The Byzantine Empire referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic and military force in Europe. Both the terms "Byzantine Empire" and "Eastern Roman Empire" are historiographical terms created after the end of the realm. Several signal events from the 4th to 6th centuries mark the period of transition during which the Roman Empire's Greek East and Latin West diverged. Constantine I reorganised the empire, made Constantinople the new capital, legalised Christianity. Under Theodosius I, Christianity became the Empire's official state religion and other religious practices were proscribed.
Under the reign of Heraclius, the Empire's military and administration were restructured and adopted Greek for official use in place of Latin. Thus, although the Roman state continued and its traditions were maintained, modern historians distinguish Byzantium from ancient Rome insofar as it was centred on Constantinople, oriented towards Greek rather than Latin culture, characterised by Eastern Orthodox Christianity; the borders of the empire evolved over its existence, as it went through several cycles of decline and recovery. During the reign of Justinian I, the empire reached its greatest extent after reconquering much of the Roman western Mediterranean coast, including North Africa and Rome itself, which it held for two more centuries; the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628 exhausted the empire's resources and contributed to major territorial losses during the Early Muslim conquests of the 7th century, when it lost its richest provinces and Syria, to the Arab caliphate. During the Macedonian dynasty, the empire expanded again and experienced the two-century long Macedonian Renaissance, which came to an end with the loss of much of Asia Minor to the Seljuk Turks after the Battle of Manzikert in 1071.
This battle opened the way for the Turks to settle in Anatolia. The empire recovered during the Komnenian restoration, by the 12th century Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest European city. However, it was delivered a mortal blow during the Fourth Crusade, when Constantinople was sacked in 1204 and the territories that the empire governed were divided into competing Byzantine Greek and Latin realms. Despite the eventual recovery of Constantinople in 1261, the Byzantine Empire remained only one of several small rival states in the area for the final two centuries of its existence, its remaining territories were progressively annexed by the Ottomans over the 15th century. The Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 ended the Byzantine Empire; the last of the imperial Byzantine successor states, the Empire of Trebizond, would be conquered by the Ottomans eight years in the 1461 Siege of Trebizond. The first use of the term "Byzantine" to label the years of the Roman Empire was in 1557, when the German historian Hieronymus Wolf published his work Corpus Historiæ Byzantinæ, a collection of historical sources.
The term comes from "Byzantium", the name of the city of Constantinople before it became Constantine's capital. This older name of the city would be used from this point onward except in historical or poetic contexts; the publication in 1648 of the Byzantine du Louvre, in 1680 of Du Cange's Historia Byzantina further popularised the use of "Byzantine" among French authors, such as Montesquieu. However, it was not until the mid-19th century that the term came into general use in the Western world; the Byzantine Empire was known to its inhabitants as the "Roman Empire", the "Empire of the Romans", "Romania", the "Roman Republic", as "Rhōmais". The inhabitants called themselves Romaioi and as late as the 19th century Greeks referred to Modern Greek as Romaiika "Romaic." After 1204 when the Byzantine Empire was confined to its purely Greek provinces the term'Hellenes' was used instead. While the Byzantine Empire had a multi-ethnic character during most of its history and preserved Romano-Hellenistic traditions, it became identified by its western and northern contemporaries with its predominant Greek element.
The occasional use of the term "Empire of the Greeks" in the West to refer to the Eastern Roman Empire and of the Byzantine Emperor as Imperator Graecorum were used to separate it from the prestige of the Roman Empire within the new kingdoms of the West. No such distinction existed in the Islamic and Slavic worlds, where the Empire was more straightforwardly seen as the continuation of the Roman Empire. In the Islamic world, the Roman Empire was known as Rûm; the name millet-i Rûm, or "Roman nation," was used by the Ottomans through the 20th century to refer to the former subjects of the Byzantine Empire
The Persians is an ancient Greek tragedy written during the Classical period of Ancient Greece by the Greek tragedian Aeschylus. It is the second and only surviving part of a now otherwise lost trilogy that won the first prize at the dramatic competitions in Athens' City Dionysia festival in 472 BCE, with Pericles serving as choregos; the first play in the trilogy, called Phineus dealt with Jason and the Argonauts' rescue of King Phineus from the torture that the monstrous harpies inflicted at the behest of Zeus. The subject of the third play, was either a mythical Corinthian king, devoured by his horses because he angered the goddess Aphrodite or else a Boeotian farmer who ate a magical herb that transformed him into a sea deity with the gift of prophecy. In The Persians, Xerxes invites the gods' enmity for his hubristic expedition against Greece in 480/79 BCE. Given Aeschylus' propensity for writing connected trilogies, the theme of divine retribution may connect the three. Aeschylus himself had fought the Persians at Marathon.
