Alexander the Great and His influence…

Alexander the Great is an important character in our study of the backgrounds of early Christianity. Alexander is the son of Philip II a Macedonian king that eventually “became ruler of all Greece after the battle of Chaerona in 338 B.C. Probably on of the early important influences on young Alexander’s life that will be impact his later love of Greek culture is his early educationally training by Aristotle. One of his chief contributions to the regions around the Mediterranean is that “he accelerated the pace of change? (Ferguson, 13). Alexander was a skilled military leader and “in his conquests Alexander recognized and accepted what he found. He came to preserve and not destroy, so he retained the governmental systems he found…he showed his Greek feeling by founding Greek cities. These became centers for the diffusion of Greek culture? (Ferguson, 12). Along with the military superiority of Greece, Alexander’s influence on the Mediterranean world can be seen in the following ten areas:
“(1) The movement of Greeks abroad (Ferguson, 13)
“(2) The accelerated speed of the conquest by Greek culture? Alexander’s conquests carried Greek culture “farther inland and hastened its acceptance in more areas by more people? (Ferguson, 14). Ferguson also mentions that this dissemination of Greek culture will have a significant impact on the Near East, as well as the Jews and “in time the real differentiation became a way of life, culture not descent? (Ferguson, 14).
“(3) The emergence of one world economically. Alexander established one currency, silver coins based on the Attic standard? (Ferguson, 14).
“(4) The further spread of the Greek language…the form of the Greek language that emerged is called koine (common) Greek, and is largely based on the Attic dialect? (Ferguson, 14).
“(5) A body of ideas accepted by all. A far larger proportion of the non-Greek population acquired a modicum of Greek ideas?(Ferguson, 14).
“(6) A higher level of education? (Ferguson, 14).
“(7) The spread of Greek deities and cultus…Greek deities were identified with native deities and vice versa? (Ferguson, 14)
“(8) The emergence of philosophy as representing a way of life (Ferguson, 14).
“(9) The framework of society around the polis…Cities – rather than temple-states, villages, or the country side – became the bases of society…along side this social development was the decline in the political importance of city-states? (Ferguson, 14).
“(10) Increase in individualism? (Ferguson, 14).

Alexander’s successors also influence the Mediterranean a great deal. After Alexander’s death, his military leaders tried to stabilize the kingdom for Alexander’s “half-wit brother and the son of his wife Roxanne, still unborn at the time of his death? (Ferguson, 15). Ferguson highlights the more significant of Alexander’s successors, and they are as follows: “Antipater and is son Cassander, who gained control of Macedonia; Lysimachus, who ruled in Thrace; Ptolemy I, who secured Egypt; and Antigonus, whose base of operations was Asia? (Ferguson, 16).

I will look briefly at two of this kingdoms:

Ptolemies – Egypt

“Each Egyptian king in the Hellenistic age wore the name of the dynasty’s founder, Ptolemy, son of Lagus, a Macedonian noble? (Ferguson, 16). This dynasty “founded or developed only three Greek cities –Alexandria, Naucratis, and Ptolemais? and “by 200 Alexandria was the greatest city of the Mediterranean world and was surpassed only by Rome? (Ferguson 17-16).

Seleucids – Syria

“The names Seleucus and Antiochus alternate through the Seleucid dynasty? (Ferguson, 18). This empire “had three nerve centers – Ionia (Sardis), Syria (Antioch), and Babylonia (Seleucia) – but was finally reduced to the middle region? (Ferguson, 19).

In each of these kingdoms the spread of Greek culture was continued, and with the beginning of the rise of Rome each one of these kingdoms were finally overtaken and made apart of the Roman Empire.

Works Cited:
1. Everett Ferguson, Backgrounds of Early Christianity, 3rd. Ed. Eerdmands, 2003


About Jason Retherford

The random musings of a youth minister.
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12 Responses to Alexander the Great and His influence…

  1. x... Booty.qot.swag...x says:

    thanxx…helped alot with my project… now i can turn it in lol…… my booty got swag…

  2. Cool says:

    Alexander i cool

  3. Cool says:

    ALexander is a idiot

  4. LOL says:

    😀 This was good it was really helpful for my eassy. 🙂

  5. N.C. says:

    Really helpful. Thank you. God bless

  6. ......... says:

    booty got swag is a key reason why the national average iq is declining……..

  7. lol:D says:

    thanks it was very helpful for history day 😀 God Bless You!

  8. rosa says:

    great info

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