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summary

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. But until now no modern historian has recounted the full story of Mithradates, the ruthless king and visionary rebel who challenged the power of Rome in the first century BC. In this richly illustrated book--the first biography of Mithradates in fifty years--Adrienne Mayor combines a storyteller's gifts with the most recent archaeological and scientific discoveries to tell the tale of Mithradates as it has never been told before.

The Poison King describes a life brimming with spectacle and excitement. Claiming Alexander the Great and Darius of Persia as ancestors, Mithradates inherited a wealthy Black Sea kingdom at age fourteen after his mother poisoned his father. He fled into exile and returned in triumph to become a ruler of superb intelligence and fierce ambition. Hailed as a savior by his followers and feared as a second Hannibal by his enemies, he envisioned a grand Eastern empire to rival Rome. After massacring eighty thousand Roman citizens in 88 BC, he seized Greece and modern-day Turkey. Fighting some of the most spectacular battles in ancient history, he dragged Rome into a long round of wars and threatened to invade Italy itself. His uncanny ability to elude capture and surge back after devastating losses unnerved the Romans, while his mastery of poisons allowed him to foil assassination attempts and eliminate rivals.

The Poison King is a gripping account of one of Rome's most relentless but least understood foes.

Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-vii
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Illustrations
  2. pp. xi-xiv
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  1. Dramatis Presonae
  2. pp. xv-xviii
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  1. Time Line
  2. pp. xix-xx
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xxi-xxiv
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-12
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  1. 1. Kill Them All, and Let the Gods Sort Them Out
  2. pp. 13-26
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  1. 2. A Savior Is Born in a Castle by the Sea
  2. pp. 27-42
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  1. 3. Education of a Young Hero
  2. pp. 43-72
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  1. 4. The Lost Boys
  2. pp. 73-95
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  1. 5. Return of the King
  2. pp. 96-122
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  1. 6. Storm Clouds
  2. pp. 123-146
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  1. 7. Victory
  2. pp. 147-176
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  1. 8. Terror
  2. pp. 177-195
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  1. 9. Battle for Greece
  2. pp. 196-221
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  1. 10. Killers’ Kiss
  2. pp. 222-243
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  1. 11. Living Like a King
  2. pp. 244-269
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  1. 12. Falling Star
  2. pp. 270-295
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  1. 13. Renegade Kings
  2. pp. 296-322
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  1. 14. End Game
  2. pp. 323-354
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  1. 15. In the Tower
  2. pp. 355-378
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  1. Appendix One
  2. pp. 379-384
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  1. Appendix Two
  2. pp. 385-387
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 388-427
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 428-441
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 442-455
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781400833429
Related ISBN
9780691150260
MARC Record
OCLC
724093535
Pages
480
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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