Abgar VII

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Abgar VII
Ruler of the kingdom of Osrhoene
Reign109—116 CE
Diedc. 116

Abgar VII was king of Osrhoene from 109-116 CE.[1][2][3] His primary goal was to remain independent of both the major powers in the region, the Roman and the Parthian Empires.[3] Toward this end, he supported the Roman Emperor Trajan's military campaign into Mesopotamia against the Parthian king Osroes I in 114-116 CE,[2][3] ending an era of Edessan neutrality toward the Roman Empire.[1] However, in 116 CE, Abgar also supported a Parthian revolt against Trajan.[2][3] The Roman general Lusius Quietus responded promptly by capturing and sacking Edessa.[2][3] Abgar VII died at this time.

Sources do not agree on what happened after Abgar VII's death. Warwick Ball reports that Hadrian appointed Parthamaspates of Parthia as a puppet king of captured territories including Osrhoene in 117 CE.[1] He also reports that the Romans reinstated the Abgar dynasty in 123 CE with the accession of Ma'nu VII.[1] Drijvers & Healey (1999), by contrast, report that there was a span of two years following Abgar VII's death where Edessa had no king before the Abgar dynasty was reinstated by the Emperor Hadrian in 118 CE as a client kingdom of Rome.[3][2]


  1. ^ a b c d Ball 2016, p. 98.
  2. ^ a b c d e Healey 2009, p. 14.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Drijvers & Healey 1999, p. 36.


  • Ball, Warwick (2016). Rome in the East: The Transformation of an Empire. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-1-317-29635-5.
  • Drijvers, Han J. W.; Healey, John F. (1999). "History, culture, and religion of Edessa". The old Syriac inscriptions of Edessa & Osrhoene: Texts, translations, and commentary. Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-11284-1. ISSN 0169-9423.
  • Healey, John F. (2009). Aramaic Inscriptions and Documents of the Roman Period. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-925256-5.