Dionysus is the god of the grape-harvest and wine, of fertility, ritual madness, religious ecstasy, theatre in ancient Greek religion and myth. Wine played an important role in Greek culture, the cult of Dionysus was the main religious focus for its unrestrained consumption, his worship became established in the seventh century BC. He may have been worshipped as early as c. 1500–1100 BC by Mycenaean Greeks. His origins are uncertain, his cults took many forms. In some cults, he arrives as an Asiatic foreigner; some scholars believe that Dionysus is a syncretism of a local Greek nature deity and a more powerful god from Thrace or Phrygia such as Sabazios or Zalmoxis. He is a god of epiphany, "the god that comes", his "foreignness" as an arriving outsider-god may be inherent and essential to his cults, he is a major, popular figure of Greek mythology and religion, becoming important over time, included in some lists of the twelve Olympians, as the last of their number, the only god born from a mortal mother.
His festivals were the driving force behind the development of Greek theatre. He is known as Bacchus, the name adopted by the Romans and the frenzy he induces is bakkheia, his thyrsus, sometimes wound with ivy and dripping with honey, is both a beneficent wand and a weapon used to destroy those who oppose his cult and the freedoms he represents. As Eleutherios, his wine and ecstatic dance free his followers from self-conscious fear and care, subvert the oppressive restraints of the powerful; those who partake of his mysteries are empowered by the god himself. The cult of Dionysus is a "cult of the souls", he is sometimes categorised as a dying-and-rising god. Dionysus is depicted in myth as the son of Zeus and the mortal Semele, although in the Orphic tradition, he was identified as the son of Zeus and Persephone. In the Eleusinian Mysteries he was identified with the son of Demeter; the dio- element has been associated since antiquity with Zeus. The earliest attested form of the name is Mycenaean Greek, di-wo-nu-so, written in Linear B syllabic script for /Diwonūsoio/.
This is attested on two tablets, found at Mycenaean Pylos and dated to the 12th or 13th century BC, but at the time, there could be no certainty on whether this was indeed a theonym. But the 1989–90 Greek-Swedish Excavations at Kastelli Hill, unearthed, inter alia, four artefacts bearing Linear B inscriptions. Variants include Dionūsos and Diōnūsos in Boeotia. A Dio- prefix is found in other names, such as that of the Dioscures, may derive from Dios, the genitive of the name of Zeus; the second element -nūsos is associated with Mount Nysa, the birthplace of the god in Greek mythology, where he was nursed by nymphs, but according to Pherecydes of Syros, nũsa was an archaic word for "tree". Nonnus, in his Dionysiaca, writes that the name Dionysus means "Zeus-limp" and that Hermes named the new born Dionysus this, "because Zeus while he carried his burden lifted one foot with a limp from the weight of his thigh, nysos in Syracusan language means limping". In his note to these lines, W. H. D. Rouse writes "It need hardly be said that these etymologies are wrong".
The Suda, a Byzantine encyclopedia based on classical sources, states that Dionysus was so named "from accomplishing for each of those who live the wild life. Or from providing everything for those who live the wild life."R. S. P. Beekes has suggested a Pre-Greek origin of the name; the cult of Dionysus was associated with trees the fig tree, some of his bynames exhibit this, such as Endendros "he in the tree" or Dendritēs, "he of the tree". Peters suggests the original meaning as "he who runs among the trees", or that of a "runner in the woods". Janda accepts the etymology but proposes the more cosmological interpretation of "he who impels the tree"; this interpretation explains how Nysa could have been re-interpreted from a meaning of "tree" to the name of a mountain: the axis mundi of Indo-European mythology is represented both as a world-tree and as a world-mountain. The earliest cult images of Dionysus show a mature male and robed, he holds a fennel staff, known as a thyrsus. Images show him as a beardless, naked or half-naked androgynous youth: the literature describes him as womanly or "man-womanish".
In its developed form, his central cult imagery shows his triumphant, disorderly arrival or return, as if from some place beyond the borders of the known and civilized. His procession is made up of bearded satyrs with erect penises; the god himself is drawn in a chariot by exotic beasts such as lions or tigers, is sometimes attended by a bearded, drunken Silenus. This procession is presumed to be the cult model for the followers of his Dionysian Mysteries. Dionysus is represented by city religions as the protector of those who do not belong to conventional society and he thus symbolizes the chaotic and unexpected
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2, it is the country's most populated comune, it is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio, along the shores of the Tiber; the Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been defined as capital of two states. Rome's history spans 28 centuries. While Roman mythology dates the founding of Rome at around 753 BC, the site has been inhabited for much longer, making it one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe; the city's early population originated from a mix of Latins and Sabines.
