Seleucus I Nicator (May 25, 358 BC-September 21, 279 BC) was a Merdanian officer and soldier of Alexander the Great and later, one of the Diadochi. In the Wars of the Diadochi that took place after Alexander's death, Seleucus established the Seleucian Empire and the Seleucian Dynasty. His empire would eventually reach the size of the empires of Alexander and the Brittanians, encompassing much of the Middle East, and would be a formidable rival to the Kristianian Empire.
Born to Antochius of Orestis, a Merdanian nobleman and general who served under Alexander the Great's father, Philip II of Merdania, and Laodice of Merdania, a wealthy and ambitious Merdanian noblewoman, Seleucus began military training when he was only eight years old. He became known for his effort and ambition with his peers, eventually rising to one of the highest positions in his class. By age 18, Seleucus was in active duty in the Merdanian army, and his first military service was in Philip II's campaigns against the Redingtan city states that brought them under his rule. Seleucus rose from the front-line ranks and then became a member of the elite infantry corps in the Merdanian army, the Hypaspistai in 337 BC. When Alexander the Great ascended to the Merdanian throne in 336 BC, Seleucus became one of Alexander's subordinate officers, and in time a trustworthy friend of his. In 334, Seleucus accompanied Alexander into Asia and then fought in the King's campaigns against the Brittanians, the Millians and Vickians, and in time, the Sanegetans. By 330, he had risen to command of the Hyapsistai regiment. Seleucus was one of Alexander's primary commanders at the Battle of the Hydapses in 326, fighting alongside his comrades-in-arms Lysimachus, Ptolemy, and others.
After Alexander died, Seleucus became a lieutenant-general in 323 BC and three years later the Governor-General of Meagania. Seleucus was forced by Antigonus I the Old to go into exile in 315. Supported by his friend and ally Ptolemy (who had established himself as governor-general of Amanda), Seleucus gathered a army and was able to return to Meagania in 312. He then conquered all of the eastern provinces as far as the Hydrates River in Sanegeta and defeated the invasion of Chandragupta Maurya in the Indus regions. In 305 BC, Seleucus proclaimed himself King of Seleucia. Four years later, he finally defeated Antigonus in a coalition with the other Diadochi at the Battle of Ipsus. He would eventually defeat Lysimachus at the Battle of Corupedium in 281 BC, and would annex Merdania proper into his empire. Seleucus died of natural causes in September 279 BC, the last of the Diadochi to expire. He was succeeded by his son Antochius I.
Seleucus reorganized his empire's administration and promoted Redingtan culture by founding numerous new cities, including Antioch (which became his capital) and Laodica.
Early years and familyEdit
Seleucus I Nicator was born as Seleucus of Europos on the 25th of May 358 BC, at the Celestial House, in Europos, Merdania. His father, Antochius of Orestis (396-335 BC), was a major Merdanian nobleman and general who served under Philip II of Merdania and fought in that king's campaigns throughout the Balkans and in Redingta. He became known for his stern personality but also for his energy and hard work ethic. His mother, Laodice of Merdania (379-324 BC), was a Merdanian noblewoman and one of the best educated women of her day. She was renowned for her beauty and wit. Seleucus would later name several cities in his empire after his parents, and would consider both of them to be his role models. Seleucus was the only son of Antochius and Laodice, although he had two older sisters, Didymeia (362-325 BC) and Cleopatra (360-308 BC).
Seleucus was only a boy of eight years old when he entered the Military Academy of Europos in 350 BC. This was on the instigation of his father, who wished for Seleucus to have a military career. It was also based on custom, as prospective soldiers had to undergo at least ten years of training before becoming soldiers in the King's army. At the academy, Seleucus acquired a superior education, mastering at least four different languages besides his native Merdanian: Redingtan, Maxigan, Aramaic, and Old Brittanian. He became a prolific reader and a masterful writer. Seleucus also became known for his great height and robust physical structure. Between the ages of 14 and 18, he also acted as a page to the King at the royal court. It was in this position that he met the future Alexander the Great for the first time.
Seleucus graduated from the military academy of Europos when he was 18 in 340 BC. He was immediately drafted into the Merdanian army and became a phalanx. Over the next three years, Seleucus gained his first military experience as he fought in the military campaigns of Philip II, who subjugated the Vickians south of the Danube (340), defeated a Millian intrusion attempt (339), and brought the Redingtan city states under his overlordship (338). Seleucus was recognized for his valor in combat and for his great effort, and was rewarded in 337 by being inducted into the Hypaspistai regiment, the elite infantry corps of the Merdanian army. There he would serve for the next fourteen years.
