwealth. A part of these treasures, sold hastily, brought 90000 pounds' weight of gold and this was all they had to spend on so great a war. Moreover Sulla was detained a long time by the civil wars, as I have stated in my history of the same. In the meantime Mithridates built a large number of ships for an attack on Rhodes, and he wrote secretly to all his satraps and magistrates that on the thirtieth day thereafter they should set upon all Romans and Italians in their towns, and upon their wives and children and their domestics of Italian birth, kill them and throw their bodies out unburied, and share their goods with himself. He threatened to punish any who should bury the dead or conceal the living, and offered rewards to informers and to those who should kill persons in hiding, and freedom to slaves for betraying their masters. To debtors for killing money-lenders he offered release from one-half of their obligations. These secret orders Mithridates sent to all the cities at the same time. When the appointed day came calamities of various kinds befell the province of Asia, among which were the following:

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