SELEUKOS III SOTER

(225-223 BC)

Born to Seleukos II Kallinikos and Laodike, the daughter of Achaios, around 245 BC, Seleukos III found himself facing the daunting task of restoring to his empire the lands lost by Antiochos Hierax. At the age of twenty-five and despite a weak constitution, Seleukos raised an army for the unavoidable clash with Attalos I of Pergamon. At the same time his younger brother, Antiochos III, was dispatched to maintain control of the eastern satrapies.

In 224/3 BC Seleukos III crossed the Tauros and went to war with Attalid forces which may have had support from Ptolemaic Egypt. Despite his title Soter ('Savior'), Seleukos and his generals are known to have lost at least one battle against the Pergamene enemy. It is unclear how the rest of the war played out, but in the summer of 223, for reasons that are now lost to history, a conspiracy involving a Macedonian officer and a Galatian chieftain claimed the life of the young king.

With the sudden poisoning death of his elder brother, the royal authority fell to the youthful Antiochos III and his guardian, Achaios.


See a coin of Seleukos III Soter in the Hoover Collection. All coins are shown actual size and are fully described. For an enlargement and a brief discussion of each coin's historical and iconographic importance please click on the appropriate coin picture.

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