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Biographies (62)

Philosophers

Apollophanes

Apollophanes of Antioch, a Stoic philosopher, was a friend of Ariston of Chios, on whom he wrote a work called Ariston (Athen. vii.) Diogenes Laetius (vii. 140, comp. 92) mentions a work of his called phusike His name also occurs in Tertullian (De Anim. 14). Some writers have asserted, though without any good reason, that Apollophanes the Stoic was the same as Apollophanes the physician who lived at the court of Antiochus. A later Stoic philosopher of this name occurs in Socrates (Hist. Eccl. vi. 19) and in Suidas. (s. v. Origenes; comp. Ruhnken, Dissert. de Vita et Script. Longini, sect. vii.)

Dionysius of Antioch

Dionysius. Of Antioch, a sophist, who seems to have been a Christian, and to be the same person as the one to whom the nineteenth letter of Aeneas of Gaza is addressed. He himself is the reputed author of 46 letters, which are still extant. A Latin version of them was first printed by G. Cognatus, in his " Epistolae Laconicae," Basel, 1554, 12mo., and afterwards in J. Buchler's "Thesaurus Epist. Lacon.," 1606, 12mo. The Greek original was first edited by H. Stephens, in his Collection of Greek Epistles, Paris, 1577, 8vo. Meursius is inclined to attribute these Epistles to Dionysius of Miletus, without, however, assigning ally reason for it.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Zenobius

Zenobius Zenobios). A Greek Sophist of Antioch, who lived at Rome as teacher of rhetoric in the first half of the second century B.C., and, availing himself of the works of earlier writers, made a collection of proverbs, still extant in an abridged form, arranged alphabetically and divided into hundreds. In all there are 552, the last division being incomplete. They are printed by Schott in his Paroemiae Hellenicae (Antwerp, 1612).

Poets

Archias Aulus Licinius, epic poet, 2nd-1st c. B.C.

Archias Aulus Licinius, a Greek poet, born at Antioch in Syria, about B. C. 120. His name is known chiefly from the speech of Cicero in his defence, which is the only source of information about him, and must therefore be very questionable evidence of his talent, considering that the verses of Archias had been employed in celebrating the part which that orator played in the conspiracy of Catiline. He was on intimate terms with many of the first families in Rome, particularly with the Licinii, whose name he adopted. His reception during a journey through Asia Minor and Greece (pro Arch. c. 3), and afterwards in Grecian Italy, where Tarentum, Rhegium, Naples, and Locri enrolled him on their registers, shews that his reputation was, at least at that time, considerable. In B. C. 102 he came to Rome, still young (though not so young as the expression "praetextatus" (c. 3) literally explained would lead us to suppose), and was received in the most friendly way by Lucullus (ad Att. i. 16. 9), Marius, then consul, Hortensius the father, Metellus Pius, Q. Catulus, and Cicero. After a short stay, he accompanied Lucullus to Sicily, and followed him, in the banishment to which he was sentenced for his management of the slave war in that island, to Heraclea in Lucania, in which town, as being a confederate town and having more privileges than Tarentum, he was enrolled as a citizen. He was in the suite of L. Lucullus -in Asia under Sulla, again in B. C. 76 in Africa, and again in the third Mithridatic war. As he had sung the Cimbric war in honour of Marius, so now he wrote a poem on this war, which he had witnessed (c. 9), in honour of Lucullus. We do not hear whether he finished his poem in honour of Cicero's consulship (c. 11); in B. C. 61, when he was already old, he had not begun it (ad Att. i. 16); or whether he ever published his intended Caeciliana, in honour of Metellus Pius. He wrote many epigrams: it is still disputed, whether any of those preserved under his name in the Anthologia were really his writings. These are all of little merit. In B. C. 61, a charge was brought against him, probably at the instigation of a party opposed to his patrons, of assuming the citizenship illegally, and the trial came on before Q. Cicero, who was praetor this year. Cicero pleaded his cause in the speech by which the name of Archias has been preserved. "If he had no legal right, yet the man who stood so high as an author, whose talent had been employed in celebrating Lucullus, Marius, and himself, might well deserve to be a Roman citizen. The register certainly, of Heraclea, in which his name was enrolled, had been destroyed by fire in the Marsian war; but their ambassadors and L. Lucullus bore witness that he was enrolled there. He had settled in Rome many years before he became citizen, had given the usual notice before Q. Metelius Pius, and if his property had never been enrolled in the censor's register, it was because of his absence with Lucullus -and that was after all no proof of citizenship. He had made wills, had been an heir, and his name was on the civil list. But, after all, his chief claim was his talent, and the cause to which he had applied it". If we may believe Cicero (c. 8) and Quintilian (x. 7.19), Archias had the gift of making good extempore verses in great numbers, and was remarkable for the richness of his language and his varied range of thought.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Orators

Aphthonius, 4th-5th cent. A.D.

Aphthonius (Aphthonios). A Greek rhetorician of Antioch, about A.D. 400, a pupil of Libanius, who wrote a school-book on the elements of rhetoric, the Progymnasmata, much used in schools down to the seventeenth century. This book is really an adaptation of the chapter so named in Hermogenes's Rhetoric. A collection of forty fables by Aesop also bears his name.

Aphthonius (Aphthonios), of Antioch, a Greek rhetorician who lived about A. D. 315, but of whose life nothing is known. He is the author of an elementary introduction to the study of rhetoric, and of a number of fables in the style of those of Aesop. The introduction to the study of rhetoric, which bears the title Progymnasmata (progumnasmata), if considered from a right point of view, is of great interest, inasmuch as it shews us the method followed by the ancients in the instruction of boys, before they were sent to the regular schools of the rhetoricians. The book consists of rules and exercises. Previous to the time of Aphthonius the progymnasmata of Hermogenes were commonly used in schools; Aphthonius found it insufficient, and upon its basis he constructed his new work, which contained fourteen progymnasmata, while that of his predecessor contained only twelve. Soon after its appearance the work of Aphthonius superseded that of Hermogenes, and became the common school-book in this branch of education for several centuries. On the revival of letters the progymnasmata of Aphthonius recovered their ancient popularity, and during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries they were used everywhere, but more especially in Germany, in schools and universities, as the text-book for rhetoric. But by a singular mistake the work was during that period regarded as the canon of everything that was required to form a perfect orator, whereas the author and the ancients had intended and used it as a collection of elementary and preparatory exercises for children. The number of editions and translations which were published during that period is greater than that of any other ancient writer. The editio princeps is that in Aldus' collection of the Rhetores Graeci, Venice, 1508. The most important among the subsequent editions are that of Giunta, Florence, 1515, which contains also the progymnasmata of Hermogenes; that of Camerarius, with a Latin translation, Lips. 1567; of B. Harbart, 1591, with a Latin translation and notes; of F. Scobarius, 1597, and that of J. Scheffer, Upsala, 1670. The last and best edition is that in Walz's collection of the " Rhetores Gracci," i. p. 54, &c. It contains the notes of Scheffer, and an ancient abridgement of the work by one Matthaeus (epitome eis ta tes rhetorikes progumnasmata), and a sort of commentary Iupon them by an anonymous writer (Anonumou peri ton tou Aphthoniou progumnasmaton).
  The Aesopic fables of Aphthonius, which are inferior in merit to those of Aesop, are printed in Scobarius' edition of the progymnasmata, land also in the Paris edition of 1623. Furia's edition of the fables of Aesop contains twenty-three of those of Aphthonius.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Doxipater, Joannes

Doxipater (Doxipatros), or Doxipater, Joannes, a Greek grammarian or rhetorician, under whose name we possess an extensive commentary on Aphthonius, which was printed for the first time by Aldus, in 1509, and again by Walz in his Rhetores Graeci, vol. ii. The commentary bears the title Homiliai eis Aphthonion, and is extremely diffuse, so that it occupies upwards of 400 pages. It is full of long quotations from Plato, Thucydides, Diodorus, Plutarch, and from several of the Christian Fathers. The explanations given seem to be derived front earlier commentators of Aphthonius. There is another work of a similar character which bears the name of Doxipater. It is entitled Prolegomena tes rhetorikes, and, as its author mentions the emperor Michael Calaphates, he must have lived after the year A. D. 1041.

Libanius

Libanius (Libanios). A Greek rhetorician of Antioch in Syria, born A.D. 314. His education was begun in his native city and completed at Athens, where he became a public teacher at the early age of twenty-five. Called from Athens to Constantinople in 340, he met with extraordinary success; at the same time he excited the envy of his rivals, whose slanders led to his expulsion in 345. After being actively engaged for five years as a public teacher in Nicomedia in Bithynia, he was recalled to Constantinople, where he was again remarkably popular, but found himself compelled by the continued persecutions of his detractors to leave the capital once more in 353. He withdrew to his native city of Antioch, where he was for many years actively employed in the exercise of his profession and in promoting the interests of his fellow-citizens; but even here he was much persecuted by his opponents. Apart from bodily sufferings caused by his being struck by a flash of lightning, his old age was saddened by the decline of learning and the fall of paganism, which he had foreseen would follow the lamented death of his admirer and patron, Julian. He died about A.D. 393, honoured and admired by his pupils, among whom were included Christians such as Basil the Great and Iohannes Chrysostomus.
Libanius gives us information about his own life and work in a series of letters and in a speech "on his own fortune," written in his sixtieth year, but completed at a later date. There remains sixtyseven of his speeches, the majority of which refer to the events of his time; also fifty declamations; a considerable series of rhetorical exercises of various kinds, among them narratives, sketches of character and descriptions of works of art (some of them important in connection with the history of ancient art), and also arguments to the speeches of Demosthenes. There are, further, about 2000 letters addressed to friends, pupils, rhetoricians, scholars, statesmen, etc., which give us a vivid picture of his times. A fourth part of them, however, only exist in a Latin translation, and some of them are of doubtful genuineness. His style, which is formed on the best Attic models, is pure and has a certain elegance, although it is not always free from the affected and unnatural mannerism of his age.
The most complete edition of the orations and declamations is that of Reiske, 4 vols. (1791-97); of the letters, that of Wolf (1738). The life of Libanius has been written by Petri (Paris, 1866), and in German by Sievers (Berlin, 1868).

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited July 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Libanius (Libanios), the most distinguished among the Greek sophists and rhetoricians of the fourth century of our era. He was born at Antioch, on the Orontes, and belonged to an illustrious family of that place; but the year of his birth is uncertain, some assigning it to A. D. 314, and others two years later, according to a passage in one of the orations of Libanius. He received his first education, which was probably not of a very high character, in his native place, but being urged on by an invincible desire of acquiring knowledge and cultivating his mind, he went to Athens. He himself mentions among his teachers Cleobulus, Didymus, and Zenobius (Epist. 50, 100, 321, 407, 1181). While at Athens, he became the object of a series of intrigues, against which he had to struggle throughout his subsequent life. The pedantry then prevalent at Athens, to which he was obliged to submit, made a bad impression upon him, so that he appears to have devoted himself more to private study than to the methodic but pedantic system adopted in the schools (Liban. De Fort. sua; Eunap. Vit. Soph.). His favourite study was the classical writers of Greece, and the love he thus early imbibed for them, accompanied him through life. His talent and perseverance attracted general attention, and he had the certain prospect of obtaining the chair of rhetoric at Athens (De Fort. sua), but he himself was not inclined to accept the office, and left Athens, accompanying his friend Crispinus to Heracleia in Pontus. On his return, as he passed through Constantinople, he was prevailed upon by the rhetorician Nicocles, who held out to him the most brilliant prospects, to remain in that capital; but before he settled there, he went to Athens to settle some of his affairs. On his return to Constantinople, he found that a sophist from Cappadocia had in the meantime occupied the place which he had hoped to obtain. He was accordingly obliged to set up a private school, and in a short time he obtained so large a number of pupils, that the classes of the public professors were completely deserted. The latter, stimulated by envy and jealousy, devised means of revenge: they charged him with being a magician, and the prefect Limenius, who was a personal enemy of Libanius, supported them, and about A. D. 346 expelled him from the city of Constantinople. He went to Nicomedeia, where he taught with equal success, but also drew upon himself an equal degree of malice from his opponents. After a stay of five years, which he himself calls the happiest of his whole life, he was called back to Constantinople. But he met with a cool reception there, and soon after returned to Nicomedeia, to which place he had formed a strong attachment. An epidemic disease, however, which raged there, obliged him again to go back to Constantinople. Strategius, one of his friends, procured him an invitation to the chair of rhetoric at Athens, which however Libanius declined to accept, and being tired of the annoyances to which he was exposed at Constantinople, he paid a visit to his native city of Antioch; and as on his return to Constantinople, he began to suffer from ill health, his medical attendants advised him to give up teaching, and he sued for and obtained from the emperor Gallus permission to settle at Antioch, where he spent the remainder of his life. The emperor Julian, who showed him great favour and admired his talent, corresponded with him (Suidas, s.v. Libanios). In the reign of Valens he was at first persecuted, but he afterwards succeeded in winning the favour of that monarch also; Libanius wrote a eulogy upon him, and prevailed upon him to promulgate a law by which certain advantages were granted to natural children, in which Libanius himself was interested, because he himself was not married, but lived in concubinage. The emperor Theodosius likewise showed him esteem, but notwithstanding the marks of distinction he received from high quarters, his enjoyment of life was disturbed by ill health, by misfortunes in his family, and more especially by the disputes in which he was incessantly involved, partly with rival sophists, and partly with the prefects. It cannot, however, be denied, that he himself was as much to blame as his opponents, for he appears to have provoked them by his querulous disposition, and by the pride and vanity which everywhere appear in his orations, and which led him to interfere in political questions which it would have been wiser to have left alone. In other respects, however, his personal character seems to have been gentle and moderate, for although he was a pagan, and sympathised with the emperor Julian in all his views and plans, still he always showed a praiseworthy toleration towards the Christians. He was the teacher of St. Basil and John Chrysostom, with whom he always kept up a friendly relation. The year of his death is uncertain, but from one of his epistles it is evident that in A. D. 391 he must have been still alive (Epist. 941), but it is probable that he died a few years after, in the reign of Arcadius.
  This account of the life of Libanius is mainly based upon an autobiography of the rhetorician which is prefixed to Reiske's edition of his works (vol. i.), under the title Bios r logos peri tes heautou tuches, or De Fortuna sua, the brief article of Suidas (s. v. Libanios), and on the information given by Eunapius in his Vitae Sophistarum. We still posses a considerable number of the works of Libanius, but how many may have been lost is uncertain.

1. Propsumnasmaton paradeigmata, i. e. model pieces for rhetorical exercises, in thirteen sections, to which, however, some more sections were added by F. Morellus in his edition (Paris, 1606). But modern criticism has shown pretty clearly that the additions of Morellus are the productions of two other rhetoricians, Nicolaus and Severus (Walz, Rhet. Graec. i.).

