Men are so simple and yield so readily to the desires of the moment that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deceptions. — Machiavelli

Seleucus

d. 280 BC
Civilization: Greek — Macedonia
   Field of Renown:  military — General
Era:  Macedonian

Seleucus was the son of Antiochus, one of Alexander's generals. Although he was a young man at the time of the death of Alexander, he later became one of the most important figures in the wars of the Diodochi. He ended up founding the Seleucid Dynasty in Syria and Asia, whose major figures include Antiochus III (the Great), and Antiochus V (Eupator). He also founded several cities in the east, many of them named Seleucia or Antioch.

Map of the East
EASTERN EMPIRES
Seluecus was a young man during Alexander's Conquests, and after the Death of Alexander, he served as an aide to Perdiccas. After Perdiccas led an expedition to Egypt, Seleucus conspired to have him assassinated, and was given the Satrapy of Babylon as a reward, during the "Second Partition" in 321 B.C.. He remained as Satrap of Babylon, until Antigonus rose to power five years later, at which time he fled to Egypt to serve Ptolemy. During the Third War of the Diodochi, in which Ptolemy, allied with Lysimachus and Cassander, drove Antiochus out of Syria, Seleucus returned as Satrap of Babylon in 311 B.C.. Over the next seven years he won control of much more territory to the east, extending his region from Babylon, to the Indus River. He declared himself King in 305, when the royal heirs were assassinated, and after the Battle of Ipsus, gained a great deal of territory in Syria formerly controlled by his enemy Antigonus.

During the next few decades he founded many cities in the Seleucid Empire, and consolidated his power. Finally an opportunity (involving palace intrigue) arose to do battle with Lysimachus, who controlled Macedonia, Thrace, and much of Asia Minor. At the age of 81, he met and conquered his ancient rival, at the battle of Corupedium. But before he could consolidate these great regions under his empire, he was assasinated by Ptolemy Karaunos, the brother of Ptolemy II. The assassine attempted to gain control of the empire of Lysimachus for himself, but was himself, killed shortly thereafter.


Key events during the life of Seleucus I:


Year
Event
326 BC
Accompanied Alexander on the Indian campaign.
323 BC
Aide to Perdiccas, after the Death of Alexander.
321 BC
Cooperated in the murder of Perdiccas. Granted Satrapy of Babylon
316 BC
Driven from Babylon by Antigonus after the Second War of the Diodochi.
312 BC
Restored to Satrapy of Babylon after the Third War of the Diodochi.
  Increased control of a broad region of southern Asia, extending to Indus River.
305 BC
Declared himself king, upon the death of the Royal heirs.
302 BC
After the Battle of Ipsus, Syria was added to his domain.
300 BC
Married Stratonice, the daughter of his rival Demetrius.
293 BC
Antiochus I, the eldest son of Seleucus, takes over administration of Syria.
281 BC
Defeats Lysimachus at the battle of Corupedium, but is then killed Ptolemy Ceraunus.

Other Resources


Story Links
Book Links
Battle of Ipsus  in  The Story of the Greeks  by  H. A. Guerber


Contemporary
Short Biography
Perdiccas Took over the empire of Alexander at his death, but couldn't keep it.
Ptolemy I General of Alexander, founded Egyptian Dynasty that lasted for 300 years.
Ptolemy Ceraunus Deposed monarch of Egypt, murdered Seleucus, and attempted to take kingdom of Lysimachus.
Antigonus I Allied with Antipater and Ptolemy I in early Diadochi Wars. Won control of Asia Minor and Syria.
Lysimachus Bodyguard of Alexander. Took control of Thrace on his death. Engaged in Wars of Diadochi.