Demetrios I

Founded 31-Dec-2003
Last update 24-May-2007

Genealogy Biography References

Everything he had hoped for turned out wrong!
It doesn’t matter. He had made the effort,
fought as much as he could.
And in his bleak disillusion
there’s one thing only
that still fills him with pride: how even in failure
he shows the world his same indomitable courage.

Constantine P. Cavafy, Of Dimitrios Sotir (162 - 150 B.C.)
(Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard)


Ruler: Demetrios I Soter (“Demetrios the Saviour”), Seleukid King, born c. 186 BC, reigned 162 - 150 BC, died 150 BC (killed in battle against Alexander Balas)
Father: Seleukos IV Philopator, Seleukid King, born c. 216/5 BC1 (son of Antiochos III the Great, Seleukid King, and Laodike III, Princess of Pontus), joint King with his father since 192 BC,2 reigned 187 - 175 BC, died September 175 BC (supposedly murdered by his minister Heliodoros)
Mother: Laodike IV, Seleukid Queen, parentage unknown, died 182 BC,3 wife first of Seleukos IV and second of his brother Antiochos IV4 (Seleukid King, reigned 175 - 164 BC)
Siblings: (1) Antiochos, Seleukid King (nominal king only), adopted son of his uncle Antiochos IV after his father’s death, born c. 180 BC, reigned 175 - 170 BC as joint King with his stepfather Antiochos IV, died 170 BC5
  (2) Laodike (see Demetrios’ wife)
Wife: Laodike (his sister), married first to Perseus (King of Makedon, reigned 179 - 167 BC) sometime between 179 and 177 BC and second to her brother Demetrios I in 161/0 BC6, died 150/149 BC (killed by Ammonios, the chief minister of Alexander Balas)7
Children: (1) Demetrios II Nikator, Seleukid King, born c. 161 BC, 1st reign 145 - 138 BC (captured by the Parthians), 2nd reign 129 - 126/5 BC, died 126/5 BC (murdered at Tyre)
  (3) Antiochos VII Euergetes, Seleukid King, born c. 159 BC, reigned 138 - 129 BC, died 129 BC (slain in battle with the Parthians)
  (3) Antigonos, died 150/149 BC (killed by Ammonios, the chief minister of Alexander Balas)8


As a small child, Demetrios was sent to Rome in c. 178 BC as a hostage under the terms of the Peace of Apamea9, to replace his uncle Antiochos.10 His father Seleukos IV Philopator was assassinated in 175 BC and before too long Demetrios’ uncle became king as Antiochos IV Theos Epiphanes Nikephoros.11 However, Antiochos IV suddenly died on the expedition to the eastern provinces in 164 BC. His nine-year old son Antiochos (born c. 173 BC) was therefore proclaimed king as Antiochos V Eupator. The power during his reign was in the hands of Lysias, the viceroy and guardian of Antiochos V, who had been appointed by Antiochos IV before he had set off on his eastern expedition in 165 BC. Demetrios twice applied with the Roman Senate for leave to return to Syria after the death of Antiochos IV, but he was refused.12 The Senate preferred a child on the Seleukid throne to a vigourous grown-up man.

Demetrios enjoyed considerable freedom in his Italian life, with a house in the country from which he was able to go hunting. This freedom he put to use in organising his escape from Italy. Position of the regent Lysias was precarious and this was an argument for Demetrios’ final decision. One of the probable reasons why Lysias was so unpopular was that he had acquiesced of the killing of the royal war elephants and of the burning of royal naval ships ordered by a Roman envoy Gnaeus Octavius (Octavius was then assassinated by a man named Leptines in a gymnasium at Laodikea).13 Demetrios landed at Tripolis in Syria in 162/1 BC and he received an enthusiastic public welcome as the legitimate heir to the throne. Resistance quickly collapsed and his cousin Antiochos V and the regent Lysias were killed.14

The governor of Media, Timarchos,15 refused to accept Demetrios and he proclaimed himself king of Media and Babylonia. Timarchos formed an alliance with Artaxias, king of Armenia, and he obtained a partial recognition by Rome as king, supposedly by bribing the Senate. Demetrios defeated and executed him in 160 BC. He was welcomed by the Babylonians, who awarded him the epithet Soter (the Saviour).16

The Roman Senate sent envoys headed by Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus to monitor and report on the situation after Demetrios’ escape.17 Demetrios was very concerned about Rome’s reaction and he exerted a great effort to show his trustworthiness. And really, his regime was reported on favourably by Tiberius. Demetrios also sent Leptines (the murderer of Gnaeus Octavius) and the grammarian and public lecturer Isokrates (who was held responsible to have inspired him) to Rome, along with a honorific gold gift.18 The reaction of the Senate was cold, but not hostile. The Senate accepted the gift, but released the murderer. The motive was to hold charges in reserve for a more profitable occasion. Demetrios was recognized as king by the Senate (conditional on his satisfactory conduct) in 160 BC.19

Demetrios presumably got married to his sister Laodike. Laodike was married first to Perseus, King of Makedon, sometime between 179 and 177 BC. After the collapse of the Makedon Kingdom20 she probably returned to Syria. Demetrios unsuccessfully attempted to marry her off to his cousin Ariarathes V, King of Cappadocia,21 in 161/0 BC. Ariarathes turned down the offer of Laodike’s hand for at least two reasons. First, Demetrios had escaped from captivity in Rome and seized his kingdom without the approval of the Roman Senate. He was not recognized as king by the Romans until late in 160 BC. Second, Laodike had formerly been the wife of Perseus, the enemy of the Romans. For the same reasons it seems likely that Laodike was not welcome as a bride in the courts of other eastern kings. Since Demetrios couldn’t marry her off, and since he himself was in need of a wife and was not likely to get one from any other source because of his poor relationship with Rome, he presumably married his sister.22 From the political point of view, Demetrios’ wedding and the prospect of heirs were signs of the renewed order and legitimacy. Moreover, by marrying his sister, Demetrios would have increased the image of stability since such a queen would not have loyalties to other royal houses which might lead to difficulties.23

Demetrios’ foreign policy was not successful. Although the Ariarathid house of Cappadocia had been closely allied with the Seleukids since the end of the third century BC and does not seem to have posed a threat to Demetrius’ rule in Syria and the East, Demetrios expelled Ariarathes V into exile and replaced him with his reputed brother Orophernes in 158 BC.24 Demetrios probably had taken Ariarathes’ insult to his sister and himself very seriously. Nevertheless, Orophernes was expelled shortly afterward (in c. 157/6 BC) and Ariarthes V restored his rule.25 Orophernes fled to Antioch and – having accused Demetrios of lukewarm support – he raised the Antioch mob against Demetrios. The uprising was put down, but it probably did not make Demetrios any more popular.26

Demetrios also attempted to take over Cyprus from the Ptolemies, when the Ptolemaic governor Archias plotted rebellion in c. 154 BC. Archias was exposed before he could put the plot into effect and Ptolemaic enmity was aroused.27

Internally Demetrios inherited the problem of the Jewish rebellion which had been partly solved by the regent Lysias. There was a strong tension between the traditionalists and the Hellenisers within the Jewish community during the rule of Antiochos IV. Angered by Antiochos IV’s Hellenist reforms, the priest Mattathias and his sons John, Simon, Judas, Eleazar and Jonathan started a rebellion against the Seleukid rule. Judas Maccabaeus, the eldest Mattathias’ son, became the leader of anti-reform campaign in c. 167 BC after his father’s death. Judas was defeated by the regent Lysias in 163 BC, but Lysias had to retire because of the crisis caused by the return of Antiochos IV’s army from the east. Judas and Lysias thus made peace based on Seleukid toleration of the Jewish religion.28

Demetrios, persuaded by Judas’ enemies, sent the general Bakchides to Jerusalem to install a new High Priest, Alkimos.29 Having done so, he retired, but Alkimos provoked opposition.30 Demetrios sent another general, Nikanor, with an army to suppress the new rebellion, but Nikanor was defeated at Kapharsalama and defeated and killed by Judas at Beth-horon.31 Judas sent envoys to establish diplomatic contact with Rome. A mutual defense pact was concluded32 but Demetrios ignored it. Bakchides was sent once more with a major army, which defeated and killed Judas and his remaining small force at Berseth, in 161/0 BC.33 After his victory, Bakchides fortified and garrisoned strategic towns throughout Judea and he also took a number of Jewish hostages. The High Priest Alkimos died of a stroke a year later in 159 BC.

