|Antiochus XII Dionysus|
|King of Syria|
|Predecessor||Demetrius III, Philip I|
|Successor||Philip I, Antiochus XIII, Cleopatra Selene|
|Born||between 124 and 109 BC|
Antiochus XII Dionysus Epiphanes Philopator Callinicus (Ancient Greek : Ἀντίοχος Διόνυσος Ἐπιφανής Φιλοπάτωρ Καλλίνικος; between 124 and 109 BC – 82 BC) was a Hellenistic Seleucid monarch who reigned as King of Syria between 87 and 82 BC. The youngest son of Antiochus VIII and, most likely, his Egyptian wife Tryphaena, Antiochus XII lived during a period of civil war between his father and his uncle Antiochus IX, which ended with the assassination of Antiochus VIII in 96 BC. Antiochus XII's four brothers laid claim to the throne, eliminated Antiochus IX as a claimant, and waged war against his heir Antiochus X.
The Hellenistic period covers the period of Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire as signified by the Battle of Actium in 31 BC and the subsequent conquest of Ptolemaic Egypt the following year. The Ancient Greek word Hellas is the original word for Greece, from which the word Hellenistic was derived.
The Seleucid Empire was a Hellenistic state ruled by the Seleucid dynasty which existed from 312 BC to 63 BC; Seleucus I Nicator founded it following the division of the Macedonian Empire vastly expanded by Alexander the Great. Seleucus received Babylonia and from there expanded his dominions to include much of Alexander's near-eastern territories. At the height of its power, the Empire included central Anatolia, Persia, the Levant, Mesopotamia, and what is now Kuwait, Afghanistan, and parts of Pakistan and Turkmenistan.
Antiochus VIII Epiphanes/Callinicus/Philometor, nicknamed Grypus, was the ruler of the Syrian Seleucid Empire from 125 to 96 BC. He was the younger son of Demetrius II and Cleopatra Thea. He may have spent his early life in Athens and returned to Syria after the deaths of his father and brother Seleucus V. At first he was joint ruler with his mother. Fearing her influence, Antiochus VIII had Cleopatra Thea poisoned in 121 BC.
By 87 BC, only two claimants remained, both brothers of Antiochus XII: Demetrius III and Philip I. The realm of Demetrius III was initially centered in Damascus but later extended over most of Syria. Demetrius III was defeated by Philip I and went into exile in Parthia, allowing Antiochus XII to gain control of Damascus while Philip I remained in the Syrian capital Antioch. Antiochus XII consolidated his territory within inner Syria and did not seek to expand into the territories of Philip I, who attempted to annex Damascus but was repulsed. Antiochus XII focused his attention on Syria's southern reaches into which the Judaeans and Nabataeans sought to expand.
Demetrius III Theos Philopator Soter Philometor Euergetes Callinicus was a Hellenistic Seleucid monarch who reigned as the King of Syria between 96 and 87 BC. He was a son of Antiochus VIII and, most likely, his Egyptian wife Tryphaena. Demetrius III's early life was spent in a period of civil war between his father and his uncle Antiochus IX, which ended with the assassination of Antiochus VIII in 96 BC. After the death of their father, Demetrius III took control of Damascus while his brother Seleucus VI prepared for war against Antiochus IX, who occupied the Syrian capital Antioch.
Philip I Epiphanes Philadelphus was a Hellenistic Seleucid monarch who reigned as the King of Syria from 94 to either 83 or 75 BC. The son of Antiochus VIII and his wife Tryphaena, he spent his early life in a period of civil war between his father and his uncle Antiochus IX. The conflict ended with the assassination of Antiochus VIII and a quick succession in the Syrian capital Antioch of Antiochus IX then Antiochus VIII's eldest son Seleucus VI.
