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MITHRIDATES, kings of pontus. The first of these, however, was not really an independent monarch, but merely a satrap under the Persian king ; and it would be more correct to oinit him in the enumeration, and reckon the one who comes next in order as Mithridates I.; but the ordinary practice has been here followed for convenience. The kings of Pontus claimed to be lineally descended from one of the seven Persians who had conspired against the Magi, and who was subsequently established by Dareius Hystaspes in the government of the countries bordering on the Euxine Sea, (Polyb. v. 43 ; Diod. xix. 40 ; Aur. Vict. de Vir. Illust. 76.) They also asserted their descent from the royal house of the Achaemenides, to which the kings of Persia belonged, but we know not how they made out this part of their pedigree. Very little is known of their history until after the fall of the Persian empire.
mithridates I., son of Ariobarzanes (probably of the first prince of that name), is mentioned by Xenophon (Cyr. viii. 8. § 4) as having betrayed his father, aud the game circumstance is alluded to by Aristotle (Pol. v. 10). Eckhel supposes him to be the same with the Mithridates who accompanied the younger Cyrus, but there is certainly no proof of this. He may, however, be the same with the Mithridates mentioned by Xenophon (Anab. vii. 8. § 25) as satrap of Cappadocia and Lycaonia. It appears that he was dead before b. c. 363, when Ariobarzanes II. made himself master of the countries which had been subject to his rule. (Diod. xv. 90.)
mithridates II., son of Ariobarzanes II., whom he succeeded on the throne in b. c. 337. (Diod. xvi. 90.) He is frequently called 6 Knarrys, as having been the founder of the independent kingdom of Pontus, and ought certainly to be dis^ tingished as Mithridates I. According to Appian (MitJir. 112) he was eighth in descent from the first satrap of Pontus under Dareius Hystaspes, and sixth in ascending order from Mithridates the Great. (Ibid. 9; see Clinton, F. If. vol. iii. p. 423.) Diodorus assigns him a reign of thirty-five years, but it appears certain that he did not hold uninterrupted possession of the sovereignty during that period. What circumstances led to his expulsion or subjection we know not; indeed we meet with no farther notice of him from the date of his accession already mentioned until some time after the death of Alexander, when we find him attending, apparently in a private, or at least subordinate, capacity, upon the court and camp of Antigonus. Probably he had been compelled to submit to the Macedonian yoke at the time that Cappadocia was-conquered by Perdiceas, b. c. 322. He seems to have enjoyed a high place in the favour and confidence of Antigonus, until that potentate, alarmed at a dream he had had, foretelling the future greatness of Mithridates, was induced to form the project of putting him to death. Mithridates, however, received from Demetrius timely notice of his father's intentions, and fled with a few followers to Paphlagonia, where he occupied a strong fortress, called Cimiata, and being joined by numerous bodies of troops from different quarters, gradually extended his dominion over the neighbouring
countries, and thus became the founder of the kingdom of Pontus. (Appian, Mithr. 9 ; Strab. xii. p. 562 ; Plut. Demetr. 4.) The period of the flight of Mithridates is uncertain, but it must have taken place as early as 318, as we find him at the close of 317 supporting Eumenes in the war against Antigonus. (Diod. xix. 40.) From this time we hear no more of him till his death in B. c. 302, but it appears that he had submitted again to at least a nominal subjection to Antigonus, who now procured his assassination, to prevent him from joining the league of Cassander and his confederates. He seems, however, to have before this established himself firmly in his kingdom, in which he was succeeded without opposition by his son Mithridates. (Diod. xx. Ill; Appian, Mithr. 9.) According to Lucian (Macrob. 13), he was not less than eighty-four years of age at the time of his death, which renders it not improbable, as suggested by Clinton (F. H. iii. p. 422), that he is the same as the Mithridates, son of Ariobarzanes, who in his youth circumvented and put to death Datames. [datames.] Plutarch is clearly in error when he calls him a young man at the time of his flight, and a contemporary of Demetrius. (See Clinton, I. c., and Droysen, Hellenism, torn. i. p. 44, 298.)
mithridates III., son of the preceding, whom he succeeded on the throne in b. c. 302. He is said to have added largely to the dominions inherited from his father, by the acquisition of great part of Cappadocia and Paphlagonia, but whether by conquest or by the cession of the Macedonian rulers of Asia does not appear. (Diod. xx. 111.) In b. c. 281 we find him concluding an alliance with the Heracleans, to protect them against Se-leucus (Memnon, c. 11, ed. Orell.) ; and at a subsequent period, availing himself of the services of the .Gauls, then lately settled in Asia, to overthrow a force sent against him by Ptolemy, king of Egypt. (Steph. Byz. v. "AyKvpa.) These are the only events recorded of his reign, which lasted thirty-six years. He was succeeded by his son Ariobarzanes III.
mithridates IV., grandson of the preceding, was the son and successor of Ariobarzanes III. He was a minor at the death of his father, but the period of his accession cannot be determined. Clinton places it as low as 242 or 240 b. c., while Droysen (Hellenism, vol. ii. p. 355) carries it back nearly to 258. It seems probable that it must be placed considerably before 240, as Memnon tells us that he was a child at his father's death, and he had a daughter of marriageable age in 222. Shortly after his accession his kingdom was invaded by the Gauls, who were, however, repulsed. (Memnon, c. 24, ed. Orell.) After he had attained to manhood he married a sister of Seleucus Callinicus, with whom he is said to nave received the province of Phrygia as a dowry. (Euseb. Arm. p. 164 ; Justin. xxxviii. 5.) But notwithstanding this alliance, we find him, during the war between Seleucus and Antiochus Hierax, taking part against the former, whom he defeated in a great battle, in which Seleucus lost 20,000 of his troops, and narrowly escaped with, his own life. (Euseb. Arm. p. 165.) In b> c. 222, Mithridates gave his daughter Laodice in marriage to Antiochus III.: another of his daughters, also named Laodice, was married about the same time to Achaeus, the cousin of Antiochus. (Polyb. v. 43, 74, viii. 22.) In b. c. 220 Mithridates made war upon th$
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