420 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.
be joined in political fortunes with the East or the West-with the Empire having its seat
beyond the Caspian, or with the Republic having its seat on the Tiber.
For Rome had now appeared. She had boldly put forth her claim to the mastery of Europe.
One after another of the adjacent countries had yielded to her sway. Greece, in 196 B. C.
had become a Roman province. Fifty years later Carthage was finally obliterated. The
countries of the Western and Central Mediterranean presented no further obstacle, and
Roman ambition must pass over into Asia Minor and the still remoter East. As far back as
B. C. 190, Antiochus III, of Syria, was ruinously routed on the field of Magnesia. He was
obliged to accept what terms soever the conqueror imposed. He was compelled to relinquish
his authority over a large part of his kingdom; to give up his elephants of war; to
surrender-or promise to surrender--the fugitive Hannibal of great renown; and to give his
own son as a hostage for the fulfillment of the treaty. Thus did the Roman Republic
succeed in obtaining a foothold in Asia, and it was the custom of that stern Power not to
relinquish what had once been acquired. As soon should we expect the she-wolf nurse of the
Twin Robbers to give up her prey through the possession of sentiment.
We pause not in this connection to narrate the progress of events among the States of Asia
Minor whereby Rome and Parthia were first brought into relations. At the first the
connection brought friendship rather than antipathy. Mithridates V, king of Pontus, had
suddenly risen to great power, and about the close of the second and the beginning of the
first century B. C., had constructed an Empire out of a petty kingdom in Asia Minor. He
had made himself and his armies a terror in all the countries west of Armenia. A part of
that kingdom was added to his dominions. Half of Paphlagonia was snatched away. Galatia
was overrun and conquered, and Cappadocia was threatened by his ambitions.
The king of Armenia was at this time that Tigranes whom we have mentioned before. He seems
to have. favored the project of the Icing of Pontus, and to have made an alliance,
political and matrimonial, with him. Now it was, namely, in the year B. C. 92, that the
Roman Proconsul Sulla was sent with an army into Asia to thwart the Pontine monarch in his
plans. It happened that the Eastern army with whom the Consul first came to battle was the
Armenitn contingent. This force was routed by the Romans, and Cappadocia was saved from
the grip of Mithridates V. As for Tigranes, king of Armenia, he had in the meantime
renounced any ties of friendship or political relation with the king of Parthia. He had
gone to war with that personage, and had succeeded for the time in making himself master
of so much of Armenia as had belonged for nearly a century to the Parthian Empire. Thus
did Tigranes become an enemy to both Mithridates II and Rome.
He who is the enemy of your enemy is, in politics and war, your friend. It thus came to
pass that an amicable relation was established between that Parthian king and the Roman
Proconsul in Asia. The former sent to the latter as his ambassador a nobleman named
Orobazus, bearing a proposal for a league between Parthia and Rome. The well-known policy
of the Roman Senate of reserving all treaty rights to itself, forbade Sulla to do more
than to entertain the Parthian ambassador and to encourage by friendliness the overtures
made by his master. But before any positive treaty could be effected between the leading
powers of Europe and Asia, the ambitious and aggressive Tigranes was able to work much
havoc along the western borders of the Parthian Empire. A war of nearly ten years
duration, extending to the year B. C. 83, ensued, in the course of which the Armenian king
was almost uniformly victorious. He made successful campaigns into Upper Mesopotamia, and
tore away no inconsiderable territory from the dominions of Mithridates. He established
and consolidated his kingdom on an independent basis. For a season he exer-