Alexander to Actium: The Historical Evolution of the Hellenistic Age

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University of California Press, 1993 - History - 970 pages
13 Reviews
The Hellenistic Age, the three extraordinary centuries from the death of Alexander in 323 B. C. to Octavian's final defeat of Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium, has offered a rich and variegated field of exploration for historians, philosophers, economists, and literary critics. Yet few scholars have attempted the daunting task of seeing the period whole, of refracting its achievements and reception through the lens of a single critical mind. Alexander to Actium was conceived and written to fill that gap.

In this monumental work, Peter Green—noted scholar, writer, and critic—breaks with the traditional practice of dividing the Hellenistic world into discrete, repetitious studies of Seleucids, Ptolemies, Antigonids, and Attalids. He instead treats these successor kingdoms as a single, evolving, interrelated continuum. The result clarifies the political picture as never before. With the help of over 200 illustrations, Green surveys every significant aspect of Hellenistic cultural development, from mathematics to medicine, from philosophy to religion, from literature to the visual arts.

Green offers a particularly trenchant analysis of what has been seen as the conscious dissemination in the East of Hellenistic culture, and finds it largely a myth fueled by Victorian scholars seeking justification for a no longer morally respectable imperialism. His work leaves us with a final impression of the Hellenistic Age as a world with haunting and disturbing resemblances to our own. This lively, personal survey of a period as colorful as it is complex will fascinate the general reader no less than students and scholars.
  

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Review: Alexander to Actium: The Historical Evolution of the Hellenistic Age

User Review  - Stephen Betts - Goodreads

Green is not only skilled historian, but a surprisingly adroit wordsmith. Far from the normal, dry fare I have learned to expect from introductory histories (or any histories for that matter) Alexander to Actium was a delight from beginning to end. Read full review

Review: Alexander to Actium: The Historical Evolution of the Hellenistic Age

User Review  - Alicia Roque Ruggieri - Goodreads

Wonderful resource for writers as well as entertaining in its own right. Read full review

Contents

part one ALEXANDERS FUNERAL GAMES 323276 B C
3
Ptolemy Philadelphos and Antigonus Gonatas
137
Polybius and the New Era
269
Antiochus III Philip V and the Roman Factor
286
Exploration Assimilation
312
Production Trade Finance
362
Slavery Revolution
382
Ruler Cults Traditional Religion and the Ambivalence
396
Science as Praxis
467
Hellenistic Medicine or The Eye Has Its Limitations
480
An Ideological Resistance
497
Ptolemaic and Scleucid Decadence and the Rise
525
Mithridates Sulla and the Freedom of the Greeks
547
The Mass Market
566
Foreign and Mystery Cults Oracles Astrology Magic
586
Academics Skeptics Peripatetics Cynics
602

The Decline and Fall
414
The Wilderness as Peace 167146
435
The Alternative
453
The Garden of Epicurus
618
Copyright

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About the author (1993)

Peter Green is Dougherty Centennial Professor of Classics at the University of Texas at Austin. A novelist and translator as well as a scholar, he is the author of many books, including The Laughter of Aphrodite: A Novel about Sappho of Lesbos (California, 1993).

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