Seller: highrating_lowprice (21,420) 100%, Location: Rego Park, New York, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 231481617835 Item: i47598 Authentic Ancient Greek Coin of: The Seleucid Kingdom Antiochos VII, Euergetes (Sidetes) - Seleucid King: 138-129 B.C. Bronze 19mm (5.67 grams) Struck 138-129 B.C. Reference: Sear 7098 Winged bust of Eros (Cupid) right wreathed with myrtle. Head-dress of Isis ; on right, ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ / ANTIOXOY; on left, EYEPΓETOY; MH monogram in left field, beneath, crescent and Seleucid date ΔOP (=174=138 B.C.) -- Almost alone amongst the later Seleukid monarchs, ANtiochos VII ruled with competence and integrity. He was the younger borther of Demetrios II, and following the latter's capture by the Parthians he seized power and quickly disposed of the usurper Tryphon. He campaiged with success in Palestine and Babylonia, but in 129 B.C. he was killed in battle against the Parthians. You are bidding on the exact item pictured, provided with a Certificate of Authenticity and Lifetime Guarantee of Authenticity. In Roman mythology , Cupid (Latin cupido, meaning "desire") is the god of desire, affection and erotic love. He is often portrayed as the son of the goddess Venus , with a father rarely mentioned. His Greek counterpart is Eros. Cupid is also known in Latin as Amor ("Love"). The Amores (plural) or amorini in the later terminology of art history are the equivalent of the Greek Erotes . Although Eros appears in Classical Greek art as a slender winged youth, during the Hellenistic period he was increasingly portrayed as a chubby boy. During this time, his iconography acquired the bow and arrow that remain a distinguishing attribute; a person, or even a deity, who is shot by Cupid's arrow is filled with uncontrollable desire. The Roman Cupid retains these characteristics, which continue in the depiction of multiple cupids in both Roman art and the later classical tradition of Western art . Cupid's ability to compel love and desire plays an instigating role in several myths or literary scenarios. In Vergil 's Aeneid , Cupid prompts Dido to fall in love with Aeneas , with tragic results. Ovid makes Cupid the patron of love poets. Cupid is a central character, however, in only the traditional tale of Cupid and Psyche , as told by Apuleius . Cupid was a continuously popular figure in the Middle Ages , when under Christian influence he often had a dual nature as Heavenly and Earthly love, and in the Renaissance , when a renewed interest in classical philosophy endowed him with complex allegorical meanings. In contemporary popular culture, Cupid is shown shooting his bow to inspire romantic love, often as an icon of Valentine's Day . Legend In the Roman version, Cupid was the son of Venus (goddess of hope) and Mars (god of war). In the Greek version he was named Eros and seen as one of the primordial gods (though other myths exist as well). Cupid was often depicted with wings, a bow, and a quiver of arrows. The following story of Cupid and Psyche is almost identical in both cultures; the most familiar version is found in the Metamorphoses of Apuleius . When Cupid's mother Venus became jealous of the princess Psyche , who was so beloved by her subjects that they forgot to worship Venus, she ordered Cupid to make Psyche fall in love with the vilest thing in the world. While Cupid was sneaking into her room to shoot Psyche with a golden arrow, he accidentally scratched himself with his own arrow and fell deeply in love with her. Following that, Cupid visited Psyche every night while she slept. Speaking to her so that she could not see him, he told her to never try to see him. Psyche, though, incited by her two older sisters who told her Cupid was sparcker [a monster], tried to look at him and angered Cupid. When he left, she looked all over the known world for him until at last Venus told her that she would help her find Cupid if she did the tasks presented to her by Venus. Psyche agreed. Psyche completed every task presented to her, each one harder than the last. Finally, Venus had one task left - Psyche had to give Pluto a box containing something Psyche was not to look at. Psyche's curiosity got the best of her and she looked in the box. Hidden within it was eternal sleep placed there by Venus. Cupid was no longer angered by Psyche and brought her from her sleep. Jupiter, the leader of the gods, gave Psyche the gift of immortality so that she could be with him. Together they had a daughter, Voluptas , or Hedone , (meaning pleasure) and Psyche became a goddess. Her name "Psyche" means "soul." Portrayal Caravaggio 's Amor Vincit Omnia In painting and sculpture, Cupid is often portrayed as a nude (or sometimes diapered ) winged boy or baby (a putto ) armed with a bow and a quiver of arrows. On gems and other surviving pieces, Cupid is usually shown amusing himself with adult play, sometimes driving a hoop, throwing darts, catching a butterfly, or flirting with a nymph . He is often depicted with his mother (in graphic arts, this is nearly always Venus), playing a horn. In other images, his mother is depicted scolding or even spanking him due to his mischievous nature. He is also shown wearing a helmet and carrying a buckler, perhaps in reference to Virgil 's Omnia vincit amor or as political satire on wars for love or love as war. Cupid figures prominently in ariel poetry , lyrics and, of course, elegiac love and metamorphic poetry . In epic poetry, he is less often invoked, but he does appear in Virgil 's Aeneid changed into the shape of Ascanius inspiring Dido's love. In later literature, Cupid is frequently invoked as fickle, playful, and perverse. He is often depicted as carrying two sets of arrows: one set gold, which inspire true love; and the other lead-headed, which inspire erotic love. The goddess Isis portrayed as a woman, wearing a headdress shaped like a throne and with an Ankh in her hand Isis (Ancient Greek: Ἶσις, original Egyptian pronunciation more likely Aset) is a goddess in Ancient Egyptian religious beliefs , whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world . She was worshipped as the ideal mother and wife as well as the patroness of nature and magic. She was the friend of slaves , sinners, artisans , and the downtrodden, and she listened to the prayers of the wealthy, maidens, aristocrats, and rulers.Isis is often depicted as the mother of Horus , the hawk-headed god of war and protection (although in some traditions Horus's mother was Hathor ). Isis