The Parthian Empire, also known as the Arsacid Empire, was a major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Iran. Its latter name comes from Arsaces I of Parthia who, as leader of the Parni tribe, founded it in the mid-3rd century BC when he conquered the region of Parthia in Iran's northeast, then a satrapy (province) under Andragoras, in rebellion against the Seleucid Empire. Mithridates I of Parthia (r. c. 171–138 BC) greatly expanded the empire by seizing Media and Mesopotamia from the Seleucids. At its height, the Parthian Empire stretched from the northern reaches of the Euphrates, in what is now central-eastern Turkey, to eastern Iran. The empire, located on the Silk Road trade route between the Roman Empire in the Mediterranean Basin and the Han dynasty of China, became a center of trade and commerce.
Antiochus XII reinforced his southern frontier and warred with his neighbors, conducting two campaigns against Nabataea that included engagements with Judea. After several victories in his first campaign, Antiochus XII was killed towards the end of his second campaign against the Nabateans at the Battle of Cana in 82 BC. Damascus was captured by the forces of the Nabatean King Aretas III, and the Syrian throne was claimed by Antiochus X's widow Cleopatra Selene and her son Antiochus XIII.
The Battle of Cana was fought between Greek Seleucid king Antiochus XII Dionysus and the Arab Nabataean Kingdom. Cana is an unknown village; scholars place it somewhere south or southwest the Dead Sea.
Aretas III was king of the Nabataean kingdom from 87 to 62 BCE. Aretas ascended to the throne upon the death of his brother, Obodas I, in 87 BCE. During his reign, he extended his kingdom to cover what now forms the northern area of Jordan, the south of Syria, and part of Saudi Arabia. Probably the greatest of Aretas' conquests was that of Damascus, which secured his country's place as a serious political power of its time. Nabataea reached its greatest territorial extent under Aretas' leadership.
Cleopatra Selene was the monarch of Syria as Cleopatra II Selene. She was the daughter of Ptolemy VIII of Egypt by Cleopatra III, in whose political maneuvers Cleopatra Selene, favored by her mother, became a pawn. In 115 BC, Cleopatra III forced her son Ptolemy IX to divorce his sister-wife Cleopatra IV, and chose Cleopatra Selene as the new queen consort of Egypt. Tension between the king and his mother grew and ended with his expulsion from Egypt, leaving Cleopatra Selene behind; she probably then married the new king, her other brother Ptolemy X.
Antiochus, Greek for "resolute in contention",was a dynastic name borne by many Seleucid monarchs. The Seleucid dynasty's founder Seleucus I named the capital of Syria, Antioch, in honor of his father Antiochus. Antiochus XII was the fifth and youngest son of Antiochus VIII and his Ptolemaic Egyptian wife Tryphaena, who married in 124 BC. In 109 BC, Tryphaena was killed by Antiochus VIII's half-brother Antiochus IX, who fought with Antiochus VIII from 113 BC for the throne of Syria. Antiochus XII's brothers were Seleucus VI, Antiochus XI, Philip I and Demetrius III.
Seleucus I Nicator was one of the Diadochi. Having previously served as an infantry general under Alexander the Great, he eventually assumed the title of basileus and established the Seleucid Empire over much of the territory in the Near East which Alexander had conquered.
Antiochus was a Macedonian man who lived during the time of Philip II of Macedon. He originally came from Orestis, Macedonia.
The Ptolemaic dynasty, sometimes also known as the Lagids or Lagidae, was a Macedonian Greek royal family, which ruled the Ptolemaic Kingdom in Egypt during the Hellenistic period. Their rule lasted for 275 years, from 305 to 30 BC. They were the last dynasty of ancient Egypt.
Following Antiochus VIII's assassination in 96 BC,his second wife, Tryphaena's sister Cleopatra Selene, married Antiochus IX and then his son Antiochus X, who fought with Antiochus XII's four brothers for the throne. By 88 BC, only Demetrius III and Philip I remained; Demetrius III was originally based in Damascus before extending his authority to most of Syria. He was defeated by Philip I and his Parthian allies in 87 BC and exiled to Parthia, where he died of an unknown illness. Philip I took control of the capital, while Cleopatra Selene, now a widow, took shelter in Ptolemais with her sons by Antiochus X.
