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Attalus II, sculpture of Niceratus the son of Euctemon (according to Bernard Andreae)

Attalus II Philadelphus (Άτταλος Β' Φιλάδελφος) (220 BC - 138 BC) was a king of Pergamon. He was the second son of Attalus I Soter, and ascended the throne following the death of his elder brother, Eumenes II in 159 BC.

Prior to becoming king, Attalus was already an accomplished military commander. In 190 BCE, he resisted an invasion by the Seleucids and the following year, led his forces to fight alongside the Roman Army under Gnaeus Manlius Vulso in Galatia. In 182 BC he again fought the Seleucids, successfully meeting the army of Pharnaces I of Pontus. Finally, he assisted the Romans again in 171 BC, joining Publius Licinius Crassus in Greece for the Third Macedonian War.

Attalus also made frequent diplomatic visits to Rome, and gained the esteem of the Romans. At one point, they offered him assistance to overthrow his brother, but he declined. After he became king, they assisted him in his own battles against Prusias II in 156 BC-154 BC and sided with him in helping pretender Alexander Balas to seize the Seleucid throne from Demetrius I in 150 BC and Nicomedes II Epiphanes seize the Bithynian throne from his father Prusias II the following year.

Attalus expanded his kingdom with the help of his good friend Ariarathes V of Cappadocia, and founded the cities of Philadelphia and Attaleia. He was well-known as a patron of the arts and sciences, and was the inventor of a new kind of embroidery. In his old age, he relied upon his chief minister, named Philopoemen, to help him govern.



Attalos Stoa build c. 150 BC by Attalus II, reconstruction in 1953/6 Agora Museum, Athens (Source)

Tha Stoa of Attalos building and Lykavittos hill in the background (Source)

Andrew Stewart , Attalos, Athens, and the Akropolis : the Pergamene "Little Barbarians" and their Roman and Renaissance legacy , Cambridge University Press 2004 ISBN: 0521831636



Preceded by: Eumenes II
Attalid Ruler
Succeeded by: Attalus III

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