Antiochos XII

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Last update 28-Aug-2011

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... a terrible battle ensued. Antiochus’s troops, so long as he was alive, fought it out, although a mighty slaughter was made among them by the Arabians; but when he fell, for he was in the forefront, in the utmost danger, in rallying his troops, they all gave ground, and the greatest part of his army were destroyed, either in the action or the flight; ...

Flavius Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, Book I, 101-102


Ruler: Antiochos XII Dionysos Epiphanes Philopator Kallinikos (“Antiochos, Dionysos Manifest, the Father-loving, the Nobly-victorious”), Seleukid King, born c. 124 - 112/1 BC, reigned 87/6 - 83/2 BC,1 died 83/2 BC (killed in battle with the Arabs)
Father: Antiochos VIII Epiphanes Philometor Kallinikos, Seleukid King, born c. 142 BC (son of Demetrios II Nikator, Seleukid King, and Kleopatra Thea Eueteria, Queen of the Seleukid Empire), reigned 126/5 - 97/6 BC, died 97/6 BC (killed by one of his generals, Herakleon)
Mother: Tryphaina (alternative spelling Tryphaena),2 Queen of the Seleukid Empire, born c. 141/0 BC (daughter of Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II Tryphon, called Physcon or Kakergetes, King of Egypt, and Kleopatra III Euergetis, Queen of Egypt), married Antiochos VIII in 124 BC (as his first wife), died 112/1 or 110/9 BC (executed by Antiochos IX Philopator, Seleukid King)
Siblings: (Tryphaina was probably the mother of all children of Antiochos VIII.3)
  (1) Seleukos VI Epiphanes Nikator, Seleukid King, born c. 124 - 112/1 BC (the eldest brother), reigned 97/6 - 94 BC, died 94 BC (died in Mopsuhestia during an uprising against him)
  (2) Antiochos XI Epiphanes Philadelphos (twin of Philip I), Seleukid King, born c. 124 - 112/1 BC, reigned c. 94/3 BC, died c. 94/3 BC (drawned while fording the river Orontes after his defeat by Antiochos X)
  (3) Philip I Epiphanes Philadelphos (twin of Antiochos XI), Seleukid King, born c. 124 - 112/1 BC, reigned 93 - 83 BC, died c. 83 BC (probably of natural causes)
  (4) Demetrios III Theos Philopator Soter, Seleukid King, born c. 124 - 112/1 BC, reigned 97/6 - 88/7 BC (defeated and captured by the Parthians), died later in the comfortable Parthian captivity by sickness
  (5) Laodike Thea, wife of Mithridates I Kallinikos, King of Commagene4


In 97/6 BC, Antiochos VIII was assassinated by his war minister Herakleon5 in an abortive coup. His half-brother and long-term enemy, Antiochos IX, took control of Antioch (his third reign in Antioch) and married Antiochos VIII’s widow, Kleopatra II Selene. However, his former ally Ptolemy Lathyros6 now deserted him and installed Demetrios III, the fourth son of Antiochos VIII, as king of Coele-Syria in Damaskos.7 Simultaneously, the eldest son of Antiochos VIII, Seleukos VI, assumed the diadem. His base was at Seleukeia on the Kalykadnos in Cilicia. Subsequently, he marched on Antiochos IX. Antiochos IX was defeated near Antioch in 95 BC and he either committed suicide to escape imprisonment or was executed. Seleukos VI captured Antioch for a short time. Antiochos X, the only son of Antiochos IX, proclaimed himself king at Arados. He married Kleopatra II Selene (the ex-wife of both of his father Antiochos IX and his uncle Antiochos VIII) and he defeated Seleukos VI (c. 94 BC) and drove him out from Antioch. Seleukos VI fled from Syria to Mopsuhestia in Cilicia and died a short time afterwards.8

Antiochos XI and Philip I, twin younger brothers of Seleukos VI, were next claimants for the Seleukid throne. They avenged themselves on Mopsuhestia, proclaimed themselves kings9 and gathered an army in north Syria or Cilicia. Philip I probably maintained himself there while Antiochos XI captured Antioch (c. 93 BC). Within a year or less, Antiochos X regroups his forces and retakes the capital. Antiochos XI was drowned while fording the river Orontes.10

Antiochos X was eliminated in the period c. 93 - 92/1 BC.11 Demetrios III gained possession of Antioch, but the center of his power was Damaskos.12 He also became involved in the affairs of the Jewish State,13 whereas Philip I’s activities at this time are not known.

