Attalid dynasty

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The Attalid dynasty was a Hellenistic dynasty that ruled the city of Pergamon after the death of Lysimachus, a general of Alexander the Great. One of Lysimachus' officers, Philetaerus, took control of the city in 282 BC. The Attalid kingdom was the rump state left after the collapse of the Lysimachian Empire. The later Attalids were descended from his father, and they expanded the city into a kingdom. Attalus I proclaimed himself King in the 230s BC, following his victories over the Galatians. The Attalids ruled Pergamon until Attalus III bequeathed the kingdom to the Roman Republic in 133 BC to avoid a likely succession crisis.

On the interior of the Pergamon Altar is a separate frieze depicting the life of Telephos, son of Herakles, whom the ruling Attalid dynasty associated with their city and utilized to claim descendance from the Olympians. Pergamon, having entered the Greek world much later than their counterparts to the west, could not boast the same divine heritage as older city-states, and had to retroactively cultivate their place in Greek mythos.

Dynasty of Pergamum


                      Attalus = Boa  
     |               |                                    |
Philetaerus      Eumenes = Satyra                      Attalus
                         |                                |
          ---------------------                -----------------------
          |                   |                |                     |
      Eumenes I         Philetaerus (?)     Attalus = Antiochis   Eumenes (?)
                                                Attalus I = Apollonis
               |               |                |               |
            Eumenes II     Attalus II      Philetaerus      Athenaeus
               |               |
            Attalus III    Eumenes III

Note: the above is taken from Hansen pp. 26 and 45.


  • Hansen, Esther V. (1971). The Attalids of Pergamon. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press; London: Cornell University Press Ltd. ISBN 0-8014-0615-3.

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