Alexander the Great & the Hellenistic Age - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

western civilization october 24 2012 n.
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Alexander the Great & the Hellenistic Age

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  1. Western Civilization October 24, 2012 Alexander the Great & the Hellenistic Age

  2. Philip II (r. 359-336 BCE) • King of Macedon • Father of Alexander • Increased democracy • More popular access to Royal Companions • Greater education to Nobles’ sons • Brought Greece under control of Macedon • How was this possible? • The Peloponnesian War weakened Greece, especially Athens

  3. Philip II, cont. • Battle of Chaeronea (338 BCE) brought Macedon control of Greece except Sparta • Turned his attention towards Persia: • Revenge for Persian invasion of Macedon/Greece • Persian support for Macedonian enemies • Desire to eliminate largest, most-powerful threat • Lust for expansion • 336 BCE, Philip sent troops to Asia Minor to begin liberating Greek city-states

  4. Alexander (356-323 BCE) • Son of Philip II • Tutored by Aristotle • Commander in battle of Chaeronea at age of 18 • Became king of Macedon in 336 when his father was assassinated

  5. Alexander the Great • Best known for his expansion of the Macedonian empire throughout the Aegean region and beyond into Egypt, Persia, and India

  6. Alexander’s Legacy • Public Image • Alexander, despite being the king of Macedonia, did not give in to excess and indulgences • His people, his court, and his soldiers witnessed Alexander experience the same hardships and victories as the Macedonian citizens • This strengthened the people’s and the soldier’s allegiance to the king

  7. Alexander’s Legacy • In battle, Alexander demonstrated respect for his enemies • Honored fallen soldiers • Treated prisoners with due respect • Honored his arch-nemesis, Darius of Persia, with a full royal burial • Precedent for modern treatment of POWs

  8. Alexander’s Legacy • The city of Alexandria, Egypt • Became administrative center of the Macedonian Empire • More importantly, was the site of largest library of the ancient world

  9. Alexander’s Legacy • Cultural Diffusion • After the conquest of Persia, Alexander began to adopt Persian customs • Wore Persian attire • Proskynesis, or prostration • Left soldiers in conquered lands in order to spread Macedonian traits and customs

  10. Alexander’s Legacy • Removal of Persian influence from the Mediterranean region • Allowed the region to develop into the “western” culture of today, rather than an “eastern” or “Asian” culture like Persia or India • Allowed the region to embrace democracy

  11. Alexander’s Legacy • Economic progress • Conquest of Persia opened trade between the west and the east, between Europe and Asia • Standardized currency • Merchants traveled the region, exchanging goods as well as ideas • Establishment of over 70 cities by Alexander

  12. The End • After Alexander’s death, infighting led to the division of the empire into four main kingdoms • Macedonia, including Greece, under Cassander • Pergamum (Thrace) under Lysimachus • Seleucids in Syria (Persia) under Seleucus • Ptolemids in Egypt under Ptolemy • Rome conquered Macedonia in 167, Greece in 145, the Seleucid Empire in 65 BCE, and, finally, Egypt in 30 BCE

  13. Thrace (Pergamum) Macedonia Seleucid Empire (Syria) Egypt

  14. The Hellenistic Age • Remember, the Greeks believed they were descendents of one father, Hellen, and the word Hellas was their word for Greece • The Age, was a period Greek cultural dominance • The spread of Greek, or Hellenic, culture throughout the region • A period of unprecedented contact with non-Greek cultures • The influence of “exotic” cultures on Greek art and ideas (and vice-versa) • The Hellenistic Age lasted between the death of Alexander (323 BCE) and the conquest of the region by Rome in 30 BCE

  15. The Hellenistic Age • Many of the cultural aspects of Greece – philosophy, architecture, theater, and science – exploded during this period, leading to incredible advancements in science and technology, as well as human understanding of the world in which they lived