The culture that took shape in the Hellenistic world was not uniform. Seleucus was to take over the near east (parts of modern day Pakistan, Turkmenistan, etc.) The originality of Hellenistic architecture is apparent in the impressive plastic compositions of the altars of Asia Minor, notably the Altar of Zeus in Pergamum. Part of the reason for this is because it comes between the Greeks and the Romans (two favorites). Correspondingly, what is Hellenistic culture? Typically, historians start the Hellenistic Age with the death of Alexander, whose empire spread from India to Africa, in 323 B.C. The Hellenistic culture is usually defined as the culture of the period from 336 BC to the time when the Roman Empire started to become very powerful in the late first century BCE. The individual structures, symmetrical in placement and in the design of their facades, were conceived as elements of a total ensemble designed to be viewed from the facade. This information should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. Koine (koy•NAY), the popular spoken language used in Hellenistic cities, was the direct result of Beginning in the early third century B.C, literature developed in new cultural centers, chiefly Alexandria, where artistic activity was inextricably linked with the scholarly research of the philologists at the famous Alexandria Library. The Hellenistic order is distinguished by a free treatment of the earlier orders and a tendency to stress the decorative and formal at the expense of structural elements. The Hellenistic Period is a part of the Ancient Period for the European and Near Asian space. This blending became known as Hellenistic culture. We’ve discounted annual subscriptions by 50% for our End-of-Year sale—Join Now! Sculpture, which ceased serving the civic ideals of the city-state, became more abstract; decorative, narrative, and, at times, illustrative qualities assumed a greater role, as in the Laocoön (marble, c. 50 B.C). Astronomy. The formation of the Hellenistic monarchies, in combination with the city-state (polis) structure of the cities, fostered the rise of new legal relations and the emergence of a new sociopsychological type of man and society, both informed by a new ideology. Hellenism was a synthesis of Greek (Hellenic) culture with the native cultures of the Near East. Why is the Battle of Saratoga considered a turning point in the American Revolution? Our summaries and analyses are written by experts, and your questions are answered by real teachers. A. I. PAVLOVSKAIA (religion and mythology, historical scholarship), A. L. DOBROKHOTOV (philosophy), I. D. ROZHANSKII (natural sciences), V. N. IARKHO (literature), G. I. SOKOLOV (architecture and art), and G. A. KOSHELENKO (eastern Hellenistic art). After Phillip of Macedon unified the Greeks, there was a push towards Persia by Alexander, his son. The Epicurean school, which existed until the mid-fourth century of the Common Era, was an important influence on the world view of the Hellenistic age. The complex and contradictory nature of Hellenistic sculpture was manifested in the coexistence of idealized portraits of monarchs; statues of deities on an extremely monumental scale (the Colossus of Rhodes); grotesque mythological figures, such as sileni and satyrs; proud, majestic figures, such as those of the Tanagra terra-cottas; precisely observed representations of old persons; and dramatic “portraits of the philosophers.” Sculpture for parks and gardens, imbued with a spirit of calm, underwent extensive development. The way in which this synthesis took place depended on many specific factors, notably the relative sizes of the various ethnic groups (indigenous and immigrant), the level of development of their economy and culture, their social organization, and political circumstances. Certain eastern cults were accepted by the Greeks virtually intact. The characteristics listed above are most strikingly evident in the high-relief frieze of the Altar of Zeus (marble, c. 180 B.C., Staatliche Museen, Berlin) and the Nike of Samothrace (marble, late fourth or second centuries B.C., Louvre, Paris). Such a conception fails to take into account the qualitative changes that took place in ideology and culture after the Roman conquest and, especially, during the crisis and decline of slaveholding society. Other important centers of Hellenistic science were Pergamum, Antioch, and the island of Rhodes. For example, the Jews were avid patrons of the gymnasiums, but those citizens of Greek descent disliked their presence, at least in Egypt. The phrase was derived from Hellas meaning Greece. This was a fusion of Greek thought and Egyptian culture. No Hellenistic tragedies have survived, although performances have been attested throughout the Hellenistic age in Athens and virtually everywhere in the Hellenistic world, even in such peripheral areas as Armenia and the Black Sea region. Characteristic of the visual arts were the use of the classical heritage and the creation of harmonious figures, such as the Aphrodite of Melos, or Venus de Milo (marble, second century B.C., Louvre, Paris); in addition, there was a tendency to mechanically imitate the classical artists, which led to the production of essentially cold, falsely emotional works, such as the Apollo Musagetes (early