Mithridates II of Commagene

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Mithridates II
Tumulus of Karakus 11.jpg
Relief of Mithridates II and his sister Laodice at the Tumulus of Karakus, Turkey
King of Commagene
Reign 38 BC – 20 BC
(18 years)
Predecessor Antiochus I Theos
Successor Mithridates III
Spouse Laodice
Issue Mithridates III of Commagene
Full name
Mithridates II Antiochus Epiphanes Philorhomaios Philhellen Monokritis
House Orontid Dynasty
Father King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene
Mother Princess Isias Philostorgos of Cappadocia
Died 20 BC
Rome, Roman Empire

Mithridates II Antiochus Epiphanes Philorhomaios Philhellen Monokritis (Greek: Μιθριδάτης Ἀντίοχος ὀ Ἐπιφανής Φιλορωμαίος Φιλέλλην Μονοκρίτης, died 20 BC), also known as Mithridates II of Commagene, was a man of Armenian[1] and Greek descent who lived in the 1st century BC. He was a prince of Commagene and one of the sons of King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene and Queen Isias Philostorgos of Commagene. When his father died in 38 BC, he succeeded his father and reigned until his death.

According to Plutarch, he was an ally to Roman Triumvir Mark Antony. He also married off his daughter to the Parthian king Orodes II.[2] In 31 BC Mithridates personally led his forces to Actium in Greece in support of Antony in the war against Octavian, the future Roman Emperor Augustus.[3] After the defeat of Antony, however, Mithridates became a loyal ally to Augustus. Nevertheless, Augustus forced Mithridates to hand over a village in Commagene called Zeugma, which was a major crossing point of the Euphrates River, to the Roman province of Syria. To show his support for Augustus, Mithridates dropped the title Philhellen ("friend of the Greeks") from his Aulic titulature and adopted the title Philorhomaios ("friend of the Romans") instead. Both titles were derived from the Royal Commagenean cult that Mithridates' father had founded, and in which Mithridates played an important role. His other title Monocritis is an otherwise unattested title and was most likely a judicial function within the Royal Administration and a sign of his high social standing.

Mithridates had a brother, Antiochus II of Commagene, who was also a prince of the kingdom.[4][5] In 29 BC, Antiochus was summoned to Rome and executed by Roman Emperor Augustus, because Antiochus had caused the assassination of an ambassador whom Mithridates had sent to Rome.[4]

According to an inscription on a funerary altar found in the Turkish village of Sofraz of a local wealthy leading family, which dates around the mid-1st century, the wife of Mithridates was a Greek woman called Laodice. The altar inscribes family members that stretch over seven generations and includes the names of Mithridates, of his father and of his wife. When he died in 20 BC, his son with Laodice, Mithridates III of Commagene, succeeded him.[5]

Ancestry[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chahin, Mark (2001). The Kingdom of Armenia. Routlege. pp. 190–191. ISBN 0-7007-1452-9. 
  2. ^ "Commagene". cliolamuse.com (in French). Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  3. ^ Speidel, Michael Alexander (2005). "Early Roman Rule in Commagene" (PDF). citing Plutarch, Antony 61. Mavors-Institute for Ancient Military History. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Smith, William, ed. (1870). "Antiochus II". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities. republished at AncientLibrary.com. p. 194. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Samosata". Catholic Encyclopedia. republished at Catholicity.com. Retrieved 20 April 2015.