He may have fought at Salamis, just eight years before the play was performed. The satyr play following the trilogy was Prometheus Pyrkaeus, translated as either Prometheus the Fire-lighter or Prometheus the Fire-kindler, which comically portrayed the titan's theft of fire. Several fragments of Prometheus Pyrkaeus are extant, according to Plutarch, one of those fragments was a statement by Prometheus warning a satyr who wanted to kiss and embrace the fire that he would "mourn for his beard" if he did. Another fragment from Prometheus Pyrkaeus was translated by Herbert Weir Smyth as "And do thou guard thee well lest a blast strike thy face; the Persians takes place in Susa, which at the time was one of the capitals of the Persian Empire, opens with a chorus of old men of Susa, who are soon joined by the Queen Mother, Atossa, as they await news of her son King Xerxes' expedition against the Greeks. Expressing her anxiety and unease, Atossa narrates "what is the first dream sequence in European theatre."
This is an unusual beginning for a tragedy by Aeschylus. An exhausted messenger arrives, who offers a graphic description of the Battle of Salamis and its gory outcome, he tells of the Persian defeat, the names of the Persian generals who have been killed, that Xerxes had escaped and is returning. The climax of the messenger's speech is his rendition of the battle cry of the Greeks as they charged: "On, sons of Greece! Set free/Your fatherland, set free your children, wives,/Places of your ancestral gods and tombs of your ancestors!/Forward for all". At the tomb of her dead husband Darius, Atossa asks the chorus to summon his ghost: "Some remedy he knows, perhaps,/Knows ruin's cure" they say. On learning of the Persian defeat, Darius condemns the hubris behind his son's decision to invade Greece, he rebukes an impious Xerxes’ decision to build a bridge over the Hellespont to expedite the Persian army's advance. Before departing, the ghost of Darius prophesies another Persian defeat at the Battle of Plataea: "Where the plain grows lush and green,/Where Asopus' stream plumps rich Boeotia's soil,/The mother of disasters awaits them there,/Reward for insolence, for scorning God."
Xerxes arrives, dressed in torn robes and reeling from his crushing defeat. The rest of the drama consists of the king alone with the chorus engaged in a lyrical kommós that laments the enormity of Persia's defeat. Aeschylus was not the first to write a play about the Persians — his older contemporary Phrynichus wrote two plays about them; the first, The Sack of Miletus, concerned the destruction of an Ionian colony of Athens in Asia Minor by the Persians. For his portrayal of this brutal defeat, which emphasized Athens' abandonment of its colony, Phrynichus was fined and a law passed forbidding subsequent performances of his play; the second, Phoenician Women, treated the same historical event as Aeschylus' Persians. Neither of Phrynichus' plays have survived. Interpretations of Persians either read the play as sympathetic toward the defeated Persians or else as a celebration of Greek victory within the context of an ongoing war; the sympathetic school has the considerable weight of Aristotelian criticism behind it.
The celebratory school argues that the play is part of a xenophobic culture that would find it difficult to sympathize with its hated barbarian enemy during a time of war. During the play, Xerxes calls his pains "a joy to my enemies". According to a scholium at Aristophanes' Frogs 1028, Hiero of Syracuse at some point invited Aeschylus to reproduce The Persians in Sicily. Seventy years after the play was produced, the comic playwright Aristophanes mentions an apparent Athenian reproduction of The Persians in his Frogs. In it, he has Aeschylus describe The Persians as "an effective sermon on the will to win. Best thing I wrote". Wah!'". The Persians was popular in the Roman Empire and Byzantine
Aeschylus was an ancient Greek tragedian. He is described as the father of tragedy. Academics' knowledge of the genre begins with his work, understanding of earlier tragedies is based on inferences from his surviving plays. According to Aristotle, he expanded the number of characters in the theater and allowed conflict among them. Only seven of his estimated seventy to ninety plays have survived, there is a long-standing debate regarding his authorship of one of these plays, Prometheus Bound, which some believe his son Euphorion wrote. Fragments of some other plays have survived in quotations and more continue to be discovered on Egyptian papyrus giving further insights into his work, he was the first dramatist to present plays as a trilogy. At least one of his plays was influenced by the Persians' second invasion of Greece; this work, The Persians, is the only surviving classical Greek tragedy concerned with contemporary events, a useful source of information about its period. The significance of war in Ancient Greek culture was so great that Aeschylus' epitaph commemorates his participation in the Greek victory at Marathon while making no mention of his success as a playwright.
