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Biographies (25)


Aetius, the last of the Romans

MISSIA (Ancient country) THRAKI
Aetius, a Roman general, who with his rival Boniface, has justly been called by Procopius the last of the Romans. He was born at Dorostana in Moesia (Jornandes, de reb. Get. 34), and his father Gaudentius, a Scythian in the employ of the empire, having been killed in a mutiny, he was early given as a hostage to Alaric, and under him learnt the arts of barbarian war (Philostorgius, xii. 12). After an ineffectual support of the usurper John with an army of 60,000 men (A. D. 424), he became the general of the Roman forces under Placidia, at that time guardian of her son, the emperor Valentinian III. In order to supplant in her favour his rival Boniface, by treacherous accusations of each to the other, Aetius occasioned his revolt and the loss of Africa (Procop. Bell. Vand. i. 3, 4); the empress, however, discovered the fraud, and Aetius, after having met Boniface at Ravenna, and killed him in single combat, was himself compelled to retire in disgrace to the Hunnish army which in 424 he had settled in Pannonia (Prosper. and Marcellinus, in anno 432).
  Restored with their help to Italy, he became patrician and sole director of the armies of the western empire (Jornandes, de reb. Get. 34). In this capacity, through his long acquaintance with the barbarian settlers, and chiefly with the Huns and Attila himself, in whose court his son Carpilio was brought up, he checked the tide of barbarian invasion, and maintained the Roman power in peace for seventeen years (433-450) in Italy, Spain, Britain, and Gaul, in which last country especially he established his influence by means of his Hun and Alan allies and by his treaty with Theodoric the Visigoth (Sidon. Apoll. Paneg. Avit. 300). And when in 450 this peace was broken by the invasion of Attila, Aetius in concert with Theodoric arrested it first by the timely relief of Orleans and then by the victory of Chalons (Greg. Turon. ii. 7; Jornandes, de reb. Get. 36), and was only prevented from following up his successes in Italy by want of support both from Valentinian and his barbarian allies (Idatius and Isidorus, in anno 450). The greatness of his position as the sole stay of the empire, and as the sole link between Christendon and the pagan barbarians, may well have given rise to the belief, whether founded or not, that he designed the imperial throne for himself and a barbarian throne for his son Carpilio (Sid. Apoll. Paneg. Avit. 204), and accordingly in 454, he was murdered by Valentinian himself in an access of jealousy and suspicion (Procop. Bell. Vand. i. 4), and with him (to use the words of the for contemporary chronicler Marcellinus, in anno 454), "cecidit Hesperium Imperium, nec potuit relevari."
  His physical and moral activity well fitted him for the life of a soldier (Gregor. Turon. ii. 8), and though destitute of any high principle, he belongs to the class of men like Augustus and Cromwell, whose early crimes are obscured by the usefulness and glory of later life, and in whom a great and trying position really calls out new and unknown excellences.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Sep 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks



THRAKI (Ancient country) BALKANS
Daryx, (Darux), the chief of a tribe of the Getae. When Crassus was in Thrace, B. C. 29, Roles, another chief of the Getae, was at war with Dapyx, and called in the assistance of Crassus. Dapyx was defeated, and obliged to take refuge in a stronghold, where he was besieged. A Greek, who was in the place, betrayed it to Crassus, and as soon as the Getae perceived the treachery, they killed one another, that they might not fall into the hands of the Romans. Dapyx too ended his life on that day. (Dion Cass. li. 26.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Historic figures


ODRYSAE (Ancient country) BALKANS
Sitalces, the leader of a body of Thracian light-armed troops, which accompanied Alexander the Great as auxiliaries on his expedition to Asia, and which rendered important services on various occasions, among others, at the battles of Issus and Arbela (Arr. Anab. i. 28, ii. 5, 9, iii. 12). He was one of those officers who were left behind in Media under the command of Parmenion, and to whom the mandate for the death of the aged general was afterwards delivered for execution. In this province he remained until after the return of Alexander from India, when he repaired, together with Cleander and Heracon, to meet that monarch in Carmania, B. C. 326. Hither he was followed by many persons from Media, who accused him of numerous acts of rapine, extortion, and cruelty, and on these charges he was put to death by order of Alexander. (Arr. ib. iii. 26, vi. 27; Curt. x. 1.)


