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The Seleukid Empire of Antiochus III (223-187 BC) (ePub)

Ancient History Military

By John D Grainger
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
File Size: 1.4 MB (.epub)
Pages: 228
Illustrations: 6 b/w maps
ISBN: 9781473854505
Published: 4th March 2015


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The second volume in John Grainger's history of the Seleukid Empire is devoted to the reign of Antiochus III. Too often remembered only as the man who lost to the Romans at Magnesia, Antiochus is here revealed as one of the most powerful and capable rulers of the age. Having emerged from civil war in 223 as the sole survivor of the Seleukid dynasty, he shouldered the burdens of a weakened and divided realm. Though defeated by Egypt in the Fourth Syrian War, he gradually restored full control over the empire. His great Eastern campaign took Macedonian arms back to India for the first time since Alexander's day and, returning west, he went on to conquer Thrace and finally wrest Syria from Ptolemaic control.

Then came intervention in Greece and the clash with Rome leading to the defeat at Magnesia and the restrictive Peace of Apamea. Despite this, Antiochus remained ambitious, campaigning in the East again; when he died in 187 BC the empire was still one of the most powerful states in the world.

This is a useful biography of a major figure in the Hellenistic World, bringing him to life in his own right, rather than as just another stepping stone during Rome's rise to dominance in the Ancient World.

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History of War, John Rickard

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UNRV - reviewed by Philip Matyszak

We are, Grainger says, so 'hypnotised by the rise of Rome that we ignore the Seleukid and Ptolemaic interlude. His clear and fascinating account breaks this spell.

Minerva, March – April 2016 - Dominic Green

This is a well-researched and well written introduction to the topic and on those terms is well worth reading.


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Vae Victis

About John D Grainger

JOHN D GRAINGER is a former teacher and historian of great experience with a particular interest in Classical and Hellenistic Greek history. His many previous works include the following for Pen & Sword: Hellenistic and Roman Naval Wars (2011); The Wars of the Maccabees (2012); Roman Conquests: Egypt and Judaea (2013); a three-part history of the Seleukid Empire (2014-16), King’s and Kingship in the Hellenistic World 350-30 BC (2017), Antipater’s Dynasty (2018), Ancient Dynasties (2019, The Roman Imperial Succession (March 2020), The Straits from Troy to Constantinople (2021) and The Forty Sieges of Constantinople (2022). He lives in Evesham, Worcestershire.

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