The Roman Republic was the era of classical Roman civilization beginning with the overthrow of the Roman Kingdom, traditionally dated to 509 BC, ending in 27 BC with the establishment of the Roman Empire. It was during this period that Rome's control expanded from the city's immediate surroundings to hegemony over the entire Mediterranean world. Roman society under the Republic was a cultural mix of Latin and Greek elements, visible in the Roman Pantheon, its political organisation was influenced by the Greek city states of Magna Graecia, with collective and annual magistracies, overseen by a senate. The top magistrates were the two consuls, who had an extensive range of executive, judicial and religious powers. Whilst there were elections each year, the Republic was not a democracy, but an oligarchy, as a small number of large families monopolised the main magistracies. Roman institutions underwent considerable changes throughout the Republic to adapt to the difficulties it faced, such as the creation of promagistracies to rule its conquered provinces, or the composition of the senate.
Unlike the Pax Romana of the Roman Empire, the Republic was in a state of quasi-perpetual war throughout its existence. Its first enemies were its Latin and Etruscan neighbours as well as the Gauls, who sacked the city in 387 BC; the Republic nonetheless demonstrated extreme resilience and always managed to overcome its losses, however catastrophic. After the Gallic Sack, Rome indeed conquered the whole Italian peninsula in a century, which turned the Republic into a major power in the Mediterranean; the Republic's greatest enemy was doubtless Carthage, against. The Punic general Hannibal famously invaded Italy by crossing the Alps and inflicted on Rome two devastating defeats at the Lake Trasimene and Cannae, but the Republic once again recovered and won the war thanks to Scipio Africanus at the Battle of Zama in 202 BC. With Carthage defeated, Rome became the dominant power of the ancient Mediterranean world, it embarked in a long series of difficult conquests, after having notably defeated Philip V and Perseus of Macedon, Antiochus III of the Seleucid Empire, the Lusitanian Viriathis, the Numidian Jugurtha, the great Pontic king Mithridates VI, the Gaul Vercingetorix, the Egyptian queen Cleopatra.
At home, the Republic experienced a long streak of social and political crises, which ended in several violent civil wars. At first, the Conflict of the Orders opposed the patricians, the closed oligarchic elite, to the far more numerous plebs, who achieved political equality in several steps during the 4th century BC; the vast conquests of the Republic disrupted its society, as the immense influx of slaves they brought enriched the aristocracy, but ruined the peasantry and urban workers. In order to solve this issue, several social reformers, known as the Populares, tried to pass agrarian laws, but the Gracchi brothers, Saturninus, or Clodius Pulcher were all murdered by their opponents, the Optimates, keepers of the traditional aristocratic order. Mass slavery caused three Servile Wars. In this context, the last decades of the Republic were marked by the rise of great generals, who exploited their military conquests and the factional situation in Rome to gain control of the political system.
Marius Sulla dominated in turn the Republic. These multiple tensions lead to a series of civil wars. Despite his victory and appointment as dictator for life, Caesar was murdered in 44 BC. Caesar's heir Octavian and lieutenant Mark Antony defeated Caesar's assassins Brutus and Cassius in 42 BC, but turned against each other; the final defeat of Mark Antony and his ally Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, the Senate's grant of extraordinary powers to Octavian as Augustus in 27 BC – which made him the first Roman emperor – thus ended the Republic. Since the foundation of Rome, its rulers had been monarchs, elected for life by the patrician noblemen who made up the Roman Senate; the last Roman king was Lucius Tarquinius Superbus. In the traditional histories, Tarquin was expelled in 509 because his son Sextus Tarquinius had raped the noblewoman Lucretia, who afterwards took her own life. Lucretia's father, her husband Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus, Tarquin's nephew Lucius Junius Brutus mustered support from the Senate and army, forced Tarquin into exile in Etruria.
