The contents of the cylinder of King Antiochus I, 280-261 BC :( An Analytical Study)

Abstract

King Antiochus I is considered one of the most prominent kings of the Seleucid dynasty that ruled Mesopotamia. He is distinguished as the son of Seleucus I, the founder of the dynasty, and for the length of his reign, which was nearly thirty-three years, which may have been due to his successful policy of winning the affection the Babylonians (priests and people) through the restoration of Babylonian temples and offering prayers to the Babylonian gods, in keeping with the custom of the kings of Mesopotamia, who worked to woo the gods and gain their approval by restoring their temples, and this is what was stated in the writings on the cylinder that was known by his name (Antiochus Cylinder).The importance of the topic of research lies in the fact that it will search for the real motives for King Antiochus’ interest in the Babylonian temples, and in particular the temples of Sakila and Zaida. Was it because of the eastern blood that runs in his veins, being of a Persian mother? Or is it a new ideology followed by the Seleucid kings to win over the foreign peoples who were under their control, in contrast to the policy of the Achaemenid kings who preceded them in the rule of Mesopotamia, specifically King Xerxes, who destroyed the Babylonian temples? Or, because of his belief in the Babylonian beliefs and gods? Or that the matter is no more than an imitation of the Babylonian royal culture and heritage, especially since the text was written in the cuneiform script and in the Akkadian language.