Philip I Philadelphus

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Philip I Philadelphus
Philippus Philadelphus.jpg
King of the Seleucid Empire (King of Syria)
Reign 95–83 BC (with Antiochus X Eusebes, Demetrius III Eucaerus, Antiochus XI Epiphanes)
Coronation 95 BC (along with his brother (probably twin) Antiochus XI Ephiphanes)
Predecessor Seleucus VI Epiphanes
Successor Antiochus XII Dionysus or Tigranes II of Armenia
Born Unknown
Died Possibly after 83 BC
Issue Philip II Philoromaeus
Dynasty Seleucid
Father Antiochus VIII Grypus
Mother Tryphaena

Philip I Philadelphus (Greek: Φίλιππος Α' ὁ Φιλάδελφος, "Philip the brother-loving"), a ruler of the Hellenistic Seleucid kingdom, was the fourth son of Antiochus VIII Grypus and his wife Tryphaena. Philip I took the diadem in 95 BC together with his brother (probably his twin) Antiochus XI Epiphanes, after the eldest son Seleucus VI Epiphanes was killed by their cousin Antiochus X Eusebes. He established himself in Antiochia after 92 BC and survived attacks from his younger brother Demetrius III Eucaerus. His rule ended around 83 BC when Tigranes conquered Syria. He disappears from history at that point, but coins bearing his portrait were issued by later Roman authorities.

Background and early life

The Seleucid dynasty of the second century BC was plagued by dynastic feuds,[1] along with Egyptian and Roman interference.[2] Dynastic marriage was used to maintain a degree of peace between Egypt and Syria;[3] princess Cleopatra Thea of Egypt became consort to three successive Syrian kings starting in 150 BC.[4] As time passed, Syria disintegrated due to constant civil wars;[5] various Seleucid kings and their heirs fought for power, tearing the country apart. This situation lasted until around 123 BC, when Antiochus VIII was able to provide a degree of stability that lasted for a decade ending in 113 BC when his brother Antiochus IX declared himself king.[6]

By his Egyptian wife Tryphaena, Antiochus VIII fathered five sons:[7] Seleucus VI, who was the eldest,[8] Antiochus XI and Philip, who were apparently twins,[note 1][10] their younger brother Demetrius III,[11] and the youngest Antiochus XII.[12] The war with Antiochus IX claimed the life of Tryphaena;[13] Antiochus VIII remarried and took his late wife's sister, Cleopatra Selene, as his new consort, before he was himself killed in 96 BC.[14] Antiochus IX then marched and took the capital of Syria, Antioch, and also married his brother's widow, Cleopatra Selene.[14] In the face of their uncle, Demetrius III took Damascus and ruled it,[8] while Seleucus VI was able to kill Antiochus IX in 95 BC and take Antioch;[15] he was later defeated by Antiochus X, the son of Antiochus IX who married his stepmother, Cleopatra Selene.[16] Seleucus VI escaped to Mopsuestia where he was killed by rebels in 94 BC.[17]


In 94 BC, shortly after Seleucus' death, Philip and Antiochus XI minted jugate coins bearing their portraits together on the obverse;[10] Antiochus was portrayed in front of his brother, indicating that he was the senior king.[note 2][18] The brothers set off to avenge Seleucus VI;[note 3][10] according to Eusebius, they sacked Mopsuestia and destroyed it.[9] At the beginning of 93 BC, the brothers advanced on Antioch and drove Antiochus X out of the city.[10] Philip did not reside in the Syrian metropolis and remained at a base in northern Syria leaving Antiochus XI as the master of the capital.[note 4][20] By autumn 93 BC, Antiochus X regrouped and defeated Antiochus XI who drowned in the Orontes.[10] Josephus only mentioned Antiochus XI in the battle while Eusebius mentioned that Philip was also there. Alfred Raymond Bellinger is of the view that Philip's troops participated but he stayed behind at his base since only Antiochus XI was killed.[18] Following the defeat, Philip is thought to have retreated to his own capital,[21] which was most probably the same base he and his brother operated from when they first prepared to avenge Seleucus VI.[22] Bellinger suggests that the base was a coastal city north of Antioch,[21] while Arthur Houghton believes it was Beroea.[23]


O: Diademed head of Philip I Philadelphus R: Zeus holding scepter and Nike with wreath; monograms in field


Silver tetradrachm struck in Antioch 88/87-76/75 BC

See also


  1. ^ The parents of Philip are given as Antiochus VIII and Tryphaena in the work of Eusebius who also mentioned Antiochus XI and Philip as twins (didymi).[9]
  2. ^ According to Josephus, only Antiochus XI became king and Philip succeeded him but the numismatic evidence is against this statement as the earliest coins show both Philip and Antiochus as joint rulers.[18]
  3. ^ The earliest coins show the monarchs bearded and this could be a sign of both mourning and vengeance.[19]
  4. ^ Eusebius does not note Antiochus XI' reign in Antioch and the occupation of the capital by the brothers in 93 BC is known only through the coins Antiochus XI struck in it.[18]



