Tiberius Julius Mithridates

Last updated
Mithridates III
Douze nummia a l'effigie de Mithridate II du Bosphore.jpg
Coinage of Tiberius Julius Mithridates
King of the Bosporan Kingdom
Reign38–45 AD
Predecessor Aspurgus
Successor Cotys I
BornBosporan Kingdom
Died68 AD
House Mithridatid
Father Aspurgus
Mother Gepaepyris
Religion Greek Polytheism

Tiberius Julius Mithridates Philogermanicus Philopatris, sometimes known as Mithridates III of the Bosporan (Greek : Τιβέριος Ιούλιος Μιθριδάτης Φιλογερμανικος Φιλοπατρíς, Philopatris means lover of his country, flourished 1st century, died 68) was a Roman Client King of the Bosporan Kingdom. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Mithridates was the first son of Roman Client Monarchs Aspurgus and Gepaepyris. [6] His younger brother was prince and future King Cotys I. He was a prince of Greek, Iranian and Roman ancestry. He was the first grandchild and grandson of Bosporan Monarchs Asander and Dynamis and Roman Client Rulers of Thrace, Cotys VIII and Antonia Tryphaena.

Through his maternal grandmother Antonia Tryphaena, he was a descendant of Roman triumvir Mark Antony. Tryphaena was the first great granddaughter born to the triumvir. Through Tryphaena, Mithridates was also related to various members of the Julio-Claudian dynasty.

Through Aspurgus, Mithridates was a descendant of the Greek Macedonian Kings: Antigonus I Monophthalmus, Seleucus I Nicator and Regent, Antipater. These three men served under King Alexander the Great. Mithridates was named in honor of his ancestor King Mithridates VI of Pontus. Mithridates VI was the paternal grandfather, of his paternal grandmother Dynamis.

Little is known on the early life of Mithridates. When Aspurgus died in 38, Mithridates had become joint ruler with his mother, Gepaepyris. Sometime before 45, the Roman Emperor Claudius, had given Mithridates the whole Bosporan Kingdom to rule. Claudius recognised and appointed him as the legitimate Bosporan King. In 45 for unknown reasons Claudius, deposed Mithridates from the Bosporan throne and replaced him with his younger brother Cotys I. Claudius had withdrawn the Roman garrison under Aulus Didius Gallus from the Bosporan Kingdom and a few Roman cohorts were left with the Roman Knight Gaius Julius Aquila in the Bosporan.

Mithridates despised the situation. He mistrusted Cotys I, Aquila and attempted to regain his throne. Mithridates was able to entice the leaders of the local tribes and deserters into his allies. He was able to seize control of the local tribes and collect an army to declare war on Cotys I and Aquila. When Cotys I and Aquila heard news of this war, they feared that the invasion was imminent. Both men knew they had the support of Claudius. Mithridates with his army, engaged in war with Cotys I's army and Aquila's battalions, in a three-day war, which Cotys I and Aquila won unscathed and triumphant at the Don River.

Mithridates knew that resistance was hopeless and considered an appeal to Claudius. Mithridates turned to a local tribesman called Eunones, to help him. Eunones, sent envoys to Rome to Claudius with a letter from Mithridates.

In Mithridates’ letter to the Emperor, Mithridates greeted and addressed him with great honor and respect from one ruler to another ruler. Mithridates asked Claudius for a pardon and to be spared from a triumphal procession or capital punishment. Claudius wasn't sure how to punish or deal with Mithridates. Mithridates was captured and brought to Rome as a prisoner. He was displayed as a public figure beside the platform in the Roman Forum along with his guards and his expression remained undoubted.

Claudius was impressed with Mithridates’ mercy from his letter and allowed Mithridates to live. He was spared from any capital punishment and was exiled. Mithridates lived as a destitute exiled monarch until his death. He never married nor had children.

See also

Related Research Articles

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.

Artaxias III King of Armenia

Artaxias III, also known as Zeno-Artaxias, was a prince of the Bosporan, Pontus, Cilicia, Cappadocia and Roman Client King of Armenia.

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. Polemon was the son and heir of Zenon and possibly Tryphaena. Zenon and Polemon adorned Laodicea with many dedicated offerings.

Pythodorida or Pythodoris of Pontus was a Roman client queen of Pontus, the Bosporan Kingdom, Cilicia, and Cappadocia.