The Senate agreed to abolish kingship. Most of the king's former functions were transferred to two consuls, who were elected to office for a term of one year; each consul had the capacity to act as a check on his colleague, if necessary through the same power of veto that the kings had held. If a consul abused his powers in office, he could be prosecuted. Brutus and Collatinus became Republican Rome's first consuls. Despite Collatinus' role in the creation of the Republic, he belonged to the same family as the former king, was forced to abdicate his office and leave Rome, he was replaced as co-consul by Publius Valerius Publicola. Most modern scholarship describes these events as the quasi-mythological detailing of an aristocratic coup within Tarquin's own family, not a popular revolution, they fit a narrative of a personal vengeance against a tyrant leading to his overthrow, common among Greek cities and theorised by Aristotle
The Greco-Persian Wars were a series of conflicts between the Achaemenid Empire and Greek city-states that started in 499 BC and lasted until 449 BC. The collision between the fractious political world of the Greeks and the enormous empire of the Persians began when Cyrus the Great conquered the Greek-inhabited region of Ionia in 547 BC. Struggling to rule the independent-minded cities of Ionia, the Persians appointed tyrants to rule each of them; this would prove to be the source of much trouble for the Persians alike. In 499 BC, the tyrant of Miletus, embarked on an expedition to conquer the island of Naxos, with Persian support; this was the beginning of the Ionian Revolt, which would last until 493 BC, progressively drawing more regions of Asia Minor into the conflict. Aristagoras secured military support from Athens and Eretria, in 498 BC these forces helped to capture and burn the Persian regional capital of Sardis; the Persian king Darius the Great vowed to have revenge on Eretria for this act.
The revolt continued, with the two sides stalemated throughout 497–495 BC. In 494 BC, the Persians regrouped, attacked the epicentre of the revolt in Miletus. At the Battle of Lade, the Ionians suffered a decisive defeat, the rebellion collapsed, with the final members being stamped out the following year. Seeking to secure his empire from further revolts and from the interference of the mainland Greeks, Darius embarked on a scheme to conquer Greece and to punish Athens and Eretria for the burning of Sardis; the first Persian invasion of Greece began in 492 BC, with the Persian general Mardonius re-subjugating Thrace and Macedon before several mishaps forced an early end to the rest of the campaign. In 490 BC a second force was sent to Greece, this time across the Aegean Sea, under the command of Datis and Artaphernes; this expedition subjugated the Cyclades, before besieging and razing Eretria. However, while en route to attack Athens, the Persian force was decisively defeated by the Athenians at the Battle of Marathon, ending Persian efforts for the time being.
Darius began to plan to conquer Greece, but died in 486 BC and responsibility for the conquest passed to his son Xerxes. In 480 BC, Xerxes led the second Persian invasion of Greece with one of the largest ancient armies assembled. Victory over the allied Greek states at the famous Battle of Thermopylae allowed the Persians to torch an evacuated Athens and overrun most of Greece. However, while seeking to destroy the combined Greek fleet, the Persians suffered a severe defeat at the Battle of Salamis; the following year, the confederated Greeks went on the offensive, decisively defeating the Persian army at the Battle of Plataea, ending the invasion of Greece by the Achaemenid Empire. The allied Greeks followed up their success by destroying the rest of the Persian fleet at the Battle of Mycale, before expelling Persian garrisons from Sestos and Byzantium. Following the Persian withdrawal from Europe and the Greek victory at Mycale and the city states of Ionia regained their independence; the actions of the general Pausanias at the siege of Byzantium alienated many of the Greek states from the Spartans, the anti-Persian alliance was therefore reconstituted around Athenian leadership, called the Delian League.
The Delian League continued to campaign against Persia for the next three decades, beginning with the expulsion of the remaining Persian garrisons from Europe. At the Battle of the Eurymedon in 466 BC, the League won a double victory that secured freedom for the cities of Ionia. However, the League's involvement in the Egyptian revolt by Inaros II against Artaxerxes I resulted in a disastrous defeat, further campaigning was suspended. A Greek fleet was sent to Cyprus in 451 BC, but achieved little, when it withdrew, the Greco-Persian Wars drew to a quiet end; some historical sources suggest the end of hostilities was marked by a peace treaty between Athens and Persia, the Peace of Callias. All the primary sources for the Greco-Persian Wars are Greek. By some distance, the main source for the Greco-Persian Wars is the Greek historian Herodotus. Herodotus, called the "Father of History", was born in 484 BC in Halicarnassus, Asia Minor, he wrote his'Enquiries' around 440–430 BC, trying to trace the origins of the Greco-Persian Wars, which would still have been recent history.
