Francis Lieber.

Library of universal knowledge. A reprint of the last (1880) Edinburgh and London edition of Chambers' encyclopaedia, with copious additions by American editors (Volume 13) online

. (page 76 of 203)
Online LibraryFrancis LieberLibrary of universal knowledge. A reprint of the last (1880) Edinburgh and London edition of Chambers' encyclopaedia, with copious additions by American editors (Volume 13) → online text (page 76 of 203)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

y nasty of the Seleuculce (q.v.). The most distinguished of these were: 1. SEI.EUCIA PJERIA,
founded by Seleucus Nicator, on the sea-shore, about 4 m. n. of the mouth of the Oron-
tes, and strongly fortified. It was the sea-port of Antioch, and became of great impor-
tance during the wars between the Seleucidse and the Ptolemies for the possession of
Syria. It rapidly declined under the Roman dominion. The ruins have been fully
explored and described in modern times by Pococke (Observations on Syri.i) and Chcs.
ney (Royal Geographical Society's Journal, vol. viii.). Its once magnificent pert is in
such an extremely good state of preservation as to require few repairs to rem'er it ser-
viceable; and the remarkable tunnel of 1088 yards in length, which was exca- ated out
of the solid rock, and formed the only communication between the city and the sea; and
the remains of its triple line of walls, of its citadel, temples, amphitheater, necropolis,
etc., all attest the former importance and splendor of the city. 2. SELECCIA ON THE
TIGRIS, was also built by Seleucus Xicator. on thew. bank of the Tigris, 40 m. (according-
to Strabo 33) n.e. of Babylon, which was despoiled to supply materials for the construc-
tion of the new city. Situated in a district of great fertility, commanding the great

on >7 Selene.


trading routes of Assyria, Babylonia, and western Persia, it rapidly rose to great
wealth, and splendor, supplanted Babylon as the capital of the eastern portion of the
Seleucidf monarchy, and when in the acme of its greatness, contained a population of
more than 600,000 Even in Strabo's tune, it was larger than Autioch in Syria, the
greatest commercial emporium of Asia; and down to the period of its final destruction,
the number of iis inhabitants is said to have never fallen below half a million. During
tbe decline of the Seleucide monarch}', it became independent, and formed, from its
wealth and splendor, an irresistible bait to tbe robber-tribes of southern Armenia and
Media, who partially plundered it on more than one occasion. But its position on the
confines of Persia, which gave it its greatness, was also the cause of its destruction; for
when the Seleucide monarchy was swallowed up by the Romans, and the long anil
desolating struggle between the latter and Persia had commenced, Seleucia placed
between two fires, was speedily brought to ruin. It was burned by Trajan (116 A.D.),
and a few years afterward, by Lucius Verus; and when visited by Septimius Severus
was as desolate as the mighty city it had supplanted. The emperor Julian, on bis expe-
dition to the east, found the whole country rounil it converted into a vast marsh, the
haunt of innumerable beasts of chase and wild-fowl, and the city itself completely

SELEU CIDJE, the dynasty of kings to whom fell that portion of Alexander the great's
immense and ill-compacted monarchy which included Syria, a large portion of Asia
Minor, and the whole of the eastern provinces.

