Ancient History 101 : Greece 07 - The Hellenistic Age.

The Hellenistic Age

Greece chapter 7 (283-ish - 80-ish BCE)

A number of new kingdoms began to emerge in the years after Alexander passed away.. Historians call these “Hellenistic,” meaning “Greek-like.” Many emerged in what used to be the Persian Empire (in the Middle East). The Greeks imposed their culture on these lands, bringing their customs. That’s why they’re called “Greek-like,” instead of “Greek.”

During this time, city-states began to dissolve and centers of culture moved to other places, like Alexandria in Egypt, and Ephesus and Antioch in Turkey.

These kingdoms thrived for over two centuries. It produced some of the finest art, architecture, and literature, but was still violent as rulers fought one another. None were able to become all-powerful like Alexander, however. The vacuum of power and in-fighting is what led to the rise of Rome’s domination. In 215 BC, parts of Greece made the fateful decision to ally with Carthage against Rome in what we know as the Punic Wars. They were soundly defeated (see below: Rome).

So for three hundred years after Alexander’s death, Greece fights. Who do they fight? Themselves. The city-states just can’t ever get their poop together again and unite for a common good. They share common cultures and religions and one other thing: an abiding motivation to get the best for themself. Basically, a total lack of national unity. This paves the way for Rome, who at first is less sophisticated and much less powerful, to come along and completely take over.

Additional notes

Some historians consider 31 AD to mark the end of the Hellenistic Age. This is when Rome conquered Egypt.


Introduction to Ancient History, from the Paleolithic Era to the fall of Rome, and how the lives, cultures, decisions, and actions of these periods affects our modern lives.

Education for most ages and for all curious people.
Written by Joseph Ivan Long with curiosity, humbleness, and a big grin.