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The HELLENISTIC PERIOD covers the period of ancient Greek (Hellenic) history and Mediterranean
Mediterranean
history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
as signified by the Battle of Actium
Battle of Actium
in 31 BC and the subsequent conquest of Ptolemaic Egypt
Egypt
the following year.

At this time, Greek cultural influence and power was at its peak in Europe
Europe
, Africa
Africa
and Asia
Asia
, experiencing prosperity and progress in the arts , exploration , literature , theatre , architecture , music , mathematics , philosophy , and science . It is often considered a period of transition, sometimes even of decadence or degeneration , compared to the enlightenment of the Greek Classical era . The Hellenistic
Hellenistic
period saw the rise of New Comedy , Alexandrian poetry , the Septuagint and the philosophies of Stoicism and Epicureanism . Greek science was advanced by the works of the mathematician Euclid and the polymath Archimedes
Archimedes
. The religious sphere expanded to include new gods such as the Greco-Egyptian Serapis
Serapis
, eastern deities such as Attis and Cybele and the Greek adoption of Buddhism
Buddhism
. Hellenistic period. Dionysus sculpture from the Ancient Art Collection at Yale.

After Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great
's invasion of the Persian Empire in 330 BC and its disintegration shortly after, the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
kingdoms were established throughout south-west Asia
Asia
( Seleucid Empire
Seleucid Empire
, Kingdom of Pergamon
Pergamon
), north-east Africa
Africa
( Ptolemaic Kingdom ) and South Asia ( Greco-Bactrian Kingdom
Greco-Bactrian Kingdom
, Indo-Greek Kingdom ). The Hellenistic
Hellenistic
period was characterized by a new wave of Greek colonization which established Greek cities and kingdoms in Asia
Asia
and Africa
Africa
. This resulted in the export of Greek culture
Greek culture
and language to these new realms, spanning as far as modern-day India. Equally, however, these new kingdoms were influenced by the indigenous cultures, adopting local practices where beneficial, necessary, or convenient. Hellenistic
Hellenistic
culture thus represents a fusion of the Ancient Greek world with that of the Near East, Middle East, and Southwest Asia. This mixture gave rise to a common Attic -based Greek dialect, known as Koine Greek
Koine Greek
, which became the lingua franca through the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
world.

Scholars and historians are divided as to what event signals the end of the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
era. The Hellenistic
Hellenistic
period may be seen to end either with the final conquest of the Greek heartlands by Rome
Rome
in 146 BC following the Achean War , with the final defeat of the Ptolemaic Kingdom at the Battle of Actium
Battle of Actium
in 31 BC, or even the move by Roman emperor Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
of the capital of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
to Constantinople
Constantinople
in 330 AD. "Hellenistic" is distinguished from "Hellenic" in that the first encompasses the entire sphere of direct ancient Greek influence, while the latter refers to Greece
Greece
itself.

CONTENTS

* 1 Etymology * 2 Sources * 3 Background * 4 The Diadochi
Diadochi

* 5 Southern Europe
Europe

* 5.1 Kingdom of Epirus
Epirus
* 5.2 Kingdom of Macedon
Macedon
* 5.3 Rest of Greece
Greece
* 5.4 Balkans
Balkans
* 5.5 Western Mediterranean
Mediterranean

* 6 Hellenistic
Hellenistic
Middle East

* 6.1 Ptolemaic Kingdom * 6.2 Seleucid Empire
Seleucid Empire
* 6.3 Attalid Pergamum * 6.4 Galatia * 6.5 Bithynia
Bithynia
* 6.6 Cappadocia
Cappadocia
* 6.7 Kingdom of Pontus
Kingdom of Pontus
* 6.8 Armenia * 6.9 Parthia * 6.10 Nabatean Kingdom * 6.11 Judea

* 7 Greco-Bactrians * 8 Indo-Greek kingdoms * 9 Other states and Hellenistic
Hellenistic
influences * 10 Rise of Rome
Rome

* 11 Culture

* 11.1 Hellenization and acculturation * 11.2 Religion * 11.3 Literature
Literature
* 11.4 Philosophy * 11.5 Sciences * 11.6 Military science * 11.7 Art

* 12 Hellenistic
Hellenistic
period and modern culture * 13 See also * 14 References * 15 Further reading * 16 External links

ETYMOLOGY

See also: Names of the Greeks

The word originated from the German term hellenistisch, from Ancient Greek Ἑλληνιστής (Hellēnistḗs, "one who uses the Greek language"), from Ἑλλάς (Hellás, "Greece"); as if "Hellenist" + "ic". LEFT IMAGE: The Sampul tapestry , a woolen wall hanging from Lop County , Xinjiang
Xinjiang
, China
China
, showing a possibly Greek soldier from the Greco-Bactrian kingdom
Greco-Bactrian kingdom
(250-125 BC), with blue eyes , wielding a spear, and wearing what appears to be a diadem headband; depicted above him is a centaur , from Greek mythology
Greek mythology
, a common motif in Hellenistic art RIGHT IMAGE: painted clay and alabaster head of a Zoroastrian
Zoroastrian
priest wearing a distinctive Bactrian -style headdress, Takhti-Sangin , Tajikistan
Tajikistan
, 3rd-2nd century BC

"Hellenistic" is a modern word and a 19th-century concept; the idea of a Hellenistic
Hellenistic
period did not exist in Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
. Although words related in form or meaning, e.g. Hellenist ( Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
: Ἑλληνιστής, Hellēnistēs), have been attested since ancient times, it was Johann Gustav Droysen in the mid-19th century, who in his classic work Geschichte des Hellenismus (History of Hellenism), coined the term Hellenistic
Hellenistic
to refer to and define the period when Greek culture
Greek culture
spread in the non-Greek world after Alexander's conquest. Following Droysen, Hellenistic
Hellenistic
and related terms, e.g. Hellenism, have been widely used in various contexts; a notable such use is in Culture and Anarchy by Matthew Arnold
Matthew Arnold
, where Hellenism is used in contrast with Hebraism .

The major issue with the term Hellenistic
Hellenistic
lies in its convenience, as the spread of Greek culture
Greek culture
was not the generalized phenomenon that the term implies. Some areas of the conquered world were more affected by Greek influences than others. The term Hellenistic
Hellenistic
also implies that the Greek populations were of majority in the areas in which they settled, but in many cases, the Greek settlers were actually the minority among the native populations. The Greek population and the native population did not always mix; the Greeks
Greeks
moved and brought their own culture, but interaction did not always occur.

SOURCES

While a few fragments exist, there is no complete surviving historical work which dates to the hundred years following Alexander's death. The works of the major Hellenistic
Hellenistic
historians Hieronymus of Cardia (who worked under Alexander, Antigonus I and other successors), Duris of Samos and Phylarchus which were used by surviving sources are all lost. The earliest and most credible surviving source for the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
period is Polybius
Polybius
of Megalopolis (c. 200-118), a statesman of the Achaean League until 168 BC when he was forced to go to Rome
Rome
as a hostage. His Histories eventually grew to a length of forty books, covering the years 220 to 167 BC.

The most important source after Polybius
Polybius
is Diodorus Siculus
Diodorus Siculus
who wrote his Bibliotheca historica
Bibliotheca historica
between 60 and 30 BC and reproduced some important earlier sources such as Hieronymus, but his account of the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
period breaks off after the battle of Ipsus (301). Another important source, Plutarch
Plutarch
's (c. 50—c. 120) Parallel Lives though more preoccupied with issues of personal character and morality, outlines the history of important Hellenistic
Hellenistic
figures. Appian of Alexandria
Alexandria
(late 1st century AD-before 165) wrote a history of the Roman empire
Roman empire
that includes information of some Hellenistic kingdoms.

Other sources include Justin 's (2nd century AD) epitome of Pompeius Trogus ' Historiae Philipicae and a summary of Arrian 's Events after Alexander, by Photios I of Constantinople
Constantinople
. Lesser supplementary sources include Curtius Rufus , Pausanias , Pliny , and the Byzantine encyclopedia the Suda
Suda
. In the field of philosophy, Diogenes Laertius ' Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers is the main source.

BACKGROUND

Alexander fighting the Persian king Darius III . From the Alexander Mosaic
Alexander Mosaic
, Naples National Archaeological Museum
Naples National Archaeological Museum
. See also: Philip II of Macedon , Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great
, and Wars of Alexander the Great

Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
had traditionally been a fractious collection of fiercely independent city-states. After the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC), Greece
Greece
had fallen under a Spartan hegemony , in which Sparta
Sparta
was pre-eminent but not all-powerful. Spartan hegemony was succeeded by a Theban one after the Battle of Leuctra
Battle of Leuctra
(371 BC), but after the Battle of Mantinea (362 BC) , all of Greece
Greece
was so weakened that no one state could claim pre-eminence. It was against this backdrop that the ascendancy of Macedon
Macedon
began, under king Philip II . Macedon
Macedon
was located at the periphery of the Greek world, and although its royal family claimed Greek descent, the Macedonians themselves were looked down upon as semi-barbaric by the rest of the Greeks. However, Macedon
Macedon
had a relatively strong and centralised government, and compared to most Greek states, directly controlled a large area.

Philip II was a strong and expansionist king and he took every opportunity to expand Macedonian territory. In 352 BC he annexed Thessaly
Thessaly
and Magnesia . In 338 BC, Philip defeated a combined Theban and Athenian army at the Battle of Chaeronea after a decade of desultory conflict. In the aftermath, Philip formed the League of Corinth
Corinth
, effectively bringing the majority of Greece
Greece
under his direct sway. He was elected Hegemon of the league, and a campaign against the Achaemenid Empire
Achaemenid Empire
of Persia
Persia
was planned. However, while this campaign was in its early stages, he was assassinated. Alexander's empire at the time of its maximum expansion.

Succeeding his father, Alexander took over the Persian war himself. During a decade of campaigning, Alexander conquered the whole Persian Empire , overthrowing the Persian king Darius III . The conquered lands included Asia
Asia
Minor , Assyria
Assyria
, the Levant
Levant
, Egypt
Egypt
, Mesopotamia , Media , Persia
Persia
, and parts of modern-day Afghanistan
Afghanistan
, Pakistan
Pakistan
, and the steppes of central Asia. The years of constant campaigning had taken their toll however, and Alexander died in 323 BC.

After his death, the huge territories Alexander had conquered became subject to a strong Greek influence ( Hellenization ) for the next two or three centuries, until the rise of Rome
Rome
in the west, and of Parthia in the east. As the Greek and Levantine cultures mingled, the development of a hybrid Hellenistic
Hellenistic
culture began, and persisted even when isolated from the main centres of Greek culture
Greek culture
(for instance, in the Greco-Bactrian kingdom
Greco-Bactrian kingdom
).

It can be argued that some of the changes across the Macedonian Empire after Alexander's conquests and during the rule of the Diadochi would have occurred without the influence of Greek rule. As mentioned by Peter Green , numerous factors of conquest have been merged under the term Hellenistic Period
Hellenistic Period
. Specific areas conquered by Alexander's invading army, including Egypt
Egypt
and areas of Asia
Asia
Minor and Mesopotamia "fell" willingly to conquest and viewed Alexander as more of a liberator than a victor.

In addition, much of the area conquered would continue to be ruled by the Diadochi
Diadochi
, Alexander's generals and successors. Initially the whole empire was divided among them; however, some territories were lost relatively quickly, or only remained nominally under Macedonian rule. After 200 years, only much reduced and rather degenerate states remained, until the conquest of Ptolemaic Egypt
Egypt
by Rome.

THE DIADOCHI

Main articles: Diadochi
Diadochi
, Wars of the Diadochi
Diadochi
, and Partition of Babylon
Babylon
Further information: History of Macedonia (ancient kingdom) The distribution of satrapies in the Macedonian Empire after the Settlement in Babylon
Babylon
(323 BC) .

When Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great
died (June 10, 323 BC), he left behind a huge empire which was composed of many essentially autonomous territories called satrapies . Without a chosen successor there were immediate disputes among his generals as to who should be king of Macedon. These generals became known as the Diadochi
Diadochi
(Greek : Διάδοχοι, Diadokhoi, meaning "Successors").

Meleager and the infantry supported the candidacy of Alexander's half-brother, Philip Arrhidaeus , while Perdiccas , the leading cavalry commander, supported waiting until the birth of Alexander's child by Roxana
Roxana
. After the infantry stormed the palace of Babylon
Babylon
, a compromise was arranged – Arrhidaeus (as Philip III) should become king, and should rule jointly with Roxana's child, assuming that it was a boy (as it was, becoming Alexander IV ). Perdiccas himself would become regent (epimeletes) of the empire, and Meleager his lieutenant. Soon, however, Perdiccas had Meleager and the other infantry leaders murdered, and assumed full control. The generals who had supported Perdiccas were rewarded in the partition of Babylon
Babylon
by becoming satraps of the various parts of the empire, but Perdiccas' position was shaky, because, as Arrian writes, "everyone was suspicious of him, and he of them".

The first of the Diadochi
Diadochi
wars broke out when Perdiccas planned to marry Alexander's sister Cleopatra
Cleopatra
and began to question Antigonus I Monophthalmus ' leadership in Asia
Asia
Minor . Antigonus fled for Greece, and then, together with Antipater and Craterus
Craterus
(the satrap of Cilicia who had been in Greece
Greece
fighting the Lamian war
Lamian war
) invaded Anatolia . The rebels were supported by Lysimachus , the satrap of Thrace
Thrace
and Ptolemy, the satrap of Egypt. Although Eumenes , satrap of Cappadocia , defeated the rebels in Asia
Asia
Minor, Perdiccas himself was murdered by his own generals Peithon, Seleucus , and Antigenes (possibly with Ptolemy's aid) during his invasion of Egypt
Egypt
(c. 21 May to 19 June, 320 BC). Ptolemy
Ptolemy
came to terms with Perdiccas's murderers, making Peithon and Arrhidaeus regents in his place, but soon these came to a new agreement with Antipater at the Treaty of Triparadisus . Antipater was made regent of the Empire, and the two kings were moved to Macedon. Antigonus remained in charge of Asia
Asia
Minor, Ptolemy
Ptolemy
retained Egypt, Lysimachus retained Thrace
Thrace
and Seleucus I controlled Babylon
Babylon
.

The second Diadochi
Diadochi
war began following the death of Antipater in 319 BC. Passing over his own son, Cassander
Cassander
, Antipater had declared Polyperchon his successor as Regent. Cassander
Cassander
rose in revolt against Polyperchon (who was joined by Eumenes) and was supported by Antigonus, Lysimachus and Ptolemy. In 317, Cassander
Cassander
invaded Macedonia, attaining control of Macedon, sentencing Olympias
Olympias
to death and capturing the boy king Alexander IV , and his mother. In Asia, Eumenes was betrayed by his own men after years of campaign and was given up to Antigonus who had him executed. The Kingdoms of Antigonos and his rivals c. 303 BC.

