Commagene Timeline

Commagene Timeline

  • 163 BCE - 72 CE

    Duration of The Kingdom of Commagene, founded by Ptolemaeus of Commagene.

  • 163 BCE - 130 BCE

    Reign of the first king of Commagene, Ptolemaeus of Commagene.

  • 130 BCE - 109 BCE

    Reign of the second king of Commagene, Sames II.

  • 109 BCE - 70 BCE

    Reign of the third king of Commagene, Mithridates I Callinicus.

  • 70 BCE - 38 BCE

    Reign of the fourth (and greatest) king of Commagene, Antiochus I Theos, who built the mortuary complex of Nemrut Dagi on Mount Nemrut.

  • 38 BCE - 20 BCE

    Reign of the fifth king of Commagene, Mithridates II.

  • 20 BCE - 12 BCE

    Reign of the sixth king of Commagene, Mithridates III.

  • 12 BCE - 17 CE

    Reign of the seventh king of Commagene, Antiochus III Epiphanes.

  • 17 CE - 38 CE

    The Kingdom of Commagene is ruled by Rome.

  • 38 CE - 72 CE

    Reign of the eighth and last king of Commagene, Antiochus IV (also considered the greatest), who built Antiochia ad Cragum and Aytap.

  • 72 CE

    The Kingdom of Commagene absorbed by the Roman Empire into the province of Cilicia.

Kingdom of Commagene

The Kingdom of Commagene (Greek: Βασίλειον τῆς Kομμαγηνῆς , Armenian: Կոմմագենեի թագավորություն ) was an ancient Armenian kingdom [1] [2] of the Hellenistic period, [3] located in and around the ancient city of Samosata, which served as its capital. The Iron Age name of Samosata, Kummuh, probably gives its name to Commagene. [4] Commagene has been characterized as a "buffer state" between Armenia, Parthia, Syria, and Rome [5] culturally, it seems to have been correspondingly mixed. [1] [6] [5] The Commagenian ruling family was closely related to the Orontid dynasty of Armenia. [5] The territory of Commagene corresponds roughly to the modern Turkish provinces of Adıyaman and northern Antep. [7]

Little is known of the region of Commagene prior to the beginning of the 2nd century BC. However, it seems that, from what little evidence remains, Commagene formed part of a larger state that also included the Kingdom of Sophene. This control lasted until c. 163 BC , when the local satrap, Ptolemaeus of Commagene, established himself as independent ruler following the death of the Seleucid king, Antiochus IV Epiphanes. [8] The Kingdom of Commagene maintained its independence until 17 AD, when it was made a Roman province by Emperor Tiberius. It reemerged as an independent kingdom when Antiochus IV of Commagene was reinstated to the throne by order of Caligula, then deprived of it by that same emperor, then restored to it a couple of years later by his successor, Claudius. The reemergent state lasted until 72 AD, when the Emperor Vespasian finally and definitively made it part of the Roman Empire. [9]

One of the kingdom's most lasting visible remains is the archaeological site on Mount Nemrut, a sanctuary dedicated by King Antiochus Theos to a number of syncretistic Graeco-Iranian deities as well as to himself and the deified land of Commagene. [10] It is now a World Heritage Site.


Emperor Leo III was born in the city of Germanicea in the kingdom of Commagene (present-day southern Turkey) sometime around 685 AD. His original name was Konon, and he grew up in Thrace after his parents were resettled there from their native homeland in the Mount Taurus region. He entered military service under Justinian II and rapidly rose through the ranks over the years. Leo was familiar with the Muslim threat when he was sent to the regions of Lazica and Alania (in modern Georgia) to lead the defense against the Umayyad invasion under Caliph Al-Walid I. Leo III is recorded on the Bible Timeline Chart with World History around 741 AD.

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He became the strategos (general) of the Anatolic theme (province) during the reign of Emperor Anastasios II between 713 AD and 715 AD. Anastasios abdicated in favor of Theodosius III in 715 after a two-year stint as the Byzantine emperor. Leo III conspired with the Armenian general Artabasdos in a coup against Theodosius. From the start, the former emperor was only compelled to fulfill the role of Byzantine ruler. Theodosius was just happy to enter a monastery after the success of Leo’s coup. In return for his support, Leo had his daughter marry Artabasdos and promoted him as the commander of the Opsikion theme.

