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Seleucid Kingdom

the beginning of an empire

1.2 coin portraying

Seleucus I Nicator

1.1 Map showing the Seleucid empire.

1.4 After Alexander's death, his empire was divided among his
Macedonian generals. One of the Diadochi was his friend
Seleucus I Nicator seen in figure 1.2 on a coin. Seleucus took
control of the eastern provinces, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon,
with parts of Turkey, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and
Tajikistan. Figure 1.1 is a map that shows how vast the empire
was, of all of Alexander's empires, this was the largest. Seleucus I 1.3 Family tree depicting the
recognized the riches that this empire had and decided he wanted Seleucid Dynasty.
it for himself. He founded the Seleucid dynasty in 312 B.C. and
declared himself king. The monarchy survived over two hundred
centuries, before coming to an end in 64 B.C. Figure 1.3 shows
the decedents of Seleucus I.
Religion and
2.4 The gods of the Greeks were worshiped in the Greek cities. The
2.1 Seleucid coin depicting Greek native people were allowed to continue their worship of their
god. 150-145 BC. 21mm (Byblos traditional gods, there was no evidence of Seleucid religious
mint). Head of Alexander and persecution(. Only Greek gods are found on Seleucid coins, such as the
Cronus depicted with staff and 6
coin in figure 2.1, the Greek god Cronus is depicted on the back.
According to its Greek inscription, figure 2.3, “the rock relief
representing Heracles at Behistun was carved in 148 B.C. it was
dedicated to a local Seleucid governor” (Flickr). No Monumental
architecture of the Seleucid capitals remains. By studying remains such
as figure 2.2, it is clear that there was synergy between Greek and local
art styles in Seleucid architecture (Erskine, p.422).

2.3 a Seleucid period (2nd C BC)

relief of a reclining Hercules,
2.2 Seleucid temple , Failaka located along the Royal Road to
Island, Kuwait Babylon.
The Attalid Empire
3.4 Pergamum is located near the west coast of
modern day Turkey. The Attalid Kingdom, whose
leaders built the Pergamum library, reigned between
Alexander the Great and the Roman Republic. After
Alexander death in 323 B.C, his great empire was
fought for and divided by his generals. The map in
figure 3.2 shows this division after the Battle of Ipsus
in 301 B.C. The Attalid Kingdom began by
Lysimachus entrusting the eunuch Philetaerus with his
treasurer the city of Pergamum. Philetaerus’s face is
on the coin in figure 3.3,. Philetaerus saw the
Lysimachus was no match to the Seleucid forces and
took the gamble to switch loyalties. It allowed him to
3.1 Family tree of the Attalid Empire. secure control and select his heir, his brother’s son,
Eumenes I. The Attalids gain full independence in 241
B.C when Eumenes I defeats the neighboring
Galatians in 241 BCE. Eumenes son and heir was
named Attalus I, where the kingdom gained its name.
(Erskine p.159-174)

3.3. Coin of Philetaerus.

3.2 Map showing the break-up of Alexander’s
The Attalids
•The Sanctuary of Athena
•The Library a.k.a. Athenaeum
•The Royal palaces
•Sanctuary of Trajan (also known as the
public and private Trajaneum)
•The Heroön - a shrine where the kings of
4.5 The attalids rosé from less than royal origins. Philetearus was a Pergamum, particularly, Attalus I and
eunuch, a man or boy whose testicles have been removed. “His family Eumenes II, were worshipped.
background was supposedly half Greek” (class notes). Philetearus •The Temple of Dionysus
created the foundation for Attalid policy that was adopted and built •The Upper Agora
upon by his successors. They maintained the policy of establishing •The Roman baths complex
relations with neighboring city-states. Attalid dynasty as part of their 4.1 Pergamum structures
political policy founded many architectural structure. The Great Altar
of Pergamum , was dedicated to Zeus. Other notable structures still in
existence on the upper part of the Acropolis include: The Hellenistic
Theater with a seating capacity of 10,000. This had the steepest seating
of any known theater in the ancient world. Pergamum's library on the
Acropolis (the ancient Library of Pergamum) is the second best in the
ancient Greek civilization. When the Ptolemies stopped exporting
papyrus, partly because of competitors and partly because of shortages,
the Pergamenes invented a new substance to use in codices, called
pergaminus or pergamena (parchment) after the city. This was made of
fine calfskin, a predecessor of vellum. The library at Pergamum was
believed to contain 200,000 volumes, which Mark Antony later gave to
Cleopatra as a wedding present.( class Notes)
4.2 Alter of Zeus.

