Alexander the Great and The Hellensitic Period

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Alexander the Great sparked what was came to be known as the Hellenistic Period. This was the period after Alexander’s death when the eastern Mediterranean world cultures mixed together with Greek and Near Eastern traditions. Alexander’s aim before his death was to unite the world and its cultures. This brought upon the process of “Hellenization,” meaning Greek-like. Greek traditions had the most impact on larger populations of Egypt and southwest Asia. Those who lived a rural life did not have much interest in the Greek’s way of life.

People who lived in Egypt and southwestern Asia during the Hellenistic period were responsible for creating and developing organized societies and developing institutions that give us an idea of what we call a “civilization” today. They were an outstanding class of rulers, soldiers, and merchants. They were also the center of trade and craft industry. Also the creation of the new kingdoms began the spread of Greek language throughout Asia, even into parts of Africa, including Egypt. It also brought upon new interests in arts, such as sculptures and paintings; literature, such as poetry and theatre; philosophy, such as stoicism; scientific investigation, such as advances in Geometry and Mathematics and discoveries in science and medicine; and religion, such as cults and Hellenistic Judaism. Women’s lives were also affected during the Hellenistic period. Their social and political status was based on their rank in the kingdom. Hellenistic queens ruled on their own with no male heir assistance. During the Hellenistic period, women had more say and had more control over their lives. The wealthy showed more concern for those who were less fortunate during the Hellenistic period. They would provide food for the poor and funded schools for children. They also sponsored doctors to improve medical care.

The Hellenistic kingdoms soon fell to the Romans.

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