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eighteen years as a successful defender of his country against these

identical marauders, was suddenly annulled by them, and converted into a

theme of ridicule.

The late king of Syria was succeeded in B.C. 261 by his son, Antiochus

Theos. This young prince, on hearing of his father's defeat at Ephesus,

hastened thither with a new army to mend, if possible, the fortunes of

the kingdom. But after a desultory war of several years duration, he was

obliged to retire before the invincible barbarians, and leave them in

peaceable possession of their province. In a struggle, however, with a

chieftain who had seized the governorship of Caria, Antiochus was

crowned with success; and it was for this pitiful victory that the base

fools who thronged his court conferred on him the title of Theos or the


About the same time the Syrian king became involved in a war with

Ptolemy Philadelphus, from whom he gained, only to lose them again, the

provinces of Coele-Syria and Phoenicia; but before the contest was

ended, the attention of Antiochus was suddenly recalled by the alarming

conditions of affairs on the north-eastern frontiers of his own kingdom.

In B. C. 254, both Bactria and Parthia, offended at the injustices and

inhumanity of the royal governors, raised the standard of revolt and

defied the power of the king. Theodotus, the Bactrian satrap, was for

the time entirely successful. Agathocles, the Parthian governor, was

attacked by two patriot brothers, Arsaces and Tiridates, and by them the

adherents of Antiochus were obliged to take to flight. Startled at these

outbreaks, the Syrian monarch was glad to enter into negotiations for

peace with Ptolemy, between whom and himself terms were soon agreed

upon, and the treaty confirmed by the marriage to Antiochus of the

Egyptian Princess Berenice. By this act Laodice, whom the Syrian had

previously married, and by whom he had two children, was discarded; but

the queen soon sought revenge by poisoning Antiochus, and securing the

succession to her son, Seleucus, surnamed Callinicus. It was in this

year, B. C. 246, that Ptolemy Euergetes succeeded his father

Philadelphus on the throne of Egypt.

The first work which the new prince of Alexandria felt constrained to

undertake was to visit retributive justice upon those who had murdered

his sister Berenice; for that princess had been hunted down by Laodice

and put to death within the sacred precincts of the Daphnean temple.

Seleucus thus stood as the representative of the crime which had been

committed against the House of Ptolemy. The latter raised an army and

began an invasion of his rival's dominions, and at the same time the

Parthian insurrection continued on the eastern frontier of the Empire.

The Egyptian soon overran Syria and continued his victorious career

through Media and Babylonia even to the banks of the Indus. But his

conquest was one rather of spoliation than political aggrandizement. He

returned to the West with plunder amounting in value to forty thousand

talents of silver. In addition to this vast booty he brought home to his

countrymen the statues of more than two thousand Egyptian gods which had

been carried away by Cambyses to Susiana and Persia.

In the mean time the government of Seleucus was still further distracted

by a rebellion in Syria, headed by his brother Antiochus Hierax, who

induced the Gauls to join his standard. While these two were engaged in

a struggle for the mastery, Euergetes, who might easily have reduced the

whole country, withdrew into Egypt, apparently satisfied with the

vengeance which he had taken on his enemy.

This afforded opportunity and motive to Seleucus and Hierax to come to

an adjustment; but a permanent peace between them was impossible, and in

B. C. 242, hostilities again broke out with greater violence than ever.

A severe battle was fought at Ancyrae, in which Hierax was victorious,

but the Gauls, who had won the battle, hearing that Seleucus was dead,

turned on their own commander, by whose destruction they thought to

obtain the mastery

of Asia for themselves. Barely did Hierax

escape from their clutches. Two years afterwards, with one hundred thousand Gauls, he

renewed the contest, marched against Babylon,