Because of Alexander

Alexander beats Darius at Arbela to become the new ruler of the Medo-Persian empire that had overshadowed the Greek civilization up onto this point in time. Alexander takes the playbook from Cyrus who overturned the Babylonian empire in allowing each region, city or people to continue living as before. So in a sense nothing changes but in reality everything changes.

Greek culture will now permeate the entire Eastern world that Alexander has conquered. We have phrases like “the known world” to try to describe the scope of Alexander’s accomplishment. He accomplished the military feat and no doubt had plans to continue his military march, but he left behind everywhere he marched something that would be much more enduring. In the midst of this multi-cultural world he was placing a Greek van guard that would link with the local nobility to create a new class of citizens, not of their location, but citizens of a new world order. To help this new world order along he settled his veterans in cities along the path of his military journeys. He would take on Eastern customs and would encourage his troops to do the same. He even held a mass wedding for 10,000 of his officers and troops to the daughters of Persian nobility. This blending of cultures actually brought the Greek culture to the forefront.

Greek would become the international language of government and commerce throughout the “known world”. This situation would endure through the times of the Roman Empire and would not end until the Mohammedans come on the scene bringing their own international culture to supplant the Grecian culture. When Mohammedan forces took Egypt they found a native population, including the Egyptian Copts, ready to finally be free of their Greek overlords who had been in charge ever since the days of Alexander some 950 years earlier. Alexander’s accomplishment would give us a Greek culture which would leave an enduring mark on the world

Even Jerusalem would have its moment in time of being a “Greek” city with a new name of Antioch. This was a natural move of the aristocratic priesthood who saw it as good for their relationships within the government and for commerce. They, this leading class, led the way towards the Hellenization of Jerusalem, just like the leading classes throughout Alexander’s new territories.

The new international language of Greek would now patiently wait for the Roman roads to arrive and take the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the “known world”.

About hansston

Pastor a church in Sparta.
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