Mithridatic dynasty


The Mithridatic dynasty, also known as the Pontic dynasty, was a hereditary dynasty of Persian origin,[1][2][3][4] founded by Mithridates I Ktistes (Mithridates III of Cius) in 281 BC.[5] The origins of the dynasty were located in the highest circles of the ruling Persian nobility in Cius.[5] Mithridates III of Cius fled to Paphlagonia after the murder of his father and his predecessor Mithridates II of Cius, eventually proclaiming the Kingdom of Pontus, and adopting the epithet of "Ktistes" (literally, Builder).[6][7] The dynasty reached its greatest extent under the rule of Mithridates VI, who is considered the greatest ruler of the Kingdom of Pontus.[8]

Mithridatic
Bust of Mithridates VI
Parent housepossibly Achaemenid dynasty
CountryKingdom of Pontus
Bosporan Kingdom
Founded281 BC
FounderMithridates I Ktistes
Current headExtinct
Final rulerPharnaces II of Pontus
Titles
Dissolution47 BC
37 BC last ruler (Arsaces of Pontus, Roman-appointed)
Rhescuporis VI

They were prominent enemies of the Roman Republic during the Mithridatic Wars during the reign of Mithridates VI until the late 60s BC.[5] In 48 BC, the Roman client king of the Crimea, Pharnaces II, attempted to press his claim on Pontus, but was decisively defeated by Julius Caesar at the Battle of Zela.[9]

History


The Mithridatids reached their greatest extent under the rule of Mithridates VI, who conquered the neighboring territories of Colchis and Trapezos, as well as succeeding in becoming ruler of the Bosporan Kingdom after the death of Paerisades V.

This however, did not last long. His son and successor was ousted from rule of the Pontic Kingdom after his defeat at Zela, leaving only the Bosporan Kingdom under direct Mithridatid control, who nonetheless also was ousted from power by the general Asander.

The dynasty, through Dynamis, the daughter of Mithridates VI, and her offspring, would continue to rule the Bosporan Kingdom until 342 AD. The Bosporan Kingdom would remain the longest lasting client-state of the Roman Empire. Their descendants include:

Rulers of Pontus


Kings of Pontus
KingReign (BC)Consort(s)Comments
Mithridates I Ctistes281–266 BCCtistes meaning Builder
Ariobarzanes266–250 BCson of Mithridates I
Mithridates IIc.250 – c.210 BCLaodiceSon of Ariobarzanes
Mithridates IIIc.210 – c.190 BCLaodiceLaodice may have been the daughter of Antiochus IV
Pharnaces Ic.190 – c. 155 BCNysaEldest son of Mithridates III
Mithridates IV Philopator Philadelphus155–150 BCLaodiceLaodice was his sister-wife.
Mithridates V Euergetes150-120 BCLaodice VI
Mithridates Chrestus120-116 BCNoneJointly Succeeded with brother Mithridates VI, who was forced into hiding. When brother came out Chrestus lost throne.
Mithridates VI Eupator Dionysus120–63 BCMultipleLed Mithridatic Wars against Rome.
Pharnaces II63–47 BCLast direct ruler of the Kingdom of Pontus

