Attalus III was the son of king Eumenes II and his queen Stratonice of Pergamon, and was the nephew of Attalus II, whom he succeeded. "Philometor Euergetes" means "Loving-his-Mother, Benefactor" in Greek. He was so-called because of his close relationship with his mother Stratonice.
According to Livy, Attalus III had little interest in ruling Pergamon, devoting his time to studying medicine, botany, gardening, and other pursuits. He had no male children or heirs of his own, and in his will he left the kingdom to the Roman Republic, believing that if he did not then Rome would take the kingdom anyway and this way would avoid bloodshed. Tiberius Gracchus requested that the treasury of Pergamon be opened up to the Roman public, but the Senate refused this.
Not everyone in Pergamon accepted Rome's rule. Aristonicus, who claimed to be Attalus' brother as well as the son of Eumenes II, an earlier king, led a popular uprising with the help of the Roman philosopher, Blossius. The revolt was put down in 129 BC, and Pergamon was divided among Rome, Pontus, and Cappadocia.
- Livy: Periochae 58
- Asimov, I. and F. White, The March of the Millenia (1991), p. 74
- Hansen, Esther V. (1971). The Attalids of Pergamon. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press; London: Cornell University Press Ltd. ISBN 0-8014-0615-3.
- Kosmetatou, Elizabeth (2003) "The Attalids of Pergamon," in Andrew Erskine, ed., A Companion to the Hellenistic World. Oxford: Blackwell: pp. 159–174. ISBN 1-4051-3278-7. text
- Simon Hornblower and Tony Spawforth, Who's Who (Classical World), pg. 61.
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