Seleucus I Nicator, king of the Seleucid Empire

public profile

Seleucus I Nicator, king of the Seleucid Empire's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Share

Seleucus

Greek, Ancient: Σέλευκος
Also Known As: "Nicator", "Σέλευκος Α' Νικάτωρ Σελευκιδός της Συρίας", "The Conqueror", "Seleucus I "Nicator" of Macedonia", "♔ King Of Syria"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Europas, Macedonia
Death: Died in Lysimachia, Thrace
Immediate Family:

Son of Antiochus and Laodice
Husband of Apama I, queen of the Seleucid Empire and Stratonice
Father of Antiochus I, ruler of the Seleucid Empire; Achaeus; Aqueo; Apama; Laodice and 2 others
Brother of Didymeia and <private>

Occupation: General och Kung, Born: abt. 358 BC Died: abt. 280 BC murdered, sátrapa de babilonia, født år 358 f.k., død år 282 f.k., koning van Babylonië
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
view all 18

Immediate Family

About Seleucus I Nicator, king of the Seleucid Empire

Seleucus I (given the surname by later generations of Nicator, Greek : Σέλευκος Νικάτωρ, i.e. Seleucus the Victor) (ca. 358 BC – 281 BC) was a leading officer of Alexander the Great's League of Corinth and one of the Diadochi. In the Wars of the Diadochi that took place after Alexander's death, Seleucus established the Seleucid dynasty and the Seleucid Empire. His kingdom would be one of the last holdouts of Alexander's former empire to Roman rule. They were only outlived by the Ptolemaic Kingdom in Egypt by roughly 34 years.

After the death of Alexander, Seleucus was nominated as the satrap of Babylon in 320 BC. Antigonus forced Seleucus to flee from Babylon, but, supported by Ptolemy, he was able to return in 312 BC. Seleucus' later conquests include Persia and Media. It is assumed that he was defeated by the emperor of India, Chandragupta Maurya and accepted a matrimony alliance for 500 elephants after ceding the territories considered as part of India. Seleucus defeated Antigonus in the battle of Ipsus in 301 BC and Lysimachus in the battle of Corupedium in 281 BC. He was assassinated by Ptolemy Ceraunus during the same year. His successor was his son Antiochus I.

Seleucus founded a number of new cities, including Antioch and Seleucia.

Seleucus was the son of Antiochus from Orestis. Historian Junianus Justinus claims he was one of Philip II of Macedon's generals. Antiochus is not, however, mentioned in any other sources and nothing is known of his supposed career under Philip. It is possible that Antiochus was a member of an upper Macedonian noble family. Seleucus' mother was supposedly called Laodice, but nothing else is known of her. Later, Seleucus named a number of cities after his parents.

As a teenager, Seleucus was chosen to serve as the king's page (paides). It was customary for all male offspring of noble families to first serve in this position and later as officers in the king's army.

Seleucus' year of birth is unclear. Justin claims he was 77 years old during the battle of Corupedium, which would place his year of birth at 358 BC. Appianus tells us Seleucus was 73 years old during the battle, which means 354 BC would be the year of birth. Eusebius of Caesarea, however, mentions the age of 75, and thus the year 356 BC, making Seleucus the same age as Alexander the Great. This is most likely propaganda on Seleucus' part to make him seem comparable to Alexander.

Seleucus was born in Europos, located in the northern part of Macedonia. Just a year before his birth (if the year 358 BC is accepted as the most likely date), the Paeonians invaded the region. Philip defeated the invaders and only a few years later utterly subdued them under Macedonian rule.

A number of legends, similar to those told of Alexander the Great, were told of Seleucus. It was said Antiochus told his son before he left to battle the Persians with Alexander that his real father was actually the god Apollo. The god had left a ring with a picture of an anchor as a gift to Laodice. Seleucus had a birthmark shaped like an anchor. It was told that Seleucus' sons and grandsons also had similar birthmarks. The story is similar to the one told about Alexander. Most likely the story is merely propaganda by Seleucus, who presumably invented the story to present himself as the natural successor of Alexander.

John Malalas tells us Seleucus had a sister called Didymeia, who had sons called Nicanor and Nicomedes. It is most likely the sons are fictitious. Didymeia might refer to the oracle of Apollo in Didyma near Miletus. It has also been suggested that Ptolemy (son of Seleucus) was actually the uncle of Seleucus.

Early career under Alexander the Great

In spring 334 BC, as a young man of about twenty-three, Seleucus accompanied Alexander into Asia. By the time of the Indian campaigns beginning in late in 327 BC, he had risen to the command of the élite infantry corps in the Macedonian army, the "Shield-bearers" (Hypaspistai), later known as the "Silvershields". It is said that when Alexander crossed the Hydaspes river on a boat, he was accompanied by Perdiccas, Ptolemy I Soter, Lysimachus and also Seleucus. During the subsequent Battle of the Hydaspes River, Seleucus led his troops against the elephants of King Porus. It is likely that Seleucus had no role in the actual planning of the battle. He is also not mentioned as holding any major independent position during the battle, unlike, for example, Craterus, Hephaistion, Peithon and Leonnatus – each of whom had sizable detachments under his control. Seleucus' Royal Hypaspistai were constantly under Alexander's eye and at his disposal. They later participated in the Indus valley campaign, in the battles fought against the Malli and in the crossing of the Gedrosian desert.

Seleucus also took his future wife, the Persian princess Apama (daughter of Spitamenes), with him into India as his mistress, where she gave birth to his bastard[citation needed] eldest son and successor Antiochus I Soter (325 BC). At the great marriage ceremony at Susa in the spring of 324 BC, Seleucus formally married Apama, and she later bore him at least two legitimate daughters, Laodice, Apama and a son Achaeus. At the same event, Alexander married the daughter of Darius III while several other Macedonians married Persian women. After Alexander's death, when the other senior Macedonian officers unloaded their "Susa wives" en masse, Seleucus was one of the very few who kept his, and Apama remained his consort and later Queen for the rest of her life.

Seleucus is mentioned three times in ancient sources before the death of Alexander. He participated in a sailing trip near Babylon, took part in the dinner party of Medeios the Thessalian with Alexander and visited the temple of Sarapis. In the first of these episodes, Alexander's diadem was blown off his head and landed on some reeds near the tombs of Assyrian kings. Seleucus swam to fetch the diadem back, placing it on his own head while returning to the boat to keep it dry. The validity of the story is dubious. The story of the dinner party of Medeios may be true, but the plot to poison the King is unlikely.In the final story, Seleucus reportedly slept in the temple of Sarapis in the hope that Alexander's health might improve. The validity of this story is also questionable.

Senior officer under Perdiccas

Alexander the Great died without a successor in Babylon on June 10, 323 BC. His general Perdiccas became the regent of all of Alexander's empire, while Alexander's physically and mentally disabled half-brother Arrhidaeus was chosen as the next king under the name Philip III of Macedon. Alexander's unborn child (Alexander IV) was also named his father's successor. In the "Partition of Babylon" however, Perdiccas effectively divided the enormous Macedonian dominion among Alexander's generals. Seleucus was chosen to command the Companion cavalry (hetaroi) and appointed first or court chiliarch, which made him the senior officer in the Royal Army after the regent and commander-in-chief Perdiccas. Several other powerful men supported Perdiccas, including Ptolemy, Lysimachus, Peithon and Eumenes. Perdiccas' power depended on his ability to hold Alexander's enormous empire together, and on whether he could force the satraps to obey him.

War soon broke out between Perdiccas and the other Diadochi. To cement his position, Perdiccas tried to marry Alexander's sister Cleopatra. The First War of the Diadochi began when Perdiccas sent Alexander's corpse to Macedonia for burial. Ptolemy however captured the body and took it to Alexandria. Perdiccas and his troops followed him to Egypt, whereupon Ptolemy conspired with the satrap of Media, Peithon, and the commander of the Argyraspides, Antigenes, both serving as officers under Perdiccas, and assassinated him. Cornelius Nepos mentions that Seleucus also took part in this conspiracy, but this is not certain.

Satrap of Babylon

The most powerful man in the empire after the death of Perdiccas was Antipater. Perdiccas' opponents gathered in Triparadisos, where the empire of Alexander was partitioned again (the Treaty of Triparadisus 321 BC).

At Triparadisos the soldiers had become mutinous and were planning to murder their master Antipater. Seleucus and Antigonus, however, managed to prevent this. For betraying Perdiccas, Seleucus was awarded the rich province of Babylon. This decision may have been Antigonus' idea. Seleucus' Babylon was surrounded by Peucestas, the satrap of Persis; Antigenes, the new satrap of Susiana and Peithon of Media. Babylon was one of the wealthiest provinces of the empire, but its military power was insignificant. It is possible that Antipater divided the eastern provinces so that no single satrap could rise above the others in power.

After the death of Alexander, Archon of Pella was chosen satrap of Babylon. Perdiccas, however, had had plans to supersede Archon and nominate Docimus as his successor. During his invasion of Egypt, Perdiccas sent Docimus along with his detachments to Babylon. Archon waged war against him, but fell in battle. Thus, Docimus was not intending to give Babylon to Seleucus without a fight. It is not certain how Seleucus took Babylon from Docimus, but according to one Babylonian chronicle an important building was destroyed in the city during the summer or winter of 320 BC. Other Babylonian sources state that Seleucus arrived in Babylon in October or November 320 BC. Despite the presumed battle, Docimus was able to escape.

Meanwhile, the empire was once again in turmoil. Peithon, the satrap of Media, assassinated Philip, the satrap of Parthia, and replaced him with his brother Eudemus as the new satrap. In the west Antigonus and Eumenes waged war against each other. Just like Peithon and Seleucus, Eumenes was one of the former supporters of Perdiccas. Seleucus' biggest problem was, however, Babylon itself. The locals had rebelled against Archon and supported Docimus. The Babylonian priesthood had great influence over the region. Babylon also had a sizable population of Macedonian and Greek veterans of Alexander's army. Seleucus managed to win over the priests with monetary gifts and bribes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seleucus_I_Nicator

http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=jdp-fam&id=I62204


BIOGRAFI:

Nicknames: "Nicator", "S??e???? ?' ????t?? Se?e???d?? t?? S???a?", "The Conqueror", "Seleucus I "Nicator" of Macedonia", "? King Of Syria"

Birthdate: -358

Birthplace: Macedonia

Death: Died -282 in Syria

Occupation: General och Kung, Born: abt. 358 BC Died: abt. 280 BC murdered

Nærmeste familie

Stratonice I, Queen Consort of S...

wife

Apama I, Queen of the Seleucid E...

wife

Antiochus I Soter, King of the S...

son

Archaeus I, Prince of Syria

son

Phila II

daughter

Apama

daughter

Laodice

daughter

Berenice

daughter

Demetrius I

son

Antiochus

father

Laodice

mother

Didymeia

sister

Selevkos I Nikator

Fra Wikipedia, den frie encyklopedi

Gå til: navigasjon, søk Selevkos I Nikator

Konge av av Selevkideriket

Navn: S??e???? ????t??

