Battle of Ancyra


The Battle of Ancyra was fought in ca. 239 BC[1] between the Seleucid King Seleucus II Callinicus and his brother Prince Antiochus Hierax.[2] Civil war had raged in the Seleucid Empire since 244 BC, when Queen Laodice I had supported her son Antiochus in a rebellion against Seleucus. Antiochus fought to establish his own kingdom in Anatolia. He was able to take advantage of his brother's distraction and defeat at the hands of Ptolemy III in the Third Syrian War. By 239 BC Seleucus had made peace with Ptolemy and having rebuilt his army, invaded Anatolia.

Battle of Ancyra
Date239 BC
Result Victory of Antiochus Hierax
Seleucid Empire Antiochus Hierax
Kingdom of Pontus
Commanders and leaders
Seleucus II Callinicus Antiochus Hierax
Mithridates II of Pontus
Unknown Unknown
Casualties and losses
heavy, possibly 20,000 Unknown, low

After the war had lasted two years or so, during which we have no information on its progress, Seleucus was defeated in a great battle against the united forces of Mithridates II of Pontus, Hierax and the Galatians near Ancyra, in around 239 BC. Seleucus was barely able to escape with his life, but lost around 20,000 of his soldiers. [3]

Antiochus' victory at Ancyra (modern Ankara, Turkey) forced Seleucus to relinquish his territories in Anatolia to him and content himself with the Seleucid lands east of the Taurus mountains.[4]


  1. ^ "Battle of Ancyra, 240 or 239 B.C." Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  2. ^ Overtoom, "The Power-Transition Crisis of the 240s BCE and the Creation of the Parthian State," The International History Review Volume 38, 2016 - Issue 5. Pages 984-1013. [1]
  3. ^ Grainger, "The rise of the Seleucid Empire," Page 195.
  4. ^ Jaques 2007, p. 50


  • Jaques, Tony (2007). Dictionary of Battles and Sieges. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-313-33537-2.
  • Grainger, John.D (2014). The Rise of the Seleucid Empire,. Pen & Sword. ISBN 978-1-78303-053-8.