Last update 17-Feb-2004
Alfred R. Bellinger
|Originally published in Transactions of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, Volume 38, June 1949, pp. 51 - 102. New Haven, Connecticut, USA.|
|This transcription is published with the kind permission of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, http://www.yale.edu/caas/.|
- Table of Kings (p. 54)
- The End of the Seleucids (pp. 55-86)
- Excursus I: The coinage of the wars of the brothers (pp. 87-91)
- Excursus II: On the coins of Antiochus XI and Philip (pp. 92-94)
- Excursus III: On the chronology of the reign of Philip I (pp. 95-97)
- Excursus IV: Trogus as historian of the late Seleucids (pp. 98-102)
Table of Kings
|Demetrius I, Soter||..........||162 - 150|
|Alexander I, Balas||..........||150 - 145|
|Demetrius II, Nicator, first reign||..........||145 - 140|
|Antiochus VI, Dionysus||..........||145 - 142|
|Tryphon||..........||142 - 139|
|Antiochus VII, Sidetes||..........||138 - 129|
|Demetrius II, Nicator, second reign||..........||129 - 125|
|Alexander II, Zabinas||..........||128 - 123|
|Cleopatra and Antiochus VIII, Grypus||..........||125 - 121|
|Antiochus VIII, Grypus||..........||121 - 96|
|Antiochus IX, Cyzicenus||..........||114 - 95|
|Seleucus VI, Epiphanes Nicator||..........||96 - 95|
|Demetrius III, Philopator||..........||96 - 88|
|Antiochus X, Eusebes||..........||95 - 92|
|Antiochus XI, Philadelphus||..........||93|
|Philip I, Philadelphus||..........||93 - 84|
|Antiochus XII, Dionysus||..........||87 - 84|
|Tigranes||..........||83 - 69|
|Antiochus XIII, Asiaticus||..........||69|
|Philip II||..........||67 - 66|
The End of the Seleucids
The history of the Seleucid Empire is a tale of general decline, interrupted by periods of recovery so impressive that it is only in retrospect that one recognizes them as merely interruptions. The incurable weakness of the monarchy lay in the fact that its basis was not the indigenous population of the realm but the Greek and Macedonian citizens into whose control the cities had passed, though they must have been a minority, Alexander had dreamed of an amalgamation of races which would permit the grafting of Hellenic culture on eastern stock. Whether the experiment would have been possible for him we shall never know; he died too young. At any rate, Seleucus and his house abandoned the attempt, content to rest their power on the cities governed by Greeks and Macedonians. Domination of an imperial domain by a foreign minority is by no means an impossibility, but it requires access to the homeland of the dominant foreigners. It was with a view of maintaining connection with the homeland that Seleucus I, Nicator, founded Antioch-on-the-Orontes and the sister cities, Apamea, Laodicea-ad-Mare, and Seleucia Pieria at the end of the 4th century B.C. Antioch was to be the western capital as Seleucia-on-the-Tigris was the eastern. It was a statesmanlike plan; it is hard to see how he could have made better provision for the continuance of his empire. But it was not sufficient to insure the constant stream of new Hellenic blood which was essential. The innate strength of the Seleucid kings and their people was not enough to meet the menace of the East and West together: the rising power of Parthia and the rivalry of other Hellenistic kingdoms. Loss of territory began early and continued intermittently until the final collapse.
Nevertheless, for nearly a century and a half the empire retained its essential aspect of a kingdom with two capitals and two territories, connected by the northern roads to the Tigris and Euphrates; separated by the deserts to the south. When, in 160 B.C., Demetrius I, Soter, obtained the grudging recognition of the Roman Senate, he was the accepted king in Syria and Babylonia both, and though the rebel Hasmonaeans lurked in the wilderness by the Dead Sea, Judea itself had been won back and secured by a series of garrisoned fortresses. Ten years later he fell in battle against Alexander I, Balas, the supposed son of Antiochus IV, Epiphanes, and with his death the history of the united Seleucid empire comes to an end.
The period that followed was dominated by disruptive influences internal and external. The most important of the former was the almost continuous presence in the realm of rival pretenders to the throne, which wasted the substance of the kingdom in civil war and forced the rivals to make one concession after another to the enemies of the empire for temporary assistance against domestic foes. Secondly, there was the separatist movement of parts of the realm, chief among which was the Jewish state, imitated by lesser units, both tribal chiefs and individual cities. The principal external powers were Parthia, Egypt and Rome, The Parthians had won their independence about 190 B.C. and, having established themselves the highlands east of Mesopotamia, menaced the river valleys from that position, as highlanders had done since the dawn of history. Ptolemy VI, Philometor, had inherited the fundamental principle of his house of controlling the south of Syria if possible, and by supporting Balas and marrying him to his daughter Cleopatra Thea, he was now in a position to dominate the whole Seleucid empire. The pressure of Rome was less immediate and less consistent. The degenerate descendants of those Senators who had preserved the Republic through the terrible days of the Hannibalic war and had demonstrated the might of the West against the kings of Macedon and Antiochus III, the Great, were quite incapable of a coherent foreign policy, and they were presently to be absorbed by expeditions to Greece and Africa, and then by civil strife of their own. But the war of Antiochus the Great was not forgotten; no Seleucid king could presume to challenge Rome, and the Senate’s jealousy spent itself in encouraging any element that might be embarrassing to the ruler of Syria.
Alexander Balas was incompetent. The Senate had recognized him as pretender, and the Jews supported him because he had allowed the Hasmonaean house to reestablish its power in Judea. Making his capital Ptolemais instead of Antioch, he relied heavily on the power of Egypt. But he was presently confronted in the north by a legitimate heir, Demetrius’ son and namesake, who was backed by a force of mercenaries under a Cretan captain named Lasthenes. Ptolemy began an invasion of Syria in support of his protégé, but they soon fell out; and he transferred his interest to the young Demetrius, to whom Cleopatra Thea was now given in marriage. Fighting broke out between the former allies, as a result of which both Alexander and Ptolemy lost their lives, leaving Demetrius II,
Nicator, in undisputed control in 145. But he labored under great disadvantages. He was inexperienced, and his commander Lasthenes frankly regarded the empire as plunder for his mercenary troops. There were riots in Antioch, and a great fire. Meanwhile an official, who took the name of Tryphon, brought from the desert a young son of Alexander whom he proclaimed as Antiochus VI, Dionysus. They won Antioch and controlled Apamea, and Tryphon felt so sure of himself that he put the young Antiochus out of the way and assumed sovereignty himself, the first to sit on the throne of Seleucus who made no claim to connection with the royal line. Dangers came from other quarters as well. In the course of the civil war, the Jews became practically independent and, in the East, Mithradates I of Parthia overran Babylonia. That was a loss so vital - so destructive of the very essence of the empire - that it drove Demetrius to a remarkable decision. In 140 he left his generals to continue the fight against Tryphon, and responded to the appeals of his subjects and allies in the East by leading in person an expedition for the reconquest of Mesopotamia, Cleopatra remaining at Seleucia-ad-Mare which had held out for the legitimate house. Demetrius won some early successes, but the end of the campaign found him a captive in Parthian hands (139).
The opposition to Tryphon was, of course, dealt a stunning blow by this calamity but, before all was lost, the situation was rescued by another son of Demetrius Soter, who came from Side in Pamphylia to the aid of his house, was admitted to Seleucia in 138 and accepted by Cleopatra as her third husband. Antiochus VII, Sidetes, was not only opportune but able. The fortunes of Tryphon began to decline. He lost Antioch, then one southern base after another, and finally met his end at Apamea, where his career had begun. There was again a single, legitimate king of the Seleucid empire. He set himself to the task of restoring the king’s authority, and moved against the Jewish state in force. John Hyrcanus had just become High Priest, and he was not disposed to surrender any of the advantages which the Hasmonaean house had accumulated during the years of imperial confusion. But he was no match for Antiochus, and a compromise was made by which internal affairs were left to the Jews, but the walls of Jerusalem were dismantled, and indemnities and hostages gave the king assurance that Hyrcanus would be a loyal vassal. In 130, accompanied by Hyrcanus, Antiochus set out to win back the Seleucid possessions in the East. He is said to have had an army of 300,000.
As in the previous campaign, the first victories went to the Greeks. Indeed, so impressive was their progress, that Phraates II, the Parthian king, released his royal captive Demetrius and sent him back to Syria to establish a government in opposition to his brother. The act was premature; in 129 the Seleucid army was attacked before it had been concentrated from its winter quarters. Antiochus was killed and such of his force as was not destroyed was forced to serve in the Parthian army. With this defeat the last hope of the Seleucids in the East vanished.
The foregoing sketch is a mere summary of the main course of events, which will be found more fully treated in E. R. Bevan, The House of Seleucus (London, 1902), Chapters XXVIII-XXX, and in A. Bouché-Leclercq, Histoire des Séleucides (Paris, 1913), Chapters X-XII §II. The period which follows has been generally neglected as not only difficult but insignificant as well. Bevan and Bouché-Leclercq dealt with it, as in duty bound, but it forms but a pale postlude to their works. Indeed, there is little here to tempt the historian proper. The dramatis personae are as shadowy and uninteresting a lot as one could hope to find, if one excepts Cleopatra Thea, whose extraordinary fortune it was to be the daughter of a king, the sister of two kings, the wife of three, and the mother of four! The literary sources are fragmentary, sometimes open to suspicion and sometimes contradictory. About all that can be done with the time is to arrange a series of data in the right order. This is what has been done in A. Kuhn’s Beiträge zur Geschichte der Seleukiden vom Tode Antiochus VII bis auf Antiochus XIII Asiatikos, 129-64 V.C. (Altkirch, 1891), a thorough and painstaking work in which all the material known at the time is cited and used. But a good deal of new evidence, chiefly numismatic, has been assembled since then, and it is time that the work was brought up to date. Kuhn himself remarks that a definitive history of the period must await the certain placing of the Seleucid coins in their proper mints. It cannot be maintained that any account can as yet be considered definitive, but the work of various numismatists, chiefly Babelon, Macdonald, Rouvier, and Newell, has greatly clarified the situation.
Phraates at once sent horsemen in pursuit of Demetrius, but he had gone too far to be captured.1 The Parthian then planned to invade Syria at once. If he had done so, the plight of the empire
1 Justin, XXXVIII, 10, 11.
would have been desperate indeed. The loss of Demetrius’ forces and the wastage of the civil war had been weakening enough; when Antiochus’ great army was lost in addition it is plain that Syria must have been entirely unprotected. It was saved by a revolt of Phraates’ Scythian mercenaries which compelled him to march east, and finally cost him his life by the defection of Antiochus’ soldiers whom he had drafted for the campaign.2 Demetrius was left, therefore, to restore the power as best he could. But his position was far from strong. He had no army and he can have had very little money. His wife was estranged, among other things by the fact that during his captivity he had been married to Phraates’ daughter Rhodoguna, by whom he had children. This was presumably part of a scheme of the Parthian king’s for acquiring a position of influence in Syrian affairs, and it is hard to believe Appian’s statement3 that it was on this account that Cleopatra had married Antiochus. But the lack of confidence between them is seen in the fact that she sent her son by Sidetes to Cyzicus to be brought up “from fear of Demetrius”. At the same time her second son by Demetrius, Antiochus Grypus, was sent to be educated at Athens.4 The reunited consorts were certainly alienated later on. The first reign of Demetrius had embittered Antioch against him, the more so because his brother had become very
2 Justin, XLII, 1,1-5; Diodorus, XXXIV, 18.
4 Eusebius, I (Schoene), pp. 257-8, 11. 9-11; Appian, Syr., 68. Cf. the inscription in honor of Craterus, the eunuch who had charge of the son of Sidetes, found at Delos, Michel, No. 1158 A; Dittenberger, OGIS, 256. The family of Demetrius Soter appears thus:
There were also two daughters of Cleopatra and Antiochus VII, both named Laodice, and another son, Antiochus, all of whom died of disease (Eusebius, I, p. 257). The daughter of Demetrius II, and Seleucus, the son of Antiochus VII, had accompanied Sidetes on his Parthian campaign (Eusebius, I, p. 257, 11. 4-8; cf. 9. 255, 1. 45 - p. 257 1.13; Justin XXXVIII, 10, 10). Bouché-Leclercq, p. 386, supposes that this Seleucus was the son of Demetrius II who later ruled for part of a year, and that the Parthians must have released him. He presumably relies on Appian, Syr. 68, who says that Antiochus and Cleopatra had only one son. But Eusebius ays specifically that it was the son of Antiochus whom Phraates captured.
popular. And the cities were beginning to assert a degree of independence which might seriously embarrass the king. Under Alexander Balas, Aradus had a military force of its own, and Marathus could refuse to admit the king’s troops.5 In the same reign had begun an issue of bronze coins put out by Antioch and Seleucia in league, inscribed ΑΔΕΛΦΩΝ ΔΗΜΩΝ, which implied a power of concerted action highly detrimental to the royal authority.6 Nevertheless, Demetrius did establish himself at Antioch, as we know from his coins.7 We also have dated coins of his from the beginning of his reign from Sidon, Tyre and Damascus.8 Such authority as he possessed was restricted to Syria itself and Commagene, with some hold on Cilicia where the mints of Tarsus and Mallus struck fro him.9
The East was permanently lost. Hyspaosines of Charax, who had been an ally of Sidetes, having assumed the title of King, gained possession of Babylon and Seleucia-on-the-Tigris, though his authority does not seem to have reached as far as Dura-Europus on the middle Euphrates, and when he was driven back to his capital on the Persian Gulf, his conqueror was a satrap of the new Parthian king,
5 Diodorus, XXXIII, 5.
6 E. Babelon, Les Rois de Syrie, d’Arménie et de Commagène (Paris, 1890), p. cvii; W. Wroth, Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum, Galatia, Cappadocia, and Syria (London, 1878), pp. 151 f.
Both authorities believe that these coins were struck for the tetrapolis of Antioch, Apamea, Laodicea, and Seleucia, the four cities named by Strabo, XVI, 2, 4. But Seyrig, whose years of experience in Syria give his observations great weight, remarks that, while they are common at Antioch and Seleucia, they are never found at Apamea and Laodicea, which would be impossible if they were struck for all four cities.
7 E. T. Newell, “The Seleucid Mint of Antioch,” American Journal of Numismatics, 1918, pp. 82-84.
8 Sidon: Rouvier, Journal International d’Archéologie Numismatique, V (1902) p. 129, Nos. 1267-1271. The first bears the date ΒΠΡ, that is, October 131 - October 130. If the reading is correct, Sidon must have had advance notice of Phraates’ plan to restore him, for Antiochus was not killed until the winter or spring of 129 (Diodorus, XXXV, 15-17; Justin, XXXVIII, 10, 9-10; Eusebius, I, p. 255; Julius Obsequens, 28. Kuhn gives February as the date).
