Antiochus III the Great
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Antiochus III the Great (; grc-gre, Ἀντίoχoς Μέγας ; c. 2413 July 187 BC) was a Greek
Hellenistic In Classical antiquity, the Hellenistic period covers the time in History of the Mediterranean region, Mediterranean history after Classical Greece, between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire, as sig ...
king King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen regnant, queen, which title is also given to the queen consort, consort of a king. *In the context of prehistory, antiquity and contempora ...
and the 6th ruler of the
Seleucid Empire The Seleucid Empire (; grc, Βασιλεία τῶν Σελευκιδῶν, ''Basileía tōn Seleukidōn'') was a Ancient Greece, Greek state in West Asia that existed during the Hellenistic period from 312 BC to 63 BC. The Seleucid Empire was ...
, reigning from 222 to 187 BC. He ruled over the
region of Syria Syria (Hieroglyphic Luwian: 𔒂𔒠 ''Sura/i''; gr, Συρία) or Sham ( ar, ٱلشَّام, ash-Shām) is the name of a historical region located east of the Mediterranean Sea in Western Asia, broadly synonymous with the Levant. Other s ...
and large parts of the rest of
western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion of the larger geographical region of Asia, as defined by some academics, UN bodies and other institutions. It is almost entirely a part of the Middle East, and includes Anat ...
towards the end of the 3rd century BC. Rising to the throne at the age of eighteen in 222 BC, his early campaigns against the Ptolemaic Kingdom were unsuccessful, but in the following years Antiochus gained several military victories and substantially expanded the empire's territory. His traditional designation, ''the Great'', reflects an epithet he assumed. He also assumed the title ''Basileus Megas'' (Greek for " Great King"), the traditional title of the Persian kings. A militarily active ruler, Antiochus restored much of the territory of the Seleucid Empire, before suffering a serious setback, towards the end of his reign, in his war against Rome. Declaring himself the "champion of Greek freedom against Roman domination", Antiochus III waged a four-year war against the
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Res publica Romana ) was a form of government of Rome and the era of the ancient Rome, classical Roman civilization when it was run through res publica, public Representation (politics), representation of the Roman peo ...
beginning in mainland Greece in the autumn of 192 BC before being decisively defeated at the
Battle of Magnesia The Battle of Magnesia took place in either December 190 or January 189 BC. It was fought as part of the Roman–Seleucid War, pitting forces of the Roman Republic led by the Roman consul, consul Lucius Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus and the allied ...
. He died three years later on campaign in the east.


