Hellenism

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Hellenism,

the culture, ideals, and pattern of life of ancient Greece in classical times. It usually means primarily the culture of AthensAthens
, Gr. Athínai, city (1991 pop. 2,907,179; 1991 urban agglomeration pop. 3,072,922), capital of Greece, E central Greece, on the plain of Attica, between the Kifisós and Ilissus rivers, near the Saronic Gulf. Mt. Aigáleos (1,534 ft/468 m), Mt.
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 and the related cities during the Age of Pericles. The term is also applied to the ideals of later writers and thinkers who draw their inspiration from ancient Greece. Frequently it is contrasted with Hebraism—Hellenism then meaning pagan joy, freedom, and love of life as contrasted with the austere morality and monotheism of the Old Testament. The Hellenic period came to an end with the conquest of Alexander the Great in the 4th cent. B.C. It was succeeded by the Hellenistic civilizationHellenistic civilization.
The conquests of Alexander the Great spread Hellenism immediately over the Middle East and far into Asia. After his death in 323 B.C., the influence of Greek civilization continued to expand over the Mediterranean world and W Asia.
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. See GreeceGreece,
Gr. Hellas or Ellas, officially Hellenic Republic, republic (2005 est. pop. 10,668,000), 50,944 sq mi (131,945 sq km), SE Europe. It occupies the southernmost part of the Balkan Peninsula and borders on the Ionian Sea in the west, on the Mediterranean Sea
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; Greek architectureGreek architecture
the art of building that arose on the shores of the Aegean Sea and flourished in the ancient world. Origins of Greek Architecture

Palaces of the Minoan civilization remain at Knossos and Phaestus on Crete.
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; Greek artGreek art,
works of art produced in the Aegean basin, a center of artistic activity from very early times (see Aegean civilization). This article covers the art of ancient Greece from its beginnings through the Hellenistic period.
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; Greek literature, ancientGreek literature, ancient,
the writings of the ancient Greeks. The Greek Isles are recognized as the birthplace of Western intellectual life. Early Writings

The earliest extant European literary works are the Iliad and the Odyssey,
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; Greek religionGreek religion,
religious beliefs and practices of the ancient inhabitants of the region of Greece. Origins

Although its exact origins are lost in time, Greek religion is thought to date from about the period of the Aryan invasions of the 2d millennium B.C.
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.

Bibliography

See R. Warner, Eternal Greece (rev. ed. 1962); D. Garman, tr., A Literary History of Greece (1964); J. Ferguson, The Heritage of Hellenism (1973).

Hellenism

1. the principles, ideals, and pursuits associated with classical Greek civilization
2. the spirit or national character of the Greeks
3. conformity to, imitation of, or devotion to the culture of ancient Greece
4. the cosmopolitan civilization of the Hellenistic world