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Alexander II Zabinas

Alexander II Zabinas

Ruler of the greek seleucid kingdom
The basics
About
Date of birth
Date of death 123 Antioch, Antakya, Hatay Province, Turkey
The details
Biography

Alexander II Zabinas (Greek: Ἀλέξανδρoς Zαβίνας), ruler of the Greek Seleucid kingdom, was a counter-king who emerged in the chaos following the Seleucidian loss of Mesopotamia to the Parthians.

Biography

Rise to power

Zabinas was a false Seleucid who claimed to be an adoptive son of Antiochus VII Sidetes, but in fact seems to have been the son of an Egyptian merchant named Protarchus. Antioch, Apamea, and several other cities, disgusted with the tyranny of Demetrius, acknowledged the authority of Alexander. He was used as a pawn by the Egyptian king Ptolemy VIII Physcon, who introduced Zabinas as a means of getting to the legitimate Seleucid king Demetrius II, who supported his sister Cleopatra II against him in the complicated dynastic feuds of the latter Hellenistic dynasties.

Zabinas managed to defeat Demetrius II, who fled to Tyre and was killed there, and thereafter ruled parts of Syria (128–123 BC), but soon he ran out of Egyptian support and was in turn defeated by Demetrius' son Antiochus VIII Grypus.

Fleeing to Antiochia and death

Coin of Alexander II Zabinas; Zeus is represented on the reverse, holding in his right hand a small image of victory.

Zabinas fled to the Seleucid capital Antiochia, where he plundered several temples. He is said to have joked about melting down a statuette of the goddess of victory Nike which was held in the hand of a Zeus statue, saying "Zeus has given me Victory". Enraged by his impiety the Antiochenes cast Zabinas out of the city. He soon fell into the hands of robbers, who delivered him up to Antiochus, by whom he was put to death, in 122 BC.

The name "Zabinas" means "the purchased slave", and was applied to him, deprecatingly, in response to a report that he had been bought by Ptolemy as a slave. For reasons unknown, Alexander II was the only late Seleucid not to use epithets on his coins. Several of his coins are extant.

The contents of this page are sourced from a Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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