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Old 09-02-2009, 05:02 AM   #1
TrueMacedonian
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Default Alexander the Great did not spread "hellenism"

I'll be posting many articles concerning this topic.

http://dor.huji.ac.il/HL_east.html

The Hellenization of the East

Four hundred years after being incorporated into an imperial framework (that of the Assyrians), an even greater cultural transformation takes place, as the East is subjugated by Greeks. It is the clash of Western doctrines with the entrenched civilizations of the East that will, in the fullness of time, produce Judeo-Christian ideology as we know it today.

The historical facts of this metamorphosis seem quite straightforward - between 334 and 330 BCE Alexander the Great, coming out of Macedonia, defeats the Persian emperor and brings the word of Greek enlightenment to all of his territories. Soon after Alexander's death, Hellenistic kingdoms mushroom from Egypt to Afghanistan. But why, after being established in place for millennia, did all of the Eastern civilizations capitulate their rich variety of religions, arts, mythologies and philosophies within a few years? Archaeological investigation, at Dor and at other places, tells a more intricate story.

The Phoenicians, in their role of harbingers of civilization to the west, also served as conduits for influences going the other way. The Phoenician towns were pre-disposed towards Hellenization before Alexander's conquests, and thereafter served as catalysts for the Hellenization process and bulwarks of 'Greek' culture.

The first Greek imports to Dor date as early as the tenth century BCE. This trickle is greatly enhanced after Assyrian occupation, and, by the fourth century BCE, most of the table ware at Dor is imported from Greece. By the mid-fourth century, Hellenic-type wares are probably locally produced and distributed. Figurines of the Persian period show deities with Greek-type attributes alongside traditional Phoenician 'fertility goddesses' and types associated with the ruling Persian cosmology. Ostraca and graffiti show that the locally spoken language was changing from Phoenician to Greek decades before the political fact of Alexander's occupation. On the other hand, some aspects of traditional Phoenician culture persist well into the Hellenistic period and even later, betraying the true nature of this 'Hellenized' society.
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Old 09-02-2009, 05:09 AM   #2
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http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/5479

How Great Was Alexander? New Research Challenges His Cultural Impact
2003-06-13

Berkeley - Alexander the Great may not have been so great after all.

A University of California, Berkeley-led group of researchers is challenging the common history that credits the Macedonian king with initiating the spread of ancient Greek culture throughout the Middle East during his conquest of the region during the 4th century B.C.

Backed by a nearly $234,000 collaborative research grant from the Getty Foundation, the team over the next two years will try to document a thriving Hellenized culture in the city of Dor, Israel, at least 100 years before Alexander marched in.

The birth of the Hellenistic period, when Greek culture began to spread far beyond its native territory, has long been set around 334 B.C. to 323 B.C., when Alexander and his troops began their 20,000-mile conquest, thundering from Macedonia south through what is now Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Egypt. The troops then set off for Persia and India.

"Our hunch is that at Dor, Hellenization - the wholesale importation of Greek material culture - begins in the 5th century B.C. and goes into high gear around about 400 B.C. So, it precedes Alexander," said Andrew Stewart, a UC Berkeley professor of art history and classics in the College of Letters & Science. He also is the project's principal investigator.

"There is, as far as we can tell, no boost given to this process by Alexander's conquests," said Stewart. "So, immediately we are challenging the view that it was Alexander who principally spread Greek culture throughout the Middle East."


One of Stewart's UC Berkeley colleagues and an assistant professor of Near Eastern Studies, Marian Feldman, said the Mediterranean sea has long brought peoples and cultures together. Particularly close ties between the Levantine coast - which includes present-day Israel, Lebanon and Syria - and Greece appear as early as 1,400 B.C., she said.

"Tel Dor, located directly on the sea, should have participated in these interactions," Feldman said.

Dor was most likely a Phoenician or Phoenician-related city in the early centuries of the first millennium, and the Phoenicians are renowned for their seafaring skills and merchantile entrepreneurship, as memorialized in Homer's "Odyssey," she said. "When the excavations at Dor go deeper," said Feldman, "these contacts will be probably be shown to reach further back in time."

Stewart's team members will direct their attention to the wealth of materials found at the ancient Israelite seaport site of Dor, established by the Canaanites around 2,000 B.C. and once the harbor of King Solomon. Alexander the Great passed by Dor on his march from Tyre to Gaza and Egypt, by which time the city hosted a lively mixture of Phoenicians, Jews, Greeks and others.

In collaboration with teams from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and several American, Canadian and South African universities, Stewart has been digging at two sites at Dor for 20 years. These teams have uncovered more than 100,000 artifacts, close to 90 percent of them pottery, but also sculptures, figurines, lamps, coins, rings and other items representing all strata of society and dating back to the Iron Age.

One find was a headless statue of the Greek winged goddess Victory, together with fragments of a demolished Greek temple. Another was an elaborate and intricate mosaic floor, probably designed to help establish a party atmosphere in a banquet room. The mosaic - made with 10 to 15 cubes per square centimeter - features a masked young man from the Greek comic theater, wearing a fantastic party hat and set amid garlands of fruits and flowers.

"You have a party animal here," said Stewart, gesturing toward a photo that shows a character known as the second young, wavy-haired man.

