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Antiochus I, Syria

Antiochus I was also called Antiochus I Soter or “Antiochus the Savior”.
He received this name after he stopped the Gauls from overrunning Asia Minor. He was the son of Seleucus I who had founded the Seleucid Dynasty. Antiochus I was known as the second ruler of this dynasty and he governed lands that stretched from Syria to India. He appears on the Biblical Timeline Chart with World History beginning in 281 BC.

King Seleucus I was murdered by rival diadochi or generals who served under Alexander the Great. Once his father was assassinated in 281 B.C. Antiochus took over the empire and inherited a huge mess. He had to make peace with Ptolemy Keraunos (Ptolemy II) the person who was responsible for assassinating his father. Ptolemy II was the ruler of Egypt. The rest of the empire began to revolt against his rule and had trouble trying to keep it unified. He eventually went to war with Ptolemy II over the territory of Syria. While Antiochus ruled in Syria, Ptolemy still laid claim to the region. Antiochus went to war with Ptolemy. King Antiochus didn’t lose any territory after this conflict yet Ptolemy sill claimed the land.

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Gallo-Roman statue of a Gaul warrior

King Antiochus originally governed Bactria before his father died. After becoming king, he spent a great deal of time in Babylon taking an interest in the worship of Sin and Marduk. After he put down many of the rebellions within his empire he had to rule the area pretty sternly in order to keep the peace. King Antiochus I was constantly moving his armies around the empire to deal with the problems that were continually occurring during his rule.

King Seleucus had married a woman named Apama who was a Persian princess given to him by Alexander the Great. King Alexander gave Persian princesses to all of his generals in Susa. After King Alexander had passed away all of his generals got rid of their Persian wives except for Seleucus I. He stays married to Apama and they had children together including Antiochus. As the king grew older his wife Apama passed away and he married a young and beautiful Persian princess named Stratonice. This young queen was about the same age as Antiochus when she married his father and he had fallen in love with her. His father decided to give her to him as a wife so he wouldn’t do anything harmful to himself because he was so stricken by this young woman. So Antiochus married Stratonice and had children. Stratonice also bore children to King Seleucus before he died. King Antiochus and Stratonice children were named Seleucus, Apama II, Stratonice of Macedon and Antiochus II Theos.

King Antiochus son Seleucus wanted to take over his father’s throne by force and King Antiochus had him killed. When King Antiochus II Soter died in 261 B.C. his son Antiochus II Theos became the next ruler. The empire remained intact under King Antiochus rule and though there were some minor changes to the empire he still managed to keep the area in one piece. His efforts helped his dynasty to continue on for at least another 100 years.

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2 thoughts on “Antiochus I, Syria

  1. Note typo in text: You are missing a verb which I insert with [ ].

    “King Seleucus had married a woman named Apama who [was] a Persian princess given to him by Alexander the Great.”

    I enjoyed the article.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the article Ronald! Thank you for your feedback, we made the correction.

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