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Attalos III of Pergamum

About Attalos III

Attalos III ruled Pergamus (also called Pergamum) from 138 BC to 133 BC, an area that stretched from Greece through Anatolia.

He was the son of Eumenes II Soter and the successor to the throne behind his uncle Attalos II Philadelphos who, according to Plutarch and other ancient historians, trained Attalos III to be king and crowned him, even though Attalos II had children of his own which he bypassed in order that the crown would continue from Eumenes II Soter to his nephew Attalos III instead, as Attalos II had only ruled as regent until Attalos II was old enough to rule the kingdom.

He is also known as Attalus III, "Attolos G" and "Philometor Euergetes," which is an honorific title meaning "he loves his mother" referring to his step-mother Queen Stratonice. She was the wife of both Attalus II and King Eumenes II. She was a princess of Cappadoci, and was from Greek Macadonian and Persian ancestry. Both kingdoms of Cappadoci and Pergamus were closely allied with Rome. The legend is that after Queen Stratonice death in 135 BC, Attalos III believed she has been murdered and he used poison to consequently kill the perpetrators. A pair of ancient statues were made honoring Stratonice, one in Pergamum sponsored by Attalos III and another on the island of Delos apparently sponsored by her family relations.

On his death Attalos III left his wealth to the Roman state as he believed they would confiscate it anyway, his hope being that this would protect Pergamon autonomy. This move was successful for a time, but a later revolt against Rome resulted in Pergamon being split up between Rome, Pontus, and Cappadocia.

See more Greece History

References for this page:

Holiday Magazine Guide to Greece, 1971, page 42

Eyewitness Travel Guide Greece, 2004, page 90

Athens Encounter, Lonely Planet 2009, page 17

Fodor's Greece, 1976, page 133-134

Wings over Hellas, Oxford Univ., 1974, page 31

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