In 88/7 BC Demetrios III besieged Philip I in Beroea. Straton, the ruler of the town and Philip I’s ally, called in the Arabs and Parthians. Demetrios III was himself besieged and finally compelled to surrender from lack of water. He was sent to the Parthian king who kept him in honorable captivity until he died a natural death. Philip I captured Antioch and thenceforth held sway over Syria.14

However, shortly after, his last remaining brother and the youngest of the five sons of Antiochos VIII appeared in Damaskos and made himself king of Damaskos and Coele-Syria as Antiochos XII Dionysos Epiphanes Philopator Kallinikos. His rule started in 87/6 BC.15 He probably made no attempt to conquer territory held by Philip I, but he started a war against the Nabataean Arabs who were extending their power northwards through trans-Jordan. Philip took advantage of his absence and marched upon Damaskos. Milesius, the governor of Damaskos, delivered the city to him hoping to be suitably rewarded. However, when Philip’s gratitude did not come up his expectations he changed sides again and, while Philip was outside the walls at the hippodrome, shut the gates on him and kept Damaskos for Antiochos XII. Presumably Philip thereupon retired to Antioch. Antiochos returned to Damaskos from the Arabian campaign quickly, but finding that the crisis was past he started a new campaign against the Nabataean Arabs immediately. His army moved through Judea. Alexander Jannaeus16, who was afraid of his attack, built massive fortifications. Antiochos overcame the defense barrier and made his army pass by that way into Arabia. The Arab king Aretas III17 pretended a retreat, but afterward suddenly attacked the Antiochos’ army. Antiochos’ resistance was valiant and he would have achieved victory if he had not been killed. Once he fell, his army was destroyed.18

The citizens of Damaskos offered the empty throne to their former enemy, the Nabataean king Aretas III, because they were afraid of Ptolemy19, the unpopular ruler of the city of Chalcis northwest of Damaskos.20 Aretas III occupied Damaskos first as protector and then as king Aretas III Philhellene (perhaps up to c. 72/1 BC21). It seems that Philip died almost simultaneously, because he is not mentioned in this context in ancient literary sources. Armenian forces entered Syria in 83 BC and Antiochenes offered the Syrian throne to Tigranes II the Great22, who accepted it and governed Syria up to 69 BC.23

This historical sketch is largely based on the following sources (in alphabetic order): Bellinger, The End of the Seleucids; Burgess, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress - The Rise and Fall of Cleopatra II Selene; Grainger, A Seleukid Prosopography and Gazetteer; Green, Alexander to Actium.


1 Antiochos XII’s tetradrachms are dated SE 226 = 87/6 BC, SE 227 = 86/5 BC, SE 228 = 85/4 BC, SE 229 = 84/3 BC and SE 230 = 83/2 BC, see Houghton, Lorber and Hoover, SC II, 2471, 2472 and 2472A.

2 Greek: Τρυφαινα. Bennett, Egyptian Royal Genealogy: Tryphaena, notes that she is “usually called Cleopatra Tryphaena in modern sources, although there is no ancient justification for this”.

