Greek Coin of Seleucid Kingdom
Seleukos IV, Philopator - King: 187-175 B.C.
Serrated Edge Bronze 16mm (6.14 grams) Antioch on the Orontes mint.
Reference: Sear 6971; B.M.C. 4. 33,27-8; HGC 9, 591
Diademed bust of Artemis right, quiver at shoulder.
ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ / ΣEΛΕYKOY either side of Artemis standing left, holding spear; deer (doe or stag) left at her side.
The kingdom bequeathed by Antiochos the Great to his son, Seleukos IV, was very different from the one which he himself had ruled just a few years before. Asia minor was lost to the kings of Pergamon, the eastern provinces of Parthia and Baktria were not firmly established as independent kingdoms, and in addition Seleukos had to pay a heavy annual war-indemnity to the Romans. What was left to the Seleukid realm he seems to have governed wisely and well until 175 B.C. when he was murdered by his minister Heliodoros.
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Artemis was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. Some scholars believe that the name, and indeed the goddess herself, was originally pre-Greek. Homer refers to her as Artemis Agrotera, Potnia Theron "Artemis of the wildland, Mistress of Animals". In the classical period of Greek mythology, Artemis (Greek: (nominative) Ἄρτεμις, (genitive) Ἀρτέμιδος) was often described as the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo. She was the Hellenic goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, virginity and young girls, bringing and relieving disease in women; she often was depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrows. The deer and the cypress were sacred to her. In later Hellenistic times, she even assumed the ancient role of Eileithyia in aiding childbirth.
Artemis later became identified with Selene, a Titaness who was a Greek moon goddess, sometimes depicted with a crescent moon above her head. She was also identified with the Roman goddess Diana, with the Etruscan goddess Artume, and with the Greek or Carian goddess Hecate.
Seleucus IV Philopator (Greek: Σέλευκος Δ΄ Φιλοπάτωρ; c. 218 – 175 BC), ruler of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire, reigned from 187 BC to 175 BC. He was the second son and successor of Antiochus III the Great and Laodice III. Seleucus IV wed his sister Laodice IV, by whom he had three children: two sons Antiochus, Demetrius I Soter and a daughter Laodice V.
He was compelled by financial necessities, created in part by the heavy war-indemnity exacted by Rome, to pursue an ambitious policy. In an effort to collect money to pay the Romans, he sent his minister Heliodorus to Jerusalem to seize the Jewish temple treasury.
The Bible tells of a prophecy given by a messenger angel in Daniel 11:20 (NLT). The text states that Seleucus "will be remembered as the king who sent a tax collector to maintain the royal splendor." The deuterocanonical lends more to this in 2 Maccabees 3:2-3... "It came to pass that even the kings themselves, and the princes esteemed the place [the Temple in Jerusalem] worthy of the highest honour, and glorified the temple with very great gifts: So that Seleucus king of Asia allowed out of his revenues all the charges belonging to the ministry of the sacrifices."
On his return from Jerusalem, Heliodorus assassinated Seleucus, and seized the throne for himself. The true heir Demetrius, son of Seleucus, was now being retained in Rome as a hostage, and the kingdom was seized by the younger brother of Seleucus, Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Antiochus managed to oust Heliodorus and an infant son of Seleucus, also named Antiochus, was formal head of state for a few years until Epiphanes had him murdered.
| 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.
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.