Ariarathes I of Cappadocia

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Coin of Ariarathes I. Obv: B’L GZYR (“Baal [of] Gaziura” in Aramaic), Baal seated. Gaziura mint. 333-322 BC
Ariarathes was satrap of Achaemenid Cappadocia.

Ariarathes I (Aramaic: ARYDRT Ariadarata, Ancient Greek: Ἀριαράθης Ariaráthēs; c. 404 BC - 322 BC) was the satrap of the Satrapy of Cappadocia under the Achaemenid Empire from 350 BC to 331 BC, and the Hellenistic King of Cappadocia from 331 BC until his death in 322 BC.


Ariarathes was the son of the Cappadocian satrap Ariamnes I. He was distinguished (Φιλάδελφος, Philádelphos) for his love of his brother Holophernes, whom he sent to assist his overlord king Artaxerxes III in the recovery of Egypt, in 350 BC. Later he supported Darius III. Alexander the Great conquered Cappadocia on his way to conquering the Achaemenid Empire and installed a governor there (though two different names of this governor are given). Nevertheless, during the time Alexander was ruler of the Achaemenid Empire, Ariarathes had managed to assume power as the first king of Cappadocians and even expanded the kingdom by subduing Cataonia.

After the death of Alexander in 323 BC, the Macedonian general and regent Perdiccas appointed Eumenes as governor of Cappadocia; but when Ariarathes refused to submit to Eumenes, Perdiccas made war upon him. Ariarathes was defeated, taken prisoner and crucified, together with many of his relations, in 322 BC. Eumenes then obtained possession of Cappadocia. Ariarathes was 82 years of age at the time of his death: he had adopted as his son Ariarathes II, the eldest son of his brother Holophernes.[1]



  1. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca, xviii. 16, xxxi. 3; Photius, Bibliotheca, cod. 92; Appian, "The Mithridatic Wars", 8; Lucian, Macrobioi, 13; Plutarch, Parallel Lives, "Eumenes", 3;Justin, Epitome of Pompeius Trogus, xiii. 6


  • Hazel, John; Who's Who in the Greek World, "Ariarathes II", (1999)
  • Head, Barclay; Historia Numorum, "Cappadocia", (1911)
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William, ed. (1870). "Ariarathes". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 1. p. 284.
Political offices
Preceded by
Ariamnes I
Satrap of Cappadocia
350 – 331 BC
Succeeded by
as King of Cappadocia
Regnal titles
Preceded by
as Satrap of Cappadocia
King of Cappadocia
331 – 322 BC
Title next held by
Ariarathes II