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Demetrius I Soter

Coin of the Seleucid king Demetrius I Soter.
Demetrius I Soter
Demetrius I Soter ('the savior'): name of a Seleucid king, ruled from 161 to 150.

Successor of: Antiochus V Eupator


Main deeds:
  • 188: Peace of Apamea; Antiochus III the Great is forced to pay tribute to Rome, and to give his son Antiochus IV Epiphanes as hostage
  • 187: Seleucus IV Philopator succeeds Antiochus III
  • 178: Antiochus III is replaced as hostage by Seleucus' son Demetrius
  • 175: When Seleucus is killed, Antiochus IV Epiphanes succeeds; Demetrius is left in Rome
  • November/December 164: death of Antiochus IV, who is succeeded by his son Antiochus V Eupator; Lysias acts as regent; in Media, revolt of Timarchus of Miletus
  • 162: A Roman ambassador, Gnaeus Octavius, demands that the Seleucid navy is disbanded because its existence is a violation of the terms of the Peace of Apamea; the Antiochene mob kills Octavius; the Senate states that Antiochus V is responsible; several senators help Demetrius escape (Ptolemy VI Philometor and Polybius of Megalopolis were involved too)
  • after 29 October 162 and before September 161: Antiochus is overthrown and killed by Demetrius; Rome accepts the fait accompli and recognizes Demetrius; Timarchus proclaims himself king and invades Babylonia
  • Operations against the Maccabaean rebels in Judaea
  • 161: Alcimus made high priest in Jerusalem
  • 27 March 160: Judas the Maccabean defeats Nicanor at Adasa
  • April/May 160: Bacchides defeats Judas, who is killed in action; Jonathan succeeds his brother
  • 160: Demetrius overthrows Timarchus and accepts the title Soter, 'savior', from the grateful Babylonians
  • May 159: Death of Alcimus
  • 158: Civil war in Cappadocia; Demetrius supports Orophernes II against Ariarathes V Philopator, who has refused the hand of Antiochus' sister Laodice V (widow of the Macedonian king Perseus); perhaps, king Demetrius married Laodice himself
  • 156: End of the Cappadocian war; Orophernes defeated by Ariarathes, who is supported by Attalus II Philadelphus of Pergamon
  • Summer 152: Revolt of Alexander I Balas, who is supported by Rome, the Seleucid princess Laodice VI, Attalus II, Ariarathes V of Cappadocia, and the Egyptian king Ptolemy VI Philometor
  • Jonathan also supports Alexander and is recognized as high priest (recognition of the Hasmonaeans); Judaean troops play a role in this civil war; after this, several quiet years in Judaea
  • June 150: Demetrius is defeated near Antioch
  • Succeeded by: Alexander I Balas


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