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High Generals of Ancient Macedonian Part IV



SeleucusPerdiccas soon set his eyes on provinces that the Macedonians had not yet conquered and with his most loyal supporter (Eumenes), went about expanding the greatness of the kingdom. However, he was met with opposition, such as Antigonus (the governor of Lycia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia), who refused to listen to the orders given to him and as a result, was called to stand trial for disobeying Perdiccas.

Instead, Antigonus escaped to Europe and joined up with a group of men who were against the word of Perdiccas. This included Antipater (Macedonian general known for his support of kings Philip II and Alexander the Great), Craterus (Macedonian general who served under Alexander the Great), and Ptolemy , a Macedonian general who served under Alexander that eventually became the ruler of Egypt and founded the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Dynasty.

With more interest in attacking Ptolemy in Egypt, Perdiccas left the war raging in Asia Minor in the hands of Eumenes. When he reached the Nile, he was unable to cross it. Unfortunately, a mutiny developed within his troops. They were unhappy with the way he ruled (which was referred to as ‘severe’) and they were not happy to have failed in their attempts to reach Ptolemy. Sadly, his own officers wound up assassinating him around 321 or 320 BC.

Seleucus I Nicator (358 BCE,281 BCE)

Serving Alexander the Great, Seleucus I Nicator was known as a solid Macedonian officer. After Alexander’s death, there was much debate and warring over who should rule next. The time period brought about what was known as the ‘Wars of the Diadochi.’ At this time, Seleucus created the Seleucid Dynasty and the Seleucid Empire, which would eventually go down in history as the only kingdom that was the last to shine as one of Alexander’s former empires. However, Roman rule would prevail.

Seleucus was the son of Antiochus , a former military general of Philip II’s army, who gained a bit of distinction of his own. When Seleucus was around 23 years of age, he accompanied Alexander into Asia in 333 BC and was able to make strides in the campaign of India that took place in 326 BC. He then married Apama in 324 BCE and later brought four children into the world , two daughters and two sons , one of which he named after his father.

In 323 BC, the Macedonian empire underwent a division, known as the “Partition of Babylon.” Seleucus assumed the office of chiliarch, which linked him to the regent Perdiccas. Interestingly, it was Seleucus that would play a role in the Perdiccas’ murder when he failed to invade Egypt. At Triparadisus, the second partition took place, where Seleucus was given the government of the Babylonian satrapy. However 316 BC caused Seleucus to worry. Antigonus took it upon himself to become the rule of the eastern provinces. This made Seleucus feel a bit threatened and as a response , fled to Egypt.

War broke out between Antigonus and the other Macedonian rulers. At this point, Seleucus felt it wise to join with Ptolemy, assuming the command of the Egyptian squads located in the Aegean Sea. In 312 BC, victory fell upon the shoulders of Ptolemy during the Battle of Gaza. This opened up the possibilities for Seleucus to return to the east to Babylon. The start of the Seleucid Empire officially began at this point.

The coming years would bring great change, including the extinction of what was regarded as the ‘old royal line of Macedonia.’ Keeping in line with the other Macedonia chiefs, Seleucus assumed the title of basileus (another way of saying ‘king’) in 305 BC and eventually established his capital Seleucia on the Tigris River.