Hellenistic civilization refers to the ancient Greek people and their culture after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BCE. It extends up to the beginning of the Roman Empire in 31 BCE.
In sharp contrast to today’s Greece, struggling to fight off social and economic collapse, ancient Greece was a highly respected cultural powerhouse whose influence spread throughout the ancient world.
In those days, cultivated people spoke both Latin and Greek. And the Hellenistic age was, for all intents and purposes, a highpoint in Greek civilization, in terms of both its creative output and its general influence.
Hellenistic civilization was preceded by the Classical Hellenic period, and followed by Roman rule over the areas Greece had earlier dominated – even though much of Greek culture, religion, art and literature still permeated Rome’s rule, whose elite spoke and read Greek as well as Latin.¹
A series of dynasties, including the Ptolemies and Seleucids, dominated the region between Greece and Northern India.
Hellenistic philosophy was based in Athens from approximately 300 BCE to 200 CE. Among the many subjects explored, its chief concerns were to outline the ideal life and to develop empiricism. Hellenistic philosophy’s most prominent branches are Stoicism, Epicureanism and Skepticism.
But Hellenistic culture was diverse. It wasn’t just about hard-headed thinking. Some believe that the roots of astrology can be traced to Hellenistic Egypt.
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- Source Analysis of Plutarch’s The Life of Demetrius (socyberty.com)
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- * JOB: Hellenist @ UTennessee Knoxville (tenure track) (rogueclassicism.com)