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The Hellenistic Age (Modern Library Chronicles #27)

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  101 ratings  ·  14 reviews
The Hellenistic era witnessed the overlap of antiquity’s two great Western civilizations, the Greek and the Roman. This was the epoch of Alexander’s vast expansion of the Greco-Macedonian world, the rise and fall of his successors’ major dynasties in Egypt and Asia, and, ultimately, the establishment of Rome as the first Mediterranean superpower.

The Hellenistic Age chronic
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Published May 13th 2008 by Modern Library (first published 2007)
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This is "a short history" and not "a short introduction," and so Green's style is more of a rushed-review-of-stuff-you-already-know rather than, well, an introduction. I almost threw the book across the room when I read on page 14, "Alexander's conquest of the Achaemenid empire [...] this is a story that has been told well many times already, and I see no need to recount it in detail here." Fine, Prof. Green, I'll read your long-ass full-scale biography of Alexander. In the meantime, I'll finish ...more
Michael Lewyn
Sometimes this book is a bit overloaded with names and dates, but it is still interesting, and tells a coherent story: between the death of Alexander the Great and the rise of the Roman Empire, Alexander's various commanders split up his empire, murdered all of the decreased emperor's family, and then created dynasties that busily murdered their own family members until the Romans cleaned up the mess. Ordinary people were not heavily affected by this except during when they were being enslaved d ...more
Bruce Reiter
This is a great little book that covers the time period from Alexander to the fall of Egypt as the last Macedonian dynasty. It is only 130 pages with some good maps and an ancestral chart to keep track of the dynastic players. The author includes philosophic insights to include the scientific reasoning of the day and why those of us lower on the food chain are always concerned with ethics. The book is very readable. I was surprised at the wealth of the ancient world and have less good feeling ab ...more
Elizabeth Sulzby
The best and most well documented book on the Hellenistic Age, starting with Alexander the Great (and his father, Philip) of Macedonia and through the many "successors." This book goes through the first century "CE" without getting sidetracked into the life of Jesus. Green does reference beyond 30 CE into the limited contemporary books, documents, and historical writings looking back from the first 3 centuries CE. This very short book (130 pp. running text, plus 69 pages of maps, ancestry trees, ...more
Peter Green has crafted a very readable and well-rounded history of the Hellenistic Age in the eastern Mediterranean, from the death of Alexander to Rome's conquest of the squabbling Greek kingdoms. It is nice to see such an accessible, cheap volume put out by a major historian in the field. The reason that I don't give it 5 stars is because at times it feels extremely rushed. A lot of detail is sacrificed, and trying to follow some events is mind boggling.

While the book itself is good, the real
The Hellenistic Age: A Short History is basically the, well, short version of Green's longer work (and magnum opus) Alexander to Actium: The Historical Evolution of the Hellenistic Age. Even more, this book has the benefit of being the result of 20 more years of scholarship and reflection on Green's part.

In the Introduction, Green discusses both terms, and the state of Hellenistic scholarship. In addition to the standing-Classical-world problem of lack of sources, Hellenistic scholarship also s
As the title suggests ("A Short History") this treatment of the period from Alexander to Augustus sacrifices depth for brevity. Not being familiar with the subject I enjoyed this well-written introduction. Not only is the book a good first overview, it has plenty of notes geared towards further study and a short guide to further reading indicating what the author considers current best texts--as well as the usual bibliography.

After reading this I not longer think Oliver Stone's choice of Colin F
David R.
The book may be a "Short History" of the 300 or so years between the epic conquests of Alexander and the final elimination of Ptolemaic Egypt, but Green's work is no light saunter through the topic. This one's rich in detail and deserves a slow, careful read. But the benefits are manifold: a decent understanding of how the Hellenistic world shook out after Alexander, how it ultimately collapsed, and lots of Green's wonderful, academically puckish language. This one is probably for a serious stud ...more
Good choice for a history text for one of my classes this semester. It was a great supplement to classwork; I enjoyed this one. Although I would have liked for many things to be explained with more detail, I understand that this was a book meant to be brief--and, thus, I've already purchased the much more comprehensive "From Alexander to Actium."
This was a good bedtime book. After a few minutes trying to keep the Seleucid leaders straight I was usually ready to sleep. But given some daylight reading and a bit of concentration I found it rewarding. The author writes with great confidence. How can he know the motivations of these schemers? I often wondered. But I believed his version.
A very good view of the period between the rise of Alexander the Great and the Roman conquest of Ancient Greece.Though it is very short (130 pages) it is just loaded with information.Recommend to anyone who wants to get a general overview of this time period.
Incredibly substantive for such a short book, and really appealingly written too. He focuses on the major geopolitical events but also covers some economic, literary, social and philosophical history, all thoughtfully and concisely.
A whirlwind tour of over 300 years. The story from Alexander's last words.."to the strongest..." Until the stillbirth of the Romano-Hellenic dynasty of Antony & Cleopatra and subsequent rise of Augustus to princeps.
A wonderful overview of the period between 336 and 30 BCE, a period of huge change and evolution of civilization. Not an easy read but worth the effort.
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