Cleopatra I Syra was a princess of the Seleucid Empire, Queen of Ptolemaic Egypt by marriage to Ptolemy V of Egypt, and regent of Egypt during the minority of their son, Ptolemy VI, from her husband’s death in 180 BC until her own death in 176 BC.
Arsinoë II (316 BC – unknown date between July 270 and 260 BC) was a Ptolemaic Queen and co-regent of Ancient Egypt. She was Queen of Thrace, Asia Minor and Macedonia by marriage to King Lysimachus, and queen and co-ruler of Egypt with her brother-husband Ptolemy II Philadelphus.
Alexander I Theopator Euergetes ("Divinely-fathered Benefactor"), nicknamed Balas ("Lord"), was the twelfth king of the Seleucid Empire, ruling from 152 to 145 BC. Alexander I was a supposed son of Antiochus IV supported by Attalus II of Pergamum and Ptolemy VI of Egypt as a rival claimant to the Seleucid throne against Demetrius I. In 152 BC, Alexander I arrived at Ptolemais (Ake) and established his base there. He controled Apamea by 152/1 BC and in 150 BC defeated and killed Demetrius I. Shortly thereafter, Alexander I married Cleopatra Thea, the daughter of Ptolemy VI in order to seal an alliance with her father. Things began to fall apart in 148 and 147 BC, when Susa and Media were lost to Parthian and local kings and Demetrius II arrived in Syria to avenge his father, Demetrius I. Unfortunately, Alexander I had alienated his father-in-law by plotting against him, and therefore Ptolemy VI supported Demetrius II. Alexander I was forced to flee to Cilicia, where he raised an army to wage war against Demetrius II and Ptolemy VI. When he returned to Syria in 145 BC he was defeated in battle by Ptolemy VI. Alexander I escaped and attempted to find safety among the Arabs, but was assassinated instead.
Alexander II Zabinas (Greek Ἀλέξανδρoς Zαβίνας), ruler of the Greek Seleucid kingdom, was a counter-king who emerged in the chaos following the Seleucidian loss of Mesopotamia to the Parthians. Zabinas was a false Seleucid who claimed to be an adoptive son of Antiochus VII Sidetes, but in fact seems to have been the son of an Egyptian merchant named Protarchus.
Antiochus Hierax ("the Hawk") was the younger brother of Seleucus II who was appointed viceroy of Asia Minor during the Third Syrian War (246-241 BC) between Seleucus II and Ptolemy III. In c. 242 BC Hierax proclaimed himself king and began the War of the Brothers (c. 241-236 BC) against Seleucus II. Hierax ultimately lost his kingdom and escaped to Thrace, where he was killed by Galatians in 227 BC.
Achaeus was a Seleucid general under Seleucus III and Antiochus III. He reclaimed much of western Asia Minor for Antiochus III in 223 BC before proclaiming himself king in 220 BC. He was besieged in Sardes before he was captured and executed by Antiochus III in late 214 BC.
Antiochus XIII Philadelphus ("Brother-loving"), nicknamed Asiaticus ("the Asiatic," referring to his sojourn in Asia Minor during the Armenian occupation of Syria) was the twenty-third and last king of the Seleucid Empire. He ruled a state that was little more than Antioch and its environs first from 69/8 to 67 BC and again briefly in 65/4 BC. Antiochus XIII was installed on the throne by the Roman general L. Licinius Lucullus after the withdrawal of Tigranes II of Armenia from Syria. By 67 BC, however, the king faced a popular revolt and was captured by the Emesan dynast Sampsiceramus. He was replaced as king by Philip II, a son of Philip I, but seems to have returned to power in 65/4 BC. He was deposed by Popmpey, who made Syria a Roman province.
Antiochus III the Great (Ancient Greek: Ἀντίoχoς Μέγας; c. 241 – 187 BC, ruled 222 – 187 BC) was a Seleucid Greek king and the 6th ruler of the Seleucid Empire. He ruled over Greater Syria and western Asia towards the end of the 3rd century BCE.
