The name of several rulers of the Greek Seleucid Empire, which controlled Mesopotamia for about a century following the wars of the Successors of Alexander the Great. Antiochus I Soter (reigned 281-260 b.c.) was the son of the kingdom's founder, Seleucus, who had been one of Alexander's generals. The first Antiochus restored a number of temples in Babylon. on these his artisans carved inscriptions, including the last ones in Mesopotamia to be composed in the old cuneiform symbols. The following example, carved in the temple of Nabu, god of the written word, perpetuates the haughty, grandiose style of earlier non-Greek Mesopotamian rulers:
   Antiochus, the great king ... king of the world, king of Babylon ... the first son of Seleucus, the king ... of Babylon, am I. ... In the month of Ad-daru, on the twentieth day, year 43 [i.e., the forty-third year since Seleucus established his empire], the . . . true temple, the house of Nabu, which is in [the town of] Borsippa, I did lay. O Nabu ... regard [me] joyfully and, at your lofty command which is unchanging, may the overthrow of the countries of my enemies . . . just kingship, [and] a happy reign . . . be [your] gift for the kingship of Antiochus . . . forever.
   Antiochus II Theos (260-246 b.c.) inherited a war with Ptolemaic Egypt; and to help facilitate peace, he married Berenice, daughter of Ptolemy II. However, in the process Antiochus dismissed his first wife, Laodice, who achieved her revenge by poisoning him.
   Perhaps the most famous of the Seleucid rulers after Seleucus himself, Antiochus III "the Great" (222-187 b.c.), did his best to keep his disintegrating realm intact. He put down some rebellions in Mesopotamia. But he lost a major battle at Raphia in southern Palestine to Ptolemy IV in 217. Soon Antiochus rebounded and defeated the Parthians, who had been chipping away at the Seleucid Empire's eastern portions. He also managed to restore some lost territories in Anatolia. However, he then came up against the Romans, who had recently brought the powerful Greek Macedonian kingdom to its knees. In 190 b.c., at Magnesia in western Anatolia, the Romans delivered Antiochus a shattering defeat, and he ended up losing much of the territory he had recently gained.
   Antiochus's later namesakes were weak kings who were unable to halt the onrush of the Parthians in the east and the Romans in the west. Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-164 b.c.) lost Jerusalem in Palestine to Jewish rebels and, like his father, Antio-chus III, was defeated in battle by the Romans. Antiochus VII Sidetes (138-129 b.c.) managed briefly to recover Babylon, but soon afterward he died fighting the Parthians. During the reign of the last ruler of the Seleucid dynasty, Antiochus XIII Asiaticus (69-65 b.c.), the Romans captured Antioch, the capital of the last remnant of the Seleucid Empire.

Ancient Mesopotamia dictioary. . 2015.

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