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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V18, Page 621 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MITHRADATES III. murdered his father Phraates III. about 57 B.C., with the assistance of his brother Orodes. He was made king of Media, and waged war against his brother, but was soon deposed on account of his cruelty. He took refuge with Gabinius, the Roman proconsul of Syria. He advanced into Mesopotamia, but was beaten at Seleucia by Surenas, fled into Babylon, and after a long siege was taken prisoner and killed in 54 by Orodes I. (Dio Cass. 39, 56; Justin 42, 4; Jos. Bell. i. 8, 7, Ant. 14, 6, 4). A Parthian king Mithradates, who must have occupied the throne for a short time during the reign of Phraates IV., is mentioned by Jos. Ant. xvi. 8, 4, in to B.C.; another pretender Meherdates was brought from Rome in A.D. 49 by the opponents of Gotarzes, but defeated (Tac. Ann. xi. to, xii. to sqq.). The name of another pretender Mithradates (often called Mithradates IV.) occurs on a coin of the first half of the 2nd century, written in Aramaic, accompanied by the Arsacid titles in Greek (Wroth, Catal. of the Coins of Parthia, p. 219) ; he appears to be identical with Meherdotes, one of the rival kings of Parthia who fought against Trajan in 116; he died in an attack on Commagene and appointed his son Sanatruces successor, who fell in a battle against the Romans (Arrian ap. Malalas, Chron. pp. 270. 274). (ED. M.) The kings of Pontus were descended from one of the seven Persian conspirators who put the false Smerdis to death (see

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