Read The Last King: Rome's Greatest Enemy by Michael Curtis Ford Online


To the Romans, the greatest enemy the Republic ever faced was not the Goths or Huns, nor even Hannibal, but rather a ferocious and brilliant king on the distant Black Sea: Mithridates Eupator VI, the last king of Pontus, known to history as Mithridates the Great. At age eleven, he inherited a small mountain kingdom of wild tribesmen whom his wicked mother governed in his pTo the Romans, the greatest enemy the Republic ever faced was not the Goths or Huns, nor even Hannibal, but rather a ferocious and brilliant king on the distant Black Sea: Mithridates Eupator VI, the last king of Pontus, known to history as Mithridates the Great. At age eleven, he inherited a small mountain kingdom of wild tribesmen whom his wicked mother governed in his place. Sweeping to power at twenty-one-years-old, he proved to be a military genius and a man intent on ousting the Romans from the Black Sea coast territories. For over forty years, Rome sent its greatest generals to contain Mithridates, but time and again he embarrassed the Romans with devastating defeats. Each time Rome declared victory, Mithridates considered it merely a strategic retreat and soon came roaring back with a more powerful army than before.From the author of the acclaimed The Ten Thousand and Gods and Legions, comes a fascinating recreation of a wickedly cunning and ruthless king who would stop at nothing to protect his people-and who would go down in history as one of the greatest and most formidable warriors of the ancient world....

Title : The Last King: Rome's Greatest Enemy
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780312936150
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 414 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Last King: Rome's Greatest Enemy Reviews

  • Emelia
    2019-06-07 12:33

    For starters The Last King: Rome's Greatest Enemy is a suburb read on a man that there is literally almost no information on, outside of Wikipedia *sighs*. In my search I have found minimal information and that is a shame. But victors write history yes? Many think that Rome's greatest enemies were Hannibal or Jugurtha of Africa. However that is simply not true. King Mithridates Eupator IV of Pontus was the biggest thorn in the side of Rome, so much so that Rome itself gave him the title of Mithridates the Great. And upon his death celebrated "as if ten thousand enemies had died in his person." Pompey granted Mithridates a grand burial as if he were the greatest king known, and Cicero publicly hailed Mithridates as the greatest king of all time "against whom Rome had waged war and the most powerful monarch since Alexander." Mithridates was Persian by birth but was Greek in language and culture and strove to unite the two into one and create a wondrous hub of knowledge and beauty. He was very well educated and knew over 80 languages, was versed in poetry, music, and refined the art of war. He was remarkable in that most of his conquests were based on propaganda. Meaning he would typically waltz into a city and because of his reputation, they met him at the gates with key's to the city so to speak. Most of the cities he "conquered" were more than happy to welcome him as they were tired of Roman rule. And he treated them with respect and dignity.Mithridates was also known as "The Poison King" because from an early age he would sprinkle arsenic on his food to build up a tolerance to the poison because, lets face it, everyone during that era was always trying to kill off Kings and Princes, mostly their families or their own Mothers. He also drank a draught his healer Papias prepared for him which contained the blood of ducks/geese that feed on the young reeds that were highly poisonous . There we have the beginning of antidotes. A brilliant move in my book, just to name one.Papias was also instrumental in the "Asiatic Vespers." where Mithridates tapped into local discontent with the Romans and their taxes to orchestrate the execution of an alleged 80,000 Roman citizens and other foreigners in Asia Minor and 70,000 slaves. The massacre was planned to take place on the same day in several towns scattered over Asia Minor. The actual number was probably in four figures though.The massacre led to the Roman Senate committing a huge invasion force aimed at breaking the power of the Kingdom of Pontus and eventually annexing their territory in a series of conflicts known as the Mithridatic Wars. Horrid you may say, but it does not compare to what Rome did to Mithridates and his people, as well as anyone Rome conquered, or tried to.Mithridates was instrumental in refining the use of scythe chariots among other brilliant battle techniques. If it sounds like I am a fan of Mithridates, you would be correct in your assumption. Though you may think him bloodthirsty and cruel, he was only this way because of Rome and their insatiable thirst for controlling the world. Something that Mithridates wanted to put an end to. Mithridates was compassionate towards his people and the people he conquered. He was a loving father, a man loyal to his friends, a brilliant tactician, and a man of great intelligence; besieged by treachery, betrayal, and surrounded by rulers who sought to murder him at every turn.Ford's portrayal of Mithridates is based on endless hours of searching out any and all information including hard to find writings of him by Roman scholars and clergy. In my opinion, Ford has created one of the most informative, most interesting books on one of the most elusive Kings in history. It is a great read. If you like history, especially history on the forces that tried to put an end to harsh Roman rule, then I suggest you read "The Last King." Note: If you know of any other books on Mithridates, please post them in the comments. Mikos thank you for finding "The Poison King" by Mayer it is on order. ;)

