World History 1 91 - 6.3 The Hellenistic Era

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Explain the events that led to the rise of Alexander the Great
  • Analyze Alexander the Great’s successes as a military and political leader
  • Discuss the role that Alexander the Great’s conquests played in spreading Greek culture

The Classical period in Greece ended when Greece lost its freedom to the Kingdom of Macedon and Macedon’s king Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire. The period that followed Alexander’s death is known as the Hellenistic period (323–31 BCE). Alexander’s empire was divided among his top generals, including Seleucus, Ptolemy, and Antigonus. During this time, Greeks, also called Hellenes, ruled over and interacted with the populations of the former Persian Empire. The resulting mixture of cultures was neither Greek nor non-Greek but “Greek-like,” or Hellenistic, a term that refers to the flourishing and expansion of Greek language and culture throughout the Mediterranean and Near East during this period.

The content of this course has been taken from the free World History, Volume 1: to 1500 textbook by Openstax