Seleucus I

Seleucus I (Seleucus Nicator)səlyōˈkəs, d. 280 B.C., king of ancient Syria. An able general of Alexander the Great, he played a leading part in the wars of the Diadochi. In the new partition of the empire in 312 B.C. he received Babylonia. Conquest of Susiana and Media enlarged his holdings, and he invaded NW India. Later (c.305) he yielded part of present Afghanistan to Chandragupta. Seleucus was drawn into the league against Antigonus I, and when Antigonus was defeated at Ipsus in 301 B.C., Seleucus gained a large part of Asia Minor and all of Syria. Of the Macedonian generals he was the one who tried hardest to set up a kingdom following Alexander's ideas. He founded Greek colonies such as Seleucia and Antioch. He also tried to govern the subject people according to the methods of the Persian Empire. He finally won Asia Minor by defeating Lysimachus in the battle at Corupedion in Lydia in 281, an event that marked the end of the Diadochi. Seleucus was murdered before he could achieve his ambition of seizing the vacant throne of Macedonia as well. He was succeeded by Antiochus I.

See E. R. Bevan, The House of Seleucus (2 vol., 1902; repr. 1966) and B. Bar-Kochva, The Seleucid Army (1976).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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