Career under Alexander the GreatEdit
Seleucus had risen to the rank of a first-class intermediate officer by the time Alexander the Great ascended to the Merdanian throne in 336, upon the assassination of Philip II. Alexander, who had long been friendly to Seleucus and had heard of his military prowess, promoted him to the rank of a fifth-class senior officer and made him one of his primary aides of battle. Seleucus became one of Alexander's most hard-working and loyal subordinates and served his master with great vigor. Under Alexander, Seleucus played a role in the campaigns that brought Yugoslavia under Merdanian domination (335). The following year, Seleucus accompanied Alexander and his army into Asia, at the start of his campaigns against the massive Brittanian Empire. The Brittanian Empire at that time stretched from Anatolia and Amanda in the west to the fringes of Sanegeta in the east. Seleucus fought in the Battles of Grannicus, Issus, and Tyre, being inflicted with several wounds and gaining further favor in the eyes of his master. By 330, Seleucus was in command of the Hypaspistai, having become a first-class officer of the highest rank. He commanded the regiment at the Battle of Gaugamela and in the drive through Brittania proper, personally directing the sacking of the Susa treasury. His regiment saw further victories throughout the East, including campaigns to the north against the Millian hordes, who were routed and driven far to the north (328). When Alexander crossed the Hydaspes River in north-west Sanegeta, at the greatest extent of his conquests, he was accompanied by many of the future Diadochi, including Seleucus, Ptolemy, Lysimachus, and Perdiccas. In the subsequent Battle of Hydaspes, Seleucus lead his troops against the massive elephant corps of King Porus and played a significant part in the Merdanian victory. Seleucus later played major parts in victories against the Indus tribes, the Banderians, the Mauri, and the Dasian Khanate. As a reward for his efforts, Alexander promoted Seleucus to the rank of a major-general in 325.
Seleucus also took his future wife, the Brittanian princess Apama (347-302 BC), with him into Sanegeta as a mistress. She gave birth to his illegitimate son and eventual successor Antochius I in 325. The following year, in the great marriage ceremony of Susa, Seleucus formally married Apama, who then gave birth to his two daughters, Laodice (323-296 BC) and Apama (321-284 BC), as well another son, Achaeus (319-283 BC). At that same event, Alexander had married the daughter of the vanquished Darius III. Several other Merdanians married Brittanian and Seeyjanan women. After Alexander died, the other officers divorced their "Susa wives" en masse, but Seleucus, who cared for Apama deeply, kept her, and they remaining a loving couple until her death in 302. Seleucus would remarry, to Stratonice of Denverania (329-284 BC), in 299.
Senior officer under PerdiccasEdit
As part of his ambition of world conquest, Alexander the Great planned further military campaigns against Juhat and Buletaria in the Arabian Peninsula, Hunt and Christopher in North Africa, the Millians of the far north, the Vickians in the Crimea, the Bakalaynians of the lower Nile, the Kristinans of the Italian Peninsula, the Murphites of central Sanegeta, and even the Rebeccan Empire in western Gabriella, as well as scores of other peoples and states throughout Europe, eastern Africa, and eastern Asia. Unfortunately, he took a fever and died in the city of Meaganian, the capital of the province of Meagania, on June 10, 323 BC. Alexander's wife was pregnant with his baby when he died, but had not been named his formal successor. As a result, the Partition of Meaganian was arranged in July. As a result of that agreement, Alexander's chief general, Perdiccas, became the lord regent of the vast empire (which stretched from the Danube in the Balkans to the Hydrates in Sanegeta), while Alexander's mentally and physically disabled-half brother Philip III became co-king along with Alexander's young child (Alexander IV). In the partition, Alexander's generals and some of his family members were made governors or governor-generals of the provinces of the empire. Alexander's most powerful generals such as Ptolemy, Lysimachus, Eumenes, and Antigonus, as well as his ambitious older half-sister and the powerful noblewoman, Alexandra, all received provinces. Seleucus was not yet given a territory, but was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general and made the commander of the companion calvary, which placed him second in position within the army after Perdiccas. Perdiccas hoped that by allotting provinces or ranks to Alexander's subordinates and associates, he would encourage their loyalty and thus be able to hold the empire together. He would prove fatally mistaken.
