4. L. Licinius
Murena, the brother of the preceding, was praetor probably before he served under Sulla in Greece.
He was in the battle of Chaeroneia, B. C. 86, in which Sulla defeated Archelaus, the general of Mithridates. Murena had the command of the left wing, and was opposed to Taxiles. (Plut. Sull. 17
, &c.) Murena accompanied Sulla into the Troad, where peace was made with Mithridates (B. C. 84), and Murena was left as propraetor in Asia, with the command of the two legions of Fimbria which had deserted their commander and come over to Sulla (Appian, App. Mith. 64
). Murena, who wished to have a triumph, sought a quarrel with Mithridates, took Comana in Cappadocia, and robbed the rich temple. His answer to Mithridates, who complained of the infraction of the treaty, was that he could see no treaty; and, in fact, there was no written treaty between Sulla and Mithridates. Mithridates sent to Rome to complain, and in the mean time Murena crossed the swollen Halys, ravaged the country of Mithridates, and returned into Galatia and Phrygia loaded with booty. Calidius, who had been sent by the Roman senate, gave him verbal orders to stop hostilities, but he brought no written instructions with him, and Murena again commenced his ravages. Mithrdates now sent Gordius against Murena, and soon joined Gordius with a larger force.
A fierce battle was fought on the river, which was probably the Halys, though Appian (App. Mith. 65
) mentions no name, in which Murena was defeated with great loss, and he made his retreat over the mountains into Phrygia.
In the early part of B. C. 81 Sulla sent A. Gabinius with strict orders to Murena to stop hostilities, and with instructions to reconcile Mithridates and Ariobarzanes. Murena returned to Rome, and had a triumph in B. C. 81, which he did not deserve.
He probably died soon after. His wife lived to see her son consul. (Cic. pro Muren.