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Mr. Giotto"s virtual Textbook » ancient Greece » Alexander the great and the Hellenistic Age

Alexander the an excellent and the Hellenistic Age

Alexander the an excellent and the Hellenistic Age

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

The word Hellenistic comes from the source word Hellas, whichwas the old Greek word for Greece. The Hellenic period was the time as soon as Greek society was pure and also unaffectedby other cultures.The Hellenistic Agewas a time when Greeks came in call with outside people and their Hellenic, classicculture combined with cultures from Asia and also Africa to produce a blended culture. One man, Alexander, King the Macedonia, a Greek-speaker, is responsible because that this mix of cultures.

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To understand how the Kingdom that Macedoniadominated the Greek world, we need tofirst take it a look in ~ the battle 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. Though Sparta to be victorious, it was likewise weakened by this war. Thebes, an ally of Sparta throughout the Peloponnesian War,became powerful after the conflict. Sparta and Thebes went to war over region close come Thebes.The battle took place in Boeotia, close to the city-state that Leuctra in July 371 BC.

Epaminondas, the Theban general, introduced a brand-new fighting technique at Leuctra. Together you remember, the Greeks dealt with in a phalanx, a solid block of men. The finest men would type on the appropriate side, or weak side, as a ar of honor. The Spartan phalanx in ~ Leuctra to be twelvemen deep. In the timeless formation, the ideal soldiers of one military would constantly face the weakest of the other. Epaminondas inserted his best soldiers ~ above the left, guaranteeing the they would confront the finest Spartans. He likewise took no chances, creating his left next 50-men deep. Epaminondasheld the Theban right-side back, refusing to fight the Spartan left. The Theban left of 50-men deep thrust the Spartan right, trampling men and killing the Spartan king. Sparta to be not offered 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 fight of Leuctra in Boeotia, Greece, just north that Athens. 1) The larger Spartan army in blue tries come out-flank the Theban best side. 2) Spartan mounties is chased off the battlefield by the Theban cavalry. 3) The Theban right side has peltasts, javelin throwers, i m sorry harass the Spartan left side. 4) The Theban left side contains a supervisor phalanx 50-rows deep, i m sorry bears down on the Spartan right. 5) The Theban super phalanx, consisting of the Theban "Sacred Band" that three-hundred men, rolls end the Spartan right, killing the Spartan king.

Watching the fight of Leuctra and also learning Theban tactics was a young man from Macedonia surname Philip. Philip was a hostage in Thebes, as Thebes regulated Macedonia in ~ this time. Philip went back to Macedonia in 365 BC. 6 years later, in 359 BC, Philip became King of Macedonia. Together king, Philip supplied both diplomacy and war to broaden Macedonian territory. Philip married into the families of the bordering kingdoms, and also captured a gold mine, which detailed Macedonia through wealth. Philip is offered credit for producing the sarrisa, a long pike provided inthe Macedonian phalanx.


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The Macedonian phalanx, developed by Philip II, was sixteenrows deep and sixteen rows wide. Every man carried a sarrisa, a 20 ft.long pike, which was organized with 2 hands. A small shield to be attached come a leather strapthatwentaround every soldier's neck.

In 338 BC, in ~ the battle of Chaeronea, King Philip II the Macedoniaused comparable tacticsto thosethat he saw at the BattleofLeuctra to defeat a Theban and also Athenian army sent to meet him. Philip to be now clearly the grasp of the Greek-speaking world. He produced the Corinthian league of Greek allies. This allies vowed no 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, combined with the companion mounties crushed the Theban/Athenian alliance at Chaernea. The Theban spiritual Band was cut down come a man, and also buried at a burial mound. King Philip's 18-year-old son, Alexander, commanded the Macedonian cavalry, which discovered a gap and attacked the foe phalanx from behind.
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Philip expanded Macedonian affect by diplomacy and also by waging war. Notice the Greek city-states the were part of Philip's Corinthian organization (Yellow area). Macedonian garrisons space troops left behind in certain areas, like Thebes, and also Corinth, where there to be a solid possibility the a rebellion.