THRAKI (Ancient country) BALKANS
Spartacus. Leader of an army of runaway slaves that infested Italy in 73-71 BCE. He was defeated by the Roman general Crassus.
  The Roman economy was based on agriculture and war. For centuries, a Roman citizen was a peasant and a soldier. During the Second Punic war (218-202; against the Carthaginian general Hannibal), this started to change. The Romans had to fight their wars overseas: in Spain, and, after 200, Greece and Macedonia. Often, the soldiers had to stay abroad for a long time, and it often happened that on their return, they found that their farms had gone bankrupt. Under these circumstances, there was only one solution: sell the farm and move from the country to the city.
  The Italian cities were rapidly growing, and the countryside also changed. Slowly, the small farms were replaced by large plantations (often called latifundia), where the work was done by slaves, who could not be recruited for military service. The Greek historian Appian of Alexandria (c.95-c.165) describes the results:
The rich [...] used persuasion or force to buy or seize property which adjoined their own, or any other smallholdings belonging to poor men, and came to operate great ranches instead of single farms. They employed slave hands and shepherds on these estates to avoid having free men dragged off the land to serve in the army, and they derived great profit from this form of ownership too, as the slaves had many children and no liability to military service and their numbers increased freely. For these reasons the powerful were becoming extremely rich, and the number of slaves in the country was reaching large proportions, while the Italian people were suffering from depopulation and a shortage of men, worn down as they were by poverty and taxes and military service. And if they had any respite from these tribulations, they had no employment, because the land was owned by the rich who used slave farm workers instead of free men.
[Appian, Civil wars 1.7; tr. John Carter]

  In this way, the countryside became crowded with slaves: usually prisoners of war, but often simply bought from slave traders, who bought them from pirates. (A modern estimate: there were two million slaves on an Italian population of six million.) Strong captives were sometimes forced to fight as gladiators in the arena. The ancients really loved this bloody spectacle, something we could expect from the bellicose Romans (although gladiatorial contests were just as popular in the Greek world).
  One of those was Spartacus, the leader of a rebellion of gladiators and slaves that escalated to a full-scale war in the years 73-70. We have two main sources: Plutarch of Chaeronea (46-c.122) describes this war in his Life of Crassus, and one generation later, Appian told the story in his History of the Civil wars. Both accounts describe more or less the same events in exactly the same sequence, and it is tempting to see the same source behind their stories, probably the Histories of Sallust or (less likely) Livy's History of Rome from its foundation. It seems that Appian has abridged his account, whereas Plutarch has left out several stories about Spartacus' cruelty.
  In 73, seventy-eight gladiators managed to escape from the fighting school of Cnaeus Lentulus Batiatus at Capua. According to Plutarch, they were only armed with choppers and spits, which they had found in a kitchen. However, they soon discovered a transport of gladiatorial weapons. From now on, they were heavily armed, and they occupied a mountain.
  Appian informs us that this was the Vesuvius, and that the gladiators elected three leaders: Spartacus, Oenomaus and Crixus. Probably, they represented ethnic groups: a Thracian, a Greek, and a German. According to Plutarch,
Spartacus was a Thracian from the nomadic tribes and not only had a great spirit and great physical strength, but was, much more than one would expect from his condition, most intelligent and cultured, being more like a Greek than a Thracian.
[Plutarch, Life of Crassus 8; tr. Rex Warner]

