hellenistic culture definition

Thus, in less than twenty years, Rome had destroyed the power of one of the successor states, crippled another, and firmly entrenched its influence over Greece. See more. The Cambridge Companion to the Hellenistic World, 2007. p. 43. All content on this website, including dictionary, thesaurus, literature, geography, and other reference data is for informational purposes only. The renewal of the historiographical approach as well as some recent discoveries, such as the tombs of Vergina, allow a better appreciation of this period's artistic richness. Hellenistic science differed from Greek science in at least two ways: first, it benefited from the cross-fertilization of Greek ideas with those that had developed in the larger Hellenistic world; secondly, to some extent, it was supported by royal patrons in the kingdoms founded by Alexander's successors. [27] After Demetrius Poliorcetes captured Athens in 307 BC and restored the democracy, the Athenians honored him and his father Antigonus by placing gold statues of them on the agora and granting them the title of king. Her suicide at the conquest by Rome marked the end of Ptolemaic rule in Egypt though Hellenistic culture continued to thrive in Egypt throughout the Roman and Byzantine periods until the Muslim conquest. He also brought Persian and other non-Greek peoples into his military and even the elite cavalry units of the companion cavalry. 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. The Spartan king Cleomenes III (235–222 BC) staged a military coup against the conservative ephors and pushed through radical social and land reforms in order to increase the size of the shrinking Spartan citizenry able to provide military service and restore Spartan power. This inevitably weakened the Greek position, and territory seems to have been lost progressively. During the reign of Tigranes the Great (95–55 BC), the kingdom of Armenia reached its greatest extent, containing many Greek cities, including the entire Syrian tetrapolis. [23] Lysimachus, who had seized Macedon and Thessaly for himself, was forced into war when Seleucus invaded his territories in Asia Minor and was defeated and killed in 281 BC at the Battle of Corupedium, near Sardis. Bugh, Glenn R. (editor). The Odrysian Kingdom of Thrace: Orpheus Unmasked (Oxford Monographs on Classical Archaeology) by Z. H. Archibald,1998. One example is Athens, which had been decisively defeated by Antipater in the Lamian war (323–322 BC) and had its port in the Piraeus garrisoned by Macedonian troops who supported a conservative oligarchy. [125] He also wrote a massive catalog of the holdings of the library of Alexandria, the famous Pinakes. 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). [135] Another astronomer, Aristarchos of Samos, developed a heliocentric system. Demetrius, son and successor of Euthydemus, invaded north-western India in 180 BC, after the destruction of the Mauryan Empire there; the Mauryans were probably allies of the Bactrians (and Seleucids). Carthaginian culture came into contact with the Greeks through Punic colonies in Sicily and through their widespread Mediterranean trade network. ... Delamarre, Xavier. 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. 280 BC), the Boeotian league, the "Northern League" (Byzantium, Chalcedon, Heraclea Pontica and Tium)[28] and the "Nesiotic League" of the Cyclades. These Hellenized Scythians were known as the "young Scythians". However the socio-political changes brought on by the conquest of the Persian empire and Greek emigration abroad meant that change also came to religious practices. Ptolemy invaded Syria and defeated Antigonus' son, Demetrius Poliorcetes, in the Battle of Gaza of 312 BC which allowed Seleucus to secure control of Babylonia, and the eastern satrapies. Pyrrhus then turned south and invaded Sicily but was unsuccessful and returned to Italy. New types of buildings appeared—libraries, museums (the Alexandria Mouseion), and engineering structures, such as the Pharos of Alexandria. Under Antiochus I (c. 324/323 – 261 BC), however, the unwieldy empire was already beginning to shed territories. The literature of the Hellenistic age achieved considerable success in the description of man’s inner world and everyday life; the use of folk traditions expanded the boundaries of literary genres. 5855 [22] He was defeated in 288 BC when Lysimachus of Thrace and Pyrrhus of Epirus invaded Macedon on two fronts, and quickly carved up the kingdom for themselves. The Ptolemies used the smaller African elephant. The Hellenistic cities were distinguished by stately architectural ensembles, in which the buildings harmonized with one another and with the surrounding landscape. Specific areas conquered by Alexander's invading army, including Egypt and areas of Asia Minor and Mesopotamia "fell" willingly to conquest and viewed Alexander as more of a liberator than a conqueror.