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date: 31 January 2023



  • Susan Mary Sherwin-White
  •  and R. J. van der Spek


Rulers of the empire founded by *Seleucus (1) I , governing a vast realm, sometimes called ‘Asia’, stretching from modern Turkey to Afghanistan. The Seleucids from the start continued (and adapted) *Achaemenid institutions in the army (use of local peoples), in administration (e.g. taxation and satrapal organization; see satrap ), the use of plural ‘royal capitals’ ( *Seleuceia (1) on Tigris , *Antioch (1) , *Sardis ), the use of local languages (and people) in local bureaucracy; also, from the beginning, *Babylon, *Babylonia , and the Babylonian kingship were central, in Seleucid planning, to an empire, the pivotal point of which, joining east and west, was the Fertile Crescent. New was the policy of founding a great number of cities and veteran colonies all over the empire (see *Colonization, Hellenistic ). *Antiochus (3) III conquered southern Syria and Palestine from Egypt (c. 200), but by the peace of Apamea (188), negotiated with Rome, the Seleucids gave up possessions north of the Taurus mountains in Anatolia.


  • Greek History and Historiography
  • Near East

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