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Nemrut 2006 09 1432.jpg
12-SEP-2006

Nemrut 2006 09 1432.jpg

The head of the goddess of Commagene, protectress of the state.

She is depicted as Tyche, the (Greek) presiding tutelary deity that governed the fortune and prosperity of a city (or state), its destiny. All the statues appear to have Greek-style facial features, but Persian clothing and hairstyling.

King Antiochus I Theos (69-34 BC) claimed to be a descendant from both the Persian king Darius I and Alexander the Great. He certainly was half Armenian, and half Greek. Antiochus’ father Mithridates was the son of King of Commagene Sames II, who in descent was related to the kings of Parthia and probably also a descendant from the family of King Darius I of Persia.
Antiochus’ mother, Laodice VII Thea, was a Greek Princess of the Seleucid Empire. So, his grandfather was the Seleucid King Antiochus VIII Grypus who married the Ptolemaic Princess (later Seleucid Queen) Tryphaena.
Thus, Antiochus was a direct descendant of both Seleucus I Nicator of the Seleucid Empire and Ptolemy I Soter of Egypt. Moreover, as a consequence of the marriages between the Diadoci kingdoms (as part of peace alliances), Antiochus I was also related to Antigonus I of Macedonia, Lysimachus of Thrace and the Macedonian regent, Antipater. The five men had served as generals under Alexander the Great and had divided his empire between themselves after his death. Thus, even if Antiochus’ descendance from Alexander the Great is improbable (in terms of bloodline), it is certainly true in the spirit.
Antiochus’ double origin (Persian and Macedonian/Greek) is reflected in the appearances of the gods on his Hierotheseion (temple-tomb).

Correspondent: J.M.Criel, Antwerpen.
Sources: (amongst others) File 448: ‘Nemrut Dağı’ – World Heritage List, Unesco (see: whc.unesco.org)
Wikipedia & Personal visits (1983, 1987, 1994).

Nikon D2x
1/200s f/8.0 at 16.0mm iso100 full exif

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