is also known as protector of the dead and goddess of children. The name Isis means "Throne".Her headdress is a throne. As the personification of the throne, she was an important representation of the pharaoh's power. The pharaoh was depicted as her child, who sat on the throne she provided. Her cult was popular throughout Egypt, but her most important temples were at Behbeit El-Hagar in the Nile delta , and, beginning in the reign with Nectanebo I (380–362 BCE), on the island of Philae in Upper Egypt. In the typical form of her myth, Isis was the first daughter of Geb, god of the Earth, and Nut , goddess of the Sky, and she was born on the fourth intercalary day . She married her brother, Osiris , and she conceived Horus with him. Isis was instrumental in the resurrection of Osiris when he was murdered by Set . Using her magical skills, she restored his body to life after having gathered the body parts that had been strewn about the earth by Set. This myth became very important during the Greco-Roman period. For example it was believed that the Nile River flooded every year because of the tears of sorrow which Isis wept for Osiris. Osiris's death and rebirth was relived each year through rituals. The worship of Isis eventually spread throughout the Greco-Roman world, continuing until the suppression of paganism in the Christian era.The popular motif of Isis suckling her son Horus, however, lived on in a Christianized context as the popular image of Mary suckling the infant son Jesus from the fifth century onward. Etymology , OR , Isis in hieroglyphs The name Isis is the Greek version of her name, with a final -s added to the original Egyptian form because of the grammatical requirements of the Greek language (-s often being a marker of the nominative case in ancient Greek). The Egyptian name was recorded as ỉs.t or ȝs.t and meant "(She of the Throne"). The true Egyptian pronunciation remains uncertain, however, because hieroglyphs do not indicate vowels . Based on recent studies which present us with approximations based on contemporary languages (specifically, Greek) and Coptic evidence, the reconstructed pronunciation of her name is *Usat [*ˈʔyːsəʔ] . Osiris's name, *Usir also starts with the throne glyph ʔs. For convenience, Egyptologists arbitrarily choose to pronounce her name as "ee-set". Sometimes they may also say "ee-sa" because the final "t" in her name was a feminine suffix , which is known to have been dropped in speech during the last stages of the Egyptian and Greek languages. Principal features of the cult Origins Isis depicted with outstretched wings (wall painting, c. 1360 BCE) Most Egyptian deities were first worshipped by very local cults, and they retained those local centres of worship even as their popularity spread, so that most major cities and towns in Egypt were known as the home of a particular deity. The origins of the cult of Isis are uncertain, but it is believed that she was originally an independent and popular deity in predynastic times, prior to 3100 BCE, at Sebennytos in the Nile delta. The first written references to Isis date back to the Fifth dynasty of Egypt . Based on the association of her name with the throne, some early Egyptologists believed that Isis's original function was that of throne-mother. However, more recent scholarship suggests that aspects of that role came later by association. In many African tribes, the throne is known as the mother of the king, and that concept fits well with either theory, possibly giving insight into the thinking of ancient Egyptians. Classical Egyptian period During the Old Kingdom period, Isis was represented as the wife or assistant to the deceased pharaoh. Thus she had a funerary association, her name appearing over eighty times in the pharaoh's funeral texts (the Pyramid Texts ). This association with the pharaoh's wife is consistent with the role of Isis as the spouse of Horus, the god associated with the pharaoh as his protector, and then later as the deification of the pharaoh himself. But in addition, Isis was also represented as the mother of the "four suns of Horus", the four deities who protected the canopic jars containing the pharaoh's internal organs. More specifically, Isis was viewed as the protector of the liver -jar-deity, Imsety . By the Middle Kingdom period, as the funeral texts began to be used by members of Egyptian society other than the royal family, the role of Isis as protector also grew, to include the protection of nobles and even commoners. Isis nursing Horus (Louvre) By the New Kingdom period, the role of Isis as a mother deity had displaced that of the spouse. She was seen as the mother of the pharaoh, and was often depicted breastfeeding the pharaoh. It is theorized that this displacement happened through the merging of cults from the various cult centers as Egyptian religion became more standardized. When the cult of Ra rose to prominence, with its cult center at Heliopolis , Ra was identified with the similar deity, Horus. But Hathor had been paired with Ra in some regions, as the mother of the god. Since Isis was paired with Horus, and Horus was identified with Ra, Isis began to be merged with Hathor as Isis-Hathor. By merging with Hathor, Isis became the mother of Horus, as well as his wife. Eventually the mother role displaced the role of spouse. Thus, the role of spouse to Isis was open and in the Heliopolis pantheon, Isis became the wife of Osiris and the mother of Horus/Ra. This reconciliation of themes led to the evolution of the myth of Isis and Osiris . Temples and priesthood Little information on Egyptian rituals for Isis survives; however, it is clear there were both priests and priestesses officiating at her cult throughout its history. By the Greco-Roman era, many of them were considered healers , and were said to have other special powers, including dream interpretation and the ability to control the weather , which they did by braiding or not combing their hair. The latter was believed because the Egyptians considered knots to have magical powers. The cult of Isis and Osiris continued up until the 6th century CE on the island of Philae in Upper Nile. The Theodosian decree (in about 380 CE) to destroy all pagan temples was not enforced there until the time of Justinian . This toleration was due to an old treaty made between the Blemyes-Nobadae and the emperor Diocletian . Every year they visited Elephantine and at certain intervals took the image of Isis up river to the land of the Blemyes for oracular purposes