Empire of the Black Sea: The Rise and Fall of the Mithridatic World

October 30, 2020
Empire of the Black Sea: The Rise and Fall of the Mithridatic World

What is commonly called the kingdom of Pontos flourished forover two hundred years in the coastal regions of the Black Sea. Atits peak in the early first century BC, it included much of thesouthern, eastern, and northern littoral, becoming one of the mostimportant Hellenistic dynasties not founded by a successor ofAlexander the Great. It also posed one of the greatest challengesto Roman imperial expansion in the east. Not until 63 BC, aftermany violent clashes, was Rome able to subjugate the kingdom andits last charismatic ruler Mithridates VI.This book provides the first general history, in English, of thisimportant kingdom from its mythic origins in Greek literature(e.g., Jason and the Golden Fleece) to its entanglements with thelate Roman Republic. Duane Roller presents its rulers and theircomplex relationships with the powers of the eastern Mediterraneanand Near East, most notably Rome. In addition, he includes detaileddiscussions of Pontos' cultural achievements--a rich blend of Greekand Persian influences as well as its political and militarysuccesses, especially under Mithridates VI, who proved to be asformidable a foe to Rome as Hannibal. Previous histories of Pontoshave focused almost exclusively on the career of its last ruler.Setting that famous reign in its wide historical context,Empire of the Black Sea is an engaging and definitiveaccount of a powerful yet little-known ancient dynasty.