2. Wife of Antiochus II. Theos, king of Syria, and mother of Seleucus Callinicus.
According to Eusebius (Euseb. Arm.
p. 164), she was a daughter of Achaeus, probably the same as the father of Antiochis, who was mother of Attalus I., king of Pergamus. (See Clinton. F. H.
iii. pp. 310, 401.)
The statement of Polyaenus (8.50
), that she was a daughter of Antiochus Soter, though followed by Froelich (Ann. Reg. Syriac.
p. 26), is probably erroneous. (See Niebuhr, Kl. Schrift.
p. 257; Droysen, Hellenism.
ii. p. 317.)
By the peace concluded between Antiochus and Ptolemy Philadelphus (B. C. 248), it was agreed that the former should marry Berenice, the sister of the Egyptian monarch, and should not only put away Laodice, but declare her children illegitimate. Antiochus complied for a time, but as soon as he heard of the death of Ptolemy he hastened to recal Laodice and her children.
The latter, however, either mistrusting her husband's constancy, and apprehensive of a second change, or in revenge for the slight already put upon her, took an early opportunity to put an end to his life by poison (B. C. 246); at the same time artfully concealing his death until she had taken all necessary measures, and was able to establish her son Seleucus at once upon the throne. Her next step was to order the execution of her rival Berenice and her infant son, who were put to death in the sacred grove of Daphne, where they had taken refuge.
An incidental notice, preserved to us by Athenaeus (xiii. p. 593), shows that these were far from being the only victims sacrificed to her vengeance.
But she did not long retain the power acquired by so many crimes.
The people of Syria broke out into revolt; and Ptolemy Euergetes having invaded the kingdom, to avenge his sister's fate, overran almost the whole country.
According to Appian, laodice herself fell into his hands, and was put to death; Plutarch, on the contrary (De Fratern. Amor.
18, p. 489), represents her as surviving this war, and afterwards stimulating her youngest son, Antiochus Hierax, to make war on his brother Selencus. (Appian, App. Syr. 65
; Just. 27.1
; Polyaen. 13.50
; Hieronym. ad Daniel.
xi.; V. Max. 9.14
, ext. 91; Plin. Nat. 7.10
.) Besides these two sons, Laodice had two daughters, one of whom was married to Mithridates IV., king of Pontus, the other to Ariarathes, king of Cappadocia. (Euseb. Arm.
p. 164.) Both of these are called by different authors Stratonice; but Niebuhr has conjectured (Kl. Schrift.
p. 261) that only one of them really bore that name, and the other that of Laodice.