Antiochus IX ‘Cyzicenus’

Ruled 116-95 b.c.

Son of Antiochus VII and Cleopatra Thea

Married first to Cleopatra IV, daughter of Ptolemy VIII

    -Antiochus X Eusebes

Married second to Brittane, daughter of Arsaces the Parthian?

   -no attested children

Married third to Cleopatra Selene, daughter of Ptolemy VIII

   -no attested children


Siver tetradrachm of Antiochus IX, unknown mint.

Antiochus IX Cyzicenus

A son of Antiochus VII and Cleopatra Thea who was sent to Cyzicus for protection after the death of his father and the return to power of his uncle Demetrius II from Parthia. His claim to the throne was given the potential to be realized when events in Egypt yet again spilled over into the Syrian milieu, with dramatic consequences for the Seleucids.

The domineering Cleopatra III forced her son Ptolemy IX to divorce his beloved sister and wife Cleopatra IV in favour of another sister, Cleopatra Selene. Essentially dismissed by her mother, Justin recounts how the jilted bride sought some measure of retribution in Syria. She married the promising Cyzicenus, and gave him an army she had brought from Cyprus as both a dowry and a means by which his claim might be realized (Justin 39.3.2-4). The marriage took place in roughly 113 B.C.

The marriage produced one attested son, the pithily-nicknamed Antiochus X Eusebes Philopator (Por.F32.25, App.Syr.69).

After his defeat by his half-brother Antiochus VIII, his wife was brutally murdered at the instigation of her sister Tryphaena in a saga recounted by Justin 39.3.7-12. I agree with Ogden’s presumption that the now-eligible Antochus would have remained without a wife until his next recorded marriage in 96, and John Malalas’ mention of another wife named Brittane, daughter of Arsaces the Parthian, seems to provide a likely candidate (Ogden 1999, 156). Nonetheless this is a fairly speculative pairing and I give it little analytical weight.

After the death of Antiochus Grypus in 96/5 B.C, Cleopatra Selene gave herself in marriage to his half-brother Antiochus IX (Porphyry F32.30, 32.24, App.Syr.69, Grainger 1997, 32-3).. Antiochus, as Ogden notes, would have been eager at the added claim to Grypus’ throne that came with the princess (Ogden 1999, 156-7). The union had neither time to endure nor produce children, as Antiochus IX died the same year.