Parthian Empire, Greater Armenia and Cappadocia in foreign policy projects of Mithridates VI Eupator before the wars with Rome

  • А. Hrehul Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv
Keywords: Mithridates VI Eupator, Pontic kingdom, Parthia, Armenia, Cappadocia, the Roman Republic, foreign policy


The purpose of the paper is to study the foreign policy of the Pontic king Mithridates VI (120–63 BC) during the preparation for the war with the Roman Republic. It is determined that the main tasks for the king were conquests of new territories and a search for reliable allies. The first important partner for Mithridates and a starting point for seeking further contacts was Parthian Empire. It is defined that the beginning of Mithridates’ VI political contacts with members of the Arsacid dynasty originates from the end of the 2nd century BC. Having been in an alliance with Parthia Mithridates Eupator intended to establish relations with Greater Armenia, which was in the sphere of influence and indirect dependence on the Arsacid dynasty.

It is investigated that the king of Pontus focused on the possibility of form an alliance with Greater Armenia, when the struggle against Rome for the control of Cappadocia began growing into an armed confrontation. Consequently, Mithridates VI succeeded his intentions before the first war with Rome. Moreover, Tigran was ascended to the throne through the contribution of Parthian king Mithridates II, so the rapprochement between Pontus and Armenia was organized by Parthia. An alliance with Greater Armenia helped Mithridates Eupator to subordinate Cappadocia. It should be emphasized that the origin of the family of the Pontic and Cappadocian kings from a single common descendant and the determination of the general core of the Pontic kingdom and Cappadocia, entitled «Pontic Cappadocia», became the reason for Mithridates’ VI desire to establish political control over the neighboring territory. Consequently, Mithridates VI tried to control the Cappadocia, which he considered as the original territory of his dynasty. Therefore, the dynastic struggle for the Cappadocian throne and the place in it of Mithridates VI were analyzed.

As a result of the study, it was determined that the feud over Cappadocia was one of the preconditions for the escalation of a war with Rome.


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How to Cite
HrehulА. (2019). Parthian Empire, Greater Armenia and Cappadocia in foreign policy projects of Mithridates VI Eupator before the wars with Rome. Zaporizhzhia Historical Review, 2(52), 197-201. Retrieved from