Made with Xara Website by Susan Smily Hellenistic (323-31 B.C.)  Notes by Dr. Honora M. Finkelstein Arts Development of the Corinthian Temple and the altar. Art and sculpture increasingly shifted to a secular, urban viewpoint and expressed realism, eroticism, and violence.   Neoclassicism, a nostalgic return to the glory days of the fifth and fourth centuries, B.C., occurred in the late Hellenistic period. Rhodes, which remained independent from Rome longer than any other center, became a haven for scientists, artists, and humanists in the late Hellenistic period. Mosaic art was perfected during this period. Architecture The cities of Pergamum and Alexandria boasted the grandest architecture during this period. These were cosmopolitan, urban centers, with libraries, museums, gymnasiums, theaters, markets, and prosperous economies. Literature and Education Menander, a writer of New Comedy, presented satirical scenes of middle- class life and perfected the comedy of manners. Theocritus wrote pastoral poetry and idylls. Government, Law,  and Medicine After the death of Alexander the Great, his empire split into the Macedonian (Greek), Seleucid (Persian), and Ptolemaic (Egyptian) kingdoms. From 148 to 31 B.C., Rome gradually took over each of the successor states to Alexander's empire. Philosophy/Religion Cynicism said freedom arises from realizing if one wants nothing, one can lack nothing. Autarky (or self-sufficiency) was the goal. Skepticism said nothing could be known for certain, so all ideas should be questioned. Autarky was the goal. Epicureanism said only atoms and the void exist; death will extinguish consciousness; pleasure is the highest good; the gods do not intervene in human affairs. Stoicism said the world is governed by reason (the logos) or nature; wisdom and freedom come through living in harmony with the logos, in which all humans share; autarky is the goal. The belief in Fate brought renewed interest in astrology, magic, and the mystery religions of Greece and Egypt. The Great Mother goddess came to be worshipped under various names..