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Free ePub î mobi The Poison King ó The Life and Legend of Mithradates ✓ Join or create book clubs ã ❰Read❯ ➪ The Poison King: The Life and Legend of Mithradates, Rome’s Deadliest Enemy Author Join or create book clubs – EyltransfeRy who began to challenge Rome’s power in 120 BC Machiavelli praised his military genius Kings coveted his secret elixir again Mass murderer freedom fighter opportunist comeback kid serial escapee poison mixerThe Romans and their taxmen the publicani’s weren’t well known for a gentile approach in their conuered territories This set the stage for Mithradates rise that eventually reuired the involvement of Rome’s most brilliant generals Sulla and Pompey to contain the drawn out conflictI simply love it when an ancient history expert digs out a not so obvious specific area person in great detail And that is what happened in this book while it lifts the veil of fiction and propaganda around Mithradates’ character While covering Mithradates' boyhood until his dramatic last stand in his 70s the book narrative takes you through the intrigue of Hellenistic kingdoms of Asian Minor the court mechanics and perhaps most of all the splendourObviously the book is based on sparse and incomplete records and there are large parts of Mithradates life that have remained undocumented As such there is a level of subjective interpretation by the author I have no doubt this angers academics But to me it works well the author is not presenting her narrative as fact And it is very refreshing to magnify this late Roman Republican period from the Asian Minor point of view rather than the umpteenth book modern scholar based on interpretations of Livy and CiceroSo I really enjoyed this fascinating account of the period and conflict The narrative is simply engaging and it reads very wellI would however point to the limited amount of illustrations The is a relatively large amount of illustrations even scattered through the book The coloured centrefold photos and geographic maps are a helpful visual aid but it remains pretty limited in my view Books like these would massively benefit from timeline graphs dress examples schematics of cities buildings and art just to bring the imagination to life even Pictures and graphs often say than a 1000 words Yet this appears to remain a taboo in academic circles even in this digital age where digital books defy costly and complex printing restrictions
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St poison Poets celebrated his victories intrigues and panache But until now no one has told the full story of his incredible li Mithradates VI 135 to 63 BC became in 120 or 119 BC King of Pontus – a kingdom on the South East coast of the Black Sea He would become one of the most persistent opponents of the Roman Republic Most of the information we have about him comes from Roman sources on which Adrienne Mayor of course draws heavily; and there is comparatively little from the King’s side from which her book is written It means that she has filled in the gaps with some speculations of her own for which there is no evidence There is a certain amount of repetition and many references to myths oracles and omens which surrounded Mithradates and of which he made use in the self image he promoted There are also many extensive excursions into history some centuries before Mithradates and also detailed accounts of earlier revolts against Rome in the region of which Mithradates must have known and which are likely to have had an influence on his own thinkingHe came to hate the Roman direct rule over what the province of Asia today Western Turkey with its settlers its financial extortions and its enslavement of many of the people there and its indirect rule over puppet states between that province and Pontus This hatred was shared by vast numbers of subjugated Anatolians who supported him in his struggleMithradates claimed descent from Cyrus the Great of Persia on his father’s side and from one of the Hellenic Alexander the Great’s generals and successors on his mother’s side Over and over again he modelled himself on what he had learnt about AlexanderAlready in his childhood Mithradates seems to have been interested in poisons and in their antidotes At the age of 15 he succeeded his father Mithradates V who died of poisoning in 120 BC The suspicion was that ueen Laodice now the Regent for her under age son was responsible for her husband’s murder Her favourite son was Mithradates’ younger brother and Mithradates feared for his life He left the capital Sinope with a small group of young friends on a “hunting expedition” – they visited strongholds that remained loyal to the late King and now to his son He stayed away for five or seven years before returning to Sinope to begin his reign and to deal with his enemies Though bloodless the nature of his take over is not known and Mayor again speculates His mother died in prison and the younger brother did not survive her Mayor surmises they were poisonedLater in the book there is a long chapter on Mithradates’ researches and uses of poisons and antidotes – the latter often consisting of tiny doses of the poisons taken over time which then bestowed immunity against larger doses Mithradates himself became immune to poisons He also experimented on criminals for further research and poisoned many of his enemies or suspected enemies like one of his own sons either surreptitiously or officially as capital punishmentHe now set about extending his territories Within twenty years he had trebled their size apparently without alarming the Romans with whom his mother had made an alliance He eventually controlled lands around three sides of the Black Sea and became fabulously wealthy The nomadic tribes North of the Black Sea provided mercenaries for his armies; and the powerful Black Sea pirates became a supplementary navy for him He allied with Colchis today’s Georgia and with the powerful Kingdom of Armenia ruled by his son in law Tigranes II with whose help he acuired Cappadocia on Pontus’ southern borders which had been a puppet of Rome Tensions then