Monday, 23 April 2018

Mithridates VI of Pontus

Mithridates VI or Mithradates VI was king of Pontus and Armenia Minor in northern Anatolia (now Turkey) from about 120–63 BC.
Map of the Kingdom of Pontus, Before the reign of Mithridates VI (dark purple), after his conquests (purple).
Mithradates VI Of Pontus is often referred to as the Poison King and was a brilliant toxicologist. He was obsessed with poison and took small doses of a specially prepared poison to help him develop a resistance if some should try to poison him. He impressed history by eating poison, murdering his own mother to become king, and as Rome's worst enemy. King Mithridates hated the Roman Empire and sent his army west to crush the "Romans, the enemy of all humanity." He engaged three of the prominent generals from the late Roman Republic in the Mithridatic Wars: Lucius Cornelius Sulla, Lucius Licinius Lucullus and Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus.
In the end, Rome was victorious and King Mithradates VI lost his kingdom and his life. After Pompey defeated him in Pontus, Mithridates VI fled to the lands north of the Black Sea in the winter of 66 BC in the hope that he could raise a new army and carry on the war. His preparations proved to be too harsh on the local nobles and populace, who rebelled against him. He reportedly attempted suicide by poison. This failed because of his immunity to the poison.

According to Appian's Roman History, he then requested his Gaulish bodyguard and friend, Bituitus, to kill him by the sword. Machiavelli praised his military genius. European royalty sought out his secret elixir against poison. His life inspired Mozart's first opera, while for centuries poets and playwrights recited bloody, romantic tales of his victories, defeats, intrigues, concubines, and mysterious death.