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Paerisades I

Paerisades I
King of the Bosporan Kingdom and All Maeotians
Reign347-309 BC
PredecessorSpartokos II
SuccessorSatyros II
Borncirca 365 BC
Died309 BC
Bosporan Kingdom
FatherLeukon I
ReligionGreek polytheism

Paerisades I (Greek: Παιρισάδης) also known as Birisades, Pairisades, and Parysades was a Spartocid king of the Bosporan Kingdom from 342 to 310/9 BC.

His father was Leukon I, a Bosporan king who was responsible for establishing and expanding the kingdom from a mere hegemony centred around the city of Panticapaeum to a large Hellenistic kingdom in the Cimmerian Bosporus.


Paerisades was born to Leukon and a mother perhaps named Theodosia, although this is still unknown as there is no evidence of her being his mother. He was co-regent with Spartokos II when he ascended the throne, ruling as a governor over the minor parts of the kingdom, such as Theodosia,[1] due to him not being the eldest. Paerisades became sole ruler of the Bosporan Kingdom after his elder brother Spartokos died in 342 BC after ruling for five years, from 347 to 342 BC.

At some point during his reign, Paerisades possibly married his cousin Komosarye, a daughter of his uncle Gorgippos,[2] and they had four sons: Satyros II, likely named after his grandfather Satyros I, Eumelos, Gorgippos II,[3] also perhaps named after Komosarye's father and Paerisades' uncle, and Prytanis. Also he had the daughter Akis. Through this marriage, he became king of the Sindians. Paerisades may have had the epithet "Epiphanes", which means "god-manifest", or perhaps "Theos", meaning "god", due to his people often praising him as divine and honouring him as a god.[4]

In combat, Paerisades wore three outfits for three occasions.[5] He wore one outfit when reviewing his troops, another when he was in battle, and lastly, he wore one when he was forced to flee from battle.[6] He did this so that when he was reviewing his troops, he'd be known by everyone; when he was in combat, he wouldn't be known by the enemy; and when he was forced to flee, nobody would know it was him.[7]

He was also an active military leader, possibly taking Tanais and subjugating many tribes around the Maeotic Swamp and expanding the kingdom more than his father did in the Bosporan Expansion Wars, as well as waging war against the Scythians at some point during his reign.


Paerisades died in 310/09 BC, having ruled around 38 years as Bosporan king. Upon his death, Satyros II, Prytanis, and Eumelos engaged in the Bosporan Civil War because Eumelos had a claim to throne and was allied to Aripharnes while Satyros would not stand for it and waged war against his brother. The victor, Eumelos, greatly expanded the kingdom during his short five-year reign.


  1. ^ D. E. W. Wormell (1946). "Studies in Greek tyranny—II. Leucon of Bosporus". Hermathena (68): 49–71. JSTOR 23037564. Paerisades, as the younger son, received the less important administrative area of Theodosia as his share
  2. ^ D. E. W. Wormell (1946). "Studies in Greek tyranny—II. Leucon of Bosporus". Hermathena (68): 49–71. JSTOR 23037564. when the joining of the two nations had been symbolized in the marriage of Comosarye and Paerisades, he took the title "king of sindi"
  3. ^ D. E. W. Wormell (1946). "Studies in Greek tyranny—II. Leucon of Bosporus". Hermathena (68): 49–71. JSTOR 23037564. The incorporation of the Sindian dynasty in the Bosporan ruling house is also shown by recurrence of the name Gorgippus, its bearer being a son of Paerisades."
  4. ^ Siculus, Diodorus. Book 22.24. Parisades was actually held in honour as god.
  5. ^ Polyaenus. Strategems 6.9.1. Paerisades, king of Pontus, used three distinct outfits of clothing on different occasions
  6. ^ Polyaenus. Strategems 6.9.1. one when he reviewed his troops, another in time of battle, and a third when he was forced to take flight
  7. ^ Polyaenus. Strategems 6.9.1. at a review, he wished to be known by every individual in his army; in battle, he wished not to be known by the enemy; and when he was forced to take flight, he wished to be known by no-one.
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Paerisades I
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