Antiochos III "Megas" SELEUKID, King of Syria
(Abt 241 BCE-187 BCE)
Laodike, Princess of Pontus
Antiochos III "Megas" SELEUKID, King of Syria
(Abt 241 BCE-187 BCE)
Laodike, Princess of Pontus
Antiochos SELEUKID, co-King of Syria
(221 BCE-193 BCE)
Laodike SELEUKID, Queen of Syria
(Abt 217 BCE-)
Nysa SELEUKID of Syria, Queen of Pontus
(Abt 194 BCE-)


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Pharnakes I, King of Pontus

Nysa SELEUKID of Syria, Queen of Pontus

  • Born: Between 196 and 193 B.C.E.
  • Married: Between 172 and 171 B.C.E.

  Orthographic variation: SELEUCID

  Research Notes:

Pharnaces' queen, Nysa, is described as the daughter of Βασιλέως Άντιόχου καί Βασιλίσσης Λαοδίκης. Durrbach (followed in O.G.I. 771, note 13 and by Stähelin in R.E. xii 707, no. 18) pointed out that Nysa was probably the daughter of Antiochus, eldest son of Antiochus III (who had the title of King during his father's lifetime but died before the latter) and his sister Laodice, to whom he was married by his father in 196/5 (Appian Syr. 4); for, as Antiochus IV was evidently not married until after his return from Rome to Syria in 175 ..., the only other possibility is one of the daughters of Antiochus III and his wife Laodice, daughter of Mithradates II..., and in 160 she would have been too old to have been recently married to Pharnaces. 1


Nysa ... was a daughter the Seleucid Prince Antiochus and Seleucid Queen Laodice IV. Her parents were blood siblings and her parent’s marriage was the first sibling marriage to occur in the Seleucid dynasty....

Nysa was born between 196 BC and 193 BC. In 193 BC, her father had died. Her family grieved over his death, in particular, Antiochus III. Laodice IV, later married her brothers Seleucus IV Philopator and Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who were both uncles and stepfathers of Nysa....

In the year 172 BC or 171 BC, thanks to the diplomatic efforts of her maternal half-brother Seleucid King Demetrius I Soter, Nysa married the King Pharnaces I of Pontus. The marriage between Pharnaces and Nysa represented a continuation and a strengthening of the pro-Seleucid orientation of Pontus' foreign policy. Through his marriage to Nysa, Pharnaces tried to increase his political influence and Pontian power and affairs in foreign political relations with the Roman Republic and across Anatolia. Nysa and Pharnaces were related as he was a first cousin to Nysa’s parents, thus Pharnaces was related to the Seleucid dynasty. Little is known on Nysa’s relationship with Pharnaces and how she reigned as Queen of Pontus.

Honorific statues and inscriptions have survived that were dedicated to Nysa. Pharnaces set about establishing good relations with the citizens of Athens and the Greek island of Delos. Pharnaces made a donation to the people of Athens. While the exact nature of the donation is unknown, it is thought that Pharnaces' donation to Athens occurred soon after 183 BC. A lengthy inscription from the Athenians on Delos honours Pharnaces and Nysa. Pharnaces and Nysa received a crown of gold from them and bronze statues of themselves were set up on Delos. Their lengthy Athenian honorific inscription is dated during the archonship of the Athenian Tychandrus or Tychander which is now generally accepted to around 160 BC or 159 BC.

Nysa bore Pharnaces two children: a son called Mithridates V of Pontus and a daughter called Nysa of Cappadocia, who was also known as Laodice. Nysa is believed to have died during childbirth. 2

  Marriage Information:

Nysa married Pharnakes I, King of Pontus, son of Mithridates III, King of Pontus and Laodike SELEUKID, Princess of Syria, between 172 and 171 BCE. (Pharnakes I died before 154 BCE.)


1 Roman Rule in Asia Minor, Volume 2 (Notes): To the End of the Third Century After Christ, David Magie, 2017, page 1089, note 44.

2 Wikipedia article, Nysa (wife of Pharnaces I of Pontus), citing B.C. McGing, The foreign policy of Mithridates VI Eupator, King of Pontus, BRILL, 1986, p. 32; J.D. Grainger, A Seleukid prosopography and gazetteer, BRILL, 1997, pp. 36-37, 48, 52;

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