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Polystratus, offering water to dying King Darius, who thanks him and Alexander for their kindness

The Hellenistic Period (336 to 30 BC)


Epigoni completed Alexander's cultural work


The Greek islands

Brief history of Greece
The Prehistoric Period
The first Greeks
Hellas & the Hellenes
The Classical Period
Democracy in Greece
The Persian wars
Golden Age of Pericles
Map of Ancient Greece
The Macedonians
Alexander The Great
The Hellenistic period
Macedonia
Map of Hellenistic World
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The Hellenistic Period

Many ancient historians (the most important being Arrhianus), wrote about the expeditions of Alexander the Great. Many modern historians and military critics have dealt with them too, and quite justly he has been considered as the greatest military leader in history.

However it is his work in spreading civilization that is of particular significance. By carrying the torch of
Alexander defeating Darius at IssusGreek culture and the Greek language to the sources of the Nile and the Indus rivers he widened the horizons of civilized Man. Modern excavations in the Middle East and India have corroborated and proved the facts concerning the educative work of Alexander the Great, mentioned by contemporary writers.

After his untimely death, due to a fever, he left no heirs, and his empire was divided among his generals who are known as the Epigoni. During the age of the Epigoni the cultural work of Alexander the Great was firmly established and completed. This was the beginning of the Hellenistic period. During the Hellenistic age the fine arts did not of course reach the perfection of Pheidias (500-420 B.C.) and Praxiteles (390-355 B.C.) and others, yet they cause admiration, not as antiquities, but as works of art. In the applied sciences however e.g. highway construction, bridge building, harbor works, astronomy, geodesy etc. the Hellenistic period added great glory to Greek Thought.

The harbor works of one of the many cities of Alexandria, Alexandria on the mouth of the Nile, were colossal works of engineering. According to the prevalent opinion this library was burned when Julius Caesar conquered Alexandria in 47 BC. The library of Alexandria in Egypt, founded by one of the Epigoni, Ptolemy the Philadelphus (304-247 BC), comprised of 700.000 papyrus manuscripts. The other theory, that the library was burned by the Arab Khalif Omar in the Seventh Century AD, does not seem to correspond to the truth. The destruction of the Alexandria library and that of the library of Pergamos, on the Asia Minor coast, which contained 200.000 papyrus manuscripts were a dire blow to Greek culture and to the civilization of the Western World.

I stood upon the soil of Greece at  last!  (Oscar Wilde)
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The Hellenistic period is considered to have come to an end in the year 30 BC when the Romans conquered the last province of the Hellenistic State of the Ptolemies, Egypt.

After having outlined the main events of the Hellenistic period, we will discuss the arguments that confirm the fact that the Macedonians had a Greek national consciousness since the first Macedonian Kings in the ninth century.

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General info on the islands

Windsurfing in Paros
Driving & cycling in Naxos
One day cruise to Poros
Relaxing holidays - Paxos
Zakynthos and its turtles

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