The third war of the Diadochi
Diadochi
broke out because of the growing power and ambition of Antigonus. He began removing and appointing satraps as if he were king and also raided the royal treasuries in Ecbatana, Persepolis and Susa, making off with 25,000 talents . Seleucus was forced to flee to Egypt
Egypt
and Antigonus was soon at war with Ptolemy, Lysimachus, and Cassander. He then invaded Phoenicia
Phoenicia
, laid siege to Tyre , stormed Gaza and began building a fleet. Ptolemy
Ptolemy
invaded Syria and defeated Antigonus' son, Demetrius Poliorcetes , in the Battle of Gaza of 312 BC which allowed Seleucus to secure control of Babylonia
Babylonia
, and the eastern satrapies. In 310, Cassander
Cassander
had young King Alexander IV and his mother Roxane murdered, ending the Argead Dynasty which had ruled Macedon
Macedon
for several centuries.

Antigonus then sent his son Demetrius to regain control of Greece. In 307 he took Athens, expelling Demetrius of Phaleron , Cassander's governor, and proclaiming the city free again. Demetrius now turned his attention to Ptolemy, defeating his fleet at the Battle of Salamis and taking control of Cyprus. In the aftermath of this victory, Antigonus took the title of king (basileus ) and bestowed it on his son Demetrius Poliorcetes , the rest of the Diadochi
Diadochi
soon followed suit. Demetrius continued his campaigns by laying siege to Rhodes
Rhodes
and conquering most of Greece
Greece
in 302, creating a league against Cassander's Macedon.

The decisive engagement of the war came when Lysimachus invaded and overran much of western Anatolia, but was soon isolated by Antigonus and Demetrius near Ipsus in Phrygia
Phrygia
. Seleucus arrived in time to save Lysimachus and utterly crushed Antigonus at the Battle of Ipsus
Battle of Ipsus
in 301 BC. Seleucus' war elephants proved decisive, Antigonus was killed, and Demetrius fled back to Greece
Greece
to attempt to preserve the remnants of his rule there by recapturing a rebellious Athens. Meanwhile, Lysimachus took over Ionia
Ionia
, Seleucus took Cilicia , and Ptolemy captured Cyprus
Cyprus
. Kingdoms of the Diadochi
Diadochi
after the battle of Ipsus, c. 301 BC. Kingdom of Ptolemy I Soter
Ptolemy I Soter
Kingdom of Cassander Kingdom of Lysimachus Kingdom of Seleucus I Nicator
Seleucus I Nicator

After Cassander's death in 298 BC, however, Demetrius, who still maintained a sizable loyal army and fleet, invaded Macedon, seized the Macedonian throne (294) and conquered Thessaly
Thessaly
and most of central Greece
Greece
(293-291). He was defeated in 288 BC when Lysimachus of Thrace and Pyrrhus of Epirus invaded Macedon
Macedon
on two fronts, and quickly carved up the kingdom for themselves. Demetrius fled to central Greece with his mercenaries and began to build support there and in the northern Peloponnese. He once again laid siege to Athens
Athens
after they turned on him, but then struck a treaty with the Athenians and Ptolemy, which allowed him to cross over to Asia
Asia
Minor and wage war on Lysimachus' holdings in Ionia
Ionia
, leaving his son Antigonus Gonatas
Antigonus Gonatas
in Greece. After initial successes, he was forced to surrender to Seleucus in 285 and later died in captivity. Lysimachus, who had seized Macedon
Macedon
and Thessaly
Thessaly
for himself, was forced into war when Seleucus invaded his territories in Asia
Asia
minor and was defeated and killed in 281 BC at the Battle of Corupedium , near Sardis
Sardis
. Seleucus then attempted to conquer Lysimachus' European territories in Thrace and Macedon, but he was assassinated by Ptolemy Ceraunus ("the thunderbolt"), who had taken refuge at the Seleucid court and then had himself acclaimed as king of Macedon. Ptolemy
Ptolemy
was killed when Macedon was invaded by Gauls in 279 —his head stuck on a spear—and the country fell into anarchy. Antigonus II Gonatas invaded Thrace
Thrace
in the summer of 277 and defeated a large force of 18,000 Gauls. He was quickly hailed as king of Macedon
Macedon
and went on to rule for 35 years.

At this point the tripartite territorial division of the Hellenistic age was in place, with the main Hellenistic
Hellenistic
powers being Macedon
Macedon
under Demetrius's son Antigonus II Gonatas , the Ptolemaic kingdom under the aged Ptolemy I
Ptolemy I
and the Seleucid empire
Seleucid empire
under Seleucus' son Antiochus I Soter .

SOUTHERN EUROPE

KINGDOM OF EPIRUS

Main article: Epirus (ancient state)
Epirus (ancient state)
Pyrrhus and his elephants.

Epirus
Epirus
was a northwestern Greek kingdom in the western Balkans
Balkans
ruled by the Molossian Aeacidae dynasty. Epirus
Epirus
was an ally of Macedon during the reigns of Philip II and Alexander.

In 281 Pyrrhus (nicknamed "the eagle", aetos) invaded southern Italy to aid the city state of Tarentum . Pyrrhus defeated the Romans in the Battle of Heraclea and at the Battle of Asculum . Though victorious, he was forced to retreat due to heavy losses, hence the term "Pyrrhic victory ". Pyrrhus then turned south and invaded Sicily
Sicily
but was unsuccessful and returned to Italy. After the Battle of Beneventum (275 BC) Pyrrhus lost all his Italian holdings and left for Epirus.

Pyrrhus then went to war with Macedonia in 275, deposing Antigonus II Gonatas and briefly ruling over Macedonia and Thessaly
Thessaly
until 285. Afterwards he invaded southern Greece, and was killed in battle against Argos
Argos
in 272 BC. After the death of Pyrrhus, Epirus
Epirus
remained a minor power. In 233 BC the Aeacid royal family was deposed and a federal state was set up called the Epirote League . The league was conquered by Rome
Rome
in the Third Macedonian War (171–168 BC).

KINGDOM OF MACEDON

Main article: Antigonid dynasty Philip V , "the darling of Hellas", wearing the royal diadem .

Antigonus II , a student of Zeno of Citium , spent most of his rule defending Macedon
Macedon
against Epirus
Epirus
and cementing Macedonian power in Greece, first against the Athenians in the Chremonidean War , and then against the Achaean League of Aratus of Sicyon . Under the Antigonids, Macedonia was often short on funds, the Pangaeum mines were no longer as productive as under Philip II, the wealth from Alexander's campaigns had been used up and the countryside pillaged by the Gallic invasion . A large number of the Macedonian population had also been resettled abroad by Alexander or had chosen to emigrate to the new eastern Greek cities. Up to two thirds of the population emigrated, and the Macedonian army could only count on a levy of 25,000 men, a significantly smaller force than under Philip II.

Antigonus II ruled until his death in 239 BC. His son Demetrius II soon died in 229 BC, leaving a child (Philip V) as king, with the general Antigonus Doson as regent. Doson led Macedon
Macedon
to victory in the war against the Spartan king Cleomenes III , and occupied Sparta
Sparta
.

Philip V , who came to power when Doson died in 221 BC, was the last Macedonian ruler with both the talent and the opportunity to unite Greece
Greece
and preserve its independence against the "cloud rising in the west": the ever-increasing power of Rome. He was known as "the darling of Hellas". Under his auspices the Peace of Naupactus (217 BC) brought the latest war between Macedon
Macedon
and the Greek leagues (the social war 220-217) to an end, and at this time he controlled all of Greece except Athens, Rhodes
Rhodes
and Pergamum.

In 215 BC Philip, with his eye on Illyria , formed an alliance with Rome's enemy Hannibal
Hannibal
of Carthage
Carthage
, which led to Roman alliances with the Achaean League , Rhodes
Rhodes
and Pergamum. The First Macedonian War broke out in 212 BC, and ended inconclusively in 205 BC. Philip continued to wage war against Pergamum and Rhodes
Rhodes
for control of the Aegean (204-200 BC) and ignored Roman demands for non-intervention in Greece
Greece
by invading Attica. In 198 BC, during the Second Macedonian War Philip was decisively defeated at Cynoscephalae by the Roman proconsul Titus Quinctius Flamininus and Macedon
Macedon
lost all its territories in Greece
Greece
proper. Southern Greece
Greece
was now thoroughly brought into the Roman sphere of influence , though it retained nominal autonomy. The end of Antigonid Macedon
Macedon
came when Philip V's son, Perseus, was defeated and captured by the Romans in the Third Macedonian War (171–168 BC).

REST OF GREECE

Main article: Hellenistic Greece Greece
Greece
and the Aegean World c. 200 BC.

During the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
period the importance of Greece
Greece
proper within the Greek-speaking world declined sharply. The great centers of Hellenistic
Hellenistic
culture were Alexandria
Alexandria
and Antioch
Antioch
, capitals of Ptolemaic Egypt
Egypt
and Seleucid Syria
Syria
respectively. The conquests of Alexander greatly widened the horizons of the Greek world, making the endless conflicts between the cities which had marked the 5th and 4th centuries BC seem petty and unimportant. It led to a steady emigration, particularly of the young and ambitious, to the new Greek empires in the east. Many Greeks
Greeks
migrated to Alexandria, Antioch
Antioch
and the many other new Hellenistic
Hellenistic
cities founded in Alexander's wake, as far away as modern Afghanistan
Afghanistan
and Pakistan
Pakistan
.

Independent city states were unable to compete with Hellenistic kingdoms and were usually forced to ally themselves to one of them for defense, giving honors to Hellenistic
Hellenistic
rulers in return for protection. One example is Athens
Athens
, which had been decisively defeated by Antipater in the Lamian war
Lamian war
(323-322) and had its port in the Piraeus garrisoned by Macedonian troops who supported a conservative oligarchy . After Demetrius Poliorcetes captured Athens
Athens
in 307 and restored the democracy , the Athenians honored him and his father Antigonus by placing gold statues of them on the agora and granting them the title of king. Athens
Athens
later allied itself to Ptolemaic Egypt
Egypt
to throw off Macedonian rule, eventually setting up a religious cult for the Ptolemaic kings and naming one of the cities phyles in honour of Ptolemy
Ptolemy
for his aid against Macedon. In spite of the Ptolemaic monies and fleets backing their endeavors, Athens
Athens
and Sparta
Sparta
were defeated by Antigonus II during the Chremonidean War (267-261). Athens
Athens
was then occupied by Macedonian troops, and run by Macedonian officials.

Sparta
Sparta
remained independent, but it was no longer the leading military power in the Peloponnese
Peloponnese
. The Spartan king Cleomenes III (235–222 BC) staged a military coup against the conservative ephors and pushed through radical social and land reforms in order to increase the size of the shrinking Spartan citizenry able to provide military service and restore Spartan power. Sparta's bid for supremacy was crushed at the Battle of Sellasia (222) by the Achaean league and Macedon, who restored the power of the ephors .

Other city states formed federated states in self-defense, such as the Aetolian League
Aetolian League
(est. 370 BC), the Achaean League (est. 280 BC), the Boeotian league , the "Northern League" ( Byzantium
Byzantium
, Chalcedon
Chalcedon
, Heraclea Pontica and Tium ) and the " Nesiotic League " of the Cyclades
Cyclades
. These federations involved a central government which controlled foreign policy and military affairs, while leaving most of the local governing to the city states, a system termed sympoliteia . In states such as the Achaean league, this also involved the admission of other ethnic groups into the federation with equal rights, in this case, non-Achaeans . The Achean league was able to drive out the Macedonians from the Peloponnese
Peloponnese
and free Corinth, which duly joined the league. The Colossus of Rhodes
Colossus of Rhodes
, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

One of the few city states who managed to maintain full independence from the control of any Hellenistic
Hellenistic
kingdom was Rhodes
Rhodes
. With a skilled navy to protect its trade fleets from pirates and an ideal strategic position covering the routes from the east into the Aegean, Rhodes
Rhodes
prospered during the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
period. It became a center of culture and commerce, its coins were widely circulated and its philosophical schools became one of the best in the Mediterranean. After holding out for one year under siege by Demetrius Poliorcetes (305-304 BC), the Rhodians built the Colossus of Rhodes
Colossus of Rhodes
to commemorate their victory. They retained their independence by the maintenance of a powerful navy, by maintaining a carefully neutral posture and acting to preserve the balance of power between the major Hellenistic kingdoms.

Initially Rhodes
Rhodes
had very close ties with the Ptolemaic kingdom. Rhodes
Rhodes
later became a Roman ally against the Seleucids, receiving some territory in Caria for their role in the Roman–Seleucid War (192–188 BC). Rome
Rome
eventually turned on Rhodes
Rhodes
and annexed the island as a Roman province.

BALKANS

Painting of a groom and bride from the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
Thracian
Thracian
Tomb of Kazanlak , near the ancient city of Seuthopolis , 4th century BC.

The west Balkan
Balkan
coast was inhabited by various Illyrian tribes and kingdoms such as the kingdom of the Dalmatae and of the Ardiaei , who often engaged in piracy under Queen Teuta (reigned 231 BC to 227 BC). Further inland was the Illyrian Paeonian Kingdom and the tribe of the Agrianes . Illyrians on the coast of the Adriatic
Adriatic
were under the effects and influence of Hellenisation and some tribes adopted Greek, becoming bilingual due to their proximity to the Greek colonies in Illyria. Illyrians imported weapons and armor from the Ancient Greeks (such as the Illyrian type helmet
Illyrian type helmet
, originally a Greek type) and also adopted the ornamentation of Ancient Macedon
Macedon
on their shields and their war belts (a single one has been found, dated 3rd century BC at modern Selce e Poshtme , a part of Macedon
Macedon
at the time under Philip V of Macedon
Macedon
).

The Odrysian Kingdom
Odrysian Kingdom
was a union of Thracian
Thracian
tribes under the kings of the powerful Odrysian tribe centered around the region of Thrace
Thrace
. Various parts of Thrace
Thrace
were under Macedonian rule under Philip II of Macedon
Macedon
, Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great
, Lysimachus , Ptolemy II
Ptolemy II
, and Philip V but were also often ruled by their own kings. The Thracians and Agrianes were widely used by Alexander as peltasts and light cavalry , forming about one fifth of his army. The Diadochi
Diadochi
also used Thracian mercenaries in their armies and they were also used as colonists. The Odrysians used Greek as the language of administration and of the nobility. The nobility also adopted Greek fashions in dress , ornament and military equipment, spreading it to the other tribes. Thracian kings were among the first to be Hellenized .

