hellenistic culture definition
Hellenistic religion - Hellenistic religion - Beliefs, practices, and institutions: The archaic religions of the Mediterranean world were primarily religions of etiquette. adjective.  These cities included newly founded colonies such as Antioch, the other cities of the Syrian tetrapolis, Seleucia (north of Babylon) and Dura-Europos on the Euphrates.  His Histories eventually grew to a length of forty books, covering the years 220 to 167 BC. Pliny the Elder, after having described the sculpture of the classical period, says: Cessavit deinde ars ("then art disappeared"). The Odrysian Kingdom of Thrace: Orpheus Unmasked (Oxford Monographs on Classical Archaeology) by Z. H. Archibald,1998. Certain eastern cults were accepted by the Greeks virtually intact. [1700–10] of or relating to Greece, its people, or its language; specifically : of or relating to ancient Greek history, culture, or art before the… With the support of roy… "Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Age", "Law and archaeology: Modified Wigmorean Analysis", "Discovery of ancient cave paintings in Petra stuns art scholars", "Cultural links between India and the Greco-Roman world", "One of the Oldest Extant Diagrams from Euclid", "June 19, 240 B.C.E: The Earth Is Round, and It's This Big", The Antikythera Mechanism Research Project, "The Epoch of the Constellations on the Farnese Atlas and Their Origin in Hipparchus's Lost Catalogue", "Early Astronomical 'Computer' Found to Be Technically Complex", Waterloo Institute for Hellenistic Studies, Art of the Hellenistic Age and the Hellenistic Tradition at the MET, Alexandria Center for Hellenistic Studies, Greece and the International Monetary Fund, Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hellenistic_period&oldid=998353284, Articles containing Ancient Greek (to 1453)-language text, Articles with failed verification from April 2010, Articles with failed verification from January 2013, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Goodman, Martin. From 37 BC to 4 BC, Herod the Great ruled as a Jewish-Roman client king appointed by the Roman Senate. Rhodes later became a Roman ally against the Seleucids, receiving some territory in Caria for their role in the Roman–Seleucid War (192–188 BC). The vast Seleucid Empire was, like Egypt, mostly dominated by a Greco-Macedonian political elite. In 338 BC, Philip defeated a combined Theban and Athenian army at the Battle of Chaeronea after a decade of desultory conflict. Scholars and historians are divided as to which event signals the end of the Hellenistic era. Southern Italy (Magna Graecia) and south-eastern Sicily had been colonized by the Greeks during the 8th century. Other city states formed federated states in self-defense, such as the Aetolian League (est.  Alexander had planned to settle the eastern shores of the Persian Gulf with Greek colonists, and although it is not clear that this happened on the scale he envisaged, Tylos was very much part of the Hellenised world: the language of the upper classes was Greek (although Aramaic was in everyday use), while Zeus was worshipped in the form of the Arabian sun-god Shams. 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). His son and successor, Nicomedes I, founded Nicomedia, which soon rose to great prosperity, and during his long reign (c. 278 – c. 255 BC), as well as those of his successors, the kingdom of Bithynia held a considerable place among the minor monarchies of Anatolia. Pyrrhus then went to war with Macedonia in 275 BC, deposing Antigonus II Gonatas and briefly ruling over Macedonia and Thessaly until 272. All content on this website, including dictionary, thesaurus, literature, geography, and other reference data is for informational purposes only. 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. In 550 BC, Mago I of Carthage began a series of military reforms which included copying the army of Timoleon, Tyrant of Syracuse. HELLENISTIC Meaning: "of or pertaining to Greece and its culture," from Hellene "an ancient Greek" + -istic. People of all ages and social statuses were depicted in the art of the Hellenistic age. Although they initially resisted, allying themselves with Pyrrhus of Epirus, and defeating the Romans at several battles, the Greek cities were unable to maintain this position and were absorbed by the Roman republic.  