Julia Iotapa (daughter of Antiochus IV)

Julia Iotapa or Julia Iotape (born around 45), daughter of King Antiochus IV of Commagene, was a Queen of Cetis, consort of Gaius Julius Alexander, son of Herodian prince Gaius Julius Tigranes.


Julia Iotapa was the daughter and youngest child of King Antiochus IV of Commagene and Queen Iotapa of Commagene, client monarchs who lived under the Roman Empire. Her parents were full-blooded siblings. Iotapa's eldest brothers were princes Gaius Julius Archelaus Antiochus Epiphanes and Callinicus.

She was of Armenian, Greek and Median descent. Through her ancestor from Commagene, Queen Laodice VII Thea, who was the mother of King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene, she was a direct descendant of the Greek Syrian Kingdom the Seleucid Empire. She was most probably born, raised and educated in Samosata, the capital of the Kingdom of Commagene. Her mother died around 52 and her father raised her.

Iotapa's father Antiochus IV was an ally to the Roman Emperor Nero and various members of the Herodian Dynasty. Between 58-59, there was civil unrest and warfare that occurred in the Kingdom of Armenia. The majority of Armenians had abandoned resistance and wanted peace, which included accepting a prince to be crowned by Nero as the king of Armenia. Antiochus IV had participated in protecting Armenia with the Romans from Tiridates I of Armenia.

Nero crowned as the new Armenian King in Rome a Herodian prince called Gaius Julius Tigranes. Tigranes was the son of Judean prince Alexander. Tigranes was the grandchild of Cappadocian Princess Glaphyra and prince Alexander of Judea. His great-grandparents were King Archelaus of Cappadocia, King of Judea Herod the Great and his wife Mariamne.

Tigranes from his marriage had a son called Gaius Julius Alexander. After Tigranes was crowned King in Rome, his son Alexander had married Iotapa in Rome. The marriage between Alexander and Iotapa was mostly a political alliance that occurred between the fathers of Iotapa and Alexander. After the marriage of Iotapa and Alexander occurred in Rome, Nero crowned them Queen and King of Cetis, a small region in Cilicia, that was previously ruled by her father. The Roman city in Cilicia, Elaiussa Sebaste, was made a part of their Kingdom. Iotapa and Alexander ruled Cetis from 58 until at least 72. Iotapa was still alive when the Flavian dynasty ruled the Roman Empire from 69-96. However, after that, there is no more known on Iotapa.

Little is known on the marriage and reign of Alexander and Iotapa. Iotapa and Alexander had three children: two sons Gaius Julius Agrippa, Gaius Julius Alexander Berenicianus and a daughter, Julia Iotapa. Their children were born and raised in Cetis. A possible descendant from their marriage was the usurper Jotapianus, who lived in the 3rd century.



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