After 278 BC the Odrysians had a strong competitor in the Celtic Kingdom of Tylis
Tylis
ruled by the kings Comontorius and Cavarus , but in 212 BC they conquered their enemies and destroyed their capital.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

Further information: Colonies in antiquity

Southern Italy
Southern Italy
( Magna Graecia
Magna Graecia
) and south-eastern Sicily
Sicily
had been colonized by the Greeks
Greeks
during the 8th century. In 4th century Sicily the leading Greek city and hegemon was Syracuse . During the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
period the leading figure in Sicily
Sicily
was Agathocles of Syracuse (361–289 BC) who seized the city with an army of mercenaries in 317 BC. Agathocles extended his power throughout most of the Greek cities in Sicily, fought a long war with the Carthaginians , at one point invading Tunisia
Tunisia
in 310 and defeating a Carthaginian army there. This was the first time a European force had invaded the region. After this war he controlled most of south-east Sicily
Sicily
and had himself proclaimed king, in imitation of the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
monarchs of the east. Agathocles then invaded Italy
Italy
(c. 300 BC) in defense of Tarentum against the Bruttians and Romans , but was unsuccessful. Gallo-Greek inscription: "Segomaros, son of Uillū, citizen (toutious) of Namausos , dedicated this sanctuary to Belesama" A silver drachma from Massalia (modern Marseille
Marseille
, France), dated 375-200 BC, with the head of the goddess Artemis
Artemis
on the obverse and a lion on the reverse

Greeks in pre-Roman Gaul
Greeks in pre-Roman Gaul
were mostly limited to the Mediterranean coast of Provence
Provence
, France . The first Greek colony in the region was Massalia , which became one of the largest trading ports of Mediterranean
Mediterranean
by the 4th century BC with 6,000 inhabitants. Massalia was also the local hegemon , controlling various coastal Greek cities like Nice
Nice
and Agde
Agde
. The coins minted in Massalia have been found in all parts of Ligurian-Celtic Gaul. Celtic coinage was influenced by Greek designs, and Greek letters can be found on various Celtic coins, especially those of Southern France. Traders from Massalia ventured inland deep into France on the Rivers Durance
Durance
and Rhône
Rhône
, and established overland trade routes deep into Gaul
Gaul
, and to Switzerland
Switzerland
and Burgundy
Burgundy
. The Hellenistic
Hellenistic
period saw the Greek alphabet spread into southern Gaul
Gaul
from Massalia (3rd and 2nd centuries BC) and according to Strabo
Strabo
, Massalia was also a center of education, where Celts
Celts
went to learn Greek. A staunch ally of Rome, Massalia retained its independence until it sided with Pompey in 49 BC and was then taken by Caesar\'s forces .

The city of Emporion (modern Empúries ), originally founded by Archaic-period settlers from Phocaea and Massalia in the 6th century BC near the village of Sant Martí d\' Empúries (located on an offshore island that forms part of L\'Escala , Catalonia
Catalonia
, Spain ), was reestablished in the 5th century BC with a new city (neapolis) on the Iberian mainland . Emporion contained a mixed population of Greek colonists and Iberian natives, and although Livy
Livy
and Strabo
Strabo
assert that they lived in different quarters , these two groups were eventually integrated. The city became a dominant trading hub and center of Hellenistic civilization
Hellenistic civilization
in Iberia, eventually siding with the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
against the Carthaginian Empire during the Second Punic War (218-201 BC). However, Emporion lost its political independence around 195 BC with the establishment of the Roman province of Hispania Citerior and by the 1st century BC had become fully Romanized in culture.

HELLENISTIC MIDDLE EAST

The Hellenistic
Hellenistic
states of Asia
Asia
and Egypt
Egypt
were run by an occupying imperial elite of Greco-Macedonian administrators and governors propped up by a standing army of mercenaries and a small core of Greco-Macedonian settlers. Promotion of immigration from Greece
Greece
was important in the establishment of this system. Hellenistic
Hellenistic
monarchs ran their kingdoms as royal estates and most of the heavy tax revenues went into the military and paramilitary forces which preserved their rule from any kind of revolution. Macedonian and Hellenistic
Hellenistic
monarchs were expected to lead their armies on the field, along with a group of privileged aristocratic companions or friends (hetairoi, philoi) which dined and drank with the king and acted as his advisory council. The monarch was also expected to serve as a charitable patron of the people; this public philanthropy could mean building projects and handing out gifts but also promotion of Greek culture
Greek culture
and religion.

PTOLEMAIC KINGDOM

Main article: Ptolemaic Kingdom Bust of Ptolemy I Soter
Ptolemy I Soter
wearing a diadem , a symbol of Hellenistic
Hellenistic
kingship, Louvre Museum .

Ptolemy
Ptolemy
, a somatophylax , one of the seven bodyguards who served as Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great
's generals and deputies, was appointed satrap of Egypt
Egypt
after Alexander's death in 323 BC. In 305 BC, he declared himself King Ptolemy
Ptolemy
I, later known as "Soter" (saviour) for his role in helping the Rhodians during the siege of Rhodes
Rhodes
. Ptolemy
Ptolemy
built new cities such as Ptolemais Hermiou in upper Egypt
Egypt
and settled his veterans throughout the country, especially in the region of the Faiyum
Faiyum
. Alexandria
Alexandria
, a major center of Greek culture
Greek culture
and trade, became his capital city. As Egypt's first port city, it was the main grain exporter in the Mediterranean.

The Egyptians
Egyptians
begrudgingly accepted the Ptolemies as the successors to the pharaohs of independent Egypt, though the kingdom went through several native revolts. The Ptolemies took on the traditions of the Egyptian Pharaohs
Pharaohs
, such as marrying their siblings ( Ptolemy II
Ptolemy II
was the first to adopt this custom), having themselves portrayed on public monuments in Egyptian style and dress, and participating in Egyptian religious life. The Ptolemaic ruler cult portrayed the Ptolemies as gods, and temples to the Ptolemies were erected throughout the kingdom. Ptolemy I
Ptolemy I
even created a new god, Serapis
Serapis
, who was combination of two Egyptian gods: Apis and Osiris, with attributes of Greek gods . Ptolemaic administration was, like the Ancient Egyptian bureaucracy, highly centralized and focused on squeezing as much revenue out of the population as possible though tariffs, excise duties, fines, taxes and so forth. A whole class of petty officials, tax farmers, clerks and overseers made this possible. The Egyptian countryside was directly administered by this royal bureaucracy. External possessions such as Cyprus
Cyprus
and Cyrene were run by strategoi, military commanders appointed by the crown. Ring of Ptolemy
Ptolemy
VI Philometor as Egyptian pharaoh . Louvre Museum .

Under Ptolemy II
Ptolemy II
, Callimachus
Callimachus
, Apollonius of Rhodes
Rhodes
, Theocritus and a host of other poets made the city a center of Hellenistic literature. Ptolemy
Ptolemy
himself was eager to patronise the library, scientific research and individual scholars who lived on the grounds of the library. He and his successors also fought a series of wars with the Seleucids, known as the Syrian wars , over the region of Coele-Syria . Ptolemy IV won the great battle of Raphia (217 BC) against the Seleucids, using native Egyptians
Egyptians
trained as phalangites . However these Egyptian soldiers revolted, eventually setting up a native breakaway Egyptian state in the Thebaid
Thebaid
between 205-186/5 BC, severely weakening the Ptolemaic state.

Ptolemy's family ruled Egypt
Egypt
until the Roman conquest of 30 BC. All the male rulers of the dynasty took the name Ptolemy. Ptolemaic queens, some of whom were the sisters of their husbands, were usually called Cleopatra, Arsinoe, or Berenice. The most famous member of the line was the last queen, Cleopatra VII , known for her role in the Roman political battles between Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
and Pompey , and later between Octavian and Mark Antony . Her suicide at the conquest by Rome marked the end of Ptolemaic rule in Egypt
Egypt
though Hellenistic
Hellenistic
culture continued to thrive in Egypt
Egypt
throughout the Roman and Byzantine periods until the Muslim conquest.

SELEUCID EMPIRE

Seleucus I Nicator
Seleucus I Nicator
. Main article: Seleucid Empire
Seleucid Empire

Following division of Alexander 's empire, Seleucus I Nicator received Babylonia
Babylonia
. From there, he created a new empire which expanded to include much of Alexander's near eastern territories. At the height of its power, it included central Anatolia , the Levant , Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
, Persia
Persia
, today's Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
, Pamir , and parts of Pakistan
Pakistan
. It included a diverse population estimated at fifty to sixty million people. Under Antiochus I (c. 324/3 – 261 BC), however, the unwieldy empire was already beginning to shed territories. Pergamum broke away under Eumenes I who defeated a Seleucid army sent against him. The kingdoms of Cappadocia, Bithynia and Pontus were all practically independent by this time as well. Like the Ptolemies, Antiochus I established a dynastic religious cult, deifying his father Seleucus I . Seleucus, officially said to be descended from Apollo, had his own priests and monthly sacrifices. The erosion of the empire continued under Seleucus II , who was forced to fight a civil war (239-236) against his brother Antiochus Hierax and was unable to keep Bactria , Sogdiana and Parthia from breaking away. Hierax carved off most of Seleucid Anatolia for himself, but was defeated, along with his Galatian allies, by Attalus I
Attalus I
of Pergamon
Pergamon
who now also claimed kingship. The Hellenistic
Hellenistic
world c. 200 BC.

The vast Seleucid Empire
Seleucid Empire
was, like Egypt, mostly dominated by a Greco-Macedonian political elite. The Greek population of the cities who formed the dominant elite were reinforced by emigration from Greece
Greece
. These cities included newly founded colonies such as Antioch
Antioch
, the other cities of the Syrian tetrapolis , Seleucia (north of Babylon
Babylon
) and Dura-Europos on the Euphrates . These cities retained traditional Greek city state institutions such as assemblies, councils and elected magistrates, but this was a facade for they were always controlled by the royal Seleucid officials. Apart from these cities, there were also a large number of Seleucid garrisons (choria), military colonies (katoikiai) and Greek villages (komai) which the Seleucids planted throughout the empire to cement their rule. This 'Greco-Macedonian' population (which also included the sons of settlers who had married local women) could make up a phalanx of 35,000 men (out of a total Seleucid army of 80,000) during the reign of Antiochos III
Antiochos III
. The rest of the army was made up of native troops. Antiochus III
Antiochus III
("the Great") conducted several vigorous campaigns to retake all the lost provinces of the empire since the death of Seleucus I. After being defeated by Ptolemy IV 's forces at Raphia (217), Antiochus III
Antiochus III
led a long campaign to the east to subdue the far eastern breakaway provinces (212-205) including Bactria , Parthia , Ariana , Sogdiana , Gedrosia and Drangiana . He was successful, bringing back most of these provinces into at least nominal vassalage and receiving tribute from their rulers. After the death of Ptolemy IV (204), Antiochus took advantage of the weakness of Egypt
Egypt
to conquer Coele-Syria in the fifth Syrian war (202-195). He then began expanding his influence into Pergamene territory in Asia
Asia
and crossed into Europe, fortifying Lysimachia on the Hellespont , but his expansion into Anatolia and Greece
Greece
was abruptly halted after a decisive defeat at the Battle of Magnesia
Battle of Magnesia
(190 BC). In the Treaty of Apamea which ended the war, Antiochus lost all of his territories in Anatolia west of the Taurus and was forced to pay a large indemnity of 15,000 talents.

Much of the eastern part of the empire was then conquered by the Parthians under Mithridates I of Parthia in the mid-2nd century BC, yet the Seleucid kings continued to rule a rump state from Syria
Syria
until the invasion by the Armenian king Tigranes the Great
Tigranes the Great
and their ultimate overthrow by the Roman general Pompey .

ATTALID PERGAMUM

Main article: Pergamum

External video

The Pergamon
Pergamon
Altar, Smarthistory
Smarthistory

After the death of Lysimachus , one of his officers, Philetaerus
Philetaerus
, took control of the city of Pergamum in 282 BC along with Lysimachus' war chest of 9,000 talents and declared himself loyal to Seleucus I while remaining de facto independent. His descendant, Attalus I
Attalus I
, defeated the invading Galatians and proclaimed himself an independent king. Attalus I
Attalus I
(241–197 BC), was a staunch ally of Rome
Rome
against Philip V of Macedon
Macedon
during the first and second Macedonian Wars
Macedonian Wars
. For his support against the Seleucids in 190 BC, Eumenes II was rewarded with all the former Seleucid domains in Asia
Asia
Minor . Eumenes II turned Pergamon
Pergamon
into a centre of culture and science by establishing the library of Pergamum which was said to be second only to the library of Alexandria
Alexandria
with 200,000 volumes according to Plutarch
Plutarch
. It included a reading room and a collection of paintings. Eumenes II also constructed the Pergamum Altar with friezes depicting the Gigantomachy on the acropolis of the city. Pergamum was also a center of parchment (charta pergamena) production. The Attalids ruled Pergamon
Pergamon
until Attalus III bequeathed the kingdom to the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
in 133 BC to avoid a likely succession crisis.

GALATIA

Main article: Galatia The Dying Gaul
Gaul
is a Roman marble copy of a Hellenistic
Hellenistic
work of the late 3rd century BC. Capitoline Museums , Rome.

The Celts
Celts
who settled in Galatia came through Thrace
Thrace
under the leadership of Leotarios and Leonnorios c. 270 BC. They were defeated by Seleucus I in the 'battle of the Elephants', but were still able to establish a Celtic territory in central Anatolia . The Galatians were well respected as warriors and were widely used as mercenaries in the armies of the successor states. They continued to attack neighboring kingdoms such as Bithynia
Bithynia
and Pergamon
Pergamon
, plundering and extracting tribute. This came to an end when they sided with the renegade Seleucid prince Antiochus Hierax who tried to defeat Attalus , the ruler of Pergamon
Pergamon
(241–197 BC). Attalus severely defeated the Gauls, forcing them to confine themselves to Galatia. The theme of the Dying Gaul
Gaul
(a famous statue displayed in Pergamon
Pergamon
) remained a favorite in Hellenistic art for a generation signifying the victory of the Greeks over a noble enemy. In the early 2nd century BC, the Galatians became allies of Antiochus the Great , the last Seleucid king trying to regain suzerainty over Asia
Asia
Minor. In 189 BC, Rome
Rome
sent Gnaeus Manlius Vulso on an expedition against the Galatians. Galatia was henceforth dominated by Rome
Rome
through regional rulers from 189 BC onward.

After their defeats by Pergamon
Pergamon
and Rome
Rome
the Galatians slowly became hellenized and they were called "Gallo-Graeci" by the historian Justin as well as Ἑλληνογαλάται (Hellēnogalátai) by Diodorus Siculus
Diodorus Siculus
in his Bibliotheca historica
Bibliotheca historica
v.32.5, who wrote that they were "called Helleno-Galatians because of their connection with the Greeks."

