Classical and hellenistic greece

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Classical and Hellenistic Greece
Meylin Mesa
Universidad Del Este
Workshop 1
07/04/2012
Facilitator: Agustín Gracia
Huma 102

Differences between Classical and Hellenistic Greece

Theancient culture of Greece has evolved over thousands of years. The major differences between classical and Hellenistic Greece consisted in their philosophy, religious practices and society. The Classicalperiod follows the archaic period and is in turn succeeded by the Hellenistic period. (Soriano, ND). Classical Greece was a 200 year period in Greek culture lasting from the 5th through 4thcenturies BC. This classical period had a powerful influence on the Roman Empire and greatly influenced the foundations of the Western Civilization. (Wikipedia, 2007). Classical Greek referred to thetime of Homer and the renowned Greek philosophers Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Hellenistic Greek refers to the period after the conquest of Alexander the Great in 323 BC, which led to the spread ofGreek language and culture around the Mediterranean and Asia. (Soriano, ND)

The key point of contrast between classical and Hellenistic Greece was their philosophy. The classical Greece had verylittle individual rights due to their philosophy. The polis was the primary political structure, so each citizen was considered to belong under the absolute rule of the city state. They were based on theunifying principles present in nature, such as the way water joined earth and sky by being present on land as well as falling as rain. While classical era used to sacrifice individual happiness forthe well-being of the polis, the Hellenistic Greece made more emphasis in the importance of individual happiness. This new philosophy of Hellenistic era was mainly based on the stoicism andEpicureanism. This philosophy was able to form because of the downfall of the polis system due to unhappiness and suffering. Stoicism and Epicureanism were based on the individual pursuit of pleasure, which...