The city successively became the capital of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, is regarded by some as the first metropolis. It was first called The Eternal City by the Roman poet Tibullus in the 1st century BC, the expression was taken up by Ovid and Livy. Rome is called the "Caput Mundi". After the fall of the Western Empire, which marked the beginning of the Middle Ages, Rome fell under the political control of the Papacy, in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. Beginning with the Renaissance all the popes since Nicholas V pursued over four hundred years a coherent architectural and urban programme aimed at making the city the artistic and cultural centre of the world. In this way, Rome became first one of the major centres of the Italian Renaissance, the birthplace of both the Baroque style and Neoclassicism. Famous artists, painters and architects made Rome the centre of their activity, creating masterpieces throughout the city.
In 1871, Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, which, in 1946, became the Italian Republic. Rome has the status of a global city. In 2016, Rome ranked as the 14th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, the most popular tourist attraction in Italy, its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The famous Vatican Museums are among the world's most visited museums while the Colosseum was the most popular tourist attraction in world with 7.4 million visitors in 2018. Host city for the 1960 Summer Olympics, Rome is the seat of several specialized agencies of the United Nations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development; the city hosts the Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean as well as the headquarters of many international business companies such as Eni, Enel, TIM, Leonardo S.p. A. and national and international banks such as Unicredit and BNL.
Its business district, called EUR, is the base of many companies involved in the oil industry, the pharmaceutical industry, financial services. Rome is an important fashion and design centre thanks to renowned international brands centered in the city. Rome's Cinecittà Studios have been the set of many Academy Award–winning movies. According to the founding myth of the city by the Ancient Romans themselves, the long-held tradition of the origin of the name Roma is believed to have come from the city's founder and first king, Romulus. However, it is a possibility that the name Romulus was derived from Rome itself; as early as the 4th century, there have been alternative theories proposed on the origin of the name Roma. Several hypotheses have been advanced focusing on its linguistic roots which however remain uncertain: from Rumon or Rumen, archaic name of the Tiber, which in turn has the same root as the Greek verb ῥέω and the Latin verb ruo, which both mean "flow". There is archaeological evidence of human occupation of the Rome area from 14,000 years ago, but the dense layer of much younger debris obscures Palaeolithic and Neolithic sites.
Evidence of stone tools and stone weapons attest to about 10,000 years of human presence. Several excavations support the view that Rome grew from pastoral settlements on the Palatine Hill built above the area of the future Roman Forum. Between the end of the bronze age and the beginning of the Iron age, each hill between the sea and the Capitol was topped by a village. However, none of them had yet an urban quality. Nowadays, there is a wide consensus that the city developed through the aggregation of several villages around the largest one, placed above the Palatine; this aggregation was facilitated by the increase of agricultural productivity above the subsistence level, which allowed the establishment of secondary and tertiary activities. These in turn boosted the development of trade with the Greek colonies of southern Italy; these developments, which according to archaeological ev
Plutarch named, upon becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus, was a Greek biographer and essayist, known for his Parallel Lives and Moralia. He is classified as a Middle Platonist. Plutarch's surviving works were intended for both Greek and Roman readers. Plutarch was born to a prominent family in the small town of Chaeronea, about 80 kilometres east of Delphi, in the Greek region of Boeotia, his family was wealthy. The name of Plutarch's father has not been preserved, but based on the common Greek custom of repeating a name in alternate generations, it was Nikarchus; the name of Plutarch's grandfather was Lamprias, as he attested in Moralia and in his Life of Antony. His brothers and Lamprias, are mentioned in his essays and dialogues, which speak of Timon in particular in the most affectionate terms. Rualdus, in his 1624 work Life of Plutarchus, recovered the name of Plutarch's wife, from internal evidence afforded by his writings. A letter is still extant, addressed by Plutarch to his wife, bidding her not to grieve too much at the death of their two-year-old daughter, named Timoxena after her mother.
