Scanned text contains errors.
wealthy and powerful city of Sinope, hut it appears that he was unable to reduce it, and it did not fall into the power of the kings of Pontus until long afterwards. (Id. iv. 56.) At an earlier period we find him vying with the other monarchs of Asia in sending magnificent presents to the Rhodians, after the subversion of their city by an earthquake. (Id. v. 90.) The date of his death is unknown, but Clinton assigns it conjecturally to about b. c. 190. He was succeeded by his son Pharnaces. [pharnaces I.]
mithridates V., surnamed euergetes, was the son of Pharnaces I., and grandson of the preceding. (Justin. xxxviii. 5 ; Clinton. F. H. vol. iii. p. 426.) The period of his accession is wholly uncertain ; we only know that he was on the throne in b. c. 154, when he is mentioned as sending an auxiliary force to the assistance of Attalus II. against Prusias, king of Bithynia. (Polyb. xxxiii. 10.) But as much as twenty-five years before (b. c. 179), his name is associated with that of his father in the treaty concluded by Pharnaces with Eumenes, in a manner that would lead one to suppose he was already admitted to some share in the sovereign power. (Polyb. xxvi. 6.) He was the first of the kings of Pontus who entered into a regular alliance with the Romans, whom he supported with some ships and a small auxiliary force during the third Punic war. (Appian, Miihr. ] 0.) At a subsequent period he rendered them more efficient assistance in the war against Aristonicus (b.c. 131—129), and for his services on this occasion was rewarded by the consul M'. Aquillius with the province of Phrygia. The acts of Aquillius were rescinded by the senate on the ground of bribery, but it appears that Mithridates continued in possession of Phrygia till his death. (Just, xxxvii. 1, xxxviii. 5 ; Appian, Miihr. 12, 56, 57; Oros. v. 10 ; Eutrop. iv. 20, who, however, confounds him with his son.) The close of his reign can only be determined approximately, from the statements concerning the accession of his son, which assign it to the year 120. He was assassinated at Sinope by a conspiracy among his own immediate attendants. (Strab. x. p. 477.)
mithridates VI., surnamed eupator, and also dionysus, but more commonly known by the name of the great (a title which is not, however, bestowed on him by any ancient historian), was the son and successor of the preceding. We have no precise statement of the year of his birth, and great discrepancies occur in those concerning his age and the duration of his reign. Strabo, who was likely to be well informed in regard to the history of his native country, affirms that he was eleven years old at the period of his accession (x. p. 477), and this statement agrees with the account of Appian;, that he was sixty-eight or sixty-nine years old at the time of his death, of which he had reigned fifty-seven. Memnon, on the other hand (c. 30, ed. Orell.), makes him thirteen at the time when he ascended the throne, and Dion Cassius (xxxv. 9) calls him above seventy years old in b.c. 68, which would make him at least seventy-five at his death, but this last account is certainly erroneous. If Appian's statement concerning the length of his reign be correct, we may place his accession in b. c. 120.
We have very imperfect information concerning the earlier years of his reign, as indeed during the \vhole period which preceded his wars with the
Romans ; and much of what hats been transmitted to us wears a very suspicious, if not fabulous, aspect. According to Justin, unfortunately our chief authority for the events of this period, both the year of his birth and that of his accession were marked by the appearance of comets of portentous magnitude. The same author tells us that immediately on ascending the throne he found himself assailed by the designs of his guardians (perhaps some of those who had conspired against his father's life), but that he succeeded in eluding all their machinations, partly by displaying a courage and address in warlike exercises beyond his years, partly by the use of antidotes against poison, to which he began thus early to accustom himself. In order to evade the designs formed against his life, he also devoted much of his time to hunting, and took refuge in the remotest and most unfrequented regions, under pretence of pursuing the pleasures of the chase. (Justin. xxxvii. 2.) Whatever truth there may be in these accounts, it is certain that when he attained to manhood, and assumed in person the administration of his kingdom, he was not only endowed with consummate skill in all martial exercises, and possessed of a bodily frame inured to all hardships, as well as a spirit to brave every danger, but his naturally vigorous intellect had been improved by careful culture. As a boy he had been brought up at Sinope, where he had probably received the elements of a Greek education; and so powerful was his memory, that he is said to have learnt not less than twenty-five languages, and to have been able in the days of his greatest power to transact business with the deputies of every tribe subject to his rule in their own peculiar dialect. (Justin. I. c.; Plin. H. N. xxv. 2 ; A. Gell. xvii. 17 ; Val. Max. viii. 7, ext. 16 ; Strab. xii. p. 545.) The first steps of his career, like those of most Eastern despots, were marked by blood. He is said to have established himself in the possession of the sovereign power by the death of his mother, to whom a share in the royal authority had been left by Mithridates Euergetes ; and this was followed by the assassination of his brother. (Memnon, c. 30 ; Appian, Mithr. 112.) As soon as he had by these means established himself firmly on the throne of Pontus (under which name was comprised also a part of Cappadocia and Paphlagonia), he began to turn his arms against the neighbouring nations. On the West, however, his progress was hemmed in by the power of Rome, and the minor sovereigns of Bithynia and Cappadocia enjoyed the all-powerful protection of that republic. But on the East his ambition found free scope. He subdued the barbarian tribes in the interior, between the Euxine and the confines of Armenia, including the whole of Colchis and the province called Lesser Armenia (which was ceded to him by its ruler Antipater), and even extended his conquests beyond the Caucasus, where he reduced to subjection some of the wild Scythian tribes that bordered on the Tanais. The fame of his arms and the great extension of his power led Parisades, king of the Bosporus, as well as the Greek cities of Chersonesus and Olbia, to place themselves under his protection, in order to obtain his assistance against the barbarians of the North—the Sarma-tians and Roxolant Mithridates entrusted the conduct of this war to his generals Diophantus and Neoptolemus, whose efforts were crowned with complete success: they carried their victorious arms