Philip's setup of occupation was cut short when, in 336 BC, at his daughter's wedding, he was assassinated by among his own body guards. Plenty of people think the assassin did no act alone, and that Olympias, Philip's 4th wife, to be behind the plot to murder the king. The crown the Macedonia passed come Alexander, Philip's son by Olympias. Alexander to be only twenty years old as soon as he became king, but had combated at Chaeronea two years before, top the left wing of his father's cavalry.


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Prince Alexander gains valuable military experience, as he leader his father's cavalry assault on the left flank in ~ Chaeronea. Macedonia was ruled by an aristocracy who could afford the horses necessary to type a cavalry.

In 335 BC, inthe first year that his reign, Alexander was tested by a rebellion in Thebes. Thebes stood up to as Alexander's army progressed to the city. Alexander made an example of Thebes by entirely destroying the city other than for the temples and the home of Pindar, among his favorite poets.

After ruining Thebes, Alexander moved on to Corinth, whereby he created himself as the brand-new leader the the Corinthian League. Alexander pardoned those city-states that had rebelled versus him. Prefer his father, Alexander want to dominate the Persian empire with the help of the Greeks. While in Corinth, Alexander sought out his favourite philosopher, Diogenes. Diogenes resided in the roads of Corinth in a barrel. Once Alexander uncovered the old man, the asked Diogenes if there to be anything he could do because that him. Diogenes replied, "Yes, you deserve to stand a bit to the side, you room blocking mine sunlight." when Alexander's human body guards laughed at the old man, Alexander quieted castle by saying, "If ns were not Alexander, I would certainly be Diogenes!"

In 334 BC, Alexander crossed the Hellespont with his Macedonian and also Greek army and also into the Persian Empire. His an initial stop was the ruins of the City that Troy. The Iliad and also Odyssey were Alexander's favorite books, and also it was claimed that he always carried a copy the them wherever he went. It was natural then,that he would want to visit the legendary city. It to be at troy that Alexander pulled the shield of Achilles from off the wall surface of a little museum between the ruins. He would use the 900-year old shield in every one of his battles. Alexander learned to appreciate the Iliad and nature from his teacher Aristotle, a Macedonian who studied in Athens at Plato's Academy.


At Granicus River, Alexander metthe very first resistance to his intrusion as he was blocked by a Persian army. The King that Persia right now was Darius III. Darius was no overly concerned around the young Macedonian king, and also was not existing at this battle. Despite he was practically killed, Alexander rallied his army and defeated the Persians. Darius blamed the victory on his general, he would certainly be sure to be through his military 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 might not bought to walk deep into the Persian realm with opponents at his back. Next, Alexander marched inlandto the city that Gordion, the place of the renowned Gordian Knot. The was said that anyone who might removethe oxcart native the temple, through untying the knot, would certainly be the king that theworld. Alexander can no stand up to this challenge. The knot was tied for this reason the ends can not it is in found. Crying out, "It doesn't matter exactly how it's done!" Alexander take it a swing with this sword, broke the rope, and pulled the oxcart far from the temple.

In 333 BC, Alexandermet a largePersian military led by the good King, Darius III at Issus. Darius had actually blamed the loss in ~ Granicus flow onthe truth that the wasnot there; this time he would certainly leadhis army against the young Macedonian king. Alexander always led native the front of his army, he to be the very first tomeet the enemy, this offered his army much courage. Darius, top top the other hand, led indigenous behind, top top his chariot, surrounded by body guards. Although this may seem cowardly compared to Alexander, it was the safe thing to do. The king, gift at the battle, offered the Persians courage, yet he was safe from harm. Return the Persian's out-numbered Alexander's army, the battle location was between the sea and a mountain range, and also the great King could not out-flank Alexander's smaller sized army. Alexander winner the fight by moving approximately the Persian army and charging top top his steed withhis Companion Cavalrystraight because that Darius. Darius fled the scene, leaving his mother, wife, and also two daughters behind.Alexander captured the royal family, and treated them v kindness and also respect.Daruis' mother ended up being 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 soil bridges, in an attempt to affix Tyre come the mainland. The very first was unsuccessful, but the 2nd featured two large siege towers the same elevation as the Tyrian walls. Every level that the tower has a lithobolos, or absent thrower, offered to quit walls. The Tyrians shoot arrows one let loose hot sand, as soon as the windwas at their back.

