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King of the Bosporan Kingdom
Reign309–304 BC
SuccessorSpartokos III
BornUnknown, sometime before 320 BC
Died304 BC
Bosporan Kingdom
IssueSpartokos III
FatherPaerisades I
ReligionGreek polytheism

Eumelos of Bosporus (fl. 309–304 BC) or Eumelus was a Spartocid ruler of the Bosporan Kingdom and a son of Paerisades.[1] Eumelos was the brother of Satyros II (not to be confused with his great-grandfather, Satyrus I, another Bosporan ruler) and Prytanis.

He and his brothers engaged in a conflict for the throne, which was rightfully inherited by Satyros, the eldest of them, from his father.[2]

Civil war

Shortly after his brother became ruler, Eumelos became a pretender to the throne with the backing of Aripharnes, a ruler of the Sarmatian tribe of Siraces from whom he solicited aid. When Satyros learned of this, he immediately went after Eumelos with his army and crossed the River Thatis to wage war on his brother. Shortly after, the Battle of the River Thatis was fought which resulted in a defeat for Eumelos. He and Aripharnes were forced to retreat to Siracena.[3] Satyrus and his army followed his brother to the city, but could not take it as it was surrounded by the River Thatis, leaving two heavily guarded entrances as the only means of ingress.[4] After a four-day siege, Satyrus died while fighting against Aripharnes at the main entryway.[5] Meniscus, Satyros' mercenary captain, took Satyros' body back to Panticapaeum for a royal burial and ended the siege. Prytanis, the younger brother, assumed the title of ruler and continued Satyros' war against Eumelos. Eumelos appealed to his brother to split the kingdom between them, but Prytanis rejected the proposal, marching against his brother. The two fought a battle which Eumelos won near the Maeotic Lake. Prytanis was spared by his brother but soon he again waged war against Eumelos and was killed.[6]

Reuniting the kingdom and expansion

To fully establish himself, Eumelos had the families and friends of his brothers killed. The citizens of Panticapaeum were displeased at the killing of their friends, so Eumelos gathered them to an open assembly in which he defended himself and also offered immunity from taxes for those that lived in the city.[7]

He enacted several reforms, as well as the recruitment of more Greeks into the Bosporan military, who had previously only provided a small number of its forces, the rest being Sarmatians.[8] He also reinforced the Bosporan fleet, to deal with the pirates and strengthen their trade routes.[9]

Eumelos then proceeded to show kindness to other Greek cities that were in the Black Sea and gave refuge to 1,000 refugees from the city of Callantia who were driven out by Lysimachus.[10] Eumelos led a series of campaigns against pirates in the eastern regions of the Black Sea—most likely the Tauri, the Heniochi and several others—and was able to destroy them.[11] He also took back the settlement of Tanais, which was abandoned due to continuous sieges from local tribes[12] and made his kingdom large enough to rival that of Lysimachus.[13]


As he hurried his way back from Sindia to his palace in a four-horse wheeled carriage for a sacrifice, the horses became scared. The driver was unable to control them, so Eumelos jumped out of the carriage, but his sword became caught on the wheel and he was dragged along by the carriage and died.[14] He was succeeded by his son Spartokos III.

See also


  1. ^ Siculus, Diodorus. Book 22.23. after the death of Parysades, who was king of the Cimmerian Bosporus, his sons Eumelus, Satyrus, and Prytanis...
  2. ^ Siculus, Diodorus. Book 22.23. Satyrus, since he was the eldest, had received the government from his father
  3. ^ Siculus, Diodorus. Book 22.23. Aripharnes and Eumelus, however, after having been defeated in the battle, escaped to the capital city.
  4. ^ Siculus, Diodorus. Book 22.23. This was situated on the Thates River, which made the city rather difficult of access since the river encircled it and was of considerable depth. T
  5. ^ Polyaenus. Strategems. Satyrus is killed while attacking Aripharnes, king of the Siraces
  6. ^ Siculus, Diodorus. Book 22.24.
  7. ^ Siculus, Diodorus. Book 22.23.
  8. ^ Deligiannis, Periklis. The Battle of the River Thatis. Archived from the original on 2016-11-10. Retrieved 2017-03-24. He also strengthened the military forces by recruiting more Greeks from the urban centers, who provided by then only a limited number of men in the royal army.
  9. ^ Deligiannis, Periklis. The Battle of the River Thatis. Archived from the original on 2016-11-10. Retrieved 2017-03-24. Eumelos used the Bosporan fleet against them, which he reinforced
  10. ^ Siculus, Diodorus. Book 22.24.
  11. ^ Siculus, Diodorus. Book 22.24. and he cleared the sea of pirates, with the result that, not only throughout his own kingdom but even throughout almost all the inhabited world
  12. ^ Deligiannis, Periklis. The Battle of the River Thatis. Archived from the original on 2016-11-10. Retrieved 2017-03-24. Eumelos’ main land campaign was the recapture of the territory of the old Miletian colony Tanais at the mouth of the great river Tanais (modern Don), which was abandoned because of the barbaric pressure
  13. ^ Deligiannis, Periklis. The Battle of the River Thatis. Archived from the original on 2016-11-10. Retrieved 2017-03-24. thereby creating a powerful Hellenistic kingdom which could confront the powerful State of Lysimachus, the famous general of Alexander the Great
  14. ^ Siculus, Diodorus. Book 22.24.