Antiochos III, Megas - King: 222-187 B.C.
Bronze 14mm (3.91 grams) Sardeis mint: 223-187 B.C.
Reference: HGC 9, 518 Rare R1-R2; SC 983
Laureate head of Apollo right.
ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ / ANTIOXOY either side of Apollo standing left, holding arrow held in right hand, left elbow resting on tall tripod; monograms in field to left and right.
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In Greek and Roman mythology, Apollo, is one of the most important and diverse of the Olympian deities. The ideal of the kouros (a beardless youth), Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of light and the sun; truth and prophecy; archery; medicine and healing; music, poetry, and the arts; and more. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, and has a twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis. Apollo is known in Greek-influenced Etruscan mythology as Apulu. Apollo was worshiped in both ancient Greek and Roman religion, as well as in the modern Greco-Roman Neopaganism.
As the patron of Delphi (Pythian Apollo), Apollo was an oracular god — the prophetic deity of the Delphic Oracle. Medicine and healing were associated with Apollo, whether through the god himself or mediated through his son Asclepius, yet Apollo was also seen as a god who could bring ill-health and deadly plague as well as one who had the ability to cure. Amongst the god's custodial charges, Apollo became associated with dominion over colonists, and as the patron defender of herds and flocks. As the leader of the Muses (Apollon Musagetes) and director of their choir, Apollo functioned as the patron god of music and poetry. Hermes created the lyre for him, and the instrument became a common attribute of Apollo. Hymns sung to Apollo were called paeans.
In Hellenistic times, especially during the third century BCE, as Apollo Helios he became identified among Greeks with Helios, god of the sun, and his sister Artemis similarly equated with Selene, goddess of the moon. In Latin texts, on the other hand, Joseph Fontenrose declared himself unable to find any conflation of Apollo with Sol among the Augustan poets of the first century, not even in the conjurations of Aeneas and Latinus in Aeneid XII (161–215). Apollo and Helios/Sol remained separate beings in literary and mythological texts until the third century CE.
Antiochus III the Great, (ca. 241–187 BC, ruled 222–187 BC), younger son of Seleucus II Callinicus, became the 6th ruler of the Seleucid Empire as a youth of about eighteen in 223 BC. Ascending the throne at young age, Antiochus was an ambitious ruler. Although his early attempts in war against the Ptolemaic Kingdom were unsuccessful, in the following years of conquest Antiochus proved himself as the most successful Seleucid King after Seleucus I himself. His traditional designation, the Great, reflects an epithet he briefly assumed after his Eastern Campaign (it appears in regnal formulas at Amyzon in 203 and 202 BC, but not later). Antiochos also assumed the title "Basileus Megas" (which is Greek for Great King), the traditional title of the Persian kings, which he adopted after his conquest of Koile Seleukia.
Antiochus III inherited a disorganized state. Not only had Asia Minor become detached, but the farther eastern provinces had broken away, Bactria under the Greek Diodotus of Bactria, and Parthia under the nomad chieftain Arsaces. Soon after Antiochus's accession, Media and Persis revolted under their governors, the brothers Molon and Alexander.
The young king, under the baneful influence of the minister Hermeias, authorised an attack on Judea instead of going in person to face the rebels. The attack on Judea proved a fiasco, and the generals sent against Molon and Alexander met with disaster. Only in Asia Minor, where the king's cousin, the able Achaeus represented the Seleucid cause, did its prestige recover, driving the Pergamene power back to its earlier limits.
In 221 BC Antiochus at last went east, and the rebellion of Molon and Alexander collapsed. The submission of Lesser Media, which had asserted its independence under Artabazanes, followed. Antiochus rid himself of Hermeias by assassination and returned to Seleukia (220 BC). Meanwhile Achaeus himself had revolted and assumed the title of king in Asia Minor. Since, however, his power was not well enough grounded to allow of his attacking Seleukia, Antiochus considered that he might leave Achaeus for the present and renew his attempt on Judea.
The campaigns of 219 BC and 218 BC carried the Seleucid armies almost to the confines of Ptolemaic Egypt, but in 217 BC Ptolemy IV confronted Antiochus at the battle of Raphia and inflicted a defeat upon him which nullified all Antiochus's successes and compelled him to withdraw north of the Lebanon. In 216 BC Antiochus went north to deal with Achaeus, and had by 214 BC driven him from the field into Sardis. Antiochus contrived to get possession of the person of Achaeus (see Polybius), but the citadel held out until 213 BC under Achaeus' widow Laodice and then surrendered.