2. Logoi or orations, whose number, in Reiske's edition, amounts to sixty-five (vol. i.--iii.). Another oration of Libanius Peri Olumpiou, was discovered in a Barberini MS. by J. Ph. Siebenkees, who published it in his Anecdota Graeca (Nurnberg, 1798, pp. 75, 89). A sixty-seventh oration was first published by A. Mai in his second edition of Fronto (Rome, 1823, p. 421, &c.).

3. Meletai or declamations, i. e. orations on fictitious subjects, and descriptions of various kinds. Their number in Reiske's edition is forty-eight, but two additional ones were published afterwards, one by F. Morellus (Venice, 1785, 8vo.), and the other by Boissonade, in his Anecdota Graeca (i. pp. 165-171).

4. A life of Demosthenes, and arguments to the speeches of the same orator. They are printed in Reiske's edition of Libanius (iv. p. 266, &c.), and also in most of the editions of Demosthenes.

5. Epistolai, or letters, of which a very large number is still extant. In the edition of J. C. Wolf (Amsterdam, 1738, fol.) there are no less than 1605 epistles in Greek, in addition to which there are 397 epistles of which we only possess a Latin translation by Zambicarius, first published at Krakau, but reprinted with several others in Wolf's edition (p. 735, &c.). Two other letters in the Greek original were published by Bloch, in Munter's Miscellanea (Hafiiae, i. 2, p. 139, &c.). Many of these letters are extremely interesting, being addressed to the most eminent men of his time, such as the emperor Julian, Athanasius, Basil, Gregory of Nyssa, John Chrysostom, and others. In this collection there are also many very short letters, being either letters of introduction, or formal notes of politeness and the like. The style in all of them is neat and elegant. Among the same class of literary compositions we may also reckon the epistolikoi charakteres, or formulae of letters, which were first edited by W. Morellus (Paris, 1551, 1558, 8vo.), and afterwards at Lugdunum (1618, 12mo.). Many epistles as well as orations are still extant in MS. at Madrid, Venice, and other places, but have never been published, and others which are now and then alluded to by later writers seem to be lost.

  As regards the style of Libanius as an orator, some modern critics have called him a real model of pure Attic Greek (Reiske, Praefat. p. xvii.), but this is carrying praise too far, and even Photius entertained a much more correct opinion of him (Bibl. Cod. 90). There can be no doubt that Libanius is by far the most talented and most successful among the rhetoricians of the fourth century; he took the best orators of the classic age as his models, and we can often see in him the disciple and happy imitator of Demosthenes, and his animated descriptions are often full of power and elegance; but he is not able always to rise above the spirit of his age, and we rarely find in him that natural simplicity which constitutes the great charm of the best Attic orators. His diction is a curious mixture of the pure old Attic with what may be termed modern, and the latter would be more excusable, if he did not so often claim for himself the excellencies of the ancient orators. In addition to this, it is evident that, like all other rhetoricians, he is more concerned about the form than about the substance, whence Eunapius calls his orations weak, dead, and lifeless. This tendency not seldom renders his style obscure, notwithstanding his striving after purity, inasmuch as he sometimes sacrifices the logical connection of his sentences to his rhetorical mode of expressing them. As far as the history of Libanius's age is concerned, however, some of his orations, and still more his epistles are of great value, such as the oration in which he relates the events of his own life, the eulogies on Constantius and Constans, the orations to and on Julian, several orations describing the condition of Antioch, and those which he wrote against his professional and political opponents.
  A complete edition of all the works of Libanius does not yet exist. The first edition of the Progymnasmata appeared under the name of Theon, together with a similar work by the latter author, at Basel, 1641, 8vo., edited by J. Cammerarius; a more complete edition is that of F. Morellus (Libanii Praeludia Orat. LXXII., Declamat. XLV, et Dissertat. Moral., Paris, 1606, fol.), but some further additions were subsequently made by Leo Allatius, and the whole is to be found in Reiske's edition (vol. iv. p. 853, &c.). The orations and declamations were first published, though very incomplete, at Ferrara, 1517, 4to., then in the abovementioned edition of F. Morellus; and after several more had been published from MSS. by J. Gothofredus, Fabricius and A. Bongiovanni, a complete collection, with some fresh additions, was published by J. J. Reiske (Libanii Sophistae Orationes et Declamationes ad fidem codd. recens. et perpet. adnotat. illustravit, Altenburg, 1791-97, 4 vols. 8vo.). The best edition of the epistles is that of J. Ch. Wolf (Libanii Epistolae, Graece et Latine edid. et notis illustr., Amsterdam, 1738, fol.). For further particulars see J. G. Berger, De Libanio Disputationes Sex, Vitebergae, 1696, &c., 4to; Reiske, in the first vol. of his edition; F. C. Petersen, Commentat. de Libanio Sophista, part i. (containing an account of the life of Libanius) ; Hafniae, 1827, 4to.; Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vi. p. 750, &c.; Westermann, Gesch. der Griech. Beredtsamkeit, § 103, and Beilage, xv. p. 330, &c.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Dynasties

Seleucidae, king of Syria

Seleucidae, king of Syria, so called from their progenitor Seleucus I., the founder of the monarchy. The following Table exhibits their genealogy.

Antiochus

Antiochus (Antiochos), the father of Seleucus Nicator, the king of Syria (the head of the dynasty of Seleucidae), and the grandfather of Antiochus Soter, was one of Philip's generals. (Justin, xv. 4.)

