THE HISTORY: Hellenistic Period (336-30 B.C.)
On the death of Alexander, a bitter struggle broke out among his generals for the succession. The clashes and the quarrels lasted for three centuries as the Macedonian empire was split up among the "successors" Three Kingdoms were formed: the kingdom of Macedonia; the kingdom of Greece proper; the kingdom of Egypt, which was ruled by the dynasty of the Ptolemies and the kingdom of Antioch, ruled by the dynasty of the Seleucids. Hellenism had now expanded beyond its metropolitan bounds and had created new centres of culture. The Greeks had made the discovery that they were not only members of a narrow community like that of the "city-state" but of a broader, civilized and Hellenized community. The Epicurean and Stoic philosophers taught new ideas of brotherhood while the Cynics became beaters of more radical messages and considered themselves to be "citizens of the world". The Museum of Alexandna and the Library of Pergamon became renowned cosmopolitan centres of arts and letters from which great poets of the 3rd century B.C. emerged such as Apollonius, Callimachus and Theocritus.
The Roman Conquest
But the long-lasting wars among the successors weakened
the new states to the extent that they fell easy prey to the Romans. The Romans
conquered Greece in 146 B.C. but in conquering the East they were charmed by
it and imitated its culture. They were deeply Influenced by it in all aspects
of their lives and it changed their habits, manners and customs. This is why
their civilization was known as the "GrecoRoman civilization" The
Roman Empire began to decline in the middle of the 4th century A.D.