The number of Demetrios’ foreign enemies gradually increased. The Milesian family of Timarchos, led by a former Seleukid official Herakleides34, found a man called Balas (born c. 170 BC) whom they claimed to be a long-lost son of Antiochos IV. They gave him the name Alexander, and his sister Laodike35. They also gained the sponsorship of Eumenes II of Pergamon36 in 159 BC. In 153 BC, Alexander and Laodike were taken to Rome by Herakleides.37 The Roman Senate recognised them as children of Antiochos IV38 so that Alexander’s claim to the throne was partly legitimized.

Alexander had the Rome’s verbal approval and he received a real backing from Attalos II39 (the successor of Eumenes II), Ptolemy VI40 (angered by Demetrios’ attempt on Cyprus) and Ariarathes V (the restored king of Cappadocia).41 With this support, Alexander landed at Ptolemais-Ake42 and took control of the city in 153/2 BC.43 There he was given the daughter of Ptolemy VI, Kleopatra Thea,44 as his wife. Meanwhile, Demetrios was becoming less and less popular in Syria and he lived in a fort in the countryside as he had done in Italy.45

Both Demetrios and Alexander tried to get support from Jonathan, the brother of Judas Maccabaeus and the Jewish guerilla commander, who had established an alternative country-based government against the Hellenizing government in Jerusalem. Demetrios offered him the military command in Judea with the right to levy troops.46 Alexander countered with the post of High Priest.47 Demetrios thereupon offered him further extensive privileges but Jonathan took Alexander’s side in October 152 BC.48

Alexander was able, with financial and other support from Ptolemy VI and Attalos II, to gather a sufficient army. Nevertheless, it took another two years to bring Demetrios to battle. Demetrios sent two of his sons, Demetrios and Antiochos, away into safety49 and he met Alexander in battle in 150 BC. Alexander won and Demetrios died fighting bravely to the end.50 Alexander Balas became king as Alexander I Theopatoros Euergetes (reigned 150 - 145 BC). Demetrios’ sister and wife Laodike and his eldest son Antigonos were killed by Ammonios, Alexander’s chief minister.51


1 Lucherini, The Children of Antiochos III, p. 6

2 Grainger, A Seleukid Prosopography and Gazetteer, p. 64

3 Lucherini, The Children of Antiochos III, p. 5 (he refers to Giuseppe Del Monte, Testi dalla Babilonia Ellenistica. Volume I: Testi Cronografici. Pisa - Roma, 1997)

4 This Laodike has been identified with the daughter of Antiochos III and the wife of his eldest son Antiochos, which would thus make her the wife of three brothers successively, but this is not now generally accepted. (Grainger, A Seleukid Prosopography and Gazetteer, p. 50 - Laodike (15))

5 Reputedly killed by Andronikos, an official of Antiochos IV. (Grainger, A Seleukid Prosopography and Gazetteer, pp. 37 and 77)

6 See Hoover, A Dedication to Aphrodite Epekoos for Demetrius I Soter and his Family.

7 Livy, Periochae, 50.4: In Syria, which had until then had a king (Alexander I) who was equal to that of Macedonia in ancestry but to Prusias (Prusias II, king of Bithynia) in laziness and slowness, and who took his ease in kitchens and brothels, Hammonius (Ammonios) ruled, and he murdered all friends of the king (Demetrios I), and queen Laodice, and Demetrius’ son Antigonus.

See also Grainger, A Seleukid Prosopography and Gazetteer, p. 49 - Laodike (12), and p. 76 - Ammonios.

8 The only son of Demetrios I who fell into the hands of Alexander I Balas, the others having been evacuated in time before the father’s final defeat (see footnotes 7 and 49). Grainger, A Seleukid Prosopography and Gazetteer, p. 8, argues that Antigonos was Demetrios’ eldest son. According to Passehl, personal communication, certainly Demetrios II was older than Antiochos VII, but Greco-Makedonian nomenclature rules would suggest that Antigonos should be the youngest; see also the fact that Demetrios kept Antigonos with him while his other boys (surely because the chief heirs) were sent off for safety to west Anatolia when the great coalition war against Demetrios was begun.

9 Peace of Apamea was signed between Antiochos III the Great and Rome in 188 BC after Antiochos’ defeat in the Battle of Magnesia in 190 BC. (Grainger, A Seleukid Prosopography and Gazetteer, p. 19)

10 Appian, Roman History, 8.45: Afterward, on the death of Antiochus the Great (Antiochos III), his son Seleucus (Seleukos IV) succeeded him, and gave his son Demetrius (Demetrios I) as a hostage to the Romans in place of his brother Antiochus (Antiochos IV).

11 Seleukos IV was supposedly assassinated by his minister Heliodoros. Heliodoros then attempted unsuccessfully to usurp the throne. (Grainger, A Seleukid Prosopography and Gazetteer, pp. 64 and 91)

Appian, Roman History, 8.45: When the latter (Antiochos IV) arrived in Athens on his way home, Seleucus (Seleukos IV) was assassinated as a result of a certain Heliodorus, one of the court officials; but when Heliodorus sought to possess himself of the government he was driven out by Eumenes (Eumenes II) and Attalus (Attalos II), who installed Antiochus (Antiochos IV) therein in order to secure his good-will; for, by reason of certain bickerings, they also had already grown suspicious of the Romans. Thus Antiochus, son of Antiochus the Great, ascended the throne of Syria.

12 Polybios, Histories, 31.12: But now, being in the very prime of youthful manhood, he (Demetrios I) entered the Senate and made a speech: demanding that the Romans should restore him to his kingdom, which belonged to him by a far better right than to the children of Antiochus (Antiochos IV). He entered at great length upon arguments to the same effect, affirming that Rome was his country and the nurse of his youth; that the sons of the Senators were all to him as brothers, and the Senators as fathers, because he had come to Rome a child, and was then twenty-three years old. All who heard him were disposed in their hearts to take his part: the Senate however, as a body voted to detain Demetrius, and to assist in securing the crown for the boy (Antiochos V) left by the late king. Their motive in thus acting was, it seems to me, a mistrust inspired by the vigorous time of life to which Demetrius had attained, and an opinion that the youth and weakness of the boy who had succeeded to the kingdom were more to their interest.

