kings of PONTUS. The first of these, however, was not really an independent monarch, but merely a satrap under the Persian king; and it would be more correct to omit him in the enumeration, and reckon the one who comes next in order as Mithridates I.; but the ordinary practice has been here followed for convenience.
The kings of Pontus claimed to be lineally descended from one of the seven Persians who had conspired against the Magi, and who was subsequently established by Dareius Hystaspes in the government of the countries bordering on the Euxine Sea. (Plb. 5.43
; Diod. 19.40
; Aur. Vict. de Vir. Illust.
76.) They also asserted their descent from the royal house of the Achaemenides, to which the kings of Persia belonged, but we know not how they made out this part of their pedigree. Very little is known of their history until after the fall of the Persian empire.