In ancient Babylon, as in many other places, years were designated by counting the number of years that the current monarch had been reigning. In the breakup of the empire of Alexander the Great following his death, the rule of Babylon passed into the hands of one of his companions, Seleucus (later styled Seleucus I Nicator). After the assassination of Seleucus I Nicator in 281 bce his successors continued to use the count that began at Seleucus’ accession (spring of 311 bce), thus establishing an era. It is abbreviated se.
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Last revised: 1 September 2013.