Lucullus Aristocracy

Lucullus (117-56 BC) – Roman general. politician and consul of the Roman Republic.


Lucullus, called Pontus, came from a certain kind of Licinius. His ancestor was the famous tribune of the people Gaius Licinius stolons. On the mother he was related to Metellus Numidia, who comes to his uncle. Later Licinia reached the imperial power – got her Caesar Litsinian Licinius Augustus, went down in history under the name of Licinius, became Holy Roman Emperor. He was a friend and captain of the emperor Galerius, who proclaimed co-emperor Licinius, with the title of August.

Initially, his authority extended only to Retsiyu and Pannonia, but after the death of galleries and Defeat Maximilian Dazoy at Adrianople, he became the ruler of the entire eastern part of the empire. His only opponent, prevented Licinius become a full ruler of the whole empire was Constantine I. For a while they were even allies, and Licinius married his sister. They jointly issued the Edict of Milan (in 313) of the free exercise of Christianity. Constantine added to his possessions Pannonia, Dalmatia, Dacia, Macedonia and Greece, and Licinius – Asia Minor, Syria and Egypt.

But reconciliation was short-lived, and in 324 the feud resumed. Licinius army numbered 150,000 soldiers, 15,000 cavalry and 350 galleys. Constantine contrasted 120,000 cavalry and infantry and 200 ships. In the decisive battle Licinius was defeated, but managed to flee to Byzantium, and from there to Asia Minor, where he assembled a new army. But here, luck was not with him – Constantine defeated him again. Licinius was promised to the preservation of life on the condition that he renounce power. He accepted the conditions of the winner and in 324 took off his imperial robes.

Licinius was sent to Thessalonica. The following year, on the orders of Constantine, he was secretly killed. Lucullus himself was third in the race, who wore the full name of Lucullus. Just name of his grandfather and father. The first was in 151 BC Consul, and the second (102 BC) – governor of Sicily, where he led an unsuccessful fight with the rebels slaves. Position the governor has been very profitable, and her father was able to put together a decent condition. But then he was accused of embezzlement and banished from Rome, which gave rise Lucullus-son embark on a career statesman with proceedings against augur Servilia – the accuser’s father.

Public service

The trial for the rehabilitation of his father Lucullus lost, but this act really liked the Romans, and it has gained popularity. As for the mother of Lucullus – Cecilia, then Plutarch writes that she “had a reputation for bad manners a woman.” In addition to his family had another child – the younger brother Mark. On the relation of Lucullus to his brother says at least the fact that he would not seek any position until it reaches the brother statutory age for the beginning of his career to begin the ascent to power together. Romans and approved this action and more settled down to Lucullus.

After his father Lucullus inherited a very large state (apparently after accusing Lucullus father of abuse, confiscation of property was not).

In the early years Lucullus received an excellent education and speak fluently bilingual. Lucullus military career was distinguished in the Allied war, where he showed courage and proven commitment to Sulla. Soon he became his confidant and sent to Sulla in Asia Minor in the first war with Mithridates. When Sulla, he spent several years in Greece and Asia, performing duties of quaestor.

Gaining ships on behalf of Sulla, Lucullus arrived in Egypt, where he was solemnly greeted the young Ptolemy. He failed to conclude a military alliance with Ptolemy, but the court he had received. On the way to Cyprus Lucullus learned that his enemy is waiting in ambush for the battle which he had not yet had sufficient forces. Then he gave the order to stop into winter quarters, and he, as soon as the wind was favorable, ordered the ships to move to Rhodes, which reached without losses due to their tricks. Adding to the fleet and ships from Rhodes, he ousted from Chios and from the colophon adherents Mithridates, who by that time passed Pergamum and locked himself in the diet.

That’s when Lucullus received an offer from pili which Mithridates besieged by land. At the very Fimbria lacked naval forces to block Mithridates and sea, so he offered Lucullus come to him and share in the glory of the winner of Mithridates. But Lucullus put duty before Sulla above personal glory of the winner and the offer Fimbria refused. Mithridates managed to escape by sea. Going to connect to Sulla, Lucullus defeated the Pontic fleet at the Battle of Tenedos.

84 BC peace was concluded, and hastened to Rome Sulla, Marius and Cinna captured. Lucullus was a confidant of Sulla in Asia, thus avoiding involvement in the massacre of supporters of Mary. In turn, Sulla saw to it that the estate and property of Lucullus in Rome were not injured during the proscriptions. In Rome Lucullus returned after the death of Sulla, who appointed him guardian in the will of his son.

In 74 BC Lucullus was elected consul. Testament Sulla marked the beginning of the hostile relations between him and Pompey, who also aspired to be the receiver of Sulla. After completing the consulate, Lucullus was appointed governor of Cilicia, instead of the deceased ruler Octavius. The beginning of a new war with Mithridates did not have long to wait, and the occasion was found quickly. They became the testament of the deceased king of neighboring Bithynia, who left the kingdom to Rome. Mithridates immediately declared himself the protector of the interests of the heir to the throne and vifiniyskogo invaded with an army into the territory of Bithynia.

