Among the finest known staters in the name of Demetrios I Poliorketes
Lot 60
KINGS OF MACEDON. Demetrios I Poliorketes, 306-283 BC. Stater (Gold, 18 mm, 8.64 g, 5 h), in the types of Alexander III. Amphipolis, circa 294-293. Head of Athena to right, wearing Corinthian helmet decorated with a double coiled serpent. Rev. ΔHMHTPIOY - BAΣIΛΕΩΣ Nike standing front, head to left, with her wings spread, holding laurel wreath in her right hand and stylis in her left; to lower left, Z; to lower right, monogram. HGC 3, 1006d. Newell -, cf. 93 (unlisted combination of dies S/cc). Extremely rare and among the finest known examples. Beautifully struck and with a fine head of Athena. A few very light scratches and edge marks, otherwise, extremely fine.

Ex Elsen 51, 13 September 1997, 168.

Deme­trios I Poliorketes stands as per­haps the most trag­ic fig­ure among the Di­a­dochi. As the son of Antig­o­nos I Monoph­thal­mos, he bore wit­ness to his fa­ther's as­cen­sion to be­come the most pow­er­ful ruler of his time, serv­ing him as a gen­er­al in nu­mer­ous ma­jor en­gage­ments among Alexan­der's sur­viv­ing companions. Demetrios achieved his most no­table tri­umph in the naval Bat­tle of Salamis in 306 BC, where he sound­ly de­feated Ptolemy I - a mon­u­men­tal victory that led to his fa­ther as­sum­ing the royal ti­tle. This move spurred Antig­o­nos' ad­ver­saries to fol­low suit, and by the close of 305 BC, there were now four Mace­do­nian kings: Antig­o­nos, Ptolemy, Lysimachos, and Seleu­kos. In the years 305-304 BC, Demetrios over­saw the fa­mous siege of Rhodes, earn­ing him the epithet Poliorketes ('the Be­sieger'), though he ul­ti­mately failed to con­quer the city.

The defeat at the Battle of Ipsos in 301 BC dealt a decisive blow to the Antigonid aspirations of ruling the entirety of Alexander's vast empire. Antigonos himself met his end in the debacle, while his son, known for his notorious impetuosity which had greatly contributed to the defeat, narrowly escaped to Ephesos. Despite being outmatched on land, Demetrios asserted naval dominance for several years with his formidable fleet of 300 warships, securing control over many strategic harbor cities and briefly reclaiming Macedon in the late 290s BC. However, his recklessness led to his downfall when he invaded Asia Minor in 287 BC. Pursued by Agathokles, the son of Lysimachos, and Seleukos, Demetrios' forces dwindled rapidly, leading to his surrender to the latter in the early spring of 286 BC.

Seleukos accorded the defeated former king, who happened to be his former father-in-law and his son's present father-in-law through Seleukos' marriage to Stratonike, with profound respect. He provided him with his own court and funded his extravagant lifestyle. In confinement, Demetrios, once known for his vigor and energy, succumbed to a life of indulgence and excess. He passed away three years later, at the age of 54, at the culmination of a life marked by rapid ascent and tragic downfall - a remarkable general and esteemed king, whose spectacular rise and fall stirred the emotions and aspirations of contemporaries and posterity alike.
10000 CHF
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8000 CHF
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22000 CHF
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