Regjeringstid: 305 –281 f.Kr.

Født: ca. 358 f.Kr., Europos i Orestis i Makedonia

Død: 281 f.Kr., Lysimacheia i Trakia

Foreldre: Antiokos (far)

Laodike (mor)

Ektefelle?(r): 1) Apama

2) Stratonike

Barn: Med Apame:

Antiokos I Soter

Akhaios

Med Stratonike:

Fila II

Selevkos I (gitt tilnavnet Nikator av senere generasjoner, gresk: S??e???? ????t??; Selevkos Viktor («Seierherre»); ca. 358 – 281 f.Kr.) var en ledende makedonsk hærfører og offiser av Aleksander den stores koriniske forbund og en av diadokene. I diadokenes krig, som fant sted i kjølvannet av Aleksanders død i 323 f.Kr., etablerte Selevkos sin eget dynasti, Selevkidedynastiet, og sitt eget rike, Selevkideriket. Hans kongedømme ble en av de siste gjenværende delene av Aleksanders tidligere veldige rike som sto imot Romerrikets ekspansjon. Det var kun det ptolemeiske kongedømme i Egypt som varte lengre med rundt 34 år.

Etter Aleksanders død ble Selevkos nominert som satrap av Babylon i 320 f.Kr. Han ble tvunget av Antigonos I Monofthalmos, en av de andre diadokene, til å flykte fra byen, men med støtte fra Ptolemaios I Soter i Egypt var han i 312 f.Kr. i stand til å komme tilbake. Selevkos' senere erobringer omfattet Persia og Media. Han ble beseiret av keiseren av India, Chandragupta Maurya, og aksepterte en ekteskapsallianse for 500 elefanter etter å ha avstått områder som ble betraktet som en del av India. Selevkos beseiret Antigonos i slaget ved Ipsos i 301 f.Kr. og Lysimakhos, en annen av diadokene, i slaget ved Korupedion i 281 f.Kr. Han ble myrdet av Ptolemaios Keraunos, konge av Makedonia, det samme året og ble etterfulgt av sin sønn Antiokos I Soter.

Selevkos grunnla en rekke nye byer, blant dem Antiokia ved Orontes og Seleukia, begge i dag en del av henholdsvis Tyrkia og Irak.Innhold [skjul]

1 Unge år og familie

2 Tidlig karriere under Aleksander

3 Senioroffiser under Perdikkas

4 Satrap av Babylon

4.1 Diakonenes andre krig

4.2 Flukten til Egypt

5 Admiral under Ptolemaios

6 Selevkos Viktor, seierherre

6.1 Reaksjonen

6.2 De babylonske krig

6.3 Seleukia

7 Selevkos, kongen

7.1 India og de østlige provinser

7.2 Slaget ved Ipsos

7.3 Nederlag for Demetrios og Lysimakhos

7.4 Forvaltningav Anatolia

8 Død og ettermæle

9 Referanser

10 Litteratur

11 Eksterne lenker

Unge år og familie [rediger]

Selevkos var sønn av Antiokos.[1] Historikeren Junianus Justinus hevder at han var en av Filip II av Makedonias generaler, men Antiokos er imidlertid ikke nevnt noen annen kilde og det er ingenting som er bevart om hans påståtte karriere under Filip. Det er mulig at Antiokos var et medlem av en høyere makedonske adelsfamilie. Selevkos' mor var etter signende kalt for Laodike, men ingenting annet er kjent om henne. Senere kom Selevkos til å oppkalle en rekke byer etter sine foreldre. [2]

Som tenåring ble Selevkos utvalgt til å tjene som kongens pasje (paides). Det var sedvane for alle mannlige avkom av adelsfamilier å først tjene i denne posisjonen og senere som offiserer i kongens hær. [2]

Hvilket år Selevkos ble født er uklart. Junianus hevder han var 77 år gammel i slaget ved Korupedion (281 f.Kr.), hvilket ville ha betydd at han ble født i 3578 f.Kr. Appian av Alexandria forteller at han var 73 år under det samme slaget, hvilket betyr at han ble født i 354 f.Kr. Imidlertid sier Eusebius av Cæsarea at han var 75 år gammel, født i 356 f.Kr., hvilket betyr at Selevkos var like gammel som Aleksander den store. Det er antagelig propaganda fra Selevkos' side for å gjøre seg selv likestilt med Aleksanders berømmelse. [3]

Selevkos ble født i Europos som er lokalisert i den nordlige delen av Makedonia. Kun et år før hans fødsel (om året 358 f.Kr. er akseptert som den mest sannsynlige datoen) invaderte paionerne denne regionen. Filip beseiret angriperne og kun noen få år senere underkastet han dem fullstendig til makedonsk styre.[4]

Et antall legender, tilsvarende til de som ble fortalt om Aleksander den store, ble også fortalt om Selevkos. Det ble eksempelvis fortalt at hans far Antiokos hadde fortalt sin sønn før han dro ut for å kjempe mot perserne at hans virkelig far var egentlig guden Apollon. Guden hadde etterlatt en ring med et bilde av et anker til hans mor Laodike. Selevkos hadde passende nok et fødemerke formet som et anker. Det ble fortalt at hans sønn og sønnesønner hadde lignende fødemerker. Denne historien er lik den som ble fortalt om Aleksander. Igjen er dette mest sannsynlig propaganda som Selevkos fikk spredt om seg selv med den hensikt å presentere seg selv som den naturlige etterfølgeren av den store Aleksander. [2]

Johannes Malalas, en gresk-bysantinsk kronikør fra Antiokia på 500-tallet, har fortalt at Selevkos hadde en søster ved navn Didymeia og som hadde sønner som ble kalt for Nikanor og Nikomedes. Mest sannsynlig er disse sønnene fiktive. Didymeia kan derimot referere til Apollons orakel ved helligdommen Didyma i nærheten av Miletos. Det har også blitt foreslått at Ptolemaios (sønn av Selevkos), en av kongens livvakter, var i virkeligheten en onkel av ham. [5]

Tidlig karriere under Aleksander [rediger]

Selevkos ledet de kongelige hypaspistai under Aleksanders krig i Persia.

Våren 334 f.Kr. fulgte Selevkos, som en ung mann på rundt 23 år, Aleksander inn i Asia. Ved tidspunktet for krigstoktet inn i India sent i 327 f.Kr. hadde han fått ansvaret med å lede eliteinfanterikorpset i den makedonske hæren, hypaspistai, «skjoldbærerne», senere kjent som «sølvskjoldene». Det er sagt at da Aleksander krysset elven Hydaspes i en båt, ble han fulgt av Perdikkas, Ptolemaios I Soter, Lysimakhos, foruten også Selevkos. I løpet av det påfølgende slaget ved Hydaspeselven, ledet Selevkos soldatene mot krigselefantene til kong Porus (Purushotthama). Det er sannsynlig at Selevkos ikke hadde en aktiv rolle i dette slaget. Han er heller ikke nevnt å ha hatt noen betydelig selvstendig posisjon i løpet av slaget, i motsetningen til eksempelvis Krateros, Hefaistion, Peithon, og Leonnatos, hver av dem hadde betydelig andel soldater under sin ledelse.[6] Selevkos' kongelige skjoldbærere var hele tiden i nærheten av Aleksander og til hans rådighet. De deltok senere i den militære kampanjen i Indusdalen, i slagene som ble utkjempet mot det indiske folket malhierne og deltok også i kryssingen av ørkenen Gedrosia hvor Aleksander mistet minst en tredjedel av sine menn.

Selevkos tok også hans framtidige hustru, den persiske prinsessen Apama (datter av Spitamenes), med seg til India som sin elskerinne. Der fødte hun hans eldste sønn og etterfølger Antiokos I Soter i 325 f.Kr. Ved den store bryllupsseremonien i Susa våren 324 f.Kr. giftet han seg formelt med Apama, og senere fødte hun ham minst to døtre, Laodike, Apama, og en sønn ved navn Akaios. I den samme seremonien giftet Aleksander seg med datteren til Dareios III av Persia og flere andre makedonere giftet seg med persiske kvinner. Etter Aleksanders død, mens andre makedonske hærførere kvittet seg med deres «Susa-koner», var Selevkos en av de meget få som beholdt sin, og Apama forble hans gemalinne og senere dronning for resten av hennes liv.[7]

Selevkos er nevnt tre ganger i antikke kilder før Aleksanders død. Han deltok på en seiltur i nærheten av Babylon, var tilstede i middagsselskap til Medeios fra Thessalia sammen med Aleksander, og besøkte tempelet til den gresk-egyptiske guddommen Serapis. I den første av disse episodene blåste Aleksanders diadem av hans hode og landet på noen strå i nærhetene av gravene til de assyriske kongene. Selevkos var den som svømte ut for å hendte den tilbake, og plasserte kronen på sitt eget hode mens vendte tilbake til båten for å holdet det tørt. Troverdigheten i denne fortellingen er tvilsom. Fortellingen om middagsselskapet kan derimot være sann, men sammensvergelsen om å forgifte kongen er ikke like troverdig og antagelig en foregripelse av Aleksanders senere død. I den siste fortellingen skal Selevkos etter sigende ha sovet i tempelet til Sarapis i håp om at Aleksanders helse ville bedre seg. Heller ikke denne fortellingen er sannsynlig.[8]

Senioroffiser under Perdikkas [rediger]

Ptolemaios I Soter, en av Aleksanders generaler, ble nominert som satrap av Egypt. Ptolemaios gjorde Egypt uavhengig og erklærte seg selv konge og farao.

