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Lucullus Chapter 16: Olthacus tries to murdur Lucullus[71 BC]
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There was in Mithridates's camp, one Olthacus a chief of the Dandarians, a barbarous people living near the lake Maeotis, a man remarkable for strength and courage in fight, wise in council, and pleasant and ingratiating in conversation. He, out of emulation, and a constant eagerness which possessed him to outdo one of the other chiefs of his country, promised a great piece of service to Mithridates, no less than the death of Lucullus. The king commended his resolution, and, according to agreement, counterfeited anger, and put some disgrace upon him; whereupon he took horse, and fled to Lucullus, who kindly received him, being a man of great name in the army. After some short trial of his sagacity and perseverance, he found way to Lucullus's board and council. The Dandarian, thinking he had a fair opportunity, commanded his servants to lead his horse out of the camp, while he himself, as the soldiers were refreshing and resting themselves, it being then high noon, went to the general's tent, not at all expecting that entrance would be denied to one who was so familiar with him, and came under pretence of extraordinary business with him. He had certainly been admitted, had not sleep, which has destroyed many captains, saved Lucullus. For so it was, and Menedemus, one of the bedchamber, was standing at the door, who told Olthacus that it was altogether unseasonable to see the general, since, after long watching and hard labor, he was but just before laid down to repose himself. Olthacus would not go away upon this denial, but still persisted, saying that he must go in to speak of some necessary affairs, whereupon Menedemus grew angry, and replied that nothing was more necessary than the safety of Lucullus, and forced him away with both hands. Upon which, out of fear, he straightaway left the camp, took horse, and without effect returned to Mithridates. Thus in action as in physic, it is the critical moment that gives both the fortunate and the fatal effect. |
Event: Lucullus marches East
Horse:a. the animal. b. cavalry.