SELEUCUS I., suruamed NICATOR, the first of this line, was the son of Antiochua, a
distinguished officer in the service of Philip of Macedon, and was born about 358 B.C.
He was one of the conspirators against Perdiccas, and in the second partition of the
provinces of Alexander tne great's kingdom, obtained Babylonia, to which with the aid
of Autigonus, he subsequently added Susiaua; but a misunderstanding with that power-
ful chief having arisen, Scleucus took refuge in Egypt (816 B.C.). The victory gained
by Ptolemy over Antigonus's sou, Demetrius, at Gaza having laid open the route to the
east, Seleucus returned to his satrapy, amid the joyous congratulations of his subjects
(812 B.C.). From Oct. 1. of this year (the date of Selencus's return to Babylon) com-
mences the i- i'ti of tit e Seieucidce. Having next recovered Snsiana, he conquered Media,
and extended his power to the Oxus and Indus. Of his campaign against Sandrocottus
(q.v.), there are few details extant. In 30(5 B.C. he assumed the regal tiile; and four
years afterward joined the confederacy of Ptolemy, Lysimachus, and Cassander, against
the now formidable Antigonus, deciding the battle of Ipsus (301 B.C.) chiefly by hi?
cavalry and elephants. Being now, after Antigonus's death, the most powerful oi
Alexander's successors, he obtained the largest share in the conquered kingdom, a greal
part of Asia Minor and the whole of Syria falling to him. Toward the close of his
reign, war broke out with Demetrius (now his father-in-law), and afterward with Lysim-
achus, king of Thrace and the other part of Asia Minor, both contests terminating in
the defeat and death of his opponents, and being followed by the acquisition of the rest
of Asia Minor. He was assassinated (280 B.C.) by Ptolemy Ceraunus. Of Seleucus's
personal character, little can be gathered from the fragments of his history which
remain to us; according to Pausanias, he was the most upright of Alexander's success-
ors, unstained by those crimes which have foully blotted the characters of the others;
but of his consummate generalship and great political talents we have sufficient proof.
He pursued with great zeal the plan of " Hellenizing" the east, by founding numerous
Greek and Macedonian colonies in various parts of his dominions; he also built numer-
ous cities, several of which as Antioch in Syria, and Seleucia on the Tigris rose to be
among the most populous and wealthy in the world. After the reigns of ANTIOCHUS I.
(q.v.). and ANTIOCHUS II. (q.v.), SELEUCUS II. (246-220), surnamed CALLINICUS, obtained
the throne; but having, at the instigation of his mother Laodice, murdered his step-
mother Berenice, an Egyptian princess, he was driven from his kingdom by Ptolemy
Euergetes (q.v.). However, he recovered his throne on Ptolemv's withdrawal; and
though defeated in a great battle with the Egyptians, he succeeded in maintaining his
hold of Syria and most of Asia Minor against both the Egyptians and his younger
brother Antiochus, who exercised independent authority over part of Asia Minor.
Antioclms was at a later period wholly defeated in Mesopotamia, and soon after mur-
dered by robbers. Seleucus undertook a great expedition against the revolted provinces
of Parthia and Bactria, but was totally routed by Arsaces I., king of Parthia; while, on
the n.w., several provinces were wrested from him by Attalus, the king of Pergamus.
His sons, SELEUCUS III. (226-223), surnamed CEUAUNUS, and ANTIOCHUS III. (q.v.).
" the great," were his successors, the latter being the first of the dynasty who came into
collision with the Romans. SELEUCL'S IV. (187-175), snrnamed PHILOPATOR, was eager
to dispossess the king of Pergamus of the provinces which he had taken from the Syrian
monarchy, but fear of the Romans prevented him from carrying out his design.
ANTIOCHUS IV. (q.v.), EPIPHANES (I.) ("the illustrious"), conquered Coele-Syria and
Palestine from the Egyptians, to whom they had been given by his father, but retired
from Egypt at the bidding of the Romans. He practiced the most atrocious cruelties ou
the Jews, whose religion lie endeavored to root out, and introduce the Greek religion;
but the heroic resistance of the Maccabees (q.v.) completely foiled his project. He died

8el. 000


in a state of raving madness, which was attributed to his sacrilegious crimes by his sub-
jects, who, in derision, converted his surname into EPIMANES ("the madman"). The
succeeding names of the dynasty were AXTIOCHUS V., ETJPA'IOH (Iti4-10'~);

