4OO UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.
eastward the aggressive societies and institutions of the West.
The men of the Alexandrian epoch found it so; Perhaps no valid reason could have been
assigned by Seleucus for yielding his vantage on the banks of the Tigris and transferring
his seat of government to Antioch, in the Valley of the Orontes. Whatever may have been
his motive, the policy was fatal to the maintenance of a European dominion in South-
western Asia. The king. By the removal, reassociated himself with the contentious and
contending successors of Alexander in Macedonia, Egypt, and Asia Minor. He was at once
reinvolved with them in those wars which were destined to continue until the Mistress of
the World should, from her seat on the Tiber, stretch out her scepter over all.
But we are here concerned rather with the actual course of events than with speculative
views concerning them. The withdrawal of the capital of the East from Seleucia to Antioch
left the Asiatic nations without the visible presence of the master. It left them to the
suggestion of conspiracy, revolt, and independence. Worst of all, it left them to the
domination of corrupt satraps, who resumed the manners and methods of the past, extorting
from the subject peoples whatever might be gained by excess and tyranny.
For Seleucus had in the meantime committed another administrative error, which must sooner
or later lose him all his Eastern provinces. Alexander had, against the prejudices of his
own countrymen adopted the policy of uniting the ruling classes and native princes of the
East with himself. He had encouraged to a great extent among his officers and men the
formation of marriage unions and other alliances by which the conquered peoples might come
to regard their interests as identified with those of the Conqueror. He had deliberately
called to his aid the princes of the subject Asiatic provinces, reappointed them to their
places, conferred honors upon them, and made them secure under his authority. While this
policy had left behind much bitterness on the part of the adventurers who had hoped to
revel in all the spoils of conquest-while it had in many instances alienated the home
Government of Macedonia-it had nevertheless secured to the Conqueror the confidence of
peoples and races whom he could not otherwise have bound sincerely to his interests.
At the first his successors followed in a feeble and uncertain way the policy of their
great leader. But their weakness and cupidity soon prevailed, and they began to promote
Europeans in the place of native princes. This method was fatally adopted by Seleucus on
his withdrawal to Antioch. He set Greeks in authority over the Asiatics, as if to say that
his security in the East depended upon Euro-