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Prusias I of Bithynia

Prusias I "The Lame"
Prusias I of Bithynia.jpg
Tetradrachm of Prusias I (young)
King of Bithynia
Reign228 – 182 BC
PredecessorZiaelas
SuccessorPrusias II
Bornc. 243 BC
Bithynia
Died182 BC (aged 61)
Bithynia
ConsortApama III
IssuePrusias II
GreekΛευκών
FatherZiaelas
MotherUnknown
ReligionGreek Polytheism
Tetradrachm of Prusias I (older and bearded). British Museum.

Prusias I Cholus (Greek: Προυσίας ὁ Χωλός "the Lame") (lived c. 243 – 182 BC, reigned c. 228 – 182 BC) was a king of Bithynia, the son of Ziaelas of Bithynia.

Life and Reign

Prusias was a vigorous and energetic leader; he fought a war against Byzantium (220 BC), seizing its Asiatic territory, a part of Mysia that had been in its possession for a long time.[1] Then, he defeated the Galatians who Nicomedes I had invited across the Bosphorus to a territory called Arisba, putting to death all of their women and children and letting his men plunder their baggage.[2]

At some point during his reign, he formed a marriage alliance with Demetrius II of Macedon, receiving the latter's daughter, Apama III, as his wife.

He expanded the territories of Bithynia in a series of wars against Attalus I of Pergamum and Heraclea Pontica on the Black Sea, taking various cities formerly owned by the Heracleans, renaming one them, Prusias, after himself.[3] While besieging the city of Heraclea Pontica,[4] he dealt many casualties to the besieged,[5] but while climbing a ladder, he was hit with a stone and he broke his leg; the siege was lifted due to his injury.[6] This is likely where he was given the surname "the lame".[7] Philip V of Macedon granted him the ports of Keios and Myrleia in 202 BC, which he renamed Prusias and Apameia[8] respectively. Although he granted sanctuary to Hannibal, who successfully employed an odd stratagem against the Attalids for him at sea,[9] he remained neutral during the Roman Republic's war with Antiochus III the Great, refusing an alliance with Antiochus.[10] He agreed on peace terms with presumably Eumenes II in 183 BC, in the city of Cyzicus.[11] Apama III bore Prusias I a son called Prusias II, who succeeded him.

The town of Prusa (now Bursa in Turkey), which he rebuilt, is named after Prusias.

Sources

  • Habicht, Christian, s.v. Prusias I., RE. Bd. ХХШ, 1. 1957

References

  1. ^ Polybius. Histories. He had also seized their Asiatic territory, a part of Mysia which had long been in their possession.
  2. ^ Polybius. Histories. Prusias, therefore, led an army against them, and after destroying all the men in a pitched battle, put to death nearly all the women and children in their camp and allowed his soldiers who had taken part in the battle to plunder the baggage.
  3. ^ Memnon. History of Heraclea Pontica. He changed the name of the city to Prusias, instead of Cierus.
  4. ^ Memnon. History of Heraclea Pontica. After these cities, he subjected Heracleia itself to a severe siege
  5. ^ Memnon. History of Heraclea Pontica. and killed many of those who were besieged.
  6. ^ Memnon. History of Heraclea Pontica. but while climbing a ladder Prusias was hit by a stone which was thrown from the battlements. He broke his leg, and because of this injury the siege was lifted
  7. ^ Memnon. History of Heraclea Pontica. where he lived on for a few years before he died, being named (because of his injury) "the lame".
  8. ^ Strabo. Geography. And Prusias restored them from their ruins and named the city Cius "Prusias" after himself and Myrleia "Apameia" after his wife.
  9. ^ Justinus. Philippic Histories.
  10. ^ Polybius. Histories.
  11. ^ Polybius. Histories. This all happened in Cyzicus after the peace with King Prusias.
Preceded by
Ziaelas
King of Bithynia
228 BC – 182 BC
Succeeded by
Prusias II