Mithridates of Armenia

Mithridates of Armenia (Georgian: მითრიდატე; Armenian: Միհրդատ Իբերացի, fl. 1st century) was a Pharnavazid prince of the Kingdom of Iberia who served as a King of Armenia under the protection of the Roman Empire.

Mithridates
Born1st-century BC
Mtskheta, Kingdom of Iberia
DiedAD 51
Spousedaughter of Pharasmanes I
IssueZenobia of Armenia
DynastyPharnavazid dynasty
FatherKartam of Colchis
Motherdaughter of Pharnavaz II of Iberia

Mithridates was installed by Roman emperor Tiberius, who invaded Armenia in AD 35. When the Parthian prince Orodes, son of Artabanus II of Parthia, attempted to dispossess Mithridates of his newly acquired kingdom, Mithridates led a large Armenian and Iberian army and defeated the Parthians in a pitched battle (Tacitus, Annals. vi. 32–35).[1]

Around AD 37, the new emperor Caligula had Mithridates arrested, but Claudius restored him on the Armenian throne in AD 42. Subsequently, Mithridates' relations with his brother Pharasmanes I deteriorated to the point where the Iberian king instructed his son, Rhadamistus, to invade Armenia and overthrow Mithridates in AD 51.

Betrayed by his Roman commanders, Mithridates surrendered. Roman historian Cassius Dio reports a likely apocryphal confrontation of Mithridates and Claudius in Rome.

Mithridates, king of the Iberians, having been defeated in a conflict with a Roman army and despairing of his life, begged that a hearing should be granted him in order that he might not be summarily executed or led in the triumphal procession. When his request had been granted, Claudius received him in Rome, seated on a tribunal, and addressed threatening words to him. But the king answered boldly, and ended by saying: "I was not brought to you; I came. If you doubt it, release me and try to find me."[2]

Mithridates was put to death by his nephew Rhadamistus, who usurped the crown and married his cousin Zenobia, Mithridates' daughter.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Grousset, History of Armenia from its origins to 1071, p.89, 106
  2. ^ Cassius Dio, Epitome of Book LXI, 32, 4a

BibliographyEdit

    • R. Grousset, History of Armenia from its origins to 1071, Paris Payot, 1947 (reprinted again in 1984, 1995 & 2008)
Regnal titles
Preceded by King of Armenia
35 – 37
42 – 51
(2nd reign)
Succeeded by
Preceded by Succeeded by