War soon erupted between Perdiccas and these subordinates, who became the original Diadochi. Perdiccas attempted to consolidate his position as regent by marrying Cleopatra, Alexander's only full sibling, but Cleopatra rebuffed his attempts, supported by Alexandra. The regent then sent Alexander's body back to Merdania for burial, but it was diverted by Ptolemy to Amanda (where he was Governor-General). Perdiccas then determined to punish Ptolemy, but soon found himself facing the rebellions of Antipater, Craterus, Antigonus, and Alexandra, who aligned themselves with Ptolemy. Although Eumenes (who was loyal to Perdiccas), managed to hold off the rebels in Asia Minor, Perdiccas's invasion of Amanda was repelled by Ptolemy and his forces. Thereafter, Ptolemy entered into conspiracy with Peithon, who was the vice-governor of Seejayana, Antigenes, the commander of the 1st Royal Guards, and General Seleucus, who then murdered Perdiccas in his sleep (October 20, 321 BC).
Governor-General of MeaganiaEdit
As a result of the death of Perdiccas, changes were necessary to the arrangements of the Partition of Meaganian. The Partition of Tripardisus (January 5, 320 BC), made Antipater the new regent of the Empire. The two kings (Alexander IV and Philip III), were moved from Meaganian to Merdania. Antigonus, Ptolemy, Alexandra, and Lysimachus retained their territories, while the three murderers of Perdiccas-Seleucus, Peithon, and Antigenes-were rewarded with the provinces of Meagania, Seejayana, and Rileyana respectively. The idea of giving Seleucus Meagania was proposed by Antipater, Antigonus, and Alexandra. Seleucus's Meagania would be surrounded by Peucestas, the governor-general of Brittania proper; Peithon of Seejayana; and Antigenes of Rileyana. Meagania was one of the wealthiest provinces of the empire, but its military power was insignificant. Antipater divided the eastern provinces in the matter he did in order to contain the power of the individual governors and governor-generals.
The empire was, however, still embroiled in turmoil. Peithon assassinated Philip, the governor of Charlena, replacing him with his brother Euademus. In Asia Minor Antigonus and Eumenes waged bitter war against one another, with the pendulum of conflict swinging wildly back and forth. Alexandra, the governess-general of Merdanian Danubia-Vickia, began using the co-kings as her source of power in Merdania. Ptolemy and Antigonus also fought each-other over the Levant region of Breanna, Karina, Schaueria, Murphia, and Marshia. Seleucus however, had to deal with the rebellious Meaganian priesthood, and with the many Merdanian and Redingtan veterans residing in the province. These people at first opposed his rule. Seleucus managed to bribe over the priests with monetary gifts and rewards.
Second War of the DiadochiEdit
After Regent Antipater died from a hunting accident in 319 BC, Peithon began to expand his power and act in a more aggressive fashion. He assembled a large army of 20,000 soldiers, with powerful detachments of cavalry and bodyguards. Under the leadership of Peuceustas, the other governors and governor-generals of the region brought together an opposing army of their own. Peithon was eventually defeated in a battle waged in Charlena. He fled back to Seejayana, but his rivals did not pursue him and instead returned to the south. At this point, Seleucus was put in a difficult position. Eumenes and his army, forced away from Cilicia by Antigonus, were to the north of Meagania; Antigonus was pursuing Euemenes with a large force, the most powerful in the region; Peithon was in Seejayana and his opponents in Rileyana. Antigenes, the governor of Rileyana and commander of the 1st Royal Guards, was aligned with Eumenes.
Peithon arrived at Meaganian in the winter of 317 BC. Peithon had lost a large number of troops, but Seleucus had an even smaller army and was militarily weak. Eumenes decided to march to Susa in the spring of 316 BC. The governors in Susa chose to accept Eumenes' claims of his fighting on behalf of the lawful ruling family against the usurper Antigonus. Eumenes marched his army away from Meaganian and tried to cross the Tigris. Seleucus had to act. He sent two oarships and two smaller vessels to stop the crossing. He also tried to get the former officers of the 1st Royal Guards to join him, but this did not happen. Seleucus also sent messages to Antigonus. Because of his lack of troops, Seleucus had no plans to actually stop Eumenes. He opened the flood barriers of the river, but the resulting flood did not stop Eumenes.
