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Smykov E. V. Rome and Cappadocia on the eve of the Mithridatic Wars: from inaction to intervention. Ancient World and Archaeology, 2023, vol. 21, iss. 21, pp. 140-168. DOI: https://doi.org/10.18500/0320-961X-2023-21-140-168

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Rome and Cappadocia on the eve of the Mithridatic Wars: from inaction to intervention

Autors: 
Smykov Evgeniy Vladimirovich, Saratov State University
Abstract: 

The article examines the relations between Rome and the Kingdom of Cappadocia on the eve of the First Mithridatic War. Although allied relations between them had existed for several decades, Rome showed little interest in events in this remote region. Only the rise of Pontus and the desire of Mithridates Eupator to strengthen his influence here prompted the Senate to take more active action. It is generally accepted that Gaius Marius studied the situation in the East on the spot during his trip to Pessinunt; the article suggests that it is more likely to associate this with the Asian mission of the Princeps Senatus M. Aemilius Scaurus. Little is known about it, but this does not give reason not to take into account this fact itself. The direct intervention of Rome occurred in connection with the election of a new monarch after the suppression of the Ariaratid dynasty. This intervention was carried out by L. Cornelius Sulla in the interests of Ariobarzan, who was elected king. The article accepts the opinion that Sulla, fulfilling the task entrusted to him, was in the East not for one year, but for two or three. However, the success of his mission was temporary, since later Mithridates, in alliance with Tigranes the Great, king of Armenia, again invaded Cappadocia. The result of all these events was the war of Rome with Mithridates. Ariobarzan had no opportunities for independent politics and was completely dependent on the support of Rome, without which his kingdom would simply disappear from the political map.

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Received: 
12.11.2022
Accepted: 
19.11.2022
Published: 
27.04.2023