Hellenistic World

Topics: Hellenistic civilization, Roman Empire, Alexander the Great Pages: 2 (567 words) Published: December 5, 2011
What were the central political, economic, and social developments of the Hellenistic World? The Hellenistic era was the age of Alexander the Great and beyond roughly 300BC-30BC.  One of Alexander's generals was later appointed governor of Egypt and signified an end of the pharaohs of independent Egypt.  This was the age of Cleopatra and lasted until the Roman conquests in 30BC.  Alexander also appointed a governor for Babylonia as well.  This was the age of the rise of the Roman Empire as well.  The end of the Hellenistic Age came when Greece lost its independence and was directly annexed into the Roman Empire as another province.        With all the trade routes opened up by Alexander's conquests and in the inflow of Persia gold and silver, trade blossomed in the Hellenistic age and governments used that to augment revenues.  The agricultural population declined and landownership became more concentrated with many holdings of land going to the states.   The roles of the states grew and became more of a principal capitalist and owner.        With the increased inflow of gold and silver, the money was abundant and the roles of banks and large business houses grew.  While the age was prosperous, it was focused mostly on the ruling upper class.   Unemployment was large.  Working classes were poorly compensated and it became cheaper to pay a free cheap labor rather than maintain a slave.  The Hellenistic age also saw the rise of large metropolitan cities as fewer people lived in the countryside and concentrated on large cities such as Alexandria, Egypt. Many of the characteristic economic and social developments of the Hellenistic Age are equally suggestive of contemporary experience: the growth of big business, the expansion of trade, the zeal for exploration and discovery, the interest in mechanical inventions, ruthless competition among merchants, the devotion to comfort and the craze for material prosperity, the growth of metropolitan cities with...
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