The Seleukid Empire

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In the third century BCE, the Seleukid dynasty claimed imperial hegemony over Alexander the Great’s Asian conquests, including Central Asia. The dynasty came to power when the Macedonian general Seleukos Nikator (‘the Conqueror’), a former companion of Alexander, occupied Babylonia and Susiana in 311 BCE. Seleukid imperialism developed from attempts to exert direct influence through military governors and local representatives in cities to an increasing inclination to access resources indirectly through allied local rulers. Seleukos, the founder of the Seleukid Empire, accompanied Alexander on his campaigns in Bactria, Sogdiana, and India from 329 to 235 BCE. During these years, Seleukos became well-acquainted with Central Asian landscapes and their populations. In India by contrast a major interimperial war broke out in 305 or 304 BCE as Chandragupta, who had united the various kingdoms of northern India, challenged Seleukid expansion beyond the Hindu Kush.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Graeco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek World
EditorsRachel Mairs
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9781315108513
ISBN (Print)9781138090699
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2020

Publication series

NameRoutledge Worlds


  • Ancient History
  • Central Asia
  • Afghanistan
  • Hellenistic World
  • Seleucid Empire
  • Empire Studies
  • Archaeology
  • Asian History


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