Second Siege of Constantinople

Emperor Leo III started his reign on the 25th of May in 717 AD. He had no time to waste as the Umayyad navy threatened Constantinople with another invasion (the first siege of Constantinople in 674 AD ended in failure in 678 AD). Leo only had months to prepare the Byzantine navy and army for the invasion before the enemy fleet, led by caliph Sulayman, sailed to the Sea of Marmara. By the time Sulayman’s fleet arrived in the Sea of Marmara on the first of September in 717, an Umayyad army composed of 80,000 men marched from the Middle East to Asia Minor to help them take Constantinople.

The Byzantines first used the “Greek fire” during the First Siege of Constantinople. They used the flamethrower once again during the second Umayyad invasion. It was effective the result was a massive loss of ships and men on the Umayyad side. Leo was also a good strategist. He removed the chain that guarded the Golden Horn so that the enemy would think that he intended to lure them inside and trap them. The ruse worked, and it forced the enemy ships to sail away to a nearby inlet to take refuge.

The descent of a harsh winter in 717 AD lessened the chances of success of the Umayyad navy and army who were not used to the bitter cold. Admiral Sulayman fell sick and died in the same year he was then hastily replaced by another admiral from Egypt who brought with him a shipment of additional men, food, and weapons. Among those who came with the new navy were Egyptian Christians who jumped ship the moment they arrived near Constantinople and switched sides to Leo III. They passed on information to the Byzantine emperor who used this to raid the Egyptian ships for food and weapons.

The Byzantines called on their Bulgar allies during the last few months of the siege in 718 AD, and together they attacked the enemy which resulted in a loss of about 20,000 on the Muslim side. The new Umayyad caliph Umar II saw that it was useless to continue the siege and agreed to sign a peace treaty with Leo III. He then recalled his men from the Sea of Marmara on August 15, 718 AD. Only five ships returned to the shores of the Levant after a storm destroyed them on the way. Many were also destroyed by a volcano eruption in the Aegean or captured by the Byzantines.

The Muslim army continued to harass the Byzantines on land in the years that followed. They took Cappadocia and besieged Nicaea in 724 AD. Leo faced a bigger Muslim invasion during the last years of his reign as emperor when a 90,000-strong Muslim army invaded much of Asia Minor and took their Byzantine captives to Syria. The emperor, with his son Constantine and their troops, later drove them back to the Levant.

Rebellions and Iconoclasm

Rebellions hounded Emperor Leo in the early years of his reign, with the first one led by a man named Artemius on the island of Sicily. The rebellion happened during the Second Siege of Constantinople, but Leo sent troops to Sicily to quash the revolt when he had a small break from the naval battles with the Muslims. The former Emperor Anastasios II also decided to return to Constantinople and rallied his allies in 719 AD to seize the throne. But the Bulgars who joined his cause abandoned Anastasios during an important battle. He was captured by Leo who later had him executed.

Emperor Leo’s greatest challenge was the prohibition he imposed on the worship of idols after the Second Siege of Constantinople. During the siege, Patriarch Germanos paraded an icon of the Virgin Mary and Child Jesus around the city which made the people believe that it was the icon that helped lift the invasion. Insulted that he was not properly credited as the one who led the successful defense of the city, Leo promptly had the icons all over the Byzantine Empire removed or destroyed. The eruption of the underwater volcano near the island of Thera (which he took as a sign of God’s wrath) and the Muslims’ prohibition of the worship of idols also pushed him to issue this edict.

The first “victim” of Leo’s iconoclasm was the icon of Christ that decorated the Bronze Gate (Chalke) of the Great Palace in Constantinople. He ordered the soldiers to remove it from its usual place. This enraged the crowd that gathered in front of the palace, and a riot subsequently flared up in the city that resulted in the death of one soldier. The members of the mob that committed the riot were arrested and fined. Leo ordered more icons all over the empire to be removed and destroyed. He had a falling out with Pope Gregory II over this issue which resulted in his excommunication in addition, the edict was not received very well and rejected as blasphemy in many parts of his own empire.

