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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Greek, Spartokidai) a dynasty of rulers of the Bosporan state from 438 to 109 B.C.

Spartocus I (ruled 438–433), the founder of the dynasty, was in all likelihood of local Hellenized stock; the Spartocids’ names were Thracian and Greek. The Spartocids pursued, at home and abroad, flexible policies consistent with the interests of the slave-holding class. They themselves were large landowners and grain dealers.

Under the Spartocids, the Bosporan kingdom established commercial treaty relations with Athens, conquered Theodosia, and annexed the Sindians and other tribes of the Kuban’ area. During the reign of Eumelus (310–304), the kingdom made its final conquests—in the region east of the Sea of Azov. During the reign of Spartocus III (304–284), a single royal title, basileus, came into use. Spartocus IV (c. 245–240) was succeeded by his brother, Leucon II (c. 240–220), under whom, for the first time on the shores of the Bosporus, coins were minted in the king’s name. In the second century B.C., the Spartocid kings were Spartocus V, Perisades (Paerisades) III, Perisades IV, and the last of the dynasty, Perisades V (c. 125–109), who was slain during the revolt of Saumacus. After the suppression of Saumacus’ revolt, the Bosporan state came under the rule of Mithridates VI Eupa-tor, the king of Pontus.


Gaidukevich, V. F. Bosporskoe tsarstvo. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949. (Bibliography.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.