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Mr. Giotto"s online Textbook » ancient Greece » Alexander the an excellent and the Hellenistic Age

Alexander the good and the Hellenistic Age

Alexander the an excellent and the Hellenistic Age

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

The native Hellenistic comes from the root word Hellas, whichwas the ancient Greek word for Greece. The Hellenic age was the time as soon as Greek culture was pure and also unaffectedby various other cultures.The Hellenistic Agewas a time once Greeks came in call with exterior people and also their Hellenic, classicculture combined with societies from Asia and Africa to create a combined culture. One man, Alexander, King the Macedonia, a Greek-speaker, is responsible for this mix of cultures.

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To understand how the Kingdom that Macedoniadominated the Greek world, we need tofirst take a look at the fight of Leuctra in 371 BC, betweenSparta and also Thebes. Together you review in the last chapter, Sparta defeated Athens in 404 BC, ending the Peloponnesian War. Despite Sparta to be victorious, the was likewise weakened through this war. Thebes, an ally of Sparta throughout the Peloponnesian War,became an effective after the conflict. Sparta and also Thebes went to war over region close come Thebes.The battle took location in Boeotia, close to the city-state that Leuctra in July 371 BC.

Epaminondas, the Theban general, presented a brand-new fighting an approach at Leuctra. Together you remember, the Greeks battled in a phalanx, a heavy block of men. The best men would form on the ideal side, or weak side, together a ar of honor. The Spartan phalanx at Leuctra to be twelvemen deep. In the traditional formation, the best soldiers of one army would constantly face the weakest the the other. Epaminondas inserted his finest soldiers on the left, guaranteeing that they would face the best Spartans. He likewise took no chances, forming his left side 50-men deep. Epaminondasheld the Theban right-side back, refusing come fight the Spartan left. The Theban left the 50-men deep pushed the Spartan right, trampling men and killing the Spartan king. Sparta was not supplied to shedding battles. Sparta would certainly go on, however this to be the finish of Sparta together the dominant Greek city-state, and also the finish of its regulate over many of the Peloponnese.


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The battle of Leuctra in Boeotia, Greece, just north that Athens. 1) The larger Spartan army in blue tries come out-flank the Theban appropriate side. 2) Spartan cavalry is chased turn off the battlefield by the Theban cavalry. 3) The Theban right side consists of peltasts, javelin throwers, which harass the Spartan left side. 4) The Theban left side includes a supervisor phalanx 50-rows deep, i beg your pardon bears under on the Spartan right. 5) The Theban at sight phalanx, consisting of the Theban "Sacred Band" of three-hundred men, rolls end the Spartan right, killing the Spartan king.

Watching the battle of Leuctra and learning Theban techniques was a young guy from Macedonia surname Philip. Philip was a hostage in Thebes, together Thebes managed Macedonia in ~ this time. Philip went back to Macedonia in 365 BC. 6 years later, in 359 BC, Philip became King of Macedonia. As king, Philip supplied both diplomacy and war to expand Macedonian territory. Philip married right into the families of the surrounding kingdoms, and captured a gold mine, which detailed Macedonia v wealth. Philip is offered credit for producing the sarrisa, a lengthy pike used inthe Macedonian phalanx.


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The Macedonian phalanx, produced by Philip II, to be sixteenrows deep and also sixteen rows wide. Every man carried a sarrisa, a 20 ft.long pike, i beg your pardon was organized with 2 hands. A tiny shield to be attached to a animal leather strapthatwentaround every soldier's neck.

In 338 BC, in ~ the battle of Chaeronea, King Philip II the Macedoniaused similar tacticsto thosethat he saw at the BattleofLeuctra to loss a Theban and Athenian military sent to satisfy him. Philip was now clearly the grasp of the Greek-speaking world. He developed the Corinthian organization of Greek allies. This allies vowed not to fight each other, and to carry out troops for Philip's planned intrusion 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 spiritual Band was reduced down come a man, and buried at a funeral mound. King Philip's 18-year-old son, Alexander, commanded the Macedonian cavalry, which discovered a gap and also attacked the enemy phalanx native behind.
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Philip increased Macedonian influence by diplomacy and also by waging war. An alert the Greek city-states that were part of Philip's Corinthian organization (Yellow area). Macedonian garrisons room troops left behind in details areas, choose Thebes, and Corinth, wherein there to be a solid possibility that a rebellion.

