In 451 B.C. Pericles introduced one of most striking proposals with his sponsorship of a law stating that henceforth citizenship would be conferred only on children whose mother and father both were Athenians.1 Previously, the offspring of Athenian men who married non-Athenian women were granted citizenship. Aristocratic men in particular had tended to marry rich foreign women, as Pericles' own maternal grandfather had done. Pericles' new law enhanced the status of Athenian mothers and made Athenian citizenship a more exclusive category, definitively setting Athenians off from all others. Not long thereafter, a review of the citizenship rolls was conducted to expel any who had claimed citizenship fraudulently. Together these actions served to limit the number of citizens and thus limit dilution of the advantages which citizenship in Athens' radical democracy conveyed on those included in the citizenry. Those advantages included, for men, the freedom to participate in politics and juries, to influence decisions that directly affected their lives, to have equal protection under the law, and to own land and houses in Athenian territory. Citizen women2 had less rights because they were excluded from politics, had to have a male legal guardian3 (kurios), who, for example, spoke for them in court, and were not legally entitled to make large financial transactions on their own. They could, however, control property and have their financial interests protected in law suits. Like men, they were entitled to the protection of the law regardless of their wealth. Both female and male citizens experienced the advantage of belonging to a city-state that was enjoying unparalleled material prosperity. Citizens clearly saw themselves as the elite residents of Athens. The Corinth-Corcyra War of 435-431 BC began as a dispute between Corinth and her colony Corcyra, but the Athenians were soon dragged into the conflict, and it contributed to the outbreak of the Great Peloponnesian War.
The Corinth-Corcyra War was partly the result of the long-standing hostility between Corinth and Corcyra. Corcyra (modern Corfu) had originally be founded as a colony of Corinth, but for some time the younger city had refused to pay her parent city the usual honours, something that was greatly resented in Corinth.
The relationship between the two cities had not always been so hostile. When Corcyra decided to create a colony of her own at Epidamnus, Corinth had been invited to provide the official 'founder' of the city (Phalius, son of Eratocleides, from the then ruling family of the Heraclids). Corinth also provided some of the original colonists.
The city of Epidamnus was founded on the Illyrian coast, in the territory of the Taulantians (modern Albania). The city had prospered for some time, but in the years before the outbreak of the war had been threatened by both internal conflict and by the Taulantians. Things came to a head when the Democratic faction within the city expelled the Aristocrats. The exiled aristocrats joined with the Taulantians and launched a series of piratical attacks on the city.
Both factions from Epidamnus sought help from their mother city of Corcyra, and the exiled aristocrats were clearly the more successful. The ambassadors from the democrats were refused an official audience, while the exiled aristocrats, who were able to point to the tombs of their ancestors in Corcyra, would soon have the active support of the mother city.
When it became clear to the Democrats that they could not expect any help from Corcyra they decided to consult the Oracle at Delphi to find out if they should ask for help from their founder's city of Corinth. The Oracle replied that they should hand their city over to the Corinthians. Unsurprisingly the Corinthians accepted this offer, and prepared to mount an expedition to the city. A force of colonists from Corinth, Ambracia and Leucas soon reached Epidamnus.
When this news reached the Corcyraeans they responded by sending a fleet to besiege Epidamnus, operating alongside the exiles and the Illyrians. News of the siege reached Corinth, where work began on raising a relief force. This consisted of a military contingent, including thirty ships and 3,000 hoplites from Corinth, and a group of new colonists. A number of Corinth's allies also provided ships, and eventually a force of 75 ships carrying 2,000 hoplites was sent to try and lift the siege of Epidamnus.
While this relief fleet was being put together the Corcyraeans sent a diplomatic mission to Corinth, where they demanded that the new colonists withdraw from Epidamnus, and offered to take the issue to arbitration, with neutral cities from the Peloponnese to serve as the arbitrators. The Corinthians responded by demanding that the siege of Epidamnus be lifted before any negotiations could begin. The Corcyraeans suggested that either both sides should withdraw their troops (and the Corinthians their colonists) or both sides should stay in place while the issue went to arbitration. The Corinthians turned down both of these offers, and the fleet sailed.
As the Corinthians sailed north, the Corcyraeans sent a fleet of eighty ships south. The two fleets met somewhere between the mouth of the Ambracian Gulf (the site of the battle of Actium) and Cape Leucimme (or Leukimme) at the southern end of Corcyra. The resulting battle ended in a victory for Corcyra, after which the surviving Corinthians sailed home. On the same day Epidamnus surrendered.
