Agathocles (grandson of Agathocles of Syracuse)

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Agathocles (Greek: Ἀγαθοκλῆς; fl. 3rd century BC) was an Egyptian Greek nobleman and through his mother was related to the Ptolemaic dynasty.[1]

Family background[edit]

Agathocles was a second child born to Theoxena of Egypt by an unnamed father, whose name is lost and had an older sibling, whose name is also lost.[2] His maternal grandfather was Agathocles of Syracuse the late Greek Tyrant of Syracuse, who later became King of Sicily,[3][4] while his maternal grandmother was Theoxena of Syracuse a Greek Macedonian noblewoman, who was the second older maternal half-sister of the Greek Egyptian Pharaoh Ptolemy II Philadelphus,[5] who reigned 283 BC-246 BC. He was the namesake of his maternal grandfather.


Agathocles was born and raised in Egypt, perhaps in Alexandria. He was born at an unknown date; either late in the reign of Ptolemy I Soter reigned 305 BC-283 BC or sometime in the reign of his maternal great uncle Ptolemy II. Sometime in the reign of Ptolemy II, his mother was banished by her uncle to the Thebaid,[6] perhaps to Coptos as she brought false accusations to Ptolemy II against parties she knew.[7] The names of these persons are lost as they were recorded on a papyrus,[8] which has been damaged. It can be chronologically plausible that the banishment of his mother, was connected to the exile of Arsinoe I,[9] the first wife of Ptolemy II who was exiled in 274 BC/273 BC.

Although Agathocles was a Ptolemaic noble, little is known on his life. He married an Egyptian Greek noblewoman of obscure origins called Oenanthe, who married him as her first husband.[10] Oenanthe bore Agathocles four children who were: one son Agathocles of Egypt; one daughter called Agathoclea and another two daughters whose names are unknown.[11]