Philip's arrangement of occupation was cut brief when, in 336 BC, at his daughter's wedding, he to be assassinated by one of his very own body guards. Plenty of people believe the assassin did not act alone, and also that Olympias, Philip's 4th wife, was behind the plot to killing the king. The crown that Macedonia passed to Alexander, Philip's child by Olympias. Alexander was only 20 years old once he came to be king, however had battled at Chaeronea 2 years before, top the left soup of his father's cavalry.


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Prince Alexander gains valuable military experience, together he leader his father's cavalry strike on the left flank at Chaeronea. Macedonia to be ruled by an aristocracy who can afford the horses crucial to type a cavalry.

In 335 BC, inthe an initial year of his reign, Alexander was challenged by a rebellion in Thebes. Thebes withstood as Alexander's army progressed to the city. Alexander made an instance of Thebes by entirely destroying the city except for the temples and the residence of Pindar, one of his favourite poets.

After ruining Thebes, Alexander relocated on come Corinth, wherein he developed himself together the new leader of the Corinthian League. Alexander pardoned those city-states that had actually rebelled versus him. Like his father, Alexander want to dominate the Persian empire with the aid of the Greeks. If in Corinth, Alexander sought out his favorite philosopher, Diogenes. Diogenes resided in the highways of Corinth in a barrel. When Alexander uncovered the old man, he asked Diogenes if there was anything he can do for him. Diogenes replied, "Yes, you can stand a little to the side, you space blocking my sunlight." as soon as Alexander's human body guards laugh at the old man, Alexander quieted them by saying, "If ns were not Alexander, I would certainly be Diogenes!"

In 334 BC, Alexander overcome the Hellespont v his Macedonian and also Greek army and into the Persian Empire. His very first stop was the ruins of the City the Troy. The Iliad and also Odyssey were Alexander's favourite books, and it was said that he constantly carried a copy the them wherever he went. It was herbal then,that that would want to visit the legend city. It was at trojan that Alexander pulled the shield the Achilles from off the wall of a small museum between the ruins. The would use the 900-year old shield in every one of his battles. Alexander learned to appreciate the Iliad and nature indigenous his teacher Aristotle, a Macedonian that studied in Athens in ~ Plato's Academy.


At Granicus River, Alexander metthe an initial resistance to his invasion as the was blocked by a Persian army. The King the Persia right now was Darius III. Darius was no overly concerned about the young Macedonian king, and was not existing at this battle. Despite he was practically killed, Alexander rallied his army and also defeated the Persians. Darius blamed the win on his general, he would be sure to be through his army at the following battle.


After the fight of Granicus River, Alexander took trip along the coast,making certain these city-states were now on his side. Alexander could not bought to go deep right into the Persian realm with adversaries at his back. Next, Alexander marched inlandto the city the Gordion, the place of the well known Gordian Knot. It was stated that anyone who could removethe oxcart native the temple, by untying the knot, would be the king of theworld. Alexander can no resist this challenge. The node was tied therefore the ends could not it is in found. Crying out, "It doesn't matter how it's done!" Alexander took a swing v this sword, broke the rope, and pulled the oxcart far from the temple.

In 333 BC, Alexandermet a largePersian military led through the good King, Darius III in ~ Issus. Darius had actually blamed the loss at Granicus river onthe truth that that wasnot there; this time he would certainly leadhis army versus the young Macedonian king. Alexander constantly led from the prior of his army, he to be the very first tomeet the enemy, this offered his military much courage. Darius, top top the various other hand, led from behind, ~ above his chariot, surrounding by human body guards. Although this may seem cowardly compared to Alexander, it was the safe point to do. The king, being at the battle, offered the Persians courage, yet he was safe from harm. Back the Persian's out-numbered Alexander's army, the fight location was between the sea and a mountain range, and also the an excellent King can not out-flank Alexander's smaller sized army. Alexander winner the fight by moving roughly the Persian army and also charging top top his horse withhis Companion Cavalrystraight for Darius. Darius fled the scene, leave his mother, wife, and also two daughters behind.Alexander caught the royal family, and treated them through kindness and respect.Daruis' mother became one of Alexander's many trusted advisors, and also was in ~ his bed-side once he died in Babylon.


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Alexander built two moles, or floor bridges, in an effort to connect Tyre to the mainland. The first was unsuccessful, yet the 2nd featured two huge siege towers the same elevation as the Tyrian walls. Every level the the tower has actually a lithobolos, or absent thrower, supplied to smash walls. The Tyrians shot arrows one let loose hot sand, once the windwas at their back.