before returning it. Justinian sent Narses to destroy the sanctuaries, with the priests being arrested and the divine images taken to Constantinople. Philae was the last of the ancient Egyptian temples to be closed. Iconography Associations Due to the association between knots and magical power, a symbol of Isis was the tiet or tyet (meaning welfare/life), also called the Knot of Isis, Buckle of Isis, or the Blood of Isis, which is shown to the right. In many respects the tyet resembles an ankh, except that its arms point downward, and when used as such, seems to represent the idea of eternal life or resurrection . The meaning of Blood of Isis is more obscure, but the tyet often was used as a funerary amulet made of red wood, stone , or glass , so this may simply have been a description of the appearance of the materials used. The star Sopdet (Sirius) is associated with Isis. The appearance of the star signified the advent of a new year and Isis was likewise considered the goddess of rebirth and reincarnation, and as a protector of the dead. The Book of the Dead outlines a particular ritual that would protect the dead, enabling travel anywhere in the underworld, and most of the titles Isis holds signify her as the goddess of protection of the dead. Probably due to assimilation with the goddess Aphrodite (Venus), during the Roman period, the rose was used in her worship. The demand for roses throughout the empire turned rose production into an important industry. Depictions Isis nursing Horus , wearing the headdress of Hathor . In art, originally Isis was pictured as a woman wearing a long sheath dress and crowned with the hieroglyphic sign for a throne. Sometimes she is depicted as holding a lotus , or, as a sycamore tree. One pharaoh, Thutmose III , is depicted in his tomb as nursing from a sycamore tree that had a breast. After she assimilated many of the roles of Hathor, Isis's headdress is replaced with that of Hathor: the horns of a cow on her head, with the solar disk between them. Sometimes she also is represented as a cow, or a cow's head. Usually, however, she is depicted with her young child, Horus (the pharaoh), with a crown , and a vulture . Occasionally she is represented as a kite flying above the body of Osiris or with the dead Osiris across her lap as she worked her magic to bring him back to life. Most often Isis is seen holding only the generic ankh sign and a simple staff, but in late images she is seen sometimes with items usually associated only with Hathor, the sacred sistrum rattle and the fertility-bearing menat necklace . In The Book of Coming Forth By Day Isis is depicted standing on the prow of the Solar Barque with her arms outstretched. Mythology Sister-wife to Osiris During the Old Kingdom period, the pantheons of individual Egyptian cities varied by region. During the 5th dynasty , Isis entered the pantheon of the city of Heliopolis . She was represented as a daughter of Nut and Geb, and sister to Osiris, Nephthys , and Set. The two sisters, Isis and Nephthys, often were depicted on coffins, with wings outstretched, as protectors against evil. As a funerary deity, she was associated with Osiris, lord of the underworld, and was considered his wife. Rare terracotta image of Isis lamenting the loss of Osiris (eighteenth dynasty) Musée du Louvre , Paris . A later myth, when the cult of Osiris gained more authority, tells the story of Anubis , the god of the underworld. The tale describes how Nephthys was denied a child by Set and disguised herself as the much more attractive Isis to seduce him. The plot failed, but Osiris now found Nephthys very attractive, as he thought she was Isis. They had sex , resulting in the birth of Anubis. Alternatively, Nephthys intentionally assumed the form of Isis in order to trick Osiris into fathering her son. In fear of Set's retribution, Nephthys persuaded Isis to adopt Anubis, so that Set would not find out and kill the child. The tale describes both why Anubis is seen as an underworld deity (he becomes a son of Osiris), and why he could not inherit Osiris's position (he was not a legitimate heir in this new birth scenario), neatly preserving Osiris's position as lord of the underworld. It should be remembered, however, that this new myth was only a later creation of the Osirian cult who wanted to depict Set in an evil position, as the enemy of Osiris. The most extensive account of the Isis-Osiris story known today is Plutarch's Greek description written in the 1st century CE, usually known under its Latin title De Iside et Osiride. In that version, Set held a banquet for Osiris in which he brought in a beautiful box and said that whoever could fit in the box perfectly would get to keep it. Set had measured Osiris in his sleep and made sure that he was the only one who could fit the box. Several tried to see whether they fit. Once it was Osiris's turn to see if he could fit in the box, Set closed the lid on him so that the box was now a coffin for Osiris. Set flung the box in the Nile so that it would drift far away. Isis went looking for the box so that Osiris could have a proper burial. She found the box in a tree in Byblos , a city along the Phoenician coast, and brought it back to Egypt, hiding it in a swamp. But Set went hunting that night and found the box. Enraged, Set chopped Osiris's body into fourteen pieces and scattered them all over Egypt to ensure that Isis could never find Osiris again for a proper burial. Isis and her sister Nephthys went looking for these pieces, but could only find thirteen of the fourteen. Fish had swallowed the last piece, his phallus , so Isis made him a new one with magic, putting his body back together after which they conceived Horus. The number of pieces is described on temple walls variously as fourteen and sixteen, and occasionally forty-two , one for each nome or district. Mother of Horus Yet another set of late myths detail the adventures of Isis after the birth of Osiris's posthumous son, Horus . Isis was said to have given birth to Horus at Khemmis, thought to be located on the Nile Delta. Many dangers faced Horus after birth, and Isis fled with the newborn to escape the wrath of Set , the murderer of her husband. In one instance, Isis heals Horus from a lethal scorpion sting; she also performs other miracles in relation to the cippi , or the plaques of Horus. Isis protected and raised Horus until he was old enough to face Set, and subsequently, became the pharaoh of Egypt. Magic It was said that Isis tricked Ra (i.e. Amun-Ra/Atum-Ra) into