BITHYNIA

Main article: Bithynia
Bithynia

The Bithynians were a Thracian
Thracian
people living in northwest Anatolia. After Alexander's conquests the region of Bithynia
Bithynia
came under the rule of the native king Bas, who defeated Calas, a general of Alexander the Great, and maintained the independence of Bithynia. His son, Zipoetes I of Bithynia
Bithynia
maintained this autonomy against Lysimachus and Seleucus I , and assumed the title of king (basileus) in 297 BC. His son and successor, Nicomedes I , founded Nicomedia
Nicomedia
, which soon rose to great prosperity, and during his long reign (c. 278 – c. 255 BC), as well as those of his successors, the kingdom of Bithynia
Bithynia
held a considerable place among the minor monarchies of Anatolia. Nicomedes also invited the Celtic Galatians into Anatolia as mercenaries, and they later turned on his son Prusias I, who defeated them in battle. Their last king, Nicomedes IV, was unable to maintain himself against Mithridates VI
Mithridates VI
of Pontus, and, after being restored to his throne by the Roman Senate, he bequeathed his kingdom by will to the Roman republic (74 BC).

CAPPADOCIA

Main article: Cappadocia
Cappadocia

Cappadocia, a mountainous region situated between Pontus and the Taurus mountains, was ruled by a Persian dynasty. Ariarathes I (332–322 BC) was the satrap of Cappadocia
Cappadocia
under the Persians and after the conquests of Alexander he retained his post. After Alexander's death he was defeated by Eumenes and crucified in 322 BC, but his son, Ariarathes II managed to regain the throne and maintain his autonomy against the warring Diadochi.

In 255 BC, Ariarathes III took the title of king and married Stratonice, a daughter of Antiochus II, remaining an ally of the Seleucid kingdom. Under Ariarathes IV, Cappadocia
Cappadocia
came into relations with Rome, first as a foe espousing the cause of Antiochus the Great , then as an ally against Perseus of Macedon
Macedon
and finally in a war against the Seleucids. Ariarathes V also waged war with Rome
Rome
against Aristonicus, a claimant to the throne of Pergamon, and their forces were annihilated in 130 BC. This defeat allowed Pontus to invade and conquer the kingdom.

KINGDOM OF PONTUS

Main article: Kingdom of Pontus
Kingdom of Pontus
Bust of Mithridates VI
Mithridates VI
sporting a lion pelt headdress, a symbol of Herakles
Herakles
.

The Kingdom of Pontus
Kingdom of Pontus
was a Hellenistic
Hellenistic
kingdom on the southern coast of the Black Sea . It was founded by Mithridates I in 291 BC and lasted until its conquest by the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
in 63 BC. Despite being ruled by a dynasty which was a descendant of the Persian Achaemenid Empire
Achaemenid Empire
it became hellenized due to the influence of the Greek cities on the Black Sea and its neighboring kingdoms. Pontic culture was a mix of Greek and Iranian elements; the most hellenized parts of the kingdom were on the coast, populated by Greek colonies such as Trapezus and Sinope , the latter of which became the capital of the kingdom. Epigraphic evidence also shows extensive Hellenistic influence in the interior. During the reign of Mithridates II, Pontus was allied with the Seleucids through dynastic marriages. By the time of Mithridates VI
Mithridates VI
Eupator, Greek was the official language of the kingdom, though Anatolian languages continued to be spoken.

The kingdom grew to its largest extent under Mithridates VI
Mithridates VI
, who conquered Colchis
Colchis
, Cappadocia
Cappadocia
, Paphlagonia , Bithynia
Bithynia
, Lesser Armenia, the Bosporan Kingdom , the Greek colonies of the Tauric Chersonesos and, for a brief time, the Roman province
Roman province
of Asia. Mithridates VI
Mithridates VI
, himself of mixed Persian and Greek ancestry, presented himself as the protector of the Greeks
Greeks
against the 'barbarians' of Rome
Rome
styling himself as "King Mithridates Eupator Dionysus" and as the "great liberator". Mithridates also depicted himself with the anastole hairstyle of Alexander and used the symbolism of Herakles
Herakles
, from whom the Macedonian kings claimed descent. After a long struggle with Rome
Rome
in the Mithridatic wars, Pontus was defeated; part of it was incorporated into the Roman Republic as the province of Bithynia, while Pontus' eastern half survived as a client kingdom.

ARMENIA

Main article: Kingdom of Armenia (antiquity) Tigranes the Great's Armenian Empire

Orontid Armenia formally passed to the empire of Alexander the Great following his conquest of Persia. Alexander appointed an Orontid named Mithranes to govern Armenia. Armenia later became a vassal state of the Seleucid Empire
Seleucid Empire
, but it maintained a considerable degree of autonomy, retaining its native rulers. Towards the end 212 BC the country was divided into two kingdoms, Greater Armenia and Armenia Sophene , including Commagene or Armenia Minor. The kingdoms became so independent from Seleucid control that Antiochus III
Antiochus III
the Great waged war on them during his reign and replaced their rulers.

After the Seleucid defeat at the Battle of Magnesia
Battle of Magnesia
in 190 BC, the kings of Sophene and Greater Armenia revolted and declared their independence, with Artaxias becoming the first king of the Artaxiad dynasty of Armenia in 188. During the reign of the Artaxiads, Armenia went through a period of hellenization . Numismatic
Numismatic
evidence shows Greek artistic styles and the use of the Greek language. Some coins describe the Armenian kings as " Philhellenes ". During the reign of Tigranes the Great
Tigranes the Great
(95–55 BC), the kingdom of Armenia reached its greatest extent, containing many Greek cities, including the entire Syrian tetrapolis . Cleopatra
Cleopatra
, the wife of Tigranes the Great
Tigranes the Great
, invited Greeks
Greeks
such as the rhetor Amphicrates and the historian Metrodorus of Scepsis to the Armenian court, and—according to Plutarch—when the Roman general Lucullus seized the Armenian capital, Tigranocerta, he found a troupe of Greek actors who had arrived to perform plays for Tigranes. Tigranes' successor Artavasdes II even composed Greek tragedies himself.

PARTHIA

Main article: Parthian Empire Coin of Phraates IV with Hellenistic
Hellenistic
titles such as Euergetes, Epiphanes and Philhellene (admirer of the Greeks)

Parthia was a north-eastern Iranian satrapy of the Achaemenid empire which later passed on to Alexander's empire. Under the Seleucids, Parthia was governed by various Greek satraps such as Nicanor and Philip . In 247 BC, following the death of Antiochus II Theos , Andragoras , the Seleucid governor of Parthia, proclaimed his independence and began minting coins showing himself wearing a royal diadem and claiming kingship. He ruled until 238 BC when Arsaces , the leader of the Parni tribe conquered Parthia, killing Andragoras and inaugurating the Arsacid Dynasty . Antiochus III
Antiochus III
recaptured Arsacid controlled territory in 209 BC from Arsaces II . Arsaces II sued for peace and became a vassal of the Seleucids. It was not until the reign of Phraates I (168–165 BC), that the Arsacids would again begin to assert their independence.

During the reign of Mithridates I of Parthia , Arsacid control expanded to include Herat (in 167 BC), Babylonia
Babylonia
(in 144 BC), Media (in 141 BC), Persia
Persia
(in 139 BC), and large parts of Syria
Syria
(in the 110s BC). The Seleucid–Parthian wars continued as the Seleucids invaded Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
under Antiochus VII Sidetes (r. 138–129 BC), but he was eventually killed by a Parthian counterattack. After the fall of the Seleucid dynasty, the Parthians fought frequently against neighbouring Rome
Rome
in the Roman–Parthian Wars (66 BC – 217 AD). Abundant traces of Hellenism continued under the Parthian empire. The Parthians used Greek as well as their own Parthian language (though lesser than Greek) as languages of administration and also used Greek drachmas as coinage. They enjoyed Greek theater, and Greek art
Greek art
influenced Parthian art . The Parthians continued worshipping Greek gods syncretized together with Iranian deities. Their rulers established ruler cults in the manner of Hellenistic
Hellenistic
kings and often used Hellenistic
Hellenistic
royal epithets .

NABATEAN KINGDOM

Main article: Nabatean Kingdom Al-Khazneh in Petra
Petra
shows the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
influences on the Nabatean capital city

The Nabatean Kingdom was an Arab
Arab
state located between the Sinai Peninsula and the Arabian Peninsula . Its capital was the city of Petra
Petra
, an important trading city on the incense route . The Nabateans resisted the attacks of Antigonus and were allies of the Hasmoneans in their struggle against the Seleucids , but later fought against Herod the Great . The hellenization of the Nabateans occurred relatively late in comparison to the surrounding regions. Nabatean material culture does not show any Greek influence until the reign of Aretas III Philhellene in the 1st century BC. Aretas captured Damascus
Damascus
and built the Petra
Petra
pool complex and gardens in the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
style. Though the Nabateans originally worshipped their traditional gods in symbolic form such as stone blocks or pillars, during the Hellenistic period they began to identify their gods with Greek gods and depict them in figurative forms influenced by Greek sculpture. Nabatean art shows Greek influences and paintings have been found depicting Dionysian scenes. They also slowly adopted Greek as a language of commerce along with Aramaic and Arabic.

JUDEA

Main article: Coele-Syria Further information: Hellenistic
Hellenistic
Judaism and Hasmonean dynasty
Hasmonean dynasty
Model of Herod\'s Temple (renovation of the Second Temple
Second Temple
) in the Israel Museum
Israel Museum

During the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
period, Judea became a frontier region between the Seleucid Empire
Seleucid Empire
and Ptolemaic Egypt
Egypt
and therefore was often the frontline of the Syrian wars, changing hands several times during these conflicts. Under the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
kingdoms, Judea was ruled by the hereditary office of the High Priest of Israel as a Hellenistic vassal. This period also saw the rise of a Hellenistic
Hellenistic
Judaism
Judaism
, which first developed in the Jewish diaspora of Alexandria
Alexandria
and Antioch, and then spread to Judea. The major literary product of this cultural syncretism is the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
from Biblical Hebrew
Biblical Hebrew
and Biblical Aramaic to Koiné Greek . The reason for the production of this translation seems to be that many of the Alexandrian Jews had lost the ability to speak Hebrew and Aramaic.

Between 301 and 219 BC the Ptolemies ruled Judea in relative peace, and Jews often found themselves working in the Ptolemaic administration and army, which led to the rise of a Hellenized Jewish elite class (e.g. the Tobiads ). The wars of Antiochus III
Antiochus III
brought the region into the Seleucid empire; Jerusalem fell to his control in 198 and the Temple was repaired and provided with money and tribute. Antiochus IV Epiphanes sacked Jerusalem and looted the Temple in 169 BC after disturbances in Judea during his abortive invasion of Egypt. Antiochus then banned key Jewish religious rites and traditions in Judea. He may have been attempting to Hellenize the region and unify his empire and the Jewish resistance to this eventually led to an escalation of violence. Whatever the case, tensions between pro and anti-Seleucid Jewish factions led to the 174–135 BC Maccabean Revolt of Judas Maccabeus (whose victory is celebrated in the Jewish festival of Hanukkah
Hanukkah
).

Modern interpretations see this period as a civil war between Hellenized and orthodox forms of Judaism. Out of this revolt was formed an independent Jewish kingdom known as the Hasmonaean Dynasty , which lasted from 165 BC to 63 BC. The Hasmonean Dynasty eventually disintegrated in a civil war , which coincided with civil wars in Rome . The last Hasmonean ruler, Antigonus II Mattathias , was captured by Herod and executed in 37 BC. In spite of originally being a revolt against Greek overlordship, the Hasmonean kingdom and also the Herodian kingdom which followed gradually became more and more hellenized. From 37 BC to 4 BC, Herod the Great
Herod the Great
ruled as a Jewish-Roman client king appointed by the Roman Senate . He considerably enlarged the Temple (see Herod\'s Temple ), making it one of the largest religious structures in the world. The style of the enlarged temple and other Herodian architecture shows significant Hellenistic
Hellenistic
architectural influence. His son, Herod Archelaus
Herod Archelaus
, ruled from 4 BC to 6 AD when he was deposed for the formation of Roman Judea .

GRECO-BACTRIANS

Main article: Greco-Bactrian kingdom
Greco-Bactrian kingdom
See also: Hellenistic
Hellenistic
influence on Indian art The Greco-Bactrian kingdom
Greco-Bactrian kingdom
at its maximum extent (c. 180 BC). Silver coin depicting Demetrius I of Bactria (reigned c. 200–180 BC), wearing an elephant scalp, symbol of his conquests in India
India
.

The Greek kingdom of Bactria began as a breakaway satrapy of the Seleucid empire, which, because of the size of the empire, had significant freedom from central control. Between 255-246 BC, the governor of Bactria , Sogdiana and Margiana (most of present-day Afghanistan
Afghanistan
), one Diodotus , took this process to its logical extreme and declared himself king. Diodotus II, son of Diodotus, was overthrown in about 230 BC by Euthydemus , possibly the satrap of Sogdiana, who then started his own dynasty. In c. 210 BC, the Greco-Bactrian kingdom
Greco-Bactrian kingdom
was invaded by a resurgent Seleucid empire under Antiochus III
Antiochus III
. While victorious in the field, it seems Antiochus came to realise that there were advantages in the status quo (perhaps sensing that Bactria could not be governed from Syria), and married one of his daughters to Euthydemus's son, thus legitimising the Greco-Bactrian dynasty. Soon afterwards the Greco-Bactrian kingdom seems to have expanded, possibly taking advantage of the defeat of the Parthian king Arsaces II by Antiochus.

According to Strabo
Strabo
, the Greco-Bactrians seem to have had contacts with China
China
through the silk road trade routes (Strabo, XI.XI.I). Indian sources also maintain religious contact between Buddhist monks and the Greeks, and some Greco-Bactrians did convert to Buddhism
Buddhism
. Demetrius , son and successor of Euthydemus, invaded north-western India
India
in 180 BC, after the destruction of the Mauryan Empire there; the Mauryans were probably allies of the Bactrians (and Seleucids). The exact justification for the invasion remains unclear, but by about 175 BC, the Greeks
Greeks
ruled over parts of north-western India. This period also marks the beginning of the obfuscation of Greco-Bactrian history. Demetrius possibly died about 180 BC; numismatic evidence suggests the existence of several other kings shortly thereafter. It is probable that at this point the Greco-Bactrian kingdom
Greco-Bactrian kingdom
split into several semi-independent regions for some years, often warring amongst themselves. Heliocles was the last Greek to clearly rule Bactria, his power collapsing in the face of central Asian tribal invasions ( Scythian
Scythian
and Yuezhi ), by about 130 BC. However, Greek urban civilisation seems to have continued in Bactria after the fall of the kingdom, having a hellenising effect on the tribes which had displaced Greek rule. The Kushan Empire which followed continued to use Greek on their coinage and Greeks
Greeks
continued being influential in the empire.

INDO-GREEK KINGDOMS

Main article: Indo-Greeks
Indo-Greeks
Indo-Greek territory, with known campaigns and battles. Heracles
Heracles
as Buddha protector Vajrapani
Vajrapani
, 2nd century Gandhara .

The separation of the Indo-Greek kingdom from the Greco-Bactrian kingdom resulted in an even more isolated position, and thus the details of the Indo-Greek kingdom are even more obscure than for Bactria. Many supposed kings in India
India
are known only because of coins bearing their name. The numismatic evidence together with archaeological finds and the scant historical records suggest that the fusion of eastern and western cultures reached its peak in the Indo-Greek kingdom.