Aleksander den store døde uten en etterfølger i Babylon den 10. juni 323 f.Kr. Hans general Perdikkas ble regent for hele hans store rike, mens Aleksanders noe tilbakestående halvbror Filip III Arrhidaios ble valgt som den neste kongen av Makedonia. Aleksanders ufødte barn (Aleksander IV av Makedonia) ble også navngitt som sin fars etterfølger. I konferansen som kalles for delingen i Babylon, fordelte Perdikkas de veldige besittelsene som utgjorde den avdøde kongens rike blant generalene. Selevkos ble valgt til kommandere elitekavaleriet (hetaroi) og utpekt til kiliark («hærfører av et tusen»), noe som gjorde ham til senioroffiser for den kongelige hæren etter regenten og øverstkommanderende Perdikkas. Flere andre mektige menn støttet Perdikkas, inkludert Ptolemaios I Soter, Lysimakhos, Peithon og Eumenes. Perdikkas' makt var avhengig av hans evne til å holde Aleksanders veldige rike, og om han kunne tvinge satrapene (guvernørene) til å adlyde ham. [8]

Det brøt snart ut krig mellom Perdikkas og de andre diadokene. For å sikre sin posisjon, forsøkte Perdikkas å gifte seg med Aleksanders søster Kleopatra. Den første diadokkrigen begynte da Perdikkas sendte Aleksanders lik til Makedonia for gravleggelse. Ptolemaios røvet liket og tok det med til Alexandria i Egypt. Perdikkas og hans tropper fulgte ham til Egypt, hvorpå Ptolemaios sammensverget med Peithon, satrapen av Media, og Antigenes, kommandant av argyraspidene («sølvskjoldene»). Begge tjenestegjorde som offiserer under Perdikkas. De myrdet den aldrende kommandanten. Den senere romerske biografen Cornelius Nepos nevner at Selevkos deltok i denne konspirasjonen, men det er ikke helt sikkert.[9]

Satrap av Babylon [rediger]

Ødelagt romersk kopi av en byste av Selevkos I, Louvre.

Den mektigste mann i riket etter at Perdikkas var død var Antipatros. Perdikkas' motstandere samlet seg til et møte i Triparadisos (ved kildene til elven Orontes i dagens Libanon) hvor Aleksanders rike ble fordelt på nytt (avtalen i Triparadisos 321 f.Kr.). [10]

Ved Triparadisos ble soldatene opprørske og la planer om slå sin herre Antipatros i hjel. Selevkos og Antigonos I Monofthalmos klarte imidlertid å forhindre dette. [11] For å forråde Perdikkas ble Selevkos belønnet med den rike provinsen Babylon. Denne beslutningen kan ha vært Antigonos' forslag. Selevkos' Babylon var omgitt av Peukestas, satrapen av Persis; Antigenes, den nye satrap av Susiana; og Peithon av Media. Babylon var en av de rikeste provinsene i riket, men dets militære makt var ubetydelig. Det er mulig at Antipatros delte opp de østlige provinsene i den hensikt at ingen enkeltstående satrap skulle kunne vokse seg sterkere enn noen av de andre. [10]

Etter Aleksanders død ble Arkon av Pella valgt til satrap av Babylon. Imidlertid hadde Perdikkas planer om å erstatte Arkon og nominere Antigonos Dokimos som hans etterfølger. I løpet av sin invasjon av Egypt ble Dokimos sendt av Perdikkas til Babylon. Arkon gikk til krig mot ham, men falt i det påfølgende slaget. Således hadde Dokimos ikke til hensikt å overgi Babylon til Selevkos uten kamp. Det er ikke klart hvordan Babylon ble tatt fra Dokimos, men i henhold til en babylonsk krønike ble en betydningsfull bygning i byen ødelagt i løpet av sommeren eller vinteren 320 f.Kr. Andre babylonske kilder hevder at Selevkos kom til Babylon i enten oktober eller november 320 f.kr. Til tross for det antatte slaget, klarte Dokimos å flykte fra området.

I mellomtiden hadde riket igjen havnet i uroligheter. Peithon, satrapen av Media, myrdet Filip, satrapen av Partia, og erstattet ham med sin egen bror Eudemos som ny satrap. I vest gikk Antigonos I Monofthalmos og Eumenes av Kardia (Aleksanders sekretær) til krig mot hverandre. Akkurat som Peithon og Selevkos, var Eumenes en av de tidligere tilhengerne av Perdikkas. Selevkos' største problem var imidlertid Babylon i seg selv. De lokale innbyggerne hadde gjort opprør mot Arkon og støttet Dokimos. Det babylonske presteskapet hadde stor innflytelse over regionen. Babylon hadde også en betydelig andel av befolkningen som besto av makedonske og greske veteraner fra Aleksanders hær. Selevkos greide å vinne over prestene med pengegaver og bestikkelser.[12]

Diakonenes andre krig [rediger]

Selevkos sendte to triremer og mindre krigsskip for å hindre Eumenes å krysse Tigris.

Etter at Antipatros var død i 319 f.Kr. fikk satrapen av Media ambisjoner om økt makt. Peithon samlet seg en stor hær på kanskje over 20 000 soldater. Under lederskapet til Peukestas samlet de andre satrapene i regionen en egen, motstående hær. Peithon ble endelig beseiret i et slag som ble utkjempet i Partia. Han unnslapp til Media, men han ble ikke forfulgt av sine motstandere som isteden dro tilbake til Susiana. I mellomtiden hadde Eumenes og hans hær kommet til Kilikia, men måtte trekke seg tilbake da Antigonos I Monofthalmos nærmet seg. Situasjonen var vanskelig for Selevkos. Eumenes og hans hær var nord for Babylon; Antigonos forfulgte ham med en enda større hær; Peithon var i Media og hans motstandere i Susiana. Antigenes, satrap av Susiana og kommandant av argyraspidene, var alliert med Eumenes, men Antigenes var Kilikia da det brøt krig mellom ham og Peithon.[13]

Peithon kom fram til Babylon enten høsten eller vinteren 317 f.Kr. Han hadde mistet et stort antall av sine soldater, men Selevkos hadde uansett færre soldater. Eumenes besluttet å marsjere til Susa våren 316 f.Kr. Satrapene i Susa hadde åpenbart akseptert Eumenes' utsagn at han kjempet på vegne av den lovlige herskerfamilie mot troneraneren Antigonos. Han marsjerte sine soldater 300 stadioner fra Babylon og forsøkte å krysse Tigris. Det tvang Selevkos til å handle. Han sendte to triremer (krigsskip) og en del mindre skip for å hindre Eumenes å krysse elven. Han forsøkte også å få den tidligere hypasiti av argyraspidene til slå seg sammen med ham, men det skjedde ikke. Selevkos sendte også beskjeder til Antigonos. På grunn av hans mangel på soldater hadde Selevkos åpenbart ingen planer om faktisk å stoppe Eumenes. Han åpnet flomsperrene til elven, men den resulterende flommen stoppet ham ikke.[14]

Våren 316 f.Kr. slo Selevkos og Peithon seg sammen med Antigonos som fulgte etter Eumenes til Susa. Fra Susa dro Antigonos til Media hvor han kunne true de østlige provinsene. Han etterlot Selevkos med et mindre antall tropper for å forhindre Eumenes fra å komme seg til Middelhavet. Sibyrtios, satrapen av Arakosia (et område i dagens sørlige Afghanistan), vurderte situasjonen som håpløs og dro tilbake til sin egen provins. Hærene til Eumenes og hans allierte var ved et vendepunkt. Eumenes hadde to trefninger med Antigonos i 316 f.Kr. i slagene ved Paraitakene og Gabiene. Selv om begge slagene ikke ble avgjørende i seg selv, var det argyraspidene som avgjorde fortsettelsen. De hadde fått høre at Antigonos hadde tatt deres hustruer og deres bytte fra alle årene med krigføringer. De åpnet hemmelige forhandlinger med Antigonos, og ble enige om å utlevere Eumenes som øyeblikkelig ble henrettet. Hendelsene i den andre krigen til diakonene viste at Selevkos' hadde tålmodighet til vente til det rette øyeblikk. Å kaste seg hodestups inn i slag var ikke hans stil.[15]

Flukten til Egypt [rediger]

Antigonos tilbrakte vinteren i 316 f.Kr. i Media hvor stedets hersker igjen var Peithon. Sistnevntes begjær for makt hadde vokst, og han forsøkte å få en andel av Antigonos' til å gjøre opprør til hans side. Antigonos oppdaget imidlertid sammensvergelsen og henrettet Peithon. Deretter erstattet han posisjonen som satrap av Persia med Peukestas.[16] Sommeren 315 f.Kr. kom Antigonos til Babylon og ble tatt varmt imot av Selevkos. Forholdet mellom de to ble derimot snart kaldt. Selevkos straffet en av Antigonos' offiserer uten først å be om tillatelse fra Antigonos. Antigonos ble rasende og krevde at Selevkos skulle gi ham inntekten fra provinsen, noe Selevkos nektet å gjøre.[17] Selevkos kunne likevel ikke føle seg trygg for Antigonos, og for ikke å ta sjanser med sitt eget liv, flyktet han til Egypt sammen med 50 ryttere. Det er sagt at astrologer fra Kaldea hadde gitt Antigonos spådommen at Selevkos en gang ville bli herre over hele Asia og bli hans banemann. Etter å ha hørt dette, sendte den overtroiske Antigonos soldater etter Selevkos som derimot først unnslapp til Mesopotamia og deretter til Syria. Antigonos henrettet Blitor, den nye satrapen av Mesopotamia, for å ha gitt hjelp til Selevkos. Moderne forskere er skeptiske til fortellingen om spådommen, og det synes som om presteskapet i Babylon var imot Selevkos.[18]

Samtidig som Selevkos rømte mot Egypt var det stor uro i Makedonia. Kassandros, sønn av Antipatros, myrdet Filip III Arrhidaios, Aleksander den stores halvbror, sammen med Filips hustru Eurydike, og deretter Aleksander den stores mor Olympias. Aleksander IV, sønn av den store Aleksander, var fortsatt et barn, men som Kassandros utropte som den nye konge for å legitimere sitt styre mens han selv beholdt all kontroll.[19]

Admiral under Ptolemaios [rediger]

Mynt av Selevkos i hjelm.

Etter å ha kommet trygt fram til Egypt, sendte Selevkos sine venner til Hellas for å informere Kassandros og Lysimakhos, herskeren av Trakia, om Antigonos. Sistnevnte var nå blitt den mektigste av diakonene, og de andre kom snart til å alliere seg imot ham. De allierte sendte et forslag til Antigonos hvor de krevde at Selevkos måtte få lov til å vende tilbake til Babylon. Antigonos nektet og dro til Syria hvor han planla å angripe Ptolemaios våren 314 f.Kr.[20] Selevkos ble gjort til admiral under Ptolemaios. Deretter begynte han beleire byen Tyr i Fønikia,[21] Antigonos allierte seg med Rhodos. Øya hadde en strategisk lokalisering og dens marine var i stand til å forhindre de allierte å samle sine styrker. På grunn av trusselen fra Kypros, ga Ptolemaios hundre skip til Selevkos og sendte ham nordover til Egeerhavet. Flåten var for liten til å erobre Rhodos, men den var stor nok til å tvinge Asandros, satrap av Karia, til å alliere seg med Ptolemaios. For å demonstrere sin makt invaderte Selevkos byen Erythrai, den ene av de tolv joniske byene ved vestkysten av Anatolia.