The first phase of the war thus ended with a clear victory for Corcyra, but the Corinthians were not ready to end the fighting. For most of year after the battle of Leucimme the Corcyraeans were in the ascendency, raiding Corinthian allies from the sea, but all the time the Corinthians were building new ships and preparing to strike back. In the summer of 434 BC the Corinthians occupied a series of fortified positions around Actium, while the Corcyraeans positioned themselves around Leucimme. The two fleets and armies then faced each other across the gulf between Corfu and the mainland for the rest of the summer, only returning to their homes at the start of the winter of 434-433 BC.
Up until this point Corcyra had managed to remain neutral in the affairs of mainland Greece, not joining the Athenian or Spartan led leagues, but as the scale of the Corinthian war effort became obvious they decided to try and join the Athenian League. Corinth also sent representatives to Athens, and the two sides got to put their case to an assembly. Thucydides records speeches from both sides, and although the wording is largely his own, the general arguments are probably the ones used at the time. The Corcyraeans admitted that they hadn't been allies of Athens in the past, but that this was a mistake, and they now needed help to preserve their freedom against a powerful threat. They claimed to be the second most powerful naval force in Hellas, and potentially a powerful ally in any future struggle against Sparta. The terms of the Thirty Year Peace that had ended the First Peloponnesian War expressly allowed any neutral state to join either league. Corcyra was an important staging post on the sea routes to Italy and Sicily, major sources of grain for Athens. Finally the Corcyraeans raised the prospect of Corinth taking possession of their powerful fleet, leaving Athens to face the combined fleets of Corinth, Corcyra and the Peloponnese.
The Corinthians responded by attacking Corcyraean neutrality, describing it as a cover for the wrong-doings of their sailors; accusing them of being a disloyal colony, that they were the aggressors in the war over Epidamnus, and that if Athens did allow Corcyra into their league then war between Corinth and Athens would surely follow. The Corinthians also pointed out that they had recently defended Athens' right to punish her allies when the Spartans had been close to declaring war over the Athenian treatment of Samos.
The Athenians need two assemblies to come to a conclusion, but after the second one they decided to side with the Corcyraeans. This would not be a full alliance, in which each side was bound to come to the aid of the other in any war, but a defensive one, in which Athens was only committed to intervene if Corcyra was attacked. Given than Corinth was clearly preparing for just such an attack, this alliance was just what the Corcyraeans needed. A squadron of ten Athenian ships was sent to Corcyra, with orders to avoid battle unless the Corinthians were attempting to land on Corcyraean territory.
The two fleets were soon facing each other close to the southern tip of Corfu, with the Corinthian fleet anchored in a harbour at Chimerium, on the mainland just to the south of Corfu, while the Corcyraean fleet (and their ten Athenian allies) were a little further north, in the Sybota islands (close to the mainland, opposite the southern tip of Corfu). The Corinthian fleet set sail on the night before the battle, only to find the Corcyraeans already at sea. In the resulting battle of Sybota each side's left wing defeated the other's right, but the Corinthian victory was the more significant. They destroyed 70 ships, the Corcyraeans only 30. After a pause in the fighting the Corinthians were about to return to the fray when twenty fresh Athenian ships were sighted. Fearing that they were the advance guard of a larger fleet the Corinthians withdrew. On the following day they sent envoys to the Athenians, who stated that they would only fight if the Corinthians attempted to attack Corcyra. This allowed the Corinthians to sail home, although only after erecting a victory trophy on the mainland close to Sybota. The Corcyraens also erected a trophy, and perhaps had the better claim to victory, having successfully defended their island against attack by a larger fleet.
After the battle of Sybota the Corinth-Corcyra war lost its intensity, before two years later becoming part of the wider Great Peloponnesian War, in which Corcyra fought on the side of Athens and Corinth on the side of Sparta.
The siege of Epidamnus (435 BC) saw the Corcyraeans capture their own former colony, overcoming a garrison partly provided by their own mother city of Corinth (Corinth-Corcyra War, 435-431 BC).
Epidamnus, on the Albanian coast, was a Greek colony founded by Corcyra (modern Corfu). Corcyra was herself a colony of Corinth, and so in keeping with tradition a Corinthian, Phalius, son of Eratocleides, from the then ruling family of the Heraclids, had been selected as the official founder of the city, and the original colonists included a number of Corinthians amongst the Corcyraeans. As with most Ancient Greek cities Epidamnus was the scene of constant strife between the Aristocratic and Democratic factions within the city, and it was also often threatened by the surrounding Illyrians.