Biography


Background and early reign

Antiochus III was a member of the
Hellenistic In Classical antiquity, the Hellenistic period covers the time in History of the Mediterranean region, Mediterranean history after Classical Greece, between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire, as sig ...
Seleucid dynasty The Seleucid dynasty or the Seleucidae (from el, Σελευκίδαι, ') was a Macedonian Greeks (ancient), Macedonian Greek royal family, founded by Seleucus I Nicator, which ruled the Seleucid Empire centered in the Near East and regions o ...
. He was the son of king Seleucus II Callinicus and Laodice II, aunt of Seleucus, and was born around 242 BC near
Susa Susa ( ; Middle elx, 𒀸𒋗𒊺𒂗, translit=Šušen; Middle and Neo- elx, 𒋢𒋢𒌦, translit=Šušun; Neo-Elamite language, Elamite and Achaemenid Empire, Achaemenid elx, 𒀸𒋗𒐼𒀭, translit=Šušán; Achaemenid Empire, Achaem ...
in
Persia Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northwest, by the Caspian Sea and Turkmeni ...
. He may have borne a non-dynastic name (starting with Ly-), according to a Babylonian chronicle. He succeeded, under the name Antiochus, his brother Seleucus III Ceraunus, upon the latter's murder in Anatolia; he was in Babylon at the time. Antiochus III inherited a disorganized state. Not only had
Asia Minor Anatolia (also Asia Minor), is a large peninsula in Western Asia and is the western-most extension of continental Asia. The land mass of Anatolia constitutes most of the territory of contemporary Turkey. Geographically, the Anatolian region i ...
become detached, but the easternmost provinces had broken away,
Bactria Bactria (; Bactrian: , ), or Bactriana, was an ancient region in Central Asia Central Asia, also known as Middle Asia, is a region of Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable geographical regions, which is either conside ...
under the Seleucid Diodotus of Bactria, and
Parthia Parthia ( peo, 𐎱𐎼𐎰𐎺 ''Parθava''; xpr, 𐭐𐭓𐭕𐭅 ''Parθaw''; pal, 𐭯𐭫𐭮𐭥𐭡𐭥 ''Pahlaw'') is a historical region located in northeastern Greater Iran. It was conquered and subjugated by the empire of the Medes ...
under the rebel satrap Andragoras in 247–245 BC, who was himself later vanquished by the nomad chieftain Arsaces. In 222 BC, soon after Antiochus's accession,
Media Media may refer to: Communication * Media (communication), tools used to deliver information or data ** Advertising media, various media, content, buying and placement for advertising ** Broadcast media, communications delivered over mass el ...
and
Persis Persis ( grc-gre, , ''Persís''), better known in English as Persia (Old Persian language, Old Persian: :Wikt:𐎱𐎠𐎼𐎿, 𐎱𐎠𐎼𐎿, ''Parsa''; fa, پارس, ''Pârs''), or Persia proper, is the Fars Province, Fars region, loca ...
revolted under their governors, the brothers Molon and
Alexander Alexander is a male given name. The most prominent bearer of the name is Alexander the Great, the king of the Ancient Greek kingdom of Macedonia (ancient kingdom), Macedonia who created one of the largest empires in ancient history. Variants li ...
. The young king, under the influence of the minister Hermeias, headed an attack on Ptolemaic Syria instead of going in person to face the rebels. The attack against the Ptolemaic empire proved a fiasco, and the generals sent against Molon and Alexander met with disaster. Only in Asia Minor, where the king's cousin, Achaeus, represented the Seleucid cause, did its prestige recover, driving the Pergamene power back to its earlier limits. In 221 BC Antiochus at last went far east, and the rebellion of Molon and Alexander collapsed which Polybios attributes in part to his following the advice of Zeuxis rather than Hermeias. The submission of Lesser Media, which had asserted its independence under Artabazanes, followed. Antiochus rid himself of Hermeias by assassination and returned to
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or سُورِيَة, translit=Sūriyā), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, الجمهورية العربية السورية, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-Sūrīyah), is a Western Asian country loc ...
(220 BC). Meanwhile, Achaeus himself had revolted and assumed the title of king in Asia Minor. Since, however, his power was not well enough grounded to allow an attack on Syria, Antiochus considered that he might leave Achaeus for the present and renew his attempt on Ptolemaic Syria.


Early wars against other Hellenistic rulers

The campaigns of 219 BC and 218 BC carried the Seleucid armies almost to the confines of the Ptolemaic Kingdom, but in 217 BC Ptolemy IV defeated Antiochus at the Battle of Raphia. This defeat nullified all Antiochus's successes and compelled him to withdraw north of
Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon () or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is located between Syria to Lebanon–Syria border, the north and east and Israel to Blue ...
. In 216 BC his army marched into western Anatolia to suppress the local rebellion led by Antiochus's own cousin Achaeus, and had by 214 BC driven him from the field into
Sardis Sardis () or Sardes (; Lydian language, Lydian: 𐤳𐤱𐤠𐤭𐤣 ''Sfard''; el, Σάρδεις ''Sardeis''; peo, Sparda; hbo, ספרד ''Sfarad'') was an ancient city at the location of modern ''Sart'' (Sartmahmut before 19 October 2005) ...
. Capturing Achaeus, Antiochus had him executed. The citadel managed to hold out until 213 BC under Achaeus's widow Laodice who surrendered later. Having thus recovered the central part of Asia Minor (for the Seleucid government had perforce to tolerate the dynasties in
Pergamon Pergamon or Pergamum ( or ; grc-gre, Πέργαμον), also referred to by its modern Greek form Pergamos (), was a rich and powerful ancient Greece, ancient Greek city in Mysia. It is located from the modern coastline of the Aegean Sea on a ...
,
Bithynia Bithynia (; Koine Greek: , ''Bithynía'') was an ancient region, kingdom and Roman province in the northwest of Asia Minor (present-day Turkey), adjoining the Sea of Marmara, the Bosporus, and the Black Sea. It bordered Mysia to the southwest, Pa ...
and
Cappadocia Cappadocia or Capadocia (; tr, Kapadokya), is a historical region in Central Anatolia Region, Central Anatolia, Turkey. It largely is in the provinces Nevşehir Province, Nevşehir, Kayseri Province, Kayseri, Aksaray Province, Aksaray, Kırşe ...
), Antiochus turned to recovering the outlying provinces of the north and east. He besieged Xerxes of Armenia in 212 BC, who had refused to pay tribute, and forced his capitulation. In 209 BC Antiochus invaded
Parthia Parthia ( peo, 𐎱𐎼𐎰𐎺 ''Parθava''; xpr, 𐭐𐭓𐭕𐭅 ''Parθaw''; pal, 𐭯𐭫𐭮𐭥𐭡𐭥 ''Pahlaw'') is a historical region located in northeastern Greater Iran. It was conquered and subjugated by the empire of the Medes ...
, occupied the capital Hecatompylos and pushed forward into
Hyrcania Hyrcania () ( el, ''Hyrkania'', Old Persian: 𐎺𐎼𐎣𐎠𐎴 ''Varkâna'',Lendering (1996) Middle Persian: 𐭢𐭥𐭫𐭢𐭠𐭭 ''Gurgān'', Akkadian (language), Akkadian: ''Urqananu'') is a historical region composed of the land sout ...
, winning the Battle of Mount Labus. The Parthian king Arsaces II apparently successfully sued for peace.


