Demetrius II
Bronze drachma likely struck during the reign of Demetrius.[a] Obv.: Macedonian shield rev.: Macedonian helmet with ΒΑΣ[ΙΛΕΩΣ] imprinted along bottom.
King of Macedonia
Reign239–229 BC
PredecessorAntigonus II Gonatas
SuccessorAntigonus III Doson
Bornc. 275/4 BC
Died229 BC (aged 45)
SpouseStratonice of Macedon
Nicaea of Corinth
Phthia of Macedon
IssueApama III
Philip V of Macedon
DynastyAntigonid dynasty
FatherAntigonus II Gonatas

Demetrius II (Greek: Δημήτριος, romanized: Demetrios), also known as Demetrius "Aetolicus", was king of the Ancient Greek kingdom of Macedonia from 239 until his death in 229 BC.[2]


Demetrius was born in either 275 or 274 BC and was the only child of King Antigonus II Gonatas by Phila, the daughter of Seleucus I.[3] He had an elder half-brother named Halcyoneus, but he died in an unknown battle sometime before the death of Antigonus in 239.[4] He had already distinguished himself during his father's lifetime by defeating Alexander II of Epirus at Derdia and so saving Macedonia (c. 260 BC).[5] There is a possibility[6]: 317 that his father had already elevated him to position of power equal to his own before his death. If this had occurred it would be in 256 or 257 BC.

On his accession, Demetrius faced a coalition of enemies which included the two great leagues. Usually rivals, the Aetolian and Achaean Leagues now became allies against the Macedonian power. He succeeded in dealing this coalition severe blows, wresting Boeotia from their alliance. The revolution in Epirus, which substituted a republican league for the monarchy, gravely weakened his position.[5]

During his reign, his kingdom extended[6]: 321  into Euboea, Magnesia, Thessaly and its environs, excluding Dolopia and possibly Peparethos and Achaea Phthiotis.

In 236 BC, he invaded Boeotia, making the Boeotians submit[6]: 326  immediately.

In 234 BC, due to a federal republic[7] replacing the monarchy in Epirus, which led to the events of 231 BC, Demetrius hired[8] Agron for military aid against the advancing Aetolians. His kingdom was not[6]: 323  threatened by the Illyrian Ardiaei, ruled by Agron, despite them having gathered the greatest force in their history (c. 231 BC), but Epirus needed some sort of force to deter them.

At some point in 230–229 in an unknown location in north-west Macedonia, the Dardani defeated Demetrius who died shortly the next spring at the age of c. 45.[9] His nine year old successor, the future Philip V, was deemed too young to rule by the Macedonian nobility and so Demetrius' half-cousin, Antigonus III Doson, was made regent. The exact location of Demetrius' tomb remains unknown, but was likely in Beroea or Aegae.

Marriage and family

Demetrius married four times, though the chronology of these marriages is a matter of dispute.[5]

Information regarding the life of Demetrius is drawn mainly from inscriptions, as only Plutarch writes of him, in Life of Aratus, and Polybius[12] makes scarce mention of him.[6]

See also



  1. ^ Demetrius may have minted bronze drachmas in his own name, but these issues could be that of Demetrius' grandfather, Demetrius I. Demetrius II never struck silver coins in his own name, instead continuing to produce his father's tetradrachms.[1]


  1. ^ Kuzmin, Yuri (2019). "King Demetrius II of Macedon: In the Shadow of Father and Son". Živa Antika/Antiquité Vivante. 69 (78): 70. doi:10.47054/ZIVA19691-2059k.
  2. ^ Adams, Winthrop Lindsay (2010). "Alexander's Successors to 221 BC". In Roisman, Joseph; Worthington, Ian (eds.). A Companion to Ancient Macedonia. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 222–223. ISBN 9781405179362.
  3. ^ Carney, Elizabeth Donnelly (2000). Woman and Monarchy in Macedonia. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 182-184. ISBN 9780806132129
  4. ^ Kuzmin 2019, p. 61
  5. ^ a b c  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Demetrius s.v. Demetrius II". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 7 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 982–983.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Nicholas Geoffrey Lemprière Hammond, Frank William Walbank (1988). A History of Macedonia: 336-167 B.C. ISBN 0198148151.
  7. ^ Wilkes, J. J. (1992). The Illyrians. p. 157. ISBN 0-631-19807-5.
  8. ^ Walbank, Frank William (1984). The Cambridge Ancient History, Tome 7, Part 1. p. 452. ISBN 052123445X.
  9. ^ Kuzmin, Yuri (2019). "KING DEMETRIUS II OF MACEDON: IN THE SHADOW OF FATHER AND SON". Živa antika/Antiquité vivante. Skopje, North Macedonia (69): 78.
  10. ^ "Apame III". Livius. Archived from the original on 4 June 2022.
  11. ^ a b c d Carney, Elizabeth (2000). Women and Monarchy in Macedonia. University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0-8061-3212-4.
  12. ^ cf.2.44.1-2
Demetrius IIAntigonid dynastyBorn: c. 275/4 BC Died: 229 BC Royal titles Preceded byAntigonus II Gonatas King of Macedon 239–229 BC Succeeded byAntigonus III Doson