Next  Click on thumbnails to enlarge them

From Alexander to the Transfer of Power from the Ptolemies to the Seleucids p331-201 BCE

Last updated: March 30, 2014


The Levant


ALEXMAP.JPG (313697 bytes)

Map of Alexander's Empire


Alexandria becomes new capital


323 Death of Alexander

Wadi Daliyeh Papyri (belonged to rebels against Alexander)  Cf. Samaria Papyri above.

Samaritan temple on Mount Gerizim 4th century BCE

Marseilles Tariff COS 1.98; pp. 305-309 4/3 c.




Alexander the Great 333-323

Battle of Issus against Persians 333

AlexPhysDemoBig.jpg (128016 bytes)
Physical geography of Alexander's Empire

Alexander--made 40 years after his death

323 Alexander dies in Babylon

321-301 BCE The Period of the Diadochi or Successors


Onias I high priest known from Josephus

Ptolemy I Soter son of Lagus and Arsinoe 323/305-285 . Dan 11:5.

ptolisoter.jpg (7750 bytes)


married to Berenice I his half sister (d. 279); invaded Judea in 312 with help of Seleucus I.  Founded library at Alexandria. Assisted Seleucus I in recovering Babylon

Manetho, high priest and Chronicler 305-285 organized kings of Egypt into "dynasties" and wrote Aegytpiaca, under sponsorship of Ptolemy II

Hecataeus of Abdera, first Greek historian to mention the Jews

Ptolemy II Philadelpus 285-246; married to Arsinoe II his sister; fought against Antiochus II. Built lighthouse of Pharos. Diplomatic relations with Rome.

                     Ptolemy II and Arsinoe

Septuagint--Greek Translation of Torah--made during his reign. See the Letter of Aristeas from the 2nd-1st century B.C.E.


Letters of Zenon (steward of Apollonius, the financial officer of Ptolemy II) dealing with Judea in the  third century.  259 and later.

Letter from Tobias to Apollonius, concerning a shipment of animals from Transjordan to the king of Egypt.



Ptolemy III Euergetes 246-221 invaded Syria and conquered Babylon.  Married to Berenice II of Cyrene.  Invaded Syria because of the murder of his sister Berenice, the wife of Antiochus II, and attacked Seleucus II in the Third Syrian War. 246-241. Forced to break off his victorious march because of Egyptian revolt.


Picture of Ptolemy III on coin minted by Ptolemy IV




Ptolemy IV Philopator 221-203; defeated Antiochus III at Raphia in Fourth Syrian War 219-217. Married his sister Arsinoe III in 217. 3 Maccabees tells how he was thrown to the ground when he tried to enter Jerusalem temple

Ptolemy IV; coin minted by Ptolemy V

Horwennefer, king of a rival state

Ptolemaic Empire end of 3c

Ptolemy V Epiphanes 203-181 his name appears on Rosetta stone. Came to the throne at 6. Married to Cleopatra I, the daughter of Antiochus III (betrothed in 197, married in 193).  Lost Judea at battle of Paneas in Fifth Syrian War. (Dan 11:13-16).  Sired Ptolemy VI (186), VIII (184) and Cleopatra II (187). He was assassinated by his generals and for eight years  Cleopatra I served as regent.

rosetta.jpg (18022 bytes)

Rosetta Stone (coronation of Ptolemy) 195 BCE and Ptolemy V


Seleucus I Nicator 311-281, married Apame from Iranian elite; satrap of Babylon. Defeated Antigonus in the battle of Ipsus in 301 and incorporated Syria into his kingdom. Judea was now under Ptolemaic control. Seleucus was Assassinated in 281 by Ptolemy Keraunos. Dan 11:5

Seleucus I Nicator

Onias I high priest 309-265 BCE

Simon I high priest.

Eleazar high priest. Brother of Simon I. Contemporary with Ptolemy II Philadelphus

Antiochus I Soter 281-261. Married to Stratonice.  First Syrian War with Ptolemy II 280-279 and 274-271;  Second  Syrian War 260-253

Antiochus I

Antiochus II Theos 261-246. 260-253 Second Syrian War. In 252 he married Berenice Syra the daughter of Ptolemy II. They had a child.  Dan 11:6. They were murdered by Laodice, the former wife of Antiochus II.  Ptolemy III avenged murders of Antiochus II and Berenice in Third Syrian War 

Antiochus II

Israelites on the island of Delos make offerings to Mount Gerizim. 250-175 BCE.


Manasseh high priest. Uncle of Eleazar.

Seleucus II, Callinicus  246-226; son of Antiochus II. Married to Laodice II, his cousin. Ptolemy III began Third Syrian War 246-241. Famine in Egypt forced Ptolemy to withdraw. His younger brother Antiochus Hierax established an independent kingdom in Asia Minor. War of the brothers from 240-237. Seleucus died in fall from a horse.

                                      Seleucus II

Onias II high priest. Contemporary of Ptolemy III Euergetes.

Antiochus Hierax 246-227.  Rival of Seleucus II,  his brother. Established an independent kingdom in Asia Minor. War of the Brothers 241-236. He was murdered.

Antiochus Hierax

Seleucus III Ceraunus [Thunder] 226/225-222. Eldest son of Seleucus II.  Murdered by poison in Anatolia by the army.

Seleucus III

Antiochus III the Great 222-187 (son of Seleucus II and Laodice II; brother of Seleucus III); born about 242. Marries Laodice III. She was the mother of Seleucus IV and Antiochus IV. Outbreak of Fourth Syrian War with Ptolemy IV in 219. Also married to daughter of the Iranian king Mithradates

Antiochus III defeated by Ptolemy IV in battle of Raphia (near Gaza) in 217. 202 Outbreak of Fifth Syrian War.

Simon II high priest 220-190 Contemporary of Ptolemy IV Philopator



Fifth Syrian War 202-200

200 Seleucids take control of Judea in battle of Panion near Mt. Hermon--Antiochus III defeats Ptolemy V; end of Ptolemaic control of Judea.

192-188 Syrian war against Rome190 Roman army defeats Antiochus III at Magnesia ad Sipylum. Roman leader was Scipio Asiaticus.

Peace of Apamea 188 after defeat by Rome. Antiochus IV taken as hostage to Rome. Seleucus IV marries his sister Laodice IV  in 189.

187 Antiochus III died while pillaging a temple of Bel at Elymais, Persia.


Chart of Seleucid Dynasty












Berossus wrote history of Mesopotamia 280 Babyloniaka
Introduction to Berossus



The Levant