Tyre: Newell, The Seleucid Coinages of Tyre, a Supplement (Numismatic Notes and Monographs, No. 73, New York, 1936), p. 33, Nos. 154-157.
Damascus: Newell, Late Seleucid Mints in Ake-Ptolemais and Damascus (Numismatic Notes and Monographs, No. 84, New York, 1939), pp. 49 f., No. 67.
9 Bouché-Leclercq, p. 385; Naville Catalogue X (1925) p. 95, Pl. 52, No. 1358. Egger Catalogue XLI (1912) Pl. XX, No. 732. Miss D. H. Cox is preparing a study of the later Seleucid mint of Tarsus, and has permitted me to use her material.
Mallus: Naville Catalogue X (1925) p. 95, Pl. 52, No. 1357. The issue seems to have been extremely small.
Mithradates II.10 Palestine was gone as well. John Hyrcanus, who had returned to his country before the Seleucid defeat, had lost no time in undoing the work of Sidetes. In addition to the territory of which he had effective control, he captured Samaria in central Judea and Madaba across the Jordan, and, by a forcible conversion of the Idumaeans to the south, greatly increased the power of his realm. According to Josephus, he gained the official, if somewhat non-committal approval of Rome.11 It is clear that the restored king needed an army, and equally clear that he could provide no army without funds. Only a long period of quiet recuperation would put Syria again in a position to provide adequate resources for her king. But a chance supplied at once the means to raise an army and the occasion for using it.
The line of the Ptolemies was as involved as that of the Seleucids, and as prolific in civil dissension.12 Ptolemy VI, Philometor, having been killed in battle with his quondam son-in-law, Alexander Balas, his younger brother, Ptolemy VII, Euergetes II, Physcon, who had been relegated to Cyrene, returned to Alexandria, assumed the crown and married Cleopatra (II), his brother’s widow, and his own sister. It was an unhappy marriage, and he was a worthless king. Expelled to Cyprus by the partisans of Cleopatra (II), he took with him, as his second wife, another Cleopatra (III), the daughter of the former and Ptolemy VI, and therefore a sister of Cleopatra Thea. On his subsequent return to Alexandria, the elder Cleopatra (II) fled to Syria to her son-in-law Demetrius, taking the royal treasure with her. She persuaded him to undertake her restoration, promising to make
10 Bellinger, “Hyspaosines of Charax,” Yale Classical Studies, VIII, New Haven, 1942, pp. 53-67.
11 Josephus, Arch. XIII, 9, 1-2. The authenticity of the Senatus consultum which Josephus reports is very doubtful. E. Schürer, Geschichte des jüdischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Christi, 4th Ed., Leipzig, 1901, pp. 262 f.; N. Willrich, Judaica, Göttingen, 1900, pp. 62-85. The question is not important here. For whatever reason, Hyrcanus was so strong that Demetrius could not challenge him.
12 The filiation of the pertinent members is as follows:
him king of Egypt.13 His expedition came to nothing. The army got as far as Pelusium when it was discovered that Antioch and Apamea had revolted and the troops themselves were disloyal.14 Moreover, Ptolemy, like Phraates, had met his foe by planting a rival in his rear. In response to the request of the Antiochenes that he would supply them with a true Seleucid for their king, he sent the son of a business man of Egypt, whom he presented as an adopted son of Antiochus Sidetes.15 Alexander II, who was known by the nickname Zabinas, was installed in Antioch by Egyptian forces in 128, and once more there were two kings in Syria. Alexander made himself popular in Antioch by a great show of filial piety when the Parthian king sent back the body of Antiochus VII,16 and the seat of his power was the Tetrapolis.17
The literary sources give no account of the struggle until the
13 Justin, XXXIX, 1, 2.
14 Justin, XXXIX, 1, 3, gives the name of the leader of the revolt as Tryphon. If this is not a confusion with the earlier pretender of that name, we hear nothing more of the man.
15 Justin, XXXIX, 1, 5. Eusebius, I, pp. 257-8, 11. 22-25, says he was supposed to be a son of Alexander (that is, Balas). Kuhn, p. 12, note 9, and Bevan, p. 249, note 2, dismiss this as an error. Josephus, Arch., XIII, 9, 3, says nothing about his not being a genuine Seleucid.
16 Justin, XXXIX, 1, 6.
17 Bevan, p. 249, p. 252, note 1, and Bouché-Leclercq, p. 393, assume that Demetrius still controlled part of upper Syria. Bevan speaks of the situation with “the legitimate king holding the coast, with his base at Seleucia, and the usurper holding Antioch and the middle Orontes.” But how can Ptolemy’s forces have installed Alexander in Antioch except through Seleucia? When, at the end of his career, Alexander sought to escape, he went to Seleucia (according to Diodorus, XXXIV. 28 f.), which only refused to receive him because of his sacrilege at Antioch. He would hardly have made the attempt if the town had been in enemy hands, and we know of no time subsequent to his first arrival when he could have conquered it. Bouché-Leclercq and Bevan believe that the abolition of the federation of the adelphoi demoi in 128 was a consequence of the division of the cities of the Tetrapolis between the rivals. Kuhn, however, p. 13, note 1, believes that it was abolished by Demetrius. Why Bevan considers this “impossible,” I do not understand. Doubtless the cause could have been the conditions he assumes, but to use the fact as a proof of the conditions is hysteron-proteron. As a matter of fact, I do not know what evidence there is that the federation lasted so long. The coins go no later than 147/6. An isolated fragment of Diodorus, XXXIV, 22, reports the revolt of three officers of Alexander: Antipater, Clonius, and Aeropus. He besieged them in Laodicea and took the town, but subsequently forgave them. Bouché-Leclercq, p. 393, connects this with the war with Demetrius and thinks it is Laodicea of the Tetrapolis. Bevan, p. 251, connects it with the war against Grypus, as does Kuhn, p. 17. Bevan thinks it is Laodicea-Berytus (cf. Babelon, p. cli; Rouvier, Journal International d’Archéologie Numismatique, III , p. 269). There is nothing to support any of these contentions. The incident certainly cannot be used to prove that Alexander did not control Laodicea-ad-Mare at the beginning of his reign.
very end, and we have to deduce what we can from the coins Demetrius struck in Ptolemais in 128/7 and 127/6.18 He evidently made this his capital when he was excluded from Antioch.19 In Tyre and Damascus he continued to strike until 126/5, in Sidon until 127/6. There are also coins of Demetrius from Seleucia Pieria and from Berytus (Laodicea in Phoenicia), but as they are not dated, they give no precise information.20 Of Alexander’s issues from Antioch, only the bronze of 129/8 and 128/7 is dated, though the silver certainly lasted through 124/3. He also struck at Ascalon, Berytus, Tripolis, and Tarsus, but whether before or after his victory over Demetrius we cannot tell.21 The final battle was fought near Damascus in 127/6 and, since we know from the coinage that the city was in Demetrius’ hands at the beginning of that year, Alexander must have been invading his rival’s territory. Demetrius was beaten, and fled to Ptolemais, but Cleopatra Thea shut the gates against him.
18 Newell, Late Seleucid Mints, pp. 4-10, Nos. 1-6. The mints of Tyre, Sidon and Ptolemais, which had been accustomed to issue “Ptolemaic” tetradrachms, of Phoenician weight and with an eagle for reverse type, now struck tetradrachms of Attic standard as well. At Ptolemais these were in greater quantity than the Phoenician coins.
19 There is no basis for the hypothesis of Bouché-Leclercq, p. 386, that Cleopatra Thea held Ptolemais while Demetrius reigned alone at Antioch. The fact that the mint of Ptolemais struck only after he had lost Antioch, and then struck dated silver in his name indicates that it was a stronghold of his to which he transferred the capital. We know of no open hostility between him and his wife until after his defeat.
20 Tyre: Newell, The Seleucid Coinages of Tyre, p. 34, Nos. 177-181.
Damascus: Newell, Late Seleucid Mints, pp. 52 f., Nos. 75-77.
Sidon: Rouvier, Journal International d’Archéologie Numismatique, V (1902), p. 129, No. 1271.
Seleucia Pieria: Macdonald, Zeitschrift für Numismatik, XXIX (1912), p. 100, No. 29.
Berytus: Rouvier, op. cit., (1900) p. 268, No. 452.
21 Antioch: Newell, “Seleucid Mint of Antioch,” pp. 88 f.
Ascalon: Imhoof-Blumer, Monnaies Grecques, p. 436, No. 114.
Berytus: Rouvier, op. cit., p. 269, No. 456.
Tripolis: Babelon, p. 171, Nos. 1333 f., Pl. XXIII, 16. He attributes the second coin to Aradus, on the strength of the monogram, and is followed by Rouvier, Journal International d’Archéologie Numismatique, III (1900), p. 149, No. 104. But there is no reason for separating this piece from the preceding, which has the same types: Prow, r., surmounted by Caps of the Dioscuri / Tripod. The obverse type appears as a reverse on coins of Tripolis, 84/3 B.C., G. F. Hill, Catalogue of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Phoenicia, London (1910), p. 203, Nos. 15-17, Pl. XXVI, 9. The evidence of the monogram, in itself weak, is further weakened by the fact, all through this period, Aradus was striking an abundance of autonomous silver and bronze. Hill, op. cit., pp. 23-38. Babelon’s coins are both to be attributed to Tripolis.
Tarsus: Macdonald, Zeitschrift für Numismatik, XXIX (1912), p. 100, No. 30.
He went to Tyre, hoping to take refuge in the temple of Melqart, but was killed on a ship in the harbor.22
Damascus passed into Alexander’s hands, but Cleopatra continued to hold Ptolemais which she made ΙΕΡΑ ΚΑΙ ΑΣΥΛΟΣ.23 She undoubtedly intended to keep the power herself, for when Seleucus, her son by Demetrius, presumed to declare himself king without authorization from her, she promptly had him assassinated.24 She then assumed the throne in her own name, and unprecedented act even for the ambitious Seleucid princesses. Tetradrachms of 126/5, struck at Ptolemais, with her portrait and the legend Βασιλισσα Κλεοπατρα Θεα Ευετηρια bear witness to the brief experiment.25 But the situation was now transformed by an about-face on the part of Ptolemy. As Philometor had abandoned the first Alexander, so Physcon abandoned the second, whose success had now gone to his head.26 The King of Egypt came to an understanding with his former wife Cleopatra (II), who agreed to return to Alexandria as queen-mother, and he formed an alliance with the son of Demetrius, Antiochus, nicknamed Grypus on account of his hooked nose – an alliance sealed by a marriage of Grypus to Cleopatra Tryphaena, Ptolemy’s daughter by his second wife and niece Cleopatra (III).27 Grypus returned to Ptolemais, where his mother consented to associate him in her rule as Antiochus Epiphanes Philometer Callinicus. The fact that she intended him to be king in name only while she kept all the power is shown by the placing of her portrait ahead of his on the coins of their joint reign, which continued until 121/0.28
Seeing the legitimate house strengthened by such reinforcements, Alexander’s followers began to desert him. In 123/2 there was a battle at some place unknown in which he was defeated. He fled to
22 Justin, XXXIX, 1, 7-8; Josephus, Arch., XIII, 9, 3; Appian, Syr., 68; Livy, Epit., LX; Eusebius, I, pp. 257-8. Cf. John of Antioch, FHG, IV, p. 561, who gives a hopelessly garbled account. The sources do not agree on the responsibility for his death. Justin says he was killed by order of the Governor; Livy says he was killed by Cleopatra; Josephus reports that he was killed after being tortured by those who hated him. If the order came from Cleopatra, as Bevan supposes (p. 250), the Tyrians profited by the deed, for they promptly affirmed their independence, issuing autonomous coins whose era begins in 126/5. Cf. AJA, 1937, p. 456.
23 Newell, Late Seleucid Mints, p. 20.
24 Justin XXXIX, 1, 9; Livy, Epit., LX; Eusebius, I, pp. 257-8; Appian, Syr., 69, says she killed him herself. Kuhn, p. 15, debates the question whether Demetrius was immediately succeeded by Cleopatra or by Seleucus. He comes to the conclusion that Cleopatra reigned both before and after her son. In any case, Seleucus’ reign lasted less than a year.
25 Newell, Late Seleucid Mints, pp. 10-13, No. 7.
26 Justin, XXXIX, 2, 1.
27 Justin, XXXIX, 2, 2-3. Grypus was only 15 at the time (Kuhn, p. 15).
Antioch, but was unable to renew the contest since he had no money to pay his troops, and he feared the fickle temper of the populace. In these straits he took to plundering the shrines; he appropriated the golden statue of Victory from the temple of Zeus, saying in jest that “Zeus had given him victory.” A few days later he was discovered trying to have the immense statue of Zeus himself removed. The resulting tumult was so serious that he gathered the royal treasure and tried to escape by way of Seleucia. But the people of Seleucia, having heard of his impiety, refused to let him in. He therefore fled along the seacoast toward Posideium, but he was overtaken by a great storm, deserted by his companions, and captured by pirates who brought him to Grypus, who had him executed or allowed him to poison himself.29 The capture of Damascus must followed that of Antioch, for while dated coins of Antioch for 123/2 are in the name of Cleopatra and Antiochus, those of Damascus for that year were struck in the name of Alexander; the first issues of Cleopatra and Antiochus there are for the year 122/1. They struck at Sidon in the same year, but as there had been no Sidonian coins since those of Demetrius in 127/6, we do not know in what year it returned to the legitimate house or, indeed, whether Alexander had ever held it.30
28 Newell, Late Seleucid Mints, pp. 13-23, Nos. 8-21. There is no issue known for 123/2. Justin, XXXIX, 1, 9. The order of events in Justin has led to the assumption that Grypus was in Ptolemais at the time of Demetrius’ death, and that his accession was an act of policy or prudence on the part of Cleopatra. But if he had been sent to Athens to be educated at the time of Demetrius’ return, which is implied by Appian, Syr., 69, it is hard to see why he should have been brought home again three years later. And if Cleopatra’s determination to rule was strong enough to cause her to assassinate her elder son, why, without outside pressure, should she accept joint rule with a younger son? But if the marriage to Tryphaena, the return to Ptolemais, and the joint rule were all incident to an alliance with Ptolemy which would insure victory over Alexander, the facts are explained.
29 Justin, XXXIX, 2, 5-6; Diodorus, XXXIV, 28f.; Josephus, Ant., XIII, 9, 3 (269); Eusebius I, pp. 257-8. The last reports the suicide; Josephus merely records his defeat and death; all the particulars come from the first two authorities. It is remarkable that, while they never actually contradict one another, neither do they at any point confirm each other’s account. If their versions derive, as is generally assumed, from a common source, that is Posidonius, it is extraordinary that they should exhibit no common feature.
30 Antioch: “Seleucid Mint of Antioch,” pp. 91f.
Damascus: Late Seleucid Mints, p. 58, Nos. 84f.
