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From Hutton Webster's, Early European History (1917); edited for this on-line publication, by ELLOPOS
III. MINGLING OF EAST AND WEST AFTER 359 B.C.
» Contents of this ChapterPage 14
THE WORK OF ALEXANDER
ALEXANDER AS WARRIOR AND STATESMAN
Alexander the Great was one of the foremost, perhaps the first, of the great captains of antiquity. But he was more than a world-conqueror; he was a statesman of the highest order. Had he been spared for an ordinary lifetime, there is no telling how much he might have accomplished. In eleven years he had been able to subdue the East and to leave an impress upon it which was to endure for centuries. And yet his work had only begun. There were still lands to conquer, cities to build, untrodden regions to explore. Above all, it was still his task to shape his possessions into a well-knit, unified empire, which would not fall to pieces in the hands of his successors. His early death was a calamity, for it prevented the complete realization of his splendid ambitions.
HELLENIZING OF THE ORIENT
The immediate result of Alexander's conquests was the disappearance of the barriers which had so long shut in the Orient. The East, until his day, was an almost unknown land. Now it lay open to the spread of Greek civilization. In the wake of the Macedonian armies followed Greek philosophers and scientists, Greek architects and artists, Greek colonists, merchants, and artisans. Everywhere into that huge, inert, unprogressive Oriental world came the active and enterprising men of Hellas. They brought their arts and culture and became the teachers of those whom they had called "barbarians."
Cf. The Ancient Greece * The Ancient Rome
Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) * Western Medieval Europe * Renaissance in Italy