Hellenistic Greece Timeline
This is a brief introduction to the Hellenistic Age in Greece, a period that followed the Classical Age and preceded the incorporation of the Greek empire within the Roman in 146 B.C.. During this time the language and culture of Greece spread throughout the world.
It usually officially starts with the death of Alexander in 323 B.C., although sometimes it starts within the Macedonian's lifetime.
Hellenistic Greece Intro
Archaic and Classical Greece produced a culture which the third era, the Hellenistic Age, spread throughout the known world. Because of the Macedonian empire builders, the realm of Greek influence spread from India to Africa.
Aftermath of the Death of Alexander the Great
When Alexander the Great died, his empire was divided in three parts: Macedonia and Greece, ruled by Antigonus, founder of the Antigonid dynasty; the Near East, ruled by Seleucus, founder of the Seleucid dynasty; and Egypt, where the general Ptolemy started the Ptolemid dynasty. The empire was wealthy thanks to the conquered Persians. With this wealth, building and other cultural programs were established in each region. The most famous contribution of Ptolemy was Library at Alexandria.
Cultural Achievements of the Hellenistic Age
While the culture of ancient Greece was disseminated East and West, the Greeks adopted elements of eastern culture and religion, especially Zoroastrianism and Mithraism. Attic Greek became the lingua franca. Impressive scientific innovations were made in Alexandria where the Greek Eratosthenes computed the circumference of the earth, Archimedes calculated pi, and Euclid compiled his geometry text. In philosophy Zeno and Epicurus founded the moral philosophies of Stoicism and Epicureanism.
In literature, New Comedy evolved, as did the pastoral idyll form of poetry associated with Theocritus, and the personal biography, which accompanied a movement in sculpture to represent people as they were rather than as ideals, although there were exceptions in Greek sculpture -- most notably the hideous depictions of Socrates, although even they may have been idealized, if negatively.
Both Michael Grant and Moses Hadas discuss these artistic/biographical changes. See From Alexander to Cleopatra, by Michael Grant, and "Hellenistic Literature," by Moses Hadas. Dumbarton Oaks Papers, Vol. 17, (1963), pp. 21-35.Ancient Greece - Hellenistic Age