The Asiatic Vespers (also known as the Vespers of 88 BC) refers to an infamous episode during the First Mithridatic War. In response to increasing Roman power in Anatolia, the king of Pontus, Mithridates the Great, tapped into local discontent with the Romans and their taxes to orchestrate the execution of 80,000 Roman and Italian citizens and other foreigners in Asia Minor. The massacre was planned scrupulously to take place on the same day in several towns scattered over Asia Minor. 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.
The name was retrospectively given to the massacre by analogy with the Sicilian Vespers of 1282.
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