Asander (Bosporan king)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Asander, named Philocaesar Philoromaios (Greek: Άσανδρoς Φιλοκαισαρ Φιλορώμαίος, Asander, lover of Caesar lover of Rome, 110 BC – 17 BC) was a Roman client king of the Bosporan Kingdom.

Asander was of Greek and possibly of Persian ancestry. Not much is known of his family and early life. He started his political and military career as a general under Pharnaces II, King of Pontus and the Bosporus. According to some scholars, Asander took as his first wife a woman called Glykareia, known from one surviving Greek inscription, "Glykareia, wife of Asander".

By 47 BC, Asander had taken as his second wife the daughter of Pharnaces II by his Sarmatian wife, Dynamis. She was a granddaughter of King Mithridates VI of Pontus by his first wife, his sister Laodice. In 47 BC, Asander revolted against Pharnaces II, who had appointed him regent of the Bosporan Kingdom, during the war against the Roman general Gnaeus Domitius Calvinus. He hoped that, by deserting and betraying his father-in-law, Asander would win favor with the Romans and they could help him become Bosporan King. After Pharnaces II's defeat, he fled, taking refuge with his supporters. Asander hunted down Pharnaces II and put him and his supporters to death.

Asander ascended the Bosporan throne with his wife Dynamis as Queen, until Gaius Julius Caesar commanded a paternal uncle of Dynamis, Mithridates II, to declare war on the Bosporan Kingdom and claim the kingship for himself. Asander and Dynamis were defeated by Mithridates II and went into political exile. However, after the death of Julius Caesar in 44 BC, the Bosporan Kingdom was restored to Asander and Dynamis by Julius Caesar’s great-nephew and heir Octavian (future Roman Emperor Augustus). Dynamis bore Asander a son called Aspurgus, and possibly other children.

According to the Greek geographer Strabo, Asander, during his reign as King, had constructed a large wall or ditch which was 360 stadia in length across the Isthmus of the Crimea (modern Isthmus of Perekop), to protect the peninsula against attacks from nomads.

From 44 BC until his death in 17 BC, Asander ruled as a strong king of the Bosporans, although there were periods of instability. In 17 BC, Asander died of voluntary starvation from despair at the age of 93, after his troops deserted him to the Roman usurper Scribonius, who pretended to be a relative of Dynamis so he could seize the throne.

Dynamis was compelled to marry Scribonius, but the Roman statesman Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa discovered Scribonius' deception, intervened, and appointed Polemon I of Pontus as the new Bosporan King. Dynamis and Polemon married in 16 BC. Dynamis died in 14 BC, and Polemon ruled until his death in 8 BC, succeeded by Aspurgus.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]

External links[edit]