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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
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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