The Successors of Seleucus -- Demetrius Soter -- Palace Conspiracies -- End of the Seleucidæ

[65] After the death of Seleucus, the kingdom of Syria passed in regular succession from father to son as follows: the first was the same Antiochus who fell in love with his stepmother, to whom was given the surname of Soter (the Protector) for driving out the Gauls who had made an incursion into Asia from Europe. The second was another Antiochus, born of this marriage, who received the surname of Theos(the Divine) from the Milesians in the first instance, because he slew their tyrant, Timarchus. This Theos was poisoned by his wife. He had two wives, Laodice and Berenice, the former a love-match, the latter a daughter pledged to him by Ptolemy Philadelphus. Laodice assassinated him and afterward Berenice and her child. Ptolemy, the son of Philadelphus, avenged these crimes by killing Laodice. He invaded Syria and advanced as far as Babylon. The Parthians now began their revolt, taking advantage of the confusion in the house of the Seleucidæ.
Y.R. 588

[66] Seleucus, the son of Theos and Laodice, surnamed

B.C. 246
Callinicus (the Triumphant), succeeded Theos as king of
Y.R. 528
Syria. After Seleucus his two sons, Seleucus and Antiochus,
B.C. 226
succeeded in the order of their age. As Seleucus was sickly and poor and unable to command the obedience of the army, he was poisoned by a court conspiracy in the
Y.R. 530
second year of his reign. His brother was Antiochus the
B.C. 224
Great, who went to war with the Romans, of whom I have
written above. He reigned thirty-seven years. I have
B.C. 187
already spoken of his two sons, Seleucus and Antiochus, both of whom ascended the throne. The former reigned twelve years, but feebly and without success by reason of his father's misfortune. Antiochus (Epiphanes) reigned not quite twelve years, in the course of which he captured Artaxias the Armenian and made an expedition into Egypt
Y.R. 579
against Ptolemy VI., who had been left an orphan with one
B.C. 175
brother. While he was encamped near Alexandria, Popilius came to him as Roman ambassador, bringing an order in writing that he should not attack the Ptolemies. When he had read it he replied that he would think about it. Popilius drew a circle around him with a stick and
Y.R. 590
said, "Think about it here." He was terrified and withdrew
B.C. 164
from the country, and robbed the temple of Venus Elymais; then died of a wasting disease, leaving a son nine years of age, the Antiochus Eupator already mentioned.
Y.R. 592 seq.

[67] I have also spoken of Demetrius, his successor, who

B.C. 162 seq.
had been a hostage in Rome and who escaped and became king. He was also called Soter by the Syrians, the next who bore that title after the son of Seleucus Nicator. Against him a certain Alexander took up arms, falsely pretending to be of the family of the Seleucidæ, to whom Ptolemy, king of Egypt, gave aid because he hated Demetrius. The latter was deprived of his kingdom by this means and died. His son, Demetrius, drove out Alexander. For his victory over this bastard of the family he was surnamed Nicator by the Syrians, the next who bore that title after Seleucus. Following the example of Seleucus he made an expedition against the Parthians. He was taken prisoner by them and lived in the palace of King Phraates, who gave him his sister, Rhodoguna, in marriage.

[68] While the country was without a government Diodotus, a slave of the royal house, placed on the throne a young boy named Alexander, a son of Alexander the Bastard and of Ptolemy's daughter. Afterward he put the boy to death and undertook the government himself and assumed the name of Trypho. But Antiochus, the brother of the captive Demetrius, learning in Rhodes of his captivity, came home and, with great difficulty, put Trypho to death. Then he marched with an army against Phraates and demanded his brother. Phraates was afraid of him and sent Demetrius back. Antiochus nevertheless fought with the Parthians, was beaten, and committed suicide. When Demetrius returned to his kingdom he was killed by the craft of his wife, Cleopatra, who was jealous on account of his marriage with Rhodoguna, for which reason also she had previously married his brother Antiochus. She had

Y.R. 592 seq.
borne two sons to Demetrius, named Seleucus and Antiochus
B.C. 162 seq.
Grypus (the Hook Nosed); and to Antiochus one son, named Antiochus Cyzicenus. She had sent Grypus to Athens and Cyzicenus to Cyzicus to be educated.

[69] As soon as Seleucus assumed the diadem after his brother's death his mother shot him dead with an arrow, either fearing lest he should avenge his father or moved by an insane hatred for everybody. After Seleucus, Grypus became king, and he compelled his mother to drink poison that she had mixed for himself. So justice overtook her at last. Grypus was worthy of such a mother. He laid a plot against Cyzicenus, his half-brother, but the latter found it out, made war on him, drove him out of the kingdom, and became king of Syria in his stead. Then Seleucus, the son of Grypus, made war on his uncle and took the government away from him. The new sovereign was violent and tyrannical and was burned to death in the gymnasium at the city of Mopsus in Cilicia. Antiochus, the son of Cyzicenus, succeeded him. The Syrians thought that he escaped a plot of his cousin Seleucus on account of his piety, for which reason they gave him the name of Antiochus Pius. He was really saved by a handsome prostitute with whom he was in love. I think that the Syrians must have given him this title by way of joke, for this Pius married Selene, who had been the wife of his father, Cyzicenus, and of his uncle, Grypus. For this reason the divine vengeance pursued him and he was expelled the kingdom by Tigranes.

[70] The son of Pius and Selene, who was brought up in Asia and was for that reason called Asiaticus, was deprived of the government of Syria by Pompey, as I have already mentioned. He was the seventeenth king of Syria, reckoning from Seleucus (for I leave out Alexander and his son as being illegitimate, and also their slave, Diodotus), and he reigned only one year, while Pompey was busy elsewhere. The dynasty of the Seleucidæ lasted 230 years. To compute the time from Alexander the Great to the beginning of the Roman domination there must be added fourteen years of the rule of Tigranes. So much, in the way of foreign history, concerning the Macedonian kings of Syria.

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