V.5 As mentioned in Book V Section 6, the Mithridatic War was begun in 88BC. This was the first in a series of three such wars. The First Mithridatic War lasted for four years until 84BC. Mithridates was the king of Pontus. He first threatened Nicomedes, an ally of the Romans, from Bithynia. The Roman Senate replied that they would make war against him should he do this. Mithridates first attacked Ariobarzanes, the king of Cappadocia, and then moved on to drive out Pylaemenes and Nicomedes from Paphlagonia and Bithynia respectively.
V.6 Aristion, an Athenian, had delivered Athens to Mithridates. Archaelaeus, a general of Mithridates, was ordered to take Achaea, the surrounding area of Athens. Sulla confronted Archelaus. Eutropius reports that 10 out of the 120,000 soldiers of Archelaus were killed whereas Sulla only lost 14. Mithridates sent reenforcements, but the losses caused by Sulla drove Mithridates to parlay for peace.
V.7 Sulla also conquered the Dardanians, Scordisci, Dalmatians, and Moedians before peace could be reached. Though he at first drew a hard line and demanded that Mithridates leave the terrorities that he had seized, he eventually conceded to looser terms for peace so that he could return to Rome. In Rome, Marius and Cornelius Cinna had incited terror in Rome as they created proscription lists, which contained the names of rich, political enemies that could be killed for a bounty and whose property could be seized. Sulla's own house had been pulled down and his sons and wife had been put to flight. Upon entering into Italy, Sulla fought with the consuls, Norbanus and Scipio.