The second Mithridatic war began in this way. Murena, who had been left by Sulla with Fimbria's two legions to settle affairs of the rest of Asia, sought trifling pretexts for war, being ambitious of a triumph. Mithridates, after his return to Pontus, went to war with the Colchians and the tribes around the Cimmerian Bosporus who had revolted from him. The Colchians asked him to give them his son, Mithridates, as their ruler, and when he did so they at once returned to their allegiance. The king
suspected that this was brought about by his son through his own ambition to be king. Accordingly he sent for him and first bound him with golden fetters, and soon afterward put him to death, although he had served him well in Asia in the battles with Fimbria. Against the tribes of the Bosporus he built a fleet and fitted out a large army. The magnitude of his preparations gave rise to the belief that they were made not against those tribes, but against the Romans, for he had not yet restored the whole of Cappadocia to Ariobarzanes, but still retained a part of it. He also had suspicions of Archelaus. He thought that the latter had yielded more than was necessary to Sulla in his negotiations in Greece. When Archelaus heard of this he became alarmed and fled to Murena, and by working on him persuaded him to anticipate Mithridates in beginning hostilities. Murena marched suddenly through Cappadocia and attacked Comana, a very large country town belonging to Mithridates, with a rich and renowned temple, and killed some of the king's cavalry. When the king's ambassadors appealed to the treaty he replied that he saw no treaty; for Sulla had not written it out, but had gone away after the terms had been fulfilled by acts. When Murena had delivered his answer he began robbing forthwith, not sparing the money of the temples, and he went into winter quarters in Cappadocia.