After Demetrius' death, civil wars between Bactrian kings in India allowed Apollodotus I (from c. 180/175 BC) to make himself independent as the first proper Indo-Greek king (who did not rule from Bactria). Large numbers of his coins have been found in India, and he seems to have reigned in Gandhara as well as western Punjab
Punjab
. Apollodotus I was succeeded by or ruled alongside Antimachus II , likely the son of the Bactrian king Antimachus I . In about 155 (or 165) BC he seems to have been succeeded by the most successful of the Indo-Greek kings, Menander I . Menander
Menander
converted to Buddhism
Buddhism
, and seems to have been a great patron of the religion; he is remembered in some Buddhist texts as 'Milinda'. He also expanded the kingdom further east into Punjab, though these conquests were rather ephemeral.

After the death of Menander
Menander
(c. 130 BC), the Kingdom appears to have fragmented, with several 'kings' attested contemporaneously in different regions. This inevitably weakened the Greek position, and territory seems to have been lost progressively. Around 70 BC, the western regions of Arachosia and Paropamisadae were lost to tribal invasions, presumably by those tribes responsible for the end of the Bactrian kingdom. The resulting Indo- Scythian
Scythian
kingdom seems to have gradually pushed the remaining Indo-Greek kingdom towards the east. The Indo-Greek kingdom appears to have lingered on in western Punjab until about 10 AD, at which time it was finally ended by the Indo-Scythians.

After conquering the Indo-Greeks, the Kushan empire took over Greco-Buddhism
Greco-Buddhism
, the Greek language, Greek script , Greek coinage and artistic styles. Greeks
Greeks
continued being an important part of the cultural world of India
India
for generations. The depictions of the Buddha appear to have been influenced by Greek culture: Buddha representations in the Ghandara period often showed Buddha under the protection of Herakles.

Several references in Indian literature praise the knowledge of the Yavanas
Yavanas
or the Greeks. The Mahabharata
Mahabharata
compliments them as "the all-knowing Yavanas" (sarvajnaa yavanaa); e.g., "The Yavanas, O king, are all-knowing; the Suras are particularly so. The mlecchas are wedded to the creations of their own fancy", such as flying machines that are generally called vimanas . The "Brihat-Samhita" of the mathematician Varahamihira says: "The Greeks
Greeks
, though impure, must be honored since they were trained in sciences and therein, excelled others....." .

OTHER STATES AND HELLENISTIC INFLUENCES

Greco- Scythian
Scythian
golden comb, from Solokha , early 4th century, Hermitage Museum

Hellenistic
Hellenistic
culture was at its height of world influence in the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
period. Hellenism or at least Philhellenism
Philhellenism
reached most regions on the frontiers of the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
kingdoms. Though some of these regions were not ruled by Greeks
Greeks
or even Greek speaking elites, certain Hellenistic
Hellenistic
influences can be seen in the historical record and material culture of these regions. Other regions had established contact with Greek colonies before this period, and simply saw a continued process of Hellenization and intermixing.

Before the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
period, Greek colonies had been established on the coast of the Crimean
Crimean
and Taman peninsulas . The Bosporan Kingdom was a multi-ethnic kingdom of Greek city states and local tribal peoples such as the Maeotians , Thracians , Crimean
Crimean
Scythians
Scythians
and Cimmerians
Cimmerians
under the Spartocid dynasty (438–110 BC). The Spartocids were a hellenized Thracian
Thracian
family from Panticapaeum . The Bosporans had long lasting trade contacts with the Scythian
Scythian
peoples of the Pontic-Caspian steppe , and Hellenistic
Hellenistic
influence can be seen in the Scythian
Scythian
settlements of the Crimea
Crimea
, such as in the Scythian
Scythian
Neapolis . Scythian
Scythian
pressure on the Bosporan kingdom under Paerisades V led to its eventual vassalage under the Pontic king Mithradates VI for protection, c. 107 BC. It later became a Roman client state. Other Scythians
Scythians
on the steppes of Central Asia
Asia
came into contact with Hellenistic
Hellenistic
culture through the Greeks
Greeks
of Bactria. Many Scythian elites purchased Greek products and some Scythian
Scythian
art shows Greek influences. At least some Scythians
Scythians
seem to have become Hellenized, because we know of conflicts between the elites of the Scythian kingdom over the adoption of Greek ways. These Hellenized Scythians were known as the "young Scythians". The peoples around Pontic Olbia , known as the Callipidae, were intermixed and Hellenized Greco-Scythians. Statuette of Nike , Greek goddess of victory, from Vani , Georgia (country)

The Greek colonies on the west coast of the Black sea , such as Istros , Tomi and Callatis traded with the Thracian
Thracian
Getae
Getae
who occupied modern-day Dobruja
Dobruja
. From the 6th century BC on, the multiethnic people in this region gradually intermixed with each other, creating a Greco-Getic populace. Numismatic
Numismatic
evidence shows that Hellenic influence penetrated further inland. Getae
Getae
in Wallachia
Wallachia
and Moldavia coined Getic tetradrachms , Getic imitations of Macedonian coinage.

The ancient Georgian kingdoms had trade relations with the Greek city-states on the Black Sea coast such as Poti
Poti
and Sukhumi . The kingdom of Colchis
Colchis
, which later became a Roman client state, received Hellenistic
Hellenistic
influences from the Black Sea Greek colonies.

In Arabia, Bahrain
Bahrain
, which was referred to by the Greeks
Greeks
as Tylos , the centre of pearl trading, when Nearchus
Nearchus
came to discover it serving under Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great
. The Greek admiral Nearchus
Nearchus
is believed to have been the first of Alexander's commanders to visit these islands. It is not known whether Bahrain
Bahrain
was part of the Seleucid Empire
Seleucid Empire
, although the archaeological site at Qalat Al Bahrain
Bahrain
has been proposed as a Seleucid base in the Persian Gulf. Alexander had planned to settle the eastern shores of the Persian Gulf with Greek colonists, and although it is not clear that this happened on the scale he envisaged, Tylos was very much part of the Hellenised world: the language of the upper classes was Greek (although Aramaic was in everyday use), while Zeus was worshipped in the form of the Arabian sun-god Shams. Tylos even became the site of Greek athletic contests. Carthaginian hoplite (Sacred Band, end of the 4th century BC)

Carthage
Carthage
was a Phoenician colony on the coast of Tunisia
Tunisia
. Carthaginian culture came into contact with the Greeks
Greeks
through Punic colonies in Sicily
Sicily
and through their widespread Mediterranean
Mediterranean
trade network. While the Carthaginians retained their Punic culture and language, they did adopt some Hellenistic
Hellenistic
ways, one of the most prominent of which was their military practices. In 550 BC, Mago I of Carthage
Carthage
began a series of military reforms which included copying the army of Timoleon , Tyrant of Syracuse . The core of Carthage's military was the Greek-style phalanx formed by citizen hoplite spearmen who had been conscripted into service, though their armies also included large numbers of mercenaries. After their defeat in the First Punic War , Carthage
Carthage
hired a Spartan mercenary captain, Xanthippus of Carthage
Carthage
, to reform their military forces. Xanthippus reformed the Carthaginian military along Macedonian army lines.

By the 2nd century BC, the kingdom of Numidia also began to see Hellenistic
Hellenistic
culture influence its art and architecture. The Numidian royal monument at Chemtou is one example of Numidian Hellenized architecture. Reliefs on the monument also show the Numidians had adopted Greco-Macedonian type armor and shields for their soldiers.

Ptolemaic Egypt
Egypt
was the center of Hellenistic
Hellenistic
influence in Africa
Africa
and Greek colonies also thrived in the region of Cyrene, Libya
Cyrene, Libya
. The kingdom of Meroë
Meroë
was in constant contact with Ptolemaic Egypt
Egypt
and Hellenistic
Hellenistic
influences can be seen in their art and archaeology. There was a temple to Serapis
Serapis
, the Greco-Egyptian god.

RISE OF ROME

Eastern hemisphere at the end of the 2nd century BC.

Widespread Roman interference in the Greek world was probably inevitable given the general manner of the ascendency of the Roman Republic . This Roman-Greek interaction began as a consequence of the Greek city-states located along the coast of southern Italy. Rome
Rome
had come to dominate the Italian peninsula, and desired the submission of the Greek cities to its rule. Although they initially resisted, allying themselves with Pyrrhus of Epirus , and defeating the Romans at several battles, the Greek cities were unable to maintain this position and were absorbed by the Roman republic. Shortly afterwards, Rome
Rome
became involved in Sicily, fighting against the Carthaginians in the First Punic War . The end result was the complete conquest of Sicily, including its previously powerful Greek cities, by the Romans.

Roman entanglement in the Balkans
Balkans
began when Illyrian piratical raids on Roman merchants led to invasions of Illyria (the First and, Second Illyrian Wars ). Tension between Macedon
Macedon
and Rome
Rome
increased when the young king of Macedon, Philip V , harbored one of the chief pirates, Demetrius of Pharos (a former client of Rome). As a result, in an attempt to reduce Roman influence in the Balkans, Philip allied himself with Carthage
Carthage
after Hannibal
Hannibal
had dealt the Romans a massive defeat at the Battle of Cannae (216 BC) during the Second Punic War
Second Punic War
. Forcing the Romans to fight on another front when they were at a nadir of manpower gained Philip the lasting enmity of the Romans—the only real result from the somewhat insubstantial First Macedonian War (215–202 BC).

Once the Second Punic War
Second Punic War
had been resolved, and the Romans had begun to regather their strength, they looked to re-assert their influence in the Balkans, and to curb the expansion of Philip. A pretext for war was provided by Philip's refusal to end his war with Attalid Pergamum and Rhodes
Rhodes
, both Roman allies. The Romans, also allied with the Aetolian League
Aetolian League
of Greek city-states (which resented Philip's power), thus declared war on Macedon
Macedon
in 200 BC, starting the Second Macedonian War . This ended with a decisive Roman victory at the Battle of Cynoscephalae (197 BC). Like most Roman peace treaties of the period, the resultant 'Peace of Flaminius' was designed utterly to crush the power of the defeated party; a massive indemnity was levied, Philip's fleet was surrendered to Rome, and Macedon
Macedon
was effectively returned to its ancient boundaries, losing influence over the city-states of southern Greece, and land in Thrace
Thrace
and Asia
Asia
Minor. The result was the end of Macedon
Macedon
as a major power in the Mediterranean.

As a result of the confusion in Greece
Greece
at the end of the Second Macedonian War, the Seleucid Empire
Seleucid Empire
also became entangled with the Romans. The Seleucid Antiochus III
Antiochus III
had allied with Philip V of Macedon in 203 BC, agreeing that they should jointly conquer the lands of the boy-king of Egypt, Ptolemy V
Ptolemy V
. After defeating Ptolemy
Ptolemy
in the Fifth Syrian War , Antiochus concentrated on occupying the Ptolemaic possessions in Asia
Asia
Minor. However, this brought Antiochus into conflict with Rhodes
Rhodes
and Pergamum, two important Roman allies, and began a 'cold war' between Rome
Rome
and Antiochus (not helped by the presence of Hannibal
Hannibal
at the Seleucid court). Meanwhile, in mainland Greece, the Aetolian League
Aetolian League
, which had sided with Rome
Rome
against Macedon, now grew to resent the Roman presence in Greece. This presented Antiochus III
Antiochus III
with a pretext to invade Greece
Greece
and 'liberate' it from Roman influence, thus starting the Roman-Syrian War (192–188 BC). In 191 BC, the Romans under Manius Acilius Glabrio routed him at Thermopylae and obliged him to withdraw to Asia. During the course of this war Roman troops moved into Asia
Asia
for the first time, where they defeated Antiochus again at the Battle of Magnesia
Battle of Magnesia
(190 BC). A crippling treaty was imposed on Antiochus, with Seleucid possessions in Asia
Asia
Minor removed and given to Rhodes
Rhodes
and Pergamum, the size of the Seleucid navy reduced, and a massive war indemnity invoked. Perseus of Macedon
Macedon
surrenders to Paullus. Painting by Jean-François Pierre Peyron from 1802. Museum of Fine Arts , Budapest
Budapest
.

Thus, in less than twenty years, Rome
Rome
had destroyed the power of one of the successor states, crippled another, and firmly entrenched its influence over Greece. This was primarily a result of the over-ambition of the Macedonian kings, and their unintended provocation of Rome, though Rome
Rome
was quick to exploit the situation. In another twenty years, the Macedonian kingdom was no more. Seeking to re-assert Macedonian power and Greek independence, Philip V's son Perseus incurred the wrath of the Romans, resulting in the Third Macedonian War (171–168 BC). Victorious, the Romans abolished the Macedonian kingdom, replacing it with four puppet republics; these lasted a further twenty years before Macedon
Macedon
was formally annexed as a Roman province
Roman province
(146 BC) after yet another rebellion under Andriscus . Rome
Rome
now demanded that the Achaean League, the last stronghold of Greek independence, be dissolved. The Achaeans refused and declared war on Rome. Most of the Greek cities rallied to the Achaeans' side, even slaves were freed to fight for Greek independence. The Roman consul Lucius Mummius advanced from Macedonia and defeated the Greeks at Corinth
Corinth
, which was razed to the ground. In 146 BC, the Greek peninsula, though not the islands, became a Roman protectorate. Roman taxes were imposed, except in Athens
Athens
and Sparta, and all the cities had to accept rule by Rome's local allies.

The Attalid dynasty of Pergamum lasted little longer; a Roman ally until the end, its final king Attalus III died in 133 BC without an heir, and taking the alliance to its natural conclusion, willed Pergamum to the Roman Republic. The final Greek resistance came in 88 BC, when King Mithridates of Pontus rebelled against Rome, captured Roman held Anatolia, and massacred up to 100,000 Romans and Roman allies across Asia
Asia
Minor. Many Greek cities, including Athens, overthrew their Roman puppet rulers and joined him in the Mithridatic wars . When he was driven out of Greece
Greece
by the Roman general Lucius Cornelius Sulla , the latter laid siege to Athens
Athens
and razed the city. Mithridates was finally defeated by Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus ( Pompey the Great) in 65 BC. Further ruin was brought to Greece
Greece
by the Roman civil wars, which were partly fought in Greece. Finally, in 27 BC, Augustus directly annexed Greece
Greece
to the new Roman Empire
Roman Empire
as the province of Achaea . The struggles with Rome
Rome
had left Greece
Greece
depopulated and demoralised. Nevertheless, Roman rule at least brought an end to warfare, and cities such as Athens, Corinth, Thessaloniki and Patras soon recovered their prosperity.

