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 an alleged 80,000 Roman citizens and other foreigners in Asia Minor and 70,000 slaves. The massacre was allegedly planned scrutinously to take place on the same day in several towns scattered over Asia Minor. The historians Tim Cornell and John Matthews assert that this figure is "a wild exaggeration: the actual number was probably in four figures, although even this is a conjecture." 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.
- Hooper, Finley (January 1979). Roman Realities. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0814315941. http://books.google.com/books?id=QCYDPVx7LQkC&pg=PA199&dq=%22Asiatic+Vespers%22&as_brr=3&ei=6YCISOX7AY2AsgO72LyXBg&sig=ACfU3U2lbUD7yI4u1FrZPK9KuyQC3xL5Lw#PPA199,M1.
- Cicero (2006-04-20). Political Speeches. Oxford University Press. p. 103. ISBN 0192832662. http://books.google.com/books?id=_fSw_2I1jBoC&pg=PA103&vq=%22Asiatic+Vespers%22&dq=%22Asiatic+Vespers%22&as_brr=3&source=gbs_search_s&sig=ACfU3U362EWID2GG9XZHDN2RDNEW7i-JVw.
- Cornell, Tim and John Matthews, Atlas of the Roman World, p. 63. Facts on File, 1983.