Alexander the Great

and Hellenistic World

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Key Terms

1) Hegel’s “Great Man Theory of History” & Zeitgeist

2) koine

3) Cynicism & Diogenes

4) Epicureanism

5) Stoicism

6) Skepticism

7) Mithraism



I. Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.E.) and the Rise of the Hellenistic World





o  West meets East: Cultural Fusion and “Hellenization

o  Royal Government & King Worship:  The Eastern Model

o  Urban Elites & Cities’ Relative Autonomy

o  Cosmopolitanism and a lingua franca (Koine)

o  Large Cities (cosmopolis) and Large Economies

      Alexandria (Library and Lighthouse)

o  Alienated Individuals and the Decline of Civic Identity



II.  Hellenistic Thought and Religion




o  Cynicism:  Diogenes (400-325) (Diogenes Meets Alexander in Corinth)

o  Epicureanism:  Epicurus (342-271) 

o  Stoicism:  Zeno (325-263) and Epictetus (55 AD – 135 AD)

o  Skepticism:  Carneades (213-129)


o  Cult of Osiris and Isis

o  Mithraism


Looking Ahead:  Hellenistic Culture and Roman Civilization — The Conquest of the Conquered?