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.
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 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.
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 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 IX Eusebes Philopator ("Pious, Father-loving"), nicknamed Cyzicenus ("the Cyzicene" after Cyzicus, a city in Asia Minor where he had been raised), was the seventeenth king of the Seleucid Empire, ruling between 114/3 and 95 BC. Although he managed to expel his half-brother, the reigning Antiochus VIII, in 114/3 BC, Antiochus IX gradually lost ground over the years that followed until he retained only a handful of cities in Cilicia, Phoenicia, and Coele Syria in 109 BC. When Antiochus VIII was assassinated in 96 BC, Antiochus IX siezed his former territory. In 95 BC, Seleucus VI, an avenging son of Antiochus VIII, invaded Syria and killed him.
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 VII Euergetes ("the Benefactor"), nicknamed Sidetes ("the Sidetan" after Side, a city in Asia Minor where he had once resided), was the king of the Seleucid Empire, reigning from 138 to 129 BC. After repressing the usurper Tryphon at the beginning of his reign, Antiochus VII consolidated his authority in Syria and Coele Syria before embarking on a grand campaign to restore the eastern territories of the empire that had fallen to the Arsacid Parthians. The king reclaimed Mesopotamia, Babylonia, and Media, but was ambushed and killed with the bulk of his army during a Parthian-supported uprising in Media in the winter of 130–129 BC.
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 X Eusebes Philopator ("Pious, Father-loving") was the nineteenth king of the Seleucid Empire, reigning from c. 94 BC probably until c. 88 BC. Proclaiming himself king at Aradus, Antiochus X avenged his father, Antiochus IX, by driving Seleucus IV out of Syria in 94 BC. Antiochus X was almost immediately challenged by Seleucus' brother, Antiochus XI, but defeated him near Antioch. The subsequent history of his reign is obscure.
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 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 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, the son of Seleucus IV, was the eighth king of the Seleucid Empire, ruling briefly under the regency of his mother, Laodice IV, in the autumn of 175 BC. When his uncle, Antiochus IV, arrived in Syria in October/November of 175 BC he adopted the boy king and associated him in his own rule. This state of affairs survived only a few years until 170 BC, when Antiochus IV ordered the execution of his nephew.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Diodotus I (285-239 BC) was a Seleucid satrap of Bactria who rebelled after the death of Antiochus II. In c. 255 or 246 BC he proclaimed himself an independent king in Bactria. Much of his reign was spent opposing the invading Parthians under their king, Arsaces I.
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.
Philip I Epiphanes Philadelphus ("God Manifest, Brother-loving") was the twenty-second king of the Seleucid Empire, reigning from c. 94/3 to perhaps 76/5 BC. A brother of Seleucus VI, Antiochus XI, and Demetrius III, Philip I ruled jointly with Antiochus XI in Cilicia in 94/3 BC. By 94/3 BC, Antiochus XI was dead and Philip I controlled parts of northern Syria. He was besieged at Beroea by Demetrius III in 88/7 BC, but the siege was lifted when Demetrius was captured by Philip's Parthian allies. Philip I subsequently ruled from Antioch and briefly managed to sieze Damascus from Antiochus XII. The ancient sources are unclear about the fate of Philip I, but he seems to have died by 76/5 BC.
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.
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.
Seleucus III Soter ("the Savior"), nicknamed Ceraunus ("the Thunderbolt") was the fifth king of the Seleucid Empire. He was named Alexander at birth but assumed the dynastic name Seleucus when he succeeded his father Seleucus II in 225 BC. He was assassinated in 233 BC while campaigning to regain Asia Minor from Attalus I of Pergamum.
Seleucus IV Philopator ("Father-loving") was the eldest son of Antiochus III and succeeded him as the seventh king of the Seleucid Empire. He reigned from 187 to 175 BC, during which time he formed alliances in Asia Minor and Macedon in order to restore Seleucid influence curtailed by the Peace of Apamea. He was assassinated by his chief minister, Heliodorus, in 175 BC.
Seleucus VI Epiphanes Nicator ("God Manifest, Victor") was the eighteenth king of the Seleucid Empire, ruling from 96 to 94 BC. In 96 BC, Seleucus VI defeated and killed his uncle, Antiochus IX, in battle, but managed to hold Antioch and Syria only briefly before he was driven out by Antiochus X, the son of Antiochus IX, in the following year. Seleucus VI fled to Mopsuestia where he attempted to raise a new army, but his financial exactions sparked rebellion in the city and he was burned alive by the mob in 94 BC.
Tryphon ("Magnificent") was the pseudonym taken by the Seleucid commander Diodotus after he calimed the kingship at the death of Antiochus VI (c. 142 BC). He ruled in opposition to both Demetrius II and Antiochus VII between c. 142 and 138 BC. His authority was not recognized in Babylon, but he held Antioch and Apamea in Syria, as well as much of Phoenicia and Coele Syria. In 143/2. He struck heavy blows against both the Jews of Judaea and the generals of Demetrius II. However, in 138 BC, Antiochus VII drove him out of Syria and hounded him through Phoenicia. Tryphon was besieged first at Dora and then at Apamea before he was captured and killed in 138/7 BC.
The young Antiochus Epiphanes ("God Manifest") was an obscure Seleucid child-king who appears on Antioch coins struck in 128 B.C. It is unclear whether coins with his portrait were intended to represent an exceptionally juvenile Antiochus VIII or another ephemeral king.