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The Hellenistic Age. -Key Concepts- “oikoumene” “cosmopolis”. I. Peloponnesian War (430-404 BCE). Very costly and drawn out The defeat of Athens Persia was the big winner Greek city-states commit political suicide

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The hellenistic age l.jpg

The Hellenistic Age

-Key Concepts-

“oikoumene”

“cosmopolis”


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I. Peloponnesian War (430-404 BCE)

  • Very costly and drawn out

  • The defeat of Athens

  • Persia was the big winner

  • Greek city-states commit political suicide

  • Recognition of what had been lost produces a fourth-century intellectual crisis


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II. Intellectual Crisis and Responses

  • Plato (429-347 BCE)

    --Rule of a “Philosopher-King”

    --Plato’s Academy

    --Doctrine of Ideas or Forms

    --Concept of Dualism

    --The “Demiurge”

    --The political philosophy of The Republic


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II. Intellectual Crisis and Responses (cont)

  • Aristotle (384-322 BCE)

    --More empirical approach than Plato

    --Multiple systems of government will work as long as rulers have arete

    --Aristotle’s background

    --His school, the Lyceum

    --Wanted to synthesize all knowledge


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II. Intellectual Crisis and Responses (cont)

  • Aristotle (384-322 BCE)

    --invented the word metaphysics

    --his understanding of the universe

    --earliest formal logician

    --contemplative life is the best life

    --elitist view of women and “barbarians”

    --the power of the passions


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II. Intellectual Crisis and Responses (cont)

  • Isocrates (436-338 BCE)

    --Background

    --Advocate of Pan-Hellenism and the rule of Philip II

    --His emphasis on the value of rhetoric

    --Redefined what it meant to be Greek

    --paideia



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A. Military and Political Unity

  • Harshness of Macedonian life

  • The nature of Macedonian monarchy

  • The relationship of the Macedonians to the Greeks

  • The rise of Philip II to the Macedonian throne

  • His plan to force the Greek city-states into submission


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A. Military and Political Unity (cont)

  • The rise of Alexander the Great to power (336-323 BCE)

  • Conquest of Greece and Persia

  • Alexander’s presence in battle

  • Cuts the Gordion know

  • Introduction of new military technology


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A. Military and Political Unity (cont)

  • Founding of Alexandria and burning of Persepolis

  • Campaign as far as India

  • Rules as a divine, absolute monarch

  • Alexander’s goals and his sense of history

  • The death of Alexander the Great


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A. Military and Political Unity (cont)

  • The Successor Kingdoms

  • Constant warfare between these kingdoms

  • The desire for Greek soldiers

  • The Hellenistic “shadow” polis

  • Hellenistic cities were economic and social hubs

  • Hellenistic view of women

  • Philanthropy in Hellenistic city life


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B. Cultural Unity

  • Process of cultural intermingling

  • Creation of a professional Greek administrative corps

  • Use of Greeks in professional armies and navies

  • Imitation of Greek culture by non-Greeks

    --Koine Greek


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B. Cultural Unity (cont)

  • The role of the city in the Hellenistic empire

  • Employment of Greek writers, artists and architects

  • The Library of Alexandria

    --Museum

  • Hellenistic poets and comics

    --Theocritus


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B. Cultural Unity (cont)

  • Hellenistic sculpture

  • Hellenistic art

  • Spread of Greek culture was wider than it was deep

  • Treatment of the Jews in Hellenistic cities

    --Hanukkah

    --Septuagint (LXX)


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C. Commercial Unity

  • East and West linked in a broad commercial network

  • Uniformity in coinage, weights, and measures

  • Exchange of commercial customs

  • Most trade was sea borne

  • Regional specialization

  • Hellenistic slave trade


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D. Philosophical Unity

  • Reasons for the popularity of Greek philosophy

  • Basic question of Hellenistic philosophy:

  • What is the best way for humans to live?

  • Epicureanism


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D. Philosophical Unity (cont)

  • Stoicism

    --Zeno (333-262 BCE)

    --Logos

    --unified and orderly nature

    --basic unity of all human beings

    --everything that happened was fated


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D. Philosophical Unity (cont)

  • Skeptics

    --Pyrrho (360-270 BCE)

  • Cynics

    --Diogenes

    --Antisthenes

    --artificiality of the polis

    --citizens of the “cosmopolis”


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E. Religious Unity

  • The sterility of Greek religious cults

  • The power of Tyche

  • Greeks do not try to spread their religion

  • The growth of “mystery religions”

  • Rites of initiation that united devotee with a risen god


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E. Religious Unity (cont)

  • Egyptian cult of Serapis

    --Asclepius

  • The Egyptian cult of Isis

  • Tendencies toward religious universalism and personal immortality


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IV. Achievements of Hellenistic Culture

  • The “Golden Age” of Science

  • Euclid and his advances in mathematics

  • The practical and theoretical discoveries of Archimedes

  • Aristarchus and his model of the solar system

  • Eratosthenes and mathematical geography


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IV. Achievements of Hellenistic Culture (cont)

  • Theophrastus and the study of botany

  • Practical technological application

  • Significant medical advances

    --The Hellenistic practice of vivisection

  • Doctors faced a reputation of quakery

  • Hellenistic cures and potions