Antiochus IV of Commagene

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Gaius Julius Antiochus IV Epiphanes (Greek: Γάιος Ἰούλιος Ἀντίοχος ὀ Ἐπιφανής, before 17 CE – after 72 CE) was the last king of Commagene, who reigned between 38-72 as a client king to the Roman Empire.



Antiochus was a prince and son of Antiochus III of Commagene and his mother was Queen Iotapa of Commagene. The parents of Antiochus IV were full-blooded siblings, who had married each other. His own sister and later wife was Iotapa. He was of Armenian,[1] Greek and Medes descent. Through his ancestor from Commagene, Queen Laodice VII Thea, who was the mother of King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene, he was a direct descendant of the Greek Syrian Kingdom the Seleucid Empire.

Antiochus appears to have been very young when in 17, his father died. Roman Emperor Tiberius agreed with the citizens of Commagene to make their kingdom a part of the Roman province of Syria. Between 17 and 38, Antiochus seems to have gained Roman citizenship. He lived and was raised in Rome, along with his sister. While he and his sister were growing up in Rome, they were part of the remarkable court of Antonia Minor, a niece of the first Roman Emperor Augustus and the youngest daughter of triumvir Mark Antony. Antonia Minor was a very influential woman and supervised her circle of various princes and princesses. Her circle assisted in the political preservation of the Roman Empire’s borders and affairs of the client states.

In 38, Antiochus received his paternal dominion from Antonia’s grandson, the Roman Emperor Caligula. In addition, the emperor enlarged Antiochus' territory with a part of Cilicia bordering on the seacoast. Caligula also gave him the whole amount of the revenues of Commagene during the twenty years that it had been a Roman province.[2][3] The reasons for providing a client king with such vast resources remain unclear; it was perhaps a stroke of Caligula's well-attested eccentricity. Antiochus was on most intimate terms with Caligula, and he and King Agrippa I are spoken of as the instructors of the emperor in the art of tyranny.[4] This friendship, however, did not last very long, for he was subsequently deposed by Caligula.

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