Article

Hellenistic Literature

Dee Clayman

in Classics

ISBN: 9780195389661
Published online December 2009 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195389661-0051
Hellenistic Literature

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The Hellenistic era, so named by J. G. Droysen, begins with the death of Alexander the Great in 323 bce and ends in 31 bce, when the Romans effectively took control of the Mediterranean after the battle of Actium. The term was later applied to the cultural output of the age by Wilamowitz. The upheavals in art and literature, philosophy and science that characterize this period are usually attributed to the dramatic political and social changes that swept over the Greek world after Alexander's death. This picture is complicated by the fact that some aspects of the Hellenistic appear in the last part of the 4th century, when the social and political changes that theoretically inspired them were only just getting under way. Though these and other difficulties have challenged the traditional definition, on the whole it has proven to be a useful label.

Article.  11311 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Classical Art and Architecture ; Classical History ; Classical Literature ; Classical Philosophy

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