Bactrian campaign and Indian expedition

The year 209 BC saw Antiochus in
Bactria Bactria (; Bactrian: , ), or Bactriana, was an ancient region in Central Asia Central Asia, also known as Middle Asia, is a region of Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable geographical regions, which is either conside ...
, where the
Greco-Bactrian The Bactrian Kingdom, known to historians as the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom or simply Greco-Bactria, was a Hellenistic period, Hellenistic-era Hellenistic Greece, Greek state, and along with the Indo-Greek Kingdom, the easternmost part of the Helleni ...
king
Euthydemus I Euthydemus I (Greek language, Greek: , ''Euthydemos'') c. 260 BC – 200/195 BC) was a Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, Greco-Bactrian king and founder of the Euthydemid dynasty. He is thought to have originally been a governor (Satrap) of Sogdia, who sei ...
had supplanted the original rebel. Antiochus again met with success. Euthydemus was defeated by Antiochus at the
Battle of the Arius The Battle of the Arius was an engagement that was fought in 208 BC between the Seleucid Empire and the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom. The Seleucids were led by Antiochus III the Great, who launched an invasion of Bactria to recover his ancestor's past d ...
but after sustaining a famous siege in his capital
Bactra Balkh (; prs, , ''Balkh''; xbc, Βάχλο, ''Bákhlo''; grc, Βάκτρα, ''Báktra'') is a town in the Balkh Province of Afghanistan, about northwest of the provincial capital, Mazar-e Sharif, and some south of the Amu Darya river and the ...
(''Balkh''), he obtained an honourable peace by which Antiochus promised Euthydemus's son
Demetrius Demetrius is the Latinization of names, Latinized form of the Ancient Greek male name, male Greek given names, given name ''Dēmḗtrios'' (), meaning “Demetris” - "devoted to goddess Demeter". Alternate forms include Demetrios, Dimitrios, ...
the hand of Laodice, his daughter. Antiochus next, following in the steps of Alexander, crossed into the
Kabul Kabul (; ps, , ; , ) is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. Located in the eastern half of the country, it is also a municipality, forming part of the Kabul Province; it is administratively divided into #Districts, 22 municipal dist ...
valley, reaching the realm of
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...
n king Sophagasenus and returned west by way of Seistan and Kerman (206/5). According to
Polybius Polybius (; grc-gre, Πολύβιος, ; ) was a Greek historian of the Hellenistic period. He is noted for his work , which covered the period of 264–146 BC and the Punic Wars in detail. Polybius is important for his analysis of the mixed ...
:


