Hellenistic Age Essay Research Paper Hellenistic Age

9 September 2017

Hellenic Age Essay, Research Paper

Hellenic Age ( 323BC & # 8211 ; 30BC )

The Age of Alexander

The conquerings of Alexander the Great dispersed Hellenism instantly over the Middle East and far into Asia. After his decease in 323 B.C. , the influence of Greek civilisation continued to spread out over the Mediterranean universe and W Asia. The wars of the Diadochi marked, it is true, the dissolution of Alexander & # 8217 ; s brief imperium, but the constitution of Macedonian dynasties in Egypt, Syria, and Persia ( the Ptolemies and the Seleucidae ) helped to model the universe of that twenty-four hours into a wider integrity of trade and acquisition.

The Hellenistic period was an international, widely distributed age. Commercial contacts were widespread and peoples of many cultural and spiritual backgrounds merged in thickly settled urban centres. Progresss were made in assorted Fieldss of scientific enquiry, including technology, natural philosophies, uranology and mathematics. Great libraries were founded in Alexandria, Athens and the independent land of Pergamum. The old beliefs in Olympic Gods were infused with foreign elements, particularly from the E ; & # 8220 ; Oriental & # 8221 ; enraptured cults, such as those of Cybele, Isis, and Mithras, go popular in the Hellenized universe.

The third century BC saw the rise of ancient Rome. After procuring most of the Italic peninsula, Rome entered into a drawn-out struggle with the Carthaginians for control of Sicily, Spain and the other parts of Punic domination in the Punic Wars. The former imperium of Alexander was taken steadily and methodically into Roman hands. The great metropolis of Corinth was destroyed ( 146 BC ) , Athens captured ( 86 BC ) , and Cleopatra and Mark Antony defeated at the Battle of Actium ( 31 BC ) . Their licking marks the terminal of the Hellenistic Age.


While the city states of Greece itself tended to stagnate, elsewhere metropoliss and provinces grew and flourished. Of these the head was Alexandria. So great a force did Alexandria exert in commercialism, letters, and art that this period is on occasion called the Alexandrian Age, and the terminal of Hellenistic civilisation is by and large set at the concluding victory of Roman power in Alexandria in the 1st cent. B.C. Pergamum was besides outstanding, and there were other metropoliss of influence ( e.g. , Dura ) .

In the Hellenistic period, although the metropoliss were no longer independent, as they had been in the Hellenic epoch, they were the centres of trade and trade industry. It was in the metropoliss that the posterities of the Greco-Macedonian vanquishers became a professional category of swayers and soldiers and merchandisers, which provided a cultural and economic bond throughout the country, even though political integrity did non last the decease of Alexander. Among the Greek opinion category, the old truenesss to the Polis had given manner to a dedication to the profession. As the decision makers and the merchandisers of their universe, in malice of being in the minority, they had an influence out of proportion to their Numberss. The metropolis of Alexandria, founded by Alexander, located on the Mediterranean at the oral cavity of the Nile, became the most outstanding centre of commercialism and acquisition. The library in Alexandria became the depositary for entering many of the literary and scientific accomplishments of the clip.

Although adult females continued to hold a subsidiary position, some lucky few of the affluent and opinion categories, would hold the chance to go involved in commercialism or in rational activities. For the most portion, nevertheless, adult females had no portion in public life.


Sailing masters, who learned, for illustration, about the North Sea, extended the bounds of the known universe. The rush of commercialism brought a great addition of wealth to merchandisers and in general to the upper categories ; this wealth was besides reflected in a inclination toward the ornate and impressive in architecture, although town programs and edifices of the period have proportions and grace seldom excelled. It should be noted, nevertheless, that the addition of wealth did non make the hapless, who in general were more destitute than they had antecedently been.

Agribusiness, little secret plans of land worked by husbandmans, industry and ventures in commercialism were little enterprisers in Classical Greece but with the Hellenistic Age came big graduated table industry and trade. The Hellenistic universe brought ambitious Greeks that migrated to Egypt and the Near East. They introduced new harvests and new techniques in agribusiness i.e. : new improved Egyptian vinos and improved irrigation. Long distance trade grew and swayers encouraged this by set uping a sound money system, constructing roads and canals and uncluttering the seas of plagiarists. Unfortunately the prosperity which resulted due to the enlargement of trade filled the pockets of the Upper Class but small filtered to the husbandmans and labourers.