In the period just before the siege the Democrats had come to power and had exiled many of the Aristocrats. The exiles had allied themselves with the Illyrians, and began a series of raids on the city. They also attempted to enlist the help of Corcyra, playing on their family connections to the city. The Democrats of Epidamnus also attempted to enlist help from the Corcyra, but with less success, failing to even win an audience.
Their next step was to ask for help from Corinth (after consulting the Oracle of Delphi). The Oracle told them to hand control of their city over to Corinth, an offer than the Corinthians happily accepted. A first group of new colonists from Corinth, Ambracia and Leucas reached Epidamnus safely, marching via Apollonia to avoid the Corcyraean fleet.
The Corcyraeans reacted angrily to the arrival of the new colonists. A fleet of twenty five ships (with fifteen ships following behind) was sent to Epidamnus, where they demanded that the new colonists should be ejected and the exiles allowed back into the city. When the Epidamnians rejected these demands the Corcyraeans joined with the local Illyrians and the aristocrat exiles and began to besiege the city.
When news of the siege reached Corinth a relief force was raised, eventually reaching a strength of 75 ships carrying 2,000 hoplites (and probably a large number of more lightly armed missile troops, recorded as being present at the battle of Sybota two years later). This relief expedition was defeated at the naval battle of Leucimme (435 BC), fought in the seas between the southern part of Corfu and the gulf of Actium.
Even if the Corinthians had been victorious at Leucimme, it would have been too late. The defenders of Epidamnus were already desperate, and on the very same day as the naval battle the city surrendered (given the distance between Leucimme and Epidamnus the two events have to be unrelated). Under the terms of the surrender all Corinthian citizens were held as hostages, while all other foreign troops and settlers were to be sold into slavery.
The two victories on the same day put the Corcyraeans in strong position, which they exploited over the next year, but when it became clear that Corinth intended to continue the fight the previously neutral Corcyraeans decided to attempt to join the Athenian League in order to gain allies in the next stage of the war. This fateful step eventually saw the war between Corinth and Corcyra escalate into the Great Peloponnesian War and drag in most of Greece.
The Battle of Potidaea was, with the Battle of Sybota, one of the catalysts for the Peloponnesian War. It was fought near Potidaea in 432 BC between Athens and a combined army from Corinth and Potidaea, along with their various allies. Potidaea was a colony of Corinth on the Chalcidice peninsula, but was a member of the Delian League and paid tribute to Athens. After Sybota, Athens demanded that Potidaea pull down part of its walls, expel Corinthian ambassadors, and send hostages to Athens. Athens was afraid that Potidaea would revolt due to Corinthian or Macedonian influence, as Perdiccas II of Macedon was encouraging revolts among Athens' other allies in Thrace. Athens gathered a fleet of 30 ships and 1,000 hoplites under the overall command of Archestratus, which was originally meant to fight Perdiccas in Macedonia but was diverted to Potidaea. The Potidaeans sent ambassadors to Athens and Sparta, and when negotiations broke down in Athens, Sparta promised to help Potidaea revolt. The Athenian fleet sailed for Potidaea, but when it arrived, Archestratus attacked the Macedonians instead, as the Potidaeans had already revolted and allied with Perdiccas. Corinth sent 1,600 hoplites and 400 light troops to Potidaea as well, under the command of Aristeus. In response, Athens sent out another 2,000 hoplites and 40 more ships, under the command of Callias. After some fighting against Perdiccas, the combined Athenian forces sailed to Potidaea and landed there. Perdiccas and 200 of his cavalry joined with Aristeus, and their combined army marched to Potidaea as well. In the ensuing battle, Aristeus' wing of Corinthian troops defeated a section of the Athenian line, but elsewhere the Athenians were victorious. Aristeus returned to Potidaea along the seacoast with some difficulty, hoping to avoid the main Athenian army. A reserve force of Potidaeans, located in nearby Olynthus, attempted to relieve Aristeus, but they were defeated as well. The Corinthians and Potidaeans lost about 300 men, and the Athenians about 150, including Callias. The Macedonian cavalry did not join the battle. The Athenians remained outside Potidaea for some time, and were reinforced by another 1,600 hoplites under the command of Phormio. Both sides built walls and counter-walls, and the Athenians succeeded in cutting off Potidaea from the sea with a naval blockade. During the blockade, representatives from Corinth, Athens and Sparta met in Sparta, resulting in a formal declaration of war. However, this siege, which lasted until 430/429, seriously depleted the Athenian treasury, dumping as much as 1,000 talents/year into this attack. This made the Athenian people unhappy, and in combination with the plague that swept through Athens in the early 420s BC, made the continued leadership of Pericles untenable. The Periclean strategy of hiding behind the Long Walls and relying on the low cash reserves of the Peloponnesians was starting to become unfavorable to the greater Athenian consciousness. In several of Plato's dialogues, the philosopher Socrates is revealed to be a veteran of the Battle of Potidaea, where he saved the life of Alcibiades Alcibiades, son of Cleinias, from the deme of Scambonidae, was a prominent Athenian statesman, orator, and general. He was the last famous member of his mother's aristocratic family, the Alcmaeonidae, which fell from prominence after the Peloponnesian War. He played a major role in the second half of that conflict as a strategic advisor, military commander, and politician.