En annen Ptolemaios, en nevø av Antigonos, angrep Asandros. Selevkos dro tilbake til Kypros hvor Ptolemaios I Soter hadde sendt sin bror Menelaos sammen med 10 000 leiesoldater og hundre krigsskip. Selevkos og Menelaos begynte å beleire bystaten Kition på sørkysten av Kypros (i dag Larnaka). Antigonos sendte det meste av sin flåte til Egeerhavet og sin hær til Anatolia. Det ga Ptolemaios I Soter muligheten til å angripe Syria hvor han beseiret Demetrios I Poliorketes, Antigonos' sønn, i slaget ved Gaza i 312 f.Kr. Det er sannsynlig at Selevkos deltok i dette slaget. Peithon, sønn av Agenor, som Antigonos hadde forfremmet til som den nye satrap av Babylon, falt i slaget. Peithons død gjorde det mulig for Selevkos å vende tilbake til Babylon.[22]

Selevkos hadde forberedt godt sin tilbakekomst til Babylon. Etter slaget ved Gaza trakk Demetrios I seg tilbake til Tripoli mens Ptolemaios I Soter avanserte hele vegen fram til Sidon. Ptolemaios I ga Selevkos 800 infanterister og 200 kavalerister. Han lot også hans venner følge ham, kanskje de samme 50 som hadde rømt til Egypt sammen med ham. På vegen tilbake til Babylon rekrutterte han ytterligere soldater fra de greske koloniene langs vegen. Han hadde til sist rundt 3 000 soldater, en liten hær. I Babylon barrikaderte Pethons kommandant Difilos seg innenfor byens festning, men Selevkos erobret Babylon ganske raskt og festningen falt også. De av hans venner som ble holdt som fanger i Babylon ble løslatt.[23] Hans triumferende tilbakekomst til Babylon ble siden vurdert som selve begynnelsen på Selevkideriket og det første året i dette rikets kronologi.

Selevkos Viktor, seierherre [rediger]

Kongerømmene til Antigonos, Selevkos, Ptolemaios I Soter, Kassandros og Lysimakhos.

Kort tid etter at Selevkos kom tilbake, forsøkte Antigonos' tilhengere å gjenerobre Babylon. Nikanor var den nye satrap av Media og strategos for de østlige provinser. Hans hær besto av rundt 17 000 soldater. Evagoras, satrap for Asia, var hans allierte. Det var opplagt at Selevkos lille hær ikke kunne beseire dem i et slag. Selevkos skjulte sin hær i siv- og myrområdene som omga det stedet hvor Nikanor planla å krysse Tigris og angrep overraskende om natten. Evagoras falt i begynnelsen av slaget og Nikanor ble avsondret fra sine soldater. Da nyheten om at Evagoras var død spredte seg blant soldatene, begynte de å overgi i mengder. De fleste av dem overga sin lojalitet til Selevkos. Nikanor rakk så vidt å unnslippe med noen få menn. [24]

Selv om Selevkos nå hadde en hær som utgjorde rundt 20 000 menn var de fortsatt ikke nok til å stå imot styrkene til Antigonos. Han visste heller ikke når Antigonos ville gjøre sitt motangrep. På den annen siden viste han minst to østlige provinser ikke hadde en satrap. Flertallet av hans soldater kom fra disse områdene. En del av Evagoras' soldater var persere, og en del av dem hadde en grunn til å mislike Antigonos. Selevkos besluttet å dra fordel av dette. [24]

Selevkos fikk spedt ulike fortellinger i provinsene og blant soldatene. I henhold til en av dem hadde han i en drøm sett Aleksander den store stå ved siden ham. Eumenes hadde tidligere forsøkt den tilsvarende propagandaen. Antigonos, som hadde vært i Anatolia mens Selevkos hadde vært i øst med Aleksander, kunne ikke bruke Aleksander i sin egen propaganda. Selevkos som var makedoner, hadde muligheten til få makedonernes tillit blant sine soldater, noe som ikke var tilfellet med Eumenes.[25]

Etter atter igjen å ha blitt satrap av Babylon, ble Selevkos stadig mer aggressiv i sin politikk. På kort tid erobret han Media og Susiana. Historikeren Diodorus Siculus rapporterte at Selevkos erobret andre områder i nærheten, hvilket kan være Persis, Aria (ved Hari Rud) eller Partia. Han nådde derimot ikke fram til Baktria og Sogdia (tilsvarende dagens Usbekistan). Satrapen av Baktria var Stasanor som hadde klart å holde seg nøytral i de tidligere konfliktene. Etter at Nikanor hadde lidd nederlag var det ingen hær i øst som kunne stå imot Selevkos. Det er uklart hvordan Selevkos klarte å administrere de provinsene han erobret. De fleste satraper var døde. I teorien var Polyperkon fortsatte den lovmessige forgjengeren til Antipatros og den offisielle regent av det makedonske kongerike. Det var hans plikt og rett til å utnevne satraper. Imidlertid var Polyperkon fortsatt alliert med Antipatros og dermed en fiende av Selevkos.[26]

Reaksjonen [rediger]

Selevkos-mynt som avbilder Aleksander den stores hest Bukefalos.

Antigonos sendte sin sønn Demetrios I Poliorketes med 15 000 infanterister og 4 000 kavalerister for å gjenerobre Babylon. Tilsynelatende ga han Demetrios en tidsbegrensning, og etter denne måtte han vendte tilbake til Syria. Antigonos synes å tro at Selevkos kun styrte Babylon, hvilket kan innebære at Nikanor ikke hadde informert om det antallet soldater som hadde byttet side. Det synes som om rekkevidden av Nikanors nederlag ikke var kjent av alle og heller ikke de erobringer som Selevkos hadde gjort i øst.[27]

Da Demetrios kom fram til Babylon var Selevkos fortsatt et sted i øst. Han hadde etterlatt Patrokles til å forsvare byen. Babylon ble beseiret på en uvanlig måte. Den hadde to sterke festninger som Selevkos hadde etterlatt sine garnisoner. Innbyggerne ble transportert ut og bosatt naboområdene, en del så langt unna som Susa. Byens omgivelser var godt egnet for forsvar, bestående av byer, sumper, kanaler og elver. Demetrios' soldater begynte med å beleire Babylons festninger og greide å erobre en av dem. Den andre viste seg langt mer vanskelig. Han etterlot sin venn Arkelaos til å fortsette beleiringen med 5 000 infanterister og 1 000 kavalerister mens han selv forlot området. De antikke kildene nevner ikke hva som skjedde med disse styrkene, men kanskje de ble nedkjempet av Selevkos.[28]

De babylonske krig [rediger]

Mynt av Lysimakhos som en hornkledt Aleksander.

I løpet av ni år (311–302 f.Kr.), mens Antigonos var opptatt i vest, førte Selevkos hele den østlige delen av Aleksanders rike så langt unna som Jaxartes og Induselven inn under sin autoritet.

I 311 f.Kr. inngikk Antigonos fred med Kassandros, Lysimakhos og Ptolemaios I Soter, og det ga ham endelig pusterom til å ta seg av Selevkos.[29] Antigonos' hær besto av minst 80 000 soldater. Selv om han hadde etterlatt halvparten av sine tropper i vest, ville han fortsatt ha et tallmessig overtak på Selevkos. Det er mulig at Selevkos hadde mottatt hjelp fra kossaianerne, etterkommere av oldtidsfolket kassitterne. Antigonos hadde herjet deres landområder da han kjempet mot Eumenes. Selevkos kunne også ha rekruttert en andel av Arkelaos' folk. Da Antigonos endelig nådde fram til Babylon var Selevkos' hær åpenbart langt større enn tidligere. [30]

Det er lite informasjon som er bevart om konflikten mellom Antigonos og Selevkos; kun en meget rudimentær babylonisk krønike har gitt noen få detaljer om krigen. Beskrivelsen for året 310 f.Kr. er helt gått tapt. Det synes som om Antigonos greide å erobre Babylon, men hans planer ble forstyrret da Ptolemaios I Soter overraskende angrep Kilikia.[30]

Det er kjent at Selevkos greide å beseire Antigonos i minst ett avgjørende slag. Dette slaget er kun nevnt i Polyainos' verk Strategemata (Om strategier). Polyainos forteller at soldatene til Selevkos og Antigonos kjempet en hel dag, men da natten kom var slaget fortsatt ikke avgjort. De to styrkene ble enige om å hvile for natten og fortsette neste dag. Antigonos' soldater sov uten deres utstyr mens Selevkos beordret sine styrker om å sove og spise frokost i slagformasjon. Kort før soloppgang angrep Selevkos' tropper styrkene til Antigonos som fortsatt var uten deres våpen og i uorden. De var da lett å overvinne. Den historiske nøyaktigheten i denne fortellingen er dog diskutabel. [31][32]

Uansett detaljer endte den babylonske krigen med at Selevkos seiret. Antigonos ble tvunget til trekke seg tilbake vestover. Begge sider befestet sine grenser. Antigonos bygde en rekke festninger langs elven Balikh mens Selevkos bygde noen byer, blant annet Dura Europos og Nisibis (dagens Nusaybin).

Seleukia [rediger]

Mynt preget av Antigonos med inskripsjonen ??S???OS ????G???? (kong Antigonos).

Den neste hendelsen knyttet til Selevkos var grunnleggelsen av byen Seleukia. Byen ble bygget ved bredden av Tigris antagelig i 397 eller 305 f.Kr. Selevkos gjorde Seleukia til sin nye hovedstad, således etterlignet han Lysimakhos, Kassandros og Antigonos som alle hadde opprettet og navngitt byer etter seg selv. Selevkos overførte også pregingen av mynter fra Babylon til sin nye by. Babylon ble snart etterlatt i skyggen av Seleukia, og det fortelles at Antiokos, Selevkos' sønn, flyttet hele befolkningen i Babylon til sin fars hovedstad i 275 f.Kr. Byen blomstret fram til 165 e.Kr. da den ble ødelagt av romerne. [31][33]

En fortelling om byens grunnleggelse er som følgende: Selevkos spurte de babylonske prestene om hvilken dag som var best for å opprette en by. Prestene kalkulerte dagen, men ønsket at grunnleggelsen skulle feiles og oppga en annen dato. Deres konspirasjon ble dog mislykket ettersom da den korrekte dagen kom, begynte Selevkos soldater spontant å bygge byen. Da prestene ble forhørt, innrømmet de deres dåd.[34]

Selevkos, kongen [rediger]

Striden mellom diadokene nådde sitt klimaks da Antigonos, etter å ha utryddet den gamle kongelige familie i Makedonia, utropte seg selv som konge i 306 f.Kr. Ptolemaios I Soter, Lysimakhos, Kassandros, og Selevkos fulgte snart etter. Også Agathokles, tyrannen i Syrakusa på Sicilia erklærte seg selv som konge på omtrent samme tid. [31][35] Selevkos, som de fire andre fremste makedonske lederne, antok tittelen og stilen som basileus, ßas??e?? (konge).

