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Middle East Kingdoms

Ancient Anatolia

 

 

 

Tabal / Tubal

This was a Luwian-speaking neo-Hittite 'state' which emerged out of the collapse of the Hittite empire. Tabal (the Biblical Tubal, and Thobeles in Josephus), was situated in southern-central Anatolia, centred around the ancient city of Kanesh in the heartland of former Hatti territory. It was neighboured to the west by the Phrygians, and to the east by Que and Khilakku. Some scholars associate Tabal with the Sea Peoples, the Mouskis (or Moschoi in Greek), who ravaged the Mediterranean coast, but other than a few inscriptions in the Turkish villages of villages of Çalapverdi and Alişar there are very few details recorded about the kingdom, other than that it survived into Roman times.

The few kings who are known may only have ruled areas of the state, so perhaps it was instead governed as a confederation of states in much the same way as Lycia. Increasing this likelihood is the fact that different lists name different kings for the same periods, and the state may have included a group of city states called the Tyanitis, which encompassed Hupisna, Ishtunda, Shinukhtu, Tunna, and Tuwana.

(Additional information from External Links: University College London, and Encyclopaedia Britannica.)

c.1200 BC

The Hittite empire collapses, and one of the neo-Hittite states which forms in its place is Tabal. Possibly some elements of the new society are descended from the Sea Peoples. At around the same time, elements from Tabal migrate northwards into the area that becomes known as Paphlagonia.

837 BC

The Assyrian king, Shalmaneser III, records that he receives gifts from the twenty-four kings of Tabal.

c.780 BC

List A ( shown below in normal emboldened text) and List B show different kings for the same period, suggesting that they rule simultaneously but in different parts of the state.

Luwian inscription
Original Luwian inscriptions from one of two bocks found at Çalapverdi in modern Turkey

early 700s BC

Tuwatis

fl c.770s BC

Tuate

743 - 740 BC

The Assyrians under Tiglath-Pileser III besiege Bit Agusi for three years, thanks to the city being an ally of Urartu. Once captured, the city is destroyed and its inhabitants are massacred. It is probably around this period that the Urartuans also lose their domination of the northern part of Syria. Their defeat also opens up Anatolia to the Assyrians, and Tabal is almost instantly attacked.

Tabal is still divided into several independent principalities, but all of them are sizeable enough to merit the use of the title 'king' for their rulers even though Assyrian vocabulary has now extended beyond using it for every ruler they meet. While 'Tabal' is used in conjunction with the capital of a specific kingdom within the region, it is also used to encompass all of the people of that region who share the same cultural traditions and leave similar Luwian inscriptions.

743 - 738 BC

Tabal is employed as a blanket designation in an Assyrian administrative note written at some point between 743 and 738 BC, which lists the tribute payments of nine kings of Tabal (SAA 11 30). Three of those kings can be identified with rulers who are known from Assyrian inscriptions or local monuments written in the Luwian language and script.

fl 740 BC

Ašhittu / Ušhittu / Askwisis of Atuna

A king of Tabal (one of many). Remained in 738 & 732 BC.

fl 740 BC

Tuatti / Tuwatis of Bit-Purutaš / Tabal

Bit-Purutaš may equal Burutash, mentioned elsewhere.

Finds of Luwian inscriptions suggest the region of Kayseri as the location of Bit-Purutaš / Tabal. The site of Kululu, where monuments of a number of kings of Tabal have been found, is the most likely to correspond to Tabal's capital.

fl 740 BC

Hanubuni

fl 740 BC

Kalu

fl 740 BC

Pulî

fl 740 BC

Uluanda

fl 740 BC

Hili

Same as Hidi, below? Remained in 730s.

c.738 - 713? BC

Wasusurmas of Tabal / Uassurme

Son of Tuwatis of of Bit-Purutaš.

Wasusurmas fails to pay the tribute owed to Sargon of Assyria and as a result he and his royal clan are removed from power in Bit-Purutaš. In his place, Hulli, the 'son of a nobody' replaces him.

732 BC

? of Ištunda

The king's name is not recorded, although the city is.

732 BC

? of Hubišna

The king's name is not recorded, although the city is.

fl 730s - 720s BC

Warpalawas of Tuhana / Urbala'a

Remained active into the reign of Sargon II of Assyria.

fl c.720s? BC

Hulli of Bit-Purutaš

Son of 'a nobody'. Raised by Sargon of Assyria.