Polybios, Histories, 31.19: Polybius advised him (Demetrios I) “not to stumble twice on the same stone,” but to depend upon himself and venture something worthy of a king; and he pointed out to him that the present state of affairs offered him many opportunities. Demetrius understood the hint, but said nothing at the time; but a short while afterwards consulted Apollonius one of his intimate friends, on the same subject. This man, being simple minded and very young, advised him to make another trial of the Senate. “He was convinced,” he said, “that, since it had deprived him of his kingdom without any just excuse, it would at least release him from his position of hostage; for it was absurd that, when the boy Antiochus (Antiochos V) had succeeded to the kingdom in Syria, Demetrius should be a hostage for him.” Persuaded by these arguments he once more obtained a hearing of the Senate, and claimed to be relieved of his obligations as a hostage, since they had decided to secure the kingdom to Antiochus. But, though he pleaded his cause with many arguments, the Senate remained fixed in the same resolve as before. And that was only what was to be expected. For they had not, on the former occasion, adjudged the continuance of the kingdom to the child on the ground that the claim of Demetrius was not just, but because it was advantageous to Rome that it should be so; and as the circumstances remained precisely the same, it was only natural that the policy of the Senate should remain unchanged also.

13 Polybios, Histories, 31.12: For they (Roman Senate) appointed Gnaeus Octavius, Spurius Lucretius, and Lucius Aurelius as commissioners to arrange the affairs of the kingdom in accordance with the will of the Senate, on the ground that no one would resist their injunctions, the king (Antiochos V) being a mere child, and the nobles being quite satisfied at the government not being given to Demetrius (Demetrios I), for that was what they had been most expecting. Gnaeus and his colleagues therefore started with instructions, first of all to burn the decked ships, next to hamstring the elephants, and generally to weaken the forces of the kingdom.

Appian, Roman History, 8.46: Learning (Roman Senate) that there were many elephants in Syria and more ships than had been allowed to Antiochus (Antiochos III) in the treaty (Peace of Apamea), they sent ambassadors thither, to kill the elephants and burn the ships. It was a pitiful sight, the killing of these gentle and rare beasts and the burning of the ships, and a certain Leptines of Laodicea was so exasperated by the sight that he stabbed Gnaeus Octavius, the chief of the embassy, while he was anointing himself in the gymnasium, and Lysias buried him.

Polybios, Histories, 31.20: He (Demetrios I) promptly called Diodorus, who had recently arrived from Syria, to his aid, and confided his secret purpose to him. Diodorus had had the charge of Demetrius as a child, and was a man of considerable adroitness, who had besides made a careful inspection of the state of affairs in Syria. He now pointed out to Demetrius that “The confusion caused by the murder of Octavius, –the people mistrusting Lysias, and Lysias mistrusting the people, while the Senate was convinced that the lawless murder of their envoy really originated with the king’s friends,– presented a most excellent opportunity for his appearing on the scene: for the people there would promptly transfer the crown to him, even though he were to arrive attended by but one slave; while the Senate would not venture to give any further assistance or support to Lysias after such an abominable crime. Finally, it was quite possible for them to leave Rome undetected, without any one having any idea of his intention.”

14 Appian, Roman History, 8.47: As the Syrians received him (Demetrios I) gladly, he ascended to the throne after having put Lysias to death and the boy (Antiochos V) with him.

1 Maccabees, 7.1-4: In the one hundred and fifty-first year (year 151 of the Seleukid Era, i.e. 162/1 BC) Demetrius (Demetrios I) the son of Seleucus (Seleukos IV) set forth from Rome, sailed with a few men to a city by the sea, and there began to reign. As he was entering the royal palace of his fathers, the army seized Antiochus (Antiochos V) and Lysias to bring them to him. But when this act became known to him, he said, “Do not let me see their faces!” So the army killed them, and Demetrius took his seat upon the throne of his kingdom.

2 Maccabees, 14.1-2: Three years later, word came to Judas (Judas Maccabaeus) and his men that Demetrius (Demetrios I), the son of Seleucus (Seleukos IV), had sailed into the harbor of Tripolis with a strong army and a fleet, and had taken possession of the country, having made away with Antiochus (Antiochos V) and his guardian Lysias.

Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 12.389-390: About the same time Demetrius (Demetrios I), the son of Seleucus (Seleukos IV), fled away from Rome, and took Tripoli, a city of Syria, and set the diadem on his own head. He also gathered certain mercenary soldiers together, and entered into his kingdom, and was joyfully received by all, who delivered themselves up to him. And when they had taken Antiochus the king (Antiochos V), and Lysias, they brought them to him alive; both which were immediately put to death by the command of Demetrius, when Antiochus had reigned two years, as we have already elsewhere related.

Justin, Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus, 34.3: Antiochus (Antiochos IV), on returning to his kingdom, died, leaving a son quite a boy (Antiochos V). Guardians being assigned him by the people, his uncle Demetrius (Demetrios I was not the uncle of Antiochos V but his cousin), who was a hostage at Rome, and who had heard of the death of his brother, went to the senate, and said that “he had come to Rome as a hostage while his brother was alive, but that now he was dead, he did not know for whom he was a hostage. It was therefore reasonable,” he added, “that he should be released to claim the throne, which, as he had conceded it to his elder brother by the law of nations, now of right belonged to himself, as he was superior to the orphan in age.” But finding that he was not released by the senate (their private opinion being that the throne would be better in the hands of the young prince than in his), he left the city on pretence of going to hunt, and secretly took ship at Ostia (a port city located at the mouth of the Tiber River), with such as attended him in his flight. On arriving in Syria, he was favourably received by the whole people, and the orphan being put to death, the throne was resigned to him by the guardians.

Eusebius, Chronicle, pp. 253-255: While Antiochus Epiphanes (Antiochos IV) was still alive, his son Antiochus called Eupator was made king (Antiochos V), when he was only twelve years old, after which his father lived for a further one year and six months. Then Demetrius (Demetrios I), who had been given to the Romans by his father Seleucus (Seleukos IV) as a hostage, escaped from Rome to Phoenicia, and came to the city of Tripolis. Demetrius killed the young Antiochus along with his guardian Lysias, and made himself king in the fourth year of the 154th Olympiad (161/0 BC); he was called Soter, and reigned for 12 years, until the fourth year of the 157th Olympiad (149/8 BC).

Porphyry, Chronika, 15: This Demetrios (Demetrios I), who had been given as a hostage to Rome by his father, Seleukos (Seleukos IV), escaping to Phoenician Tripolis arrived in * days. Coming against them, he killed both Lysias the tutor of the boy Antiochos (Antiochos V) and this Antiochos, unexpectedly destroying such great power in a few days.

15 Timarchus was appointed governor of Media before 162/1 BC either by the regent Lysias or by Antiochos IV.

Appian, Roman History, 8.45: He (Antiochos IV) appointed Timarchus a satrap of Babylon and Heraclides as treasurer, two brothers, both of whom had been his favourites.

16 Appian, Roman History, 8.47: He (Demetrios I) removed Heraclides from office and killed Timarchus, who rebelled and who had administered the government of Babylon badly in other respects. For this he received the surname Soter, which was first bestowed upon him by the Babylonians.

17 Polybios, Histories, 31.23: The Senate gave up all idea of pursuit: both because they imagined that he (Demetrios I) had got a long start on the voyage (for the wind was in his favour), and because they foresaw that, though they might wish to hinder him, they would be unable to do so. But some few days afterwards they appointed Tiberius Gracchus, Lucius Lentulus, and Servilius Glaucia as commissioners: first to inspect the state of Greece; and, next, to cross to Asia and watch the result of Demetrius’s attempt, and examine the policy adopted by the other kings, and arbitrate on their controversies with the Gauls.