Antonia Tryphaena also known as Tryphaena of Thrace or Tryphaena was a Princess of the Bosporan, Pontus, Cilicia, Cappadocia and a Roman Client Queen of Thrace.

Cotys IX or Kotys IX was a Thracian prince and the Roman Client King of Lesser Armenia. Cotys was the second son and was among the children of Roman Client Rulers of Thrace Cotys VIII and Antonia Tryphaena. His paternal grandparents were loyal Roman Client Rulers Rhoemetalces I and Pythodoris I of Thrace, while his maternal grandparents Roman Client Rulers Polemon Pythodoros and Pythodorida of Pontus. Cotys was the namesake of his father and was of Persian, Greek and Roman descent. His maternal grandmother Pythodorida of Pontus was the first grandchild of Roman Triumvir Mark Antony. Thus through his maternal grandmother, Cotys was related to various members of the Julio-Claudian dynasty.

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

Tiberius Julius Aspurgus Philoromaios was a Prince and Roman client king of the Bosporan Kingdom.

Tiberius Julius Cotys I

Tiberius Julius Cotys I Philocaesar Philoromaios Eusebes, also known as Cotys I or Kotys I was a prince and Roman client king of the Bosporan Kingdom.


The Siraces were a hellenized Sarmatian tribe that inhabited Sarmatia Asiatica; the coast of Achardeus at the Black Sea north of the Caucasus Mountains, Siracena is mentioned by Tacitus as one of their settlements. They were said to be relatively small nation but with great morale. They were neighbours to the later enemy tribe of Aorsi.

Tiberius Julius Rhescuporis I Philocaesar Philoromaios Eusebes, also known as Rhescuporis I was a prince and Roman Client King of the Bosporan Kingdom.

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.

Tiberius Julius Sauromates I Philocaesar Philoromaios Eusebes, also known as Sauromates I was a prince and Roman client king of the Bosporan Kingdom.

Tiberius Julius Sauromates II King of the Bosporan Kingdom

Tiberius Julius Sauromates II Philocaesar Philoromaios Eusebes, also known as Sauromates II, was a prince regnant and the Roman Client King of the Bosporan Kingdom.

Cotys III, also known in dynastic terms as Cotys VIII was the Sapaean Roman client king of eastern Thrace from 12 to 19.

Crimea in the Roman era

The Crimean Peninsula was under partial control of the Roman Empire during the period of 47 BC to c. 340 AD. The territory under Roman control mostly coincided with the Bosporan Kingdom . Rome lost its influence in Taurica in the mid third century AD, when substantial parts of the peninsula fell to the Goths, but at least nominally the kingdom survived until the 340s AD. Byzantium, the eastern continuation of the Roman Empire, later regained Crimea under Justinian I. The Byzantine Greeks controlled portions of the peninsula well into the Late Middle Ages.

Eunice was a Roman Client Queen of the Bosporan Kingdom by marriage to the Roman Client King, Cotys I. She appears to have been regent during the minority of her son Rhescuporis I in 68-69.

Roman–Bosporan War 1st-century conflict in Cimmerian Bosporus

The Roman–Bosporan War was a lengthy conflict that took place in the Cimmerian Bosporus in 47/48 AD between the Pro-Roman and new client-king Tiberius Julius Cotys I and his allies King Eunones of Aorsi and Gaius Julius Aquila against former king and Anti-Roman Tiberius Julius Mithridates and King Zorsines of Siraces.


  1. "Ancient Library > Bookshelf > Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology > v. 1, page 870". Archived from the original on 2006-05-22.
  2. "Ancient Coinage of Bosporos, Kings". www.wildwinds.com. Retrieved 2019-05-06.
  3. "Gepaepyris Princess of Thrace". american-pictures.com. Archived from the original on 2002-11-26.
  4. "Mithradates King of Bosphorus". american-pictures.com. Archived from the original on 2002-11-26.
  5. "Bosporos, Kings, Mithradates, ancient coins index with thumbnails - WildWinds.com". www.wildwinds.com. Archived from the original on 2017-05-04. Retrieved 2019-05-06.
  6. Minns, Ellis Hovell. (2011). Scythians and Greeks: a Survey of Ancient History and Archaeology on the North Coast of the Euxine from the Danube to the Caucasus. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN   9780511791772. OCLC   889959668. page 590

Preceded by
King of the Bosporus
Succeeded by
Cotys I