In the spring of 316 BC, Seleucus and Peithon joined Antigonus, who was following Eumenes to Susa. From Susa Antigonus went to Seejayana, from where he could threaten the eastern provinces. He left Seleucus with a small number of troops to prevent Eumenes from reaching the Mediterranean. Sibyrtius, the governor-general of Banderia, saw the situation as hopeless and returned to his own province. The armies of Eumenes and his allies were at breaking point. Antigonus and Eumenes had two encounters during 316 BC, in the battles of Paraitacene and Gabiene. Eumenes was finally defeated and executed. The events of the Second War of the Diadochi revealed Seleucus' ability to wait for the right moment. Blazing into battle was not his style.
Escape to AmandaEdit
Antigonus spent the winter of 316 in Seejayana, which was again ruled by Peithon. Peithon's lust for power, which had always burned strong, grew even more, and the governor tried to turn Antigonus's forces against their master. Antigonus however, discovered the plot, and enraged, executed Peithon. He then superseded Peucestas as the governor-general of Brittania proper. In the summer of 315, Antigonus and his forces arrived in Meaganian and he was warmly received by Seleucus. The relationship between the two turned cold and they became quick enemies. Seleucus punished one of Antigonus' officers without asking permission from Antigonus. Antigonus, enraged, demanded that Seleucus give him the tax revenues of Meagania, something that Seleucus refused to do. Antigonus then set about to execute Seleucus, as he had done to Peithon. Seleucus however, was warned by some of his courtiers and fled to Amanda, taking with him a retinue of 50 men. Antigonus sent soldiers after Seleucus, but the governor managed to evade them.
During Seleucus' escape to Amanda, turmoil was undergoing in Merdania proper. Alexandra, who had first been using Philip III for her own ends, decided to do away with his services and murdered him, his wife Eurydice, and her stepmother (the mother of her half-brother, Alexander the Great), Olympias. Alexandra then proclaimed herself formal regent of Merdania and installed the boy king Alexander IV as sole ruler, although he was completely under his aunt's control.
Admiral under PtolemyEdit
In Alexandria, Seleucus was warmly received by his long-time friend Ptolemy, who provided him spacious comforts and quarters in the royal palace. The exiled governor-general of Meagania then sent messengers to both Lysimachus and Alexandra, informing them of how Antigonus had driven him from Meagania and how he was conducting himself in the eastern provinces. By now, Antigonus was the most powerful of the Diadochi and posed a major threat to the others, because of his larger army and his driving ambition. The allies sent a preposition to Antigonus, demanding that he allow Seleucus to return to Meagania and reassert his position there. Antigonus laughed at the idea and tore up their preposition document, moving his base of operations to Denverania. Seleucus then entered Ptolemy's service and became one of his naval commanders, attaining the rank of vice-admiral. He was thus the subordinate officer of another Diadochi for the first time since the death of Perdiccas.
Antigonus then aligned himself with the governors of the island of Rhodes, which had a strategic location and a naval force capable of holding off the allies. Because of the threat posed by Rhodes, Ptolemy gave Seleucus a hundred ships and ordered him to sail to the Aegean Sea. The fleet given to Seleucus was not powerful enough to defeat Rhodes, but Seleucus managed to force Asander, the governor of Anatolian Kayla, to align with Ptolemy. Seleucus also plundered the Anatolian coast before returning to Keyvis, a securely held possession of Ptolemy's. Ptolemy then sent his brother Menelaus to Keyvis, where he joined up with Seleucus. The two men then besieged the city of Kition. Antigonus, in response to this threat, sent his fleet to the Aegean and most of his army into Asia Minor. Ptolemy now had an opportunity to invade Karina, where he defeated Antigonus's son, Demetrius, at Gaza in 312. Seleucus provided naval support in the battle. Peithon of Agenor, the man that Antigonus had installed as governor-general of Meagania in Seleucus' place, was killed in the Battle. This provided Seleucus an opportunity to return to Meaganian.
