Up to this time Tigranes had not deigned to see Mithridates, nor speak to him, though the man was allied to him by marriage, and had been expelled from such a great kingdom. Instead, he had kept him at the farthest remove possible, in disgrace and contumely, and had suffered him to be held a sort of prisoner in marshy and sickly regions. Now, however, he summoned him to his palace with marks of esteem and friendship.
There, in secret conference, they strove to allay their mutual suspicions at the expense of their friends, by laying the blame upon them. One of these was Metrodorus of Scepsis, a man of agreeable speech and wide learning, who enjoyed the friendship of Mithridates in such a high degree that he was called the king's father.
This man, as it seems, had once been sent as an ambassador from Mithridates to Tigranes, with a request for aid against the Romans. On this occasion Tigranes asked him:
‘But what is your own advice to me, Metrodorus, in this matter?’ Whereupon Metrodorus, either with an eye to the interests of Tigranes, or because he did not wish Mithridates to be saved, said that as an ambassador he urged consent, but as an adviser he forbade it. Tigranes disclosed this to Mithridates, not supposing, when he told him, that he would punish Metrodorus past all healing. But Metrodorus was at once put out of the way.
Then Tigranes repented of what he had done, although he was not entirely to blame for the death of Metrodorus. He merely gave an impulse, as it were, to the hatred which Mithridates already had for the man. For he had long been secretly hostile to him, as was seen from his private papers when they were captured, in which there were directions that Metrodorus, as well as others, be put to death. Accordingly, Tigranes gave the body of Metrodorus a splendid burial, sparing no expense upon the man when dead, although he had betrayed him when alive.
Amphicrates, the rhetorician, also lost his life at the court of Tigranes, if, for the sake of Athens, we may make some mention of him too. It is said that when he was exiled from his native city, he went to Seleucia on the Tigris, and that when the citizens asked him to give lectures there, he treated their invitation with contempt, arrogantly remarking that a stewpan could not hold a dolphin. Removing thence, he attached himself to Cleopatra, the daughter of Mithridates and wife of Tigranes, but speedily fell into disfavour, and, being excluded from intercourse with Greeks, starved himself to death. He also received honourable burial at the hands of Cleopatra, and his body lies at Sapha, as a place in those parts is called.