18 Polybios, Histories, 32.4: When Menochares arrived in Antioch to visit Demetrius (Demetrios I), and informed the king of the conversation he had had with the commission under Tiberius Gracchus in Cappadocia, the king, thinking it a matter of the most urgent necessity to get these men on his side as much as he could, devoted himself, to the exclusion of every other business, to sending messages to them, first to Pamphylia, and then to Rhodes, undertaking to do everything the Romans wished; till at last he extracted their acknowledgment of him as king. The fact was that Tiberius was very favourably disposed to him; and, accordingly, materially contributed to the success of his attempt, and to his acquisition of the royal power. Demetrius took advantage of this to send envoys to Rome, taking with them a complimentary crown, the murderer of Gnaeus Octavius, and with them Isocrates the critic.

19 Polybios, Histories, 32.6: The ambassadors with Menochares arrived in Rome from Demetrius (Demetrios I), bringing the present of ten thousand gold pieces, as well as the man who had assassinated Gnaeus Octavius. The Senate was for a long time doubtful what to do about these matters. Finally they received the ambassadors and accepted the present, but declined to receive the men who were thus brought prisoners. Yet Demetrius had sent not only Leptines, the actual assassin of Octavius, but Isocrates as well. The latter was a grammarian and public lecturer; but being by nature garrulous, boastful, and conceited, he gave offence even to the Greeks, Alcaeus and his friends being accustomed to direct their wit against him and hold him up to ridicule in their scholastic discussions. When he arrived in Syria, he displayed contempt for the people of the country; and not content with lecturing on his own subjects, he took to speaking on politics, and maintained that “Gnaeus Octavius had been rightly served: and that the other ambassadors ought to be put to death also, that there might be no one left to report the matter to the Romans; and so they might be taught to give up sending haughty injunctions and exercising unlimited power.” By such random talk he got into this trouble.

Polybios, Histories, 32.7: For the Senate, from the idea, I believe, that, if it received and punished the guilty men, the populace would consider that full satisfaction had been taken for the murder, refused almost outright to receive them; and thus kept the charge in reserve, that they might have the power of using the accusation whenever they chose. They therefore confined their answer to Demetrius to these words: “He shall find all favour at our hands, if he satisfy the Senate in accordance with the obedience which he owed to it before.”

Appian, Roman History, 8.47: When he (Demetrios I) was firmly established in the kingdom he sent a crown valued at 10,000 pieces of gold to the Romans as the gift of their former hostage, and also delivered up Leptines, the murderer of Octavius. They accepted the crown, but not Leptines, because they intended to hold the Syrians responsible for that crime.

20 After Perseus’ defeat in the Battle of Pydna in 168 BC, Makedon was divided into four republics under Roman domination in 167 BC.

21 Ariarathes V Eusebes Philopator, King of Cappadocia, reigned 163 - 130 BC (son of Ariarathes IV Eusebes, King of Cappadocia).

22 There exists a dedication to Aphrodite Epikoos for Demetrios I and his family: “For the well-being of King Demetrios and Queen Laodike and their children, Apollophanes the son of Apollophanes, the priest [dedicated] the altar to Aphrodite Epekoos”. It is sure that the Seleukid king must be none other than Demetrios I because Demetrios II was married to Kleopatra Thea and Rhodogune of Parthia and Demetrios III was childless. See Hoover, A Dedication to Aphrodite Epekoos for Demetrius I Soter and his Family.

23 This paragraph is based on the article Hoover, A Dedication to Aphrodite Epekoos for Demetrius I Soter and his Family.

24 Appian, Roman History, 8.47: Demetrius (Demetrios I) took the government of Cappadocia away from Ariarthes (Ariarathes V) and gave it to Olophernes (Orophernes), who was supposed to be the brother of Ariarthes, receiving 1000 talents therefor.

Justin, Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus, 35.1: Demetrius (Demetrios I), having possessed himself of the throne of Syria, and thinking that peace might be dangerous in the unsettled state of his affairs, resolved to enlarge the borders of his kingdom, and increase his power, by making war upon his neighbours. Accordingly, being incensed with Ariarathes (Ariarathes V), king of Cappadocia, for having disdained to marry his sister (Laodike), he kindly received his brother Orophernes, who had been unjustly deprived of the throne, and who came to him as a suppliant; and, rejoicing that a plausible pretext for war was afforded him, determined to reinstate him in his dominions.

Polybios, Histories, 32.24: King Ariarathes (Ariarathes V) arrived in Rome in the course of the summer (158 BC). And when Sextus Julius Caesar and his colleague had entered on their consulship, the king visited them privately, presenting in his personal appearance a striking picture of the dangers with which he was surrounded. Ambassadors also arrived from Demetrius (Demetrios I), headed by Miltiades, prepared to act in two capacities – to defend the conduct of Demetrius in regard to Ariarathes, and to accuse that king with the utmost bitterness. Orophernes also had sent Timotheus and Diogenes to represent him, conveying a crown for Rome, and charged to renew the friendship and alliance of Cappadocia with the Romans; but, above all, to confront Ariarathes, and both to answer his accusations and bring their own against him. In these private interviews Diogenes and Miltiades and their colleagues made a better show, because they were many to one in the controversy; besides their personal appearance was better than that of Ariarathes, for they were at present on the winning side and he had failed. They had also the advantage of him, in making their statement of the case, that they were entirely unscrupulous, and cared nothing whatever about the truth of their words; and what they said could not be confuted, because there was no one to take the other side. So their lying statements easily prevailed, and they thought everything was going as they wished.

25 Polybios, Histories, 32.25: After reigning for a short time in Cappadocia in utter contempt of the customs of his country, Orophernes introduced the organised debaucheries of Ionia. It has happened to not a few, from the desire for increasing their wealth, to lose their life along with their money. It was from being captivated by such passions that Orophernes, king of Cappadocia, perished and was expelled from his kingdom.

26 Justin, Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus, 35.1: But Orophernes, with extreme ingratitude, having entered into a compact with the people of Antioch, at that time enraged against Antiochus, formed a plot to expel him from his throne by whom he was to have been restored to his own. The conspiracy being discovered, Demetrius spared indeed the life of Orophernes, that Ariarathes might not be freed from the dread of war on the part of his brother, but caused him to be apprehended, and kept a close prisoner at Seleucia. Nor were the people of Antioch so alarmed at this discovery as to desist from their rebellion.

27 Polybios, Histories, 33.5: [Demetrios] offered him (Archias) five hundred talents if he would surrender Cyprus to him, with other similar advantages and honours from himself if he would do him this service. ... Archias, therefore, wishing to betray Cyprus to Demetrius, and being caught in the act and led off to stand his trial, hanged himself with one of the ropes of the awnings in the court. For it is a true proverb that led by their desires “the reckonings of the vain are vain.” This man, for instance, imagining that he was going to get five hundred talents, lost what he had already, and his life into the bargain.

28 The eastern army was led by Philippos who was appointed regent and chief minister by the dying king Antiochos IV in 164 BC. This appeared to threaten the position of the regent Lysias, who had been left in charge of the western part of the empire by Antiochos IV, and who controlled the person of the child king Antiochos V. Philippos was defeated and slain. (Grainger, A Seleukid Prosopography and Gazetteer, pp. 102 and 112-113)

1 Maccabees, 6.55-63: Then Lysias heard that Philip, whom King Antiochus (Antiochos IV) while still living had appointed to bring up Antiochus his son (Antiochos V) to be king, had returned from Persia and Media with the forces that had gone with the king, and that he was trying to seize control of the government. So he quickly gave orders to depart, and said to the king, to the commanders of the forces, and to the men, “We daily grow weaker, our food supply is scant, the place against which we are fighting is strong, and the affairs of the kingdom press urgently upon us. Now then let us come to terms with these men, and make peace with them and with all their nation, and agree to let them live by their laws as they did before; for it was on account of their laws which we abolished that they became angry and did all these things.” The speech pleased the king and the commanders, and he sent to the Jews an offer of peace, and they accepted it. So the king and the commanders gave them their oath. On these conditions the Jews evacuated the stronghold. But when the king entered Mount Zion and saw what a strong fortress the place was, he broke the oath he had sworn and gave orders to tear down the wall all around. Then he departed with haste and returned to Antioch. He found Philip in control of the city, but he fought against him, and took the city by force.

Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 12.360-1: However, Antiochus (Antiochos IV), before he died, called for Philip, who was one of his companions, and made him the guardian of his kingdom; and gave him his diadem, and his garment, and his ring, and charged him to carry them, and deliver them to his son Antiochus (Antiochos V); and desired him to take care of his education, and to preserve the kingdom for him. This Antiochus died in the hundred forty and ninth year (year 149 of the Seleukid Era, i.e. 164/3 BC); but it was Lysias that declared his death to the multitude, and appointed his son Antiochus to be king, (of whom at present he had the care,) and called him Eupator.

Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 12.379-381: And these happened to be the circumstances of such as were besieged in the temple. But then, because Lysias, the general of the army, and Antiochus the king (Antiochos V), were informed that Philip was coming upon them out of Persia, and was endeavoring to get the management of public affairs to himself, they came into these sentiments, to leave the siege, and to make haste to go against Philip; yet did they resolve not to let this be known to the soldiers or to the officers: but the king commanded Lysias to speak openly to the soldiers and the officers, without saying a word about the business of Philip; and to intimate to them that the siege would be very long; that the place was very strong; that they were already in want of provisions; that many affairs of the kingdom wanted regulation; and that it was much better to make a league with the besieged, and to become friends to their whole nation, by permitting them to observe the laws of their fathers, while they broke out into this war only because they were deprived of them, and so to depart home. When Lysias had discoursed thus to them, both the army and the officers were pleased with this resolution.

Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 12.388: But when king Antiochus (Antiochos V) found that Philip had already possessed himself of the government, he made war against him, and subdued him, and took him, and slew him.

291 Maccabees, 7.5-9: Then there came to him (to Demetrios I) all the lawless and ungodly men of Israel; they were led by Alcimus, who wanted to be high priest. And they brought to the king this accusation against the people: “Judas (Judas Maccabaeus) and his brothers have destroyed all your friends, and have driven us out of our land. Now then send a man whom you trust; let him go and see all the ruin which Judas has brought upon us and upon the land of the king, and let him punish them and all who help them.” So the king chose Bacchides, one of the king’s friends, governor of the province Beyond the River; he was a great man in the kingdom and was faithful to the king. And he sent him, and with him the ungodly Alcimus, whom he made high priest; and he commanded him to take vengeance on the sons of Israel.

2 Maccabees, 14.3-11: Now a certain Alcimus, who had formerly been high priest but had wilfully defiled himself in the times of separation, realized that there was no way for him to be safe or to have access again to the holy altar, and went to King Demetrius (Demetrios I) in about the one hundred and fifty-first year (year 151 of the Seleukid Era, i.e. 162/1 BC), presenting to him a crown of gold and a palm, and besides these some of the customary olive branches from the temple. During that day he kept quiet. But he found an opportunity that furthered his mad purpose when he was invited by Demetrius to a meeting of the council and was asked about the disposition and intentions of the Jews. He answered: “Those of the Jews who are called Hasideans, whose leader is Judas Maccabeus, are keeping up war and stirring up sedition, and will not let the kingdom attain tranquillity. Therefore I have laid aside my ancestral glory – I mean the high priesthood – and have now come here, first because I am genuinely concerned for the interests of the king, and second because I have regard also for my fellow citizens. For through the folly of those whom I have mentioned our whole nation is now in no small misfortune. Since you are acquainted, O king, with the details of this matter, deign to take thought for our country and our hard-pressed nation with the gracious kindness which you show to all. For as long as Judas lives, it is impossible for the government to find peace.” When he had said this, the rest of the king’s friends, who were hostile to Judas, quickly inflamed Demetrius still more.

Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 12.392-397: But there were now many of the wicked Jewish runagates that came together to him (to Demetrios I), and with them Alcimus the high priest, who accused the whole nation, and particularly Judas (Judas Maccabaeus) and his brethren; and said that they had slain all his friends, and that those in his kingdom that were of his party, and waited for his return, were by them put to death; that these men had ejected them out of their own country, and caused them to be sojourners in a foreign land; and they desired that he would send some one of his own friends, and know from him what mischief Judas’s party had done. At this Demetrius was very angry, and sent Bacchides, a friend of Antiochus Epiphanes (Antiochos IV), a good man, and one that had been intrusted with all Mesopotamia, and gave him an army, and committed Alcimus the high priest to his care; and gave him charge to slay Judas, and those that were with him. So Bacchides made haste, and went out of Antioch with his army; and when he was come into Judea, he sent to Judas and his brethren, to discourse with them about a league of friendship and peace, for he had a mind to take him by treachery. But Judas did not give credit to him, for he saw that he came with so great an army as men do not bring when they come to make peace, but to make war. However, some of the people acquiesced in what Bacchides caused to be proclaimed; and supposing they should undergo no considerable harm from Alcimus, who was their countryman, they went over to them; and when they had received oaths from both of them, that neither they themselves, nor those of the same sentiments, should come to any harm, they intrusted themselves with them. But Bacchides troubled not himself about the oaths he had taken, but slew threescore of them, although, by not keeping his faith with those that first went over, he deterred all the rest, who had intentions to go over to him, from doing it. But as he was gone out of Jerusalem, and was at the village called Bethzetho, he sent out, and caught many of the deserters, and some of the people also, and slew them all; and enjoined all that lived in the country to submit to Alcimus. So he left him there, with some part of the army, that he might have wherewith to keep the country in obedience and returned to Antioch to king Demetrius.

30 Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 12.398-401: But Alcimus was desirous to have the dominion more firmly assured to him; and understanding that, if he could bring it about that the multitude should be his friends, he should govern with greater security, he spake kind words to them all, and discoursed to each of them after an agreeable and pleasant manner; by which means he quickly had a great body of men and an army about him, although the greater part of them were of the wicked, and the deserters. With these, whom he used as his servants and soldiers, he went all over the country, and slew all that he could find of Judas’s party. But when Judas (Judas Maccabaeus) saw that Alcimus was already become great, and had destroyed many of the good and holy men of the country, he also went all over the country, and destroyed those that were of the other party. But when Alcimus saw that he was not able to oppose Judas, nor was equal to him in strength, he resolved to apply himself to king Demetrius (to Demetrios I) for his assistance; so he came to Antioch, and irritated him against Judas, and accused him, alleging that he had undergone a great many miseries by his means, and that he would do more mischief unless he were prevented, and brought to punishment, which must be done by sending a powerful force against him.