Kings

Seleucus I., the Nicator

, , 312 - 280
Seleucus (Seleukos). Surnamed Nicator, the founder of the Syrian monarchy, reigned B.C. 312-280. He was the son of Antiochus, a Macedonian of distinction among the officers of Philip II., and was born about B.C. 358. He accompanied Alexander on his expedition to Asia, and distinguished himself particularly in the Indian campaigns. After the death of Alexander (323) he espoused the side of Perdiccas, whom he accompanied on his expedition against Egypt; but he took a leading part in the mutiny of the soldiers, which ended in the death of Perdiccas (321). In the second partition of the provinces which followed, Seleucus obtained the wealthy and important satrapy of Babylonia. In the war between Antigonus and Eumenes, Seleucus afforded efficient support to the former; but after the death of Eumenes (316), Antigonus began to treat the other satraps as his subjects. Thereupon Seleucus fled to Egypt, where he induced Ptolemy to unite with Lysimachus and Cassander in a league against their common enemy. In the war that ensued Seleucus took an active part. At length, in 312, he recovered Babylon; and it is from this period that the Syrian monarchy is commonly reckoned to commence. This era of the Seleucidae, as it is termed, has been determined by chronologists to the 1st of October, 312. Soon afterwards Seleucus defeated Nicanor, the satrap of Media, and followed up his victory by the conquest of Susiana, Media, and some adjacent districts. For the next few years he gradually extended his power over all the eastern provinces which had formed part of the empire of Alexander, from the Euphrates to the banks of the Oxus and the Indus. In 306 Seleucus followed the example of Antigonus and Ptolemy, by formally assuming the royal title and diadem. In 302 he joined the league formed for the second time by Ptolemy, Lysimachus, and Cassander, against their common enemy Antigonus. The united forces of Seleucus and Lysimachus gained a decisive victory over Antigonus at Ipsus (301), in which Antigonus himself was slain. In the division of the spoil, Seleucus obtained the largest share, being rewarded for his services with a great part of Asia Minor (which was divided between him and Lysimachus) as well as with the whole of Syria, from the Euphrates to the Mediterranean.
  The empire of Seleucus was now by far the most extensive and powerful of those which had been formed out of the dominions of Alexander. It comprised the whole of Asia, from the remote provinces of Bactria and Sogdiana to the coasts of Phoenicia, and from the Paropamisus to the central plains of Phrygia, where the boundary which separated him from Lysimachus is not clearly defined. Seleucus appears to have felt the difficulty of exercising a vigilant control over so extensive an empire, and accordingly, in 293, he consigned the government of all the provinces beyond the Euphrates to his son Antiochus, upon whom he bestowed the title of king, as well as the hand of his own youthful wife, Stratonice, for whom the prince had conceived a violent attachment. In 288, the ambitious designs of Demetrius (now become king of Macedonia) once more aroused the common jealousy of his old adversaries, and led Seleucus again to unite in a league with Ptolemy and Lysimachus against him. After Demetrius had been driven from his kingdom by Lysimachus, he transported the seat of war into Asia Minor, but he was compelled to surrender to Seleucus in 286. The Syrian king kept Demetrius in confinement till three years afterwards, but during the whole of that time treated him in a friendly and liberal manner. For some time jealousies had existed between Seleucus and Lysimachus; but the immediate cause of the war between the two monarchs, which terminated in the defeat and death of Lysimachus (281), is related in the life of the latter. Seleucus now crossed the Hellespont in order to take possession of the throne of Macedonia, which had been left vacant by the death of Lysimachus; but he had advanced no farther than Lysimachia, when he was assassinated by Ptolemy Ceraunus, to whom, as the son of his old friend and ally, he had extended a friendly protection. His death took place in the beginning of 280, only seven months after that of Lysimachus, and in the thirty-second year of his reign. He was in his seventy-eighth year. Seleucus appears to have carried out, with great energy and perseverance, the projects originally formed by Alexander himself for the Hellenization of his Asiatic empire; and we find him founding, in almost every province, Greek or Macedonian colonies, which became so many centres of civilization and refinement. Of these no less than sixteen are mentioned as bearing the name of Antiochia, after his father; five that of Laodicea, from his mother; seven were called after himself Seleucia; three from the name of his first wife, Apamea; and one Stratonicea, from his second wife, the daughter of Demetrius. Numerous other cities, whose names attest their Macedonian origin--Beroea, Edessa, Pella, etc.-- likewise owed their first foundation to Seleucus.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited July 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Seleucus (Seleukos) surnamed Nicanor, king of Syria, and the founder of the Syrian monarchy. He was the son of Antiochus, a Macedonian of distinction among the officers of Philip II., but fabulous stories were in circulation (evidently fabricated after he had attained to greatness), which represented him as the offspring of a miraculous intercourse of his mother Laodice with Apollo (Justin. xv. 4). From the statements concerning his age at his death, his birth may be probably assigned to about B. C. 358, and he would thus be about twenty-four years old when he accompanied Alexander on his expedition to Asia, as one of the officers of the etairoi, or horse-guards. He was early distinguished for his great personal strength, as well as courage, of which he is said to have afforded a proof by overcoming a savage bull, unarmed and single-handed (Appian. Syr. 57 ; Ael. V. H. xii. 16). Of his services as an officer we hear nothing during the early campaigns of Alexander in Asia; but it is evident that lie must have earned the confidence of that monarch, as at the passage of the Hydaspes, in B. C. 327, we find him selected by the king, together with Ptolemy, Perdiccas, and Lysimachus, to accompany him with the body of troops which were to cross the river in the first instance. In the subsequent battle against Porus, also, he bore an important part (Arr. Anab. v. 13, 16). But that these services were only a small portion of those actually rendered by him, during the Indian campaigns, may be inferred from the circumstance that, after the return of Alexander to Susa, Seleucus was one of the officers upon whom the king bestowed, as a rewards the hand of an Asiatic princess. His bride was Apama, the daughter, according to Arrian, of the Bactrian chief Spitamenes, though Strabo calls her father, probably erroneously, Artabazus (Arr. Anab. vii. 4; Strab. xii.).
  Seleucus was in close attendance upon Alexander during his last illness, and is mentioned as one of the officers who consulted the oracle of Serapis in regard to his recovery (Arr. Anab. vii. 26). During the dissensions which followed the death of the great king, he took part with Perdiccas and the other leaders of the cavalry, and was rewarded for his attachment to their cause by obtaining, in the arrangements ultimately adopted, the important post of chiliarch of the hetairoi, one of the most honourable appointments in the army, and which had previously been held by Perdiccas himself (Arrian. ap. Phot.; Diod. xviii. 3; Appian. Syr. 57; Justin. xiii. 4, who inaccurately terms it "castrorum tribunatus"). The regent, doubtless, thought that he could reckon with security on the fidelity of Seleucus; but the latter, though he adhered to him until the expedition against Egypt, and accompanied him on that occasion, was one of the first to join in the discontents which broke out on the disasters sustained at the passage of the Nile, and even put himself at the head of the mutineers who broke into the regent's tent, and transfixed him on their spears (Corn. Nep. Eum. 5; Diod. xviii. 36). During the troubles that followed, we find him interposing his influence and authority with the army, in favour of Antipater, when assailed by the invectives of Eurydice; and, in the second partition of the provinces (at Triparadeisus, B. C. 321), he obtained for his portion the wealthy and important satrapy of Babylonia, of which he hastened to take possession (Arr. ap. Phot.; Diod. xviii. 39, xix. 12; App. Syr. 57).
  The ambitious designs of Pithon having involved that general in war with the neighbouring satraps, and ultimately led to his expulsion from his own government, Seleucus afforded him a refuge in Babylonia, and was preparing to support him by arms, when the approach of Eumenes attracted the attention of both the contending parties in another direction. Seleucus and Pithon immediately declared in favour of Antigonus, and endeavoured, though without success, to prevent Eumenes from crossing the Tigris and effecting a junction with the forces assembled under Peucestes and his brother satraps. Seleucus, however, remained in possession of Babylon, and sent to Antigonus to hasten his march. On the arrival of the latter, he joined him with all his forces, and they advanced together into Susiana, which was annexed by Antigonus to the satrapy of Seleucus, and the latter was appointed to carry on the siege of Susa, while Antigonus himself advanced into Upper Asia against Eumenes. Before the close of the campaigns in Media, which terminated in the defeat of Eumenes, Seleucus had made himself master of Susa, and returned to Babylon, where he received Antigonus in the most splendid manner, on his return from the upper provinces. But the victory of that general had entirely altered his position in relation to his former allies, and the fate of Pithon might well serve as a warning to his brother satraps. Nor was it long before these apprehensions were confirmed: Antigonus first took occasion to find fault with some exercise of authority on the part of Seleucus, and at length went so far as to call him to account for the administration of the revenues of his satrapy, an assumption of superiority to which he altogether refused to submit. But Seleucus was unable to cope with the power of his adversary, and consequently determined to escape the fate which awaited him, by timely flight, and secretly quitted Babylon with only fifty horsemen. Antigonus in vain issued orders for his pursuit and apprehension, and he made his way, in safety, through Mesopotamia and Syria, into Egypt, B. C. 316 (Diod. xviii. 73, xix. 12-14, 18, 48, 55; App. Syr. 53).
  Here he immediately endeavoured to arouse Ptolemy to a sense of the danger impending from the power and ambition of Antigonus, and succeeded in inducing him to unite with Lysimachus and Cassander in a league against their common enemy (Diod. xix. 56; App. Syr. 53). In the war that followed Seleucus took an active part. He was at first appointed to command the fleet of Ptolemy, with which we find him carrying on operations on the coast of Syria during the siege of Tyre by Antigonus, as well as subsequently in Ionia and the islands of the Aegaean, and rendering important assistance to Menelaus in the conquest of Cyprus. At length, in B. C. 312, he induced Ptolemy to take the field in person in Coele-Syria, against the youthful Demetrius, and bore an important part in the decisive battle of Gaza. That victory laid open once more the route to Babylon and the East, and he now prevailed upon Ptolemy to send him, with a small force, to regain possession of his former satrapy. On this daring enterprise he set out with only 800 foot and 200 horse, but was joined by reinforcements on his march through Mesopotamia; and so great was his popularity, that all the inhabitants of Babylonia declared in his favour. He entered the city without opposition, and speedily reduced the garrison, which had taken refuge in the citadel. It is from the recovery of Babylon by Seleucus at this period, that the Syrian monarchy is commonly reckoned to commence, and we find the coins of the Syrian kings, as well as many later writers, calculating the years from this epoch. This era of the Seleucidae, as it is termed, has been determined by chronologers to the 1st of October, B. C. 312 (Diod. xix. 58, 60, 62, 68, 80, 83, 84, 90, 91; Appian. Syr. 54; Euseb. Arm.)
  Meanwhile Nicanor, the satrap of Media, had assembled a large force, with which he advanced to oppose Seleucus; but the latter hastened to meet him in the field, totally defeated him at the passage of the Tigris, and followed up his victory by the conquest of Susiana, Media, and some adjacent districts. But while he was thus engaged in the upper provinces, Demetrius, who had been detached by his father Antigonus, from Syria, had regained possession of Babylon, which Patrocles (who had been left there by Seleucus) was unable to hold against him. The invader was, however, foiled in the attempt to reduce one of the citadels attached to the capital; and soon after, by his hasty return to Syria left it open to Seleucus to recover possession of Babylonia, which the latter probably effected with little difficulty (Diod. xix. 100 Plut. Demetr. 7).
  From this period we are left almost wholly in the dark, as to the subsequent operations of Seleucus, during an interval of nearly ten years. It is not a little singular that his name is not even mentioned in the treaty of peace concluded in B. C. 311, by his confederates Ptolemy, Lysimachus, and Cassander with Antigonus, in which the latter was acknowledged as ruler of Asia (Diod. xix. 105). But though thus apparently abandoned by his allies, he had, in fact, little to fear from Antigonus, who was too much occupied with the affairs of Western Asia to find leisure for another expedition against the East, and Seleucus appears to have been left to pursue, without interruption, his career of conquest in the upper provinces. All details, however, concerning his operations in these quarters, are lost to us; and we know only the general fact, that by a series of successive campaigns he gradually extended his power over all the eastern provinces which had formed part of the empire of Alexander, from the Euphrates to the banks of the Oxus and the Indus. One of the most memorable of his wars was that with Sandracottus, an Indian king of the regions on the banks of the Ganges, who had availed himself of the disorders which followed the death of Eumenes, to establish his power over the Macedonian satrapies east of the Indus. Both the date and the circumstances of this war are unfortunately lost; but it was terminated by a treaty by which Seleucus contracted a matrimonial alliance with the Indian monarch, to whom he ceded all the provinces beyond the Indus, and even that of Paropamisus, in exchange for the gift of 500 elephants, an immense addition to his military resources (Justin. xv. 4; Appian. Syr. 55 ; Strab. xv.).
  Seleucus had followed the example of Antigonus and Ptolemy, by formally assuming, in B. C. 306, the regal title and diadem, which he had already previously adopted in his intercourse with the barbarian nations by whom he was surrounded (Diod. xx. 53; Plut. Demetr. 18): and he was probably inferior to none of the rival monarchs in power when he was induced, in B. C. 302, to accede to the league formed for the second time by Ptolemy, Lysimachus, and Cassander, against their common enemy Antigonus. The army which he brought into the field, considerably exceeded those of his allies; and he arrived in Cappadocia before the close of the autumn, with 20,000 foot, 12,000 horse, and the overwhelming force of 480 elephants (Diod. xx. 106, 113). The events of the campaign which followed (B. C. 301), are very imperfectly known; but it seems certain that the decisive victory of the confederates at Ipsus was mainly owing to the cavalry and elephants of Seleucus, as well as to the skill with which he himself took advantage of the errors of Demetrius (Plut. Demetr. 29).
  The removal of their common antagonist quickly brought about a change in the dispositions of the Confederates towards each other. In the division of the spoil, Seleucus certainly obtained the largest share, being rewarded for his services with a great part of Asia Minor (which was divided between him and Lysimachus) as well as the whole of Syria, from the Euphrates to the Mediterranean. Ptolemy, however, laid claim to Phoenicia and Coele-Syria, and the possession of these provinces, so fruitful a subject of dissension between their successors, was near producing an immediate breach between the two kings of Syria and Egypt. Seleucus, indeed, waived his pretensions for the time; but the jealousy thus excited, was increased by the close alliance soon after concluded between Ptolemy and Lysimachus, and Seleucus sought to strengthen himself in his turn, by forming a matrimonial connection with Demetrius. His overtures to that prince were joyfully welcomed, the two rivals met on the most friendly terms, and the nuptials of Seleucus and Stratonice were celebrated, with great magnificence, at Rhosus, on the Syrian coast. But even before the two princes separated, the seeds of new disputes were sown between them, by the refusal of Demetrius to yield to his son-in-law the important fortresses of Sidon and Tyre (Plut. Demetr. 31-33; Diod. xxi. Exc. Vat.). A few years afterwards, Seleucus appears to have taken advantage of the wars which kept Demetrius continually occupied in Greece, to wrest from him the possession, not only of these fortresses, but that of Cilicia also.
  The empire of Seleucus was now by far the most extensive and powerful of those which had been formed out of the dominions of Alexander. It comprised the whole of Asia, from the remote provinces of Bactria and Sogdiana to the coasts of Phoenicia, and from the Paropamisus to the central plains of Phrygia, where the boundary which separated him from Lysimachus is not clearly defined. These extensive dominions were subdivided into seventy-two satrapies; an arrangement evidently adopted with a view of breaking down the excessive power previously possessed by the several governors: but notwithstanding this precaution, Seleucus appears to have felt the difficulty of exercising a vigilant control over so extensive an empire, and accordingly, in B. C. 293, consigned the government of all the provinces beyond the Euphrates to his son Antiochus, upon whom he bestowed the title of king, as well as the hand of his own youthful wife, Stratonice, for whom the prince had conceived a violent attachment (Appian, Syr. 55, 59-62; Plut. Demetr. 38).
  In B. C. 288, the ambitious designs of Demetrius (now become king of Macedonia) once more aroused the common jealousy of his old adversaries, and led Seleucus again to unite in a league with Ptolemy and Lysimachus against him. But he appears to have taken little part in the hostilities which followed, even when Demetrius, driven from his kingdom by Lysimachus, transported the seat of war into Asia Minor; nor was it until the fugitive monarch, hemmed in on all sides, threw himself into Cilicia, that Seleucus 'thought fit to take the field in person. Even then he readily entered into negotiations with Demetrius, and even allowed him to take up his winter quarters, during a truce of two months, in Cataonia; but his apprehensions were soon again roused, he fortified all the mountain passes so as effectually to surround Demetrius, and the latter was at length, after various vicissitudes of fortune, compelled to surrender to the Syrian king, B. C. 286. Seleucus had the generosity to treat his captive in a friendly and liberal manner; but at the same time took care to provide for his safe custody in the city of Apamea, on the Orontes (Plut. Demetr. 44, 47-50; Polyaen. iv. 9. 2, 3, 5). Lysimachus in vain represented to him the danger of allowing so formidable an enemy any hope of escape, and urged him to put Demetrius at once to death: Seleucus indignantly refused to listen to his proposals; and it is even said that he was really designing to set his illustrious prisoner altogether at liberty, when the death of Demetrius himself, in the third year of his captivity, prevented the execution of the plan (Plut. Demetr. 51, 52 ; Diod. xxi. Exc. Vales.).
  It is probable that Seleucus was influenced as much by policy as by generosity in his conduct on this occasion: increasing jealousies between him and Lysimachus had long threatened to lead to an open rupture, and it was not long after the death of Demetrius before the domestic dissensions in the family of the Thracian king brought on the long-impending crisis. After the death of the unhappy Agathocles, his widow Lysandra and her children fled for refuge to the court of Seleucus, who received them in the most friendly manner. The general discontent excited in the dominions of Lysimachus by this event, and the defection of many of his principal officers, encouraged the Syrian king to commence hostilities against him, and he accordingly assembled a large army with which he invaded the dominions of his rival in person. Lysimachus, on his side, was not slow to meet him, and a decisive action ensued at Corupedion, B. C. 281, which terminated in the defeat and death of the Thracian monarch (Memnon, c. 8; Justin. xvii. 1,2; Appian. Syr. 62). This victory appears to have been followed by the speedy submission of all the Asiatic provinces as far as the Hellespont; but not contented with this, Seleucus was desirous to occupy the throne of Macedonia, which had been left vacant by the death of Lysimachus; and after spending a few months in arranging the affairs of Asia, the government of which he now consigned wholly to his son Antiochus, he himself crossed the Hellespont at the head of an army. But he had advanced no farther than Lysimachia, when he was assassinated by Ptolemy Ceraunus, to whom, as the son of his old friend and ally, he had extended a friendly protection. His body was redeemed by Philetaerus, the governor of Pergamus, who, after paying him due funeral honours, sent his remains to Antiochus, by whom they were deposited at Seleuceia on the Orontes, in a temple dedicated to his memory. His death took place in the beginning of B. C. 280, only seven months after that of Lysimachus, and in the thirty-second year of his reign. According to Justin, he was at this time more than seventy-seven years old, but Appian makes him only seventy-three (Appian, Syr. 62, 633; Justin. xvii. 1, 2; Memnon. c. 11, 12; Paus. i. 16. 2; Oros. iii. 23; Euseb. Arm.).
  We have little information concerning the personal character of Seleucus, but he is pronounced by Pausanias (i. 16.3) to have been the most upright among the successors of Alexander, and it is certain that his memory is stained with none of those crimes which are a reproach to the names of Lysimachus, Cassander, and even Ptolemy. Of his consummate abilities as a general no doubt can be entertained; and the little we know of his administration of the vast empire which he had united under his sceptre, gives an equally favourable impression of his political talents. He appears to have carried out, with great energy and perseverance, the projects originally formed by Alexander himself, for the Hellenisation of his Asiatic empire; and we find him founding, in almost every province, Greek or Macedonian colonies, which became so many centres of civilisation and refinement. Of these no less than sixteen are mentioned as bearing the name of Antiochia after his father; five that of Laodicea, from his mother; seven were calied after himself Seleucia, three from the name of his first wife, Apamea; and one Stratoniceia, from his second wife, the daughter of Demetrius. Of these the most conspicuous were -Seleucia on the Tigris, which in great measure supplanted the mighty Babylon, and became the metropolis of the eastern provinces, under the Syrian dynasty; the city of the same name, near the mouth of the Orontes; and Antiochia, on the latter river, which quickly rose to be the capital of Syria, and continued, for near a thousand years, to be one of the most populous and wealthy cities of the world. Numerous other cities, whose names attest their Macedonian origin -Beroea, Edessa, Pella, &c.- likewise owed their first foundation to the son of Antiochus (Appian, Syr. 57 ; Strab. xvi. pp. 738, 749, 750; Steph. Byz. s. v. Apameia, &c.; Paus. i. 16.3; Amm. Marc. xiv. 8.5. For a full review and examination of these foundations see Droysen, Hellenism. vol. ii. pp. 651, 680-720)
  Nothing is known with certainty of any children of Seleucus, except his son and successor Antiochus ; but it seems probable that by his second wife, Stratonice, he had a daughter Phila, afterwards married to Antigonus Gonatas.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Apama or Apame

Apama or Apame. The wife of Seleucus Nicator and the mother of Antiochus Soter, was married to Seleucus in B. C. 325, when Alexander gave to his generals Asiatic wives. According to Arrian (vii. 4), she was the daughter of Spitamenes, the Bactrian, but Strabo (xii. p. 578) calls her, erroneously, the daughter of Artabazus. (Comp. Appian. Syr. 57; and Liv. xxxviii. 13, who also makes a mistake in calling her the sister, instead of the wife, of Seleucus; Steph. Byz. s. v. Apameia.)

Laodice (Laodike), mother of Seleucus I.

Laodice (Laodike). Wife of Antiochus, a general of distinction in the service of Philip of Macedon, and mother of Seleucus, the founder of the Syrian monarchy. It was pretended, in consequence of a dream which she had, that Apollo was the real father of her child. (Justin. xv. 4.) No less than five cities were founded by Seleucus in different parts of his dominions, which bore in her honour the name of Laodiceia. (Appian, Syr. 57.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Antiochus I., the Soter, king of Syria

, , 280 - 261
Antiochus IV (Antiochos), king of Syria, surnamed Soter, was the son of Seleucus Nicator and a Persian lady, Apama. The marriage of his father with Apama was one of those marriages which Alexander celebrated at Susa in B. C. 325, when he gave Persian wives to his generals. This would fix the birth of Antiochus about B. C. 324. He was present with his father at the battle of Ipsus in B. C. 301, which secured for Seleucus the government of Asia. It is related of Antiochus, that he fell sick through love of Stratonice, the young wife of his father, and the daughter of Demetrius Poliorcetes, and that when his father learnt the cause of his illness through his physician Erasistratus, he resigned Stratonice to him, and gave him the government of Upper Asia with the title of king. On the murder of his father in Macedonia in B. C. 280, Antiochus succeeded to the whole of his dominions, and prosecuted his claims to the throne of Macedonia against Antigonus Gonatas, but eventually allowed the latter to retain possession of Macedonia on his marrying Phila, the daughter of Seleucus and Stratonice. The rest of Antiochus' reign was chiefly occupied in wars with the Gauls, who had invaded Asia Minor. By the help of his elephants he gained a victory over the Gauls, and received in consequence the surname of Soter (Soter). He was afterwards defeated by Eumenes near Sardis, and was subsequently killed in a second battle with the Gauls (B. C. 261), after a reign of nineteen years. By his wife Stratonice Antiochus had three children: Antiochus Theos, who succeeded him; Apama, married to Magas; and Stratonice, married to Demetrius II. of Macedonia (Appian, Syr. 59-65; Justin, xvii. 2; Plut. Demetr. 38, 39; Strab. xiii.; Paus. i. 7; Julian, Misopog.; Lucian, Zeuxis, 8; Aelian, H. A. vi. 44; Plin. H. N. viii. 42).

