Seleukos I Nikator Seleukid, King of Syria
(Abt 358 BCE-281 BCE)
Apama of Sogdiana-Bactria
(-Abt 280 BCE)
Achaeos I Seleukid, Prince of Syria
(Est 320 BCE-Abt 275 BCE)
Laodike Seleukid, Queen of Syria
(-Bef 236 BCE)


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Antiochos II Theos Seleukid, King of Syria

Laodike Seleukid, Queen of Syria 1

  • Married:
  • Died: Before 236 B.C.E.

  Orthographic variation: Laodice SELEUCID

  Research Notes:

Laodice was the daughter of Achaeus, a wealthy nobleman who owned estates in Anatolia. Her mother is unknown....

Her birth date is unknown, and little is known on her early life. Laodice I married her paternal first cousin Antiochus II Theos before 266 BC as his first wife....

In 252 BC after the Second Syrian War, Antiochus II was obliged to make peace with the Egyptian Greek Pharaoh Ptolemy II Philadelphus. Antiochus made peace with the Pharaoh by divorcing Laodice and marrying the daughter of Ptolemy II, Berenice, with the understanding that any children born from their union would inherit the Seleucid throne.

Although she was no longer queen, Laodice was still a very powerful and political influential figure. In their divorce settlement, Antiochus gave Laodice various land grants throughout Anatolia which are known through inscriptions. Laodice I owned a large estate in the Hellespont, other properties near Cyzicus, Ilion and in Caria. In a royal record at Sardis mentions her land titles were to be kept as royal land in disposal in grants or sales.

In a clause in the divorce settlement, Laodice was allowed to sell or donate land in which she had the right to choose which attachment of a city were to be passed on to the new landlord, unless Laodice had taken care of the matter herself. Antiochus gave her a grace period to settle matters on her land before she decided whether to hold on to the land or dispose it. She may have been given the revenue of two harvests with which to pay a nominal purchase price to set at the valuation of the land for tax purposes. When Laodice was able to make payment, the land she intended to purchase could remain part of royal land and couldn’t be made as a part of an attachment to a city. The only one who could order to reallocate or rearrange land lots was the King.

When Laodice sold a land attachment, the new owner was not permitted to remove it from the city or attach it to another. As she was a former queen, as a part of a land sale she possessed everything on the land that was transferred to her during the sale. She collected revenue from annual agriculture harvests and other forms from her lands. Antiochus, on one occasion, granted Laodice a complete property tax exemption.

During Antiochus II’s marriage to Berenice, she bore him a son called Antiochus. Laodice I lived at Ephesus. On January 28 246 BC, Ptolemy II died, and was succeeded by Ptolemy III Euergetes. After the death of Ptolemy II, Antiochus II left his second family in Antioch and returned to Laodice. He named his first son with Laodice as his successor to the throne.

In July 246 BC, Antiochus II died (some suggest that he was poisoned by a revengeful Laodice) leaving a confusing dynastic situation. Seleucus II succeeded his father as king and his brother Antiochus Hierax was named co-ruler in Sardis. They lived with Laodice at Ephesus. Laodice, either for revenge or to prevent civil war, had Berenice and her son murdered in the late summer of 246 BC.

Out of his outrage, the brother of Berenice, Ptolemy III declared war and invaded the Seleucid Empire. His suspicions about the deaths of his sister and nephew were firmly grounded and were a part of the cause of the Third Syrian War also known as the ‘Laodicean War’ or the ‘War of Laodice’. Ptolemy captured Laodice and had her killed. This happened no earlier than 236 BC because there are two honorific inscriptions in Babylon dedicated to her dated to 247 BC and 237 BC. During the war, while Seleucus was fighting Ptolemy, Laodice supported the revolt of her second son against her first son. This occurred in 244 BC which caused a civil war for the next 17 years between Seleucus II and Antiochus Hierax. 2

  Marriage Information:

Laodike married Antiochos II Theos Seleukid, King of Syria, son of Antiochos I Soter Seleukid, King of Syria, and Stratonike Antigonid of Macedonia, Queen of Syria. (Antiochos II Theos Seleukid was born about 286 BCE and died in Jul/Aug 246 BCE.)


1 Encyclopædia Iranica, Antiochus.

2 Wikipedia article, Laodice I, citing R.A. Billows, Kings and Colonists: Aspects of Macedonian Imperialism, Brill, 1995, pp. 97, 114-5, 126; G.W. Bromiley, International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: A-D, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1995, p. 144; J.D. Grainger, A Seleukid Prosopography and Gazetteer, Brill, 1997, pp. 8, 47; G.G. Aperghis, The Seleukid Royal Economy: The Finances and Financial Administration of the Seleukid Empire, Cambridge University Press, 2004, pp.102-3, 144; A. Coskun, "Laodike I, Berenike Phernophoros, Dynastic Murders, and the Outbreak of the Third Syrian War (253-246 BC)," in: Seleukid Royal Women: Creation, Representation and Distortion of Hellenistic Queenship in the Seleukid Empire, ed. by A.Coskun and A. McAuley, Steiner, 2016, 107-134; Smith, A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, Volume 2 p.718.

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