I’ve been reading through Plutarch’s Lives, and I came across a mention of Agathocles I had missed when I was searching through the literature earlier! It’s always great to find a new mention, no matter how minor. The quote itself is pretty interesting.
And certainly King Alexander never refused to bestow the royal title upon other hands, nor did he proclaim himself King of Kings, although many kings received their position and title from him; whereas Demetrius used to rail and mock at those who gave the title of King to any one except his father and himself, and was well pleased to hear his revellers pledge Demetrius as King, but Seleucus as Master of the Elephants, Ptolemy as Admiral, Lysimachus as Treasurer, and Agathocles of Sicily as Lord of the Isles. When this was reported to these kings, they all laughed at Demetrius, except Lysimachus; he was incensed that Demetrius considered him a eunuch (it was the general practice to have eunuchs for treasurers).
I wonder if it means anything that Agathocles is the only one who gets an actually respectable title. He certainly had less territory than the diadochi, so it’s not as though he was the greatest of those listed, but it could be that Demetrius had less of a beef with him, being so far away, so he allowed him greater respect. It’s kind of surprising to me that Agathocles is even included in this group. Yes, he was a new king, too, but he always seemed outside the diadochi struggles to me. He’s definitely the odd one out of this group. And it’s not like he didn’t have any other titles. Agathocles himself never wore a crown, but only kept his priestly diadem from his earlier life, so why not call him priest to belittle him? I wish there were a bit more context behind Agathocles’s title here. Any thoughts?
I also found some more descriptions of Dionysius’s general paranoia to contrast with Agathocles, so I’m pretty happy about that, too!