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Antiochus (Antiochos) I., the Soter (reigned B.C. 280-261), the son of Selencus I., the founder of the Syrian kingdom of the Seleucidae. He married his stepmother Stratonice, with whom he had fallen violently in love, and whom his father surrendered to him. He fell in battle against the Gauls in 261.

Antiochus II., Theos

, , 261 - 246
Antiochus Theos (B.C. 261-246), son and successor of the preceding. The Milesians gave him his surname of Theos because he delivered them from their tyrant, Timarchus. He carried on war with Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt, which was brought to a close by his putting away his wife Laodice, and marrying Berenice, the daughter of Ptolemy. After the death of Ptolemy he recalled Laodice, but, in revenge for the insult she had received, she caused Antiochus and Berenice to be murdered. He was succeeded by his son Seleucus Callinicus. His younger son, Antiochus Hierax, also assumed the crown, and carried on war some years with his brother.

Antiochus II (Antiochos), king of Syria, surnamed Theos, a surname which he derived from the Milesians whom he delivered from their tyrant, Timarchus, succeeded his father in B. C. 261. Soon after his accession he became involved in war with Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt, which lasted for many years and greatly weakened the Syrian kingdom. Taking advantage of this weakness, Arsaces was able to establish the Parthian empire in B. C. 250; and his example was shortly afterwards followed by Theodotus, the governor of Bactria, who revolted from Antiochus and made Bactria an independent kingdom. The loss of these provinces induced Antiochus to sue for peace, which was granted (B. C. 250) on condition of his putting away his former wife Laodice and marrying Berenice, a daughter of Ptolemy. This connexion between Syria and Egypt is referred to in the book of Daniel (xi. 6), where by the king of the south we are to understand Egypt, and by the king of the north, Syria. On the death of Ptolemy two years afterwards Antiochus recalled Laodice, but she could not forgive the insult that had been shewn her, and, still mistrusting Antiochus, caused him to be murdered as well as Berenice and her son. Antiochus was killed in B. C. 246, after a reign of fifteen years. By Laodice he had four children, Seleucus Callinicus, who succeeded him, Antiochus Hierax, a daughter, Stratonice, married to Mithridates, and another daughter married to Ariarathes. Phylarchus related (Athen. x.), that Antiochus was much given to wine (Appian, Syr. 65 ; Athen. ii.; Justin, xxvii. 1; Polyaen. viii. 50; Val. Max. ix. 14.1, extern.; Hieronym. ad Dan. c. 11).

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Laodice, wife of Antiochus II

Laodice. Wife of Antiochus II. Theos, king of Syria, and mother of Seleucus Callinicus. According to Eusebius (Euseb. Arm. p. 164), she was a daughter of Achaeus, probably the same as the father of Antiochis, who was mother of Attalus I., king of Pergamus. (See Clinton. F. H. iii. pp. 310, 401.) The statement of Polyaenus (viii. 50), that she was a daughter of Antiochus Soter, though followed by Froelich (Ann. Reg. Syriac. p. 26), is probably erroneous. (See Niebuhr, Kl. Schrift. p. 257; Droysen, Hellenism. ii. p. 317.) By the peace concluded between Antiochus and Ptolemy Philadelphus (B. C. 248), it was agreed that the former should marry Berenice, the sister of the Egyptian monarch, and should not only put away Laodice, but declare her children illegitimate. Antiochus complied for a time, but as soon as he heard of the death of Ptolemy he hastened to recal Laodice and her children. The latter, however, either mistrusting her husband's constancy, and apprehensive of a second change, or in revenge for the slight already put upon her, took an early opportunity to put an end to his life by poison (B. C. 246); at the same time artfully concealing his death until she had taken all necessary measures, and was able to establish her son Seleucus at once upon the throne. Her next step was to order the execution of her rival Berenice and her infant son, who were put to death in the sacred grove of Daphne, where they had taken refuge. An incidental notice, preserved to us by Athenaeus (xiii. p. 593), shows that these were far from being the only victims sacrificed to her vengeance. But she did not long retain the power acquired by so many crimes. The people of Syria broke out into revolt; and Ptolemy Euergetes having invaded the kingdom, to avenge his sister's fate, overran almost the whole country. According to Appian, laodice herself fell into his hands, and was put to death; Plutarch, on the contrary (De Fratern. Amor. 18, p. 489), represents her as surviving this war, and afterwards stimulating her youngest son, Antiochus Hierax, to make war on his brother Selencus. (Appian, Syr. 65, 66; Justin. xxvii. 1; Polyaen. xiii. 50; Hieronym. ad Daniel. xi.; Val. Max. ix. 14, ext. 91; Plin. H. N. vii. 10.) Besides these two sons, Laodice had two daughters, one of whom was married to Mithridates IV., king of Pontus, the other to Ariarathes, king of Cappadocia. (Euseb. Arm. p. 164.) Both of these are called by different authors Stratonice; but Niebuhr has conjectured (Kl. Schrift. p. 261) that only one of them really bore that name, and the other that of Laodice.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Seleucus II., the Callinicus

, , 246 - 226
Seleucus II. Surnamed Callinicus (246-226), the eldest son of Antiochus II. by his first wife Laodice. The first measure of his administration, or rather that of his mother, was to put to death his stepmother Berenice, together with her infant son. This act of cruelty produced the most disastrous effects. In order to avenge his sister, Ptolemy Euergetes, king of Egypt, invaded the dominions of Seleucus, and not only made himself master of Antioch and the whole of Syria, but carried his arms unopposed beyond the Euphrates and the Tigris. During these operations Seleucus kept wholly aloof; but when Ptolemy had been recalled to his own dominions by domestic disturbances, he recovered possession of the greater part of the provinces which he had lost. Soon afterward Seleucus became involved in a dangerous war with his brother Antiochus Hierax, who attempted to obtain Asia Minor as an independent kingdom for himself. This war lasted several years, but was at length terminated by the decisive defeat of Antiochus, who was obliged to abandon Asia Minor and take refuge in Egypt. Seleucus undertook an expedition to the East, with the view of reducing the revolted provinces of Parthia and Bactria, which had availed themselves of the disordered state of the Syrian Empire to throw off its yoke. He was, however, defeated by Arsaces, king of Parthia, in a great battle, which was long after celebrated by the Parthians as the foundation of their independence. After the expulsion of Antiochus, Attalus, king of Pergamus, extended his dominions over the greater part of Asia Minor; and Seleucus appears to have been engaged in an expedition for the recovery of these provinces, when he was accidentally killed by a fall from his horse, in the twenty-first year of his reign, 226. He left two sons, who successively ascended the throne, Seleucus Ceraunus and Antiochus, afterward surnamed the Great. His own surname of Callinicus was probably assumed after his recovery of the provinces that had been overrun by Ptolemy.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited July 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Seleucus II. (Seleukos), surnamed Callinicus, king of Syria, was the eldest son of Antiochus II. by his first wife Laodice (Appian. Syr. 66; Justin, xxvii. 1.) When his father Antiochus fell a victim to the jealousy or revenge of his wife Laodice, the latter for a time artfully concealed his death until she had taken all necessary measures for establishing Seleucus on the throne, which he ascended without opposition, B. C. 246. The first measure of his administration, or rather that of his mother, was to put to death his stepmother Berenice, together with her infant son. But this act of cruelty produced the most disastrous effects, by alienating all his Syrian subjects, while it aroused Ptolemy Euergetes, king of Egypt, to avenge the fate of his unhappy sister. Seleucus was unable to offer any resistance to the Egyptian monarch, and withdrew beyond Mount Taurus, while Ptolemy not only made himself master of Antioch and the whole of Syria, but carried his arms unopposed beyond the Euphrates and the Tigris. During these operations Seleucus kept wholly aloof; but when Ptolemy had been recalled to his own dominions by domestic disturbances, he appears to have easily recovered possession of the greater part of the provinces which he had lost. All farther details of the revolution which replaced him in the possession of his father's empire, are lost to us; but it seems certain that as early as B. C. 242, lie had again extended his power to the Euphrates, where he founded the city of Callinicum. A naval expedition which he undertook in order to subdue the maritime cities that had revolted, was less fortunate: his fleet was shattered by a storm, and he himself narrowly escaped with his life. Still, he soon after found himself strong enough to commence offensive operations against Ptolemy, but was totally defeated and his army dispersed. In this emergency he had recourse to his younger brother Antiochus Hierax, who appears to have been already established (probably by Ptolemy) in an independent position, and offered him the sovereignty of all Asia Minor as the price of his support. But Antiochus, deeming the opportunity a favourable one for making himself master of the whole Syrian kingdom, instead of supporting his brother, turned his arms against him, and Seleucus found himself engaged in war at once with the king of Egypt and his own brother (Justin. xxvii. 2).
  The events of the succeeding years are very imperfectly known to us, and it is scarcely possible to derive any connected historical results from the confused and fragmentary notices which have been transmitted to us. But it seems certain that Seleucus concluded (probably in B. C. 239) a truce for ten years with the king of Egypt, and thus found himself at leisure to turn his arms against his brother. He at first obtained decisive successes, and defeated Antiochus in a great battle in Lydia, which was followed by the reduction of all that province, except Sardis and Ephesus; but in a second battle, at Ancyra in Galatia, Antiochus, supported by Mithridates king of Pontus and a large force of Gaulish mercenaries, was completely victorious. Seleucus lost no less than 20,000 men, and himself escaped with such difficulty that he was generally reported to have perished in the flight (Justin. xxvii. 2; Trog. Pomp. Prol. xxvii.; Euseb. Arm.; Athen. xiii; Plut. de Frat. Amor.; Polyaen. viii. 61). The defection of his Gaulish soldiers must have prevented Antiochus from deriving much advantage from this victory; and whether or not any formal truce was concluded by the two brothers (as supposed by Droysen) there appears to have been in fact a suspension of hostilities between them. (For the history of these wars in particular, as well as for the reign of Seleucus II. in general, see Niebuhr and Droysen).
  It must have been during this interval that Seleucus undertook an expedition to the East, with the view of reducing the revolted provinces of Parthia and Bactria, which had availed themselves of the disordered state of the Syrian empire to throw off its yoke. He was, however, defeated by Arsaces, king of Parthia, in a great battle which was long after celebrated by the Parthians as the foundation of their independence (Justin. xli. 4), and was soon after recalled from these remote regions by fresh troubles which had arisen in his western provinces Froelich and Clinton have represented him as himself falling a captive into the bands of the Parthians: but it appears, from the Armenian version of Eusebius, that the passage of Posidonius (ap. Athen. iv.) on which they rely as their authority, refers in fact to Seleucus the son of Antiochus Sidetes. It was probably during the same period of partial tranquillity that Seleucus found time to enlarge his capital of Antioch, by the construction of a new quarter of the city (Strab. xvi.).
  Whether hostilities with Egypt were ever actually renewed, or the truce between the two countries at once passed into a durable peace, we know not; but it seems certain that such a peace was concluded before the death of Seleucus. On the other hand, the war between the two brothers broke out with fresh violence. We have, however, little information of its events ; and we only know that it was terminated by a decisive victory of Seleucus in Mesopotamia, which compelled Antiochus to take refuge with Ariamnes, king of Cappadocia. From thence he made his escape to the court of Ptolemy; but that monarch being now desirous to maintain friendly relations with Syria, detained him in close custody, from which he only escaped to perish by the hands of robbers. Meanwhile Attalus, king of Pergamus, had extended his dominions over the greater part of Asia Minor, from which he had expelled Antiochus ; and Seleucus appears to have been engaged in an expedition for the recovery of these provinces, when he was accidentally killed by a fall from his horse, in the twenty-first year of his reign, B. C. 226 (Justin. xxvii. 3; Trog. Pomp. Prol. xxvii.; Euseb. Arm.)
  One of the last acts of his reign was to send a magnificent present of corn, timber, and other supplies, as well as ten quinqueremes fully equipped, to the Rhodians, whose city had suffered severely by an earthquake (Polyb. v. 89). Seleucus had married Laodice, the sister of Andromachus, by whom he left two sons, who successively ascended the throne, Seleucus Ceraunus and Antiochus, afterwards surnamed the Great (Appian, Syr. 66 ; Polyb. ii. 71). His own surname of Callinicus, which was probably assumed after his recovers of the provinces that had been overrun by Ptolemy, is not found on his coins, which, as they bear no dates, cannot be distinguished with certainty from those of his son.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Laodice

Laodice. Wife of Seleucus Callinicus, was, according to the express statement of Polybius (iv. 51, viii. 22), a sister of Andromachus, the father of Achaeus. It seems not improbable that she was a niece of the preceding, but Niebuhr (Kl. Scltrift. p. 263), who calls her so, has erroneously made her daughter of Andromachus, instead of his sister, and Droysen (Hellenism. vol. ii. p. 347) has fallen into the same mistake. Great confusion certainly exists concerning the two, but there seems no reason to doubt the authority of Polybius; and we have no evidence that the Achaeus who is mentioned by Eusebius as father of No. 2, was the same as the father of Andromachus. She was the mother of Seleucus Ceraunus and Antiochus the Great.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Seleucus III., the Ceraunus

, , 226 - 223
Seleucus III. Surnamed Ceraunus (226-223), eldest son and successor of Seleucus II. The surname of Ceraunus (“Thunderbolt”) was given him by the soldiery, apparently in derision, as he appears to have been feeble both in mind and body. He was assassinated by two of his officers, after a reign of only three years, and was succeeded by his brother, Antiochus the Great.

Seleucus III. (Seleukos), surnamed Ceraunus, king of Syria, was the eldest son and successor of Seleucus II. His real name was Alexander, but on his father's death he assumed that of Seleucus; the surname of Ceraunus was given him by the soldiery, apparently in derision, as he appears to have been feebel both in mind and body. He, however, followed up his father's plans, by assembling an army, with which he passed Mount Taurus, for the purpose of dispossessing Attalus of his newly acquired dominions in Asia Minor. He was accompanied by his cousin Achaeus, a man of energy and ability, but the war was notwithstanding feebly conducted : discontents broke out in the army; and at length Seleucus himself was assassinated by one of his own officers, named Nicanor, and a Gaul of the name of Apaturius. He could have been little more than twenty years old at the time of his death, of which he had reigned nearly three years (Polyb. iv. 48, v. 40; Appian, Syr. 66 ; Hieronym. ad Daniel. xi. 10; Euseb. Arm.). From an inscription found at Seleuceia, on the Orontes, it appears that the official title or surname assumed by Seleucus, was that of Soter; but neither this, nor that of Ceraunus by which he is known in history, is found on any of his coins. The latter, indeed, can only be assigned to him conjecturally. Droysen has inferred, from the same inscription, that Seleucus must have left an infant son of the name of Antiochus, whose claims were passed over in favour of his uncle, Antiochus III.; but no other mention is found of this fact.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Antiochus Hierax (Antiochos Hierax), so called from his grasping and ambitious character, was the younger son of Antiochus II., king of Syria. On the death of his father in B. C. 246, Antiochus waged war upon his brother Seleucus Callinicus, in order to obtain Asia Minor for himself as an independent kingdom. This war lasted for many years, but Antiochus was at length entirely defeated, chiefly through the efforts of Attalus, king of Pergamus, who drove him out of Asia Minor. Antiochus subsequently fled to Egypt, where he was killed by robbers in B. C. 227. He married a daughter of Zielas, king of Bithynia. (Justin. xxvii. 2, 3; Polyaen. iv. 17; Plut. Mor., a.; Euseb. Chron. Arm.)