Sidon: Babelon, p. 174, No. 1352.
Macdonald (Zeitschrift für Numismatik, XXIX , p. 101, No. 31) has published a bronze piece, dated in 124/3, which he believes to have been struck at Aradus, bearing a portrait which he identifies as that of Alexander. This is a curious coin, if correctly identified, for Aradus had been coining municipal tetradrachms with no mention of the kings since 138/7 (Newell, Miscellanea Numismatica: Cyrene to India [Numismatic Notes and Monographs, No. 82, New York, 1938], p. 35).
The pretender was now eliminated, but Antiochus VIII still had to deal with his imperious mother. His victory had given him a degree of independence which she could not tolerate and she tried to poison him. But the plot was discovered and he forced her to drink the cup she had prepared for him.31 The following years are a blank in the record. Justin32 reports that they were years of peace both for Grypus and for the kingdom, which explains the lack of incidents recorded, though it is certainly of great importance. It was this period of quiet which allowed the royal resources to recuperate in spite of the extravagance of the games which were celebrated at Daphne.33 Of his foreign relations we know only that he did not feel himself strong enough to interfere with the Parthians, either when troubles on their eastern frontier might have tempted him to repeat the adventure of his father in Mesopotamia or later when the power of Mithradates II was absorbing more and more of what had been Seleucid territory. Inscriptions from Delos show that he was on good terms with Romans, for not only are there bases of two statues set up to him for benefits conferred on the island, but he himself erected a statue of the Roman praetor Gn. Papirius.34
There was a domestic reason for his lack of activity, even when he was directly challenged, as he was by the uncompromising independence assumed by Hyrcanus of Judaea. He is reported to have been afraid to make war because he heard that preparations were being made against him in Cyzicus by his half-brother, that Antiochus the son of Sidetes whom Cleopatra Thea had sent out of harm’s way on the return of Demetrius.35 An attempt to poison him, in which Grypus was said to be “worthy of his mother,” failed;36 some hostile moves seem to have been made before 114 but we do not know what they were.37
In 114/3 began a civil war between the two sons of Cleopatra Thea from which the house never recovered. We do not know what forces the younger, known by the nickname Cyzicenus, brought from
31 Justin, XXXIX, 2, 7; Appian, Syr., 69. He still retained the title Philometor!
32 XXXIX, 2, 9.
33 Posidonius, frag. 31 F.H.G., III, p. 263, gives a list of the valuables distributed by Grypus.
34 Dittenberger, Orientis Graeci Inscriptiones Selectae, I, pp. 421f., Nos. 258-260.
35 Josephus, Ant., XIII, 10, 1 (270).
36 Appian, Syr., 69; Justin, XXXIX, 2, 10.
the north, but they were enough to drive Grypus from the most, if not all of his kingdom. Antioch was lost before October, and within a year Tarsus in the north, Ptolemais, Sidon, Ascalon, and probably Tripolis on the coast, and Damascus in the inferior fell to the invader.38 Moreover, Cyzicenus seems to have had an understanding with the Parthians, for they appear to have taken possession of Dura at this time.39 The new monarch, under the name of Antiochus IX, Philopator, seemed to be in control of the whole realm. The situation was now complicated by interference from Egypt where, after the death of Ptolemy VII, Physcon, in 117, his widow Cleopatra (III) was showing herself worthy of the most violent traditions of the house.40 She forced her eldest son Ptolemy VIII to divorce one sister, Cleopatra (IV) to whom he was much attached, and marry another, Selene. The rejected princess fled to Syria where she offered herself as a wife to Cyzicenus, bringing as a dowry the army of Cyprus which she had won over.41 This reinforcement might be expected to have put
37 The evidence, discussed by Kuhn, p. 19, is that Livy, Periocha LXII closes with the words “praeterea motus Syriae regumque continet.” Since Periocha LXII begins with the consulate of Q. Marcius in 118 and Periocha LXIII with that of C. Porcius in 114, these “motus” must come between those dates, and there seems to be nothing that can be referred to except the contest of the half-brothers. This was used with misinterpreted numismatic material to prove that the attack of Cyzicenus came in 117/6, the date accepted by Kuhn, Bouché-Leclercq, and Bevan. In fact however there is no numismatic evidence for 117/6, and Eusebius and Justin are explicit in dating the end of Grypus’ rule in 113. Doubtless there was some preliminary campaigning before he was driven from the capital.
38 The numismatic evidence is presented in Excursus I and will not be repeated here. The only literary notice of war in Cilicia is Trogus, Prol. XXXIX. We may conjecture that Grypus took refuge in Seleucia Pieria.
39 Shown by their countermarks on coins of Grypus; Bellinger, “Seleucid Dura: the Evidence of the Coins,” Berytus IX (1948), pp. 51-67.
40 The complexity of the family has become almost too much for typography to cope with. The persons essential to the history of Syria may be shown as follows:
The numbering of the Ptolemies is that used by the Cambridge Ancient History and Jouguet’s L’Egypte Ptolémaique. Bevan calls these Ptolemies IX, X, and XI, counting two infant reigns which other authorities ignore. Bouché-Leclercq calls them VII, X, and XI.
41 Justin, XXXIX, 3, 3.
him in a commanding position, but the effect of Grypus’ years of peace now began to show. Justin’s words, “par igitur iam viribus fratris Cyzicenus proelium committit,”42 are best explained on the supposition that Cyzicenus’ army, while sufficient to drive out Grypus in an initial campaign, was not large enough to garrison and hold the cities it had won. At any rate he was beaten and fled to Antioch, from which he escaped before Grypus laid to siege to the place, leaving Cleopatra to defend the city. He withdrew to Damascus or Ptolemais, which continued to be his bases.43 Grypus entered the capital in the summer of 112, and the city’s fall was the occasion for a particularly bloody episode in the royal tragedy. Tryphaena, Grypus’ wife, was implacably hostile to her sister Cleopatra and, in spite of her husband’s protests, demanded and secured her execution, doubly shocking because the unfortunate victim had taken sanctuary in a temple which was desecrated by her murder. The crime was speedily avenged, for in the next year Cyzicenus recaptured Antioch and executed Tryphaena.44 Grypus’ Roman connections now stood him in good stead, for he found refuge in Aspendus, which had passed to Rome with the rest of the territory of Attalus III in 133.45 He also undoubtedly had help from Egypt, for in 112/1 his portrait supplants that of Cyzicenus on the coins of Ascalon. It is most unlikely that he could have spared a force for the recapture of this remote city at a time when his capital was lost for him, but nothing is more probable than that Cleopatra (III) should take steps to see that a place on the very borders of Egypt should be in the hands of her ally rather than in those of her enemy.
Between July and October 111 Grypus recovered Antioch and Tarsus, only to lose them again in 110/9. In 109/8 however, Grypus captured not only Antioch but Damascus, and in the next year Tarsus as well. Thereafter the elder brother kept his hold on Antioch and Cilicia and ruled most of Syria, though the younger maintained himself
42 XXXIX, 3, 4.
43Late Seleucid Mints, p. 72.
44 Justin XXXIX, 3, 12; “Seleucid Mint of Antioch,” pp. 97f.
45 Eusebius, I, pp. 259f. Bouché-Leclercq dates the retirement to Aspendus in 113/2, in spite of Eusebius’ explicit statement, because he regards the interval between Grypus’ flight and his return according to Eusebius insufficient to contain all the facts. That is, he assumes that Grypus went to Aspendus after his first defeat and did not return until 111. But as we know (“Seleucid Mint of Antioch,&rdquo p. 98) that Grypus was in Antioch in 112, any advantage in plausibility from revising Eusebius’ date is lost. From this sojourn in Aspendus, Grypus acquired the nickname “Aspendius,” to match his half-brother’s “Cyzicenus.”
on the coast, with periods of controlling Damascus also.46 From these years of alternating fortunes we have one document of interest and importance: a letter from Grypus to Ptolemy IX, Alexander, announcing that he had conferred freedom on the people of Seleucia in return for their loyalty to his father and their steadfast good will to him in his times of crisis. The document is dated in September, 109, that is during the interval when Antioch was in the hands of his rival, which makes it likely that Seleucia was his refuge during the first and third reigns of Cyzicenus in the capital.47 Antiochus addresses his correspondent as “his brother King Ptolemy Alexander.” Now this Ptolemy, the younger son of Cleopatra (III) had been sent as governor to Cyprus in 113/2 and was not officially king in Alexandria until 108/7, when his mother exiled her elder son and summoned the younger one. But apparently there was a party ready to grant him the royal title earlier, and the disagreement between the queen mother and Ptolemy VIII, Lathyrus may have been preceded by intrigues of which we have no record.48
One aspect of the struggle between Ptolemy Lathyrus and his mother was disagreement as to the treatment of the Jews. Both in Alexandria and Cyprus there were important communities of Jews whom Cleopatra favored for the reason, or with the result that she was on cordial terms with Hyrcanus in Palestine. He, with an impartial scorn of both the Syrian kings, attacked Samaria about 108 and besieged it with elaborate works. The Samaritans appealed to Cyzicenus,49 who came to their assistance readily enough, but was beaten and had retire to Scythopolis. At this point he disappears from the account, but it is possible that the Samaria expedition was only an
46 This division of the land is assigned by Eusebius to the period immediately succeeding the return from Aspendus. But the coins necessitate our making a place for a third reign of Cyzicenus in Antioch and Tarsus.
47 The letter is preserved, together with a fragment of the accompanying letter of Antiochus to Seleucia, in an inscription from Cyprus, most recently published by C. B. Welles, Royal Correspondence in the Hellenistic Period, (New Haven, 1934), Nos. 71f., pp. 289-294. It has been generally assumed that the writer is Grypus, but Bouché-Leclercq, p. 603, as part of his argument that Grypus never recovered Antioch after his defeat in 113, maintains that the writer must be Cyzicenus. It is ironical that he insists, against the other authorities, that Cyzicenus must have held Antioch in 110/9 (in which he was right), as a means of proving, against the other authorities, that he held it continuously from 113 on (in which he was wrong).
48 Welles, op.cit., p. 291.
49 This is the account of Josephus, Ant., XIII, 10, 2 (276). The same author in Bell. Jud. I, 2, 7, says that the appeal was made to “Aspendius,” that is Grypus. In view of the subsequent events, we must conclude that this is an error in the earlier work, corrected in the later.
incident in large operations which led to the recapture of Damascus.50 At any rate his defeat was not so serious as to dissuade the Samaritans from appealing to him again. This time he asked for 6,000 men from Ptolemy Lathyrus who supplied them against his mother’s will. Even thus reinforced he was unable to raise the siege and retired to Tripolis, leaving two of his generals to conduct further operations. But one was killed and the other is said to have betrayed Scythopolis and other places to the Jews.51 In November52 Samaria was taken and utterly destroyed.
Meanwhile the rupture between Cleopatra (III) and her elder son became complete. She found him a burden and drove him from Alexandria, taking away his wife Selene. At the same time she summoned her younger son, Alexander, from Cyprus and made him king. Lathyrus himself took refuge in Cyprus where he built up a considerable force, for the soldiers whom Cleopatra sent after him promptly deserted to him, all except the Jews.53 Yet he withdrew from the island, according to Justin, out of reluctance to make war on his mother, though his army was not inferior. It was apparently at this period that he found himself shut up in Seleucia and in some danger from plots.54 At some time, however, he regained Cyprus, for we find him as king of the island in 104/3.55
Meanwhile Grypus and Cyzicenus had reached a stalemate: Josephus says of them: “they were affected as athletes are who have exhausted their strength but are ashamed to yield and prolong the contest by a pause for rest.” Clearly the resources of both sides could not stand the strain. Neither of the contestants seems to have had any talent for
50 On the assumptions that the bronzes referred to by Newell, Late Seleucid Mints, p. 77, were struck at Damascus, the ones marked ΕΣ must represent the capture of the eastern capital in 108/7, for Grypus had coined tetradrachms there in ΔΣ and ΕΣ op.cit., pp. 73f., Nos. 111-113.
51 According to Josephus in Ant. XIII, 10, 3 (280); in Bell. Jud. I, 2, 7, no mention is made of betrayal; the Jewish army is said to have taken Scythopolis and overrun all the country south of Carmel after the fall of Samaria.
52 Josephus, Ant. (Loeb Edition), p. 369, note d.
53 Justin XXXIX, 4, 1-2; Josephus, Ant. XIII, 10, 4 (287).
54 Diodorus XXXIV, 39a. The fragment is without context, but there is no reason to reject the general assumption that in speaking of “the elder Ptolemy” it refers to Lathyrus. This is one of the arguments used by Bouché-Leclercq (p. 603) against the theory that the letter about the people of Seleucia was written by Antiochus VIII. If Grypus held Seleucia in 109/8 he does not believe that Lathyrus, the ally of Cyzicenus, would have sought asylum there shortly thereafter. But if his forces were as strong as Justin says, he might have seized the port. Whatever the facts, we hear no more of Seleucia during the war of the brothers.
55 Josephus, Ant. XIII, 12, 2 (328).
economy. The lavishness of Grypus has already been mentioned; a fragment of Diodorus56 preserves the tradition that Cyzicenus was an essentially unkingly man, devoted to sports, curiosities, and trifles. From 108/7 to 104/3 we do not know what they were doing, but they were getting no stronger for it appears that by the latter date the silver coinage of Grypus from Antioch and Tarsus ceased, while the rival silver of Cyzicenus likewise disappeared.57 Undoubtedly they were increasingly ignored by the cities theoretically in their power, as we know they were in the case of Ptolemais.
In 104 Hyrcanus died and was succeeded for a year by his son Aristobulus who took the title of king and carried out the conquest and conversion of Galilee in the north of Palestine. On his death the throne passed to his brother Alexander Jannaeus, who set about the conquest of the coast cities not already in Jewish hands.58 In 103 he attacked Ptolemais which, having nothing to hope for from either of the Seleucid kings, sent an appeal for help to Lathyrus in Cyprus, intimating that he would have as allies Sidon, Gaza and other cities, and Zoilus, tyrant of Strato’s Tower and Dora. On second thought the people of Ptolemais decided that the danger of reprisals from Cleopatra (III) was more than the alliance with Lathyrus was worth, but he set sail all the same and landed an army to the north of the besieged town. There followed a war in which Cleopatra and Alexander Jannaeus were allied against Lathyrus who acquired Gaza as a base and made an unsuccessful attempt on Egypt. Cleopatra, fearing that an alliance between him and Cyzicenus might be too much for her sent reinforcements to Grypus and Selene as a wife who had been married to Lathyrus.59 But if either of the Syrian kings took any action, we have no notice of it. The campaigns in the South might favor one Egyptian faction or another, the expanding Jewish state or the stubborn Greek cities, but they could bring no success
56 XXXIX, 34.
57 “Seleucid Mint of Antioch,” p. 107; Late Seleucid Mints, pp. 76f.