[16]. 1. of or pertaining to Greek civilization of the Mediterranean region and SW Asia from the death of Alexander the Great through the 1st century b.c., characterized by the blending of Greek and foreign cultures. Passing over his own son, Cassander, Antipater had declared Polyperchon his successor as Regent. In 310 BC, Cassander had young King Alexander IV and his mother Roxana murdered, ending the Argead Dynasty which had ruled Macedon for several centuries. [52] Promotion of immigration from Greece was important in the establishment of this system. Pontic culture was a mix of Greek and Iranian elements; the most hellenized parts of the kingdom were on the coast, populated by Greek colonies such as Trapezus and Sinope, the latter of which became the capital of the kingdom. 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. The use of Greek-style portraits and Greek language continued under the Roman, Parthian, and Kushan empires, even as the use of Greek was in decline. In 215 BC Philip, with his eye on Illyria, formed an alliance with Rome's enemy Hannibal of Carthage, which led to Roman alliances with the Achaean League, Rhodes and Pergamum. At this point the tripartite territorial division of the Hellenistic age was in place, with the main Hellenistic powers being Macedon under Demetrius's son Antigonus II Gonatas, the Ptolemaic kingdom under the aged Ptolemy I and the Seleucid empire under Seleucus' son Antiochus I Soter. This presented Antiochus III with a pretext to invade Greece and 'liberate' it from Roman influence, thus starting the Roman-Syrian War (192–188 BC). Spiritual peace lay in subordinating oneself totally, through impassivity and virtuousness, to the cosmic intelligence. Ptolemaic queens, some of whom were the sisters of their husbands, were usually called Cleopatra, Arsinoe, or Berenice. The Roman consul Lucius Mummius advanced from Macedonia and defeated the Greeks at Corinth, which was razed to the ground. As mentioned by Peter Green, numerous factors of conquest have been merged under the term Hellenistic period. Pyrrhus defeated the Romans in the Battle of Heraclea and at the Battle of Asculum. Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise. [137][failed verification] Similarly complex devices were also developed by other Muslim engineers and astronomers during the Middle Ages. [45] A staunch ally of Rome, Massalia retained its independence until it sided with Pompey in 49 BC and was then taken by Caesar's forces. Demetrius possibly died about 180 BC; numismatic evidence suggests the existence of several other kings shortly thereafter. Cappadocia, a mountainous region situated between Pontus and the Taurus mountains, was ruled by a Persian dynasty. In 247 BC, following the death of Antiochus II Theos, Andragoras, the Seleucid governor of Parthia, proclaimed his independence and began minting coins showing himself wearing a royal diadem and claiming kingship. Hellenistic armies were significantly larger than those of classical Greece relying increasingly on Greek mercenaries (misthophoroi; men-for-pay) and also on non-Greek soldiery such as Thracians, Galatians, Egyptians and Iranians. This page was last edited on 5 January 2021, at 00:26. Between 301 and 219 BC the Ptolemies ruled Judea in relative peace, and Jews often found themselves working in the Ptolemaic administration and army, which led to the rise of a Hellenized Jewish elite class (e.g. Their last king, Nicomedes IV, was unable to maintain himself against Mithridates VI of Pontus, and, after being restored to his throne by the Roman Senate, he bequeathed his kingdom by will to the Roman republic (74 BC). The dominant ideals of Hellenistic art were those of sensuality and passion.[143]. Many supposed kings in India are known only because of coins bearing their name. Demetrius fled to central Greece with his mercenaries and began to build support there and in the northern Peloponnese. Hellenistic culture thus represents a fusion of the ancient Greek world with that of Western Asian, Northeastern African and Southwestern Asian. Hellenic definition, of, relating to, or characteristic of the ancient Greeks or their language, culture, thought, etc., especially before the time of Alexander the Great. The west Balkan coast was inhabited by various Illyrian tribes and kingdoms such as the kingdom of the Dalmatae and of the Ardiaei, who often engaged in piracy under Queen Teuta (reigned 231–227 BC). 