Antiochus III., the Great

, , 223 - 187
Antiochus. The Great (B.C. 223-187), son and successor of Seleucus Callinicus. He carried on war against Ptolemy Philopator, king of Egypt, in order to obtain Coele-Syria, Phoenicia, and Palestine, but was obliged to cede these provinces to Ptolemy, in consequence of his defeat at the battle of Raphia, near Gaza, in 217. He was afterwards engaged for seven years (212- 205) in an attempt to regain the eastern provinces of Asia, which had revolted during the reign of Antiochus II.; but, though he met with great success, he found it hopeless to effect the subjugation of the Parthian and Bactrian kingdoms, and accordingly concluded a peace with them. In 198 he conquered Palestine and Coele-Syria, which he afterwards gave as a dowry with his daughter Cleopatra upon her marriage with Ptolemy Epiphanes. He afterwards became involved in hostilities with the Romans, and was urged by Hannibal, who arrived at his court, to invade Italy without loss of time; but Antiochus did not follow his advice. In 192 he crossed over into Greece; and in 191 he was defeated by the Romans at Thermopylae, and compelled to return to Asia. In 190 he was again defeated by the Romans under L. Scipio, at Mount Sipylus, near Magnesia, and compelled to sue for peace, which was granted in 188, on condition of his ceding all his dominions east of Mount Taurus, and paying 15,000 Euboic talents. In order to raise the money to pay the Romans, he attacked a wealthy temple in Elymais, but was killed by the people of the place (187). He was succeeded by his son Seleucus Philopator.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


, 242 - 187
Antiochus III (Antiochos), king of Syria, surnamed the Great (Megas), was the son of Seleucus Callinicus, and succeeded to the throne on the death of his brother Seleucus Ceraunus, B. C. 223, when he was only in his fifteenth year. His first cousin Achaeus, who might easily have assumed the royal power, was of great use to Antiochus at the commencement of his reign, and recovered for the Syrian monarchy all the provinces in Asia Minor, which Attalus, king of Pergamus, had appropriated to himself. But Antiochus was not so fortunate in his eastern dominions. Molo and Alexander, two brothers, who had been appointed to the government of Media and Persis respectively, revolted and defeated the armies sent against them. They were, however, put down in a second campaign, conducted by Antiochus in person, who also added to his dominions the province of Media Atropatene. (B. C. 220)
  On his return from his eastern provinces, Antiochus commenced war against Ptolemy Philopator, king of Egypt, in order to obtain Coele-Syria, Phoenicia, and Palestine, which he maintained belonged to the Syrian kingdom. At first he was completely successful. In B. C. 218, he gained possession of the chief towns of Phoenicia, but in the following year (B. C. 217), he was defeated in a great battle fought at Raphia near Gaza, and concluded in consequence a peace with Ptolemy, by which he ceded the provinces in dispute. He was the more anxious to make peace with Ptolemy, as he wished to direct all his forces against Achaeus, who had revolted in Asia Minor. In one campaign he deprived Achaeus of his conquests, and put him to death when he fell into his hands in B. C. 214, after sustaining a siege of two years in Sardis.
  Antiochus seems now to have formed the design of regaining the eastern provinces of Asia, which had revolted during the reign of Antiochus II. He accordingly marched against Arsaces III., king of Parthia, and Euthydemus, king of Bactria, and carried on the war for some years. Although Antiochus met upon the whole with great success, he found it hopeless to effect the subjugation of these kingdoms, and accordingly concluded a peace with them, in which he recognized their independence. With the assistance of Euthydemus he marched into India, and renewed the alliance of the Syrian kings with that country; and he obtained from Sophagasenus, the chief of the Indian kings, a large supply of elephants. He at length returned to Syria after an absence of seven years (B. C. 212--205), which may be regarded as the most flourishing period of his reign. It appears that the title of Great was conferred upon him during this time.
  In the year that Antiochus returned to Syria (B. C. 205), Ptolemy Philopator died, leaving as his successor Ptolemy Epiphanes, then a child of five years old. Availing himself of the weakness of the Egyptian government, Antiochus entered into an agreement with Philip, king of Macedonia, to divide between them the dominions of Ptolemy. As Philip became engaged soon afterwards in a war with the Romans, he was unable to send forces against Egypt; but Antiochus prosecuted this war vigorously in Palestine and Coele-Syria, and at length obtained complete possession of these provinces by his victory over the Egyptian general Scopas, near Paneas, in B. C. 198. He was assisted in this war by the Jews, to whom he granted many important privileges. Fearing, however, the power of the Romans, and anxious to obtain possession of many parts of Asia Minor which did not acknowledge his sovereignty, he concluded peace with Egypt, and betrothed his daughter Cleopatra to the young king Ptolemy, giving with her Coele-Syria and Palestine as a dowry. He now marched into Asia Minor, where he carried everything before him, and then crossed over into Europe, and took possession of the Thracian Chersonese (B. C. 196), which belonged to the Macedonian kingdom, but which he claimed as his own, because Seleucus Nicator had taken it from Lysimachus. But here his progress was stopt by the Romans. At the commencement of his war with Egypt, the guardians of young Ptolemy had placed him under the protection of the Romans ; but while the latter were engaged in their war with Philip, they did not attempt to interrupt Antiochus in his conquests, lest he should march to the assistance of the Macedonian king. Now, however, matters were changed. The Romans had conquered Philip in B. C. 197, and no longer dreaded a war with Antiochus. They accordingly sent an embassy to him (B. C. 196) requiring him to surrender the Thracian Chersonese to the Macedonian king, and also all the places he had conquered from Ptolemy. Antiochus returned a haughty answer to these demands; and the arrival of Hannibal at his court in the following year (B. C. 195) strengthened him in his determination to resist the Roman claims. Hannibal urged him to invade Italy without loss of time; but Antiochus resolved to see first what could be done by negotiation, and thus lost a most favourable moment, as the Romans were then engaged in a war with the Gauls. It was also most unfortunate for him, that when the war actually broke out, he did not give Hannibal any share in the command.
  It was not till B. C. 192 that Antiochus, at the earnest request of the Aetolians, at length crossed over into Greece. In the following year (B. C. 191) he was entirely defeated by the Roman consul Acilius Glabrio at Thermopylae, and compelled to return to Asia. The defeat of his fleet in two sea-fights led him to sue for peace; but the conditions upon which the Romans offered it seemed so hard to him, that he resolved to try the fortune of another campaign. He accordingly advanced to meet Scipio, who had crossed over into Asia, but he was defeated at the foot of Mount Sipylus, near Magnesia. (B. C. 190.) He again sued for peace, which was eventually granted in B. C. 188 on condition of his ceding all his dominions west of Mount Taurus, paying 15,000 Euboic talents within twelve years, giving up his elephants and ships of war, and surrendering the Roman enemies who had taken refuge at his court. He had, moreover, to give twenty hostages for the due fulfilment of the treaty, and among them his son Antiochus (Epiphanes). To these terms he acceded, but allowed Hannibal to escape.
  About this time Antiochus lost Armenia, which became an independent kingdom. He found great difficulty in raising money to pay the Romans, and was thus led to plunder a wealthy temple in Elymais; the people, however, rose against him and killed him in his attempt (B. C. 187). The defeat of Antiochus by the Romans, and his death in a "fort of his own land", are foretold in the book of Daniel (xi. 18, 19). Antiochus was killed in the 52nd year of his age and the 37th of his reign. He married Laodice, daughter of Mithridates, king of Pontus, and had several children. His sons were, 1. Antiochus, who died in his father's lifetime (Liv. xxxv. 15). 2. Ardys, 3. Mithridates, both of whom also probably died before their father (Liv. xxxiii. 10). 4. Seleucus Philopator, who succeeded his father. 5. Antiochus Epiphanes, who succeeded his brother Seleucus. The daughters of Antiochus were, 1. Laodice, married to her eldest brother Antiochus (Appian, Syr. 4). 2. Cleopatra, betrothed to Ptolemy Epiphanes. 3. Antiochis, married to Ariarathes, king of Cappadocia. 4. One whose name is not mentioned, whom her father offered in marriage to Eumenes (Appian, Syr. 5).

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Laodice, wife of Antiochus the Great

Laodice, wife of Antiochus the Great, was a daughter of Mithridates IV., king of Pontus, and granddaughter of No. 2. She was married to Antiochus soon after his accession, about B. C. 222, and proclaimed queen by him at Antioch before he set out on his expedition against Molon. The birth of her eldest son, Antiochus, took place during the absence of the king on that exhibition. (Polyb. v. 43, 55.) She was the mother of four other sons, and four daughters, who will be found enumerated under Antiochus III.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Laodice, daughter of Antiochus the Great

Laodice, daughter of Antiochus the Great by his wife Laodice. She was married to her eldest brother Antiochus, who died in his father's lifetime, B. C. 195. (Appian, Syr. 4; Liv. xxxv. 15.) Froelich supposes her to have been afterwards married to her younger brother Seleucus IV., and to have been the mother of Demetrius Soter but there appears to be no authority for this statement.

Seleucus IV., the Philopator

, , 187 - 175
Seleucus IV. Surnamed Philopator (187-175), was the son and successor of Antiochus the Great. The defeat of his father by the Romans, and the ignominious peace which followed it, had greatly diminished the power of the Syrian monarchy, and the reign of Seleucus was, in consequence, feeble and inglorious, and was marked by no striking events. He was assassinated in 175 by one of his own ministers. He left two children: Demetrius, who subsequently ascended the throne; and Laodice, married to Perseus, king of Macedonia.

Seleucus IV. (Seleukos), surnamed Philopator, king of Syria, was the son and successor of Antiochus the Great. The date of his birth is not mentioned; but he must have already attained to manhood in B. C. 196, when he was left by his father in command of his forces at Lysimachia, in the Chersonese, with orders to rebuild that city, which Antiochus designed, or affected to design, as a royal residence for Seleucus himself (Liv. xxxiii.41, xxxv. 15, xxxvi. 7; Polyb. xviii. 34; Appian, Syr. 3). Again, in B. C. 190, we find him stationed in Aeolis with an army, to keep in check the maritime cities. Here he succeeded in reducing Cyme and other places, by voluntary submission, while he regained Phocaea by the treachery of the garrison. Shortly after he took advantage of the absence of Eumenes to invade his dominions, and even proceeded to lay siege to Pergamus itself; but the daring and repeated sallies of Diophanes, a leader of Achaean mercenaries, who had thrown himself into the place, compelled him to raise the siege and retire (Liv. xxxvii. 8, 11, 18, 20, 21; Polyb. xxi. 4; App. Syr. 26). In the great battle against the Romans near Magnesia, in the same year, Seleucus was entrusted by his father with the command of the left wing of his army, but was totally defeated by Attalus, to whom he was opposed, and fled from the field of battle to Apamea in Phrygia (Liv. xxxvii. 40, 43; App. Syr. 33, 36). In the following year (B. C. 189), after the conclusion of peace with Rome, he was sent by Antiochus to the support of the consul Cn. Manlius, and not only furnished him with abundant supplies of corn, but rendered him active assistance on more than one occasion during his expedition against the Galatians (Liv. xxxviii. 13, 15).
  On the death of Antiochus III. in B. C. 187, Seleucus ascended the throne without opposition. But the defeat of his father by the Romans, and the ignominious peace which followed it, had greatly diminished the power of the Syrian monarchy, and the reign of Seleucus was, in consequence, feeble and inglorious, and was marked by no striking events. In B. C. 185, we find him sending an embassy to the Achaeans, to renew the friendship and alliance previously existing between them and Antiochus (Polyb. xxiii. 4, 9; Diod. xxix. Exc. Legat.); and shortly afterwards (probably in B. C. 181) assembling a considerable army, to assist Pharnaces, king of Pontus, against Eumenes; but he became alarmed lest his passing Mount Taurus for this purpose should be construed by the Romans into an act of hostility; and, in consequence, abandoned the design and dismissed his forces (Diod. Exc. Vales.). Yet he did not hesitate to conclude a treaty of alliance with Perseus, whose unfriendly disposition towards the Romans could no longer be a secret, and even to give him his own daughter, Laodice, in marriage, probably in B. C. 178 (Polyb. xxvi. 7; Liv. xlii. 12; Inscr. Del. ap. Marm. Arundel. No. 41). But he was still studious to conciliate the favour of the Roman senate, and not long before his death sent his son Demetrius to Rome, to replace his brother Antiochus as a hostage for his fidelity (App. Syr. 45 ; Polyb. xxxi. 12). With Egypt lie appears for the most part to have maintained friendly relations; but Ptolemy Epiphanes is said to have been preparing for the invasion of Coele-Syria, when his plans were frustrated by his own death (Hieronym. ad Daniel. xi. 20). Towards the Jews the conduct of Seleucus seems to have been, for the most part at least, liberal and favourable: concerning his alleged attempt to plunder the treasury of Jerusalem see Heliodorus. After a tranquil and inactive reign of twelve years, Seleucus was assassinated, in B. C. 175, by one of his own ministers, named Heliodorus, who had conceived the design of possessing himself of the sovereign power. The statement of Eusebius that he was sixty years old, is clearly erroneous, as his elder brother Antiochus was not born till B. C. 221. He left two children: Demetrius, who subsequently ascended the throne; and Laodice, married, as already mentioned, to Perseus, king of Macedonia. The name of his wife is unknown; but Froelich supposes him to have married his sister Laodice, the widow of his brother Antiochus. (Appian, Syr. 45, 66; Euseb. Arm.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Antiochus IV, the Epiphanes