Persia and Coele Syria campaigns

From Seleucia on the Tigris he led a short expedition down the
Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=xalij-e fârs, lit=Gulf of Persis, Fars, ), sometimes called the ( ar, اَلْخَلِيْجُ ٱلْعَرَبِيُّ, Al-Khalīj al-ˁArabī), is a Mediterranean sea (oceanography), me ...
against the Gerrhaeans of the Arabian coast (205 BC/204 BC). Antiochus seemed to have restored the Seleucid empire in the east, which earned him the title of "the Great" (Antiochos Megas). In 205/204 BC the infant
Ptolemy V Epiphanes Ptolemy V Epiphanes Eucharistos ( gr, Πτολεμαῖος Ἐπιφανής Εὐχάριστος, ''Ptolemaĩos Epiphanḗs Eucharistos'' "Ptolemy the Manifest, the Beneficent"; 9 October 210–September 180 BC) was the Pharaoh, King of Ptolema ...
succeeded to the Egyptian throne, and Antiochus is said (notably by
Polybius Polybius (; grc-gre, Πολύβιος, ; ) was a Greek historian of the Hellenistic period. He is noted for his work , which covered the period of 264–146 BC and the Punic Wars in detail. Polybius is important for his analysis of the mixed ...
) to have concluded a secret pact with
Philip V of Macedon Philip V ( grc-gre, Φίλιππος ; 238–179 BC) was king ( Basileus) of Macedonia from 221 to 179 BC. Philip's reign was principally marked by an unsuccessful struggle with the emerging power of the Roman Republic. He would lead Macedon a ...
for the partition of the Ptolemaic possessions. Under the terms of this pact,
Macedon Macedonia (; grc-gre, Μακεδονία), also called Macedon (), was an Classical antiquity, ancient monarchy, kingdom on the periphery of Archaic Greece, Archaic and Classical Greece, and later the dominant state of Hellenistic Greece. Th ...
was to receive the Ptolemaic possessions around the Aegean Sea and Cyrene, while Antiochus would annex
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country located south of the Anatolian Peninsula in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Its continental position is disputed; while it is geo ...
and Egypt. Once more Antiochus attacked the Ptolemaic province of Coele Syria and Phoenicia, and by 199 BC he seems to have had possession of it before the Aetolian leader Scopas recovered it for Ptolemy. But that recovery proved brief, for in 198 BC Antiochus defeated Scopas at the Battle of Panium, near the sources of the
Jordan Jordan ( ar, الأردن; Romanization of Arabic, tr. ' ), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,; Romanization of Arabic, tr. ' is a country in Western Asia. It is situated at the crossroads of Asia, Africa, and Europe, within the Levan ...
, a battle which marks the end of Ptolemaic rule in
Judea Judea or Judaea ( or ; from he, יהודה, Hebrew language#Modern Hebrew, Standard ''Yəhūda'', Tiberian vocalization, Tiberian ''Yehūḏā''; el, Ἰουδαία, ; la, Iūdaea) is an ancient, historic, Biblical Hebrew, contemporaneous L ...
.


