<i>From Agathocles to Hieron II: the birth and development of</i> basileia <i>in Hellenistic Sicily</i>

Efrem Zembon

in Ancient Tyranny

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print February 2006 | ISBN: 9780748621255
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651047 | DOI:
From Agathocles to Hieron II: the birth and development of basileia in Hellenistic Sicily

Show Summary Details


The kingships of Agathocles and Hieron II in Syracuse are often seen not as monarchies of the Hellenistic kind, but as a continuation of the type of tyranny held by Hieron I and Gelon in the fifth century, and Dionysius the Elder in the fourth. From the fifth century, Sicily had undergone a peculiar historical evolution, which reached its height in the age of the elder Dionysius. Conditions in Sicily allowed the adoption of political solutions which the Greeks of the mainland and the eastern Mediterranean basin were to test later, with Alexander the Great and especially the Successors; the most important of these developments was the birth of basileia. This chapter deals with the later rulers of Syracuse, Agathocles and Hieron II, focusing on the nature and expression of their power as well as their role in the development of the concept of kingship within Sicily.

Keywords: Sicily; kingship; Agathocles; Hieron II; Syracuse; basileia; tyranny; Dionysius the Elder; Hieron I; Gelon

Chapter.  6854 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.