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Antiochus II of Seleucid Empire

King Antiochus II of the Seleucid Dynasty was the third ruler of this particular line of kings. He was born to King Antiochus I Soter in 286 B.C. which is where he appears on the Bible Timeline Poster with World History. He was named King Antiochus II Theos or “god” during the second Syrian war that erupted during his reign. During the struggle with Egypt, he encountered a tyrant named Timarchus who was harassing a group of people known as the Milesians.

While King Antiochus II Theos was in power he had to deal with a number of problems within his empire. Most of these problems were created from the minor kings and governors who continued to rebel and keep intrigue within their courts. Some governors managed to pull away from his empire such as Andragoras who ruled over Parthia. Another governor named Diodotus led another one of his provinces named Bactria into revolt. While these events were occurring King Antiochus II Theos was engaged in a war with the Egyptian Ptolemies over the land of Syria. He eventually made peace with the ruling Ptolemy and turned his attention back to the rebellions. When he did it was too late because Parthia had become an independent kingdom that cut off India from his empire.

King Antiochus II didn’t spend a lot of time trying to regain lost territory. He knew that his forces couldn’t contain every last area of the empire. He ensured that the areas that were situated in Asia Minor and Syria were under his control. King Antiochus II already realized that it would have been a waste of time and manpower to try and contain all of the growing unrest throughout every last part of his empire.

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Coin of Antiochus II

While he was losing parts of his empire he had to marry the daughter of Ptolemy II Philadelphus as an act of good faith for the treaty. This marriage proved to be problematic for the king since he was already married to Laodice I. So he divorced her and banished her to Asia Minor. The rejected Queen did everything that she could in order to regain her position. King Antiochus II couldn’t do anything about this situation until Ptolemy II Philadelphus had died. Once Ptolemy died King Antiochus II divorced his daughter Berenice and went back to Laodice I who ended up poisoning the king. She also killed Berenice and their son. She then placed her son Seleucus II on the throne.

The Seleucid Empire began to go into decline under King Antiochus II Theos. He wasn’t able to keep effective rule over the area and this wasn’t totally his fault. Many of the people that were conquered by the Greeks wanted to be free from these rulers. They were sick and tired of the constant warfare that was occurring between the Greek monarchs. The Greeks allowed the conquered lands to live as they have always done in the past, but most of these people wanted to be free from Greek authority. They had been rebelling long before King Antiochus II Theo took over the throne and their rebellion would become a lot more apparent in the immediate years following his reign.

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