300 - 200 BC

300 - 200 BC, the Middle East

The major inheritors of the Alexandrian empire were the generals Seleucus in Mesopotamia and Ptolemy in Egypt. Warfare continued between them and among lesser kingdoms and leagues of the fragmented world. New states appeared and others vanished into the embrace of still other conquerers.

Through it all, the victor was the concept of Hellenism. The ancient world eargerly accepted the outward form and often the more subtle glories of the new civilization. New cities in the Greek style sprang into being, including Alexandria, the great seaport at the mouth of the Nile. The eastern Mediterranean world became cosmopolitan with widespread interchange of peoples and ideas. Greek became the lanuage of educated men, and more men were educated.

The Romans to the west proceeded with their conquestof Italy. When their expansion touched Carthage, war broke out, continuing through the century until Rome's victory in 201 BC. Swollen with conquest, Rome was strong enough to turn toward the quarreling Greek states in the east.

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