9- The Next Generation

Sadly for Seleucus, we can’t send him off to the west again just yet, because we’re going to have to pause and pay a bit of attention to the second generation of Successors. Given that Seleucus’ son Antiochus is pushing nineteen by the time his father receives the diadem (spoiler alert!) in 305 as I once claimed- he and his siblings are going to become increasingly relevant on the world stage. It’s time to turn the spotlight away from the father and look to his family. At least, what we know of them…

Sources for this episode: 1) Author unknown, Wikipedia, date unknown, Seleucus I Nicator (online) [Accessed 10/01/2021]. 2) Tarn, W. W. (1966), The Greeks in Bactria and India. New York: Cambridge University Press. 3) Author unknown, Britannica Online Encyclopaedia (2020), Antiochus I Soter (online) [Accessed 10/01/2021]. There are also a variety of genealogy sites where I have seen claims of Achaeus’ birth year as 320, but this is not mentioned elsewhere so I have ignored it here. Also, bear in mind a limitation that exists when researching this question in that, to the casually interested, there is not an awful lot of source material readily available.

A representation of the mass weddings at Susa in 324 BCE, during which Seleucus married Apama. Seated are Alexander the Great and his new wife Strateira. By Public Domain, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=649390

8- The Land of Dionysus

After rampaging his way around the closer eastern provinces, Seleucus’ peace deal with Antigonus allowed him to gaze further east and start greedily dreaming about conquest further afield. On the podcast today, we will see Seleucus copy both Alexander the Great and the Persians by invading India. But, as we saw in episode 4, he doesn’t face the disunited political scene that they did. It’s time for the Seleucids and the Maurya to butt heads…

Sources for this episode: 1) Bevan, E. R. (1902), the House of Seleucus, Vol. I. London: Edward Arnold. 2) Szczepanski, K., ThoughtCo (updated 2019), Biography of Chandragupta Maurya, Founder of the Mauryan Empire (online) [Accessed 13/01/2021]. 3) Hirst, K. K., ThoughtCo (updated 2018), The Mauryan Empire Was the First Dynasty to Rule Most of India (online) [Accessed 13/01/2021]. 4) Author unknown, Wikipedia (date unknown), Seleucus I Nicator (online) [Accessed 10/01/2021]. 5) Cooke, F., Dingle, H., Hutchinson, S., McKay, G., Schodde, R., Tait, R. and Vogt, R. (2008), The Encyclopedia of Animals: A Complete Visual Guide. Sydney: Weldon Own Pty Ltd. 6) Kosmin, P. J. (2014), The Land of the Elephant Kings: Space, Territory, and Ideology in the Seleucid Empire. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 7) Author unknown, Wikipedia (date unknown), Megasthenes’ Herakles (online) [Accessed 14/01/2021]. 8) Komnene, A. (c.1148), the Alexiad. Translated by Sewter, E. R. A. (1969). London: Penguin Classics, Penguin Books Ltd.

A speculative interpretation of the idea that Chandragupta married a Seleucid princess. Carrying on the speculative identification from the audio, one of the two enthroned women would possibly represent Berenice, daughter of Seleucus I. By Unknown author – Hutchinson’s story of the nations, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20046457
A statue depicting Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the Mauryan empire. By आशीष भटनागर at Hindi Wikipedia – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27098013. Cropped from the original.

7- The Prize

With Seleucus back in Babylon, it appears that he is back in the game. However, not everyone is so keen on this new development as Seleucus himself. From pretty much 311 to 310, Seleucus is going to have to fight to keep his hard-won prize…

Sources for this episode: 1) Wikipedia article for Seleucus I Nicator [Accessed 10/01/2021]. 2) Lendering, J., Livius, (2002, modified 2020), Diadochoi 6: The Babylonian War [Accessed 10/01/2021]. 3) Seibert, J., 2019, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Seleucus I Nicator (online) [Accessed 10/01/2021]. 4) Lendering, J., Livius, (2006, modified 2020), Seleucus I Nicator (online) [Accessed 19/12/2020].

A statue of Demetrius Poliorcetes, who led one of the attacks against Seleucus. By © Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17255573

6- The House of Argos

Ever since the death of his father, Alexander IV had technically been king of Macedon. However, that would abruptly end in 309 BCE, when both he and his mother Roxane were assassinated on the orders of Cassander. You might think that this pretty much extinguished any Argead claims, but there are still a few loose ends flapping about. On the podcast today, we recap a bit of the Argead family and the potential claimants from a dynasty point of view to be the heir of Alexander… Sources for this episode are articles from Encyclopaedia Britannica (‘Philip II’ and ‘Argead Dynasty’), Wikipedia (for Philip II and his children) and Livius (for Cleopatra of Macedon), all accessed 07/01/2021. NOTE: The list of children of Philip II can be found in the ‘quick facts’ section of Philip’s Wikipedia page, so I don’t know if it’s exhaustive or not.

A medallion with the likeness of Philip II, who’s descendants are now the last remnants of the royal house of the Argeads. By Unknown artist – Jastrow (2006), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=640435

I should mention for accuracy that Cassander declared himself regent in 317 BCE and is listed on at least one Wikipedia page as having succeeded Polyperchon in that capacity; however, as we’re basically going to start ignoring the story of the regents at this point, I didn’t think it was worth delving into that story just yet. So, I’ve kept referring to Polyperchon as ‘regent’ so you don’t forget who he is as our story progresses.

5- Third Time Lucky

Seleucus, now decidedly province-less, flees to Egypt and holes up with Ptolemy. There, he gets himself appointed as commander in chief of Ptolemy’s fleet in the eastern Mediterranean, cooperating with Ptolemy’s brother Menelaus who was appointed as commander to forces dispatched to Cyprus. With the Third War of the Diadochoi going on in the background and with a bit of a foray into Egypt’s situation and the Seleucid era calendar, it’s time to get nautical….

Sources for this episode: 1) Kosmin, P. J. (2014), The Land of the Elephant Kings: Space, Territory, and Ideology in the Seleucid Empire. London: Harvard University Press. 2) Grainger, J. D., 2014, The Rise of the Seleukid Empire (323- 223 BCE), Seleukos I to Seleukos III. Barnsley: Pen & Sword Books Ltd. 3) Anson, E. M. (2006), The Chronology of the Third Diadoch War. Phoenix 60(3/4): 226, 235. 4) Lendering, J., Livius (2002, modified 2020), Diadochoi 5: The Third Diadoch War (online). [Accessed 03/01/2021]. The central position of Babylon with the former empire can be seen at the Wikipedia page of the Diadochoi. For more on the life of Menelaus, see his Wikipedia page [Accessed 27/03/2021].

A satellite image of Cyprus, one of the battlegrounds during the Third War of the Successors. By NASA – NASA, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4439975