Family tree of Mithridatids, kings of Pontus


Mithridates I Ctistes
king of Pontus
281-266 BC
MITHRIDATIDS
Antiochus I SoterAchaeus I
Ariobarzanes
king of Pontus
266-c.250 BC
Antiochus II TheosAndromachus
Mithridates II
king of Pontus
c.250-c.210 BC
LaodiceSeleucus II Callinicus
Mithridates III
king of Pontus
c.210-c.190 BC
Laodice IIIAntiochus III the GreatLaodiceAchaeus II
AntiochusAntiochus IV Epiphanes
Mithridates IV
king of Pontus
c.155-c.150 BC
LaodicePharnakes I
king of Pontus
c.190-c.155 BC
Nyssa
of Seleucids
Ariarathes V
king of Cappadocia
Nyssa
of Mithridatids
Mithridates V Euergetes
king of Cappadocia
c.150-120 BC
Laodice VI
Ariarathes VI
king of Cappadocia
Laodice of Cappadocia1.LaodiceMithridates VI of Pontus the Great
king of Pontus
.120-63 BC
2.Monime
3.Berenice of Chios
4.Stratonice of Pontus
6.Hypsicratea
Mithridates Chrestus
(1) Mithridates
ruler of Colchis
(1) Arcathias
general
(1) Machares
king of Cimmerian Bospsrus
(1) Pharnaces II
king of Pontus
63-47 BC
(1) Cleopatra
Tigranes II of Armenia
(1) Drypetina(2) Athenais Philostorgos II
Ariobarzanes II of Cappadocia
(4) Xiphares
prince
(5) Mithrithates I
king of Cimmerian Bosporus
(illeg.) Adobogiona the Younger
∞ Castor of Galatia
(illeg.) Ariarathes IX
king of Cappadocia
(illeg.) Orsabaris
∞ 1.Socrates Chrestus
2.Lycomedes of Comana
(illeg.) daughter
Archelaus
general
Darius
king of Pontus
Arsaces
prince
Gepaepyris1.Asander Philicaesar Philoromaios
king of Cimmerian Bosporus
47-17 AD
Dynamis
queen of C. Bosporus 16-8 BC
Scribonius
king of C. Bosporus
17-16 BC
3.Polemon I Pythodoros
king of Pontus
16-8 BC
Pythodoris
queen of Pontus
8 BC-38 AD
Archelaus
king of Cappadocia
T. J. Mithridates
king of Cimmerian Bosporus
38 AD-45
T. J. Cotys I
king of Cimmerian Bosporus
45 AD-63
T. J. Aspurgus
king of Cimmerian Bospsorus
8 BC-38 AD
Polemon II
king of Pontus
38 AD-74

Sources


  • Dueck, Daniela (2002). Strabo of Amasia: A Greek Man of Letters in Augustan Rome. Routledge. ISBN 978-1134605613. The independent Pontic dynasty originated in the highest circles of the ruling Persian nobility in Cius.

References


  1. The Foreign Policy of Mithridates VI Eupator, King of Pontus, by B. C. McGing, page 11
  2. Children of Achilles: The Greeks in Asia Minor Since the Days of Troy, by John Freely, page 69-70
  3. Strabo of Amasia: A Greek Man of Letters in Augustan Rome, by Daniela Dueck, page 3
  4. McGing, Brian (2004). "PONTUS". Encyclopaedia Iranica.
  5. Dueck 2002, p. 3. sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFDueck2002 (help)
  6. McGing, B.C. (1986). The Foreign Policy of Mithridates VI Eupator, King of Pontus. BRILL. p. 15. ISBN 978-9004075917. In 302 Mithridates II fell under suspicion of conspiring with Cassander against Antigonus and was killed near Cius. His son Mithridates III of Cius inherited the dynasty but was warned by his friend Demetrius that he too was in danger from Antigonus and fled to Paphlagonia. Here he ruled for thirty-six years (302–266) at some stage proclaiming himself Mithridates Ctistes, founder of the kingdom of Pontus and the line of Pontic kings.
  7. Dueck, Daniela (2002). Strabo of Amasia: A Greek Man of Letters in Augustan Rome. Routledge. p. 3. ISBN 978-1134605613. Mithridates III of Cius fled to Paphlagonia after his father was killed by Antigonus and after he defeated certain Seleucid forces. In 281 BCE he became the first king of the Pontic dynasty and thus acquired the name "Ktistes", founder.
  8. Hewsen, Robert H. (2009). "Armenians on the Black Sea: The Province of Trebizond". In Richard G. Hovannisian (ed.). Armenian Pontus: The Trebizond-Black Sea Communities. Costa Mesa, CA: Mazda Publishers, Inc. pp. 41, 37–66. ISBN 978-1-56859-155-1.
  9. Overy, Richard (2014-10-01). A History of War in 100 Battles. Oxford University Press. p. 89. ISBN 9780199390724.