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Headword: Λούκουλλος
Adler number: lambda,688
Translated headword: Lucullus
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
Lucullus, the consul, was at war with Mithridates the king of Pontus.[1] Landing in the Troad and camping near the precinct of Aphrodite, he thought he saw Aphrodite standing by him during the night, and saying this to him: 'why are you slumbering, great-hearted lion? Fawns are close by'. With a start he realised that the king's fleet was at anchor nearby; he sailed against it and was victorious in the sea-battle, killing everyone including the general Isidoros.[2] Mithridates fled to Tigranes, the king of the Armenians.[3] Lucullus waged war on Tigranes too, capturing most of his cities and laying siege to [sc. the capital] Tigranocerta.[4] Observing the Roman [army] and calculating that it was easy to count, Tigranes uttered this famous aphorism: 'they are many, if envoys, but if soldiers, few'.[5] Nevertheless, coming to grips with the Roman forces, he realised that his multitude was unable to help him. Antiochus the philosopher, at rate, when mentioning this battle says that the sun never looked down on its like.[6] Strabo says[7] that so effortlessly did the Romans bring about the slaughter of this great mass of men that after the engagement they laughed at themselves for having employed arms against such slaves. And Livy[8] said that he was astonished by this battle, for he says that the Roman had never been drawn up [in numbers] so inferior to the enemy; for the victors were a mere twentieth part of the vanquished.
Greek Original:
Λούκουλλος: ὅτι Λούκουλλος, ὁ ὕπατος, Μιθριδάτῃ τῷ τοῦ Πόντου βασιλεῖ ἐπολέμει καὶ προσσχὼν Τρῳάδι καὶ σκηνῶν παρὰ τὸ τῆς Ἀφροδίτης τέμενος ἔδοξε τὴν Ἀφροδίτην νύκτωρ ἐπιστᾶσάν οἱ τόδε εἰπεῖν: τί κνώσσεις, μεγάθυμε λέον; νεβροὶ δέ τοι ἐγγύς. καὶ ὃς ἐξαναστὰς καὶ πυθόμενος ὡς εἴη πλησίον ναυλοχῶν ὁ βασιλικὸς στόλος, ἐπέπλευσεν αὐτῷ καὶ κρατήσας τῇ ναυμαχίᾳ διαφθείρει πάντας καὶ τὸν στρατηγὸν Ἰσίδωρον. ὁ δὲ Μιθριδάτης φεύγει πρὸς Τιγράνην τὸν τῶν Ἀρμενίων βασιλέα. ὁ δὲ Λούκουλλος καὶ πρὸς Τιγράνην ἐξενεγκὼν πόλεμον πόλεις τε εἷλε πλείστας ὅσας καὶ τὰ Τιγρανόκερτα ἐπολιόρκει. ὁ δὲ Τιγράνης ἀπιδὼν ἐς τὸ τῶν Ῥωμαίων καὶ λογισάμενος εὐαρίθμητον εἶναι, τοῦτο δὴ τὸ θρυλλούμενον ἀπεφθέγξατο, ὡς εἰ μὲν πρεσβευταί, πολλοὶ πάρεισιν, εἰ δὲ στρατιῶται, ὀλίγοι. ἀλλ' ὅμως ἐς πεῖραν ἐλθὼν τῶν Ῥωμαϊκῶν δυνάμεων ἔγνω τὸν ὄχλον οὐδὲν ὠφελεῖν δυνάμενον. Ἀντίοχος γοῦν ὁ φιλόσοφος ταύτης ἐπιμνησθεὶς τῆς μάχης οὐκ ἔφη τοιαύτην ἄλλην ἑωρακέναι τὸν ἥλιον: Στράβων δὲ οὕτως ἀκονιτί φησι τὸν πολὺν ἐκεῖνον ἐργάσασθαι τοὺς Ῥωμαίους φόνον, ὡς μετὰ τὴν πεῖραν καταγελᾶν ἑαυτῶν, ἐπ' ἀνδράποδα τοιαῦτα ὅπλοις χρησαμένων. καὶ Λίβιος ἔφη τήνδε τὴν μάχην ἐκπληττόμενος, οὐδέποτε γάρ φησι τοσόνδε πολεμίων ἀποδέοντας Ῥωμαίους παρατάξασθαι: εἰκοστὸν γὰρ δὴ μέρος οἱ νικῶντες ἦσαν τῶν ἡττωμένων.
Notes:
On Lucullus see generally Ernst Badian in OCD(4) s.v. 'Licinius Lucullus, Lucius'; and cf. lambda 687.
The present material on him -- the first part incompetently summarised at kappa 1885 (q.v.) -- is from late Greek historiography but otherwise unidentifiable; Adler suggested John of Antioch; now accepted as his fr.147 Roberto. Adler also pointed out that the latter part of it, from 'Antiochus' onwards, reproduces with minor changes Plutarch, Lucullus 28.8. This is perfectly true, but in fact the first part of it too seems to depend on that source: see notes 2 and 5 below.
[1] On Mithridates (or Mithradates) VI Eupator, see generally B.C. McGing in OCD(4) s.v.
[2] cf. Plutarch, Lucullus 12.
[3] His son-in-law. On Tigranes II 'the Great', see generally B.M. Levick in OCD(4) s.v.
[4] On Tigranocerta (later Martyropolis; present-day Silvan) see T. Rice Holmes, The Roman Republic I, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1923, 409-425 (see web address 1 below); T.A. Sinclair, Eastern Turkey: An Architectural and Archaeological Survey, vol. 3, London: Pindar Press, 1987, 357 ff.; Ronald Syme, Anatolica: Studies in Strabo. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995, 58-65.
[5] See Plutarch, Lucullus 27.4.
[6] In his treatise On gods, says Plutarch. This is Lucullus' friend the Academic philosopher Antiochus of Ascalon (c.130-68), on whom see generally G. Striker in OCD(4) s.v. 'Antiochus(11)'.
[7] Not in the surviving Geography but in the lost History: FGrH 91 F9.
[8] Livy, Periochae 98.
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: biography; constitution; geography; historiography; history; imagery; military affairs; philosophy; religion; zoology
Translated by: David Whitehead on 21 April 2008@05:43:58.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (cosmetics, status) on 21 April 2008@10:59:19.
David Whitehead (augmented notes) on 22 April 2008@03:11:35.
Mehmet Fatih Yavuz (augmented notes, added web address 1.) on 12 December 2010@15:48:49.
David Whitehead on 22 April 2013@04:48:58.
David Whitehead on 5 August 2014@03:51:19.
David Whitehead on 29 January 2015@10:48:53.
David Whitehead on 17 May 2016@04:18:12.

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