  This last remark is a well-known cliche from ancient literature. Any non-Greek/Roman who had done something special, was said to be more intelligent than other barbarians. Other sources say that Spartacus could have so much success because he had once fought in the Roman auxiliaries.
  Already at this stage of the revolt, runaway slaves, shepherds, and herdsmen must have joined the band of gladiators (our sources mention this at a later stage). We have to assume this, because otherwise, it is impossible to explain how the gladiators were able to overcome a militia sent by the Capuan authorities to deal with the runaways. The only result was that the gladiators now had real arms. Their numbers quickly swelled, because, as Appian tells us, Spartacus "divided the spoils in equal shares".
  The central government at Rome now had to intervene, and it sent the propraetor Caius Claudius Glaber with an army of 3,000 hastily conscripted and untrained soldiers. Perhaps this was an underestimation of the power of the gladiators, but it is more likely that Rome was unable to send a stronger force. The empire was involved in two large wars: general Pompey was fighting against Sertorius in Spain and his colleague Lucullus against king Mithradates of Pontus in the east. The city itself was restless because, due to these wars, grain had become scarce.
  Although he had a small and untrained army, Claudius came close to success. He isolated the gladiators on a hill-top which was covered with vines, and it looked as if they were chanceless. However, the besieged made ladders from the branches of the vines, descended from the hill during the night, and managed to get behind the enemy lines. The Romans panicked and fled, and their camp was looted by the gladiators. They could start to give weapons to the runaway slaves who had joined them.
  "Rome" launched a second expedition against the gladiators, this time commanded by the praetor Publius Varinius. For reasons that are unknown to us, he divided his forces, and the divisions were easily defeated by the army of the gladiators. Varinius himself was humiliated: he lost the very horse that he rode, his lictors were taken prisoner, and Spartacus paraded their fasces through his camp.
  The Roman author Florus, who published a summary of the great History of Rome from its foundation of Livy, mentions that the army of gladiators and slaves "laid waste Nola, Nuceria, Thurii and Metapontum with terrible destruction". These towns are all situated in the southern half of Italy. The shepherds of this region, real cowboys, joined the army of Spartacus. From now on, he could also employ cavalry.
  Next year, the Senate understood that this war was serious. According to Appian, Spartacus now commanded some 70,000 people, and although we do not know how he obtained this figure, we can be sure that the wealthy land-owners in the Senate understood that their slaves could also run away. Therefore, the senators ordered both consuls, Lucius Gellius Publicola and Cnaeus Cornelius Lentulus Clodianus, to proceed against the bands of Spartacus. Related articles Plutarch on Spartacus Appian on Spartacus Florus on Spartacus.

Jona Lendering, ed.
This text is cited July 2003 from the Livius Ancient History Website URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks.



ODRYSAE (Ancient country) BALKANS
Teres, king of a portion of Thrace in the time of Philip of Macedon, with whom he was at first allied against the Athenians. Afterwards, however, he joined Cersobleptes in hostilities to Philip, and, together with his confederate, was subdued by the Macedonian king early in B. C. 342. (Phil. Ep. ad Ath. ap. Demost. p. 161; comp. Diod. xvi. 71.)


Seuthes, a king of Thrace, or more properly of the Odrysians, contemporary with Alexander the Great, to whom he was tributary. But in B. C. 325, Zopyrion, who had been left by the Macedonian king as governor in Thrace, having fallen in an expedition against the Getae, Seuthes raised the standard of revolt (Curt. x. 1.45). He appears to have been for the time repressed by Antipater ; but after the death of Alexander (B. C. 323), we find him again in arms, and opposing Lysimachus, the new governor of Thrace, with an army of 20,000 foot and 8000 horse. An obstinate struggle ensued, without any decisive result; and both parties withdrew, we are told, to prepare for a renewal of the contest. (Diod. xviii. 14.) No further account of this has been transmitted to us, but it is clear that Seuthes was ultimately compelled to acknowledge the authority of Lysimachus. In B. C. 313, however, he took advantage of the war between the Thracian king and Antigonus to declare in favour of the latter, and occupied the passes of Mount Haemus with an army, but was once more defeated by Lysimachus. and finally reduced to submission. (Id. xix. 73.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Nov 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Teres, king of the Odrysae and father of Sitalces, was the founder of the great Odryssian monarchy. A daughter of his married Ariapeithes, king of the Scythians (Herod. iv. 80, vii. 137; Thuc. ii. 29; Xen. Anab. vii. 2.22, 5.1).


