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Battle of Antioch (145 BC)

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Battle of Antioch (145 BC)


The Battle of Antioch in 145 BC saw the defeat and overthrow of Seleucid king Alexander Balas by Ptolemy VI Philometor of Egypt, but the Egyptian pharaoh died in the battle. This battle is also known as the Battle of the Oenoparus.

History

Alexander Balas became king of Syria and Pergamum containing the remnant of the Seleucid empire in 150 BC by defeating Demetrius Soter. Alexander Balas initially had the strong support of Ptolemy VI and was married to Ptolemy's daughter Cleopatra Thea. After obtaining the throne, Alexander abandoned himself to a life of debauchery, losing the support of his subjects.

Demetrius Nicator, the son of Demetrius Soter, took advantage of this by returning to Syria from Crete. Demetrius had won support from Ptolemy VI who had abandoned his son-in-law with Cleopatra Thea marrying Demetrius in 148. At a pitched battle near Antioch, the forces of Demetrius and Ptolemy were successful but Ptolemy suffered a fatal wound. Balas fled to Nabataea but was killed by a prince seeking favour from Demetrius and Ptolemy. Demetrius II became King of Syria.

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