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Nicomedes


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The name of several kings of Bithynia in Asia Minor:(1) NICOMEDES I (c.279–c.255bc), son of Zipoetes (before 315–c.279), who had taken the royal title in 298, inherited his father's struggle against Antiochus I. He joined the Northern League, purchasing the aid of Heraclea Pontica by returning Cierus, invited the Gauls across the Bosporus, and assisted them to settle in Phrygia. He founded Nicomedia (mod. Izmit) c.265, and received honours at Cos and Olympia. At his death his son Ziaëlas (c.255–c.230) seized the throne in defiance of the guardians of his father's will in favour of his minor children, but continued his Hellenizing policy.(2) NICOMEDES II EPIPHANES (149–c.127bc), son of Prusias II of Bithynia, cultivated the favour of the Greek cities, and, a faithful ally, aided Rome in the war against Aristonicus in Macedonia (133–129), but his request for territory in Phrygia was refused in favour of Mithradates V of Pontus.(3) NICOMEDES III EUERGETES (c.127–c.94bc), son of Nicomedes II. His gifts to Greek cities won him the title Euergetes (‘Benefactor’). Yet because of the condition of Bithynia, when Marius requested aid from him against the Cimbri (104) he declared that most of his men had been seized and enslaved by Roman publicani (tax-collectors), and the senate decreed that no free man from an allied state should be held in slavery. His attempts to divide Paphlagonia with Mithradates VI of Pontus and to win Cappadocia by marrying Queen Laodice were foiled by Roman intervention.(4) NICOMEDES IV PHILOPATOR (c.94–75/4bc), son of Nicomedes III. Mithradates VI of Pontus promptly drove him out in favour of his brother Socrates (c.92), but a Roman commission under Manius Aquillius restored him (90–89). Under pressure from Aquillius and his Roman creditors he raided Pontic territory, and precipitated the First Mithradatic War (88). Restored by Sulla in 85/4, he ruled thereafter in such peace as Roman officials and businessmen allowed him. Julius Caesar was sent as envoy to him to get ships for the siege of Mytilene (81/0). At his death (late 75 or early 74) he bequeathed his impoverished kingdom to Rome.

(1) NICOMEDES I (c.279–c.255bc), son of Zipoetes (before 315–c.279), who had taken the royal title in 298, inherited his father's struggle against Antiochus I. He joined the Northern League, purchasing the aid of Heraclea Pontica by returning Cierus, invited the Gauls across the Bosporus, and assisted them to settle in Phrygia. He founded Nicomedia (mod. Izmit) c.265, and received honours at Cos and Olympia. At his death his son Ziaëlas (c.255–c.230) seized the throne in defiance of the guardians of his father's will in favour of his minor children, but continued his Hellenizing policy.

(2) NICOMEDES II EPIPHANES (149–c.127bc), son of Prusias II of Bithynia, cultivated the favour of the Greek cities, and, a faithful ally, aided Rome in the war against Aristonicus in Macedonia (133–129), but his request for territory in Phrygia was refused in favour of Mithradates V of Pontus.

(3) NICOMEDES III EUERGETES (c.127–c.94bc), son of Nicomedes II. His gifts to Greek cities won him the title Euergetes (‘Benefactor’). Yet because of the condition of Bithynia, when Marius requested aid from him against the Cimbri (104) he declared that most of his men had been seized and enslaved by Roman publicani (tax-collectors), and the senate decreed that no free man from an allied state should be held in slavery. His attempts to divide Paphlagonia with Mithradates VI of Pontus and to win Cappadocia by marrying Queen Laodice were foiled by Roman intervention.

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Subjects: Classical Studies.


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