In 332 BC, Alexander reached the city-state of tire in Phoenicia, now component of the Persian Empire. Tire was crucial to King Darius, since it was the marine base because that his fleet of triremes. Alexander required to control this fleet if he wished come go more into the Persian Empire. Alexander asked the Tyrians to hand over their fleet to him, yet they refused. Tyre was on one island about a 4 minutes 1 mile turn off the shore and had massive defensive walls. The Assyrians and also Babylonians had previously check a siege of Tyre and had failed. Alexander built two soil bridges in an effort to attach Tyre to the mainland. Next, he struck the Persian fleet through ships of his own. The took seven months, yet Alexander ultimately took Tyre. He might now advanceinto Persia there is no a risk to his supply lines.

In 331 BC, Alexander and also his army entered Egypt. The Egyptians, constantly unhappy with their Persian rulers, handed the city that Memphisover to Alexander. Alexander wasproclaimed pharaoh, and wore the twin crown. Alexander, v a few of his friends, travelled v the Egyptian desert to the Oasis of Siwa. Below Alexandervisited the holy place to Ammon-Zeus. Alexander inquiry the oracle in ~ Siwa aquestion. Alexander was always closer come his mother. His dad was constantly off come war, and also showedvery littleemotion toward his son. Alexander's mother, called Olympias, was from the Kingdom of Epirus. WhenOlympias separated from Philip, she carried young Alexander ago to her homeland. The wasin Epirusthat Olympias called her kid that Zeus, the king the the god's was his father, and also not Philip. Alexander request the oracleif this was true, and the oracle seemed to reply that he was undoubtedly the son of Zeus. When Alexander reverted from the desert, he made plans because that a new port city in Egypt i beg your pardon he called Alexandria, after ~ himself. Alexander left Egypt behind and headed right into the heart of the Persian Empire, identified to loss Darius again.


In the same year the Alexander left Egypt, he moved deep right into the Persian Empire; and also at a place dubbed Gaugamela (camel's back) a huge battle took place in 331 BC. King Darius was acquisition no opportunities at this battle. Darius assembled an military twice as huge as Alexander's.Darius alsoseemed come have an answer for the Macedonian phalanxand sarrisa. Darius brought war elephants to the battlefield, together with scythed chariots. Elephants are used in war favor tanks, lock trample whatever in their path, this was also the very first time Greeks had actually seen this beasts, and also Alexander's military was in awe of the elephants. The scythed chariots could cut into and break up the phalanx. However, both of these aspects proved disappointing. The elephants fell asleep during the battle, and were recorded by Alexander. Alexander's guys simply relocated to the side and let the scythed chariots pass v the lines. Alexander won the fight of Gaugamela, and Darius, because that the 2nd time fled the battlefield. Whereat Granicus, Darius can blame the reality that he wasn't there for failure, and also at Issus he could blame the small battlefield, he had actually no excuse atGuagamela.


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Alexander's pressures (in red) spread out out, forcing Darius' army to move in an effort to out-flank Alexander, this created a gap in Darius' line where Alexander, top the Companion Cavalry, shoots v the gap and also directly at Darius, who is behind his lines. Darius escape the battlefield. His unique forces, the scythed chariots and elephants to be a huge disappointment, making no differencein the outcome.

After the defeat of Darius in ~ Gaugamela, there was nothing to protect against Alexander's army from marching to Persepolis, the capital of the Persian Empire. Alexander was now clearly the King of Persia, no Darius. Alexander spent numerous days in Persepolis, quite than follow Darius. One night, in 330 BC,the city was collection onfire. It is unclear whether Alexander authorized this destruction, yet what is clean is that he go not move to prevent it.


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The Persian capital of Persepolis is sacked and also burned by Alexander's army. Items steal by Xerxes in the Persian battle were returned to Athens. Was this payback for the burn of Athens by Xerxes one-hundred fifty years earlier?

Alexander relocated on and also tracked Darius down. When he caught up through Darius, Alexander uncovered him wounded and also dying;Darius had been attacked by his own subjects. Darius died as Alexander offered him his last drink the water. Darius thanked Alexander for dealing with his family kindly and said, "Who would have thought, that v all the civilization in the world,I have to receive a last act the kindness from you."

Alexander moved on into what is now the nation of Afghanistan, whereby he hadhis most difficult time beating the world in this area. Afghanistan is like the mountain and, as we've seen countless times in history, impossible to control. Alexander to be the an initial to discover this lesson.Alexander did produce an alliance with one group of human being in this area by marrying Roxanne, and local princess.


