Alexander the Great influenced history by conquering the Persian Empire. This in itself was significant politically, but its long-term significance was to facilitate the spread of eastern culture into the Mediterranean World, and vice versa. Under Alexander, the Hellenization of the Middle East and the Mediterranean occurred, as Greek culture and learning spread throughout both regions and melded with local cultures, notably Persian and Indian. Elements of the so-called Hellenistic culture that resulted would persist well into the common era, and influenced many aspects of Western and Eastern thought. Significantly, Alexander consciously sought to promote cultural diffusion, perhaps to a greater degree than any other great military conqueror. So Alexander's most enduring significance is perhaps not military but cultural.