Herodotus's approach was novel and, at least in Western society, he invented'history' as a discipline. As historian Tom Holland has it, "For the first time, a chronicler set himself to trace the origins of a conflict not to a past so remote so as to be utterly fabulous, nor to the whims and wishes of some god, nor to a people's claim to manifest destiny, but rather explanations he could verify personally."Some ancient historians, starting with Thucydides, criticised Herodotus and his methods. Thucydides chose to begin his history where Herodotus left off and felt Herodotus's history was accurate enough not to need re-writing or correcting. Plutarch criticised Herodotus in his essay "On The Malignity of Herodotus", describing Herodotus as "Philobarbaros" for not being pro-Greek enough, which suggests that Herodotus might have done a reasonable job of being even-handed. A negative view of Herodotus was passed on to Renaissance Europe, though he remained well re
Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands of Greece and is the island group's historical capital. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within the Rhodes regional unit, part of the South Aegean administrative region; the principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Rhodes. The city of Rhodes had 50,636 inhabitants in 2011, it is located northeast of southeast of Athens and just off the Anatolian coast of Turkey. Rhodes' nickname is The island of the Knights, named after the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, who once conquered the land. Rhodes was famous worldwide for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; the Medieval Old Town of the City of Rhodes has been declared a World Heritage Site. Today, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe; the name of the U. S. state of Rhode Island is thought to be based on this island. The island has been known as Ρόδος in Greek throughout its history. In addition, the island has been called Rodi in Italian, Rodos in Turkish, Rodi or Rodes in Ladino.
The Travels of Sir John Mandeville incorrectly reports that Rhodes was called "Collosus", through a conflation of the Colossus of Rhodes and Paul's Epistle to the Colossians, which refers to Colossae. The island's name might be derived from erod, Phoenician for snake, since the island was infested with snakes in antiquity; the island of Rhodes is shaped like a spearhead, 79.7 km long and 38 km wide, with a total area of 1,400 square kilometres and a coastline of 220 km. Limestone is the main bedrock; the city of Rhodes is located at the northern tip of the island, as well as the site of the ancient and modern commercial harbours. The main air gateway is located 14 km to the southwest of the city in Paradisi; the road network radiates from the city along the west coasts. Outside of the city of Rhodes, the island is dotted with small villages and spa resorts, among them Faliraki, Kremasti, Pefkos, Afantou, Koskinou, Embona and Trianta. There are mineral-rich spring water used to give medicinal baths and the spa resorts offer various health treatments.
Rhodes is situated 363 km east-south-east from the Greek mainland, 18 km from the southern shore of Turkey. The interior of the island is mountainous, sparsely inhabited and covered with forests of pine and cypress. While the shores are rocky, the island has arable strips of land where citrus fruit, wine grapes, vegetables and other crops are grown; the Rhodian population of fallow deer was found to be genetically distinct in 2005, to be of urgent conservation concern. In Petaloudes Valley, large numbers of tiger moths gather during the summer months. Mount Attavyros, at 1,216 metres, is the island's highest point of elevation. Earthquakes include the 226 BC earthquake. On 15 July 2008, Rhodes was struck by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake causing minor damage to a few old buildings and one death. Rhodes has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate; the island was inhabited in the Neolithic period. In the 16th century BC, the Minoans came to Rhodes. Greek mythology recalled a Rhodian race called the Telchines and associated the island of Rhodes with Danaus.
