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S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.

Lucius Lucullus

  • [A Roman general; born about 110 B.C.; consul, 74; defeated Mithridates, 73, and drove him from Pontus; defeated Tigranes, king of Armenia, 68; superseded by Pompey, 66; retired to private life, and spent his immense fortune in sumptuous entertainments and the patronage of the arts; died 57 or 56 B.C.]
  • Lucullus sups with Lucullus.

  • When he once happened to sup alone, and saw but one table and a very moderate provision, he called the servant who had the charge of these matters, and expressed his dissatisfaction. The servant said he thought, as nobody was invited, his master would not want an expensive supper. “What!” said the latter, “didst thou not know that this evening Lucullus sups with Lucullus?” When this answer was talked of in Rome, Cicero and Pompey invited themselves to sup with him on condition that he should give them nothing but what was provided for himself. Lucullus, on his part, asked permission to tell one of his servants that he should sup that evening in the Apollo, one of his most magnificent rooms. The stated charge for an entertainment in the Apollo was fifty thousand drachmas; and the whole sum was laid out on that evening’s repast, without further orders.—PLUTARCH: Life.
  • At another time he entertained some Greek travellers, who at length desired to be allowed to depart on account of the daily expense they brought upon their host. He smiled, and said, “It is true, my Grecian friends, some part of this provision is for you; but the greatest part is for Lucullus.”—Ibid.
  • A bloodless victory.

  • When he found that he could cut off Mithridates, who had posted himself on Mount Adrastia, Lucullus told his army, which had intrenched itself in a village near by, “In a few days I shall gain you a victory which shall not cost one drop of blood.”
  • During the war with Tigranes, his army appeared ridiculously small to the Armenian king, who said, “If the Romans come as ambassadors, there are too many of them; if as soldiers, too few.” But Lucullus, when warned not to fight on that day, which had been an inauspicious one for Rome, as the anniversary of Cæpio’s defeat by the Cimbri, Oct. 6, 105 B.C., replied, “I will make this day an auspicious one for Rome.” Tigranes was defeated with the loss of one hundred thousand men, whom the Romans despised as slaves: Lucullus had but one man killed, and one hundred wounded.—Ibid.