Agatharchides (Greek Ἀγαθαρχίδης Agatharchides; * to 208 BC; † after 132/131 BC) was an ancient Greek historian and geographer. His works were written during the reign of King Ptolemy VI. ( 180-145 BC).

Life and works

Agatharchides came from Knidos in Asia Minor. He has written two comprehensive historical works across Europe and Asia, which are preserved only in fragments, but apparently had a socially critical trend: the Asian ( Άσιατικά ), a history of Asia in 10 books (excerpts in Diodorus: Causes of Nilschwelle, Description of Arabia and Ethiopia ) and the Europika ( Εὐροπικά ), a story of "Europe" in 49 books (some fragments in Athenaeus ). He also wrote a treatise On the Red Sea ( Περὶ Πόντου Έρυθροῦ ) in five books (excerpts in Diodorus and Photius; work in the Egyptian gold mines ). She is also obtained only in excerpts. From other works just the titles are known.


Agatharchides was used by later writers such as Artemidorus of Ephesus or Diodorus.

1935, the lunar crater Agatharchides was named after him.


  • The fragments of the Greek historians. No. 86
  • Agatharchides of Knidos: About the Red Sea. Translation and Commentary by Dieter Woelk. Bamberg 1966 ( also dissertation, Freiburg im Breisgau 1966).
  • Agatharchides of Cnidus: On the Erythraean Sea ( Works issued by the Hakluyt = Society Vol 172. ). Edited and translated by Stanley M. Burstein. London, 1989, ISBN 0-904180-28- X.