Agathocles (writers)

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For other people with this name, see Agathocles (disambiguation).

Agathocles (Greek: Ἀγαθοκλῆς; fl. 3rd century BC) was a Greek historian who wrote a history of Cyzicus (περὶ Κυζίκου) in the Ionic dialect.[1] He is called by Athenaeus both a Babylonian[2] and a Cyzican.[3] He may originally have come from Babylon, and have settled at Cyzicus. The first and third books are referred to by Athenaeus.[4] The time at which Agathocles lived is unknown, and his work is now lost; but it seems to have been extensively read in antiquity, as it is referred to by Cicero,[5] Pliny,[6] and other ancient writers. Agathocles also spoke of the origin of Rome.[7][8] The scholiast on Apollonius[9] cites Memoirs (ὑπομνήματα) by an Agathocles, who is usually supposed to be the same as the above-mentioned one.[10][11][12]

There are several other writers of the same name, whose works are lost to us but are mentioned by later writers:

  • Agathocles of Atrax, who wrote a work on fishing.[13]
  • Agathocles of Chios, who wrote a work on agriculture.[14][15]
  • Agathocles of Miletus, who wrote a work on rivers.[16]
  • Agathocles of Samos, who wrote a work on the constitution of Pessinus.[17]


  1. ^ Lesky, Albin (1996). History of Greek Literature. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company. p. 624. ISBN 0-87220-350-6. 
  2. ^ Athenaeus, i. p. 30, a. ix. p. 375, a
  3. ^ Athenaeus xiv. p. 649, f
  4. ^ Athenaeus, ix. p. 375, f., xii. p. 515, a
  5. ^ Cicero, De Divinatione i. 24
  6. ^ Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia elenchus of books iv. v. vi
  7. ^ Festus s. v. Romam
  8. ^ Solinus, Polyhistor 1
  9. ^ iv. 761
  10. ^ Compare Schol. ad Hes. Theog. 485
  11. ^ Stephanus of Byzantium s. v. Вέσβικος
  12. ^ Etymol. M. s. v. Δίκτη
  13. ^ ἁλιευτικὰ, Suda, 's.v. Κικίλιος
  14. ^ Varro, and Columella, De Re Rustica i. 1
  15. ^ Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia xxii. 44
  16. ^ Plutarch, de Fluv. p. 1153, c
  17. ^ Plutarch, de Fluv. p. 1159, a

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William (1870). "Agathocles". In Smith, William. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 1. p. 65.