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Born circa 343 B.C.; died 263 B.C. Military leader in the Hellenistic period; founder of the Attalid dynasty and the kingdom of Pergamum (seePERGAMUM).
Philetaerus was in the service of Lysimachus, one of the Diadochoi, who entrusted him with guarding his treasury. In 283 B.C., Philetaerus rose against Lysimachus, seized the treasury, captured Pergamum, and became its governor. In no position to hold his possessions, he placed himself in dependence on Diadochos Seleucus I Nictator. In 281 B.C., after Seleucus was killed by another Diadochos, Ptolemy Ceraunus, Philetaerus became the independent ruler of Pergamum.