, , 175 - 164
Antiochus Epiphanes (B.C. 175-164), son of Antiochus III., succeeded his brother Seleucus Philopator in 175. He carried on war against Egypt (171-168) with great success; and he was preparing to lay siege to Alexandria in 168, when the Romans compelled him to retire. He endeavoured to root out the Jewish religion and to introduce the worship of the Greek divinities; but this attempt led to a rising of the Jewish people under Mattathias and his heroic sons, the Maccabees, which Antiochus was unable to put down. He attempted to plunder a temple in Elymais in 164, but was repulsed, and died shortly afterwards in a state of raving madness, which the Jews and the Greeks equally attributed to his sacrilegious crimes. His subjects gave him the name of Epimanes ("the madman"), in parody of Epiphanes.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Antiochus IV (Antiochos), king of Syria, surnamed Epiphanes, and on coins Theos also, was the son of Antiochus III., and was given as a hostage to the Romans in B. C. 188. He was released from captivity in B. C. 175 through his brother Seleucus Philopator, who gave his own son Demetrius in his stead. While Antiochus was at Athens on his return to Syria in this year, Seleucus was murdered by Heliodorus, who seized upon the crown. Antiochus, however, with the assistance of Attalus easily expelled the usurper, and ascended the throne in the same year (B. C. 175). Demetrius remained at Rome. Cleopatra, the sister of Antiochus, who had been betrothed to Ptolemy Epiphanes, was now dead, and Antiochus therefore claimed the provinces of Coele-Syria and Palestine, which had been given as her dowry. As the Romans were at this time engaged in a war with Perseus, king of Macedonia, Antiochus thought it a favourable opportunity to prosecute his claims, and accordingly declared war against Egypt. In four campaigns (B. C. 171-168), he not only obtained possession of the countries to which he laid claim, but almost completed the conquest of Egypt, and was preparing to lay siege to Alexandria, when a Roman embassy commanded him to retire from the country. This command he thought it most prudent to obey, but he still retained possession of Coele-Syria and Palestine. The cruelties which Antiochus perpetrated against the Jews during this war, are recorded in the books of the Maccabees, and have rendered his name infamous. He took Jerusalem on his return from his second campaign into Egypt (B. C. 170), and again at the end of the fourth campaign (B. C. 168), and endeavoured to root out the Jewish religion and introduce the worship of the Greek divinities; but this attempt led to a rising of the Jewish people, under Mattathias and his heroic sons the Maccabees, which Antiochus was unable to put down. Lysias, who was sent against them with a large army, was defeated; and Antiochus, who was in the eastern provinces at the time, hastened his return in order to avenge the disgrace which had befallen his arms. On his return he attempted to plunder a temple in Elymais, probably the same as his father had attacked, but was repulsed, and shortly afterwards died at Tabae in Persia, in a state of raving madness, which the Jews and Greeks equally attributed to his sacrilegious crimes. His subjects gave him the name of Epimanes (Epimanes) in parody of Epiphanes (Epiphanes). He died in B. C. 164, after a reign of 11 years. He left a son, Antiochus Eupator, who succeeded him, and a daughter, Laodice. (Liv. lib. xli.-xlv.; Polyb. lib. xxvi.-xxxi.; Justin, xxiv. 3; Diod. Exc.; Appian, Syr. 45, 66; Maccab. lib. i. ii.; Joseph. Ant. xii. 5; Hieronym. ad Dan. c. 11)

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Laodice, daughter of Antiochus IV. Epiphanes

Laodice, daughter of Antiochus IV. Epiphanes. She is first mentioned as being taken to Rome by Heracleides, when he determined to set up the claim of the impostor Alexander Balas against Demetrius Soter, who at that time occupied the throne of Syria. In the decree of the senate in their favour Laodice is associated with her supposed brother Alexander, and it is probable that she was proclaimed queen together with him after the defeat of Demetrius. (Polyb. xxxiii. 14, 16.) It seems much more likely, therefore, that the " Laodice regina," mentioned in the epitome of Livy (lib. 1.) as being subsequently put to death by Alexander's minister Ammonius, is the person in question, than the wife of Demetrius (as supposed by Visconti, Iconographie Grecque, tom. ii. p. 324, and Millingen, Ancient Coins of Cities and Kings, p. 76), of whom we have otherwise no knowledge.

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Antiochus V, the Eupator

, , 164 - 162
Antiochus V. (Antiochos), king of Syria, surnamed Eupator, was nine years old at his father's death, and reigned nominally for two years (B. C. 164-162). Lysias assumed the guardianship of the young king, though Antiochus IV. had appointed Philip to this office. Lysias, accompanied by the young king, continued the war against the Jews, and laid siege to Jerusalem; but hearing that Philip was marching against him from Persis, he concluded a peace with the Jews. He then proceeded against Philip, whom he conquered and put to death. The Romans, availing themselves of the distracted state of Syria, sent an embassy to enforce the terms of the peace which had been concluded with Antiochus the Great; but an insurrection was excited in consequence of these commands, in which Octavius, the chief of the embassy, was slain. About the same time Demetrius Soter, the son of Seleucus Philopator, who had remained in Rome up to this time, appeared in Syria and laid claim to the throne. Lysias and the young king fell into his hands, and were immediately put to death by him, B. C. 162 (Polyb. xxxi. 12, 19; Appian, Syr. 46, 66; Joseph. Ant. xii. 10; 1 Maccab vi., &c.; 2 Maccab. xiii., &c.; Cic. Phil. ix. 2).

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Demetrius the Soter

Demetrius (Demetrios), called Soter (Soter), or "the Preserver," the son of Seleucus Philopator, and sent by his father, at the age of twenty-three, as a hostage to Rome. He was living there in this condition when his father died of poison, B.C. 176. His uncle Antiochus Epiphanes thereupon usurped the throne, and was succeeded by Antiochus Eupator. Demetrius, meanwhile, having in vain endeavoured to interest the Senate in his behalf, secretly escaped from Rome, through the advice of Polybius the historian, and, finding a party in Syria ready to support his claims, defeated and put to death Eupator, and ascended the throne. He was subsequently acknowledged as king by the Romans. After this, he freed the Babylonians from the tyranny of Timarchus and Heraclides, and was honoured for this service with the title of Soter. At a subsequent period he sent his generals Nicanor and Bacchides into Iudaea, at the solicitation of Alcimus, the high-priest, who had usurped that office with the aid of Eupator. These two commanders ravaged the country, and Bacchides defeated and slew the celebrated Judas Maccabaeus. Demetrius at last became so hated by his own subjects, and an object of so much dislike, if not of fear, to the neighbouring princes, that they advocated the claims of Alexander Balas, and he fell in battle against this competitor for the crown after having reigned twelve years (from B.C. 162 to B.C. 150). His death was avenged, however, by his son and successor Demetrius Nicator ( Just.xxxiv. 3Just., xxxv. 1).

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited July 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Demetrius, (Demetrios) I., king of Syria, surnamed Soter, was the son of Seleucus IV. (Philopator) and grandson of Antiochus the Great. While yet a child, he had been sent to Rome by his father as a hostage, and remained there during the whole of the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes. He there formed an intimacy with the historian Polybius. After the death of Antiochus, being now 23 years old, he demanded of the senate to be set at liberty and allowed to occupy the throne of Syria in preference to his cousin, Antiochus Eupator. His request however having been repeatedly refused by the senate, he fled secretly from Rome, by the advice and with the connivance of Polybius, and landed with a few followers at Tripolis in Phoenicia. The Syrians immediately declared in his favour; and the boy Antiochus with his tutor Lysias were seized by their own guards and put to death. (Polyb. xxxi. 12, 19-23; Appian, Syr. 46, 47; Justin, xxxiv. 3; Liv. Epit. xlvi.; Euseb. Arm.; 1 Macc. vii.; Zonar. ix. 25.) As soon as he had established himself in the kingdom, Demetrius immediately sought to conciliate the favour of the Romans by sending them an embassy with valuable presents, and surrendering to them Leptines, who in the preceding reign had assassinated the Roman envoy, Cn. Octavius. Having thus succeeded in procuring his recognition as king, he appears to have thought that he might regulate at his pleasure the affairs of the East, and expelled Heracleides from Babylon, where as satrap he had made himself highly unpopular; for which service Demetrius first obtained from the Babylonians the title of Soter (Polyb. xxxii. 4, 6; Diod. Exc. Leg. xxxi.; Appian, Syr. 47.) His measures against the Jews quickly drove them to take up arms again under Judas Maccabaeus, who defeated Nicanor, the general of Demetrius, and concluded an alliance with the Romans, by which they declared the independence of Judaea, and forbade Demetrius to oppress them. (Joseph. Ant. xii. 10; 1 Macc. vii. viii.) He further incurred the enmity of the Romans by expelling Ariarathes from Cappadocia, in order to substitute a creature of his own: the Roman senate espoused the cause of Ariarathes, and immediately restored him. (Polyb. xxxii. 20; Appian, Syr. 47; Liv. Epit. xlvii.; Justin, xxxv. 1.)
  While Demetrius was thus surrounded on all sides by enemies, his own subjects at Antioch were completely alienated from him by his luxury and intemperance. In this state of things, Heracleides, whom he had expelled from Babylon, set up against him an impostor of the name of Balas, who took the title of Alexander, and pretended to be the son of Antiochus Epiphanes. This competitor appears to have been at first unsuccessful; but, having obtained the powerful protection of Rome, he was supported also with large forces by Attalus, king of Pergamus, Ariarathes, king of Cappadocia, and Ptolemy Philometor, as well as by the Jews under Jonathan Maccabaeus. Demetrius met him in a pitched battle, in which he is said to have displayed the utmost personal valour, but was ultimately defeated and slain. (Polyb. xxxiii. 14, 16; Appian, Syr. 67; Diodor. Exc. Vales. xxxiii.; Justin, xxxv. 1; Joseph. Ant. xiii. 2; 1 Macc. x.; Euseb. Arm.) Demetrius died in the year B. C. 150, having reigned between eleven and twelve years. (Clinton, F. H. iii.; Polyb. iii. 5.) He left two sons, Demetrius, surnamed Nicator, and Antiochus, called Sidetes, both of whom subsequently ascended the throne.

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Alexander Balas

Alexander (Alexandros Balas), a person of low origin, usurped the throne of the Greek kingdom of Syria, in the year 150, B. C., pretending that he was the son of Antiochus Epiphanes. His claim was set up by Heracleides, who had been the treasurer of the late king Antiochus Epiphanes, but had been banished to Rhodes by the reigning king, Demetrius Soter; and he was supported by Ptolemy Philometor, king o Egypt, Ariarthes Philopator, king of Cappadocia, and Attalus Philadelphus, king of Pergamus. Heracleides also, having taken Alexander to Rome. succeeded in obtaining a decree of the senate in his favour. Furnished with forces by these allies, Alexander entered Syria in 152, B. C., took possession of Ptolemais, and fought a battle with Demetrius Soter, in which, however, he was defeated. In the year 150 B. C. Alexander again met Demetrius in battle with better success. The army of Demetrius was completely routed, and he himself perished in the flight. No sooner had Alexander thus obtained the kingdom than he gave up the administration of affairs to his minister Ammonius, and himself to a life of pleasure. Ammonius put to death all the members of the late royal family who were in his power; but two sons of Demetrius were safe in Crete. The elder of them, who was named Demetrius, took the field in Cilicia against the usurper. Alexander applied for help to his father-in-law, Ptolemy Philometor, who marched into Syria, and then declared himself in favour of Demetrius. Alexander now returned from Cilicia, whither he had gone to meet Demetrius, and engaged in battle with Ptolemy at the river Oenoparas. In this battle, though Ptolemy fell, Alexander was completely defeated, and he was afterwards murdered by an Arabian emir with whom he had taken refuge (B. C. 146). The meaning of his surname (Balas) is doubtful. It is most probably a title signifying "lord" or "king". On some of his coins he is called "Epiphanes" and "Nicephorus" after his pretended father. On others "Euergetes" and "Theopator". (Polyb. xxxiii. 14, 16; Liv. Epit. 1. liii.; Justin, xxv.; Appian, Syriaca, c. 67; Maccab. x. 11; Joseph. Ant. xiii. 2.4; Euseb. Chronicon)

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Demetrius ΙΙ., Nicator

Demetrius the Nicator. Son of Demetrius the Soter, and surnamed Nicator (Nikator), or "the Conqueror." He drove out Alexander Balas, with the aid of Ptolemy Philometor, who had given him his daughter Cleopatra in marriage, though she was already the wife of Balas. He ascended the throne B.C. 146, but soon abandoned himself to a life of indolence and debauchery, leaving the reins of government in the hands of Lasthenes, his favourite, an unprincipled and violent man. The disgust to which his conduct gave rise induced Tryphon, who had been governor of Antioch under Balas, to revolt, and place upon the throne Antiochus Dionysius, son of Balas and Cleopatra , a child only four years of age. A battle ensued, in which Demetrius was defeated, and Antiochus, now receiving the surname of Theos, was conducted by the victors to Antioch and proclaimed king of Syria. He reigned, however, only in name. The actual monarch was Tryphon, who put him to death at the end of about two years and caused himself to be proclaimed in his stead. Demetrius, meanwhile, held his court at Seleucia. Thinking that the crimes of Tryphon would soon make him universally detested, he turned his arms in a different direction and marched against the Parthians, in the hope that, if he returned victorious, he would be enabled the more easily to rid himself of his Syrian antagonist. After some successes, however, he was entrapped and made prisoner by the Parthian monarch Mithridates, and his army was attacked and cut to pieces. His captivity among the Parthians was an honourable one, and Mithridates made him espouse his daughter Rhodoguna. The intelligence of this marriage so exasperated Cleopatra that she gave her hand to Antiochus Sidetes, her brotherin-law, who thereupon ascended the throne. Sidetes having been slain in a battle with the Parthians after a reign of several years, Demetrius escaped from the hands of Mithridates and resumed the throne. His subjects, however, unable any longer to endure his pride and cruelty, requested from Ptolemy Physcon a king of the race of the Seleucidae to govern them. Ptolemy sent Alexander Zubinas. Demetrius, driven out by the Syrians, came to Ptolemais, where Cleopatra , his first wife, then held sway, but the gates were shut against him. He then took refuge in Tyre, but was put to death by the governor (B.C. 125). Zubinas recompensed the Tyrians for this act by permitting them to live according to their own laws, and from this period commences what is called by chronologists the era of the independence of Tyre, which was still subsisting at the time of the Council of Chalcedon, 574 years after this event (Joseph. Ant. Iud. xiii. 9, 12, 17; Just.xxxvi. 1Just., xxxix. 1).

