1. Philip II of Macedon completed conquest of Greece by 338 b.c.e.
a. political unification of Greece by force
b. plan for great Greek expedition against Persia
2. Alexander’s expedition against Persia (333–323 b.c.e.)
a. created a massive Greek empire that reached from Egypt and Anatolia to Afghanistan and
b. defeat of Persian Empire, destruction of Persepolis
c. Alexander anointed as pharaoh of Egypt, declared to be “son of the gods”
3. Alexander died in 323 b.c.e.; empire divided into three kingdoms, ruled by Macedonian generals 4. Alexander’s conquests were most important in world history terms for creation of the
Hellenistic era (323–30 b.c.e.)
a. dissemination of Greek culture through much of Asia and Egypt
b. role of cities in spread of Greek culture
i. Alexander and successors established many cities ii. many thousands of Greek settlers iii. Greek public centers and government iv. Alexandria (Egypt) as great cosmopolitan center
a. library of 700,000 volumes
b. the Museum: sponsorship of scholars
5. A simplified form of Greek was widely spoken from Mediterranean to India
a. Indian monarch Ashoka published some of his decrees in Greek
b. many Jews were attracted to Greek culture; Pharisees developed their own school system to counter the influence
6. Hellenistic cities were much more culturally diverse than original Greek city-states
a. were not independent, but part of conquest states
b. Macedonians and Greeks formed the elite
i. efforts to remain separate from the natives ii. periodic rebellions against Greek exploitation
c. cultural interaction and blending were still possible
i. Alexander encouraged intermarriage ii. Greek rulers supported native cults iii. many natives became Greek citizens by adopting Greek education and culture iv. in India, Greeks became part of Ksatriya (warrior) caste
v. some Bactrian Greeks converted to Buddhism, including King Menander vi. depiction of the Buddha in human form, Greek style
7. Roman rule replaced that of Greeks in western part of Hellenistic world
a. continued to spread Greek culture and ideas
III. Comparing Empires: Roman and Chinese
A. The Roman and Chinese empires had little direct contact but interesting similarities.
1. both flourished ca. 200 b.c.e.–200 c.e.
2. were of similar size (about 1.5 million square miles)
3. both had 50 million to 60 million people
4. between them, they controlled nearly half the world’s population
5. interesting variations on imperial theme
B. Rome: From City-State to Empire
1. started as small, unimportant city-state in central Italy in eighth century b.c.e.
2. overthrew monarchy and established a republic ca. 509 b.c.e.
a. dominance of wealthy patricians
b. rule by two consuls, with advice from Senate
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3. conflict with plebeians (poorer classes)
a. developed into political role for the plebeians
b. tribunes represented plebeians, could veto legislation
4. pride in republican values: rule of law, citizens’ rights, lack of pretension, morality—“the way of the ancestors”
5. creation of the empire
a. began in 490s b.c.e. with wars to control Italian peninsula
b. 264–146 b.c.e.: Punic Wars with Carthage
i. gave Rome control over western Mediterranean ii. made Rome a naval power
c. conquest of Greece, Egypt, Mesopotamia, and present-day Spain, France, and
d. reached greatest geographical extent in early second century c.e.
e. gradual, unplanned pursuit of opportunities
f. skill and brutality of Roman army
g. usually generous treatment of conquered peoples
6. political crisis of first century b.c.e.
a. rise of military leaders (Marius, Sulla, Pompey, Julius Caesar)
b. decline of republican values
c. Caesar Augustus