Leo was one of the most energetic Byzantine emperors who ruled during a very chaotic period. His army was one of the most disciplined and effective during the early Middle Ages. During his reign, he reformed the justice system and released a handbook called Ecloga which was a summary of laws issued by the former emperors. The book was published in 740 AD and covered diverse topics such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, maritime laws, and agriculture. He did not expand the empire, but he did keep what remained of the Byzantine territories intact during his reign.

He had four children by his wife Maria and one of them, Constantine, succeeded him as emperor. Leo reigned for a total of twenty-four years and died on June 18, 741 AD after an illness.

Biography [ edit ]

Antiochus I was half Sogdian, ΐ] Α] his mother Apama, daughter of Spitamenes, being one of the eastern princesses whom Alexander the Great had given as wives to his generals in 324 BC. Β] Γ] The Seleucids fictitiously claimed that Apama was the alleged daughter of Darius III, in order to legitimise themselves as the inheritors of both the Achaemenids and Alexander, and therefore the rightful lords of western and central Asia. Δ]

In 294 BC, prior to the death of his father Seleucus I, Antiochus married his stepmother, Stratonice, daughter of Demetrius Poliorcetes. The ancient sources report that his elderly father reportedly instigated the marriage after discovering that his son was in danger of dying of lovesickness. Ε] Stratonice bore five children to Antiochus: Seleucus (he was executed for rebellion), Laodice, Apama II, Stratonice of Macedon and Antiochus II Theos, who succeeded his father as king.

On the assassination of his father in 281 BC, the task of holding together the empire was a formidable one. A revolt in Syria broke out almost immediately. Antiochus was soon compelled to make peace with his father's murderer, Ptolemy Keraunos, apparently abandoning Macedonia and Thrace. In Anatolia he was unable to reduce Bithynia or the Persian dynasties that ruled in Cappadocia. Γ]

In 278 BC the Gauls broke into Anatolia, and a victory that Antiochus won over these Gauls by using Indian war elephants (275 BC) is said to have been the origin of his title of Soter (Greek for "saviour"). Γ]

At the end of 275 BC the question of Coele-Syria, which had been open between the houses of Seleucus and Ptolemy since the partition of 301 BC, led to hostilities (the First Syrian War). It had been continuously in Ptolemaic occupation, but the house of Seleucus maintained its claim. War did not materially change the outlines of the two kingdoms, though frontier cities like Damascus and the coast districts of Asia Minor might change hands. Γ]

In 268 BC Antiochus I laid the foundation for the Ezida Temple in Borsippa. ⎘] His eldest son Seleucus had ruled in the east as viceroy from c. 275 BC until 268/267 BC Antiochus put his son to death in the latter year on the charge of rebellion. Around 262 BC Antiochus tried to break the growing power of Pergamum by force of arms, but suffered defeat near Sardis and died soon afterwards. Γ] He was succeeded in 261 BC by his second son Antiochus II Theos. ⎙]


Commagene was a small kingdom, located in modern south-central Turkey, with its capital at Samosata (modern Samsat , near the Euphrates). It was first mentioned in Assyrian texts as Kummuhu, which was normally an ally of Assyria, but eventually annexed as a province in 708 BC under Sargon II. The Achaemenid Empire then conquered Commagene in the 6th century BC and Alexander the Great conquered the territory in the 4th century BC. After the breakup of the Alexandrian Empire, Commagene was a state and province in the Greco-Syrian Seleucid Empire.

The Hellenistic kingdom of Commagene, bounded by Cilicia on the west and Cappadocia on the north, arose in 162 BC. This was the year when its governor, Ptolemy, a satrap of the disintegrating Seleucid Empire, declared himself independent. Ptolemy's dynasty was related to the Parthian kings, but his descendant Mithridates I Callinicus (109 BC-70 BC) embraced the Hellenistic culture and married the Syrian Greek Princess Laodice VII Thea. His dynasty could thus claim ties with both Alexander the Great and the Persian kings. This marriage may also have been part of a peace alliance between Commagene and the Seleucid Empire. From this point on, the kingdom of Commagene became more Greek than Persian.

