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Mr. Giotto"s digital Textbook » ancient Greece » Alexander the good and the Hellenistic Age

Alexander the great and the Hellenistic Age

Alexander the good and the Hellenistic Age

The Hellenistic period 336-30 BC(from Alexander’s crowning come the death of Cleopatra)

The native Hellenistic originates from the source word Hellas, whichwas the ancient Greek word because that Greece. The Hellenic period was the time as soon as Greek society was pure and also unaffectedby various other cultures.The Hellenistic Agewas a time as soon as Greeks came in contact with outside people and their Hellenic, classicculture combined with cultures from Asia and Africa to create a blended culture. One man, Alexander, King of Macedonia, a Greek-speaker, is responsible because that this blending of cultures.

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To understand just how the Kingdom that Macedoniadominated the Greek world, we need tofirst take a look in ~ the battle of Leuctra in 371 BC, betweenSparta and Thebes. As you review in the critical chapter, Sparta beat Athens in 404 BC, finishing the Peloponnesian War. Though Sparta to be victorious, the was additionally weakened through this war. Thebes, an allied of Sparta during the Peloponnesian War,became an effective after the conflict. Sparta and also Thebes went to war over territory close come Thebes.The battle took place in Boeotia, near the city-state that Leuctra in July 371 BC.

Epaminondas, the Theban general, introduced a brand-new fighting method at Leuctra. As you remember, the Greeks combated in a phalanx, a heavy block the men. The best men would form on the appropriate side, or weak side, together a place of honor. The Spartan phalanx at Leuctra was twelvemen deep. In the traditional formation, the best soldiers the one military would always face the weakest the the other. Epaminondas inserted his best soldiers on the left, guaranteeing the they would challenge the ideal Spartans. He additionally took no chances, developing his left side 50-men deep. Epaminondasheld the Theban right-side back, refusing to fight the Spartan left. The Theban left the 50-men deep propelled the Spartan right, trampling men and also killing the Spartan king. Sparta to be not used to losing battles. Sparta would go on, however this to be the finish of Sparta as the leading Greek city-state, and also the end of its manage over most of the Peloponnese.


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The fight of Leuctra in Boeotia, Greece, simply north that Athens. 1) The larger Spartan army in blue tries to out-flank the Theban appropriate side. 2) Spartan mounties is chased off the battlefield through the Theban cavalry. 3) The Theban best side consists of peltasts, javelin throwers, which harass the Spartan left side. 4) The Theban left side contains a at sight phalanx 50-rows deep, i beg your pardon bears down on the Spartan right. 5) The Theban at sight phalanx, including the Theban "Sacred Band" of three-hundred men, rolls end the Spartan right, killing the Spartan king.

Watching the fight of Leuctra and also learning Theban techniques was a young male from Macedonia surname Philip. Philip to be a hostage in Thebes, together Thebes managed Macedonia in ~ this time. Philip returned to Macedonia in 365 BC. 6 years later, in 359 BC, Philip ended up being King of Macedonia. Together king, Philip provided both diplomacy and war to increase Macedonian territory. Philip married right into the households of the surrounding kingdoms, and captured a yellow mine, which listed Macedonia through wealth. Philip is provided credit for developing the sarrisa, a lengthy pike provided inthe Macedonian phalanx.


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The Macedonian phalanx, produced by Philip II, to be sixteenrows deep and also sixteen rows wide. Each man carried a sarrisa, a 20 ft.long pike, i m sorry was held with 2 hands. A small shield was attached come a leather strapthatwentaround every soldier's neck.

In 338 BC, at the fight of Chaeronea, King Philip II the Macedoniaused comparable tacticsto thosethat he experienced at the BattleofLeuctra to defeat a Theban and Athenian military sent to accomplish him. Philip was now plainly the master of the Greek-speaking world. He produced the Corinthian organization of Greek allies. These allies vowed not to fight every other, and to carry out troops for Philip's planned invasion of the Persian Empire.


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The Macedonian phalanx, an unified with the companion cavalry crushed the Theban/Athenian alliance in ~ Chaernea. The Theban sacred Band was reduced down to a man, and buried in ~ a funeral mound. King Philip's 18-year-old son, Alexander, commanded the Macedonian cavalry, which uncovered a gap and also attacked the adversary phalanx from behind.
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Philip broadened Macedonian affect by diplomacy and by waging war. Notification the Greek city-states that were component of Philip's Corinthian league (Yellow area). Macedonian garrisons space troops left behind in particular areas, like Thebes, and Corinth, where there was a strong possibility the a rebellion.

