Polemon's mother was a lady named Tryphaena, who was a daughter of Polemon I and Pythodoris; the father of Polemon II was the Thracian king Cotys, which means that the last rulers of Thrace were Polemon's brothers. Young princes like Polemon were often raised at the imperial court in Rome and indeed, Polemon was acquainted with Caligula, who made him king of Pontus in 38 CE.note[Cassius Dio, Roman History 59.12.2.] He was also made ruler of the Bosporan Kingdom, but he was replaced in 41 and received in exchange a part of Cilicia.note[Cassius Dio, Roman History 60.8.2.]
In 48, king Polemon married Berenice, a daughter of Herod Agrippa I, the sister of Agrippa II, and the widow of Herod of Chalcis. According to Flavius Josephus, he accepted the Jewish faith.note[Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 20.145.] The marriage ended in a divorce; Polemon's second wife was a Julia Mamaea.
It is possible that when the emperor Nero reorganized the provincial boundaries in Anatolia,note[Tacitus, Annals 14.26.], Polemon had to give up Pontus and kept Cilicia only. However this may be, the history of Pontus as an independent kingdom had reached its end. When Polemon died (after the year 68), Cilicia was annexed by the Roman Empire as well.