3 Tryphaina was certainly the mother of Antiochos XI and Philip I and presumably the mother of Seleukos VI, Demetrios III, Antiochos XII and Laodike Thea. It is possible that Antiochos VIII had a second wife in the near-decade between the death of Tryphaina and his marriage to Kleopatra Selene in 103/2 BC but there is no evidence for it. (Bennett, Egyptian Royal Genealogy: Tryphaena, Cleopatra Selene)

4 See Grainger, A Seleukid Prosopography and Gazetteer, p. 48 - Laodike (8). Their son, Antiochos I Theos Dikaios Epiphanes Philorhomaios Philhellen, was the builder of the Nemrud monument (see, e.g., the website of The International Nemrud Foundation).

5 Herakleon was a senior figure at the court of Antiochos VIII, who held a military office, and exercised a strict discipline. He unsuccessfully attempted to seize the throne and probably died in the failure. His son Dionysios became tyrant of Bambyke, Beroia and Herakleia in the 80s BC. (Grainger, A Seleukid Prosopography and Gazetteer, p. 92 - Herakleon, p. 647 - Dionysios (1))

Kidd, Posidonius, Volume 3, p. 139, F75 = Jacoby FGrH 87 F24 (at Athenaios of Naukratis, Deipnosophistai, Bk. 4.153B-C): In his account also about Heracleon of Beroea, the man who after advancement from King Antiochus Grypus (Antiochos VIII), almost drove his benefactor from his kingdom, [Posidonius] writes in Bk XXXIV of his History the following: ‘When feeding his army, he made the men lie on the ground in the open air in battalions of 1000. The meal consisted of a large loaf, meat, ordinary wine diluted with cold water, all served by men wearing their swords. Strict silence was observed.’

6 Ptolemy IX Soter II (nicknamed Lathyros), king of Egypt: born 143/2 BC (son of Ptolemy VIII by Cleopatra III), co-ruler of Egypt from 116 to 107 BC, expelled by Cleopatra III and replaced by Ptolemy X in 107 BC, took control of Cyprus in 105 BC, recalled to Alexandria to replace Ptolemy X in 88 BC, died 81 BC.

7 Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 13.370: ... Ptolemy Lathyrus sent for his (Philip I’s) fourth brother Demetrius (Demetrios III), who was called Eucerus, from Cnidus, and made him king of Damascus.

His first Damascene tetradrachms are dated SE 216 = 97/6 BC, see Houghton, Lorber and Hoover, SC II, 2450.1.

8 Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 13.365-368: About this very time Antiochus (Antiochos VIII), who was called Grypus, died. His death was caused by Heracleon’s treachery, when he had lived forty-five years, and had reigned twenty-nine. His son Seleucus (Seleukos VI) succeeded him in the kingdom, and made war with Antiochus (Antiochos IX), his father’s brother, who was called Antiochus Cyzicenus, and beat him, and took him prisoner, and slew him. But after a while Antiochus (Antiochos X), the son of Cyzicenus, who was called Pius, came to Aradus, and put the diadem on his own head, and made war with Seleucus (Seleukos VI), and beat him, and drove him out of all Syria. But when he fled out of Syria, he came to Mopsuestia again, and levied money upon them; but the people of Mopsuestin had indignation at what he did, and burnt down his palace, and slew him, together with his friends.

Appian, Roman History, 11.69: Then Seleucus (Seleukos VI), the son of Grypus (Antiochos VIII), made war on his uncle (Antiochos IX) and took the government away from him. The new sovereign was violent and tyrannical and was burned to death in the gymnasium at the city of Mopsus in Cilicia. Antiochus (Antiochos X), the son of Cyzicenus (Antiochos IX), succeeded him.

Eusebius, Chronicle, pp. 259-261: After Antiochus Grypus (Antiochos VIII) died at the time which was stated above, his son Seleucus (Seleukos VI) came with an army and captured many cities. Antiochus Cyzicenus (Antiochos IX) brought an army from Antioch, but was defeated in a battle; his horse carried him off towards the enemy, and when they were about to capture him, he drew his sword and killed himself. So Seleucus gained control of the whole kingdom, and captured Antioch. But the surviving son of Cyzicenus (Antiochos X) began a war against Seleucus. When their armies met at the city called Mopsuestia in Cilicia, the victory went to Antiochus (Antiochos X). Seleucus fled to the city, but when he learnt that the inhabitants intended to burn him alive, he hastened to commit suicide.

