Empires of the Classical Greek and Hellenistic Periods

Please take the entrance survey ASAP (today or tomorrow). It is not graded, but it counts for 1% of your grade. You will take the same survey at the end of the semester.

Section shuffle!
All students in section 2462 have been moved to section 2463, which meets at the same time (7th period) in Matherly 103.

I need five volunteers from section 2460, which meets 6th period in Turlington 2318, to attend section 2465, which meets 6th period in Fl Gym 275. You will stay registered for 2460, but switch TAs. Please see me after class or send me an email today if you can do this. I appreciate the help.

We may be moving to Keene Flint on Thursdays. Check the course website for an announcement today or tomorrow.

Active reading assignment selections due today.

Reading for Friday: Pagden 1, 2, 3 + Mattern chapter.

Extra credit assignment due Friday: EOL and EEBO.




Empires of the ancient world: Assyrian, Egyptian, Achaemenid, Greek, Han, Roman

Time line of Ancient Greece


rise of the Greek city states and economy; Homeric epics


spread of commercial agr and rise of social protest (power of land-owning aristocrats challenged); nearly 300 independent city states by 600 (polis > politics)


Cyrus the Great forms the Persian empire


Persian Wars; Persian invasion of Athens (480)


Greek defeat of Persia; spread of Athenian empire


Athens at its height (Pericles, Phidias, Sophocles, Socrates…)


Peloponnesian Wars

c. 400-350

period of instability: periodic wars against the Persians and between Greek states; power vacuum




Philip II of Macedon; Macedonian conquests > spread of Greek culture into Egypt and western Asia


Madedonian empire; Alexander the Great


Hellenistic (=derived from the Greek) period


Flourishing of Hellenistic astronomy and mathematics

Source: Stearns, World Civilizations

classical Greece: c. 800-400 bce
Hellenistic period: c. 300-100 bce

significance and long-term influence of Greek culture and political forms

I. Greek society
A. identities

B. slavery

II.  Empire building
A. early colonization

Greek city states and colonia

B. the Athenian empire

the Persian Empire

the Delian league

Peloponnesian Wars (431-404)

pelo wars

C.  Macedonian empire/ Hellenistic period

1. Philip II (382-336 bce)


2. Alexander III (356-323 bce) [map]


Persian conquest

Granicus (334)
Isus (333)
Egypt (332)
Gaugamela (331)
Babylon (331)

In the Footsteps of Alexander: "No Going Back"

Alexander in India

Gandara region (capital: Taxila)
rajah of Taxila (Ambhi)
crossed the Jhelum River ["Crossing the Jhelum"]
rajah Porus
Magadha ["Monsoon Rains"]
Beas River
Mauryan Empire of Chandragupta

Kipling, "The Man Who Would Be King"


legacies of Alexander's empire

a. the nature of imperial power

conquest warfare

indirect rule/ collaboration

knowledge + power

b. ideology of empire building

cult of personality

universalism/ cosmopolitanism

policy of fusion