F Heritage History | Story of Rome by Mary Macgregor
Contents 
Front Matter The Lady Roma The She-Wolf The Twin Boys Numitor's Grandson The Sacred Birds The Founding of Rome The Sabine Maidens The Tarpeian Rock The Mysterious Gate The King Disappears The Peace-Loving King Horatius Slays His Sister Pride of Tullus Hostilius King Who Fought and Prayed The Faithless Friend A Slave Becomes a King Cruel Deed of Tullia Fate of the Town of Gabii Books of the Sibyl Industry of Lucretia Death of Lucretia Sons of Brutus Horatius Cocles Mucius Burns Right Hand The Divine Twins The Tribunes Coriolanus and His Mother The Roman Army in a Trap The Hated Decemvirs The Death of Verginia The Friend of the People Camillus Captures Veii The Statue of the Goddess Schoolmaster Traitor Battle of Allia The Sacred Geese The City Is Rebuilt Volscians on Fire Battle on the Anio The Curtian Lake Dream of the Two Consuls The Caudine Forks Caudine Forks Avenged Fabius among the Hills Battle of Sentinum Son of Fabius Loses Battle Pyrrhus King of the Epirots Elephants at Heraclea Pyrrthus and Fabricius Pyrrhus is Defeated Romans Build a Fleet Battle of Ecnomus Roman Legions in Africa Regulus Taken Prisoner Romans Conquer the Gauls The Boy Hannibal Hannibal Invades Italy Hannibal Crosses the Alps Battle of Trebia Battle of Lake Trasimenus Hannibal Outwits Fabius Fabius Wins Two Victories Battle of Cannae Despair of Rome Defeat of Hasdrubal Claudius Enjoy a Triumph Capture of New Carthage Scipio Sails to Africa Romans Set Fire to Camp Hannibal Leaves Italy The Battle of Zama Scipio Receives a Triumph Flamininus in Garlands Death of Hannibal Hatred of Cato for Carthage The Stern Decree Carthaginians Defend City Destruction of Carthage Cornelia, Mother of Gracchi Tiberius and Octavius Death of Tiberius Gracchus Death of Gaius Gracchus The Gold of Jugurtha Marius Wins Notice of Scipio Marius Becomes Commander Capture of Treasure Towns Capture of Jugurtha Jugurtha Brought to Rome Marius Conquers Teutones Marius Mocks the Ambassadors Metellus Driven from Rome Sulla Enters Rome The Flight of Marius Gaul Dares Not Kill Marius Marius Returns to Rome The Orator Aristion Sulla Besieges Athens Sulla Fights the Samnites The Proscriptions of Sulla The Gladiators' Revolt The Pirates Pompey Defeats Mithridates Cicero Discovers Conspiracy Death of the Conspirators Caesar Captured by Pirates Caesar Gives up Triumph Caesar Praises Tenth Legion Caesar Wins a Great Victory Caesar Invades Britain Caesar Crosses Rubicon Caesar and the Pilot The Flight of Pompey Cato Dies Rather than Yieldr Caesar is Loaded with Honours Nobles Plot against Caesar The Assassination of Caesar Brutus Speaks to Citizens Antony Speaks to Citizens The Second Triumvirate Battle of Philippi Death of Brutus Antony and Cleopatra Battle of Actium Antony and Cleopatra Die Emperor Augustus

Story of Rome - Mary Macgregor




The Orator Aristion

Mithridates, the king against whom Sulla went to fight in 87 B.C., was a brave and skilful commander. His kingdom, Cappadocia Pontica, was a district on the south shore of the Black Sea.

The king who ruled before Mithridates came to the throne had tried to enlarge his kingdom, but more than once the Romans had thwarted his ambitious plans.

When Mithridates began to reign in 111 B.C., he knew that no one save the Romans would be strong enough to keep him from adding to his kingdom.

The king proved himself so strong and so good a general that the Greek towns in Asia Minor resolved to throw aside the friendship of Rome and ally themselves with the King of Pontus. It was this revolt that Sulla, with his five legions, went to Greece to subdue.

It was ungrateful of Athens to forsake Rome, for she had been treated most honourably by her in the past, and still was enjoying many privileges when she rebelled.

But the Athenians wished their city to be more glorious in the future than she had been even in the past, and they believed that Mithridates would help them to achieve this better than Rome. So an ambassador named Aristion was sent to the King of Pontus to offer him the friendship of Athens.

The king received Aristion with great respect, and gave to him gifts of gold. Above all, when he took leave of Mithridates, he was presented with a ring, on which was engraved a portrait of the king himself.

When the ambassador returned to Athens and showed the gifts which he had received, the enthusiasm of the people knew no bounds. He was escorted by crowds to the Peiræus, the port of Athens. Here, in the citadel, he was asked to tell what had taken place at the court of the king.

Now Aristion was a great orator, and he knew that his words would influence the people to do as he wished.

So first he reminded them of all the wrongs that Athens had suffered from the Romans, and if these wrongs were not all real, Aristion made them seem so by his eloquence.

Then he spoke of Mithridates, and of the king he had nothing but good to tell, while the magnificence of his court, Aristion modestly declared, baffled even his powers of description.

Before Aristion had finished his oration, the magistrates of Athens had determined to proclaim their republic restored, and to form an alliance with Mithridates. Aristion was appointed chief minister of war, and you shall hear how sadly he failed to do his duty when trouble befell the city.

Sulla having landed with his army at Epirus, at once marched to Athens, for by this time both the city and the Peiræus were strongly fortified, and held by Archelaus, the general of Mithridates.

The Roman commander determined to besiege the citadel, and to surround Athens with soldiers, to prevent the citizens from escaping, or provisions from being sent to their relief.

As he had neither money nor material for the siege, Sulla robbed the temples of Greece of their treasures.

Timber was brought from far and near in carts drawn by mules, ten thousand, it is said, in number. When even this was found not to be enough, Sulla ordered the sacred groves to be cut down, as well as the trees which surrounded the famous academy of Athens.

But, in spite of the forts he built and the trenches he dug, Sulla could not take the Peiræus.

As they worked, the Roman soldiers were often interrupted by Archelaus, who with his troops would sally out of the citadel to attack them.

At length Sulla was convinced that without a fleet he need not hope to take the citadel, for the harbour was commanded by the ships of Mithridates.