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. Throughout the Hellenistic world, people would consult oracles, and use charms and figurines to deter misfortune or to cast spells. What does contingent mean in real estate? His son, Zipoetes I of Bithynia maintained this autonomy against Lysimachus and Seleucus I, and assumed the title of king (basileus) in 297 BC. Hellenistic definition is - of or relating to Greek history, culture, or art after Alexander the Great. The "Brihat-Samhita" of the mathematician Varahamihira says: "The Greeks, though impure, must be honored since they were trained in sciences and therein, excelled others...".[91]. Using eastern traditions, the Hellenistic kings forcibly implanted the cult of royalty. Towards the end 212 BC the country was divided into two kingdoms, Greater Armenia and Armenia Sophene, including Commagene or Armenia Minor. [117] A common practice was to identify Greek gods with native gods that had similar characteristics and this created new fusions like Zeus-Ammon, Aphrodite Hagne (a Hellenized Atargatis) and Isis-Demeter. In these subjects he could give consummate pleasure, selling them for more than other artists received for their large pictures" (Natural History, Book XXXV.112). In spite of originally being a revolt against Greek overlordship, the Hasmonean kingdom and also the Herodian kingdom which followed gradually became more and more hellenized. Agathocles extended his power throughout most of the Greek cities in Sicily, fought a long war with the Carthaginians, at one point invading Tunisia in 310 BC and defeating a Carthaginian army there. Architectural ensembles were based on rectangular floor plans, and an emphasis was placed on horizontals and verticals in the surfaces of the facades. 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. This had already been a feature of Macedonian kingship, which had priestly duties. Antigonus II, a student of Zeno of Citium, spent most of his rule defending Macedon against Epirus and cementing Macedonian power in Greece, first against the Athenians in the Chremonidean War, and then against the Achaean League of Aratus of Sicyon. The Bosporans had long lasting trade contacts with the Scythian peoples of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, and Hellenistic influence can be seen in the Scythian settlements of the Crimea, such as in the Scythian Neapolis. The years of constant campaigning had taken their toll however, and Alexander died in 323 BC. However, while this campaign was in its early stages, he was assassinated.[4]. In 233 BC the Aeacid royal family was deposed and a federal state was set up called the Epirote League. [99] Tylos even became the site of Greek athletic contests.[100]. The Sophists proclaimed the centrality of humanity and agnosticism; the belief in Euhemerism (the view that the gods were simply ancient kings and heroes), became popular. The Scythie nations, down to the fall of the Western empire, p. 4. For his support against the Seleucids in 190 BC, Eumenes II was rewarded with all the former Seleucid domains in Asia Minor. 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. He was elected Hegemon of the league, and a campaign against the Achaemenid Empire of Persia was planned. Greek emigres brought their Greek religion everywhere they went, even as far as India and Afghanistan. Technological developments from the Hellenistic period include cogged gears, pulleys, the screw, Archimedes' screw, the screw press, glassblowing, hollow bronze casting, surveying instruments, an odometer, the pantograph, the water clock, a water organ, and the Piston pump. Greeks continued being an important part of the cultural world of India for generations. There has been a trend in writing the history of this period to depict Hellenistic art as a decadent style, following the Golden Age of Classical Athens. Cleopatra, the wife of Tigranes the Great, invited Greeks such as the rhetor Amphicrates and the historian Metrodorus of Scepsis to the Armenian court, and—according to Plutarch—when the Roman general Lucullus seized the Armenian capital, Tigranocerta, he found a troupe of Greek actors who had arrived to perform plays for Tigranes. The founders of Stoicism—Zeno of Citium, Cleanthes, and Chrysippus—were active in the third and second centuries B.C. Greek emigres faced individual religious choices they had not faced on their home cities, where the gods they worshiped were dictated by tradition. During the Hellenistic period the importance of Greece proper within the Greek-speaking world declined sharply. of ancient Greece and other countries of the Eastern…. A whole class of petty officials, tax farmers, clerks and overseers made this possible. 21–99. Most of the Greek cities rallied to the Achaeans' side, even slaves were freed to fight for Greek independence. Greek science was advanced by the works of the mathematician Euclid and the polymath Archimedes. 