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24. They met, accordingly, at Dardanus, in the Troad, Mithridates having two hundred ships there, equipped with oars, twenty thousand men-at-arms from his infantry force, six thousand horse, and a throng of scythe-bearing chariots; Sulla, on the other hand, having four cohorts and two hundred horse. When Mithridates came towards him and put out his hand, Sulla asked him if he would put a stop to the war on the terms which Archela[uuml ]s had made, and as the king was silent, Sulla said: [ldquo ]But surely it is the part of suppliants to speak first, while victors need only to be silent.[rdquo ] [2] Then Mithridates began a defence of himself, and tried to shift the blame for the war partly upon the gods, and partly upon the Romans themselves. But Sulla cut him short, saying that he had long ago heard from others, but now knew of himself, that Mithridates was a very powerful orator, since he had not been at a loss for plausible arguments to defend such baseness and injustice as his. [3] Then he reproached him bitterly and denounced him for what he had done, and asked him again if he would keep the agreements made through Archela[uuml ]s. And when he said that he would, then Sulla greeted him with an embrace and a kiss, and later, bringing to him Ariobarzanes and Nicomedes the kings, he reconciled him with them. Mithridates, accordingly, after handing over to Sulla seventy ships and five hundred archers, sailed away to Pontus.

[4] But Sulla perceived that his soldiers were incensed at the peace which he had made; they thought it a terrible thing to see the most hostile of kings, who had caused one hundred and fifty thousand of the Romans in Asia to be massacred in a single day1 go sailing off with wealth and spoils from Asia, which he had for four years continued to plunder and levy taxes on. He therefore defended himself to them by saying that he would not have been able to carry on war with Mithridates and Fimbria too, if they had both joined forces against him.

1 In the late autumn of 88 B.C. The cities of Asia Minor were glad to obey the orders of Mithridates for a general massacre of the resident Romans. Cf. Appian, Mithridates, xxii. Valerius Maximus (ix. 2, 4, Ext. 3) gives the number slain as 80,000.

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