third century, Vatican Museum). Tyche, the goddess of fate, was elevated to the status of a major deity. Top subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences. A second school of historiography took a more rigorous and dry exposition of the facts; its works, however, were not free from tendentiousness. The numerous inventions of Ctesibius fostered the development of applied mechanics, whose achievements were summed up in the works of Hero of Alexandria. All were united by a common interest in the individual’s behavior and cast of mind and in his achievement of inner independence from the world around him; as a result, the emphasis shifted from ontological to ethical problems. In what ways were the English colonies alike in the 17th and 18th centuries, and in what ways were they regionally distinctive. Although the architectural types of public, residential, and religious buildings dated, for the most part, to the archaic and classical periods of Greece, they were reinterpreted in the spirit of the age. Hellenistic Culture: The Hellenistic Era began after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC. Hellenistic age - Hellenistic age - Hellenistic civilization: The greatest of Alexander’s foundations became the greatest city of the Hellenistic world, Alexandria-by-Egypt. Notable works produced by the school include the history of Alexander the Great’s campaigns by Ptolemy I (after 301) and the history of the struggle among the Diadochoi by Hieronymus of Cardia (no earlier than 272). The elegy, formerly a medium of social and moral instruction, became a mythological narrative in the works of Philetas of Cos (c. 320–270), Hermesianax of Colophon (born c. 300), and Calli-machus of Cyrene. The three centuries of Greek history between the death of the Macedonian king Alexander the Great in 323 B.C.E. The most important feature of Hellenistic literature is its narrower social scope in comparison with the previous period of Greek history, the city-state period. Hellenistic culture exhibited more strikingly than classical Greek culture the differences between the life of the hellenized upper social strata and that of the urban and rural poor, among whom local traditions were preserved for a longer period of time. One must think of the development of the eastern Mediterranean, really, in two major phases. With the support of roy… Reviving the concepts of pre-Socratic philosophy, especially the philosophy of Heraclitus, the Stoics pictured the cosmos as a rational, fiery spirit, or breath, that comprised a multiplicity of logoi, one of which is man. Spiritual peace lay in subordinating oneself totally, through impassivity and virtuousness, to the cosmic intelligence. Posidonius of Rhodes wrote, in addition to philosophical works, several works in such fields as geography, astronomy, and meteorology. For example, Greek culture was highly respected in the Roman Empire and the Greeks were seen as being more sophisticated and cultured than the Romans. After his death, his empire was broken down into various areas. All the local variants of Hellenistic culture exhibited certain common features, however; these features were determined, on the one hand, by the similar socioeconomic and political tendencies in the development of society throughout the Hellenistic world and, on the other hand, by the mandatory participation of Greek cultural elements in the synthesis. For example, Ptolemy situated himself in Egypt and started the Ptolemaic empire. Influenced by them, the empirical school of medicine emerged at the turn of the second century B.C; its adherents, notably Philinus of Cos and Serapion of Alexandria, regarded experience as the sole source of medical knowledge. Achievements in theoretical mechanics are associated primarily with Archimedes, although the pseudo-Aristotelian treatise Problems of Mechanics also became well known. A central figure in this process was Posidonius, who synthesized Pythagorean-Platonic and Stoic philosophies in a carefully elaborated and extensive system of Platonic Stoicism that exerted an enormous influence on classical philosophers down to Plotinus. More specifically, it comes with the death of Alexander the Great in 323. The founders of Stoicism—Zeno of Citium, Cleanthes, and Chrysippus—were active in the third and second centuries B.C. The most characteristic feature of Hellenistic religion and mythology was syncretism, in which the heritage of the East played a major role. Of or relating to Hellas (Greece) or the Hellenes (Greeks). Herophilus of Chalcedon and Erasistratus represented a new stage in the development of the science of anatomy. Tap again to see term . Of considerable importance for the subsequent development of classical and medieval literature were the prose genres, which had emerged in the Hellenistic age as interest grew in the folktale and in stories about strange lands. The greatest achievements in mathematics and astronomy, which flourished in Alexandria during the third and second centuries B.C., are linked with the names of Euclid, Archimedes, Apollonius of Perga, Aristarchus of Samos, and Hipparchus of Nicea. A comparison even of the major Hellenistic cities (such as Alexandria, Antioch, and Pergamum), where the Greco-Macedonian population was dominant, shows clearly that each