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Eumenes I

Coin struck during the reign of Eumenes I, dipicting the head of Philetaerus (Eumenes' uncle) on the obverse and seated Athena, Greek goddess of war and wisdom, on the reverse.

Eumenes I of Pergamon (Ευμένης Α' )(died 241 BC1), son of Eumenes the brother of the founder of the Attalid dynasty, Philetaerus. Eumenes was the adopted son and heir of Philetaerus, succeeding him upon his death in 263 BC, as ruler of Pergamon until his own death in 241 BC.

Although nominally under Seleucid control, Pergamon under Philetaerus enjoyed considerable autonomy. However upon his succession, Eumenes, perhaps with the encouragement of Ptolemy II who was at war with the Seleucids, revolted, defeating the Seleucid king Antiochus I near the Lydian capital of Sardis in 262 BC. He was thus able to free Pergamon, and greatly increase the territories under his control, establishing garrison posts in the north at the foot of Mount Ida called Phileraerus after his adoptive father, and in the east, northeast of Thyatira near the sources of the river Lycus, called Attalea after his grandfather, as well as extending his control south of the river Caïcus to the Gulf of Cyme.

After the revolt from the Seleucids, there are no records of any further hostilities involving Pergamon during the Eumenes' rule, even though there continued to be conflict between the Seleucids and the Ptolemies, and even though the Gallatian Gauls were continually plundering throughout the region. If Eumenes was able to keep Pergamon free from the ravages of the Gauls, it was probably due to the fact that he paid them tribute.2

Eumenes I

Eumenes I

Although never assuming the title of "king" Eumenes did exercise all of the powers of one.3 He was succeded by his second cousin, Attalus I Soter.4

Attalid Ruler
Preceded by: Philetaerus
Succeeded by: Attalus I


  • Hansen, Esther V. (1971). The Attalids of Pergamon. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press; London: Cornell University Press Ltd. ISBN 0801406153.
  • Livy, History of Rome, Rev. Canon Roberts (translator), Ernest Rhys (Ed.); (1905) London: J. M. Dent & Sons, Ltd. (See: (http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/))
  • Pausanias, Description of Greece, Books I-II, (Loeb Classical Library) translated by W. H. S. Jones; Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. (1918) ISBN 0674991044. (See: (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Paus.+1.1.1))
  • Strabo, Geography, Books 13-14, (Loeb Classical Library) translated by Horace Leonard Jones; Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press; London: William Heinemann, Ltd. (1924) ISBN 0674992466. (See: (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Strab.+6.1.1))


  • 1 Strabo, Geography, 13.4.2 (see: (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Strab.+13.4.2)), says that Eumenes "… died after a reign of twenty-two years." His reign began with the death of Philetaerus in 263 BC.
  • 2 That Pergamon probably paid tribute can be inferred from the statements of Livy, History of Rome, 38.16 (see: (http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/Livy38.html)), that the Gauls had "… levied tribute on the whole of Asia west of the Taurus, … such was the terror of their name and the growth of their numbers that at last even the kings of Syria did not dare to refuse the payment of tribute" and that Attalus I, Eumenes successor, was the first to refuse to pay such tribute.
  • 3 Esther V. Hansen, The Attalids of Pergamon pp. 23-24.
  • 4 Strabo, Geography, 13.4.2 (see: (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Strab.+13.4.2)), says that he was the cousin of Attalus I. Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.8.1 (see: (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Paus.+1.8.1)), probably following Strabo, says the same. But modern writers have concluded that Strabo had skipped a generation, see Esther V. Hansen, The Attalids of Pergamon, (1971), p. 26.

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