India og de østlige provinser [rediger]

Chandraguptas indiske rike da han grunnla det ca. 320 f.Kr., da han var rundt 20 år.

Chandragupta antatte økte grenser vestover mot grensene av Selevkideriket etter forsoningen med Selevkos, ca. 305 f.Kr.

Selevkos I Nikator vendte snart sin oppmerksomhet østover igjen. I år 305 f.Kr. dro han til India og tilsynelatende okkuperte alt land så langt som til Indus, og til sist gikk til krig med mauryakeiseren Chandragupta Maurya:

«Alltid liggende avventende overfor nabonasjonene, sterk i våpenkraft og overbevisende i rådsforsamlingen, tok han [Selevkos] Mesopotamia, Armenia, 'Selevkide'-Kappadokia, Persis, Partia, Baktria, Arabia, Tapouria,[36] Sogdia, Arakosia, Hyrkania, og andre tilstøtende folk som hadde blitt underkastet av Aleksander, så langt som til elven Indus, slik at grensene av hans rike var det mest omfattende i Asia ett


Seleucus I (given the surname by later generations of Nicator (which means victorious in ancient Greek), Greek : Σέλευκος Νικάτωρ (Hindi: सेल्यूकस), i.e. Seleucus the Victor) (ca. 358 BCE–281 BCE) was a Macedonian officer of Alexander the Great and one of the Diadochi. In the Wars of the Diadochi that took place after Alexander's death, Seleucus established the Seleucid dynasty and the Seleucid Empire. His kingdom would be one of the last holdouts of Alexander's former empire to Roman rule. They were only outlived by the Ptolemaic Kingdom in Egypt by roughly 34 years.

After the death of Alexander, Seleucus was nominated as the satrap of Babylon in 320 BC. Antigonus forced Seleucus to flee from Babylon, but, supported by Ptolemy, he was able to return in 312 BC. Seleucus' later conquests include Persia and Media. He formed an alliance with the Indian King Chandragupta Maurya. Seleucus defeated Antigonus in the battle of Ipsus in 301 BC and Lysimachus in the battle of Corupedium in 281 BC. He was assassinated by Ptolemy Ceraunus during the same year. Seleucus' successor was his son Antiochus I.

Seleucus founded a number of new cities, including Antioch and Seleucia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seleucus_I_Nicator


Birth: 358 B.C.

Death: 280 B.C.

General Notes

   King of Syria Seleucus I Nicator of Macedonia died 0281 B.C. In August/September, outside Lysimacheia. Assassinated by Ptolemy Ceraunus. Seleucus left India to the growing power of the Mauryas, but was about to add Thrace to his kingdom when, stepping out of the boat in Europe, he was assassinated by Ptolemy Ceraunus, whom he had taken in as a refugee. Ceraunus claimed the throne of Thrace and Macedon, while the rest of Seleucus' domain passed to his half-Iranian son Antiochus.2,3,4 He defeated and killed Lysimachus 0281 B.C. In February, the Battle of Corupedium.5 He received the allegience of Philetaerus, Governor of Pergamum 0282 B.C.. He married Queen of Upper Asia Stratonike I Antigonid , daughter of King of Phrygia and Macedonia Demetrius I Poliorcetes Antigonid  and Phila I Antipatrid , 0297 B.C; Her 1st.6,7,8 He joined the confederacy against Macedonia and upon the defeat and death of King Antigonus I of Macedonia, obtained the largest share of the spoils, including the whole of Syria and a great part of Asia Minor, 0301 B.C..2 King of Syria, 0301-0281 B.C..9 He conceded India to Chandragupta Maurya 0303 B.C..3 He assumed the title King of Babylon 0305 B.C..5 King of Babylon, 0312-0302 B.C..2 He was made Satrap of Babylon in the second partition of Alexander's former Empire 0321 B.C..2 Satrap of Babylon, 0321-0312 B.C.. He married Apama II of Bactria, daughter of Satrap Spitamenes of Bactria and N. N. of Bithynia, 0324 BC in Susa.10,1 He was the son of Antiochus of Macedonia  and Laodice (?) .10 He was born 0358 B.C. In circa.2 King of Syria Seleucus I Nicator of Macedonia also went by the name of Seleucus "the Conqueror." "Nicator" is Greek for "the Conqueror."2 Sources: 1. Stuart, R.W. 'Royalty for Commoners', line 414. ; 2. Bryan, K. 'Davidic Descents to the House of Plantagenet' Augustan, Vol. XXV, 16-23. ; 3. Yarshater, E. 'The Cambridge History of Iran' Vol.3#1, pp.4. ; 4. Hammond, N.G.L. and Walbank, F.W. 'A History of Macedonia' Vol.III, pp.205. ; 5. Green, P. 'Alexander to Actium' pp.734. Also called Seleucus I Nicator Seleucid.
   Children of King of Syria Seleucus I Nicator of Macedonia and Queen of Upper Asia Stratonike I Antigonid :
   Phila II Seleucid + b. 0296 B.C.
   Children of King of Syria Seleucus I Nicator of Macedonia and Apama II of Bactria:
   Prince of Syria Achaeus Seleucid + b. 0320 B.C.
   King of Syria Antiochos I Soter Seleucid + b. 0324 B.C., d. 0261 B.C.
   [S204] Roderick W. Stuart, Royalty for Commoners: The Complete Lineage of John of Gaunt, Son of Edward III, Kings of England, and Queen Philippa (.: ., 3rd Ed., 1998), 415-80. Hereinafter cited as RfC.
   [S262] Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 99 Software (Redmond, Washington: Microsoft, 1999), "Seleucus I," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.. Hereinafter cited as MS Encarta 99.
   [S288] Philosophy of History, online .. Hereinafter cited as PoH.
   [S1052] Chris Bennett's Egyptian Royal Genealogy Website, online . Hereinafter cited as Egyptian Royal Genealogy.
   [S672] Monetary History of the World, online . Hereinafter cited as Armstrong.
   [S204] Roderick W. Stuart, RfC, 427-79.
   [S669] M. B. Sakellariou, Macedonia, 4000 Years of Greek History and Civilization, Greek Lands in History (8, Philadelphias Street, Athens, Greece: Ekdotike Athenon S.A., 1983/1988), pg. 147. Hereinafter cited as Sakellariou.
   [S931] A.H. Clough, editor, Plutarch's Lives (Champaign, IL: Project Gutenberg, October 1996), DEMETRIUS. Hereinafter cited as Plutarch's Lives.
   [S578] Fatih Cimok, Commagene Nemrut (Sifa Hamami Sokak 18, Sultanahmet 34400, Istanbul: A Turizm Yayinlari Ltd. Sti, 1995), pg. 55. Hereinafter cited as Commagene Nemrut.
   [S204] Roderick W. Stuart, RfC, 414-80.

Seleucus I Nicator

Seleucus I Nicator (c. 358 BC – 281 BC) (Ancient Greek: Σέλευκος Α΄ Νικάτωρ) was one of the Diadochi. Having previously served as an infantry general under Alexander the Great, he eventually assumed the title of basileus and established the Seleucid Empire over much of the territory in the Near East which Alexander had conquered.

After the death of Alexander in June 323 BC, Seleucus initially supported Perdiccas, the regent of Alexander's empire, and was appointed Commander of the Companions and chiliarch at the Partition of Babylon in 323 BC. However, after the outbreak of the Wars of the Diadochi in 322, Perdiccas' military failures against Ptolemy in Egypt led to the mutiny of his troops in Pelusium. Perdiccas was betrayed and assassinated in a conspiracy by Seleucus, Peithon and Antigenes in Pelusium sometime in either 321 or 320 BC.

At the Partition of Triparadisus in 321 BC, Seleucus was appointed Satrap of Babylon under the new regent Antipater. But almost immediately, the wars between the Diadochi resumed and Antigonus forced Seleucus to flee Babylon. Seleucus was only able to return to Babylon in 312 BC with the support of Ptolemy. From 312 BC, Seleucus ruthlessly expanded his dominions and eventually conquered the Persian and Median lands. Seleucus ruled not only Babylonia, but the entire enormous eastern part of Alexander's empire:

"Always lying in wait for the neighboring nations, strong in arms and persuasive in council, he [Seleucus] acquired Mesopotamia, Armenia, 'Seleucid' Cappadocia, Persis, Parthia, Bactria, Arabia, Tapouria, Sogdia, Arachosia, Hyrcania, and other adjacent peoples that had been subdued by Alexander, as far as the river Indus, so that the boundaries of his empire were the most extensive in Asia after that of Alexander. The whole region from Phrygia to the Indus was subject to Seleucus." — Appian, The Syrian Wars

Seleucus' wars took him as far as India, where, after two years of war (305-303 BC), he made peace with the Indian Emperor Chandragupta Maurya, and exchanged his eastern satrapies in the Indus River Valley for a considerable force of 500 war elephants, which would play a decisive role against Antigonus at the Battle of Ipsus in 301 BC and against Lysimachus at the Battle of Corupedium in 281 BC.

"The Indians occupy [in part] some of the countries situated along the Indus, which formerly belonged to the Persians: Alexander deprived the Ariani of them, and established there settlements of his own. But Seleucus Nicator gave them to Sandrocottus in consequence of a marriage contract, and received in return five hundred elephants." — Strabo, Geographica

Seleucus' victories against Antigonus and Lysimachus left the Seleucid dynasty virtually unopposed in Asia and in Anatolia. However, Seleucus also hoped to take control of Lysimachus' European territories, primarily Thrace and Macedon itself. But upon arriving in Thrace in 281 BC, Seleucus was assassinated by Ptolemy Ceraunus, who had taken refuge at the Seleucid court with his sister Lysandra. The assassination of Seleucus destroyed Seleucid prospects in Thrace and Macedon, and paved the way for Ptolemy Ceraunus to absorb much of Lysimachus' former power in Macedon. Seleucus was succeeded by his son Antiochus I as ruler of the Seleucid empire.

Seleucus founded a number of new cities during his reign, including Antioch (300 BC) and in particular Seleucia on the Tigris (ca. 305 BC), the new capital of the Seleucid Empire, a foundation that eventually depopulated Babylon.

