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The Hellenistic Age

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The Hellenistic era witnessed the overlap of antiquity’s two great Western civilizations, the Greek and the Roman. This was the epoch of Alexander’s vast expansion of the Greco-Macedonian world, the rise and fall of his successors’ major dynasties in Egypt and Asia, and, ultimately, the establishment of Rome as the first Mediterranean superpower.

The Hellenistic Age chronicles the years 336 to 30 BCE, from the days of Philip and Alexander of Macedon to the death of Cleopatra and the final triumph of Caesar’s heir, the young Augustus. Peter Green’s remarkably far-ranging study covers the prevalent themes and events of those centuries: the Hellenization of an immense swath of the known world–from Egypt to India–by Alexander’s conquests; the lengthy and chaotic partition of this empire by rival Macedonian marshals after Alexander’s death; the decline of the polis (city state) as the predominant political institution; and, finally, Rome’s moment of transition from republican to imperial rule.

Predictably, this is a story of war and power-politics, and of the developing fortunes of art, science, and statecraft in the areas where Alexander’s coming disseminated Hellenic culture. It is a rich narrative tapestry of warlords, libertines, philosophers, courtesans and courtiers, dramatists, historians, scientists, merchants, mercenaries, and provocateurs of every stripe, spun by an accomplished classicist with an uncanny knack for infusing life into the distant past, and applying fresh insights that make ancient history seem alarmingly relevant to our own times.

To consider the three centuries prior to the dawn of the common era in a single short volume demands a scholar with a great command of both subject and narrative line. The Hellenistic Age is that rare book that manages to coalesce a broad spectrum of events, persons, and themes into one brief, indispensable, and amazingly accessible survey.

From the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

29 January 2007 – Although the Hellenistic Age flourished for barely 300 years, its contributions to world history are countless. Eminent historian Green—whose classic Alexander to Actium remains the most expansive and thorough introduction to the period—offers a marvelous survey of the key people, places and events of the years from 337 B.C., when Alexander came to power, to the death of Cleopatra in 30 B.C. Nimbly weaving history and cultural insights, Green chronicles how Alexander led Macedonia through heroism and canny political alliances. After Alexander's death, power was divided between the Ptolemies, who ruled Egypt, and the Seleucids, who ruled Greece, marking the beginning of the end of the Greek city-states that had been the hallmark of the classical Greek age. The civic masculine bonding so pervasive in Alexander's day was replaced by the familial bonding of husband and wife. Science replaced poetry and comedy replaced tragedy as the cultural hallmarks of society. Yet much remained the same: aristocratic rulers still used slaves to do their fighting for them, and monarchs still defied attempts to bring democracy into government. Green's splendid little study (a new entry in Modern Library's Chronicles series) provides a brilliant introduction to this crucial transitional period.
The Hellenistic Age
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  • 11,99 €
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Ancient
  • Published: 03 April 2007
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Print Length: 240 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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