city had its own particular, characteristic cultural features; such features are even more evident in the inland regions of the Hellenistic states, for example, in Thebais, Babylonia, and Thrace. Hellenistic Judaism was a form of Judaism in classical antiquity that combined Jewish religious tradition with elements of Greek culture.Until the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the early Muslim conquests of the eastern Mediterranean, the main centers of Hellenistic Judaism were Alexandria in Egypt and Antioch in Syria (now in southern Turkey), the two main Greek urban … Greek (also known as Hellenic) culture blended with Egyptian, Persian, and Indian influ-ences. Code Of Hammurabi Laws Compared To Today's Laws. Architecture and art. Only theatrical performances remained public in nature, and even in the theater the sociopolitical and bitingly satirical comedy of Aristophanes gave way to the New Comedy of Menander, Philemon, and Diphilus (second half of the fourth and early third centuries), in which the interest focused on private life and plot complications involving the family. Among the female deities the principal divinity, worshiped nearly universally, was the Egyptian Isis, who embodied the traits of many Greek and Asiatic goddesses. Alexander of Macedon was the son of Philip II (r. 359-336 BCE) who recognized that his neighbors considered Macedon a backward region of little importance and decided to change that view dramatically. Hellenistic Culture in Alexandria As a result of Alexander’s policies, a vibrant new culture emerged. The Hellenistic cities, notably Alexandria in Egypt, Dura-Europos, Pergamum, Priene, and Seleucia, were generally laid out in a gridiron plan; their visual character was in large part determined by large colonnades that ran along the main streets and by one- and two-story colonnaded stoas, which either stood independently around the perimeter of the agora or formed part of a building. Also typical were unexpected uses of foreshortening, dramatic gestures, complex articulation, and bold contrasts of light and shadow. It usually means primarily the culture of Athens and the related cities during the Age of Pericles..... Click the link for more information. The skeptical school, founded by Pyrrho in the last quarter of the fourth century B.C., believed that man could attain spiritual serenity by renouncing the quest for objective knowledge (according to the skeptics, a hopeless search), by refusing to make judgements, and by basing conduct on rational probability, tradition, and custom. Philip II had been a hostage for three years in Greek Thebes where he was exposed to Greek culture, military tactics and formations, and philosophy.Although he made the greatest use of the military information, he decreed a … The art of bookmaking reached a high level of development in Alexandria, in part because of Egypt’s monopoly on papyrus. Great interest was shown in human anatomy and medicine. Hellenization, or Hellenism, refers to the spread of Greek culture that had begun after the conquest of Alexander the Great in the fourth century, B.C.E. Notable genres were the erotic romance, involving legendary kings and generals (the Ninus Romance), and pseudohistorical depictions of the ideal social structure, as in the works of Iamblichus and Euhemerus. All content on this website, including dictionary, thesaurus, literature, geography, and other reference data is for informational purposes only. The preservation of many classical and archaic works of art and literature (including the works of the three great classical tragedians, Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides) are due to the efforts of the Hellenistic Greeks. Natural sciences. The Hellenistic age witnessed a flourishing of the epigram, which focused on the theme of love: the arousal of passion, lovers’ meetings, and unrequited passions. Hellenistic Culture is a term for Greek culture during the Hellenistic age, which is widely thought to begun after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC, and ended in 146 BC when the Roman Republic conquered most of mainland Greece. The Hellenistic culture started during the period where Phillip II and Alexander the Great ruled Macedonia, a nation located north of Ancient Greece. Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now. Philosophy. During the first stage it was still under the influence of Greek thought and consequently showed an elemental regard for reason as the key to the solution of man's problems. Hellenistic culture was created when Alexander moved place to place concurring and befriending the people of their country. Are you a teacher? Hellenistic culture exhibited more strikingly than classical Greek culture the differences between the life of the hellenized upper social strata and that of the urban and rural poor, among whom local traditions were preserved for a longer period of time. Substantial influences on Hellenistic culture were the highly charged political atmosphere of the time, continual military conflicts between the states, and the social movements within the states. The syncretic cults that emerged in the East reached the city-states of Asia Minor, Greece, and Macedonia and eventually spread as far as the western Mediterranean. Hellenistic culture was the