While Sextilius was doing this Tigranes brought together some 250,000 foot and 50,000 horse. He sent about 6000 of the latter to Tigranocerta, who broke through the Roman line to the tower, and seized and brought away the king's concubines. With the rest of his army Tigranes marched against Lucullus. Mithridates, who was now for the first time admitted to his presence, advised him not to come to close quarters with the Romans, but to circle around them with his horse only, to devastate the country, and reduce them by famine if possible, in the same way that he had been served by Lucullus at Cyzicus, where he lost his army without fighting. Tigranes derided such generalship and advanced and made preparations for battle. When he saw how small the Roman force was, he said jestingly, "If they are here as ambassadors they are too many; if as enemies, altogether too few." Lucullus saw a hill favorably situated in the rear of Tigranes. He pushed his horse forward from his own front to worry the enemy and draw them upon himself, retiring as they came up, so that the barbarians should break their own ranks in the pursuit. Then he sent his own infantry around to the hill and took possession of it unobserved. When he saw the enemy pursuing as though they had won the fight, and scattered in all directions, with their entire baggage-train lying at the foot of the hill, he exclaimed, "Soldiers, we are victorious," and dashed first upon their baggage-carriers. These immediately fled in confusion and ran against their own infantry, and the infantry against the cavalry. Presently the rout was complete. Those who had been drawn a long distance in pursuit of the Roman horse, the latter turned upon and destroyed. The baggage-train came into collision with others tumultuously. They were all packed together in such a crowd that nobody could see clearly from what quarter their discomfiture proceeded. There was a great slaughter. Nobody stopped to plunder, for Lucullus had forbidden it with threats of punishment, so that they passed by bracelets and necklaces on the road, and continued killing for a distance of 120 stades until nightfall. Then they betook themselves to plunder with the permission of Lucullus.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
THE MITHRIDATIC WARS
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.