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The Aristocratic Temper of Greek Civilization$
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Chester G. Starr

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780195074581

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195074581.001.0001

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The Afterlife of Greek Aristocracy

The Afterlife of Greek Aristocracy

(p.69) Chapter 7 The Afterlife of Greek Aristocracy
The Aristocratic Temper of Greek Civilization

Chester G. Starr

Oxford University Press

After Alexander's conquest of the Persian empire in 334–323 B.C., Greek civilization broadened out to encompass all the eastern Mediterranean. This new era has been given in modern times the term “Hellenistic,” Greek-like but not exactly the same as classical Hellenism. Now poets, artists, even philosophers were subsidized, not by aristocrats, but by the kings of Egypt, Syria, and other states and often obsequiously celebrated the virtues of their royal patrons. Although aristocrats lost political power first to Macedon and then eventually to Rome, they remained locally potent. Greek aristocracy had a vital role in many aspects of the amazing development of Hellenic civilization. Its influence did not end when ancient civilization flickered out but was reborn in the Renaissance; thereafter it has had powerful effects in the course of modern Western history.

Keywords:   Greek aristocracy, Greek civilization, Alexander the Great, Macedon, Renaissance

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