Open main menu

The Battle of Chalcedon was a land and naval battle in 74 BC during the Third Mithridatic War. It ended in a Pontic victory.

Battle of Chalcedon
Part of Third Mithridatic War
Date74 BC
Result Pontic victory
Kingdom of Pontus Vexilloid of the Roman Empire.svg Roman Republic
Commanders and leaders
Mithridates VI Marcus Aurelius Cotta

136,000–162,000 men[1][2][3]
400 ships

120,000–150,000 infantry
12,000–16,000 cavalry
100–120 scythed chariots
Unknown men
64 ships[4]
Casualties and losses
730 killed[5]

17,800 men
64 ships

7,000–13,300 killed
4,500 captured
4 ships burned
60 ships captured

After resuming the war, consul Marcus Aurelius Cotta took the Roman fleet into the Bosphorus. Outside the harbour of Chalcedon he was beaten by the Pontic fleet; Roman ships sought refuge inside the harbour, but to no avail: the Pontic fleet made their way into the port, where they destroyed or captured the Roman fleet.

On land, the Pontic and Bastarnae troops routed the Roman army sent against them. 4,000–5,300 Romans were killed in the land battle, while 3,000–8,000 perished in the naval combat and 4,500 were captured. Mithridates lost only 30 Bastarnae and 700 others dead.[6][7]


After the victory, Mithridates moved against the Roman controlled town of Cyzicus, which he besieged. This led to the siege of Cyzicus. Lucullus, the Roman proconsul of Cilicia, marched his army north, found Mithridates besieging Cyzicus and established a counter-siege. Mithridates' army was destroyed by famine and plague and the king fled back to Pontus. But the war was far from over and would rage on for another decade.


  1. ^ Appian Historia Romana Book XII (The Mithridatic Wars), section 69
  2. ^ Memnon History of Heracleia, section 27
  3. ^ Plutarch Life of Lucullus, section 7
  4. ^ Appian Historia Romana Book XII (The Mithridatic Wars), section 71
  5. ^ Memnon History of Heracleia, section 27
  6. ^ Plutarch Life of Lucullus, section 8
  7. ^ Memnon History of Heracleia, section 27


  • Jaques, Tony (2006). Dictionary of Battles and Sieges. Greenwood. p. 220. ISBN 978-0-313-33536-5.