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The Battle of the Rhyndacus occurred in 73 or 72 B.C. between the Roman Republican forces under Lucullus and the army of the Kingdom of Pontus as part of the Third Mithridatic War.

Lucullus, based in Cilicia, had foregone his planned invasion of Pontus from the south to come west and relieve his co-consul Marcus Aurelius Cotta, whom Mithridates had besieged at Cyzicus on the Sea of Marmara. Lucullus's five legions began an effective counter-siege.

With the onset of winter, Mithridates sought to take advantage of a Roman feint against one of his outposts. He sent his sick, his wounded, and his cavalry east into Bithynia. In the middle of a snowstorm, Lucullus met these forces with ten cohorts along the banks of the Rhyndacus. Plutarch and Appian record 15,000 men and 6,000 horses as being captured during the battle.

Subsequently, Mithridates completely abandoned his position, sailing north while his army marched overland. Lucullus again routed them at the confluence of the Aesepus and Granicus Rivers.

References

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