1., SOTEK (162-150), who regained Babylon, lost Judea, and \\ as defeated and slain \>y
the impostor Alexander Balas (150-146); DEMETRIUS II., NICATOK (146-138. 1S8-125),
who overthrew the impostor, and was himself taken prisoner by the Partisans, ^'yria
having been already seized by DIODOTTJS, surnamed TRYPHON, who set up the puj'pct
ANTIOCIHTS VI., THEOS (144-142). and afterward ascended the throne himself (142-1 7);
/.NTIOCHUS VII., SIDETES (137-128), who restored the royal line of the Stleucida-;
J.NTIOCIIUS VIII.. GUYPUS (125-96), who was compelled to share his dominions with his
(98 94), and ANTIOCHUS X , EUSEBES (95-83), who continued the division till S)4 15.0 ,
when the latter was victorious in a pitched battle and seized the whole kinidom; for
which, however, he was forced to tight with Philip, and ANTIOCIITJS XI.. EPIPIIANKS
,(!!.). the younger brother of Seleucus; and DEMETRIUS III., Euo<Er,us (94-88). a third
brother of Selcucus, who, with Philip, next claimed the sovereignty, which was taken
from them by Tigranes (83-69), king of Armenia, at the solicitation ol the Syrians; ANTI-
OCHUS XIL, DIONTSUS, a fourth brother of Seleucus, and AKTIOCIH'S XIII. (09-65),
ABIATICUS. The short-lived prosperity of this dynasty, for it had begun to dec line dur-
ing the reign of SEI,EUCUS II., 80 years after its foundation, is principally owing to the
fatal principle on which it was founded viz., that of establishing a Grseco-Mact'donLm
power in a foreign country, instead of conciliating the attachment of the native popula-
tions, and governing them more in accordance with the eastern method; the coi. se-
quences were the successive revolts of the natives, the foundation of the independent
juul hostile kingdoms of Bactria. Parthia, Armenia, Judea, and the ultimate conver-
sion of the small remnant into a Roman province by Cneius Pompeius, 65 B.C.

SELF-DEFENSE, in law, defense of one's person or property from injury. A person
upon whom violence is inflicted may defend himself by so much counter-violence as is
necessary for his protection and no more. If assaulted by blows, he may defend -himself
by blows. A man may defend himself, even to the extent of committing homicide, to pre-
vent any violent crime, whose perpetration w ould constitute a felony lie may return force
with force in defense of his person or property against an attempt at forcible felony; and
he need not retreat, but may even follow his assailant. Where there is no threatened or
intended felony, a man may defend himself in a mutual fight caused by a sudden quarrol,
or where without a mutual fight the assailant attempts or commits an assault and battery ;
and the assailed person, where an attempt to strike him is made and his assailant is near
enough to be able to strike him, need not wait to be struck first.

SELF-DENYING ORDINANCE, a measure carried through parliament in 1645 by the
influence of Cromwell and the Independents, with the view of removing E^-ex and the
Presbyterians from the command of the army. It was moved by a fanatic of the r.ame
of Zoncli Tate, who on the ground that " there is but one way of ending M> ninny evils,
which is, that every one of us freely renounce himfelf," proposed, that "no nu inLcr of
either house shall, during this war, enjoy or execute any office or command, civil or
military, and that an ordinance be brought in accordingly." The ordinance, which wr.s
clearly intended to take the executive power out of the hands of ihe more moderate
politicians, and form an army independent of parliament, was the subject of violent and
protracted debate, but eventually passed in both houses, and become law. The conse-
quence was that Essex, Warwick, Manchester, and others gave in their resignation, and
the conduct of the war was intrusted to Fairfax; Cromwell, to whom, as a member of the
lower house, the self-denying ordinance extenled, as much as to Essex and the rest, had
the duration of his commission prolonged by the commons on account of his invaluable
services as a leader of cavalry, and by his brilliant achievements soon surpassed his
commander in reputation.

