|"Great King" (Basileus Megas)'|
|Usurper King of the Seleucid Empire|
|Successor||King Demetrius I Soter|
|Born||Possibly Miletus |
(modern-day Balat, Didim, Aydın, Turkey)
Timarchus or Timarch was a Greek noble and a satrap of the Seleucid Empire during the reign of his ally King Antiochus IV Epiphanes. After Antiochus IV's death, he styled himself an independent ruler in his domain in the Persian east of the Empire from around 163–160 BC, and may have even sought to entirely usurp leadership of the entire empire. He gained an alliance with the Roman Republic, which sought to weaken the Seleucid Empire by promoting internal divisions; both Rome and Timarchus distrusted the new king Demetrius I. Demetrius rode east and defeated Timarchus in 160 BC, ending his short reign.
A Greek nobleman, possibly from Miletus in Asia Minor, Timarchus was a friend of the Seleucid prince Antiochus IV Epiphanes during his time as a hostage to the Roman Republic. He was appointed satrap of Media in western Iran when Antiochus IV Epiphanes became king in 175 BC, and his brother Heracleides became minister of the royal finances. The Persian part of the empire was threatened by the Parthian kingdom, and Timarchus probably spent much of his time reinforcing the defenses. The Seleucid realms probably extended as far as the area of Teheran during this time.
In the turmoil following the death of Antiochus IV during a Persian campaign in 164 BC, Timarchus became the more or less independent ruler of Media, opposing the general Lysias who acted as steward for the infant king Antiochus V Eupator, son of Antiochus IV.
In 162 BC Demetrius I returned from exile and became king. Demetrius's claim to the Seleucid throne was generally considered stronger than the claim of his now dead uncle Antiochus IV and by extension his young son Antiochus V. Demetrius promptly executed Lysias and Antiochus V upon taking power. This may well have been the provocation that caused Timarchus to take the final step to independence and declare himself king.
Timarchus now managed to extend his realm into Babylonia, where records of his reign were inscribed into the astronomical calendars. His forces were however not enough to stand against the rival Seleucid king: Demetrius defeated and killed Timarchus in 160 BC, and the Seleucid empire was temporarily united again.
Timarchus was one of the last Hellenistic kings in Iran but little is known of his reign, except the short - and stereotypical - notion by Appian that Timarchus was a tyrant. Appian's brief mention is treated with skepticism by most scholars. On his coins, Timarchus introduced the epithet "Great King" (Basileus Megas) which was the traditional Achaemenid title and may reflect an effort to gather support from the natives in a time when the Seleucid empire lost ground in Iran. He was inspired by the Bactrian king Eucratides the Great, who had taken the same assuming title a few years earlier.
Timarchus was survived and avenged by his brother Heracleides, who eventually became champion of Alexander Balas, a boy that he claimed was a natural son of Antiochus IV. Heracleides convinced the Roman Senate to support the young pretender against Demetrius, who was defeated and killed in 150 BC. The family of Timarchus thus got its revenge for him. The continued in-fighting between rival Seleucid claimants for power is referred to as the Seleucid Dynastic Wars. These civil wars fatally weakened the empire and saw it shrink and crumble over the next decades.
Alexander I Theopator Euergetes, surnamed Balas, was the ruler of the Seleucid Empire from 150 BC to August 145 BC. Picked from obscurity and supported by the neighboring Roman-allied Attalid kingdom, Alexander landed in Phoenicia in 152 BC and started a civil war against Seleucid King Demetrius I Soter. Backed by mercenaries and factions of the Seleucid Empire unhappy with the existing government, he defeated Demetrius and took the crown in 150 BC. He married the princess Cleopatra Thea to seal an alliance with the neighboring Ptolemaic kingdom. His reign saw the steady retreat of the Seleucid Empire's eastern border, with important eastern satrapies such as Media being lost to the nascent Parthian Empire. In 147 BC, Demetrius II Nicator, the young son of Demetrius I, began a campaign to overthrow Balas, and civil war resumed. Alexander's ally, Ptolemaic king Ptolemy VI Philometor, moved troops into Coele-Syria to support Alexander, but then switched sides and threw his support behind Demetrius II. At the Battle of the Oenoparus River in Syria, he was defeated by Ptolemy VI and he died shortly afterward.