Contrarily, having so firmly entrenched themselves into Greek affairs, the Romans now completely ignored the rapidly disintegrating Seleucid empire
Seleucid empire
(perhaps because it posed no threat); and left the Ptolemaic kingdom to decline quietly, while acting as a protector of sorts, in as much as to stop other powers taking Egypt
Egypt
over (including the famous line-in-the-sand incident when the Seleucid Antiochus IV Epiphanes tried to invade Egypt). Eventually, instability in the near east resulting from the power vacuum left by the collapse of the Seleucid Empire
Seleucid Empire
caused the Roman proconsul Pompey the Great to abolish the Seleucid rump state, absorbing much of Syria
Syria
into the Roman Republic. Famously, the end of Ptolemaic Egypt
Egypt
came as the final act in the republican civil war between the Roman triumvirs Mark Anthony and Augustus Caesar . After the defeat of Anthony and his lover, the last Ptolemaic monarch, Cleopatra VII , at the Battle of Actium
Battle of Actium
, Augustus invaded Egypt
Egypt
and took it as his own personal fiefdom. He thereby completed both the destruction of the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
kingdoms and the Roman Republic, and ended (in hindsight) the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
era.

CULTURE

The Library of Alexandria
Alexandria
in the Ptolemaic Kingdom , here shown in an artist's impression, was the largest and most significant library of the ancient world . The Rosetta Stone
Rosetta Stone
, a trilingual Ptolemaic decree establishing the religious cult of Ptolemy V .

In some fields Hellenistic
Hellenistic
culture thrived, particularly in its preservation of the past. The states of the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
period were deeply fixated with the past and its seemingly lost glories. The preservation of many classical and archaic works of art and literature (including the works of the three great classical tragedians, Aeschylus
Aeschylus
, Sophocles , and Euripides
Euripides
) are due to the efforts of the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
Greeks. The museum and library of Alexandria
Alexandria
was the center of this conservationist activity. With the support of royal stipends, Alexandrian scholars collected, translated, copied, classified and critiqued every book they could find. Most of the great literary figures of the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
period studied at Alexandria
Alexandria
and conducted research there. They were scholar poets, writing not only poetry but treatises on Homer
Homer
and other archaic and classical Greek literature.

Athens
Athens
retained its position as the most prestigious seat of higher education, especially in the domains of philosophy and rhetoric, with considerable libraries and philosophical schools. Alexandria
Alexandria
had the monumental Museum (i.e. research center) and Library of Alexandria which was estimated to have had 700,000 volumes. The city of Pergamon also had a large library and became a major center of book production. The island of Rhodes
Rhodes
had a library and also boasted a famous finishing school for politics and diplomacy. Libraries were also present in Antioch
Antioch
, Pella , and Kos
Kos
. Cicero
Cicero
was educated in Athens and Mark Antony in Rhodes. Antioch
Antioch
was founded as a metropolis and center of Greek learning which retained its status into the era of Christianity
Christianity
. Seleucia replaced Babylon
Babylon
as the metropolis of the lower Tigris
Tigris
.

The spread of Greek culture
Greek culture
and language throughout the Near East and Asia
Asia
owed much to the development of newly founded cities and deliberate colonization policies by the successor states, which in turn was necessary for maintaining their military forces. Settlements such as Ai-Khanoum , situated on trade routes, allowed Greek culture to mix and spread. The language of Philip II's and Alexander's court and army (which was made up of various Greek and non-Greek speaking peoples) was a version of Attic Greek , and over time this language developed into Koine
Koine
, the lingua franca of the successor states.

The identification of local gods with similar Greek deities, a practice termed ' Interpretatio graeca ', facilitated the building of Greek-style temples, and the Greek culture
Greek culture
in the cities also meant that buildings such as gymnasia and theaters became common. Many cities maintained nominal autonomy while under the rule of the local king or satrap , and often had Greek-style institutions. Greek dedications, statues, architecture and inscriptions have all been found. However, local cultures were not replaced, and mostly went on as before, but now with a new Greco-Macedonian or otherwise Hellenized elite. An example that shows the spread of Greek theater is Plutarch 's story of the death of Crassus , in which his head was taken to the Parthian court and used as a prop in a performance of The Bacchae . Theaters have also been found: for example, in Ai-Khanoum on the edge of Bactria , the theater has 35 rows – larger than the theater in Babylon
Babylon
.

The spread of Greek influence and language is also shown through Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
coinage . Portraits became more realistic, and the obverse of the coin was often used to display a propaganda image, commemorating an event or displaying the image of a favored god. The use of Greek-style portraits and Greek language
Greek language
continued under the Roman, Parthian and Kushan empires , even as the use of Greek was in decline.

HELLENIZATION AND ACCULTURATION

One of the first representations of the Buddha , and an example of Greco-Buddhist art , 1st-2nd century AD, Gandhara : Standing Buddha (Tokyo National Museum) . Bull capital from Rampurva , Maurya Empire , 3rd century BC, Indian Museum
Indian Museum
, Calcutta
Calcutta
. The subject matter is Indian (zebu ), the global shape is influenced by Achaemenid styles, and the floral band incorporates Hellenistic
Hellenistic
designs (flame palmettes ). Further information: Hellenization

The concept of Hellenization, meaning the adoption of Greek culture in non-Greek regions, has long been controversial. Undoubtedly Greek influence did spread through the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
realms, but to what extent, and whether this was a deliberate policy or mere cultural diffusion, have been hotly debated.

It seems likely that Alexander himself pursued policies which led to Hellenization, such as the foundations of new cities and Greek colonies. While it may have been a deliberate attempt to spread Greek culture (or as Arrian says, "to civilise the natives"), it is more likely that it was a series of pragmatic measures designed to aid in the rule of his enormous empire. Cities and colonies were centers of administrative control and Macedonian power in a newly conquered region. Alexander also seems to have attempted to create a mixed Greco-Persian elite class as shown by the Susa weddings and his adoption of some forms of Persian dress and court culture. He also brought Persian and other non-Greek peoples into his military and even the elite cavalry units of the companion cavalry . Again, it is probably better to see these policies as a pragmatic response to the demands of ruling a large empire than to any idealized attempt to bringing Greek culture
Greek culture
to the 'barbarians '. This approach was bitterly resented by the Macedonians and discarded by most of the Diadochi
Diadochi
after Alexander's death. These policies can also be interpreted as the result of Alexander's possible megalomania during his later years.

After Alexander's death in 323 BC, the influx of Greek colonists into the new realms continued to spread Greek culture
Greek culture
into Asia. The founding of new cities and military colonies continued to be a major part of the Successors' struggle for control of any particular region, and these continued to be centers of cultural diffusion. The spread of Greek culture
Greek culture
under the Successors seems mostly to have occurred with the spreading of Greeks
Greeks
themselves, rather than as an active policy.

Throughout the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
world, these Greco-Macedonian colonists considered themselves by and large superior to the native "barbarians" and excluded most non- Greeks
Greeks
from the upper echelons of courtly and government life. Most of the native population was not Hellenized, had little access to Greek culture
Greek culture
and often found themselves discriminated against by their Hellenic overlords. Gymnasiums
Gymnasiums
and their Greek education, for example, were for Greeks
Greeks
only. Greek cities and colonies may have exported Greek art
Greek art
and architecture as far as the Indus
Indus
, but these were mostly enclaves of Greek culture
Greek culture
for the transplanted Greek elite . The degree of influence that Greek culture had throughout the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
kingdoms was therefore highly localized and based mostly on a few great cities like Alexandria
Alexandria
and Antioch. Some natives did learn Greek and adopt Greek ways, but this was mostly limited to a few local elites who were allowed to retain their posts by the Diadochi
Diadochi
and also to a small number of mid-level administrators who acted as intermediaries between the Greek speaking upper class and their subjects. In the Seleucid Empire, for example, this group amounted to only 2.5 percent of the official class.

Hellenistic art nevertheless had a considerable influence on the cultures that had been affected by the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
expansion. As far as the Indian subcontinent, Hellenistic
Hellenistic
influence on Indian art was broad and far-reaching, and had effects for several centuries following the forays of Alexander the Great.

Despite their initial reluctance, the Successors seem to have later deliberately naturalized themselves to their different regions, presumably in order to help maintain control of the population. In the Ptolemaic kingdom, we find some Egyptianized Greeks
Greeks
by the 2nd century onwards. In the Indo-Greek kingdom we find kings who were converts to Buddhism
Buddhism
(e.g., Menander
Menander
). The Greeks
Greeks
in the regions therefore gradually become 'localized', adopting local customs as appropriate. In this way, hybrid 'Hellenistic' cultures naturally emerged, at least among the upper echelons of society.

The trends of Hellenization were therefore accompanied by Greeks adopting native ways over time, but this was widely varied by place and by social class. The farther away from the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
and the lower in social status, the more likely that a colonist was to adopt local ways, while the Greco-Macedonian elites and royal families usually remained thoroughly Greek and viewed most non- Greeks
Greeks
with disdain. It was not until Cleopatra VII that a Ptolemaic ruler bothered to learn the Egyptian language
Egyptian language
of their subjects.

RELIGION

Main article: Hellenistic
Hellenistic
religion Bust of Zeus-Ammon , a deity with attributes from Greek and Egyptian gods.

In the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
period, there was much continuity in Greek religion : the Greek gods continued to be worshiped, and the same rites were practiced as before. However the socio-political changes brought on by the conquest of the Persian empire and Greek emigration abroad meant that change also came to religious practices. This varied greatly by location. Athens, Sparta
Sparta
and most cities in the Greek mainland did not see much religious change or new gods (with the exception of the Egyptian Isis
Isis
in Athens), while the multi-ethnic Alexandria
Alexandria
had a very varied group of gods and religious practices, including Egyptian, Jewish and Greek. Greek emigres brought their Greek religion everywhere they went, even as far as India
India
and Afghanistan. Non- Greeks
Greeks
also had more freedom to travel and trade throughout the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
and in this period we can see Egyptian gods such as Serapis
Serapis
, and the Syrian gods Atargatis and Hadad , as well as a Jewish synagogue , all coexisting on the island of Delos alongside classical Greek deities. A common practice was to identify Greek gods with native gods that had similar characteristics and this created new fusions like Zeus-Ammon, Aphrodite Hagne (a Hellenized Atargatis ) and Isis
Isis
- Demeter . Greek emigres faced individual religious choices they had not faced on their home cities, where the gods they worshiped were dictated by tradition. Cybele , a Phrygian mother Goddess, enthroned, with lion , cornucopia and Mural crown .

Hellenistic
Hellenistic
monarchies were closely associated with the religious life of the kingdoms they ruled. This had already been a feature of Macedonian kingship, which had priestly duties. Hellenestic kings adopted patron deities as protectors of their house and sometimes claimed descent from them. The Seleucids for example took on Apollo
Apollo
as patron, the Antigonids had Herakles
Herakles
, and the Ptolemies claimed Dionysus among others.

The worship of dynastic ruler cults was also a feature of this period, most notably in Egypt, where the Ptolemies adopted earlier Pharaonic practice, and established themselves as god-kings . These cults were usually associated with a specific temple in honor of the ruler such as the Ptolemaieia at Alexandria
Alexandria
and had their own festivals and theatrical performances. The setting up of ruler cults was more based on the systematized honors offered to the kings (sacrifice, proskynesis , statues, altars, hymns) which put them on par with the gods (isotheism) than on actual belief of their divine nature. According to Peter Green, these cults did not produce genuine belief of the divinity of rulers among the Greeks
Greeks
and Macedonians. The worship of Alexander was also popular, as in the long lived cult at Erythrae and of course, at Alexandria, where his tomb was located.

The Hellenistic
Hellenistic
age also saw a rise in the disillusionment with traditional religion. The rise of philosophy and the sciences had removed the gods from many of their traditional domains such as their role in the movement of the heavenly bodies and natural disasters. The Sophists proclaimed the centrality of humanity and agnosticism ; the belief in Euhemerism (the view that the gods were simply ancient kings and heroes), became popular. The popular philosopher Epicurus
Epicurus
promoted a view of disinterested gods living far away from the human realm in metakosmia . The apotheosis of rulers also brought the idea of divinity down to earth. While there does seem to have been a substantial decline in religiosity, this was mostly reserved for the educated classes.

Magic was practiced widely, and this, too, was a continuation from earlier times. Throughout the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
world, people would consult oracles , and use charms and figurines to deter misfortune or to cast spells. Also developed in this era was the complex system of astrology , which sought to determine a person's character and future in the movements of the sun , moon , and planets . Astrology was widely associated with the cult of Tyche (luck, fortune), which grew in popularity during this period.

LITERATURE

Relief with Menander
Menander
and New Comedy Masks (Roman, AD 40-60) - the masks show three New Comedy stock characters: youth, false maiden, old man. Princeton University Art Museum

The Hellenistic
Hellenistic
period saw the rise of New Comedy , the only few surviving representative texts being those of Menander
Menander
(born 342/1 BC). Only one play, Dyskolos , survives in its entirety. The plots of this new Hellenistic
Hellenistic
comedy of manners were more domestic and formulaic, stereotypical low born characters such as slaves became more important, the language was colloquial and major motifs included escapism , marriage, romance and luck ( Tyche ). Though no Hellenistic tragedy remains intact, they were still widely produced during the period, yet it seems that there was no major breakthrough in style, remaining within the classical model. The Supplementum Hellenisticum, a modern collection of extant fragments, contains the fragments of 150 authors.

Hellenistic
Hellenistic
poets now sought patronage from kings, and wrote works in their honor. The scholars at the libraries in Alexandria
Alexandria
and Pergamon focused on the collection, cataloging, and literary criticism of classical Athenian works and ancient Greek myths. The poet-critic Callimachus
Callimachus
, a staunch elitist, wrote hymns equating Ptolemy II
Ptolemy II
to Zeus and Apollo. He promoted short poetic forms such as the epigram , epyllion and the iambic and attacked epic as base and common ("big book, big evil" was his doctrine). He also wrote a massive catalog of the holdings of the library of Alexandria, the famous Pinakes . Callimachus
Callimachus
was extremely influential in his time and also for the development of Augustan poetry . Another poet, Apollonius of Rhodes
Rhodes
, attempted to revive the epic for the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
world with his Argonautica
Argonautica
. He had been a student of Callimachus
Callimachus
and later became chief librarian (prostates) of the library of Alexandria. Apollonius and Callimachus
Callimachus
spent much of their careers feuding with each other. Pastoral poetry also thrived during the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
era, Theocritus was a major poet who popularized the genre.

This period also saw the rise of the Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
novel , e.g., Daphnis and Chloe
Daphnis and Chloe
and the Ephesian Tale .

Around 240 BC Livius Andronicus, a Greek slave from southern Italy, translated Homer's Odyssey into Latin. Greek literature would have a dominant effect on the development of the Latin literature of the Romans. The poetry of Virgil
Virgil
, Horace
Horace
and Ovid
Ovid
were all based on Hellenistic
Hellenistic
styles.

