Pythodorida of Pontus

Pythodorida of Pontus

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Pythodorida of Pontus'
Start a new discussion about 'Pythodorida of Pontus'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Pythodorida or Pythodoris of Pontus was a Roman Client Queen of Pontus
Kingdom of Pontus
The Kingdom of Pontus or Pontic Empire was a state of Persian origin on the southern coast of the Black Sea. It was founded by Mithridates I in 291 BC and lasted until its conquest by the Roman Republic in 63 BC...

, Bosporan
Bosporan Kingdom
The Bosporan Kingdom or the Kingdom of the Cimmerian Bosporus was an ancient state, located in eastern Crimea and the Taman Peninsula on the shores of the Cimmerian Bosporus...

, Cilicia
Cilicia
In antiquity, Cilicia was the south coastal region of Asia Minor, south of the central Anatolian plateau. It existed as a political entity from Hittite times into the Byzantine empire...

 and Cappadocia
Cappadocia
Cappadocia is a historical region in Central Anatolia, largely in Nevşehir Province.In the time of Herodotus, the Cappadocians were reported as occupying the whole region from Mount Taurus to the vicinity of the Euxine...

.

Origins & Early Life


Pythodorida is also known as Pythodoris I and Pantos Pythodorida. According to an honorific inscription dedicated to her in Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

 Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 in the late 1st century BC, her royal title was Queen Pythodorida Philometor . Philometor means "mother-loving" and this title is associated with the Greek Pharaoh
Pharaoh
Pharaoh is a title used in many modern discussions of the ancient Egyptian rulers of all periods. The title originates in the term "pr-aa" which means "great house" and describes the royal palace...

s and Queens of the Ptolemaic dynasty
Ptolemaic dynasty
The Ptolemaic dynasty, was a Macedonian Greek royal family which ruled the Ptolemaic Empire in Egypt during the Hellenistic period. Their rule lasted for 275 years, from 305 BC to 30 BC...

 of Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

.

Pythodorida was born and raised in Smyrna
Smyrna
Smyrna was an ancient city located at a central and strategic point on the Aegean coast of Anatolia. Thanks to its advantageous port conditions, its ease of defence and its good inland connections, Smyrna rose to prominence. The ancient city is located at two sites within modern İzmir, Turkey...

 (modern İzmir
Izmir
Izmir is a large metropolis in the western extremity of Anatolia. The metropolitan area in the entire Izmir Province had a population of 3.35 million as of 2010, making the city third most populous in Turkey...

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

). She was the daughter and only child of wealthy Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

n Greek
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

 and friend to the late triumvir Pompey
Pompey
Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, also known as Pompey or Pompey the Great , was a military and political leader of the late Roman Republic...

, Pythodoros of Tralles
Pythodoros of Tralles
Pythodoros of Tralles, also known as Pythodorus was an exceedingly wealthy Anatolian Greek living in the 1st century BC. Pythodoros originated came from Tralles . Not much is known on his family. He was a friend to the late Roman triumvir Pompey.Pythodoros became the first son-in-law to the Roman...

 and Antonia. Pythodorida was half Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 and half Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

n Greek. She was the namesake of her father.

Her maternal grandparents were the Roman triumvir Mark Antony
Mark Antony
Marcus Antonius , known in English as Mark Antony, was a Roman politician and general. As a military commander and administrator, he was an important supporter and loyal friend of his mother's cousin Julius Caesar...

 and Antonia Hybrida Minor, who were paternal first cousins, however Pythodorida’s paternal grandparents are unknown. Pythodorida seems to the first-born grandchild born to the triumvir Antony.

Queen


About 14 BC, Pythodorida married King Polemon Pythodoros
Polemon I of Pontus
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....

 of Pontus as his second wife. She became Queen of Pontus and the Bosporan Kingdom when she married Polemon I. Polemon I was previously widowed by his first wife and had no natural children, except for a stepson.

Pythodorida and Polemon had two sons and one daughter, who were:
  • Zenon, also known as Zeno-Artaxias or Artaxias III
    Artaxias III
    Artaxias III, also known as Zeno-Artaxias, Artaxes or Artashes was a prince of the Bosporan, Pontus, Cilicia, Cappadocia and Roman Client King of Armenia....

