The Seleucidae had severe struggles with the Ptolemies for the possession of the southern part of Syria.
Till the 15th century the Jews usually followed the era of the Seleucidae or of Contracts.
The era of the Seleucidae dates from the time of the occupation of Babylon by Seleucus Nicator, 311 years before Christ, in the year of Rome 44 2, and twelve years after the death of Alexander the Great.
It was adopted not only in the monarchy of the Seleucidae but in general in all the Greek countries bordering on the Levant, was followed by the Jews till the 15th century, and is said to be used by some Arabians even at the present day.
According to the computation most generally followed, the year 312 of the era of the Seleucidae began on the ist of September in the Julian year preceding the first of our era.
Particular states also not unfrequently introduced fixed eras, which obtained a more or less extensive currency, as the era of the first Olympiad (776 B.C.), of the foundation of Rome (753 B.C.), and of the Seleucidae at Antioch (312 B.C.), which is followed by the Jewish author of the first book of Maccabees.
Beginning of the era of the Seleucidae (reckoned from the time when Seleucus Nicator, Alexander's former heavy cavalry officer, finally established himself in the satrapy of Baby lonia.
After the conquests of Alexander the Great Sogdiana formed part of the empire of the Seleucidae, and shared the fortunes of the rather better-known Bactria.
Linguistic facts and certain points in the contents seem to him to show that our Esther is a work of the age of the Seleucidae; more precisely he thinks of the time of the revolt of Molon under Antiochus III.
About 250 B.C. Diodotus (Theodotus), governor of Bactria under the Seleucidae, declared his independence, and commenced the history of the Greco-Bactrian dynasties, which succumbed to Parthian and nomadic movements about 126 B.C. After this came a Buddhist era which has left its traces in the gigantic sculptures at Bamian and the rock-cut topes of Haibak.