Complete Study Guide - Key notes from Ancient Mediterranean World, Lecture, and Primary Sources

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University of Toronto St. George
Jacqueline Brunning

th February 10 Macedonia and Alexander Ancient Mediterranean World pg. 101-109 The Macedonian Conquerors In 359 BCE, its new king, Philip II, reformed the army and embarked on a program of imperialist expansion, conquering neighbouring peoples including some Athenian allies and colonies Equipped the infantry phalanx with a long pike called a sarisa The Athenians were preoccupied with problems closer to home and unable to convince other Greek cities to join in an alliance against Philip Didnt mount a resistance until 341 BCE, but were defeated by Philip in 338 BCE In 339 BCE, the Greek cities jointly agreed to an alliance with Macedonia and appointed Philip their leader Philip proclaimed his intention to lead them in a war of revenge against Persia, but was assassinated in 336 BCE Alexander the Great Alexander III was just twenty years old when he became king Began his reign by crushing a revolt of the city of Thebes and enslaving its population 334 BCE he began the Eastern campaign that his father had planned, crossing the Hellespont with an army of about 50,000 troops Defeated the Persian army 332 BCE he marched to Egypt, which surrendered without resistance There he founded Alexandria, which would become the Mediterranean worlds most populous of cities and one of the main centres of Greek culture He occupied the great cities of Babylon and Susa Alexander continued marching east, through what is now Afghanistan, defeated the Indian king, and was approaching the Ganges river when his troops refused to march further Alexander turned back Alexander died in 323 BCE in Babylon, at 33 years old Alexanders military achievement was extraordinary With a relatively small army he had conquered the worlds largest empire and had marched through lands virtually unknown to the Greeks The Hellenistic Kingdoms Alexanders kingdom did not survive his death His generals divided it among themselves Three large kingdoms emerged that comprised most of the Greek world in the Hellenistic period 1. Seleucus and his descendants ruled over Asia Minor, Syria, and the eastern part of the empire 2. Antigonus and his descendants ruled over Macedonia and northern Greece 3. Ptolemy and his descendants ruled over Egypt Later, the Parthians began a long campaign of expansion that eventually conquered much of Syria By 100 BCE, Parthia ruled most of the former territory of the Persians and Seleucids as far as the Euphrates river Greeks and Natives The most important cities founded by Alexander were Alexandria on the Nile Delta, Seleucia on the Tigris river, and Antioch on the Orontes river in Syria Many of the earliest foundations were military colonies, settled by soldiers from Alexanders army In centuries that followed, the new cities attracted settlers from Greece and Macedonia, and developed bodies of citizens organized into demes and tribes as well as councils and assemblies Built the public buildings that defined the Greek way of life: theatres, temples Scholars debate the effects of Hellenization on the native populations of the Greco-Macedonian kingdoms Some argue that the Greek and native populations were segregated from one another, with little social or cultural mixing Others point out the substantial evidence for intermarriage between Greeks and natives, arguing that the participation of natives in government is well attested The problem of language in the Hellenistic world is equally complicated Greek became the dominant literary and administrative language A standard form of Greek called koine (common) developed However, the native languages of the Near East continued in use The two most important languages were Aramaic (a Semitic language) and Egyptian Most of the high-administrative posts were reserved for Greeks, but the lower- ranking officials could be Greek or natives who had learned Greek Overall, the Hellenic minority tended to be wealthier, more urban, and more educated than non-Greeks, and the Greeks considered themselves superior to the non-Greek population Religion in the Hellenistic World Greek-style temples were constructed to traditional Hellenic gods The cities all had their own Greek religious festivals At the same time, the worship of native Near Eastern gods continued in much the same way as before The Hellenistic kings paid for renovations to the temples of the most important native gods, and their priesthoods continued to function Strange combinations of Greek and native ideas developed Judaism in the Second Temple Period Second Temple Period: period from the return of the Babylonian exiles to Judah, when Solomons temple was rebuilt, to the temples destruction by the Romans in 70 CE The Jewish State After Alexander conquered the Persian Empire, Judah was politically subject to either the Seleucids or the Ptolemies In 166 BCE, the Seleucids were in control when Judah Maccabee and his brothers led a revolt The cause of the revolt was the Seleucid kings insults to Jewish religion: pillaged the Temple of Jerusalem, occupied the city with troops, forbade the practice of Jewish law, and installed images of the Greek gods in the Temple of Jerusalem Revolt of the Maccabees resulted in the establishment of an independent kingdom of Judah in 141 BCE Judaism and Hellenism Since the Babylonian exile, Jewish communities could be found in cities throughout the eastern Mediterranean, called diaspora Septuagint : Jewish bible translated into Greek The Jewish people had a well-developed cultural tradition and a strong sense of ethnic identity Readings Demosthenes, 3 Philippic Philip has been committing hostilities against Greece even after the peace treaty has been signed The main reason the Athenian affairs have been brought to inattention and negligence is because orators have been studying to please the public instead of informing them Because of this, Philip has been able to say and do what he pleases At the same time Philip has been capturing cities and invading Athenian dominion, Athenians havent acted for fear of being accused of kindling war Instead of blindly believing that Philip comes in peace, the people of Athens should wake up and realize what he brings with him are instruments of war, capable of conquering them all
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