58 Josephus, Ant. XIII, 12, 2 (324), says that there were only Ptolemais, Gaza, Strato’s Tower, and Dora, of which the last two were held by the tyrant Zoilus. This, of course, takes no account of the cities north of Ptolemais. If the list is correct Ascalon must have been conquered by the Jews at some time unknown.
59 Josephus, Ant. XIII, 12, 3-13, 2 (330-352); Justin XXXIX, 4, 4. Mrs. A. B. Brett has commented on the numismatic evidence of Lathyrus’ activities on the coast (“A New Cleopatra Tetradrachm of Ascalon,” AJA XLI , pp. 452-463), pointing out that a tetradrachm of Ascalon identified by Macdonald (ZfN , pp. 103f., No. 38) as a coin of Grypus of 102/1 is really an issue of Ptolemy X Lathyrus of 84. Evidently Ascalon was rescued from the Jews at some point in this campaign.
or profit to the half-brothers deadlocked in a struggle neither of them had the power to bring to an end. Grypus took Damascus in 104/3 and seems to have been ousted by 102/1, but Antioch changed hands no more until 96, when Grypus was murdered by his minister of war Heracleon, who seized the throne.60 He could not compete, however, with Cyzicenus who now occupied Antioch and Tarsus for the last time, showing on his coins an unlovely face, shorn of the beard of its younger days but looking not the less old for that. But the king still had attraction enough of one kind or another to become the third husband of Selene, his brother’s widow.61
Perhaps in part as a consequence of this marriage his old ally Ptolemy Lathyrus now deserted him and installed the fourth son of Grypus as king in Damascus with the title Demetrius Theus Philopator Soter.62 Perhaps, on the other hand, he had by now become indifferent to the fortunes of his former wife and opposed Cyzicenus only because a Seleucid King without a rival did not suite his interests. At any rate he brought Demetrius from Cnidus and had him in the capital of Coele-Syria by 96/5.63
At the same time Grypus’ eldest son Seleucus was preparing to win back the throne of his father by raising an army, apparently on the coast of Cilicia.64 His uncle marched out from Antioch against
60 Josephus, Ant. XIII, 13, 4 (365); Trogus, Prol. XXXIX; Eusebius I, pp. 259f.; Posidonius, Frag. 36 (FHG III, p. 265). Strabo XVI, 2, 7, speaks of Bambyce, Beroea, and Heraclea as once ruled by Dionysius the son of Heracleon. If this Heracleon is meant, he may have carved out a little separate principality for himself though Beroea was in the hands of a dynast named Straton eight years later. There is no evidence that Heracleon ever reigned in Antioch or Damascus.
61 Appian, Syr. 69.
62 Josephus, Ant. XIII, 13, 4 (370). Grypus had left five sons:
There was also a daughter, Laodice Thea Philadelphus, who was married to Mithradates I Callinicus of Commagene (Babelon, pp. ccixf.).
63Late Seleucid Mints, pp. 78f., Nos. 115-118. It is usual to treat of Demetrius after Philip because the sequence in Josephus’ account makes it sound as though it was only after Philip became king that Ptolemy installed Demetrius, and this has had its influence on most of the accounts; e.g. Bouché-Leclercq (p. 419) suggests that hatred of Antiochus X, Selene’s fourth husband may have been responsible for Ptolemy’s change of alliance. But the Damascus coins of 96/5 have long been known – Bouché-Leclercq cites them himself on the same page – and Antiochus X cannot have married Selene until after the death of Cyzicenus in 95.
him, but was defeated and put to death by his captor, or, as another version has it, committed suicide and so escaped capture.65
The disintegration of the realm during these disastrous years is sufficiently clear. The growing independence of the cities within, the increasing interference from Egypt, the expansion of the Jewish Kingdom were all elements in the Seleucid decline. There was, moreover, a sudden rise in the importance of the Nabataean Arabs, whose king Aretas II (110-96) whom Justin calls Hermotimus, relying (as well he might!) on his 700 sons, “attacked now Egypt and now Syria, and made the name of the Arabs great while his neighbors’ powers were exhausted.”66 But Justin in the same chapter calls attention to a menace more serious because more stable. By 102 there was a Roman governor in Cilicia as a consequence of the war against the pirates, though the extent of his authority is unknown, and in 96 Ptolemy Apion died and willed Cyrene to the Roman Republic. This nearness of the western power hemmed in Syria and Egypt and, in Justin’s opinion, increased their tendency to fight with each other by restraining them from wars of conquest abroad. Probably no one as yet foresaw the final absorption of both Hellenistic monarchies by the westerners, but from this time on the Romans were a factor in the international situation of the Near East which no one could ignore.
The feud of the half-brothers duly descended to their sons. Seleucus captured Antioch in 95 and held it long enough to issue two sets of coins whose different monograms show that they belong to different Seleucid years.67 But Cyzicenus also had an heir. He came to Aradus and there assumed the diadem as Antiochus (X) Eusebes
64 Tetradrachms of his sometimes attributed to Seleucia on the Calycadnus are better assigned to Elaeusa (American Numismatic Society, Museum Notes III, 1948, pp. 27-30). These, of course, might have been struck after his defeat by Antiochus X, but it is much more likely that they are the money used to finance his first campaign. The fact that he retreated to Cilicia implies that he had bases there, (though his uncle held Tarsus), and Josephus’ phrase γενομενς εν τη Μοψου εστια παλιν αυτους εισεπραττε χρηματα (Ant. XIII, 13, 4, ) shows that he had raised funds from Mopsuestia on some occasion before the final catastrophe, presumably to assist him before he won Antioch.
65 The first version is given by Josephus, Ant. XIII, 13, 4 (366); the latter by Eusebius, pp. 259f.
66 Justin, XXXIX, 5, 6.
67 “Seleucid Mint of Antioch,” pp. 111-113. The minor silver and the bronze, all belonging to the second series, show the king with a slight beard. There are also bronze doubles and units from some other mint. Catalogue of the Hunterian Collection III, p. 109, Nos. 10f.
Philopator.68 He also took to wife his father’s widow, the much married Selene.69 He lost no time in attacking Seleucus, whose rule in Antioch may well have been unpopular, since Appian calls him violent and exceedingly tyrannical. At any rate he was driven out of Syria and back to Mopsuestia in Cilicia, where an attempt to raise more money brought him to a violent end.70
He was quickly avenged by his twin brothers Antiochus and Philip who were both named Epiphanes Philadelphus. They took Mopsuestia by storm and destroyed it. Then they prepared to resume the fight against Eusebes from some base in north Syria. Philip maintained himself there while for a time Antiochus XI Philadelphus supplanted Antiochus X Eusebes in Antioch.71 But a counter-attack by Eusebes beat him near the capital and he was drowned in the Orontes in the ensuing flight.72 Thereupon Philip, who was still in command of part of Syria “put on the diadem” according to Josephus; Antiochus had evidently had precedence, as shown by the fact that his portrait is in
68 Josephus, Ant. XIII, 13, 4 (367). This must mean that he made an alliance with Aradus, for the autonomous tetradrachms of that city beginning in 137 show that it was independent, and he was certainly in no condition to force it into submission.
69 Appian, Syr. 69. This is more then Bevan can believe, and he records his suspicion that there were actually two Selenes whom the authorities have confused (Appendix W, p. 304). At least the confusion must have been complete before Appian’s time, for he says specifically that this Selene had been the wife of both Grypus and Cyzicenus and thinks, in consequence, that the name Eusebes must have been given Antiochus as a joke.
70 There are three versions: Josephus, Ant. XIII, 13, 4 (368) says that the mob burned him and his friends in the palace; Appian, Syr. 69 says that he was burned in the gymnasium; while according to Eusebius I, pp. 259-262, he learned of the plot to burn him and committed suicide. It is easier to see how the fire could have been converted into an escape from the holocaust by suicide than how so spectacular an assassination could have been invented and inserted into the tradition. Also it seems more likely that the mob burned down the palace than the town’s gymnasium; perhaps the riot originated in the gymnasium. Josephus has the likeliest version and he is, of course, the oldest authority. It is odd that here, as well as in recording of the deaths of Alexander Balas and Cyzicenus, Eusebius differs from the other historians in reporting suicides instead of executions. Can this be an attempt of his source Porphyrius to tone down somewhat the horrors of the Seleucid house?
71 “Seleucid Mint of Antioch,” pp. 115-117; below, Excursus II.
72 Josephus, Ant. XIII, 13, 4 (369) speaks of Antiochus alone in this battle. Eusebius I, pp. 261f. (both Armenian and Greek versions) speaks as though both Antiochus and Philip were defeated. Undoubtedly their combined forces were engaged, but since Antiochus alone perished it is probable that he commanded the forces while Philip was left at his base. Eusebius indicates no interval between the destruction of Mopsuestia and the battle, but the numismatic evidence proves the occupation of Antioch. Indeed, the evidence is stronger than the single tetradrachm and single bronze known to Newell, for Naville X, No. 1520 is a second tetradrachm of Antiochus XI with a beard! The beard is not impressive, but it could hardly have been produced in the “few weeks” which Newell allows for his reign. It may all have come within the year 93, however.
front of his brother’s on their common coin, but as Philip is already “King” on that coin, his brother’s death can have affected his position only, and not his royalty.
Demetrius now came to Philip’s assistance and together they fought Eusebes for the control of Syria. An added menace was the expansion of Parthia by Mithradates II. Laodice, the queen of some unknown tribe, summoned Eusebes to her assistance and he was killed in battle with the Parthians.73 The Parthian advance was none the less checked. In 92 the activity of Mithradates Eupator of Pontus had alarmed Rome. He had driven her ally Ariobarzanes from Cappadocia and Sulla was sent east to restore him. On the Euphrates Sulla met a Parthian ambassador Orobazus seeking an alliance. The meeting was amicable enough, but the result of the negotiations was so little to the liking of the king of the Parthians that he had Orobazus executed. Clearly, the barbarians were halted.74
It was apparently Demetrius who chiefly benefited by the elimination of his rival. He struck tetradrachms and bronze in Antioch, bronze in Seleucia Pieria and probably in Tripolis,75 and since there
73 There is extraordinary confusion as to the end of Antiochus X, Eusebes. The version given is of Josephus, Ant. XIII, 13, 4 (371). Eusebius I, pp. 261f. says that he was beaten by Philip and fled to the Parthians, later returning to beg for his kingdom from Pompey. This is a confusion with his son Antiochus XIII, Asiaticus. Appian twice (Syr. 48 and 69) says that Eusebes was expelled from his kingdom by Tigranes. This also, I believe, results from a confusion of father and son. Under circumstances the account of Josephus is the most reliable. As to Laodice, cf. Kuhn p. 36, note 6. Bouché-Leclercq (p. 421, note 1) suggests that she may have been queen of Samosata. A bronze coin of Seyrig’s, still unpublished, showing Cleopatra Selene as regent with Antiochus XIII, seems to have been struck at Antioch in 92, and would confirm Josephus’ account of the death of Eusebes at that time.
74 Plutarch, Sulla, V, 4; cf. Velleius Paterculus II, 24, 3. Eusebes may have had some nominal support from Rome if Cicero’s phrase “amicissimo patre” applied to his son Antiochus XIII is to be taken seriously (In Verrem, Book IV, 30). To this period Bouché-Leclercq (p. 421, note 2) would assign Parthian control of Cilicia mentioned by Strabo XIV, 5, 2, but there is nothing else to suggest that they had any command west of Euphrates at this time.
75 Antioch: “Seleucid Mint of Antioch,” pp. 117f.
Seleucia: Percy Gardner, Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum. The Seleucid Kings of Syria, (London, 1878), p. 101, No. 7; Babelon, p. 207, Nos. 1571-1573; George Macdonald, Catalogue of Greek Coins in the Hunterian Collection, (Glasgow, 1899-1905), III, p. 114, Nos. 2-4. It is curious that at Seleucia and Tripolis Demetrius bears the titles Philometor Euergetes Callinicus, whereas Antioch and Damascus have Theus Philopator Soter.
Tripolis: Mionnet Description de Médailles antiques grecques et romaines, Paris, 1806-1837, V, p. 106, No. 929; Eckhel, Doctrina Numorum Veterum, Vienna, 1792-1798, III, p. 246; Zeitschrift für Numismatik XXIX (1912), p. 106, No. 45, where the specimen is attributed to Tripolis on the evidence of the reverse type; Dura Final Report VI, No. 110. The coin of Sidon attributed to Demetrius III by Eckhel (III, p. 365, No. 21 - cited by Kuhn p. 37, note 9) belongs to Demetrius II.
is no evidence that he displaced Philip in those regions he must have been occupying territory previously held by Eusebes. But the center of his power was clearly Damascus. There he struck yearly tetradrachms and bronze; the coins of Antioch are indeed of two series, one beardless and the other bearded, but they are very scarce, whereas beginning in 92/1 Antioch began a series of municipal bronze of two denominations which continued for twenty years – a sure sign that the royal control was weakening.76 Even in Damascus a concession to local pride was made in choosing as type for the silver the oriental goddess of that city who had never had official connection with the family of Seleucus.77 From his capital in Coele-Syria Demetrius became involved in the affairs of the Jewish State. Perhaps it was Ptolemy’s chief intention in assisting him to the throne to see that there should be someone to carry out his principle of resistance to the expansionist policy of the Jewish kings. Alexander Jannaeus was at war with Arabs and dynasts across the Jordan; he was also embroiled with his rebellious subjects who invited Demetrius to come to their assistance.78 Perhaps it was at that time that he got the name Eucaerus (“Timely”) from his partisans and the nickname Acaerus (“Untimely”) from his foes – Josephus always refers to him so. He won a victory over Alexander at Shechem about 89, but it appears to have been more thorough than the Jews had bargained for, for Josephus says that when they saw how badly their king was beaten they returned to their allegiance in such large numbers that Demetrius withdrew in alarm.79
What Philip was doing in the meantime we are not told, but evidently the cooperation of the brothers was at an end, for in 88 he was established in Beroea as an ally of Straton the ruler of the town, and against him Demetrius marched with 10,000 foot and 1,000 horse. One suspects that it was affairs in north Syria rather than fear of Alexander Jannaeus that he made him break off the campaign in Palestine. But the new venture was disastrous. Straton called in an Arab “phylarch” named Aziz,80 and Mithradates Sinaces, who seems to
76 “Seleucid Mint of Antioch,” pp. 117f.
77Late Seleucid Mints, pp. 84f.
