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Alexander the Great

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Alexander the Great's conquests had an immense and beneficial impact on the Afro-Eurasian world. He put practices into play that changed everything from religion, to economy and education. The way that he transformed the entire Mediterranean area made it become a rich prosperous land both economically and culturally.

Throughout Alexander's campaign he encouraged cultural mingling. As he conquered lands the people would then learn and take on certain aspects from other cultures. Goods were transported from land to land as well as language and religion. So strong was Alexander's desire for intercultural mixing that he married Roxanna, the daughter of a Bactrian Chief from Central Asia. Taking the best aspects from each culture he was able to create a world of wealth and prosperity for his people.3

Syria, Palestine, Egypt and Mesopotamia were exposed to commodities of the Mediterranean for the first time. As trade flourished and goods were exchanged throughout Alexander's kingdom, wealth and economic stability was created. Many of the trade based civilizations adopted a money based economy and started using coins more frequently. This was fueled by Alexander issuing gold coins to pay for his invasions. As he made his way through each land conquering them he took the money from the Persian Lords and poured it into his own land's economy. This act helped to fuel economic expansion in the Mediterranean.

A Hellenistic culture was created from the intermingling of many cultures which benefited the land and its people in countless ways. Philosophical and political thinking were encouraged. Education was offered to Alexander's people in every subject ranging from history to biology. Entertainment was abundant and came in many forms. Theatrical productions were written and performed for the enjoyment of the people. Live competitive games were held to bring people together in a social and entertaining setting. Art was created in many different forms and mediums and put on display for the simple delight of sharing and viewing it. One of the major changes the Hellenistic culture brought to this period was a unified language. Greek, or Koine, replaced dozens of dialects and really pulled the lands together as a unified kingdom.

There were some people who resisted the movement. The Jews were among the groups who were resistant to the changes. A lot of their ruling elite accepted Hellenism and began to adopt Greek ways. Many Jews rebelled against the common elements of Hellenism including its language, music, arts, nudity and secularism. They found these elements to be deeply immoral and threatening to their Jewish beliefs. This resistance led to an all-out uprising in 166 BC. The Jews were able to establish an independent Jewish state centered on the temple in Jerusalem. While some cultures were resistant to the Hellenistic movement most were able



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