Demetrius Phalereus (so called from being a native of the deme of Phalerus), an Athenian orator and statesman, born about 345 B. C., died about 282. He studied under the philosopher Theophrastus, and began his political career in 325, as a champion of the democratic or anti-Macedonian party. This party being expelled from power, he went into exile, but was afterward reconciled with his former opponents; and when, in 317, Cassander of Macedon became virtually master of Athens, he made Demetrius governor, supported by a Macedonian garrison. He ruled Athens ten years with success, but perverted the revenues of the state to his personal use. His popularity was great, and the Athenians erected in his honor as many statues as their year contained days (360), but these were broken in 307. Condemned to death in his absence, he went to Thebes, and afterward to Egypt. He was well treated by Ptolemy I., but was banished to the upper part of the country by his successor, where he is said to have died of the bite of a snake.

He composed writings on a large number of subjects, but none of them has come down to us, the book "On Elocution" attributed to him being spurious.