C. Iulius Rhaskos, Son of Rhoimetalkes, at Samothrace

  • Kevin Clinton Foundation “American Research Center in Sofia” 75 V. Petleshkov Str. BG-1510 Sofia
  • Nora Dimitrova Foundation “American Research Center in Sofia” 75 V. Petleshkov Str. BG-1510 Sofia
Keywords: Thrace, Sapaean, C. Iulius Rhaskos, Rhoimetalkes, Rheskouporis, Antonia Tryphaina, Kotys, Pontus, Sadalas, Samothracian, initiate, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula


A list of mystai found in the Samothracian Sanctuary of the Great Gods and published by Nora Dimitrova (2008, 115-119, # 46) presents in first place, in large lettering, a hitherto unknown member of the Sapaean royal line, C. Iulius Rhaskos son of Rhoimetalkes, followed by Antonia Tryphaina, the Queen of Pontus. Placement of him in the most appropriate position in the Sapaean stemma in the first century A.D. requires choosing between the stemma published in PIR2 IV, ad p. 264 (= VI, stemma 22a, ad p. 232) and the revised stemma in PIR2 VI, stemma 22b, ad p. 232 (=VII, stemma 8, ad p. 58). The revised stemma is based significantly on the reading of the filiation of Pythodoris in IGBulg I2 399 (= 5140), lines 8-12 as Πυθο[δω]|[ρίδος β]ασιλέω[ς] | [Ροιμητ]αλκου |10 [βασιλέ]ως Πολ[έ]|[μωνος δ]ὲ θυγατ[ρι]|[δῆς, implying that Pythodoris might be the daughter of Rhoimetalkes II (PIR2 I 517) and granddaughter of Polemo 1 (PIR2 P 531). The critical reading is the initial epsilon in line 11, which has been regarded as certain by previous editors. However, personal autopsy of the stone in the National Historical Museum shows that the letter is certainly sigma, thereby confirming the text printed by H. Dessau (1913, 695, based on Kalinka’s edition): Πυθο[δω]|[ρίδος β]ασιλέω[ς] | [Ροιμητ]αλκου [καὶ] |10 [βασιλέ]ως Πολ[έ]|[μωνο]ς θυγατ[ρι]|[δῆς]. Dessau’s text confirms the validity of the stemma published in PIR2 IV, in accordance with which Rhaskos, initiated probably ca. A.D. 40-45, should be the son of Rhoimetalkes II (PIR2 I 517).