The Hellenistic people (from the Greek word Hellas for Greece) is the known civilization after the occupations of Alexander the great and corresponds around with the Hellenistic period of ancient Greece, from 323 BCE (Alexander"s death) come the addition of greece by Rome in 146 BCE. Although Rome"s rule ended Greek independence and also autonomy it did nothing to significantly adjust nor did the in any way halt the Hellenization the the human being of the day; in fact, it encouraged it.

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Alexander the an excellent (r. 336-323 BCE) that Macedon led his army on a series of projects which successfully dominated the then-known people from Macedon, through Greece, down to Egypt, throughout Persia, come India. Alexander"s tutor to be the Greek thinker Aristotle (384-322 BCE) that impressed upon him the worth of Greek culture and philosophy. As Alexander campaigned, he spread Greek thought and culture in his wake, for this reason "hellenizing" (to do `Greek" in culture and civilization) those the conquered.

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Perga / Perge

After Alexander"s fatality his empire was divided amongst his 4 generals (known in Latin as the Diadochi, the name through which they room still referenced, indigenous the Greek, Diadokhoi, definition "successors"):

To greater or lesser extents, all of these areas were Hellenized as Greek culture and spiritual beliefs influenced those the the aboriginal people.

After Alexander"s death his empire was divided amongst his four generals - the Diadochi or Successors.

Greek society & Philip II of Macedon

Alexander that Macedon to be the kid of Philip II (r. 359-336 BCE) who known that his neighbors taken into consideration Macedon a backward an ar of tiny importance and also decided to readjust that watch dramatically. Philip II had been a hostage for 3 years in Greek Thebes where he was exposed to Greek culture, armed forces tactics and formations, and philosophy.

Although that made the best use the the military information, the decreed a complete overhaul the his country"s educational methods and goals to create a significant center of discovering at his capital of Pella. He invite the an excellent Greek thinker Aristotle to guardian his son and his son"s peers. As the call of the school at Pella grew, Philip II urged the noble of greece to send your sons come Pella which no only improved the nation"s reputation however gave Philip II an important hostages i m sorry prevented the Greeks from attacking him.

Greece right now was no a unified country but a loosened confederation that city-states every of which had its own patron deity, social structure, coinage, and also government. These city-states would occasionally ally and also sometimes war on each other yet their only typical bond was your language and, to a better or lesser extent, their religious belief structure. They celebrated different festivals at various times of the year and made battle in various ways.


If they can agree top top one thing, however, it was their dislike that foreigners, who they described as `barbarians", meaning anyone who might not speak Greek. Greek society at this time incorporated every aspect of human being from literary works to philosophy, science, architecture, the arts, mathematics, astronomy, law, medicine, war, and so on. The Greeks to be justifiably proud of your intellectual achievements and tended to look under on non-Greeks.

The an ar of Macedon speak a language of Greek yet its world were still taken into consideration barbarians by the Greeks since they did not feel that had any type of culture. Macedon was thought to be great for raw products but small else until Philip II created the college at Pella and, even then, the call of the college came native the Greek scholars Philip employed, not from any kind of Macedonian.

At the same time Phillip to be encouraging education and learning and society in his capital, however, he was reorganizing his army and enlarging it yet the Greeks did not seem come notice. They became conscious of his armed forces strength in 356 BCE throughout the so-called third Social battle in i m sorry he beat the Phocians who had seized the spiritual site the Delphi. At the battle of Crocus ar in 352 BCE he fully defeated the Phocians and then involved in a series of campaigns in between 355-348 BCE during which he captured a number of Greek cities, renaming the city of Crenides Philippi in respect of himself.


The Athenian orator Demosthenes (c.384-322 BCE) ceded a variety of speeches denouncing Philip II yet these did nothing to halt Macedon"s cultivation power. The Greek city-states ongoing to war v each various other while Philip II to be calmly taking their urban for his own and also enlarging his treasury. At the battle of Chaeronea in 338 BCE, Philip II and his 18-year old child Alexander beat the an unified forces the Athens and also Thebes and also this victory enabled him to form the Pan-Hellenic Congress, through himself together its head, which created peace and effectively carried Greece under Macedonian control. Philip walk not gain his good victory for long, however, together he was assassinated in 336 BCE and Alexander took the throne.

The projects of Alexander the Great

Alexander inherited not only a substantial standing military but a healthy treasury, infrastructure, and also an entire country which was now subject come his will. The did not should make bargains or concessions with any other country in order come initiate his policies. The had sufficient power and also wealth to do every little thing he pleased and also he decided to fulfil his father"s desire to conquer Persia and also topple what to be then the greatest empire in the world.

Alexander decisively beat Darius at the fight of Gaugamela & was currently supreme leader of the regions previously belonging to the Persian Empire.

He crossed from Greece into Asia young in 334 BCE v an army of 32,000 infantry and also 5,100 cavalry and sacked the city of Baalbek and also took Ephesus. In 333 in ~ the battle of Issos he defeated Darius the great of Syria yet could not record him. The went top top to take it Syria indigenous the Persians in 332 BCE and also Egypt in 331 BCE. Throughout every these campaigns, Alexander spread the society of greece while enabling the people of the miscellaneous regions to proceed worshipping the god of their selection and conducting themselves as they pleased – as long as they caused him no trouble and kept his supply lines open up – while all at once investigating and recording the culture and other facets of each land. Scholar Ian Worthington comments:

Homer to be Alexander"s bible and also he took Aristotle"s edition with him come Asia...During his campaigns Alexander was constantly intent on recognize out everything he could around the locations through which that passed. He took with him an entourage of scientists to record and also analyse this information, native botany, biology, zoology and meteorology, to topography. His desire come learn, and also to have actually information tape-recorded as scientifically together possible, probably stemmed indigenous Aristotle"s teachings and enthusiasm. (34-35)


In 331 BCE Alexander decisively defeated Darius at the fight of Gaugamela and also was currently supreme leader of the regions previously belonging to the Persian Empire. He embraced the tile ShahanShah (King of Kings) and introduced Persian personalizeds into his military while, at the very same time, share Greek society with the people of Persia. He carried this society with him come India in his 327 BCE intrusion which was stopped only since his males threatened mutiny if that did not revolve back. He was allegedly contemplating one more move to broaden his realm when the died, after ~ ten work of fever, in June of 323 BCE. As he did not name a successor, his 4 generals divided his empire in between them.

