Antiochus X Eusebes

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Antiochus X Eusebes
Antioco X Eusebes Filopator, tetradracma, face.jpg
King of the Seleucid Empire (King of Syria)
Reign 95–92 BC (with Demetrius III Eucaerus, Antiochus XI Epiphanes, and Philip I Philadelphus)
Predecessor Seleucus VI Epiphanes
Successor Philip I Philadelphus
Born Unknown
Died 92 or 83 BC
Spouse Cleopatra Selene of Syria
Issue Antiochus XIII Asiaticus
Seleucus VII Philometer (?)
Dynasty Seleucid
Father Antiochus IX Cyzicenus
Mother Cleopatra IV

Antiochus X Eusebes Philopator, ruler of the Greek Seleucid kingdom, was a contestant in the tangled-up family feuds among the last Seleucids.

Background and early life[edit]

The second century BC witnessed the disintegration of the Seleucid dynasty which was ruling Syria; this was caused by non ending dynastic feuds,[1] and foreign Egyptian and Roman interference.[2] Egypt and Syria attempted dynastic marriages to maintain a degree of peace.[3] Due to constant civil wars, Syria fell to pieces;[4] Seleucid pretenders fought for the throne, tearing the country apart; in 113 BC, Antiochus IX declared himself king in opposition to his brother Antiochus VIII.[5] The brothers fought relentlessly for a decade and a half until 96 BC, when Antiochus VIII was killed,[6] but his son Seleucus VI marched on Antiochus IX in 95 BC and killed him near the Syrian capital Antioch.[7]

Antiochus IX married several times; known wives are Cleopatra IV of Egypt,[8] who was his cousin and whom he married in 114 BC,[9] and her sister, the widow of Antiochus VIII, Cleopatra Selene.[note 1][13] Some historians, such as John D. Grainger, maintained the existence of a first wife unknown by name who was the mother of Antiochus X,[6] while others, such as Auguste Bouché-Leclercq, believed that the first wife of Antiochus IX and the mother of Antiochus X was Cleopatra IV,[8] in which case Antiochus X would have been born in c. 113 BC;[14] none of those assertions is based on evidence and the mother of Antiochus X was never named in ancient sources.[15]


O: Diademed head of Antiochus X R: Zeus holding scepter and Nike with wreath;


Silver tetradrachm struck in Antioch

According to Josephus, following the death of his father, Antiochus X went to the city of Aradus where he declared himself king.[16] On his coins, he appeared with the epithets eusebes (the pius) and philopator (father-loving).[17][18] According to Appian, the king received the epithet eusebes from the Syrians because he escaped a plot on his life by Seleucus VI, and officially, the Syrians thought that he survived because of his piety, but in reality, it was a prostitute in love with Antiochus who saved him.[19]

Beginning his reign in 95/94 BC,[20] Antiochus X was deprived of resources and lacked a queen; he married a woman who could provide what he needed, his step mother, Cleopatra Selene.[21] Antiochus was probably no more than twenty years old while his wife was forty or forty five.[22] This union was not unprecedented in the Seleucid dynasty, as Antiochus I had married his stepmother Stratonice,[21] but never the less, the marriage was scandalous; Appian commented that he thought the real reason behind the epithet "eusebes" was a joke by the Syrians mocking Antiochus' piety as he showed loyalty to his father by bedding his widow.[22] Appian concluded that it was "divine vengeance" caused by the marriage that eventually led to Antiochus' fall.[19]

Antiochus' first action was to avenge his father;[23] in 94 BC, he advanced on the capital Antioch and drove Seleucus VI out of northern Syria into Cilicia where he perished as a result of a revolt.[24] After that, he ruled Antioch and its surroundings, fighting endlessly against the four brothers of Seleucus VI, the Nabataeans and the Parthian Empire. The date of his downfall is uncertain; Josephus reckons he was killed around 90 BC fighting the Parthians in support to Laodice- and his possession of Antioch was certainly lost to Philip I Philadelphus around then - whereas for instance Appian speaks of him being defeated when the Armenian king Tigranes invaded Syria by 83 BC, but in that case his actions in the meantime remain unrevealed. He ruled northern Syria and Cilicia.[25]


A son of Antiochus X, by the name of Antiochus XIII Asiaticus, was made client king in Syria after the Roman general Pompey had defeated Tigranes.

Antiochus XIII Asiaticus was son of king Antiochus X Eusebes and the Ptolemaic princess Cleopatra Selene of Syria, who acted as regent for the boy after his father's death sometime between 92 and 85 BC.[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sixth century monk John Malalas wrote that following the war between Antiochus VII and Parthia, a daughter of the Parthian king, named Brittane, was married to Antiochus IX, Antiochus VII's son, in order to end the conflict.[10] The work of Malalas is considered generally unreliable by scholars,[11] but, 16 or 17 years separate the death of Cleopatra IV and the marriage of Antiochus IX and Cleopatra Selene; it would be very strange for the king to remain unmarried throughout this period.[12]



  1. ^ Marciak 2017, p. 8.
  2. ^ Goodman 2005, p. 37.
  3. ^ Tinsley 2006, p. 179.
  4. ^ Kelly 2016, p. 82.
  5. ^ Kosmin 2014, p. 23.
  6. ^ a b Grainger 1997, p. 32.
  7. ^ Grainger 1997, p. 33.
  8. ^ a b Bouché-Leclercq 1913, p. 418.
  9. ^ Whitehorne 2002, p. 165.
  10. ^ Malalas 1940, p. 19.
  11. ^ Scott 2017, p. 76.
  12. ^ Ogden 1999, p. 156.
  13. ^ Bouché-Leclercq 1913, p. 641, 643, 416.
  14. ^ Bennett. 2002, p. note 4.
  15. ^ Bennett 2002, p. note 14.
  16. ^ Josephus 1833, p. 421.
  17. ^ Green 1990, p. 552.
  18. ^ Leake 1854, p. 36.
  19. ^ a b Appian 1899, p. 324.
  20. ^ Dumitru 2016, p. 262.
  21. ^ a b Dumitru 2016, p. 264.
  22. ^ a b Whitehorne 2002, p. 168.
  23. ^ Lorber & Iossif 2009, p. 102.
  24. ^ Houghton 1989, p. 97.
  25. ^ Lorber & Iossif 2009, p. 103.
  26. ^ Cicero, In C. Verrem II 4.61, Appian, Syriaca VIII 49, XI 70, Justin, Historiarum Philippicarum T. Pompeii Trogi XL 2.2 (says Antiochus IX was his father). See also: C.J. Bennett, art. Cleopatra Selene queen of Syria, in Egyptian Royal Genealogy, 2002-2008 (n. 28). Archived May 9, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.


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External links[edit]

Antiochus X Eusebes
Born: Unknown Died: 92 or 83 BC
Preceded by
Seleucus VI Epiphanes
Seleucid King (King of Syria)
95–92 BC
with Demetrius III Eucaerus (95 BC)
Antiochus XI Epiphanes (95–92 BC)
Philip I Philadelphus (95–92 BC)
Succeeded by
Philip I Philadelphus