Youth and family

Seleucus was the son of Antiochus. Historian Junianus Justinus claims that Antiochus was one of Philip II of Macedon's generals, but no such general is mentioned in any other sources, and nothing is known of his supposed career under Philip. It is possible that Antiochus was a member of an upper Macedonian noble family. Seleucus' mother was supposedly called Laodice, but nothing else is known of her. Later, Seleucus named a number of cities after his parents. Seleucus was born in Europos, located in the northern part of Macedonia. Just a year before his birth (if the year 358 BC is accepted as the most likely date), the Paeonians invaded the region. Philip defeated the invaders and only a few years later utterly subdued them under Macedonian rule. Seleucus' year of birth is unclear. Justin claims he was 77 years old during the battle of Corupedium, which would place his year of birth at 358 BC. Appianus tells us Seleucus was 73 years old during the battle, which means 354 BC would be the year of birth. Eusebius of Caesarea, however, mentions the age of 75, and thus the year 356 BC, making Seleucus the same age as Alexander the Great. This is most likely propaganda on Seleucus' part to make him seem comparable to Alexander.

As a teenager, Seleucus was chosen to serve as the king's page (paides). It was customary for all male offspring of noble families to first serve in this position and later as officers in the king's army.

A number of legends, similar to those told of Alexander the Great, were told of Seleucus. It was said Antiochus told his son before he left to battle the Persians with Alexander that his real father was actually the god Apollo. The god had left a ring with a picture of an anchor as a gift to Laodice. Seleucus had a birthmark shaped like an anchor. It was told that Seleucus' sons and grandsons also had similar birthmarks. The story is similar to the one told about Alexander. Most likely the story is merely propaganda by Seleucus, who presumably invented the story to present himself as the natural successor of Alexander.

John Malalas tells us Seleucus had a sister called Didymeia, who had sons called Nicanor and Nicomedes. It is most likely the sons are fictitious. Didymeia might refer to the oracle of Apollo in Didyma near Miletus. It has also been suggested that Ptolemy (son of Seleucus) was actually the uncle of Seleucus.

Early career under Alexander the Great

In spring 334 BC, as a young man of about twenty-three, Seleucus accompanied Alexander into Asia. By the time of the Indian campaigns beginning in late in 327 BC, he had risen to the command of the élite infantry corps in the Macedonian army, the "Shield-bearers" (Hypaspistai, later known as the "Silvershields"). It is said that when Alexander crossed the Hydaspes river on a boat, he was accompanied by Perdiccas, Ptolemy I Soter, Lysimachus and also Seleucus. During the subsequent Battle of the Hydaspes (326 BCE), Seleucus led his troops against the elephants of King Porus. It is likely that Seleucus had no role in the actual planning of the battle. He is also not mentioned as holding any major independent position during the battle, unlike, for example, Craterus, Hephaistion, Peithon and Leonnatus – each of whom had sizable detachments under his control. Seleucus' Royal Hypaspistai were constantly under Alexander's eye and at his disposal. They later participated in the Indus Valley campaign, in the battles fought against the Malli and in the crossing of the Gedrosian desert.

Seleucus took his future wife, the Persian princess Apama (daughter of Spitamenes), with him as his mistress into India, where she gave birth to his eldest son and successor Antiochus I Soter (325 BC). At the great marriage ceremony at Susa in the spring of 324 BC, Seleucus formally married Apama, and she later bore him at least two legitimate daughters (Laodice and Apama) and a son (Achaeus). At the same event, Alexander married the daughter of the late Persian King Darius III while several other Macedonians married Persian women. After Alexander's death (323 BCE), when the other senior Macedonian officers unloaded their "Susa wives" en masse, Seleucus was one of the very few who kept his, and Apama remained his consort (later Queen) for the rest of her life.

Ancient sources mention Seleucus three times before the death of Alexander. He participated in a sailing trip near Babylon, took part in the dinner party of Medeios the Thessalian with Alexander and visited the temple of the god Sarapis.[citation needed] In the first of these episodes, Alexander's diadem was blown off his head and landed on some reeds near the tombs of Assyrian kings. Seleucus swam to fetch the diadem back, placing it on his own head while returning to the boat to keep it dry. The validity of the story is dubious. The story of the dinner party of Medeios may be true, but the plot to poison the King is unlikely. In the final story, Seleucus reportedly slept in the temple of Sarapis in the hope that Alexander's health might improve. The validity of this story is also questionable, as the Graeco-Egyptian Sarapis had not been invented at the time.

Senior officer under Perdiccas

Alexander the Great died without a successor in Babylon on June 10, 323 BC. His general Perdiccas became the regent of all of Alexander's empire, while Alexander's physically and mentally disabled half-brother Arrhidaeus was chosen as the next king under the name Philip III of Macedon. Alexander's unborn child (Alexander IV) was also named his father's successor. In the "Partition of Babylon" however, Perdiccas effectively divided the enormous Macedonian dominion among Alexander's generals. Seleucus was chosen to command the Companion cavalry (hetairoi) and appointed first or court chiliarch, which made him the senior officer in the Royal Army after the regent and commander-in-chief Perdiccas. Several other powerful men supported Perdiccas, including Ptolemy, Lysimachus, Peithon and Eumenes. Perdiccas' power depended on his ability to hold Alexander's enormous empire together, and on whether he could force the satraps to obey him.

War soon broke out between Perdiccas and the other Diadochi. To cement his position, Perdiccas tried to marry Alexander's sister Cleopatra. The First War of the Diadochi began when Perdiccas sent Alexander's corpse to Macedonia for burial. Ptolemy however captured the body and took it to Alexandria. Perdiccas and his troops followed him to Egypt, whereupon Ptolemy conspired with the satrap of Media, Peithon, and the commander of the Argyraspides, Antigenes, both serving as officers under Perdiccas, and assassinated him. Cornelius Nepos mentions that Seleucus also took part in this conspiracy, but this is not certain.

Satrap of Babylon

The most powerful man in the empire after the death of Perdiccas was Antipater. Perdiccas' opponents gathered in Triparadisos, where the empire of Alexander was partitioned again (the Treaty of Triparadisus 321 BC).

At Triparadisos the soldiers had become mutinous and were planning to murder their master Antipater. Seleucus and Antigonus, however, managed to prevent this. For betraying Perdiccas, Seleucus was awarded the rich province of Babylon. This decision may have been Antigonus' idea. Seleucus' Babylon was surrounded by Peucestas, the satrap of Persis; Antigenes, the new satrap of Susiana and Peithon of Media. Babylon was one of the wealthiest provinces of the empire, but its military power was insignificant. It is possible that Antipater divided the eastern provinces so that no single satrap could rise above the others in power.

After the death of Alexander, Archon of Pella was chosen satrap of Babylon. Perdiccas, however, had had plans to supersede Archon and nominate Docimus as his successor. During his invasion of Egypt, Perdiccas sent Docimus along with his detachments to Babylon. Archon waged war against him, but fell in battle. Thus, Docimus was not intending to give Babylon to Seleucus without a fight. It is not certain how Seleucus took Babylon from Docimus, but according to one Babylonian chronicle an important building was destroyed in the city during the summer or winter of 320 BC. Other Babylonian sources state that Seleucus arrived in Babylon in October or November 320 BC. Despite the presumed battle, Docimus was able to escape.

Meanwhile, the empire was once again in turmoil. Peithon, the satrap of Media, assassinated Philip, the satrap of Parthia, and replaced him with his brother Eudemus as the new satrap. In the west Antigonus and Eumenes waged war against each other. Just like Peithon and Seleucus, Eumenes was one of the former supporters of Perdiccas. Seleucus' biggest problem was, however, Babylon itself. The locals had rebelled against Archon and supported Docimus. The Babylonian priesthood had great influence over the region. Babylon also had a sizable population of Macedonian and Greek veterans of Alexander's army. Seleucus managed to win over the priests with monetary gifts and bribes.

Second War of the Diadochi

After the death of Antipater in 319 BC, the satrap of Media began to expand his power. Peithon assembled a large army of perhaps over 20,000 soldiers. Under the leadership of Peucestas the other satraps of the region brought together an opposing army of their own. Peithon was finally defeated in a battle waged in Parthia. He escaped to Media, but his opponents did not follow him and rather returned to Susiana. Meanwhile, Eumenes and his army had arrived at Cilicia, but had to retreat when Antigonus reached the city. The situation was difficult for Seleucus. Eumenes and his army were north of Babylon; Antigonus was following him with an even larger army; Peithon was in Media and his opponents in Susiana. Antigenes, satrap of Susiana and commander of the Argyraspides, was allied with Eumenes. Antigenes was in Cilicia when the war between him and Peithon began.

Peithon arrived at Babylon in the autumn or winter of 317 BC. Peithon had lost a large number of troops, but Seleucus had even fewer soldiers. Eumenes decided to march to Susa in the spring of 316 BC. The satraps in Susa had apparently accepted Eumenes' claims of his fighting on behalf of the lawful ruling family against the usurper Antigonus. Eumenes marched his army 300 stadions away from Babylon and tried to cross the Tigris. Seleucus had to act. He sent two triremes and some smaller ships to stop the crossing. He also tried to get the former hypasiti of the Argyraspides to join him, but this did not happen. Seleucus also sent messages to Antigonus. Because of his lack of troops, Seleucus apparently had no plans to actually stop Eumenes. He opened the flood barriers of the river, but the resulting flood did not stop Eumenes.

In the spring of 316 BC, Seleucus and Peithon joined Antigonus, who was following Eumenes to Susa. From Susa Antigonus went to Media, from where he could threaten the eastern provinces. He left Seleucus with a small number of troops to prevent Eumenes from reaching the Mediterranean. Sibyrtius, satrap of Arachosia, saw the situation as hopeless and returned to his own province. The armies of Eumenes and his allies were at breaking point. Antigonus and Eumenes had two encounters during 316 BC, in the battles of Paraitacene and Gabiene. Eumenes was defeated and executed. The events of the Second War of the Diadochi revealed Seleucus' ability to wait for the right moment. Blazing into battle was not his style.

Escape to Egypt

Antigonus spent the winter of 316 BC in Media, whose ruler was once again Peithon. Peithon's lust for power had grown, and he tried to get a portion of Antigonus troops to revolt to his side. Antigonus, however, discovered the plot and executed Peithon. He then superseded Peucestas as satrap of Persia. In the summer of 315 BC Antigonus arrived in Babylon and was warmly welcomed by Seleucus. The relationship between the two soon turned cold, however. Seleucus punished one of Antigonus' officers without asking permission from Antigonus. Antigonus became angry and demanded that Seleucus give him the income from the province, which Seleucus refused to do. He was, however, afraid of Antigonus and fled to Egypt with 50 horsemen. It is told that Chaldean astrologers prophesied to Antigonus that Seleucus would become master of Asia and would kill Antigonus. After hearing this, Antigonus sent soldiers after Seleucus, who had however first escaped to Mesopotamia and then to Syria. Antigonus executed Blitor, the new satrap of Mesopotamia, for helping Seleucus. Modern scholars are skeptical of the prophecy story. It seems certain, however, that the Babylon priesthood was against Seleucus.