Porphyry, Chronika, 23-24: At the aforementioned time when Antiochos Grypos (Antiochos VIII) died, his son, Seleukos (Seleukos VI), coming with a large force attacked the city (Antioch). Antiochos Kyzikenos (Antiochos IX), leading forth an army from Antioch, and drawing up in battle-order, was defeated. Being carried by his horse towards the enemy and not wishing to be arrested, he killed himself. Seleukos, being master of the kingdom, captured Antioch. Antiochos (Antiochos X), being the son of Kyzikenos, made war against him. After a battle took place around a city called Mopsouestia, Antiochos was victorious. Seleukos, upon fleeing to the city and learning that the inhabitants were resolved to burn him alive, killed himself first.

9 There are tetradrachms bearing their jugate portraits on the obverse and the royal titles on the reverse (“ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ ΚΑΙ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟΥ”, i.e. “of King Antiochos and King Philip”). See Houghton, Lorber and Hoover, SC II, 2435-2439.

10 Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 13.369: But when Antiochus (Antiochos X), the son of Cyzicenus (Antiochos IX), was king of Syria, Antiochus (Antiochos XI), the brother of Seleucus (Seleukos VI), made war upon him, and was overcome, and destroyed, he and his army.

Eusebius, Chronicle, p. 261: His two brothers Antiochus (Antiochos XI) and Philippus (Philip I) who were called the Didymi [“twins”], appeared with an army and captured the city by force (Mopsuhestia in Cilicia); then they avenged their brother’s (Seleukos VI’s) death by destroying the city. However they were confronted by the son of Cyzicenus (Antiochos X), and defeated in a battle; while escaping from the battle, Antiochus (Antiochos XI) the brother of Seleucus rode his horse recklessly and fell headlong into the river Orontes, where he was caught by the current and died.

Porphyry, Chronika, 25: His brothers, Antiochos (Antiochos XI) and Philip (Philip I), who were called Twins, appearing with an army and taking the city (Mopsuhestia in Cilicia) by force, sought to avenge the destruction of their brother by falling upon the city. But the son of Kyzikenos (Antiochos X), coming against them defeated them in battle. And of these, Antiochos (Antiochos XI) the brother of Seleukos (Seleukos VI), riding his horse away from the battle and fleeing to the Orontes, was killed by the river.

11 His end is reported differently in ancient sources:

Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 13.371: Both these brothers (Demetrios III and Philip I) did Antiochus (Antiochos X) vehemently oppose, but presently died; for when he was come as an auxiliary to Laodice, queen of the Gileadites, when she was making war against the Parthians, and he was fighting courageously, he fell, while Demetrius and Philip governed Syria, as had been elsewhere related.

Eusebius, Chronicle, p. 261: And then two others began to fight over the kingdom: Philippus (Philip I), the brother of Seleucus (Seleukos VI) and son of Antiochus Grypus (Antiochos VIII), and Antiochus (Antiochos X), the son of Antiochus Cyzicenus (Antiochos IX). Starting from the (?) third year of the 171st Olympiad (94/3 BC), they fought against each other for possession of Syria with substantial armies, each controlling part of the country. Antiochus was defeated and fled to the Parthians. Later he surrendered to Pompeius, in the hope of being restored to Syria. But Pompeius, who had received a gift of money from the inhabitants of Antioch, ignored Antiochus (in fact Antiochos XIII) and allowed to city to be autonomous. (The last part concerning to Pompeius is Porfyrios’/Eusebios’ confusion of Antiochos X with Antiochos XIII.)