8ELIM I., Sultan of Turkey, son of Bajazet II., was b. in 1467. dethroned his father
by t lie aid of the Janizaries, April 25. 1512, and ascended the throne. To secure him-
self in his elevation, he caused his father, brothers, and nephews to be put to death,
thus beginning a policy which he pursued inflexibly through the whole of Lis sub-
quent career, viz., to destroy without scruple every actual or possible obstacle to the
accomplishment of his own ends. Urged on by a devouring appetite for conquest, and
by the warlike fanaticism of the Janizaries, he declared war (1514^ against shah Ismail
of Persia, and marched eastward with an army of 250,000 men, massacring on the way
40,000 Shiites. He encountered Ismail at Calderoon. and defeated him \\ilh immense
loss; but a spirit of disaffection breaking out in his army, he was compelled to content
himself with this success, which gave him possession of Diarbekir and Kurdistan. In
the following year, he overran Armenia; and leaving his lieutenants to complete this
conquest, he marched against Ihe Mameluko sultan of Egypt, whom he hod previously
endeavored to detach from intimate alliance with the Persian monarch. Kansn-ghori,
the Egyptian sultan, was totally .defeated (1516) at Marjabik by Selim, and Syria became.
the prize of the victor; and Kansn's successor, Touman-Bey, was st ; '.i more unfortunate,
his army being almost extirpated (1517) at the battles of Gaza and Rndania. The vie
tori 9 ua Turks then entered Cairo without opposition; Touman-Bey and his chief sup-

QOQ Solf -

OJ Seljuks.

porters were put to death, and Egypt incorporated with the Ottoman empire. The last
liueal descendant of the Abbasidc caliph, wno was I hen resident in Egypt, transmitted to
Selim the religious prestige which had devolved upon himself by descent, and at the
same thnc bestowed upon him the title of 'Inuuim," and the standard of the prophet.
In consequence of this gift, the Ottoman sul an became the chief of Islam, ;;.s the repre-
sentative cf Mohammed; and the sacred cities of Mecca and Medina, along with the
chief Arali:m tribes, in consequence acknowledged his supremacy. Tims, in le:-s than,
four years, Geli:n did more to extend the Ottoman empire than any of his most renowned
predecessors during a whole reign, lie also laid the foundation of a regular marine,
constructed the arsenal of Pern, chastised the insolence of the Janizaries with savage
severity, and labored to ameliorate, by improved institutions, the condition of the
various peoples he had conquered. He died Sept. 22, 1520, while planning fresh cam-
paigns a - ainst both Persians and Christians. This prince, who in a sense merited his
title of Yacuz (the ferocious), was nevertheless a lover and encourager of literature, and
even himself cultivated the poetic art. Selim was succeeded by his son, Solymau the
magnuJeent (q.v.).

SELIM III., Sultan of Turkey, the only son'of Mustapha III., was b. Dec. 14, 1761,
and ascended the throne on the death of his uncle, Abdul-Hamid. in 1789. Seeing

clearly the causes of the decadence of the empire, and the proper remedies, he inaugu-
rated a policy of renovation and progression ; but the war with Russia, iu which his
newly raised army of 150,000 men was totally defeated, first by the prince of Coburg,
and next bv Suwarof, put a stop for a time to his schemes of reform. Ho was com-
pelled, in 1731, to cede Choczim to Austria, and in the following year, all his possession
beyond the Dniester to Russia. About this Urn:-, his good harmony with Napoleon \r$

He was coin-

beyond the Dniester to Russia. About this Urn:-, his good harmony with Napoleon was
troubled by the expedition of the French to Egypt, and subsequently by tiie question of
the recognition of/ the French empire, but on the whole, Selim continued the faithful
ally of France; and at every opportunity pursued with ardor his various reforms, estab-
lishing cannon-foundries, and organizing a body of troops (" ths Nizun-Djedit"), armed,
clothed, and disciplined in the European fashion; but this list reform stirred up against
him (18J5) all the fanatic bigotry of his subjects. The priests of Islam even preached
revolt iu different parts of the empire, and accused their sovereign of despising the holy
injunctions of the Koran, so that Selim felt compelled to adopt a more cautious policy.
At length, a formidable rebellion broke out, and the Nizun-Djedit, who attempted to
suppress it, were overpowered, their comman.ler put to death, and the rebels mirched
into Constantinople, their ranks being swelled at every step by bodies of disaffected
Janiz.irics. All those who had favored or forwarded the sultan's schemes were seize 1
and put to death, and Selim was compelled to issue u decree suppressing the new insti-
tutions. But tlu malignant emnity of the mufti and his coadjutors was not thus to IKJ
satisfied, and Selim saw himself forced to resign the throne (1807) to his cousin, Ifustaplui
IV. (1807-8).