Despite this, Aeschylus's work – the Oresteia – is acclaimed by modern critics and scholars. Aeschylus was born in c. 525 BC in Eleusis, a small town about 27 kilometers northwest of Athens, nestled in the fertile valleys of western Attica, though the date is most based on counting back forty years from his first victory in the Great Dionysia. His family was well established; as a youth, he worked at a vineyard until, according to the 2nd-century AD geographer Pausanias, the god Dionysus visited him in his sleep and commanded him to turn his attention to the nascent art of tragedy. As soon as he woke from the dream, the young Aeschylus began to write a tragedy, his first performance took place in 499 BC, when he was only 26 years old, he won his first victory at the City Dionysia in 484 BC. In 510 BC, when Aeschylus was 15 years old, Cleomenes I expelled the sons of Peisistratus from Athens, Cleisthenes came to power. Cleisthenes' reforms included a system of registration that emphasized the importance of the deme over family tradition.
In the last decade of the 6th century and his family were living in the deme of Eleusis. The Persian Wars played a large role in the playwright's career. In 490 BC, Aeschylus and his brother Cynegeirus fought to defend Athens against the invading army of Darius I of Persia at the Battle of Marathon; the Athenians emerged triumphant, a victory celebrated across the city-states of Greece. Cynegeirus, died in the battle, receiving a mortal wound while trying to prevent a Persian ship retreating from the shore, for which his countrymen extolled him as a hero. In 480 BC, Aeschylus was called into military service again, this time against Xerxes I's invading forces at the Battle of Salamis together with his younger brother Ameinias, he fought at the Battle of Plataea in 479 BC. Ion of Chios was his contribution in Salamis. Salamis holds a prominent place in The Persians, his oldest surviving play, performed in 472 BC and won first prize at the Dionysia. Aeschylus was one of many Greeks who were initiated into the Eleusinian Mysteries, an ancient cult of Demeter based in his home town of Eleusis.
Initiates gained secret knowledge through these rites concerning the afterlife. Firm details of specific rites are sparse, as members were sworn under the penalty of death not to reveal anything about the Mysteries to non-initiates. According to Aristotle, Aeschylus was accused of revealing some of the cult's secrets on stage. Other sources claim that an angry mob tried to kill Aeschylus on the spot. Heracleides of Pontus asserts, he took refuge at the altar in the orchestra of the Theater of Dionysus. At his trial, he pleaded ignorance, he was acquitted, with the jury sympathetic to the military service of Aeschylus and his brothers during the Persian Wars. According to the 2nd-century AD author Aelian, Aeschylus's younger brother Ameinias helped to acquit Aeschylus by showing the jury the stump of the hand that he lost at Salamis, where he was voted bravest warrior; the truth is that the award for bravery at Salamis went not to Aeschylus' brother but to Ameinias of Pallene. Aeschylus travelled to Sicily once or twice in the 470s BC, having been invited by Hiero I of Syracuse, a major Greek city on the eastern side of the island.
