Alexander’s legacy extended beyond his military conquests. His campaigns greatly increased contacts and trade between East and West, and vast areas to the east were significantly exposed to Greek civilization and influence. Some of the cities he founded became major cultural centers. His chroniclers recorded valuable information about the areas he conquered. The Greeks themselves also got a sense of the world beyond the Mediterranean.
Alexander introduced Macedonian rule to much of the Asian continent. The Hellenistic states became dominant global forces. This period is often referred to as the Hellenistic period.
Founding of cities
Alexander founded over twenty cities that were named after him. The first, and greatest, was Alexandria in Egypt. It became one of the leading Mediterranean cities. The cities were home to both Greek and local populations.
Alexander’s empire was the largest state of its time, covering approximately 5.2 million square km. Hellenization is the term used to describe the spread of Greek language, culture, and population across the former Persian empire following Alexander’s conquest.
Influence on Rome
Alexander was admired by many Romans. Military leaders wanted to model themselves after his achievements.
Some Roman writers, particularly Republicans, had a more negative view of Alexander. They used Alexander as an example of how autocratic leaders can be limited by republican values. These writers associated Alexander with positive and negative ruler values such friendship, clemency, anger, and hunger for glory.
In ancient and modern culture
Alexander the Great’s accomplishments have been depicted in many cultures from his own era through to modern times. He is the most prominent ancient figure in modern Greek folklore. He is depicted both favorably and negatively across ancient literature.
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