telling her his "secret name," by causing a snake to bite him, for which only Isis had the cure. Knowing the secret name of a deity enabled one to have power of the deity. The use of secret names became central in late Egyptian magic spells, and Isis often is implored to "use the true name of Ra" in the performance of rituals. By the late Egyptian historical period, after the occupations by the Greeks and the Romans, Isis became the most important and most powerful deity of the Egyptian pantheon because of her magical skills. Magic is central to the entire mythology of Isis, arguably more so than any other Egyptian deity. Isis had a central role in Egyptian magic spells and ritual, especially those of protection and healing. In many spells, she also is completely merged even with Horus, where invocations of Isis are supposed to involve Horus's powers automatically as well. In Egyptian history the image of a wounded Horus became a standard feature of Isis's healing spells, which typically invoked the curative powers of the milk of Isis. Greco-Roman world Interpretatio graeca Isis (seated right) welcoming the Greek heroine Io as she is borne into Egypt on the shoulders of the personified Nile, as depicted in a Roman wall painting from Pompeii Using the comparative methodology known as interpretatio graeca , the Greek historian Herodotus (5th century BCE) described Isis by comparison with the Greek goddess Demeter , whose mysteries at Eleusis offered initiates guidance in the afterlife and a vision of rebirth. Herodotus says that Isis was the only goddess worshiped by all Egyptians alike. Terracotta figure of Isis-Aphrodite from Ptolemaic Egypt After the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great and the Hellenization of the Egyptian culture initiated by Ptolemy I Soter , Isis became known as Queen of Heaven . Other Mediterranean goddesses, such as Demeter, Astarte , and Aphrodite , became identified with Isis, as was the Arabian goddess Al-Ozza or Al-Uzza through a similarity of name, since etymology was thought to reveal the essential or primordial nature of the thing named. An alabaster statue of Isis from the 3rd century BCE, found in Ohrid , in the Republic of Macedonia , is depicted on the obverse of the Macedonian 10 denars banknote, issued in 1996. Isis in the Roman Empire Roman Isis holding a sistrum and oinochoe and wearing a garment tied with a characteristic knot, from the time of Hadrian (117–138 CE) Tacitus writes that after the assassination of Julius Caesar , a temple in honour of Isis had been decreed, but was suspended by Augustus as part of his program to restore traditional Roman religion . The emperor Caligula , however, was open to Eastern religions, and the Navigium Isidis , a procession in honor of Isis, was established in Rome during his reign. According to the Jewish historian Josephus , Caligula donned female garb and took part in the mysteries he instituted. Vespasian , along with Titus , practised incubation in the Roman Iseum . Domitian built another Iseum along with a Serapeum . In a relief on the Arch of Trajan , the emperor appears before Isis and Horus, presenting them with votive offerings of wine. Hadrian decorated his villa at Tibur with Isiac scenes. Galerius regarded Isis as his protector. The religion of Isis thus spread throughout the Roman Empire during the formative centuries of Christianity. Wall paintings and objects reveal her pervasive presence at Pompeii , preserved by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE. In Rome, temples were built and obelisks erected in her honour. In Greece, the cult of Isis was introduced to traditional centres of worship in Delos , Delphi , Eleusis and Athens , as well as in northern Greece. Harbours of Isis were to be found on the Arabian Sea and the Black Sea. Inscriptions show followers in Gaul, Spain, Pannonia, Germany, Arabia, Asia Minor, Portugal and many shrines even in Britain. Tacitus interprets a goddess among the Germanic Suebi as a form of Isis whose symbol (signum) was a ship. Bruce Lincoln regards the identity of this Germanic goddess as "elusive." The Greek antiquarian Plutarch wrote a treatise on Isis and Osiris, a major source for Imperial theology concerning Isis. Plutarch describes Isis as "a goddess exceptionally wise and a lover of wisdom, to whom, as her name at least seems to indicate, knowledge and understanding are in the highest degree appropriate... ." The statue of Athena in Sais was identified with Isis, and according to Plutarch was inscribed "I am all that has been, and is, and shall be, and my robe no mortal has yet uncovered." At Sais, however, the patron goddess of the ancient cult was Neith , many of whose traits had begun to be attributed to Isis during the Greek occupation. The Roman writer Apuleius recorded aspects of the cult of Isis in the 2nd century CE, including the Navigium Isidis, in his novel The Golden Ass . The protagonist Lucius prays to Isis as Regina Caeli, "Queen of Heaven": You see me here, Lucius, in answer to your prayer. I am nature, the universal Mother, mistress of all the elements, primordial child of time, sovereign of all things spiritual, queen of the dead, queen of the ocean, queen also of the immortals, the single manifestation of all gods and goddesses that are, my nod governs the shining heights of Heavens, the wholesome sea breezes. Though I am worshipped in many aspects, known by countless names ... the Egyptians who excel in ancient learning and worship call me by my true name...Queen Isis. Ruins of the Temple of Isis in Delos According to Apuleius, these other names include manifestations of the goddess as Ceres , "the original nurturing parent"; Heavenly Venus (Venus Caelestis); the "sister of Phoebus ", that is, Diana or Artemis as she is worshipped at Ephesus ; or Proserpina (Greek Persephone ) as the triple goddess of the underworld. From the middle Imperial period, the title Caelestis, "Heavenly" or "Celestial", is attached to several goddesses embodying aspects of a single, supreme Heavenly Goddess. The Dea Caelestis was identified with the constellation Virgo (the Virgin) , who holds the divine balance of justice . Greco-Roman temples On the Greek island of Delos a Doric Temple of Isis was built on a high over-looking hill at the beginning of the Roman period to venerate the familiar trinity of Isis, the Alexandrian Serapis and Harpocrates . The creation of this temple is significant as Delos is particularly known as the birthplace of the Greek gods Artemis and Apollo