4.3 Blueprint of the alter of Zeus.

The Hasmomean judea dynasty

5.3 Hasmonian Dynasty (140-37 BCE)

An independent Jewish kingdom under the Hasmonean
Dynasty existed from 140–37 BCE. In the second century
BCE fascination in Jerusalem for Greek culture resulted in a
movement to break down the separation of Jew and Gentile
and some people even tried to disguise the marks of their
circumcision. Constant fighting and disputes between the Figure 5.1
leaders of the reform movement, lead to the intervention of The Lineage of the Hasmonia
Dynasty From Mattathias to
Antiochus IV Epiphanies. This intervention lead to Simon to Herod the Great who
subsequent persecution of the Jews, which resulted in The was of Iduweana lineage and
Maccabeus Revolt under the leadership of the was named King of the Jews
Hasmonians, and the construction of a native Jewish by the Roman Senate.
kingship under the Hasmonean Dynasty. The Hasmonean
dynasty was established under the leadership of Simon
Maccabaeus, two decades after his brother Judah the
Maccabee defeated the Seleucid army during the Maccabean
Revolt in 165BC. “ The Hasmonean Dynasty successfully
survived for 103 years before yielding to the Herodian
Dynasty in 37 BC” (. Disputes between the Hasmonean rivals Figure 5.2
Aristobulus and Hyrcanus led to control of the kingdom by Hasmonean Dynasty
the Roman army of Pompey. Then it later became, a Roman Figure 5.3 Currency
Province which was ran by the governor of Syria. Statue of Herod the Great
Married Miriam from the
Hasmonean Dynasty and
started the Hellenistic
Religion under the
hasmonean dynasty

6.2 The territories that were incorporated into

the Hasmonean Kingdom were, quickly
converted to the Jewish religion with the
exceptions, of a few. The Idumeans came to
exercise an important place in Jewish national
life. Galilee became one of the principal
centers of Judaism. The Samaritans, were very
resistant of being converted to the Jewish
religion and customs and were able to resist
Jewish assimilation. Some of the cities like
Apollonia and Sythopolis, with only a small
Jewish element in their population, likewise
retained their non-Jewish character.

Figure 6.1
Hasmonean Dynasty Map
Nabataea Empire Figure 7.1
Map Depicting Nabataeans

7.3 During the years that followed Alexander the

Great, the Nabataeans managed to become a
successful society in the Middle East. The
Nabataeans were an Arab tribe, they traded from
Gaza all the across to Negev desert and in Saudi
Arabia. “They used their knowledge of sea routes
and caravan routes so that they were able to form a
link between eastern and western goods. They
managed to take their caravans through the desert,
unaffected by the local tribes who controlled wells
and grazing land” (www.Nabataea.net).

Figure 7.2 map showing trade route.

Nabataea culture
8.3 For centuries, the Nabataeans did not build housing or a temple. Petra, a
barren canyon, and possibly a place were they buried their dead, was
where they chose to begin building. “The Nabataeans first made tented
settlements on top of this mountain to serve as a refuge and a safe place
to store their women, children, and goods when they were away buying
and selling. Nabataeans did start building their city, they called it Rekem.
This city became very famous and illustrious that it was name in the in
the records of Chang Ch’ien, envoy to the Chinese Empire, (138-122 BC)
as well as in the records of the civilizations of Greece, Egypt, Rome, and
Byzantium where the city was known by its Roman name, Petra. They
set up a trading empire that had surpassed anything seen before.
Through their system of trade, they began importing goods from the east
and selling them in the west. In the next few centuries they would import
good such as spices, animals, iron, oil, copper, sugar, medicines, ivory,
perfumes; pearls, cotton,. They also were responsible for the transfer of
ideas and inventions between the great eastern and western civilization.”

Figure 8.1
Petra Nabataeans Empire
City in the mountains

Figure 8.2
Petra Nabataeans Empire
City in the mountains

• http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/searchresults?q=nabatea

• http://uidaho.edu/special-collections/rindex.htm

• http://www.livius.org/se-sg/seleucids/seleucid_kings.html

• http://www.metmuseum.org/TOAH/hd/sleu/hd_sleu.htm

• http://www.livius.org

• Near Eastern Archaeology, Volume 64, No. 4, December 2001

Lewis, Theodore J. (Editor) Collins, Billie Jean (Editor)
Pages: 64
Publisher: American Schools of Oriental

 Erskine, Andrew; The companion to the Hellenistic world, 2005, Blackwell publishing.

 Green, Peter, Hellenistic history and culture, 1993; university of California press.

• http://www.abu.nb.ca/Courses/NTIntro/InTest/Images/Hasmon.html

• http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/roman-and-greek-coins.asp?vpar=808&pos=1

• http://www-scf.usc.edu/~ciccone/html/history%20of%20the%20revolt.htm

• http://www.swartzentrover.com/cotor/bible/Bible/Bible%20Atlas/093.jpg

• http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/hasmonean

• http://www.important.ca/jewish_history_judaism.html

• http://www.jafi.org.il/education/festivls/hanukah/h1.html