A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

(Δημήτριος) III., king of SYRIA, surnamed EUCAERUS, was the fourth son of Antiochus Grypus, and grandson of Demetrius II. During the civil wars that followed the death of Antiochus Grypus, Demetrius was set up as king of Damascus or Coele Syria, by the aid of Ptolemy Lathurus, king of Cyprus; and after the death of Antiochus Eusebes, he and his brother Philip for a time held the whole of Syria. (J. AJ 13.13.4.) His assistance was invoked by the Jews against the tyranny of Alexander Jannaeus; but though he defeated that prince in a pitched battle, he did not follow up his victory, but withdrew to Beroea. War immediately broke out between him and his brother Philip, and Straton, the governor of Beroea, 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, king of Parthia (Arsaces IX.), who detained him in an honourable captivity till his death. (J. AJ 13.14.) The coins of this prince are important as fixing the chronology of his reign; they bear dates from the year 218 to 224 of the era of the Seleucidae, i. e. B. C. 94-88. The surname Eucaerus is not found on these coins, some of which bear the titles Theos Philopator and Soter; others again Philometor Euergetes Callinicus. (Eckhel, iii. pp. 245-6.)