PHILOSOPHY

Zeno of Citium founded Stoic philosophy. Main article: Hellenistic philosophy

During the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
period, many different schools of thought developed. Athens, with its multiple philosophical schools, continued to remain the center of philosophical thought. However, Athens
Athens
had now lost her political freedom, and Hellenistic philosophy is a reflection of this new difficult period. In this political climate, Hellenistic philosophers went in search of goals such as ataraxia (un-disturbedness), autarky (self-sufficiency) and apatheia (freedom from suffering), which would allow them to wrest well-being or eudaimonia out of the most difficult turns of fortune. This occupation with the inner life, with personal inner liberty and with the pursuit of eudaimonia is what all Hellenistic
Hellenistic
philosophical schools have in common.

The Epicureans and the Cynics rejected public offices and civic service, which amounted to a rejection of the polis itself, the defining institution of the Greek world. Epicurus
Epicurus
promoted atomism and an asceticism based on freedom from pain as its ultimate goal. Cynics such as Diogenes of Sinope rejected all material possessions and social conventions (nomos) as unnatural and useless. The Cyrenaics , meanwhile, embraced hedonism , arguing that pleasure was the only true good. Stoicism , founded by Zeno of Citium , taught that virtue was sufficient for eudaimonia as it would allow one to live in accordance with Nature or Logos
Logos
. Zeno became extremely popular; the Athenians set up a gold statue of him, and Antigonus II Gonatas invited him to the Macedonian court. The philosophical schools of Aristotle
Aristotle
(the Peripatetics of the Lyceum ) and Plato
Plato
( Platonism at the Academy ) also remained influential. The academy would eventually turn to Academic Skepticism under Arcesilaus
Arcesilaus
until it was rejected by Antiochus of Ascalon (c. 90 BC) in favour of Neoplatonism
Neoplatonism
. Hellenistic philosophy had a significant influence on the Greek ruling elite. Examples include Athenian statesman Demetrius of Phaleron , who had studied in the lyceum ; the Spartan king Cleomenes III , who was a student of the Stoic Sphairos of Borysthenes; and Antigonus II , who was also a well known Stoic. This can also be said of the Roman upper classes, where Stoicism was dominant, as seen in the Meditations of the Roman emperor
Roman emperor
Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius
and the works of Cicero
Cicero
.

The spread of Christianity
Christianity
throughout the Roman world, followed by the spread of Islam , ushered in the end of Hellenistic philosophy and the beginnings of Medieval philosophy (often forcefully, as under Justinian I ), which was dominated by the three Abrahamic traditions: Jewish philosophy
Jewish philosophy
, Christian philosophy , and early Islamic philosophy . In spite of this shift, Hellenistic philosophy continued to influence these three religious traditions and the renaissance thought which followed them.

SCIENCES

Eratosthenes' method for determining the radius and circumference of the Earth. One of the oldest surviving fragments of Euclid's Elements, found at Oxyrhynchus and dated to c. AD 100 (P. Oxy. 29 ). The diagram accompanies Book II, Proposition 5. Further information: Hellenistic
Hellenistic
astronomy , Hellenistic
Hellenistic
mathematics , and Hellenistic
Hellenistic
geography

Hellenistic
Hellenistic
culture produced seats of learning throughout the Mediterranean. Hellenistic science differed from Greek science in at least two ways: first, it benefited from the cross-fertilization of Greek ideas with those that had developed in the larger Hellenistic world; secondly, to some extent, it was supported by royal patrons in the kingdoms founded by Alexander's successors. Especially important to Hellenistic science was the city of Alexandria
Alexandria
in Egypt, which became a major center of scientific research in the 3rd century BC. Hellenistic
Hellenistic
scholars frequently employed the principles developed in earlier Greek thought: the application of mathematics and deliberate empirical research, in their scientific investigations.

Hellenistic
Hellenistic
Geometers such as Archimedes
Archimedes
(c. 287 – 212 BC), Apollonius of Perga
Apollonius of Perga
(c. 262 – c. 190 BC), and Euclid
Euclid
(c. 325 – 265 BC), whose Elements became the most important textbook in mathematics until the 19th century, built upon the work of the Hellenic era Pythagoreans . Euclid
Euclid
developed proofs for the Pythagorean Theorem
Pythagorean Theorem
, for the infinitude of primes, and worked on the five Platonic solids . Eratosthenes
Eratosthenes
used his knowledge of geometry to measure the circumference of the Earth . His calculation was remarkably accurate. He was also the first to calculate the tilt of the Earth\'s axis (again with remarkable accuracy). Additionally, he may have accurately calculated the distance from the Earth to the Sun and invented the leap day . Known as the "Father of Geography ", Eratosthenes
Eratosthenes
also created the first map of the world incorporating parallels and meridians , based on the available geographical knowledge of the era. The Antikythera mechanism
Antikythera mechanism
was an ancient analog computer designed to calculate astronomical positions.

Astronomers like Hipparchus
Hipparchus
(c. 190 – c. 120 BC) built upon the measurements of the Babylonian astronomers before him, to measure the precession of the Earth. Pliny reports that Hipparchus
Hipparchus
produced the first systematic star catalog after he observed a new star (it is uncertain whether this was a nova or a comet ) and wished to preserve astronomical record of the stars, so that other new stars could be discovered. It has recently been claimed that a celestial globe based on Hipparchus's star catalog sits atop the broad shoulders of a large 2nd-century Roman statue known as the Farnese Atlas . Another astronomer, Aristarchos of Samos developed a heliocentric system.

The level of Hellenistic
Hellenistic
achievement in astronomy and engineering is impressively shown by the Antikythera mechanism
Antikythera mechanism
(150–100 BC). It is a 37-gear mechanical computer which computed the motions of the Sun and Moon, including lunar and solar eclipses predicted on the basis of astronomical periods believed to have been learned from the Babylonians . Devices of this sort are not found again until the 10th century, when a simpler eight-geared luni-solar calculator incorporated into an astrolabe was described by the Persian scholar, Al-Biruni . Similarly complex devices were also developed by other Muslim engineers and astronomers during the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
.

Medicine
Medicine
, which was dominated by the Hippocratic tradition, saw new advances under Praxagoras of Kos, who theorized that blood traveled through the veins. Herophilos
Herophilos
(335–280 BC) was the first to base his conclusions on dissection of the human body and animal vivisection, and to provide accurate descriptions of the nervous system , liver and other key organs. Influenced by Philinus of Cos (fl. 250), a student of Herophilos, a new medical sect emerged, the Empiric school , which was based on strict observation and rejected unseen causes of the Dogmatic school .

Bolos of Mendes made developments in alchemy and Theophrastus
Theophrastus
was known for his work in plant classification. Krateuas wrote a compendium on botanic pharmacy. The library of Alexandria
Alexandria
included a zoo for research and Hellenistic
Hellenistic
zoologists include Archelaos, Leonidas of Byzantion, Apollodoros of Alexandria
Alexandria
and Bion of Soloi.

Technological developments from the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
period include cogged gears , pulleys, the screw, Archimedes\' screw , the screw press , glassblowing , hollow bronze casting, surveying instruments, an odometer, the pantograph , the water clock , a water organ , and the Piston pump .

The interpretation of Hellenistic science varies widely. At one extreme is the view of the English classical scholar Cornford, who believed that "all the most important and original work was done in the three centuries from 600 to 300 BC". At the other is the view of the Italian physicist and mathematician Lucio Russo , who claims that scientific method was actually born in the 3rd century BC, to be forgotten during the Roman period and only revived in the Renaissance.

MILITARY SCIENCE

Further information: Hellenistic
Hellenistic
armies

Hellenistic
Hellenistic
warfare was a continuation of the military developments of Iphicrates and Philip II of Macedon , particularly his use of the Macedonian Phalanx , a dense formation of pikemen , in conjunction with heavy companion cavalry . Armies of the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
period differed from those of the classical period in being largely made up of professional soldiers and also in their greater specialization and technical proficiency in siege warfare . Hellenistic
Hellenistic
armies were significantly larger than those of classical Greece
Greece
relying increasingly on Greek mercenaries (misthophoroi; men-for-pay) and also on non-Greek soldiery such as Thracians, Galatians, Egyptians
Egyptians
and Iranians. Some ethnic groups were known for their martial skill in a particular mode of combat and were highly sought after, including Tarantine cavalry , Cretan archers, Rhodian slingers and Thracian peltasts . This period also saw the adoption of new weapons and troop types such as Thureophoroi
Thureophoroi
and the Thorakitai who used the oval Thureos shield and fought with javelins and the machaira sword. The use of heavily armored cataphracts and also horse archers was adopted by the Seleucids, Greco-Bactrians, Armenians and Pontus . The use of war elephants also became common. Seleucus received Indian war elephants from the Mauryan empire
Mauryan empire
, and used them to good effect at the battle of Ipsus . He kept a core of 500 of them at Apameia . The Ptolemies used the smaller African elephant. Ancient mechanical artillery: Catapults (standing), the chain drive of Polybolos (bottom center), Gastraphetes (on wall)

Hellenistic
Hellenistic
military equipment was generally characterized by an increase in size. Hellenistic-era warships grew from the trireme to include more banks of oars and larger numbers of rowers and soldiers as in the Quadrireme and Quinquereme. The Ptolemaic Tessarakonteres was the largest ship constructed in Antiquity. New siege engines were developed during this period. An unknown engineer developed the torsion-spring catapult (c. 360) and Dionysios of Alexandria
Alexandria
designed a repeating ballista , the Polybolos . Preserved examples of ball projectiles range from 4.4 kg to 78 kg (or over 170 lbs). Demetrius Poliorcetes was notorious for the large siege engines employed in his campaigns, especially during the 12-month siege of Rhodes
Rhodes
when he had Epimachos of Athens
Athens
build a massive 160 ton siege tower named Helepolis
Helepolis
, filled with artillery.

ART

Head of an old woman, a good example of realism . Main article: Hellenistic art Sculpture of Cupid and Psyche
Cupid and Psyche
, an example of the sensualism of Hellenistic
Hellenistic
art. 2nd century AD Roman copy of a 2nd-century BC Greek original.

The term Hellenistic
Hellenistic
is a modern invention; the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
World not only included a huge area covering the whole of the Aegean, rather than the Classical Greece
Classical Greece
focused on the Poleis of Athens
Athens
and Sparta
Sparta
, but also a huge time range. In artistic terms this means that there is huge variety which is often put under the heading of " Hellenistic
Hellenistic
Art" for convenience.

Hellenistic art saw a turn from the idealistic, perfected, calm and composed figures of classical Greek art
Greek art
to a style dominated by realism and the depiction of emotion (pathos ) and character (ethos ). The motif of deceptively realistic naturalism in art (aletheia) is reflected in stories such as that of the painter Zeuxis
Zeuxis
, who was said to have painted grapes that seemed so real that birds came and pecked at them. The female nude also became more popular as epitomized by the Aphrodite of Cnidos of Praxiteles
Praxiteles
and art in general became more erotic (e.g., Leda and the Swan and Scopa\'s Pothos ). The dominant ideals of Hellenistic art were those of sensuality and passion.

People of all ages and social statuses were depicted in the art of the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
age. Artists such as Peiraikos chose mundane and lower class subjects for his paintings. According to Pliny, "He painted barbers' shops, cobblers' stalls, asses, eatables and similar subjects, earning for himself the name of rhyparographos . In these subjects he could give consummate pleasure, selling them for more than other artists received for their large pictures" (Natural History , Book XXXV.112). Even barbarians, such as the Galatians , were depicted in heroic form, prefiguring the artistic theme of the noble savage . The image of Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great
was also an important artistic theme, and all of the diadochi had themselves depicted imitating Alexander's youthful look. A number of the best-known works of Greek sculpture belong to the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
period, including Laocoön and his Sons
Laocoön and his Sons
, Venus de Milo , and the Winged Victory of Samothrace .

Developments in painting included experiments in chiaroscuro by Zeuxis
Zeuxis
and the development of landscape painting and still life painting. Greek temples built during the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
period were generally larger than classical ones, such as the temple of Artemis
Artemis
at Ephesus, the temple of Artemis
Artemis
at Sardis
Sardis
, and the temple of Apollo
Apollo
at Didyma (rebuilt by Seleucus in 300 BC). The royal palace (basileion) also came into its own during the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
period, the first extant example being the massive 4th-century villa of Cassander
Cassander
at Vergina .

This period also saw the first written works of art history in the histories of Duris of Samos and Xenokrates of Athens, a sculptor and a historian of sculpture and painting.

There has been a trend in writing the history of this period to depict Hellenistic art as a decadent style, following the Golden Age of Classical Athens
Athens
. Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder
, after having described the sculpture of the classical period, says: Cessavit deinde ars ("then art disappeared"). The 18th century terms Baroque
Baroque
and Rococo
Rococo
have sometimes been applied to the art of this complex and individual period. The renewal of the historiographical approach as well as some recent discoveries, such as the tombs of Vergina , allow a better appreciation of this period's artistic richness.

HELLENISTIC PERIOD AND MODERN CULTURE

Further information: Decadence and Degeneration

The focus on the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
period over the course of the 19th century by scholars and historians has led to an issue common to the study of historical periods; historians see the period of focus as a mirror of the period in which they are living. Many 19th century scholars contended that the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
period represented a cultural decline from the brilliance of classical Greece
Greece
. Though this comparison is now seen as unfair and meaningless, it has been noted that even commentators of the time saw the end of a cultural era which could not be matched again. This may be inextricably linked with the nature of government. It has been noted by Herodotus
Herodotus
that after the establishment of the Athenian democracy: ...the Athenians found themselves suddenly a great power. Not just in one field, but in everything they set their minds to...As subjects of a tyrant, what had they accomplished?...Held down like slaves they had shirked and slacked; once they had won their freedom, not a citizen but he could feel like he was labouring for himself"

Thus, with the decline of the Greek polis, and the establishment of monarchical states, the environment and social freedom in which to excel may have been reduced. A parallel can be drawn with the productivity of the city states of Italy
Italy
during the Renaissance
Renaissance
, and their subsequent decline under autocratic rulers.

However, William Woodthorpe Tarn , between World War I
World War I
and World War II and the heyday of the League of Nations
League of Nations
, focused on the issues of racial and cultural confrontation and the nature of colonial rule. Michael Rostovtzeff , who fled the Russian Revolution
Russian Revolution
, concentrated predominantly on the rise of the capitalist bourgeoisie in areas of Greek rule. Arnaldo Momigliano , an Italian Jew who wrote before and after the Second World War, studied the problem of mutual understanding between races in the conquered areas. Moses Hadas portrayed an optimistic picture of synthesis of culture from the perspective of the 1950s, while Frank William Walbank in the 1960s and 1970s had a materialistic approach to the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
period, focusing mainly on class relations. Recently, however, papyrologist C. Préaux has concentrated predominantly on the economic system, interactions between kings and cities, and provides a generally pessimistic view on the period. Peter Green , on the other hand, writes from the point of view of late 20th century liberalism , his focus being on individualism, the breakdown of convention, experiments, and a postmodern disillusionment with all institutions and political processes.

