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Mithrenes I
Satrap of Armenia
Reign 331 – 317 BC
Coronation 331 BC
Predecessor Orontes II
Successor Orontes III
Died 317 BC
Issue Orontes III
Full name
Dynasty Orontid Dynasty
Father Orontes II

Mithrenes (Greek: Mιθρένης or Mιθρίνης) was a Persian commander of the force that garrisoned the citadel of Sardis.[1][2][3][4][5][6] According to Cyril Toumanoff, he was also a member of the Orontid dynasty,[7] of Iranian origin.[8][9] After the battle of the Granicus Mithrenes surrendered voluntarily to Alexander the Great, and was treated by him with great distinction. He fought for Alexander at Gaugamela, and ironically he was fighting against an army that included his father Orontes II. Afterwards, Alexander appointed him Satrap of Armenia, as his father had been slain in the battle.

It's not clear, however, whether Mithrenes actually managed to take control of his satrapy. According to Curtius, in his speech given at Hecatompylos in 330 BC Alexander the Great listed Armenia among lands conquered by Macedonians, implying that Mithrenes succeeded in conquering it;[10] on the other hand, Justin reproduced Pompeius Trogus' rendition of a speech attributed to Mithridates VI of Pontus, which mentioned that Alexander did not conquer Armenia.[11]

In summary, Mithrenes ruled on behalf of the new Macedonian regime. However, after the death of Alexander, Neoptolemus was made Satrap of Armenia from 323 to 321 BC.[12]

After the death of Neoptolemus, and during the struggles among the Diadochi, it seems Mithrenes not only returned to his ancestral seat but declared himself king.



  1. ^ Briant, Pierre (2012). Alexander the Great and His Empire: A Short Introduction. Princeton University Press. p. 113. ISBN 978-1400834860. Yet the Persian Mithrenes had not been given a high-level post in the imperial administration; such posts were reserved for Greeks and Macedonians. 
  2. ^ Anson, Edward M. (2014). Alexander's Heirs: The Age of the Successors. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1118862407. (...) Mithrenes, a Persian nobleman, was appointed satrap of Armenia by Alexander. 
  3. ^ Herrmann, J.; Zurcher, E., eds. (1996). History of Humanity: From the seventh century B.C. to the seventh century A.D. UNESCO. p. 170. ISBN 978-9231028120. As early as the year 334, the king had given clear evidence of his desire to win over the Persian nobles: he allowed Mithrenes, who had just surrendered (...) 
  4. ^ Curtis, John E.; Tallis, Nigel, eds. (2005). Forgotten Empire: The World of Ancient Persia. University of California Press. p. 17. ISBN 978-0520247314. Darius still had many noble Persians, satraps and strategists all ready to serve him. The first was that of Mithrenes, governor of Sardis (...) 
  5. ^ Nawotka, Krzysztof (2009). Alexander the Great. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 127. ISBN 978-1443818117. This is what must have happened before the surrender of Sardis and Mithrenes had a lot to bargain with; in return for capitulation he guaranteed for himself a position in Alexander's closest circle as the first Iranian, indeed first Asian to be so honoured. 
  6. ^ Waldemar Heckel (2005). The Marshals of Alexander's Empire. Routledge. ISBN 978-1134942657. page 92; "(...) by sending to them Mithrenes, who spoke Persian."
  7. ^ Cyril Toumanoff (Georgetown University Press, 1963; Studies in Christian Caucasian History, part III. The Orontids of Armenia. ). p. 278-290"
  8. ^ Cyril Toumanoff (Georgetown University Press, 1963; Studies in Christian Caucasian History, part III. The Orontids of Armenia. ). p. 278; "The eponym's praeonemen Orontes is as Iranian as the dynasty itself, derived from the Avestan auraund/aurvant ('mighty,' 'hero') and related to the Pehlevi arvand."
  9. ^ Toumanoff, Cyril (1959). "INTRODUCTION TO CHRISTIAN CAUCASIAN HISTORY (The Formative Centuries (IVth-VIIIth))". 15: 27. Already in the Achaemenian phase, the office of Satrap of Armenia became hereditary in the Iranian families of the Hydarnids and, then, the Orontids...[...]. The fact that the Orontids were descended from the Achaemenid Great Kings, who were no more, and that they held sway over most of the territory of the old Vannic Monarchy, when conjoined with their power and their de facto, autonomy, led them to assume the status of kings 
  10. ^ Curtius, Historiae Alexandri Magni, vi. 3
  11. ^ Justin, Epitoma Historiarum Philippicarum Pompei Trogi, xxxviii. 7
  12. ^ Neoptolemus (general)

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William, ed. (1870). "Mithrenes or Mithrines". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 2. p. 1093.