Deiotaros Philorhomaios, Pontos und Kolchis
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Towards the end of the Third Mithradatic War (64 BC), Pompey promoted the Tolistobogian tetrarch Deiotaros to become the most powerful king of Asia Minor. Strabo describes his new territories as follows (Geogr. 12.3.13 [547C]): ‘the other (part of the Gadilonitis) Pompey gave to Deiotaros, such as the areas around Pharnakeia and Trapezus, up to Kolchis and Armenia Minor (μέχρι Κολχίδος καὶ τῆς μικρᾶς ᾿Αρμενίας)’. One can precisely specify these territories. A first argument addresses the chora of the exclave Amisos, which was likely limited by the Iris River before Actium. A second argument suggests that there was a land bridge between Galatia and the Gadilonitis along the Halys, as well as an inland connection between the latter and the major parts of the Pontic realm. Scholars are divided regarding the meaning of μέχρι: most consider it exclusive, assuming that Kolchis never belonged to Deiotaros’ kingdom (where Pompey appointed a certain Aristarchos), whereas Armenia Minor was supposedly given to him only later in 59 BC. Others try to overcome the difficulties by emending the text to μέχρι Κολχίδος καὶ τ<ὴν> μικρ<ὰν> ᾿Αρμενία<ν>, thus accepting Armenia Minor as granted by Pompey, while denying Kolchis. However, neither solution is convincing, because a comparison with the description of the territories conquered by Mithradates VI Eupator (Geogr. 12.3.1 [541C]) or granted to Polemon I and Pythodoris (Geogr. 11.2.18 [499C]) firmly proves that Strabo considered Kolchis a part of Deiotaros’ assignment. The Galatian king hence appears to have held at least a supervisory function over Kolchis, possibly resulting in some tension with Aristarchos. The latter’s role as a vassal was probably like that of the Tektosagian Kastor Tar kondarios, the Trokmian Brogitaros and the Paphlagonian dynasts Pylaimenes and Attalos.
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Altay Coskun (2020). Deiotaros Philorhomaios, Pontos und Kolchis. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/18882