2. A general ill the service of Mithridates the Great, and one of those in whom lie reposed the highest confidence.
He is first mentioned in B. C. 86, when he was sent by Mithridates, with an army of not less than 110,000 men, to Europe, to make his way, through Thrace and Macedonia, to the assistance of Archelaus in Greece.
This task he successfully accomplished, reduced Amphipolis, which had at first defied his arms, and having thus struck terror into the Macedonians, advanced without further opposition, through that country and Thessaly, into Phocis. Here he at first laid siege to Elatea, but was foiled in his attacks, and relinquished the enterprize, in order to form a junction with Archelaus in Boeotia.
This object he effected: but though the two generals now found themselves at the head of a formidable host, their combined forces were defeated by Sulla near Chaeronea, with great slaughter. (Plut. Sull. 15, 16, 19 ;
Memnon, 3; Paus. 1.20.6
.) From this time we hear no more of Taxiles till B. C. 74, when he commanded (together with Hermocrates) the great army with which Mithridates invaded Paphlagonia and Bithynia, in the autumn of that year. During the subsequent operations at the siege of Cyzicus, he is mentioned as giving the king the most judicious advice. (Appian. Mithr. 70, 72.
) After the defeat of the king and his retreat into his own territories, we again find Taxiles sharing with Diophantus the actual command of the army which Mithridates opposed to Lucullus near Cabeira, B. C. 72, where their skilful arrangements for a time held the balance of success doubtful, and reduced the Roman general to considerable straits for provisions.
At length, however, the campaign was terminated by a total rout, in which the royal camp fell into the hands of the enemy. (Memnon. 4; comp. App. Mith. 79
; Plut. Lucull. 15, 17.
) Taxiles accompanied his royal master on his flight into Armenia, and we subsequently (B. C. 69) find him mentioned as present with Tigranes at the great battle of Tigranocerta, on which occasion he in vain endeavoured to restrain the overweening confidence of the Armenian monarch. (Plut. Lucull. 27.
) This is the last time that his name occurs in history.