During the course of the Peloponnesian War, Alcibiades changed his political allegiance several times. In his native Athens in the early 410s BC, he advocated an aggressive foreign policy and was a prominent proponent of the Sicilian Expedition, but he fled to Sparta after his political enemies brought charges of sacrilege against him. In Sparta, he served as a strategic adviser, proposing or supervising several major campaigns against Athens. In Sparta too, however, Alcibiades soon made powerful enemies and felt forced to defect to Persia. There he served as an adviser to the satrap Tissaphernes until his Athenian political allies brought about his recall. He then served as an Athenian general (Strategos) for several years, but his enemies eventually succeeded in exiling him a second time.
The Sicilian Expedition was the idea of Alcibiades, and scholars have argued that, had that expedition been under Alcibiades's command instead of that of Nicias, the expedition might not have met its eventual disastrous fate. In the years when he served Sparta, Alcibiades played a significant role in Athens's undoing; the capture of Decelea and the revolts of several critical Athenian subjects occurred either at his suggestion or under his supervision. Once restored to his native city, however, he played a crucial role in a string of Athenian victories that eventually brought Sparta to seek a peace with Athens. He favored unconventional tactics, frequently winning cities over by treachery or negotiation rather than by siege. Alcibiades's military and political talents frequently proved valuable to whichever state currently held his allegiance, but his propensity for making powerful enemies ensured that he never remained in one place for long; and by the end of the war which he had helped to rekindle in the early 410s, his days of political relevance were a bygone memory.
Athenian Victory. The naval Battle of Arginusae took place in 406 BC during the Peloponnesian War near the city of Canae in the Arginusae islands, east of the island of Lesbos. In the battle, an Athenian fleet commanded by eight strategoi defeated a Spartan fleet under Callicratidas. The battle was precipitated by a Spartan victory which led to the Athenian fleet under Conon being blockaded at Mytilene; to relieve Conon, the Athenians assembled a scratch force composed largely of newly constructed ships manned by inexperienced crews. This inexperienced fleet was thus tactically inferior to the Spartans, but its commanders were able to circumvent this problem by employing new and unorthodox tactics, which allowed the Athenians to secure a dramatic and unexpected victory.
The news of the victory itself was met with jubilation at Athens, and the grateful Athenian public voted to bestow citizenship on the slaves and metics who had fought in the battle. Their joy was tempered, however, by the aftermath of the battle, in which a storm prevented the ships assigned to rescue the survivors of the 25 disabled or sunken Athenian triremes from performing their duties, and a great number of sailors drowned. A fury erupted at Athens when the public learned of this, and after a bitter struggle in the assembly six of the eight generals who had commanded the fleet were tried as a group and executed.
At Sparta, meanwhile, traditionalists who had supported Callicratidas pressed for peace with Athens, knowing that a continuation of the war would lead to the re-ascendence of their opponent Lysander. This party initially prevailed, and a delegation was dispatched to Athens to make an offer of peace; the Athenians, however, rejected this offer, and Lysander departed to the Aegean to take command of the fleet for the remainder of the war, which would be decided less than a year later by his total victory at Aegospotami.