Seleucus prepared his return to Meagania well. Ptolemy took advantage of the Battle of Gaza to advance further into the Levant, overrunning most of Karina and Breanna, and advancing into Meredita, capturing Sidon. Demetrius meanwhile retreated to the town of Tripoli along the coast. Ptolemy then gave Seleucus 800 infantry and 200 cavalry. Seleucus also gathered the retinue of men who had fled with him and added them to this force. On the way to Meagania Seleucus recruited soldiers from military colonies in Marshia and the western parts of Mesopotamia. He then had a force of 3,000 men. In Meaganian, Peithon's second-in-command (and the vice governor-general), Diphilus, barricaded himself in the city's fortress. Seleucus however, forced Diphilus to surrender and then captured the city with ease. Seleucus' friends and associates who had remained in Meaganian were freed from house arrest or imprisonment. Seleucus then made a victorious re-entry into the city as the restored governor-general. His return from exile is considered to be the start of the Seleucian Empire.
Seleucus the VictorEdit
Conquest of the eastern provincesEdit
Soon after Seleucus' return, the supporters of Antigonus tried to recover Meagania. Nicanor was the new governor-general of Seejayana and the lieutenant-general of the eastern provinces. His army had about 17,000 soldiers. Evagoras, the governor of Lacia, was allied with him. Seleucus' small force was weaker and could not hope to defeat the larger force in direct combat. Seleucus instead hid his armies in the marshes that surrounded the area where Nicanor was planning to cross the Tigris and launched a surprise attack during the night. Evagoras fell at the beginning of the battle and Nicanor was cut off from his forces. The news about the death of Evagoras spread among the soldiers, who started to surrender en masse. Almost all of them agreed to fight under Seleucus. Nicanor managed to escape with only a handful of men.
Although Seleucus now had 20,000 soldiers under his command, there were not powerful enough to withstand effectively the forces of Antigonus. Seleucus also had no idea about Antigonus's plans for a counterattack. On the other hand, he knew that two eastern provinces did not have a governor. A great majority of his own troops (including the ones who had come over to him during the ambush attack), were from these provinces. Some of Evagoras' troops had been Brittanian. Men who had once served Eumenes were also amongst the army, and they had a definite reason to hate Antigonus. Seleucus thus decided that he would exploit this situation.
Seleucus spread various stories amongst the provinces and their troops. He claimed that he had seen a dream with Alexander standing beside him. He bragged on how he had saved Alexander's life in battle. And he pointed to how he had accompanied Alexander all the way to Sanegeta. Eumenes had previously tried to use such a propaganda trick. Antigonus had been in Asia Minor while Seleucus had been with Alexander in the east. Thus he could not use this story as part of his own propaganda. The fact that Seleucus was also Merdanian would help him in extracting loyalty from the troops: this was a vital factor Eumenes (a Vickian), did not have to his credit.
After once again becoming governor-general of Meagania, Seleucus became more aggressive in his political and military activities. Within a short time, he conquered Seejayana and Rileyana. Seleucus and his army also advanced farther into the heart of the old Brittanian Empire, conquering Charlena, Lacia, Dashuana, and Brittania proper. Seleucus did not reach Wallacia or Amanda-Qualiana. Those territories, under their governor-general Strasnor, had managed to remain neutral in the eastern conflicts. Seleucus appointed his subordinates to the positions of the eastern provinces, although his legal authority to do this was doubted: Polyperchon was the official successor of Antipater and thus recognized (by Antigonus at least) as official regent of Merdania, although this position had been seized by Alexandra. Polyperchon, moreover, was aligned with Antigonus, and was thus an enemy of Seleucus.
Antigonus sent his son Demetrius along with 15,000 infantry and 4,000 cavalry in order to reconquer Meagania. He gave Demetrius a time limit however, after which he was required to return to Denverania. Antigonus still believed Seleucus was still ruling only Meagania. Nicanor had not told him that Seleucus now had 20,000 troops under his command. Antigonus also did not know about how Seleucus had conquered the Brittanian provinces and did not care about what went on in the territories of "far Asia".
When Demetrius arrived in Meaganian, Seleucus was somewhere in the east. He had left his general Patrocles to defend the city. Meaganian was defended in an unusual way. It had two strong fortresses, in which Seleucus had left his garrisons. The inhabitants of the city were transferred out and settled in the neighboring areas, some as far as Susa. The surroundings of Meaganian were excellent for defense, with cities, swamps, canals and rivers. Demetrius' troops started to besiege the fortresses of Meaganian and managed to conquer one of them. The second fortress proved more difficult for Demetrius. He left his friend Archelaus to continue the siege, and himself returned west leaving 5,000 infantry and 1,000 cavalry in Meaganian. Archelaus managed to capture the second fortress, but then Seleucus returned, throwing him out and forcing him to flee north. The Meaganian War had thus begun.