"He spends much, much too much time indoors partying, likes the girls," he said, "and tends to wake up in the morning with a hangover. That's why his face is white, and that's why we thought it was female to begin with, because it is so pale and its lips are rouged. Well, they're rouged because he goes to the 'Black and White Ball' every night!"

Stewart called the mosaic "high end, absolutely top quality Greek work" that rivals anything in Alexandria from the same period.

The temple, mosaic and Victory were found in pits where they may have been discarded in a revival of Jewish traditionalism around 100 B.C.

It may be that some of the Phoenicians, Jews and others living in Dor simply developed a fascination or a fondness for Greek culture and embarked on an importing spree, Stewart said. Yet, around the time of Alexander's conquests in the region, there was no increase in Hellenization.

Instead, the process seems to have stagnated or even - for a time - gone into reverse, he said.

"Did our little town stand aloof from these developments?" Stewart asked. "Or were they purely political and military? Were the early Hellenistic kings only interested in raising money and fighting each other, essentially limiting Hellenization to the major centers? We don't know."

But Stewart and his team hope to find out.

The researchers will investigate what has been uncovered that reflects the efforts of inhabitants of Dor in adopting Greek culture, resisting it, or combining it with their own to form something new. They will look at these interactions in terms of material culture at various levels of society, throughout time.

"The same people may have used local-type storage jars that they knew and loved at the same time as drinking from Greek-style symposium cups," Stewart said.

Directing the Israeli part of the project will be Professor Ilan Sharon, an archaeologist and statistician from Hebrew University in Jerusalem with expertise in computer science as well as the archaeology of Israel and the Near East in the first millennium B.C. He has developed the immense data bases required for such an investigation and will direct the computer analysis.

The researchers will construct matrices reflecting the estimated chronology of the architecture and artifacts in each area of the site in order to see how they relate to each other. They will be able to develop a more refined chronology, and artifacts of particular interest can be stratigraphically plotted and scanned for patterns of distribution. Maps of the distribution will be developed to help to show who lived where, and when.

"Different areas of the site, as always, might have been occupied by different folks," said Stewart. "In Berkeley, you're going to get a different material culture in the hills than you are down on the flats or in East Oakland."

Ultimately, the Dor research project is expected to produce at least one book and a dissertation.

Without a team, the work would take a lifetime, said Stewart.

Also participating will be Sarah Stroup, an assistant professor at the University of Washington and a specialist in Hellenistic and Roman literature and culture. Stroup received her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 2001 and has worked previously with Stewart at Dor. The other two members of the investigative team will be Stewart's assistant director, Allen Estes, an Assyriologist and archaeologist who also earned his Ph.D. at UC Berkeley in 1997, and John Berg, the site architect and stratigrapher.
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Old 09-02-2009, 12:35 PM   #3
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Droysen is the one to blame for....
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Old 09-06-2009, 08:53 AM   #4
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what is hellenism and by who and when was it coined as a descritpive term, thanks tm for all the research you have been doing. i hope it helps our greek buddies answer the above questions i posited.
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Old 09-06-2009, 03:35 PM   #5
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Thanks Osiris. I hope that the more research done in Tel Dor and other areas reveal how Alexander did NOT have a policy for hellenization and that archaeology will prove our southern neighbors favorite historian (Johan Gustav Droysen) a fraudulant 19th century witch doctor who helped distort one of the worlds most prolific historical figures. Here's something that Eugene Borza once wrote;

Quote:
The conclusion is inescapable: there was a largely ethnic Macedonian imperial administration from beginning to end. Alexander used Greeks at court for cultural reasons, Greek troops (often under Macedonian commanders) for limited tasks and with some discomfort, and Greek commanders and officials for limited duties. Typically, a Greek would enter Alexander's service from an Aegean or Asian city through the practice of some special activity: he could read and write, keep figures or sail, all of which skills the Macedonians required. Some Greeks may have moved on to military service as well. In other words, the role of Greeks in Alexander's service was not much different from what their role had been in the service of Xerxes and the third Darius. If one wishes to believe that Alexander had a policy of hellenization-as opposed to the incidental and informal spread of Greek culture-the evidence must come from sources other than those presented here. One wonders-archaeology aside-where this evidence would be.
We have seen that not only has the idea of World Brotherhood been put to rest and the idea of a Fusion of Persian and Macedonian ruling classes made doubtful, but that the value of Greeks to Alexander for policy reasons cannot be sustained by evidence. In short, there is no World Brotherhood, no Fusion, and no evidence of a policy of hellenization, if that hellenization were intended to be accomplished through the medium of ethnic Greeks.
http://www.historyofmacedonia.org/An...lenization.pdf
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Old 09-06-2009, 09:29 PM   #6
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t m there were ionian cities in asia minor and other greek cities all around the mediterranean and black seas spreading hellenic culture hundreds of years before alexanders conquests. he didnt go west but some historians consider the greek influence on rome as pivotal in the shaping of roman culture.
alexander the greek is a modern interpretation in ancient times the greeks hated alexander and fought against him and his succesors but we know this its only the modern wannaabees something important that are still mudding the waters.
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Old 06-12-2012, 05:32 PM   #7
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:27 PM   #8
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the greeks hated being under the macedonian yoke.It makes a mockery to presume that alexander spread hellenism.TM you just pointed out that it was all untrue that alexander didn't spread it it was there allready.THe greeks were colonisers & doing all the spreading themselves hundreds of years before.
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