Philip's plan of occupation was cut short when, in 336 BC, in ~ his daughter's wedding, he was assassinated by among his own body guards. Countless people believe the assassin did not act alone, and that Olympias, Philip's fourth wife, was behind the plot to murder the king. The crown the Macedonia passed to Alexander, Philip's child by Olympias. Alexander to be only twenty years old as soon as he ended up being king, yet had fought at Chaeronea two years before, top the left wing of his father's cavalry.


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Prince Alexander gains beneficial military experience, together he leads his father's cavalry attack on the left flank in ~ Chaeronea. Macedonia was ruled by an aristocracy who could afford the horses crucial to type a cavalry.

In 335 BC, inthe very first year that his reign, Alexander was challenged by a rebellion in Thebes. Thebes resisted as Alexander's army advanced to the city. Alexander made an instance of Thebes by entirely destroying the city except for the temples and the house of Pindar, among his favourite poets.

After damaging Thebes, Alexander moved on come Corinth, where he created himself as the brand-new leader the the Corinthian League. Alexander pardoned those city-states that had rebelled against him. Choose his father, Alexander want to overcome the Persian empire with the help of the Greeks. While in Corinth, Alexander sought the end his favorite philosopher, Diogenes. Diogenes lived in the highways of Corinth in a barrel. When Alexander discovered the old man, he asked Diogenes if there to be anything he could do for him. Diogenes replied, "Yes, you can stand a bit to the side, you room blocking mine sunlight." once Alexander's human body guards laughed at the old man, Alexander quieted castle by saying, "If i were not Alexander, I would be Diogenes!"

In 334 BC, Alexander overcome the Hellespont v his Macedonian and Greek army and into the Persian Empire. His very first stop was the damages of the City of Troy. The Iliad and Odyssey to be Alexander's favourite books, and it was stated that he constantly carried a copy of them wherever he went. That was organic then,that he would desire to visit the legendary city. It to be at troy that Alexander pulled the shield of Achilles from turn off the wall of a tiny museum amid the ruins. He would usage the 900-year old shield in all of his battles. Alexander learned to appreciate the Iliad and nature from his teacher Aristotle, a Macedonian that studied in Athens at Plato's Academy.


At Granicus River, Alexander metthe first resistance to his invasion as the was clogged by a Persian army. The King that Persia at this time was Darius III. Darius was no overly concerned about the young Macedonian king, and also was not current at this battle. Though he was almost killed, Alexander rallied his army and defeated the Persians. Darius blamed the victory on his general, he would be certain to be with his army at the following battle.


After the battle of Granicus River, Alexander took trip along the coast,making sure these city-states were currently on his side. Alexander could not bought to go deep right into the Persian realm with enemies at his back. Next, Alexander marched inlandto the city of Gordion, the ar of the renowned Gordian Knot. The was said that anyone who might removethe oxcart from the temple, by untying the knot, would be the king that theworld. Alexander might no resist this challenge. The node was tied so the ends could not be found. Crying out, "It doesn't matter how it's done!" Alexander take it a swing v this sword, damaged the rope, and also pulled the oxcart away from the temple.

In 333 BC, Alexandermet a largePersian military led through the good King, Darius III at Issus. Darius had blamed the loss at Granicus flow onthe truth that the wasnot there; this time he would leadhis army against the young Macedonian king. Alexander always led indigenous the prior of his army, he was the very first tomeet the enemy, this provided his military much courage. Darius, top top the various other hand, led indigenous behind, ~ above his chariot, surrounding by human body guards. Back this might seem cowardly compared to Alexander, it was the safe thing to do. The king, gift at the battle, provided the Persians courage, yet he was for sure from harm. Return the Persian's out-numbered Alexander's army, the fight location was in between the sea and also a mountain range, and also the good King can not out-flank Alexander's smaller sized army. Alexander winner the battle by moving around the Persian army and also charging ~ above his steed withhis Companion Cavalrystraight for Darius. Darius fled the scene, leaving his mother, wife, and also two daughters behind.Alexander recorded the royal family, and treated them v kindness and respect.Daruis' mother came to be one that Alexander's many trusted advisors, and also was in ~ his bed-side once he passed away in Babylon.


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Alexander developed two moles, or floor bridges, in an effort to connect Tyre to the mainland. The an initial was unsuccessful, however the second featured two big siege towers the same height as the Tyrian walls. Every level the the tower has a lithobolos, or absent thrower, used to stop walls. The Tyrians shot arrows an let loosened hot sand, as soon as the windwas at their back.

