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  • Print publication year: 1994
  • Online publication date: March 2008

5 - Mithridates

from PART I
Mithridates was reckoned sixteenth in descent from Darius. The son of Mithridates of Cius, also a Mithridates, later surnamed Ktistes, 'founder', escaped eastwards. With six horsemen he entered Paphlagonia, first reaching Cimiata in the Amnias valley. Mithridates' ancestral kingdom was not large, but had economic, military and naval potential. Mithridates championed Hellenic and Iranian elements alike against a Roman influence which, even in the province of Asia, had roots only fifteen years deep. Shortly after his Black Sea conquests, perhaps in 109/8 Mithridates travelled incognito through Bithynia and even into the province of Asia gathering information; not surprisingly he was subsequently believed to have been spying out the land for his wars against Rome. The sacred treasure of Delos was sent under guard to Athens to bolster the prestige of Aristion's regime, and 2,000 troops were sent to ensure its security.
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