This introductory chapter identifies two trends in scholarship of ancient history, which are problematic for the understanding of the ancient Mediterranean as a whole and which the figure of Agathokles helps to demolish. The first of these is the tendency to study the western and eastern halves of the Mediterranean entirely separately. The second is the emphasis on the death of Alexander as a moment of rupture between the Classical and Hellenistic Ages. Agathokles is best studied through a paradigm which emphasizes continuity with earlier history and connectivity between different parts of the Mediterranean.
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