War against Rome and death

Antiochus then moved to Asia Minor, by land and by sea, to secure the coast towns which belonged to the remnants of Ptolemaic overseas dominions and the independent Greek cities. This enterprise earned him the antagonism of the
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Res publica Romana ) was a form of government of Rome and the era of the ancient Rome, classical Roman civilization when it was run through res publica, public Representation (politics), representation of the Roman peo ...
, since
Smyrna Smyrna ( ; grc, Σμύρνη, Smýrnē, or , ) was a Ancient Greece, Greek city located at a strategic point on the Aegean Sea, Aegean coast of Anatolia. Due to its advantageous port conditions, its ease of defence, and its good inland connec ...
and Lampsacus appealed to the Republic, which at the time acted as a defender of Greek freedom. The tension grew when Antiochus in 196 BC established a footing in
Thrace Thrace (; el, Θράκη, Thráki; bg, Тракия, Trakiya; tr, Trakya) or Thrake is a geographical and historical region in Southeast Europe, now split among Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey, which is bounded by the Balkan Mountains to th ...
. The evacuation of Greece by the Romans gave Antiochus his opportunity, and he now had the fugitive
Hannibal Hannibal (; xpu, 𐤇𐤍𐤁𐤏𐤋, ''Ḥannibaʿl''; 247 – between 183 and 181 BC) was a Punic people, Carthaginian general and statesman who commanded the forces of Ancient Carthage, Carthage in their battle against the Roman ...
at his court to urge him on. In 192 BC Antiochus invaded Greece with a 10,000-man army, and was elected the commander in chief of the
Aetolian League The Aetolian (or Aitolian) League ( grc-gre, Κοινὸν τῶν Αἰτωλῶν) was a confederation of tribal communities and cities in ancient Greece centered in Aetolia in central Greece. It was probably established during the early Hellen ...
. In 191 BC, however, the Romans under Manius Acilius Glabrio routed him at
Thermopylae Thermopylae (; Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following peri ...
, forcing him to withdraw to Asia Minor. The Romans followed up their success by invading
Anatolia Anatolia (also Asia Minor), is a large peninsula in Western Asia and is the western-most extension of continental Asia. The land mass of Anatolia constitutes most of the territory of contemporary Turkey. Geographically, the Anatolian region i ...
, and the decisive victory of Scipio Asiaticus at
Magnesia ad Sipylum Magnesia Sipylum ( el, Mαγνησία ἡ πρὸς Σιπύλῳ or ; modern Manisa, Turkey) was a city of Lydia, situated about 65 km northeast of Smyrna (now İzmir) on the river Hermus (now Gediz river, Gediz) at the foot of Mount Sipy ...
(190 BC), following the defeat of Hannibal at sea off Side, delivered Asia Minor into their hands. By the
Treaty of Apamea The Treaty of Apamea was a peace treaty conducted in 188 BC between the Roman Republic and Antiochus III, ruler of the Seleucid Empire. It ended the Roman–Seleucid War. The treaty took place after Roman victories at the Battle of Thermopylae ( ...
(188 BC) Antiochus abandoned all the country north and west of the Taurus, most of which the Roman Republic gave either to Rhodes or to the Attalid ruler
Eumenes II Eumenes II Soter (; grc-gre, Εὐμένης Σωτήρ; ruled 197–159 BC) was a ruler of Pergamon, and a son of Attalus I Soter and queen Apollonis and a member of the Attalid dynasty of Pergamon. Biography The eldest son of king Attalus I a ...
, its allies (many Greek cities were left free). As a consequence of this blow to the Seleucid power, the outlying provinces of the empire, recovered by Antiochus, reasserted their independence. Antiochus mounted a fresh eastern expedition in Luristan, where he was killed while pillaging a temple of Bel at Elymaïs, Persia, in 187 BC.


Family

In 222 BC, Antiochus III married Princess Laodice of Pontus, a daughter of King Mithridates II of Pontus and Princess Laodice of the Seleucid Empire. The couple were first cousins through their mutual grandfather, Antiochus II Theos. Antiochus and Laodice had eight children (three sons and five daughters): * Antiochus (221–193 BC), Antiochus III's first
heir apparent An heir apparent, often shortened to heir, is a person who is first in an order of succession and cannot be displaced from inheriting by the birth of another person; a person who is first in the order of succession but can be displaced by the b ...
and joint-king with his father from 210–193 BC *
Seleucus IV Philopator Seleucus IV Philopator (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group. *Greek language, a branch of the Indo-European language family. **Proto-Greek language, ...
(c. 220175 BC), Antiochus III's successor *Ardys *unnamed daughter,
betrothed An engagement or betrothal is the period of time between the declaration of acceptance of a marriage proposal and the marriage itself (which is typically but not always commenced with a wedding). During this period, a couple is said to be ''fi ...
in about 206 BC to
Demetrius I of Bactria Demetrius I Anicetus ( grc, Δημήτριος Ἀνίκητος, Dēmētrios Anikētos, "the unconquered"), also called Damaytra was a Greco-Bactrian and later Indo-Greek king (Yona in Pali language, "Yavana" in Sanskrit) (reigned c. 200–167 B ...
* Laodice IV, married all three of her brothers in succession and became Queen of the
Seleucid Empire The Seleucid Empire (; grc, Βασιλεία τῶν Σελευκιδῶν, ''Basileía tōn Seleukidōn'') was a Ancient Greece, Greek state in West Asia that existed during the Hellenistic period from 312 BC to 63 BC. The Seleucid Empire was ...
through her second and third marriages * Cleopatra I Syra (c. 204176 BC), married in 193 BC Ptolemy V Epiphanes of Egypt * Antiochis, married in 194 BC King Ariarathes IV of Cappadocia * Mithridates (215–164 BC), succeeded his brother
Seleucus IV Philopator Seleucus IV Philopator (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group. *Greek language, a branch of the Indo-European language family. **Proto-Greek language, ...
in 175 BC under the
regnal name A regnal name, or regnant name or reign name, is the name used by monarchs and popes during their reigns and, subsequently, historically. Since ancient times, some monarchs have chosen to use a different name from their original name when they ...
Antiochus IV Epiphanes Antiochus IV Epiphanes (; grc, Ἀντίοχος ὁ Ἐπιφανής, ''Antíochos ho Epiphanḗs'', "God Manifest"; c. 215 BC – November/December 164 BC) was a Greek Hellenistic kingdoms, Hellenistic List of Seleucid rulers, king who ruled ...
In 191 BC, Antiochus III married a girl from Chalcis, whom he named "Euboea". They had no children. Laodice III may have fallen in disgrace; however, she clearly survived Antiochus III, and appears in Susa in 183 BC.