  • John Nellis
    2019-05-31 14:37

    Very good fictional account of King Mithridates the Great. As told by the point of view of his son . The book does a good job of describing Mithridates life from his rise to his downfall. It has some good descriptions of the battles and sieges he was involved in. He was a king the Romans never could seem to conquer. He became a terror like Hannibal had been to Rome. And though historical fiction , the book helps to bring the point of view of Mithridates and his son to life. A good story about a much neglected figure of the ancient world.

  • Mike
    2019-05-26 14:38

    2.5 Stars is about right for The Last King: Rome's Greatest Enemy. Mr. Ford continues, in my view, to take absolutely fascinating historical events and make them ho-hum. That is the case here for the tale of Mithradates and his wars with Rome. For example, one entire battle is described in one sentence, when Rome beats his army for the second time. Wish Ford could have "channeled" a little Cornwell for the battles. The book kindled a desire to learn more about the man and this era in Roman history. Just wasn't as exciting as the historical fiction framework could have made it.

  • Olethros
    2019-05-21 15:26

    -Homenaje a los vencidos, los que no pueden escribir la historia.-Género. Novela histórica.Lo que nos cuenta. Antioco IV descubre que el poder de Roma va más allá de sus legiones, una lección que sirve de aprendizaje pero también de acicate para su nieto, el rey Mitrídates VI Eupátor El Grande de El Ponto, cuyo hijo Farnaces nos narra sus recuerdos del decidido enemigo de la Antigua Roma, pero también del hombre que había detrás del monarca, a la vez que nos habla de él mismo.¿Quiere saber más de este libro, sin spoilers? Visite:

