Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.


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.
..... Click the link for more information.
 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.
..... Click the link for more information.
. 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
..... Click the link for more information.
; 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.
..... Click the link for more information.
; 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.
..... Click the link for more information.
; 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,
..... Click the link for more information.
; 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.
..... Click the link for more information.


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


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
References in periodicals archive ?
A book-length study of the importance of Hellenism to women writers also appeared this year.
74) Moreover, the "practical" side of his binary Hellenism never outgrew its esoteric counterpart.
Via [the institutions where Greek language and culture are emphasized and promoted], the ethno-cultural values of Hellenism will become accessible to the broader Australian society and thus they will become the objective of the society rather than the goal of an ethnic community (Tamis 2005: 163).
The museum was not conceived under the sole aesthetic outlook of art history: on the contrary, each piece is inscribed in Greek spiritual and political history and deeply linked to what we now call Hellenism.
Speaking of the relationship between faith and Hellenism, the pope stated, "The encounter between the biblical message and Greek thought did not happen by chance.
Contemporary interest in Syriac Christianity derives from the fact that it preserves extensive and sustained evidence of Christianity that expressed itself exclusively in the Aramaic language and that was largely untouched by Hellenism during its formative period.
The conflicts existed then as now: Hellenism versus Judaism; state versus the individual; personal belief versus political demands and the problem of loyalty.
Kitroeff takes a chronological rather than thematic approach in his book, outlining the various moments and developments within the panoply of Olympic games history that have directly impacted and contoured Greece's efforts to realize its dual identity as both heir to the Olympics--and all that Hellenism stands for within the history of western civilization--and as a modern Europeanized state.
However, there can be no question that it contains Pater's already full-fledged theses on the Middle Ages, (17) including one of Pater's first definitions of the Renaissance, in its relation to the Middle Ages and Hellenism, since there can be no understanding of his theses without these concepts.
The brightest and most influential Jews were increasingly more attracted to Hellenism.
395, Feast Day Marcia 9, dark with pointed beard), imbibed Hellenism and moral values from siblings Basil and Macrina.
Thomas McFarland argues here that John Keats became a great poet by employing two masks that enabled him not only to exploit two contemporary cultural fashions, medievalism and Hellenism, but to become a "new and radiant being" (2), untrammeled by the misfortunes and embarrassments of his personal life.