world-wide Greek culture that followed the conquests of Alexander the Great. To be honest, one must readily acknowledge the diversity within hellenism, but there were some commonalities. Seleucus of Seleucia (second century B.C. Furthermore, what made the Hellenistic culture unique? Epicurus, who based his doctrines on the atomistic theory of Democritus and the ethics of the Cyrenaics, began teaching in 309 B.C. Hellenistic History and Culture. The cultural phenomenon that we call Hellenism had a lasting impact on Judaism and the Jewish people. Introduction. The Hellenistic culture is usually defined as the culture of the period from 336 BC to the time when the Roman Empire started to become very powerful in the late first century BCE. Hellenistic Greece is the period between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the annexation of the classical Greek Achaean League heartlands by the Roman Republic.This culminated at the Battle of Corinth in 146 BC, a crushing Roman victory in the Peloponnese that led to the destruction of Corinth and ushered in the period of Roman Greece. The syncretism of Hellenistic religion influenced the architectural development of temples, sanctuaries, altars, and memorial buildings, all of which exhibited to a greater extent than did civic structures an interaction with the art of the East; examples are the Sanctuary of Asclepius on Cos, the Kom el-Shugafa catacombs in Alexandria, and the fortified city of Ai-Khanum in northern Afghanistan. So, one can hellenisitc culture spans from Greece to India! Answer: Hellenism is the term used to describe the influence of Greek culture on the peoples the Greek and Roman Empires conquered or interacted with. The third era of ancient Greek history was the Hellenistic Age when the Greek language and culture spread throughout the Mediterranean world. Using eastern traditions, the Hellenistic kings forcibly implanted the cult of royalty. A hellenistic scientist of Syracuse, who estimated the value of Pi, and also the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Educators go through a rigorous application process, and every answer they submit is reviewed by our in-house editorial team. skeptical philosophy underwent further development by Aenesidemus. The inner tension of the figures and the exterior dynamism of the forms interacted with the surrounding space. In the territories east of the Euphrates, the interaction of Greek and local elements was initially negligible; after the decline of Greco-Macedonian power, there ensued a turbulent period of synthesis from which the arts of the Parthian Empire, Gandhara, and the Kushana kingdom emerged. Literature. (reprint, 2008), Creativity and cultural influence in early Jewish law. Historians discussed such matters as the influence of fate and great men on historical events; the ideal form of the state, considered to be a combination of democracy, aristocracy, and monarchy; and the merging of the histories of individual countries in world history. A similar array of topics constituted the subject matter of Herodas’ Mimiambi, which were discovered on papyrus in the late 19th century. The museum and library of Alexandria was the center of this conservationist activity. Cassander took over Macedon. The forms of worship of the deities changed, and the mysteries took on a more orgiastic character. In some fields Hellenistic culture thrived, particularly in its preservation of the past. Who are the experts?Our certified Educators are real professors, teachers, and scholars who use their academic expertise to tackle your toughest questions. Sign up now, Latest answer posted November 06, 2011 at 10:40:26 AM, Latest answer posted September 26, 2011 at 3:15:52 AM, Latest answer posted September 02, 2016 at 1:06:07 AM. ©2020 eNotes.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Although the Hellenistic Perod "officially" ended when Rome rose, the Hellenistic culture continued to be very influential. Tendencies common to all Hellenistic art may be traced in vase paintings, glyptic, and toreutics, as well as in the fine crafted glass vessels. of or relating to the Greeks or their language, culture, etc., after the time of Alexander the Great, when Greek characteristics were modified by foreign elements.Compare Hellenic (def. Paul, who moved easily in three different worlds--Pharisaic Judaism, in which he enjoyed considerable authority; He looks at such features as housing, education, women, eating and drinking, theater, religion, and the persistence of, Thus, in western Palestine, Jews had to preserve and perpetuate their culture through the "media and methods" of the more pervasive, Dictionary, Encyclopedia and Thesaurus - The Free Dictionary, the webmaster's page for free fun content, Egypt: full name, the Arab Republic of Egypt; Gumhuria Misr al-Arabia, Arts of the Hellenized East: Precious Metalwork and Gems of the Pre-Islamic Era, Archaeological team discovers Ptolemaic cemetery in Alex, 2,300 Years Old Gymnasium Discovered In Egypt, The history of oil lamps: Dr Alp Cam reports on his research, Deep History, Secular Theory: Historical and Scientific Studies of Religion, La voie du Christ: Il, developpements de la Christologie dans le contexte religieux de l'Orient ancien, D'Eusebe de Cesaree a Jean Damascene (IVe-VIIIe), Daily