Midterm 2

Midterm 2 - Midterm #2, Part 1 Question 3: The Hellenistic...

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Midterm #2, Part 1 Question 3: The Hellenistic Period Introduction In 334 B.C., Alexander the Great led an army of Macedonians and Greeks into Asia and challenged the authority of the ever powerful Persian Empire. Seven years later, he successfully crushed the great empire and brought forth the advent of a vast and powerful empire of his own. In doing so, Alexander allowed the spread of Greek culture into the once untouched, uninfluenced lands of the ancient Near East, and his triumphs in military and political strategy gave rise to a series of powers which blended the cultural brilliance of the Greeks with the achievements of the East. The Hellenistic world was thus established and to this day proves to span a remarkable period of history, encompassing a potpourri of cultural achievements which brought forth major contributions essential to the development of the West. A Collection of Contributions The Hellenistic period may be described as a period where Greek power and culture expanded and extended itself across the non-Greek world. In contrast with the age of Classical Greece, when some of the world’s greatest art, literature and philosophy were developed exclusively within Greece, the Hellenistic age exported the brilliance of Greek literature and arts across the known world. Essentially, the world was “Hellenized” and Greek culture was implemented everywhere. Despite the resurgence of conflict after the death of Alexander, the Hellenistic world was highly prosperous; after defeating its mighty empire, Alexander had accumulated a great amount of wealth from the Persians and as a result, the standard of living rose higher with such new wealth in circulation. Each empire that had emerged from Alexander’s broken kingdom implemented this wealth into “building projects, on scholarship, on patronage of the arts, and on literature and philosophy” ( http://ancienthistory.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm? %2FGREECE%2F3EMPIRES.HTM ). Regardless of its great expanse of land and the various cultural differences of its conquered peoples, the Hellenistic kingdoms supported a considerable amount of cultural accomplishment in many areas. Two cultural centers emerged – Alexandria and Pergamum – and cultural developments expanded rapidly as scholars of all studies flocked there. The Ptolemaic kings of Egypt made Alexandria an especially important intellectual center; the library housed there became the largest of the time, containing more than half a million documents. In addition, its museum became a hotspot for scholarly research and became home to poets, philosophers and scientists. As a result of such intellectual upholding, achievements in literature, science, and philosophy increased. Achievements and Contributions in Literature
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Midterm 2 - Midterm #2, Part 1 Question 3: The Hellenistic...

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