Leukon II

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Leukon II
Moneta Levkona II.jpg
King of the Bosporan Kingdom
Reign240–220 BC
Predecessor Spartokos IV
Successor Hygiainon
Bosporan Kingdom
Died220 BC
Bosporan Kingdom
IssueSpartokos V
House Spartocid
Father Paerisades II
Religion Greek Polytheism

Leukon II of Bosporus (Greek: Λέυκων Β'; c. 240 – 220 BC), also known as Leuco, seems to have been the second son of Paerisades II and a Spartocid ruler of the Bosporan Kingdom in 240 BC due to his surviving coinage.

Bosporus strait that forms part of the boundary between Europe and Asia

The Bosporus or Bosphorus is a narrow, natural strait and an internationally significant waterway located in northwestern Turkey. It forms part of the continental boundary between Europe and Asia, and divides Turkey by separating Anatolia from Thrace. The world's narrowest strait used for international navigation, the Bosporus connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara, and, by extension via the Dardanelles, the Aegean and Mediterranean seas.

Greek language language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

Bosporan Kingdom Former country

The Bosporan Kingdom, also known as the Kingdom of the Cimmerian Bosporus, was an ancient Greco-Scythian state located in eastern Crimea and the Taman Peninsula on the shores of the Cimmerian Bosporus, the present-day Strait of Kerch. It was the first truly 'Hellenistic' state in the sense that a mixed population adopted the Greek language and civilization. The Bosporan Kingdom became the longest surviving Roman client kingdom. The 1st and 2nd centuries BC saw a period of renewed golden age of the Bosporan state. It was a Roman province from 63 to 68 AD, under Emperor Nero. At the end of the 2nd century AD, King Sauromates II inflicted a critical defeat on the Scythians and included all the territories of the Crimea in the structure of his state.



He killed his brother, Spartokos IV, after discovering his adulterous affair with Leukon's wife Alkathoe, and assumed the throne. Alkathoe later supposedly killed Leukon in an act of revenge. [1]

Leukon also supposedly endured an economic crisis in the 3rd century BC, where he minted new coins with his own name, in order to maintain his kingdom. [2] He was the first Bosporan king to issue coins with his own name. [3]


He was succeeded by Hygiainon after his death. Hygiainon, however, was not a member of the Spartocid dynasty and may have been a supporter of Kamasarye, the daughter and heiress of Spartokos V, who was, at the time, too young to rule. [4]


Hygiainon or Hygiaenon was an Archon of the Bosporan Kingdom after his predecessor, Leukon II, was slain by his wife Alkathoe in c. 220 BC. Although he was not part of the Spartocids, he seems to have been a supporter of Kamasarye, then heiress and queen of the Bosporan Kingdom. He is said to have been an eminent member of the aristocracy, and backed the unmarried Kamasarye, who would later marry her cousin Paerisades III.

Related Research Articles

Spartocid dynasty

The Spartocids or Spartocidae was the name of a Hellenized Thracian dynasty that ruled the Hellenistic Kingdom of Bosporus between the years 438–108 BC. They had usurped the former dynasty, the Archaeanactids, a Greek dynasty of the Bosporan Kingdom who were tyrants of Panticapaeum from 480 - 438 BC that were usurped from the Bosporan throne by Spartokos I in 438 BC, whom the dynasty is named after.

Leukon I

Leukon I of Bosporus also known as Leucon, and Leuco, was a Spartocid ruler of the Hellenistic Bosporan Kingdom who ruled from 389 to 349 BC. He is arguably the greatest ruler of the Bosporan Kingdom.

Gorgippos I or Gorgippus was a son of Satyros I and was a Spartocid joint ruler with his brother Leukon of the Bosporan Kingdom. He situated himself on the Asiatic side of the kingdom, in Gorgippia where he presumably ruled until his death in 349 BC.

