The End of Kommagene

Shortly after these events, Antiochos died. Antiochos was interred in the sanctuary on the Nemrud, where his body was laid to rest in the tomb perhaps next to the tomb of his father.

The son of Antiochos, Mithridates II, succeeded him to the throne. Kommagene was no longer a match for the Roman Empire. Under the reign of Mithridates II, Kommagene became a satellite state and finally a part of the province of Syria.

When the Parthian crown prince Pakoros, was slain in battle against the Romans, the sorrow of the king was so great that he abdicated. The Parthian king was succeeded by one of his other sons. This son was merciless. He murdered everyone who could possibly threaten his throne. Laodike and her children were also assassinated.

Mithridates II commemorated his sister at the burial mound of Karakuş (Black Bird). He placed a beautiful relief in memory of her. It shows his farewell to Laodike. From the inscriptions, we learn that Mithridates was very fond of her : “She was the most beautiful of all women…”

Mithridates built Karakuş on the banks of the Kahta Cay river Also his mother Isias and his second sister Antiochis are memorized here, together with Aka, the daughter of Antiochis. From the galleries of his summer residence, high above the dizzy depths of the ravine, he looked out over the green valley of the Nymphaios, at the striking mound of Karakuş. In this way his beloved ones were close to him, even after their death.

His jealous brother, Antiochos II, tried to overthrow Mithridates II from his throne. For this, Antiochos II was sentenced to death by the Senate of Rome. In 29 B.C. he was executed in Rome.

Kommagene became independent for the last time under King Antiochos IV. That was only for a short time. Antiochos IV was defeated by the Roman legions during the War of Kommagene in 71 A.D.

The small army of Kommagene was disbanded. Its dreaded archers and heavily armoured cavalry were absorbed into the Roman legions as the ‘Cohortes Comagenorum’.

It is possible that the Roman soldiers destroyed the statues and buildings which recalled the earlier greatness of Kommagene. To avoid any rebellion in the future, they demolished the sanctuary on holy Mount Nemrud. Kommagene died and the Nemrud began its long sleep, disturbed only by the howling of the mountain wind and the visit of a lost shepherd.