Antiochus XII Dionysus Epiphanes Philopator Callinicus ("Dionysus Manifest, Father-loving, Nobly-victorious") was the twenty-second king of the Seleucid Empire, reigning from 87/6 to 83/2 BC. A brother of Seleucus VI, Demetrius III, Antiochus XI, and Philip I, Antiochus XII succeeded Demetrius III at Damascus after Demetrius III was carried off by the Parthians. He made no attempt to expand his power into northern Syria, but concentrated his energies on wars against the Nabataen Arabs and the Jewish priest-king, Alexander Jannaeus. Antiochus XII was killed while campaigning against the Nabataeans in 83/2 BC and his army left to die of hunger in the desert wasteland around the Dead Sea. Aretas III, the Nabataean king, was subsequently invited to rule Damascus.
Antiochus V Eupator ("Nobly-fathered") was the tenth king of the Seleucid Empire who ruled from 164 to 162 BC. Upon the death of Antiochus IV, his nine-year-old son, Antiochus V, was proclaimed king by the regent Lysias. In 164 BC, a struggle over the regency developed after the dying Antiochus IV named Philip, one of his Friends, as the regent for Antiochus V. Although Philip managed to take Antioch, he was killed by Lysias before he could take possession of the boy king. War almost broke out between Rome and Antiochus V in 162 BC, when a Roman legate charged with destroying the Seleucid fleet and its elephant corps was murdered. The situation was defused later tht year by the arrival of Demetrius I, a son of Seleucus IV, who captured Antiochus V and Lysias and ordered their deaths.
Antiochus VI Dionysus was the thirteenth king of the Seleucid Empire, reigning from 144 to c. 142 BC. This young son of Alexander I was proclaimed king by the Seleucid general Diodotus (Tryphon) in opposition to Demetrius II in 144 BC. His center of power was initially at Chalcis by Belus, but soon took control of Apamea. With the support of the disaffected military forces around that city, Antiochus VI and Tryphon forced Demetrius out of Antioch in 143 BC. The influence of Antiochus VI expanded further into Cilicia, Coele Syria, and Phoenicia in c. 142 BC, before he suddenly died under mysterious circumstances and Diodotus assumed the kingship in his own name.
Antiochus VIII Epiphanes ("God Manifest"), nicknamed Grypus ("Hook-nosed"), was the sixteenth king of the Seleucid Empire, ruling between 121/0 and 97/6 BC. The stability of the early years of his sole reign was shattered in 114/3 BC by the arrival of his half-brother, Antiochus IX, and the conflict that followed. Much territory and many cities frequently changed hands between the two until 109 BC, when Antiochus VIII had again regained much of his former possessions, leaving Antiochus IX only scattered cities. Antiochus VIII was assassinated by Heracleon, his war minister, in 96 BC, but his killer was no match for Antiochus IX, who briefly became sole ruler of the diminished Seleucid state.
Antiochus IV Epiphanes (play /ænˈtaɪ.əkəs ɛˈpɪfəniːz/; Ancient Greek: Ἀντίοχος Ἐπιφανής, 'God Manifest'; c. 215 BC – 164 BC) ruled the Seleucid Empire from 175 BC until his death in 164 BC. He was a son of King Antiochus III the Great. His original name was Mithridates; he assumed the name Antiochus after he ascended the throne.
Antiochus XI Epiphanes Philadelphus ("God Manifest, Brother-loving") was twentieth king of the Seleucid Empire, reigning in Syria only for part of 94/3 BC. He was the son of Antiochus VIII and Tryphaena and brother of Seleucus VI, Demetrius III, and Philip I. After the death of Seleucus VI (94 BC), Antiochus XI and Philip I jointly proclaimed themselves kings and destroyed Mopsus in revenge. In 94/3 BC, Antiochus XI marched against Antiochus X in Antioch but suffered defeat in battle. He managed to escape capture, but drowned while trying to cross the Orontes River.
Antiochus II Theos ("the God") was the third king of the Seleucid Empire, ruling from 261 to 246 BC. He succeeded his father Antiochus I Soter in the winter of 262–61 BC. He was the younger son of Antiochus I and princess Stratonice, the daughter of Demetrius Poliorcetes. He successfully fought against Ptolemy II in the Second Syrian War (260–253 BC), expanding his territory in Asia Minor and Thrace.
