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Nicomedes III Euergetes

Nicomedes III Euergetes: king of Bithynia (r.127-94 BCE).

Nicomedes III inherited a quiet kingdom from his father Nicomedes II Epiphanes, and concluded an alliance with his ambitious neighbor, Mithridates VI of Pontus. In 108 BCE, they invaded Paphlagonia, which they divided.

Soon, Nicomedes realized that Mithridates would not be satisfied with half of Paphlagonia, and he started to organize an anti-Mithidatic coalition. When Mithridates attempted to seize control in Cappadocia, Nicomedes interfered: after all, he was married to a Cappadocian princess named Nysa, the daughter of Ariarathes VI Epiphanes and Laodice, who was the sister of Mithridates. When Mithridates wanted to "protect his sister", she proposesed to marry Nicomedes instead. To keep Cappadocia, Mithridates put a son of Ariarathes VI and Laodice on the throne, Ariarathes VII Philometor. It was the beginning of a series of complex manoeuvres that resulted in most countries in Asia Minor looking for Roman protection, and - as a consequence - several wars of Mithridates against the Romans.

Nicomedes III, who had been the first to recognize the danger, did not live to see the end of the problems. He was succeeded in 94 by Nicomedes IV Philopator, a son of Nysa who was the last king of independent Bithynia. A concubine of Nicomedes III, Hagne of Cyzicus, was the father of Socrates Chrestus.

This page was created in 2019; last modified on 28 April 2019.

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