Mithridates and Laodice’s son was King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene (reigned 70 BC-38 BC). Antiochus was an ally to Roman general Pompey in his campaigns against Mithridates VI of Pontus in 64 BC. Through skilled diplomacy, Antiochus was able to keep Commagene independent from the Romans. In 17 when Antiochus III of Commagene died, Emperor Tiberius annexed Commagene to the province of Syria, but in 38 Caligula reinstated his son Antiochus IV and also gave him the wild areas of Cilicia to govern. Antiochus IV was the only Client King of Commagene under the Roman Empire. Antiochus IV reigned until 72, when Emperor Vespasian deposed the dynasty and re-annexed the territory to Syria, acting on allegations "that Antiochus was about to revolt from the Romans. reported by the Governor Caesennius Paetus". [ 6 ] The descendants of Antiochus IV lived prosperously and in distinction in Anatolia, Greece, Italy and the Middle East. As a testament to the descendants of Antiochus IV, was his grandson Philopappos who died in 116. The citizens of Athens in 116, erected a funeral monument in honor of Philopappos, who was a benefactor of Athens. Another descendant of Antiochus IV, was the historian Gaius Asinius Quadratus, who lived in the 3rd century.

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Individual Note

L'affaiblissement du pouvoir séleucide à la fin du règne d'Antiochos IV et surtout pendant le bref règne de l'enfant Antiochos V incite le gouverneur de Commagène nommé Ptolémée à se rendre indépendant du gouvernement d'Antioche et à prendre le titre royal en revendiquant une origine orontide comme petit-fils du roi Arsamès d'Arménie qui avait contrôlé la région.

Après la mort de Ptolémée vers 130 av. J.-C., sa succession est assumée par son fils Samès (II) Théosèbes Dikhaios, qui porte le même nom iranien que le père d'Arsamès.

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About Gaius Julius Antiochus Epiphanes Philopappos, Prince of Commagene

Ancestry, family and early life

Philopappos was a man of aristocratic and well-connected origins. He was the first-born son of the Greek prince of Commagene, Gaius Julius Archelaus Antiochus Epiphanes and an Egyptian Greek woman called Claudia Capitolina. His younger sister and only sibling was the poetess and friend to Roman Emperor Hadrian and Roman Empress Vibia Sabina, Julia Balbilla.

Philopappos’ parents were distantly related. The paternal grandmother of Claudia Capitolina was Greek Princess Aka II of Commagene, who was a granddaughter or great, granddaughter of King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene. While his father, was the first born son to King Antiochus IV of Commagene and his wife Queen Julia Iotapa of Commagene. Antiochus IV and Iotapa were direct descendants of Antiochus I Theos.

His maternal grandparents were Tiberius Claudius Balbilus and an unnamed Greek woman. Balbilus was an astrologer and a learned scholar, who was later Prefect of Egypt. Balbilus and his father, Egyptian Greek Grammarian and Astrologer called Thrasyllus of Mendes or Tiberius Claudius Thrasyllus, were friends to the first Roman Emperor s, which included Tiberius, Claudius and Vespasian.

His paternal grandparents were Roman Client Monarchs, King Antiochus IV of Commagene and Queen Julia Iotapa. Antiochus IV and Iotapa were husband, wife and full blooded-siblings. He was of Armenian, Greek and Medes descent. Through his paternal grandparents, he was a direct descendant from the Greek Syrian Kingdom the Seleucid Empire and the Greek Egyptian Kingdom the Ptolemaic dynasty.

Philopappos was the first-born grandchild born to King Antiochus IV and Antiochus’ wife, Iotapa. He was born in Samosata the capital of the Kingdom of Commagene in the court of the palace of Antiochus IV. He lived there and was raised safely there until 72. Philopappos’ birth name was Gaius Julius Antiochus Epiphanes. His nickname and the name he is known now is Philopappos or Philopappus. Philopappos means Fond of Grandfather. He received this nickname because of his close relationship to Antiochus IV and possibly Tiberius Claudius Balbilus. Philopappos had a traditional Greek education of the Wealthy Class.