Sitalces (Sitalkes), king of Thrace, or rather of the powerful Thracian tribe of the Odrysians, was a son of Teres, whom he succeeded on the throne. His father had already transmitted to him a powerful and extensive monarchy, but he himself increased it still farther by successful wars, so that his dominions ultimately comprised the whole territory from Abdera to the mouths of the Danube, and from Byzantium to the sources of the Strymon (Thuc. ii. 29, 97; Diod. xii. 50). The date of his accession is unknown, but it seems certain that Diodorus is in error in representing it as immediately preceding the Peloponnesian War : and Sitalces must at that period have been long seated on the throne, as he had already raised his power to the height of greatness at which we then find it. It was in the first year of that war (B. C. 431) that he was persuaded by Nymphodorus the son of Pythes, a citizen of Abdera, whose sister he had married, to enter into an alliance with Athens (Thuc. ii. 29); and in the following year he showed his zeal in support of his new allies, by seizing and giving up to the Athenians the Corinthian and Lacedaemonian ambassadors, who had repaired to his court on their way to Asia to ask assistance of the king of Persia (Herod. vii. 137; Thuc. ii. 67). The Athenians, on their part, appear to have cultivated his friendship by repeated embassies, which were received in the most friendly manner, both by the king himself and his son Sadocus, who had been admitted to the rights of Athenian citizenship (Thuc. l. c. ; Aristoph. Acharn. 134-150, and Schol. ad loc.). The great object of the Athenians was to obtain the powerful assistance of Sitalces against Perdiccas, king of Macedonia, with whom the Thracian monarch was already on terms of hostility on account of the support which the latter had afforded or promised to Philip, the brother of Perdiccas. The Macedonian king had for a time bought off the hostility of his powerful neighbour by large promises, but these had never been fulfilled, and Sitalces now determined at once to avenge himself and support his Athenian allies, by invading the dominions of Perdiccas. The army which he assembled for this purpose was the most numerous that had been seen in Greece since the Persian invasion, amounting to not less than 50,000 horse and 100.000 foot. With this mighty host he crossed the passes of Mount Cercine, in the autumn of B. C. 429, and descended to Doberus in Paeonia. Perdiccas was wholly unable to oppose him in the field, and allowed him to ravage the open country, almost without opposition, as far as the river Axius. From thence he advanced through Mygdonia into Chalcidice, laying waste every thing on his passage. But he was disappointed of the expected co-operation of an Athenian fleet, and his vast army began to suffer from want of provisions and the approach of winter, so that he was induced to listen to the representations of his nephew Seuthes (who had been secretly gained over by Perdiccas), and withdrew into his own dominions, after having remained only thirty days in Macedonia (Thuc. ii. 95-101; Diod. xii. 50, 51).
  Of the remaining events of his reign we have scarcely any information. We learn, indeed, that he was at one time on the eve of a war with the Scythians, in support of Scyles, king of that country, who had taken refuge with him: but hostilities were prevented by a treaty between Sitalces and Octamasades, who had been chosen king by the Scythians, and who was himself son of a sister of the Thracian monarch. Sitalces consented to give up the fugitive Scyles, in exchange for a brother of his own, who had taken refuge with Octamasades (Herod. iv. 80). But the date of these events is wholly uncertain, and we know not whether they occurred previously or subsequent to the great expedition of Sitalces into Macedonia. The last event of his reign was an expedition against the Triballi, in which he engaged in B. C. 424, but was totally defeated, and himself perished in the battle. (Thuc. iv. 101)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Nov 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Seuthes, son of Sparadocus

Seuthes, a A king of the Thracian tribe of the Odrysians, was a son of Sparadocus or Spardacus, and nephew of Sitalces, king of the Odrysians, whom he accompanied on his great expedition into Macedonia, B. C. 429. On that occasion he was gained over by Perdiccas, king of Macedonia, who promised him his sister Stratonice in marriage; and in consequence exerted all his influence with Sitalces to induce him to withdraw his army from Macedonia. His efforts were successful, and after his return to Thrace, he was married to Stratonice according to the agreement (Thuc. ii. 101). In B. C. 424 he succeeded Sitalces on the throne, and during a long reign raised his kingdom to a height of power and prosperity which it had never previously attained, so that his regular revenues amounted to the annual sum of 400 talents, in addition to contributions of gold and silver in the form of presents to a nearly equal amount (Thuc. ii. 97, iv. 101.). From a passage in the letter of Philip to the Athenian people (ap. Demnosth.). it would appear that Seuthes was accused of having had some hand in the death of Sitalces; but this is wholly at variance with the account given by Thucydides. From the same passage we learn that he maintained friendly relations with the Athenian people, by whom he was admitted to the privileges of citizenship.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Nov 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Seuthes, son of Maesades

