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Pha'rnaces I.

1. (Φαρνάκης), king of Pontus, was the son of Mithridates IV., whom he succeeded on the throne. (Just. 38.5, 6 ; Clinton, F. H. vol. iii. pp. 424, 425). The date of his accession cannot be fixed with certainty, but it is assigned conjecturally by Mr. Clinton to about B. C. 190. It is certain, at least, that he was on the throne before B. C. 183, in which year he succeeded in reducing the important city of Sinope, which had been long an object of ambition to the kings of Pontus. The Rhodians sent an embassy to Rome to complain of this aggression, but without effect. (Strab. xii. p.545; Plb. 24.0 ; Liv. 40.2.) About the same time Pharmaces became involved in disputes with his neighbour, Eumelnes, king of Pergamus, which led to repeated embassies from both monarchs to Rome, as well as to partial hostilities. But in the spring of 181, without waiting for the return of his ambassadors, Pharnaces suddenly attacked both Eumenes and Ariarathes, and invaded Galatia with a large force. Eumenes opposed him at the head of an army : but hostilities were soon suspended by the arrival of the Roman deputies, appointed by the senate to inquire into the matters in dispute. Negotiations were accordingly opened at Pergamus, but led to no result, the demands of Pharnaces being rejected by the Romans as unreasonable; and the war was in consequence renewed. It continued, apparently with various interruptions, until the summer of B. C. 179, when Pharnaces, finding himself unable to cope with the combined forces of Eumenes and Ariarathes, was compelled to purchase peace by the cession of all his conquests in Galatia and Paphlagonia, with the exception of Sinope. (Plb. 25.2, 4, 6, 26.6; Liv. 40.20; Diod. xxix. Exc. Vales. pp. 576, 577.) How long he continued to reign after this we know not; but it appears, from an incidental notice, that he was still on the throne iin B. C. 170. (Plb. 27.15; Clinton, F. H. vol. iii. p. 426.) The impartial testimony of Polvbius confirms the complaints of Eumenes and the Romans in regard to the arrogant and violent character of Pharnaces.


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190 BC (1)
183 BC (1)
179 BC (1)
170 BC (1)
hide References (6 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (6):
    • Polybius, Histories, 27.15
    • Polybius, Histories, 25.2
    • Polybius, Histories, 25.4
    • Polybius, Histories, 25.6
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 40, 20
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 40, 2
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