In 72 Lucius Caesennius Paetus, the Roman Governor of Syria had sent letters addressed to Vespasian accusing Antiochus IV Philopappos’s father Epiphanes and his paternal uncle Callinicus in planning to revolt against Rome and allying themselves with the King of Parthia.

Paetus accused in these letters that Antiochus IV, Epiphanes and Callinicus of disloyalty to the Emperor. It is not known whether if these accusations were true or false. After reading the letters, Vespasian felt that he could longer trust the family of Antiochus IV and couldn’t trust them to protect the strategic crossing at the Euphrates River at Samosata. Vespasian gave orders to Antiochus IV to terminate his rule in Commagene.

Paetus invaded the Kingdom of Commagene, as head of the Legio VI Ferrata. The client Kings Aristobulus of Chalcis and Sohaemus of Emesa also supplied troops to Paetus. They all arrived the night before the Battle. As Epiphanes and Callinicus prepared themselves that night for war, Antiochus IV was preparing to flee to Cilicia.

The next morning that the war was supposed to occur Epiphanes with his family and Callinicus out of fear of the Romans fled to the King of Parthia, while Antiochus IV also out of fear of the Romans fled to Cilicia. There is a possibility that Epiphanes and Callinicus had a short-lived attempt to resist invasion, before they fled to Parthia.

The family of Antiochus IV had let their own army and the citizens of Commagene down. Antiochus IV and his family never considered to cause a war with Rome and they wanted to clear themselves of these accusations. Vespasian brought peacefully back to Rome, Epiphanes with his family and Callinicus in an honourable Roman Military Escort. Epiphanes with his family and Callinicus lived in Rome with Antiochus IV for the remainder of his life. Vespasian had given Antiochus IV and his family sufficient revenue to live on. Antiochus IV and his family had a glamorous life and were treated with great respect.

Philopappos and his family never returned to Commagene. Commagene was reinstated again as apart of the Roman Province of Syria and there the citizens of Commagene still proved to be loyal subjects of the Roman Empire.

In 72, Philopappos’s sister Julia Balbilla was born in Rome. After the deaths of both of his grandfathers, Epiphanes, his mother, himself with his sister moved and finally settled in Athens Greece. His father died in 92 of unknown causes. After the death of Epiphanes, Claudia Capitolina returned to her birth city of Alexandria, Egypt where she married for the second time to the Roman Politician Marcus Junius Rufus. Capitolina spent her remaining years in her birth city and for a period of time Balbilla was with her mother and later returned to Philopappos in Athens.

Throughout his life, Philopappos always considered himself as having the status of a monarch. He spent the remainder of his life in Athens and became a prominent and respected benefactor of the city. Philopappos assumed civic, political and religious duties in Athens and Rome. He belonged to the Roman elite and became friends with the Roman Emperor Trajan and Trajan’s heir and second paternal cousin Hadrian. Through Trajan and Hadrian, Philopappos also met their families.

Philopappos had Roman and Athenian citizenship. He served as an Archon in Athens and had become friends to Greek philosophers. Through his friendship with the philosophers, he became an acquaintance to the Greek historian Plutarch. Plutarch in his writings describes Philopappos as ‘very generous and magnificent in his rewards’ and describes his character as ‘good-humored and eager for instruction’.

Philopappos served as a Choregos (producer for a chorus) twice as an Agonothetes (magistrate of games) once and was a member of the Deme Besa. Between 105-116, Philopappos was made a member of the Arval Brethren. The Arval Brethren was an ancient group of priests that offered annual sacrifices to Lares and the gods to guarantee good harvests.

Through his friendship and influence from Trajan, Trajan promoted him as a member of the Praetorian Guard in Rome. Trajan and Hadrian through his praetorian rank, promoted him to the Roman Senate. He became a Roman Senator, although his father nor paternal grandfather was not of senatorial rank. Philopappos rose through the ranks and served as a suffect consul in 109.

