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NICOMEDES.

Rome, to solicit the intervention of the senate. But, although three deputies were despatched by the Romans to investigate the matter, they ulti­mately retired without effecting anything. The inhabitants of Nicomedeia, where Prusias had sought protection, opened the gates of the city to Nicomedes, and the old king was assassinated at the altar of Jupiter, by the express order of his son, b. c. 149. (Appian. Mitlir. 4—7 ; Justin. xxxiv. 4 ; Zonar. ix. 28 ; Liv. Epit. 1. ; Strab. xiii. p. 624 ; Dipd. xxxii. Exc. Phot. p. 523, Exc. Vat. p. 92.)

COIN OF NICOMEDES II.

Nicomedes retained, during a period of no less than fifty-eight years, the crown which he had thus gained by parricide. But of his long and. tranquil reign very few events have been transmitted to us. He appears to have uniformly courted the friend­ship of the Romans, whom he assisted in the war against Aristonicus, b. c. 131. (Strab. xiv. p. 646 ; Oros. v. 10 ; Eutrop. iv. 20.) At a later period, b. c. 103, Marius applied to him for auxiliaries in the war against the Cimbri, which he, however, refused on account of the exactions and oppressions exercised by the Roman farmers of the revenue upon his subjects. (Diod. xxxvi. Exc. Phot. p. 531.) But it is clear that Nicomedes was not wanting in ambition when an opportunity of aggrandizement presented itself, and we find him uniting with Mithridates VI. (apparently about jb. c. 102) in the conquest of Paphlagonia, the throne of which had been left vacant by the death of Pylaemenes. The Pvoman senate, indeed, quickly-ordered the two kings to restore their new acquisi­tion, but Nicomedes merely transferred the crown to one of his own sons, who had taken the name of Pylaemenes, and whom he pretended to regard as the rightful heir. (Justin. xxxvii. 4.) Not long after (about b. c. 96, see Clinton, vol. iii. p. 436), an opportunity seemed to offer itself of annexing Cappadocia also to his dominions, Laodice, the widow of Ariarathes VI., having thrown herself upon his protection in order to defend herself and her sons from the designs of Mithridates. Nico­medes (though he can hardly have been less than eighty years of age at this time) married Laodice, and established her in the possession of Cappadocia, from which, however, she was quickly again ex­pelled by Mithridates. After the death of her two sons [ariarathes] Nicomedes had the boldness to set up an impostor, whom he alleged to be a third son of Ariarathes VI., and even sent Laodice herself to Rome to bear witness in his favour. The senate, however, rejected his claim, as well as that of Mithridates ; and while they compelled the latter to abandon Cappadocia, in order to preserve an appearance of fairness, they deprived Nicomedes also of Paphlagonia. (Justin. xxxviii. 1, 2.) This is the last event recorded of his reign ; his death must have taken place in or before b. c. 91. (Id.

MCOMEDES.

ib. 3 ; Clinton, vol. iii. p. 419.) There appears to be no foundation for the statement of some modern writers that he was murdered by his son, Socrates. (See Visconti, Tconogr. Grecque, vol. ii. p. 188.) [E. H. B.]

NICOMEDES III., philopator, king of Bi-thynia, was the son of Nicomedes II., by his wife Nysa (Memnon, c. 30), though his enemy Mithri­dates VI. pretended that he was the son of a con­cubine, a female dancer (Justin. xxxviii, 5. § 1). It was probably on this pretext that the latter set up against him his brother Socrates, surnamed the Good (d Xprjcrros), whom he persuaded to assume the title of king and the name of Nicomedes, and invade the territories of his brother at the head of an army furnished him by Mithridates. Nicomedes was unable to cope with a competitor thus supported, and was quickly driven out of Bithynia ; but he now had recourse to the protection of the Roman senate, who, it seems, had already ackowledged his title to the throne, and who now immediately issued a decree for his restoration, the execution of which was confided to L. Cassius and M'. Aquilius. To this Mithridates did not venture to offer any open opposition, and Nicomedes was quietly reseated on the throne of his father, B. c. 90 (Appian, Miifir. 7,10,11,13 ; Memnon, c. 30 j Justin. xxxviii. 3, 5 ; Liv. Epit. Ixxiv.). But, not satisfied with this, the Roman deputies urged Nicomedes to make reprisals, by plundering excursions into the terri­tories of Mithridates himself; and the king, how­ever unwilling to provoke so powerful an adversary, was compelled to listen to their suggestions, in order to gratify the avarice of his Roman allies. Mithridates at first sent ambassadors to complain of these aggressions, but, as may be supposed, without effect. Thereupon he assembled a large army, and prepared to invade Bithynia, b. c. 88. Nicomedes on his part gathered together a force of 50,000 foot and 6000 horse, with which he met the army of Mithridates under his generals Arche-laus and Neoptolemus, at the river Amnius in Paphlagonia, but was totally defeated with great slaughter. The Roman officers, who had incon­siderately brought on this danger, without having a Roman army to support them, soon shared the same fate, and Nicomedes himself, after a vain attempt in conjunction with L. Cassius, to raise a fresh army in Phrygia, abandoned the contest without farther struggle, and took refuge at Pergamus, from whence he soon after fled to Italy (Appian, Mitlir. 11—19 ; Memnon, c. 31 ; Justin. xxxviii. 3 ; Liv. Epit. Ixxvi. ; Strab. xii. p. 562). Here he was com­pelled to be a passive spectator of the contest be--tween his victorious adversary the Romans ; but in b. c. 84 the restoration of Nicomedes was one of the conditions of the peace concluded be­tween Sulla and Mithridates, and C. Curio was deputed by the Roman general to reinstate, the Bithynian monarch in the possession of his king­dom (App. Mithr. 60 ;. Plut, Sull. 22, 24 ; Mem­non, c. 35 ; Liv. Epit. Ixxxiii.). Nicomedes reigned nearly ten years after this second restoration, but of the events of this period we know nothing. and it was probably one of peace and prosperity. The only occasion on which his name is mentioned is in B. c. 81, when Caesar, then very young, was sent to him by the praetor M. Minucius Therm us, to obtain the assistance of the Bithynian fleet. The young man was received with the greatest favoui by Nicomedes ; and the intercourse between then

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