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Third Syrian War (Laodicean War; 246-241)

Coin of Ptolemy III Euergetes. British Museum, London (Britain). Photo Jona Lendering.
Ptolemy III Euergetes
(British Museum)
Syrian Wars: series of conflicts between the Seleucid and Ptolemaic empires in the third and second centuries BCE; at stake was an area called Coele Syria, which is more or less identical to modern Israel, the Palestine territories, Lebanon and southern Syria.
  • Early July 246: Antiochus II Theos dies, leaving a confused dynastic situation.
  • Late summer 246: the child Antiochus is killed by partisans of Laodice
  • September 246: king Ptolemy III Euergetes decides to avenge his relative: outbreak of the Laodicean War or Third Syrian War. He captures Seleucia and Antioch, but cannot prevent that Berenice is killed by the populace
  • December 246: Ptolemy proceeds to Babylon; he is still there in February 245 (Ptolemy III Chronicle; BCHP 11)
  • 245: Seleucus' sister "Laodice" marries Mithridates II of Pontus; Phrygia is awarded to him as a marriage gift; Pontus supports the Seleucid empire
  • Ptolemy, still in Babylon, receives tokens of subjection from eastern noblemen
  • Revolt of Andragoras in Parthia
  • 245, Summer: Seleucus crosses the Taurus to the south, and forces Ptolemy to retreat; Seleucus reconquers Babylonia
  • Antigonus II Gonatas of Macedonia attacks the Egyptian possesions in the Aegean (battle of Andros: Egypt loses the Cyclades)
  • 243: Aratus, leader of the Achaean League, supported by Ptolemy, seizes Corinth from its Macedonian garrison; the Ptolemaic possessions in the Aegean are now left alone
  • Seleucus proceeds to the south, but is defeated
  • 241: End of the Third Syrian War; the Ptolemies have gained the Syrian coast and have lost some of their Aegean possessions, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine
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© Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2007
Revision: 10 April 2007
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