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Demetrius Poliorcetes

Demetrius Poliorcetes (337-283): king of ancient Macedonia, ruled 294-288. His nickname means "besieger of cities".


Main deeds

  • Demetrius I Poliorcetes
    Demetrius I Poliorcetes
    337/336: Birth
  • 320: Marries Phila
  • 314: Demetrius' father Antigonus has become too powerful: outbreak of the Third Diadoch War (Cassander, Ptolemy Soter, and Lysimachus against Antigonus and Demetrius); Antigonus declares the Freedom of Greece (text)
  • 313: Antigonus captures Tyre; the Peloponnese sides with Antigonus
  • 312: Ptolemy defeats Demetrius near Gaza
  • 311: Seleucus liberates Babylon (May; text; more); Demetrius fights against the Nabataeans (summer); the Peace of the Dynasts makes an end to the Third Diadoch War, and leaves Antigonus breathing space to declare the Babylonian War (December)
  • 310: Seleucus defeats Demetrius (spring; text); Antigonus in Babylonia (autumn)
  • 309: Seleucus decisively beats Antigonus
  • 307: Outbreak of the Fourth Diadoch War (Ptolemy and Cassander against Antigonus and Demetrius); Demetrius liberates Athens and expels its ruler, Demetrius of Phaleron; the liberator is recognized as god (text)
  • 306: Demetrius defeats Ptolemy in the naval battle of Salamis (Cyprus); Antigonus and Demetrius accept the royal title (text)
  • 305-304: Demetrius is unable to capture Rhodes (text); he earns the nickname Poliorcetes, "besieger of cities"
  • 303: Returns to Greece, attacks Cassander in Thessaly; foundation of Halos (text)
  • Cassander and Ptolemy open negotiations, which Antigonus declines
  • Demetrius Poliorcetes
    Demetrius Poliorcetes
    302: Lysimachus invades Asia Minor; he receives support from Cassander and Seleucus
  • 301: Battle of Ipsus; death of Antigonus. Asia Minor is for Lysimachus; Asia for Seleucus; Ptolemy seizes Coele Syria; Demetrius keeps the islands.
  • Demetrius allies himself to Seleucus (who marries to Stratonice)
  • 295/294: Demetrius reconquers Athens
  • 294: Becomes king of Macedonia (text), loses distant ports; builds a new capital, Demetrias
  • Conflict with Pyrrhus of Epirus; his wife Lanassa leaves him and marries to Demetrius, who obtains Corcyra
  • 288: Joint attack on Macedonia by Lysimachus and Pyrrhus; Demetrius abandons Europe (leaving his son Antigonus II Gonatas) and attacks Lysimachus' Asian possessions; he marches to the east and surrenders to Seleucus; his wife Phila commits suicide
  • 283: Drinks himself to death
Demetrius I Poliorcetes
Demetrius I Poliorcetes
Succeeded by: Antigonus II Gonatas (only in Greece)


  • C. Wehrli, Antigone et Démétrios (1968)
  • P.V. Wheatley, "The Lifespan of Demetrius Poliorcetes" in: Historia 46 (1997), 19-27
  • P.V. Wheatley, "The Antigonid Campaign in Cyprus, 306 B.C." in: Ancient Society 31 (2001) 133-56

This page was created in 2006; last modified on 29 April 2019.

This page is a fact file. It will be expanded to a full-fledged article.