XXIII. Lucullus, after filling Asia full of law and order, and full of peace, did not neglect the things which minister to pleasure and win favour, but during his stay at Ephesus gratified the cities with processions and triumphal festivals and contests of athletes and gladiators. And the cities, in response, celebrated festivals which they called Lucullea, to do honour to the man, and bestowed upon him what is sweeter than honour, their genuine good-will.
But when Appius came, and it was plain that war must be waged against Tigranes, he went back into Pontus, put himself at the head of his soldiers, and laid siege to Sinopé, or rather, to the Cilicians who were occupying that city for the king. These slew many of the Sinopians, fired the city, and set out to fly by night.
But Lucullus saw what was going on, made his way into the city, and slew eight thousand of the Cilicians who were still there. Then he restored to the citizens their private property, and ministered to the needs of the city, more especially on account of the following vision. He thought in his sleep that a form stood by his side and said:
‘Go forward a little, Lucullus; for Autolycus is come, and wishes to meet you.’
On rising from sleep, he was unable to conjecture what the vision meant; but he took the city on that day, and as he pursued the Cilicians who were sailing away, he saw a statue lying on the beach, which the Cilicians had not succeeded in getting on board with them. It was the work of Sthenis, and one of his masterpieces. Well then, some one told Lucullus that it was the statue of Autolycus, the founder of Sinopé.
Now Autolycus is said to have been one of those who made an expedition with Heracles from Thessaly against the Amazons, a son of Deïmachus. On his voyage of return, in company with Demoleon and Phlogius, he lost his ship, which was wrecked at the place called Pedalium, in the Chersonesus; but he himself escaped, with his arms and his companions, and coming to Sinopé, took the city away from the Syrians.
These Syrians who were in possession of the city were descended, as it is said, from Syrus, the son of Apollo, and Sinopé, the daughter of Asopis.
On hearing this, Lucullus called to mind the advice of Sulla, in his Memoirs, which was to think nothing so trustworthy and sure as that which is signified by dreams.
Being informed now that Mithridates and Tigranes were on the point of entering Lycaonia and Cilicia, with the purpose of invading Asia before war was actually declared, he was amazed that the Armenian, if he cherished the design of attacking the Romans, had not made use of Mithridates for this war when he was at the zenith of his power, nor joined forces with him when he was strong, but had allowed him to be crushed and ruined, and now began a war which offered only faint hopes of success, prostrating himself to the level of those who were unable to stand erect.