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The History and development of the Hellenistic age

Hellazein is the word by which the word Hellenistic is derived referring to those speaking Greek or being identified with Greeks. Macedonia in Philip II (359-336 BC) was raised into the greatest Power of Europe after pacifying neighboring countries of Macedonia the Thracians, Illyrians, and Greeks. The end of Greek history was marked by The Battle of Chaeronea where Macedonians defeated the Greeks on August 2, 338 BC. Gruen (1986) argued that the Macedonian Era was beginning. One of the archaic Greek writers, Theopompus, was called Philip, the best man ever given by Europe.

King Philip’s ultimate objective was to conquer Persia. He was assassinated in 336 B.C. After Philip II’s death, his son Alexander the Great, at the age of 20, continued his father’s imperial mission, carried his armies into Asia, and conquered the Persian Empire.

The Hellenistic Age

The delicate realm of Alexander was not bound to get by for long. After his passing, his realm was separated from his officers known as the Diadochi in Latin; this word is derived from the Diadokhoi, Greek, which implies successors. Lysimachus, Ptolemy, Cassander, and Seleucus. Cassander took Macedonia and Greece; Lysimachus took Thrace and a lot of Asia Minor; Ptolemy seized Egypt, Palestine, Cilicia, Petra, and Cyprus setting up the Ptolemaic Dynasty in Egypt, while Seleucus took control of whatever was left of Asia building up the Seleucid Empire which was involved Syria, Babylon, Persia, and India.

Although these kingdoms were not united politically after Alexander’s death, they were no longer included in any Macedonian or Greek empire, although they had shared a great deal in a generalized manner. Peter (1993) determined that historians refer to these commonalities, the essential Greekness of the incongruent parts of the Alexandrian world when discussing the Hellenistic Age.

Social Developments in the Hellenistic World

The Hellenistic civilization history is considered second only in magnitude by socio-economic developments to the Commercial revolution as well as modern era Industrial Revolutions. There are several other important distinguishable causes, like

  • The beginning of trade was a result of Alexander the Great’s conquests of the Nile to the Indus.
  • The ascent in the costs was due to the arrival of the tremendous Persian accumulation of silver and gold into the channels, of course, bringing about an expansion in venture and hypothesis.

– The exchange and industry advancement by governments as a method for boosting the incomes and resources of the state.

A definitive consequence of these variables was sustaining an arrangement of vast-scale generation, exchange, and fund, with the state as the sole business visionary and vital industrialist. Chaniotis (2008) trusts this applied a critical effect on Agriculture as it was significantly influenced by those new measures taken for advancements as some other branch of the financial segment.

Prior to the establishment, Greek states were fairly represented by their nationals. Despite what might be expected, lords controlled The Hellenistic states completely. These rulers with a cosmopolitan perspective of the world were mostly intrigued by social affairs and as much of their wealth as they could. For this reason, they centered themselves on building up business connections throughout the Hellenistic world. They started importing different commodities and goods from across the region such as cotton, spices, and sugar for medicinal purposes, ivory, gold, ebony, and pearls from India; iron and furs from the Far East; wine from Chios and Syria; linen papyrus, and glass from Alexandria, Egypt; olive oil from Athens; dates and prunes from Babylon; silver from Spain; copper from Cyprus; and tin from Brittany and Cornwall.

They assembled and expounded castles, charging craftsmanship, extreme adornments, and figures to put their riches in plain view for all to see. They accumulated a tremendous measure of gifts to exhibition halls and zoos. They likewise supported libraries like the acclaimed libraries at Alexandria and Pergamon and colleges.

The Great Alexandrian Library, in Egypt, said to have been started by Ptolemy I, became the most important center for learning in the ancient world. Greek theatre covered all over the lands conquered by Alexander the Great and the amphitheaters built during the Hellenistic Period show markedly Greek features no matter neither the nationality of the architect nor the country of construction. Alexandria University gave the world well-known mathematicians namely Apollonios Euclid, and Archimedes, along with the inventors of the water clock (Ktesibios) and the model steam engine (Heron).

Culture of Hellenistic

Like most of the product merchandise, People of those locales moved smoothly around the Hellenistic kingdoms. A standout among the most intriguing parts was the coming of uniform dialect all throughout the Hellenistic world. Murray (1972) confirmed that nearly everybody in the realm could talk and read a similar dialect known as Koine (the regular tongue) a sort of casual Greek. Koine was a social power that bound together the general population together. Regardless of where the general population originated, they could speak with anybody in these cosmopolitan Hellenistic kingdoms. Thereby, it influenced the philosophical writing and thoughts of the region. The same happened in the area known as Palestine where Greek literature found its way into the religious thought and scripture of Judaism.

And, after it’s all said and done numerous individuals used to feel distanced in this new social and political scene. Be that as it may, they lived in generic domains administered by proficient civil servants rather than the more seasoned circumstances when subjects had been personally required with the workings of the majority rule city-states. This estrangement is also communicated in Hellenistic workmanship and writing, in a dismissal of the aggregate demos underscoring the person. For instance, the compositions and models during that time spoke to real individuals rather than divine beings or something romanticized. In the meantime, numerous individuals joined riddle religions, such as the cliques of the goddesses Isis and Fortune, which guaranteed their supporters singular riches and eternality.

