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Seleucid era and its correlation with other ancient chronological systems


Table of contents:

A brief backgroundConversion table for Seleucid years 1→281Illustrations for Seleucid years 282→579

Images of the coinsSources


This page shows how the years of the Seleucid era correlate with the years before/after the Birth of Christ (i.e. B.C./A.D.); with the regnal years of corresponding Roman emperors; and with a number of some other eras.

The Seleucid era began on October 1, 312 B.C., after Alexander the Great's (lived 356–323 B.C.) military leader Seleucus I Nicator (lived 358–281 B.C.) conquered Babylon (present-day Iraq) earlier that same 312 B.C.

Seleucid Era is known as Anno Græcorum, i.e. year of the Greeks [see source 5], hence its abbreviations are: SE and AG. Besides the Seleucid Empire itself, this era has been in use among numerous Hellenistic civilizations, as well as later by the Parthians.

Now, let's take a look at the conversion tables! For the years of the Seleucid era from the 1st to the 281st inclusive, the table is given below:

Years
B.C.
Years of the
Seleuc. era
Years
B.C.
Years of the
Seleuc. era
Years
B.C.
Years of the
Seleuc. era
Years
B.C.
Years of the
Seleuc. era
Years
B.C.
Years of the
Seleuc. era
312/311 1 252/251 61 192/191 121 132/131 181 72/71 241
311/310 2 251/250 62 191/190 122 131/130 182 71/70 242
310/309 3 250/249 63 190/189 123 130/129 183 70/69 243
309/308 4 249/248 64 189/188 124 129/128 184 69/68 244
308/307 5 248/247 65 188/187 125 128/127 185 68/67 245
307/306 6 247/246 66 187/186 126 127/126 186 67/66 246
306/305 7 246/245 67 186/185 127 126/125 187 66/65 247
305/304 8 245/244 68 185/184 128 125/124 188 65/64 248
304/303 9 244/243 69 184/183 129 124/123 189 64/63 249
303/302 10 243/242 70 183/182 130 123/122 190 63/62 250
302/301 11 242/241 71 182/181 131 122/121 191 62/61 251
301/300 12 241/240 72 181/180 132 121/120 192 61/60 252
300/299 13 240/239 73 180/179 133 120/119 193 60/59 253
299/298 14 239/238 74 179/178 134 119/118 194 59/58 254
298/297 15 238/237 75 178/177 135 118/117 195 58/57 255
297/296 16 237/236 76 177/176 136 117/116 196 57/56 256
296/295 17 236/235 77 176/175 137 116/115 197 56/55 257
295/294 18 235/234 78 175/174 138 115/114 198 55/54 258
294/293 19 234/233 79 174/173 139 114/113 199 54/53 259
293/292 20 233/232 80 173/172 140 113/112 200 53/52 260
292/291 21 232/231 81 172/171 141 112/111 201 52/51 261
291/290 22 231/230 82 171/170 142 111/110 202 51/50 262
290/289 23 230/229 83 170/169 143 110/109 203 50/49 263
289/288 24 229/228 84 169/168 144 109/108 204 49/48 264
288/287 25 228/227 85 168/167 145 108/107 205 48/47 265
287/286 26 227/226 86 167/166 146 107/106 206 47/46 266
286/285 27 226/225 87 166/165 147 106/105 207 46/45 267
285/284 28 225/224 88 165/164 148 105/104 208 45/44 268
284/283 29 224/223 89 164/163 149 104/103 209 44/43 269
283/282 30 223/222 90 163/162 150 103/102 210 43/42 270
282/281 31 222/221 91 162/161 151 102/101 211 42/41 271
281/280 32 221/220 92 161/160 152 101/100 212 41/40 272
280/279 33 220/219 93 160/159 153 100/99 213 40/39 273
279/278 34 219/218 94 159/158 154 99/98 214 39/38 274
278/277 35 218/217 95 158/157 155 98/97 215 38/37 275
277/276 36 217/216 96 157/156 156 97/96 216 37/36 276
276/275 37 216/215 97 156/155 157 96/95 217 36/35 277
275/274 38 215/214 98 155/154 158 95/94 218 35/34 278
274/273 39 214/213 99 154/153 159 94/93 219 34/33 279
273/272 40 213/212 100 153/152 160 93/92 220 33/32 280
272/271 41 212/211 101 152/151 161 92/91 221 32/31 281
271/270 42 211/210 102 151/150 162 91/90 222
270/269 43 210/209 103 150/149 163 90/89 223
269/268 44 209/208 104 149/148 164 89/88 224
268/267 45 208/207 105 148/147 165 88/87 225
267/266 46 207/206 106 147/146 166 87/86 226
266/265 47 206/205 107 146/145 167 86/85 227
265/264 48 205/204 108 145/144 168 85/84 228
264/263 49 204/203 109 144/143 169 84/83 229
263/262 50 203/202 110 143/142 170 83/82 230
262/261 51 202/201 111 142/141 171 82/81 231
261/260 52 201/200 112 141/140 172 81/80 232
260/259 53 200/199 113 140/139 173 80/79 233
259/258 54 199/198 114 139/138 174 79/78 234
258/257 55 198/197 115 138/137 175 78/77 235
257/256 56 197/196 116 137/136 176 77/76 236
256/255 57 196/195 117 136/135 177 76/75 237
255/254 58 195/194 118 135/134 178 75/74 238
254/253 59 194/193 119 134/133 179 74/73 239
253/252 60 193/192 120 133/132 180 73/72 240