Seuthes, another Odrysian prince, a son of Maesades, who had reigned over the tribes of the Melanditae, Thyni, and Tranipsae, but had been expelled from his kingdom before his death, on which account Seuthes was brought up at the court of Medocus, or Amadocus, king of the Odrysians (Xen. Anab. vii. 2.32). He was, however, admitted to a certain amount of independent power, and we find him in B. C. 405 joining with Amadocus, in promising his support to Alcibiades, to carry on the war against the Lacedaemonians (Diod. xiii. 105). In B. C. 400, when Xenophon with the remains of the ten thousand Greeks that had accompanied Cyrus, arrived at Chrysopolis; Seuthes applied to him for the assistance of the force under his command to reinstate him in his dominions. His proposals were at first rejected; but he renewed them again when the Greeks had been expelled from Byzantium, and found themselves at Perinthus without the means of crossing into Asia; and they were now induced, principally by Xenophon himself, to accept the offers of the Thracian prince. By the assistance of these new auxiliaries, Seuthes obtained an easy victory over the mountain tribes, and recovered the whole of his father's dominions. But when it came to the question of paying the services of the Greeks, great disputes arose, and Seuthes, at the instigation of Heracleides, endeavoured by every subterfuge to elude his obligations. He was at length, however, compelled to pay the stipulated sum, and the Greeks thereupon crossed into Asia (Xen. Anab. vii. 1.5, 2-7). Not long afterwards, B. C. 399, we find him sending an auxiliary force to the Spartan general, Dercyllidas, in Bithynia (Id. Hellen. iii. 2.2). At a subsequent period (B. C. 393), he was engaged in hostilities with his former patron Amadocus; but the quarrel between them was terminated by the intervention of Thrasybulus; and Seuthes, at the suggestion of that general, concluded an alliance with Athens. (Ibid. iv. 8.26; Diod. xiv. 94.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Nov 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Sadales, son of Cotys

Sadales, the son of Cotys, king of Thrace, was sent by his father to the assistance of Pompey, and fought on his side against Caesar, in B. C. 48. In conjunction with Scipio, he defeated L. [p. 693] Cassius Longinus, one of Caesar's legates. He was pardoned by Caesar after the battle of Pharsalia, and appears to have succeeded his father in the sovereignty about this time. He died in B. C. 42, leaving his dominions to the Romans (Caes. B. C. iii. 4; Lucan, v. 54; Dion Cass. xli. 51, 63, xlvii. 25). Cicero, in his orations against Verres, B. C. 70, speaks of a king Sadala (Verr. Act. i. 24). This Sadala was in all probability the father of Cotys, and the grandfather of the Sadales mentioned above.

Cotys (382-358 BC)

