Lucius Licinius Lucullus

In a discussion on another forum, someone tossed out this historical tidbit…

…on further investigation, he seemed to copy this directly from someone’s post on another forum as opposed to any credible source. I tried to Google around for the real story but didn’t find much concrete (I think I read one source as saying Lucius’ armies were 32,000 but I wasn’t sure if they were discussing the same battle). Frankly, the story as presented sounds like a load of hooey. I can accept a smaller army routing a significantly larger one but this tale seems embellished to the point of absurdity. What’s the 'dope?

The “credible” source in this case was Plutarch who wrote a biographical sketch of the man:

It is said that more than a hundred thousand of the enemy’s infantry perished, while of the cavalry only a few, all told, made their escape. Of the Romans, on the other hand, only a hundred were wounded, and only five killed.

Plutarch used this sort of construction frequently - “it is said”, “I have heard”, etc.

In this case I think we can safely assume inflated numbers due to hagiography at work. It’s probably best to just chalk this up to as just an indication of a very substantial victory and largely ignore the raw numbers.

ETA: wiki on the battle

Ah, thanks. I had Wiki’d “Lucius Licinius Lucullus” which gave very little information but didn’t even know the exact name of the battle.

Lucius Licinius Lucullus sum,
Lucius Licinius ego sum;
Lucius Licinius Lucullus sum,
Sum Lucius L. Lucullus…
Versus secundus, ipse primus!

  • Eremitae Hermani