The Diadochi & Hellenization

These generals, Lysimachus, Cassander, Ptoelmy, and Seleucus, at first spent their time warring through each other for an ext territory however even together they ravaged the land through battles, their very presence in the an ar encouraged the diffusion the Hellenization which had actually been established by Alexander.

Easily the most successful of this four, in this regard as in others, was Ptolemy ns (r.323-282 BCE). When the other three continued their wars against each other (and versus even an ext of Alexander"s police officers or family members members), Ptolemy ns made an moral attempt in ~ furthering Alexander"s vision that a multicultural world. His initiatives at Alexandria created an virtually seamless blending of Egyptian and also Greek cultures as epitomized in his personal god Serapis.

Serapis was a combination of Egyptian and also Greek gods (Osiris, Apis, and Zeus) and his prayer was developed as a state religious beliefs by Ptolemy I. Although various other gods ongoing to be venerated, Ptolemy I motivated the cult that Serapis by structure the great temple the the Serapeum in Alexandria and also the great Library to accompany it. The library drew scholars from approximately the world and also elevated Alexandria to a center of discovering which rivaled also Athens. Under Ptolemy I, building of the Lighthouse at Alexandria (one that the 7 Wonders of the old World) began and the city, and the entire region under his control, flourished.


As the wars of the Diadochi settled down and finished, Hellenic influence continued to spread throughout your regions and also Greek dedications, statues, architecture and inscriptions have actually been uncovered in diversity in every locale. The an excellent Library at Alexandria steadily prospered to end up being the many important facility for finding out in the ancient world, illustration scholars from almost everywhere who then went back to their aboriginal towns and also cities motivated by Hellenic beliefs and scientific methods. Greek theatre prospered throughout the lands conquered by Alexander and held through his generals and the amphitheaters built during the Hellenistic period show markedly Greek features no matter the nationality the the architect no one the nation of construction, one example being, Ai-Khanoum top top the sheet of Bactria, contemporary day Afghanistan.

Greek language introduced Greek literature into the former Persian Empire, thereby influencing the philosophical thought and also writing that the region and the same held true because that the area well-known as Palestine whereby Greek literature discovered its way into the religious thought and also scripture that Judaism and, later, Christianity. Hellenization, in fact, inspired one of the most popular Jewish holidays, Chanukah, which celebrates the liberation of the holy place of Jerusalem native the Syrian Greeks under Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-164 BCE) who, according to the traditional story, do the efforts to pressure Hellenic gods on the Jewish people and also instigated the Maccabean rebellion of c. 168 BCE.

Recent scholarship suggests, however, that the revolt was actually a polite war between Jewish factions: Hellenic Jews who embraced Greek values and also traditionalists who withstood them. In this variation of the story, Antiochus IV Epiphanes becomes affiliated in this civil war on the behalf of the Hellenistic Jews and his authorized is compelled as opposed to the timeless story in which the is depicted as imposing his will on the Jewish world of Palestine. One of two people way, Hellenism played a vital role in the rebellion of the Maccabees that would later uncovered the Hasmonean dynasty which, v its wars with the neighboring Kingdom of Nabatea, would entice the fist of Rome and also lead come the eventual conquest of the region.


Hellenistic believed is apparent in the narratives which consist of the publications of the scriptures as the Hebrew bibles were revised and canonized throughout the second Temple duration (c.515 BCE-70 CE), the latter component of i beg your pardon was during the Hellenic period of the region. The gospels and epistles that the Christian new Testament were composed in Greek and draw on Greek philosophy and also religion as, because that example, in the very first chapter the the Gospel of man in which the word becomes flesh, a Platonic concept.

The spread of Greek influence and language is also shown through coinage. Portraits became much more realistic, and also the obverse the the coin was often used to screen a propaganda image, commemorating an event or displaying the photo of a favored god. The usage of Greek-style portraits and Greek language continued into the Parthian duration (247 BCE-224 CE), also as Greek as a language was in decline.

With the rise of the Republic of Rome and then the roman inn Empire, Greek language, attitudes, philosophy, understanding, and also overall culture spread also further. The Romans borrowed much that their civilization from the Greeks and as they overcame various areas which had previously been held by Alexander"s generals, they urged Hellenic thought and also culture.

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The Romans were much from tolerant the the ideas of other countries unless they corresponded very closely with your own. Follow to Hellenic thought, therefore, to be a popular alternate to persecution for the citizens of these regions. Greek thought, language, and culture spread north to Europe with trade and, further, by Roman occupation of regions such as modern France, Spain, and Britain, Hellenizing the entire civilization of antiquity and influencing practically every culture which has added to the development of learning and understanding in the civilization today.

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A freelance writer and former part-time Professor of approach at Marist College, brand-new York, Joshua J. Mark has lived in Greece and also Germany and also traveled v Egypt. He has taught history, writing, literature, and philosophy in ~ the college level.