Seleucid Empire

Seleucid Empire
Βασιλεία τῶν Σελευκιδῶν
312 BC–63 BC
Tetradrachm of Seleucus I - the horned horse, the elephant and the anchor all served as symbols of the Seleucid monarchy.[1][2]
Tetradrachm of Seleucus I - the horned horse, the elephant and the anchor all served as symbols of the Seleucid monarchy.[1][2]
The empire at its greatest extent and on the eve of the death of Seleucus I, 281 BC
 • 305–281 BCSeleucus I (first)
 • 65–63 BCPhilip II (last)
Historical eraHellenistic period
 • Wars of the Diadochi312 BC
 • Battle of Ipsus301 BC
 • Roman–Seleucid War192–188 BC
 • Treaty of Apamea188 BC
 • Maccabean Revolt167–160 BC
 • Annexed by Rome63 BC
 • 303 BC[5]3,000,000 km2 (1,200,000 sq mi)
 • 301 BC[5]3,900,000 km2 (1,500,000 sq mi)
 • 270 BC[5]3,200,000 km2 (1,200,000 sq mi)
 • 240 BC[5]2,600,000 km2 (1,000,000 sq mi)
 • 175 BC[5]800,000 km2 (310,000 sq mi)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Macedonian Empire
Maurya Empire
Province of Syria
Parthian Empire
Greco-Bactrian Kingdom
Hasmonean kingdom
Today part of Afghanistan
Faravahar background
History of Greater Iran

The Seleucid Empire (d/;[6] Ancient Greek: Βασιλεία τῶν Σελευκιδῶν, Basileía tōn Seleukidōn) was a Hellenistic state ruled by the Seleucid dynasty, which existed from 312 BC to 63 BC; Seleucus I Nicator founded it following the division of the Macedonian empire vastly expanded by Alexander the Great.[7][8][9][10] Seleucus received Babylonia (321 BC), and from there, expanded his dominions to include much of Alexander's near-eastern territories. At the height of its power, the Empire included central Anatolia, Persia, the Levant, Mesopotamia, and what is now Kuwait, Afghanistan, and parts of Pakistan and Turkmenistan.

The Seleucid Empire became a major center of Hellenistic culture - it maintained the preeminence of Greek customs where a Greek political elite dominated, mostly in the urban areas.[10][11][12][13] The Greek population of the cities who formed the dominant elite were reinforced by immigration from Greece.[10][11] Seleucid expansion into Anatolia and Greece halted abruptly in the early 2nd century BC after decisive defeats at the hands of the Roman army. Seleucid attempts to defeat their old enemy Ptolemaic Egypt were frustrated by Roman demands. Having come into conflict in the East (305 BC) with Chandragupta Maurya of the Maurya Empire, after several defeats, Seleucus I entered into an agreement with Maurya whereby he ceded vast territory west of the Indus, including the Hindu Kush, modern-day Afghanistan, and the Balochistan province of Pakistan and offered his daughter in marriage to the Maurya Emperor to formalize the alliance.

Antiochus III the Great attempted to project Seleucid power and authority into Hellenistic Greece, but his attempts were thwarted by the Roman Republic and by Greek allies such as the Kingdom of Pergamon, culminating in a Seleucid defeat at the 190 BC Battle of Magnesia. In the subsequent Treaty of Apamea in 188 BC, the Seleucids were compelled to pay costly war reparations and relinquished claims to territories west of the Taurus Mountains. The Parthians under Mithridates I of Parthia conquered much of the remaining eastern part of the Seleucid Empire in the mid-2nd century BC. However, the Seleucid kings continued to rule a rump state from Syria until the invasion by Armenian king Tigranes the Great in 83 BC and their ultimate overthrow by the Roman general Pompey in 63 BC.


Contemporary sources, such as a loyalist degree from Ilium, in Greek language define the Seleucid state both as an empire (arche) and as a kingdom (basileia). Similarly, Seleucid rulers were described as kings in Babylonia.[14]

Starting from the 2nd century BC, ancient writers referred to the Seleucid ruler as the King of Syria, Lord of Asia, and other designations;[15] the evidence for the Seleucid rulers representing themselves as kings of Syria is provided by the inscription of Antigonus son of Menophilus, who described himself as the "admiral of Alexander, king of Syria". He refers to either Alexander Balas or Alexander II Zabinas as a ruler.[16]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Seleukidiese Ryk
Alemannisch: Seleukiden
العربية: سلوقيون
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Імпэрыя Сэлеўкідаў
български: Селевкиди
brezhoneg: Seleukided
فارسی: سلوکیان
français: Séleucides
Frysk: Seleusiden
hrvatski: Seleukovići
Bahasa Indonesia: Kekaisaran Seleukia
Latina: Seleucidae
Bahasa Melayu: Empayar Seleucid
Nederlands: Seleucidische Rijk
norsk nynorsk: Selevkideriket
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Salavkiylar
پنجابی: سلوقی سلطنت
Plattdüütsch: Seleukiden
polski: Seleucydzi
Simple English: Seleucid Empire
slovenčina: Seleukovská ríša
slovenščina: Selevkidsko cesarstvo
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Seleukidska Monarhija
suomi: Seleukidit
svenska: Seleukiderna
Tiếng Việt: Vương quốc Seleukos