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Ariarathes V Eusebes Philopator (Ancient GreekἈριαράθης Εὐσεβής Φιλοπάτωρ, Ariaráthēs Eusebḗs Philopátōr; reigned 163–130 BC or 126 BC) was son of the preceding king Ariarathes IV. Previously called Mithridates, he reigned 33 years, 163–130 BC, as king of Cappadocia. He was distinguished by the excellence of his character and his cultivation of philosophy and the liberal arts. According to Livy[1], he was educated at Rome; but this account may perhaps refer to another Ariarathes, while Ariarathes Eusebes probably studied in his youth in Athens, where he seems to have become a friend of the future king Attalus II. In consequence of rejecting, at the wish of the Romans, a marriage with the sister of Demetrius I Soter, the latter made war upon him, and brought forward Orophernes, one of the supposititious sons of the late king, as a claimant of the throne. Ariarathes was deprived of his kingdom, and fled to Rome about 158 BC. He was restored by the Romans, who, however, allowed Orophernes to reign jointly with him, as is expressly stated by Appian[2], and implied by Polybius[3]. The joint government, however, did not last long; for we find Ariarathes shortly afterwards named as sole king. In 154 BC, Ariarathes assisted the king of Pergamum Attalus II in his war against Prusias II of Bithynia, and sent his son Demetrius in command of his forces. He fell in 130 BC, in the war of the Romans against Aristonicus of Pergamum. In return for the succours which he had brought the Romans on that occasion, Lycaonia and Cilicia were added to the dominions of his family. By his wife Nysa (possibly a daughter of king Pharnaces I of Pontus) he had six children; but they were all, with the exception of one, killed by their mother, that she might obtain the government of the kingdom. After she had been put to death by the people on account of her cruelty, her last surviving son succeeded to the crown as Ariarathes VI.

Ariarathes was a strong philhellene; himself honoured with the Athenian citizenship, he refounded the two Cappadocian towns of Mazaca and Tyana with the Greek names of Eusebia. He was munificent in his donations to Athens and its institutions; an inscription remains by an association of professional actors which thanks him and his wife for his patronage. It is also known that he corresponded with the Greek philosopher Carneades, as Diogenes Laertius attests.[4]

Preceded by
Ariarathes IV
King of Cappadocia
163 BC – 130 BC
Succeeded by
Ariarathes VI



  1. ^ Livy, xlii. 19
  2. ^ Appian, "The Syrian Wars", 47
  3. ^ Polybius, xxxii. 10
  4. ^ Diogenes Laertius, The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, iv. 64

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology by William Smith (1870).

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