Demetrius I Poliorcetes


Demetrius I Poliorcetes
born 336 BC, Macedonia
died 283, Cilicia

King of Macedonia (294–288).

As a young general he fought to rebuild the empire of his father, Antigonus I Monophthalmus. Under his father's command, he initially failed in his assaults on Egypt and Nabataea, but he later freed Athens from Macedonia (307) and defeated Ptolemy I Soter (306), restoring some of his father's domain. He fought alongside his father at the Battle of Ipsus (301), where Antigonus was killed, and later retook Athens (294). He became king of Macedonia as Demetrius I Poliorcetes ("the Besieger") after killing Alexander V (r. 297–294). Driven out in 288, he surrendered to Seleucus I Nicator in 285.

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▪ king of Macedonia

born 336 BC, Macedonia
died 283, Cilicia [now in Turkey]

      king of Macedonia from 294 to 288 BC.

      Demetrius was the son of Alexander the Great's general Antigonus I Monophthalmus, in whose campaigns he commanded with distinction and whose empire, based in Asia, he attempted to rebuild. Unsuccessful against Ptolemy I Soter, satrap of Egypt, and against the Nabataeans, he liberated Athens from the Macedonian Cassander in 307 BC and in 306 decisively defeated Ptolemy at Salamis (Cyprus). From his unsuccessful siege of Rhodes (305) he won the title Poliorcetes (“the Besieger”). Recalled by his father from Greece, he fought in the Battle of Ipsus, in which his father was killed and lost much of his empire (301). Demetrius kept a foothold in Greece and in 294 reoccupied Athens and established himself as king of Macedonia, but in 288 he was driven out by his rivals Lysimachus and Pyrrhus. He finally surrendered to Seleucus I Nicator in Cilicia (285) and died there (283). He is the subject of one of Plutarch's Lives.

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Universalium. 2010.

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