There is a possibility that Philopappos married an unnamed woman. From this marriage he probably had children and possibly had further descendants, however there are no surviving records of this.

Philopappos died in 116. When he died, his death caused great sadness to his sister Julia Balbilla, citizens of Athens and possibly to the imperial family. As a dedication to honor the memory of Philopappos, Balbilla with the citizens of Athens erected a tomb structure on Mouseion Hill, located southwest of the Acropolis of Athens. His marble tomb monument is known as the “Philopappos Monument”, and from it, the hill became known as “Philopappos Hill”.

Aka II of Commagene

Aka II of Commagene[1] also known as Aka II or Aka (Greek: Άκα) was a Princess from the Kingdom of Commagene who lived in the second half of the 1st century BC & first half of the 1st century, who was of Armenian, Greek and Median descent.

Aka II is one of the daughters born to the King of Commagene, Mithridates III who reigned from 20 BC until 12 BC from his cousin-wife Queen Iotapa, thus was a sister of Antiochus III of Commagene. She was mostly probably born, raised and educated in Samosata, the capital of the Kingdom of Commagene. Aka II is the namesake of Aka I of Commagene, a former Commagenian Princess who was the daughter of Antiochis of Commagene who was the first cousin of her parents.

At an unknown date in the late first century BC, Aka II married an Egyptian Greek called Thrasyllus of Mendes and the circumstances that led Thrasyllus to marry Aka II are unknown. Aka II is known from a preserved incomplete poem, that mentions Aka II as the wife of Thrasyllus and mentions she was of royal origins.

Thrasyllus was a Grammarian, Literary Commentator who served as the astrologer and became the personal friend of the Roman emperor Tiberius, who reigned from 14 until 37. As Tiberius had held Thrasyllus in the highest honor, Tiberius rewarded Thrasyllus for his friendship by giving him, Roman citizenship to him and his family. From given Roman citizenship, Aka II became known as Claudia Aka, as her husband became known as Tiberius Claudius Thrasyllus. Aka II died at an unknown date in the first century.

Stamboom Homs » Iotapa "Iotape" of Commagene (± 15-. )

Iotapa of Commagene
± 15-.

Household of Iotapa "Iotape" of Commagene

Attention: She has the same parents as her husband (Antiochus III Epiphanes of Commagene).

Notes about Iotapa "Iotape" of Commagene

'''[ Iotapa]''' was a princess from the Kingdom of Commagene, who lived between the 1st century BC and 1st century. She was the daughter of King Mithridates III of Commagene and Queen Iotapa of Commagene and was of Armenian, Greek and Medes descent.

Iotapa was most probably born, raised and educated in Samosata, the capital of the Kingdom of Commagene. Her brother was Antiochus III of Commagene, whom she married. When her father died in 12 BC, her brother succeeded their father as King of Commagene.

With Iotapa’s reign with Antiochus III, she was the last independent Queen of Commagene, as her brother ruled as the last independent King of Commagene. From her marriage to her brother, she had two children: a son, prince Antiochus IV of Commagene and a daughter, princess Iotapa.

Antiochus III died in 17, his death became unsettling for the kingdom. At the time of Antiochus’ death, Commagene was in political turmoil. The reasons for this development is unknown, however it appears at that time, their children were too young to succeed their father and there was no authority to prevent civil unrest and unite the citizens of Commagene.

Daughter of King Mithridates III of Commagene

Iotapa was a princess from the Kingdom of Commagene, who lived between the 1st century BC and 1st century. She was the daughter of King Mithridates III of Commagene and Queen Iotapa of Commagene and was of Armenian, Greek and Medes descent.

Iotapa was most probably born, raised and educated in Samosata, the capital of the Kingdom of Commagene. Her brother was Antiochus III of Commagene, whom she married. When her father died in 12 BC, her brother succeeded their father as King of Commagene.

With Iotapa’s reign with Antiochus III, she was the last independent Queen of Commagene, as her brother ruled as the last independent King of Commagene. From her marriage to her brother, she had two children: a son, prince Antiochus IV of Commagene and a daughter, princess Iotapa.