78 Josephus, Ant. XIII, 13, 5 (374 and 376).
79 Josephus, Ant. XIII, 14, 1f (377-379).
80 The MSS of Josephus read Δειζον Ζιζον; the editors emend this to Αζιζον on the assumption that this is the same Arab later involved with the younger Philip (Diodorus Siculus XL, 1a, 1b). Debevoise, A Political History of Parthia, (Chicago, 1938), p. 49, conjectures that he was the ruler of Emesa, but this can hardly be true since Sampsiceramus of Emesa appears as the rival of Aziz in the later episode.
have been the Parthian governor of some part of Mesopotamia. The besieger found himself besieged and finally compelled to surrender from lack of water. He was sent to the Parthian King who kept him in honorable captivity until he died a natural death.81 The Antiochenes in his army were sent home without ransom and it was doubtless this act of generosity that made possible the establishment of Philip in the capital.82
Philip may have hoped that at least he was to reign in Syria without a rival. If so he was disappointed, for his remaining brother Antiochus Dionysus, the youngest son of Grypus, having pretensions to the sovereignty, betook himself to Damascus and became King Antiochus Epiphanes Philopator Callinicus.83 Since the last coin of Demetrius from that city is dated 88/7, the first of Antiochus 87/6, the succession must have been prompt if not immediate, and one suspects that in this case also there was Ptolemaic support, particularly as the activities of the new king were directed toward the south. In the three years or so that he reigned he seems never to have made any attempt to enlarge his realm in Syria.84 On the other hand, we hear of two campaign against the Nabataean Arabs who were extending their power northwards through trans-Jordan. Philip took prompt advantage of his first absence and marched upon Damascus. A certain Milesius, who had been left as commander of the garrison, delivered the city to him hoping to be suitably rewarded. But when Philip’s gratitude did not come up his expectations he promptly changed sides again and, while Philip was outside the walls at the hippodrome,
81 Josephus, Ant. XIII, 14, 3 (384-386).
82 Perhaps the reward of the Parthians for their cooperation was some concession in Cilicia (see above, note 74). In 88 the contest of Marius and Sulla left the Romans in no position to concern themselves with affairs in Syria. Josephus says that Philip went direct to Antioch after the battle και κατασχων αυτην, which does not need to mean that he had to fight for it (Bouché-Leclercq, p. 425, note 2).
83 Josephus, Ant. XIII, 15, 1 (387); Late Seleucid Mints, pp. 86-92.
84 His choice of Hadad for a reverse type on his silver seems to emphasize his intention of being first and foremost king of Damascus. There is a tetradrachm dated 87/6 and one dated 86/5; on a third the date is illegible but, as the monogram is different from the other two, it must come from a third year. The extreme rarity of the silver shows that his financial resources were not impressive. There are three groups of bronze of which the first two have the same monogram as the first tetradrachm. That of the third is unlikely any of the silver and may mark the coinage of a fourth year. It is interesting to note that the king is bearded on his earliest coins, smooth-shaven on the others. This cannot be the case with Antiochus XI however (above, note 72) for his joint portrait with Philip is smooth-shaven and the beard must therefore be later.
shut the gates on him and returned Damascus to her former allegiance. Presumably Philip thereupon retired to Antioch. When the news of this incident reached Antiochus he hastened back from the Arabian campaign, but finding that the crisis was past he set out again at once through Judaea. Alexander Jannaeus, fearing that the expedition was directed against him, built a great wall to withstand him, but Antiochus burned the fortifications and went on his way. The Arab King Aretas resorted to the familiar desert tactics of a pretended retreat; then suddenly fell on his enemy with ten thousand cavalry and, in spite of valiant resistance, Antiochus was killed, his army fled and most of them died of hunger. It was a calamity whose pattern was to be repeated in the more famous disaster of Crassus at the hands of the Parthians.85
Damascus was now without a master and it would seem that Philip’s opportunity had come. But Philip made no move.86 On the other hand there was another neighbor ready to step in. Ptolemy the son of Mennaeus, ruler of the city of Chacis-sub-Libano, northwest of Damascus, was growing great in the confusion of the times and was therefore unpopular in the surrounding territory.87 From hatred of him the city resolved to give itself over to Aretas and the Arabs, and he occupied it first as protector and then as King.88 This involved
85 Josephus, Ant. XIII, 15, 1 (387-391). Bouché-Leclercq, p. 426, note 1 refers to a passage in Stephanus of Byzantium but this has to do, not with Antiochus, but with Alexander Balas (Pauly-Wissowa-Kroll, s.v. Μωθω).
86 This seems so strange that Bouché-Leclercq, pp. 426f. is led to believe that after his failure at Damascus he fled to Cilicia and died there. But see Excursus III.
87 Josephus, Ant. XIII, 16, 3 (418) records a Jewish expedition against him as a dangerous neighbor to Damascus. In XIV, 3, 2 (39) he calls him a scoundrel. Evidently he was a nuisance to the Jewish State,
88 His royal coins are published in Late Seleucid Mints, pp. 92-94. They are all bronze and some of the units bear a seated Tyche with a river god swimming at her feet, an imitation of the famous statue of the Tyche of Antioch by Eutychides which first appears on coins of Tigranes. Evidence for a possible transition period is furnished by bronzes of the city of Demetrias (Wroth, Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum. Galatia, Cappadocia and Syria, [London, 1899], pp. lxxvf., p. 289, Nos. 1-5). It has long been conjectured that Demetrias is a name taken by Damascus during the reign of Demetrius III, and one of the coins has a Tyche very similar to that on the units of Aretas. Its obverse bears a portrait which Babelon identified as Demetrius III while Wroth believes another obverse to be Antiochus XII “in the character of Apollo.” But these suggestions were made before Newell had identified the Damascene coins of those rulers. The first is certainly not Demetrius – I have examined a specimen in the Newell collection. It is not bearded, nor is there any diadem as alleged. The other, which is laureate, is doubtless Apollo, but not Antiochus. But the first portrait could very well be Aretas and, since he is not diademed and the coin is issued in the name of the town, the whole series would be appropriate to a time when Damascus was her own mistress, when Aretas was looked upon as a protector before he had made it, by force or agreement, a royal city.
a clash with Alexander Jannaeus, but after Aretas had defeated him once they came to terms and Damascus became a part of the growing Nabataean empire.89
In the meantime, what was Philip doing at Antioch? Our only evidence is the large body of tetradrachms which bear no dates.90 The continuation of municipal bronze shows that his sovereignty had the same qualification as that of his predecessor, but there is no sign of rebellion. Selene was still somewhere in Syria with her young sons by Eusebes, but she seems never to have interfered with him. The single expedition to Damascus is the only event preserved in the written account. Yet perhaps the very lack of incident may be taken to confirm the abundance of coinage as indication of a stable reign. Perhaps the alliance with the Parthians which had helped him to the throne supported him on it. This may be the true explanation of his surprising amount of silver. His tetradrachms are found as far east as Dura, now a Parthian city, and seem to have been standard over a large territory. The tacit or explicit concurrence of the Parthians would clearly have been of great assistance to his economic position. But the existence of the coins is the only thing sure; the explanation is mere conjecture.
If the administration of Philip was peaceful it could not save Syria from chaos after his death in 84/3. He had a son Philip, whose age we do not know. Perhaps he was too young to be considered as his father’s successor; at least he does not seem to have had any consideration. However, Selene was still a power to be reckoned with and she laid claim to the throne in the name of her son Antiochus.91 But the
89 Josephus, Ant. XIII, 15, 2 (392). We know nothing more of her fortunes until the advent of Tigranes except that the Jewish expedition mentioned by Josephus shows that Ptolemy the son of Mennaeus to be a menace after 76.
90 Excursus III.
91 This is what must be concealed under the statements of Appian, Syr. 48 and 69. It is true that in Syr. 70 he speaks of Asiaticus the son of Pius and Selene (whom he calls the 17th king instead of the 22nd), and I cannot explain how the mistake has arisen, but it is better to suppose that in 48 and 69 he made the same mistake of son for father that both Justin and Eusebius make than to set aside Josephus’ definite and circumstantial account of Eusebes’ death in battle with the Parthians. Where had Selene been in the meantime? In 69 she was in Ptolemais (Josephus, Ant. XIII, 16, 4 ); in 73 her son was said to be going back from Rome to Syria (Cicero, In Verrem IV, 27); yet Pompey twitted him with having been in hiding in a corner of Cilicia all during the reign of Tigranes (Justin XL, 2, 3). Bevan accepts Cicero and rejects Justin. Whenever a Seleucid is missing Bouché-Leclercq sends him into hiding in Cilicia; it is certainly good country to hide in! I see no reason to take Pompey’s remark literally – indeed one cannot; Antiochus was at Rome from 75 to 73. From some harbor stronghold in Cilicia Selene could easily have maintained relations with the Syrian coast towns: Ptolemais certainly, very likely Seleucia also.
Syrians had had enough of Seleucid rulers for a while. The realm was worn out and some felt that they had better give themselves over to Mithradates of Pontus while some preferred Ptolemy Lathyrus, restored to the throne of Egypt since about 88. But Mithradates was already involved in war with Rome while Ptolemy was regarded as a natural enemy of Syria. So the choice fell upon Tigranes of Armenia and he became king in Antioch to the general satisfaction in 83.92 As a compliment to the citizens he displayed on the reverse of his tetradrachms the Tyche of the city seated by the Orontes which Eutychides of Sicyon had made of gilded bronze in the third century B.C.93 The municipal bronze was allowed to continue.
Tigranes had begun his career as a hostage of the Parthians by whom he was put on the throne of Armenia. But he had taken advantage of their dynastic difficulties to make himself stronger than they had intended and had married the daughter of Mithradates Eupator of Pontus. In 83 he was still allied with the Parthians, which was one source of strength that recommended him to the people of Syria, but before long it became evident that the ambitions of the two powers were incompatible. He conquered the upper Tigris region and in 77 built himself a great capital city which called Tigranocerta and he peopled it with the inhabitants of twelve Greek cities which he had laid waste in Cilicia and Cappadocia.94 His interests in the East were most important to him, and Syria and Cilicia was ruled by his deputy Magadates.95
It is not surprising that we have conflicting accounts of Tigranes as lord of Syria. Beside those who turned to him from mere weariness of the perpetual civil war, there must have been Orientals to whom he appeared as a champion against decadent Hellenism, as people in Asia Minor were regarding his father-in-law as a champion against the intrusive power of the Romans. Justin gives a happy picture of his most tranquil reign when there was no necessity for him to defend himself from attack nor make war on others; Appian represents him as ruling Cilicia and everything between the Euphrates and Egypt (though in Mith. 105 he emends this to part of Cilicia). But Justin’s picture of profound peace is contradicted by Appian’s account of his
92 Justin, XL, 1, 1-4.
93 Tigranes’ coins have been described by Macdonald, Numismatic Chronicle, 1902, pp. 193-201, corrected in Late Seleucid Mints, pp. 97-100.
94 Strabo XI, 14, 15 (532); Plutarch, Lucullus, XXI, 4.
95 Appian, Syr. 48. Bouché-Leclercq gives a good resumé of Tigranes’ career, pp. 429-441.
forcible conquest of Syria,96 while he certainly did not win all his territory at one stroke nor was it ever as large as Appian says. As to Cilicia, Strabo shows the true situation when he says that the Armenians destroyed the kings and their whole family “as far as possible,” giving over the sea to the Cilicians.97 There were undoubtedly harbors and valleys where Selene and the younger Philip as well were safe from both Cilicians and Armenians. Seleucia we know to have held out against him,98 and, as he had no navy there is very little likelihood that he conquered any of the coast towns. Moreover he seems to have left the south country alone until 72. In that year we find him striking coins in Damascus.99 This certainly must have involved an expedition against Aretas which was one phase of general plan of conquest. Alexandra, the widow of Alexander Jannaeus, hearing that he was preparing to invade Judea with a large force sent ambassadors to him to buy him off. They came upon him at Ptolemais which he was preparing to besiege because Selene had induced the inhabitants to shut the gates against him. He received them graciously and held out to them hopes of success though it is not said that he made them any promises. That is as close as he got to fulfilling Appian’s claim that he ruled everything to the borders of Egypt.100
He pressed on with the siege of Ptolemais, however. The fact that Josephus speaks of “Queen Selene” as then ruling in Syria suggests that she was a person of some power in spite of her failure to establish her son in Antioch. She had been by no means idle. In 75 she had sent off her two sons, Antiochus and one whose name we do not know, to Rome with a gorgeous jewelled candelabrum as a dedication for the new temple of Jupiter Capitolinus then being built. They were well supplied with funds to impress the Senate, always susceptible to such things, and they not only assumed their right to the throne of Syria but laid claim to that of Egypt through their mother, for Lathyrus had died in 80 and left a confusion in which almost any pretender might find grounds for hope. The claim to Syria was acknowledged de jure but the Senate had other business on hand and could not attend to their plea as to Egypt. After two years Antiochus therefore returned to Syria. On the way he had the misfortune to put in at Syracuse during the notorious praetorship of Verres and in consequence had to continue
96 Strabo XI, 14, 15 (532) also speaks of forcible conquest.
97 XIV, 5, 2 (669).
98 Eutropius, VI, 14; Strabo, XVI, 2, 8 (751).
99Late Seleucid Mints, p. 95.
100 Josephus, Ant. XIII, 16, 4 (419f.).
his voyage without his treasures.101 Not much had been accomplished by the adventure but if the Romans should find leisure in the midst of their war with Mithradates to support their acceptance of Antiochus by active help, Selene might become a very formidable rival to the Armenian. So he persisted and in 69 captured the city. The queen was sent off to captivity at Seleucia opposite Samosata on the Euphrates and ultimately put to death.102 He did not capture Antiochus, however, nor do we know that he was with his mother. Perhaps on his return from Rome he established that temporary domicile in Asia Minor from which he got his name Asiaticus.
This success was the end of Tigranes’ rule in Syria, for the city had hardly been taken when he received news that Lucullus, in pursuit of his father-in-law and ally Mithradates, had invaded Armenia and that a Roman envoy was awaiting him at Antioch.103 He there found Appius Clodius Pulcher, Lucullus’ brother-in-law, and an interview ensued between two arrogant men. Clodius had already seduced some of Tigranes’ vassals and made capital of the fact that the Armenian king had become very unpopular with the Greeks because of a pomposity begotten of too much success. The Roman envoy presented a letter from Lucullus demanding that Mithradates be surrendered. The alternative was war. The letter was particularly trying to Tigranes’ amour propre since it omitted his title of King of Kings, and the manner of Clodius had in it a great deal more of republican freedom than was accustomed to bear. He tried to keep his temper, however, and offered the Roman a profusion of gifts as diplomatic courtesy, all of which were refused except for a single bowl. But he answered that he could not give up his father-in-law, however little he trusted him himself. If he were attacked in consequence he would defend himself. And he took revenge on Lucullus by omitting the title Imperator from his letter of reply.104 The result, of course, was a renewal of Roman hostilities. Tigranes went north to join his father on campaign and Magadates evacuated Syria.
