20 Facts About Andriscus


Andriscus's reign lasted just one year and was toppled by the Roman Republic during the Fourth Macedonian War.

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The Romans naturally reacted militarily, triggering war; after some initial successes, Andriscus was defeated and captured by the praetor Quintus Caecilius Metellus Macedonicus, who subdued Macedon .

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Andriscus was imprisoned for two years before being paraded in Metellus' triumph in 146 BC, after which he was executed.

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Andriscus appealed to the king to help him win back his "ancestral" throne, and found great popular support among the Seleucid populace, to the extent that there were riots in the capital, Antioch.

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Andriscus continued his travels through Ionia, meeting former acquaintances of Perseus and gaining an audience with Kallipa, a former concubine of Perseus who was now married to Athenaios, brother of the Pergamene king Attalus II Philadelphus.

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Andriscus finally arrived in Thrace, where he met Teres III, who had married the granddaughter of Perseus and was the son of Cotys IV, who had once been an ally of Perseus.

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Support for Andriscus was not uniform — there was significantly more hesitation among the gentry and upper classes, and somewhat more enthusiasm among the lower classes — but the popular mood was largely in his favour.

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Andriscus's claims were bolstered by his correct prediction of the locations of two treasures, which he claimed were specified in the "sealed writing" that had been handed to his caretakers by Perseus, and had later been given to him.

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Andriscus' reign was defined to a significant degree by his military campaigns, due to his being in a constant state of war with Rome.

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Andriscus attacked and fought him at an unspecified location in Thessaly ; details of the engagement are scarce, but Thalna was killed and his forces almost annihilated.

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At first, Andriscus attempted to negotiate his position with Rome, but when it became clear that they would not recognize his throne, he embarked on a strongly anti-Roman policy, He continued to cultivate his relations with his Thracian allies, to whom he owed his throne; they would continue to provide significant forces for him during his reign.

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Andriscus's persecutions increased significantly after his victory over Thalna, costing him significant popularity; this would have dire consequences for him later.

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Extent and nature of Andriscus' coinage is a matter of debate.

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Andriscus issued a very small amount of silver drachmae, on which he pictured himself as a Hellenistic king, and added Herakles on the reverse.

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Only three coins of Andriscus are known, two of which are overstruck, one on a drachm of the Thessalian League, the other on a Roman denarius.

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Andriscus was forced to flee to Thrace, his original base of support, and began organizing a new army; however, Metellus pursued him swiftly and routed his forces before he could prepare them.

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Andriscus then fled to the Thracian princeling Byzes; however, Metellus managed to persuade the latter into becoming a Roman ally and handing Andriscus over as a prisoner, ending his reign.

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Andriscus remained a prisoner over the next two years, while Metellus subdued any remaining Macedonian resistance, organized Macedon as a province and settled the Achaean War of 146 BC.

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Andriscus was brought in chains and paraded in the triumph, and later executed — the last king to reign over Macedon.

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Ancient sources are extremely hostile, not only to the origins and claims, but of the character of Andriscus — Diodorus calls him "shot through with cruelty, greed and every base quality"; Dio and Livy call him "a man of the lowest kind".

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