The Kingdom of Commagene

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11m Oct 22, 2020

The Kingdom of Commagene (163 BCE - 72 CE) was a Hellenistic political entity, heavily influenced by Armenian and ancient Persian culture and traditions, established in southwestern Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) by Ptolemaeus of Commagene (r. 163-130 BCE) of the Orontid Dynasty who had formerly been satrap (governor) of the region under the Seleucid Empire (312-63 BCE). The Seleucid Empire had been in steady decline since it came into conflict with Rome in 190 BCE and, by 163 BCE, no longer had the strength to maintain its earlier cohesion. Ptolemaeus seized on the weakness, declared Commagene an independent state, and became its first king.

The name derives from Kummuh, a Neo-Hittite kingdom of the Iron Age located in the same area, and Commagene would retain indigenous Luwian and Hittite traditions and motifs in its architecture. The region had been part of Urartu, the proto-Armenian kingdom, under the name Sophene, which became part of the Achaemenid Empire (c. 550-330 BCE). The Achaemenid Empire fell to Alexander the Great in 330 BCE and, after Alexander’s death, the region became part of the Seleucid Empire at which point Sophene became its own kingdom.

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The Original Article titled Commagene by Joshua J Mark


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