Honors Bachelor of Arts

Document Type


Faculty Advisor

Thesis Director: Dr. Shannon Byrne; HAB Course Director: Dr. Shannon Byrne




This paper seeks to explore the causes for the collapse of the Seleucid Empire following the death of Alexander the Great. The reasons for this collapse were numerous, but primarily focus on the administrative difficulties inherited from the Persian empire, the vast cultural differences within the empire, and the priorities of the Seleucid rulers. In order to show a counter point of a Greek state that succeeded in ruling a foreign people, the exploration of Ptolemaic Egypt is put alongside the Seleucids. The Egyptian Greeks succeeded in all of the ways that the Seleucids failed. By putting these two states alongside each other it becomes abundantly clear the difficulties that faced the Seleucids in their rule of the Middle East. The Seleucid period is very poorly documented in the regions that this paper is attempting to study, so a mixture of later literary sources, archaeological evidence, and sociology is used to establish a picture of what might have been going on in this period during the first few centuries BC. In the end, the main reasons for the Seleucid collapse came down to their inability to rule the vast and diverse empire that they had inherited during the Diadochi Period. One thing is clear about this period though, instead of creating a legacy of rule in the Middle East, the Seleucids would go down as primarily a footnote in the historical studies of these regions.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.



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