The New Student's Reference Work/Mithradates the Great
Mithradates (mith-rä-dā′tēz) the Great, a king of Pontus (111—63 B. C.), Armenia and Parthia, countries in Asia Minor. He became king when about 13. The first Mithradatic War, as it is called, was against Bithynia, whose king was sustained by the Romans. At first Mithradates conquered the Roman provinces in Asia Minor, but finally he had to make peace, giving up all his Asiatic conquests. In the second war, 83-81 B. C., Mithradates was successful; but he was defeated in the third war (74 to 66 B. C.), Pompey finally driving him to his northern territories. Here he planned revenge, but was prevented from carrying out his purpose by the rebellion of his son, when in desperation he ended his life by suicide in 63 B. C. He was one of the strong eastern despots, well-educated, speaking all the 22 languages in use among his subjects. He made a fine collection of gems, pictures and statues.