311 Maccabees, 7.26-32, 7.39-44: Then the king (Demetrios I) sent Nicanor, one of his honored princes, who hated and detested Israel, and he commanded him to destroy the people. So Nicanor came to Jerusalem with a large force, and treacherously sent to Judas (Judas Maccabaeus) and his brothers this peaceable message, “Let there be no fighting between me and you; I shall come with a few men to see you face to face in peace.” So he came to Judas, and they greeted one another peaceably. But the enemy were ready to seize Judas. It became known to Judas that Nicanor had come to him with treacherous intent, and he was afraid of him and would not meet him again. When Nicanor learned that his plan had been disclosed, he went out to meet Judas in battle near Caphar-salama. About five hundred men of the army of Nicanor fell, and the rest fled into the city of David. ... Now Nicanor went out from Jerusalem and encamped in Beth-horon, and the Syrian army joined him. And Judas encamped in Adasa with three thousand men. Then Judas prayed and said, “When the messengers from the king spoke blasphemy, thy angel went forth and struck down one hundred and eighty-five thousand of the Assyrians. So also crush this army before us today; let the rest learn that Nicanor has spoken wickedly against the sanctuary, and judge him according to this wickedness.” So the armies met in battle on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar. The army of Nicanor was crushed, and he himself was the first to fall in the battle. When his army saw that Nicanor had fallen, they threw down their arms and fled.

2 Maccabees, 14.12-14: And he (Demetrios I) immediately chose Nicanor, who had been in command of the elephants, appointed him governor of Judea, and sent him off with orders to kill Judas (Judas Maccabaeus) and scatter his men, and to set up Alcimus as high priest of the greatest temple. And the Gentiles throughout Judea, who had fled before Judas, flocked to join Nicanor, thinking that the misfortunes and calamities of the Jews would mean prosperity for themselves.

2 Maccabees, 15.1, 15.25-28: When Nicanor heard that Judas (Judas Maccabaeus) and his men were in the region of Samaria, he made plans to attack them with complete safety on the day of rest. ... Nicanor and his men advanced with trumpets and battle songs; and Judas and his men met the enemy in battle with invocation to God and prayers. So, fighting with their hands and praying to God in their hearts, they laid low no less than thirty-five thousand men, and were greatly gladdened by God’s manifestation. When the action was over and they were returning with joy, they recognized Nicanor, lying dead, in full armor.

Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 12.402-403, 12.409-411: So Demetrius (Demetrios I), being already of opinion that it would be a thing pernicious to his own affairs to overlook Judas (Judas Maccabaeus), now he was becoming so great, sent against him Nicanor, the most kind and most faithful of all his friends; for he it was who fled away with him from the city of Rome. He also gave him as many forces as he thought sufficient for him to conquer Judas withal, and bid him not to spare the nation at all. ... But now for Nicanor, when he was gone out of Jerusalem, and was at a certain village called Bethoron, he there pitched his camp, another army out of Syria having joined him. And Judas pitched his camp at Adasa, another village, which was thirty furlongs distant from Bethoron, having no more than one thousand soldiers. And when he had encouraged them not to be dismayed at the multitude of their enemies, nor to regard how many they were against whom they were going to fight, but to consider who they themselves were, and for what great rewards they hazarded themselves, and to attack the enemy courageously, he led them out to fight, and joining battle with Nicanor, which proved to be a severe one, he overcame the enemy, and slew many of them; and at last Nicanor himself, as he was fighting gloriously, fell: - upon whose fall the army did not stay; but when they had lost their general, they were put to flight, and threw down their arms.

321 Maccabees, 8.1-2, 8.17-32: Now Judas (Judas Maccabaeus) heard of the fame of the Romans, that they were very strong and were well-disposed toward all who made an alliance with them, that they pledged friendship to those who came to them, and that they were very strong. ... So Judas chose Eupolemus the son of John, son of Accos, and Jason the son of Eleazar, and sent them to Rome to establish friendship and alliance, and to free themselves from the yoke; for they saw that the kingdom of the Greeks was completely enslaving Israel. They went to Rome, a very long journey; and they entered the senate chamber and spoke as follows: “Judas, who is also called Maccabeus, and his brothers and the people of the Jews have sent us to you to establish alliance and peace with you, that we may be enrolled as your allies and friends.” The proposal pleased them, and this is a copy of the letter which they wrote in reply, on bronze tablets, and sent to Jerusalem to remain with them there as a memorial of peace and alliance: “May all go well with the Romans and with the nation of the Jews at sea and on land for ever, and may sword and enemy be far from them. If war comes first to Rome or to any of their allies in all their dominion, the nation of the Jews shall act as their allies wholeheartedly, as the occasion may indicate to them. And to the enemy who makes war they shall not give or supply grain, arms, money, or ships, as Rome has decided; and they shall keep their obligations without receiving any return. In the same way, if war comes first to the nation of the Jews, the Romans shall willingly act as their allies, as the occasion may indicate to them. And to the enemy allies shall be given no grain, arms, money, or ships, as Rome has decided; and they shall keep these obligations and do so without deceit. Thus on these terms the Romans make a treaty with the Jewish people. If after these terms are in effect both parties shall determine to add or delete anything, they shall do so at their discretion, and any addition or deletion that they may make shall be valid. And concerning the wrongs which King Demetrius (Demetrios I) is doing to them we have written to him as follows, ‘Why have you made your yoke heavy upon our friends and allies the Jews? If now they appeal again for help against you, we will defend their rights and fight you on sea and on land.’”

Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 12.415-419: And when he (Alkimos) was dead, the people bestowed the high priesthood on Judas; who hearing of the power of the Romans, and that they had conquered in war Galatia, and Iberia, and Carthage, and Libya; and that, besides these, they had subdued Greece, and their kings, Perseus, and Philip, and Antiochus the Great also; he resolved to enter into a league of friendship with them. He therefore sent to Rome some of his friends, Eupolemus the son of John, and Jason the son of Eleazar, and by them desired the Romans that they would assist them, and be their friends, and would write to Demetrius that he would not fight against the Jews. So the senate received the ambassadors that came from Judas to Rome, and discoursed with them about the errand on which they came, and then granted them a league of assistance. They also made a decree concerning it, and sent a copy of it into Judea. It was also laid up in the capitol, and engraven in brass. The decree itself was this: “The decree of the senate concerning a league of assistance and friendship with the nation of the Jews. It shall not be lawful for any that are subject to the Romans to make war with the nation of the Jews, nor to assist those that do so, either by sending them corn, or ships, or money; and if any attack be made upon the Jews, the Romans shall assist them, as far as they are able; and again, if any attack be made upon the Romans, the Jews shall assist them. And if the Jews have a mind to add to, or to take away any thing from, this league of assistance, that shall be done with the common consent of the Romans. And whatsoever addition shall thus be made, it shall be of force.” This decree was written by Eupolemus the son of John, and by Jason the son of Eleazar, when Judas was high priest of the nation, and Simon his brother was general of the army. And this was the first league that the Romans made with the Jews, and was managed after this manner.

331 Maccabees, 9.1-5, 9.11-18: When Demetrius (Demetrios I) heard that Nicanor and his army had fallen in battle, he sent Bacchides and Alcimus into the land of Judah a second time, and with them the right wing of the army. They went by the road which leads to Gilgal and encamped against Mesaloth in Arbela, and they took it and killed many people. In the first month of the one hundred and fifty-second year (year 152 of the Seleukid Era, i.e. 161/0 BC) they encamped against Jerusalem; then they marched off and went to Berea with twenty thousand foot soldiers and two thousand cavalry. Now Judas was encamped in Elasa, and with him were three thousand picked men. ... Then the army of Bacchides marched out from the camp and took its stand for the encounter. The cavalry was divided into two companies, and the slingers and the archers went ahead of the army, as did all the chief warriors. Bacchides was on the right wing. Flanked by the two companies, the phalanx advanced to the sound of the trumpets; and the men with Judas also blew their trumpets. The earth was shaken by the noise of the armies, and the battle raged from morning till evening. Judas saw that Bacchides and the strength of his army were on the right; then all the stouthearted men went with him, and they crushed the right wing, and he pursued them as far as Mount Azotus. When those on the left wing saw that the right wing was crushed, they turned and followed close behind Judas and his men. The battle became desperate, and many on both sides were wounded and fell. Judas also fell, and the rest fled.

Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 12.420-423, 12.426-430: But when Demetrius (Demetrios I) was informed of the death of Nicanor, and of the destruction of the army that was with him, he sent Bacchides again with an army into Judea, who marched out of Antioch, and came into Judea, and pitched his camp at Arbela, a city of Galilee; and having besieged and taken those that were there in caves, (for many of the people fled into such places,) he removed, and made all the haste he could to Jerusalem. And when he had learned that Judas had pitched his camp at a certain village whose name was Bethzetho, he led his army against him: they were twenty thousand foot-men, and two thousand horsemen. Now Judas had no more soldiers than one thousand. When these saw the multitude of Bacchides’s men, they were afraid, and left their camp, and fled all away, excepting eight hundred. ... But Bacchides drew his army out of their camp, and put them in array for the battle. He set the horsemen on both the wings, and the light soldiers and the archers he placed before the whole army, but he was himself on the right wing. And when he had thus put his army in order of battle, and was going to join battle with the enemy, he commanded the trumpeter to give a signal of battle, and the army to make a shout, and to fall on the enemy. And when Judas had done the same, he joined battle with them; and as both sides fought valiantly, and the battle continued till sun-set, Judas saw that Bacehides and the strongest part of the army was in the right wing, and thereupon took the most courageous men with him, and ran upon that part of the army, and fell upon those that were there, and broke their ranks, and drove them into the middle, and forced them to run away, and pursued them as far as to a mountain called Aza: but when those of the left wing saw that the right wing was put to flight, they encompassed Judas, and pursued him, and came behind him, and took him into the middle of their army; so being not able to fly, but encompassed round about with enemies, he stood still, and he and those that were with him fought; and when he had slain a great many of those that came against him, he at last was himself wounded, and fell and gave up the ghost, and died in a way like to his former famous actions. When Judas was dead, those that were with him had no one whom they could regard [as their commander]; but when they saw themselves deprived of such a general, they fled.

34 Herakleides of Miletos: brother of Timarchos and appointed treasurer by Antiochos IV (see footnote 15). According to Polybios, Histories, 28.1, he was also an envoy of Antiochos IV to Rome during his conflict with Egypt:

When the war between the kings Antiochus (Antiochos IV) and Ptolemy (Ptolemy VI) for the possession of Coele-Syria had just begun, Meleager, Sosiphanes, and Heracleides came as ambassadors from Antiochus, and Timotheos and Damon from Ptolemy.

Herakleides was sacked by Demetrios (see footnote 16) and, in revenge, he helped his brother Timarchos in his rebellion against Demetrios. (Grainger, A Seleukid Prosopography and Gazetteer, pp. 40 and 92)

35 This Laodike may or may not have been his sister, and may or may not have been a genuine daughter of Antiochos IV. (Grainger, A Seleukid Prosopography and Gazetteer, p. 50)

36 Eumenes II, King of Pergamon, reigned 197 - 160/59 BC. (Green, Alexander to Actium, p. 738)

37 Polybios, Histories, 33.15: Heracleides came to Rome in the middle of summer, bringing Laodice and Alexander, and stayed there a long time, employing all the arts of cunning and corruption to win the support of the Senate.

38 Polybios, Histories, 33.18: Then Heracleides entered the Senate, bringing Laodice and Alexander with him. The youthful Alexander (Alexander I) first addressed the Senate, and begged the Romans “to remember their friendship and alliance with his father Antiochus (Antiochos IV), and if possible to assist him to recover his kingdom; or if they could not do that, at least to give him leave to return home, and not to hinder those who wished to assist him in recovering his ancestral crown.” Heracleides then took up the word, and, after delivering a lengthy encomium on Antiochus, came to the same point, namely, that they ought in justice to grant the young prince and Laodice leave to return and claim their own, as they were the true-born children of Antiochus. Soberminded people were not all attracted by any of these arguments. They understood the meaning of this theatrical exhibition, and made no secret of their distaste for Heracleides. But the majority had fallen under the spell of Heracleides’s cunning, and were induced to pass the following decree: “Alexander and Laodice, children of a king, our friend and ally, appeared before the Senate and stated their case; and the Senate gave them authority to return to the kingdom of their forefathers; and help, in accordance with their request, is hereby decreed to them.” Seizing on this pretext, Heracleides immediately began hiring mercenaries, and calling on some men of high position to assist him. He accordingly went to Ephesus and devoted himself to the preparations for his attempt.

39 Attalos II, King of Pergamon, reigned 160/59 - 138 BC. (Green, Alexander to Actium, p. 738)

40 Ptolemy VI Philometor, King of Egypt, born probably May/June 186 BC, died c. July 145 BC (from injuries suffered in the battle against Alexander I), reigned September 180 - July 145 BC (his reign was not continuous and there were corulers in some periods). (Bennett, Egyptian Royal Genealogy: Ptolemy VI)

41 Justin, Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus, 35.1: Being in consequence attacked by Demetrius (Demetrios I), but receiving aid from Ptolemy king of Egypt (Ptolemy VI), Attalus king of Asia (Attalos II), and Ariarathes of Cappadocia (Ariarathes V), they suborned one Bala (Alexander I Balas), a young man of mean condition, to claim the throne of Syria, on pretence that it had been his father’s, by force of arms; and that nothing might be wanting to render him insolent, the name of Alexander was given him, and he was reported to be the son of King Antiochus (Antiochos IV).

42 Ake-Ptolemais (also Akko, Acco, Accho, Acre, Saint-Jean d’Acre) was an important Phoenician port. The name Ake (Akko, Acco) means hot sand. Its history is very old and the city is mentioned in Egyptian texts from the 3rd and 2nd millennium BC. It originally belonged to the Phoenicians. When the Israelites came to the land of Canaan, in the 13th century BC, the area of Ake was assigned to the tribe of Asher, but the Israelites were never able to occupy it. Ake afterwards passed into the hands of the Babylonians, and from them to the Persians. After the death of Alexander the Great, it passed to the Ptolemaic Empire. In about 260 BC, its original name was changed to Ptolemais, probably in honor of Ptolemy II. The city was under Seleukid rule from 200 BC, after the battle of Panion (the defeat of Ptolemy V by Antiochos III). From the time of Antiochos IV, it bore the additional name of Antioch. The quasi-municipal coins from the 2nd century BC bear the inscription ‘ΑΝΤΙΟΧΕΩΝ ΤΩΝ ΕΝ ΠΤΟΛΕΜΑΙΔΙ’, i.e. “Antioch in Ptolemais” (Antiochos IV probably founded a colony there named after himself). Seleukid royal coins were minted there from Seleukos IV to Antiochos IX (except of Antiochos VII). The city was captured by Alexander Jannaeus in 104/3 BC. See, e.g., Head, Historia Numorum, Ptolemais-Ace; Houghton, CSE, Ake-Ptolemais (p. 77); Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography, Ace.

431 Maccabees, 10.1: In the one hundred and sixtieth year (year 160 of the Seleukid Era, i.e. 153/2 BC) Alexander Epiphanes (Alexander I), the son of Antiochus (Antiochos IV), landed and occupied Ptolemais. They welcomed him, and there he began to reign.

Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 13.35: Now in the hundred and sixtieth year (year 160 of the Seleukid Era, i.e. 153/2 BC), it fell out that Alexander (Alexander I), the son of Antiochus Epiphanes (Antiochos IV), came up into Syria, and took Ptolemais the soldiers within having betrayed it to him; ...

