Andrew Stewart is Professor of Ancient Mediterranean Art and Archaeology and Nicholas C. Petris Professor of Greek Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also Curator of Mediterranean Archaeology at Berkeley's Phoebe Apperson Hearst Museum of Anthropology. He has taught at the University of Cambridge, the University of Otago (New Zealand), and Columbia University. A member of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and the Deutsches Archologisches Institut, and an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, he has received fellowships and grants from the Guggenheim and Getty Foundations, and the American Council of Learned Societies. He is the author of Greek Sculpture: An Exploration (1990), which won the George Wittenborn Memorial Book Award, and of Classical Greece and the Birth of Western Art (2006), which was a finalist for the Runciman Prize for the best book of the year on a Hellenic topic.
The term ‘hellenistic’ is commonly used to describe this world in which Greek was the lingua franca.
Greeks flocked southwards and eastwards to found new settlements or to enlist in mercenary armies in search of their fortunes, confident in their status as members of a new ruling class. Inevitably there were upsets and clashes as indigenous peoples and cultures were absorbed, often unwillingly, into the encroaching wave of hellenism.
With extensive use of quotations from original source material, this far-ranging study examines the political events in the hellenistic world from Alexander’s death until its incorporation in the Roman Empire. It also describes the different social systems and mores of the peoples under Greek rule, important developments in literature, science and technology and the founding of new religious movements. The author has assimilated all pertinent recent scholarship in the filed, and fashioned an absorbing and highly readable account of a vast and complex society whose ideas and achievements form the bedrock of present-day western civilization.