Hellenistic civilization was a blend of African, European and Asian cultures. The Greek defeat of the Persian Empire is thought to have signaled the beginning of the Hellenistic period. It is a fusion of Ancient Greek language and culture with that of the conquered locals.
The start of the Hellenistic period was 323 BC, which was also the year of Alexander the Great's death. Greece's influence was never greater than during this period. Greek colonies were established in Egypt (Alexandria), Turkey (Antioch), Libya (Cyrene) and other areas within Africa, the Near East and the Middle East.
Before this period, Greece was not interested in conquering foreign lands. This is significant because the Hellenistic period marked the first time Greece spread its influence throughout the known world. Subsequently, people the Greeks previously considered "barbarians" became Greek citizens. Koine Greek, the language spoken during this time, was a mixture of Attic Greek (Ancient Greek) and Ionic Greek (a Greek dialect), with a small amount of local influences. "Koine" means "common" and is more popularly known as the Greek used in the Bible.
The Hellenistic period is seen as a transitional period in Greek history and that of Western civilization. It was followed by the Roman Empire.