Polemon (Cilicia)

Polemon (Cilicia)

Marcus Antonius Polemon Pythodoros, also known as Polemon II of Pontus, Polemon II and Polemon of Cilicia (name in Greek:ο Μάρκος Αντώνιος Πολέμων Πυθόδωρος, 12 BC/11 BC-74) was a prince and Roman Client King of Pontus, Colchis and Cilicia.

Polemon II was the second son and middle child of Roman Client Rulers of Pontus Polemon Pythodoros and Pythodorida of Pontus. His eldest brother was Zenon, also known as Artaxias III who was Roman Client King of Armenia and his youngest sister was Antonia Tryphaena was married King of Thrace, Cotys VIII. He was of Anatolian Greek and Roman heritage.

His paternal grandmother is unknown, however his paternal grandmother could have been named Tryphaena, while his paternal grandfather was Zenon, a prominent orator and aristocrat, who was an ally to Roman Triumvir Mark Antony. His maternal grandparents were the wealthy Greek and friend of the late Roman Triumvir Pompey Pythodoros of Tralles and Antonia. Polemon was the namesake of his parents and his maternal grandparents.

Through his maternal grandmother he was a direct descendant of Mark Antony and his second wife Antonia Hybrida Minor. Antony and Antonia Hybrida were first paternal cousins. He was Antony’s second born great grandson and great grandchild. Polemon is the only known male descendant of Mark Antony that carries his name. The other male descendant of Mark Antony who carries a form of his name "Antonius" was the consul Quintus Haterius Antoninus. Through Antony, his great maternal aunt was Roman Client Queen Cleopatra Selene II of Mauretania. Through Antony, he was a distant cousin to Roman Client King Ptolemy of Mauretania and the princesses named Drusilla of Mauretania. Through Antony, he was a distant cousin to Roman Emperors Caligula, Claudius and Nero and Roman Empresses Valeria Messalina, Agrippina the Younger and Claudia Octavia.

Polemon’s father died in 8 BC. His mother married Roman Client King Archelaus of Cappadocia. The family had moved to Cappadocia and along with his siblings were raised in the court of their stepfather. Archelaus had died in 17. After his death, Polemon and his mother moved back to Pontus.

From 17 until 38, Polemon lived as a private citizen in Pontus and assisted his mother in the administration of their Client Kingdoms. When his mother died in 38, Polemon succeeded his mother as the sole ruler of Pontus, Colchis and Cilicia.

Around 50, Polemon was attracted to the wealth and beauty of Judean Princess Julia Berenice, whom he wanted to marry. Berenice wanted to marry Polemon II to end rumors that Berenice and her brother were committing incest, so she could mend her reputation. Polemon had meet Berenice in Tiberias during a visit to King Agrippa I. Berenice was previously widowed his 48 when her second husband died, which was her paternal uncle Herod of Chalcis, to whom she had two sons Berenicianus and Hyrcanus.

Polemon agreed to marry Berenice on the condition, that he adopted the religion Judaism, undergoing the rite of circumcision. After Polemon agreed, he married Berenice and became a stepfather to Berenicianus and Hyrcanus. The marriage between Polemon and Berenice didn’t last and their marriage was dissolved. Berenice left Pontus with her sons and returned to the court of her brother. Polemon abandon Judaism and according to the Bartholomew the Apostle Legend, he accepted Christianity, but only to become a pagan again.

Polemon renamed the town, Fanizan and named the town after himself, Polemoniom (modern Fatsa Turkey). In 62, Nero induced Polemon to abdicate the Pontian throne, which Pontus that included Colchis became a Roman province. From 62 until his death, Polemon only ruled Cilicia. Polemon never remarried and had no children.

External links

* [http://www.s110120695.websitehome.co.uk/SNG/sng_reply2.php?crit_rule=Polemo%20II&crit_imag=on&crit_orde=fld_Ruler&crit_blok=20&crit_disp=sum Coinage of Polemon II]


* Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews XX.7.3
* Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews XIX.8.1
* http://www.ancientlibrary.com/smith-bio/2767.html
* http://www.tyndale.cam.ac.uk/egypt/ptolemies/cleopatra_vii.htm#Cleopatra.42

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