Introduction

Week 6

Introduction

Alexander the Great at the Battle of the Granicus against the Persians - a painting by Cornelis Troost

In the context of ancient Greek art, architecture, and culture, Hellenistic Greece corresponds to the period between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the annexation of the classical Greek heartlands by the Roman Republic. This culminated at the Battle of Corinth in 146 BC, a crushing Roman victory in the Peloponnese that led to the destruction of Corinth and ushered in the period of Roman Greece.

The Hellenistic period began with the wars of the Diadochi, armed contests among the former generals of Alexander the Great to carve up his empire in Europe, Asia, and North Africa. The wars lasted until 275 BC, witnessing the fall of both the Argead and Antipatrid dynasties of Macedonia in favor of the Antigonid dynasty. The era was also marked by successive wars between the Kingdom of Macedonia and its allies against the Aetolian League, Achaean League, and the city-state of Sparta.

Alexander III of Macedon (20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king of the Ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty. He was born in Pella in 356 BC and succeeded his father Philip II to the throne at the age of twenty. He spent most of his ruling years on an unprecedented military campaign through Asia and northeast Africa, and he created one of the largest empires of the ancient world by the age of thirty, stretching from Greece to northwestern India. He was undefeated in battle and is widely considered one of history’s most successful military commanders.