Deme'trius (Δημήτριος, probably from Δημήτηρ, the Greek name of the goddess Cybele), the name originally of several of Alexander's generals (see Smith's Dict. of Class. Biog. s.v.), and borne by several of the Macedonian and Syrian princes, two of whom are often referred to in the Apocrypha, and three in Josephus; also by two men mentioned in the New Test., and by several others in Josephus.
1. DEMETRIUS I, surnamed SOTER (Σωτήρ, "the Savior," in recognition of his services to the Babylonians), king of Syria, was the son of Seleucus IV Philopator, and grandson of Antiochus the Great. While still a boy he was sent by his father as a hostage to Rome (B.C. 175) in exchange for his uncle, Antiochus Epiphanes (Appian, Syr. 45). From his position he was unable to offer any opposition to the usurpation of the Syrian throne by Antiochus IV; but on the death of that monarch (B.C. 164) he claimed his liberty, and the recognition of his claim by: the Roman senate in preference to that of his cousin Antiochus V. His petition was refused from selfish policy (Polyb. 31:12), and by the advice and assistance of Polybius, whose friendship he had gained at Rome (Polyb. 31:19; Justin, 34:3), he left Italy secretly, and landed with a small force at Tripolis, in Phoenicia (2 Maccabees 14:1; 1 Maccabees 7:1; Josephus, Ant. 12:1). The Syrians soon declared in his favor (B.C. 162), and Antiochus and his protector Lysias were put to death (1 Maccabees 7:2, 3; 2 Maccabees 14:2). Having thus gained possession of the kingdom, Demetrius succeeded in securing the favor of the Romans (Polyb. 32:4), and he turned his attention to the internal organization of his dominions. The Graecizing party were still powerful at Jerusalem, and he supported them by arms. In the first campaign his general Bacchides established Alcimus in the highpriesthood (1 Maccabees 7:5-20); but the success was not permanent. Alcimus was forced to take refuge a second time at the court of Demetrius, and Nicanor, who was commissioned to restore him, was defeated in two successive engagements by Judas Maccabseus (1 Maccabees 7:31, 32, 43- 45), and fell on the field (see Michaelis on 1 Maccabees 7:32, against Wernsdorf, De fide Maccab. p. 124 sq.; also Joseph. Ant. 12:10, 2). Two other campaigns were undertaken against the Jews by Bacchides (B.C. 161-158); but in the mean time Judas had completed a treaty with the Romans shortly before his death (B.C. 161), who forbade Demetrius to oppress the Jews (1 Maccabees 8:31). Not long afterwards Demetrius further incurred the displeasure of the Romans by the expulsion of Ariarathes from Cappadocia (Polyb. 31:20; Justin, 35:1), and he alienated the affection of his own subjects by his private excesses (Justin, 1. c.; comp. Polyb. 33:14). When his power was thus shaken (B.C. 152), Alexander Balas was brought forward, with the consent of the Roman senate, as a claimant to the throne, with the powerful support of Ptolemy Philometor, Attalus, and Ariarathes. Demetrius vainly endeavored to secure the services of Jonathan, who had succeeded his brother Judas as leader of the Jews, and now, from the recollection of his wrongs, warmly favored the cause of Alexander (1 Maccabees 10:1-6). The rivals met in a decisive engagement (B.C. 150), and Demetrius, after displaying the greatest personal bravery, was defeated and slain (1 Maccabees 10:48-50; Joseph. Ant. 13:2, 4; Polyb. 3, 5). In addition to the very interesting fragments of Polybius, the following references may be consulted: Justin, 34:335:1; Appian, Syr. 46, 47, 67; Livy, Epit. 47; Euseb. Ann. Chron. p. 165. He left two sons, Demetrius, surnamed Nicator, and Antiochus, called Sidetes, both of whom subsequently ascended the throne. SEE ANTIOCHUS.
2. DEMETRIUS II, surnamed NICATOR' (Nik£twr, "the Victor;" so on coins, Eckhel, 3, 229 sq.; elsewhere NICANOR), king of Syria, was the elder son of Demetrius Soter, preceding. He was sent by his father, together with his brother Antiochus, with a large treasure, to Cnidus (Justin, 35:2), when Alexander Balas laid claim to the throne of Syria, and thus escaped falling into the hands of that usurper. When he was grown up, the weakness and vices of Alexander furnished him with an opportunity of recovering his father's dominions. Accompanied by a force of Cretan mercenaries (Justin, 1. c.; comp. 1 Maccabees 10:67), and aided by Ptolemy Philometor (1 Maccabees 11:19; Diod. Sic. Ecl. 32:1), whose daughter Cleopatra was promised to him, he made a descent on Syria (B.C. 148 or 147), and was received with general favor (1 Maccabees 10:67 sq.). Jonathan, however, still supported the cause of Alexander, and defeated Apoilonius, whom Demetrius had appointed governor of Coele-Syria (1 Maccabees 10:74- 82). In spite of these hostilities, Jona than succeeded in gaining the favor of Demetrius when he was established in the kingdom (1 Maccabees 11:23- 27), and obtained from him an advantageous commutation of the royal dues and other concessions (1 Maccabees 11:32-37). In return for these favors the Jews rendered important services to Demetrius when Tryphon first claimed the kingdom for Antiochus VI, the son of Alexander (1 Maccabees 11:42); but afterwards, being offended by his faithless ingratitude (1 Maccabees 11:53), they espoused the cause of the young pretender. In the campaign which followed, Jonathan defeated the forces of Demetrius (B.C. 144; 1 Maccabees 12:28); but the treachery to which Jonathan fell a victim (B.C. 143) again altered the policy of the Jews. Simon, the successor of Jonathan, obtained very favorable terms from Demetrius (B.C. 142); but shortly afterwards Demetrius was himself taken prisoner (B.C. 138) by Arsaces (q.v.) VI (Mithridates), king of Parthia, whose dominions he had invaded (1 Maccabees 14:1-3; Justin, 36; Joseph. Ant. 13:5; Livy, Epit. 52). Appian and Justin place this captivity of Demetrius before the revolt of Tryphon, but the order of the narrative in the book of Maccabees is most probable (notwithstanding Wernsdorf, De fide Maccab. p. 137 sq.). Mithridates treated his captive honorably, and gave him his daughter Rhodoguna in marriage (Appian, Syr. 67); and after his death, though Demetrius made several attempts to escape, he still received kind treatment from his successor, Phraates. When Antiochus Sidetes, who had gained possession of the Syrian throne, invaded Parthia, Phraates employed Demetrius to effect a diversion. In this Demetrius succeeded, and when Antiochus fell in battle he again took possession of the Syrian crown (B.C. 128). Not long afterwards a pretender, supported by Ptolemy Physcon appeared in the field against him, and after suffering a defeat he was assassinated, according to some by his wife Cleopatra (Appian, Syr. 68), while attempting to escape by sea (Justin, 39:1: Joseph. Ant. 13:9. 3). SEE CLEOPATRA.