Cotys, king of Thrace from B. C. 382 to 358 (See Suid., where his reign is said to have lasted twenty-four years). It is not, however, till towards the end of this period that we find anything recorded of him. In B. C. 364 he appears as an enemy of the Athenians, the main point of dispute being the possession of the Thracian Chersonesus, and it was at this time that he first availed himself of the aid of the adventurer Charidemus on his desertion from the Athenian service. He also secured the valuable assistance of Iphicrates, to whom he gave one of his daughters in marriage, and who did not scruple to take part with his father-in-law against his country (Dem. c. Aristocr.; Pseudo-Aristot. Oecon. ii. 26; Nep. Iphicr. 3; Anaxandr. ap. Athen. iv.). In B. C. 362, Miltocythes, a powerful chief, revolted from Cotys, and engaged the Athenians on his side by promising to cede the Chersonesus to them; but Cotys sent them a letter, outbidding his adversary in promises, and the Athenians passed a decree in the king's favour. It has been thought that this was the same decree which conferred on him the gift of citizenship. The effect of it certainly was so to discourage Miltocythes that he abandoned the struggle, while Cotys, having gained his point, never dreamed of fulfilling his promises (Dem. c. Aristocr., c. Polycl.). In the same year he vigorously opposed Ariobarzanes and the other revolted satraps of the western provinces. Here again he shewed his hostility to Athens, which sided with the rebels, while another motive with him for the course he took seems to have been, that the satraps protected the cities on the Hellespont, over which he desired to establish his own authority. Having besieged Sestus, which belonged to Ariobarzanes, he was compelled, apparently by Timotheus, to raise the siege; but the town soon after revolted from Athens and submitted to Cotys, who, having in vain tried to persuade Iphicrates to aid him, again bought the services of Charidemus, made him his son-in-law, and prosecuted the war with his assistance (Xen. Ages, ii.26; Nep. Timoth. 1; Dem. de Rhod. Lib., c. Aristocr. ). This appears to have occurred in B. C. 359, and in the same year, and not long after Philip's accession, we find him supporting the claims of the pretender Pausanias to the Macedonian throne; but the bribes of Philip induced him to abandon his cause (Diod. xvi. 2, 3). For his letter to Philip, perhaps on this occasion, see Hegesand. ap. Athen. vi. In B. C. 358, he was assassinated by Python or Parrhon and Heracleides (two citizens of Aenus, a Greek town in Thrace), whose father he had in some way injured. The murderers were honoured by the Athenians with golden crowns and the franchise of the city (Arist. Polit. v. 10; Dem. c. Aristocr.; Plut. adv. Colot. 32; Diog. Laert. iii. 46, ix. 65). Cotys, from the accounts we have of him, was much addicted to gross luxury, and especially to drunkenness, the prevalent vice of his nation. His violence and cruelty were excessive, almost, in fact, akin to madness. He is said to have murdered his wife, of whom he was jealous, with circumstances of the most shocking barbarity; on one occasion also he persuaded himself, or chose to assert, that he was the bridegroom of the goddess Athena, and, having drunk deeply at what he called the nuptial feast, he put to death two of his attendants successively, who had not presence of mind or courtly tact sufficient to fall in with his mad humour (Theopomp. ap. Athen. xii.; Suid. s. v.; Plut. Reg. et Imp. Apophth.).

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Nov 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Cotys, a king of the Odrysae in Thrace. He was originally an ally of Rome, but was forced into an alliance against her with Perseus, to whom he gave hostages for his fidelity, and supplied a force of 2000 men. When Perseus was conquered by Aemilius Paullus in B. C. 168, Bites, the son of Cotys, was taken prisoner and carried to Rome, and his father sent ambassadors to offer any sum of money for his freedom, and to account for his own conduct in having sided with Macedonia. The Roman senate did not admit the excuse of Cotys as a valid one, but they made a flourish of generosity, and released the prince unransomed. Cotys is honourably recorded as differing widely from the generality of his countrymen in sobriety, gentleness, and cultivation of mind. (Polyb. xxvii. 10, xxx. 12; Suid. s. v. ; Liv. xlii. 29, 51, 57, 59, 67, xliii. 18, xlv. 42.)


Cotys, a king of Thrace, took part against Caesar with Pompey, and sent him a body of auxiliaries under his son Sadales in B. C. 48. (Caes. Bell. Civ. iii. 4; Lucan. Phars. v. 54.)

Cotys, son of Rhoemetalces

Cotys, son of Rhoemetalces, king of Thrace. On the death of Rhoemetalces his dominions were divided by Augustus between his brother Rhescuporis and his son Cotys. Rhescuporis desired to subject the whole kingdom to himself, but did not venture on palpable acts of aggression till the death of Augustus. He then openly waged war against his nephew, but both parties were commanded by Tiberius to desist from hostilies. Rhescuporis then, feigning a wish for friendly negotiation, invited Cotys to a conference, and, at the banquet which followed, he treacherously seized him, and, having thrown him into chains, wrote to Tiberius, pretending that he had only acted in self-defence and anticipated a plot on the part of Cotys. He was, however, commanded to release him, and to come to Rome to have the matter investigated, whereupon (A. D. 19) he murdered his prisoner, thinking, says Tacitus, that he might as well have to answer for a crime completed as for one half done. Tacitus speaks of Cotys as a mall of gentle disposition and manners, and Ovid, in an epistle addressed to him during his exile at Tomi, alludes to his cultivated taste for literature, and claims his favour and protection as a brother-poet. (Tac. Ann. ii. 64-67, iii. 38; Vell. Pat. ii. 129; Ov. ex Pont. ii. 9.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Nov 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Cotys, a king of a portion of Thrace (See Tac. Ann. ii. 67). In A. D. 38, Caligula gave the whole of Thrace to Rhoemetalces, son of Rhescuporis, and put Cotys in possession of Armenia Minor. In A. D. 47, when Claudius wished to place Mithridates on the throne of Armenia, Cotys endeavoured to obtain it for himself, and had succeeded in attaching some of the nobles to his cause, but was compelled by the commands of the emperor to desist. (Dion Cass. lix. 12; Tac. Ann. xi. 9.)