  • Jim
    2019-05-26 11:45

    The Last King by Michael Curtis Ford is about Mithridates Eupator VI, King of Pontus and hated enemy of the late Roman Republic. Mithridates was a fascinating character who doesn't receive as much attention due to being on the losing side of history. Mithridates is most famous for two things nowadays: 1) his paranoia of being assassinated, specifically by poison, which he countered by drinking the famous "Mithridate" antidote draught 2) for enforcing a massacre of Romans and Italians living in his newly conquered territory of Asia. Wikipedia claims that 80,000 died in what they now call the Asiatic Vespers. It was effective in breaking Roman influence in Asia, an area they had dominated and would continue to dominate long after Mithridates dies. It was also undeniably ruthless and cruel. It's hard to like a guy who tried to exterminate a group of people (and yes, it was a different time, but a massacre of innocents is bad no matter the era), but Michael Curtis Ford tries his best - and by golly, he pretty much succeeds.The story is narrated through Pharnaces, Mithridates' son by concubine. The Mithridates of this story is a strong personality. Ancient times were hard, even for those privileged princes. Asiatic Hellenistic court was weird and complicated. It was filled with intrigue and treachery. Brothers married sisters, and mothers murdered sons. Mithridates avoids being murdered by his own mother by some luck and then by just up and leaving, going off with a group of comrades into the wilderness and living off the earth, maaaaan. But yeah, he's not just finding himself, he's becoming self-sufficient, strong, hardy, and bitterly hateful towards Rome. Mithridates sees himself as Greek, sees Pontus as Greek, sees sophisticated civilization as Greek. And Rome is the enemy of Hellenes everywhere. Greek culture has beauty and high-minded ideals and philosophies, where Rome is entirely about war and avarice and destroying all the good things the Greeks did. So in turn, Mithridates is going to destroy Rome, or so he believes. It doesn't work out that way, but he has a good run.Ford tells a fine story and the plot flows. He's right in his notes at the end. Mithridates, for the most part, is ignored, and this leaves room for plenty of interpretation. The only other historical fiction writer who I've read that has included Mithridates was Colleen McCollugh in her awesome Masters of Rome series. In her books, Mithridates shows up sorta kinda because McCollugh is obligated to say something about him. And all I remember is his storyline ends in that series with the farce that was his attempt to capture the island of Rhodes through a naval siege. It goes poorly. Mithridates would live another 40 or so years after that and continue to irritate Rome, but that's all we get of him. Ford has an opportunity for a more in-depth portrait of the man than just the barbaric, paranoid, cruel king, Ford's Mithridates could be these things, but he was also extremely intelligent, fluent in many languages, unbelievably determined, implacable, impossible to keep down for long, while also possessing all the flaws we have historically associated with him. Speaking of flaws, I have to bring up the one problem with Mithridates' character. Michael Curtis Ford falls in the old trap of making his protagonist just about the biggest, baddest, strongest, handsomest guy who's ever walked the earth. Mithridates may have been big and handsome, but Jesus Christ, it gets to ya reading the thousandth book where your lead male is a living, breathing god. And apparently we're supposed to think old Mith was charming, witty, and affable. Sure he seems affable enough at times, but doesn't ever say anything clever or charming within the text. Guess we'll just have to take Pharnaces word for it. Nonetheless, this only struck me after I gathered my thoughts about the novel, so it wasn't so bad that I was rolling my eyes for every description of how big and bad and charming Mithridates was. One last problem I have with the novel is that there are about 2 other characters worth a damn in this book. There's Pharnaces, the adoring son who narrates, and Bituitis (sp?), the adoring and loyal Gaul bodyguard who is big and looks like Mithridates, which leads to some wacky hijinks!I would give the book 3.5 out of 5. It's the second book I've read by Michael Curtis Ford, and I enjoyed it. The other, The Ten Thousand (about Xenophon's Anabasis) was decent, but slowed down heavily in the middle and was a chore to get through. This novel did not have the problem.

  • Masen Production
    2019-05-20 13:48

    “3rd Book of MC Ford... Mithridates Eupator VI, last King of Pontus. The nemesis of Rome, his hatred for Romans took him to arms against the super power and for 4 decades he kept the battle fire on. Any reference of Mithridates from the Roman era describes him as a Barbarian King. The hate was quite evident from historical records which show that every time the senate discussed Pontus or Mithridates the whole assembly would be a place braying for the blood of the King and nothing less. The great King faces the best Generals Rome has ever produced Sulla, Lucullus, Pompey and fights them tooth and nail. Even with overwhelming defeats he never gives up his fight with Rome. 4 decades he is the one name that every roman loved to hate to the extent that when the news of his death hit the Italian peninsula & Rome, every man, woman, child went into celebrations. Not Hannibal or Attila or Jugratha ever had this effect on Rome as Mithridates had. He was the guy who was attributed theâ��Night of Vespersâ�� where on one pre determined night throughout the entire Asia Minor (Mithridates territory) every Italian slave, trader, citizen were Killed. His way of getting the Greek land rid of the Italian or Roman influence. This incensed the Romans to no end and he was attributed as the Mortal enemy of Rome. His barbarian approach (according to Rome) was like a stab in the back. Years later Julius Ceaser did things similar in Europe on a scale 10 times bigger than Mithridates and still hailed as the best Roman leader ever. Mithridates wanted to get the Glory of Greeks back to its pinnacle like Alexander had couple of centuries before him. Till the end he lived on his terms and yet was not killed by Romans but his own son. This is the story narration of his father by that son, Pharnaces. He too is finally defeated in war by none other than Julius Ceaser and with him ends the Era of Eupators of Pontus. ”

