Thanks to Alexander the Great, the Seleucid Empire was able to grow in prominence during ancient times. In this article, you will learn more about this empire, including information on one of the most important rulers of this time period.
1. The capital of the Seleucid Empire was Seleucia on the Tigris from 305 BC to 240 BC, and Antioch from 240 BC to 64 BC. At one point, Seleucia was one of the greatest cities in the world during Hellenistic and Roman times. It was located in Mesopotamia , on the west bank of the Tigris River. Antioch (also known as Great Antioch or Syrian Antioch), was an ancient city situated on the eastern side of the Orontes River. Today, you may find it close to the modern city of Antakya, Turkey.
2. The people of the Seleucid Empire spoke Greek as their primary language.
3. The religion of the Seleucid Empire people has been described as Olympianism.
4. One of the most important rulers of the Seleucid Empire was Seleucus I, who was a Macedonian officer of Alexander the Great. After Alexander died, the Wars of the Diadochi took place. It was then that Seleucus was able to establish the Seleucid dynasty and the Seleucid Empire. In the end, he built a kingdom that would become one of the last holdouts of Alexander’s former empire to fall to Roman rule. Following Alexander the Great’s death, Seleucus was nominated as the satrap of Babylon in 320 BC. However, Antigonus forced Seleucus to flee from Babylon.
Ptolemy came to the rescue and lent his support to Seleucus, which made it possible for him to return in 312 BC. He went on to conquer Persia and Media, as well as form an alliance with the Indian King Chandragupta Maurya. In 301 BC, Seleucus defeated Antigonus in the Battle of Ipsus. In 281 BC, he bested Lysimachus in the Battle of Corupedium. During his time, he also founded a host of new cities, including Seleucia and Antioch. Sadly, he was assassinated by the hands of Ptolemy Ceraunus during the same year. His son Antiochus I became his successor.
5. Towards the end of the Seleucid Dynasty, the son of former king Philip I Philadelphus, Phillip II Philoromaeus ruled the empire. During the 60s BC, Philip enjoyed a brief reign over parts of Syria and was known as a client king under Pompey. The opportunity to rule came between Phillip and his second cousin (Antiochus) who tried to please the general. Instead, Pompey disregarded his efforts and had him killed. As far as rulers go, Philip was used more as a pawn rather than a respectable leader. He was the last of the empire , leaving behind 11 generations of Seleucid kings.
6. The Seleucid Empire is categorized as a Hellenistic civilization, which means that it thrived during a time when Greek influence was at its height during the ancient world. This Hellenistic time period took place from 323 BC to about 146 BC. The spread of Hellenistic culture was made possible by Alexander the Great, who achieved many conquests that brought down the Persian Empire and made way for Greek dominance.
7. The Seleucid Empire was established in 312 BC. The capital of the empire, Antioch was conquered by Pompey in 64 BC, whereas the last king of the empire was also overruled in 63 BC. Around this time, Syria was transformed into a Roman province.