The polis of Sparta was the greatest military land power of classical Greek antiquity. During the classical period, Sparta governed, dominated or influenced the entire Peloponnese. Additionally, the defeat of the Athenians and the Delian League in the Peloponnesian War in 431-404 BCE resulted in a short-lived Spartan dominance of the Greek world from 404 to 371 BCE. Due to their mistrust of others, Spartans discouraged the creation of records about their internal affairs. The only histories of Sparta are from the writings of Xenophon, Thucydides, Herodotus and Plutarch, none of whom were Spartans. Plutarch was writing several centuries after the period of Spartan hegemony had ceased. This creates difficulties in understanding the Spartan political system, which was distinctly different from any other Greek polis. Narrow oligarchies composed of Spartan sympathizers, supported by Spartan garrisons, that were established by Lysander after the Peloponnesian War in a number of cities of the former Athenian Empire. The decarchies had absolute authority in their cities and were responsible for maintaining their cities' loyalty to Sparta during the last years of the fifth century BC and the early 390s BC. Epaminondas, was a Theban general and statesman of the 4th century BC who transformed the Ancient Greek city-state of Thebes, leading it out of Spartan subjugation into a preeminent position in Greek politics. In the process he broke Spartan military power with his victory at Leuctra and liberated the Messenian helots, a group of Peloponnesian Greeks who had been enslaved under Spartan rule for some 230 years, having been defeated in the Messenian War ending in 600 BC. Epaminondas reshaped the political map of Greece, fragmented old alliances, created new ones, and supervised the construction of entire cities. He was militarily influential as well, inventing and implementing several major battlefield tactics.
The Roman orator Cicero called him "the first man of Greece", and Montaigne judged him one of the three "worthiest and most excellent men" that had ever lived, but Epaminondas has fallen into relative obscurity in modern times. The changes Epaminondas wrought on the Greek political order did not long outlive him, as the cycle of shifting hegemonies and alliances continued unabated. A mere twenty-seven years after his death, a recalcitrant Thebes was obliterated by Alexander the Great. Thus Epaminondas—who had been praised in his time as an idealist and liberator—is today largely remembered for a decade (371 BC to 362 BC) of campaigning that sapped the strength of the great land powers of Greece and paved the way for the Macedonian conquest.
The Battle of Chaeronea was fought in 338 BC, near the city of Chaeronea in Boeotia, between the Macedonians led by Philip II of Macedon and an alliance of some of the Greek city-states including Athens and Thebes. Result Decisive Macedonian victory. Territorial changes Macedon establishes hegemony over the majority of Southern Greece (Except Sparta). Phillip and Alexander lead in this battle. The battle has been described as one of the most decisive of the ancient world. The forces of Athens and Thebes were destroyed, and continued resistance was impossible; the war therefore came to an abrupt end. Philip was able to impose a settlement upon Greece, which all states accepted, with the exception of Sparta. The League of Corinth, formed as a result, made all participants allies of Macedon and each other, with Philip as the guarantor of the peace. In turn, Philip was voted as strategos (general) for a pan-Hellenic war against the Persian Empire, which he had long planned. However, before he was able to take charge of the campaign, Philip was assassinated, and the kingdom of Macedon and responsibility for the war with Persia passed instead to his son Alexander. The Congress at the Isthmus of Corinth took place in 481 BC, under the presidency of Sparta, and brought together a number of the Greek city states. The Congress agreed to the end of the war between Athens and Aegina. The Congress also discussed the threat from the Persians. Athens was unwilling to place her forces under Sparta and its King Leonidas.
Gelon, tyrant of Syracuse wanted high command, but Sparta and Athens refused. However, during the Congress, Gelon had to withdraw due to Carthage's plans to invade Sicily.
Finally, Athenian archon and political leader, Themistocles, agreed that Athens' navy serve under a Spartan admiral to achieve the unity of the Greek states. In an environment where the Greeks were continually breaking into factions within cities and creating rivalries between cities, Themistocles actions were advanced and far-sighted.
Nevertheless, Thebes and Thessaly were unwilling to support Athens against the Persians, and Crete decided to remain neutral.
(20/21 July 356 BC - 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great was a King (Basileus) of the Ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty, an ancient Greek royal house. Born in Pella in 356 BC, Alexander succeeded his father, Philip II, to the throne at the age of twenty. He spent most of his ruling years on an unprecedented military campaign through Asia and northeast Africa, and by the age of thirty he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from Greece to Egypt into northwest India and modern-day Pakistan. He was undefeated in battle and is widely considered one of history's most successful military commanders.