  • Joshua Hard
    2019-06-17 15:35

    The last King review.A man at the age of 21, and his empire faced the greatest enemy they have ever knowen. The Mithridates Eupator VI, the last king of Pontus. Was a evil and cunnying man will try to take over the roman empire. At the age of 11 the Mithridates Eupator VI got the small mountain kingdom of wild tribesmen. His mother ruled over it. The 21 year old man when he was a boy he had an older brother. Who was supposed to be the king of the roman kingdom. His father payed more attention to him. His father had all te noblesmen fall him around down and at partys and celebrations he had him by his side. When the man was a boy he was just taging along this whole time. Untill is older brother became ile with a sickness and slowly died. His little brother was the only hope for the kingdom, the empire! His father taught him so manythings how to be a warrior, a fighter. The boy became strong, and stronger finaly he started to rule the kingdom. His empire was amazing from all the past kings. Then untill Mithiridates Eurpator VI’s empire started to grow stronger and bigger. He wanted to start gaining land. While he started to conquer every empire on his way he crushed little civilizations and empires and citys. Untill he finaly hit the biggest empire to the east. The romans, fought back and hard. With the elderly king. The king went to the battle field with his army, and fought long and hard for their kingdom as years passed. Some one had to win, and the romans pushed them back and held their ground. The king died on the battle field. He died from Mithridates Eupator VI. He was not only a king but a hero of thhe roman gods.

  • William
    2019-06-14 11:43

    This is a rich and wonderfully fascinating look at Mithradates the Great; a man described as Ancient Rome's Greatest Enemy. I would have thought that title was given to Attila the Hun or Hannibal, but not according to M.C. Ford. The author obviously did a tremendous amount of research in developing this fictionalized but based in fact account of the King of Pontus' life, so why had I never heard of him? Mithradates had an incredibly long reign as king, fought the Romans for almost half a century, more often than not beat its legions, never surrendered to them and faced considerable opposition; namely Sulla, Lucullus & Pompey (three of Rome's greatest Generals). I guess the real tragedy here is not that he ever truly conquered the Roman Empire (I always cheer for the underdog) but that we have mostly forgotten that he ever existed at all.

  • Commander Shepard
    2019-05-19 11:34

    This is a great historical novel that should be required reading for every boy 10-12 years old. It appeals to a sense of adventure and questions what it means to be successful.

  • Jarrod Zhang
    2019-06-06 13:42

    Despite having read this book nearly a decade ago, I can still vividly recall Mithridates's courage, ambitions, and sexual escapades while facing a much stronger adversary. It was fortunate that I read The Last King while being obsessed with the video game, Rome: Total War. I was provided with a wealth of new ideas to try out. I suppose a book like this will be difficult to recommend to mature adults. However, such a book should be easily recommended to an adventurous and imaginative teen.

  • Michael
    2019-06-13 13:25

    An interesting historical fiction book, though not especially exciting. I get the feeling that this one might be very accurate as to dates and places. About the Persian/Greek King Mithidates of Pontus (Modern day Turkey), who was a legendary enemy of the Roman Empire. Defeated by Julius Caesar. I love reading this stuff, but am every now and again struck by the thunderous stupidity most of human history. You will never catch me joining anybody's army.

  • Marcos Nieto
    2019-06-11 08:52

    Empecé a leer esta novela con pocas garantías de llegar a terminarla; un libro largo, sobre un reino del cual no conocía gran cosa. Pasados los primeros capítulos, y ya bien metido en la trama, sentí con total seguridad, que estaba ante un magnífico libro...RESEÑA COMPLETA AQUÍ: http://lasoledaddelescritor.blogspot....

