Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994
|Posted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 1:01 pm Post subject: Mithridates' Defeat
|A Greek farmer has found the remains of a monument marking Mithridates' defeat.
I'm not chortling or anything, but 100,000 to 15,000 and he still lost?
"The site near Orchomenos, about 75 miles northwest of Athens, was recorded by the Greek historian Plutarch. But the actual location of the long-sought monument — originally believed to stand 23 feet — was a mystery until last month, when the farmer plowing his fields stumbled upon a buried column that led researchers to uncover the monument's stone base.
Another Roman victory monument, at nearby Chaeronea, was found in 1990 by students from the University of California, Berkeley.
The 86 B.C. battles at Chaeronea and Orchomenos inflicted a heavy defeat on Mithridates VI, who led the Black Sea kingdom of Pontus in an unsuccessful 20-year campaign against Rome.
The monument was raised by a Roman general, Lucius Cornelius Sulla, who defeated the Asian forces.
"Sulla's forces of 15,000 — I think it is not an exaggeration — faced the massive armies of the King of Pontus Mithridates, whose forces exceeded 100,000," Aravantinos said.
"It's one of these rare times when the ancient texts meet archaeology. For Rome, this battle meant salvation, and for Greece the effect was great because Sulla brutally punished the Greek towns that sided with his enemy."
The column was styled to look like a tree trunk bearing the armor of fallen soldiers from the defeated army, a common style at the time, a culture ministry statement said. "