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date: 28 February 2021


, of Phaleron, Athenian Peripatetic philosopher and statesman, b. c. 350 bce
  • Albert Brian Bosworth


Demetrius (3) of *Phaleron (b. c. 350 bce), son of Phanostratus, Athenian *Peripatetic philosopher (pupil of *Theophrastus) and statesman, began his political life in 325/4 and was probably elected *stratēgos for many of the next few years. He escaped death as a pro-Macedonian in 318, and *Cassander made him absolute governor at Athens, where he held power for ten years. As *nomothetēs he passed comprehensive legislation (317/6 –316/5); military and other service was limited, various forms of extravagance were curbed, measures were taken to regularize contracts and titles to property and *nomophylakes were set up. When *Demetrius (4) Poliorcetes took Athens (307), Demetrius fled to *Boeotia, and was later librarian at *Alexandria (1) (297). He died in disgrace under *Ptolemy (1) II Philadelphus.

Moral treatises, popular tales, declamations, histories, literary criticism, rhetoric, and collections of letters, fables, and proverbs. Though an outstanding orator, Demetrius produced mainly a superficial amalgam of philosophy and rhetoric. He assisted his fellow Peripatetics, and under him Athens enjoyed relative peace.

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