Seleucid Empire

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The Seleucid Empire (323BC – 63BC) was the largest successor state to Alexander the Great's empire. It spanned the region from modern-day Israel to the Indus River Valley, and as far north as Turkmenistan. Hellenistic culture was heavily preserved in the Seleucid empire, leading to an interesting mix of Greek mythology and Zoroastrianism as the main religions of the empire.

List of Seleucid emperors

This list was compiled by French Christian historian Nicolas Lenglet Dufresnoy in his book Tablettes chronologiques de l'histoire universelle (1745) as the Kings of Syria. It does not include data that was found after the cuneiform language was rediscovered in the 19th century.[1]

# Emperor Start Duration Notes
1 Seleucus [Nicator] 312 BC 31 Awarded satrapy of Babylon, 321 BC, regained in 312 BC; 301 BC Syria added to domain, founded Antioch same year; captured in 285 BC Demetrius (son of Antigonus) who was biographized in Plutarch's Lives; was assassinated 281 BC.[2]
2 Antiochus Soter 281 BC 20 Half-Persian; called Soter (savior) for defeating Gauls in Asia Minor after 278 BC.
3 Antiochus II Theos 261 BC 15 Second son of Antiochus Soter; son of Stratonice, Macedonian daughter of Demetrius. In 250 BC, divorced his first wife and married Egyptian king Ptolemy III's daughter Berenice; by 246 BC, left her and his infant son to return to his first wife Laodice in Asia Minor, who poisoned him and proclaimed her son Seleucus II Callinicus king, while her partisans captured Berenice and her son back in Antioch.[2]
4 Seleucus II Callinicus 246 BC 20
5 Seleucus III Ceraunos 226 BC 3
6 Antiochus III The Great 223 BC 37
7 Seleucus IV Philopator 186 BC 11 Seleucus IV killed in 175 BC[3]
8 Antiochus IV Epiphanes 175 BC 12 Conquered Egypt in 169 BC; despoiled Jewish temple in Jerusalem
9 Antiochus V Eupator 163 BC 2 Under his guardian Lysias
10 Demetrius Soter 161 BC 11 Attacked Israel; later made a league with Jonathan against his successor[4]
11 Alexander Bala 150 BC 5
12 Demetrius II Nicator 145 BC 1
13 Antiochus, son of Bala 144 BC 2
14 Diodotus Tryphon 142 BC 4
15 Antiochus VII Sidetes 138 BC 9
12 Demetrius II Nicator 130 BC 4 Restored
16 Alexander Zabynas 128 BC - The tyrant
17 Seleucus V 126 BC 1
18 Antiochus VIII Grypus 125 BC 12
19 Antiochus IX from Cyzicus 113 BC 18
20 Seleucus VI 96 BC 2 Son of Grypus
21 Antiochus X 94 BC 1 Son of Cyzicus (sic)
Antíoco XI 93 BC not included as king
22 Phillip, Demetrius III, Antiochus XII 92 BC in war
23 Tigranes 83 BC 18 66 BC: Tigranes was defeated by the Romans
24 Antiochus XII 69 BC

In 63 BC, Syria becomes a Roman province.


  • "A General Chronological Table of the Holy Bible" (1904). The Popular and Critical Bible Encyclopaedia and Scriptural Dictonary ed. Fallows, Rev. Samuel (Chicago: Howard-Severance, 1920), vol. 3, app. p. 2-37.
  • Hellenistic Greek rule of Syria occurred between 323 BC and 66 BC. "Tigranes" (1911). Encyclopedia Britannica (New York: Encyclopædia Britannica), vol. 26, p. 969.
  • 1st Maccabees Biblical book (Apocrypha)


  1. Sources digitalized by Google Books:
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Seleucid Dynasty" (1911). Encyclopedia Britannica (New York: Encyclopedia Britannica), vol. 24, pp. 603-604.
  3. Bevan, E. R. (1930). "Syria and the Jews" from The Cambridge Ancient History, ed. Cook, S. A. et al. (Cambridge: Cambridge UP), vol. 8, p. 495-496
  4. Josephus, Flavius (93 A.D.). The Antiquities of the Jews translated by William Whiston (London: James Cundee, 1806. Reprinted Boston: Samuel Walker, 1849), vol. 1, book 13, ch. 2, pp. 457-458. Retrieved from Internet Archive website.

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