On the news of this insurrection being conveyed to Mustapha-Bairaktar, the pasha
of Rustchuk, and one of the sultau's chief advisers, this energetic an 1 able soldier
marched upon Constantinople, with a view to reinstate Selim on the throne, but on his
arrival the unfortunate monarch was struiirled, and his body cast at the feet of B-urak-
tar. Se3 BAIRAKTAR. Thus perished Selim, and with him the first attempt at reforma-
tion in Turkey; the effects of which, however, were not wholly lost, for manufactures
had begun to fiorish, thousands of silk and other looms were now in vigorous opera-
tion, a printing press had been established in Scutari, and many other improvements
calculated to foster the prosperity and happiness of his subjects, had been inaugurated;
though these advantages, the natural result of Selim's enlightened patriotism, were
neither understood nor appreciated by the great majority of his ignorant and fanatical
subjects. *

SELIM NO, a manufacturing t. of European Turkey, in eastern Roumelia, at the
southern ba-e of the Balkan mountains, 78 m. n. of Adrianople. Owing to its far inland
position, there is little communication between the town and the coast, and consequent^'
the annual fair held here is of very great importance. Arms, cloth, and attar of roses
are manufactured. Pop. 15,000.

SELINUS, an ancient Greek colony in s.w. Sicily, at the mouth of the Selinus river;
founded in t'.ie 7th c. B.C.; destroyed by the Carthaginians in 409. It was rebuilt, but
never regained its former prosperity. Among its ruins are many portions of ancient

SEL JJXS, or SELJFK-TURKS, were an offshoot of the Hoei-He or IIoei-Hu, a collec-
tion of tribes of Turkish race, who, being driven south-westward from the Chinese wall,
had, in 744, A.D., overwhelmed that Turkish empire of Kiptchak which had given so
much annoyance to the Sassanidse (q.v.) during their reign in Persia. The Hoei-Hu
rapidly extended their power from the Caspian sea as far as the Hoang-ho, and, at the
time when the Seljuks separated themselves from them, were ruled by a chief named
Bigu Khan. Seljuk, from whom the Seljuks derived their name, was the chief of a
small tribe which had gained possession of Bokhara and the surrounding country. His
sons, attracted by the beauty and fertility of Khorassan, began about 1027. to migrate to
that country, and after some struggles with the Ghiznevide sultans, established them-

Selkirk. OQA


selves in northern Khorassan, with TOGRCL BEG, the eldest grandson of Seljuk, as their
chief, and Nishapur as their capital. Togrul, leaving his brother in Khorassan, set out
on his conquering inarch, subdued Balkh and Khaurezin in 1041, Irak-Ajenii in 1043,
subsequently adding to these Kennan and Furs. He then advanced to Bagdad, which
he took in lO.Jo, dethroning the last vizier of ihe Dileinite

