Tiberius Julius Aspurgus

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Aspurgus Philoromaios
King of the Bosporan Kingdom
Reign8 BC – 37/38 AD
Predecessor Polemon I
Successor Gepaepyris (as Queen)
Died37/38 AD
House Mithridatid
Father Asander
Mother Dynamis
Religion Greek Polytheism

Tiberius Julius Aspurgus Philoromaios (Greek : Τιβέριος Ἰούλιος Ἀσποῦργoς Φιλορωμαῖος, [lower-alpha 1] fl. second half of 1st century BC and first half of 1st century AD; died 37/38) was a prince and Roman client king of the Bosporan Kingdom.



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

Aspurgus was born to Asander, ruler of the Bosporan Kingdom and Dynamis. He was the maternal grandchild to the previous Roman client king of the Bosporan and Pontus, Pharnaces II and his Sarmatian wife.

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 Dynamis, so he could seize Asander's throne and become king. Dynamis was forced 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.

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 only 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.


Aspurgus married Gepaepyris, a Thracian princess. Gepaepyris bore Aspurgus two sons:

Aspurgus reigned until his death in 37 or 38 AD. [2] On his death Aspurgus left his wife Gepaepyris, and two sons, Mithridates and Cotys. Gepaepyris succeeded her husband as sole ruler. [3]


  1. Philoromaios means "lover of Rome"

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  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. Bunson, Matthew (2014-05-14). Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire. Infobase Publishing. p. 327. ISBN   978-1-4381-1027-1.
  3. Association, American Philological (1974). Transactions of the American Philological Association. For the Association by the Press of Case Western Reserve University. p. 5.


See also

Preceded by King of the Bosporus
8 BC–37/38
Succeeded by