The Kingdom of Pontus or Pontic Empire was a Hellenistic-era kingdom, centred in the historical region of Pontus and ruled by the Mithridatic dynasty of Persian origin, which may have been directly related to Darius the Great and the Achaemenid dynasty. The kingdom was proclaimed by Mithridates I in 281 BCE and lasted until its conquest by the Roman Republic in 63 BCE. The Kingdom of Pontus reached its largest extent under Mithridates VI the Great, who conquered Colchis, Cappadocia, Bithynia, the Greek colonies of the Tauric Chersonesos, and for a brief time the Roman province of Asia. After a long struggle with Rome in the Mithridatic Wars, Pontus was defeated. Part of it was incorporated into the Roman Republic as the province Bithynia et Pontus; the eastern half survived as a client kingdom.
As the greater part of the kingdom lay within the region of Cappadocia, which in early ages extended from the borders of Cilicia to the Euxine (Black Sea, the kingdom as a whole was at first called ‘Cappadocia by Pontus’ or ‘Cappadocia by the Euxine’, but afterwards simply ‘Pontus’, the name Cappadocia henceforth being used to refer to the southern half of the region previously included under that name. Culturally, the kingdom was Hellenized, with Greek the official language.