Tuhana is the best known of the Tabalean principalities. Its capital of the same name can be safely identified with the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine city of Tyana whose ruins lie in the modern Turkish village of Kemerhisar, to the south of Niğde, where a stela of King Warpalawas is uncovered in 1860.

715 BC

Despite sharing culinary and aesthetic tastes, Assyria and Phrygia are on bad terms. Although there are no relevant sources prior to Sargon's reign, his own inscriptions describe Midas of Phrygia as having long been a thorn in the empire's side, having never submitted to Sargon's predecessors and refusing diplomatic contacts. Now, Sargon's army conquers some fortresses in western Que that Midas of Phrygia had taken 'very long ago', indicating that Midas must have been in power for some time. This campaign results in an Assyrian foray deep into Phrygia but does not stop Midas from his continuing intervention in Que and Tabal.

? - c.713 BC

Ambaris of Bit-Purutaš

Son of Hulli of Bit-Purutaš.

Ambaris continues his father's role as a protégé of Sargon of Assyria. At his accession, Sargon gives his own daughter in marriage and as her dowry he doubles the size of Bit-Purutaš.

714 - 713 BC

Much to Sargon's shock, while the main Assyrian army is occupied in the east, probably in Elamite lands, Ambaris allies himself with Midas of Phrygia and Rusa of Urartu as well as the local Tabalean rulers in an attempt to invade Que. Sargon reacts quickly, invading Tabal and capturing Ambaris, his family and the nobles of his country, all of whom are taken to Assyria. Tabal is annexed as an Assyrian province. Sargon is noted for using Cimmerians within his army on this campaign, possibly for their knowledge of the Urartuan hills as much as their ability as mounted warriors. Cimmerians have been raiding into Mesopotamia for decades.

711 BC

The creation of the province of Tabal has only further escalated the situation and Assyria now finds itself at war with assorted Tabalean principalities and Phrygia, and moreover increasingly on the losing side. Despite huge investments in the protection of the new border, including the fortification of Til-Garimmu (modern Gürün) and the construction of the so-called Cappadocian Wall, the province of Tabal is now lost, never to be retaken.

705 BC

Sargon of Assyria dies on the battlefield while attempting to reconquer Tabal. Not only does the attempt fail but Sargon's body cannot be recovered for burial.

fl c.690 BC

Hidi

fl c. 670 BC

Mugallu

652 BC

One serious invasion of Anatolia by Cimmerians has already been repulsed, with the states or regions of Hilakku, Lydia, and Tabal requesting help from Assyria. Now the Cimmerians return (leader unknown). King Gyges of Lydia is killed during a second attach. His capital of Sardis is captured, all except the citadel which manages to hold out. The fact that it does suggests either that either the Cimmerians do not hang around for long after their victory or that (as before) they are moved along by an Assyrian force. Excavations at the site of Sardis later discover a destruction layer that appears to be associated with this event.

fl c.650 BC

x-ussi

An incomplete name.

609 - 546 BC

Documentation of Tabal fades as the Assyrian empire fades, which is to be expected as the empire has largely been the only source of written information about Tabal. Now, Babylonia under the leadership of Necho takes control of the region while the crown prince, Nebuchadnezzar, leads the Babylonian forces in Syria as he inflicts a serious defeat on the Egyptians at Carchemish in 605 BC.

549 - 546 BC

The Persian defeat of the Medes opens the floodgates for Cyrus with a wave of conquests, beginning with Cilicia in 549 BC. Harpagus, a Median of the royal house and the main cause of the defeat of the Medes, commands Cyrus' army in Anatolia, conquering it between 547-546 BC. Taken during this campaign are Caria, Lycia, Lydia, Paphlagonia, Phrygia, and Tabal (Cappadocia), and Harpagus and his descendants reign thereafter in Caria and Lycia as satraps of the empire, normally within the satrapy of Caria.

Persian Satraps of Katpatuka / Cappadocia

The satraps ruled the region in the name of the Persian king until invasion and conquest by Alexander the Great gave them the chance of going it alone. The Greek empire's control was fleeting, allowing the long-governing satrap, Ariarathes, to declare independence in 331 BC. Typically, details of the satraps themselves between the mid-sixth century conquest phase and the period immediately preceding the Greek invasion are extremely scarce. If the Persians recorded the names and dates of office of their various satraps, these have not survived.

The name Katpatuka is of uncertain origin, first appearing in records after the Persian conquest of the region. Some modern writers ascribe 'Cappadocia' to the Cimmerians who are thought to have settled here after their great defeat around 641-640 BC.

fl 510s BC

Ariamnes

First satrap to be known by name.

fl 480 BC

Gobryas

Half-brother of Xerxes of Persia.

