Hellenistic culture, era, the time proceding the death of Alexander the Great (c. 323 BCE). In that time the influence of Greek culture moved eastward toward Mesopotamia, Egypt and Persia, and there it mingled with local faiths and cultures. The two major hellenistic kingdoms were named after their dynastic ruling families: the Seleucid Kingdom, with Antiochia as its capital; and the Ptolemaeic Kingdom, with Alexandria as its capital.

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In relation to art history, Hellenistic would be a way to describe a sculpture. Following the Greek sculptures being Archaic, then Classical, Hellenistic sculpture is usually marked by:

The most famous piece from the Hellenistic period is the winged Nike (c. 190 B. C.). The dramatic drapery, powerful pose and theatrical quality shows the sculpture to be clearly Hellenistic.

Hel`le*nis"tic (?), Hel`le*nis"tic*al (?), a. [Cf. F. Hell'enistique.]

Pertaining to the Hellenists.

Hellenistic language, dialect, ∨ idiom, the Greek spoken or used by the Jews who lived in countries where the Greek language prevailed; the Jewish-Greek dialect or idiom of the Septuagint.

 

© Webster 1913.

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