Julia Iotapa ., Queen of Cilician Cetis

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Julia Iotapa ., Queen of Cilician Cetis

Dutch: Julia Iotapa of Commagene, Queen of Cilicia
Birthplace: Samosata, Kingdom of Commagene
Death: Died in Holy Roman Empire, Rome, Italy
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Antiochus Epiphanes IV, king of Commangene and Iotape Philadelphus
Wife of Gaius Julius Alexander ., King of Cetis
Mother of Julia Iotapa; Gaius Julius Agrippa and Gaius Julius Alexander Berenicianus, Proconsul
Sister of Gaius Julius Archelaus Antiochus Epiphanes; Callinicus and N.N. of Commagene

Occupation: Princess of Commagene, Princess of Commagene
Managed by: Private User
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About Julia Iotapa ., Queen of Cilician Cetis

Julia Iotapa or Julia Iotape (around 45-?) was a princess of the Kingdom of Commagene who lived during the 1st century. She was the daughter and youngest child of King Antiochus IV of Commagene and Queen Iotapa of Commagene, who were client monarchs who lived under the Roman Empire. Her parents were full-blooded siblings. Iotapa’s eldest brothers were princes Gaius Julius Archelaus Antiochus Epiphanes and Callinicus.

She was of Armenian, Greek and Medes descent. Through her ancestor from Commagene, Queen Laodice VII Thea, who was the mother of King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene, she was a direct descendant of the Greek Syrian Kingdom the Seleucid Empire. She was most probably born, raised and educated in Samosata, the capital of the Kingdom of Commagene. Her mother died around 52 and her father raised her.

Iotapa’s father Antiochus IV, was an ally to the Roman Emperor Nero and various members of the Herodian Dynasty. Between 58-59, there was civil unrest and warfare that occurred in the Kingdom of Armenia. Majority of Armenians had abandoned resistance and wanted peace, which included in accepting a prince to be crowned by Nero to be an Armenian King. Antiochus IV had participated in protecting Armenia with the Romans from Tiridates I of Armenia.

Nero crowned as the new Armenian King in Rome a Herodian prince called Gaius Julius Tigranes. Tigranes was the son of Judean prince Alexander. Tigranes was the grandchild of Cappadocian Princess Glaphyra and prince Alexander of Judea. His great grandparents were King Archelaus of Cappadocia, King of Judea Herod the Great and his wife Mariamne.

Tigranes from his marriage had a son called Gaius Julius Alexander. After Tigranes was crowned King in Rome, his son Alexander had married Iotapa in Rome. The marriage between Alexander and Iotapa was mostly a political alliance that occurred between the fathers of Iotapa and Alexander. After the marriage of Iotapa and Alexander occurred in Rome, Nero crowned them Queen and King of Cetis, a small region in Cilicia, that was previously ruled by her father. The Roman city in Cilicia Elaiussa Sebaste was made a part of their Kingdom. Iotapa and Alexander ruled Cetis from 58 until at least 72. Iotapa was still alive when the Flavian dynasty had ruled the Roman Empire from 69-96. However after that, there is no more known on Iotapa.

Little is known on the marriage and reign of Alexander and Iotapa. Iotapa bore Alexander three children: two sons Gaius Julius Agrippa, Gaius Julius Alexander Berenicianus and a daughter Julia Iotapa (below). Their children were born and raised in Cetis. A possible descendant from their marriage was the usurper Jotapianus, who lived in the 3rd century.



Iotapa: first mention Julia Iotapa was born around 45. Details of her life are obscure until she married Gaius Julius Alexander, the son of Julius Tigranes – the Roman candidate for king of Armenia. Alexander was descended from the royal families of Cappadocia and Judaea. They were married in Rome in 58. Nero crowned the couple as King and Queen of Cetis, a small area within Cilicia Trachaea. Iotapa and Alexander were probably removed as rulers of Cetis around 72 when Cilicia was returned to direct Roman rule. Alexander was adlected to the Senate by Domitian around 93/94. It is not known when either Iotapa or Alexander died.

Descendants of Iotapa and Alexander are known for the next three centuries beginning with the couple’s three children: Gaius Julius Agrippa, Gaius Julius Alexander Berenicianus and Julia. Agrippa and Berenicianus began their public careers in Rome in 94 as vigintiviri during the reign of Domitian. Julia married Gaius Julius Quadratus Bassus, descended from the Galatian royal house, around 100.



Wagner, Sir Anthony Richard; ‘Pedigree and Progress: Essays in the Genealogical Interpretation of History’ puts her b date at c 60 (not 45)


As to Alexander, the son of Herod the king, who was slain by his father, he had two sons, Alexander and Tigranes, by the daughter of Archelaus, king of Cappadocia.

Tigranes, who was king of Armenia, was accused at Rome, and died childless;

Alexander had a son of the same name with his brother Tigranes, and was sent to take possession of the kingdom of Armenia by Nero;

he had a son, Alexander, who married Jotape, (17) the daughter of Antiochus, the king of Commagena; Vespasian made him king of an island in Cilicia. But these descendants of Alexander, soon after their birth, deserted the Jewish religion, and went over to that of the Greeks.

Josephus: Antiquities of the Jews XVIII Chapter 5 .http://religiousstudies.uncc.edu/people/jtabor/john.html

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Julia Iotapa ., Queen of Cilician Cetis's Timeline

Samosata, Kingdom of Commagene
Age 39
Rome, Roma, Lazio, Italy
Holy Roman Empire, Rome, Italy