One of Alexander the Great‘s generals was named Seleucus, and he was a satrap or governor of Babylon when King Alexander died. When Alexander the great died in 323 B.C. his generals, closest friends and family members divided up his empire that he managed to create within a ten year period. King Alexander’s generals were given the title of diadochi by future historians, and they took most of the empire for themselves. After King Alexander had passed away, Seleucus claimed Syria and Iran for himself. Once he became king, he started the Seleucid Dynasty that ruled Asia Minor, areas of the Middle East and inside of Asia. He appears on the Bible Timeline Chart with World History in the third century BC.
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Seleucus’ father was named Antiochus, and he served as a general in the military forces of King Philip II of Macedonia. King Philip II was Alexander the Great’s father and Seleucus was a friend of King Alexander. So Seleucus was probably educated in the same manner as Alexander the Great. When King Alexander was alive General Seleucus fought against the Persians and Indians under his leadership. Most of Seleucus’ childhood was spent learning how to fight and how to govern. He was more than likely educated in King Philip’s palace since the king made it a point to take the children of leading Macedonian citizen’s hostage so that they would remain loyal to him.
Before Seleucus took over as king, he was driven out of Babylon by Antigonous, who was another general of King Alexander. He fled to Egypt to aid another diadochi member named Ptolemy in defeating Antigonus. Ptolemy helped him to defeat Antigonus. After he had defeated Antigonous in 312 B.C., he was able to make himself king of Babylon and usher in the Seleucid Era.
Antigonous made one more unsuccessful attempt to stop him, but he failed. Seleucus then extended his empire into India. Antigonous remained a problem for Seleucus and by 303 BC he was finally defeated by Seleucus and a coalition that fought with him. When the Antigonous’ lands were being divided up Seleucis became the king of this territory. Ptolemy laid claim to Syria for himself because he supported the coalition but didn’t send any troops to help oust Antigonous. Seleucus didn’t go to war with him right away, and half-heartedly dismissed his claim. Eventually, Seleucus did go to war with Ptolemy and Seleucus still retained Syria though Ptolemy still laid claim to his territory. Eventually, Ptolemy’s son Ceraunus had Seleucus assassinated in 281 B.C. Before he died, Seleucus had managed to retake most of Alexander’s empire after he conquered Lysimachus, who was another one of Alexander’s generals. He was about to seize the throne of Macedonia, but he died before he achieved this goal. After his death, the empire that he formed would manage to remain intact until the Romans.
Before Seleucus died, he married a Persian woman named Apama in a mass wedding given by Alexander the Great for his generals. King Alexander performed this ceremony as a means to show good will between Greece and their conquered subjects. After his death, the other diadochi’s got rid of their wives but Seleucus kept Apama. He also married another woman named Stratonice who was very young compared to Seleucus. King Seleucus had a step son named Antiochus who fell in love with Stratonice, so he gave her to him so that he wouldn’t do anything foolish to obtain her love. He had a daughter named Phila with Stronice and two other daughters named Apama and Laodice with his wife, Apama. Antiochus and Achaeus were his sons. He was succeeded by Antiochus I Soter.