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p. 11. The idea of the Hellenisticlocked

  • Peter Thonemann


The word ‘Hellenistic’ is used to refer to a historical epoch, a geographical region, and a range of cultural phenomena seen as characteristic of this region and period. There is a wealth of documentary evidence from bureaucratic and literary papyri to gold, silver, and bronze coins. ‘The idea of the Hellenistic’ explains that most modern histories of the Hellenistic period begin in 323 bc, with the death of Alexander the Great, and finish in 30 bc, with Octavian’s incorporation of Ptolemaic Egypt into the Roman Empire. The Hellenistic world was a relatively narrow temperate zone of western Afro-Eurasia between the 25th and 45th parallels, stretching from the Adriatic and Libya in the west to the Himalayas in the east.

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