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SELEUCIA (Talmud, "Selik," "Selika," "Selikos," Ket. 10b, Mak. 10a; Targum, "Salwaḳia," "Salwaḳya"; Greek, Σελεύκεια):

  • 1. Greek colony founded about the end of the third century B.C. on Lake Merom. According to the inference of Grätz, based on the scholium to Meg. Ta'an., the remnant of the Pharisees spared by Alexander Jannæus found a refuge there. Seleucia and Sogane were the first cities, after Gamala, to revolt from Agrippa in the revolution of 66 C.E. In his enumeration of the places conquered by Alexander Jannæus in eastern Syria, Josephus locates the town near Lake Semechonitis ("B. J." iv. 1, § 1).
  • 2. Parthian city on the Tigris, to which the Babylonian Jews, when hard pressed by the Gentile population, fled. The Greeks and Syrians of Seleucia, who were continually quarreling, became reconciled out of common hatred of the fugitives, of whom they killed 5,000 about 41 B.C. (Josephus, "Ant." xviii. 9, § 9).
  • 3. According to Schürer, a city identical with Abila, which was situated 12 Roman miles east of Gadara. It is first mentioned in history in connection with the conquest of Palestine by Antiochus the Great. The inhabitants called themselves Σελευκεῑς Ἀβιληνοί.
Bibliography:
  • Grätz, Gesch. ii 232; iii. 131, 481;
  • Schürer, Gesch. i. 283, ii. 127.
J. S. O.
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