In the 15th century BC, Mycenaean Greeks invaded. After the Bronze Age collapse, the first renewed outside contacts were with Cyprus. Homer mentions. In the 8th century BC, the island's settlements started to form, with the coming of the Dorians, who built the three important cities of Lindos and Kameiros, which together with Kos and Halicarnassus made up the so-called Dorian Hexapolis. In Pindar's ode, the island was said to be born of the union of Helios the sun god and the nymph Rhodos, the cities were named for their three sons; the rhoda is a pink hibiscus, native to the island. Diodorus Siculus added that one of the sons of Helios and Rhode, travelled to Egypt, he taught the Egyptians astrology. In the second half of the 8th century, the sanctuary of Athena received votive gifts that are markers for cultural contacts: small ivories from the Near East and bronze objects from Syria. At Kameiros on the northwest coast, a former Bronze Age site, where the temple was founded in the 8th century, there is another notable contemporaneous sequence of carved ivory figurines.
The cemeteries of Kameiros and Ialyssos yielded several exquisite exemplars of the Orientalizing Rhodian jewellery, dated in the 7th and early 6th centuries BC. Phoenician presence on the island at Ialysos is attested in traditions recorded much by Rhodian historians; the Persians invaded and overran the island, but they were in turn defeated by forces from Athens in 478 BC. The Rhodian cities joined the Athenian League; when the Peloponnesian War broke out in 431 BC, Rhodes remained neutral, although it remained a member of the League. The war lasted until 404 BC, but by this time Rhodes had withdrawn from the conflict and decided to go her own way. In 408 BC, the cities united to form one territory, they built the city of a new capital on the northern end of the island. Its regular plan w
Battle of the Eurymedon
The Battle of the Eurymedon was a double battle, taking place both on water and land, between the Delian League of Athens and her Allies, the Persian Empire of Xerxes I. It took place in either 469 or 466 BC, in the vicinity of the mouth of the Eurymedon River in Pamphylia, Asia Minor, it forms part of the Wars of the Delian League, itself part of the larger Greco-Persian Wars. The Delian League had been formed between Athens and many of the city-states of the Aegean to continue the war with Persia, which had begun with the first and second Persian invasions of Greece. In the aftermath of the Battles of Plataea and Mycale, which had ended the second invasion, the Greek Allies had taken the offensive, besieging the cities of Sestos and Byzantium; the Delian League took over responsibility for the war, continued to attack Persian bases in the Aegean throughout the next decade. In either 469 or 466 BC, the Persians began assembling a large army and navy for a major offensive against the Greeks.
Gathering near the Eurymedon, it is possible that the expedition aimed to move up the coast of Asia Minor, capturing each city in turn. This would bring the Asiatic Greek regions back under Persian control, give the Persians naval bases from which to launch further expeditions into the Aegean. Hearing of the Persian preparations, the Athenian general Cimon took 200 triremes and sailed to Phaselis in Pamphylia, which agreed to join the Delian League; this blocked the Persian strategy at its first objective. Cimon moved to pre-emptively attack the Persian forces near the Eurymedon. Sailing into the mouth of the river, Cimon routed the Persian fleet gathered there. Most of the Persian fleet made land-fall, the sailors fled to the shelter of the Persian army. Cimon landed the Greek marines and proceeded to attack the Persian army, routed; the Greeks captured the Persian camp, taking many prisoners, were able to destroy 200 beached Persian triremes. This stunning double victory seems to have demoralised the Persians, prevented any further Persian campaigning in the Aegean until at least 451 BC.
However, the Delian League do not appear to have pressed home their advantage because of other events in the Greek world that required their attention. The military history of Greece between the end of the second Persian invasion of Greece and the Peloponnesian War is poorly attested by surviving ancient sources; this period, sometimes referred to as the pentekontaetia by ancient scholars, was a period of relative peace and prosperity within Greece. The richest source for the period, the most contemporary with it, is Thucydides's History of the Peloponnesian War, considered by modern historians to be a reliable primary account. Thucydides only mentions this period in a digression on the growth of Athenian power in the run up to the Peloponnesian War, the account is brief selective and lacks any dates. Thucydides's account can be, is used by historians to draw up a skeleton chronology for the period, on to which details from archaeological records and other writers can be superimposed. Much extra detail for the period is provided by Plutarch, in his biographies of Aristides and Cimon.