(see SAMANI) dynasty, and

being invested by the reigning caliph with the vacant otliee; after which lie completed his
conquest of Persia by the reduction of IraU-Arabi and Mosul about 1061. The Seljuks
were zealous Mohammedans, and Togrul Beg seems to have been a vigorous promoter of
tire faith which he professed, for he built numerous mosques, subsidized pious and
learned men. and treated the caliph his spiritual chief with profound respect. After
his death in 1003, his nephew Alp-Arslan (q. v.) succeeded to supreme power, and
became o:ie of the most renowned mnnarchs of Asia. His sou MELKK SHAH (1073-93),
the most powerful monarch of this dynasty, added, by means of his generals, Arabia,
Asia Minor, Armenia, Syria and Palestine, and Transoxiana to his empire, which now
extended from the Hellespont to the borders of Chinese Tartary ; and even the ruler of
Cashgar ackuowleged his authority. This empire, though extensive and ill-compacted,
was preserved in the highest order anil prosperity by his able minister, the virtuous
Ni/am-ul-Mulk, under whose, firm, just, and wise government the rights of all classes
were maintained, religion promoted, and learning encouraged, till the Persians who had
dreaded the conquest of their country by the Turks as the worst of evils, were forced to
confess that it had proved the greatest of blessings. In 1093 Melek Shah, lentiing an
ear to the misrepresentations of Nizam-Ul-Muik's enemies, deprived him of his oltice;
and the aged minister was soon afterward assassinated by one of the followers of Hussun
Subah, the chief of the assassins (q v.), and the mortal enemy of the good ex-vizier.
Hospitals, caravansaries, bridges, roads, and canals attest the zeal with which the com-
mercial interests of the empire were furthered; while the colleges of Bassora, Ispahan,
and Herat, the law -college of Bagdad, and the observatory (the urst in Asia) of the same
city indicate the care bestowed on the promotion of literature and science. Melek Shah,
under whom the empire of the Seljuks had attained the height of its power and splendor,
laid a sure foundation for its rapid decline by subdividing it into a number of separate
principalities, all professedly suuject to the central state of Iran or Bagdad. The chief
of the^e principalities were: 1. The central state of the Seijuka of Iran, whose ruler was
the vizier of the caliph, and exercised direct authority over northern and western Persia to
the borders of tlij Arabian desert. The chief mouarchs of this branch were Mohammed
Shah, whose gcncirls vrarred with flic crusaders in Palestine, and sultan Sanjar, one of
the most celebrated of the Seljuk princes, great both in success and misfortune. This
branch was annihilated in 1194 by the shah of Khaurezm. 2. TJie Seljuks of Kerman,
who were annihilated in 1191 by the Ghuz Turkomans 3. The Seljuks oflconium, who
ruled over Asia Minor, and whose founder was Soliman, a great-grandson of Seljuk.
This branch endured for 224 years from 1075 to 1299 and during that period 'was
engaged in numerous wars wi f h the Byzantines and with the crusaders, both of whom
learned to dread its power. During its last years it was tributary to the Mongols; and
in 1299 the present Turkish empire rose on the ruins of its power (see OTHMAK). 4.
'ihe Seljuks of Aleppo, who ruled from 1079 till their extinction in 1144. 5. Ilic Seljuks
of Mosul, who were speedily supplanted by attabeg*, or independent srovcrnors. of whom
Zenghi, and his renowned son, Nonreddin (q.v.). were the most celebrated. 6. The S<-1-
jukt of Damascus, an offshoot (1096) from the Aleppo principality, which lasted till 1155,
when it was put an end to by Noureddin. 7. lite Seljuks of Mardein. who onlv appear
in common history as the allies of the Seljuks of Iconium, Mosul, Aleppo and Damas-
cus, against the mighty crusading armies of western Europe. And 8. The Seljuks of
Klmnrezm (Khim), who founded a great empire, including the whole of the country
within the Jaxartcs, the Bolor mountains, the Indus, the sea of Oman, and the Persian
gulf; but the last monarch. Allah-ed-din Mohammed Shah, bavins wantonly put to death
some Mongol merchants who were pursuing their avocations within his dominions, was
doomed to destruction by the terrible Genghis Khan (q.v.). who crossed the Sir-Darm,
conquered Transoxiana, defeated Mohammed's armies, and drove the shah himself to
take refuge in an island of the Caspian, where he died. The advance of the Mongols
was gallantly opposed by Mohammed's celebrated son, Jelal-ed-din. who twice defeated
them; but being totally routed (1221), on the w. bank of the Indus, by Gen<rh!s him self,
he plunged his horse into the Indus, and safely reached the opposite bank, none of his
enemies daring to follow him. The whole oif this extensive empire now fell under
Mongol domination.


SELK1EK. a Scottish royal burgh, capital of the county of the same name, on an
eminence overlooking Ettrick water and the famous field of Philiphaugh. where gen.
David Leslie, defeated Montrose and crushed the cause of king Charles in Scotland, 40

Online LibraryFrancis LieberLibrary of universal knowledge. A reprint of the last (1880) Edinburgh and London edition of Chambers' encyclopaedia, with copious additions by American editors (Volume 13) → online text (page 76 of 203)