Analyze the impact of Alexander's conquests on the Afro-Eurasian world. How did his military pursuits and those of his successors bring together various worlds?

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dule05 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

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Alexander the Great was the King of Macedonia and conqueror of the Persian Empire. He is still thought to be one of the most important military figures of all time. He was a leader who utilized different and innovative military strategies in order to conquer new territories and enlarge his empire. His empire eventually consisted of the majority of the ancient Afro-European societies, such as Egypt, Crete, Mycenae, Phoenicia, Mesopotamia, and the Indus Valley (Lockard 142). 

His military pursuits made quite an impact on the world at the time. His conquests bridged the gap between the Mediterranean and the western parts of Asia. His conquests marked the beginning of the Hellenic Age in the eastern Mediterranean and western Asia, where his influence lasted for several centuries. Greek ideas and language became very dominant in the conquered areas, such as Nubia and western India, and locals started to learn the new language and absorb Hellenic ideas (143).

The cities in the conquered territories were now more multicultural and ethnically diverse. The best example is the still existing city of Alexandria, Egypt, which, at the time, consisted of large Egyptian, Greek and Jewish populations. This enabled a cross-cultural flow of ideas which prompted different important enterprises resulting in many achievements, such as the translation of the Hebrew Bible into the Greek language.

Most importantly, following Alexander's death, the conquests were significant for the development of economy and trade all across the divided empire. The formation of the Eurasian trading network was beneficial for everyone, because it facilitated an exchange of goods between the different nations. Greeks introduced money-based economies, and long-distance trade became absolutely necessary. For example, silk from China and sugar from India were exported to the Mediterranean, while wood products from Macedonia, onions from Egypt, and olive oil from Athens were exported to the western parts of Asia (145).

Works Cited

Lockard, Craig A. "Western Asia, the Eastern Mediterranean, and Regional Systems, 600-200 B.C.E." WORLD, Volume 1. Boston: Wadsworth, 2011. 142-45. Web. 17 Nov. 2015.

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