who had temples of their own on the island long before the temple to Isis was built. In the Roman Empire, a well-preserved example was discovered in Pompeii .The only sanctuary of Isis (fanum Isidis) identified with certainty in Roman Britain is located in Londinium (present-day London). Isis in black and white marble (Roman, 2nd century CE) Late antiquity The cult of Isis was part of the syncretic tendencies of religion in the Greco-Roman world of late antiquity . The male first name "Isidore" in Greek means "gift of Isis" (similar to "Theodore", "God's gift"). The Isis cult in Rome was a template for the Christian Madonna cult. Eros, in Greek mythology , was the primordial god of sexual love and beauty. He was also worshipped as a fertility deity. His Roman counterpart was Cupid ("desire"), also known as Amor ("love"). In some myths, he was the son of the deities Aphrodite and Ares , but according to Plato's Symposium , he was conceived by Poros (Plenty) and Penia (Poverty) at Aphrodite's birthday. Like Dionysus , he was sometimes referred to as Eleutherios, "the liberator". Antiochus VII Euergetes, nicknamed Sidetes (from Side ), ruler of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire , reigned from 138 to 129 BC. He was the last Seleucid king of any stature. The brother of Demetrius II , Antiochus was elevated after Demetrius' capture by the Parthians . He married Cleopatra Thea , who had been the wife of Demetrius. Their offspring was Antiochus IX , who thus became both half-brother and cousin to Seleucus V and Antiochus VIII . Sidetes defeated the usurper Tryphon at Dora  and laid siege to Jerusalem in 134. According to Josephus the Hasmonean king John Hyrcanus opened King David 's sepulchre and removed three thousand talents, which he then paid Antiochus to spare the city. Sidetes then attacked the Parthians, supported by a body of Jews under Hyrcanus, and briefly took back Mesopotamia , Babylonia and Media before being ambushed and killed by Phraates II . His brother Demetrius II had by then been released, but the Seleucid realm was now restricted to Syria . The Seleucid Empire (/dɨˈluːsɪs/; from Greek : Σελεύκεια, Seleúkeia) was a Hellenistic state ruled by the Seleucid dynasty founded by Seleucus I Nicator following the division of the empire created by Alexander the Great . Seleucus received Babylonia and, from there, expanded his dominions to include much of Alexander's near eastern territories. At the height of its power, it included central Anatolia , the Levant , Mesopotamia , Kuwait , Persia , Afghanistan , Turkmenistan , and northwest parts of India . The Seleucid Empire was a major center of Hellenistic culture that maintained the preeminence of Greek customs where a Greek-Macedonian political elite dominated, mostly in the urban areas. The Greek population of the cities who formed the dominant elite were reinforced by emigration from Greece . Seleucid expansion into Anatolia and Greece was abruptly halted after decisive defeats at the hands of the Roman army . Their attempts to defeat their old enemy Ptolemaic Egypt were frustrated by Roman demands. Much of the eastern part of the empire was conquered by the Parthians under Mithridates I of Parthia in the mid-2nd century BC, yet the Seleucid kings continued to rule a rump state from Syria until the invasion by Armenian king Tigranes the Great and their ultimate overthrow by the Roman general Pompey . History Partition of Alexander's empire Alexander conquered the Persian Empire under its last Achaemenid dynast, Darius III , within a short time frame and died young, leaving an expansive empire of partly Hellenised culture without an adult heir. The empire was put under the authority of a regent in the person of Perdiccas in 323 BC, and the territories were divided between Alexander's generals, who thereby became satraps , at the Partition of Babylon in 323 BC. Rise of Seleucus Coin of Seleucus I Nicator The Kingdoms of the Diadochi circa 303 BC Alexander's generals (the Diadochi ) jostled for supremacy over parts of his empire. Ptolemy , a former general and the satrap of Egypt , was the first to challenge the new system; this led to the demise of Perdiccas. Ptolemy's revolt led to a new subdivision of the empire with the Partition of Triparadisus in 320 BC. Seleucus , who had been "Commander-in-Chief of the camp" under Perdiccas since 323 BC but helped to assassinate him later, received Babylonia and, from that point, continued to expand his dominions ruthlessly. Seleucus established himself in Babylon in 312 BC, the year used as the foundation date of the Seleucid Empire. He 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 went as far as India , where, after two years of war , he reached an agreement with Chandragupta Maurya , in which he exchanged his eastern territories for a considerable force of 500 war elephants , which would play a decisive role at Ipsus (301 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 Westward expansion Following his and Lysimachus ' victory over Antigonus Monophthalmus at the decisive Battle of Ipsus in 301 BC, Seleucus took control over eastern Anatolia and northern Syria . In the latter area, he founded a new capital at Antioch on the Orontes , a city he named after his father. An alternative capital was established at Seleucia on the Tigris , north of Babylon. Seleucus's empire reached its greatest extent following his defeat of his erstwhile ally, Lysimachus, at Corupedion in 281 BC, after which Seleucus expanded his control to encompass western Anatolia. He hoped further to take control of Lysimachus's lands in Europe – primarily Thrace and even Macedonia itself, but was assassinated by Ptolemy Ceraunus on landing in Europe. His son and successor, Antiochus I Soter , was left with an enormous realm consisting of nearly all of the Asian portions of the Empire, but faced with Antigonus II Gonatas in Macedonia and Ptolemy II Philadelphus in Egypt , he proved unable to pick up where his father had left off in conquering the European portions of Alexander's empire. An overextended domain Nevertheless, even before Seleucus' death, it was difficult to assert control over the vast eastern domains of the Seleucids. Seleucus invaded Punjab region region of India in 305 BC, confronting Chandragupta Maurya (Sandrokottos), founder of the Maurya empire . It is said that Chandragupta fielded an army of 600,000 men and 9,000 war elephants (Pliny, Natural History VI, 22.4). Mainstream scholarship asserts that Chandragupta received vast