Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Demetrius Phalereus

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For works with similar titles, see Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Demetrius.

DEMETRIUS, an orator and Peripatetic philosopher, surnamed Phalereus, from the Attic demos of Phalerus, where he was born. He was the son of a poor man named Phanostratus, and was a scholar of Theophrastus. He governed the city of Athens as representative of Cassander for ten years, and 360 statues were erected to his honour. On the restoration of the old democracy by Demetrius Poliorcetes, he was obliged to leave the city, and escaped into Egypt, where he was protected by Ptolemy Lagus. This king, it is said, having asked his advice concerning the succession of his children to the throne, was advised by Demetrius to leave his crown to the children of Eurydice, rather than to Philadelphus, the son of Berenice. This displeased Philadelphus so much, that when his father died he banished Demetrius; and the unfortunate exile put an end to his life by the poison of an asp (282 B.C.) Demetrius composed more works in prose and verse than any other Peripatetic of his time. His writings treated principally of poetry, history, politics, rhetoric, and accounts of embassies; but none are extant. The treatise Περἱ ἑρμηνεἱας, which is often ascribed to him, is probably the work of a later Alexandrian of the same name.