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Hellenistic World

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Classical Studies
Classical Studies 1000
Shauna Burke

1 The Hellenistic World: - Now talking about places in the world dominated by greek/macedonian that was fueled by Alexander;Alexander was Macedonian, but Greek culture was the universal medium The Successors: • Alexander dies and leaves no indication of who is to succeed him successors say they will only hold power untilAlexander’s son is of age; but they had no • intention of that • The Regency (323-318)- people working for the lawful king who is still too young to take power (Alexander’s baby by one if his many wives) • Perdiccas &Antipater- lead regency period. • Revolts- immediately after he died, there were some revolts; greek soldiers were upset because they were required to be posted in and marry the local people (any of the various ethnicities); refused to remain posted • Ptolemy- stationed in Egypt; kidnaps the corpse ofAlexander; hijacks and keeps it; He wants a piece of the empire; anything associated withAlexander makes your claim more valuable and authentic • Seleucus - sets up empire in Babylon • Antigonus & the “liberation” of Greece- claims that he will liberate Greece if they back him up • successors fight against each other for sympathy of the troops and citizens. Alexander’s son was put under house arrest • • It takes about 120 years for the dust to settle The 3 Hellenistic Kingdoms: • Seleucid Asia/Syria: everywhere but the two following; fragments often fall away • Ptolemaic Egypt: Alexandria • Antigonid Macedonia • “Divine” Monarchy: Kings wanted to appear like God; temples set up for various kings, etc. • Warrior-Kings - aggressive, posture of divine war-god, etc. 2 • Passive Rule - passive toward subject peoples; they don't care about you, as long as you pay your taxes and such, they didn't care what religion you were, as long as you were subordinate to the King’s rule; No cultural domination • Euergitism - “doing good deeds” in Greek; local peoples doing good deeds for the rest of the citizens; one person, who is often related to the king somehow, gets the king to give money; people go to capital city, make contact with king, he gives them stuff, they come back home, and shower their local communities with luxuries; the mere presence of the king influences people; big reason that Polis is dead Hellenization: • process of people becoming Greek like; Egyptians send their kids to school to learn Greek, the tragedies, etc; engaged by the local peoples, not enforced upon them, they just want to be able to advance themselves; king does not force anyone to do this • Urban settlement: people are moving to the cities and imitating Greek ways; some people are okay with it, some are not • Racial conflict • Syncretism: two cultures/practices merge together; Greek and Egyptian worship grow together • Hellenistic women: if you know the king, you are influential, whether you're a man or a woman Libraries and Museums: • symbol for the king to have a greater Greek culture (because the kings competed with each other); they poured money into things like libraries and museums; big time for forgery, because there is now a market for Greek art/literature Hellenistic “Universalism” • Alexandria- zoos with every kind of animal; libraries with every book in the world; Ptolemy- especially known for this Royal Patronage Hellenistic Poetry: 3 • people are paying money for the poetry at this point • poets want to make their poetry complex that it is worth the price tag • almost unenjoyable to read; extremely complicated Constructive Philosophy: • Emphasis upon the individual in a world that is confusing, different, and incomprehensible connects these three types • Before: dealing with people as a whole; now, on the individual; constructive because they are trying to give you a constructive guide, while most previous philosophy is deconstructive; all believe that the answer is that you should take your guide from nature • Stoics: natural universe has a logic to it (Natural Law); if you use your logic, you can come into harmony with the universe, emphasize, know your role in the universe, live in accordance with it - > Rational Universe • Epicureans: believe nature tells you how to live too; but the raw data you get from the real world; emphasize what will give you the greatest pleasure over the longest period of time; criticized by stoics for being pleasure-seekers; “hedonistic”.Ataraxia - “undisturbed” - when you get/lose something (money & material possessions)- > it does not change you. • Cynics/Skeptics: live in accordance with nature, and by nature (everything that is not culture) The way the animals live; reject everything that culture has to offer (therefore there often wasn't much writing from them); all culture is bad because it is not natural. • Diogenes: founder of the Cynics and the most famous; no possessions, lived in a tub, etc; • Each school of philosophy had people who thought their school was the true way to be happy; people were trying to find some anchor in this world; all of these were dwarfed by the new goddess Tucke meaning luck Sc
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