CHAPTER EIGHT


STUDY QUESTIONS
  1. "The supreme tragedy of the Greeks was their failure to solve the problem of political conflict." Discuss this statement and explain how it contributes to an understanding of the Hellenistic Age.
  2. Explain the basic teachings of Zoroastrianism. How was it both a universal and a personal religion?
  3. Point out the parallels between Zoroastrianism, Judaism, and Christianity.
  4. What is meant by the claim that "Zoroaster was probably the first real theologian in history"?
  5. What would you describe as the enlightened aspects of Persian imperial rule?
  6. Explain the eclectic character of Persian culture. Illustrate this with reference to Persian architecture.
  7. Explain why Philip, ruler of relatively uncivilized Macedon, was able to conquer the more civilized cities of Greece.
  8. In what ways did Alexander lay the foundations of Hellenistic civilization? In what respects did he break with Greek tradition and ideals?
  9. To what extent should the Hellenistic civilization be considered as distinct form the Hellenic rather than a further development of it? What elements of continuity were there between the two civilizations?
  10. How did the dominant political pattern of the Hellenistic Age differ from Hellenistic political institutions or traditions?
  11. Evaluate the economic conditions in the Hellenistic Age. Explain the reasons behind the growth of trade.
  12. How do you explain the rapid growth of cities in spite of the fact that agriculture remained the chief source of wealth?
  13. Describe the ways in which Hellenistic science diverged from the philosophy of Aristotle.
  14. In what ways were Epicureanism and Stoicism alike and what ways were they different?
  15. Do you agree that "the Stoic philosophy was one of the noblest products of the Hellenistic Age"? Why or why not?
  16. How did the Epicurean philosophy differ from that of the Cynics and that of the Skeptics?
  17. Compare the popular religion of the Hellenistic Age with the "civil religion" of the Greeks.
  18. Which genres of Hellenistic literature most clearly exhibit a penchant for escapism?
  19. What were the primary characteristics of Hellenistic sculpture?
  20. How do you account for the flowering of science during the Hellenistic Age?
  21. Compare the Hellenistic Age with our own. What are the apparent similarities between that age and this? What significant differences can be noted?
PROBLEMS
  1. In your view, during Hellenistic times did sculpture retrogress or progress from Greek standards?
  2. Read Plutarch's life of Alexander and assess the validity of the notion that "history is the lengthened shadow of a great man."
  3. Explain the importance of the Hellenistic Age as a period in world history. What were this age's major contributions to world history?
  4. Compare the science, literature, and art of the Hellenistic Age with those of the Hellenic Greeks. How do you account for the differences?
  5. Compare the philosophy and religion of the Hellenistic Age with those of the Hellenic Greeks. How do you account for the differences?
  6. Compare the estimate of Alexander in Wicken, Alexander the Great with that in Burn, Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic World.
  7. Investigate further any of the following aspects of Hellenistic civilization:
    --cities and city life
    --medical science and practice
    --the spread of Mithraism and other mystery cults
  8. Analyze the Hellenistic Age as an "intermediary" between Greece and Rome.


ResourceResearchReference


W.W. Norton
REVIEW: World Civilizations
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