Hellenistic Philosophers of Law
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Between 338 and 323 B.C., the entire eastern Mediterranean region—including Greece, Egypt, and most of western Asia (the remains of the Persian Empire)—fell under Macedonian rule. Although the unity of this new empire did not survive the death of its creator, Alexander of Macedon, the various smaller empires into which it had been fragmented continued to dominate the region for centuries to come. This development signaled the end of the independent Greek polis (“city-state”); but since the emergent local empires now had Greek overlords, the new era also extended the influence of Greek language and culture, which soon became dominant throughout the area. Alexander’s conquests thus mark the end of one age (the Classical) and the beginning of another (the Hellenistic), a turning point conventionally dated from Alexander’s death in 323 B.C. The other end of the Hellenistic era is placed by some at the Roman conquest of Greece (146 B.C.), and by others much later, at the Roman conquest of Egypt and western Asia (a gradual process, somewhat arbitrarily fixed around 31–27 B.C.).