Demetrius II. (Demetrios), king of Syria, surnamed Nicator (Nikator), was the son of Demetrius Soter. He had been sent by his father for safety to Cnidus, when Alexander Balas invaded Syria, and thus escaped falling into the hands of that usurper. After the death of his father he continued in exile for some years; but the vicious and feeble character of Balas having rendered him generally odious to his subjects, Demetrius determined to attempt the recovery of his kingdom, and assembled a body of mercenaries from Crete, with which he landed in Cilicia, B. C. 148 or 147. Ptolemy Philometor, who was at the time in the southern provinces of Syria with an army, immediately declared in his favour, and agreed to give him his daughter Cleopatra, who had been previously married to the usurper Balas, for his wife. With their combined forces they took possession of Antioch, and Alexander, who had retired to Cilicia, having returned to attack them, was totally defeated at the river Oenoparas. Ptolemy died of the injuries received in the battle, and Balas, having fled for refuge to Abae in Arabia, was murdered by his followers (Justin. xxxv. 2; Liv. Epit. Iii.; Diod. Exc. Photii, xxxii.; Appian, Syr. 67; Joseph. Ant. xiii. 4; 1 Macc. x. xi.). For this victory Demetrius obtained the title of Nicator; and now deeming himself secure both from Egypt and the usurper, he abandoned himself to the grossest vices, and by his excessive cruelties alienated the minds of his subjects, at the same time that he estranged the soldiery by dismissing all his troops except a body of Cretan mercenaries. This conduct emboldened one Diodotus, surnamed Tryphon, to set up Antiochus, the infant son of Alexander Balas, as a pretender against him. Tryphon obtained the powerful support of Jonathan Maccabaeus, and succeeded in establishing his power firmly in a great part of Syria, and even in making himself master of Antioch. Demetrius, whether despairing of recovering these provinces, or desirous of collecting larger forces to enable him to do so, retired to Seleucia and Babylon, and from thence was led to engage in an expedition against the Parthians, in which, after various successes, he was defeated by stratagem, his whole army destroyed, and he himself taken prisoner, B. C. 138 (Justin, xxxvi. 1, xxxviii. 9; Liv. Epit. Iii.; Appian, Syr. 67; Joseph. Ant. xiii 5; 1 Macc. xi. xiv.).
  According to Appian and Justin it would appear that the revolt of Tryphon did not take place till after the captivity of Demetrius, but the true sequence of events is undoubtedly that given in the book of the Maccabees. He was, however, kindly treated by the Parthian king Mithridates (Arsaces VI.), who though he sent him into Hyrcania, allowed him to live there in regal splendour, and even gave him his daughter Rhodogune in marriage. After the death of Mithridates he made various attempts to escape, but notwithstanding these was still liberally treated by Phraates, the successor of Mithridates. Meanwhile his brother, Antiochus Sidetes, having overthrown the usurper Tryphon and firmly established himself on the throne, engaged in war with Parthia, in consequence of which Phraates brought forward Demetrius, and sent him into Syria to operate a diversion against his brother. This succeeded better than the Parthian king had anticipated, and Antiochus having fallen in battle, Demetrius was able to reestablish himself on the throne of Syria, after a captivity of ten years, and to maintain himself there in spite of Phraates, B. C. 128 (Justin, xxxviii. 9, 10; Euseb. Arm.; Joseph. Ant. xiii. 8.4). He even deemed himself strong enough to engage in an expedition against Egypt, but was compelled to abandon it by the general disaffection both of his soldiers and subjects. Ptolemy Physcon took advantage of this to set up against him the pretender Alexander Zebina, by whom he was defeated and compelled to fly. His wife Cleopatra, who could not forgive him his marriage with Rhodogune in Parthia, refused to afford him refuge at Ptolemais, and he fled to Tyre, where he was assassinated while endeavouring to make his escape by sea, B. C. 125 (Justin, xxxix. 1; Joseph. Ant. xiii. 9.3, Euseb. Arm.). According to Appian (Syr. 68) and Livy (Epit. lx.), he was put to death by his wife Cleopatra. He left two sons, Seleucus, who was assassinated by order of Cleopatra, and Antiochus, surnamed Grypus. Demetrius II. bears on his coins, in addition to the title of Nicator, those of Theos Philadelphus. From the dates on them it appears that some must have been struck during his captivity, as well as both before and after. This accords also with the difference in the style of the portrait: those struck previous to his captivity having a youthful and beardless head, while the coins subsequent to that event present his portrait with a long beard, after the Parthian fashion.

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Antiochus VI., Theos & Epiphanes Dionysus

, , 144 - 142
Antiochus VI. (Antiochos), king of Syria, surnamed Theos and on coins Epiphanes Dionysus, was the son of Alexander Balas, king of Syria, and remained in Arabia after his father's death in B. C. 146. Two years afterwards (B. C. 144), while he was still a youth, he was brought forward as a claimant to the crown against Demetrius Nicator by Tryphon, or Diodotus, who had been one of his father's chief ministers. Tryphon met with great success; Jonathan and Simon, the leaders of the Jews, joined his party; and Antiochus was acknowledged as king by the greater part of Syria. But Tryphon, who had all along intended to secure the royal power for himself, and had brought forward Antiochus only for this purpose, now put the young prince to death and ascended the throne, B. C. 142 (1 Maccab. xi., &c.; Joseph. Antiq. xiii. 6, &c.; Strab. xvi.; Justin, xxxvi. 1; Liv. Epit. 55).

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Tryphon

Antiochus VII., the Sidetes

, , 137 - 128
Antiochus VII. (Antiochos), king of Syria, surnamed Sidetes, from Side in Pamphylia, where he was brought up (and not from a Syriac word signifying a hunter) and on coins Euergetes, was the younger son of Demetrius Soter, and obtained possession of the throne in B. C. 137, after conquering Tryphon, who had held the sovereignty since the murder of Antiochus VI. He married Cleopatra, the wife of his elder brother Demetrius Nicator, who was a prisoner in the hand of the Parthians. He carried on war against the Jews, and took Jerusalem after almost a year's siege, in B. C. 133. He then granted them a peace on favourable terms, and next directed his arms against the Parthians. At first he met with success, but was afterwards defeated by the Parthian king, and lost his life in the battle, after a reign of nine years (B. C. 128). His son Seleucus was taken prisoner in the same battle. Antiochus, like many of his predecessors, was passionately devoted to the pleasures of the table. He had three sons and two daughters, the latter of whom both bore the name of Laodice. His sons were Antiochus, Seleucus, and Antiochus (Cyzicenus), the last of whom subsequently succeeded to the throne. (Joseph. Ant. xiii. 8; 1 Maccab. xv., &c.; Justin, xxxvi. 1, xxxviii. 10; Diod. xxxiv. Ecl. 1; Athen. x., xii.)

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Seleucus V., the Nicator

, , 125 - 125
Seleucus V. (Seleukos), king of Syria, was the eldest son of Demetrius II., and assumed the royal diadem immediately on learning the death of his father, B. C. 125; but his mother Cleopatra, who had herself put Demetrius to death, was indignant at hearing that her son had ventured to take such a step without her authority, and caused Seleucus also to be assassinated. His death appears to have followed almost immediately after that of his father, though some of the chronologers erroneously ascribe the duration of a year to his reign (Appian, Syr. 68, 69; Justin, xxxix. 1; Liv. Epit. lx.; Euseb. Arm.; Porphyr. ap Euseb).

Antiochus VIII., Grypos & Epiphanes

, , 125 - 96
Antiochus VIII. (Antiochos), king of Syria, surnamed Grypos (Grupos), or Hooknosed, from grubby, a vulture, and on coins Epiphanes (Epiphanes), was the second son of Demetrius Nicator and Cleopatra. His eldest brother Seleucus was put to death by their mother Cleopatra, because he wished to have the power, and not merely the title, of king; and Antiochus was after his brother's death recalled from Athens, where he was studying, by his mother Cleopatra, that he might bear the title of king, while the real sovereignty remained in her hands (B. C. 125). At this time the greater part of Syria was in the power of the usurper Alexander Zebina; but Antiochus, with the assistance of Ptolemy Physcon, the king of Egypt, whose daughter he married, conquered Alexander and became master of the whole of Syria. Cleopatra then became jealous of him and plotted against his life; but her son compelled her to drink the poison she had prepared for him (B. C. 120). For the next eight years Antiochus reigned in peace; but at the end of that time his half-brother, Antiochus Cyzicenus, the son of Antiochus Sidetes and their common mother Cleopatra, laid claim to the crown, and a civil war ensued (B. C. 112). The remaining history of the Seleucidae till Syria became a Roman province, is hardly anything else but a series of civil wars between the princes of the royal family. In the first year of the struggle (B. C. 112), Antiochus Cyzicenus became master of almost the whole of Syria, but in the next year (B. C. 111), A. Grypus regained a considerable part of his dominions; and it was then agreed that the kingdom should be shared between them, A. Cyzicenus having Coele-Syria and Phoenicia, and A. Grypus the remainder of the provinces. This arrangement lasted, though with frequent wars between the two kings, till the death of Antiochus Grypus, who was assassinated by Heracleon in B. C. 96, after a reign of twenty-nine years. He left five sons, Seleucus, Philip, Antiochus Epiphanes, Demetrius Eucaerus, and Antiochus Dionysus (Justin, xxxix. 1-3; Liv. Epit. 60; Appian, Syr. 69; Joseph. Aniiq. xiii. 13; Athen. xii.). Many of the coins of Antiochus Grypus have the head of Antiochus on one side, and that of his mother Cleopatra on the other.

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Seleucus VI., the Epiphanes & Nicator

, , 96 - 95
Seleucus VI. (Seleukos), king of Syria, surnamed Epiphanes, and also Nicator, was the eldest of the five sons of Antiochus VIII. Grypus. On the death of his father, in B. C. 96, he immediately assumed the sovereignty, and raised an army, with which he reduced several cities of Syria. His claims were, however, resisted by his uncle Antiochus Cyzicenus, who marched from Antioch against him. A decisive battle ensued, in which Antiochus was totally defeated, and himself perished (B. C. 95); and the result of this victory enabled Seleucus to make himself master of Antioch. He was now for a short time undisputed ruler of Syria; but Antiochus Eusebes, the son of Cyzicenus, having escaped from the designs of Seleucus, who sought to put him to death, raised the standard of revolt against him, defeated him in a pitched battle, and expelled him from Syria. Seleucus took refuge in Cilicia, where He established himself in the city of Mopsuestia; but he alienated the inhabitants by his violent and tyrannical character, and at length, by his oppressive exactions of money, excited such a sedition among them that they set tire to the gymnasium in which he had taken refuge, and he perished in the flames, or, according to another account, put an end to his own life, in order to avoid a more cruel fate (Joseph. Ant. xiii. 13.4; Appian, Syr. 69; Porphyr. ap. Euseb. Arm.). The death of Seleucus may probably be assigned to the year B. C. 94.

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Antiochus IX., the Cyzicanus & Philopator

, , 113 - 95
Antiochus IX. (Antiochos), king of Syria, surnamed Cyzicanus (Kuzikenos) from Cyzicus, where he was brought up, and on coins Philopator, reigned over Coele-Syria and Phoenicia from B. C. 111 to 96, as is stated in the preceding article. On the death of his brother, Antiochus VIII., he attempted to obtain possession of [Figure] [p. 200] the whole of Syria; but his claims were resisted by Seleucus, the eldest son of Antiochus VIII., by whom he was killed in battle, B. C. 95. He left behind him a son, Antiochus Eusebes, who succeeded to the throne (Justin, Appian, Joseph. ll. cc.).

Seleucus. The second son of Antiochus VII. Sidetes, and elder brother of Antiochus Cyzicenus. In the battle against the Parthians, in which Antiochus Sidetes was slain, B. C. 128, Seleucus was taken prisoner : he was kindly received by the Parthian monarch, and treated with royal magnificence ; but it does not appear that he ever regained his liberty (Euseb. Arm.). A passage of Posidonius (ap. Athen. iv.), which had been referred by Froelich and other writers to Seleucus Callinicus, evidently relates to the captivity of this Seleucus, though Athenaeus inadvertently gives him the title of king.

Antiochus X., the Eusebes & Philopator

, , 95 - 83
Antiochus X. (Antiochos), king of Syria, surnamed Eusebes, and on coins also, succeeded to the throne on the death of his father Antiochus IX. B. C. 95. He defeated Seleucus, who conquered his father, and compelled him to fly into Cilicia, where he perished; but he then had to contend with the next two brothers of Seleucus, Philip and Antiochus Epiphanes, the latter of whom assumed the title of king, and is known as the eleventh king of Syria of this name. In a battle fought near the Orontes, Antiochus X. defeated Philip and Antiochus XI., and the latter was drowned in the river. The crown was now assumed by Philip, who continued to prosecute the war assisted by his brother, Demetrius Eucaerus. The Syrians, worn out with these civil broils, offered the kingdom to Tigranes, king of Armenia, who accordingly took possession of Syria in B. C. 83, and ruled over it till he was defeated by Lucullus in B. C. 69. The time of the death of Antiochus X. is uncertain. He appears, however, to have fallen in battle against the Parthians, before Tigranes obtained possession of Syria (Joseph. Antiq. xiii. 13.4). According to some accounts he survived the reign of Tigranes, and returned to his kingdom after the conquest of the latter by Lucullus (Euseb.; Justin, xl. 2); but these accounts ascribe to Antiochus X. what belongs to his son Antiochus XIII.

Demetrius III., Eucaerus

Demetrius III. (Demetrios), king of Syria, surnamed Eucaerus, was the fourth son of Antiochus Grypus, and grandson of Demetrius II. During the civil wars that followed the death of Antiochus Grypus, Demetrius was set up as king of Damascus or Coele Syria, by the aid of Ptolemy Lathurus, king of Cyprus; and after the death of Antiochus Eusebes, he and his brother Philip for a time held the whole of Syria (Joseph. Ant. xiii. 13.4). His assistance was invoked by the Jews against the tyranny of Alexander Jannaeus; but though he defeated that prince in a pitched battle, he did not follow up his victory, but withdrew to Beroea. War immediately broke out between him and his brother Philip, and Straton, the governor of Beroea, who supported Philip, having obtained assistance from the Arabians and Parthians, blockaded Demetrius in his camp, until he was compelled by famine to surrender at discretion. He was sent as a prisoner to Mithridates, king of Parthia (Arsaces IX.), who detained him in an honourable captivity till his death (Joseph. Ant. xiii. 14). The coins of this prince are important as fixing the chronology of his reign; they bear dates from the year 218 to 224 of the era of the Seleucidae, i. e. B. C. 94-88. The surname Eucaerus is not found on these coins, some of which bear the titles Theos Philopator and Soter; others again Philometor Euergetes Callinicus.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Nov 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Antiochus XI., the Epiphanes & Philadelphus

was the son of Antiochus VIII., and is spoken of under Antiochus X.