This was the opportunity of the young Antiochus. The Antiochenes had grown more tired of an Armenian ruler than they had been of a
101 Cicero, In Verrem IV, 27-30.
102 Strabo XVI, 2, 3 (749).
103 Josephus, Ant. XIII, 16, 4 (421); Plutarch, Lucullus XXI, 1-2. Josephus says that Lucullus was already besieging Tigranes’ capital and that the king at once withdrew to his own country. But Plutarch, Lucullus XIX, makes it clear that Lucullus was still in Lesser Armenia and Josephus’ account omits the interview with Clodius.
104 Plutarch, Lucullus XXI, 3-7; Memnon 46 (FHG III, p. 550).
Seleucid. The pretender slipped back into the country in 69/8 and was received by his subjects. Lucullus naturally took the same view as had the Roman Senate half a dozen years before and once again the portrait of a legitimate king appeared on tetradrachms from the capital whose reverse bore the name Antiochus Philadelphus.105 But the days were over when any Seleucid could expect a long reign, and his lasted only a year.106 He suffered a defeat of which we know no details, though we may conjecture that it was at the hands of one of the Arab dynasts who were absorbing more and more of the country. In consequence some of the citizens despised him and raised a revolt to drive him out. This storm the king weathered but the authors of the treason escaped him and fled to Cilicia where they persuaded Philip the son of Philip to be their candidate for the throne. He found a willing ally in an Arab named Aziz, generally assumed to be the same who had helped his father against Demetrius III, and who now crowned him and conducted him back to his kingdom. Antiochus thereupon besought the aid of Sampsiceramus of Emesa and prepared to resist, reviving the rivalry of Grypus and Cyzicenus in the third generation. But the two Arabs now came to a private agreement that they would dispose of the pretenders and divide the realm between themselves. Sampsiceramus’ share of the plot was duly accomplished. He summoned Antiochus to a conference and, when the king, relying on his appearance of friendship, came to him, he was seized and imprisoned. Philip, however, got wind of the danger and took refuge in Antioch.107
From 67/6 to 66/5 he maintained a precarious position there, tolerated by the Romans but subject to their interference. The war against Mithradates was not going well. Lucullus, for all his ability, was an unpopular commander and after a generally successful campaign, culminating in the capture of Tigranocerta, he met with a series of reverses and the Senate transferred the command to Glabrio. Moreover his army was mutinous, and though he held a strong position at Nisibis, he could no longer rely on his troops who were stirred to rebellion by his brother-in-law Clodius himself.108 Clodius thereupon
105 Appian, Syr. 49; Justin XL, 2, 2; “Seleucid Mint of Antioch,” pp. 125-128.
106 The following account of Antiochus XIII and Philip II follows a detailed study of Joseph Dobias, Φιλιππος Βαρυπους in the Czech periodical Listy Filologické, 1924, pp. 214-227. I am indebted to my colleague Dr. N. P. Toll for a translation.
107 Diodorus XL, 1a-1b.
108 Cassius Dio XXXVI, 14, 4.
betook himself to Cilicia where another brother-in-law, the proconsul Q. Marcius Rex, put him in command of the fleet. This was an unfortunate appointment, for he was promptly captured by pirates, those same Cilicians to whom Tigranes had left command of the sea. He appealed to Ptolemy, Alexander II, then ruling Cyprus, for ransom and the king indeed granted the request, but the sum he sent was so small that the pirates scorned it and sent it back. (Clodius had his revenge later, for when he was tribune in 58 he arranged that Cato should be sent to take Cyprus away from the niggardly Ptolemy.) But in 67 the Gabinian law gave Pompey command against the pirates on terms that made it clear that Rome was aroused at last. The pirates in a fright released their captive without ransom.109 Meanwhile the Cilician proconsul had gone to Antioch to raise funds from Philip for aid in the prosecution of the naval war, and as a return, had assisted in the repair of the palace and the hippodrome.110 This is the last record we have of Philip’s reign, but we can guess at the occasion of his downfall. Clodius, on being released, went to Antioch where he gave it out that he was prepared to help them in their contest with the Arabs, and characteristically stirred up a sedition which almost cost him his life.111 Probably it actually cost Philip his throne. There was a successor at hand. Sampsiceramus now released his royal captive, doubtless feeling that a Seleucid king whom he could influence would suit his interests much better than a Roman government in Antioch, and for the year 65/4 Antiochus XIII was again on the throne.112
But in that year Mithradates was finally beaten by Pompey and in the next the conqueror himself was in Syria to settle affairs. He was well-disposed toward the citizens of Antioch: he gave them back
109 Cassius Dio XXXVI, 17, 3; Strabo XIV, 6, 6 (684).
110 Malalas (Ed. Bonn) p. 225, 11. 4-11. Glanville Downey (“Q. Marcius Rex at Antioch,” Classical Philology, 1937, pp. 144-151) questioned the theory of Dobias that the φοροι mentioned by Malalas was for military purposes, and prefers to regard it as a gift in return for the friendship of Rome. He cites an inscription (p. 148, note 21) in which Philip is called “Philoromaeus.” Both authorities agree that there can be no question of tribute at this time. I do not feel that their views are incompatible. On whatever terms the money was extracted there is no reason why it should not have been spent to pay for operations against the pirates. See also Excursus II.
111 Cassius Dio XXXVI, 17, 3.
112 Appian, Syr. 70; Dobias, p. 226; Bouché-Leclercq, pp. 441f.; Wilcken in Pauly-Wissowa I, cols. 2486f. Diodorus says that Sampsiceramus imprisoned Antiochus and later killed him, but Dobias has shown that the one year that Antiochus reigned, according to Appian, “while Pompey was otherwise engaged,” must be 65/4, so that he must have been at liberty for a time.
hostages which they had furnished sometime during the war,113 and repaired the bouleuterion as Rex had the palace and hippodrome.114 According to Eusebius he accepted a bribe from them to refuse Antiochus’ petition that he be confirmed in his kingdom.115 Whether he was bribed by the citizens or not, he certainly put an end to Antiochus’ reign. To the monarch’s plea he answered that even if Syria were willing he would not give her a king who had lain hidden in a corner of Cilicia all the years that Tigranes held the country. Since Tigranes had beaten him it was not right that he should seek to profit by the labors of the Romans, who had beaten Tigranes. “Had you kept your kingdom,” said Pompey, “I would not have taken it away, but since you could not defend it I will not give it back lest Syria be overrun again by plundering Jews and Arabs.” So in 64 Syria became a Roman province and Antioch a free city.116 The rejected monarch apparently fell once more into the hands of Sampsiceramus and was put to death.117
The final trivial and futile incidents show only that the Seleucid name had not entirely lost its importance half a dozen years later. Ptolemy XIII, Auletes, having been driven from the throne of Egypt, the Alexandrians sent three ambassadors to invite someone, who may have been the brother of Antiochus Asiaticus, to come and reign with his daughter Berenice (IV). Whoever he was, he died before the plan was carried out. Then Philip put himself forward as candidate for Berenice’s hand,
113 Eutropius VI, 14.
114 Malalas, p. 211, 11. 16f.
115 Eusebius I. pp. 261f. does not mention any sum, nor does he exactly state the taking of money and the refusal to Antiochus as cause and effect, but that must be what he means.
116 Justin XL, 2, 3-5. Appian Syr. 49 says that Antiochus had done the Romans no wrong and that the real reason that Pompey drove him out was that with his large army it was easy for him to take over the Seleucid empire, though the reason alleged was that the conquerors of Tigranes ought to rule and not his victim; in Mith. 106 this is given as the reason with no suggestion that it is a pretense; Syr. 70 simply reports the fact.
Malalas, p. 212, 11. 9-16, 1. 20 � p. 213, 1. 1, is impossible to reconcile. Though on the previous page he has reported that Pompey brought Antioch under the Romans, he now contradicts all the other authorities by recounting how Pompey listened to the appeal of Antiochus (whom he calls Αντιοχος ο Διονικους) and gave him back Syria and Cilicia and all that he had previously ruled! On his death bed the grateful monarch willed all that he possessed to Rome and then Antioch with the rest of Syria and Cilicia came into the power of the Romans. I am quite incapable of dealing with Malalas when he does this kind of thing. His defenders keep insisting that he used good sources, but there seems to be no limit to the amount of nonsense he could made of them. Between the two notices of Antiochus on p. 212 he inserts the remark that at this time lived Cicero and Sallust, the most learned poets of the Romans!
117 Diodorus XL, 1b.
but Aulus Gabinius, proconsul of Syria in 57, would not allow it.118 A consort was finally found in Syria, however: a Seleucus, nicknamed Cybiosactes, who pretended to be of the royal house. He married the princess indeed, but finding him coarse and vulgar fellow she had him strangled in a few days.119 No more Seleucids, real or pretended, appear upon the political stage in the country of their fathers. Only the kings of Commagene preserved the memory of their descent through Laodice the daughter of Grypus, and one of the most familiar ruins of modern Athens is the monument on the Muses’ Hill erected in the second century of our era, by Julius Antiochus Philopappus, on which his seated statue was flanked on the one side by a statue of Antiochus IV, the last king of Commagene, and on the other by that of Seleucus Nicator, ancestor of the whole long royal line.
118 Eusebius I, pp. 261f.
119 Cassius Dio XXXIX, 57, 1-2; Strabo XVII, 1, 11 (796).
The coinage of the wars of the brothers
The numismatic evidence for the war of the brothers is scattered, and can hardly be understood unless it is viewed as a body. The accompanying table gives what I have been able to find where the mint can be identified. There may be published coins that I have overlooked and there are certainly unpublished ones which would complete the picture, but there is enough here to show some of the important aspects of the struggle. It will be seen that it is much more complicated affair than our literary sources record or than modern historians have realized. Bouché-Leclercq, for example (p. 405) is very loath to believe, on the testimony of Porphyrius (quoted by Eusebius) that Grypus recovered Antioch in 111-110; Bevan (p. 255) accepts this event, but gives no further details of the contest. In the table, G and C mean that a coin or coins of Grypus or Cyzicenus are known from the mint indicated and assigned on good grounds to the time indicated; G and C mean that the coins bear dates which make the year certain.
|Oct. 114 - July 113||G||G||G||G||G|
|July 113 - Oct. 113||C|
|Oct. 113 - Summer 112||C||C||C||C||C||C|
|Summer 112 - Oct. 112||G|
|Oct. 112 - Summer 111||C||C||C||G||C|
|Summer 111 - Oct. 111||G|
|Oct. 111 - Oct. 110||G||G||C||C||C|
|Oct. 110 - Oct. 109||C||C||C|
|Oct. 109 - Oct. 108||G||C||C||G||G|
|Oct. 108 - Oct. 107||G||G||G||G|
|Oct. 107 - Oct. 106||G||G||C|
|Oct. 106 - Oct. 105||G||G||G|
|Oct. 105 - Oct. 104||G||G||C||G|
|Oct. 104 - Oct. 103||G|
|Oct. 103 - Oct. 102|
|Oct. 102 - Oct. 101||C|
|Oct. 101 - Oct. 100||C|
The fundamental studies here are Newell’s arrangements of the coins of Antioch, Ptolemais and Damascus. To his publications I have nothing to add except to say that evidence from Dura has convinced me that the dated bronzes of Cyzicenus of which he speaks (Late Seleucid Mints, p. 77) do belong to Damascus and therefore give us dates for that city in 102-101 and 101-100 which he does not include as sure.
Since Miss Cox’s study of Tarsus has not yet appeared I give, with her permission, a summary of the evidence from that mint. The first issue of Grypus alone from Tarsus shows a young portrait like that of his first reign at Antioch (cf. Naville, Catalogue X , Pls. 56f., Nos. 1442-1446 with “Seleucid Mint of Antioch,” Pl. XI, Nos. 362-376). As they are preceded by coins struck with his mother Cleopatra (Naville, Pl. 53, No. 1387) as at Antioch (“Seleucid Mint of Antioch,” Pl. XI, Nos. 359f.) the first sole issue is to be dated 120-113 at both mints. In both cases this is succeeded by a portrait of Cyzicenus with short beard and very faint moustache (cf. Naville, Pl. 59, No. 1491 with “Seleucid Mint of Antioch,” Pl. XI, No. 382). These are to be placed in 113-112, the date of Cyzicenus’ first rule in Antioch. There is not sufficient evidence to connect Tarsiote pieces with the period covered by the second reigns of the two kings at Antioch in 112 and 111, but it seems likely on the evidence of the monograms that a modification of the first portrait of Grypus (Naville, Pl. 57, Nos. 1447f.) comes after the first reign of Cyzicenus and therefore between 112 and 110. Coins of Cyzicenus with a fuller beard (Naville, Pl. 59, Nos. 1487-1489) succeed, and since there are two varieties of the portrait we may suppose that the issue lasted somewhat longer than the single year of his third reign at Antioch, perhaps from 110-108. Thereafter an idealized portrait of Grypus (Naville, Pl. 57, Nos. 1449f.) is to be connected with his fourth reign in Antioch 108-96, though the portrait there is quite different (“Seleucid Mint of Antioch,” Pl. XII, Nos. 405, 407). At Antioch the issue does not continue past 104 (ibid., p. 107) and it is likely that the coins of Tarsus also were struck in the early years of this reign. The difference in portrait might be due to the fact that the Antiochene issue began in 109 (Newell, p. 105, dates it 108, but, as the date on the bronze of Cyzicenus’ third reign shows, this really means from October 109) while that at Tarsus began a year or so later. Finally the smooth-shaven portrait at Tarsus is certainly contemporary with that of Cyzicenus’ last reign at Antioch, 96-95, after the death of Grypus (cf. Numismatic Chronicle 1919, Pl. XI, No. 5 with “Seleucid Mint of Antioch,” Pl. XII, No. 414-418).
The coins from Tripolis consist of: 1) an undated tetradrachm (Journal International d’Archéologie Numismatique, 1903, p. 18, No. 1632) with a portrait of Cyzicenus like that of his second reign at Antioch and therefore datable in 112-111, and 2) a tetradrachm of Cyzicenus dated ΗΣ, 105-104 (Numismatic Chronicle, 1919, p. 210, Pl. X, No. 7. Babelon, Pl. XXVI, No. 5 has another with illegible date). I would also assign to Tripolis the bronze with a reverse type of Tyche with rudder and cornucopia, BMC p. 93, No. 26.
From Sidon are: 1) a Phoenician tetradrachm with (Zeitschrift für Numismatik, 1912, p. 103, No. 37); 2) bronze with (Babelon, p. 182, No. 1399). These are both issues of Grypus of 115-114, before the beginning of the war. 3) a Phoenician tetradrachm of Cyzicenus with Σ, 113-112 (Babelon, pp. 189f., No. 1456); 4) tetradrachm of Cyzicenus with ΒΣ, 111-110 (Naville, Pl. 57, No. 1459).