Having thus recovered the central part of Asia Minor – for the Seleucid government had perforce to tolerate the dynasties in Pergamon, Bithynia and Cappadocia – Antiochus turned to recover the outlying provinces of the north and east. He obliged Xerxes of Armenia to acknowledge his supremacy in 212 BC. In 209 BC Antiochus invaded Parthia, occupied the capital Hecatompylus and pushed forward into Hyrcania. The Parthian king Arsaces II apparently successfully sued for peace.
Bactrian campaign and Indian expedition
Year 209 BC saw Antiochus in Bactria, where the Greco-Bactrian king Euthydemus I had supplanted the original rebel. Antiochus again met with success. After sustaining a famous siege in his capital Bactra (Balkh), Euthydemus obtained an honourable peace by which Antiochus promised Euthydemus' son Demetrius the hand of one of his daughters.
Antiochus next, following in the steps of Alexander, crossed into the Kabul valley, renewed his friendship with the Indian king Sophagasenus and returned west by way of Seistan and Kerman (206/5). According to Polybius:
"He crossed the Caucasus (Hindu Kush) and descended into India; renewed his friendship with Sophagasenus (Subhashsena in Prakrit) 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."
Persia and Koile Seleukia campaigns
The Seleucid Empire in 200BC, (before Antiochus was defeated by the Romans)..
From Seleucia on the Tigris he led a short expedition down the Persian Gulf against the Gerrhaeans of the Arabian coast (205 BC/204 BC). Antiochus seemed to have restored the Seleucid empire in the east, and the achievement brought him the title of "the Great." (Antiochos Megas). In 205 BC/204 BC the infant Ptolemy V Epiphanes succeeded to the Egyptian throne, and Antiochus is said (notably by Polybios) to have concluded a secret pact with Philip V of Macedon for the partition of the Ptolemaic possessions. Under the terms of this pact, Macedon were to receive Egypt's around the Aegean Sea and Cyrene while Antiochus would take Cyprus and Egypt.
Once more Antiochus attacked the Ptolemaic province of Koile Seleukia and Phoenicia, and by 199 BC he seems to have had possession of it before the Aetolian, Scopas, recovered it for Ptolemy. But that recovery proved brief, for in 198 BC Antiochus defeated Scopas at the Battle of Panium, near the sources of the Jordan, a battle which marks the end of Ptolemaic rule in Judea.
War against Rome
Thermopylae – Eurymedon – Myonessus – Magnesia
Antiochus then moved to Asia Minor to secure the coast towns which had belonged to the Ptolemaic overseas dominions and the independent Greek cities. This enterprise brought him into antagonism with Rome, since Smyrna and Lampsacus appealed to the republic of the west, and the tension became greater after Antiochus had in 196 BC established a footing in Thrace. The evacuation of Greece by the Romans gave Antiochus his opportunity, and he now had the fugitive Hannibal at his court to urge him on.Aetolians. In 191 BC, however, the Romans under Manius Acilius Glabrio routed him at Thermopylae and obliged him to withdraw to Asia. The Romans followed up their success by attacking Antiochus in Anatolia, and the decisive victory of Scipio Asiaticus at Magnesia ad Sipylum (190 BC), following the defeat of Hannibal at sea off Side, delivered Asia Minor into their hands.
By the Treaty of Apamea (188 BC) the Seleucid king abandoned all the country north of the Taurus, which Rome distributed amongst its friends. As a consequence of this blow to the Seleucid power, the outlying provinces of the empire, recovered by Antiochus, reasserted their independence.
Antiochus mounted a fresh expedition to the east in Luristan, where he died in an attempt to rob a temple at Elymaïs, Persia, in 187 BC. The Seleucid kingdom as Antiochus left it fell to his son, Seleucus IV Philopator, by his wife Laodice.
Antiochus III the Greatt
Seleucid dynastyBorn: 241 BC Died:
Seleucus III Ceraunus
Seleucus IV Philopator
| Seleucid Empire |
|312 BC–63 BC||↓|
The Seleucid Empire in 301 BC.
The Seleucid Empire 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 the Seleukid Kingdom until the invasion by Armenian king Tigranes the Great and their ultimate overthrow by the Roman general Pompey.