Antiochus XII., Dionysius & Philopator Callinicus

, , 86 - 85
Antiochus XII. (Antiochos), king of Syria, surnamed Dionysus (Dionusos), and on coins Philopator Callinicus (Philopator Kallinikos) also, the youngest son of Antiochus VIII., assumed the title of king after his brother Demetrius had been taken prisoner by the Parthians. He fell in battle against Aretas, king of the Arabians. (Joseph. Ant. xiii. 15.1)

Antiochus XIII., Asiaticus, last king of Syria

, , 69 - 65
Antiochus XIII. (Antiochos), king of Syria, surnamed Asiaticus (Asiatikos), and on coins Dionysus Philopator Callinicus (Dionusos Philopator Kallinikos), was the son of Antiochus X. and Selene, an Egyptian princess. He repaired to Rome during the time that Tigranes had possession of Syria, and passed through Syria on his return during the government of Verres (B. C. 73-71). On the defeat of Tigranes in B. C. 69, Lucullus allowed Antiochus Asiaticus to take possession of the kingdom; but he was deprived of it in B. C. 65 by Pompey, who reduced Sicily to a Roman province. In this year the Seleucidae ceased to reign (Appian, Syr. 49, 70; Cic. in Verr. iv. 27, 28, 30; Justin, xl. 2). Some writers suppose, that Antiochus Asiaticus afterwards reigned as king Antiochus I. of Commagene, but there are not sufficient reasons to support this opinion.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Historians

Malelas

Malelas or Malalas, Ioannes (Ioannes ho Malela or Malala), a native of Antioch, and a Byzantine historian. According to Hody he lived in the ninth century; but it is more probable that he lived shortly after Justinian the Great, as Gibbon very positively asserts (Decline and Fall, vol. vii. p. 61, not. 1, ed. 1815, 8vo.). Those, however, who pretend that he could not have lived after Mohammed, simply because his name in Syriac, (" Malalas,") means " an orator," the Syrian language being soon superseded by the Arabic, are much mistaken, for the outrooting of the Syriac was no more the work of a century than of a day. It is unknown who Malelas was. He wrote a voluminous history, or rather chronicle of the world, with special regard to Roman, Greek, and especially Byzantine history. It originally began with the creation of the world, but the commencement is lost, and the extant portion begins with the death of Vulcanus and the accession of i his son Sol, and finishes abruptly with the expedition of Marcianus, the nephew of Justinian the Great, against the Cutzinae in Africa. We do not know how much of the end is lost. This history is full of most absurd stories, yet contains also some very curious facts, and is of great importance for the history of Justinian and his immediate predecessors. The earlier emperors are treated very briefly; eight lines seemed sufficient to the author for the reign of Arcadius. The Eastern emperors have more space allotted to them than the Western. The style is barbarous, except where the author copies other historians who wrote well: the Chronicon Pascale and Cedrenus are extracted to a large extent. Edmund Chilmead of Oxford prepared the Editio Princeps, from a Bodleian MS., but he died before he accomplished his task, and the work was published by Humphrey Hody, Ox. 1691, 8vo. That MS. does not contain the beginning of the work, but Chilmead thought that Georgius Hamartolus had copied this portion of the history of Malelas, and consequently supplied the defect from the dry account of Hamartolus. The whole work was divided by Chilmead into 18 books, the first of which, as well as the beginning of the second, belong to Hamartolus. Hody added very valuable prolegomena. The Venice reprint of the Oxford edition (1733, fol.) is quite useless. The Bonn edition by L. Dindorf, 1831, 8vo., is a very careful and revised reprint of the Oxford edition, which contains a considerable number of small omissions, misprints, and other trifling defects, though, on the whole, it is a very good one. Dindorf thought that the account of Hamartolus was not identical with that of Malelas, and consequently published it separately, under the title " Anonymmi Chronologica ;" he might as well have put the name of Hamartolus on the title. A very good account of Malelas is given by Bentley in his "Epistola ad Joannem Millium," on Malelas and other contemporary writers, which is given in the Oxford and Bonn editions. (Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. vii. p. 446, &c.; Cave, Hist. Lit. p. 568; Hamberger, Nachrichten von Gelehrten Munnern.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Ammianus Marcellinus

The last Roman historian of any importance, born at Antioch, in Syria, about A.D. 330, of noble Grecian descent. After receiving a careful education, he early entered military service, and fought under Julian against the Alemanni and Persians. In the evening of his days he retired to Rome, and about A.D. 390 began his Latin history of the emperors (Rerum Gestarum Libri), from Nerva , A.D. 96, to the death of Valens, in thirty-one books. Of these there only remain books xiv.-xxxi., including the period from A.D. 353 to 378, which he relates for the most part as an eye-witness. A heathen himself, he is, nevertheless, fair to the Christians. As his work may be regarded as a continuation of Tacitus, he seems, on the whole, to have taken that writer for his model. He resembles Tacitus in judgment, political acuteness, and love of truth. But he is far inferior in literary culture, though he loves to display his knowledge, especially in describing nations and countries. Latin was a foreign language to him; hence a crudeness and clumsiness of expression, which is made even more repellent by affectation, bombast, and bewildering ornamental imagery. The best edition is by Gardthausen (1875).

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited July 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Ammianus Marcellinus "the last subject of Rome who composed a profane history in the Latin language", was by birth a Greek, as he himself frequently declares (xxxi. sub fin., xxii. 8.33, xxiii. 6.20, &c.), and a native of Syrian Antioch, as we infer from a letter addressed to him by Libanius. At an early age he embraced the profession of arms, and was admitted among the protectores domestici, which proves that he belonged to a distinguished family, since none were enrolled in that corps except young men of noble blood, or officers whose valour and fidelity had been proved in long service. Of his subsequent promotion nothing is known. He was attached to the staff of Ursicinus, one of the most able among the generals of Constantius, and accompanied him to the East in 350. He returned with his commander to Italy four years afterwards, from thence passed over into Gaul, and assisted in the enterprise against Sylvanus, again followed Ursicinus when despatched for a second time to the East, and appears to have never quitted him until the period of his final disgrace in 360. Ammianus subsequently attended the emperor Julian in his campaign against the Persians, was present at Antioch in 371, when the plot of Theodorus was detected in the reign of Valens, and witnessed the tortures inflicted upon the conspirators (xxix. i.24). Eventually he established himself at Rome, where he composed his history, and during the progress of the task read several portions publicly, which were received with great applause. The precise date of his death is not recorded, but it must have happened later than 390, since a reference occurs to the consulship of Neoterius, which belongs to that year.
  The work of Ammianus extended from the accession of Nerva, A. D. 96, the point at which the histories of Tacitus and the biographies of Suetonius terminated, to the death of Valens, A. D. 378, comprising a period of 282 years. It was divided into thirty-one books, of which the first thirteen are lost. The remaining eighteen embrace the acts of Constantius from A. D. 353, the seventeenth year of his reign, together with the whole career of Gallus, Julianus, Jovianus, Valentinianus, and Valens. The portion preserved includes the transactions of twenty-five years only, which proves that the earlier books must have presented a very condensed abridgment of the events contained in the long space over which they stretched; and hence we may feel satisfied, that what has been saved is much more valuable than what has perished.
  Gibbon (cap. xxvi.) pays a well-deserved tribute to the accuracy, fidelity, and impartiality of Ammianus. We are indebted to him for a knowledge of many important facts not elsewhere recorded, and for much valuable insight into the modes of thought and the general tone of public feeling prevalent in his day. His history must not, however, be regarded as a complete chronicle of that era; those proceedings only are brought forward prominently in which he himself was engaged, and nearly all the statements admitted appear to be founded upon his own observations, or upon the information derived from trustworthy eye-witnesses. A considerable number of dissertations and digressions are introduced, many of them highly interesting and valuable. Such are his notices of the institutions and manners of the Saracens (xiv. 4), of the Scythians and Sarmatians (xvii. 12), of the HIuns and Alani (xxxi. 2), of the Egyptians and their country (xxii. 6, 14-16), and his geographical discussions upon Gaul (xv. 9), the Pontus (xxii. 8), and Thrace (xxvii. 4), although the accuracy of many of his details has been called in question by D'Anville. Less legitimate and less judicious are his geological speculations upon earthquakes (xvii. 7), his astronomical inquiries into eclipses (xx. 3), comets (xxv. 10), and the regulation of the calendar (xxvi. 1), his medical researches into the origin of epidemics (xix. 4), his zoological theory on the destruction of lions by mosquitoes (xviii. 7), and his horticultural essay on the impregnation of palms (xxiv. 3). But in addition to industry in research and honesty of purpose, he was gifted with a large measure of strong common sense which enabled him in many points to rise superior to the prejudice of his day, and with a clear-sighted independence of spirit which prevented him from being dazzled or overawed by the brilliancy and the terrors which enveloped the imperial throne. The wretched vanity, weakness, and debauchery of Constantius, rendering him an easy prey to the designs of the profligate minions by whom he was surrounded, the female intrigues which ruled the court of Gallus, and the conflicting elements of vice and virtue which were so strongly combined in the character of Valentinian, are all sketched with boldness, vigour, and truth. But although sufficiently acute in detecting and exposing the follies of others, and especially in ridiculing the absurdities of popular superstition, Ammianus did not entirely escape the contagion. The general and deepseated belief in magic spells, omens, prodigies, and oracles, which appears to have gained additional strength upon the first introduction of Christianity, evidently exercised no small influence over his mind. The old legends and doctrines of the Pagan creed and the subtle mysticism which philosophers pretended to discover lurking below, when mixed up with the pure and simple but startling tenets of the new faith, formed a confused mass which few intellects, except those of the very highest class, could reduce to order and harmony.
A keen controversy has been maintained with regard to the religious creed of our author. There is nothing in his writings which can entitle us to decide the question positively. In several passages he speaks with marked respect of Christianity and its professors (xxi. sub fin., xxii. 11, xxvii. 3; compare xxii. 12, xxv. 4); but even his strongest expressions, which are all attributed by Gibbon " to the incomparable pliancy of a polytheist," afford no conclusive evidence that he was himself a disciple of the cross. On the other hand he does not scruple to stigmatize with the utmost severity the savage fury of the contending sects (xxii. 5), nor fail to reprobate the bloody violence of Damasus and Ursinus in the contest for the see of Rome (xxvii. 3) : the absence of all censure on the apostacy of Julian, and the terms which he employs with regard to Nemesis (xiv. 11, xxii. 3), the Genius (xxi. 14), Mercurius (xvi. 5, xxv. 4), and other deities, are by many considered as decisive proofs that he was a pagan. Indeed, as Heyne justly remarks, many of the writers of this epoch seem purposely to avoid committing themselves. Being probably devoid of strong religious principles, they felt unwilling to hazard any declaration which might one day expose them to persecution and prevent them from adopting the various forms which the faith of the court might from time to time assume.
  Little can be said in praise of the style of Ammianus. The melodious flow and simple dignity of the purer models of composition had long ceased to be relished, and we too often detect the harsh diction and involved periods of an imperfectly educated foreign soldier, relieved occasionally by the pompous inflation and flashy glitter of the rhetorical schools. His phraseology as it regards the signification, grammatical inflexions, and syntactical combinations of words, probably represents the current language of the age, but must be pronounced fill of barbarisms and solecisms when judged according to the standard of Cicero and Livy.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Domninus

Domninus. Of Antioch, an historian, quoted frequently in the chronicle of Joannes Malelas. Bentley thinks (Ep. ad Mill), that he was bishop of Antioch, and wrote a history of events from the beginning of the world to the time of Justinian, to the 33d year of whose reign (A. D. 560) the chronicle of Malelas extends. (Voss. de Hist. Graec., ed. Westermann; Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. iii., vii.)

Generals

Ardys

Ardys, an experienced general, commanded the right wing of the army of Antiochus the Great in his battle against Molo, B. C. 220. He distinguished himself in the next year in the siege of Seleuceia. (Polyb. v. 53, 60)

Lysias

Lysias. A general and minister of Antiochus Epiphanes, who enjoyed so high a place in the confidence of that monarch, that when Antiochus set out for the upper provinces of his empire in B. C. 166, he not only entrusted Lysias with the care of his son Antiochus, but gave him the sole command of the provinces from the Euphrates to the sea. Lysias was especially charged to prosecute the war against the Jews, and accordingly hastened to send an army into Judaea, under the command of Ptolemy, the son of Dorymenes, Nicanor, and Gorgias; but these generals were totally defeated near Emmaus by Judas Maccabaeus. The next year Lysias in person took the field, with a very large army, but effected nothing of importance. News soon after arrived of the death of Antiochus at Tabae, in Persia (B. C. 164), on which Lysias immediately caused the young prince under his charge to be proclaimed king, by the title of Antiochus Eupator, and himself assumed the sovereign power as his guardian, although that office had been conferred by Antiochus Epiphanes on his death-bed upon another of his ministers named Philip. A new expedition against the Jews was now undertaken by Lysias, accompanied by the young king: they made themselves masters of the strong fortress of Bethsura, and compelled Judas to fall back upon Jerusalem, where they besieged him in the temple, [p. 865] and reduced him to such straits for provisions, that the fortress must have quickly fallen had not the news of the approach of Philip induced Lysias to grant a peace to the Jews on fayourable terms, in order that he might hasten to oppose his rival. Philip was quickly defeated, and put to death. (Joseph. Ant. xii. 7. 2-5, 9, 1-7; 1 Maccab. iii. iv. v. 1-35, vi. 2 Macc. x. xi. xiii.)
  Lysias now possessed undisputed authority in the kingdom; and the Romans, the only power whom he had cause to fear, were disposed to favour Antiochus on account of his youth, and the advantages they might hope to derive from his weakness. They, however, despatched ambassadors to Syria, to enforce the execution of the treaty formerly concluded with Antiochus the Great; and Lysias did not venture openly to oppose the arbitrary proceedings of these deputies, but was supposed to have connived at, if he did not command, the murder of Octavius, the chief of the embassy. He indeed immediately sent ambassadors to Rome to disclaim all participation in the deed, but did not offer to give up or punish the assassin. Meanwhile, the young prince, Demetrius, made his escape from Rome, where he had been detained as a hostage and landed at Tripolis in Syria. The people immediately declared in his favour; and Lysias, as well as the young Antiochus, was seized by the populace, and given up to Demetrius, who ordered them both to be put to death, B. C. 162. (Joseph. Ant. xii. 10. I; 1 Mace. vii.; 2 Macc. xiv. 1, 2; Appian. Syr. 46, 47; Polyb. xxxi. 15, 19; Liv. Epit. xlvi; Euseb. Arm.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Admirals

Diognetus

Diognetus (Diognetos), admiral of Antiochus the Great, was commissioned, in B. C. 222, to convey to Seleuceia, or the Tigris, Laodice. the intended wife of Antiochus and daughter of Mithridates IV., king of Pontus (Polyb. v. 43). He commanded the fleet of Antiochus in his war with Ptolemy IV. (Philopator) for the possession of Coele-Syria, and did him good and effectual service. (Polyb. v. 59 60, 62, 68-70.)

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