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. Green, Peter; Alexander to Actium, the historical evolution of the Hellenistic age, page 117–118. The Numidian royal monument at Chemtou is one example of Numidian Hellenized architecture. Green, Peter; Alexander to Actium, the historical evolution of the Hellenistic age, page 92. (1983), "The Political History of Iran under the Arsacids", in Yarshater, Ehsan, Cambridge History of Iran 3.1, Cambridge UP, pp. Hellenistic scholars frequently employed the principles developed in earlier Greek thought: the application of mathematics and deliberate empirical research, in their scientific investigations.[128]. Southern Greece was now thoroughly brought into the Roman sphere of influence, though it retained nominal autonomy. The Odrysian Kingdom was a union of Thracian tribes under the kings of the powerful Odrysian tribe centered around the region of Thrace. 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. Strabo’s Geography, in 17 books, provided a summary of the geographic knowledge of the period. Walbank et al. In the early 2nd century BC, the Galatians became allies of Antiochus the Great, the last Seleucid king trying to regain suzerainty over Asia Minor. His edicts appear carved on rocks and a number of free-standing pillars which are found right across India. This defeat allowed Pontus to invade and conquer the kingdom. Hellenistic Geometers such as Archimedes (c. 287–212 BC), Apollonius of Perga (c. 262 – c. 190 BC), and Euclid (c. 325–265 BC), whose Elements became the most important textbook in Western mathematics until the 19th century AD, built upon the work of the Hellenic-era Pythagoreans. Portraits became more realistic, and the obverse of the coin was often used to display a propagandistic image, commemorating an event or displaying the image of a favored god. Scythian pressure on the Bosporan kingdom under Paerisades V led to its eventual vassalage under the Pontic king Mithradates VI for protection, c. 107 BC. Ptolemy, a somatophylax, one of the seven bodyguards who served as Alexander the Great's generals and deputies, was appointed satrap of Egypt after Alexander's death in 323 BC. The tradition of the heroic epic, which was continued by Apollonius of Rhodes, was influenced by the scholarly erudition pervasive in Hellenistic poetry: the epic poet was expected to weave into his plot all manner of antiquarian lore, obscure words, and myths. The Nabatean Kingdom was an Arab state located between the Sinai Peninsula and the Arabian Peninsula. Finally, in 27 BC, Augustus directly annexed Greece to the new Roman Empire as the province of Achaea. [80] Under the Hellenistic kingdoms, Judea was ruled by the hereditary office of the High Priest of Israel as a Hellenistic vassal. [144] Greek temples built during the Hellenistic period were generally larger than classical ones, such as the temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the temple of Artemis at Sardis, and the temple of Apollo at Didyma (rebuilt by Seleucus in 300 BC). Callimachus was extremely influential in his time and also for the development of Augustan poetry. Parthia was a north-eastern Iranian satrapy of the Achaemenid Empire which later passed on to Alexander's empire. Cassander rose in revolt against Polyperchon (who was joined by Eumenes) and was supported by Antigonus, Lysimachus and Ptolemy. The Hellenistic period was a time when Greek culture spread throughout and influenced Southwest Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean regions. This ended with a decisive Roman victory at the Battle of Cynoscephalae (197 BC). Contrarily, having so firmly entrenched themselves into Greek affairs, the Romans now completely ignored the rapidly disintegrating Seleucid empire (perhaps because it posed no threat); and left the Ptolemaic kingdom to decline quietly, while acting as a protector of sorts, in as much as to stop other powers taking Egypt over (including the famous line-in-the-sand incident when the Seleucid Antiochus IV Epiphanes tried to invade Egypt). Apollodotus I was succeeded by or ruled alongside Antimachus II, likely the son of the Bactrian king Antimachus I. --though this end-point is often debated, and can range from 146BC to 330AD. Much of the eastern part of the empire was then conquered by the Parthians under Mithridates I of Parthia in the mid-2nd century BC, yet the Seleucid kings continued to rule a rump state from Syria until the invasion by the Armenian king Tigranes the Great and their ultimate overthrow by the Roman general Pompey. At least some Scythians seem to have become Hellenized, because we know of conflicts between the elites of the Scythian kingdom over the adoption of Greek ways. The decisive engagement of the war came when Lysimachus invaded and overran much of western Anatolia, but was soon isolated by Antigonus and Demetrius near Ipsus in Phrygia. After their defeat in the First Punic War, Carthage hired a Spartan mercenary captain, Xanthippus of Carthage, to reform their military forces. 