King Antiochus II Soter was assassinated by his Laodice I and after his death she placed their son King Seleucus II on the throne. He ruled from 246 B.C. to 225 B.C. but he eventually lost his life in a horse riding accident. Before he died he had two sons and their names were Seleucus III and Antiochus III. Seleucus III took over the throne after his father died, but he was assassinated a few years later. This is when Antiochus III came to power and also when he appears on the Biblical Timeline Poster with World History.
King Antiochus III came to power when the Seleucid Empire was going into decline. Bactria and Parthia had broken away many years earlier under Antioch II Soter. The previous two rulers didn’t have any success with trying to restore order either and, as a result, the kingdom was becoming more unstable. Two more empires broke away from the empire; Media and Persis. The Seleucid Dynasty was losing control of their lands and their empire was in danger of crumbling.
When King Antiochus III took over the empire he was young and in need of guidance. His counselors directed him to wage war against the Egyptian ruler Ptolemy in Syria instead of dealing with the rebels. As a result of this advice he was not only defeated in battle by Ptolemy he started to lose the respect of the people. After his defeat in Syria, he redirected his efforts to the rebels and managed to get Medes and Persis back under control. He then resumed the war against Egypt once again. His cousin Achaeus had managed to control the rebellions in Asia Minor and when he put them down he declared himself king. King Antiochus III decided to allow him to keep this position until he was finished dealing with Syria.
King Antiochus III was defeated once again and this time he had to retreat into Asia Minor. Once he was there he killed Achaeus. He retook Asia Minor and began to travel back to the north and east to regain lost territories in these regions. He then made his away across the empire until he reached India.
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After reclaiming lost lands in this region, he became known as King Antiochus the Great. His conquests were grand, but he still didn’t compare with King Alexander. He then returned to the western half of his empire to take on the Egyptians in Syria once again. He fought a series of battles and eventually won the territory.
While King Antiochus III was trying to reestablish his empire the Romans realized what was happening under his rule. King Antiochus was now pushing his forces into Greece and encroaching on the outer borders of the Roman Empire. The Romans didn’t want this so the Romans went to war with him and defeated him at the battle of Thermopylae. After this incident, Rome took control of Asia Minor. General Hannibal from Carthage was hiding out in the court of King Antiochus III and he tried to rout the Romans with his help. This too proved to be unsuccessful. King Antiochus III then headed east to try and recapture some more lands for his fledging empire, but he died during this campaign in 187 B.C. He had eight children by his wife Laodice of Pontus and Seleucus IV Philopator.
After the reign of King Antiochus III, the Seleucid Dynasty was near its end. The empire had fragmented and the Romans were now controlling his lands. The future Seleucid rulers after him could not hold the empire together and it finally came to an end in 63 B.C.
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