arose over two other Roman puppet states between the Roman province of Asia and Pontus Bithynia and Phrygia The Romans encouraged the Bithynian to attack Pontus and this finally led to the first of the three Mithradatic Wars in 89 BC for which Mithradates had long preparedThe Pontic army using chariots with scythes attached to their wheels wrought havoc on the Bithynian army in a battle that does not appear to have a name either in the book or on the internet His armies now swept over most of Anatolia Generously he set all the prisoners of war free; but he felt no such mercy for the Romans The grasping general of the Roman troops was captured and gruesomely killed by having molten gold poured down his throat; and this was followed on one day in 88 BC by the planned massacre by his troops and by those who had chafed under Roman rule of some 80000 Roman men women and children all over Anatolia and the Aegean islands which Mithradates had captured even those who had sought sanctuary in temples were not spared20000 Romans were massacred when in the following year Mithradates conuered Delos His armies invaded and occupied Greece; but the Romans under Sulla drove them out again then marched into Anatolia and recovered not only the province of Asia but also Cappadocia and Bithynia as client states Sulla was also engaged in a civil war with Marius in Italy The Senate had outlawed him and he was anxious to return to Italy That meant he could not pursue the war against Pontus itself So the first Mithradatic War ended in a peace at Dardanus 85 BC Mithradates had to surrender Greece Cappadocia and Bithynia Sulla then returned to Rome and after having massacred at least 53000 of his enemies there became dictator in 81 BCMurena the commander Sulla had left in charge of the Roman troops in Anatolia broke the Treaty of Dardanus and attacked Pontus in 83 BC launching the Second Mithradatic War 83 to 81 BC But Mithradates routed Murena’s army and recovered much of the territory he had lostIn 74 BC the Third Mithradatic War began The Romans sent Lucullus to fight Mithradates This war went badly for Mithradates He ordered one of his eunuchs to kill most of his female relatives and concubines to stop them falling into Roman hands while he himself with 2000 horsemen fled into Armenia 72 BC Tigranes gave him a further 10000 cavalrymenLucullus demanded that Tigranes hand over the fugitive Tigranes refused and Lucullus invaded that mighty Empire with an army of 15000 to 20000 men Though hugely outnumbered by the Armenian army Lucullus defeated it outside Tigranocerta the capital and then destroyed it so thoroughly that its exact location is now unknown But he failed to capture either Tigranes or Mithradates They recruited fighters including s one of whom Hypsicratea became Mithradates’ lover faithful companion and eventually his wife They adopted new tactics hit and run attacks avoiding the set battles at which the Romans were so good and Lucullus’ army became demoralized In 67 BC the bulk of the army refused to move from the town of Nisibis which they had capturedThis gave Mithradates and Tigranes the chance to invade Anatolia Mithradates recovered Pontus Lucullus followed him there but again his troops refused to obey his orders The Senate relieved him of his command and replaced him with the charismatic Pompey who arrived with fresh troops Pompey won a battle in 66 BC but Mithradates again managed to escape with about 2000 to 3000 soldiers This time Tigranes refused to give him shelter and the little group fled to Colchis modern Georgia then somehow crossed the Caucasus and reached the Bosporan kingdom the Crimea which Mithradates had bestowed on his son Machares Machares had however made peace with the Romans Terrified by the approach of his angry father he killed himself and Mithradates controlled the Bosporan kingdom 64 BC He made Pharnaces Machares’ younger brother his heirHe prepared another attack on Rome in Italy but his preparations for war and the taxes he levied for this purpose were unpopular in the Crimea Pharnaces worried about what his father was planning and rebelled The local population demanded Mithradates’ abdication and acclaimed Pharnaces as king Besieged in a tower with two of his teenage daughters Mithradates poisoned the three of them The girls died immediately but Mithradates was too protected by the antidotes he had taken and he had to ask his bodyguard to stab him to death 63 BC Nothing if known about what happened to HypsicrateaThe author finishes her account by another extraordinary piece of speculation was it possible that Mithradates did not die in 63 BC but that he and Hypsicratea escaped into Scythia and lived for many years?
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The Poison King The Life and Legend of Mithradates Rome’s Deadliest EnemyA National Book Award finalist for this epic work Adrienne Mayor delivers a gripping account of Mithradates the ruthless visiona The author supposedly writes a “history” to do justice to the much maligned Mithradates In the process she writes an almost comical account of this historic figure She portrays him as freedom loving inspirational generally benign messiah Mayor continually justifies Mithradates heinous acts He kills his mother oh well she had it coming she had tried to poison him as a child He sends an eunuch to murder his harem before the Romans get their hands on them Oh well he saved his harem from a fate worse than death He kills 80000 civilian Romans in one of the greatest terrorist attacks in history Oh well those Romans were really hated because they were greedy imperialistic pigsOf course she portrays the Romans as generally corruptgreedyuncouthblood thirsty beasts Mayor even interprets a bust of Sulla as possessing the physiognomy of an arrogant and corrupt individual he looks just like a seriousno nonsense Roman to me The author continually picks and chooses the ancient sources that support her biased approach often taking them out of context If you actually love history skip this book better yet run from this book If you are into revisionistsocial justice history then you will love this book