Seleucus IV Philopator[1] (Greek: Σέλευκος Δ' Φιλοπάτωρ; c. 218 – 3 September 175 BC),[2][3] ruler of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire, reigned from 187 BC to 175 BC over a realm consisting of Syria (now including Cilicia and Judea), Mesopotamia, Babylonia and Nearer Iran (Media and Persia).

Birth and Family

He was the second son and successor of Antiochus III the Great and Laodice III. Seleucus IV wed his sister Laodice IV, by whom he had three children: two sons Antiochus, Demetrius I Soter and a daughter Laodice V.

Seleucid Conflict with Rome

Seleukos IV Philopator, Tetradrachm, 187-175 BC, HGC 9-580g

SELEUKID EMPIRE. Seleukos IV Philopator. 187-175 BC. AR Tetradrachm (28mm, 17.10 g, 12h). “Wreath” mint (Damaskos?). Laureate head right; to left, monogram above wreath / Apollo Delphios, testing arrow and holding grounded bow, seated left on omphalos; monogram in exergue. SC 1329.1a; Mørkholm, Monnayage 5 (A5a/R– [unlisted rev. die]); HGC 9, 580g. Good VF, toned. Rare. From the George Bernert Collection.

During the prelude to the Roman-Seleucid War, Seleucus was put in charge of the re-established colony of Lysimacheia by his father.[4][5] Upon the outbreak of war, Seleucus commanded his own force, unsuccessfully besieging Pergamon,[6] and taking the city of Phocaea[7] before fighting in the Battle of Magnesia alongside his father.[8] After their defeat at Magnesia, Seleucus was made co-regent in 189 BC[9] and the Seleucids signed the Treaty of Apamea with Rome in 188 BC.[10] As part of the treaty, Seleucus oversaw the supply of grain and scouts to Roman and Pergamene forces during their campaign against the Galatians.[7]

In 187 BC, Antiochus died[10] after looting the Temple of Bel in Elymaïs[11] and Seleucus took over as Basileus. He renewed an alliance with the Achaean League,[11] and almost joined in Pharnaces I's invasion of Galatia, before reconsidering and turning back.[9][11] He also substituted his son Demetrius instead of his brother Antiochus IV as a hostage in Rome.[12]


In 175 BC, Seleucus was assassinated by Heliodorus, one of his leading bureaucrats, who was then replaced by Antiochus IV with support from Pergamon, which was concerned about Rome following recent disputes.[12][9]
In the Judeo-Christian Tradition
Coin of Seleucus IV Philopator, stamp Greek: (Β)ΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ (ΣΕ)ΛΕΥΚΟΥ

Seleucus is mentioned in the Bible in a prophecy given by a messenger angel in Daniel 11:20. The text states that Seleucus "will send out a tax collector to maintain the royal splendor":[13] the collector is also referred to as an "extortioner" (Jerusalem Bible) or an "exactor of tribute" (Revised Standard Version). The deuterocanonical 2 Maccabees 3:6–7 speaks of reports that:

The treasury in Jerusalem was full of untold sums of money, so that the amount of the funds could not be reckoned, and that they did not belong to the account of the sacrifices, but that it was possible for them to fall under the control of the king. When Apollonius met the king, he told him of the money about which he had been informed. The king chose Heliodorus, who was in charge of his affairs, and sent him with commands to effect the removal of the reported wealth.

Seleucus IV Philopator

Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple, Gérard de Lairesse

The preceding verses also note that:

The kings themselves honored the place (Jerusalem) and glorified the temple with the finest presents, even to the extent that King Seleucus of Asia defrayed from his own revenues all the expenses connected with the service of the sacrifices.[14]

