History Files
 

 

Middle East Kingdoms

Ancient Anatolia

 

 

 

Pergamum

Pergamum (or Pergamon), with its city and later kingdom situated near the Aegean coast of Anatolia, opposite the Island of Lesbos, was formed as a satrapy of the Persian empire from territory which had been under Lydia's control until 546 BC. Before that, the territory had been known as Mysia until it was subsumed within the kingdom of Phrygia at the start of the twelfth century BC.

c.1200 - 700 BC

Phrygia takes the territory which had previously formed Mysia and generally appears to control it during this period. However, Greek myth and legend ascribes the foundation of Pergamum to the eponymous Pergamus, son of the Greek warrior, Neoptolemos, and his concubine Andromache. During her old age, Andromache is said by legend to retire to Pergamum to live with her son after the death of her husband in Epirus. Pergamus is also the name of the citadel at Troy which had been destroyed by the Mycenaeans at the conclusion of the Trojan War, suggesting the possibility that the creation of a king called Pergamus is a substitution for a possible return by Andromache to the city of her birth, which has since been re-inhabited following the Trojan War.

fl c.1160s BC

Pergamus

Legendary founder of Pergamum.

c.700 - 546 BC

The territory is controlled by Lydia.

546 - 480 BC

Anatolia is conquered by the Persian empire, and the region becomes a satrapy.

480 BC

The Persian king Xerxes gives the cities of Pergamum, Teuthrania, and Halisarna to Demaratus, former king of Sparta, for his support during the invasion of Greece.

Eurypontid Satraps

Demaratus was a king of Sparta who had been exiled for being obstructive and churlish (but perhaps a greater motive was his questionable parentage). He fled to Persia where he advised Darius I and then Xerxes on Greek affairs, and accompanied the Persian army in its invasion of Greece in 480 BC. When that failed, Xerxes made him governor of the cities of Pergamum, Teuthrania, and Halisarna within the province of Mysia, in the Lydian satrapy. His descendants inherited the office over the subsequent eighty years or so. Unfortunately, records from this period have only partially survived.

479 - ? BC

Demaratus

Governor. Former king of Sparta (c.515-491 BC).

fl c.430? BC

Gongylos

Administrator and Greek exile who governed the region.

? - 401 BC

Cyrus the Younger

Brother of Artaxerxes II of Persia.

401 BC

Cyrus, satrap of Asia Minor, attempts to revolt, mobilising an army and ten thousand Greek mercenaries to attack his brother. The mercenaries cross northern Syria and the Euphrates, but after Cyrus' death at the Battle of Cunaxa in October they return under the command of Xenophon.

c.400 BC

Xenophon reports that Eurysthenes and Prokles rule Pergamum, Teuthrania, and Halisarna. Although he doesn't directly link them to Demaratus, the fact that they are named after the two founding kings of Sparta is a good sign that this is the case. Another Prokles who is descended from Demaratus is said to marry Pythias, the daughter of Aristotle, and their sons are called Prokles and Demaratos.

fl c.400 BC

Eurysthenes

fl c.400 BC

Prokles

c.300s BC

Members of the family apparently return to Sparta in the fourth or third century BC. The usurper Nabis (202-196 BC) claims to be a descendant of Demaratus. In the fourth century BC, Persian satraps resume control of the Pergamum region.

c.362 - 344 BC

Orontes

334 BC

The region is conquered by Alexander the Great's Greek empire.

Argead Dynasty of Pergamum

The Argead were the ruling family and founders of Macedonia who reached their greatest extent under Alexander the Great and his two successors before the kingdom broke up into several Hellenic sections. Alexander's successors held no real power, being mere figureheads for the generals who really held control of Alexander's empire.

332 - 323 BC

Alexander III the Great

King of Macedonia. Conquered Persia.

323 - 317 BC

Philip III Arrhidaeus

Feeble-minded half-brother of Alexander the Great.

317 - 310 BC

Alexander IV of Macedonia

Infant son of Alexander the Great and Roxana.

323 - 301 BC

Upon the death of Alexander the Great, Pergamum becomes part of the Empire of Antigonus.

301 - 282 BC

Antigonus is killed and Pergamum falls under the rule of the Lysimachian empire.

Attalid Kings

Pergamum was ruled as a Hellenic domain of the Lysimachian empire during Philetaerus' lifetime, which was created by one of Alexander the Great's generals after the collapse of the Greek empire. The city was turned into a fortress and was selected to house many of the Lysimachian riches. It was only with the later success of Attalus against the Galatian Celts that an independent kingdom was proclaimed in 282 BC, although it still remained within Greece's sphere of influence. It later became a loyal ally of Rome, fighting alongside the Romans against the Macedonians.

282 - 263 BC

Philetaerus

Satrap of Pergamum. One of Lysimachus' officers.

263 - 241 BC

Eumenes I

Nephew.

241 - 197 BC

Attalus I Soter

First cousin.

230 BC

Attalus triumphs against the Galatian Celts and subsequently proclaims himself king, pulling the territory out of the control of Macedonia.

200 BC

Attalus is apparently the trigger for the Second Macedonian War between Rome and Macedonia.

197 - 160 BC

Eumenes II

Son.

190 - 188 BC

Rome defeats the Seleucids in the Seleucid War, taking Asia Minor as a province in 188 BC. The Seleucid ally, Cappadocia, negotiates friendly terms with Rome, notably because Stratonice, the king's daughter, is about to marry the king of Pergamum, a Roman ally. Pergamum annexes Lydia and Pamphylia around this point in time.

183 - 180 BC

Further expansion of the kingdom takes place when the Thracians are occupied with support from Cappadocia. However, this tough mountainous terrain is too difficult to hold, and within three years, Macedonian supremacy there has been restored.

160 - 138 BC

Attalus II Philadelphus

Brother.

138 - 133 BC

Attalus III

Son of Eumenes II.

133 BC

Attalus bequeaths the state to Rome to avoid a likely succession crisis. The Romans are slow to take up their claim, so the illegitimate Eumenes III fills the power vacuum and tries to gather support.

133 - 129 BC

Eumenes III Aristonicus

Brother. Pretender.

131 - 130 BC

The first Roman army to be sent against Eumenes is joined by allies from the kingdom of Cappadocia. The attempt meets with failure when the combined armies are defeated. Both Proconsul Publius Licinius Crassus Dives Mucianus and King Ariarathes V of Cappadocia are killed.

129 BC

Eumenes is defeated and captured by a second Roman army. He is paraded through Rome and then executed by being strangled. Pergamum is incorporated into the Roman republic and its successor, the empire.