(1) A general term referring to the influence that Greek Pagan culture had on other societies in ancient times. Judaism was profoundly influenced by Hellenism after the conquest of Palestine by the Greeks in the second century BCE. (2) Term used to describe the spread of Greek ("Hellenic") culture under Alexander the Great. (3) Culture derived from the Greek civilization that flourished between 800 and 400 BCE.
A name applied to the culture of the ancient Greeks, especially that of Athens at its height in Fifth century b.c. It is also applied to the works of those who later adopted Hellenic values and principles. The Hellenistic Age, a time when Greek culture spread throughout the eastern Mediterranean, is generally dated from the death of Alexander the Great to the rise of Augustus in Rome (323-330 b.c.).
(adj. hellenistic; Greek for "Greekish") The civilization that spread from Greece through much of the ancient world from 333 (Alexander the Great) to 63 (dominance of Rome) B.C.E.; as a result, many elements of Greek culture (names, language, philosophy, athletics, architecture, etc.) penetrated the ancient Middle East. See Biblical Story, Chapter 17.
Imitation of ancient Greek thought or style s. Also, an approach to life that focuses on the growth and development of the intellect. "Hellenism" is sometimes used to refer to the belief that reason can be applied to examine all human experience. A cogent discussion of Hellenism can be found in Matthew Arnold's Culture and Anarchy.