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Demetrius I (d. 150 BC), surnamed Soter, was sent to Rome as a hostage during the reign of his father, Seleucus IV Philopator. After his father's death in 175 BC, Demetrius escaped from confinement and established himself on the Syrian throne (162 BC) after overthrowing and murdering King Antiochus V Eupator, his nephew.

Demetrius acquired his surname of Soter, or Saviour, from the Babylonians, whom he delivered from the tyranny of the Median satrap, Timarchus. He is famous in Jewish history for his contests with the Maccabees.

Demetrius fell in battle against the usurper, Alexander Balas, in 150 BC.

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.


Seleucid Ruler 162 - 150 BC
Preceded by: Antiochus V Eupator
Succeeded by: Alexander Balas

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