3. DEMETRIUS III, surnamed EUCAERUS (Εὔκαιρος, i.e. "the Opportune);" on coins THEOS PHILOPATOR and SOTER (Eckhel, 3, 245, 246), king of Syria, was the fourth son of Antiochus Grypus, and grandson of Demetrius II. During the civil wars that followed the death of his father, he was set up as king of Damascus, or Coele-Syria, by the aid of Ptolemy Lathyrus, king of Cyprus; and after the death of Antiochus Eusebes, he and his brother Philip for a time held the whole of Syria (Josephus, Ant. 13:13, 4). His assistance was invoked by the Jews against the tyranny of Alexander Jannaeus (q.v.); but, though he defeated this prince in battle, he did not follow up the victory, but withdrew to Bercea. War immediately broke out between him and his brother Philip; and Strator, the governor of Bercea, who supported Philip, having obtained assistance from the Arabians and Parthians, blockaded Demetrius in his camp, until he was compelled by famine to surrender at discretion. He was sent as a prisoner to Mithridates (Arsaces IX), king of Parthia, who detained him in an honorable captivity till his death (Josephus, Ant. 13:14). His coins bear date from 218 to 224 AEr. Seleucid., i e. B.C. 9488. SEE SYRIA.
4. Surnamed PHALEREUS (ὁ Φαληρεύς, the Phaleriin), the zealous keeper of the Alexandrian library under Ptolemy Philadelphus, who at his suggestion undertook the Septuagint (q.v.) version, and secured the benefit of the criticism of the resident Jews upon the translation (Josephus, Ant.
12:2, 1, 4,13). See Ostermann, De Dem. Phal. vita, rebus gestis et scriptorum reliquiis (pt. 1, Hersfeld, 1847, 4to).
5. A freed-man of Pompey, who rebuilt, at his request, the city of Gadara, of which he was a native (Josephus, Ant. 14:4, 4).
6. An Alexandrian Jew and alabarch, who married Marianne (formerly the wife of Archelaus), by whom she had a son Agrippinus (Josephus, Ant. 20:7, 3).
7. A silversmith at Ephesus, who, being alarmed at the progress of the Gospel under the preaching of Paul, assembled his fellow-craftsmen, and excited a tumult by haranguing them on the danger that threatened the worship of the great goddess Diana, and consequently their own craft as silversmiths. A.D. 52. Their employment was to make "silver shrines for Diana" (Ac 19:24); and it is now generally agreed that these "shrines" (ναοί) were silver models of the temple, or of its adytum or chapel, in which perhaps a little image of the goddess was placed. These, it seems, were purchased by foreigners, who either could not perform their devotions at the temple itself, or who, after having done so, carried them away as memorials, or for purposes of worship, or as charms. The continual resort of foreigners to Ephesus from all parts, on account of the singular veneration in which the image of the goddess was held, must have rendered this manufacture very profitable, and sufficiently explains the anxiety of Demetrius and his fellow-craftsmen. See DIANA.
8. A Christian, mentioned with commendation in 3Jo 1:12. A.D. cir. 90. From the connection of the apostle John with Ephesus at the time the epistle was written, some have supposed that this Demetrius is the same as the preceding, and that he had been converted to Christianity. But this is a mere conjecture, rendered the more uncertain by the commonness of the name.
Demetrius, bishop of Alexandria, is said to have succeeded Julian in that see A.D. 189 (Eusebius, II. E, v. 22). He was at first the friend of Origen, and committed the instructions in the school of Alexandria entirely to him (Eusebius 6:3); but he afterwards, "overcome by human infirmity" (Euseb. 6:8) seems to have become envious of Origen, and his enemy. When Origen (A.D. 228) was ordained presbyter at Caesarea, Demetrius excluded him from the Churchan act which was not recognized by the churches generally. Demetrius died about 248. — Mosheim, Commentaries, cent. 3, § 30. SEE ORIGEN.