Ancient History Encyclopedia has a new name!

We are now World History Encyclopedia to better reflect the breadth of our non-profit organization's mission. If you have bookmarks or links to our site on your blog or website, please update them. Learn More

The Hellenistic Agora: Countdown to Roman Rule

Article

writer873
by
published on 18 January 2012
Send to Google Classroom:
X

The Hellenistic Period of Ancient History is generally though of as the time between the Classical Period (5th century BC) and the onset of the Roman period (1st century BC). It is characterized by Macedonian rule, brought about by the military exploits of Philip II, and later by his son, Alexander the Great. Both Philip (who ruled until 336 BC) and his son Alexander held the Greeks, particularly the Athenians, in high regard because of their affinity for art, culture, and intellectual pursuits. This respect would be beneficial to Athens during the tumultuous period of Macedonian conquer and rule.

In 338 BC, Philip of Macedon solidified his effort to control mainland Greece when he defeated Athens and Thebes at the Battle of Chaironeia at Boeotia. Because of Philip's respect for Athens, he treated them with relative fairness. However, the Athenians were understandably averse to the new way of things, and were likely frightened of losing their precious democratic political structure. Nonetheless, Athens was able to recoup the fortunes (lost at the hand of Sparta) somewhat during this time, thanks to Philip basically leaving them alone.

Remove Ads

Advertisement

During this recovery period, much building occurred in Athens. Most of the building was not occurring in the Agora. A new Fountainhouse was constructed, as well as a water clock, or klepsydra. Both the water clock and the fountainhouse obtained water from an aqueduct that was built in the second half of the 4th century BC. The water clock is an interesting and important example of the innovations of Greek engineering, demonstrating their knowledge of flow, gravity, gears, and time calculation.

When Alexander died in 323 BC, most of Greece (including Athens) attempted to revolt against the Macedonians, and regain their independence. The conflict lasted less than a year, and resulted in Athens and Greece not regaining its sovereignty. Athens had forever lost the grandeur and importance it once held politically.

Remove Ads

Advertisement

The 3rd century BC is marked by civil wars in the city. This likely drained what little resources (both finances and manpower) Athens had, and the Agora saw really no improvements or additions during this time. However, the Agora did hold its position as an important gathering place for the Athenian people.

The 2nd century BC saw the emergence of a new power, which came to the aid of Athens: Rome. Rome, having been victorious over the Macedonians at the beginning of the 2nd century (197 BC), provided Athens with the opportunity to recover yet again. And from this point, we will see more great things come out of Athens.

Love History?

Sign up for our free weekly email newsletter!

Editorial Review This article has been reviewed for accuracy, reliability and adherence to academic standards prior to publication.
Remove Ads

Advertisement

Bibliography

Translations

We want people all over the world to learn about history. Help us and translate this article into another language!

Support Our
Non-Profit Organization

World History Encyclopedia is a non-profit organization. For only $5 per month you can become a member and support our mission to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide.

Become a Member  

Recommended Books

Sorry, we haven't been able to find any books on the subject.
 

Cite This Work

APA Style

writer873, . (2012, January 18). The Hellenistic Agora: Countdown to Roman Rule. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.worldhistory.org/article/139/the-hellenistic-agora-countdown-to-roman-rule/

Chicago Style

writer873, . "The Hellenistic Agora: Countdown to Roman Rule." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified January 18, 2012. https://www.worldhistory.org/article/139/the-hellenistic-agora-countdown-to-roman-rule/.

MLA Style

writer873, . "The Hellenistic Agora: Countdown to Roman Rule." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 18 Jan 2012. Web. 08 May 2021.