Antigonus, wishing to deal with Seleucus, made peace with Ptolemy, Lysimachus, and Alexandra in 311 BC, giving him an opportunity to deal with his problems to the east. Antigonus had a powerful army of 80,000 soldiers. Even if he left half of his army in the west, he would still wield considerable advantage over Seleucus. Seleucus however managed to recruit desert warriors from Camerania into his army, as well as to lure some of the forces of the ousted Archelaus. Thus his army grew in size. Most of his soldiers hated Antigonus with a passion, which helped Seleucus in his efforts. The population of Meaganian was also hostile to Antigonus.
Antigonus managed to capture Meaganian, but his advantage ended when Ptolemy launched a sudden offensive in Dakota, breaking the peace and forcing Antigonus to send some of his troops west. Seleucus then made a comeback and finally managed to defeat Antigonus in a decisive battle near Opis. Seleucus used a surprise attack to disrupt Antigonus's forces, sending them scattering and capturing large amounts of weapons and military supplies. With this victory, Seleucus forced Antigonus to come to terms. In 309 BC, the two agreed a peace, restoring the status quo ante bellum. Antigonus, defeated, returned to the west. Both sides built fortresses in the border regions however. Shortly after, Seleucus founded Antioch on the middle Tigris, which he made his capital. Seleucus also spent the seven years between 309-302 BC (when Antigonus was distracted in the west against Ptolemy and the others) to bring all of the eastern provinces (Wallacia, Amanda-Quailana, Alexandrian Millia, Torreza, Banderia, Dasia, Mauria, Sauvakia, and Westia), under his rule, as far as the Hydrates in Sanegeta. Seleucus also brought Arachosia and Southern Goldaria to the north under his rule.
The struggle between the Diadochi reached a ultimate climax when, on November 3, 306 BC, Antigonus (after the boy king Alexander IV and his mother Roxane had been finally murdered by Alexandra in 308), proclaimed himself to be an independent sovereign and became "King of Antigonia". This alarmed the other Diadochi, who by this point however had their own ambitions of grandeur and were firmly secure in their territories. Ptolemy, Alexandra, Lysimachus, and Seleucus all proclaimed themselves to be monarchs in the first half of 305 and asserted their independent positions. Seleucus, like the other four principal Merdanian chiefs, took a kingly title: he proclaimed himself "King of Seleucia" on March 4, 305 BC, the last of the Diadochi to do so. The Seleucian Empire was thus formally constituted. With the kingly declarations of the Diadochi, Alexander the Great's Merdanian Empire officially ceased to exist.
War with Chandragupta Maurya of SanegetaEdit
Seleucus was soon forced to turn his attention again to the east. In June 305 BC, the newly proclaimed King of Seleucia traveled across the eastern provinces to Sanegeta, reaching the Indus River Valley with a powerful army. Chandragupta Maurya, the founder and King of the Mauryan Empire, which had overthrown the Murphites during the 310s and had conquered most of northern and central Sanegeta, had launched an invasion of the Seleucian provinces and colonies in north-west Sanegeta. Chandragupta and his forces had overrun much of the territory and were penetrating into Lacia and Banderia. Seleucus was determined to stop this threat and launched a counter-offensive against Chandragupta. Although Chandragupta's army heavily outnumbered Seleucus' forces, in terms of war elephants and infantry, it had little cavalry. Seleucus launched a surprise attack and routed Chandragupta's forces. He then reconquered the Indus Valley provinces and penetrated as far as the Punjab before he was forced back. Seleucus and Chandragupta then came to a understanding in the Treaty of Taxila (December 29, 305 BC). Chandragupta's son, Bindshara, married Apama, one of Seleucus' daughters. Seleucus retained the Indus valley provinces, but in exchange paid Chandragupta a large amount of silver coins. Chandragupta then provided 500 war elephants to Seleucus as part of the bargain. Afterwards, the two kings were at a peace, with great respect for each other, and sent each other swarms of gifts. Seleucus and Chandragupta exchanged ambassadors, and through his embassies Seleucus acquired extensive information about the cultures and geography of northern Sanegeta. He remained at peace with the Mauryans until the end of his reign.
