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Cotta, Aure'lius

10. M. Aurelius Cotta, a brother of No. 9, was consul in B. C. 74, together with L. Licinius Lucullus. In this year the war against Mithridates broke out again, and while the conduct of it was entrusted to Metellus, Cotta obtained Bithynia for his province, and a fleet to protect the Propontis. When Mithridates marched into Bithynia with his army, Cotta retreated to Chalcedon, in the port of which his fleet was stationed. In the neighbourhood of Chalcedon a battle was fought, in which Cotta was not only defeated and obliged to take refuge within the walls of Chalcedon, but lost his whole fleet of sixty-four sail. Mithridates, who had to direct his attention towards another quarter, left Cotta at Chalcedon. During this campaign Cotta dismissed his quaestor, P. Oppius, whom he suspected of being bribed by the enemy and plotting against him. On his return to Rome, therefore, Cotta brought an accusation against Oppius, who was defended by Cicero. Afterwards Cotta himself was charged by C. Carbo with having been guilty of extortion in his province of Bithynia, and was condemned. His son, M. Aurelius Cotta, took revenge for this hostility of Carbo towards his father, by accusing Carbo of the same crime, on the very same day that he (M. Cotta) assumed the manly gown. (Liv. Epit. 93; Eutrop. 6.6 ; Sall. Fragm. Hist. lib. iv.; Ascon. in Cornel. p. 67 ; Plut. Luc. 5, 6, 8; Cic. in Verr. 5.13, pro Muren. 15, pro Opp. Fragm. p. 444 ed. Orelli ; Dion. Cass 36.23; Appian, App. Mith. 71; V. Max. 5.4.4.)

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74 BC (1)
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