Shortly after the death of Sulla the Senate was called upon to grapple more seriously with the problem of the pirates of the Mediterranean, whose activities of recent years had attained such a scale as to threaten vital Roman interests. At the instigation of Mithridates, who saw in them useful auxiliaries to his own navy, and of a new class of political refugees whom the upheavals of the 80s had set adrift in East and West, the corsairs began to build light battleships in place of cutters, and to organise themselves into fleets that did not shrink from attacking or blackmailing entire towns. Further, as their power grew, they took less care to avoid offence against the Roman Republic. They held to ransom Roman citizens of distinction;1 they infested the western seas, which they had previously left unfrequented, and they made alliance with Sertorius in Spain.
KeywordsRoman Interest Greek City Political Refugee Roman Province Political Settlement
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Notes and References
- On the campaigns of Serviiius see H. A. Ormerod, IRS 1922, 35 ff.;Google Scholar
- D. Magie, Roman Rule in Asia Minor (1950), 287 ff.Google Scholar
- On Pompey’s campaign see H. A. Ormerod, Liverpool Annals of Arch. 1923, 46 ff. The nature of his command is uncertain; probably it was an imperium infinitum by sea, but by land it was equal (aequum) to that of any provincial governor for 50 miles inland from the coast. Cf. Velleius, ii. 31. For a revival of the view that it was imperium majus see Sh. Jameson, Historia, 1970, 539 ff. On his settlement see A. H. M. Jones, Cities of E. Rom Prov. 202 ff.Google Scholar
- On Pompey’s settlement of the East see Plut. Pomp. 38; Appian, Mithr. 114–15; Dio Cassius, xxxvii, 7a. Cf. A. H. M. Jones, Cities E. Rom. Prov. 157 ff., 202 ff., 258 ff.; D. Magie, Roman Rule in Asia Minor, ch. xv; A. J. Marshall, YRS 1968, 103 ff.; F. P. Rizzo, Le fonti per la storia della conquista pompeiana della Siria (1963).Google Scholar
- On Parthia see W. W. Tarn, CAH, ix, ch. xiv; N. C. Debevoise, A Political History of Parthia (1938);Google Scholar
- M. A. R. Colledge, The Parthians (1967). On the Parthian horsemen, skilled in the Parthian shot’, fired over the crupper as they pretended to flee, see Tarn, Hellenistic Military and Naval Developments (1930), 73 ff.Google Scholar
- On the implications of Carrhae see D. Timpe, Museum Helveticum 1962, 194 ff.Google Scholar