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Hellenization (or Hellinisation) is the socio-cultural phenomenon of ancient Greek culture influence gaining traction within foreign countries and peoples. Not only did the Greek politically rule territory, but local cultures encountered were usurped by Greek social customs and religious practices. Traditionally considered to start after Alexander the Great's conquests, which after his death allowed an easy path for later Greek enforcement upon local peoples. Within the modern country of Greece the term Hellenization is usually used to refer to the attempt to homogenize local populations into what has been historically celebrated by Greeks.[1]

The Hellenistic civilization is in reference to the peak of Greek influence and what essentially became its dominant rule, roughly from 323 BC to the first Roman Emperor Augustus in first century AD.[2]

Hellenization of Judaism

The Hellenization of the Jews culminated, after the initial Jewish-Roman Wars (66–73 AD), with the Bar Kochba revolt led by Simon bar Kokhba. The attempt to redefine the Jewish customs and social norms were followed by harsh laws instituted under Hadrian in the land of Palestine. Decades later, in 132 AD, at the cost of 580,000 Jewish deaths an independent state was still initiated with Jewish rule for three years. After a two-year war, finally the Romans captured the Jewish strongholds and continued what was considered the natural process of Hellenization.


  1. Hellenization Brought to the World by Alexander the Great By Molly Lyons. Apr 8, 2010
  2. John Boardman, Jasper Griffin and Oswyn Murray, The Oxford History of the Classical World (1986) pg. 315