Antiochus X Eusebes Philopator was a Hellenistic Seleucid monarch who reigned as the King of Syria between 95 and 92 or 89/88 BC. He was the son of Antiochus IX and perhaps his Egyptian wife Cleopatra IV. He lived at a period that witnessed a general disintegration of Seleucid Syria characterized by civil wars, foreign interference by Ptolemaic Egypt and incursions by the Parthians. Antiochus IX was killed in 95 BC at the hands of Seleucus VI, the son of his half-brother and rival Antiochus VIII. Antiochus X then went to the city of Aradus where he declared himself king. He avenged his father by defeating Seleucus VI, who was eventually killed.
Damascus is the capital of the Syrian Arab Republic; it is also the country's largest city, following the decline in population of Aleppo due to the battle for the city. It is colloquially known in Syria as aš-Šām (الشام) and titled the "City of Jasmine". In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major cultural center of the Levant and the Arab world. The city has an estimated population of 1,711,000 as of 2009.
Ptolemais was an ancient port city on the Phoenician coast. It was also called Ptolemais in Phoenicia. It was an Ancient bishopric, which became a double Catholic titular see.
The departure of Demetrius III left a power vacuum in Damascus that was filled by Antiochus XII.Coins minted during the reign of Demetrius III are dated to the Seleucid year (SE) 225 (88/87 BC), while the earliest coins minted during the reign of Antiochus XII have the date 226 SE (87/86 BC), suggesting there was a rapid assumption of power by Antiochus XII. Monarchs of the Hellenistic period did not use regnal numbers, which is a more modern practice, but instead used epithets to distinguish themselves from similarly named monarchs; Three of Antiochus XII's four epithets, Epiphanes (illustrious)–previously used by his father, Philopator (father-loving) and Callinicus (nobly victorious), served to emphasize the ancestry of his grandfather Demetrius II in contrast to the line of the latter's brother Antiochus VII, which was represented by Antiochus IX and his descendants; Callinicus may have been an echo of Demetrius II's epithet Nikator (victorious). He likely used his other epithet Dionysus to associate himself with the Greek god of wine in his role as conqueror of the East. Antiochus XII was depicted on coinage with an exaggerated hawked nose in the likeness of his father, as a means of strengthening the legitimacy of his succession.
The Seleucid era or Anno Graecorum, sometimes denoted "AG", was a system of numbering years in use by the Seleucid Empire and other countries among the ancient Hellenistic civilizations. It is sometimes referred to as "the dominion of the Seleucidæ," or the Year of Alexander. The era dates from Seleucus I Nicator's re-conquest of Babylon in 312/11 BC after his exile in Ptolemaic Egypt, considered by Seleucus and his court to mark the founding of the Seleucid Empire. According to Jewish tradition, it was during the sixth year of Alexander the Great's reign that they began to make use of this counting. The introduction of the new era is mentioned in one of the Babylonian Chronicles, the Chronicle of the Diadochi.
Regnal numbers are ordinal numbers used to distinguish among persons with the same name who held the same office. Most importantly, they are used to distinguish monarchs. An ordinal is the number placed after a monarch's regnal name to differentiate between a number of kings, queens or princes reigning the same territory with the same regnal name.
Demetrius II, called Nicator, was one of the sons of Demetrius I Soter possibly by Laodice V, as was his brother Antiochus VII Sidetes. He ruled the Seleucid Empire for two periods, separated by a number of years of captivity in Hyrcania in Parthia: first from September 145 BC to July/August 138 BC and again from 129 BC until his death in 125 BC. His brother Antiochus VII ruled the Seleucid Empire in the interim between his two reigns.
