Pharnakes I, King of Pontus
(-By 154 BCE)
Nysa SELEUCID ,Princess of Syria
Antiochos IV Epiphanes SELEUCID, King of Syria
(Abt 215 BCE-164 BCE)
Laodike IV SELEUCID, Queen of Syria
Mithridates V Euergetes, King of Pontus
(-Abt 120 BCE)
Laodike VI SELEUCID, Princess of Syria
(-By 113 BCE)
Laodike, Queen of Pontus
(Abt 129 BCE-Abt 90 BCE)


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Mithridates VI Eupator Dionysos, King of Pontus

Laodike, Queen of Pontus

  • Born: Abt 129 B.C.E.
  • Married: Between 115 B.C.E. and 113 B.C.E.
  • Died: Abt 90 B.C.E.

  Orthographic variation: Laodice

  Research Notes:

Laodice was the second daughter of the Pontic monarchs Laodice VI and Mithridates V of Pontus.

Her father was assassinated in about 120 BC in Sinope, poisoned at a lavish banquet he was hosting. In the will of her father, Mithridates V left the kingdom to the joint rule of her mother and her brothers: Mithridates VI and Mithridates Chrestus. The brothers of Laodice were both too young to rule and their mother retained all power as regent. Laodice VI's regency over Pontus was from 120–116 BC (even perhaps up to 113 BC). Laodice VI favoured Mithridates Chrestus over Mithridates VI. During her mother's regency, Mithridates VI had escaped from her plots against him and had gone into hiding.

Between 116 and 113 BC Mithridates VI returned to Pontus from hiding and was hailed as King. He was able to remove his mother and brother from the Pontic throne and became the sole ruler of Pontus. Mithridates VI showed clemency towards his mother and brother, but imprisoned them both....

When Mithridates VI became the sole ruler of Pontus, Laodice and her brother were practically strangers. The last time Mithridates VI had seen Laodice, she was a young girl. Sometime after Mithridates VI became sole King of Pontus, he married her. Through their marriage, Laodice became a Queen of Pontus.

Laodice bore her brother four sons: Mithridates, Arcathius, Machares, Pharnaces II of Pontus and two daughters: Cleopatra of Pontus and Drypetina...

Laodice and Mithridates VI set about establishing good relations with the citizens of Athens and the Greek island of Delos. Laodice and her brother-husband made benefactions to the Athenians and the Delians. The exact nature of their benefactions and their voluntary donations are unknown. On Delos, honorific statues have survived that have been identified to be of Mithridates VI and Laodice.

During Mithridates' absences, Laodice had lovers. Laodice became pregnant and gave birth to a son. To conceal her unfaithfulness to Mithridates VI, Laodice plotted to have her husband poisoned.

However, Mithridates returned to Pontus suddenly and without warning, catching Laodice with her lovers. Her brother-husband was shocked and distressed. However, he hid his rage and embraced Laodice. Festive banquets were prepared to welcome him back.

Prior to the feast, Mithridates VI's servants warned him of Laodice's plots and they named Laodice's co-conspirators. Feeling betrayed, Mithridates cursed his late mother for raising such a treacherous daughter, and had Laodice and her collaborators executed immediately, although he spared Laodice's new born son. 1

  Marriage Information:

Laodike married her brother Mithridates VI Eupator Dionysos, King of Pontus. (Mithridates VI Eupator Dionysos was born about 133 BCE in Sinope, Paphlagonia and died in 63 BCE.)


1 Wikipedia article, Laodice (sister-wife of Mithridates VI of Pontus), citing A. Mayor, The Poison King: the life and legend of Mithradates, Rome's deadliest enemy; M. Getzel, Hellenistic settlements in Europe, the islands and Asia Minor, Cohen University of California Press; "Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, page 719 (v. 2)".

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