  1. ^ Marciak 2017, p. 8.
  2. ^ Goodman 2005, p. 37.
  3. ^ Tinsley 2006, p. 179.
  4. ^ Whitehorne 1994, p. 149.
  5. ^ Kelly 2016, p. 82.
  6. ^ Kosmin 2014, p. 23.
  7. ^ Chrubasik 2016, p. XXIV.
  8. ^ a b Houghton & Müseler 1990, p. 61.
  9. ^ a b Eusebius 1875, p. 261.
  10. ^ a b c d e Houghton 1987, p. 79.
  11. ^ Houghton 1987, p. 81.
  12. ^ Panagiotis 2009, p. 103.
  13. ^ Dumitru 2016, p. 256.
  14. ^ a b Dumitru 2016, p. 260.
  15. ^ Hoover 2007, p. 285.
  16. ^ Dumitru 2016, p. 263.
  17. ^ Houghton 1998, p. 66.
  18. ^ a b c d Bellinger 1949, p. 74.
  19. ^ Hoover, Houghton & Veselý 2008, p. 207.
  20. ^ Bellinger 1949, p. 74, 93.
  21. ^ a b Bellinger 1949, p. 93.
  22. ^ Bellinger 1949, p. 92.
  23. ^ Houghton 1987, p. 82.


  • Eusebius (1875) [c. 325]. Schoene, Alfred, ed. Eusebii Chronicorum Libri Duo (in Latin). 1. Translated by Petermann, Julius Heinrich. Apud Weidmannos. OCLC 312568526. 
  • Bellinger, Alfred R. (1949). "The End of the Seleucids". Transactions of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences. Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences. 38. OCLC 4520682. 
  • Dumitru, Adrian (2016). "Kleopatra Selene: A Look at the Moon and Her Bright Side". In Coşkun, Altay; McAuley, Alex. Seleukid Royal Women: Creation, Representation and Distortion of Hellenistic Queenship in the Seleukid Empire. Historia – Einzelschriften. 240. Franz Steiner Verlag. ISBN 978-3-515-11295-6. ISSN 0071-7665. 
  • Houghton, Arthur; Müseler, Wilhelm (1990). "The Reigns of Antiochus VIII and Antiochus IX at Damascus". Schweizer Münzblätter. Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Numismatik. 159. ISSN 0016-5565. 
  • Chrubasik, Boris (2016). Kings and Usurpers in the Seleukid Empire: The Men who Would be King. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-198-78692-4. 
  • Kosmin, Paul J. (2014). The Land of the Elephant Kings: Space, Territory, and Ideology in the Seleucid Empire. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-72882-0. 
  • Kelly, Douglas (2016). "Alexander II Zabinas (Reigned 128-122)". In Phang, Sara E.; Spence, Iain; Kelly, Douglas; Londey, Peter. Conflict in Ancient Greece and Rome: The Definitive Political, Social, and Military Encyclopedia: The Definitive Political, Social, and Military Encyclopedia (3 Vols.). I. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-610-69020-1. 
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  • Houghton, Arthur (1987). "The Double Portrait Coins of Antiochus XI and Philip I: a Seleucid Mint at Beroea?". Schweizerische Numismatische Rundschau. Schweizerischen Numismatischen Gesellschaft. 66. ISSN 0035-4163. 
  • Houghton, Arthur (1998). "The Struggle for the Seleucid Succession, 94-92 BC: a New Tetradrachm of Antiochus XI and Philip I of Antioch". Schweizerische Numismatische Rundschau. Schweizerischen Numismatischen Gesellschaft. 77. ISSN 0035-4163. 
  • Hoover, Oliver D.; Houghton, Arthur; Veselý, Petr (2008). "The Silver Mint of Damascus under Demetrius III and Antiochus XII (97/6 BC-83/2 BC)". American Journal of Numismatics. second. American Numismatic Society. 20. ISBN 978-0-89722-305-8. ISSN 1053-8356. 
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External links

  • Philip I Philadelphus entry in historical sourcebook by Mahlon H. Smith
Philip I Philadelphus
Born: Unknown Died: 83 BC
Preceded by
Seleucus VI Epiphanes
Seleucid King (King of Syria)
95–83 BC
with Antiochus X Eusebes (95–92 BC)
Demetrius III Eucaerus (95 BC)
Antiochus XI Epiphanes (95–92 BC)
Succeeded by
Antiochus XII Dionysus or Tigranes II of Armenia, Cleopatra Selene I, or Seleucus VII Philometer
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