Antiochus III the Great

The sixth and greatest Seleucid Empire (223–187 BC)

Antiochus III the Great (/ænˈtəkəs/; Greek: Ἀντίoχoς Μέγας Antiochos Megas; c. 196 bc – 3 July 187 BC)[1] was a Greek Hellenistic king. He was the 6th ruler of the Seleucid Empire. Antiochus ruled from 222 to 187 BC.[2][3][4] He ruled over the region of Syria and large parts of the rest of western Asia at the end of the 3rd century BC. Antiochus took the throne at the age of eighteen in 222 BC. His early campaigns against the Ptolemaic Kingdom were not successful. In the following years, Antiochus gained several military victories. The empire expanded greatly under his rule. He assumed the title Basileus Megas (Greek for "Great King"). It was the traditional title of the Persian kings. Antiochus was a militarily active ruler. He restored much of the territory of the Seleucid Empire. This ended near the end of his rule with his war against Rome.

Antiochus III
Basileus Megas
(Great King)
Bust from the Louvre, possibly Roman copy of Hellenistic portrait of Antiochus III
Basileus Megas of the Seleucid Empire
ReignApril/June 222– 3 July 187 BC
(36 years)
PredecessorSeleucus III Ceraunus
SuccessorSeleucus IV Philopator
Bornc. 196 BC
Susa, Seleucid Empire
Died3 July 187 BC (aged 54)
Susa, Seleucid Empire
SpouseLaodice III
Euboea of Chalcis
Seleucus IV Philopator
Laodice of Bactria
Laodice IV, Queen of the Seleucid Empire
Cleopatra I Syra, Queen of Egypt
Antiochis, Queen of Cappadocia
Antiochus IV
Full name
Antiochos Mégas
Ἀντίoχoς ὁ Μέγας
("Antiochus the Great")
FatherSeleucus II Callinicus
MotherLaodice II
ReligionGreek polytheism

War against Rome


After Antiochus invaded Greece to conquer it from the Antigonid dynasty, he scared the Roman Republic into starting a war against him. The Romans beat him and forced him to sign a treaty and took his second son Antiochus IV Epiphanes hostage to make sure that he would listen to it.

Shortly after his defeat against the Romans, Antiochus the Great invaded Persia and pillaged a temple. He was killed while doing that. His son Seleucus IV Philopator became the next king.


  1. "Antiochus III the Great". Archived from the original on 2020-05-04. Retrieved 2020-03-26.
  2. Davies, Philip R. (2002). Second Temple studies III: studies in politics, class, and material culture. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 95. ISBN 978-0-8264-6030-1. The difference is that from the perspective of Antiochus III, the Greek king of a Greek empire, or from the later point of view of a head of state communicating with a Greek city-state
  3. Garg, Gaṅgā Rām (1992). Encyclopaedia of the Hindu world, Volume 2. Concept Publishing Company. p. 510. ISBN 978-81-7022-375-7. Antiochus III the Great. Greek king who ruled an empire including Syria and western Asia (including Mesopotamia and Iran) towards the end of the 3rd century BC. It was during his time that Bactria became independent under Euthydemos. Shortly afterwards Antiochus III crossed the Hindu Kush and attacked an Indian prince named Subhagasena (Sophagasenas of the classical writers) who ruled over the Kabul valley. Antiochus III defeated Subhagasena, extorted from him a large cash indemnity and many elephants before he went back to his country. This invasion produced no permanent effect.
  4. Jones, Peter V.; Sidwell, Keith C. (1997). The World of Rome: An Introduction to Roman Culture. Cambridge University Press. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-521-38600-5. Antiochus III, the Greek king of Syria (the dynasty there was called 'Seleucid'), was busily expanding in Asia Minor and in 196 BC even crossed into Europe to annex part of Thrace.