44 Kleopatra Thea Eueteria, Queen of the Seleukid Empire, born in or before 164 BC, died 121/0 BC. She had successively three husbands: Alexander I Balas, Demetrios II Nikator and Antiochos VII Euergetes. (Bennett, Egyptian Royal Genealogy: Cleopatra Thea)

45 Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 13.35-36: ...for they were at enmity with Demetrius (Demetrios I), on account of his insolence and difficulty of access; for he shut himself up in a palace of his that had four towers which he had built himself, not far from Antioch and admitted nobody. He was withal slothful and negligent about the public affairs, whereby the hatred of his subjects was the more kindled against him, as we have elsewhere already related.

Justin, Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus, 35.1: And such was the detestation of Demetrius (Demetrios I) among all classes, that not only royal power, but also nobility of birth, was unanimously attributed to his rival (Alexander I).

461 Maccabees, 10.2-6: When Demetrius the king (Demetrios I) heard of it (the Alexander’s occupation of Ptolemais-Ake), he assembled a very large army and marched out to meet him in battle. And Demetrius sent Jonathan a letter in peaceable words to honor him; for he said, “Let us act first to make peace with him before he makes peace with Alexander against us, for he will remember all the wrongs which we did to him and to his brothers and his nation.” So Demetrius gave him authority to recruit troops, to equip them with arms, and to become his ally; and he commanded that the hostages in the citadel should be released to him.

Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 13.37-38: When therefore Demetrius (Demetrios I) heard that Alexander (Alexander I) was in Ptolemais, he took his whole army, and led it against him; he also sent ambassadors to Jonathan about a league of mutual assistance and friendship, for he resolved to be beforehand with Alexander, lest the other should treat with him first, and gain assistance from him; and this he did out of the fear he had lest Jonathan should remember how ill Demetrius had formerly treated him, and should join with him in this war against him. He therefore gave orders that Jonathan should be allowed to raise an army, and should get armor made, and should receive back those hostages of the Jewish nation whom Baechides had shut up in the citadel of Jerusalem.

471 Maccabees, 10.15-21: Now Alexander the king (Alexander I) heard of all the promises which Demetrius (Demetrios I) had sent to Jonathan, and men told him of the battles that Jonathan and his brothers had fought, of the brave deeds that they had done, and of the troubles that they had endured. So he said, “Shall we find another such man? Come now, we will make him our friend and ally.” And he wrote a letter and sent it to him, in the following words: “King Alexander to his brother Jonathan, greeting. We have heard about you, that you are a mighty warrior and worthy to be our friend. And so we have appointed you today to be the high priest of your nation; you are to be called the king’s friend“ (and he sent him a purple robe and a golden crown) “and you are to take our side and keep friendship with us.” So Jonathan put on the holy garments in the seventh month of the one hundred and sixtieth year (year 160 of the Seleukid Era, i.e. 153/2 BC), at the feast of tabernacles, and he recruited troops and equipped them with arms in abundance.

Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 13.43-45: When Alexander (Alexander I) knew what promises Demetrius (Demetrios I) had made Jonathan, and withal knew his courage, and what great things he had done when he fought the Macedonians, and besides what hardships he had undergone by the means of Demetrius, and of Bacchides, the general of Demetrius’s army, he told his friends that he could not at present find any one else that might afford him better assistance than Jonathan, who was both courageous against his enemies, and had a particular hatred against Demetrius, as having both suffered many hard things from him, and acted many hard things against him. If therefore they were of opinion that they should make him their friend against Demetrius, it was more for their advantage to invite him to assist them now than at another time. It being therefore determined by him and his friends to send to Jonathan, he wrote to him this epistle: “King Alexander to his brother Jonathan, sendeth greeting. We have long ago heard of thy courage and thy fidelity, and for that reason have sent to thee, to make with thee a league of friendship and mutual assistance. We therefore do ordain thee this day the high priest of the Jews, and that thou beest called my friend. I have also sent thee, as presents, a purple robe and a golden crown, and desire that, now thou art by us honored, thou wilt in like manner respect us also.”

481 Maccabees, 10.22-28: When Demetrius (Demetrios I) heard of these things (Jonathan’s appointment as High Priest by Alexander I) he was grieved and said, “What is this that we have done? Alexander (Alexander I) has gotten ahead of us in forming a friendship with the Jews to strengthen himself. I also will write them words of encouragement and promise them honor and gifts, that I may have their help.” So he sent a message to them in the following words: “King Demetrius to the nation of the Jews, greeting. Since you have kept your agreement with us and have continued your friendship with us, and have not sided with our enemies, we have heard of it and rejoiced. And now continue still to keep faith with us, and we will repay you with good for what you do for us. We will grant you many immunities and give you gifts. ...”

Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 13.47-48: This greatly grieved Demetrius (Demetrios I) when he heard of it (Jonathan’s appointment as High Priest by Alexander I), and made him blame himself for his slowness, that he had not prevented Alexander (Alexander I), and got the good-will of Jonathan, but had given him time so to do. However, he also himself wrote a letter to Jonathan, and to the people, the contents whereof are these: “King Demetrius to Jonathan, and to the nation of the Jews, sendeth greeting. Since you have preserved your friendship for us, and when you have been tempted by our enemies, you have not joined yourselves to them, I both commend you for this your fidelity, and exhort you to continue in the same disposition, for which you shall be repaid, and receive rewards from us...”

49 Justin, Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus, 35.2: At the commencement of the war, Demetrius (Demetrios I) had entrusted two of his sons to a friend of his at Cnidus, with a large quantity of treasure, that they might be removed from the perils of the war, and might be preserved, if fortune should so order it, to avenge their father’s death.

501 Maccabees, 10.48-50: Now Alexander the king (Alexander I) assembled large forces and encamped opposite Demetrius (Demetrios I). The two kings met in battle, and the army of Demetrius fled, and Alexander pursued him and defeated them. He pressed the battle strongly until the sun set, and Demetrius fell on that day.

Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 13.59-61: But king Alexander (Alexander I) raised a great army of mercenary soldiers, and of those that deserted to him out of Syria, and made an expedition against Demetrius (Demetrios I). And when it was come to a battle, the left wing of Demetrius put those who opposed them to flight, and pursued them a great way, and slew many of them, and spoiled their camp; but the right wing, where Demetrius happened to be, was beaten; and as for all the rest, they ran away. But Demetrius fought courageously, and slew a great many of the enemy; but as he was in the pursuit of the rest, his horse carried him into a deep bog, where it was hard to get out, and there it happened, that upon his horse’s falling down, he could not escape being killed; for when his enemies saw what had befallen him, they returned back, and encompassed Demetrius round, and they all threw their darts at him; but he, being now on foot, fought bravely. But at length he received so many wounds, that he was not able to bear up any longer, but fell. And this is the end that Demetrius came to, when he had reigned eleven years, as we have elsewhere related.

Justin, Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus, 35.1: Alexander (Alexander I), in consequence, amidst this wonderful change of fortune, forgetful of his original meanness, and supported by the strength of almost all the east, made war upon Demetrius (Demetrios I), and, having defeated him, deprived him at once of his throne and his life. Demetrius, however, did not want courage to resist him in the field; for he both routed the enemy in the first encounter, and, when the kings renewed the contest, he killed several thousands in the struggle. But at last he fell, with his spirit still unsubdued, and fighting most valiantly, among the thickest of the enemy.

51 Livy, Periochae, 50.4 (see footnote 7 for the quotation)


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