Ariarathes VI of Cappadocia

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O: Diademed head of Ariarathes VI R: Athena holding Nike with wreath and resting hand on grounded shield, spear behind; ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ / ΑΡΙΑΡΑΘΟΥ ; monograms in field
Silver drachm struck in Eusebeia 130 BC–116 BC;

Ariarathes VI Epiphanes Philopator (Ancient Greek: Ἀριαράθης Ἐπιφανής Φιλοπάτωρ, Ariaráthēs Epiphanḗs Philopátōr; reigned 130–116 or 126–111 BC), King of Cappadocia, was the youngest son of Ariarathes V of Cappadocia and Nysa of Cappadocia.

Ariarathes reigned about 14 years. He was a child at his succession, and for this reason the power was kept by his mother, who acted as his regent. At some point his mother seems to have poisoned all of Ariarathes’ five brothers; but the infant king was saved by people loyal to the dynasty and had Nysa killed. Using this as a pretext, his maternal uncle, King Mithridates V Euergetes of Pontus (150 BC–120 BC), tried to assert control over the country by marrying Ariarathes to Mithridates' first daughter, Laodice of Cappadocia, who was also Ariarathes' maternal cousin. Laodice bore Ariarathes one daughter and two sons: Nysa who married King Nicomedes III Euergetes of Bithynia; Ariarathes VII Philometor and Ariarathes VIII Epiphanes.

Since this wasn't deemed enough to transform Cappadocia in a satellite of Pontus, Mithridates V Euergetes' son, Mithridates VI, murdered Ariarathes using Gordius, a Cappadocian nobleman.[1] On his death the kingdom was briefly ruled by Ariarathes' widow and then seized by King Nicomedes III of Bithynia, who married Laodice, the king's widow. Nicomedes III was soon expelled by Mithridates VI, who placed upon the throne Ariarathes VII.


  1. ^ Justin, xxxvii. 1, xxxviii. 1; Memnon, History of Heraclea, 22


Woodcut illustration of Berenice (Nysa or Laodice) of Cappadocia, wife of Ariarathes V

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William, ed. (1870). "Ariarathes (VI)". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 1. p. 285.

Preceded by
Ariarathes V
King of Cappadocia
130 BC – 116 BC
Succeeded by
Ariarathes VII