Archelaus (father of Archelaus of Cappadocia)

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Archelaus (Greek: Ἀρχέλαος; fl. 1st century BC) was a High priest of the temple-state of Comana, Cappadocia.[1]


Archelaus was a Cappadocian Greek nobleman, possibly of Macedonian descent. He was the son and namesake of the Roman Client Ruler and High Priest of Comana, Cappadocia, Archelaus[2] by an unnamed Greek woman. He also had an unnamed sister and his paternal uncle was the Pontic soldier Diogenes, who served in the army of King Mithridates VI of Pontus.[3][4] His paternal grandfather also called Archelaus, the Pontic General who participated in the Mithridatic Wars.[5] His paternal grandmother may have been a Pontic Princess who was one of the daughters born from the concubine of Mithridates VI, as his father had descended from Mithridates VI.[6]


In January/February 55 BC, after the deaths of his father and sister, Archelaus succeeded his father as High Priest/Temple Ruler of Comana.[1] Archelaus was the High Priest of the Roman Goddess of War, Bellona. When Marcus Tullius Cicero served as Proconsul of Cilicia in 51 BC, Archelaus assisted with troops and money for those who created disturbances in Cappadocia and threatened then-King Ariobarzanes III of Cappadocia. Cicero compelled Archelaus to quit the campaign against Ariobarzanes III.[1]

In 47 BC the Roman Dictator Gaius Julius Caesar after the conclusion of his military victory against the Triumvir Pompey, deprived and deposed Archelaus of his office of high priest and rule over Comana.[1] Archelaus was replaced by another Greek nobleman called Lycomedes.[7] Pompey was their family patron [8] and it was he who appointed his father as High Priest Ruler of the temple state of Comana.[9] The fate of Archelaus afterwards is unknown.


Archelaus had married a Cappadocian Greek Hetaera called Glaphyra.[10] Glaphyra bore Archelaus two sons:


  1. ^ a b c d Ancient Library, Archelaus no. 3
  2. ^ Ancient Library, Archelaus no. 2 & 3
  3. ^ Temporini, Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt: Geschichte und Kultur Roms im spiegel der neueren Forschung p.1152
  4. ^ a b c Dueck, Strabo’s cultural geography: the making of a kolossourgia p.208
  5. ^ Dueck, Strabo’s cultural geography: the making of a kolossourgia p.p.208-209
  6. ^ Ptolemaic Genealogy, Berenice IV, point 19
  7. ^ Dueck, Strabo’s cultural geography: the making of a kolossourgia p.197
  8. ^ Syme, Anatolica: studies in Strabo p.167
  9. ^ Ancient Library, Archelaus no. 2
  10. ^ Syme, Anatolica: studies in Strabo p.p.144 & 167
  11. ^