Moving on, for the years of the Seleucid era from 282nd to 579th, for which it is important to show their correlation with the years B.C./A.D., with the Regnal Dates of the rulers of the Roman Empire, as well as with some other eras, below are 6 illustrations from the book [4] (see the SOURCES section at the very bottom of this page):

comparative table of the Seleucid years image 01

comparative table of the Seleucid years image 02

comparative table of the Seleucid years image 03

comparative table of the Seleucid years image 04

comparative table of the Seleucid years image 05

comparative table of the Seleucid years image 06


Let's illustrate the theoretical material provided above. The photo below is a tetradrachm minted in the Seleucid Empire during the reign of Alexander I Balas (died in 145 BC, ruler of the Seleucid State since 152 or 150 BC).

tetradrachm Alexander Balas

To the right from the eagle there are the characters denoting date: ΔΞΡ (see the Bithynian system to recall the correspondence of numerical values to the Greek letters), i.e. (from left to right) 4 + 60 + 100 = 164th year of the Seleucid era → 149/148 B.C.

For more illustrations on this system, as well as illustrated examples of other chronological systems used in antiquity (including: Actium, Pompeian, Pergamon, etc), see sources [6] [7].

 * * * 

SOURCES:

1. Elias Bickerman [RUS] . (1975), pages 6668;

2. Elias Bickerman [RUS] (1985 [1938]), pages 197220;

3. Zakharov E. V., Smirnov S. V. [RUS] article ( , volume 77 3, 2017, pages 720751 as well as the inserts with coin illustrations: the Tables I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X);

4. David R. Sear Greek Imperial Coins and their Values, 1982, reprint of 2001. The dates and eras of interest are presented on pages XXVXXXI (pages with the Roman numbering!).

5. Description of the Seleucid era on Wikipedia (articles in Russian and in English).

6. Illustrated article [RUS] Correlation of the different ancient chronological systems from the web-site coins.msk.ru.

7. Illustrated article [RUS] The dating of provincial coins from the web-site coins.msk.ru (eras mentioned there are as follows: Seleucid, Pompeian, Caesarean (Caesarea), Actium, Pontian (also known as Bithynian, or Bosporan); as well as different provincial, local and urban eras).



This article was published on March 16th, 2024.

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