Friday, October 18, 2019

Alexander and Hellenism cultures Research Paper

Alexander and Hellenism cultures - Research Paper Example This essay discusses the influence of Alexander the Great on Hellenistic society, economy, culture, and arts. Alexander’s Life and War When Alexander the Great’s father, Philip of Macedon, died in 336 B.C., he immediately occupied the throne. Through his mentor Aristotle, Alexander largely appreciated Greek culture. He was fascinated by the Homeric epics. He was inspired by the heroic achievements and determination of the characters, especially Achilles (Pollitt 1986, 271). But Alexander, just like these Homeric heroes, also possessed remarkable leadership and military abilities which he inherited from his father. Alexander also took over his father’s major state plan, which was the ultimate defeat of Persia. This mission fuelled the daring character of Alexander. Alexander was a student of Isocrates, an orator who supported a campaign against Persia to unify the Greeks within a single objective (Burn 1948, 11-12). Philip had planned to defend his ownership of Gr eece by preventing the advance of Persia to Asia Minor; but his son, who was very ambitious, sought to invade the whole Persian kingdom. Leading a massive army in 334 B.C., Alexander passed through Asia Minor, and finally moved forward to India. Because of his excellent military, leadership, and strategy skills, Alexander’s armed forces had built an empire which extended from Greece to India. After Alexander’s reign, the world had never been the same again. His adventures and conquests introduced Eastern and Western cultures to each other (Curtis 2000, 66). Alexander himself contributed to this massive change, whether purposely or unintentionally. He married a Persian woman, encouraged the intermarriage between his soldiers and Asian women, and enlisted Persian soldiers into his army. He built city-states in Asia, where Greek immigrants intermarried with the local peoples (Perry 2012, 616). But, as argued by Pollitt (1986), even though Alexander was not able to bring a ll the peoples and cultures together in a world-state, his conquests drove the world in a new path, toward a union of diverse populations and the mixing together of cultures. Alexander’s conquest was indeed the driving force for the advancement of the Hellenistic culture all over the Near East and western Mediterranean. His conquest also created the foundation for the establishment of Christianity, the Roman Empire, and other major features of Western history. The Influence of the Expedition of Alexander the Great on Hellenistic Culture The era of cosmopolitan culture and global interaction emerged after the semi-Hellenized Philip of Macedon had tore down the self-rule of city-states, and Alexander had invaded the Persian kingdom. In 332 B.C.E., Alexander conquered Palestine, then Egypt; and since then the situation of the Jewish people was transformed. The objective as well as the impact of Alexander’s achievements was to bring the East and the West together intellect ually and politically. Nationalistic sentiments were barely shown by the peoples of Eastern societies, except for the Jewish and Persian people (Skelton & Dell 2009, 93, 26). Nationalism was growing weaker among the Greeks. Alexander aspired to create a remarkable mixture of knowledge in a global empire, which, through a grouping of local cultures and racial superiorities in a bigger and wider political sphere, should promote arts and knowledge and spread the Hellenic

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