territory, sealed in a treaty, west of the Indus, including the Hindu Kush , modern day Afghanistan , and the Balochistan province of Pakistan . Archaeologically, concrete indications of Mauryan rule, such as the inscriptions of the Edicts of Ashoka , are known as far as Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. It is generally thought that Chandragupta married Seleucus's daughter, or a Macedonian princess , a gift from Seleucus to formalize an alliance. In a return gesture, Chandragupta sent 500 war-elephants, a military asset which would play a decisive role at the Battle of Ipsus in 301 BC. In addition to this treaty, Seleucus dispatched an ambassador, Megasthenes , to Chandragupta, and later Deimakos to his son Bindusara , at the Mauryan court at Pataliputra (modern Patna in Bihar state ). Megasthenes wrote detailed descriptions of India and Chandragupta's reign, which have been partly preserved to us through Diodorus Siculus . Later Ptolemy II Philadelphus , the ruler of Ptolemaic Egypt and contemporary of Ashoka the Great , is also recorded by Pliny the Elder as having sent an ambassador named Dionysius to the Mauryan court. Other territories lost before Seleucus' death were Gedrosia in the south-east of the Iranian plateau, and, to the north of this, Arachosia on the west bank of the Indus River . Antiochus I (reigned 281–261 BC) and his son and successor Antiochus II Theos (reigned 261–246 BC) were faced with challenges in the west, including repeated wars with Ptolemy II and a Celtic invasion of Asia Minor — distracting attention from holding the eastern portions of the Empire together. Towards the end of Antiochus II's reign, various provinces simultaneously asserted their independence, such as Bactria under Diodotus , Parthia under Arsaces , and Cappadocia under Ariarathes III . In Bactria , the satrap Diodotus asserted independence to form the Greco-Bactrian kingdom c.245 BC. Diodotus , governor for the Bactrian territory, asserted independence in around 245 BC, although the exact date is far from certain, to form the Greco-Bactrian kingdom. This kingdom was characterized by a rich Hellenistic culture, and was to continue its domination of Bactria until around 125 BC, when it was overrun by the invasion of northern nomads. One of the Greco-Bactrian kings, Demetrius I of Bactria , invaded India around 180 BC to form the Greco-Indian kingdom, lasting until around AD 20. The Seleucid satrap of Parthia, named Andragoras , first claimed independence, in a parallel to the secession of his Bactrian neighbour. Soon after however, a Parthian tribal chief called Arsaces invaded the Parthian territory around 238 BC to form the Arsacid Dynasty — the starting point of the powerful Parthian Empire . By the time Antiochus II's son Seleucus II Callinicus came to the throne around 246 BC, the Seleucids seemed to be at a low ebb indeed. Seleucus II was soon dramatically defeated in the Third Syrian War against Ptolemy III of Egypt and then had to fight a civil war against his own brother Antiochus Hierax . Taking advantage of this distraction, Bactria and Parthia seceded from the empire. In Asia Minor too, the Seleucid dynasty seemed to be losing control — Gauls had fully established themselves in Galatia , semi-independent semi-Hellenized kingdoms had sprung up in Bithynia , Pontus , and Cappadocia , and the city of Pergamum in the west was asserting its independence under the Attalid Dynasty . Revival (223–191 BC) Silver coin of Antiochus III the Great . The Seleucid Empire in 200 BC (before expansion into Anatolia and Greece ). A revival would begin when Seleucus II's younger son, Antiochus III the Great , took the throne in 223 BC. Although initially unsuccessful in the Fourth Syrian War against Egypt, which led to a defeat at the Battle of Raphia (217 BC), Antiochus would prove himself to be the greatest of the Seleucid rulers after Seleucus I himself. He spent the next ten years on his anabasis through the eastern parts of his domain and restoring rebellious vassals like Parthia and Greco-Bactria to at least nominal obedience. He won the Battle of the Arius and besieged the Bactrian capital , and even emulated Alexander with an expedition into India where he met with king Sophagasenus receiving war elephants: "He (Antiochus) crossed the Caucasus and descended into India; renewed his friendship with Sophagasenus the king of the Indians; received more elephants, until he had a hundred and fifty altogether; and having once more provisioned his troops, set out again personally with his army: leaving Androsthenes of Cyzicus the duty of taking home the treasure which this king had agreed to hand over to him". Polybius 11.39 When he returned to the west in 205 BC, Antiochus found that with the death of Ptolemy IV , the situation now looked propitious for another western campaign. Antiochus and Philip V of Macedon then made a pact to divide the Ptolemaic possessions outside of Egypt, and in the Fifth Syrian War , the Seleucids ousted Ptolemy V from control of Coele-Syria . The Battle of Panium (198 BC) definitively transferred these holdings from the Ptolemies to the Seleucids. Antiochus appeared, at the least, to have restored the Seleucid Kingdom to glory. Expansion into Greece and War with Rome Following his erstwhile ally Philip's defeat by Rome in 197 BC, Antiochus saw the opportunity for expansion into Greece itself. Encouraged by the exiled Carthaginian general Hannibal , and making an alliance with the disgruntled Aetolian League , Antiochus launched an invasion across the Hellespont . With his huge army he was intent upon establishing the Seleucid empire as the foremost power in the Hellenic world but these plans put the empire on a collision course with the new superpower of the Mediterranean, the Roman Republic . At the battles of Thermopylae and Magnesia , Antiochus's forces were resoundingly defeated and he was compelled to make peace and sign the Treaty of Apamea in (188 BC), the main clause of which saw the Seleucids agree to pay a large indemnity, retreat from Anatolia and to never again attempt to expand Seleucid territory west of the Taurus Mountains . The Kingdom of Pergamum and the Republic of Rhodes , Rome's allies in the war, were given the former Seleucid lands in Anatolia. Antiochus died in 187 BC on another expedition to the east, where he sought to extract money to pay the indemnity. Roman power, Parthia and Judea The reign of his son and successor Seleucus IV Philopator (187-175 BC) was largely spent in attempts to