life in the Hellenistic Age; from Alexander to Cleopatra. Hellenistic Culture is the blending of Greek, Persian, Indian, and Egyptian elements. During the Hellenistic age, Plato’s Academy, Aristotle’s Lyceum (the Peripatetic school), the Cynics, and the Cyrenaics remained active. The centers of the cities were dominated by royal palaces, assembly halls (bouleuteria and ekklesiasteria), theaters, and temples. Historical scholarship. Histories of individual states continued to be written, the chronicles and decrees of the Greek city-states were studied, and increased interest was shown in the history of the eastern countries. In the Idylls of Theocritus, an everyday situation was often developed in the dramatic form of a singing contest or presented as a dramatic scene, or mime, from the life of an urban family. History of Greece: Hellenistic The Hellenistic Age marks the transformation of Greek society from the localized and introverted city-states to an open, cosmopolitan, and at times exuberant culture that permeated the entire eastern Mediterranean, and Southwest Asia. Some of these commanalities were: some sort of connection to the Greece through Alexander, Greek cultural influence, and Greek language. His numerous epithets, such as Pantocrator (Almighty), Soter (Savior), and Helios (Sun), testify to the unusual multiplication of his functions. He takes over the civilization of Ancient Greece. One of the principal cults was that of Zeus Hypsistos, the supreme god, who was identified with such gods as the Phoenician Baal, the Egyptian Ammon, the Babylonian Bel, and the Jewish Yahweh. At the same time, Callimachus substituted the epyllia for trie traditional heroic epic; the epyllia was a narrative poem of moderate length that set forth, in a conversational tone, the ancillary episodes of a heroic account. He believed that happiness and spiritual bliss (spiritual imperturbability and calm) could be attained by such means as self-control and the moderation of sensual pleasures. As my fellows have asked, we’ll need more detail on what you’re asking. The most important historian of the second century was Polybius, who wrote a history of the world from 220 to 146. The plastic arts of the Hellenistic age were characterized by dramatism, expressiveness, and the depiction of suffering, all designed to work on the viewer’s emotions. Strabo’s Geography, in 17 books, provided a summary of the geographic knowledge of the period. Hellenistic art is richly diverse in subject matter and in stylistic development. The gods of the Greek pantheon became identified with the ancient eastern deities and were endowed with new traits. In each area it was formed through the interaction of local, more permanent, traditional elements with the culture that was brought by conquerers and settlers, both Greek and non-Greek. The center of Hellenistic Culture was Alexandria (Egypt) Click again to see term . Top subjects are History, Literature, and Social Sciences. New types of buildings appeared—libraries, museums (the Alexandria Mouseion), and engineering structures, such as the Pharos of Alexandria. The contradictions between the political and socioeconomic development of society account for the contradictory quality of Hellenistic art, which combines rationalism and expressionism, skepticism and emotionality, an elegiac quality with a profound sense of drama, and archaism and innovation. How were they different? At the same time, three new philosophical schools emerged and contended with one another for influence in the Hellenistic world: skepticism, Epicureanism, and Stoicism. Religion and mythology. How were the Indian Ocean routes and Silk routes similar? This can be called hellenistic culture. In form, many historical works resembled fiction: the exposition of events was skillfully dramatized, and rhetorical devices were used to produce an emotional effect on a wide audience. The starting date for this period is chosen because that's when Phillip of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great, unified Macedonia (area north of the Greek peninsula) and the Greek city states. Another reason is because Hellenistic culture is extremely expansive and difficult to study. eNotes.com will help you with any book or any question. Hellenistic Greece comes later on. The conquests of Alexander the Great spread Hellenism Hellenism, the culture, ideals, and pattern of life of ancient Greece in classical times. Preferred Citation: Green, Peter, editor. Hellenistic sculptures were based more on realism and mote natural work, rather than idealized forms from the … Hellenistic age - Hellenistic age - Civic structures: Wherever Hellenization was strong, there tended to be support for the institution of the city-state as well as a measure of synoecism, or gathering of smaller communities in a new polis. As early as the beginning of the third century, works were written in Greek by indigenous scholar-priests: Manetho produced a history of Egypt under the pharaohs, Berosus a history of Babylonia, and Apollodorus of Artemis a history of the Parthians; in addition, historical works were written in indigenous languages, such as the Books of Maccabees, which describe the uprising of the Judeans against the Seleucids. 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