The outbreak of war Lucullus led troops on land, and the consul Cotta became chief in the Navy. A new war Mithridates thoroughly prepared taking into account the mistakes of the past.

Military career

Lucullus came from Rome with only six thousand soldiers – one legion. In Asia, he took command of the troops left there still Sulla. These troops were experienced in military affairs, but obstinate and violent. Lucullus had to be difficult, but he was able in a short time to restore order in the army, forcing him to recognize as chief and commander.

Besides troops Lucullus had to deal with other problems. Both in Bithynia, and in the cities of Asia Minor, the local population has suffered a large and illegal exactions from moneylenders and tax collectors. Therefore, the arrival of Mithridates it occurs as a liberation, and Lucullus could expect any of the areas falling. Later, he put things in order here, expelling lenders and protect the public, but so far he had only act exhortation calling for moderation in respect of the locals.

Another problem created him Cotta, who decided to conquer Mithridates himself and not share his glory with Lucullus. Dreaming of triumph, he hastened to the battle, resulting in a defeated on land and at sea, having lost 60 vessels with crews and 4,000 infantry. Now he hoped only to the aid of Lucullus. Under the Lucullus had 30,000 infantry and 2.5 thousand horsemen, which is only a quarter of the enemy troops.

The act provoked condemnation Cotta amongst soldiers, and even voices for to leave it without the help and move the capital of the kingdom of Pontus, who, according to defector Arhilaya, you can take almost without a fight. Lucullus then said:

“I would prefer to rescue from the hands of enemies at least one Roman, rather than taking possession of all the property of the enemy”.

After these words, he gave the order to move towards Mithridates, leaving aside the city sulivshy booty.

Meanwhile, the enemy came to the city of Cyzicus – an important strategic point on the shore of the Sea of ??Marmara. Lucullus went there too. Seeing the huge army of Mithridates, he realized that the battle will be hard, and decided to change tactics. He blocked the only road, thereby depriving the enemy of food supply opportunities. Lucullus sent to the city the news of his close finding, which gave the residents of determination and confidence.

The tactics of Lucullus “beat the enemy on the stomach” – to meet the expectations of the commander. To reduce the number of consumers, Mithridates poisoned part of the army and all the cavalry with baggage into Bithynia, hoping that Lucullus would not pursue them. But miscalculated. Learning of this, Lucullus led ten cohorts and cavalry rushed to the chase and defeated the enemy, capturing 15,000 prisoners and 6,000 horses. In addition, the Romans got a huge baggage and beasts of burden. Lucullus held captive by the enemy camp, and Mithridates was forced to lift the siege of Cyzicus and leave the sea to the west.

Commander of the Emperor

In Cyzicus Lucullus met with deserved honors. Giving soldiers a little rest, he led them back to the east through Bithynia, Pontus. Lucullus was in no hurry, causing misunderstanding among his soldiers as well as the delay made it possible to build a new army of Mithridates. But here Lucullus was not only as a good strategist, but also as a visionary politician and a psychologist He realized that if you do not give a chance to Mithridates, then he goes to his son in law – the mighty king Tigran the Great. “King of Kings”, as called himself Tigran, was looking for an excuse to start a war with Rome, and help relatives in the fight was considered a sacred duty. But knowing Mithridates, Lucullus true calculated that the appeal to the son-in only as a last resort, when there will be no chance of success. Therefore Lucullus and gave him that chance.

In 73 BC Roman troops proclaimed emperor of Lucullus, and for three years he led them into battle against the Pontiacs. But the war was still going on.

Mithridates finally managed to raise a new army, numbering 40,000 infantry and 4000 cavalry choice. Now he fought on their land and decided to take revenge for past defeats. At first he met with success, but the military talent Lucullus soon turned this success in a new defeat.

Mithridates fled, this time to his son-in Armenia. But Tigran did not take revenge for the defeat of the test. Its purpose was not to return to his kingdom of Mithridates. Granting him asylum, Tigran not even allowed Mithridates to his court.

Lucullus could celebrate a victory, but as a Roman he would not allow the enemy to go unpunished. The invasion of unknown country was risky. Lucullus is still limited by the fact that he left garrisons in the cities of the so-called Lesser Armenia and sent to the court of Tigran ambassador, demanding the extradition of Mithridates.

Awaiting Response Lucullus decided to restore order in the cities of Asia, by waging a resolute struggle against the Roman usurers who fleeced taxes urban population. Locals idolized him, and in the other provinces are dreaming to get such a ruler. But his decisive actions Lucullus amassed a large number of enemies among moneylenders. Now they shouted in Rome about his misconduct, seek support from senators, many of whom were their debtors. They tried to find support among the popular leaders and did not want to accept the fact that they lost the opportunity to plunder with impunity in Asian cities.