Plutarch was writing some 600 years after the events in question, is therefore much a secondary source, but he explicitly names his sources, which allows some degree of verification of his statements. In his biographies, he explicitly draws on many ancient histories that have not survived, thus preserves details of the period that Thucydides's brief account omits; the final major extant source for the period is the universal history of the 1st century BC Sicilian, Diodorus Siculus. Much of Diodorus's writing concerning this period seems to be derived from the much earlier Greek historian Ephorus, who wrote a universal history. However, from what little we know of Ephorus, historians are disparaging towards his history. Diodorus, dismissed by modern historians, is therefore not a good source for this period. Indeed, one of his translators, says of Diodorus's account of the Eurymedon campaign that "...the three preceding chapters reveal Diodorus in the worst light...". There is a reasonable body of archaeological evidence for the period, of which inscriptions detailing probable tribute lists of the Delian League are important.
Thucydides provides a succinct list of the main events occurring between the end of the second Persian invasion and the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War, but no chronological information. Various attempts have been made to reassemble the chronology; the assumption central to these attempts is that Thucydides is describing the events in the appropriate chronological order. The one accepted date is 465 BC for the beginning of the Siege of Thasos; this is based on an ancient scholiast's annotation of a copy of Aeschines's works. The scholiast notes that the Athenians met disaster at the'Nine-Ways' in the archonship of Lysitheus. Thucydides mentions this attack on the'Nine-Ways' in connection with the beginning of the Siege of Thasos, since Thucydides says that the siege ended in its third year, the Siege of Thasos therefore dates to c.465–463 BC. The Battle of Eurymedon has been dated to 469 BC by Plutarch's anecdote about the Archon Apsephion choosing Cimon and his fellow generals as judges in a competition.
The implication is that Cimon had achieved a great victory, the most candidate is Eurymedon. However, since the Battle of E
Köprüçay, ancient Eurymedon is a river, situated in Antalya Province and empties into the Mediterranean. At its mouth, in the 460s BC, the Athenian general Cimon defeated a large Persian force of ships and men moving westwards; the two land and sea battles lasted one day and included Cimon's capture or destruction of the entire Phoenician fleet of 200 triremes. In 190 BC, a Roman fleet led by Lucius Aemilius Regillus defeated the Seleucid fleet of Antiochus III the Great, led by Hannibal, near the river. Strabo records a lake; the Seljuk-era Eurymedon Bridge, which rests on Roman foundations, crosses the river at Aspendos. Further upstream, half-way on the road to ancient Selge, another Roman bridge spans the Eurymedon valley
Hannibal Barca was a general and statesman from Ancient Carthage, considered one of the greatest military commanders in history. His father, Hamilcar Barca, was a leading Carthaginian commander during the First Punic War, his younger brothers were Mago and Hasdrubal, he was brother-in-law to Hasdrubal the Fair, all commanded Carthaginian armies. Hannibal lived during a period of great tension in the western Mediterranean Basin, triggered by the emergence of the Roman Republic as a great power after it had established its supremacy over Italy. Although Rome had won the First Punic War, revanchism prevailed in Carthage, symbolised by the alleged pledge that Hannibal made to his father to never be a friend of Rome; the Second Punic War broke out in 218 after Hannibal's attack on Saguntum, an ally of Rome in Hispania. He made his famous military exploit of carrying war to Italy by crossing the Alps with his African elephants. In his first few years in Italy, he won a succession of dramatic victories at the Trebia, Lake Trasimene, Cannae.
