Appian, The Syrian Wars (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [App. Syr.].
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63

Thus Seleucus died at the age of seventy-three, [Note] having reigned forty-two years. It seems to me that the oracle hit the mark in his case when it said to him, "Do not hurry back to Europe; Asia will be much better for you," for Lysimacheia is in Europe, and he then crossed over to Europe for the first time after leaving it with the army of Alexander. It is said also that once when he consulted an oracle in reference to his own death he received this answer:--

"If you keep away from Argos you will reach your allotted year, but if you approach that place you will die before your time."

There is an Argos in Peloponnesus, another in Amphilochia, another in Orestea (whence come the Macedonian Argeadæ), and the one on the Ionian sea, said to have been built by Diomedes during his wanderings, -- all these, and every place named Argos in every other country, Seleucus inquired about and avoided. While he was advancing from the Hellespont to Lysimacheia a splendid great altar presented itself to his view, which he was told had been built either by the Argonauts on their way to Colchis, or by the Achæans who besieged Troy, for which reason the people in the neighborhood still called it Argos, either by a corruption of the name of the ship Argo, or from the native place of the sons of Atreus. While he was learning these things he was killed by Ptolemy, who stabbed him in the back. Philetzerus, the prince of Pergamus, bought the body of Seleucus from Ceraunus for a large sum of money, burned it, and sent the ashes to his son Antiochus. The latter deposited them at Seleucia-by-the-Sea, where he erected a temple to his father on consecrated ground, to which ground he gave the name of Nicatoreum.

64

I have heard that Lysimachus, who was one of the armor-bearers of Alexander, was once running by his side for a long distance, and, being fatigued, took hold of the tail of the king's horse and continued to run; that he was struck in the forehead by the point of the king's spear, which opened one of his veins from which the blood flowed profusely; that Alexander, for want of a bandage, bound up the wound with his own diadem which was thus saturated with blood; and that Aristandrus, Alexander's soothsayer, when he saw Lysimachus carried away wounded in this manner, said, "That man will be a king, but he will reign with toil and trouble." He reigned nearly forty years, counting those in which he was satrap, and he did reign with toil and trouble. He fell in battle, while still commanding his army, at the age of seventy. Seleucus did not long survive him. Lysimachus' dog watched his body lying on the ground for a long time, and kept it unharmed by birds or beasts until Thorax of Pharsalia found and buried it. Some say that he was buried by his own son, Alexander, who fled to Seleucus from fear when Lysimachus put to death his other son, Agathocles; that he searched for the body a long time and found it at last by means of the dog, and that it was already partly decomposed. The Lysimacheians deposited the bones in their temple and named the temple itself the Lysimacheum. Thus did these two kings, the bravest and most renowned for bodily size, come to their end at nearly the same time, one of them at the age of seventy, the other three years older, and both fighting with their own hands until the day of their death.

CHAPTER XI

The Successors of Seleucus -- Demetrius Soter -- Palace Conspiracies -- End of the Seleucidæ

65

After the death of Seleucus, the kingdom of Syria passed in regular succession from father to son as follows: the first was the same Antiochus who fell in love with his stepmother, to whom was given the surname of Soter (the Protector) for driving out the Gauls who had made an incursion into Asia from Europe. The second was another Antiochus, born of this marriage, who received the surname of Theos(the Divine) from the Milesians in the first instance, because he slew their tyrant, Timarchus. This Theos was poisoned by his wife. He had two wives, Laodice and Berenice, the former a love-match, the latter a daughter pledged to him by Ptolemy Philadelphus. Laodice assassinated him and afterward Berenice and her child. Ptolemy, the son of Philadelphus, avenged these crimes by killing Laodice. He invaded Syria and advanced as far as Babylon. The Parthians now began their revolt, taking advantage of the confusion in the house of the Seleucidæ. [Note]

66

Seleucus, the son of Theos and Laodice, surnamed [Note] Callinicus (the Triumphant), succeeded Theos as king of [Note] Syria. After Seleucus his two sons, Seleucus and Antiochus, [Note] succeeded in the order of their age. As Seleucus was sickly and poor and unable to command the obedience of the army, he was poisoned by a court conspiracy in the [Note] second year of his reign. His brother was Antiochus the [Note] Great, who went to war with the Romans, of whom I have [Note] written above. He reigned thirty-seven years. I have [Note] already spoken of his two sons, Seleucus and Antiochus, both of whom ascended the throne. The former reigned twelve years, but feebly and without success by reason of his father's misfortune. Antiochus (Epiphanes) reigned not quite twelve years, in the course of which he captured Artaxias the Armenian and made an expedition into Egypt [Note] against Ptolemy VI., who had been left an orphan with one [Note] brother. While he was encamped near Alexandria, Popilius came to him as Roman ambassador, bringing an order in writing that he should not attack the Ptolemies. When he had read it he replied that he would think about it. Popilius drew a circle around him with a stick and [Note] said, "Think about it here." He was terrified and withdrew [Note] from the country, and robbed the temple of Venus Elymais; then died of a wasting disease, leaving a son nine years of age, the Antiochus Eupator already mentioned. [Note]



Appian, The Syrian Wars (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [App. Syr.].
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