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Mithridates I of the Bosporus

Mithridates I of the Bosporus sometimes known as Mithridates II of the Bosporus and Mithridates of Pergamon (flourished 1st century BC), was a nobleman from Anatolia. Mithridates was one of the sons born to King Mithridates VI of Pontus from his mistress, the Galatian Princess Adobogiona the Elder. He also had a full-blooded sister called Adobogiona the Younger. The Pontic prince was of Persian, Macedonian and Galatian ancestry.

His father sent Mithridates to Pergamon to be educated, where he became a leading citizen of that city. Mithridates was a tetrarch over the Trocmi tribe. In the winter of 48/47 BC, Caesar was under siege in Alexandria by the armies of Achillas, guardian and general for King Ptolemy XIII Theos Philopator. Mithridates raised an army and came to Caesar’s relief. In the aftermath of the Battle of Zela, Caesar made him king of the Bosporan Kingdom, by commanding him to declare war on his niece Dynamis and her husband Asander (who were then the ruling monarchs) to seize the kingship for himself. Dynamis and Asander were defeated by Mithridates and his army, and Mithridates became King of the Bosporus. However, after Caesar’s death in 44 BC, the Bosporan Kingdom was restored to Dynamis and Asander by Caesar’s great nephew and heir, Octavian (future Roman Emperor Augustus). Sometime after Mithridates abdicated, he died.

Mithridates was portrayed by Furio Meniconi in the 1963 film Cleopatra.


  • Mayor, Adrienne: "The Poison King: The Life and Legend of Mithradates, Rome's Deadliest Enemy" Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009, ISBN 978-0-691-12683-8

See also