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38. From Caenum Pompey went to Amisus, where his ambition led him into obnoxious courses. For whereas he had roundly abused Lucullus because, while his enemy was still alive, he would issue edicts and distribute gifts and honours,—things which victors are wont to do only when a war has been brought to an end and finished,—yet he himself, while Mithridates was supreme in Bosporus and had collected a formidable force, [2] just as though the whole struggle was ended, took the same course, regulating the provinces and distributing gifts; for many leaders and princes and twelve barbarian kings had come to him. Wherefore, to gratify these other kings, he would not deign, in answering a letter from the king of Parthia, to address him as King of Kings, which was his usual title. Moreover, a great and eager passion possessed him to recover Syria, and march through Arabia to the Red Sea,1 in order that he might bring his victorious career into touch with the Ocean which surrounds the world on all sides; [3] for in Africa he had been the first to carry his conquests as far as the Outer Sea, and again in Spain he had made the Atlantic Ocean the boundary of the Roman dominion, and thirdly, in his recent pursuit of the Albani, he had narrowly missed reaching the Hyrcanian Sea. In order, therefore, that he might connect the circuit of his military expeditions with the Red Sea, he put his army in motion. And, besides, he saw that it was difficult to hunt Mithridates down with an armed force, and that he was harder to deal with when he fled than when he gave battle.

1 i.e. the Persian Gulf.

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