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Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 110 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LUCRINUS LACUS, or LuCRINE LAKE, a lake of Campania, Italy, about z m. to the N. of Lake Avernus, and only separated from the sea (Gulf of Pozzuoli) by a narrow strip of land, traversed by the coast road, Via Herculanea, which runs on an embankment, the construction of which was traditionally attributed to Heracles in Strabo's time—and the modern railway. Its size has been much reduced by the rise of the crater of the Montenuovo in 1538. Its greatest depth is about 15 ft. In Roman days its fisheries were important and were let out by the state 1 Ad Q. Fratr. ii. 9 (II), 13. Both sense and words have been much disputed. The general sense is probably that given by the following restoration, " Lucretii poemata, ut scribis, ita sent muftis hominibus ingenii multae etiam (MSS. tamen) artis, sed cum ad umbilicum (omitted in MSS.) veneris, virum to putabo, si Sallustii Empedoclea legeris, hominem non putabo." This would concede Lucretius both genius and art, but imply at the same time that he was not easy reading. treaty with Rome to a treaty with Armenia, and desired simply to have the Euphrates recognized as his western boundary. Mithradates next appealed to the national spirit of the peoples of the East generally, and endeavoured to rouse them to a united effort. The position of Lucullus was critical. The home government was for recalling him, and his army was disaffected. Nevertheless, though continually harassed by the enemy, he persisted in marching northwards from Tigranocerta over the high table-land of central Armenia, in the hope of reaching Artaxata on the Araxes. But the open mutiny of his troops compelled him to recross the Tigris into the Mesopotamian valley. Here, on a dark tempestuous night, he surprised and stormed Nisibis, the capital of the Armenian district of Mesopotamia, and in this city, which yielded him a rich booty, he found satisfactory winter quarters. Meantime Mithradates was again in Pontus, and in a disastrous engagement at Ziela the Roman camp was taken and the army slaughtered to a man. Lucullus was obliged to retreat into Asia Minor, leaving Tigranes and Mithradates masters of Pontus and Cappadocia. The work of eight years of war was undone. In 66 Lucullus was superseded by Pompey. He had fairly earned the honour of a triumph, but his powerful enemies at Rome and charges of maladministration, to which his immense wealth gave colour, caused it to be deferred till 63. From this time, with the exception of occasional public appearances, he gave himself up to elegant luxury, with which he combined a sort of dilettante pursuit of philosophy, literature and art. As a general he does not seem to have possessed the entire confidence of his troops, owing probably to his natural hauteur and the strict discipline which he imposed on them. The same causes made him unpopular with the Roman capitalists, whose sole object was the accumulation of enormous fortunes by farming the revenue of the provinces. Among the Roman nobles who revelled in the newly acquired riches of the East, Lucullus stood pre-eminent. His park and pleasure grounds near Rome, and the costly and laborious works in his parks and villas at Tusculum, near Naples, earned for him from Pompey (it is said) the title of the " Roman Xerxes." On one of his luxurious entertainments he is said to have spent upwards of £2000. He was a liberal patron of Greek philosophers and men of letters, and he collected a valuable library, to which such men had free access. He himself is said to have been a student of Greek literature, and to have written a history of the Marsian war in Greek, inserting solecisms to show that he was a Roman. He was one of the interlocutors in Cicero's Academica, the second book (first edition) of which was called Lucullus. Sulla also entrusted him with the revision of his Memoirs. The introduction of the cherry-tree from Asia into Europe is attributed to him. It appears that he became mentally feeble some years before his death, and was obliged to surrender the management of his affairs to his brother Marcus. The usual funeral panegyric was pronounced on him in the Forum, and the people would have had him buried by the side of Sulla in the Campus Martius, but at his brother's request he was laid in his splendid villa at Tusculum. See Plutarch's Lucullus; Appian's Mithridatic War; the epitomes of the lost books of Livy; and many passages in Cicero. Some allusions will also be found in Dio Cassius, Pliny and Athenaeus. For the Mithradatic wars, see bibliography under MITHRADATES (VI. of Pontus) • and generally G. Boissier, Cicero and his Friends (Eng: trans. by A. D. Jones, 1897; H. Peter, Hist. Rom. Reliquiae, i. p. cclxxxv. ; W. Drumann, eschichte Roms, iv. His Elogium is given in C.I.L. i. 292. to contractors. Its oyster-beds were, as at the present day, renowned; their foundation is attributed to one Sergius Orata, about too B.C. It was also in favour as a resort for pleasure excursions from Baiae (cf. Martial i. 63), and its banks were covered with villas, of which the best known was Cicero's Academia, on the E. bank. The remnants of this villa, with the village of Tripergola, disappeared in 1538. See J. Beloch, Campanien, ed. 2 (Breslau, 1890), 172.
End of Article: LUCRINUS LACUS

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