He distinguished himself for his ability to determine his and his opponent's respective strengths and weaknesses, to plan battles accordingly. Hannibal's well-planned strategies allowed him to conquer. Hannibal occupied most of southern Italy for 15 years, but could not win a decisive victory, as the Romans led by Fabius Maximus avoided confrontation with him, instead waging a war of attrition. A counter-invasion of North Africa led by Scipio Africanus forced him to return to Carthage. Scipio had studied Hannibal's tactics and brilliantly devised some of his own, he defeated Rome's nemesis at the Battle of Zama, having driven Hannibal's brother Hasdrubal out of the Iberian Peninsula. After the war, Hannibal ran for the office of sufet, he enacted political and financial reforms to enable the payment of the war indemnity imposed by Rome. During this time, he lived at the Seleucid court, where he acted as military advisor to Antiochus III the Great in his war against Rome. Antiochus met defeat at the Battle of Magnesia and was forced to accept Rome's terms, Hannibal fled again, making a stop in the Kingdom of Armenia.
His flight ended in the court of Bithynia, where he achieved an outstanding naval victory against a fleet from Pergamon. He was afterwards betrayed to the committed suicide by poisoning himself. Hannibal is regarded as one of the greatest military strategists in history and one of the greatest generals of Mediterranean antiquity, together with Philip of Macedon, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Scipio Africanus. Plutarch states that Scipio asked Hannibal "who the greatest general was", to which Hannibal replied "either Alexander or Pyrrhus himself" Military historian Theodore Ayrault Dodge called Hannibal the "father of strategy", because Roman armies adopted elements of his military tactics into its own strategic arsenal. Hannibal has been cited by various subsequent military leaders, such as Napoleon Bonaparte, as an inspiration and the greatest strategist of all time; the English form of the name is derived from the Latin. Greek historians rendered the name as Anníbas Bárkas. Hannibal was a common Carthaginian masculine given name.
The name was recorded in Carthaginian sources as ḤNBʿL. It is a combination of the common Carthaginian masculine given name Hanno with the Northwest Semitic Canaanite deity Baal, its precise vocalization remains a matter of debate. Suggested readings include Ḥannobaʿal, Ḥannibaʿl, or Ḥannibaʿal, meaning "Baʿal/The Lord is Gracious", "Baʿal Has Been Gracious", or "The Grace of Baʿal". Barca was the Semitic surname of his aristocratic family, meaning "shining" or "lightning", it is thus the Phoenician equivalent to the Arabic name Barq or the Hebrew name Barak or the ancient Greek epithet Keraunos, given to military commanders in the Hellenistic period. In English, his clan are sometimes collectively known as the Barcids; as with Greek and Roman practice, patronymics were a common part of Carthaginian nomenclature, so that Hannibal would have been known as "Hannibal son of Hamilcar". Hannibal was one of the sons of a Carthaginian leader, he was born in what is present day northern Tunisia, one of many Mediterranean regions colonised by the Canaanites from their homelands in Phoenicia.
He had several sisters and two brothers and Mago. His brothers-in-law were the Numidian king Naravas, he was still a child when his sisters married, his brothers-in-law were close associates during his father's struggles in the Mercenary War and the Punic conquest of the Iberian Peninsula. In light of Hamilcar Barca's cognomen, historians refer to Hamilcar's family as the Barcids. However, there is debate as to whether the cognomen Barca was applied to Hamilcar alone or was hereditary within his family. If the latter Hannibal and his brothers bore the name "Barca". After Carthage's defeat in the First Punic War, Hamilcar set out to improve his family's and Carthage's fortunes. With that in mind and supported by Gades, Hamilcar began the subjugation of the tribes of the Iberian Peninsula. Carthage at the time was in such a poor state. According to Polybius, Hannibal much said that when he came upon his father and begged to go with him, Hamilcar agreed and dem
The Seleucid Empire was a Hellenistic state ruled by the Seleucid dynasty which existed from 312 BC to 63 BC. Seleucus received Babylonia and from there expanded his dominions to include much of Alexander's near-eastern territories. At the height of its power, the Empire included central Anatolia, the Levant and what is now Kuwait and parts of Pakistan and Turkmenistan; the Seleucid Empire became a major center of Hellenistic culture – it maintained the preeminence of Greek customs where a Greek political elite dominated in the urban areas. The Greek population of the cities who formed the dominant elite were reinforced by immigration from Greece. Seleucid expansion into Anatolia and Greece halted abruptly in the early 2nd century BC after decisive defeats at the hands of the Roman army. Seleucid attempts to defeat their old enemy. Having come into conflict in the East with Chandragupta Maurya of the Maurya Empire, Seleucus I entered into an agreement with Chandragupta whereby he ceded vast territory west of the Indus, including the Hindu Kush, modern-day Afghanistan, the Balochistan province of Pakistan and offered his daughter in marriage to the Maurya Emperor to formalize the alliance.
