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Sunday, 10 April 2011

The Orontid Dynasty: Mithrenes I

Mithrenes (Old Persian: Mihran, Greek: Mιθρένης or Mιθρίνης) was the commander of the Persian force which garrisoned the citadel of Sardis he may have been the satrap of Lydia.
After the battle of the Granicus, Mithrines surrendered voluntarily to Alexander the Great and is said to have been treated by him with distinction.
He fought for Alexander at Gaugamela, ironically he was fighting against an army that included his father Orontes II.

After this battle, Alexander appointed him Satrap of Armenia, as his father had been.
It's not clear, however, whether Mithrenes actually managed to take control of his satrapy.

According to Curtius, in his speech given at Hecatompylos in 330 BC Alexander the Great listed Armenia among lands conquered by Macedonians, implying that Mithrenes succeeded in conquering it; on the other hand, Justin reproduced Pompeius Trogus' rendition of a speech attributed to Mithridates VI of Pontus, which mentioned that Alexander didn't conquer Armenia.
It can be surmised that Mithrenes ruled on behalf of the new Macedonian regime. However after the death of Alexander III, Neoptolemus was made Satrap of Armenia from 323 - 321 BC.
After the death of Neoptolemus, and the struggles going on with the Diadochi it seems Mithrenes not only returned to his ancestral seat but declared himself king.

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