The coins of Ascalon are: 1) a Phoenician tetradrachm of Grypus with , 114-113 (Museum of Antiquities, Jerusalem, unpublished, made known to me, like 5), 6), and 7) below, by Seyrig; 2) a Phoenician didrachm with Σ, 113-112 (Imhoof-Blumer, Monnaies Grecques, p. 436, No. 118, Choix de Monnaies Grecques, Pl. VII, No. 222). The illustration, which is engraving, is less conclusive than one could wish. The face is smooth-shaven and would certainly be taken for Grypus, were it not that the legend reads ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ ΦΙΛΟΠΑΤΟΡΟΣ. It is possible that there was a mistake either as to the portrait or as to the inscription, but we cannot now go behind the engraving. Macdonald (Zeitschrift für Numismatik, 1912, p. 104) declares the piece is “unbedingt dem Antiochus IX zu geben”. Our only course is to assume an abnormal portrait of Cyzicenus – a course which I follow with some uneasiness; 3) a Phoenician tetradrachm of Grypus with LΑΣ, 112-111 (Babelon, p. 182, No. 1402, Pl. XXIV, 17; cf. Macdonald, loc. cit.). Bevan, who supposed that Cyzicenus controlled all Palestine, has this curious note (p. 255, note 3): “It is somewhat of a stumbling-block that a coin of Ascalon, dated 201, i.e. 112-111 B.C., should have the head of Grypus. Numismatic data are, of course, liable to be misleading. There is, for instance, a coin certainly struck under Cyzicenus, because it bears his name, which yet has the effigy of Grypus (Friedländer, Zeitsch. f. Num. vii (1880), p. 227).” But the portraits are, in fact, quite right, as Macdonald has demonstrated (loc. cit.). The error seems to go back to mistaken attributions by Gardner in the British Museum Catalogue; 4) a Phoenician didrachm of Grypus with LΔΣ, 109-108 (BMC, p. 91, No. 3; attributed wrongly
to Antiochus IX; corrected by Macdonald, loc. cit.); 5) a Phoenician tetradrachm with LΕΣ, 108-107 (Museum of Antiquities, Jerusalem, unpublished); 6) a Phoenician tetradrachm with ZΣ, 106-105 (Museum of Antiquities, unpublished); a Phoenician tetradrachm with Η (“certainment ΗΣ”) 105-104 (Museum of Antiquities, Jerusalem, unpublished).
Even without reference to the literary sources, we can discern much of the fortunes of war from this material. The first attack of Cyzicenus gave him possession of Antioch, Tarsus, Ptolemais, Sidon, Ascalon (if Imhoof-Blumer’s coin is really his), Damascus, and we may conjecture, Tripolis. At least he continued to hold that city, with Ptolemais and Sidon. Ascalon, on the other hand, Grypus regained at once and kept. Antioch and Tarsus kept changing hands until 109-108 when Grypus recaptured them permanently. In the same year he recovered Damascus for a brief period, and recovered it again five years later, only to lose it once more in 102-101. It is small wonder that the epitomizers did not manage to preserve all the facts, or did not choose to.
There are some coins not definitely assignable to particular mints of which mention should be made.
1) Tetradrachm of Grypus with idealized portrait and reverse of Athena Parthenos with a palm as symbol, Naville, Pl. 56, No. 1438. This has been assigned to Seleucia on the Calycadnus by Imhoof-Blumer, but I have reason to believe that it belongs rather to Elaeusa. In either case it means that, at the beginning of his reign, Grypus used another Cilician mint in addition to Tarsus. The same mint struck later for Seleucus VI.
2) Tetradrachm of Cyzicenus with Antiochene type and of Antiochene style of the third reign (110-109) except that in the left field, above the large characteristic Α there is an altar much like that which appears on pseudo-autonomous coins of Antioch (Naville, Pl. 57, No. 1460, cf. BMC Galatia, Cappadocia and Syria, Pl. XX, No. 2). In the exergue is ΕΣ (108-107). It is not the practice of Antioch to date its tetradrachms and we can therefore hardly use this as evidence of still another change of fortune at the capital. But the portrait is so very much like that from Antioch of two years earlier that it seems that one of Cyzicenus’ die-sinkers must have accompanied him when he was driven out. The coin is not at all like those from Ptolemais-Ake, Sidon, or Damascus so that it cannot have come from any of these mints. It must come from some unknown spot which still remained in his hands after Antioch was lost. Unfortunately
the altar is so little characteristic that it gives no clue to the city.
3) Bronze of Cyzicenus, as follows:
a) Double. Head r. laur. / Dionysus l. BMC, p. 93, No. 22; Babelon, p. 194, Nos. 1484-1486.
Unit. Head r. laur. / Pallas advancing r. BMC, p. 93, No. 23; Babelon, p. 196, Nos. 1499f.
The monogram shows that these belong together and are not be assigned to Antioch. Apamea may be suggested, since both Dionysus and Pallas appear as types on the autonomous coins of that city of the first century B.C. The portrait is that of the first reign in Antioch.
b) Unit. Head of Apollo r. / Artemis facing. BMC, p. 94, No. 31; Babelon, p. 197, No. 1505.
Half. Head of Antiochus r. in lion’s skin / Club. Babelon, p. 197, No. 1506.
The monogram is similar to that of Cyzicenus’ second reign in Antioch, “Seleucid Mint of Antioch,” p. 98, No. 386. Newell, who of course knew these pieces, says only “No bronze coins have been published that can with certainty be assigned to this time.”
c) Double. Head r., rad. / Tyche l. with cornears and cornucopiae. Babelon, p. 191, No. 1466.
Unit. Head r., rad. / Athena Parthenos r. Babelon, p. 196, No. 1499.
The portrait is the late beardless one which appears in the fourth reign at Antioch and the last silver of Tarsus. The coins therefore probably belong to the year after Grypus’ death in 96. I have no suggestion to make as to the mint.
d) Half. Head of Pallas, r. / Prow, r. BMC, p. 94, Nos. 32-34; Babelon, p. 197, Nos. 1507-1510.
These are quite different in style from any others, and they are common enough so that they should be the product of an important mint. The prow suggests Aradus or Tyre. Both of these cities were by now coining autonomous silver, but it is possible a special issue of bronze may have celebrated some particular connection with Cyzicenus.
On the coins of Antiochus XI and Philip
Between April 1878 and April 1879 the Königlich Münzkabinet in Berlin acquired a tetradrachm whose obverse showed the portraits of two kings, very much alike in appearance, and whose reverse had Zeus seated to the left and the inscription ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ ΚΑΙ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟΥ. J. Friedländer published a notice of the piece (Zeitschrift für Numismatik VII , pp. 224f., Pl. IV, 2), correctly assigning it to Antiochus XI Epiphanes Philadelphus and Philip I Epiphanes Philadelphus, the twin sons of Grypus. No remark was made about the mint; the engraving gave the letters Σ Φ Ω Α to the left of the inscription.
A similar piece in the Bibliothèque Nationale was published by Babelon (Rois de Syrie, p. 202, No. 1540, Pl. XXVII, 13). He read ΙΕ in the field instead of Ω, but Seyrig, who has examined the piece, assures me that this is a mistake, and cites a third specimen (Catalogue of the Gustav Philipsen Collection, Hirsch, No. XXV, Munich, 1909, No. 2942) as confirming the reading of Friedländer. In his discussion (p. clxviii) Babelon points out that the jugate heads are apparently in imitation of those of the Dioscuri on autonomous tetradrachms of Tripolis – a most suitable model for the coinage of twin kings. As to the letters in the field, his mistaken reading leads him to the suggestion of Sepphoris-Diocaesarea in Palestine for the mint – a suggestion which is wrong without question. Newell (“Seleucid Mint of Antioch,” p. 117) says of this tetradrachm only that it “is of sufficiently different style to make it absolutely impossible to assign it to our mint”.
Consideration of the historical circumstances, however, will make it possible at least to suggest the area of its origin. The twin brothers first appear as avengers of Seleucus when they destroyed Mopsuestia. The literary sources report nothing more of their fortunes except their defeat by Eusebes after which Antiochus XI was drowned. But we know that he held Antioch in 93 long enough to strike coins there (“Seleucid Mint of Antioch,” pp. 115-117). The recorded battle therefore must have been the result of a counter-attack by Eusebes, not an incident of the attack by the brothers. Since the tetradrachm under consideration was not struck at Antioch it must belong to the period between the death of Seleucus and the reign of Antiochus XI at the capital. It is obvious that we must look for our mint in a place which might be used as a base for a campaign against Antioch, and since the royal twins are never reported except from Antioch and Mopsuestia, we
are practically confined to Cilicia and north Syria. And here another bit of numismatic evidence assists us. A coin of Philip (Naville X, p. 104, No. 1526) with an unusual style of portrait has a reverse extremely like that of the brothers. The attitude of Zeus, leaning far back on his throne, and his exaggerated hair, almost like a hat, are at once distinguishable from the Antiochene series and are so similar on the two pieces that they must both be attributed to the same mint. Philip therefore retained as his capital the city that had been their base when his brother had installed himself in Antioch, and to it he doubtless retired after the defeat by Eusebes. Now Eusebius and Josephus agree that in the ensuing war between them Philip had control of part of Syria. This part was not Damascus, for Demetrius III was already reigning there in 96 (Late Seleucid Mints, p. 78), nor is it likely that a campaign from Cilicia against Antioch would have come by way of Coele-Syria. A coast town would be more appropriate but, at the moment, we have no means of locating it more narrowly.
The coin of Philip just mentioned is not the only one of his which fails to conform to his usual style. Newell (“Seleucid Mint of Antioch,” p. 122, Class e) lists six varieties of whose attribution to Antioch he is uncertain. The unquestionable Antiochene varieties, 18 in number, are not out of proportion to his 6 years of reign, though it is somewhat surprising to find so much silver still at his disposal after the exhaustion shown by the last coinage of his father. But the aberrant pieces would seem to swell his output too far. It is of course possible that some unrecognized variety may be the product of his brief control of Damascus, though Newell (Late Seleucid Mints, p. 91) says “no coins of Philip, of Damascene style and fabric have as yet been recorded,” but we have no reason to suppose that he ever employed any other mint after he gained Antioch. Moreover, some of them (e.g. “Seleucid Mint of Antioch,” Pl. XIII, 458) show a younger portrait unlike the usual one and not more like that which has just been shown to come from another mint. Yet Newell is clearly right in believing that his Class e, if it comes from Antioch at all, must be a degeneration of the normal issues and not the first experiments of a young ruler.
Under these circumstances I suggest that the young portrait may be that of Philip II, son of Philip Philadelphus. It will be at once objected that the coins say “Philip Epiphanes Philadelphus” and it is without precedent that father and son should both bear the same names. To this I have no answer except the doubtful one that the son might have used his father’s titles on the coins to give them a prestige he did not
himself possess. If that be admitted as possible, the identification would provide coins for the ruler of Antioch from whom Q. Marcius Rex in 67 got a contribution for the war against the pirates, a contribution which must have been in the form of money. It is not impossible that the young ruler had some supply of his father’s coins to which he added a few of his own struck for the occasion, some bearing his own portrait, others his father’s but with the signatures of mint officials whom his father had never used. The chief, whose mark appears under the throne, who did not serve Antiochus XIII, may have remained true to the house of Philip, for he appears on all the abnormal pieces, but the Φ and Α at the left have disappeared, and are replaced by letters or monograms unlike anything in the preceding reigns. Indeed it must be confessed that Newell’s Class e is just the kind of collection that might have been produced if money was needed quickly for an emergency. If the hypothesis is sound, and coins of the two Philips were distributed to Roman troops it might help explain why so many of them have been preserved. It would also explain why the Romans, in issuing their own first currency for Syria, chose as a model that with which they were most familiar instead of that of Antiochus XIII, though he for a time reigned with their assent.
On the chronology of the reign of Philip I
The Armenian version of the Chronica of Eusebius and the version of Hieronymus agree in recording only two years for the reign of Philip. Those years are O1.171.4 and 172.1, equated with the 5th and 6th years of Ptolemy Alexander, the 10th and 11th of Alexander Jannaeus (ed. Schoene II, pp. 132f.). The other king lists which derive from Eusebius agree in crediting him with two years only (op. cit. I, App. IB, p. 28; App. III, p. 56; App. IV, p. 222) except for the Chronicum Constantinopolitum (App. IV, p. 92) which reduces it to one. In most cases there is a note to the effect that Seleucid control of Syria ended at this point. It is doubtful whether this combined testimony proves more than would any single derivative of Eusebius alone but, for what it is worth, there is a virtual unanimity that Philip reigned only two years and that this put an end to the Seleucids. But the testimony of the lists cannot be accepted without some caution. For one thing their unsatisfactory state can be seen from the fact that in no case is there mention of any king between Antiochus IX Cyzicenus and Philip. That is, Demetrius III, Seleucus VI, Antiochus X, Antiochus XI, Antiochus XII are entirely omitted, while the remark of the Armenian version and Hieronymus that Philip was captured by Gabinius shows that Philip I was confused with his son.
A more serious objection is that the dates given are impossible. All the reckonings come out at 93 and 92 B.C. Now Demetrius III was reigning in Damascus until 88/7 (Late Seleucid Mints, p. 82, No. 130) and Antiochus XII in 87/6 (ibid., pp. 86f., No. 132). Since Philip beat the former at Beroea and for a time won Damascus from the latter, the only way that Eusebius’ dates could be made to fit would be to suppose that Philip’s two years of rule came immediately after the defeat of Antiochus X, Eusebes, and that the two incidents recorded were adventures after he had lost the throne and was a free lance. But then we must provide for a reign of Demetrius III in Antioch (“Seleucid Mint of Antioch,” pp. 117f.) later than Philip, in which case the Seleucid rule could not be said to have come to an end with him. We must follow our other evidence and hold that the reign of Philip followed that of Demetrius. It did not begin earlier than 88/7, Demetrius’ last year in Damascus, for if Philip had been master of Antioch before the defeat of his rival he would not have taken refuge with Straton in Beroea, nor would he have dismissed without ransom the Antiochenes
in Demetrius’ army if he had been lord of their city and they rebels against his authority. The reign of Philip, then, begins in 87 at the earliest.
But though Eusebius’ dates are wrong, may he not be right as to the duration? In favor of this is the entire absence of information about Philip after his exclusion from Damascus. Particularly strange is his failure to take action at the time of the death of Antiochus XII, Dionysus, when one would have expected him to attempt to regain Damascus. It is this which leads Bouché-Leclercq to the conviction that he must have retired to Cilicia and died there, though the king lists are not cited in confirmation.
