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.

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 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.

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

Iranian languages language family

The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of the Indo-Iranian languages in the Indo-European language family that are spoken natively by the Iranian peoples.

The Greeks or Hellenes are an ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus, southern Albania, Italy, Turkey, Egypt and, to a lesser extent, other countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world.

Iranian peoples diverse Indo-European ethno-linguistic group

The Iranian peoples, or the Iranic peoples, are a diverse Indo-European ethno-linguistic group that comprise the speakers of the Iranian languages.

History

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.

Asander (Bosporan king) aristocrat

Asander, named Philocaesar Philoromaios was a Roman client king of the Bosporan Kingdom. He was of Greek and possibly of Persian ancestry. Not much is known of his family and early life. He started his career as a general under Pharnaces II, the king of the Bosporus. According to some scholars, Asander took as his first wife a woman called Glykareia, known from one surviving Greek inscription, "Glykareia, wife of Asander".

Dynamis, nicknamed Philoromaios, was a Roman client queen of the Bosporan Kingdom during the Late Roman Republic and part of the reign of Augustus, the first Roman Emperor. Dynamis is an ancient Greek name which means the “powerful one”. She was a monarch of Iranian and Greek Macedonian ancestry. She was the daughter of King Pharnaces II of Pontus and his Sarmatian wife. She had an older brother called Darius and a younger brother called Arsaces. Her paternal grandparents had been the monarchs of the Kingdom of Pontus, Mithridates VI of Pontus and his first wife Laodice, who was also his sister. Dynamis married three times. Her husbands were Asander, a certain Scribonius and Polemon I of Pontus. According to Rostovtzeff, she also had a fourth husband, Aspurgos.

Kingdom of Pontus

The Kingdom of Pontus or Pontic Empire was a state founded by the Persian Mithridatic dynasty, which may have been directly related to Darius the Great and the Achaemenid dynasty. The kingdom was proclaimed by Mithridates I in 281 BCE and lasted until its conquest by the Roman Republic in 63 BCE. It reached its largest extent under Mithridates VI the Great, who conquered Colchis, Cappadocia, Bithynia, the Greek colonies of the Tauric Chersonesos, and for a brief time the Roman province of Asia. After a long struggle with Rome in the Mithridatic Wars, Pontus was defeated; part of it was incorporated into the Roman Republic as the province Bithynia et Pontus, and the eastern half survived as a client 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.

A usurper is an illegitimate or controversial claimant to power, often but not always in a monarchy. In other words, a person who takes the power of a country, city, or established region for himself, without any formal or legal right to claim it as his own. Usurpers are both those who overtake a region by often unexpected physical force, as well as individuals or organizations who overtake a region through political influence and subterfuge — though the word "usurper" denotes a single person; either an individual who acted alone, or the leader of a group which supported his controversial claim.

Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa ancient Roman statesman and general

Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa was a Roman consul, statesman, general and architect. He was a close friend, son-in-law, and lieutenant to Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus and was responsible for the construction of some of the most notable buildings in the history of Rome and for important military victories, most notably at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC against the forces of Mark Antony and Cleopatra. As a result of these victories, Octavianus became the first Roman Emperor, adopting the name of Augustus. Agrippa assisted Augustus in making Rome "a city of marble" and renovating aqueducts to give all Romans, from every social class, access to the highest quality public services. He was responsible for the creation of many baths, porticoes and gardens, as well as the original Pantheon. Agrippa was also husband to Julia the Elder, maternal grandfather to Caligula, and maternal great-grandfather to the Emperor Nero.

Polemon Pythodoros, also known as Polemon I or Polemon I of Pontus was the Roman Client King of Cilicia, Pontus, Colchis and the Bosporan Kingdom.

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.

Roman Republic Period of ancient Roman civilization (509–27 BC)

The Roman Republic was the era of classical Roman civilization beginning with the overthrow of the Roman Kingdom, traditionally dated to 509 BC, and ending in 27 BC with the establishment of the Roman Empire. It was during this period that Rome's control expanded from the city's immediate surroundings to hegemony over the entire Mediterranean world.

Augustus First emperor of the Roman Empire

Augustus was a Roman statesman and military leader who was the first Emperor of the Roman Empire, controlling Imperial Rome from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. His status as the founder of the Roman Principate has consolidated an enduring legacy as one of the most effective and controversial leaders in human history. The reign of Augustus initiated an era of relative peace known as the Pax Romana. The Roman world was largely free from large-scale conflict for more than two centuries, despite continuous wars of imperial expansion on the Empire's frontiers and the year-long civil war known as the "Year of the Four Emperors" over the imperial succession.

Roman Senate A political institution in ancient Rome

The Roman Senate was a political institution in ancient Rome. It was one of the most enduring institutions in Roman history, being established in the first days of the city of Rome,. It survived the overthrow of the kings in 509 BC, the fall of the Roman Republic in the 1st century BC, the division of the Roman Empire in 395 AD, the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD, and the barbarian rule of Rome in the 5th, 6th, and 7th centuries.

Family

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

Thrace kingdom of Thracians

Thrace is a geographical and historical region in Southeast Europe, now split between Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey, which is bounded by the Balkan Mountains to the north, the Aegean Sea to the south and the Black Sea to the east. It comprises southeastern Bulgaria, northeastern Greece and the European part of Turkey.

Gepaepyris was a Thracian princess, and a Roman Client Queen of the Bosporan Kingdom, the longest known surviving Roman Client Kingdom.

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.

Notes

  1. 1 2 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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References

See also

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