In 332 BC, Alexander got to the city-state of tire in Phoenicia, now part of the Persian Empire. Tyre was crucial to King Darius, since it to be the marine base because that his fleet the triremes. Alexander required to manage this fleet if he wished to go additional into the Persian Empire. Alexander inquiry the Tyrians to hand over your fleet to him, yet they refused. Tyre was on an island about a 4 minutes 1 mile off the shore and had massive protective walls. The Assyrians and also Babylonians had previously check a siege of Tyre and also had failed. Alexander developed two floor bridges in an effort to affix Tyre come the mainland. Next, he assaulted the Persian fleet through ships the his own. That took 7 months, but Alexander ultimately took Tyre. He could now advanceinto Persia without a risk to his supply lines.

In 331 BC, Alexander and also his military entered Egypt. The Egyptians, constantly unhappy with their Persian rulers, handed the city that Memphisover come Alexander. Alexander wasproclaimed pharaoh, and also wore the twin crown. Alexander, v a couple of of his friends, travelled with the Egyptian desert come the Oasis of Siwa. Here Alexandervisited the temple to Ammon-Zeus. Alexander request the oracle at Siwa aquestion. Alexander was always closer to his mother. His father was always off to war, and also showedvery littleemotion toward his son. Alexander's mother, called Olympias, was from the Kingdom of Epirus. WhenOlympias separated from Philip, she lugged young Alexander earlier to she homeland. It wasin Epirusthat Olympias told her boy that Zeus, the king that the god's was his father, and not Philip. Alexander inquiry the oracleif this was true, and also the oracle seemed to reply that he was indeed the boy of Zeus. Once Alexander went back from the desert, he made plans because that a brand-new port city in Egypt which he referred to as Alexandria, ~ himself. Alexander left Egypt behind and headed into the love of the Persian Empire, figured out to defeat Darius again.


In the very same year the Alexander left Egypt, he relocated deep into the Persian Empire; and at a place dubbed Gaugamela (camel's back) a large battle took location in 331 BC. King Darius was taking no chances at this battle. Darius assembled an military twice as large as Alexander's.Darius alsoseemed to have response for the Macedonian phalanxand sarrisa. Darius carried war elephants to the battlefield, along with scythed chariots. Elephants are used in war choose tanks, lock trample whatever in their path, this was likewise the very first time Greeks had actually seen these beasts, and Alexander's army was in awe that the elephants. The scythed chariots might cut into and also break increase the phalanx. However, both that these aspects proved disappointing. The elephants dropped asleep during the battle, and were caught by Alexander. Alexander's men simply relocated to the side and let the scythed chariots pass v the lines. Alexander winner the fight of Gaugamela, and also Darius, for the second time fled the battlefield. Whereat Granicus, Darius could blame the reality that the wasn't there for failure, and at Issus he can blame the small battlefield, he had actually no excuse atGuagamela.


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Alexander's forces (in red) spread out, forcing Darius' army to relocate in an effort to out-flank Alexander, this developed a gap in Darius' line where Alexander, leading the Companion Cavalry, shoots with the gap and directly in ~ Darius, who is behind his lines. Darius to escape the battlefield. His distinct forces, the scythed chariots and also elephants were a huge disappointment, making no differencein the outcome.

After the loss of Darius at Gaugamela, there was nothing to stop Alexander's military from marching come Persepolis, the resources of the Persian Empire. Alexander was now plainly the King the Persia, no Darius. Alexander spent plenty of days in Persepolis, rather than pursuing Darius. One night, in 330 BC,the city was collection onfire. That is unclear even if it is Alexander authorized this destruction, but what is clear is the he go not move to protect against it.


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The Persian resources of Persepolis is sacked and burned by Alexander's army. Items stolen by Xerxes in the Persian war were returned to Athens. Was this payback because that the burn of Athens by Xerxes one-hundred fifty years earlier?

Alexander moved on and also tracked Darius down. Once he captured up with Darius, Alexander uncovered him wounded and also dying;Darius had been assaulted by his very own subjects. Darius died as Alexander gave him his critical drink the water. Darius thanked Alexander for dealing with his family members kindly and said, "Who would have thought, that v all the civilization in the world,I must receive a critical act that kindness from you."

Alexander moved on into what is currently the nation of Afghanistan, whereby he hadhis most difficult time beating the world in this area. Afghanistan is like the mountain and, together we've seen countless times in history, impossible to control. Alexander was the an initial to find out this lesson.Alexander did develop an alliance with one group of people in this area through marrying Roxanne, and also local princess.


