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Syrian War (192-188)

Antiochus III the Great. Louvre, Paris (France). Photo Marco Prins.
Antiochus III the Great (Louvre, Paris)
Syrian War: conflict between Rome and the Seleucid empire (192-188).
  • War became inevitable after Titus Quinctius Flamininus had abandoned Greece and had created a power vacuum that the Seleucid king Antiochus III the Great had to fill
  • 196: Thrace added to the Seleucid Empire; crown prince Seleucus is governor
  • 194: Eumenes II Soter of Pergamon refuses an alliance with Antiochus III the Great, and instead provokes the Syrian War, in which he is supported by Rome.
  • 192, spring: Aetolian League requests help from the Seleucid empire
  • Outbreak of war; Antiochus' adviser Hannibal advises an invasion of Italy
  • To offer Antiochus landing sites, Aetolian troops attack Demetrias (successfully) and Chalcis (without success); an attack on Sparta is initially successfully -the Aetolians are welcomed by the tyrant, Nabis- but they lose their gains and Sparta joins the Achaean League
  • 192, autumn: Seleucid landings at Demetrias; Antiochus conquers Euboea and parts of Thessaly; the Achaean League declares war
  • 191: Philip V of Macedonia sides with Rome and the Achaeans
  • Battle at Thermopylae: Antiochus defeated by consul Acilius Glabrio (vice-commander: Marcus Porcius Cato)
  • The Aetolians abandon Antiochus, who returns to Asia
  • Winter: Rhodes and Pergamon side with Rome; the Roman navy is victorious at Cape Corycus (near Ephesus); Eumenes helps the Romans cross the Hellespont
  • 190: The Roman commander Lucius Cornelius Scipio concludes an armistice with the Aetolians.
  • Antiochus' son Seleucus besieges Rome's ally Pergamon, captures the Roman commander Lucius Cornelius Scipio
  • Hannibal defeated by the Rhodians in a naval battle off Side
  • 190, Autumn: Antiochus and Seleucus are defeated by Rome and the Pergamenes in the battle of Magnesia
  • 189: Roman commander Fulvius Nobilior conquers Aetolia
  • Seleucus made co-ruler
  • 188: Peace of Apamea; Seleucid empire has to abandon all land north of the Taurus (it is added to Pergamon), pay an indemnity of 15,000 talents, and give up his elephants and ships
  • 3 July 187: death of Antiochus III; Seleucus becomes king and tries to restore the Seleucid Empire by diplomatic means, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine

This brief article has been written to offer background information to the real articles on Livius.Org. One day, this webpage will be improved. A list of completed articles can be found here.
Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2007
Revision: 9 April 2007
Livius.Org Anatolia Carthage Egypt Germ. Inf. Greece Judaea Mesopotamia Persia Rome Other