Antiochus III died in 17, his death became unsettling for the kingdom. At the time of Antiochus’ death, Commagene was in political turmoil. The reasons for this development is unknown, however it appears at that time, their children were too young to succeed their father and there was no authority to prevent civil unrest and unite the citizens of Commagene.

From the death of Antiochus III, two fractions had appeared. One fraction led by noblemen wanted Commagene to be placed under the rule of the Roman Empire and the another fraction led by the citizens wanted to retain the rule of the King.

The political fractions from Commagene peacefully had sent embassies to Rome, seeking the advice and assistance of the Roman Emperor Tiberius, to decide the future of Commagene. When the political fractions addressed the Emperor of the future of Commagene, they were in line, were with the political reality of Roman rule and were prepared to live with the decision that Tiberius made. They were also prepared to live in the rule of the Roman Empire. When the political fractions had sent embassies to Rome, this marked the end of the independence of Commagene.

Tiberius decided to make Commagene a part of the Roman province of Syria. The decision that Tiberius made was welcomed by many citizens by Commagene, however some, particularly those who were supporters of the royal family were unhappy with this outcome.

The whereabouts of Iotapa after the annexation of Commagene are unknown. Her children were raised and lived in Rome. In 38, the Roman Emperor Caligula restored the kingdom to her children.

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Stamboom Homs » Julia Iotapa of Commagene Queen of Cilician Cetis (± 45-. )

Julia Iotapa of Commagene
± 45-.

Household of Julia Iotapa of Commagene Queen of Cilician Cetis

Notes about Julia Iotapa of Commagene Queen of Cilician Cetis

Julia Iotapa or Julia Iotape (around 45-?) was a princess of the Kingdom of Commagene who lived during the 1st century. She was the daughter and youngest child of King Antiochus IV of Commagene and Queen Iotapa of Commagene, who were 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 Medes 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. Majority of Armenians had abandoned resistance and wanted peace, which included in accepting a prince to be crowned by Nero to be an Armenian King. 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 had 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 bore Alexander three children: two sons Gaius Julius Agrippa, Gaius Julius Alexander Berenicianus and a daughter Julia Iotapa (below). Their children were born and raised in Cetis. A possible descendant from their marriage was the usurper Jotapianus, who lived in the 3rd century.

first mention
Julia Iotapa was born around 45. Details of her life are obscure until she married Gaius Julius Alexander, the son of Julius Tigranes – the Roman candidate for king of Armenia. Alexander was descended from the royal families of Cappadocia and Judaea. They were married in Rome in 58. Nero crowned the couple as King and Queen of Cetis, a small area within Cilicia Trachaea. Iotapa and Alexander were probably removed as rulers of Cetis around 72 when Cilicia was returned to direct Roman rule. Alexander was adlected to the Senate by Domitian around 93/94. It is not known when either Iotapa or Alexander died.

Descendants of Iotapa and Alexander are known for the next three centuries beginning with the couple’s three children: Gaius Julius Agrippa, Gaius Julius Alexander Berenicianus and Julia. Agrippa and Berenicianus began their public careers in Rome in 94 as vigintiviri during the reign of Domitian. Julia married Gaius Julius Quadratus Bassus, descended from the Galatian royal house, around 100.

Wagner, Sir Anthony Richard ‘Pedigree and Progress: Essays in the Genealogical Interpretation of History’ puts her b date at c 60 (not 45)

As to Alexander, the son of Herod the king, who was slain by his father, he had two sons, Alexander and Tigranes, by the daughter of Archelaus, king of Cappadocia.

Tigranes, who was king of Armenia, was accused at Rome, and died childless

Alexander had a son of the same name with his brother Tigranes, and was sent to take possession of the kingdom of Armenia by Nero

he had a son, Alexander, who married Jotape, (17) the daughter of Antiochus, the king of Commagena Vespasian made him king of an island in Cilicia. But these descendants of Alexander, soon after their birth, deserted the Jewish religion, and went over to that of the Greeks.

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