According to historian Alfred Bellinger, Antiochus XII may have received assistance from Ptolemaic Egypt to gain his throne. This view is reflected in Antiochus XII's policies, which were targeted at the south in Nabataea and Judaea, but not towards expansion within the kingdom of Syria.His dominion was limited to inner Syria, centered on Damascus, which served as his capital and primary mint. Antiochus XII also ruled over the town of Gadara, governed by an official named Philotas. In 100 BC, Gadara had been conquered by the Hasmonean king of Judea Alexander Jannaeus, who partially destroyed its walls, but it was recaptured by the Seleucids in 93 BC. Gadara held great strategic importance for Syria as it served as a major military hub for operations in the south. Controlling it was vital to the war effort against the Judaeans, which led Antiochus to rebuild the city's defenses in 228 SE (85/84 BC). Historian Aryeh Kasher suggested that Antiochus XII dug what the first-century historian Josephus called the "trench of Antiochus" (or valley of Antiochus) to protect Damascus from the Nabataeans; the trench was probably located in the Hula Valley.
Seleucid coins often had depictions of their Greek deities,but the silver coinage of Antiochus XII depicted the supreme Semitic god Hadad on the reverse, possibly in recognition of the shrinking borders of the kingdom, which convinced the monarch of the importance of the local cults. By promoting indigenous deities, Seleucid kings hoped to gain the support of their non-Greek subjects. According to Bellinger, the use of Hadad indicated that Antiochus XII placed focus on his "intention of being first and foremost king of Damascus". During his reign, Demetrius III had also depicted a Semitic deity, Atargatis, on his currency. In the view of historian Kay Ehling , The change of coin imagery from Atargatis to Hadad probably served two goals: to imply that Antiochus XII had a different policy focus than his predecessor, and to demonstrate his intention of maintaining a good relationship with the Semitic population of Damascus, who comprised the majority of the inhabitants, to avoid tension with Greek settlers. Seleucid kings presented themselves as protectors of Hellenism and patronized intellectuals and philosophers, but Antiochus XII may have adopted a different attitude; he ordered the expulsion of such scholars.
Early in his reign, Antiochus XII attacked the Nabataeans and the Judaeans, whose territories both lay south of his own. This conflict was recorded by Josephus, although he made no mention of the name of the Nabataean king.Josephus mentioned two campaigns against the Nabataeans, but did not explain the motives leading the Syrian King to attack them. Modern scholars presented several theories. In the view of Israel Shatzman, Antiochus XII may have feared the growing power of the Nabataeans, who were expanding into southern Syria. Zayn Bilkadi suggested that Antiochus XII wanted to take control over the Nabataeans' crude oil industry, while Alexander Fantalkin and Oren Tal suggested that the Nabataeans actively supported Philip I in his attempts to take control over Antiochus XII's realm.
Antiochus XII's first Nabataean campaign was launched in 87 BC, r. 306–301 BC) is killed at Motho by a king of the Arabs named Rabbel. The name Motho could refer to a northern city in Hauran or a southern city in Moab. The name of Antigonus was regularly "corrected" to Antiochus by different scholars who believed that Uranius was referring to Antiochus XII. Roschinski considered it conceivable that Stephanus was conflating two events taking place during the reign of the Nabataean King Rabbel I: a battle of Antiochus XII's first Nabataean campaign at Motho in the north, and the battle from the second Nabataean campaign in which Antiochus XII was killed. Shatzman, on the other hand, noted that nowhere in his work did Stephanus indicate that the battle of Motho took place in the north.and might have included a battle near Motho, modern Imtan in the region of Hauran, as proposed by the historian Hans Peter Roschinski, who drew on the writings of Stephanus of Byzantium. The Byzantine historian preserved in his book, Ethica, fragments from a lost work by the historian Uranius of Apamea, who wrote a book titled Arabica, which has been dated to 300 AD. In the account of Uranius, King Antigonus I (
Taking advantage of his brother's absence, Philip I seized Damascus,aided by the governor of the city's citadel, Milesius, who opened the gates to him. According to Josephus, Milesius received no reward from Philip I, who attributed the betrayal to the general's fear, leading Milesius to betray Philip I, who had left the city to attend an event in the nearby hippodrome. The general closed the gates, locking Philip I out, and awaited the return of Antiochus XII, who had hastily ended his campaign when he heard of his brother's occupation of the city. Modern scholars noted that Seleucid currency, struck during campaigns against a rival (or usurper), portrayed the King sporting a beard. During his first two years, Antiochus XII's visage appeared beardless, but this changed in 228 SE (85/84 BC). This is possibly related to Philip I's attack on Damascus, but this supposition has little support, as Antiochus XII failed to take any action against his brother. No coins were minted during the period that Philip I held Damascus, indicating only a brief occupation of the city.