Cersobleptes, 4th cent. B.C.

Cersobleptes (Kersobleptes), was son of Cotys, king of Thrace, on whose death in B. C. 358 he inherited the kingdom in conjunction with Berisades and Amadocus, who were probably his brothers. He was very young at the time, and the whole management of his affairs was assumed by the Euboean adventurer, Charidemus, who was connected by marriage with the royal family, and who bore the prominent part in the ensuing contests and negotiations with Athens for the possession of the Chersonesus, Cersobleptes appearing throughout as a mere cipher (Dem. c. Aristocr.). The peninsula seems to have been finally ceded to the Athenians in B. C. 357, though they did not occupy it with their settlers till 353 (Diod. xvi. 34); nor perhaps is the language of Isocrates (de Pac. me gar oiesthe mete Kersoblepten, k. t. l.) so decisive against this early date as it may appear at first sight, and as Clinton (on B. C. 356) seems to think it. For some time after the cession of the Chersonesus, Cersobleptes continued to court assiduously the favour of the Athenians, being perhaps restrained from aggression by the fear of their squadron in the Hellespont; but on the death of Berisades, before 352, he conceived, or rather Charidemus conceived for him, the design of excluding the children of the deceased prince from their inheritance, and obtaining possession of all the dominions of Cotys; and it was with a view to the furtherance of this object that Charidemus obtained from the Athenian people, through his party among the orators, the singular decree in his favour for which its mover Aristocrates was impeached, but unsuccessfully, in the speech of Demosthenes yet extant (Dem. c. Aristocr.). From a passing allusion in this oration, it appears that Cersobleptes had been negotiating with Philip for a combined attack on the Chersonesus, which however came to nothing in consequence of the refusal of Amadocus to allow Philip a passage through his territory. But after the passing of the decree above-mentioned, Philip became the enemy of Cersobleptes, and in B. C. 352 made a successful expedition into Thrace, gained a firm ascendancy in the country, and brought away a son of Cersobleptes as a hostage (Dem. Olynth. i.; Isocr. Phil.; Aesch. de Fals. Leg). At the time of the peace between Athens and Philip in B. C. 346, we find Cersobleptes again involved in hostilities with the Macedonian king, who in fact was absent in Thrace when the second Athenian embassy arrived at Pella, and did not return to give them audience till he had completely conquered Cersobleptes (Dem. de Fals. Leg., de Cor.; Aesch. de Fals. Leg.). In the course of the next three years, Cersobleptes seems to have recovered strength sufficient to throw off the yoke, and, according to Diodorus, persisted in his attacks on the Greek cities on the Hellespont. Accordingly, in B. C. 343, Philip again marched against him, defeated him in several battles, and reduced him to the condition of a tributary (Diod. xvi. 71; Ep. Phil. ad Ath. ap. Dem.; Dem. de Chers.).

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Nov 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Rhascuporis & Rhascus

Rhascuporis, brother of Rhoemetalces, king of Thrace, and jointly with him defeated, A. D. 6, the Dalmatians and Breucians in Macedonia. On the death of Rhoemetalces, Rhascuporis received from Augustus a portion of his dominions, the remainder being awarded to his nephew Cotys, son of the deceased. Rhascuporis was discontented, either with his share of Thrace -the barren mountainous district had been assigned him- or with divided power; but so long as Augustus lived he did not dare to disturb the apportionment. On the emperor's decease, however, he invaded his nephew's kingdom, and hardly desisted at Tiberius' command. Next, on pretence of an amicable adjustment, Rhascuporis invited his nephew to a conference, seized his person, and threw him into prison; and finally, thinking a completed crime safer than an imperfect one, put him to death. To Tiberius Rhascuporis alleged the excuse of self-defence, and that the arrest and murder of his nephew merely prevented his own assassination. The emperor, however, summoned the usurper to Rome, that the matter might be investigated, and Rhascuporis, on pretext of war with the Scythian Bastarnae, began to collect an army. But he was enticed into the Roman camp by Pomponius Flaccus, propraetor of Mysia, sent to Rome, condemned, and relegated to Alexandria, where an excuse was presently found for putting him to death, A. D. 19. He left a son, Rhoemetalces, who succeeded to his father's moiety of Thrace (Tac. Ann. ii. 64-67, iii. 38; Vell. Pat. ii. 129; Suet. Tib. 37; Dion Cass. Iv.


