Asia Minor and the Many Shades of a Civil War. Observations on Achaios the Younger and his claim to the kingdom of Anatolia

Monica D'Agostini

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


When approaching the study of Asia Minor during 3rd cent B.C., every scholar must confront the dearth of primary and secondary material regarding a family that reappears intermittently on the stage of Anatolian history: the House of Achaeus. The most renowned member, both to ancient and modern scholars, is Achaeus the Younger: featured prominently in Polybius, the lieutenant of Seleucus III and later governor-turned-rebel under Antiochus III made an unsuccessful bid for proclaimed himself king, only to be defeated in 214/13. While on the surface he appears to be just another military usurper, upon closer examination it becomes clear that he was the last representative of an ancient and powerful family that had spent the 3rd-century cultivating connections and bonds with other potentates in the region – most notably the Seleucids themselves. Starting with this observation, this paper digs into the patchy and fragmentary testimonies about the many representatives of this family. Beginning by collecting and analyzing what extant sources remain, and then aim to reconstruct a stemma of the house. Beginning with the family’s progenitor, Achaeus ‘the Elder,’ the study tracks the interaction of Achaeus and his progeny with the Seleucids and other dynasts in Anatolia during the first half-century of Seleucid rule. Examining their place within the larger Seleucid power structure and their standing in the smaller arena of Asia Minor, the paper contextualizes the acts of this influential family in the complex political situation of both Asia Minor and the broader Seleucid Empire.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Seleukid Empire 281-222 BC: War within the Family
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Achaeus
  • Asia Minor
  • Seleucid
  • dynasts
  • local power
  • war


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