Mithridates I of Pontus
Mithridates I Ctistes was the founder (this is the meaning of the word Ctistes) of the kingdom of Pontus
Pontus or Pontos is a historical Greek designation for a region on the southern coast of the Black Sea, located in modern-day northeastern Turkey. The name was applied to the coastal region in antiquity by the Greeks who colonized the area, and derived from the Greek name of the Black Sea: Πόντος...

 in Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...


Plutarch mentions that Mithradates was son of a man named Ariobarzanes. The classical historian Appianus informs that Mithradates was born of the male line of the extended dynasty of Grest King Dareios. Mithradates is told to have been of the same age as Demetrios Poliorketes, which means he was born in mid-330s BCE.
In 302 or 301 BC, shortly after having executed the young man's kinsman (possibly his father or grandfather) and predecessor Mithridates of Cius
Mithridates II of Cius
Mithridates of Cius succeeded his kinsman or father Ariobarzanes II in 337 BC as ruler of the Greek town of Cius in Mysia . Diodorus assigns him a rule of thirty-five years, but it appears that he did not hold uninterrupted possession of the sovereignty during that period...

, the diadoch
The Diadochi were the rival generals, family and friends of Alexander the Great who fought for the control of Alexander's empire after his death in 323 BC...

Antigonus I Monophthalmus
Antigonus I Monophthalmus , son of Philip from Elimeia, was a Macedonian nobleman, general, and satrap under Alexander the Great. During his early life he served under Philip II, and he was a major figure in the Wars of the Diadochi after Alexander's death, declaring himself king in 306 BC and...

 became suspicious of the son who had inherited the family dominion of Cius
Cius or Kios , later renamed Prusias ad Mare after king Prusias I of Bithynia, was an ancient Greek city bordering the Propontis , in Bithynia , and had a long history, being mentioned by Aristotle, and Strabo. It was colonized by the Milesians and became a place of much commercial importance...

. Antigonus was motivated to form a plan oriented on killing the boy. Mithridates Ktistes, however, received from Demetrius Poliorcetes
Demetrius I of Macedon
Demetrius I , called Poliorcetes , son of Antigonus I Monophthalmus and Stratonice, was a king of Macedon...

 timely notice of Antigonus's intentions, and fled with a few followers to Paphlagonia
Paphlagonia was an ancient area on the Black Sea coast of north central Anatolia, situated between Bithynia to the west and Pontus to the east, and separated from Phrygia by a prolongation to the east of the Bithynian Olympus...

, where he occupied a strong fortress, called Cimiata
Cimiatene was an ancient division of Paphlagonia, which took its name from a hill fort, Cimiata, at the foot of the range of Olgassys. Mithridates Ktistes slightly after 302 BC made this his first stronghold, and so became master of the Pontus...

. He was joined by numerous bodies of troops from different quarters and gradually extended his dominions in Pontus and created the foundations for the birth of a new kingdom, which may be judged to have risen about 281 BC when Mithridates assumed the title of basileus
Basileus is a Greek term and title that has signified various types of monarchs in history. It is perhaps best known in English as a title used by the Byzantine Emperors, but also has a longer history of use for persons of authority and sovereigns in ancient Greece, as well as for the kings of...

(king). In the same year, we find him concluding an alliance with the town of Heraclea Pontica
Heraclea Pontica
Heraclea Pontica , an ancient city on the coast of Bithynia in Asia Minor, at the mouth of the river Lycus. It was founded by the Greek city-state of Megara c.560-558 and was named after Heracles who the Greeks believed entered the underworld at a cave on the adjoining Archerusian promontory .The...

, in Bithynia
Bithynia was an ancient region, kingdom and Roman province in the northwest of Asia Minor, adjoining the Propontis, the Thracian Bosporus and the Euxine .-Description:...

, to protect them against Seleucus
Seleucus I Nicator
Seleucus I was a Macedonian officer of Alexander the Great and one of the Diadochi. In the Wars of the Diadochi that took place after Alexander's death, Seleucus established the Seleucid dynasty and the Seleucid Empire...

. At a subsequent period, Mithridates is found acquiring support from the Gauls
The Gauls were a Celtic people living in Gaul, the region roughly corresponding to what is now France, Belgium, Switzerland and Northern Italy, from the Iron Age through the Roman period. They mostly spoke the Continental Celtic language called Gaulish....

 (who later settled in Asia Minor) in order to overthrow a force sent against him by Ptolemy, king of Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

. These are the recorded events of his reign, which lasted for thirty-six years. He was succeeded by his son Ariobarzanes
Ariobarzanes of Pontus
Ariobarzanes was the second king of Pontus, succeeding his father Mithridates I Ctistes in 266 BC and died in an uncertain date between 258 and 240. He obtained possession of the city of Amastris in Paphlagonia, which was surrendered to him...

. He seems to have been buried in a royal grave near the kingdom's capital, Amasia
- History :Its location in this steep valley makes the city a mountain stronghold, easy to defend, and thus Amasya has had a long and prominent history.-Antiquity:...

. Next to him would be buried all the kings of Pontus until the fall of Sinop
Sinop, Turkey
Sinop is a city with a population of 36,734 on İnce Burun , by its Cape Sinop which is situated on the most northern edge of the Turkish side of Black Sea coast, in the ancient region of Paphlagonia, in modern-day northern Turkey, historically known as Sinope...

e in 183 BC.

According to Appian
Appian of Alexandria was a Roman historian of Greek ethnicity who flourished during the reigns of Trajan, Hadrian, and Antoninus Pius.He was born ca. 95 in Alexandria. He tells us that, after having filled the chief offices in the province of Egypt, he went to Rome ca. 120, where he practised as...

, he was eighth in descent from the first satrap of Pontus under Darius the Great
Darius I of Persia
Darius I , also known as Darius the Great, was the third king of kings of the Achaemenid Empire...

 and sixth in ascending order from Mithridates Eupator
Mithridates VI of Pontus
Mithridates VI or Mithradates VI Mithradates , from Old Persian Mithradatha, "gift of Mithra"; 134 BC – 63 BC, also known as Mithradates the Great and Eupator Dionysius, was king of Pontus and Armenia Minor in northern Anatolia from about 120 BC to 63 BC...

. However, this point is controversial since Plutarch
Plutarch then named, on his becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus , c. 46 – 120 AD, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia...

writes that eight generations of kings of Pontus stemmed from him before Roman subjection.
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