The past few centurieshttp://www.timemaps.com/history/middle-east-500bc have seen the huge Persian empire conquered in a series of brilliant campaigns by the young Alexander the Great,http://www.timemaps.com/history-middle-east#5 king of Macedonia, between 333 and 323 BC. These campaigns involved armies largely recruited from amongst the city-states of Greece.
Alexander’s empire failed to survive his early death, and his generals, together with some local princes, divided his conquests amongst themselves. These rulers and their descendants – the Ptolemies in Egypt,http://www.timemaps.com/history/ancient-egypt-200bc the Seleucids in Syria,http://www.timemaps.com/history/syria-200bc Mesopotamiahttp://www.timemaps.com/history/iraq-200bc and Iran,http://www.timemaps.com/history/iran-200bc and various dynasties in Asia Minorhttp://www.timemaps.com/history/turkey-200bc – have founded numerous Greek-style cities, which can now be found scattered across the Middle Eastern world as far as India, and from which the ruling classes of these kingdoms are drawn. In them, Greek cultural traditions mix with more ancient native elements to form a fascinating hybrid civilization which modern scholars label “Hellenistic”.http://www.timemaps.com/civilization/Hellenistic-period It is at this time that some of the most spectacular “Greek” artistic and intellectual achievements occur.
ORIGINAL SOURCE: timemaps.com