Bible Names A-G
Demetrius I Soter in Wikipedia
(Greek: Δημήτριος Α`, c. 187 BC - 150 BC), surnamed Soter
(Greek: Σωτήρ - "Savior"), was a ruler of the Hellenistic
Seleucid Empire. He had been sent to Rome as a hostage
during the reign of his father, Seleucus IV Philopator.
After his father's death in 175 BC, Antiochus IV Epiphanes
took advantage of Demetrius' captivity to seize the throne.
Demetrius escaped from confinement and established himself
on the Syrian throne (162 BC) after overthrowing and
murdering King Antiochus V Eupator, his cousin. See Appian,
Roman History: Syrian Wars 8.46.
Demetrius acquired his surname of Soter, or Saviour, from
the Babylonians, whom he delivered from the tyranny of the
Median satrap, Timarchus. Timarchus, who had distinguished
himself by defending Media against the emergent Parthians,
seems to have treated Demetrius' accession as an excuse to
declare himself an independent king and extend his realm
into Babylonia. His forces were however not enough for the
legal Seleucid king: Demetrius defeated and killed Timarchus
in 160 BCE, and dethroned Ariarathes, king of Cappadocia.
The Seleucid empire was temporarily united again.
Demetrius is famous in Jewish history for his victory over
Demetrius' downfall is attributed to Heracleides, a
surviving brother of the defeated rebel Timarchus, who
championed the cause of Alexander Balas, a boy he claimed
was a natural son of Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Heracleides
convinced the Roman Senate to support the young pretender
against Demetrius, who was defeated and killed in 150 BC.