  • David
    2019-06-10 09:46

    Let me start by saying that I never finished the book. It seems like it should be an interesting story, but I couldn't get into it. After forcing myself to read halfway through, I finally gave up. The events taking place seem like they should be interesting, but something about the way it is written makes it hard to care.

  • Bill
    2019-06-12 10:52

    Mithridates the Great of Pontus was, according to Ford, Rome's greatest enemy for 40 years. Although much more fiction than history, the book illustrates the restlessness that bubbled around the edges of the Roman Empire. Despite what you learned in your high school world history course, Rome was never as dominant as portrayed.

  • Alexander
    2019-05-18 10:25

    Very good historical fiction using the life of Mithridates the Great, Rome's greatest enemy during the late Republic. Told from the perspective of his son, Pharnaces, it does a very good job of telling the story of his life from his rise to his downfall. If you enjoy the period, you'll enjoy the book.

  • Michael Alan Grapin
    2019-06-16 10:55

    There are battle scenes aplenty complete with grisly depictions of archaic methods of war, but it's the personal life of Mithridates as related by his adoring son, Pharnaces, that really held my interest. To say that these characters ripped from the pages of history are larger than life would be something of an understatement.

  • Eric
    2019-06-05 16:54

    It has been 7 years since I read this book, but I won't forget that it is the only book that I have read to produce a genuine feeling that I was in a movie theater watching the book instead of reading it. You get to see Rome from an underdog point of view, and the character you get to see it through is a certified BA.

  • Steve
    2019-05-25 12:50

    Absolutely amazing story about Mithridates a King of what is now I believe Bulgaria on the Black Sea. Lived one of the most incredible lives you will ever read about. Gave the Romans absolute hell time after time after time. Why we do not learn about him in school is beyond me.

  • Joel Mitchell
    2019-06-09 12:31

    I enjoyed learning about a fascinating historical person I hadn't heard of before (Mithridates the Great). However, his character was so obviously exaggerated that it really brought down the whole book.

  • Karolinde (Kari)
    2019-06-10 12:42

    Historically interesting, the book made me want to know more about Mithridates and his stand against the Roman Republic. Ford's writing is okay and the narration, from the viewpoint of the son, is interesting, but it was just to disjointed to really hold my attention.

  • Allen Bagby
    2019-06-14 16:33

    Mithridates the Great gave Rome fits. This is a first person account told by one of his sons. The man was ferocious and brilliant and the last king of Pontus, the area south of the Black Sea. He fought the romans for over forty years! A military genius who embarrassed them many times.

  • Jeff
    2019-06-05 16:43

    I wish I had 3.5 stars. I liked the story but didn't like the way it was narrated, it just seemed a bit awkward to me. I'll definitely read another Michael Curtis Ford book though, so it can't be that bad.

  • Todd
    2019-06-01 13:45

    This is an excellent book! I greatly enjoyed it and highly recommend it to historical fiction fans. Mithridates is such an excellent historical character far too underrated.

  • Dropcough
    2019-05-18 15:34

    Mithridates of Pontus, defiance, war, betrayal, rise to power and hardships of leadership

  • Natalie
    2019-05-27 09:46

    History is written by the victors" the author reminds us. Fantastic book about a man history has recorded as a monster. Great battles, lots of detail (but not too much!). I reallyed loved it!

  • Sammcnair
    2019-06-05 11:27

    About Mithridites. Good historical fiction.

  • Alexandra Kocik
    2019-06-01 16:35

    Well-written historical fiction, as always from this author.

  • Miko
    2019-05-22 09:30

    I loved this book. I had only seen the name Mihridates in passing. This book brought him to life as one of the most interesting warriors of history.

  • Magica
    2019-06-01 08:28

    Θα μπορούσε να ήταν και ένα χαμένο βιβλίο ιστορίαςΑρκετά ενδιαφέρον αλλά και λίγο κουραστικό μια και περιγραφει συνεχώς μάχες τη μια μετά την άλλη