By 473 BC, after the death of Phrynichus, one of his chief rivals, Aeschylus was the yearly favorite in the Dionysia, winning first prize in nearly every competition. In 472 BC, Aeschylus staged the production that included the Persians, with Pericles serving as choregos. In 458 BC, he returned to Sicily for the last time, visiting the city of Gela where he died in 456 or 455 BC. Valerius Maximus wrote that he was killed outside the city by a tortoise dropped by an eagle which had mistaken his ba
A citadel is the core fortified area of a town or city. It may be fortress, or fortified center; the term is a diminutive of "city" and thus means "little city", so called because it is a smaller part of the city of which it is the defensive core. Ancient Sparta had a citadel as did towns. In a fortification with bastions, the citadel is the strongest part of the system, sometimes well inside the outer walls and bastions, but forming part of the outer wall for the sake of economy, it is positioned to be the last line of defense, should the enemy breach the other components of the fortification system. A citadel is a term of the third part of a medieval castle, with higher walls than the rest, it was to be the last line of defense. Some of the oldest known structures which have served as citadels were built by the Indus Valley Civilisation, where the citadel represented a centralised authority; the main citadel in Indus Valley was 12 meters tall. The purpose of these structures, remains debated. Though the structures found in the ruins of Mohenjo-daro were walled, it is far from clear that these structures were defensive against enemy attacks.
Rather, they may have been built to divert flood waters. Several settlements in Anatolia, including the Assyrian city of Kaneš in modern-day Kültepe, featured citadels. Kaneš' citadel contained the city's palace and official buildings; the citadel of the Greek city of Mycenae was built atop a highly-defensible rectangular hill and was surrounded by walls in order to increase its defensive capabilities. In Ancient Greece, the Acropolis, placed on a commanding eminence, was important in the life of the people, serving as a refuge and stronghold in peril and containing military and food supplies, the shrine of the god and a royal palace; the most well-known is the Acropolis of Athens, but nearly every Greek city-state had one – the Acrocorinth famed as a strong fortress. In a much period, when Greece was ruled by the Latin Empire, the same strong points were used by the new feudal rulers for much the same purpose. In the first millennium BCE, the Castro culture emerged in Northernwestern Portugal and Spain in the region extending from the Douro river up to the Minho, but soon expanding north along the coast, east following the river valleys.
It was an autochthonous evolution of Atlantic Bronze Age communities. In 2008, the origins of the Celts were attributed to this period by John T. Koch and supported by Barry Cunliffe; the Ave River Valley in Portugal was the core region of this culture, with a large number of small settlements, but settlements known as citadels or oppida by the Roman conquerors. These had several rings of walls and the Roman conquest of the citadels of Abobriga and Cinania around 138 B. C. was possible only by prolonged siege. Ruins of notable citadels still exist, are known by archaeologists as Citânia de Briteiros, Citânia de Sanfins, Cividade de Terroso and Cividade de Bagunte. Rebels who took power in the city but with the citadel still held by the former rulers could by no means regard their tenure of power as secure. One such incident played an important part in the history of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire; the Hellenistic garrison of Jerusalem and local supporters of the Seleucids held out for many years in the Acra citadel, making Maccabean rule in the rest of Jerusalem precarious.
When gaining possession of the place, the Maccabeans pointedly destroyed and razed the Acra, though they constructed another citadel for their own use in a different part of Jerusalem. At various periods, during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the citadel – having its own fortifications, independent of the city walls – was the last defence of a besieged army held after the town had been conquered. Locals and defending armies have held out citadels long after the city had fallen. For example, in the 1543 Siege of Nice the Ottoman forces led by Barbarossa conquered and pillaged the town and took many captives – but the citadel held out. In the Philippines The Ivatan people of the northern islands of Batanes built fortifications to protect themselves during times of war, they built their so-called idjangs on elevated areas. These fortifications were likened to European castles because of their purpose; the only entrance to the castles would be via a rope ladder that would only be lowered for the villagers and could be kept away when invaders arrived.
In time of war the citadel in many cases afforded retreat to the people living in the areas around the town. However, Citadels were used to protect a garrison or political power from the inhabitants of the town where it was located, being designed to ensure loyalty from the town that they defended. For example, during the Dutch Wars of 1664-67, King Charles II of England constructed a Royal Citadel at Plymouth, an important channel port which needed to be defended from a possible naval attack. However, due to Plymouth's support for the Parliamentarians in the then-recent English Civil War, the Plymouth Citadel was so designed that its guns could fire on the town as well as on the sea approaches. Barcelona had a great citadel built in 1714 to intimidate the Catalans against repeating their mid-17th- and early-18th-century rebellions against the Spanish central government. In the 19th century, when the political climate had liberalized enough to permit it, the people of Barcelona had the citadel torn down, replaced it with the city's main central park, the Parc de la Ciutadella.
