Agathocles
(360-289BC)

Ruler of Syracusae whose greatest enemies were the oligarchs. He was the son of a Greek potter in Thermae and later emigrated to Syracusae. When the oligarchs seized power, he was forced to go into exile. When they were driven away he returned in 322 BC, but was to constantly struggle against the oligarchs who were supported by the Carthaginians.

Agathocles expanded the rule of Syracusae to the eastern parts of Sicily, and acquired great personal power with the support of the poor. He also invaded North Africa, and defeated the Carthaginians.
When Agathocles was recognized as the ruler of eastern Sicily he took the title of king, and expanded his kingdom to include the Greek cities in southern Italy. As a ruler he was known to be both ruthless and flamboyant.
Shortly before his death he returned democracy to his people in Syracusae. He died of jaw-cancer at the age of 71.
His son-in-law was the famous Pyrrhus, who was married to his daughter Lanassa.

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