Tiberius Julius Aspurgus

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Tiberius Julius Aspurgus Philoromaios (Greek: Τιβέριος Ἰούλιος Ἀσποῦργoς Φιλορώμαιος, Philoromaios means lover of Rome, flourished second half of 1st century BC & first half of 1st century AD, died 38) was a Prince and Roman client king of the Bosporan Kingdom.

The name Aspurgus is of Iranian origin,[1] derived from aspa (horse) and aspabara (horseman).[1] Aspurgus was of Greek and Iranian ancestry.


Aspurgus was born to Asander and Dynamis during their reign over the Bosporan Kingdom. He was the maternal grandchild to the previous Roman client king of the Bosporan and Pontus, Pharnaces II and his Sarmatian wife. His maternal grandfather was the youngest son and child born to King Mithridates VI of Pontus from his first wife, his sister Laodice.[2] He was born and raised in the Bosporan Kingdom.

In 17 BC, Asander died of voluntary starvation from despair at the age of 93 because he witnessed his troops desert him for the Roman usurper, Scribonius. Scribonius pretended to be a relative of the legitimate heir, Dynamis, so he could seize Asander's throne and become King. Dynamis became compelled to marry Scribonius. The Roman statesman Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa discovered Scribonius’ deception and intervened, appointing Polemon I of Pontus as the new Bosporan King. Dynamis married Polemon I, making him Aspurgus' stepfather. Dynamis died in 14 BC and Polemon I reigned until his death in 8 BC.

Aspurgus then succeeded his stepfather. Little is known of Aspurgus’ reign; however, he seemed to have been a strong and capable ruler. Due to previous dynastic conflicts during the Roman Republic and around the period of Asander's death, the Emperor Augustus and the Roman Senate finally accepted Aspurgus as the legitimate Bosporan King in 14 AD. Aspurgus adopted the Roman names "Tiberius Julius", because he received Roman citizenship and enjoyed the patronage of Augustus and his heir Tiberius.


Aspurgus married a Thracian Princess called Gepaepyris. Gepaepyris bore Aspurgus two sons who were:

Through their second son, Aspurgus and Gepaepyris would have various descendants ruling the Bosporan Kingdom until the mid-4th century. The successors of Aspurgus bore the name Tiberius Julius to show their connection with him. Aspurgus reigned until he died in 38. After his death, Gepaepyris ruled with their first son.


  1. ^ a b Treister, Mikhail. "On the weapons of Sarmatian type in the Bosporan Kingdom in the 1st – 2nd centuries AD". Pontos.dk. p. 12.
  2. ^ Mayor, Adrienne (2011). Poison King: The Life and Legend of Mithradates, Rome's Deadliest Enemy. Princeton University Press. p. xviii. ISBN 9780691150260.


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Preceded by
King of the Bosporus
8 BC–38
Succeeded by