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Seleucus Iii. or Seleucus Ceraunus or Seleucus Ceraunus

*Se/leukos), surnamed CERAUNUS, king of SYRIA. was the eldest son and successor of Seleucus II. His real name was Alexander, but on his father's death he assumed that of Seleucus; the surname of Ceraunus was given him by 'the soldiery, apparently in derision, as he appears to have been feebel both in mind and body. He, however, followed up his father's plans, by assembling an army, with which he passed Mount Taurus, for the purpose of dispossessing Attalus of his newly acquired dominions in Asia Minor. He was accompanied by his cousin Achaeus, a man of energy and ability, but the war was notwithstanding feebly conducted : discontents broke out in the army; and at length Seleucus himself was assassinated by one of his own officers, named Nicanor, and a Gaul of the name of Apaturius. He could have been little more than twenty years old at the time of his death, of which he had reigned nearly three years. (Plb. 4.48, 5.40; Appian, Syr. 66 ; Hieronym. ad Daniel. 11.10; Euseb. Arm. p. 165.)

From an inscription found at Seleuceia, on the Orontes (Pococke, Inscr. Ant. p. 4, No. 18 ; Droysen, vol. ii. p. 520), it appears that the official title or surname assumed by Seleucus, was that of Soter; but neither this, nor that of Ceraunus by which he is known in history, is found on any of his coins. The latter, indeed, can only be assigned to him conjecturally. Droysen (Ib. p. 521) has inferred, from the same inscription, that Seleucus must have left an infant son of the name of Antiochus, whose claims were passed over in favour of his uncle, Antiochus III.; but no other mention is found of this fact.


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  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Polybius, Histories, 4.48
    • Polybius, Histories, 5.40
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