In 332 BC, Alexander got to the city-state of tire in Phoenicia, now component of the Persian Empire. Tyre was necessary to King Darius, due to the fact that it to be the navy base because that his fleet of triremes. Alexander required to regulate this fleet if the wished to go further into the Persian Empire. Alexander inquiry the Tyrians to hand over their fleet to him, but they refused. Tire was on an island about a quarter mile turn off the shore and also had massive protective walls. The Assyrians and also Babylonians had actually previously attempted a siege the Tyre and had failed. Alexander developed two soil bridges in an effort to affix Tyre to the mainland. Next, he attacked the Persian fleet through ships of his own. It took seven months, however Alexander lastly took Tyre. He might now advanceinto Persia there is no a hazard to his it is provided lines.

In 331 BC, Alexander and his army entered Egypt. The Egyptians, always unhappy v their Persian rulers, handed the city of Memphisover come Alexander. Alexander wasproclaimed pharaoh, and wore the dual crown. Alexander, through a couple of of his friends, travelled through the Egyptian desert to the Oasis of Siwa. Right here Alexandervisited the temple to Ammon-Zeus. Alexander request the oracle in ~ Siwa aquestion. Alexander was constantly closer to his mother. His dad was always off to war, and also showedvery littleemotion toward his son. Alexander's mother, called Olympias, to be from the Kingdom that Epirus. WhenOlympias separated from Philip, she lugged young Alexander ago to her homeland. That wasin Epirusthat Olympias called her son that Zeus, the king that the god's to be his father, and also not Philip. Alexander inquiry the oracleif this to be true, and also the oracle seemed to reply that he was certainly the child of Zeus. As soon as Alexander changed from the desert, the made plans because that a brand-new port city in Egypt which he referred to as Alexandria, after ~ himself. Alexander left Egypt behind and headed right into the heart of the Persian Empire, established to loss Darius again.


In the exact same year the Alexander left Egypt, he relocated deep into the Persian Empire; and also at a place dubbed Gaugamela (camel's back) a large battle took ar in 331 BC. King Darius was acquisition no possibilities 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 carried war elephants to the battlefield, along with scythed chariots. Elephants are supplied in war choose tanks, they trample whatever in their path, this was likewise the first time Greeks had actually seen these beasts, and also Alexander's army was in awe that the elephants. The scythed chariots can cut into and break increase the phalanx. However, both that these facets proved disappointing. The elephants fell asleep throughout the battle, and were recorded by Alexander. Alexander's men simply relocated to the side and also let the scythed chariots pass through the lines. Alexander winner the battle of Gaugamela, and also Darius, because that the second time fled the battlefield. Whereat Granicus, Darius might blame the truth that the wasn't there for failure, and also at Issus he can blame the narrow battlefield, he had 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 wherein Alexander, top the Companion Cavalry, shoots with the gap and directly in ~ Darius, who is behind his lines. Darius flees the battlefield. His unique forces, the scythed chariots and elephants to be a huge disappointment, make no differencein the outcome.

After the loss of Darius in ~ Gaugamela, there was nothing to avoid Alexander's military from marching come Persepolis, the funding of the Persian Empire. Alexander was now plainly the King that Persia, not Darius. Alexander spent countless days in Persepolis, fairly than pursuing Darius. One night, in 330 BC,the city was collection onfire. It is unclear whether Alexander authorized this destruction, yet what is clear is the he did not relocate to avoid it.


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The Persian resources of Persepolis is sacked and also burned by Alexander's army. Items stolen by Xerxes in the Persian war were went back to Athens. Was this payback for the burn of Athens through Xerxes one-hundred fifty year earlier?

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

Alexander moved on into what is now the nation of Afghanistan, wherein he hadhis most an overwhelming time beating the world in this area. Afghanistan is such as mountain and, as we've seen countless times in history, difficult to control. Alexander to be the first to find out this lesson.Alexander did produce an alliance v one group of world in this area through marrying Roxanne, and also local princess.


