1 Ch. 6 Sec. 4 The Spread of Hellenistic Culture

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Transcript of 1 Ch. 6 Sec. 4 The Spread of Hellenistic Culture

  • Ch. 6 Sec. 4The Spread of Hellenistic Culture

  • Learning & CommerceThe conquests of Alexander the Great spread Greek culture to Egypt, S.W. Asia, & IndiaTrade routes linked the Hellenistic world & connected to China, India, & Arabia

  • Alexandria, Egypt the largest city became a leading commercial centerMany cities built by Alexander became centers of learning

  • The library at Alexandria contained thousands of papyrus scrolls full of knowledge & literature of the Hellenistic world As people became prosperous, education spread & new values brought freer lifestyles

  • For example, women of the Hellenistic world appeared more often in public & won new property rights

  • Religion & PhilosophyThe Greek concept of the polis declined in the new urban civilizationFor comfort, people turned to new religions & philosophies

  • Hellenistic Kings in Egypt & Asia encouraged ruler-worship, which gave people a new sense of civic duty to replace their role in the polisSome also turned to mystery religions, which introduced worshippers to secrets about the afterlife & these cults gave members a sense of control & belonging

  • Others turned to one of four schools of philosophy:1. the Cynics taught that people should live simply, w/out seeking pleasure, wealth, or status

  • 2. the Skeptics believed that all knowledge is uncertain bcuz the world is changing & by accepting this fact, people can achieve peace of mind

  • 3. The Stoic philosophy, established by Zeno in the late 300s B.C. said that divine reason directs the world, so people should accept their fate w/out complaint. Stoics believed that each person has some spark of the divine

  • 4. Epicurean philosophy, founded by Epicurus, taught that the aim of life is to seek pleasure & avoid pain, & that people could avoid suffering by limiting their desires

  • Science in the Hellenistic AgeGreeks became outstanding scientists & mathematiciansMany fields draw their basic understandings from Hellenistic discoveriesEuclid helped develop geometry by showing how geometric statements flow logically

  • Archimedes, the greatest Hellenistic scientist, calculated the value of piHe also explained how levers work & invented many machines, including the Archimedes screw, which draws water upward

  • MedicineAlexandria was the center of medicine, uniting Greek & Egyptian traditionsFrom the Egyptian art of embalming, doctors learned to examine & catalog the human body

  • Astronomy & geographyScientists advanced in astronomy, building on knowledge from Egypt & BabylonThey tracked the movements of stars & planets using geometryAristarchus believed that the earth & planets moved around the sun, but he failed to convince others

  • Hellenistic geographers knew the earth was roundEratosthenes calculated the distance around the earth w/ amazing accuracy, using the angle of the suns rays from different points on the globe

  • To learn anatomy, Alexandrian doctors studied the bodies of executed criminalsThey concluded that the brain is the center of the nervous system, plus, doctors learned to perform delicate surgery

  • One of the most brilliant mathematicians & astronomers of his time, he was asked to head the great Library of Alexandria