Vonones II

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Vonones II
Coin of Vonones II, minted at Hamadan.jpg
Coin of Vonones II
King of Media Atropatene
Reign11 – 51
PredecessorArtabanus II
King of the Parthian Empire
PredecessorGotarzes II
SuccessorVologases I
Died51 AD
Spouse“Greek concubine” (paelex Graeca), mother of king Vologeses I[1]
IssueVologases I
Tiridates I of Armenia
DynastyArsacid dynasty
Fatherunnamed Dahae prince
Motherunnamed daughter of Phraates IV

Vonones II was a Parthian prince who ruled as king of Media Atropatene and briefly as king of the Parthian Empire.

Vonones was not from the ruling branch of the Arsacid royal family. His father was a Dahae prince, who was most likely descended from the former Arsacid monarch Mithridates II (r. 124–88 BC),[2][3] whilst his mother was a daughter of the Arsacid King of Kings Phraates IV (r. 37–2 BC).[3] Vonones II's brother was the Parthian King Artabanus II.[2]

From about 11 AD until 51 AD, Vonones II ruled as king of Media Atropatene,[4][5] a period about which little is known.

After the death of his nephew Gotarzes II, Vonones II became king of the Parthian Empire in 51 AD. However, he died a few months into his reign and was succeeded by his son, Vologases I. Tacitus wrote that Vonones II “knew neither success nor failure which have deserved to be remembered to him. It was a short and inglorious reign”.[4]

Vonones II had 3 sons who, respectively, held the thrones of Parthia, Media Atropatene and Armenia: Pacorus,[6] Vologases I,[4] and Tiridates I.[7]


  1. ^ Tacitus (Ann. 12.44.2)
  2. ^ a b Olbrycht 2016, p. 24.
  3. ^ a b Olbrycht 2014, pp. 94–96.
  4. ^ a b c Tacitus, Annals, 12.14
  5. ^ Bunson, A Dictionary of the Roman Empire, p.454
  6. ^ Schippmann 1987, p. 221–224.
  7. ^ Tacitus, Annals, 13.7


  • Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, xx, 3, 4.
  • Tacitus, Annals
  • Meyer, Eduard (1911). "Vonones s.v. Vonones II." . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 211.
  • M. Bunson, A Dictionary of the Roman Empire, Oxford University Press, 1995
  • S. Baldwin, Comments on "Iberian route" DFA line, web, 1996
  • W. Woodthorpe Tarn, The Greeks in Bactria and India, Cambridge University Press, 2010
  • Olbrycht, Marek Jan (2014). "The Genealogy of Artabanos II (AD 8/9–39/40), King of Parthia": 92–97. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  • Olbrycht, Marek Jan (2016). "Dynastic Connections in the Arsacid Empire and the Origins of the House of Sāsān". In Curtis, Vesta Sarkhosh; Pendleton, Elizabeth J.; Alram, Michael; Daryaee, Touraj (eds.). The Parthian and Early Sasanian Empires: Adaptation and Expansion. Oxbow Books. ISBN 9781785702082.
  • Schippmann, K. (1987). "Azerbaijan iii. Pre-Islamic History". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. III, Fasc. 2. pp. 221–224.
Vonones II
Preceded by
Gotarzes II
Great King (Shah) of Parthia
Succeeded by
Vologases I