During Seleucus' escape to Egypt, Macedonia was undergoing great turmoil. Alexander the Great's mother Olympias had been invited back to Macedon by Polyperchon in order to drive Cassander out. She held great respect among the Macedonian army but lost some of this when she had Philip III and his wife Eurydice killed as well as many nobles whom she took revenge upon for supporting Antipater during his long reign. Cassander reclaimed Macedon the following year at Pydna and then had her killed. Alexander IV, still a young child, and his mother Roxane were held guarded at Amphipolis and died under mysterious circumstances in 310 BC, probably murdered at the instigation of Cassander to allow the diadochs to assume the title of kingship.

Admiral under Ptolemy

After arriving in Egypt, Seleucus sent his friends to Greece to inform Cassander and Lysimachus, the ruler of Thracia, about Antigonus. Antigonus was now the most powerful of the Diadochi, and the others would soon ally against him. The allies sent a proposition to Antigonus in which they demanded that Seleucus be allowed to return to Babylon. Antigonus refused and went to Syria, where he planned to attack Ptolemy in the spring of 314 BC. Seleucus was an admiral under Ptolemy. At the same time he started the siege of Tyros, Antigonus allied with Rhodes. The island had a strategic location and its navy was capable of preventing the allies from combining their forces. Because of the threat of Rhodes, Ptolemy gave Seleucus a hundred ships and sent him to the Aegean Sea. The fleet was too small to defeat Rhodes, but it was big enough to force Asander, the satrap of Caria, to ally with Ptolemy. To demonstrate his power, Seleucus also invaded the city of Erythrai. Ptolemy, nephew of Antigonus, attacked Asander. Seleucus returned to Cyprus, where Ptolemy I had sent his brother Menelaos along with 10,000 mercenaries and 100 ships. Seleucus and Menelaos began to besiege Kition. Antigonus sent most of his fleet to the Aegean Sea and his army to Asia Minor. Ptolemy now had an opportunity to invade Syria, where he defeated Demetrius, the son of Antigonus, in the battle of Gaza in 312 BC. It is probable that Seleucus took part in the battle. Peithon, son of Agenor, whom Antigonus had nominated as the new satrap of Babylon, fell in the battle. The death of Peithon gave Seleucus an opportunity to return to Babylon.

Seleucus had prepared his return to Babylon well. After the battle of Gaza Demetrius retreated to Tripoli while Ptolemy advanced all the way to Sidon. Ptolemy gave Seleucus 800 infantry and 200 cavalry. He also had his friends accompanying him, perhaps the same 50 who escaped with him from Babylon. On the way to Babylon Seleucus recruited more soldiers from the colonies along the route. He finally had about 3,000 soldiers. In Babylon, Pethon's commander, Diphilus, barricaded himself in the city's fortress. Seleucus conquered Babylon with great speed and the fortress was also quickly captured. Seleucus' friends who had stayed in Babylon were released from captivity. His return to Babylon was afterwards officially regarded as the beginning of the Seleucid Empire and that year as the first of the Seleucid era.

Seleucus the Victor

Conquest of the eastern provinces

Soon after Seleucus' return, the supporters of Antigonus tried to get Babylon back. Nicanor was the new satrap of Media and the strategos of the eastern provinces. His army had about 17,000 soldiers. Evagoras, the satrap of Aria, was allied with him. It was obvious that Seleucus' small force could not defeat the two in battle. Seleucus hid his armies in the marshes that surrounded the area where Nicanor was planning to cross the Tigris and made a surprise attack during the night. Evagoras fell in the beginning of the battle and Nicanor was cut off from his forces. The news about the death of Evagoras spread among the soldiers, who started to surrender en masse. Almost all of them agreed to fight under Seleucus. Nicanor managed to escape with only a few men.

Even though Seleucus now had about 20,000 soldiers, they were not enough to withstand the forces of Antigonus. He also did not know when Antigonus would begin his counterattack. On the other hand, he knew that at least two eastern provinces did not have a satrap. A great majority of his own troops were from these provinces. Some of Evagoras' troops were Persian. Perhaps a portion of the troops were Eumenes' soldiers, who had a reason to hate Antigonus. Seleucus decided to take advantage of this situation.

Seleucus spread different stories among the provinces and the soldiers. According to one of them, he had in a dream seen Alexander standing beside him. Eumenes had tried to use a similar propaganda trick. Antigonus, who had been in Asia Minor while Seleucus had been in the east with Alexander, could not use Alexander in his own propaganda. Seleucus, being Macedonian, had the ability to gain the trust of the Macedonians among his troops, which was not the case with Eumenes.

After becoming once again satrap of Babylon, Seleucus became much more aggressive in his politics. In a short time he conquered Media and Susiana. Diodorus Siculus reports that Seleucus also conquered other nearby areas, which might refer to Persis, Aria or Parthia. Seleucus did not reach Bactria and Sogdiana. The satrap of the former was Stasanor, who had managed to remain neutral during the conflicts. After the defeat of Nikanor's army, there was no force in the east that could have opposed Seleucus. It is uncertain how Seleucus arranged the administration of the provinces he had conquered. Most satraps had died. In theory, Polyperchon was still the lawful successor of Antipater and the official regent of the Macedonian kingdom. It was his duty to select the satraps. However, Polyperchon was still allied with Antigonus and thus an enemy of Seleucus.

Response

Antigonus sent his son Demetrius along with 15,000 infantry and 4,000 cavalry to reconquer Babylon. Apparently, he gave Demetrius a time limit, after which he had to return to Syria. Antigonus believed Seleucus was still ruling only Babylon. Perhaps Nicanor had not told him that Selucus now had at least 20,000 soldiers. It seems that the scale of Nicanor's defeat was not clear to all parties. Antigonus did not know Seleucus had conquered the majority of the eastern provinces and perhaps cared little about the eastern parts of the empire.

When Demetrius arrived in Babylon, Seleucus was somewhere in the east. He had left Patrocles to defend the city. Babylon was defended in an unusual way. It had two strong fortresses, in which Seleucus had left his garrisons. The inhabitants of the city were transferred out and settled in the neighboring areas, some as far as Susa. The surroundings of Babylon were excellent for defense, with cities, swamps, canals and rivers. Demetrius' troops started to besiege the fortresses of Babylon and managed to conquer one of them. The second fortress proved more difficult for Demetrius. He left his friend Archelaus to continue the siege, and himself returned west leaving 5,000 infantry and 1,000 cavalry in Babylon. Ancient sources do not mention what happened to these troops. Perhaps Seleucus had to reconquer Babylon from Archelaus.

Babylonian War

Over the course of nine years (311–302 BC), while Antigonus was occupied in the west, Seleucus brought the whole eastern part of Alexander's empire as far as the Jaxartes and Indus Rivers under his authority.

In 311 BC Antigonus made peace with Cassander, Lysimachus and Ptolemy, which gave him an opportunity to deal with Seleucus. Antigonus' army had at least 80,000 soldiers. Even if he left half of his troops in the west, he would still have a numerical advantage over Seleucus. Seleucus may have received help from Cossaians, whose ancestors were the ancient Kassites. Antigonus had devastated their lands while fighting Eumenes. Seleucus perhaps recruited a portion of Archelaus' troops. When Antigonus finally invaded Babylon, Seleucus' army was much bigger than before. Many of his soldiers certainly hated Antigonus. The population of Babylon was also hostile. Seleucus, thus, did not need to garrison the area to keep the locals from revolting.

Little information is available about the conflict between Antigonus and Seleucus; only a very rudimentary Babylonian chronicle detailing the events of the war remains. The description of the year 310 BC has completely disappeared. It seems that Antigonus managed to conquer Babylon. His plans were disturbed, however, by Ptolemy, who made a surprise attack in Cilicia.

We do know that Seleucus managed to defeat Antigonus in at least one decisive battle. This battle is only mentioned in Stratagems in War by Polyaenus. Polyaenus reports that the troops of Seleucus and Antigonus fought for a whole day, but when night came the battle was still undecided. The two forces agreed to rest for the night and continue in the morning. Antigonus' troops slept without their equipment. Seleucus ordered his forces to sleep and eat breakfast in battle formation. Shortly before dawn, Seleucus' troops attacked the forces of Antigonus, who were still without their weapons and in disarray and thus easily defeated. The historical accuracy of the story is questionable.

The Babylonian war finally ended in Seleucus' victory. Antigonus was forced to retreat west. Both sides fortified their borders. Antigonus built a series of fortresses along the Balikh River while Seleucus built a few cities, including Dura-Europos and Nisibis.

Seleucia

The next event connected to Seleucus was the founding of the city of Seleucia. The city was built on the shore of the Tigris probably in 307 or 305 BC. Seleucus made Seleucia his new capital, thus imitating Lysimachus, Cassander and Antigonus, all of whom had named cities after themselves. Seleucus also transferred the mint of Babylon to his new city. Babylon was soon left in the shadow of Seleucia, and the story goes that Antiochus, the son of Seleucus, moved the whole population of Babylon to his father's namesake capital in 275 BC. The city flourished until AD 165, when the Romans destroyed it.

A story of the founding of the city goes as follows: Seleucus asked the Babylonian priests which day would be best to found the city. The priest calculated the day, but, wanting the founding to fail, told Seleucus a different date. The plot failed however, because when the correct day came, Seleucus' soldiers spontaneously started to build the city. When questioned, the priests admitted their deed.

Seleucus the king

The struggle between the Diadochi reached its climax when Antigonus, after the extinction of the old royal line of Macedonia, proclaimed himself king in 306 BC. Ptolemy, Lysimachus, Cassander and Seleucus soon followed. Also, Agathocles of Sicily declared himself king around the same time. Seleucus, like the other four principal Macedonian chiefs, assumed the title and style of basileus (king).

