Rise of the Hellenistic Kingdoms 336-250 BC, The
When Alexander the Great died in 323 BC, he left an empire that stretched from the shores of the Adriatic to the mountains of Afghanistan. This empire did not survive Alexander's death, and rapidly broke into several successor states. These states, substantial kingdoms in their own right, dominated Asia Minor, Greece, the Levant and Egypt for the next three hundred years. While Philip Matyszak's narrative covers their remarkable contribution of the Eastern Greeks in fields such as philosophy, science and culture, the main focus is on the rivalry, politics and wars, both civil and foreign, which the Hellenistic rulers constantly fought among themselves. As in other fields, the Successor Kingdoms were innovators in the military and diplomatic field. Indeed, their wars and diplomatic skirmishes closely presage those of eighteenth century Europe and the superpower rivalries of the twentieth century. The complex interaction of these different kingdoms, each with its own character and evolving military systems, combined geopolitics and grand strategy with diplomatic duplicity, and relentless warfare. The epic story of the successor states is full of flawed heroes, palace intrigue, murder, treachery, incest, rebellion and conquest.
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