During his youth, Alexander was tutored by the philosopher Aristotle until the age of 16. After Philip's assassination in 336 BC, Alexander succeeded his father to the throne and inherited a strong kingdom and an experienced army. Alexander was awarded the generalship of Greece and used this authority to launch his father's Panhellenic project to lead the Greeks in the conquest of Persia. In 334 BC, he invaded the Achaemenid Empire, ruled Asia Minor, and began a series of campaigns that lasted ten years. Alexander broke the power of Persia in a series of decisive battles, most notably the battles of Issus and Gaugamela.** He subsequently overthrew the Persian King Darius III and conquered the Achaemenid Empire in its entirety. Seeking to reach the "ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea", he invaded India in 326 BC, but was eventually forced to turn back at the demand of his troops. Alexander died in Babylon in 323 BC, the city he planned to establish as his capital, without executing a series of planned campaigns that would have begun with an invasion of Arabia. In the years following his death, a series of civil wars tore his empire apart, resulting in several states ruled by the Diadochi, Alexander's surviving generals and heirs.
Alexander's legacy includes the cultural diffusion his conquests engendered, such as Greco-Buddhism. He founded some twenty cities that bore his name, most notably Alexandria in Egypt. Alexander's settlement of Greek colonists and the resulting spread of Greek culture in the east resulted in a new Hellenistic civilization, aspects of which were still evident in the traditions of the Byzantine Empire in the mid-15th century and the presence of Greek speakers in central and far eastern Anatolia until the 1920s. Alexander became legendary as a classical hero in the mold of Achilles, and he features prominently in the history and mythic traditions of both Greek and non-Greek cultures. He became the measure against which military leaders compared themselves, and military academies throughout the world still teach his tactics. He is often ranked among the most influential people in human history, along with his teacher Aristotle
Amun, worshipped by the Greeks as Ammon, had a temple and a statue, the gift of Pindar (d. 443 BC), at Thebes, and another at Sparta, the inhabitants of which, as Pausanias says, consulted the oracle of Ammon in Libya from early times more than the other Greeks. At Aphytis, Chalcidice, Amun was worshipped, from the time of Lysander (d. 395 BC), as zealously as in Ammonium. Pindar the poet honoured the god with a hymn. At Megalopolis the god was represented with the head of a ram (Paus. viii.32 § 1), and the Greeks of Cyrenaica dedicated at Delphi a chariot with a statue of Ammon.
Such was its reputation among the Classical Greeks that Alexander the Great journeyed there after the battle of Issus and during his occupation of Egypt, where he was declared "the son of Amun" by the oracle. Alexander thereafter considered himself divine. Even during this occupation, Amun, identified by these Greeks as a form of Zeus, continued to be the principal local deity of Thebes.
Several words derive from Amun via the Greek form, Ammon, such as ammonia and ammonite. The Romans called the ammonium chloride they collected from deposits near the Temple of Jupiter Amun in ancient Libya sal ammoniacus (salt of Amun) because of proximity to the nearby temple. Ammonia, as well as being the chemical, is a genus name in the foraminifera. Both these foraminiferans (shelled Protozoa) and ammonites (extinct shelled cephalopods) bear spiral shells resembling a ram's, and Ammon's, horns. The regions of the hippocampus in the brain are called the cornu ammonis - literally "Amun's Horns", due to the horned appearance of the dark and light bands of cellular layers.
In Paradise Lost, Milton identifies Ammon with the biblical Ham (Cham) and states that the gentiles called him the Libyan Jove.
(c. 358 BC - 281 BC) (Ancient Greek: Σέλευκος Α΄ Νικάτωρ) was one of the Diadochi.[B] Having previously served as an infantry general under Alexander the Great, he eventually assumed the title of basileus[C] and established the Seleucid Empire over much of the territory in the Near East which Alexander had conquered.
After the death of Alexander in June 323 BC, Seleucus initially supported Perdiccas, the regent of Alexander's empire, and was appointed Commander of the Companions and chiliarch at the Partition of Babylon in 323 BC. However, after the outbreak of the Wars of the Diadochi in 322, Perdiccas' military failures against Ptolemy in Egypt led to the mutiny of his troops in Pelusium. Perdiccas was betrayed and assassinated in a conspiracy by Seleucus, Peithon and Antigenes in Pelusium sometime in either 321 or 320 BC.
At the Partition of Triparadisus in 321 BC, Seleucus was appointed Satrap of Babylon under the new regent Antipater. But almost immediately, the wars between the Diadochi resumed and Antigonus[D] forced Seleucus to flee Babylon. Seleucus was only able to return to Babylon in 312 BC with the support of Ptolemy. From 312 BC, Seleucus ruthlessly expanded his dominions and eventually conquered the Persian and Median lands.