Tag Archives: hellenization

Greece’s savage conqueror

“Conquered Greece took captive her savage conqueror and brought her arts into rustic Latium” —Horace, that old smartypants

Don’t forget! We’re still looking for dialogue for these two Roman characters admiring a Greek vase. Deadline is midnight Thursday, February 25! https://johnmanders.wordpress.com/2021/02/18/we-need-a-gag-writer/

Greek culture—and the Greek alphabet—flourished and got spread around the Mediterranean world by Alexander the Great, through his program of Hellenization. We talked about this a few posts back when I was yapping about the Rosetta stone. Eventually Alexander’s empire got taken over by the Roman Empire.



The Romans were crazy about Greek culture. They loved the architecture, the statues, the literature, the theater, their weird habit of painting on wet plaster—and the alphabet. They liked the alphabet so much they adopted it as their own. The Romans changed a few of the Greek letters. They didn’t have J, K, U and W. But the Latin alphabet is pretty much the one we use today here in good old Western Civilization.

https://www.enotes.com/homework-help/what-some-ways-romans-adopted-greek-culture-436508
https://www.thoughtco.com/roman-culture-117887
https://diasporatravelgreece.com/how-did-greek-culture-influence-the-development-of-roman-civilization/
http://www.antiquitatem.com/en/graecia-capta-greek-culture-quignard/

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Alexander whups the Persians

Alexander whupping the Persians

Around two hundred years after King Cambyses II took over Egypt, north of the Mediterranean Sea a guy named Alexander the Great was busy building his own empire. Alexander was a big fan of Greece and Greek culture so of course he wanted to spread it around.

In 331 bc Alexander beat the Persians, conquered Egypt and founded a city on the Nile delta—which he cleverly named Alexandria. Alexandria became a center of Greek culture, the home of the ancient world’s biggest library and the go-to spot for top scholars (you long-time loyal readers remember those big thinkers from The Western Civ User’s Guide to Time & Space). Alexander insisted that Greek culture be spread throughout his empire. Everybody had to learn to speak Greek. All official letters were written in Greek. Every diner had to serve gyros and baklava and coffee in those paper coffee cups that have Greek designs printed on them.

Hellenization

Alexander went around conquering everything and eventually ruled the biggest empire the world had ever seen, bigger than the Persian Empire even. When he died, his empire got divided up between his generals. General Ptolemy got Egypt.

https://www.ducksters.com/history/ancient_egypt/late_period_and_persian_rule.php
https://www.ageofempires.com/history/greek-culture/
https://www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/alexander-the-great
http://peace.saumag.edu/faculty/kardas/Courses/HP/Lectures/alexanderhellenization.html
https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ptolemy-I-Soter
https://untappedcities.com/2017/06/21/nyc-fun-facts-the-story-behind-the-famous-greek-coffee-cups/

Back to the beginning of The Western Civ User’s Guide to Reading & Writing.