Antiochus III the Great attempted to project Seleucid power and authority into Hellenistic Greece, but his attempts were thwarted by the Roman Republic and by Greek allies such as the Kingdom of Pergamon, culminating in a Seleucid defeat at the 190 BC Battle of Magnesia. In the subsequent Treaty of Apamea in 188 BC, the Seleucids were compelled to pay costly war reparations and relinquished claims to territories west of the Taurus Mountains; the Parthians under Mithridates I of Parthia conquered much of the remaining eastern part of the Seleucid Empire in the mid-2nd century BC, while the independent Greco-Bactrian Kingdom continued to flourish in the northeast. However, the Seleucid kings continued to rule a rump state from Syria until the invasion by Armenian king Tigranes the Great in 83 BC and their ultimate overthrow by the Roman general Pompey in 63 BC. Contemporary sources, such as a loyalist degree from Ilium, in Greek language define the Seleucid state both as an empire and as a kingdom.
Seleucid rulers were described as kings in Babylonia. Starting from the 2nd century BC, ancient writers referred to the Seleucid ruler as the King of Syria, Lord of Asia, other designations, he refers to either Alexander Balas or Alexander II Zabinas as a ruler. Alexander, who conquered the Persian Empire under its last Achaemenid dynast, Darius III, died young in 323 BC, leaving an expansive empire of Hellenised culture without an adult heir; the empire was put under the authority of a regent in the person of Perdiccas, the territories were divided among Alexander's generals, who thereby became satraps, at the Partition of Babylon, all in that same year. Alexander's generals jostled for supremacy over parts of his empire. Ptolemy, a former general and the satrap of Egypt, was the first to challenge the new system. Ptolemy's revolt led to a new subdivision of the empire with the Partition of Triparadisus in 320 BC. Seleucus, "Commander-in-Chief of the Companion cavalry" and appointed first or court chiliarch received Babylonia and, from that point, continued to expand his dominions ruthlessly.
Seleucus established himself in Babylon in 312 BC, the year used as the foundation date of the Seleucid Empire. The rise of Seleucus in Babylon threatened the eastern extent of Antigonus I territory in Asia. Antigonus, along with his son Demetrius I of Macedon, unsuccessfully led a campaign to annex Babylon; the victory of Seleucus ensured his claim of legitimacy. He ruled not only Babylonia, but the entire enormous eastern part of Alexander's empire, as described by Appian:Always lying in wait for the neighboring nations, strong in arms and persuasive in council, he acquired Mesopotamia, Armenia,'Seleucid' Cappadocia, Parthia, Arabia, Sogdia, Arachosia and other adjacent peoples, subdued by Alexander, as far as the river Indus, so that the boundaries of his empire were the most extensive in Asia after that of Alexander; the whole region from Phrygia to the Indus was subject to Seleucus. In the region of Punjab, Chandragupta Maurya founded the Maurya Empire in 321 BC. Chandragupta conquered the Nanda Empire in Magadha, relocated to the capital of Pataliputra.
Chandragupta redirected his attention back to the Indus and by 317 BC he conquered the remaining Greek satraps left by Alexander. Expecting a confrontation, Seleucid marched to the Indus, it is said that Chandragupta himself fielded an army of 9,000 war elephants. Mainstream scholarship asserts that Chandragupta received vast territory, sealed in a treaty, west of the Indus, including the Hindu Kush, modern day Afghanistan, the Balochistan province of Pakistan. Archaeologically, concrete indications of Mauryan rule, such as the inscriptions of the Edicts of Ashoka, are known as far as Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. According to Appian: He [Sel