How did Alexander the Great spread greek culture throughout his empire ?

 BattleofIssus333BC-mosaic-detail1.jpg How did Alexander the Great spread greek culture throughout his empire ? Whithin 10 years from 334 BC, the Greek Macedonian Alexander the Great broke the power of the Persian King Darius III , conquered with decisive battles all Persia and settled Greek empire stretched from Greece to the Indus River. Some people today still think they are Alexander descendants as the Kalash people from Afghanistan….

Alexander’s legacy includes the Greek cultural diffusion that his conquests engendered but how did Alexander the Great spread greek culture throughout his empire ? (photo above  Alexander fighting Darius III, Mosaic at Naples National Archaelogical museum)

  • He founded about 20 cities with his name « Alexandria« , for example Alexandria in Egypt with its library- important learning center-.
  • Development of all cities anyway and settlements situated on trade routes permited Greek culture to spread. The actors were Greek soldiers, traders, artisans helping setting cities.
  • He knew to combined knowledge led to science. His encouragement of scholarship brought many advances in science, mathematics, medicine discoveries
  • Greek style temples, theatres, gymnasia were built throughout the lands conquered by Alexander and also during the Hellenistic Period after Alexander’s death
  • Throughout the lands he conquered, we could find statues, architecture and inscriptions that have been found in abundance in many local areas,
  • Alexander’s settlement of Greek colonists who ruled lands is also a factor of Greek culture spread in the East
  • The spread of Greek culture can been seen through coinage and it worked as a propaganda because we could see commemorating events or Greek gods’ images
  • Greek ancient strong civilization introduces Greek language in the East Mediterranean aera till the 1st Christian period and before with Judaism.
  • He established intermarriage between his hundred of soldiers with the conquered people.
  • After his death, his lieutenants claimed parts of the Macedonian empire, creating several Hellenistic nations : Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt, Seleucid empire in Syria, Lysimachus kingdom also in Asia Minor etc. These states transmitted Greek culture till Roman conquests
AlexandreLouvre.jpg  (Portrait of Alexander the Great, copy from original of Lyssipos, 330 BC, Museum Louvre. Marble)

Greek legacy forever :  After Hellenistic period, Rome became the dominant power in the Mediterranean world, OK. However, the Greek legacy remains. Greek works in the sciences and arts set a standard for later people of Europe forever. Greek ideas about law, freedom, dependence, justice, and government status continue to influence political thinking till today !

Book Description

Alexander the Great (Alexander III of Macedon) was one of history’s great generals, born to the king of Macedon and educated by Aristotle. After his father’s death, Philip II, he succeeded to the throne and swiftly consolidated power. Over the next 13 years until his death at age 32, Alexander created one of the great empires of history, covering an area as far south as Egypt and as far east as Afghanistan and India. Most of the world that he conquered had been the province of the Persian Empire.

Upon his death his empire was broken up and ruled by his generals, the best known were the Ptolemies, who ruled Egypt until Cleopatra was defeated by Caesar. Alexandria, Egypt and many other Alexandrias throughout that part of the world were named in his honour.

Alexander’s greatest influence was not his leadership (his empire was eventually conquered by Rome), but spreading Greek culture throughout the lands east of the Mediterranean. He is the reason that gold coins from Afghanistan depicted Greek gods and heroes until as recently as several centuries ago. It is because of Alexander that St. Paul, a Jew who lived in modern-day Syria before travelling to modern-day Israel, spoke Greek, and it is because of Alexander that the earliest Christian documents, including the scriptures, were written in Greek.


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