480 BC

Neighbouring Paphlagonia with its still-independent princes contributes an important contingent to the Persian army of Xerxes which invades Greece.

Katpatuka monuments
The Persian satraps of Katpatuka found themselves in a land of much older Hittite monuments

c.480 - 400? BC

At some point in this period Katpatuka's northern coastal region is divided from the satrapy to form a new province called Pontus. The exact date at which this occurs is unknown, but it is an established fact by the time of Xenophon of Athens in the first half of the fourth century BC.

c.375 BC

Mithridates of Chios

c.375 - 362 BC

Datames

Carian by birth. Son of Camissares, satrap of Cilicia. Killed.

362 - 350 BC

Ariaramnes I / Ariamnes

Son. Great uncle of Cyrus the Great of Persia.

? - 334 BC

Mithrobuzanes

Satrap of Cappadocia during the reign of Darius III of Persia.

350 - 331 BC

Ariarathes I

Son of Ariaramnes. Declared independent kingdom in 331 BC.

334 - 333 BC

The region is conquered by the Greek empire under the leadership of Alexander the Great, but Greek control of Katpatuka is fleeting, and Satrap Ariarathes remains in office throughout the period.

331 BC

Despite the attempts of Alexander the Great to rule the region though his own military commanders, Ariarathes declares his independence as king of Katpatuka, although it is far more recognisably known by the Greek form of its name - Cappadocia.

Kingdom of Cappadocia

During the majority of its existence in the last few centuries BC, the kingdom was neighboured to the north by Pontus and Lesser Armenia, to the east by Armenia Sophene, to the south-east by Commagene, to the south by Cilicia, and to the west by Phrygia. Under the command of its former Persian satrap turned self-proclaimed king, Ariarathes, its borders were extended to the Black Sea.

Initially, Ariarathes held onto his kingdom in northern Cappadocia, subduing the region of Cataonia while Greek satraps governed the south. But there were far more powerful forces at work in the region. Upon the death of Alexander the Great, his generals began fighting amongst themselves for control of his empire. Although Ariarathes only ever held northern Cappadocia, even that was lost after his murder in 322 BC, by which time he was aged eighty-two. However, Cappadocia did re-emerge as an independent kingdom in the third century BC.

(Additional information from The Augustan Empire, 43 BC-AD 69, A K Bowman, E Champlin, & A Lintott (1996), and from External Link: Encyclopćdia Britannica.)

331 - 323 BC

Ariarathes I Philádelphos

Declared an independent kingdom in 331 BC. Killed 322 BC.

333 - 332 BC

Sabiktas

Greek satrap in southern Cappadocia only.

332 - 323 BC

?

Unknown Greek satraps in southern Cappadocia only.

323 BC

The death of Alexander the Great ends the period of peace in Cappadocia. Ariarathes' kingdom falls to the satraps as Alexander's generals fight for control of his empire. Eumenes of Cardia is the first to seize control of the whole kingdom, but he faces opposition in the form of Nikanor.

323 - 319 BC

Eumenes of Cardia

Greek general. Ruled all of Cappadocia, but not uncontested.

322 BC

Alexander's former secretary, Eumenes, is confirmed as ruler of Cappadocia by the Greek regent, Perdiccas. The regent underlines his choice of ruler by defeating the deposed Ariarathes, and then having him and many of his relations crucified. Eumenes soon finds his rule opposed by Nikanor, a Macedonian officer who serves Cassander, would-be regent and king of Greece.

Eumenes of Cardia
Eumenes of Cardia, Macedonian general and one of Alexander the Great's 'successors' between whom a series of wars were fought

322 - 319 BC

Nikanor / Nicanor

Opponent of Eumenes. Executed by Cassander in 318 BC.

319/306 - 301 BC

The death of Antipater of Greece leads to the Second War of the Diadochi. He had passed over his son, Cassander, in favour of Polyperchon as his successor (possibly to avoid claims of dynasticism) but the two rivals go to war. In the resultant shifts in power and control, Cappadocia and its surrounding regions (including Paphlagonia) become part of the Empire of Antigonus and Eumenes is killed. The kingdom of Cappadocia is subsumed by the empire until 301 BC.

302 BC

Once in the service of Antigonus, Mithradates takes control of Pontus from the fragmenting Greek empire and creates his own kingdom. This also encompasses part of Paphlagonia and removes Cappadocian access to the Black Sea. It seems that, upon the death of Antigonus at the Battle of Ipsus in the following year, 301 BC, Amyntas attempts to seize control of the Cappadocian region.