He hinted at a belief in reincarnation in that letter of consolation. The exact number of his sons is not certain, although two of them and the second Plutarch, are mentioned. Plutarch's treatise De animae procreatione in Timaeo is dedicated to them, the marriage of his son Autobulus is the occasion of one of the dinner parties recorded in the "Table Talk". Another person, Soklarus, is spoken of in terms which seem to imply that he was Plutarch's son, but this is nowhere stated, his treatise on marriage questions, addressed to Eurydice and Pollianus, seems to speak of the latter as having been an inmate of his house, but without any clear evidence on whether she was his daughter or not. Plutarch studied mathematics and philosophy at the Academy of Athens under Ammonius from 66 to 67. At some point, Plutarch received Roman citizenship; as evidenced by his new name, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus, his sponsor for citizenship was Lucius Mestrius Florus, a Roman of consular status whom Plutarch used as a historical source for his Life of Otho.
He lived most of his life at Chaeronea, was initiated into the mysteries of the Greek god Apollo. For many years Plutarch served as one of the two priests at the temple of Apollo at Delphi, the site of the famous Delphic Oracle, twenty miles from his home. By his writings and lectures Plutarch became a celebrity in the Roman Empire, yet he continued to reside where he was born, participated in local affairs serving as mayor. At his country estate, guests from all over the empire congregated for serious conversation, presided over by Plutarch in his marble chair. Many of these dialogues were recorded and published, the 78 essays and other works which have survived are now known collectively as the Moralia. In addition to his duties as a priest of the Delphic temple, Plutarch was a magistrate at Chaeronea and he represented his home town on various missions to foreign countries during his early adult years. Plutarch held the office of archon in his native municipality only an annual one which he served more than once.
He undertook the humblest of duties. The Suda, a medieval Greek encyclopedia, states that Emperor Trajan made Plutarch procurator of Illyria. However, most historians consider this unlikely, since Illyria was not a procuratorial province, Plutarch did not speak Illyrian. According to the 8th/9th-century historian George Syncellus, late in Plutarch's life, Emperor Hadrian appointed him nominal procurator of Achaea – which entitled him to wear the vestments and ornaments of a consul. Plutarch spent the last thirty years of his life serving as a priest in Delphi, he thus connected part of his literary work with the sanctuary of Apollo, the processes of oracle-giving and the personalities who lived or traveled there. One of his most important works is the "Why Pythia does not give oracles in verse". More important is the dialogue "On the E in Delphi", which features Ammonius, a Platonic philosopher and teacher of Plutarch, Lambrias, Plutarch's brother. According to Ammonius, the letter E written on the temple of Apollo in Delphi originated from the following fact: the wise men of antiquity, whose maxims were written on the walls of the vestibule of the temple, were not seven but five: Chilon, Thales and Pittakos.
However, the tyrants Cleobulos and Periandros used their political power in order to be incorporated in the list. Thus, the E, which corresponds to number 5, constituted an acknowledgment that the Delphic maxims originated from the five real wise men; the portrait of a philosopher exhibited at the exit of the Archaeological Museum of Delphi, dating to the 2nd century AD, had been in the past identified with Plutarch. The man, although bearded, is depicted at a young age, his hair and beard are rendered in thin incisions. The gaze is due to the heavy eyelids and the incised pupils; the portrait is no longer thought to represent Plutarch. But a fragmentary hermaic stele next to the portrait did once bear a portrait of Plutarch, since it is inscribed, "The Delphians along with the Chaeroneans dedicated this to Plutarch, following the precepts of the Amphictyony". Plutarc
Marcus Antonius known in English as Mark Antony or Anthony, was a Roman politician and general who played a critical role in the transformation of the Roman Republic from an oligarchy into the autocratic Roman Empire. Antony was a supporter of Julius Caesar, served as one of his generals during the conquest of Gaul and the Civil War. Antony was appointed administrator of Italy while Caesar eliminated political opponents in Greece, North Africa, Spain. After Caesar's death in 44 BC, Antony joined forces with Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, another of Caesar's generals, Octavian, Caesar's great-nephew and adopted son, forming a three-man dictatorship known to historians as the Second Triumvirate; the Triumvirs defeated Caesar's murderers, the Liberatores, at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC, divided the government of the Republic between themselves. Antony was assigned Rome's eastern provinces, including the client kingdom of Egypt ruled by Cleopatra VII Philopator, was given the command in Rome's war against Parthia.
