Mithradates VI

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Mithradates VI

(Mithradates Eupator) (mĭthrəkdā`tēz), c.131 B.C.–63 B.C., king of PontusPontus,
ancient country, NE Asia Minor (now Turkey), on the Black Sea coast. On its inland side were Cappadocia and W Armenia. It was not significantly penetrated by Persian or Hellenic civilization. In the 4th cent. B.C.
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, sometimes called Mithradates the Great. He extended his empire until, in addition to Pontus, he held CappadociaCappadocia
, ancient region of Asia Minor, watered by the Halys River (the modern Kizil Irmak), in present E central Turkey. The name was applied at different times to territories of varying size.
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, PaphlagoniaPaphlagonia
, ancient country of N Asia Minor, between Bithynia and Pontus on the Black Sea coast, in modern Turkey. A mountainous district with the Halys as its chief river, Paphlagonia had a string of Greek colonies (including Sinope) along its coast.
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, and the Black Sea coast beyond the Caucasus. The increasing importance of Rome in Asia Minor brought Mithradates and the republic into open conflict. The First Mithradatic War (88 B.C.–84 B.C.) was the result. Mithradates conquered the whole of Asia Minor (except for a few cities) in 88 B.C. In 85 B.C. the Roman general Fimbria attacked him in Asia Minor, and he was defeated simultaneously with the destruction of his army in Greece. In the resultant treaty Mithradates paid an indemnity and gave up all but Pontus and a few colonies. The Second Mithradatic War (83 B.C.–81 B.C.) was begun by Sulla's lieutenant Lucius Murena, who desired glory. Murena was repelled by Mithradates and was superseded by Aulus Gabinius, who made peace with the king of Pontus. The Third Mithradatic War (74 B.C.–63 B.C.) began when Mithradates resolved to prevent Rome from annexing Bithynia, which had been left to Rome by a royal will. LucullusLucullus
(Lucius Licinius Lucullus Ponticus) , c.110 B.C.–56 B.C., Roman general. He served in the Social War under Sulla, who made him his favorite. He fought in the East (87 B.C.–85 B.C.), always loyal to Sulla, who made him curule aedile (79 B.C.
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 was sent against Mithradates, who was finally forced to flee to Armenia. In 68 B.C. the Romans invaded Armenia, but were forced to retreat. Mithradates returned to Pontus, and Lucullus was replaced (66 B.C.) by PompeyPompey
(Cnaeus Pompeius Magnus) , 106 B.C.–48 B.C., Roman general, the rival of Julius Caesar. Sometimes called Pompey the Great, he was the son of Cnaeus Pompeius Strabo (consul in 89 B.C.), a commander of equivocal reputation.
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. Pompey soon drove Mithradates eastward, and the king fled to the Crimea, the last of his provinces. He had a slave kill him. His fall is the subject of Racine's Mithridate. Pharnaces IIPharnaces II
, d. 47 B.C., king of Pontus, son of Mithradates VI. In the Roman civil war he overran Colchis and central Asia Minor. Julius Caesar came from Egypt and defeated (47 B.C.
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 was his son and TigranesTigranes
, c.140 B.C.–55 B.C., king of Armenia (c.96 B.C.–55 B.C.), called also Tigranes I and Tigranes the Great. By an alliance with his father-in-law, Mithradates VI of Pontus, he was able to extend his conquests across Asia Minor.
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, his son-in-law. The name is also spelled Mithridates.


See biography by A. Mayor (2009).

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Mithridates VI

, Mithradates VI
called the Great. ?132--63 bc, king of Pontus (?120--63). He waged three wars against Rome (88--84; 83--81; 74--64) and was finally defeated by Pompey: committed suicide
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005