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date: 18 January 2021

Demetrius (4) Ilocked

, of Macedonia, 'Poliorcetes', son of Antigonus (1) I
  • Albert Brian Bosworth

Extract

Demetrius (4) I of Macedonia, ‘Poliorcetes’, ‘Besieger of Cities’ (336–283 bce), son of *Antigonus (1) I, was reared at his father's court in Phrygia and fled with him to Europe (322). He was married early (321/0) to Phila, daughter of *Antipater (1), widow of *Craterus (1) and a potent political asset, and rapidly acquired military distinction, commanding Antigonus' cavalry at Paraetacene and Gabiene (317/6). His independent commands began inauspiciously at Gaza (312), where he lost an army to *Ptolemy (1) I, and subsequently (311) failed to displace *Seleucus (1) I from Babylonia. However, in 307 he led the Antigonid offensive in Greece, liberating Athens from the regime of *Demetrius (3) of Phaleron, and in 306 his victory over a Ptolemaic fleet off *Cyprus inspired his father to claim kingship for them both. These laurels were tarnished by setbacks in Egypt and, above all, Rhodes, where an epic year-long siege (305–4), which won Demetrius his reputation as ‘the Besieger’, was ended by negotiation.

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