Although his territory directly abutted Nabataean territory, for his second Nabataean campaign Antiochus XII instead chose to march his forces through Judaea along the coast, 28 kilometres (17 mi) from Caphersaba to the sea near Joppa. Antiochus XII leveled the trench, burned the fortifications, and continued his march into Nabataean territory.probably to attack the Nabataean-dominated Negev, which would have cut off the port city of Gaza, threatened Nabataean Mediterranean trade, and curbed Nabataean ambitions in the Transjordan. This route would have allowed Antiochus XII to keep Alexander Jannaeus at bay. According to Josephus, the Judaean King feared Antiochus XII's intentions and ordered the "Yannai Line" to be built, which consisted of a trench that fronted a defensive wall dotted with wooden towers. The trench stretched
The account of the campaign, written by Josephus, is subject to some debate; the historian wrote that Antiochus XII's forces defeated those of Alexander Jannaeus, but the eighth-century historian George Syncellus mentioned a defeat suffered by Antiochus XII at the hands of the Judaean king.The existence of the Yannai Line has been questioned by several historians, and Josephus' explanation of Alexander Jannaeus' attempt to stop the march of Antiochus XII, because of his fears of the latter's intentions, is unsatisfactory. Both the Nabataeans and Syrians were enemies of Judea and it would have been to Alexander Jannaeus' benefit if those two powers were in conflict. Syncellus may have been referring to an earlier confrontation between the Syrian king and Alexander Jannaeus. Thus the statement of Syncellus supports the notion that Antiochus XII's second Nabataean campaign was also aimed at Judea; perhaps Antiochus XII sought to annex the coastal cities of Alexander Jannaeus as a retribution for the defeat mentioned by Syncellus. Another objective would be subduing the Judaeans to keep them from attacking Syria while Antiochus XII was busy in Nabataea.
The final engagement between the forces of Antiochus XII and the Nabataeans occurred near the village of Cana,the location of which is unknown, but is generally assumed by modern scholars to be southwest of the Dead Sea. Historian Siegfried Mittmann considered it to be synonymous with Qina, modern-day Horvat Uza, as mentioned by Josephus in Book 15 of his Antiquities. Details of the battle, as written by Josephus, spoke of the Nabataeans employing a feigned retreat, then counterattacking the Syrian forces before their ranks could be ordered. Antiochus XII managed to rally his troops and weathered the attack, but he fought in the front lines, jeopardizing his life, and he eventually fell. The year of Antiochus XII's death is debated, but his last coins struck in Damascus are dated to 230 SE (83/82 BC).
According to Josephus, the death of the King resulted in a rout of the Syrian forces, with many being killed in the field or during the retreat. Survivors of the rout sheltered in Cana, where most died of starvation.Antiochus XII was the last energetic Seleucid king. Little is recorded of Philip I after his attempt at annexing Damascus, which was left without a protector after the death of Antiochus XII. Fearing the Ituraean ruler, Ptolemy of Chalcis, the people of Damascus invited Aretas III of Nabataea to take the city. The numismatist Oliver D. Hoover suggested that Aretas III did not hold Damascus for long before the city returned to Seleucid possession.