Demetrius II Theos Nicator ("the God [and] Victor") was the twelfth king of the Seleucid Empire who experienced two distinct periods of rule. His first reign took place between 146 and 138 BC. In 146 BC, at the age of thirteen, Demetrius II arrived in Syria with a mercenary army intent on overthrowing his father's killer, Alexander I. Demetrius II was successful in this endeavor but alienated much of Syria by quelling riots in Antioch through massacre and by preferring foreign mercenaries to the established Seleucid army. A Seleucid commander named Diodotus proclaimed Antiochus VI, the young son of Alexander I, as rival king and forced Demetrius II out of Antioch. Unable to crush his enemies in Syria and faced with the advance of the Arsacid Parthians into Babylonia, Demetrius II marched to war against the Parthian king Mithradates I. Despite early successes, Demetrius II was defeated and captured in 139 BC. He subsequently lived in honorable captivity at the Parthian court until 129 BC, when he was released. The freed king returned to Antioch and resumed the great unpopularity that had plagued his first reign. His involvement in the conflict between Cleopatra II and Ptolemy VII of Egypt caused the latter to raise a pretender, Alexander II, against him. Demetrius II was defeated near Damascus in 125 BC. He fled to his wife, Cleopatra Thea, at Ptolemais (Ake), but she barred the doors against him. Demetrius II then attempted to find safety at Tyre, but he was killed by the city guards, perhaps on Cleopatra's orders.
Seleucus I Nicator ("the Victor") (satrap, 321–305 BC; king, 305–281 BC) was the founder of the Seleucid Empire. He had served as an infantry commander under Alexander the Great and became chiliarch (i.e. vizier) to Perdiccas at the Settlement of Babylon (323 BC). In 321 BC, after the death of Perdiccas he was appointed satrap (governor) of Babylonia. He was driven out by Antigonus Monophthalmus in 315 BC, but managed to return and hold the satrapy in 312. Seleucus I assumed the royal title in 305 BC and embarked upon a great eastern campaign that created a Seleucid Empire stretching from Babylonia and Syria to the borders of India. He played a pivotal role in the defeat and death of Antigonus at the Battle of Ipsus (301 BC). Seleucus I expanded his empire into Asia Minor after defeating and killing Lysimachus, the king of Thrace who had claimed Antigonus' territories in Asia Minor, at the Battle of Corupedium (281 BC). Seleucus I was assassinated later in 281 BC as he advanced to take possession of Thrace.
Demetrius I Soter ("the Savior") was the eleventh king of the Seleucid Empire, ruling from 162 to 150 BC. He was sent to Rome as a hostage for the good behavior of his uncle, Antiochus IV, but escaped back to Syria in 162 BC. After disposing of Antiochus V and the regent Lysias, Demetrius I put down the usurpation of Timarchus in 160 BC and successfully fought against the Maccabean Jewish rebels in southern Coele Syria. He further upset the balance of power in Asia Minor by dethroning Ariarathes V of Cappadocia. His many enemies advanced the claims of Alexander I, a supposed son of Antiochus IV, as rightful Seleucid king in 152 BC. After several years of conflict between the two for control of Syria, Demetrius was killed in battle in 150 BC.
Cleopatra Selene ("Moon") reigned jointly with her young son Antiochus XIII Philometor ("Mother-loving") in the environs of Damascus from c. 83/2 to sometime before 75 BC. Celopatra Selene was was a Ptolemaic princess who was married in sequence to Antiochus VIII, Antiochus IX, and Antiochus X. She had two sons by Antiochus X: Antiochus XIII and an unknown brother whose name may have been Seleucus. The extent of her power in Syria is very much unclear. In 75 BC, Cleopatra sent both her sons to Rome to press a claim to Ptolemaic Egypt, but this was denied. They seem to have been making their way home through Asia Minor when Tigranes II of Armenia invaded Syria and captured their mother in c. 69 BC. Cleopatra Selene was imprisoned at Seleucia (Zeugma) and ultimately killed.
Demetrius III Philopator Soter ("Father-loving Savior"), nicknamed Eucaerus ("the Well-timed"), was the twenty-first king of the Seleucid Empire, ruling in Damascus from 97/6 to 88/7 BC. A brother of Seleucus VI, Antiochus XI, and Philip I, Demetrius III was installed in Damascus by Ptolemy IX as a means of denying the city to both Antiochus IX and the Nabatean Arabs. He fought an unsuccessful war against the Hasmonean Jewish king, Alexander Jannaeus, but made inroads into northern Syria. In 88 BC, Demetrius III besieged Philip I, in Beroea. The siege was abruptly lifted when Demetrius was captured by Philip's Parthian allies. He died in captivity shortly thereafter.