A similar example is the Citadella in Hungary. The attack on the Bastille in the French Revolution – though afterwards remembered for th
Candaules known as Myrsilos, was a king of the ancient Kingdom of Lydia in the early years of the 7th century BC. According to Herodotus, he succeeded his father Meles as the 22nd and last king of Lydia's Heraclid dynasty, he was succeeded by Gyges. Based on an ambiguous line in the work of the Greek poet Hipponax, it was traditionally assumed that the name of Candaules meant "hound-choker" among the Lydians. J. B. Bury and Russell Meiggs say that Candaules is a Maeonian name meaning "hound-choker" and that Aryan conquerors had occupied the Lydian throne for centuries. More however, it has been suggested that the name or title Kandaules is cognate with the Luwian hantawatt– and has Carian origin; the name or title Candaules is the origin of the term candaulism, for a sexual practice attributed to him by legend. Several stories of how the Heraclid dynasty of Candaules ended and the Mermnad dynasty of Gyges began have been related by different authors throughout history in a mythical sense. In Plato's Republic, Gyges used a magical ring to become invisible and usurp the throne, a plot device which reappeared in numerous myths and works of fiction throughout history.
The earliest story, related by Herodotus in the 5th century BC, has Candaules betrayed and executed by his wife, Nyssia, in a cautionary tale against pride and possession. According to Herodotus in The Histories, Candaules believed his wife to be the most beautiful woman on Earth. Herodotus does not name the queen but artists and writers have called her Nyssia. Candaules told his favourite bodyguard, how beautiful the queen was and, thinking Gyges did not believe him, urged Gyges to contrive to see her naked. Gyges refused as he did not wish to dishonor the queen. Candaules was insistent and Gyges had no option but to obey his king. So Gyges hid in Candaules' bedroom and, watched her undress; as she was getting into bed, he left the room, but the queen saw him and realised what had happened. Herodotus commented: "For with the Lydians, as with most barbarian races, it is thought indecent for a man to be seen naked"; the queen silently swore revenge for her shame. Next day, she summoned Gyges to her chamber.
Gyges thought it was a routine request, but she confronted him and presented him with two choices. One was to seize the throne with Nyssia as his wife; the second was to be executed by her trusted servants. Gyges pleaded with her to relent but she would not, he decided to assassinate the king. The plan was. After Candaules fell asleep, Gyges stabbed him to death. Gyges married the queen as she had insisted but many Lydians did not at first accept him as their ruler. In order to prevent a civil war, Gyges offered to have his position confirmed or refused by the Delphic Oracle, he agreed. The Oracle supported him and his dynasty was established; the Priestess of the Shrine did add, that the Heraclids would have their revenge on Gyges in the fifth generation of the Mermnadae. The story is rejected by Bury and Meiggs, who assert that the family of Candaules, although descended from Heracles himself, had become degenerate; as a result, Candaules was assassinated c. 687 BC by Gyges, who ushered in a new era for Lydia ruled by his own Mermnadae clan.
List of kings of Lydia Bury, J. B.. A History of Greece. London: MacMillan Press. ISBN 0-333-15492-4. Herodotus. Burn, A. R.. The Histories. London: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-051260-8. Plato. Lee, Desmond, ed; the Republic. London: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-044048-8. Von Krafft-Ebing, Richard. Psychopathia sexualis. Eine klinisch-forensische Studie. Stuttgart: Enke. Media related to King Candaules at Wikimedia Commons "Sadyattes/Myrsilus/Candaules" by Jona Lendering at www.livius.org Jean-Léon Gérôme, King Candaules, 1858 in the Dahesh Museum of Art, New York Sheridan, Paul. "In Defence of King Candaules". Anecdotes from Antiquity. Retrieved 2015-10-26
Persepolis was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire. It is situated 60 km northeast of the city of Shiraz in Iran; the earliest remains of Persepolis date back to 515 BCE. It exemplifies the Achaemenid style of architecture. UNESCO declared the ruins of Persepolis a World Heritage Site in 1979; the English word Persepolis is derived from Greek Persépolis, a compound of Pérsēs and pólis, meaning "the Persian city" or "the city of the Persians". To the ancient Persians, the city was known as Pārsa, the word for the region of Persia. An inscription left by Sasanian prince Shapur Sakanshah, the son of Hormizd II, refers to the site as Sad-stūn, meaning "Hundred Pillars"; because medieval Persians attributed the site to Jamshid, an Iranian mythological king, it has been referred to as Takht-e-Jamshid meaning "Throne of Jamshid". Another name given to the site in the medieval period was Čehel Menār meaning "Forty Minarets". Persepolis is near the small river Pulvar; the site includes a 125,000 square meter terrace artificially constructed and cut out of a mountain, with its east side leaning on Rahmat Mountain.