Porphyry, Chronika, 26: When Philip (Philip I) the brother of Seleukos (Seleukos VI), son of Antiochos Grypos (Antiochos VIII), and Antiochos (Antiochos X) the son of Kyzikenos (Antiochos IX) were the remaining opponents concerning the kingdom, ruling from the third year of the 171st Olympiad (94/3 BC) and having noteworthy armies and holding power over parts of Syria, made war against one another concerning Syria. And Antiochos, upon being defeated, fled to the Parthians, and later entrusted himself to Pompey so that he might be restored to Syria by him. But he, taking money from the Antiochenes, did not pay attention to him (in fact Antiochos XIII) and made the city (Antioch) autonomous. (The last part concerning to Pompeius is Porfyrios’/Eusebios’ confusion of Antiochos X with Antiochos XIII.)

Appian, Roman History, 11.48: Tigranes (Tigranes I), the son of Tigranes, king of Armenia, who had annexed many neighboring principalities, and from these exploits had acquired the title of King of Kings, attacked the Seleucidæ because they would not acknowledge his supremacy. Antiochus Pius (Antiochos X) was not able to withstand him. Tigranes conquered all of the Syrian peoples this side of the Euphrates as far as Egypt.

Appian, Roman History, 11.69: ... he (Antiochos X) was expelled the kingdom by Tigranes (Tigranes I).

It seems that he was either killed in battle with the Parthians in alliance with Laodike, the queen of some unknown tribe, or he was captured by the Parthians or he fled to the Parthians (in both these cases it is possible that he was sent to Syria in 84/3 BC to strengthen the resistance to Tigranes’ impending invasion, but he was defeated/killed) or he ruled some small part of Syria or Cilicia by 83 BC until his defeat by Tigranes. In any case, Antioch began a series of municipal bronze coins in 92/1 BC. It is a sign that Antiochos X was defeated already by that time.

12 He struck dated silver tetradrachms and dated bronze coins in Damaskos from 97/6 BC to 88/7 BC (see Houghton, Lorber and Hoover, SC II, 2450 and 2451). His coins from Antioch and Seleukeia in Pieria are rarer (see Hoover, HSC, pp.268-271). In 92/1 BC, Antioch began a series of municipal bronze coins which continued for more than twenty years. It probably means that some partial local autonomy was granted to the city by Demetrios III.

13 Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, 1.92-95: At the same time they (Jewish opposition against Alexander Jannaeus, King of Judea) invited Demetrius (Demetrios III), who was called Eucerus, to assist them; and as he readily complied with their requests, in hopes of great advantages, and came with his army, the Jews joined with those their auxiliaries about Shechem. Yet did Alexander (Alexander Jannaeus) meet both these forces with one thousand horsemen, and eight thousand mercenaries that were on foot. He had also with him that part of the Jews which favored him, to the number of ten thousand; while the adverse party had three thousand horsemen, and fourteen thousand footmen. Now, before they joined battle, the kings made proclamation, and endeavored to draw off each other’s soldiers, and make them revolt; while Demetrius hoped to induce Alexander’s mercenaries to leave him, and Alexander hoped to induce the Jews that were with Demetrius to leave him. But since neither the Jews would leave off their rage, nor the Greeks prove unfaithful, they came to an engagement, and to a close fight with their weapons. In which battle Demetrius was the conqueror, although Alexander’s mercenaries showed the greatest exploits, both in soul and body. Yet did the upshot of this battle prove different from what was expected, as to both of them; for neither did those that invited Demetrius to come to them continue firm to him, though he was conqueror; and six thousand Jews, out of pity to the change of Alexander’s condition, when he was fled to the mountains, came over to him. Yet could not Demetrius bear this turn of affairs; but supposing that Alexander was already become a match for him again, and that all the nation would [at length] run to him, he left the country, and went his way.

Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 13.376-379: They (Jewish opposition against Alexander Jannaeus, King of Judea) also sent to Demetrius Eucerus (Demetrios III), and desired him to make a league of mutual defense with them. So Demetrius came with an army, and took those that invited him, and pitched his camp near the city Shechem; upon which Alexander (Alexander Jannaeus), with his six thousand two hundred mercenaries, and about twenty thousand Jews, who were of his party, went against Demetrius, who had three thousand horsemen, and forty thousand footmen. Now there were great endeavors used on both sides, - Demetrius trying to bring off the mercenaries that were with Alexander, because they were Greeks, and Alexander trying to bring off the Jews that were with Demetrius. However, when neither of them could persuade them so to do, they came to a battle, and Demetrius was the conqueror; in which all Alexander’s mercenaries were killed, when they had given demonstration of their fidelity and courage. A great number of Demetrius’s soldiers were slain also. Now as Alexander fled to the mountains, six thousand of the Jews hereupon came together [from Demetrius] to him out of pity at the change of his fortune; upon which Demetrius was afraid, and retired out of the country; ...

14 Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 13.384-386: But when Demetrius (Demetrios III) was departed out of Judea, he went to Berea, and besieged his brother Philip (Philip I), having with him ten thousand footmen, and a thousand horsemen. However Strato, the tyrant of Berea, the confederate of Philip, called in Zizon, the ruler of the Arabian tribes, and Mithridates Sinax, the ruler of the Parthians (probably the Parthian governor of some part of Mesopotamia), who coming with a great number of forces, and besieging Demetrius in his encampment, into which they had driven them with their arrows, they compelled those that were with him by thirst to deliver up themselves. So they took a great many spoils out of that country, and Demetrius himself, whom they sent to Mithridates, who was then king of Parthis; but as to those whom they took captives of the people of Antioch, they restored them to the Antiochinus without any reward. Now Mithridates (Mithridates II), the king of Parthis, had Demetrius in great honor, till Demetrius ended his life by sickness. So Philip, presently after the fight was over, came to Antioch, and took it, and reigned over Syria.

15 The latest Damascene tetradrachms of Demetrios III are dated 225 SE (88/7 BC), the first tetradrachms of Antiochos XII are dated 226 SE (87/6 BC), see footnotes 1 and 12. It probably means that either Demetrios III was captured at the end of the Seleukid year 225 (i.e. in late summer 87 BC) or there was a brief interregnum between the two reigns.

16 King and High Priest of Judea, son of John Hyrcanus, reigned 103-76 BC, died 76 BC.

17 King of the Nabataean Arabs, son of Obedas I, reigned c. 86 - 62 BC.

18 Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 13.387-391: After this, Antiochus (Antiochos XII), who was called Dionysus, and was Philip’s (Philip I’s) brother, aspired to the dominion, and carne to Damascus, and got the power into his hands, and there he reigned; but as he was making war against the Arabians, his brother Philip (Philip I) heard of it, and came to Damascus, where Milesius, who had been left governor of the citadel, and the Damascens themselves, delivered up the city to him; yet because Philip was become ungrateful to him, and had bestowed upon him nothing of that in hopes whereof he had received him into the city, but had a mind to have it believed that it was rather delivered up out of fear than by the kindness of Milesius, and because he had not rewarded him as he ought to have done, he became suspected by him, and so he was obliged to leave Damascus again; for Milesius caught him marching out into the Hippodrome, and shut him up in it, and kept Damascus for Antiochus [Eucerus], who hearing how Philip's affairs stood, came back out of Arabia. He also came immediately, and made an expedition against Judea, with eight thousand armed footmen, and eight hundred horsemen. So Alexander (Alexander Jannaeus, King of Judea), out of fear of his coming, dug a deep ditch, beginning at Chabarzaba, which is now called Antipatris, to the sea of Joppa, on which part only his army could be brought against him. He also raised a wall, and erected wooden towers, and intermediate redoubts, for one hundred and fifty furlongs in length, and there expected the coming of Antiochus; but he soon burnt them all, and made his army pass by that way into Arabia. The Arabian king [Aretas] at first retreated, but afterward appeared on the sudden with ten thousand horsemen. Antiochus gave them the meeting, and fought desperately; and indeed when he had gotten the victory, and was bringing some auxiliaries to that part of his army that was in distress, he was slain. When Antiochus was fallen, his army fled to the village Cana, where the greatest part of them perished by famine.

Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, Book I, 99-102: Yet did that Antiochus (Antiochos XII), who was also called Dionysius, become an origin of troubles again. This man was the brother of Demetrius (Demetrios III), and the last of the race of the Seleucidse (this Josephus’ statement is incorrect). Alexander (Alexander Jannaeus, King of Judea) was afraid of him, when he was marching against the Arabians; so he cut a deep trench between Antipatris, which was near the mountains, and the shores of Joppa; he also erected a high wall before the trench, and built wooden towers, in order to hinder any sudden approaches. But still he was not able to exclude Antiochus, for he burnt the towers, and filled up the trenches, and marched on with his army. And as he looked upon taking his revenge on Alexander, for endeavoring to stop him, as a thing of less consequence, he marched directly against the Arabians, whose king retired into such parts of the country as were fittest for engaging the enemy, and then on the sudden made his horse turn back, which were in number ten thousand, and fell upon Antiochus’s army while they were in disorder, and a terrible battle ensued. Antiochus’s troops, so long as he was alive, fought it out, although a mighty slaughter was made among them by the Arabians; but when he fell, for he was in the forefront, in the utmost danger, in rallying his troops, they all gave ground, and the greatest part of his army were destroyed, either in the action or the flight; and for the rest, who fled to the village of Cana, it happened that they were all consumed by want of necessaries, a few only excepted.

19 Son of Menneas, reigned c. 85 - 40 BC.

20 Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 13.392: After him Arems (Aretas III) reigned over Celesyria, being called to the government by those that held Damascus, by reason of the hatred they bare to Ptolemy Menneus.

Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 14.38: ... Ptolemy Menneus, a wicked man, ...

21 First Damascene coins of Tigranes II are dated SE 241 = 72/1 BC. According to Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 14.418, Jews sent aid to the city against Ptolemy of Chalcis (see also footnotes 19 and 20). It might indicate that Damaskos had no strong ruler in that time.

Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 14.418: After a little while also, she (Salome Alexandra, Queen of Judea) sent her son Aristobulus (Aristobulos II) with an army to Damascus against Ptolemy, who was called Menneus, who was such a bad neighbor to the city; but he did nothing considerable there, and so returned home.

22 Also called Tigranes I, King of Armenia, born c. 140 BC, reigned 95 - 55 BC, died 55 BC.

23 Justin, Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus, 40.1: After the kings and kingdom of Syria had been exhausted by unintermitting wars, occasioned by the mutual animosities of brothers, and by sons succeeding to the quarrels of their fathers, the people began to look for relief from foreign parts, and to think of choosing a king from among the sovereigns of other nations. Some therefore advised that they should take Mithridates of Pontus, others Ptolemy of Egypt, but it being considered that Mithridates was engaged in war with the Romans, and that Ptolemy had always been an enemy to Syria, the thoughts of all were directed to Tigranes king of Armenia, who, in addition to the strength of his own kingdom, was supported by an alliance with Parthia, and by a matrimonial connection with Mithridates. Tigranes, accordingly, being invited to the throne of Syria, enjoyed a most tranquil reign over it for eighteen years, without having occasion to go to war either to attack others or to defend himself.


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Justin (Marcus Junianus Justinus):Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus. Translated by Rev. John Selby Watson, M.A. George Bell and Sons, London, 1897. (See Forum Romanum website, - 1853 Edition)
Kidd, I. G. (Editor):Posidonius. Volume 3, The Translation of the Fragments. Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Porphyry of Tyre:Chronika (Greek fragments; Thesaurus Linguae Graecae). Translated into English by Oliver D. Hoover (published at Oliver D. Hoover’s website