Essay on The Age of Alexander

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The Age of Alexander

The conquests of Alexander the Great spread Hellenism immediately over the Middle East and far into Asia. After his death in 323 B.C., the influence of Greek civilization continued to expand over the Mediterranean world and W Asia. The wars of the Diadochi marked, it is true, the breakup of Alexander's brief empire, but the establishment of Macedonian dynasties in Egypt, Syria, and Persia (the Ptolemies and the Seleucidae) helped to mold the world of that day into a wider unity of trade and learning.

The Hellenistic period was an international, cosmopolitan age. Commercial contacts were widespread and peoples of many ethnic and religious backgrounds merged in populous urban centers. Advances were made in various
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B.C. Pergamum was also prominent, and there were other cities of influence (e.g., Dura).

In the Hellenistic period, although the cities were no longer independent, as they had been in the Hellenic era, they were the centers of trade and craft industry. It was in the cities that the descendants of the Greco-Macedonian conquerors became a professional class of rulers and soldiers and merchants, which provided a cultural and economic bond throughout the area, even though political unity did not survive the death of Alexander. Among the Greek ruling class, the old loyalties to the Polis had given way to a dedication to the profession. As the administrators and the merchants of their world, in spite of being in the minority, they had an influence out of proportion to their numbers. The city of Alexandria, founded by Alexander, located on the Mediterranean at the mouth of the Nile, became the most prominent center of commerce and learning. The library in Alexandria became the depository for recording many of the literary and scientific achievements of the time.

Although women continued to have a subordinate status, some lucky few of the wealthy and ruling classes, would have the opportunity to become involved in commerce or in intellectual activities. For the
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