Antiochus and the Jews

Antiochus III resettled 2000 Jewish families from
Babylonia Babylonia (; Akkadian: , ''māt Akkadī'') was an ancient Akkadian-speaking state and cultural area based in the city of Babylon in central-southern Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq and parts of Syria). It emerged as an Amorites, Amorite-ruled ...
into the Hellenistic Anatolian regions of
Lydia Lydia (Lydian language, Lydian: ‎𐤮𐤱𐤠𐤭𐤣𐤠, ''Śfarda''; Aramaic: ''Lydia''; el, Λυδία, ''Lȳdíā''; tr, Lidya) was an Iron Age Monarchy, kingdom of western Asia Minor located generally east of ancient Ionia in the mod ...
and
Phrygia In classical antiquity, Phrygia ( ; grc, Φρυγία, ''Phrygía'' ) was a kingdom in the west central part of Anatolia, in what is now Asian Turkey, centered on the Sangarios River. After its conquest, it became a region of the great empires ...
.
Josephus Flavius Josephus (; grc-gre, Ἰώσηπος, ; 37 – 100) was a first-century Roman Jews, Romano-Jewish historian and military leader, best known for ''The Jewish War'', who was born in Jerusalem—then part of Judea (Roman province), Roman ...
portrays him as friendly towards the Jews of Jerusalem and cognizant of their loyalty to him (see
Antiquities of the Jews ''Antiquities of the Jews'' ( la, Antiquitates Iudaicae; el, Ἰουδαϊκὴ ἀρχαιολογία, ''Ioudaikē archaiologia'') is a 20-volume Historiography, historiographical work, written in Greek language, Greek, by historian Josephus, F ...
, Book XII, Chapter 3), in stark contrast to the attitude of his son. In fact, Antiochus III lowered taxes, granted subventions to the Temple, and let the Jews live, as Josephus puts it, "according to the law of their forefathers."


Books of Maccabees

Antiochus III is mentioned in the
deuterocanonical The deuterocanonical books (from the Greek meaning "belonging to the second canon") are books and passages considered by the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denomi ...
''
Books of the Maccabees The Books of the Maccabees or the Sefer HaMakabim (the ''Book of the Maccabees'') recount the history of the Maccabees, the leaders of the Jews, Jewish rebellion against the Seleucid dynasty. List of books The Books of the Maccabees refers to a se ...
.'' The subject of Maccabees is the
Maccabean Revolt The Maccabean Revolt ( he, מרד החשמונאים) was a Jewish rebellion led by the Maccabees against the Seleucid Empire and against Hellenistic period, Hellenistic influence on Jewish life. The main phase of the revolt lasted from 167&ndash ...
against Antiochus' son,
Antiochus IV Epiphanes Antiochus IV Epiphanes (; grc, Ἀντίοχος ὁ Ἐπιφανής, ''Antíochos ho Epiphanḗs'', "God Manifest"; c. 215 BC – November/December 164 BC) was a Greek Hellenistic kingdoms, Hellenistic List of Seleucid rulers, king who ruled ...
. Antiochus III is first mentioned i
1 Maccabees 1:10
when Antiochus IV is introduced as "son of King Antiochus ntiochus III. Antiochus III is mentioned later i
1 Maccabees 8
which describes Judas Maccabeus' knowledge of the deeds of the Roman Republic, including an allusion to the defeat of Antiochus III by the Romans. The NRSV says "They he Romansalso had defeated Antiochus the Great, king of
Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable geographical regions, which is either considered a continent in its own right or a subcontinent of Eurasia, which shares the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with Africa Africa is ...
, who went to fight against them with one hundred twenty elephants and with cavalry and chariots and a very large army. He was crushed by them; they took him alive and decreed that he and those who would reign after him should pay a heavy tribute and give hostages and surrender some of their best provinces, the countries of
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...
,
Media Media may refer to: Communication * Media (communication), tools used to deliver information or data ** Advertising media, various media, content, buying and placement for advertising ** Broadcast media, communications delivered over mass el ...
, and
Lydia Lydia (Lydian language, Lydian: ‎𐤮𐤱𐤠𐤭𐤣𐤠, ''Śfarda''; Aramaic: ''Lydia''; el, Λυδία, ''Lȳdíā''; tr, Lidya) was an Iron Age Monarchy, kingdom of western Asia Minor located generally east of ancient Ionia in the mod ...
. These they took from him and gave to King Eumenes."
1 Maccabees 8:6-8


