Siege of Mytilene
Mytilene Lesbos
Location of Mytilene within Greece
Date81 BC
Result Roman victory
Roman Republic Mytilene
Commanders and leaders
Lucius Licinius Lucullus
Gaius Julius Caesar
Marcus Minucius Thermus

The siege of Mytilene was a military investment of the city of Mytilene on the island of Lesbos in 81 BC.

Mytilene, the capital city of the island of Lesbos in the Aegean Sea, revolted against Rome and was suspected of actively or tacitly aiding pirates in the region.[1] Suetonius credits Marcus Minucius Thermus, the governor of the Roman Asia province, with the victory,[2] but the siege may have been conducted by or in coordination with Lucius Licinius Lucullus.

Julius Caesar began his military service during the siege after his pardon by Sulla during the proscriptions of 82 BC.[3] It was during the siege that Caesar was awarded the Civic Crown, a considerable honour in the Roman military, which is a title awarded to a Roman soldier who saves the life of a fellow citizen.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Philip de Souza, Piracy in the Graeco-Roman World (Cambridge University Press, 2002), p. 123 online.
  2. ^ Harold B. Mattingly, "C. Verres and the Pirates," in From Coins to History: Selected Numismatic Studies (University of Michigan Press, 2004). p. 180, note 10 online.
  3. ^ Matthias Gelzer, Caesar: Politician and Statesman, trans. Peter Needham (Oxford: Blackwell, 1968), ISBN 0-631-10430-5