The Decline of the City-State& the rise of the Hellenistic Age Alexander the Great (336-323 BC)
Effects of the Peloponnesian Wars,431-404 BC • Despite the restoration of democratic government, Athens never returned to its former power… • Constant warfare among other states continued… • In 371, Sparta lost its first war to Thebes • The loss of manpower on both sides weakened all of Greece
Philip II of Macedon r. 359-336 BC • An ambitious and resourceful ruler of Macedonia who built up his army and planned to conquer the Greeks and the Persians.
“The Philippics” • A series of fiery speeches by Demosthenes • In 338 BC, Philip defeated Athens and its allies and created “The League of Corinth”
Alexander the Great, r 336-323 BC • Inherited an empire • Destruction of Thebes
Alexander III…The Legend: • He wanted to conquer the known world… • His goal may have been to have a stable empire with no threats to his vast holdings… • Some say he had a vision to unite the human race and create one empire where people could live in peace and harmony… • Another interpretation sees him as a paranoiac-tyrant.
Alexander in Egypt • Welcomed as a liberator from Persian tyranny • Hailed as Pharoah and given the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt • Irony: a barbarian chief of a backwater kingdom in the Balkan mountains had become the ruler of the oldest civilization on earth. • Egypt had always been the object of awe and source of inspiration to the Greeks • Egyptian priesthood proclaimed him the son of Amun-Ra (whom they identified as Zeus) and therefore a god himself.
Alexander’s final campaign… • Alexander’s expansionism ended in the mountainous regions of Bactria(present-day Afghanistan) where his army experienced its hardest fighting and never succeeded in getting more than a tenuous hold on the territory. • Alexander’s last battle, Hydaspes, 326 BC, on the banks of the Indus River, was an empty victory- his famous horse Bucephalus was killed and his men, thousands of miles and eight years from home, refused to go on.
Alexander died in 323 BC • Returning to Babylon, Alexander began the consolidation of his empire: > integrated Greek and Persian armies > arranged a mass marriage of his Greek officers with Persian noblewomen; >punished soldiers who did not respect Persian culture; • Adopted Persian dress for himself • Encouraged the ritual of proskynesis
Alexander’s Legacy… • He pushed the world in a new direction- a fusion of disparate people & an intermingling of cultures • The Hellenistic Age begins with his death in 323 BC and ends with the death of Cleopatra in 30 BC.
Alexander’s vast empire merged many peoples into a new, cosmopolitan culture known as “Hellenistic Civilization.” • Map of Alex empire goes here
The empire was divided among 4 generals Seleucus; Ptolemy; Lysimachus and Cassander
Cosmopolitanism… • In the lands he conquered, Alexander introduced Greek language, literature and art; • established over 70 cities: Alexandria • Hellenistic society is characterized by a mingling of Greek, Egyptian & Persian cultures • A world community joined by commerce, trade and travel replaced the Polis as the center of life • New philosophies- Stoicism and Epicureanism emerged to help the common man cope with their new status in a world community instead of the local polis.
Zeno (342-270 BC)Stoicism: • Urged individuals to live according to reason and be indifferent to pleasure and pain • Avoid desires and disappointments; calmly accept whatever life brings your way… • The commonality of Man: all people are morally equal, including women and slaves, because all have the power to reason… • Advocated high moral standards including protecting the rights of fellow human beings
Epicurus, (341-270 BC) -Epicureanism: • Strive for individual happiness in the big, confusing world by avoiding pain and anxiety… • Criticized attempts to gain wealth, power or fame because it increases anxiety… • Enjoy the simple pleasures of life- talking with friends, enjoying good food or just “lying on soft grass near a running stream.” • Later followers stressed the “pleasure” rather than the simplicity!
Hellenistic Science and Math • Euclid (about 300 BC):Geometry • Archimedes (287-212 BC):Mathematician and Scientist – discovered principles of the lever, the pulley and specific gravity. • Aristarchus (310-230 BC):Astronomy-concluded the earth revolved around the sun • Architecture: emphasized size and grandeur • Sculpture: showed realism and individuality
Architecture: emphasized size and grandeur The alter to Zeus at Pergamon, Asia Minor