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Lecture

L6 - The Hellenistic Age.docx

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Department
History
Course
HIST 110
Professor
David Schweitzer
Semester
Fall

Description
The Hellenistic Age and Alexander the Great Hellenism • definition • origins – rise of Macedonia – reign of Philip II (359-336 B.C.E.) – campaigns against Greek city-states • Greek reactions to conquest – Demosthenes (c. 384-322 B.C.E.) – Isocrates (436-338 B.C.E.) • Pan-Hellenism • Greek poverty • Philip II’s conquest of Athens – Philip is ‘Hegemon’ (warlord) • Philip’s assassination – Philip dumped wife (Olympias) for another woman (Cleopatra of Macedonia) – Philip murdered along with Cleopatra and her infant daughter – suspects were Olympias & Alexander (mother and son) Alexander the Great • founder of Empire and Hellenistic territorial Kingdoms • Alexander’s youth – close to mom (Olympias) – studied briefly under Aristotle – suspect in his father’s death Alexander’s campaigns • consolidated rule at home – then marched south, secured Thessaly – resumed father’s war against Persia – 334, crossed Hellespont into Asia Minor – 333, conquered Syria – 330 defeated Persians (under Darius) at battle of Issus • conquest of Mediterranean coast and Egypt • Alexander’s ‘attitude’ problem – murdered Cleitus – progress toward Eastern absolutism – Persian court ceremonial: prostration (proskynesis) • Alexander’s invasion of India Alexander’s Empire • assimilation through marriage – fusing Macedonians and Persians – 324, the crises • Alexander’s death and legacy • died 323 without appointing an heir – sons Philip Arrhidaeus and Alexander IV ruled briefly – both murdered – Provinces become kingdoms under generals who took title of king • legacy – great military commander – established great trading network across Mediterranean, Near East to India The Successor States Political and Social History • Government and Society – role of the city-state was eclipsed – gulf between rich & poor grew wider – influx of Persian gold (inflation) • Literature – Alexandria’s Library and Museum • Callimachus (ca. 305-240) • Apollonius (ca. 295 B.C.E.) wrote Argonautica • Meander (ca. 342-29
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