NameAntiochus I Theos King of the Kommagene
Birthabt 95 BC
Deathabt 36 BC
Misc. Notes
Antiochos, the son of King Mithradates, received an education from his parents which was a mixture of Greek and Persian. From his mothers side, queen Laodike, he descended from Alexander the Great. While from his fathers side, he descended from the Persian 'King of Kings', Darius I.

When Antiochos was still quite young, his father arranged a marriage for him with a Seleucid princess named Isias Philostorgos, 'the Beloved One'. Such a marriage had little to do with love, its purpose was purely political.

(*)When Mithradates abdicated the throne in favour of his son, he stayed by his side. Together, they planned the sanctuary on top of Mount Nemrud. This was to be the spiritual centre of the treaty with the gods, for which Mithradates had lain the foundations.

As usual, Mithradates had a practical aim. It should become such an impressive monument, that it would give his subjects proof of the greatness of their treaty with the gods. As the Nemrud dominated the landscape, this proof could be seen by every Kommagenian from almost any place in Kommagene.

Antiochos had an idealistic aim. The cult of the treaty with the gods had to culminate in a new religion and Mount Nemrud was to become the centre. From Mount Nemrud his religion would radiate all over the civilised world. As the originator of this religion, he called himself Theos (God) directly after his coronation. A legend in his own mind!

For his father, Antiochos felt a deep respect, but his mother Laodike, he loved above all. He mentioned her specifically in various inscriptions, calling himself 'He who loves his mother'. He bestowed upon her the honorary name Thea (Goddess).

Together with his mother he immortalised himself between the statues of the gods on Mount Nemrud. He, sitting at the left side of Zeus, as the king of Kommagene, Theos. She, sitting at the right hand of Zeus, as the mother of Kommagene, Thea.

Antiochos could levy heavy tolls, as he controlled the passes of the Taurus Range as well as the crossings of the Euphrates river. Because of its wealth, Kommagene was not only a transit point but could afford to import costly goods as well.

The traders sold their valuable wares in Samosata to Roman traders and prosperous Kommagenian citizens. Under the reign of Antiochos, Samaosata became the centre of trade between the east and west. Here, Parthians, Kommagenians, Romans, Greeks and Arabs met.
ChildrenErvanduni (~74bc-)
Last Modified 25 Jul 2003Created 4 Sep 2012 using Reunion for Macintosh