This entire financial and social change in the Hellenistic culture also influenced the scholars; they had turned their core interests deep down. For instance, Diogenes the Cynic carried on with his life as a statement of challenge against this new advancing cosmopolitanism and corporate greed. He used to call the Politicians toadies of the swarm. The rationalist Epicurus contended that the most imperative thing in life was the quest for the joy and satisfaction of a person. Essentially, the Stoics contended each man had a heavenly start inside him that could be developed by carrying on with a respectable and great life.

End of the Age of Hellenistic

To the Romans in stages, the Hellenistic world started tumbling, but in 31 B.C., an era ended for good. In a battle of Actium that year, Marc Antony’s Ptolemaic fleet was defeated by the Roman Octavian.

The spread of Greek influence and dialect likewise appeared through coinage. Some of the representations turned out to be closer to reality, and the front side of the coin was frequently used to enrich a promulgation picture, remember an occasion, or show a picture of a favored god. The utilization of Greek-style pictures and Greek dialect continued into the Parthian period, even as Greek as a dialect decreased.

In the wake of changing into a republic and provoking the Roman Empire, Greek lingo, understanding, perspectives, sanity, and general culture spread from the advancements vanquished by Alexander the Great and his Generals to others in the East and after that north to Europe through trade and, further, by Roman achievement, therefore Hellenizing the entire universe of traditional circumstances and influencing basically every culture of the earth today.

Egypt was created because of such systems, prospering businesses in the most stretched-out assortment of items. Into the Alexandria, port came flavors from Arabia, tin from Britain, gold from Abyssinia and India, silver from northern Spain, copper from Cyprus, elephants, and ivory from Nubia, covers and covers from Asia Minor, and notwithstanding utilizing the silk course to get silk from China. Benefits for the administration and notwithstanding for some of the shippers were frequently as high as 30 percent.

Amid the prior hundreds of years, it was a genuine time of thriving. Albeit genuine emergencies took after much of the time, the crumple of conditional blasts, they seem to have been of brief length. In any case, their success obviously appears to have been so restricted primarily to the high societies, the rulers, and the vendors. It positively did not stretch out to the laborers or even to the specialists in the towns. The everyday wages of talented and untalented specialists in Athens in the third century had dropped to not as much as half of what they had been in the Age of Pericles. The average cost for basic items, then again, had risen significantly. Joblessness in the huge urban communities expanded colossally, becoming an issue requiring the legislature to oversee free grain for meriting tenants. In this period servitude was not invited, due to the impact of the Stoic reasoning, compensation was presently down that it was less expensive to employ a free worker than to get a slave.

Urban people were copied and created in Hellenistic areas as fast as in 19th-century America. Some of them accomplished the metropolitan size fundamentally overnight. Within two centuries Seleucia on the stream Tigris has created to a city of a couple of lakhs. Of all the greatest and most prestigious urban groups was Alexandria in Egypt, which had over a million inhabitants.  No other city in antiquated circumstances, including Rome, outperformed it in size or heavenliness. Its lanes were very much cleared and laid out in consistent request with unbelievable open structures and stops, an exhibition hall, and a library of about a million volumes. It was the most splendid focal point of Hellenistic social accomplishment, particularly for logical research.

Opportunities for Women in the Hellenistic World

In the Greek history of the Hellenistic period (323-331BC), there is certain evidence of an increase in the rights and roles of women. Women’s roles and status compared to any Greek woman’s previous or after the Hellenistic era.

In the past two periods, the women’s roles and status in the Hellenistic period seem to have some enchantment.

It will be valuable, to begin with, high-positioning ladies’ climate illustrious or non-regal elites and then the restricted proof for the center and lower-class ladies. For the Royal female power, there are different illustrations, for example, Olympias, spouse of King Philip II and the mother of Alexander the Great, was an overwhelming power in the Kingdom of Macedonia. She even scared her better half, Philip. In the wake of the King’s demise, she was a prime power in Macedon and a rival of Antipater. After Alexander’s passing, her considerable energy expanded to numerous folds. She made arrangements with Eumenes, likewise battled Cassander, and dangled Kleopatra, her little girl, as a marriage lure. Phila, the little girl of Antipater and Cassander’s sister, was a conspicuous identity amid that period. She turned into the spouse of Krateros and Demetrios Poliorketes, mother of Antigonos Gonatos. The impact of other imperial women was huge, as good examples.

Queens became benefactors of communities. Records show a profusion of private bequests by women to build temples.

In different Hellenistic urban communities, ladies were respected with statues, possessing numerous conspicuous religious workplaces. From time to time, it has been confirmed that ladies have been involved in non-clerical magistracies in urban communities, too. The Hellenistic time appeared to offer numerous ladies open impact, reputation, and supreme remarkable riches.