Against the limit of two years however, is in the first place, the evidence of the coins. These are all tetradrachms and are remarkably plentiful. Of those whose attribution is certain Newell published 18 varieties (“Seleucid Mint of Antioch,” pp. 119-121, see further Excursus II) and the actual number preserved is very much larger than the number he quotes, for he has here made no such attempt to cite all known specimens as he has with rare issues like those of Demetrius III. Considering the poverty of silver made evident in his father’s last years, it is surprising that he had so much bullion at his disposal. The output is impressive regardless of the length of his reign, but if that was for two years only, it is phenomenal. Moreover, the varieties strongly suggest a longer duration. They are divided by Newell into four classes; it would be better to make it five. The first (No. 436) has Ν Α outside the inscription; the second (No. 437) has Φ Α. Ν Α is found on tetradrachms of Demetrius III and is therefore Philip’s first issue. Since there is only one specimen known, the magistrate Ν was evidently soon replaced and these two classes may well come together in Philip’s first year. Thereafter Φ always appears, but in the third class (Nos. 438-443) there is also a letter in the field, in the fourth (Nos. 444-450) there is a letter in the exergue, and in the fifth (Nos. 451-453) there are letters in both field and exergue. It is true that the same letters sometimes appear in both the third and fourth class and the difference of position does not make it impossible that Nos. 438-450 should be all contemporary, though that would provide a very large issue for one year. But the first two classes with no subsidiary magistrate and the fifth class with two present differences of a kind that normally mean a change of policy in the mint for which we ordinarily allow different years. We need not demand five years for the five
classes but from internal evidence no one would put them all into two; four would be a more reasonable estimate.
There is another reason or doubting that Philip’s reign can have been so short: it would have left Antioch masterless for too long a time. On the evidence of Appian, Syr. 48, Tigranes ruled Syria for 14 years. Since he certainly evacuated the country at the time of Lucullus’ invasion of Armenia in 69 (Syr. 49) his reign must have begun in 83. Unfortunately, a contradiction is provided by Justin who says twice that Tigranes ruled for 18 years (XL, 1, 4 and 2, 3 – Seel in his edition protests against Jeep’s emending this to 14). But this would mean that he begun in 87 and Philip’s reign then disappears altogether. All modern authorities are agreed in accepting 83. Now if the end of Philip came in 85 that would mean that for two years there was no king in Damascus. Possession of Antioch had always been an essential element of Seleucid sovereignty, and if it is hard to understand why Philip did not try to possess himself of Damascus, it is incredible that the houses of Grypus and Cyzicenus should both have left Antioch to her own devices from 85 to 83. Surely in that case also we should have had autonomous issues of silver such as other important cities coined when freed from royal control. In spite of the unsatisfactory state of the evidence, I believe that Philip ruled from 87/6 to 84/3.
He was not alive, however, at the time that Tigranes conquered Syria. Appian says definitely that the king whom Tigranes overcame was named Antiochus. Justin’s words, “cum et reges et regnum Syriae consumptum esset” (XL, 1, 1) seem to mean that there was no Seleucid king left. The parties supporting various foreign candidates would certainly give the impression that in Antioch at least there was no recognized ruler. These statements can be reconciled if we suppose that Appian spoke by mistake of Antiochus X, Eusebes, instead of his son Antiochus XIII, Asiaticus, now a boy of a dozen years whose claim to the throne was pushed by his mother Selene, whom Josephus still speaks of as ruling Syria in 72 (Ant. XIII, 16, 4 ). I do not see how either authority can be accepted if we believe that Philip was still alive at the time of Tigranes’ arrival (as Bevan, p. 263, Bouché-Leclercq, p. 431, and Newell, “Seleucid Mint of Antioch,” p. 124). We must conclude therefore, that Philip began to reign in 87/6 after the defeat of Demetrius III and continued until he died in 84/3.
Trogus as historian of the late Seleucids
In assaying the value of Pompeius Trogus, a contemporary of Livy, as an historian of the late Seleucids, it is necessary to consider how complete his account probably was, how well it agrees with our other evidence, and what qualities he shows in the selection and use of his material. This cannot be done in any satisfactory fashion, since our only knowledge of his work comes from the epitome of Justin, supplemented in some respects by the so-called Prologues. The extreme abbreviation which he has undergone can be judged quantitatively: Book XXXIX, which begins in 129 with the death of Antiochus VII, Sidetes, and extends to the death of Antiochus VIII, Grypus, in 96, occupies 6 Teubner pages of Justin; Book XL, which begins in 96 and goes to the death of Cleopatra VI after Actium in 30, occupies a little over one page. We have no information as to their original length, but the books of Caesar run from 16 pages to 51, those of Tacitus from 33 to 50, those of Livy from 36 to 70. On this analogy we may fairly conclude that we have lost five sixths of the bulk of Trogus. Justin’s preface makes it clear that his work has no mere condensation; it was a selection of what he thought necessary or desirable, and it is therefore impossible to discover what he has omitted except for the indications of the Prologues. In the case of Book XL, which Justin ends with Pompey’s creation of the province of Syria, the Prologue shows that Trogus went on with the subsequent history of Egypt down to the Roman conquest of that country. No criticism of Trogus is valid, therefore, which is based on apparent omissions. The material that we have indicates that Book XXXIX was a unit, dealing with 34 years of internal strife in the Seleucid kingdom, with such material of the history of Egypt included as was necessary for completeness. These interludes, however, were themselves treated as complete episodes, for the Prologue shows that after discussion of the wars of Grypus and Cyzicenus the historian turned to the fortunes of the Lagids and pursued them to the accession of Ptolemy XIII, Auletes, “Nothus”, in 80 before returning to the troubles of Syria and the death of Grypus in 96. Book XL, on the other hand, is divided into two parts, the first treating of Syria, the second Egypt. The scheme, therefore, is episodic rather than strictly chronological as, indeed, is the scheme of the whole history.
When we come to discuss our author’s sources we are of course
reduced to conjecture, since no other work with a systematic treatment if this period has survived. We may, however, discard entirely one old and fashionable theory: that all his material comes from the continuation of Polybius by Posidonius. In Frotscher’s edition (Leipzig, 1827) there is a long discussion of Trogus’ sources by Heeren, in section 26 of which (p. xcii) that scholar concludes as to everything down to the end of the Mithradatic war, “omnia haec ex eodem scriptore, Posidonio, desumta esse, facile concedas.” He admits that the subsequent part of Book XL dealing with events in Trogus’ own time “facile subiungere potuit.”
Now this is a simple but certainly a false solution. For one thing, we now know that such dependence on a single authority was not Trogus’ fashion of composition. It is only necessary to cite the elaborate analysis of the first two books by von Gutschmidt (Kleine Schriften V, Leipzig, 1894, pp. 19-217) which demonstrates that he not only used many sources but that he used them with discrimination, choosing his material, combining it, and reworking it as an historian should, instead of excerpting one book after another. The same result had already been reached for the account of the Persian Wars by Holzapfel (Untersuchungen über die Darstellung der griechischen Geschichte von 489 bis 413 v. Chr. bei Ephorus, Theopompus und anderen Autoren, Leipzig, 1879). Any fair study of the history of Trogus as a whole will reveal the fact that he was of too independent a mind to be a mere copyist of other men’s work.
Aside from its inherent improbability, the theory is weak in itself. Kuhn (p. 6) gives an impressive list of special studies designed to show that Diodorus, Livy, Appian, Josephus and Eusebius also derived from Posidonius. If all these writers go back to the same account they should exhibit uniformity of testimony, marred undoubtedly by their individual errors and misunderstandings. But, as a matter of fact, this is not what we find at all. The scattered references are remarkable for their independence of each other and while, in general, it is not impossible that they should all descend from a common source, they show very little sign of it. Kuhn’s own evidence for a common source is feeble; it consists of three instances of coincidence; a) Justin, XXXIX, 2, 7-10 and Appian, Syr. 69, report that Cleopatra wanted to poison Grypus but lost her life in consequence and that the aggression of Cyzicenus was caused by Grypus’ plot against him; b) Appian, loc. cit. and Eusebius I, p. 258 say that Seleucus V assumed the crown and was killed by his mother; c) Justin, XL, 2, 3 and Eusebius I, p. 261 speak
of Antiochus X, Eusebes, the son of Cyzicenus when they must mean Antiochus XIII, Asiaticus, the son of Eusebes (Appian also makes the same mistake). In the first two cases there are no significant likenesses of language; it is merely a matter of two writers recording the same facts. The third case is really quite fatal to the doctrine. It is true that three writers fall into the same error (and the error can hardly be explained as Wilcken explain it [Pauly-Wissowa I, col. 2487] on the ground that Antiochus XIII may also have been named Eusebes, for his coins have only the name Philadelphus [“Seleucid Mint of Antioch,” p. 216]). But it is incredible that the mistake should go back to this common source, for if anyone knew which Seleucid king was which it should have been Posidonius of Apamea, who lived from 135 to 51 B.C. and was therefore contemporary which all of them from the Seventh to the Thirteenth! The evidence proves only that Posidonius wrote the history of this period, and that Trogus knew and used his work is likely enough. But that in Justin we have merely an abridgment of Posidonius done over into Latin is a fantasy which may be dismissed. It is perhaps disappointing to have to admit that we do not know what Trogus’ sources were, and the curious may pursue such phantoms as the history of Antioch by Pausanias of Damascus (FHG, IV, pp. 470f.), but no speculation can give us anything solid to go on, and we must arrive at our estimate of Trogus by reading Justin. Only in one place may we guess at a source. The interview of Pompey with the last Antiochus has the air of being the account of a witness and it is hardly too rash to suggest that the tale may have been told the historian by his uncle who commanded a squadron of cavalry for Pompey in the Mithradatic war (XLIII, 5, 12).
Because of the extremely fragmentary nature of the other evidence it is impossible to judge the detailed accuracy of the account. Certainly Justin’s story is reasonable and consistent, though we cannot guess how it would appear had Posidonius been preserved, or the relevant portions of Sallust or Livy. But there are no glaring contradictions or unlikelihoods. We can detect only two discrepancies. The first, the confusion of Antiochus X with his son, already referred to, I find very hard to believe was the mistake of Trogus. I can well understand how Justin, making his abbreviation two centuries later, could have lost count and have written “Cyziceni filius” for “Cyziceni nepos”, especially since he omitted all the matter dealing with Eusebes, but Trogus was too nearly contemporary and had too good means of knowing the truth to have fallen into such a confusion. It is tantalizing that there is a
lacuna just after the mention of Eusebes in the Prologue to Book XL, just where the text might have settled the matter for us.
The other difficulty is that twice (XL, 1, 4, and 2, 3) he gives the reign of Tigranes as 18 years instead of 14 as does Appian. (There are MS variants of 17 and 19.) The fallibility of scribes being well known, it is not surprising that editors have sometimes emended the reading XVIII to XIV, but Seel’s note, “cave ne Justinum corrigas,” is sound doctrine. The mistake might have been the work of Justin or the copyists, but since Trogus is certainly not infallible, we may admit that probably he is at fault here. It is not a very serious lapse.
More important than this is the question of how Trogus conceived this part of his history and what he considered germane to the subject. The whole work centers around the epic of the greatness and decline of the Macedonian power.1 In these books the decline of the Seleucid and Lagid houses is brought to its end, and Trogus is concerned in showing the elements which contributed to the collapse. The first of these was the incessant wars of which he gives us our best general account. Whether he actually recorded all the varying fortunes of Grypus and Cyzicenus we do not know, but he certainly told of the outbreak, the fighting in Syria and Cilicia, the reverse of Cyzicenus, one conquest of Antioch by Grypus and the following one by his brother, the Egyptian aid to Grypus, and his death. Considering how much has been lost we may conclude that the original had a fairly complete account of the whole war. Nor was his concern for battles alone, for he speaks of the eight years of peace under Grypus, which must have been of great though transitory importance.
Quite as vital as the military affairs were the persons engaged, and Justin has preserved for us a number of passages to show that the characters were very real in the pages of Trogus: the false Alexander, son of an Egyptian business man, counterfeiting grief at the funeral of his supposed father; the terrible queen-mothers, Cleopatra Thea and the third Cleopatra of Egypt; the latter’s equally terrible daughter Tryphaena;
1 Though it is hardly within the scope of this discussion, I must say that I am not convinced by the very interesting article of J. W. Swain (“The Theory of the Four Monarchies. Opposition History under the Roman Empire,” Classical Philology, 1940, pp. 1-21) that Trogus was hostile to the Roman imperialism and “made the theory of four monarchies the basis of his work.” The assumption that Trogus was anti-Roman has already been questioned by Ernest Schneider (De Pompeï Trogi historiarum Philippicarum consilio et arte, Leipzig dissertation, 1913), and Swain’s thesis seems to me to misunderstand the purpose of Trogus, whose title and proportions show that the focus of his work was on the Macedonian conquest and the history of the Successors, to which Rome was quite incidental.
Ptolemy Lathyrus, the scrupulous exile; and Pompey, the intelligent but peremptory conqueror. In spite of his remark about the fortune of Rome (XXXIX, 5, 3) he was no believer in the blind force of destiny. The kings wrought their own downfall by their own vices: nor only treachery and cruelty and contentiousness, but also that lack of ability to get along with their subjects which only the most firmly established monarch can survive. It was insolence learned among the Parthians that was fatal to Demetrius II; insolence begotten of too great success that alienated the people from Alexander II. Here is the standard vice of Greek tragedy: the kings thought of themselves more highly than they ought to think. The inevitable retribution is brought about not by direct divine intervention but by human means – it is not Alexander Zabinas’ sacrilege to the statue of Zeus, but the consequent riot that caused his destruction. But there was undoubtedly a strong moral tone to Trogus’ account of the decline and fall of the Macedonian kings, the scope of which we can only imperfectly see. The doctrine was not like that of Polybius, the justification of Roman domination. Still less, of course, was it like that of Josephus. There are no indications that the fortunes of the Jews and Arabs were treated with such sympathy as to suggest a perception of the basic oriental reaction to superposed Hellenism. The only apparent exception is in the treatment of Tigranes. Justin reports that for 18 years he ruled a most tranquil kingdom, having no necessity to wage war on anyone or to defend himself by force of arms. This is certainly not what Trogus wrote. A man whose uncle was an officer of Pompey cannot possibly have thought that Tigranes’ entire career was one of peace, nor would there have been any point in trying to falsify the record for a generation so close to the events. What we have must be a condensation in which the conditions of his earlier years in Syria, before the siege of Ptolemais – years which, so far as we know were peaceful for the country – were falsely attributed to his whole reign. But there is no indication that his resistance to the Romans was defended or his defeat lamented. I do not believe that there was any intention of making a hero of Tigranes or exalting Armenian rule as the redressing of Seleucid errors. I think the historian’s whole purpose was to show what happened to the Macedonian dynasts, and why.
This is not intended as a complete analysis of these books, which would in any case be of small value without a similar treatment of the rest of the Philippica. It is intended to suggest, however, that the qualities of Trogus as an historian are worthy of more attention than they generally receive.
This transcription is published with the kind permission of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, http://www.yale.edu/caas/.