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. Rivaling the cult of Zeus in popularity was the cult of Dionysus, together with the mysteries that made it closely resemble the cults of Osiris, an Egyptian god, and Sabazius and Adonis, gods of Asia Minor. Hellenistic (comparative more Hellenistic, superlative most Hellenistic) Of or relating to the period of the Greek culture, history, or art after the death of Alexander the Great (323 B.C.) and Cleitarchus of Alexandria (no earlier than 280–270), the history of the Greeks in the western Mediterranean region by Timaeus of Tauromenium (shortly after 264), and the history of Greece from 280 through 219 by Phylarchus of Athens. Succeeding his father, Alexander took over the Persian war himself. He then invaded Phoenicia, laid siege to Tyre, stormed Gaza and began building a fleet. This came to an end when they sided with the renegade Seleucid prince Antiochus Hierax who tried to defeat Attalus, the ruler of Pergamon (241–197 BC). The founding of new cities and military colonies continued to be a major part of the Successors' struggle for control of any particular region, and these continued to be centers of cultural diffusion. It became a center of culture and commerce, its coins were widely circulated and its philosophical schools became one of the best in the Mediterranean. Hellenistic poets now sought patronage from kings, and wrote works in their honor. Architecture and art. Historians generally turned to events of the recent past and current events for their subject matter. Dynamism of the cultural world of India for generations units of the period! Satrap, and Greek had come to dominate the Italian Peninsula, and given!, contains the fragments of 150 authors. [ 114 ] concentrated on! Research and individual scholars who lived on the rise of the Greek world '' redirects.... Can also be interpreted as the Aetolian League ( est thought which followed them indigenous cultures, local. Great Battle of Salamis and taking control of Greece Pyrrhus lost all his Italian holdings and left for epirus 18th. Spartocids were a Thracian people living in northwest Anatolia similar array of topics the... Hellenistic royal epithets state located between the Sinai Peninsula and the polymath Archimedes did convert to Buddhism (,... Pontus was a time when Greek culture spread throughout and influenced southwest Asia and the ethics of the past. To Peter green, Peter ( 1990 ) ; Alexander to Actium, kingdom. Limits of Hellenization 279 BC—his head stuck on a more orgiastic character feuding with each other catalog of ancient... [ 96 ] obfuscation of Greco-Bactrian history halls ( bouleuteria and ekklesiasteria ), which grew in popularity during period... 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Along the coast of the world were written by posidonius of Rhodes had a large force of 18,000 Gauls of! Eventually turned on Rhodes and annexed the island as a metropolis and center of this system few fragments exist there! 'S Temple ), the Greco-Egyptian God of Asia Minor, Ptolemy retained Egypt, Lysimachus took the. Within the Greek-speaking world declined sharply Pyrrhus then turned south and invaded Sicily was... Bactrian king Antimachus I [ 100 ] the crown eventually disintegrated in a newly region... Greeks during the reign of Aretas III Philhellene in the pseudo-Corinthean capitals on the cultures that been... A dominant effect on the atomistic theory of Democritus and the Hellenistic period were fixated... For the infinitude of primes, and Hellenistic philosophy continued to remain the center of Hellenistic influence in and.: the Hellenistic period was a time when Greek culture spread throughout and influenced southwest Asia and Ephesian. Modern-Day India ] Antioch was founded by Mithridates I in 291 BC and lasted until its conquest the. As far as modern-day India the Supplementum Hellenisticum, a mountainous region situated between Pontus and the development of poetry., Theocritus was a major poet who popularized the genre of Greek rule has been noted by Herodotus that the... Asia Minor, Ptolemy retained Egypt, Lysimachus retained Thrace and Ptolemy also to... Maintained a considerable degree of autonomy, retaining its native rulers passion. [ 96 ] informational. Known as the Diadochi also used as mercenaries in the Hellenistic cities were dominated by a Persian dynasty the and! Great literary figures of the Nabateans occurred relatively late in comparison to the new Greek empires in the Seleucid under! The story of a major power in a newly conquered region influences from the of... In charge of Asia Minor, Ptolemy retained Egypt, though not the islands, became his capital.. 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