|Hellenistic Satrap of Armenia|
|Reign||331 BC – unknown|
Mithrenes (Greek: Mιθρένης or Mιθρίνης) was a Persian commander of the force that garrisoned the citadel of Sardis. According to Cyril Toumanoff, he was also a member of the Orontid dynasty, of Iranian origin. Waldemar Heckel, on the other hand, considers Mithrenes to be a Persian noble of unknown family background. After the battle of the Granicus Mithrenes surrendered voluntarily to Alexander the Great, and was treated by him with great distinction. Mithrenes was present in the Macedonian camp after the Battle of Issus, and Alexander ordered him to visit the captured family of Darius III and assure them that Darius was alive, before changing his mind and assigning the duty to Leonnatus instead. 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.
Mithrenes disappears from the historical record after this appointment, and his ultimate fate is unknown. It's not clear whether he 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; 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.
Dexippus lists the satrapy of Carmania as assigned to Neoptolemus after the death of Alexander; however, Diodorus and Justin assign this satrapy to Tlepolemus instead.  A. G. Roos emended the text of Dexippus to assign Carmania to Tlepolemus and Armenia to Neoptolemus. Pat Wheatley and Waldemar Heckel found this emendation to be unlikely to represent the original text, and considered it more likely that the fragment of the text of Dexippus includes a scribal error, as "Neoptolemus" is an easy corruption of "Tlepolemus". Neoptolemus apparently campaigned in Armenia after the death of Alexander, but his official status in this area is unclear; he might have been a strategos rather than a satrap. Neoptolemus managed only to create havoc in Armenia, which suggests that he wasn't cooperating with any existing satrap.
Diodorus and Polyaenus mention a man named Orontes, who was a Satrap of Armenia during the Second War of the Diadochi; Diodorus adds that this Orontes was a friend of Peucestas. Edward Anson and Waldemar Heckel consider this satrap to be the same Orontes who fought for Darius III in the Battle of Gaugamela; the authors state that Mithrenes may have perished in an unsuccessful attempt to wrest Armenia from Orontes.
On the other hand, N. G. L. Hammond interpreted the sources as indicating that Armenia was already in submission when Mithrenes was sent there from Babylon late in 331 BC, that Mithrenes took it over as satrap ruling on behalf of the new Macedonian regime, and that he was left as satrap in 323 BC when Perdiccas let some satrapies remain under the existing satraps; in 317 BC Mithrenes was no longer satrap but had been replaced by Orontes. Hammond noted that Strabo described the satrapy of Armenia as small compared to the size of Armenia under Artaxias I and Zariadres; on the basis of this passage Hammond suggested that Mithrenes' rule may not have extended as far as Lake Van.
One of the inscriptions from the Mount Nemrut detailing the ancestry of Antiochus I Theos of Commagene lists an ancestor whose name was incompletely preserved and who was a son of Aroandas, the second ancestor of Antiochus mentioned in the inscriptions from Mount Nemrut who bore that name (identified with the Orontes who was a commander in the Battle of Gaugamela by Karl Julius Beloch and Herman Brijder; Friedrich Karl Dörner found this identification questionable). Ernst Honigmann emended the name of the son of Aroandas as [Mιθρ]άνην, [Mithr]anen. However, Friedrich Karl Dörner and John H. Young (1996) interpreted the first preserved letter of the name as a delta, so that the name of the son of Aroandas ended with -δανης, -danes. Herman Brijder (2014) also interpreted the inscription as indicating that name of the son of Aroandas II ended with -danes.
- Smith, William (editor); Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, "Mithrenes", Boston, (1867)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 (...)
- 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 (...)
- 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.
- Waldemar Heckel (2005). The Marshals of Alexander's Empire. Routledge. ISBN 978-1134942657. page 92; "(...) by sending to them Mithrenes, who spoke Persian."
- Cyril Toumanoff (Georgetown University Press, 1963; Studies in Christian Caucasian History, part III. The Orontids of Armenia. ). p. 278-290"
- 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."
- 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
- Waldemar Heckel (2006). "Mithrenes (Mithrines, Mithrinnes)". Who's who in the age of Alexander the Great: prosopography of Alexander's empire. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4051-1210-9.
- Curtius, Histories of Alexander the Great, iii. 12
- Arrian, The Anabasis of Alexander, iii. 16
- Curtius, Histories of Alexander the Great, v. 1.44
- Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica, xvii. 64.6
- Curtius, Histories of Alexander the Great, vi. 3
- Justin, Epitoma Historiarum Philippicarum Pompei Trogi, xxxviii. 7
- Photius, Bibliotheca, cod. 82
- Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica, xviii. 3.3
- Justin, Epitoma Historiarum Philippicarum Pompei Trogi, xiii. 4.23
- Justin (2011). Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus: Volume II: Books 13-15: The Successors to Alexander the Great. Translation and appendices by J.C. Yardley, commentary by Pat Wheatley and Waldemar Heckel. Oxford University Press. p. 116. ISBN 978-0-19-927759-9.
- Plutarch, The Life of Eumenes, 4.1
- Waldemar Heckel (2006). "Neoptolemus , (Neoptolemos)". Who's who in the age of Alexander the Great: prosopography of Alexander's empire. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4051-1210-9.
- Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica, xix. 23.3
- Polyaenus, Stratagems in War, iv. 8.3
- Waldemar Heckel (2006). "Orontes". Who's who in the age of Alexander the Great: prosopography of Alexander's empire. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4051-1210-9.
- Edward Anson (2014). "The funeral games begin". Alexander's Heirs: The Age of the Successors. Wiley Blackwell. p. 50. ISBN 978-1-4443-3962-8.
- Strabo, Geographica, xi. 14.5
- N. G. L. Hammond (1996). "Alexander and Armenia". Phoenix. 50 (2): 130–137. JSTOR 1192698.
- Karl Julius Beloch (1923). Griechische geschichte. Volume 3, part 2. Walter de Gruyter & co. p. 141.
- Herman Brijder (2014). "The East Terrace". In Herman Brijder. Nemrud Daği: recent archaeological research and conservation activities in the tomb sanctuary on Mount Nemrud. De Gruyter. p. 331. ISBN 978-1-61451-713-9.
- F.K. Dörner (1996). "Epigraphy analysis". In Donald H. Sanders. Nemrud Daği: The Hierothesion of Antiochus I of Commagene. 1: Text. Eisenbrauns. pp. 365–366. ISBN 1-57506-015-9.
- Ernst Honigmann (1963). "Kommagene". Realencyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft. supplement IV. pp. 978–990.
- F.K. Dörner; J.H. Young (1996). "Sculpture and inscription catalogue". In Donald H. Sanders. Nemrud Daği: The Hierothesion of Antiochus I of Commagene. 1: Text. Eisenbrauns. p. 297. ISBN 1-57506-015-9.
- Herman Brijder (2014). "The West Terrace". In Herman Brijder. Nemrud Daği: recent archaeological research and conservation activities in the tomb sanctuary on Mount Nemrud. De Gruyter. p. 373. ISBN 978-1-61451-713-9.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William, ed. (1870). "Mithrenes or Mithrines". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 2. p. 1093.