Ancestors of Seleucus IV Philopator
See also

List of Syrian monarchs
Timeline of Syrian history

"Seleucus IV Philopator".
Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol. 20 (1973), p. 190
Livius, Titus. Ab Urbe Condita. 35.15.
"Appian, The Syrian Wars 1 - Livius". Retrieved 6 November 2020.
"Appian, The Syrian Wars 6 - Livius". Retrieved 6 November 2020.
Livius, Titus. Ab Urbe Condita. 37.11.
"Appian, The Syrian Wars 7 - Livius". Retrieved 6 November 2020.
Hornblower, Simon; Spawforth, Antony; Eidinow, Esther (2012). The Oxford classical dictionary. p. 1342. ISBN 978-0-19-954556-8. OCLC 779530090.
Hornblower, Simon; Spawforth, Antony; Eidinow, Esther (2012). The Oxford classical dictionary. p. 105. ISBN 978-0-19-954556-8. OCLC 779530090.
Siculus, Diodorus. Bibliotheca Historica. 29.10.15.
"Appian, The Syrian Wars 9 - Livius". Retrieved 6 November 2020.
Daniel 11:20: New International Version
2 Maccabees 3:6–7: New Revised Standard Version

Laodice III, prior to her marriage to Antiochus III the Great, was a Princess of Pontus and was styled as such.

External links
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Seleucus IV.

Seleucus IV Philopator entry in historical sourcebook by Mahlon H. Smith

Seleucid King 187 - 175 BC
Preceded by: Antiochus III the Great
Succeeded by: Antiochus IV Epiphanes


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Philip II Alexander III the Great Philip III Arrhidaeus Alexander IV


Antigonus I Monophthalmus Demetrius I Poliorcetes Antigonus II Gonatas Demetrius II Aetolicus Antigonus III Doson Philip V Perseus Philip VI (pretender)


Ptolemy I Soter Ptolemy Keraunos Ptolemy II Philadelphus Ptolemy III Euergetes Ptolemy IV Philopator Ptolemy V Epiphanes Cleopatra I Syra (regent) Ptolemy VI Philometor Ptolemy VII Neos Philopator Cleopatra II Philometor Soter Ptolemy VIII Physcon Cleopatra III Ptolemy IX Lathyros Ptolemy X Alexander Berenice III Ptolemy XI Alexander Ptolemy XII Auletes Cleopatra VI Tryphaena Berenice IV Epiphanea Ptolemy XIII Ptolemy XIV Cleopatra VII Philopator Ptolemy XV Caesarion

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Magas Demetrius the Fair Ptolemy VIII Physcon Ptolemy Apion


Seleucus I Nicator Antiochus I Soter Antiochus II Theos Seleucus II Callinicus Seleucus III Ceraunus Antiochus III the Great Seleucus IV Philopator Antiochus IV Epiphanes Antiochus V Eupator Demetrius I Soter Alexander I Balas Demetrius II Nicator Antiochus VI Dionysus Diodotus Tryphon Antiochus VII Sidetes Alexander II Zabinas Seleucus V Philometor Antiochus VIII Grypus Antiochus IX Cyzicenus Seleucus VI Epiphanes Antiochus X Eusebes Antiochus XI Epiphanes Demetrius III Eucaerus Philip I Philadelphus Antiochus XII Dionysus Antiochus XIII Asiaticus Philip II Philoromaeus


Lysimachus Ptolemy Epigonos


Cassander Philip IV Alexander V Antipater II Antipater Etesias Sosthenes


Philetaerus Eumenes I Attalus I Eumenes II Attalus II Attalus III Eumenes III


Diodotus I Diodotus II Euthydemus I Demetrius I Euthydemus II Antimachus I Pantaleon Agathocles Demetrius II Eucratides I Plato Eucratides II Heliocles I


Demetrius I Antimachus I Pantaleon Agathocles Apollodotus I Demetrius II Antimachus II Menander I Zoilos I Agathokleia Lysias Strato I Antialcidas Heliokles II Polyxenos Demetrius III Philoxenus Diomedes Amyntas Epander Theophilos Peukolaos Thraso Nicias Menander II Artemidoros Hermaeus Archebius Telephos Apollodotus II Hippostratos Dionysios Zoilos II Apollophanes Strato II Strato III

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