301 BC

Amyntas

Briefly ruled the region. Died.

301 BC

Amyntas is killed when Ariarathes II of Cappadocia and Ardoates of Armenia invade. Ariarathes recovers his uncle's throne and restores the native dynasty, but he is forced to accept the Seleucid empire as his overlord.

301 - c.280 BC

Ariarathes II

Nephew & adopted son of Ariarathes I. Vassal of the Seleucids.

c.280 - c.250 BC

Ariaramnes II

Son. Vassal of the Seleucids until c.260 BC.

273 BC

The Galatian Celts invade Greece again, destroying the Thracian kingdom and forcing the aristocracy to escape to the Greek colonies bordering the Black Sea, Pontus included. The kingdom of Galatia is created in Anatolia by the victorious Celts.

c.260 BC

Cappadocia appears to gain independence from the Seleucid empire. This probably occurs after the death of Antiochus I Soter in 261 BC and while the empire is occupied with Second Syrian War against Ptolemy of Egypt. However, this doesn't prevent Ariarathes III from marrying the daughter of the ruling Seleucid, Antiochus II Theos.

c.250 - 220 BC

Ariarathes III

Son. Co-ruler during his father's lifetime.

220 - 163 BC

Ariarathes IV Eusebes

Son. Child at accession. m dau of Seleucid Antiochus III.

216 - 213 BC

Now strong enough to face his rebellious cousin, Antiochus III of the Seleucid empire is able to march his forces into western Anatolia. By 214 BC Achaeus has been driven back to Sardis where he is captured and executed. The citadel itself is able to hold out until 213 BC under Achaeus' widow Laodice. Central Anatolia has been recovered but several regional dynasties persist in Bithynia, Cappadocia, and Pergamum. Rather than try his hand against these, Antiochus concentrates on the northern and eastern provinces of the empire. Xerxes of Armenia is persuaded to acknowledge his supremacy in 212 BC, while in 209 BC Antiochus invades Parthia. Its capital, Hecatompylos, is occupied and Antiochus forces his way into Hyrcania, with the result that the Parthian king, Arsaces II, is forced to sue for peace.

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.

183 - 180 BC

Further expansion of the kingdom of Pergamum 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.

163 - 130 BC

Ariarathes V Eusebes Philopator

Son. Killed in battle.

162? - 158 BC

At the insistence of Rome, Ariarathes V refuses a marriage with Laodice V, sister of Seleucid ruler Demetrius I Soter. Demetrius goes to war and produces Orophernes as a rival claimant to the Cappadocian throne. Ariarathes is temporarily forced to flee to Rome in 158 BC but is quickly restored, although Orophernes is allowed to reign jointly. This arrangement is brief, however, as Ariarathes is soon recorded as being the sole ruler.

163 - 157 BC

Holophernes / Orophernes

Brother? Rival, sponsored by the Seleucids. Later joint ruler.

131 - 130 BC

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

130 - 116 BC

Ariarathes VI Epiphanes Philopator

Son of Ariarathes V. A child upon succession. Murdered.

130 - 126 BC

Nysa

Mother and regent. Killed by nobles for murdering rivals.

c.121 - 88 BC

Once he puts an end to the scheming of his mother (between 116-113 BC), Mithradates VI of Pontus proves to be a resourceful and powerful regional authority. Over the course of the first thirty years of his reign, he methodically captures and adds neighbouring kingdoms and territories to his own realm, including Crimea, Paphlagonia, and (areas of) Cappadocia, and makes Armenia an ally. Though opposed by the Romans in theory, little is done due mainly to Roman wars in Africa (Jugurtha), continuing social disorder, and the crisis of the Germanic (Cimbri and Teuton) invasions.

116 BC

Ariarathes VI is murdered by Gordius on the orders of Mithradates VI Eupator of Pontus. The kingdom is ruled briefly by the former king's widow (probably as regent for her son), and then seized by Bithynia. Mithradates expels the Bithynian king and places Ariarathes VII on the throne.

116 BC

Laodike / Laodice

Wife of Ariarathes VI, dau. of Mithradates of Pontus.

116 BC

Nicomedes III

King of Bithynia. m Laodike.

