Hellenistic Culture

Susan Stephens

in The Oxford Handbook of Hellenic Studies

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780199286140
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

Hellenistic Culture

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  • Classical Studies
  • Ancient Greek History
  • Classical Poetry



This article suggests an appeal to a broader cultural contextualization, calling on scholars to look at the interactions between Greek and non-Greek cultures in the Hellenistic period, which followed the reign of Alexander, and in which he continued to enjoy cult status. It emphasizes contrasting trends that emerge in relation to ethnic identity: non-Greeks learn Greek and adopt Greek customs; while Greeks often marry into local non-Greek populations, speak native languages, and practise native manners and rituals. In the West, however, the centre of power is Rome, and, as indicated by contemporary literature and art, both Greeks and non-Greeks find themselves responding and adapting to its growing cultural and political dominance.

Keywords: cultural contextualization; Hellenistic period; Greek culture; Alexander; non-Greek cultures; Rome; political dominance

Article.  5419 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Ancient Greek History ; Classical Poetry

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