SELEUKID KINGS OF SYRIA. Demetrios III Eukairos, 97/6-88/7 BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 26 mm, 15.94 g, 12 h), Antiochia on the Orontes, perhaps 88/7. Diademed head of Demetrios III to right. Rev. [B]AΣIΛEΩ[Σ] / ΔHMHTPIOY / ΘEOY - ΦΙΛΟΠΑΤΟΡΟΣ / ΣΩΤΗΡΟ[Σ] Zeus seated left, holding Nike in his right hand and long scepter in his left; to outer left, N above A; below throne, monogram; all within wreath. SC pl. 55, 2445 (same obverse die). Very rare. An exceptional example, surely one of the finest known. Good extremely fine.
Demetrios III was a son of Antiochos VIII (and thus a brother of Seleukos VI, Antiochos XI and Philip I) who was installed by Ptolemy IX as King in Damaskos in 97/6 BC. The Seleukid ruler was drawn into a Jewish civil war when he was invited by Jewish rebels to attack their detested king Alexander Jannaeus. Demetrios defeated Alexander near Shechem, but he was forced to retreat when his Jewish allies turned against him, allowing the Hasmonean ruler to recover. Sometime around 88/7, Demetrios III briefly took control of Antiochia on the Orontes, where he struck a very small emission of tetradrachms. Unfortunately for him, he was captured soon thereafter by Mithradates Sinakes, the Parthian governor of Mesopotamia, and exiled to Parthia, where he lived in honor until his death at an unrecorded later date.