116 - 101 BC

Ariarathes VII Philometor

Son of Ariarathes VI. Installed and killed by Pontus.

c.101 - c.96 BC

Ariarathes VIII Epiphanes

Brother.

c.96 BC

Mithradates VI of Pontus continues his domination of Cappadocia by replacing the native king with his own son. The situation is only briefly endured by the Cappadocian nobles.

c.95 BC

Ariarathes IX Eusebes Philopator

Son of the king of Pontus. Expelled.

c.95 BC

Gordius

Regent. Murdered Ariarathes VI.

95 BC

Following Ariarathes IX being expelled, the kingdom is briefly governed directly by Mithradates of Pontus. Control of Cappadocia is vital both to Pontus and nearby Armenia as it serves as a buffer against Roman encroachment.

95 BC

Ariarathes VIII Epiphanes

Restored by the nobles and driven out by Mithradates.

95 BC

Ariarathes IX Eusebes Philopator

Restored by Pontus.

95 BC

The eight year-old Ariarathes IX is ordered to be deposed by the Roman Senate, despite claims by Mithradates that he is in fact a descendant of Ariarathes V of Cappadocia. Rome allows the people to select their king, and they chose Ariobarzanes.

95 BC

Ariobarzanes I Philoromanus

Expelled by Tigranes the Great of Armenia.

95 - 89 BC

Mithradates of Pontus refuses to be cowed by Roman interference in Anatolia and retakes the kingdom after his ally in Armenia expels Ariobarzanes. Again he places his own son on the Cappadocian throne.

95 - 89 BC

Ariarathes IX Eusebes Philopator

Restored again by Pontus.

89 BC

On the even of the First Mithridatic War, the Roman Senate restores Ariobarzanes to the Cappadocian throne. This permanently ends Pontic interference in Cappadocian affairs but greatly increases Roman influence to the extent that Cappadocia virtually becomes a Roman client kingdom.

89 - 62 BC

Arionarzanes I Philoromanus

Restored. Abdicated.

69 - 67 BC

The imperialistic ambitions of King Tigranes of Armenia lead to war with Rome, and a defeated Armenia becomes tributary to the republic following the campaigns of generals Lucullus (69 BC) and Pompey (67 BC). Seleucid Syria is lost and the Romans distinguish between Greater Armenia and Lesser Armenia, respectively east and west of the Euphrates. The latter is governed by proxy through Rome's client state, Cappadocia.

Ariobarzanes II Philopator of Cappadocia
Both sides of a coin issued during the reign of Ariobarzanes II Philopator of Cappadocia

62 - 51 BC

Ariobarzanes II Philopator

Son. Relatively ineffectual.

51 - 42 BC

Ariobarzanes III Eusebes Philoromanos

Son. 'Friend of the Romans'. Executed.

49 BC

Upon Pompey's fall, Pharnaces of Pontus, newly resurgent king of a reduced kingdom that also includes the Cimmerian Bosporus, takes advantage of Julius Caesar being occupied in Egypt, and reduces Kolkis, Armenia, and part of Cappadocia, defeating Domitius Calvinus at Nicopolis, whom Caesar subsequently sends against him. Kolkis becomes part of the kingdom of Pontus, along with Lesser Armenia.

42 - 36 BC

Ariarathes X Eusebes Philadelphos

Brother. Executed.

37 - 36 BC

Following the execution in 42 BC of Ariobarzanes III by Cassius Longinus, one of the plotters against Julius Caesar, his brother Ariarathes X is removed from power and executed by Roman triumvir Mark Antony. The Cappadocian kingship is now firmly in the hands of Romans. Mark Antony first gifts the throne to Amintas of the Galatians, and then raises the Cappadocian nobleman Sisines to the rank of king in 36 BC, the latter adopting the name Archelaus. Archelaus subsequently deserts Mark Antony at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC.

36 BC - AD 17

Archelaus (Sisines)

Roman client. Died in confinement in Rome.

8 BC

Now a widow of some power and standing, Pythodoria of Pontus marries Archelaus, becoming co-ruler there too. She and her new husband now govern a wide swathe of eastern Anatolia and the South Caucuses.

AD 17

The aged Archelaus proves relatively popular with Rome but is less liked by the Cappadocians. For angering the Emperor Tiberius after favouring one of his rivals for the imperial diadem, Archelaus is summoned to Rome where he dies, possibly of natural causes (or suicide). Tributary Cappadocia now becomes a Roman province with Pythodoria of Pontus having to return to her own lands, while Armenia and Lesser Armenia are combined and handed to the elder son of Polemon I, Artaxias III, who rules there as a client king. Cilicia is handed to Archelaus' own son to rule as another client king.