Rhascus (Rhaskos), was one of the two chieftains of a Thracian clan. In the civil wars of Rome, B. C. 43, 42, he espoused the party of Augustus and M. Antony, while his brother Rhascuporis embraced that of Brutus and Cassius. After the victory of the triumvirs at Philippi, Rhascus obtained from the conquerors his brother's pardon. (Appian, B. C. iv. 87, 104, 136.)

Rhoemetalces I.

Rhoemetalces I. (Rhoimetalkes), king of Thrace, was the brother of Cotys, of Rhascuporis, and uncle and guardian of the younger Rhascuporis. On his nephew's death, B. C. 13, Rhoemetalces was expelled from Thrace, and driven into the Chersonesus, by Vologaeses, chief of the Thracian Bessi. About two years afterwards L. Piso, praetor of Pamphylia, drove the Bessi from the Chersonesus, and Rhoemetalces received from Augustus his nephew's dominions, with some additions, since Tacitus calls him king of all Thrace. On his death Augustus divided his kingdom between his son Cotys, and his brother Rhascuporis (Tac. Ann. ii. 64; Dion Cass. liv. 20, 34; comp. Veil. Pat. ii. 98). On the obverse of the annexed coin is the head of Augustus, and on the reverse that of Rhoemetalces and his wife.

Rhoemetalces II.

Rhoemetalces II., (Rhoimetalkes), king of Thrace, was the son of Rhascuporis and nephew of Rhoemetalces I. On the deposition of his father, whose ambitious projects he had opposed, Rhoemetalces shared with the sons of Cotys the kingdom of Thrace. He remained faithful to Rome, and aided in putting down the Thracian malcontents in A. D. 26. Caligula, in A. D. 38, assigned the whole of Thrace to Rhoemetalces, and gave Armenia Minor to the son of Cotys (Dion Cass. lix. 12; Tac. Ann. ii. 67, iii. 38, iv. 5, 47, xi. 9). On the obverse of the annexed coin is the head of Caligula, and on the reverse that of Rhoemetalces.


Amadocus, king King of the Odrysae in Thrace, was a friend of Alcibiades, and is mentioned at the time of the battle of Aegospotami, B. C. 405 (Diod. xiii. 105). He and Seuthes were the most powerful princes in Thrace when Xenophon visited the country in B. C. 400. They were, however, frequently at variance, but were reconciled to one another by Thrasybulus, the Athenian commander, in B. C. 390, and induced by him to become the allies of Athens (Xen. Anab. vii. 2.32, 3.16, 7.3, &c., Hell. iv. 8.26; Diod. xiv. 94). This Amadocus may perhaps be the same as the one mentioned by Aristotle, who, he says, was attacked by his general Seuthes, a Thracian.


Amadocus, a Ruler in Thrace, who inherited in conjunction with Berisades and Cersobleptes the dominions of Cotys, on the death of the latter in B. C. 358. Amadocus was probably a son of Cotys and a brother of the other two princes, though this is not stated by Demosthenes (Dem. in Aristocr.). Amadocus seems to have had a son of the same name. (Isocr. Philipp. compared with Harpocrat. s. v. Amadokos.)


Berisades, a ruler in Thrace, who inherited, in conjunction with Amadocus and Cersobleptes, the dominions of Cotys on the death of the latter in B. C. 358. Berisades was probably a son of Cotys and a brother of the other two princes. His reign was short, as he was already dead in B. C. 352; and on his death Cersobleptes declared war against his children (Dem. in Aristocr.). The Birisades (Birisades) mentioned by Deinarchus is pro-bably the same as Parisades, the king of Bosporus, who must not be confounded with the Berisades mentioned above. The Berisades, king of Pontus, whom Stratonicus, the player on the lyre, visited (Athen. viii.), must also be regarded as the same as Parisades.

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