Demetrius III Eukarios Theos Philopater Soter°

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DEMETRIUS III EUKARIOS THEOS PHILOPATER SOTER ° (96–88 b.c.e.), ruler of the Seleucid dynasty in Syria; son of Antiochus Grypus, and one of the last kings of the Seleucid dynasty. On the initiative of Ptolemy Lathyrus, king of Egypt, Demetrius was appointed king of Syria, but civil wars prevented him from consolidating his rule over the whole country. From Damascus, his capital, Demetrius intervened in the affairs of Judea. When Alexander Yannai was waging war against the Arabs and the rulers of Transjordan, the rebellious Pharisees called in the aid of Demetrius against their king. Although Demetrius defeated the army of Yannai in a battle near Shechem, he was finally forced to leave the country. The memory of these events has apparently been preserved in the Pesher Nahum of the Dead Sea Scrolls: "…[Deme]trius, King of Greece, who sought to enter Jerusalem through the counsel of flatterers…" In the war against his brother Philip, Demetrius was captured and exiled to the court of Mithridates ii, king of Pontus, where he died in captivity (Jos., Wars, 1:93–95; Jos., Ant., 13:370–1, 376–9, 384–6).


E.R. Bevan, House of Seleucus, 2 (1902), index; B. Niese, Geschichte der griechischen und makedonischen Staaten…, 3 (1903), 245ff., 263ff.; Schuerer, Hist, index; A.R. Bellinger, End of the Seleucids (1949), 75–76; Y. Yadin, Ha-Megillot ha-Genuzot mi-Midbar Yehudah (19582), 119–20; T.H. Gaster, Dead Sea Scriptures (1956), 243.

[Abraham Schalit]