pay the large indemnity, and Seleucus was ultimately assassinated by his minister Heliodorus . Seleucus' younger brother, Antiochus IV Epiphanes , now seized the throne. He attempted to restore Seleucid power and prestige with a successful war against the old enemy, Ptolemaic Egypt , which met with initial success as the Seleucids defeated and drove the Egyptian army back to Alexandria itself. As the king planned on how to conclude the war, he was informed that Roman commissioners, led by the Proconsul Gaius Popillius Laenas , were near and requesting a meeting with the Seleucid king. Antiochus agreed, but when they met and Antiochus held out his hand in friendship, Popilius placed in his hand the tablets on which was written the decree of the senate and telling him to read it. When the king said that he would call his friends into council and consider what he ought to do, Popilius drew a circle in the sand around the king's feet with the stick he was carrying and said, "Before you step out of that circle give me a reply to lay before the senate." For a few moments he hesitated, astounded at such a peremptory order, and at last replied, "I will do what the senate thinks right." He then chose to withdraw rather than set the empire to war with Rome again. The latter part of his reign saw a further disintegration of the Empire despite his best efforts. Weakened economically, militarily and by loss of prestige, the Empire became vulnerable to rebels in the eastern areas of the empire, who began to further undermine the empire while the Parthians moved into the power vacuum to take over the old Persian lands. Antiochus' aggressive Hellenizing (or de-Judaizing) activities provoked a full scale armed rebellion in Judea —the Maccabean Revolt . Efforts to deal with both the Parthians and the Jews as well as retain control of the provinces at the same time proved beyond the weakened empire's power. Antiochus died during a military expedition against the Parthians in 164 BC. Civil war and further decay Coin of Antiochus IV Epiphanes . Silver coin of Alexander Balas . After the death of Antiochus IV Epiphanes , the Seleucid Empire became increasingly unstable. Frequent civil wars made central authority tenuous at best. Epiphanes' young son, Antiochus V Eupator , was first overthrown by Seleucus IV's son, Demetrius I Soter in 161 BC. Demetrius I attempted to restore Seleucid power in Judea particularly, but was overthrown in 150 BC by Alexander Balas — an impostor who (with Egyptian backing) claimed to be the son of Epiphanes. Alexander Balas reigned until 145 BC, when he was overthrown by Demetrius I's son, Demetrius II Nicator . Demetrius II proved unable to control the whole of the kingdom, however. While he ruled Babylonia and eastern Syria from Damascus , the remnants of Balas' supporters — first supporting Balas' son Antiochus VI , then the usurping general Diodotus Tryphon — held out in Antioch . Meanwhile, the decay of the Empire's territorial possessions continued apace. By 143 BC, the Jews in form of the Maccabees had fully established their independence. Parthian expansion continued as well. In 139 BC, Demetrius II was defeated in battle by the Parthians and was captured. By this time, the entire Iranian Plateau had been lost to Parthian control. Demetrius Nicator's brother, Antiochus VII Sidetes , took the throne after his brother's capture. He faced the enormous task of restoring a rapidly crumbling empire; one facing threats on multiple fronts. Hard-won control of Coele-Syria was threatened by the Jewish Maccabee rebels. Once-vassal dynasties in Armenia, Cappadocia, and Pontus were threatening Syria and northern Mesopotamia ; the nomadic Parthians, brilliantly led by Mithridates I of Parthia had overrun uppland Media (home of the famed Nisean horse herd); and Roman intervention was an ever-present threat. Sidetes managed to bring the Maccabees to heel; frighten the Anatolian dynasts into a temporary submission; and then, in 133, turned east with the full might of the Royal Army (supported by a body of Jews under the Maccabee prince, John Hyrcanus) to drive back the Parthians. Sidetes' campaign initially met with spectacular success, recapturing Mesopotamia, Babylonia and Media; defeating and slaying the Parthian Satrap of Seleucia-on-Tigris in personal combat. In the winter of 130/129 BC, his army was scattered in winter quarters throughout Media and Persis when the Parthian king, Phraates II , counter-attacked. Moving to intercept the Parthians with only the troops at his immediate disposal, he was ambushed and killed. Antiochus Sidetes is sometimes called the last great Seleucid king. After the death of Antiochus VII Sidetes, all of the recovered eastern territories were recaptured by the Parthians. The Maccabees again rebelled, civil war soon tore the empire to pieces, and the Armenians began to encroach on Syria from the north. Collapse (100–63 BC) By 100 BC, the once formidable Seleucid Empire encompassed little more than Antioch and some Syrian cities. Despite the clear collapse of their power, and the decline of their kingdom around them, nobles continued to play kingmakers on a regular basis, with occasional intervention from Ptolemaic Egypt and other outside powers. The Seleucids existed solely because no other nation wished to absorb them — seeing as they constituted a useful buffer between their other neighbours. In the wars in Anatolia between Mithridates VI of Pontus and Sulla of Rome, the Seleucids were largely left alone by both major combatants. Mithridates' ambitious son-in-law, Tigranes the Great , king of Armenia , however, saw opportunity for expansion in the constant civil strife to the south. In 83 BC, at the invitation of one of the factions in the interminable civil wars, he invaded Syria, and soon established himself as ruler of Syria, putting the Seleucid Empire virtually at an end. Seleucid rule was not entirely over, however. Following the Roman general Lucullus ' defeat of both Mithridates and Tigranes in 69 BC, a rump Seleucid kingdom was restored under Antiochus XIII . Even so, civil wars could not be prevented, as another Seleucid, Philip II , contested rule with Antiochus. After the Roman conquest of Pontus, the Romans became increasingly alarmed at the constant source of instability in Syria under the Seleucids. Once Mithridates was defeated by Pompey in 63 BC, Pompey set about the task of remaking the Hellenistic East, by creating new client kingdoms and establishing provinces. While client nations like Armenia