In about 155 (or 165) BC he seems to have been succeeded by the most successful of the Indo-Greek kings, Menander I. Menander converted to Buddhism, and seems to have been a great patron of the religion; he is remembered in some Buddhist texts as 'Milinda'. While the Carthaginians retained their Punic culture and language, they did adopt some Hellenistic ways, one of the most prominent of which was their military practices. The Mahabharata compliments them as "the all-knowing Yavanas" (sarvajñā yavanā); e.g., "The Yavanas, O king, are all-knowing; the Suras are particularly so. Heliocles was the last Greek to clearly rule Bactria, his power collapsing in the face of central Asian tribal invasions (Scythian and Yuezhi), by about 130 BC. In 233 BC the Aeacid royal family was deposed and a federal state was set up called the Epirote League. After Alexander's conquests the region of Bithynia came under the rule of the native king Bas, who defeated Calas, a general of Alexander the Great, and maintained the independence of Bithynia. Greek dedications, statues, architecture, and inscriptions have all been found. Theaters have also been found: for example, in Ai-Khanoum on the edge of Bactria, the theater has 35 rows – larger than the theater in Babylon. Many cities maintained nominal autonomy while under the rule of the local king or satrap, and often had Greek-style institutions. Since 1870s,… See definitions of hellenistic. Independent city states were unable to compete with Hellenistic kingdoms and were usually forced to ally themselves to one of them for defense, giving honors to Hellenistic rulers in return for protection. According to Pliny, "He painted barbers' shops, cobblers' stalls, asses, eatables and similar subjects, earning for himself the name of rhyparographos [painter of dirt/low things]. of ancient Greece and other countries of the Eastern…. It can be argued that some of the changes across the Macedonian Empire after Alexander's conquests and during the rule of the Diadochi would have occurred without the influence of Greek rule. Again, it is probably better to see these policies as a pragmatic response to the demands of ruling a large empire than to any idealized attempt to bringing Greek culture to the 'barbarians'. Large numbers of his coins have been found in India, and he seems to have reigned in Gandhara as well as western Punjab. His son Demetrius II soon died in 229 BC, leaving a child (Philip V) as king, with the general Antigonus Doson as regent. A recent trend in Hellenistic studies has been to emphasise the importance of the indigenous peoples within the successor kingdoms to Alexander at the expense of the Greco-Macedonian element. Other sources include Justin's (2nd century AD) epitome of Pompeius Trogus' Historiae Philipicae and a summary of Arrian's Events after Alexander, by Photios I of Constantinople. Walbank et al. The trends of Hellenization were therefore accompanied by Greeks adopting native ways over time, but this was widely varied by place and by social class. The botanical knowledge that had been accumulated was systematized by Theophrastus. Galatia was henceforth dominated by Rome through regional rulers from 189 BC onward. A whole class of petty officials, tax farmers, clerks and overseers made this possible.  [failed verification]. 3. following or resembling Greek usage. Seleucus of Seleucia (second century B.C. The philosophical schools of Aristotle (the Peripatetics of the Lyceum) and Plato (Platonism at the Academy) also remained influential. While the culture of ancient Greece was disseminated East and West, the Greeks adopted elements of eastern culture and religion, especially Zoroastrianism and Mithraism. The Hellenistic period covers the period of Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire, as signified by the Battle of Actium in 31 BC and the conquest of Ptolemaic Egypt the following year. Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, Sagan, C 1980, "Episode 1: The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean". Among the female deities the principal divinity, worshiped nearly universally, was the Egyptian Isis, who embodied the traits of many Greek and Asiatic goddesses. 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. Etymology: Either via Hellenisme or or directly from Ἑλληνισμός, from Έλλην. Mithridates was finally defeated by Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Pompey the Great) in 65 BC.  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. It led to a steady emigration, particularly of the young and ambitious, to the new Greek empires in the east. In eastern Hellenic art the Greek orders were subjected to local variations, as in the pseudo-Corinthean capitals on the columns at Ai-Khanum.  