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Pharnaces I of Pontus

Pharnaces I: king of Pontus (r.185-160 BCE).

Pharnaces succeeded his father Mithridates III in c.185 BCE and captured Sinope in 183 BCE. This was the beginning of what was called the "Pontic War", in which the kingdom of Pontus had to face a coalition: Eumenes II Soter of Pergamon, Prusias II the Hunter of Bithynia, the Sarmatians (probably mercenaries), Ariarathes IV Eusebes of Cappadocia, Artaxias I of Armenia, a ruler named Acusilochus, and the Greek cities of Heracleia, Mesembria, Chersonese, and Cyzicus. The only ally of Pontus was a king named Mithradates of Lesser Armenia; Pontus' ally Rome intervened with diplomatic means only.

Pharnaces struck first and occupied parts of Galatia, but was in the end forced to give up these conquests and Paphlagonia. The peace treaty is quoted by Polybius.note However, he was allowed to keep Sinope, which became the new capital of Pontus.note

Pharnaces was succeeded by his brother Mithridates IV Philadelphus and, later, by his son Mithridates V.

This page was created in 2019; last modified on 25 May 2019.

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