Samstag, 25. Januar 2014

Mithridates II of Commagene (r. 38–20 BC)

Mithridates II Antiochus Epiphanes Philorhomaios Philhellenos Monocritis, also known as Mithridates II of KommaGele (Commagene) (Greek: Μιθριδάτης Ἀντίοχος ὀ Ἐπιφανής Φιλορωμαίος Φιλέλλην Μονοκρίτης, died 20 BC) was a man of Kurdish 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 38 BC, he succeeded his father and reigned until his death.

According to Plutarch, he was an ally to Roman Triumvir Mark Antony, and in 31 BC Mithridates personally led his forces to Actium in Greece in support of Antony in the war against Octavian, the future Roman Emperor Augustus. After the defeat of Antony however, Mithridates became a loyal ally to Augustus. Nevertheless, Augustus forced Mithridates to hand over to the Roman province of Syria, a village in Kurdish Commagene called Zeugma, which was a major crossing point of the Euphrates River. To show his support for Augustus, Mithridates dropped the title Philhellen ("friend of the Greeks") from his Aulic titulature and adopted the title Philorhomaios ("friend of the Romans") instead. Both titles were derived from the Royal Commagenean cult that Mithridates' late father had founded, and in which Mithridates played an important role. His other title Monocritis 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 also had a brother, Antiochus II of Commagene, who was also a prince of the kingdom. In 29 BC, his brother Antiochus II 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.

According to an inscription on a funerary altar found in the Turkish village of Sofraz of a local wealthy leading family, which dates around the mid-1st century, the wife of Mithridates was a Greek woman called Laodice. The altar inscribes family members that stretch over 7 generations and includes the names of Mithridates, of his father and of his wife. When he died in 20 BC, his son with Laodice, Mithridates III of Commagene, succeeded him.

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