SEE ALSO

* Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
portal

* Roman Republic
Roman Republic
* Parthian Empire * Maurya Empire * Han dynasty
Han dynasty
* Pre-Roman Iron Age
Pre-Roman Iron Age
* Ancient Carthage
Carthage
* La Tène culture
La Tène culture

* Greco-Roman world * Scythians
Scythians
* Tashtyk culture * Kushan Empire * Dehellenization * Hellenism (Academia) * Hellenism (neoclassicism)

REFERENCES

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Hellenistic
Age and the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
Tradition. Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art
, 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2013. Archived here. * ^ Hellenistic
Hellenistic
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Hellenistic
Age. London: Orion. ISBN 0-7538-2413-2 . * ^ Professor Gerhard Rempel, Hellenistic
Hellenistic
Civilization (Western New England College) Archived 2008-07-05 at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
.. * ^ Ulrich Wilcken, Griechische Geschichte im Rahmen der Altertumsgeschichte. * ^ Green, p. xvii. * ^ " Hellenistic
Hellenistic
Age". Encyclopædia Britannica Online . Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved 8 September 2012. * ^ A B Green, P. Alexander The Great and the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
Age. p. xiii. ISBN 978-0-7538-2413-9 . * ^ Ἑλληνιστής. Liddell, Henry George ; Scott, Robert ; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project . * ^ Chaniotis , Angelos (2011). Greek History: Hellenistic. Oxford Bibliographies Online Research Guide. Oxford University Press. p. 8. ISBN 9780199805075 . * ^ Arnold, Matthew (1869). "Chapter IV". Culture and Anarchy . Smith, Elder & Co. p. 143. Arnold, Matthew ; Garnett, Jane (editor) (2006). "Chapter IV". Culture and Anarchy . Oxford University Press. p. 96. ISBN 978-0-19-280511-9 . CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link ) * ^ A B F.W. Walbank et al. THE CAMBRIDGE ANCIENT HISTORY, SECOND EDITION, VOLUME VII, PART I: The Hellenistic
Hellenistic
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Hellenistic
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Hellenistic
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Hellenistic
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Hellenistic
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Mithridates VI
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Rhodes
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Hellenistic
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Strabo
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Roman province
1970-2001 : papers in honour of J.J by David Davison, Vincent L. Gaffney, J. J. Wilkes, Emilio Marin, 2006, page 21, "...completely Hellenised town..." * ^ The Illyrians: history and culture, History and Culture Series, The Illyrians: History and Culture, Aleksandar Stipčević, ISBN 0-8155-5052-9 , 1977, page 174 * ^ The Illyrians (The Peoples of Europe) by John Wilkes, 1996, page 233 Odyrsian arms equipment and tactics. * ^ The Odrysian Kingdom
Odrysian Kingdom
of Thrace: Orpheus Unmasked (Oxford Monographs on Classical Archaeology) by Z. H. Archibald,1998,ISBN 0-19-815047-4 , page 3 * ^ The Odrysian Kingdom
Odrysian Kingdom
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Thracian
kings and their Greek neighbours (Nepos, Alc. ... * ^ Walbank et al. (2008), p. 394. * ^ Delamarre, Xavier. Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise. Editions Errance, Paris, 2008, p. 299 * ^ Boardman, John (1993), The Diffusion of Classical Art in Antiquity, Princeton University Press, p.308. * ^ Celtic Inscriptions on Gaulish and British Coins" by Beale Poste p.135 * ^ Momigliano, Arnaldo. Alien Wisdom: The Limits of Hellenization, pp. 54-55. * ^ Tang, Birgit (2005), Delos, Carthage, Ampurias: the Housing of Three Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Trading Centres, Rome: L'Erma di Bretschneider (Accademia di Danimarca), p. 15-16, ISBN 8882653056 * ^ Lapunzina, Alejandro (2005), Architecture
Architecture
of Spain, London: Greenwoood Press, ISBN 0-313-31963-4 , pp. 69-71. * ^ Tang, Birgit (2005), Delos, Carthage, Ampurias: the Housing of Three Mediterranean
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Architecture
of Spain, London: Greenwoood Press, ISBN 0-313-31963-4 , p. 70. * ^ Lapunzina, Alejandro (2005), Architecture
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of Spain, London: Greenwoood Press, ISBN 0-313-31963-4 , pp. 70-71. * ^ Tang, Birgit (2005), Delos, Carthage, Ampurias: the Housing of Three Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Trading Centres, Rome: L'Erma di Bretschneider (Accademia di Danimarca), p. 16-17, ISBN 8882653056 * ^ Green (1990), 187 * ^ Green (1990), 190 * ^ Green (1990), p. 193. * ^ Green (1990), 291. * ^ Jones, Kenneth Raymond (2006). Provincial reactions to Roman imperialism: the aftermath of the Jewish revolt, A.D. 66-70, Parts 66-70. University of California, Berkeley. p. 174. ISBN 978-0-542-82473-9 . ... and the Greeks, or at least the Greco-Macedonian Seleucid Empire, replace the Persians as the Easterners. * ^ Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies (London, England) (1993). The Journal of Hellenic studies, Volumes 113-114. Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies. p. 211. The Seleucid kingdom has traditionally been regarded as basically a Greco-Macedonian state and its rulers thought of as successors to Alexander. * ^ Baskin, Judith R.; Seeskin, Kenneth (2010). The Cambridge Guide to Jewish History, Religion, and Culture. Cambridge University Press. p. 37. ISBN 978-0-521-68974-8 . The wars between the two most prominent Greek dynasties, the Ptolemies of Egypt
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and the Seleucids of Syria, unalterably change the history of the land of Israel.... As a result the land of Israel became part of the empire of the Syrian Greek Seleucids. * ^ A B C Glubb, John Bagot (1967). Syria, Lebanon, Jordan. Thames & Hudson. p. 34. OCLC
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585939 . In addition to the court and the army, Syrian cities were full of Greek businessmen, many of them pure Greeks from Greece. The senior posts in the civil service were also held by Greeks. Although the Ptolemies and the Seleucids were perpetual rivals, both dynasties were Greek and ruled by means of Greek officials and Greek soldiers. Both governments made great efforts to attract immigrants from Greece, thereby adding yet another racial element to the population. * ^ Bugh, Glenn R. (editor). The Cambridge Companion to the Hellenistic
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World, 2007. p. 43. * ^ A B Steven C. Hause; William S. Maltby (2004). Western civilization: a history of European society. Thomson Wadsworth. p. 76. ISBN 978-0-534-62164-3 . The Greco-Macedonian Elite. The Seleucids respected the cultural and religious sensibilities of their subjects but preferred to rely on Greek or Macedonian soldiers and administrators for the day-to-day business of governing. The Greek population of the cities, reinforced until the second century BC by emigration from Greece, formed a dominant, although not especially cohesive, elite. * ^ Victor, Royce M. (2010). Colonial education and class formation in early Judaism: a postcolonial reading. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 55. ISBN 978-0-567-24719-3 . Like other Hellenistic
Hellenistic
kings, the Seleucids ruled with the help of their “friends” and a Greco-Macedonian elite class separate from the native populations whom they governed. * ^ BRITANNICA, Seleucid kingdom, 2008, O.Ed. * ^ Bugh, Glenn R. (editor). The Cambridge Companion to the Hellenistic
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World, 2007, p. 44. * ^ Green (1990), 293-295. * ^ Green (1990), 304. * ^ Green (1990), p. 421. * ^ "The Pergamon
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Altar". Smarthistory
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at Khan Academy . Retrieved April 5, 2013. * ^ "Pergamum". Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition, 1. Missing or empty url= (help ) * ^ Shipley (2000) pp. 318-319. * ^ Justin, Epitome of Pompeius Trogus, 25.2 and 26.2; the related subject of copulative compounds, where both are of equal weight, is exhaustively treated in Anna Granville Hatcher, Modern English Word-Formation and Neo-Latin: A Study of the Origins of English (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University), 1951. * ^ This distinction is remarked upon in William M. Ramsay (revised by Mark W. Wilson), Historical Commentary on Galatians 1997:302; Ramsay notes the 4th century AD Paphlagonian Themistius ' usage Γαλατίᾳ τῇ Ἑλληνίδι. * ^ McGing, B. C. (1986). The Foreign Policy of Mithridates VI Eupator, King of Pontus. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill. pp. 91–92. * ^ Grousset pp.90-91 * ^ Bivar, A.D.H. (1983), "The Political History of Iran under the Arsacids", in Yarshater, Ehsan, Cambridge History of Iran 3.1, Cambridge UP, pp. 21–99. * ^ Bedal, Leigh-Ann; The Petra
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Pool-complex: A Hellenistic Paradeisos in the Nabataean Capital, pg 178. * ^ NABATAEAN PANTHEON, http://nabataea.net/gods.html * ^ Discovery of ancient cave paintings in Petra
Petra
stuns art scholars, https://www.theguardian.com/science/2010/aug/22/hellenistic-wall-paintings-petra * ^ Green (1990), p. 499. * ^ Green (1990), p. 501. * ^ Green (1990), p. 504. * ^ Ponet, James (22 December 2005). "The Maccabees and the Hellenists". Faith-based. Slate. Retrieved 4 December 2012. * ^ "The Revolt of the Maccabees". Simpletoremember.com. Retrieved 2012-08-13. * ^ Davies, Cuthbert Collin (1959). An Historical Atlas of the Indian Peninsula. Oxford University Press. * ^ Narain, A.K. (1976). The Coin Types of the Indo-Greek Kings. Ares. ISBN 0-89005-109-7 . * ^ Hans Erich Stier, Georg Westermann Verlag, Ernst Kirsten, and Ekkehard Aner. Grosser Atlas zur Weltgeschichte: Vorzeit. Altertum. Mittelalter. Neuzeit. Westermann, 1978, ISBN 3-14-100919-8 . * ^ Bopearachchi, Monnaies, p.63 * ^ Ghose, Sanujit (2011). "Cultural links between India
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and the Greco-Roman world". Ancient History Encyclopedia. * ^ Yavana#cite note-10 * ^ Yavana#cite note-11 * ^ Boardman, 131-133 * ^ Claessen & Skalník (editors), The Early State, page 428. * ^ Gent, John. The Scythie nations, down to the fall of the Western empire, p. 4. * ^ Pârvan, Vasile. Dacia, page 92. * ^ Pârvan, Vasile. Dacia, page 100. * ^ Curtis E. Larsen. Life and Land Use on the Bahrain
Bahrain
Islands: The Geoarcheology of an Ancient Society. p. 13. * ^ Ian Morris (ed.). Classical Greece: Ancient histories and modern archaeologies. Routledge. p. 184. * ^ Phillip Ward. Bahrain: A Travel Guide. Oleander Press. p. 68. * ^ W. B. Fisher; et al. (1968). The Cambridge History of Iran. Cambridge University Press. p. 40. * ^ Justin , 19, 1.1 * ^ Prag & Quinn (editors). The Hellenistic
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West, pp. 229-237. * ^ Green, P. Alexander The Great and the Hellenistic
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Age. pp. 98–99. ISBN 978-0-7538-2413-9 . * ^ Green, P. Alexander The Great and the Hellenistic
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Age. pp. 102–103. ISBN 978-0-7538-2413-9 . * ^ A B C Holland, T. Rubicon: Triumph and Tragedy in the Roman Republic. ISBN 978-0-349-11563-4 . * ^ Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, Sagan, C 1980, "Episode 1: The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean" on YouTube
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* ^ Green (1990), pp. xx, 68-69. * ^ Bugh, Glenn R. (editor). The Cambridge Companion to the Hellenistic
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World, 2007. p. 190. * ^ A B C D E Roy M. MacLeod (2004). The Library Of Alexandria: Centre Of Learning In The Ancient World. I.B. Tauris. ISBN 1-85043-594-4 . * ^ John Boardman, "The Diffusion of Classical Art in Antiquity", Princeton University Press, 1993, p.130: "The Indian king's grandson, Asoka, was a convert to Buddhism. His edicts appear carved on rocks and a number of free-standing pillars which are found right across India. These owe something to the pervasive influence of Achaemenid architecture and sculpture, with no little Greek architectural ornament and sculptural style as well. Notice the florals on the bull capital from Rampurva, and the style of the horse on the Sarnath capital, now the emblem of the Republic of India." * ^ A B Green, p. 21. * ^ Green, p. 23. * ^ Green (1990), p. 313. * ^ Green (1990), p. 315. * ^ Green, p. 22. * ^ Bugh, pp. 206-210. * ^ Bugh, p. 209. * ^ Wallbank et al. (2008), p. 84. * ^ Wallbank et al. (2008), p. 86. * ^ Green (1990), p. 402. * ^ Green (1990), p. 396. * ^ Green (1990), p. 399. * ^ Green (1990), page 66-74. * ^ Green (1990), page 65. * ^ Green (1990), p. 179. * ^ Green, Peter; Alexander to Actium, the historical evolution of the Hellenistic
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age, page 53. * ^ Bill Casselman . "One of the Oldest Extant Diagrams from Euclid". University of British Columbia. Retrieved 2008-09-26. * ^ Lloyd (1973), p. 177. * ^ Bugh, p. 245. * ^ Alfred, Randy (June 19, 2008). "June 19, 240 B.C.E: The Earth Is Round, and It\'s This Big". Wired. Retrieved 2013-06-22. * ^ "The Antikythera Mechanism Research Project", The Antikythera Mechanism Research Project. Retrieved 2007-07-01 Quote: "The Antikythera Mechanism is now understood to be dedicated to astronomical phenomena and operates as a complex mechanical 'computer' which tracks the cycles of the Solar System." * ^ Paphitis, Nicholas (November 30, 2006). "Experts: Fragments an Ancient Computer". The Washington Post. Imagine tossing a top-notch laptop into the sea, leaving scientists from a foreign culture to scratch their heads over its corroded remains centuries later. A Roman shipmaster inadvertently did something just like it 2,000 years ago off southern Greece, experts said late Thursday. * ^ Otto Neugebauer (1975). A History of Ancient Mathematical Astronomy. New York: Springer. pp. 284–5. ; Lloyd (1973), pp. 69-71. * ^ Schaefer, Bradley E. (2005). "The Epoch of the Constellations on the Farnese Atlas and Their Origin in Hipparchus's Lost Catalogue". Journal for the History of Astronomy. 36: 167–96. Bibcode :2005JHA....36..167S. ; But see also Duke, Dennis W. (2006). "Analysis of the Farnese Globe". Journal for the History of Astronomy. 37: 87–100. Bibcode :2006JHA....37...87D. * ^ A B Freeth, T.; et al. (2006). "Decoding the ancient Greek astronomical calculator known as the Antikythera Mechanism". Nature. 444 (7119): 587–91. Bibcode :2006Natur.444..587F. PMID 17136087 . doi :10.1038/nature05357 . ; Marchant, Jo (2006). "In Search of Lost Time". Nature. 444 (7119): 534–8. Bibcode</