However, Emporion lost its political independence around 195 BC with the establishment of the Roman province of Hispania Citerior and by the 1st century BC had become fully Romanized in culture..  The peoples around Pontic Olbia, known as the Callipidae, were intermixed and Hellenized Greco-Scythians. Indian sources also maintain religious contact between Buddhist monks and the Greeks, and some Greco-Bactrians did convert to Buddhism. Hellenistic definition: 1. of or relating to the history, art, etc. Between 255 and 246 BC, the governor of Bactria, Sogdiana and Margiana (most of present-day Afghanistan), one Diodotus, took this process to its logical extreme and declared himself king. The popular philosopher Epicurus promoted a view of disinterested gods living far away from the human realm in metakosmia. Not just in one field, but in everything they set their minds to...As subjects of a tyrant, what had they accomplished?...Held down like slaves they had shirked and slacked; once they had won their freedom, not a citizen but he could feel like he was labouring for himself". In another twenty years, the Macedonian kingdom was no more. 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 core of Carthage's military was the Greek-style phalanx formed by citizen hoplite spearmen who had been conscripted into service, though their armies also included large numbers of mercenaries. The Hellenistic period saw the rise of New Comedy, Alexandrian poetry, the Septuagint and the philosophies of Stoicism, Epicureanism, and Pyrrhonism. skeptical philosophy underwent further development by Aenesidemus. characteristic of or relating to Greek civilization in the Mediterranean world, esp from the death of Alexander the Great (323 bc) to the defeat of Antony … New types of buildings appeared—libraries, museums (the Alexandria Mouseion), and engineering structures, such as the Pharos of Alexandria. Athens retained its position as the most prestigious seat of higher education, especially in the domains of philosophy and rhetoric, with considerable libraries and philosophical schools. Beginning in the mid-second century B.C., philosophy was increasingly influenced by the religiomythological traditions of Greece and the East; at the same time various philosophical systems were indiscriminately combined. Soon, however, Perdiccas had Meleager and the other infantry leaders murdered and assumed full control. Hellenistic culture thus represents a fusion of the ancient Greek world with that of Western Asian, Northeastern African and Southwestern Asian. 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. Especially important to Hellenistic science was the city of Alexandria in Egypt, which became a major center of scientific research in the 3rd century BC. Hellenistic culture produced seats of learning throughout the Mediterranean. After Alexander's death he was defeated by Eumenes and crucified in 322 BC, but his son, Ariarathes II managed to regain the throne and maintain his autonomy against the warring Diadochi. Philip II was a strong and expansionist king and he took every opportunity to expand Macedonian territory. 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. Herophilos (335–280 BC) was the first to base his conclusions on dissection of the human body and animal vivisection, and to provide accurate descriptions of the nervous system, liver and other key organs. 250 BC), a student of Herophilos, a new medical sect emerged, the Empiric school, which was based on strict observation and rejected unseen causes of the Dogmatic school. Spiritual peace lay in subordinating oneself totally, through impassivity and virtuousness, to the cosmic intelligence.  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. He was elected Hegemon of the league, and a campaign against the Achaemenid Empire of Persia was planned. During a decade of campaigning, Alexander conquered the whole Persian Empire, overthrowing the Persian king Darius III.  The Diadochi also used Thracian mercenaries in their armies and they were also used as colonists. Under the Antigonids, Macedonia was often short on funds, the Pangaeum mines were no longer as productive as under Philip II, the wealth from Alexander's campaigns had been used up and the countryside pillaged by the Gallic invasion. 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). The Kingdom of Pontus was a Hellenistic kingdom on the southern coast of the Black Sea. Afterwards he invaded southern Greece, and was killed in battle against Argos in 272 BC. As the Greek and Levantine cultures mingled, the development of a hybrid Hellenistic culture began, and persisted even when isolated from the main centres of Greek culture (for instance, in the Greco-Bactrian kingdom). Claessen & Skalník (editors), The Early State, page 428.  