The Siege of Theodosia was a siege carried out by Leukon I sometime after his accession to the Bosporan throne in around 365 BC. Satyrus I, the father of Leukon, had previously laid siege on Theodosia but died during it. The exact numbers of the forces in the siege aren't known.

Bosporan wars of expansion

The Bosporan Kingdom waged a series of wars of expansion in the Cimmerian Bosporus and the surrounding territories from around 438 BC until about 355 BC. Bosporan expansion began after Spartokos I, the first Spartocid took power and during his seven-year reign, established an aggressive expansionist foreign policy that was followed by his successors.

Paerisades I also known as Birisades, Pairisades, and Parysades was a Spartocid king of the Bosporan Kingdom from 342 to 310/9 BC.

Paerisades V

Paerisades V was the son of Paerisades III and Kamasarye Philoteknos. He was last Spartocid ruler of the Bosporan Kingdom and ruled from 125 to 109 BC after the death of his brother Paerisades IV Philometor. With his death, ended a dynasty of Bosporan kings that had ruled the Bosporan Kingdom for over 3 centuries, starting in 438 BC with his ancestor Spartokos I.

Paerisades IV Philometor

Paerisades IV Philometor seems to have been a Spartocid king of the Bosporan Kingdom from c. 150 to 125 BC.

Paerisades III

Paerisades III was a son of Leukon II and Alkathoe, he also succeeded his brother Spartokos V as Spartocid king of the Bosporan Kingdom from 180 to 150 BC.

Paerisades II or Parysades was king of the Bosporan Kingdom from 284 to 245 BC. He may have been a son of either Spartokos III, or Satyros II.

Spartokos III or Spartocus was king of the Bosporan Kingdom from 304 to 284 BC, after the untimely death of his father Eumelos in 304 BC after a reign of 5 years.

Kamasarye II Philoktenos or Comosarye was a daughter of Spartokos V and a Spartocid queen of the Bosporan Kingdom from 180-150 BC. She was the wife of her cousin Paerisades III and a granddaughter of Leukon II.

Spartokos IV was a Spartocid king of the Bosporan Kingdom from 245 to 240 BC.

Sopaios or Sopaeus or Sinopeus was a powerful Bosporan minister to Satyros I, the father of queen Theodosia, and father-in-law to Leukon I.

The Bosporan–Heracleote War was a long and enduring conflict between the Hellenistic states of Heraclea Pontica and the Bosporan Kingdom. It lasted decades, but ended after the Bosporans finally conquered the city-state of Theodosia in around 360 BCE.

The Bosporan–Sindian War was a war between the Sindike Kingdom and its allied tribes against the Bosporan Kingdom in the 4th century BC. The war took place amidst the wars of expansion and took the life of the brother of Leukon and Gorgippos, Metrodoros.

Spartokos I was the founder and first ruler of the Spartocid dynasty in the Bosporan Kingdom. He usurped the former rulers of the Bosporus, the Archaeanactids, after being a mercenary under their command sometime in 438 BC.


  1. Elena Stolyarik. THE REIGN AND CHRONOLOGY OF THE ARCHON HYGIAENON. Leucon of Bosporus. JSTOR   43580389. Hygaienon succeeded to the throne after Leukon II was killed by his wife
  2. Elena Stolyarik. THE REIGN AND CHRONOLOGY OF THE ARCHON HYGIAENON. Leucon of Bosporus. JSTOR   43580389. This is indicated by the actions of Leukon II during the Bosporan economic crisis of the third quarter of the third century. He tried to restore normal circulation by issuing bronze coins...
  3. Encyclopedia,The Free Dictionary. Leucon II (c. 240–220), under whom, for the first time on the shores of the Bosporus, coins were minted in the king’s name.
  4. Elena Stolyarik. THE REIGN AND CHRONOLOGY OF THE ARCHON HYGIAENON. Leucon of Bosporus. JSTOR   43580389. before her marriage with her cousin Paerisades III, she was supported by an eminent member of the Bosporan aristocracy, Hygiaenon.

Collection of coins from the reign of Leukon II here