    , who became King of Armenia
    Armenia
    Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

     in 18 and reigned until his death in 35
  • Marcus Antonius Polemon Pythodoros, also known as Polemon II of Pontus
  • Antonia Tryphaena
    Antonia Tryphaena
    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....

     who married King of Thrace
    Thrace
    Thrace is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe. As a geographical concept, Thrace designates a region bounded by the Balkan Mountains on the north, Rhodope Mountains and the Aegean Sea on the south, and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara on the east...

    , Cotys VIII


Polemon I died in 8 BC and Pythodorida became the sole Queen of Pontus until her death. Pythodorida was able to retain Colchis
Colchis
In ancient geography, Colchis or Kolkhis was an ancient Georgian state kingdom and region in Western Georgia, which played an important role in the ethnic and cultural formation of the Georgian nation.The Kingdom of Colchis contributed significantly to the development of medieval Georgian...

 and Cilicia
Cilicia
In antiquity, Cilicia was the south coastal region of Asia Minor, south of the central Anatolian plateau. It existed as a political entity from Hittite times into the Byzantine empire...

 but the Bosporan Kingdom
Bosporan Kingdom
The Bosporan Kingdom or the Kingdom of the Cimmerian Bosporus was an ancient state, located in eastern Crimea and the Taman Peninsula on the shores of the Cimmerian Bosporus...

, she was unable to retain. The Bosporan Kingdom
Bosporan Kingdom
The Bosporan Kingdom or the Kingdom of the Cimmerian Bosporus was an ancient state, located in eastern Crimea and the Taman Peninsula on the shores of the Cimmerian Bosporus...

, was succeeded by her first husband's stepson Aspurgus
Tiberius Julius Aspurgus
Tiberius Julius Aspurgus Philoromaios was a Prince and Roman Client King of the Bosporan Kingdom.The name Aspurgus is a name of Iranian origin. His name goes back to the Iranian words aspa and aspabara . Aspurgus was a monarch of Greek and Iranian ancestry.Aspurgus was the son born to the ruling...

.

After Polemon I died, she married King Archelaus of Cappadocia
Archelaus of Cappadocia
-Family & Early Life:Archelaus was a Cappadocian Greek nobleman, possibly of Macedonian descent. His full name was Archelaus Sisines. He was the first born son, namesake of the Roman Client and High Priest Ruler Archelaus, of the temple state of Comana, Cappadocia and Glaphyra. Archelaus’ father...

. Archelaus and Pythodorida had no children. Through her marriages, she became Roman Client Queen of Cappadocia
Cappadocia
Cappadocia is a historical region in Central Anatolia, largely in Nevşehir Province.In the time of Herodotus, the Cappadocians were reported as occupying the whole region from Mount Taurus to the vicinity of the Euxine...

. Pythodorida had moved with her children from Pontus to Cappadocia to live with Archelaus. When Archelaus died in 17, Cappadocia became a Roman province and she returned with her family back to Pontus.

In later years, Polemon II assisted his mother in the administration of the kingdom. When Pythodorida died, Polemon II succeeded her. Pythodorida was a friend and contemporary to the Greek geographer Strabo
Strabo
Strabo, also written Strabon was a Greek historian, geographer and philosopher.-Life:Strabo was born to an affluent family from Amaseia in Pontus , a city which he said was situated the approximate equivalent of 75 km from the Black Sea...

. Strabo is said to have described Pythodorida as a woman of virtuous character. Strabo considered her to have a great capacity for business and considered that under Pythodorida’s rule, Pontus had flourished.

Ancestry





Sources

  • Vassal - Queens and Some Contemporary Women of the Roman Empire by Grace Harriet Macurdy (1937)
  • http://www.ancientlibrary.com/smith-bio/2962.html
  • http://www.guide2womenleaders.com/turkey_substates.htm
  • http://www.tyndalehouse.com/egypt/ptolemies/cleopatra_vii_fr.htm

External links