The words Hellenism and Hellenistic have a long history in which the text of the Acts of the Apostles 6:1 plays a central part because it opposes Hebraioi to Hellenistai. Scaliger) this text was interpreted to imply a contrast between Jews who used Hebrew and Jews who used Greek in the synagogue service. Heinsius developed the notion that Jewish Hellenistai used a special Greek dialect (lingua hellenistica), which is reflected in the Septuagint translation of the Bible. Salmasius denied the existence of such a special dialect (1643), but the notion of a special lingua hellenistica to indicate the Greek of the Old and New Testaments remained in circulation until the middle of the 19 century in Germany, J. Herder used Hellenismus to indicate the way of thinking of Jews and other Orientals who spoke Greek. Matter specifically connected the word Hellénisme with the thought of the Greek-speaking Jews of Egypt. In 1833 he published a volume on Alexander the Great; and in 18 he published two volumes of Geschichte des Hellenismus embracing the century 323–222 He intended to continue his work in further volumes, but never did so, and it is not quite clear from what he says whether his original intention was to reach the age of Muhammad or to stop with Augustus. Classicism notwithstanding, literature and art developed new styles, characterized by realism of detail and a tendency toward the idyllic and the pathetic.
In 1877–78 he published a second (considerably modified) edition of these three volumes under the title of Geschichte des Hellenismus (which now included the reign of Alexander). Modern scholars have recognized local trends not only in literature but also in art.
Egypt was the last important survivor of the political system which had developed as a consequence both of the victories of Alexander and of his premature death. But research has been particularly intense and productive in the field of economic and social history (U. Except in Judea, which had an original literature in Hebrew and Aramaic even under Greek rule, the important developments in literature were all in Greek.
The word Hellenism is also used to indicate more generically the cultural tradition of the Greek-speaking part of the Roman Empire between Augustus and Justinian and/or the influence of Greek civilization on Rome, Carthage, India, and other regions which were never part of the empire of Alexander. Even natives of Egypt and Babylonia wrote their histories in Greek (Manetho, Berossus; cf. The schools and the gymnasia were organized according to Greek tradition: Homer, the tragedians of the fifth century (especially Euripides), and the orators and historians of the fourth century were the models of the new classicism.
Euclid, Apollonius of Perge, and Archimedes represent the culmination of Greek research in geometry and mechanics.
Eratosthenes applied mathematics to geography and Aristarchus developed the heliocentric theory, but Hipparchus (who made fundamental discoveries in astronomy) persuaded the succeeding generations with his new version of the geocentric system. Everywhere the new literature and art interested large strata of the Greek-speaking public, which was predominantly middle-class.
In religion the stronger influences came from the native populations, not from the upper (Greek or Hellenized) stratum.
The study of Greek influence on Judaism has developed into a special branch of research on which E. The only continuous account of the Hellenistic age is found in the short summary of the Historiae Philippicae by Pompeius Trogus (end of the first century of Maccabees are invaluable for Jewish history and must be supplemented by the relevant sections of Josephus' Jewish Antiquities.
Hengel, among others, have written with distinction.
Natural sciences made enormous progress, and so did mathematics.
The Romans took full advantage of the difficulties of the Hellenistic states, played on the fear of social revolution among the wealthy Greeks, and exploited rivalries and native rebellions, with the result that they defeated and ultimately absorbed all the Hellenistic states.
Almost everywhere during the second century the increasing inability of the Greco-Macedonian ruling class to prevent internal dissolution is noticeable.