From Afghanistan, Alexanderturned east with hisarmy. In 326 BC, in the what is now the country of India, Alexander encountered his most challenging opponent, Porus,a neighborhood ruler. Porus had 200 battle elephants as part of his army. Porus prevented Alexander's military from cross the Hydaspes River. Alexander offered trickery to cross the Hydaspes, and, in a hard-fought battle, in i beg your pardon Alexander shed several men, beat Porus. Alexander was so impressed by Porus, the he enabled him to continue as the neighborhood ruler the the region.Alexander acquiredsome war elephants and riders from Porus.


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The fight of Hydaspes River, the porcupine bristle of the sarrisa versus the old tank, the battle elephant.

After the battle of Hydaspes River, v a girlfriend in Porus to the west, Alexander wished to proceed east to China ~ above his pursuit of total world domination, however, ~ the hard-fought victory versus Porus, his troops had had enough. Countless soldiers hadn't watched their families for ten years, and wanted to return toGreece and Macedonia.Alexander's military refused to monitor the king any farther east. After retreating come his time to sulk for 2 days, Alexander arised saying the the god willed the he must return home.

Alexander's army made the an overwhelming march southern in what is currently Pakistan. Many obstacles and people unfriendly come Alexander battled him along the way.During a siege the a city,Alexander was practically killed. When Alexander got to the coastline at Pattala, he supplied ships to bringmany of the initial soldiers that his army earlier to Greece and Macedonia, the rather he marched ago through a desert. Over there was tiny water, and also many of his soldiers passed away during this desert crossing.Alexander survived the crossing,making itback to Babylon, the resources of his empire. In 323 BC, while in Babylon, Alexander got very sick through a fever and died. He had no plans for a follower to his empire, and also his infant child was as well young come rule. As his generals gathered roughly their dice king, they asked him whom he would certainly leave his empire to, Alexander replied, "To the strongest!"

Alexander's generals take it his advice, and also began to fight against each other, each general trying come carve the end a huge portion that the empirefor himself. This period was recognized as the battles of the Diadochi (Successors). The very first battle to be over Alexander's body.Whilehis coffinwas returning to Macedonia, the body to be hijacked through Ptolemy,one the theDiadochi, and also brought come Alexandria, in Egypt, wherein it continued to be for year on display. In 301 BC, the Battleof Ipsus, in Asia Minor, including most the the Diadochi,saw among the successors, Antigonus, killed. Ipsusproved the nosingle ruler would manage the entire empire, as the rather would form alliances to defeat the strongest.It was throughout these wars that Greek militaries learned exactly how to use war elephants, turning these ancient tanks against each other. The riders the the elephants were constantly from India, asthe Greek-speakerscould not regulate the beasts.

Alexander's Legacy

Alexander spread out Greek society throughout the Persian Empire, consisting of parts of Asia and Africa. Alexander respect the local cultures he conquered, and allowed their personalizeds to continue. Alexander himself embraced local customs, put on Persian clothes and also marrying Persian women. Alexander urged hissoldiers to marry Persian women, in this way, the children of these marital relationships would share both Persian and also Greek cultures.

Alexandercreated the Hellenistic Age, a time once Greek culture mixed through the various cultures of Alexander's Empire. This to be a time of advancements in learning, math, art, and also architecture. Few of the great names of discovering in this Age include Archimedes, Hero, and Euclid.It to be a time of family member peace, ~ the battles of the Diadochi (322-275 BC).

Because the the loved one peace throughout the Hellenistic Age, travel and trade increased.Antipater that the city the Sidon, developed a poem approximately 140 BC that listed seven wonders of the world. Antipater picked these buildings and also statues because that there art and also architecture. The list ended up being a collection of traveler attractions for people of the ancient world.

The an excellent cities of the Hellenistic Age contained Antioch in Syria, Pergamum in Asia Minor, and Alexandria in Egypt, with its Library of Alexandria, the biggest library that the old world. Although none of these urban were in Greece, castle allhad Greek architecture.


Art in the Hellenistic Agewas very different native the Greek arts of the the Hellenic Age. Earlier Hellenic art was idealistic, and perfect. Hellenic statues resembled Greek gods, yet in the Hellenistic Age, art looked realistic, the method people really are, including their flaws.

As we read earlier, Ptolemy stole the human body of Alexander and brought it to Alexandria, Egypt. Ptolemy, a general to Alexander,became Ptolemy I, pharaoh of Egypt, and also the first king the the last dynasty of Egypt, the Ptolemaic Dynasty.The Ptolemys rule Egypt for around 300-years, even though Cleopatra VII, was the only one to discover the Egyptian language. We willread an ext about Cleopatra as soon as we learn around the Romans.

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