Education & A ; Libraries

Education, nevertheless, was much more widespread than of all time before, and Greek was the stylish linguistic communication of the educated universe. The consequence was a great addition of volume in literature and a inclination for composing to split into popular literature for the broad audience and specialise authorship. A library and a museum were constructed in Alexandria. One of the chief involvements of the bookmans in Alexandria is Classical Greece. The specialisation of bookmans caused the development of professionalism. The ground forces now consisted of professional soldiers while professional beaurocrats ran the authorities.

Following the decease of Alexander the Great, his land was split into three big Kingdoms ( approx. 275BC ) by his generals. The Antigonid dynasty maintained control of mainland Greece. The Seleucids governed the full eastern imperium, the largest part of the district, while the Ptolemies ruled the land of ancient Egypt.

Hellenic Rulers

Womans re-emerged as swayers in The Hellenistic Age i.e. Cleopatra and Olympias, the female parent of Alexander. Hellenistic Rulrs ruled with strong armed forcess and big bureaucratism, which allowed localised democracy. The male monarch could nevertheless call off the rights of the metropoliss.


Slavery, which had been a normally accepted pattern throughout the history of ancient civilisation, remained a outstanding portion of Hellenic civilization. Most labour was manus labour, and bondage had the consequence of degrading the value of labour and detering the hunt for alternate methods of production. Thus, in malice of the fact that the Hellenistic epoch is noted for its scientific accomplishments, the addition in theoretical cognition did non take to practical applications. Industry remained basically hand-craft industry, and agribusiness remained the primary business. Trade and commercialism, though enhanced by the mercantile and transporting expertness of a professional category of merchandisers, was limited, about wholly to agricultural merchandises such as the grains of the river vale, and vino and olives of the Mediterranean


The empirical traditions established by the Grecian natural scientists ( such as Democritus and Aristotle ) continued to be followed by a figure of noteworthy persons.

Aristarchus of Samos ( c. 310-230 BC )

Merely through mentions from Archimedes and Plutarch do we have knowledge of this ancient scientist. We know that Aristarchus put forth the astonishing observation ( astonishing for his clip, anyhow ) that the Sun is the centre of Thursday

vitamin E universes and that the Earth travels around the sun–not the Sun around the Earth. He besides made some quite audacious appraisal of the sizes and distances of the Sun and Moon. Although he greatly underestimated both size and distance, they were radically greater than anything thought possible in his days–and as with the remainder of his work, held to roast because they seemed so evidently incorrect at the clip. Today, of class, he seems to be a alone voice indicating in the right way, one that was non followed up by others that anciently might hold led us to more accurate appraisals of the range and motion of our existence.

Archimedes ( 287-212 BC )

Archimedes was a scientist in the manner we understand the term: he combined his love of mathematical theory with a ardor for experimentation. Consequently he produced a figure of major penetrations into the kingdom of mechanical technology and natural philosophies. He was a major subscriber to the survey of geometry and the scientific discipline of weights and steps. He besides came really near to contriving the concretion ( that award finally went to Newton 1,900 old ages subsequently ) .

He besides was famed in his yearss for the imaginative defence devices he provided his native metropolis of Syracuse ( Sicily ) in its ( finally unsuccessful ) defence attempt against the siege Romans.

Eratosthenes ( ca. 276-192 BC )

Eratosthenes was the bibliothec of the great museum/library of Alexandria. Based on the cognition that at midday at the summer solstice shone straight down a well in Syene ( Aswan ) Egypt & # 8211 ; and ciphering the angle of the shadow that the Sun made over a perpendicular pole at Alexandria Egypt at precisely the same minute & # 8211 ; and holding an accurate step of the distance between the well at Syene and his rod at Alexandria, Eratosthenes estimated the Earth & # 8217 ; s perimeter at 24,660 stat mis & # 8211 ; merely about 200 stat mis less than the existent step! He besides claimed that a individual could sail around the Earth and arrive dorsum at his get downing point, provided that he ne’er changed class along the manner. He similarly catalogued about 700 stars. And he devised a system of ciphering premier Numberss.

Euclid ( ca. 276-194 BC )

Euclid taught mathematics in Alexandria, Egypt and is even today considered the & # 8220 ; father & # 8221 ; of Western geometry. His work was clear and precise and good accepted in his yearss. Indeed, his composing Elementss was used down into modern times as the major text on the topic of geometry. But we know small about him personally except through his many preserved plants.