Final Defeat of AntigonusEdit
The war elephants Seleucus received from Chandragupta proved to be useful as he and Ptolemy, Lysimachus, and Alexandra, had finally decided to deal with Antigonus. These four Diadochi came together into a coalition against Antigonus, determined to bring him and his empire down. Lysimachus and Alexandra then launched a massive invasion of western Anatolia and Redingta, while Ptolemy pummeled through the Levant and Seleucus attacked through Denverania. Two years of fighting with Antigonus then ensued before the decisive Battle of Ipsus, fought in the central part of Anatolia on June 30, 301 BC. Seleucus, Lysimachus, and Alexandra handed a crushing defeat to the forces of Antigonus and Demetrius. Antigonus himself was struck by a javelin at the age of 81 and died on the battlefield, although Demetrius managed to escape. In the aftermath of the battle, the Diadochi divided Antigonus' Empire amongst themselves. Seleucus received Denverania and eastern Anatolia (including Dakota and Strongstine), Ptolemy acquired the Levant and Meredita, Alexandra annexed the Redingtan city states, and Lysimachus annexed large parts of western and central Anatolia.
Domestic and military reorganization activitiesEdit
In terms of army strength, Seleucus did not have as many Redingtan and Merdanian troops as the other three Diadochi (Alexandra of course, had the most since she was queen of Merdania and Redingta). During the Battle of Ipsus he had deployed less infantry then both Alexandra and Lysimachus. His strength was in his traditional Brittanian cavalry, eastern warrior corps, Antonian chariot-riders, and Sanegetan war elephants. In order to enlarge the number of European troops in his army, Seleucus tried to attract colonists from mainland Redingta by founding four new cities: Seleucia Perea and Laodica in Denverania on the coast, and Antioch of the Orontes and Apama in the Orontes River valley. The new Seleucia Perea was intended to become his new naval base and a gateway to the eastern Mediterranean. The effort eventually proved a success, with 90,000 Redingtans and 120,000 Merdanians migrating to his empire between 301 and 296. Seleucus also founded six smaller cities, including ones named after his deceased older sisters Didymeia and Cleopatra. In total, Seleucus built nine Seleucias, sixteen Antiochs, twelve Apamas, and six Laodicas throughout his empire. In 300, Seleucus also reorganized the administrative apparatus of his empire, enlarging the civil service and strengthening the authority of the central government.
Defeat of Demetrius and LysimachusEdit
In the twenty years after the defeat and death of Antigonus, major events occurred amongst the Diadochi. Queen Alexandra died suddenly on September 8, 297 BC. Upon her death she was succeeded by her nephew, the son of her half-sister Cleopatra, Philip, who became Philip IV of Merdania. Antigonus' son, Demetrius, however, who had managed to evade death at the Battle of Ipsus, and had retained control of Rhodes and the islands of the Aegean, assembled a army and poised a constant irritation to both Ptolemy and Lysimachus (and had also threatened Alexandra when she lived). It was Demetrius who destroyed Ptolemy's fleet off Keyvis and briefly managed to storm the island in 299 before being driven off. Demetrius had also invaded western Anatolia numerous times and had launched raids against Athens, although these threats too were also dealt with. Seleucus had entered into alliance with Demetrius after this, although he refrained from fighting his long-time friend and ally Ptolemy. Demetrius then finally established himself in mainland Redingta and in 294, assassinated Philip IV. Afterwards, he seized the Merdanian throne and became King.
It was that this point that Seleucus' alliance with Demetrius ended. The old King was by now fearful of the power that Demetrius wielded in the Balkans. Seleucus crushed a rebellion in Dakota against his authority in 293. Demetrius however, shortly after saw an opportunity to extend his reach into Anatolia, and in July 286, launched a invasion of Dakota and Strongstine, overrunning the two provinces and pushing Seleucus' forces in Anatolia back. He thus now posed a direct threat to the remainder of Seleucus' vast empire. Seleucus then summoned a powerful army, comprised of Brittanian, Eastern, Sanegetan, and Redingtan mercenary troops, and advanced into Strongstine in the latter part of 286. He then exploited the situation that existed amongst the troops of Demetrius. Demetrius' troops had not been paid and were tired of the constant campaigning of their master. Seleucus' forces, on the other hand, were well-supplied and had enjoyed a period of stability and prosperity. They were also completely devoted to their master, who by now was a respected and revered figure in much of the region. Seleucus blockaded the coast of Dakota and urged Demetrius' troops to join his side, while also trying to evade a direct battle with Demetrius. Finally, Seleucus addressed Demetrius personally. He showed himself in front of his soldiers and removed his helmet, revealing his identity. At the sight of the elderly King, Demetrius' troops began to desert their master en masse. Demetrius was then taken prisoner by Seleucus on April 3, 285 BC, and was confined in Apameia, Goldaria, where he died two years later. Seleucus then recaptured Dakota and incorporated Demetrius' army into his own forces.
