Seleucidic Era

Seleucidic era is that chronology which dates from the victory of Seleucus over Antigonus and the recovery of Babylonia (October, B.C. 312). This "era of the Seleucidae" was at one time in general use throughout all Central and Western Asia. The Arabians, who called it the "era of the two-horned" (Dhulkarnaim), meaning Alexander, did not relinquish it till long after the religion of Mohammed had arisen, and the era of the "Hegira" (the flight of Mohammed from Mecca to Medina) had been introduced. The Jews did not adopt this era till after they passed from under the dominion of the Egypto-Greeks to that of the Syro-Greeks, when they were obliged to employ it in their civil contracts, and therefore it was designated by them as the מנין שטרות, or "era of contracts," and מנין יונים, or "Greek era." Thenceforth they retained its use upwards of twelve centuries, and employed no other epoch till the final close of the schools on the Euphrates (A.D. 1040), since when they date their era from the creation. This Seleucidic era is the same which in the Books of the Maccabees is designated as "the year of the kingdom of the Greeks" (βασιλείας ῾Ελλήνων, 1 Macc. 1, 10), and both books compute by it. The student of history can very easily make use of the Seleucidic era by bearing in mind that the first year of this era corresponds to the first year of the 117th Olympiad, or to the year 442 ab urbe condita, or to the year B.C. 312. With this guide in his hand he will be enabled to find any year corresponding to that of the Seleucidic era; thus the year 1 B.C. is =312 Sel.=753 ab u. c.=194, 4 Olymp. 1 A.D. is=313 Sel.=754 ab u. c.=195, 1 Olymp. 70 A.D. is=382 Sel.=823 ab u. c.=212, 2 Olymp. 100 A.D. is=412 Sel.=853 ab u. c.=219, 4 Olymp. 120 A.D. is=432 Sel.=873 ab u. c.=224, 4 Olymp. 130 A.D. is=442 Sel.=883 ab u. c.=227, 2 Olymp.


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