18- The Sands of Time

As I’ve mentioned in previous episodes, the moment when Seleucus re-entered Babylon marked the start of the Seleucid era- otherwise known as the ‘Anno Graecorum’ or ‘Year of the Greeks’. But when exactly did this start getting used? Why were there two different ways of measuring it? And how long did its use last for?

Sources for this episode: 1) Anson, E. M. (2006), The Chronology of the Third Diadoch War. Phoenix 60(3/4): 226, 235. 2) Strootman, R. (2013), The Encyclopaedia of Ancient History (1st edition), p.473- 475. Hobokon, New Jersey: Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 3) Strootman, R., Encyclopaedia Iranica (2015), Seleucid Era (online) [Accessed 20/01/2021]. 4) Author unknown, Wikipedia (date unknown), David ben Solomon ibn Abi Zimra (online) [Accessed 19/02/2021]. 5) Author unknown, Wikipedia (date unknown), Seleucid era (online) [Accessed 03/02/2021]. 6) Author unknown, Wikipedia (date unknown), Seleucus I Nicator (online) [Accessed 10/01/2021].

A 1665 painting showing Alexander the Great entering into Babylon. Similarly, it was the entry of Seleucus I into Babylon that started the Seleucid era. By Copy after Epigonos, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1226315