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Raid of Aetolians In the Peloponnese

About the same time Mithridates also declared war
Mithridates IV., king of Pontus, declares war against Sinope.
against the people of Sinope; which proved to be the beginning and occasion of the disaster which ultimately befell the Sinopeans. Upon their sending an embassy with a view to this war to beg for assistance from the Rhodians, the latter decided to elect three men, and to grant them a hundred and forty thousand drachmae with which to procure supplies needed by the Sinopeans. The men so appointed got ready ten thousand jars of wine, three hundred talents1 of prepared hair, a hundred talents of made-up bowstring, a thousand suits of armour, three thousand gold pieces, and four catapults with engineers to work them. The Sinopean envoys took these presents and departed; for the people of Sinope, being in great anxiety lest Mithridates should attempt to besiege them both by land and sea, were making all manner of preparations with this view. Sinope lies on the right-hand shore of the Pontus as one sails to Phasis, and is built upon a peninsula jutting out into the sea: it is on the neck of this peninsula, connecting it with Asia, which is not more than two stades wide, that the city is so placed as to entirely close it up from sea to sea; the rest of the peninsula stretches out into the open sea,—a piece of flat land from which the town is easily accessible, but surrounded by a steep coast offering very bad harbourage, and having exceedingly few spots admitting of disembarkation. The Sinopeans then were dreadfully alarmed lest Mithridates should blockade them, by throwing up works against their town on the side towards Asia, and by making a descent on the opposite side upon the low ground in front of the town: and they accordingly determined to strengthen the line of the peninsula, where it was washed by the sea, by putting up wooden defences and erecting palisades round the places accessible from the sea; and at the same time by storing weapons and stationing guards at all points open to attack: for the whole area is not large, but is capable of being easily defended and by a moderate force.

Such was the situation at Sinope at the time of the commencement of the Social war,—to which I must now return.

1 As a measure of weight a talent = about 57 lbs. avoirdupois. The prepared hair was for making ropes and bowstrings apparently.

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hide References (3 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (3):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), TORMENTUM
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), PHASIS
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), SINO´PE
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