Cleopatra Thea Eueteria ("the Goddess of the Fruitful Season") was a Seleucid queen who ruled alongside her various husbands and son between 150 and 121 BC. She was the daughter of Ptolemy VI who married Alexander I in 150 BC, but after the souring of the relationship between her father and the usurper she was married to Alexander's nemesis, the young Demetrius II in 145 BC. This marriage lasted until Demetrius was captured by the Parthians in 139 BC. When his brother, Antiochus VII, arrived in Syria in the following year Cleopatra married him to maintain her grip on power and to lend him legitimacy. She appears to have orchestrated the death of Demetrius II at the end of his failed second reign and may have ruled briefly in her own right in 125 BC before establishng a co-regency with her young son Antiochus VIII. This came to an end in 121 BC, when he forced her to drink a cup of poison that she had intended for him.
Molon was appointed Seleucid strategos (military governor) of Media by Antiochus III in 223 BC, but a year later revolted along with his brother Alexander, the strategos of Persis, and a dynast of Media Atropatene. Molon claimed the title of king and ruled Media, Persis, and Babylonia as a breakaway kingdom from 222 BC to 220 BC. When Antiochus III at last defeated him in 220 BC, Molon and his brother commited suicide.
Laodice V (flourished 2nd century BC, died 150 BC) was a Seleucid princess. Through marriage to Perseus king of Macedon she was a Queen of the ruling Antigonid dynasty in Macedonia and possibly later of the Seleucid dynasty. Laodice was a daughter of the Seleucid King Seleucus IV Philopator and his wife, Laodice IV. She had two brothers: Antiochus and Demetrius I Soter. She was born and raised in the Seleucid Empire.
Laodice IV (flourished second half 3rd century BC and first half 2nd century BC) was a Greek Princess, Head Priestess and Queen of the Seleucid Empire. Antiochus III appointed Laodice in 193 BC, as the chief priestess of the state cult dedicated to her late mother Laodice III in Media. She later was married to three Kings of the Seleucid Empire, all her brothers.
Seleucus II Callinicus ("Nobly Victorious"), nicknamed Pogon ("the Beard") was the fourth king of the Seleucid Empire. He succeeded his father, Antiochus II in 246 BC and reigned until 225 BC. His reign saw many challenges to the territorial integrity of the empire. The king was ineffective in opposing Ptolemy III during the Third Syrian War (246-241 BC) and suffered invasion and the loss of possessions in Syria, Asia Minor, and Thrace. These problems were compounded by his brother, Antiochus Hierax, who established an independent kingdom in Asia Minor and whom Seleucus II was unable to evict during the disastrous War of the Brothers (c. 241-236 BC). Turning from his failures in the West, in 230-227 BC, Seleucus II marched East to oppose the invading Arsacid Parthians and restore Seleucid authority in the rogue satrapy (province) of Bactria. What limited successes he enjoyed in this endeavor were fleeting. In 225 BC he was thrown from his horse and died from his injuries.
Timarchus was appointed satrap (governor) of Media by Antiochus IV in c. 175 BC. When the king died in 164 BC, he became a virtually independent ruler in his satrapy. Timarchus actively opposed Demetrius I and in 162 BC proclaimed himself as a rival king with the recognition of Rome. Although he managed to expand his kingdom into Babylonia, Timarchus was defeated and killed by Demetrius I in 161 BC.
Ariobarzanes I Philoromaios ("Friend of the Romans") alternated with Ariarathes IX as ruler of Cappadocia between 95 and 85 BC. He was usually deposed by Tigranes II of Armenia as an ally of Mithradates VI of Pontus only to be restored by Roman generals. Between 83 and 67 BC he was also driven out of Cappadocia by the Armenian and Pontic kings. Ariobarzanes I was restored by the Romans for the last time in 66 BC. Three years later he abdicated in favor of his son, Ariobarzanes II.
The Antikensammlung of the University of Kiel holds a collection of circa 1,100 Greek and Roman coins, housed in the Kunsthalle zu Kiel. The collection for the most part originates from donations of the Danish king Christian VIII Friedrich (1786–1848) as well as acquisitions by Peter Wilhelm Forchhammer (1801–1894), professor of Classical Archaeology in Kiel, later supplemented by further purchases and donations. Roman Imperial coinage constitutes the vast majority of the collection, that was conceived to be used for teaching purposes and today is occasionally incorporated into the seminars of Classical Archaeology in Kiel.