Up to this point, one might say that fortune had followed Lucullus and fought on his side; but from now on, as though a favouring breeze had failed him, he had to force every issue, and met with obstacles everywhere. He still displayed the bravery and patience of a good leader, but his undertakings brought him no new fame or favour; indeed, so ill-starred and devious was his course, that he came near losing that which he had already won.
And he himself was not least to blame for this. He was not disposed to court the favour of the common soldier, and thought that everything that was done to please one's command only dishonoured and undermined one's authority. Worst of all, not even with men of power and of equal rank with himself could he readily co-operate; he despised them all, and thought them of no account as compared with himself.
These bad qualities Lucullus is said to have had, but no more than these. He was tall and handsome, a powerful speaker, and equally able in the forum and the field.
Well, then, Sallust says that his soldiers were ill-disposed towards him at the very beginning of the war, before Cyzicus, and again before Amisus, because they were compelled to spend two successive winters in camp.
The winters that followed also vexed them. They spent them either in the enemy's country, or among the allies, encamped under the open sky. Not once did Lucullus take his army into a city that was Greek and friendly. In their disaffection, they received the greatest support from the popular leaders at Rome. These envied Lucullus and denounced him for protracting the war through love of power and love of wealth. They said he all but had in his own sole power Cilicia, Asia, Bithynia, Paphlagonia, Galatia, Pontus, Armenia, and the regions extending to the Phasis, and that now he had actually plundered the palaces of Tigranes, as if he had been sent, not to subdue the kings, but to strip them.
These were the words, they say, of Lucius Quintus, one of the praetors, to whom most of all the people listened when they passed a vote to send men who should succeed Lucullus in the command of his province. They voted also that many of the soldiers under him should be released from military service.