Chandragupta and the eastern provinces

Seleucus soon turned his attention once again eastward. In the year 305 BC, Seleucus I Nicator went to India and apparently occupied territory as far as the Indus, and eventually waged war with the Maurya Emperor Chandragupta Maurya:

Always lying in wait for the neighboring nations, strong in arms and persuasive in council, he [Seleucus] acquired Mesopotamia, Armenia, 'Seleucid' Cappadocia, Persis, Parthia, Bactria, Arabia, Tapouria, Sogdia, Arachosia, Hyrcania, and other adjacent peoples that had been subdued by Alexander, as far as the river Indus, so that the boundaries of his empire were the most extensive in Asia after that of Alexander. The whole region from Phrygia to the Indus was subject to Seleucus. He crossed the Indus and waged war with Sandrocottus, king of the Indians, who dwelt on the banks of that stream, until they came to an understanding with each other and contracted a marriage relationship. – Appian, History of Rome, The Syrian Wars 55

Only a few sources mention his activities in India. Chandragupta (known in Greek sources as Sandrökottos), founder of the Mauryan empire, had conquered the Indus valley and several other parts of the easternmost regions of Alexander's empire. Seleucus began a campaign against Chandragupta and crossed the Indus. Seleucus' Indian campaign was, however, a failure. It is unknown what exactly happened. Perhaps Chandragupta defeated Seleucus in battle. No sources mention this, however. But as most western historians note, Seleucus appears to have fared poorly as he did not achieve his aims. The two leaders ultimately reached an agreement, and through a treaty sealed in 305 BC, Seleucus ceded a considerable amount of territory to Chandragupta in exchange for 500 war elephants, which were to play a key role in the forthcoming battles, particularly at Ipsus. The victorious Maurya king probably married the daughter of his Greek rival. According to Strabo, the ceded territories bordered the Indus:

The geographical position of the tribes is as follows: along the Indus are the Paropamisadae, above whom lies the Paropamisus mountain: then, towards the south, the Arachoti: then next, towards the south, the Gedroseni, with the other tribes that occupy the seaboard; and the Indus lies, latitudinally, alongside all these places; and of these places, in part, some that lie along the Indus are held by Indians, although they formerly belonged to the Persians. Alexander [III 'the Great' of Macedon] took these away from the Arians and established settlements of his own, but Seleucus Nicator gave them to Sandrocottus [Chandragupta], upon terms of intermarriage and of receiving in exchange five hundred elephants. — Strabo 15.2.9

From this, it seems that Seleucus surrendered the easternmost provinces of Arachosia, Gedrosia, Paropamisadae and perhaps also Aria. On the other hand, he was accepted by other satraps of the eastern provinces. His Persian wife, Apama, may have helped him implement his rule in Bactria and Sogdiana. Mainstream scholarship asserts that Chandragupta received vast territory west of the Indus, including the Hindu Kush, modern-day Afghanistan, and the Balochistan province of Pakistan. This would tend to be corroborated archaeologically, as concrete indications of Mauryan influence, such as the inscriptions of the Edicts of Ashoka which are known to be located in, for example, Kandhahar in today's southern Afghanistan. However, Ashoka's Edicts were inscribed two generations after any territorial handover by Seleucus and, for this reason, it is equally possible that the land in which these Edicts are to be found was incorporated into the Mauryan empire by Bindusara, Chandragupta's son and successor, or Ashoka himself.

Some authors claim that the argument relating to Seleucus handing over more of what is now southern Afghanistan is an exaggeration originating in a statement by Pliny the Elder referring not specifically to the lands received by Chandragupta, but rather to the various opinions of geographers regarding the definition of the word "India":

Most geographers, in fact, do not look upon India as bounded by the river Indus, but add to it the four satrapies of the Gedrose, the Arachotë, the Aria, and the Paropamisadë, the River Cophes thus forming the extreme boundary of India. According to other writers, however, all these territories, are reckoned as belonging to the country of the Aria. — Pliny, Natural History VI, 23

Also the passage of Arrian explaining that Megasthenes lived in Arachosia with the satrap Sibyrtius, from where he traveled to India to visit Chandragupta, goes against the notion that Arachosia was under Maurya rule:

Megasthenes lived with Sibyrtius, satrap of Arachosia, and speaks of his often visiting Sandracottus, the king of the Indians. — Arrian, Anabasis Alexandri v,6

Nevertheless, it is usually considered today that Arachosia and the other three regions did become dominions of the Mauryan Empire.

The alliance between Chandragupta and Seleucus was affirmed with a marriage (Epigamia). Chandragupta or his son married the daughter of Seleucus, Cornelia, or perhaps there was diplomatic recognition of intermarriage between Indians and Greeks. In addition to this matrimonial recognition or alliance, Seleucus dispatched an ambassador, Megasthenes, to the Mauryan court at Pataliputra (Modern Patna in Bihar state). Only short extracts remain of Megasthenes' description of the journey.

The two rulers seem to have been on very good terms, as classical sources have recorded that following their treaty, Chandragupta sent various presents such as aphrodisiacs to Seleucus.

Seleucus obtained knowledge of most of northern India, as explained by Pliny the Elder through his numerous embassies to the Mauryan Empire:

The other parts of the country [beyond the Hydaspes, the farthest extent of Alexander's conquests] were discovered and surveyed by Seleucus Nicator: namely

  • from thence (the Hydaspes) to the Hesudrus 168 miles
  • to the river Ioames (Yamuna) as much: and some copies add 5 miles more therto
  • from thence to Ganges 112 miles
  • to Rhodapha 119, and some say, that between them two it is no less than 325 miles.
  • From it to Calinipaxa, a great town 167 miles-and-a-half, others say 265.
  • And to the confluent of the rivers Iomanes and Ganges, where both meet together, 225 miles, and many put thereto 13 miles more
  • from thence to the town Palibotta 425 miles
  • and so to the mouth of the Ganges where he falleth into the sea 638 miles.

— Pliny the Elder, Natural history, Book 6, Chap 21

Battle of Ipsus

The war elephants Seleucus received from Chandragupta proved to be useful when the Diadochi finally decided to deal with Antigonus. Cassander, Seleucus and Lysimachus defeated Antigonus and Demetrius in the battle of Ipsus. Antigonus fell in battle, but Demetrius managed to escape. After the battle, Syria was placed under Seleucus' rule. He understood Syria to encompass the region from the Taurus mountains to Sinai, but Ptolemy had already conquered Palestine and Phonicia. In 299 BC, Seleucus allied with Demetrius and married his daughter Stratonice. Stratonice was also the daughter of Antipater's daughter Phila. Seleucus had a daughter by Stratonice, who was also called Phila.

The fleet of Demetrius managed to destroy Ptolemy's fleet and thus Seleucus did not need to fight him.

Seleucus, however, did not manage to enlarge his kingdom to the west. The main reason was that he did not have enough Greek and Macedonian troops. During the battle of Ipsus, he had less infantry than Lysimachus. His strength was in his war elephants and in traditional Persian cavalry. In order to enlarge his army, Seleucus tried to attract colonists from mainland Greece by founding four new cities—Seleucia Pieria and Laodicea in Syria on the coast and Antioch on the Orontes and Apameia in the Orontes River valley. Antioch became his chief seat of government. The new Seleucia was supposed to become his new naval base and a gateway to the Mediterranean. Seleucus also founded six smaller cities.

It is said of Seleucus that "few princes have ever lived with so great a passion for the building of cities. He is reputed to have built in all nine Seleucias, sixteen Antiochs, and six Laodiceas".

Defeat of Demetrius and Lysimachus

Seleucus nominated his son Antiochus I as his co-ruler and viceroy of the eastern provinces in 292 BC, the vast extent of the empire seeming to require a double government. In 294 BC Stratonice married her stepson Antiochus. Seleucus reportedly instigated the marriage after discovering that his son was in danger of dying of lovesickness. Seleucus was thus able to remove Stratonice out of the way, as her father Demetrius had now become king of Macedonia.

The alliance between Seleucus and Demetrius ended in 294 BC when Seleucus conquered Cilicia. Demetrius invaded and easily conquered Cilicia in 286 BC, which meant that Demetrius was now threatening the most important regions of Seleucus' empire in Syria. Demetrius' troops, however, were tired and had not received their payment. Seleucus, on the other hand, was known as a cunning and rich leader who had earned the adoration of his soldiers. Seleucus blocked the roads leading south from Cilicia and urged Demetrius' troops to join his side. Simultaneously he tried to evade battle with Demetrius. Finally, Seleucus addressed Demetrius personally. He showed himself in front of the soldiers and removed his helmet, revealing his identity. Demetrius' troops now started to abandon their leader en massse. Demetrius was finally imprisoned in Apameia and died a few years later in captivity.

Lysimachus and Ptolemy had supported Seleucus against Demetrius, but after the latter's defeat the alliance started to break apart. Lysimachus ruled Macedonia, Thracia and Asia Minor. He also had problems with his family. Lysimachus executed his son Agathocles, whose wife Lysandra escaped to Babylon to Seleucus.

The unpopularity of Lysimachus after the murder of Agathocles gave Seleucus an opportunity to remove his last rival. His intervention in the west was solicited by Ptolemy Keraunos, who, on the accession to the Egyptian throne of his brother Ptolemy II (285 BC), had at first taken refuge with Lysimachus and then with Seleucus. Seleucus then invaded Asia Minor and defeated his rival in the Battle of Corupedium in Lydia, 281 BC. Lysimachus fell in battle. In addition, Ptolemy had died a few years earlier. Seleucus was thus now the only living contemporary of Alexander.

Administration of Asia Minor

Before his death, Seleucus tried to deal with the administration of Asia Minor. The region was ethnically diverse, consisting of Greek cities, a Persian aristocracy and indigenous peoples. Seleucus perhaps tried to defeat Cappadocia, but failed. Lysimachus' old officer Philetairos ruled Pergamon independently. On the other hand, based on their names, Seleucus apparently founded a number of new cities in Asia Minor.

Few of the letters Seleucus sent to different cities and temples still exist. All cities in Asia Minor sent embassies to their new ruler. It is reported that Seleucus complained about the number of letters he received and was forced to read. He was apparently a popular ruler. In Lemnos he was celebrated as a liberator and a temple was built to honour him. According to a local custom, Seleucus was always offered an extra cup of wine during dinner time. His title during this period was Seleucus Soter ("savior"). When Seleucus left for Europe, the organizational rearrangement of Asia Minor had not been completed.

Death and legacy

Seleucus now held the whole of Alexander's conquests except Egypt and moved to take possession of Macedonia and Thrace. He intended to leave Asia to Antiochus and content himself for the remainder of his days with the Macedonian kingdom in its old limits. He had, however, hardly crossed into the Thracian Chersonese when he was assassinated by Ptolemy Keraunos near Lysimachia September (281 BC).

It seems certain that after taking Macedonia and Thracia, Seleucus would have tried to conquer Greece. He had already prepared this campaign using the numerous gifts presented to him. He was also nominated an honorary citizen of Athens.

Antiochus founded the cult of his father. A cult of personality formed around the later members of the Seleucid dynasty and Seleucus was later worshipped as a son of god. One inscription found in Ilion advises priests to sacrifice to Apollo, the ancestor of Antiochus' family. Several anecdotes of Seleucus' life became popular in the classical world.

Source :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seleucus_I_Nicator

view all 17

Seleucus I Nicator, king of the Seleucid Empire's Timeline

-358
-358
Europas, Macedonia
-324
-324
Age 33
Macedonia
-320
-320
Age 37
320 BCE, Syria
-296
-296
Age 61
295 BCE, Syria
-282
-282
Age 75
Lysimachia, Thrace
320
320
Age 76
????
Syria
????
Syria