Cultural portrayals

*The
Caroline era The Caroline era is the period in English and Scottish history named for the 24-year reign of Charles I of England, Charles I (1625–1649). The term is derived from ''Carolus'', the Latin for Charles. The Caroline era followed the Jacobean era, ...
play '' Believe as You List'' is centered around Antiochus's resistance to the Romans after the
Battle of Thermopylae The Battle of Thermopylae ( ; grc, Μάχη τῶν Θερμοπυλῶν, label=Ancient Greek, Greek, ) was fought in 480 BC between the Achaemenid Empire, Achaemenid Persian Empire under Xerxes I and an alliance of Polis, Greek city-states ...
. The play was originally about
Sebastian of Portugal Sebastian ( pt, Sebastião I ; 20 January 1554 – 4 August 1578) was King of Portugal from 11 June 1557 to 4 August 1578 and the penultimate Portuguese monarch of the House of Aviz. He was the son of João Manuel, Prince of Portugal, and hi ...
surviving the Battle of Alcazar and returning, trying to gather support to return to the throne. This first version was censored for being considered "
subversive Subversion () refers to a process by which the values and principles of a system in place are contradicted or reversed in an attempt to transform the established social order and its structures of Power (philosophy), power, authority, hierarchy, a ...
" because it portrayed Sebastian being deposed, its comments in favor of an Anglo-Spanish alliance and possible pro-
Catholicism The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Catholics Catholic Church by country, worldwide . It is am ...
, which led to the final version changing to the story of Antiochus (which led to historical inaccuracy in exaggerating his defeat at that phase in history to fit the earlier text), turning Spaniards into Romans and the Catholic eremite into a Stoic philosopher. *Antiochus features towards the end of Norman Barrow's historical novel, ''The High Priest'' (Faber & Faber, 1947), after his forces have reacquired Jerusalem from the Ptolemaic occupation. The book was noted by
John Betjeman Sir John Betjeman (; 28 August 190619 May 1984) was an English poet, writer, and broadcaster. He was Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom, Poet Laureate from 1972 until his death. He was a founding member of The Victorian Society and a passionat ...
in the
Daily Herald (UK newspaper) The ''Daily Herald'' was a History of British newspapers, British daily newspaper, published in London from 1912 to 1964 (although it was weekly during the First World War). It was published in the interest of the labour movement and suppo ...
as ''"interesting"''.


See also

*
List of Syrian monarchs The title King of Syria appeared in the second century BC in referring to the Seleucid Empire, Seleucid kings who ruled the entirety of the region of Syria. It was also used to refer to Aramean kings in the Greek translations of the Old Testament, ...
*
Timeline of Syrian history __NOTOC__ This is a timeline of Syrian history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in Syria and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of Syria. Millennia: #1st ...


Notes


References

* * * * * * * * * * * * *


External links


Antiochus III "the Great"
entry in historical sourcebook by Mahlon H. Smith

{{DEFAULTSORT:Antiochus 03 the Great 240s BC births 187 BC deaths Year of birth uncertain 3rd-century BC Babylonian kings 2nd-century BC Babylonian kings 3rd-century BC Seleucid rulers 2nd-century BC Seleucid rulers People from Khuzestan Province Kings of Syria