The other three sides are formed by retaining walls, which vary in height with the slope of the ground. Rising from 5–13 metres on the west side was a double stair. From there, it slopes to the top. To create the level terrace, depressions were filled with soil and heavy rocks, which were joined together with metal clips. Archaeological evidence shows that the earliest remains of Persepolis date back to 515 BC. André Godard, the French archaeologist who excavated Persepolis in the early 1930s, believed that it was Cyrus the Great who chose the site of Persepolis, but that it was Darius I who built the terrace and the palaces. Inscriptions on these buildings support the belief. With Darius I, the scepter passed to a new branch of the royal house. Persepolis became the capital of Persia proper during his reign. However, the city's location in a remote and mountainous region made it an inconvenient residence for the rulers of the empire; the country's true capitals were Susa and Ecbatana. This may be why the Greeks were not acquainted with the city until Alexander the Great took and plundered it.
Darius I's construction of Persepolis were carried out parallel to those of the Palace of Susa. According to Gene R. Garthwaite, the Susa Palace served as Darius' model for Persepolis. Darius I ordered the construction of the Apadana and the Council Hall, as well as the main imperial Treasury and its surroundings; these were completed during the reign of his son, Xerxes I. Further construction of the buildings on the terrace continued until the downfall of the Achaemenid Empire. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, the Greek historian Ctesias mentioned that Darius I's grave was in a cliff face that could be reached with an apparatus of ropes. Around 519 BC, construction of a broad stairway was begun; the stairway was planned to be the main entrance to the terrace 20 metres above the ground. The dual stairway, known as the Persepolitan Stairway, was built symmetrically on the western side of the Great Wall; the 111 steps measured 6.9 metres wide, with treads of 31 centimetres and rises of 10 centimetres.
The steps were believed to have been constructed to allow for nobles and royalty to ascend by horseback. New theories, suggest that the shallow risers allowed visiting dignitaries to maintain a regal appearance while ascending; the top of the stairways led to a small yard in the north-eastern side of the terrace, opposite the Gate of All Nations. Grey limestone was the main building material used at Persepolis. After natural rock had been leveled and the depressions filled in, the terrace was prepared. Major tunnels for sewage were dug underground through the rock. A large elevated water storage tank was carved at the eastern foot of the mountain. Professor Olmstead suggested the cistern was constructed at the same time that construction of the towers began; the uneven plan of the terrace, including the foundation, acted like a castle, whose angled walls enabled its defenders to target any section of the external front. Diodorus Siculus writes that Persepolis had three walls with ramparts, which all had towers to provide a protected space for the defense personnel.
The first wall was 7 metres tall, the second, 14 metres and the third wall, which covered all four sides, was 27 metres in height, though no presence of the wall exists in modern times. The function of Persepolis remains rather unclear, it was not one of the largest cities in Persia, let alone the rest of the empire, but appears to have been a grand ceremonial complex, only occupied seasonally. Until recent challenges, most archaeologists held that it was used for celebrating Nowruz, the Persian New Year, held at the spring equinox, still an important annual festivity in modern Iran; the Iranian nobility and the tributary parts of the empire came to present gifts to the king, as represented in the stairway reliefs. After invading Achaemenid Persia in 330 BC, Alexander the Great sent the main force of his army to Persepolis by the Royal Road, he stormed a pass through modern-day Zagros Mountains. There Ariobarzanes of Persis ambushed Alexander the Great's army, inflicting heavy casualties. After being held off for 30 days, Alexander t
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