Seleucid Empire, Demetrios I Soter. 162-150 BC

Seleucid Empire, Demetrios I Soter. 162-150 BC


Antioch mint, c. 162-155/4 BC. AR Tetradrachm, 16.26g (33mm, 12h). Diademed head right within laurel wreath border / Tyche seated left on backless throne with winged tritoness support, holding scepter and cornucopia; monogram to outer left.

Pedigree: From the Dr. Lawrence D. Sporty Collection. Ex Classical Numismatic Group Electronic Auction 265 (5 October 2011), lot 176

References: SC 1635b; HGC 9, 795f

Grade: A rare type. Slightly off-center with good strike. Specks of find encrustation noticeable on the obverse. Good VF  (gk1087)

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Demetrios I Soter (Soter meaning “savior”) was the son of Seleucus IV Philopater, ruler of the Seleucid Empire from 187-175 BC. Unfortunately for Demetrios he was sent to Rome as a hostage during his father’s reign and in the interim his father died and his cousins, Antiochus IV and later Antiochus V became ruler. Through the help of the Greek statesman and writer Polybius Demetrios was able to escape his imprisonment. He returned home and was assumed the throne. Shortly after becoming ruler he was instrumental in quelling the ongoing Jewish rebellion which was received positively from his former Roman captors. Eventually Demetrios was killed while fighting the pretender Alexander Balas.

During Demetrios’ reign the Seleucid Empire was slowly being taken away by the Romans who eventually completely overtook the domain in 64 BC.