The Seleucid Empire was a Greek state in West Asia that existed during the Hellenistic period. The Seleucid Empire was founded in 312 BC by the Macedonian general Seleucus I Nicator, following the division of the Macedonian Empire founded by Alexander the Great, and ruled by the Seleucid dynasty until its annexation by the Roman Republic under Pompey in 63 BC.
This article concerns the period 169 BC – 160 BC.
This article concerns the period 179 BC – 170 BC.
Year 153 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Nobilior and Luscus. The denomination 153 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
Year 160 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Gallus and Cethegus and the Fourth Year of Houyuan. The denomination 160 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
Year 162 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Corculum/Lentulus and Figulus/Ahenobarbus and the Second Year of Houyuan. The denomination 162 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
Year 175 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Scaevola and Lepidus. The denomination 175 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
Demetrius I, surnamed Soter, reigned as king (basileus) of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire from November 162 – June 150 BC. Demetrius grew up in Rome as a hostage, but returned to Greek Syria and overthrew his young cousin Antiochus V Eupator and regent Lysias. Demetrius took control during a turbulent time of the Empire, and spent much of his time fighting off revolts and challenges to his power from threats such as Timarchus and Alexander Balas.
Antiochus V Eupator, whose epithet means "of a good father" was a ruler of the Greek Seleucid Empire who reigned from late 164 to 161 BC.
Antiochus III the Great was a Greek Hellenistic king and the 6th ruler of the Seleucid Empire, reigning from 222 to 187 BC. He ruled over the region of Syria and large parts of the rest of western Asia 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, 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.
Antiochus VII Euergetes, nicknamed Sidetes, also known as Antiochus the Pious, was ruler of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire 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.
Phraates II was king of the Parthian Empire from 132 BC to 127 BC. He was the son and successor of Mithridates I.
Lysias was a 2nd-century BCE general and governor of Syria under the Seleucid Empire.
Media is a region of north-western Iran, best known for having been the political and cultural base of the Medes. During the Achaemenid period, it comprised present-day Azerbaijan, Iranian Kurdistan and western Tabaristan. As a satrapy under Achaemenid rule, it would eventually encompass a wider region, stretching to southern Dagestan in the north. However, after the wars of Alexander the Great, the northern parts were separated due to the Partition of Babylon and became known as Atropatene, while the remaining region became known as Lesser Media.
The Seleucid army was the army of the Seleucid Empire, one of the numerous Hellenistic states that emerged after the death of Alexander the Great.
The Seleucid–Parthian wars were a series of conflicts between the Seleucid Empire and Parthia which resulted in the ultimate expulsion of the Seleucids from Iran and the establishment of the Parthian Empire. The wars were caused by Iranian tribes migrating into Central Asia and the inability of the Seleucids to properly defend or hold together their vast empire.
Hyspaosines was an Iranian prince, and the founder of Characene, a kingdom situated in southern Mesopotamia. He was originally a Seleucid satrap installed by king Antiochus IV Epiphanes, but declared independence in 141 BC after the collapse and subsequent transfer of Seleucid authority in Iran and Babylonia to the Parthians. Hyspaosines briefly occupied the Parthian city of Babylon in 127 BC, where he is recorded in records as king (šarru). In 124 BC, however, he was forced to acknowledge Parthian suzerainty. He died in the same year, and was succeeded by his juvenile son Apodakos.
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 Roman Republic in 63 BC.
Heracleides was one of the three ambassadors sent by the Seleucid ruler Antiochus IV Epiphanes to Rome to support his claims on Coele-Syria against Ptolemy VI Philometor, and defend his conduct in waging war upon him, 169 BC.