Relations among the triumvirs were strained. Civil war between Antony and Octavian was averted in 40 BC, when Antony married Octavian's sister, Octavia. Despite this marriage, Antony carried on a love affair with Cleopatra, who bore him three children, further straining Antony's relations with Octavian. Lepidus was expelled from the association in 36 BC, in 33 BC disagreements between Antony and Octavian caused a split between the remaining Triumvirs, their ongoing hostility erupted into civil war in 31 BC, as the Roman Senate, at Octavian's direction, declared war on Cleopatra and proclaimed Antony a traitor. That year, Antony was defeated by Octavian's forces at the Battle of Actium. Antony and Cleopatra fled to Egypt. With Antony dead, Octavian became the undisputed master of the Roman world. In 27 BC, Octavian was granted the title of Augustus, marking the final stage in the transformation of the Roman Republic into an empire, with himself as the first Roman emperor. A member of the plebeian Antonia gens, Antony was born in Rome on 14 January 83 BC.
His father and namesake was Marcus Antonius Creticus, son of the noted orator by the same name, murdered during the Marian Terror of the winter of 87–86 BC. His mother was a distant cousin of Julius Caesar. Antony was an infant at the time of Lucius Cornelius Sulla's march on Rome in 82 BC. According to the Roman orator Marcus Tullius Cicero, Antony's father was incompetent and corrupt, was only given power because he was incapable of using or abusing it effectively. In 74 BC he was given military command to defeat the pirates of the Mediterranean, but he died in Crete in 71 BC without making any significant progress; the elder Antony's death left Antony and his brothers and Gaius, in the care of their mother, who married Publius Cornelius Lentulus Sura, an eminent member of the old Patrician nobility. Lentulus, despite exploiting his political success for financial gain, was in debt due to the extravagance of his lifestyle, he was a major figure in the Second Catilinarian Conspiracy and was summarily executed on the orders of the Consul Cicero in 63 BC for his involvement.
Antony's early life was characterized by a lack of proper parental guidance. According to the historian Plutarch, he spent his teenage years wandering through Rome with his brothers and friends gambling and becoming involved in scandalous love affairs. Antony's contemporary and enemy, claimed he had a homosexual relationship with Gaius Scribonius Curio. There is little reliable information on his political activity as a young man, although it is known that he was an associate of Publius Clodius Pulcher and his street gang, he may have been involved in the Lupercal cult as he was referred to as a priest of this order in life. By age twenty, Antony had amassed an enormous debt. Hoping to escape his creditors, Antony fled to Greece in 58 BC, where he studied philosophy and rhetoric at Athens. In 57 BC, Antony joined the military staff of Aulus Gabinius, the Proconsul of Syria, as chief of the cavalry; this appointment marks the beginning of his military career. As Consul the previous year, Gabinius had consented to the exile of Cicero by Antony's mentor, Publius Clodius Pulcher.
Hyrcanus II, the Roman-supported Hasmonean High Priest of Judea, fled Jerusalem to Gabinius to seek protection against his rival and son-in-law Alexander. Years earlier in 63 BC, the Roman general Pompey had captured him and his father, King Aristobulus II, during his war against the remnant of the Seleucid Empire. Pompey had deposed Aristobulus and installed Hyrcanus as Rome's client ruler over Judea. Antony achieved his first military distinctions after securing important victories at Alexandrium and Machaerus. With the rebellion defeated by 56 BC, Gabinius restored Hyrcanus to his position as High Priest in Judea; the following year, in 55 BC, Gabinius intervened in the political affairs of Ptolemaic Egypt. Pharaoh Ptolemy XII Auletes had been deposed in a rebellion led by his daughter Berenice IV in 58 BC, forcing him to seek asylum in Rome. During Pompey's conquests years earlier, Ptolemy had received the support of Pompey, who named him an ally of Rome. Gabinius' invasion sought to restore Ptolemy to his throne.