New War

Finally came the answer from Tigranes. “King of Kings” answered not only refused, but abruptly changed his attitude toward the test. Now he took Mithridates in the palace and began to give him signs of love and respect. Tigran Lucullus told me to give that will not give Mithridates, and “if the Romans go to war, you pay the price.” The messenger handed response Lucullus and told all that he had seen at the court of the Armenian ruler. Lucullus understood that will soon begin a new war, and not sanctioned by the Senate and the people. He went back to Pont, deciding ahead of Tigranes, who intended soon to invade the Asian province of Rome.

The following year, Lucullus led troops in Armenia. His enemies in Rome began to say that Lucullus waging war only to be commander in chief and always profited. But nothing could stop Lucullus – he has already passed the Euphrates and Tigris.

Tigran was in his new capital Tigranakert and treated with complete disregard to this information, considering that easily cope with the Roman army. Sent against Lucullus Mitrobarzan was ordered – “most of the commander (Lucullus) take him alive, and the rest crush.” This battle was won by Lucullus – Mitrobarzan fell on the battlefield in arms, and his soldiers were killed while fleeing.

Romans moved to Tigranakert. King Tigranes went north to gather more soldiers. Lucullus did not go after him, and laid siege to the capital rich, believing that Tigran come back here and give a decisive battle. And he was not mistaken. Tigran returned to the capital in the autumn led 20 thousand archers, 55,000 horsemen and about 2 thousand infantry. Although the numerical superiority on the side of Tigranes, Lucullus divided his army. Part of it, 6,000 Marines, he left to continue the siege of Tigranakert, and he took all the cavalry and 24 cohort – about 10 thousand infantry – marched on the main forces of Tigranes.

Knowing the tactics of Armenians, Lucullus sent the first blow to their heavy cavalry, ordering swords hack tibia horsemen, because the legs were the only place which is not protected by armor and spears to beat – their only weapon. Romans were ordered as soon as possible to get involved in the martial arts, to which Armenians are not accustomed to acting from a distance, using the arrows.

Lucullus himself was at the forefront of the Romans, their inspiring example of fighters and giving them confidence in victory.

Romans victory was easy: Armenian heavy cavalry to flight almost immediately, but because of the large troop concentrations Armenians could not retreat, mixed all ranks and were prey to the forces of Lucullus. During the battle, the Romans lost 100 wounded and killed 5 people. The enemy lost over 100 thousand infantry and almost all riders. King Tigranes escaped, but was soon taken by storm and Tigranakert where Roman soldiers found a rich booty.

Giving a little rest soldiers, Lucullus sent army in pursuit of Tigran. Armenians tried to avoid the collision with the Romans, but when this could not be done, the victory is always accompanied by the army of Lucullus. Soon the Romans marched to Artaxata – the capital of Great Armenia. Tigran tried to stop the Romans two kilometers from the capital by the river Arsan. Battle of Artaxata was also won by Lucullus. Way to the capital of Great Armenia was free.

Loss of power

Inspired by the new victory Lucullus rushed forward, but only one. The soldiers are tired of the protracted war and began to protest. And then there’s nature came to the aid of Tigranes. Came unexpectedly strong cold snap, snow sprinkled continually, frost bound river. Lucullus in vain asked the soldiers to endure hardship and promised a quick victory. All his arguments are met with a deep murmur troops, who could at any moment turn into open rebellion. And before reaching the capital, Lucullus was forced to turn back.

Back in warmer climes, the soldiers did not want to fight anymore and demanded a speedy return. Took advantage of Mithridates, followed by the Romans and purified from the garrison city of Pontiac. Intensified and Tigran, began moving south with a new large army. And in Rome intensified detractors Lucullus and began to accuse him of treason, arguing that he was deliberately prolonging the war for personal gain.

67 BC Lucullus was removed from command of the army and control the eastern provinces. Lucullus was replaced by Pompey, who could only finish what has already been done by Lucullus, – the best troops of Mithridates had already been defeated, and the Pontic fleet destroyed. Lucullus and Pompey meeting for the transfer of cases began very peacefully and amicably, but then relations between the two generals noticeably deteriorated. Pompey did not want to recognize the military merits of Lucullus, away from him and forbade all soldiers to obey his orders. Even reward and punish subordinates Lucullus was not allowed.

The following year, Lucullus returned to Rome. But here, waiting for him nelaskovy reception – his enemies attacked him with numerous allegations, but the grounds for the trial could not find. They have achieved what Lucullus was denied in triumph.

Three years in the Senate sought Lucullus triumph. He became embroiled in a political game. Achieve triumph helped him not only to the people of requests influential citizens of Rome, but also the expectation of his return from Asia Pompey, which greatly increased. Senate expected that Lucullus head the Senate opposition against Pompey, but this calculation is not justified. In scale triumph of Lucullus did not the most spectacular, but what has been presented to the people, could not leave the slightest doubt in the leadership talent Lucullus. Triumph ended a magnificent treat for the residents of Rome, organized by Lucullus. After the triumph of Lucullus no longer aspired to political activities and soon left the forum and the curia.

Recent years

So for fifty-four years of Lucullus was out of work. He devoted the rest of his time building and various collectibles.