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SELEUCUS.

the campaigns in Media, which terminated in the defeat of Euraenes, Seleucus had made himself master of Susa, and returned to Babylon, where he received Antigonus in the most splendid manner, on his return from the upper provinces. But the victory of that general had entirely altered his position in relation to his former allies, and the fate of Pithon might well serve as a warning to his brother satraps. Nor was it long before these apprehensions were confirmed : Antigonus first took occasion to find fault with some exercise of authority on the part of Seleucus, and at length went so far as to call him to account for the admi­nistration of the revenues of his satrapy, an as­sumption of superiority to which he altogether refused to submit. But Seleucus was unable to cope with the power of his adversary, and conse­quently determined to escape the fate which awaited him, by timely flight, and secretly quitted Babylon with only fifty horsemen. Antigonus in vain issued orders for his pursuit and apprehension, and he made his way, in safety, through Mesopotamia and Syria, into Egypt, b.c. 316. (Diod. xviii. 73, xix. 12—14, 18, 48, 55 ; App. Syr. 53.)

Here he immediately endeavoured to arouse Ptolemy to a sense of the danger impending from the power and ambition of Antigonus, and suc­ceeded in inducing him to unite with Lysimachus and Cassander in a league against their common enemy. (Diod. xix. 56 ; App. Syr. 53.) In the war,that followed (for the events of which see ptolemaeus, p. 582) Seleucus took an active part. He was at first appointed to command the fleet of Ptolemy, with which we find him carrying on operations on the coast of Syria during the siege of Tyre by Antigonus, as well as subsequently in Ionia and the islands of the Aegaean, and ren­dering important assistance to Menelaus in the conquest of Cyprus. At length, in B. c. 312, he induced Ptolemy to take the field in person in Coele-Syria, against the youthful Demetrius, and bore an important part in the decisive battle of Gaza. That victory laid open once more the route to Babylon and the East, and he now prevailed upon Ptolemy to send him, with a small force, to regain possession of his former satrapy. On this daring enterprise he set out with only 800 foot and 200 horse, but was joined by reinforcements on his march through Mesopotamia ; and so great was his popularity, that all the inhabitants of Babylonia declared in his favour. He entered the city without opposition, and speedily reduced the garrison, which had taken refuge in the citadel. It is from the recovery of Babylon by Seleucus at this period, that the Syrian monarchy is commonly reckoned to commence, and we find the coins of the Syrian kings, as well as many later writers, calculating the years from this epoch. This era of the Seleucidae, as it is termed, has been deter­mined by chronologers to the 1 st of October, b. c. 312. (Diod. xix. 58, 60, 62, 68, 80, 83, 84, 90, 91; Appian. Syr. 54; Euseb. Arm. p. 163; Froelich, Annales ReguinSyriae, p. 9; Ideler, Handb. d. Chronologic^ vol. i. pp. 445—451 ; Clinton, F. H. vol. ii. p. 172 ; Eckhel, vol. iii. pp. 210, 221.)

Meanwhile Nicanor, the satrap of Media, had assembled a large force, with which he advanced to oppose Seleucus ; but the latter hastened to meet him in the field, totally defeated him at the passage of the Tigris, and followed up his victory by the conquest of Susiana, Media, and some

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SELEUCUS.

adjacent districts. But while he was thus engaged in the upper provinces, Demetrius, who had been detached by his father Antigonus, from Syria, had regained possession of Babylon, which Patrocles (who had been left there by Seleucus) was unable to hold against him. The invader was, however, foiled in the attempt to reduce one of the citadels attached to the capital; and soon after, by his hasty return to Syria left it open to Seleucus to recover possession of Babylonia, which the latter probably effected with little difficulty. (Diod. xix. 100 ; Plut. Demetr. 7.)

From this period we are left almost wholly in the dark, as to the subsequent operations of Seleu­cus, during an interval of nearly ten years. It is not a little singular that his name is not even mentioned in the treaty of peace concluded in b. c. 31], by his confederates Ptolemy, Lysimachus, and'Cassander, with Antigonus, in which the latter was acknowledged as ruler of Asia. (Diod. xix. 105.) But though thus apparently abandoned by his allies, he had, in fact, little to fear from Anti­gonus, who was too much occupied with the affairs of Western Asia to find leisure for another ex­pedition against the East*, and Seleucus ap­pears to have been left to pursue, without inter­ruption, his career of conquest in the upper pro­vinces. All details, however, concerning his operations in these quarters, are lost to us ; and we know only the general fact, that by a series of successive campaigns he gradually extended his power over all the eastern provinces which had formed part of the empire of Alexander, from the Euphrates to the banks of the Oxus and the Indus. One of the most memorable of his wars was that with Sandracottus, an Indian king of the regions on the banks of the Ganges, who had availed himself of the disorders which followed the death of Eumenes, to establish his power over the Macedonian satrapies east of the Indus. [sandracottus.] Both the date and the circum­stances of this war are unfortunately lost; but it

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was terminated by a treaty by which Seleucus contracted a matrimonial alliance with the Indian monarch, to whom he ceded all the provinces be­yond the Indus, and even that of Paropamisus, in exchange for the gift of 500 elephants, an im­mense addition to his military resources. (Justin. xv. 4 ; Appian, Syr. 55 ; Strab. xv. p. 724.)

Seleucus had followed the example of Antigonus and Ptolemy, by formally assuming, in b. c. 306, the regal title and diadem, which he had already previously adopted in his intercourse with the barbarian nations by whom he was surrounded (Diod. xx. 53; Plut. Demetr. 18): and he was probably inferior to none of the rival monarchs in power when he was induced, in b. c. 302, to ac­cede to the league formed for the second time by Ptolemy, Lysimachus, and Cassander, against their common enemy Antigonus. The army which he brought into the field, considerably exceeded those of his allies ; and he arrived in Cappadocia before the close of the autumn, with 20,000 foot, 12,000 horse, and the overwhelming force of 480 elephants. (Diod. xx. 106, 113.) The events of the cam-

* Droysen, indeed, supposes him to have made such an expedition ; but there is no authority for this, and it seems impossible to suppose that an event of such importance would have been omitted by Diodorus.

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