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Ancient Tyranny$
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Sian Lewis

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780748621255

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748621255.001.0001

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From Agathocles to Hieron II: the birth and development of basileia in Hellenistic Sicily

From Agathocles to Hieron II: the birth and development of basileia in Hellenistic Sicily

Chapter:
(p.77) Chapter 6 From Agathocles to Hieron II: the birth and development of basileia in Hellenistic Sicily
Source:
Ancient Tyranny
Author(s):

Efrem Zembon

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748621255.003.0023

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

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