|Queen consort of Commagene|
|Tenure||70 BC - 38 BC
|Died||late 30s/early 20s BC|
|Spouse||King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene|
|Issue||Mithridates II of Commagene
Laodice, Queen of Parthia
Prince Antiochus II
Athenais, Queen of Media Atropatene
|House||House of Ariarathid (by birth)
Orontid Dynasty (by marriage)
|Father||King Ariobarzanes I of Cappadocia|
|Mother||Athenais Philostorgos I|
Isias, surnamed Philostorgos or Philostorgus (Greek: η Ισίας Φιλόστοργος, meaning Isias the loving one) was a Princess of Cappadocia who lived in the 1st century BC. Through her marriage to King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene, she became the Queen of Commagene. Very little is known on her. She was half Persian and half Greek. Isias was the daughter of King Ariobarzanes I of Cappadocia and his wife Queen Athenais Philostorgos I, while her brother was King Ariobarzanes II of Cappadocia.
Isias and Antiochus I had five children who were:
- Son, Mithridates II of Commagene - who succeeded Antiochus I after his death in 38 BC
- Daughter, Laodice, who married King Orodes II of Parthia
- Son, Antiochus II of Commagene
- Daughter, Antiochis of Commagene
- Daughter, Athenais who married King Artavasdes I of Media Atropatene
She appeared to have died of unknown causes sometime between the late 30s or early 20s BC. Isias was buried along with her daughter and her granddaughter on a burial site. This burial site was a monument known as the Karakush or Karakus Tumulus, also known as The Black Bird. The monument received its name because there is a column topped by an eagle, which has earned the mound name.
This burial sanctuary was constructed and built by her son King Mithridates II of Commagene. Mithridates II built this sanctuary to bury and honour the lives and the memories of Isias, her daughter Antiochis and her granddaughter Aka I of Commagene. It is located 12 km or 7.5 miles from Kahta, Turkey. Each tumulus is surrounded by groups of three Doric Columns. Each column was about 9 metres or 29.5 feet high. It is topped with steles, reliefs and statues of a bull, lion and eagle.
This monument has Greek honorific inscriptions, which provides information about this site. It is inscribed on the external face of the two drums of the central column of the Northeast. Skipping a couple of phrases where restoration has been doubtful, the inscription reads:
- This is the hierothesion [sacred site or foundation] of Isias, whom the great King Mithridates (she being his own mother)…deemed worthy of this final hour. And…Antiochis lies herein, the king’s sister by the same mother, the most beautiful of women, whose life was short but her honours long-enduring. Both of these, as you see, preside here, and with them a daughter’s daughter, the daughter of Antiochis, Aka. A memorial of life with each other and of the king’s honour.
Isias’ name also appears in another honorific inscription dedicated by Mithridates II at the tomb of her other daughter Laodice:
- The great King Mithridates, the son of the great king Antiochus and queen Isias, dedicated this image to the unfading memory of queen Laodice, the king’s sister and the wife of Orodes, the king of kings, and to her own honour.
- Campbell-Scott, Roger. "Nimrud Dagh - A Sacred Mountain in Anatolia", in Vanished Civilizations: The Hidden Secrets of Lost Cities and Forgotten Peoples, pp. 194–197. Reader’s Digest Services P/L, Hong Kong, 1988. ISBN 0-276-42658-4.