Hipparchus ( fl. 145-130 BC )

He was one who put away strong statements against the heliocentric theory of Aristarchus & # 8211 ; on the evidences that a mathematical system of flakes and epicycles seemed to account more logically for the motion of the celestial spheres ( he had a really strong influence on Ptolemy who took up his work several centuries subsequently ) and did non endure from a theory which required the Earth to travel. This to Hipparchus flew solidly in the face of common sense.

But in other respects he was a really complete mathematician, geomotrist and uranologist. He rejected star divination and based his work entirely on strict observation & # 8211 ; which avoided metaphysical guess. He was extremely instrumental in the creative activity of trigonometry & # 8211 ; including the expression for spherical trigons. He created a star catalogue, which was rather accurate & # 8211 ; and which listed about 1000 stars.

Doctrine and Religion

Hellenic Philosophy, 322 BC to 235 AD, overlaps the Hellenic Period ( from Alexander the Great, d.323, to Cleopatra, d.30 BC ) and the Early Roman Empire ( 30 BC to the decease of Alexander Severus, 235 AD ) . Plato & # 8217 ; s school at the Academy and Aristotle & # 8217 ; s school ( the Peripatetics ) at the Lyceum continued, joined by several other schools, including the Cynics and Hedonists, but particularly the Stoics and Epicureans.


The Stoic school was founded by Zeno of Citium ( 335-263 ) , a adult male of Phoenician descent from Cyprus, and was named after the sort of unfastened edifice with a porch, a stoa, found in the Athenian market place, where Zeno taught and the school became established. After coming to Athens, Zeno was a pupil of Crates, but broke off out of humiliation at the sorts of things he was expected to make. Stoicism, which became the dominant Hellenic school of doctrine, emphasized that felicity depends merely on goodness ( instead as Socrates had thought ) and that all external conditions of life can and must be endured without apathy ( enduring ) .


The school of Hedonism was reputedly founded by Aristippus of Cyrene ( c.435-360 ) and subsequently modified by Epicurus ( 341-270 ) , who settled in Athens and taught from the garden of his house, where the school remained and from which it derived its name: the Garden. Epicurus remained a pagan in the sense that he believed pleasance to be the good, but he thought that lone pleasances which did non subsequently produce hurting should be sought. Excesss and upseting personal businesss, like political relations, were therefore to be avoided. Even the Gods were thought to populate this sort of being, paying no particular attending to us. Epicurus derived his metaphysical philosophies from Democritus. The instruction of & # 8220 ; atoms and the nothingness & # 8221 ; gave him less to worry about than other philosophies did. This was ne’er every bit popular as Stoicism.

Summary Comparison Guide of Hellenic and Hellenistic Societies

Features Hellenic World Hellenistic World

Government Small, autonomous city states Empires ruled by sovereign, male monarchs.

Cities ruled by affluent category

Education Private coachs for well-to-do. Physical preparation at gym Education and physical preparation at secondary school

Language Classical Greek Greek ( kione ) , Aramaic

Commerce Limited commercial activity extended trade on sea and land

Status of adult females restricted functions, domestic chiefly matrimony contracts, ain slaves and belongings, act as trustees

Slavery Widespread usage Widespread usage

Literature Golden age play, poesy Grecian influence with local civilization

Philosophy Emphasis on logic moralss, ground ( Socrates, Plato, Aristotle ) Non-rational, Oriental mysticism

1. Stoic 2. Epicurean 3. Cynic

Science Acceptance of experimental method but more attending to doctrine Progresss in uranology, mathematics, and medical specialty

Religion Olympian Gods of Greece Adapted Olympian Gods for Rome, local faiths

The power and leading of the Greco-Macedonian opinion groups would bit by bit be undermined by the diffusion of cognition and professional expertness to non-Greeks. The fact that the Greeks were a minority, meant that finally, the larger Numberss of people of Asian or near-Eastern background would increase their influence. Therefore, in a really gradual mode, without distinguishable historical events to tag the manner, the alone Hellenic civilization would melt off. Grecian patterns would, nevertheless, make a lasting grade upon the composite civilization of the civilised universe.

The procedure of enlargement of civilisation and diffusion of civilization would travel on. The Romans built their imperium upon the Mediterranean basin, exploited the progresss of the Hellenistic epoch, and expanded the civilised centre into western Europe. The Hellenic period blended unnoticeably into the Roman epoch.

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