From Afghanistan, Alexanderturned eastern with hisarmy. In 326 BC, in the what is now the country of India, Alexander encountered his most complicated opponent, Porus,a local ruler. Porus had 200 battle elephants as component of his army. Porus impede Alexander's military from cross the Hydaspes River. Alexander offered trickery to cross the Hydaspes, and, in a hard-fought battle, in i m sorry Alexander shed several men, defeated Porus. Alexander to be so impression by Porus, that he permitted him to continue as the neighborhood ruler of the region.Alexander acquiredsome battle elephants and also riders from Porus.


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The battle of Hydaspes River, the porcupine bristle that the sarrisa against the old tank, the battle elephant.

After the fight of Hydaspes River, with a girlfriend in Porus come the west, Alexander wished to proceed east to China ~ above his search of total world domination, however, after the hard-fought victory against Porus, his troops had had enough. Plenty of soldiers hadn't checked out their family members for ten years, and wanted to return toGreece and also Macedonia.Alexander's army refused to monitor the king any type of farther east. After ~ retreating to his time to sulk for two days, Alexander arised saying the the gods willed the he should return home.

Alexander's military made the complicated march southern in what is currently Pakistan. Numerous obstacles and people unfriendly to Alexander dealt with him follow me the way.During a siege the a city,Alexander was virtually killed. Once Alexander got to the coastline at Pattala, he used ships come bringmany that the original soldiers the his army ago to Greece and also Macedonia, the rather he marched back through a desert. There was small water, and many of his soldiers died during this desert crossing.Alexander made it through the crossing,making itback to Babylon, the capital of his empire. In 323 BC, if in Babylon, Alexander got really sick v a fever and died. He had no plans for a follower to his empire, and also his infant son was too young come rule. Together his generals gathered roughly their dying king, they asked him whom he would leave his empire to, Alexander replied, "To the strongest!"

Alexander's generals take it his advice, and began to fight versus each other, each basic trying to carve out a big portion the the empirefor himself. This period was well-known as the wars of the Diadochi (Successors). The first battle was over Alexander's body.Whilehis coffinwas returning to Macedonia, the body was hijacked by Ptolemy,one that theDiadochi, and also brought come Alexandria, in Egypt, whereby it continued to be for year on display. In 301 BC, the Battleof Ipsus, in Asia Minor, including most that the Diadochi,saw among the successors, Antigonus, killed. Ipsusproved the nosingle leader would manage the whole empire, as the others would form alliances to loss the strongest.It was during these wars that Greek militaries learned exactly how to use war elephants, transforming these ancient tanks against each other. The riders the the elephants were always from India, asthe Greek-speakerscould not regulate the beasts.

Alexander's Legacy

Alexander spread Greek culture throughout the Persian Empire, including parts of Asia and Africa. Alexander respected the local cultures he conquered, and allowed their customs to continue. Alexander himself taken on local customs, attract Persian clothes and also marrying Persian women. Alexander encouraged hissoldiers to marry Persian women, in this way, the children of these marriages would re-publishing both Persian and also Greek cultures.

Alexandercreated the Hellenistic Age, a time as soon as Greek society mixed v the various cultures of Alexander's Empire. This was a time of breakthroughs in learning, math, art, and also architecture. Few of the an excellent names of finding out in this Age incorporate Archimedes, Hero, and also Euclid.It to be a time of family member peace, ~ the battles of the Diadochi (322-275 BC).

Because of the loved one peace throughout the Hellenistic Age, travel and also trade increased.Antipater that the city that Sidon, created a poem roughly 140 BC that provided seven wonders of the world. Antipater picked these buildings and also statues for there art and architecture. The list became a set of traveler attractions for human being of the old world.

The good cities that the Hellenistic Age consisted of Antioch in Syria, Pergamum in Asia Minor, and also Alexandria in Egypt, with its Library of Alexandria, the biggest library of the ancient world. Although none of these cities were in Greece, they allhad Greek architecture.


Art in the Hellenistic Agewas an extremely different from the Greek art of the the Hellenic Age. Previously Hellenic arts was idealistic, and also perfect. Hellenic statues resembled Greek gods, however in the Hellenistic Age, arts looked realistic, the way people really are, consisting of their flaws.

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

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