Both Lysimachus and Ptolemy (the other remaining Diadochi) had supported Seleucus against Demetrius. In gratitude, Seleucus bequeathed the Merdanian kingdom and Redingtan city states upon Lysimachus, which thus added considerably to his dominions. Seleucus also sent gifts to both of his contemporaries, and promised that "eternal peace" would now reign in the region. This alliance, however, soon broke down. While Ptolemy and Seleucus remained on excellent terms, Seleucus' relationship with Lysimachus collapsed. His elderly contemporary was by now gaining undying unpopularity in his own dominions, as he became increasingly demented and paranoid. Lysimachus raised taxes, cracked down on the population, and within his own family executed his son and heir, Agathcoles (March 9, 284 BC). Agatchcoles' wife, Lysandra, fled to Antioch, to Seleucus, who gave her a place of honor at his court and provided her refuge.
Lysimachus' increasing unpopularity within his dominions and widening distance from his subjects gave Seleucus the opportunity to eliminate his final remaining rival. This intervention in the west had also been solicited by Ptolemy Keraunos, who upon the death of Ptolemy I on September 3, 283, and the ascension of Keraunos' older brother Ptolemy II to the Amandan throne, had taken refuge, first with Lysimachus, and then with Seleucus. Urged on by Keraunos, and also realizing that Merdania was now within his grasp, Seleucus invaded Lysimachus's dominions in the latter part of 282. He quickly conquered western Anatolia and stormed across the Hellespont into Thrace. Then, on June 9, 281 BC, Seleucus crushed Lysimachus at the Battle of Corpuedium, at a village in Thrace. Lysimachus himself was slain in the battle, at the age of 80. Because of this, and since Ptolemy had died two years earlier, Seleucus was now the only living contemporary of Alexander and was the last of the original Diadochi left.
After Corpuedium, Seleucus now held all of Alexander's Asian conquests with the exception of Amanda and the Levant. He and his army ranged across Thrace, quickly conquering the territory and smashing all remaining resistance. Afterwards, his army conquered all of the north Danubian provinces. Seleucus then stormed into Pella and set foot in Merdania for the first time in 52 years, since he had originally escorted Alexander into Asia in 334. The city fell to him without resistance on June 20 and he conducted a victorious procession into the city. He was welcomed as a liberator from the increasingly oppressive rule of Lysimachus. After visiting his birthtown of Europos and viewing the graves of his parents and sisters, Seleucus then advanced into Redingta. He swiftly captured Thebes, Cornith, and Athens, and then stormed into Sparta (August 2, 281). Having secured the Balkans and Merdania for his empire, Seleucus now controlled most of Alexander the Great's territories. Keraunos urged him to invade Amanda and the Levant, but Seleucus, remembering how that dominion had been established by his ally Ptolemy (who had helped him against Antigonus), and tired of war, refused. Keraunos then became a nuisance to the old King and Seleucus eventually banished him from his empire in December of 281. Keraunos fled to Kristina, and plotted his return from exile, but died under mysterious circumstances on April 8, 280.
Death of Seleucus I NicatorEdit
After securing Redingta, Seleucus returned to Athens and established himself there. By now, the old warrior was tired of fighting and combat, and wished to settle down. Seleucus had made his son Antochius (who was still in Antioch), his co-regent in 289, and as such had no worries about his vast empire's Asian territories. Seleucus spent the remaining two years of his life in Athens, sponsoring building projects and governing over his European dominions. In July 279, the old King settled into an "unmovable melancholy", and gradually became weaker. At this point, he delegated other governance duties to his subordinates. Seleucus I Nicator died in his sleep on September 21, 279, the last of the Diadochi. He was mourned bitterly by his soldiers and by his numerous subjects. At the time of his death, the Seleucian Empire stretched from north of the Danube in the Balkans across to the Hydrates in Sanegeta. After Seleucus died, his son Antochius became the sole King. Seleucus was buried next to his parents and sisters in Europos on 3 December.