Mithridates II
Relief of Mithridates II and his sister Laodice at the Tumulus of Karakuş, Turkey
King of Commagene
Reign31 BC – 20 BC
(18 years)
PredecessorAntiochus I Theos
SuccessorMithridates III
Died20 BC
Rome, Roman Empire
SpouseLaodice
IssueMithridates III of Commagene
Names
Mithridates II Antiochus Epiphanes Philorhomaeus Philhellen Monocrites
HouseOrontid Dynasty
FatherKing Antiochus I Theos of Commagene
MotherPrincess Isias Philostorgos of Cappadocia

Mithridates II Antiochus Epiphanes Philorhomaeus Philhellen Monocrites (Greek: Μιθριδάτης Ἀντίοχος ὀ Ἐπιφανής Φιλορωμαίος Φιλέλλην Μονοκρίτης, died 20 BC), also known as Mithridates II of Commagene, was a man of Iranian[1] and Greek descent who lived in the 1st century BC. He was a prince of Commagene and one of the sons of King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene and Queen Isias Philostorgos of Commagene. When his father died in c. 31 BC, he succeeded his father and reigned until his death.

Biography

According to Plutarch, Mithridates was an ally of the Roman triumvir Mark Antony. In 31 BC, Mithridates personally led his forces to Actium in Greece in support of Antony in the war against Caesar Octavian, the future Roman emperor Augustus.[2] After the defeat of Antony, however, Mithridates became a loyal ally to Augustus. Nevertheless, Augustus forced Mithridates to hand over a village in Commagene called Zeugma, which was a major crossing point of the Euphrates River, to the Roman province of Syria. To show his support for Augustus, Mithridates dropped the title Philhellen ("friend of the Greeks") from his Aulic titulature and adopted the title Philorhomaeus ("friend of the Romans") instead. Both titles were derived from the Commagenean royal cult that Mithridates' father had founded, and in which Mithridates played an important role. His other title Monocrites is an otherwise unattested title and was most likely a judicial function within the royal administration and a sign of his high social standing.

Mithridates had a brother, Antiochus II of Commagene, who was also a prince of the kingdom.[3][4] In 29 BC, Antiochus was summoned to Rome and executed by Roman emperor Augustus, because Antiochus had caused the assassination of an ambassador whom Mithridates had sent to Rome.[3]

According to an inscription found in the Turkish village of Sofraz on a funerary altar of a prominent and wealthy local family, dating to around the mid-1st century, the wife of Mithridates was a Greek woman called Laodice. The altar inscribes the names of seven generations of family members, including the names of Mithridates, of his father and of his wife. When Mithridates died in 20 BC, his son by Laodice, Mithridates III of Commagene, succeeded him.[4]

Ancestry

Preceded by
Antiochus I Theos of Commagene
King of Cappadocia
31 BC – 20 BC
Succeeded by
Mithridates III

References

  1. ^ Marciak 2017, p. 157; Garsoian 2005; Erskine, Llewellyn-Jones & Wallace 2017, p. 75; Babaie & Grigor 2015, p. 80; Sartre 2005, p. 23; Widengren 1986, pp. 135–136; Merz & Tieleman 2012, p. 68
  2. ^ Speidel, Michael Alexander (2005). "Early Roman Rule in Commagene" (PDF). citing Plutarch, Antony 61. Mavors-Institute for Ancient Military History. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 December 2015. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  3. ^ a b Smith, William, ed. (1870). "Antiochus II". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities. republished at AncientLibrary.com. p. 194. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Samosata". Catholic Encyclopedia. republished at Catholicity.com. Retrieved 20 April 2015.

Sources