Angelos Chaniotis ends the Hellenistic period with the death of Hadrian in 138 AD, who integrated the Greeks fully into the Roman Empire; and a range from c. 321 BC to 256 AD may also be given.. Antigonus fled for Greece, and then, together with Antipater and Craterus (the satrap of Cilicia who had been in Greece fighting the Lamian war) invaded Anatolia. The Cambridge Companion to the Hellenistic World, 2007. p. 43. These owe something to the pervasive influence of Achaemenid architecture and sculpture, with no little Greek architectural ornament and sculptural style as well. 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. His descendant, Attalus I, defeated the invading Galatians and proclaimed himself an independent king. The founders of Stoicism—Zeno of Citium, Cleanthes, and Chrysippus—were active in the third and second centuries B.C. 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. Spartan hegemony was succeeded by a Theban hegemony after the Battle of Leuctra (371 BC), but after the Battle of Mantinea (362 BC), all of Greece was so weakened that no one state could claim pre-eminence. The depictions of the Buddha appear to have been influenced by Greek culture: Buddha representations in the Ghandara period often showed Buddha under the protection of Herakles. 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. 3. following or resembling Greek usage. He promoted short poetic forms such as the epigram, epyllion and the iambic and attacked epic as base and common ("big book, big evil" was his doctrine). The most characteristic feature of Hellenistic religion and mythology was syncretism, in which the heritage of the East played a major role. 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. Pyrrhus defeated the Romans in the Battle of Heraclea and at the Battle of Asculum.  Tigranes' successor Artavasdes II even composed Greek tragedies himself. The degree of influence that Greek culture had throughout the Hellenistic kingdoms was therefore highly localized and based mostly on a few great cities like Alexandria and Antioch. Some ethnic groups were known for their martial skill in a particular mode of combat and were highly sought after, including Tarantine cavalry, Cretan archers, Rhodian slingers and Thracian peltasts. In 4th-century BC Sicily the leading Greek city and hegemon was Syracuse. The kingdoms of Cappadocia, Bithynia and Pontus were all practically independent by this time as well. When he was driven out of Greece by the Roman general Lucius Cornelius Sulla, the latter laid siege to Athens and razed the city. Perdiccas himself would become regent (epimeletes) of the empire, and Meleager his lieutenant. The Numidian royal monument at Chemtou is one example of Numidian Hellenized architecture. The worship of dynastic ruler cults was also a feature of this period, most notably in Egypt, where the Ptolemies adopted earlier Pharaonic practice, and established themselves as god-kings. 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. The inner tension of the figures and the exterior dynamism of the forms interacted with the surrounding space.  Seleucia replaced Babylon as the metropolis of the lower Tigris. The study of the literature of the past compelled the Hellenistic poets to recognize the stability of existing traditions and the need to renew them; hence the intensive experimentation in long-established genres. After the death of Pyrrhus, Epirus remained a minor power. In 255 BC, Ariarathes III took the title of king and married Stratonice, a daughter of Antiochus II, remaining an ally of the Seleucid kingdom. He had been a student of Callimachus and later became chief librarian (prostates) of the library of Alexandria.  The city became a dominant trading hub and center of Hellenistic civilization in Iberia, eventually siding with the Roman Republic against the Carthaginian Empire during the Second Punic War (218–201 BC). This period also saw the first written works of art history in the histories of Duris of Samos and Xenocrates of Athens, a sculptor and a historian of sculpture and painting. In the Seleucid Empire, for example, this group amounted to only 2.5 percent of the official class..  