This was done against the orders of the Senate but with the approval of Pompey Rome's leading politician, only after the deposed king provided a 10,000 talent bribe. The Greek historian Plutarch records it was Antony who convinced Gabinius to act. After defeating the frontier forces of the Egyptian kingdom, Gabinius's army proceeded to attack the palace guards but they surrendered before a battle commenced
Constantine P. Cavafy
Constantine Peter Cavafy was an Egyptiot Greek poet and civil servant. His consciously individual style earned him a place among the most important figures not only in Greek poetry, but in Western poetry as well. Cavafy wrote 154 poems, while dozens more remained incomplete or in sketch form. During his lifetime, he refused to formally publish his work and preferred to share it through local newspapers and magazines, or print it out himself and give it away to anyone interested, his most important poems were written after his fortieth birthday, published two years after his death. Cavafy was born in 1863 in Alexandria, Egypt, to Greek parents, was baptized into the Greek Orthodox Church, his father's name was Πέτρος Ἰωάννης, Petros Ioannēs —hence the Petrou patronymic in his name— and his mother's Charicleia. His father was a prosperous importer-exporter who had lived in England in earlier years and acquired British nationality. After his father died in 1870, Cavafy and his family settled for a while in Liverpool.
In 1876, his family faced financial problems due to the Long Depression of 1873, so, by 1877, they had to move back to Alexandria. In 1882, disturbances in Alexandria caused the family to move again, though temporarily, to Constantinople; this was the year when a revolt broke out in Alexandria against the Anglo-French control of Egypt, thus precipitating the 1882 Anglo-Egyptian War. Alexandria was bombarded by a British fleet, the family apartment at Ramleh was burned. In 1885, Cavafy returned to Alexandria, his first work was as a journalist. He published his poetry from 1891 to 1904 in the form of broadsheets, only for his close friends. Any acclaim he was to receive came from within the Greek community of Alexandria. In 1903, he was introduced to mainland-Greek literary circles through a favourable review by Gregorios Xenopoulos, he received little recognition because his style differed markedly from the then-mainstream Greek poetry. It was only twenty years after the Greek defeat in the Greco-Turkish War, that a new generation of nihilist poets would find inspiration in Cavafy's work.
A biographical note written by Cavafy reads as follows: I am from Constantinople by descent, but I was born in Alexandria—at a house on Seriph Street. Subsequently I for a short period of time. I have lived in France. During my adolescence I lived over two years in Constantinople, it has been many years. My last employment was as a clerk at a government office under the Ministry of Public Works of Egypt. I know English, a little Italian, he died of cancer of the larynx on his 70th birthday. Since his death, Cavafy's reputation has grown, his poetry is taught in school in Greece and Cyprus, in universities around the world. E. M. Forster knew him and wrote a memoir of him, contained in his book Alexandria. Forster, Arnold J. Toynbee, T. S. Eliot were among the earliest promoters of Cavafy in the English-speaking world before the Second World War. In 1966, David Hockney made a series of prints to illustrate a selection of Cavafy's poems, including In the dull village. Cavafy was instrumental in the recognition of Greek poetry both at home and abroad.
His poems are concise but intimate evocations of real or literary figures and milieux that have played roles in Greek culture. Uncertainty about the future, sensual pleasures, the moral character and psychology of individuals, a fatalistic existential nostalgia are some of the defining themes. Besides his subjects, unconventional for the time, his poems exhibit a skilled and versatile craftsmanship, difficult to translate. Cavafy was a perfectionist, obsessively refining every single line of his poetry, his mature style was a free iambic form, free in the sense that verses rhyme and are from 10 to 17 syllables. In his poems, the presence of rhyme implies irony. Cavafy drew his themes from personal experience, along with a deep and wide knowledge of history of the Hellenistic era. Many of his poems are pseudo-historical, or historical, or but quirkily historical. One of Cavafy's most important works is his 1904 poem Waiting for the Barbarians; the poem begins by describing a city-state in decline, whose population and legislators are waiting for the arrival of the barbarians.