The identity of Antiochus XII's wife remains unknown,but according to the sixth-century historian John Malalas, whose work is considered generally unreliable by scholars, the King had two daughters, Cleopatra and Antiochis. Cleopatra Selene, who went into hiding after the death of Antiochus X in 224 SE (89/88 BC), took advantage of Antiochus XII's death and declared her son Antiochus XIII king with herself as queen regent and regnant. Coins struck during her regency show the marks of the Damascus mint. Archeologist Nicholas L. Wright suggested that Cleopatra Selene's takeover of Damascus took place after 80 BC. Josephus called Antiochus XII the last Seleucid king, and Malalas, according to the translation of the historian Glanville Downey, followed suit; the last Seleucid king was in fact Antiochus XIII, who was dethroned in 64 BC after Antioch was annexed by the Romans.
|Family tree of Antiochus XII|
Alexander I Theopator Euergetes, surnamed Balas, was the ruler of the Greek Seleucid kingdom in 150/Summer 152 – August 145 BC. Alexander defeated Demetrius Soter for the crown in 150 BC. Ruling briefly, he lost the crown to Demetrius II Nicator during his defeat at the Battle of Antioch in Syria, dying shortly after.
Diodotus Tryphon was a king of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire who initially acted as regent and tutor for the son of Alexander Balas, but soon declared himself king in 142 BC after the death of his charge, Antiochus VI Dionysus, and reigned until his own death in 138 BC.
Antiochus VII Euergetes, nicknamed Sidetes, also known as Antiochus the Pious, was ruler of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire who reigned from July/August 138 to 129 BC. He was the last Seleucid king of any stature. After Antiochus was killed in battle, the Seleucid realm was restricted to Syria.
Alexander II Theos Epiphanes Nikephoros was a Hellenistic Seleucid monarch who reigned as the King of Syria between 128 BC and 123 BC. His true parentage is debated; most ancient historians and the modern academic consensus maintain he was a pretender who claimed to be a Seleucid, either a son of Alexander I or an adopted son of Antiochus VII. His surname "Zabinas" is a Semitic name that is usually translated as "the bought one". It is possible, however, that Alexander II was a natural son of Alexander I, as the surname can also mean "bought from the god". The iconography of Alexander II's coinage indicates he based his claims to the throne on his descent from Antiochus IV, the father of Alexander I.
Antiochus XI Epiphanes Philadelphus was a Hellenistic Seleucid monarch who reigned as the King of Syria between 94 and 93 BC. He was the son of Antiochus VIII and his wife Tryphaena. Antiochus XI's early life was a time of constant civil war between his father and his uncle Antiochus IX. The conflict ended with the assassination of Antiochus VIII, followed by the establishment of Antiochus IX in Antioch, the capital of Syria. Antiochus VIII's eldest son Seleucus VI, in control of western Cilicia, marched against his uncle and had him killed, taking Antioch for himself, only to be expelled from it and driven to his death in 94 BC by Antiochus IX's son Antiochus X.
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Antiochus XIII Philadelphus, known as Asiaticus, was one of the last rulers of the Seleucid kingdom.
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The Nabataean Kingdom, also named Nabatea, was a political state of the Arab Nabataeans during classical antiquity.
The Seleucid Dynastic Wars were a series of wars of succession that were fought between competing branches of the Seleucid Royal household for control of the Seleucid Empire. Beginning as a by-product of several succession crises that arose from the reigns of Seleucus IV Philopator and his brother Antiochus IV Epiphanes in the 170s and 160s, the wars typified the final years of the empire and were an important cause of its decline as a major power in the Near East and Hellenistic world. The last war ended with the collapse of the kingdom and its annexation by the Romans in 63 BC.
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Antiochus XII DionysusBorn: Unknown Died: 82 BC
| King of Syria |
with Philip I (87-82 BC)