Hellenistic period (330-30 BCE) covers the death of the Great Alexander in 323 BCE up to the death of Cleopatra and also annexation of Egypt in 30 BCE by the Romans. This period was the age for many kings who were former generals of the great Alexander. Fight for wealth, territory and glory was the main issue of the kings. Due to these foment wars, the kingdom of Hellenistic grew weaker and weaker and as a result, they were observed by the Romans into 1st and 2nd centuries BCE.
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Alexander’s empire had quick growth which also collapsed quickly. Sine he died untimely without making provision of his succession, his empire got a very big turmoil. When he died in Babylon, he left behind his brother, Philip Arrhideaeus who was ill half mentally. His last word while in his death bed when he was asked who would be his successor, he said the Kingdom shall remain with the strongest (Burn 1848).
Hellenistic philosophy is used to represent philosophical options which flourished during times of Alexander the Great from 356-323 BCS up to the late CE second century. Before Alexander started his conquest in the period of 335 BCE, the culture of Greek had widely spread through Mediterranean region. The fact was that, Alexander was Macedonian, a nationality related to but self consciously distinct from the Greeks. He was a Hellenized person. Alexander perceived Hellenization as a desirable imperial policy.
For one, he believed that the Greek culture was only the best culture available and secondly he wanted to be cohesion in his domain which was rapidly growing. Later he had established several conquered cities as Greek cities. The cities were intended as colonial settlement centers and transformation into the image of Greek political and cultural order. The Hellenistic culture on the other hand did not capture the former splend or of Greece. Instead, it accentuated the common lowest denominators among its several diverse subjects and citizens, so as to maintain peace and facilitate day to day living standards. The Religion in the Hellenistic world was mixed up. Small groups, for instance the zealots had violent resistance to colonization while Herodian kings who were ruling Empires preferred culture of Greek to Jewish heritage (Burn 1848).
Alexander’s general later met at Babylon to choose, a successor. His brother Arrhidaeus was proposed but due to his ill health, he could not make it. The other option was to wait until Alexander’s pregnant wife Rozxane to give birth and if it were a son, then he would qualify the succession legally. Many other proposals were made but seemed not to work. In 321 BCE a meeting was held at Tripparadelsus which was conducted by new warlords and former generals of Alexander.
New regulations discussed in the meting led to division of the empire of Alexander. The empires partition came to be along period of war fare between the generals instead of being the termination of the problems. Antipater suggested a new administration system which was supported by all other generals. Antipater was then appointed to head of state affairs. Antigonus as the chief commander of Cavary forces in place of perdiccas. In the stratples, there was no change made except to the general who killed Perdicass who was made the Satrap of Babylon. Later Ptolemaic Dynasty I got appointed as the ruler of Egypt by Alexander the Great who was one of the possible Alendaer’s Empire successors (Burn 1848, p.45).
Due to usual crisis which created insecurity environment for the ordinary dwellers, the parochial cultures were under threats from homogenizing influences of colonies. Cultures ran only on patronage of “do you know anybody” (Winner 1962). Secret clubs and mystery cults created communities where the people shamed by their sense of dislocation s and recognition. This clearly indicated that Hellenistic philosophy turned its back on main stream society and politics in favor of concerns of the small philosophical groups.
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Burn A, (1848). Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Empire. New York.
Winner P, (1962). Ideas in culture perspective. New Brunswick.