Royal house
The Vergina Sun remained a principal standard of the Seleucid dynasty, although the anchor and elephant were more prevalent.
CountrySyria, Persia
Founded312 BC
FounderSeleucus I
Final rulerPhilip II Philoromaeus
Dissolution64 BC
Cadet branchesDiodotid dynasty (Bactria)(?)

The Seleucid dynasty or the Seleucidae (/sɪˈlsɪˌd/; Greek: Σελευκίδαι, Seleukídai, "descendants of Seleucus") was a Macedonian Greek royal family, which ruled the Seleucid Empire based in West Asia during the Hellenistic period. It was founded by Seleucus I Nicator, a general and successor of Alexander the Great, after the division of the Macedonian Empire as a result of the Wars of the Successors (Diadochi).

Through its history, the Seleucid dominion included large parts of the Near East, as well as of the Asian territory of the earlier Achaemenid Persian Empire. A major center of Hellenistic culture, it attracted a large number of immigrants from Greece who, encouraged by the Seleucids, formed a dominant political elite under the ruling dynasty.[1] After the death of Seleucus I, his successors maintained the empire's strength establishing it as a Greek power in West Asia;[2] the empire reached its height under emperor Antiochus III.[3] From the mid-second century BC, after its defeat at the hands of the resurgent Parthian Empire, the polity entered a state of instability with slow territorial losses and internecine civil wars. The Seleucids, now reduced to a rump state occupying a small part of Syria succumbed to the Rome's annexation of their territory in 64 BC under Pompey the Great.



Seleucus (c. 358 – 281 BC) served as an officer of Alexander the Great, commanding the elite infantry corps in the Macedonian army: the "Shield-bearers" (Greek: Ὑπασπισταί, Hypaspistai), later known as the "Silvershields" (Ἀργυράσπιδες, Argyraspides).[4] After the death of Alexander in 323 BC, the Partition of Triparadisus assigned Seleucus as satrap of Babylon in 321 BC.[5] Antigonus, the satrap of much of Asia Minor, forced Seleucus to flee from Babylon, but, supported by Ptolemy, the Satrap of Egypt, Seleucus returned in 312 BC.[6] Seleucus' later conquests included Persia and Media. He agreed to a peace treaty with the Indian King Chandragupta Maurya (reigned 324-297 BC).[7] Seleucus defeated Antigonus in the Battle of Ipsus in 301 BC and Lysimachus (King of Thrace, Macedon and Asia Minor) in the battle of Corupedium (near Sardis) in 281 BC.[8][6] Ptolemy Ceraunus assassinated Seleucus later in the same year. Seleucus' eldest son Antiochus I succeeded him as ruler of the Seleucid territories in 281 BC.

Seleucid rulers

Main article: Seleucid Empire

Seleucid Rulers
Portrait King Reign (BC) Consort(s) Comments
Seleucus I Nicator Satrap 320–315, 312–305 BC
King 305–281 BC
Antiochus I Soter co-ruler from 291, ruled 281–261 BC Stratonice of Syria Co-ruler with his father for 10 years.
Antiochus II Theos 261–246 BC Berenice was a daughter of Ptolemy II of Egypt. Laodice I had her and her son murdered.
Seleucus II Callinicus 246–225 BC Laodice II
Seleucus III Ceraunus (or Soter) 225–223 BC Seleucus III was assassinated by members of his army.
Antiochus III the Great 223–187 BC
Antiochus III was a brother of Seleucus III.
Seleucus IV Philopator 187–175 BC Laodice IV This was a brother-sister marriage.
Antiochus (son of Seleucus IV) 175–170 BC Antiochus IV as co-ruler.
Antiochus IV Epiphanes 175–163 BC Laodice IV This was a brother-sister marriage.
Antiochus V Eupator 163–161 BC
Demetrius I Soter 161–150 BC
Son of Seleucus IV Philopator and Laodice IV.
Alexander I Balas 150–145 BC Cleopatra Thea Son of Antiochus IV and Laodice IV.
Demetrius II Nicator first reign, 145–138 BC Cleopatra Thea Son of Demetrius I.
Antiochus VI Dionysus (or Epiphanes) 145–140 BC? Son of Alexander Balas and Cleopatra Thea.
Diodotus Tryphon 140–138 BC General who was a regent for Antiochus VI Dionysus. Took the throne after murdering his charge.
Antiochus VII Sidetes (or Euergetes) 138–129 BC Cleopatra Thea Son of Demetrius I.
Demetrius II Nicator second reign, 129–126 BC Cleopatra Thea Demetrius was murdered at the instigation of his wife Cleopatra Thea.
Alexander II Zabinas 129–123 BC Counter-king who claimed to be an adoptive son of Antiochus VII Sidetes.
Cleopatra Thea 126–121 BC Daughter of Ptolemy VI of Egypt. Married to three kings: Alexander Balas, Demetrius II Nicator, and Antiochus VII Sidetes. Mother of Antiochus VI, Seleucus V, Antiochus VIII Grypus, and Antiochus IX Cyzicenus. Coregent with Antiochus VIII Grypus.
Seleucus V Philometor 126/125 BC Murdered by his mother Cleopatra Thea.
Antiochus VIII Grypus 125–96 BC
Antiochus IX Cyzicenus 114–96 BC
Seleucus VI Epiphanes Nicator 96–95 BC
Antiochus X Eusebes Philopator 95–92 BC or 83 BC Cleopatra Selene I
Demetrius III Eucaerus (or Philopator) 95–87 BC
Antiochus XI Epiphanes Philadelphus 95–92 BC
Philip I Philadelphus 95–84/83 BC
Antiochus XII Dionysus 87–84 BC
Cleopatra Selene or Seleucus VII 83–69 BC
Antiochus XIII Asiaticus 69–64 BC
Philip II Philoromaeus 65–63 BC

Family tree

See also



  1. ^ Glubb 1967, p. 34.
  2. ^ Eckstein 2006, p. 106.
  3. ^ "Seleucid dynasty | Britannica". Retrieved 2023-12-04.
  4. ^ Esposito 2019, Chapter 8: The Seleucid Army.
  5. ^ Kosmin 2014, p. 16.
  6. ^ a b "Seleucid empire | Britannica". Retrieved 2023-12-04.
  7. ^ Kosmin 2014, p. 24.
  8. ^ Kosmin 2014, p. 80.