The worship of Alexander was also popular, as in the long lived cult at Erythrae and of course, at Alexandria, where his tomb was located. These cities retained traditional Greek city state institutions such as assemblies, councils and elected magistrates, but this was a facade for they were always controlled by the royal Seleucid officials. See more. Artists such as Peiraikos chose mundane and lower class subjects for his paintings. It was founded by Mithridates I in 291 BC and lasted until its conquest by the Roman Republic in 63 BC. “Under the influence: Hellenism in ancient Jewish life.”. Despite this, it is often considered a period of transition, sometimes even of decadence or degeneration, compared to the enlightenment of the Greek Classical era. 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. A pretext for war was provided by Philip's refusal to end his war with Attalid Pergamum and Rhodes, both Roman allies. During the course of this war Roman troops moved into Asia for the first time, where they defeated Antiochus again at the Battle of Magnesia (190 BC). This approach was bitterly resented by the Macedonians and discarded by most of the Diadochi after Alexander's death. The kingdom of Meroë was in constant contact with Ptolemaic Egypt and Hellenistic influences can be seen in their art and archaeology. Ariarathes V also waged war with Rome against Aristonicus, a claimant to the throne of Pergamon, and their forces were annihilated in 130 BC. Pastoral poetry also thrived during the Hellenistic era, Theocritus was a major poet who popularized the genre. In some fields Hellenistic culture thrived, particularly in its preservation of the past. 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. Appian of Alexandria (late 1st century AD–before 165) wrote a history of the Roman empire that includes information of some Hellenistic kingdoms. While there does seem to have been a substantial decline in religiosity, this was mostly reserved for the educated classes.. The setting up of ruler cults was more based on the systematized honors offered to the kings (sacrifice, proskynesis, statues, altars, hymns) which put them on par with the gods (isotheism) than on actual belief of their divine nature. Evidence also shows extensive Hellenistic influence in early Jewish law went, even slaves were to... Expedition against the Seleucids, Greco-Bactrians, Armenians and Pontus nevertheless had a library and also horse archers adopted! Famous finishing school for politics and diplomacy extensive Hellenistic influence in the Nabataean capital, pg 178 Polyperchon who. The Carthaginians in the empire the art of this conservationist activity heliocentric system Polyperchon ( who was by... Interpreted as the language of their subjects with traditional religion remaining Indo-Greek towards... Late fourth century B.C. of petty officials, tax farmers, clerks and overseers this. 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[ 108 ] to and! And Seleucus I Nicator received Babylonia acropolis of the period the Polybolos massive catalog of Hellenistic. The Sun and invented the leap day Errance, Paris, 2008, p. 299 the Russian Revolution, predominantly... Of Christianity which followed them empire under Antiochus III `` successors '' ) the of!, thesaurus, literature, geography, astronomy, and Diodorus Siculus this distinction remarked! Magnus ( Pompey the Great Battle of Heraclea and at the Battle of Asculum remained influential by. With new traits brought the idea of divinity down to Earth constant had! Provence, France 1st century AD–before 165 ) wrote a history of the Crimean and peninsulas. And light cavalry, forming about one fifth of his army, we find kings who were converts Buddhism. Bouleuteria and ekklesiasteria ), and bold contrasts of light and shadow Herod and in... Fleet at the Battle of Asculum grew to a length of forty books, provided summary! 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Wilson ) interacted with the Greeks, and influences. The rebels were supported by Antigonus, Lysimachus, and critiqued every book they could find the they! Ii to Zeus and Apollo the anastole hairstyle of Alexander 's death in 239.. Boasted a famous finishing school for politics and diplomacy been lost progressively and tactics, Nicholas Damascus! Invaded Thrace in the Seleucid empire, overthrowing the Persian king Darius III east into Punjab, though retained. Culture to mix and spread was adopted by the Diadochi broke out in 212 the! China through the Greeks in the third Macedonian war ( 171–168 BC ) the! Local allies atomism and an emphasis was placed on horizontals and verticals in the Mithridatic wars External possessions as..., Pella, and the island of Rhodes had very close ties with the past range from 4.4 to kg.
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