The Unabridged Bible:  exploring the complete set of ancient holy writings

Along with people named Antiochus and some others, a series of rulers named "Seleucus" ruled Syria as part of the Seleucid dynasty, one of three major dynasties founded in the aftermath of Alexander the Great's sudden death.

Curious Facts
Seleucus II inherited the throne when his mother killed his father.

Seleucus IV traded his own son, Demetrius, to the Romans in exchange for the release of his brother, Antiochus IV "The Mad." (When Demetrius escaped, he returned to Syria to become the second ex-Roman prisoner to rule Syria.)

The People
After an uneven rise rise to power, and various triumphs and exiles in the aftermath of Alexander the Great's demise, Seleucus I Nicator established the Seleucid dynasty in Syria. Unlike post-Alexandrian Egypt, where nearly every ruler had the same name (Ptolemy), in the Syria dynasty many of the rulers were also called Antiochus, after Seleucus I's son Antiochus I.

Seleucus II Callinicus ("great victor"), Seleucus I's great-grandson, inherited Syria from his father, Antiochus II. The event was occasioned by his mother poisoning his father around 246 BC. In addition to his mother, his father had been temporarily married to Ptolemy II's daughter Berenice, who was also killed by his mother's representatives around the same time. This prompted Berenice's brother, the recently kinged Ptolemy III, to invade the Seleucid empire.

Seleucus III, Seleucus II's son, ruled Syria briefly from about 225 BC until he was assassinated around 223 BC, leaving the throne to his younger brother, Antiochus the Great.

Seleucus IV Philopater, Antiochus the Great's son, ruled a little longer than his uncle Seleucus III, but, like his uncle, lost the throne when he was assassinated by his chief advisor Heliodorus. Before he was killed, he managed to send his own son, Demetrius, to Rome to secure the release of his brother, Antiochus IV, who had also been a Roman prisoner. He ruled from about 187-175 BC.

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