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Coin of Seleucos I, likely depicting a posthumous portrait of Alexander the Great. Source: I, PHGCOM/ CC BY-SA 3.0

After Alexander- The Rise and Fall of the Seleucids (Video)


The demise of the Seleucid Empire unfolds as a consequence of the intricate power struggles following Alexander the Great's death.

After Alexander's demise in 323 BC, his vast empire, extending from the Adriatic Sea to the Indus River, faced internal strife. With no clear heir, the ensuing Diadochi period witnessed rival generals vying for control, and among them, Seleucus, a cavalry commander, emerged as a key player.

Seleucus' journey to power involved strategic alliances, marriages to consolidate cultures, and territorial expansion. In 307 BC, he founded the Seleucid capital, Seleucia, initiating the Seleucid Empire.

Facing challenges from rival generals and external conflicts, Seleucus navigated the complex geopolitical landscape. Notable was the Babylonian Wars and a significant campaign against the Mauryan Empire in present-day Afghanistan and India.

While Seleucus achieved some success, challenges persisted. The Battle of Ipsus in 301 BC marked a pivotal moment, securing Seleucus' dominance. Yet, the empire's fate fluctuated as subsequent rulers faced external invasions, internal dissent, and Roman interference. Antiochus III's ambitious endeavors against Rome led to setbacks, marking the beginning of the Seleucid decline. The Seleucid Empire's fate continued to unravel through subsequent rulers, with Antiochus IV's oppressive rule triggering the Maccabean Revolt.

By 164 BC, the empire's remnants dwindled, succumbing to internal strife and external pressures. The formal end came in 64 BC, concluding a tumultuous chapter in ancient history.

Top image: Coin of Seleucos I, likely depicting a posthumous portrait of Alexander the Great. Source: I, PHGCOM/ CC BY-SA 3.0

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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