and Judea were allowed to continue with some degree of autonomy under local kings, Pompey saw the Seleucids as too troublesome to continue; and doing away with both rival Seleucid princes, he made Syria into a Roman province. Culture Bagadates I (Minted 290–280 BC) was the first indigenous Seleucid satrap to be appointed. The Seleucid empire's geographic span, from the Aegean Sea to what is now Afghanistan and Pakistan , created a melting pot of various peoples, such as Greeks , Armenians , Persians , Medes , Assyrians , and Jews . The immense size of the empire, followed by its encompassing nature, made the Seleucid rulers have a governing interest in implementing a policy of racial unity initiated by Alexander. The Hellenization of the Seleucid empire was achieved by the establishment of Greek cities throughout the empire. Historically significant towns and cities, such as Antioch , were created or renamed with more appropriate Greek names. The creation of new Greek cities and towns was aided by the fact that the Greek mainland was overpopulated and therefore made the vast Seleucid empire ripe for colonization. Colonization was used to further Greek interest while facilitating the assimilation of many native groups. Socially, this led to the adoption of Greek practices and customs by the educated native classes in order to further themselves in public life and the ruling Macedonian class gradually adopted some of the local traditions. By 313 BC, Hellenic ideas had begun their almost 250-year expansion into the Near East, Middle East, and Central Asian cultures. It was the empire's governmental framework to rule by establishing hundreds of cities for trade and occupational purposes. Many of the existing cities began — or were compelled by force — to adopt Hellenized philosophic thought, religious sentiments, and politics. Synthesizing Hellenic and indigenous cultural, religious, and philosophical ideas met with varying degrees of success — resulting in times of simultaneous peace and rebellion in various parts of the empire. Such was the case with the Jewish population of the Seleucid empire because the Jews posed a significant problem which eventually led to war. Contrary to the accepting nature of the Ptolemaic empire towards native religions and customs, the Seleucids gradually tried to force Hellenization upon the Jewish people in their territory by outlawing Judaism. This eventually led to the revolt of the Jews under Seleucid control, which would later lead to the Jews achieving independence. Seleucid rulers Seleucus I Nicator , the founder of the Seleucid Empire. The Seleucid dynasty or the Seleucidae (from Greek : Σελευκίδαι, Seleukídai) was a Greek Macedonian descendants of Seleucus I Nicator ("the Victor"), who ruled the Seleucid Kingdom centered in the Near East and regions of the Asian part of the earlier Achaemenid Persian Empire during the Hellenistic period . List Seleucid Rulers King Reign (BCE) Consort(s) Comments Seleucus I Nicator Satrap 311-305 King 305-281 Apama Antiochus I Soter co-ruler from 291, ruled 281-261 Stratonice of Syria Co-ruler with his father for 10 years Antiochus II Theos 261-246 Laodice I Berenice Berenice was a daughter of Ptolemy II of Egypt. Laodice I had her and her son murdered. Seleucus II Callinicus 246-225 Laodice II Seleucus III Ceraunus (or Soter) 225-223 Seleucus III was assassinated by members of his army. Antiochus III the Great 223-187 Laodice III Euboea of Chalcis Antiochus III was a brother of Seleucus III Seleucus IV Philopator 187-175 Laodice IV This was a brother-sister marriage. Antiochus IV Epiphanes 175-163 Laodice IV Antiochus V Eupator 163-161 Demetrius I Soter 161-150 Apama ? Laodice V ? Son of Seleucus IV Philopator and Laodice IV Alexander I Balas 150-145 Cleopatra Thea Son of Antiochus IV and Laodice IV Demetrius II Nicator first reign, 145-138 Cleopatra Thea Son of Demetrius I Antiochus VI Dionysus (or Epiphanes) 145-140? Son of Alexander Balas and Cleopatra Thea Diodotus Tryphon 140-138 General who was a regent for Antiochus VI Dionysus. Took the throne after murdering his charge. Antiochus VII Sidetes (or Euergetes) 138-129 Cleopatra Thea Son of Demetrius I Demetrius II Nicator second reign, 129-126 Cleopatra Thea Demetrius was murdered at the instigation of his wife Cleopatra Thea. Alexander II Zabinas 129-123 Counter-king who claimed to be an adoptive son of Antiochus VII Sidetes Cleopatra Thea 126-123 Daughter of Ptolemy VI of Egypt. Married to three kings: Alexander Balas, Demetrius II Nicator, and Antiochus VII Sidetes. Mother of Antiochus VI, Seleucus V, Antiochus VIII Grypus, and Antiochus IX Cyzicenus. Coregent with her son Antiochus VIII Grypus. Seleucus V Philometor 126/125 Murdered by his mother Cleopatra Thea Antiochus VIII Grypus 125-96 Tryphaena of Egypt Cleopatra Selene I of Egypt Antiochus IX Cyzicenus 114-96 Cleopatra IV of Egypt Cleopatra Selene I of Egypt Seleucus VI Epiphanes Nicator 96-95 Antiochus X Eusebes Philopator 95-92 or 83 Cleopatra Selene I Demetrius III Eucaerus (or Philopator) 95-87 Antiochus XI Epiphanes Philadelphus 95-92 Philip I Philadelphus 95-84/83 Antiochus XII Dionysus 87-84 (Tigranes I of Armenia) 83-69 Seleucus VII Kybiosaktes or Philometor 83-69 Antiochus XIII Asiaticus 69-64 Philip II Philoromaeus 65-63 Family tree Antiochus Laodice Seleucus I Nicator Kg. 305–281 Apama Achaeus Stratonice Antiochus I Soter Kg. 281–261 Andromachus Antiochus II Theos Kg. 261–246 Laodice I Achaeus Kg. 220–213 Laodice II Seleucus II Callinicus Kg. 246–226 Antiochus Hierax Kg. 240–228 Seleucus III Ceraunus Kg. 226–223 Antiochus III the Great Kg. 223–187 Laodice III Seleucus IV Philopator Kg. 187–175 Laodice Antiochus IV Epiphanes Kg. 175–163 Apama Demetrius I Soter Kg. 161–150 Antiochus V Eupator Kg. 163–161 Alexander I Balas Kg. 150–146 Cleopatra Thea Demetrius II Nicator Kg. 145–125 Antiochus VII Sidetes Kg. 138–129 Antiochus VI Dionysus Kg. 144–142 Seleucus V Philometor Kg. 126–125 Antiochus VIII Grypus Kg. 125–96 Cleopatra Antiochus IX Cyzicenus Kg. 116–96 Seleucus VI Epiphanes Kg. 96–95 Antiochus XI Epiphanes Kg. 95–92 Philip I Philadelphus Kg. 95–83 Demetrius III Eucaerus Kg. 95–88 Antiochus XII Dionysus Kg. 87–84 Antiochus X Eusebes Kg. 95–83 Philip II Philoromaeus Kg. 69–63 Antiochus XIII Asiaticus Kg. 69–64 Frequently Asked Questions How long until my order is shipped?: Depending on the volume of sales, it may take up to 5 business days for shipment of your order after the receipt of payment. 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