Ladies’ instruction had been out of the contemplations even at the start of the Hellenistic age. However, ladies’ names seemed later on records and contracts proposing proficiency. There is Erina of Telos who got so much acknowledgment. She composed a touching tribute to a beloved companion. Different circles of expressions of the human experience include ladies making their imprints, for example, pictures and designs. Polygnota of Thebes, the praised harpist, was a hit at Delphi and won numerous genuine honors. The Hellenistic period has likewise observed ladies’ approach to philosophical and insightful interests like the Agellas of Kerkyra.

A lady even composed a treatise on the likelihood that the Trojan War had happened in Troy. Philosophical schools were opened a bit as a bastion of maleness. Epicurus, the author of a standout amongst the most essential and acclaimed Hellenistic philosophical frameworks, lectured on sexual equity. The passageway of ladies was invited by the Cynics, for instance, Hipparchia ended up plainly enchanted with the more outrageous Cynic tenets and delighted with Kratos as well, whom she wanted to wed and to make her rich guardians frantic.

Among those ladies, there was a huge portion of non-world-class ladies. The more noteworthy physical versatility of people and families in the Hellenistic period implied that ladies were tossed on their assets. This may have been away from the autonomous idea of giving more flexibility to ladies concerning the durable conventions of their town or town, which was conceivably disturbed by relocation.

The uncertain conditions in this rootless society required these sorts of marriage contracts. In these agreements, the spouses’ benefits were considered equivalent to those of husbands’.

The most established wedding contract is from the city of Elephantinnoii to the Nile. It is from 311 BC and fully affirms the qualifications of the lady. Contracts like those were not made in any way, shape, or form by individuals in the lower class of society. They originate from the working class or more, yet these sorts of agreements are not restricted just to the elites. The depiction of ladies in the period’s writing recommended that ladies have higher status now than previously.

When contrasted with Archaic or Classical times, the Hellenistic time offered a more fluctuated nearby scene for some people. Yet, past congruities with the conventional female parts may have been more grounded than the progressions. The decision circles of Hellenistic kingdoms included solid ladies, however, even the more grounded ladies played decently or greatly aloof parts for the most part. Relational unions disintegrated when they turned out to be less gainful. Olympias was a summoning nearness, yet Alexander the Great made it clear to her that Antipater would be in control. Philia was a commendable individual, yet she was a girl of Antipater and viewed as a decent match – not without anyone else.

In Egypt, well-off ladies were few. Pilgrims had the privilege to rent out their territory; however, of the 372 known cases, only 3 were ladies. What’s more, none of the settlements in wedding contracts incorporate land as a major aspect of the demand. The uncommon lady doctor or researcher was perpetually the little girl of an unmistakable man of a similar calling, who came into the spotlight as an associate, normally because the man had no children of his own. A few ladies were in schools without a doubt, particularly the philosophical schools of Epicurus and the Cynics. The inconvenience was standard in marriage contracts. The will of Aristotle assigned male watchmen for his beneficiary.

Female autonomy for Hellenistic ladies did not get a check to change the destiny of all. Kraemer (1994) believes that Rosy representations of mistresses must disguise terrible certainties. A considerable measure has been talked about and composed in regards to the imbalance of parts of ladies contrasted with those of men in the Greek world, regardless of whether Archaic, Classical, or Hellenistic periods; the word asset is utilized so frequently, and ladies are compared to slaves now and again.

It is futile to analyze the parts and status of Hellenistic ladies in relation to what we see for ladies in the mid-21st century. Our general public is drastically extraordinary, especially in regards to therapeutic, innovation, military, and sustenance delivering innovation, and it is this, more than anything else, that has created incredible contrasts and inconceivable outcomes for ladies’ parts.

Another approach to observing the rights and parts of Hellenistic ladies, and of Greek ladies, as a rule, is to research if they had more terrible or preferable rights over ladies’ incomparable innovative administrations at a comparable point ever. Just through such relative work would we be able to attest that the Hellenistic world was particularly a male society?


Gruen, Erich S. The Hellenistic world and the coming of Rome. Vol. 1. Univ of California Press, 1986.

Green, Peter. Alexander to Actium: the historical evolution of the Hellenistic age. Vol. 1. Univ of California Press, 1993.

Chaniotis, Angelos. The war in the Hellenistic world: a social and cultural history. Vol. 8. John

Wiley & Sons, 2008.

Murray, Oswyn. “Herodotus and Hellenistic culture.” The Classical Quarterly 22.2 (1972): 200-213.

Ashmole, Bernard, and Bernard Ashmole. Greek sculpture and painting: to the end of the Hellenistic period. Cambridge University Press, 1932.

Green, Peter. Alexander to Actium: the historical evolution of the Hellenistic age. Vol. 1. Univ of California Press, 1993.

Pomeroy, Sarah B. Women In Hellenistic Egypt: From Alexander to Cleopatra. Wayne State University Press, 1990.

Kraemer, Ross Shepard. Her share of the blessings: women’s religions among pagans, Jews, and Christians in the Greco-Roman world. Oxford University Press, 1994.



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