Mithridates VI, or Mithridates the Great (also spelled Mithradates)(132? B.C.-63 B.C.), king of Pontus, 120–63 B.C. He inherited Pontus, a kingdom in northeastern Asia Minor (in what is now Turkey), from his father and greatly increased its size and strength. His conquests of neighboring states brought him into conflict with Rome, which he fought in three wars, which came to be known as the Mithridatic Wars.
In the First Mithridatic War (88–85 B.C.) Mithridates captured most of Asia Minor, had a reported 80,000 Romans killed, and instigated a revolt in Greece. He was finally defeated by Sulla and gave up his conquests. In the second war (83–81), caused by a Roman invasion of Pontus, the Romans were defeated and driven out of the kingdom. The third war (74–63) began with Mithridates' attempt to prevent Roman occupation of Bithynia, a kingdom west of Pontus. Mithridates was defeated by Lucullus and fled to Armenia. In 67 he returned to Pontus, but was soon forced to flee again by Pompey. When his troops deserted him, Mithridates had a servant kill him.