From Afghanistan, Alexanderturned east with hisarmy. In 326 BC, in the what is currently the nation of India, Alexander encountered his most challenging opponent, Porus,a neighborhood ruler. Porus had 200 war elephants as part of his army. Porus impede Alexander's military from crossing the Hydaspes River. Alexander offered trickery to cross the Hydaspes, and, in a hard-fought battle, in which Alexander shed several men, beat Porus. Alexander was so impressed by Porus, the he permitted him to proceed as the local ruler of the region.Alexander acquiredsome battle elephants and riders indigenous Porus.


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The fight of Hydaspes River, the porcupine bristle of the sarrisa against the ancient tank, the war elephant.

After the battle of Hydaspes River, v a friend in Porus to the west, Alexander wished to proceed east to China top top his pursuit of total human being domination, however, ~ the hard-fought victory against Porus, his troops had actually had enough. Numerous soldiers hadn't viewed their families for ten years, and wanted come return toGreece and also Macedonia.Alexander's army refused to monitor the king any kind of farther east. ~ retreating to his time to sulk for 2 days, Alexander emerged saying the the god willed the he need to return home.

Alexander's army made the an overwhelming march southern in what is currently Pakistan. Countless obstacles and also people unfriendly come Alexander fought him along the way.During a siege that a city,Alexander was almost killed. Once Alexander got to the coast at Pattala, he supplied ships to bringmany the the initial soldiers the his army back to Greece and Macedonia, the rather he marched ago through a desert. There was tiny water, and many that his soldiers passed away during this desert crossing.Alexander endured the crossing,making itback to Babylon, the funding of his empire. In 323 BC, when in Babylon, Alexander got very sick through a fever and died. He had no plans because that a successor to his empire, and also his infant boy was as well young come rule. As his generals gathered approximately their dice king, they asked him who he would certainly leave his empire to, Alexander replied, "To the strongest!"

Alexander's generals take it his advice, and began to fight versus each other, each general trying come carve out a huge portion that the empirefor himself. This duration was well-known as the battles of the Diadochi (Successors). The first battle to be over Alexander's body.Whilehis coffinwas return to Macedonia, the body to be hijacked by Ptolemy,one of theDiadochi, and brought come Alexandria, in Egypt, where it remained for year on display. In 301 BC, the Battleof Ipsus, in Asia Minor, entailing most that the Diadochi,saw one of the successors, Antigonus, killed. Ipsusproved the nosingle ruler would manage the whole empire, together the rather would type alliances to loss the strongest.It was throughout these battles that Greek armies learned exactly how to usage war elephants, transforming these old tanks versus each other. The riders of the elephants were constantly from India, asthe Greek-speakerscould not manage the beasts.

Alexander's Legacy

Alexander spread Greek culture throughout the Persian Empire, including parts of Asia and also Africa. Alexander respect the local cultures he conquered, and permitted their customizeds to continue. Alexander himself adopted local customs, put on Persian clothes and marrying Persian women. Alexander urged hissoldiers come marry Persian women, in this way, the kids of these marital relationships would re-publishing both Persian and also Greek cultures.

Alexandercreated the Hellenistic Age, a time as soon as Greek society mixed through the various cultures of Alexander's Empire. This was a time of breakthroughs in learning, math, art, and also architecture. Several of the great names of discovering in this Age incorporate Archimedes, Hero, and also Euclid.It was a time of loved one peace, after the battles of the Diadochi (322-275 BC).

Because the the loved one peace during the Hellenistic Age, travel and also trade increased.Antipater the the city of Sidon, produced a poem approximately 140 BC that provided seven marvels of the world. Antipater picked these buildings and also statues for there art and also architecture. The list ended up being a set of traveler attractions for civilization of the ancient world.

The an excellent cities the the Hellenistic Age contained Antioch in Syria, Pergamum in Asia Minor, and Alexandria in Egypt, through its Library that Alexandria, the biggest library that the old world. Although no one of these cities were in Greece, castle allhad Greek architecture.


Art in the Hellenistic Agewas really different from the Greek art 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 yes, really are, including their flaws.

As we read earlier, Ptolemy stole the body of Alexander and brought it come Alexandria, Egypt. Ptolemy, a basic to Alexander,became Ptolemy I, pharaoh that Egypt, and the first king that the last empire of Egypt, the Ptolemaic Dynasty.The Ptolemys rule Egypt for about 300-years, also though Cleopatra VII, was the just one to discover the Egyptian language. We willread more about Cleopatra once we learn about the Romans.

See more: What Country Starts With The Letter Y Name (Y), Countries That Start With The Letter Y


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