When night falls, the barbarians have not arrived. The poem ends: "What is to become of us without barbarians? Those people were a solution of a sort." In 1911, Cavafy wrote "Ithaca", inspired by the Homeric return journey of Odysseus to his home island, as depicted in the Odyssey. The poem's theme is that enjoyment of the journey of life, the increasing maturity of the soul as that journey continues, are all the traveler can ask for. To Homer, to the Greeks in general, not the island, but the idea of Ithaca is important. Life is a journey, everyone has to face difficulties like Odysseus, when he returned from Troy; when you reach Ithaca, you have gained so much experience from the voyage, that it is not important if you reached your goals. Ithaca cannot give you riches, but she gave you the beautiful jour
King of Kings
King of Kings was a ruling title employed by monarchs based in the Middle East. Though most associated with Iran the Achaemenid and Sasanian Empires, the title was introduced during the Middle Assyrian Empire by king Tukulti-Ninurta I and was subsequently used in a number of different kingdoms and empires, including the aforementioned Persia, various Hellenic kingdoms, Armenia and Ethiopia; the title is seen as equivalent to that of Emperor, both titles outranking that of king in prestige, stemming from the medieval Byzantine Emperors who saw the Shahanshahs of the Sasanian Empire as their equals. The last reigning monarchs to use the title of Shahanshah, those of the Pahlavi dynasty in Iran equated the title with "Emperor"; the rulers of the Ethiopian Empire used the title of Nəgusä Nägäst, translated into "Emperor". The female variant of the title, as used by the Ethiopian Zewditu, was Queen of Kings. In the Sasanian Empire, the female variant used was Queen of Queens; the title King of Kings was first introduced by the Assyrian king Tukulti-Ninurta I as šar šarrāni.
The title carried a literal meaning in that a šar was traditionally the ruler of a city-state. With the formation of the Middle Assyrian Empire, the Assyrian rulers installed themselves as kings over an present system of kingship in these city-states, becoming literal "kings of kings". Following Tukulti-Ninurta's reign, the title was used by monarchs of Assyria and Babylon. Assyrian rulers to use šar šarrāni include Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal."King of Kings", as šar šarrāni, was among the many titles of the last Neo-Babylonian king, Nabonidus. He used more boastful titles such as "king of the gods" and "king of the gods of the heavens and the underworld". Boastful titles claiming ownership of various things were common throughout ancient Mesopotamian history. For instance, Ashurbanipal's great-grandfather Sargon II used the full titulature of Great King, Mighty King, King of the Universe, King of Assyria, King of Babylon, King of Sumer and Akkad; the title of King of Kings appears in inscriptions of kings of Urartu.
Although no evidence exists, it is possible that the title was used by the rulers of the Median Empire, since its rulers borrowed much of their royal symbolism and protocol from Urartu and elsewhere in Mesopotamia. The Achaemenid Persian variant of the title, Xšâyathiya Xšâyathiyânâm, is Median in form which suggests that the Achaemenids may have taken it from the Medes rather than from the Mesopotamians. An Assyrian-language inscription on a fortification near the fortress of Tušpa mentions King Sarduri I of Urartu as a builder of a wall and a holder of the title King of Kings. I am Sarduri, son of Lutipri, the king of kings and the king who received the tribute of all the kings. Sarduri, son of Lutipri, says: I brought these stone blocks from the city of Alniunu. I built this wall; the Achaemenid Empire, established in 550 BC after the fall of the Median Empire expanded over the course of the sixth century BC. Asia Minor and the Lydian kingdom was conquered in 546 BC, the Neo-Babylonian Empire in 539 BC, Egypt in 525 BC and the Indus region in 513 BC.
The Achaemenids employed satrapal administration, which became a guarantee of success due to its flexibility and the tolerance of the Achaemenid kings for the more-or-less autonomous vassals. The system had its problems. Egypt was a prominent example rebelling against Achaemenid authority and attempting to crown their own Pharaohs. Though it was defeated, the Great Satraps' Revolt of 366–360 BC showed the growing structural problems within the Empire; the Achaemenid Kings used a variety of different titles, prominently Great King and King of Countries, but the most prominent title was that of King of Kings, recorded for every Achaemenid king. The full titulature of the king Darius I was "great king, king of kings, king in Fārs, king of the countries, Hystaspes’ son, Arsames’ grandson, an Achaemenid". An inscription in the Armenian city of Van by Xerxes I reads; the standard royal title of the Arsacid kings while in Babylon was Aršaka šarru, King of Kings was adopted first by Mithridates I, though he used it infrequently.
The title first began being used by Mithridates I's nephew, Mithridates II, who after adopting it in 111 BC used it extensively including it in his coinage until 91 BC. It is possible that Mithridates II's, his successors', use of the title was not a revival of the old Achaemenid imperial title (since it was not used until a decade after Mithridates II's own conque
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