chapter  VI
30 Pages

Confronting the king: the war with Tigranes

Plainly the situation called for the exercise of certain qualities such as tact and finesse, for instance, but these Lucullus proved unable to supply. In his letter requesting the extradition of

Mithridates, Lucullus addressed Tigranes as ‘King’. This could not but be interpreted as an insult by a man who styled himself ‘King of Kings’ and who was actually waited upon by vassal kings whom he had conquered. So it happened that when Tigranes came to make reply he repaid Lucullus with his own base coin by omitting his title of imperator.4