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Mithridates V of Pontus


Mithridates V of Pontus

Mithridates V Euergetes (Greek: Μιθριδάτης ὁ εὐεργέτης, which means "Mithridates the benefactor"; flourished 2nd century BC, reigned 150–120 BC); also known as Mithridates V of Pontus, Mithradates V of Pontus and Mithradates V Euergetes,[1] was a Prince and seventh King of the wealthy Kingdom of Pontus.

Mithridates V was of Greek Macedonian and Persian ancestry. He was the son of the King Pharnaces I of Pontus and Queen Nysa, while his sister was Nysa of Cappadocia. His mother is believed to have died during childbirth, when his mother was giving birth to his sister or Mithridates V. He was born and raised in the Kingdom of Pontus. Mithridates V succeeded his paternal aunt Laodice and paternal uncle Mithridates IV of Pontus [2] on the Pontian throne and the accession of Mithridates V is uncertain.

Mithridates V continued the politics of an alliance with the Roman Republic started by his predecessors. He supported them with some ships and a small auxiliary force during the Third Punic War (149–146 BC)[3] and at a subsequent period rendered them useful assistance in the war against King of Pergamon, Eumenes III (131–129 BC).

For his services on this occasion, Mithridates V was rewarded by the Roman consul Manius Aquillius with the province of Phrygia. However the acts of the Roman consul were rescinded by the Roman Senate on the grounds of bribery, but it appears that he maintained his possession of Phrygia until his death.[4] Mithridates V also increased the power of the Kingdom of Pontus by the marriage of his eldest child, his daughter Laodice of Cappadocia to King Ariarathes VI of Cappadocia. The end of his reign can only be approximately determined based on statements concerning the accession of his son Mithridates VI, which is assign in the year 120 BC to end of the reign of Mithridates V.

Mithridates V was assassinated in about 120 BC in Sinope, poisoned by unknown persons at a lavish banquet which he held.[5] Mithridates V, was a great benefactor to the Hellenic culture which shows on surviving coinage and honorific inscriptions stating his donations in Athens and Delos and had great veneration in which he kept for the Greek God Apollo. At the Capitoline Museums in Rome, is on a display a bilingual inscription dedication to him.[6] Mithridates V was buried in the royal tombs of his ancestors at Amasya.

Mithridates V married the Greek Seleucid Princess Laodice VI, who was the daughter of Antiochus IV Epiphanes and Laodice IV.[7][8] Mithridates V and Laodice VI were related, thus he had lineage from the Seleucid dynasty.

Laodice bore Mithridates V seven children who were: Laodice of Cappadocia, Mithridates VI of Pontus, Mithridates Chrestus, Laodice, Nysa (sometimes spelt as Nyssa), Roxana and Statira. Roxana and Statira were compelled to kill themselves with poison after the fall of the Kingdom of Pontus in 63 BC. Nysa was taken prisoner by the Romans and made to march in the triumphs of two Roman generals.


  1. ^ Erciyas, Wealth, aristocracy and royal propaganda under the Hellenistic kingdom of the Mithradatids in the Central Black Sea Region in Turkey p.122
  2. ^ Justin, Epitome of Pompeius Trogus, xxxviii. 5
  3. ^ Appian, The foreign wars, Mithridatic Wars 10
  4. ^ Justin, xxxvii. 1; Appian, 12, 56, 57; Orosius, Adversus Paganos, v. 10; Eutropius, Breviarium, iv. 20
  5. ^ Mayor, The Poison King: the life and legend of Mithradates, Rome’s deadliest enemy p.68
  6. ^ Erciyas, Wealth, aristocracy and royal propaganda under the Hellenistic kingdom of the Mithradatids in the Central Black Sea Region in Turkey p.122
  7. ^
  8. ^ Walbank, Cambridge ancient history: The hellenistic world, Volume 7 p.491


  • Smith, William (editor); Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, "Mithridates V", Boston, (1867)
  • Walbank, W. The Cambridge ancient history: The Hellenistic world, Volume 7 F. Cambridge University Press, 1984
  • McGing, B.C. The foreign policy of Mithridates VI Eupator, King of Pontus, BRILL, 1986
  • Hazel, J. Who's Who in the Roman World, "Mithridates V Euergetes", 2002
  • Erciyas, D.B. Wealth, aristocracy and royal propaganda under the Hellenistic kingdom of the Mithradatids in the Central Black Sea Region in Turkey, BRILL, 2006
  • Mayor, A. The Poison King: the life and legend of Mithradates, Rome’s deadliest enemy, Princeton University Press, 2009

External links

  • Coinage of Mithridates V on pages 16-17
Preceded by
Mithridates IV
King of Pontus
ca. 150 BC – 120 BC
Succeeded by
Mithridates VI
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