The immediate result of Alexander’s conquests was the disappearance of the barriers which had so long shut in the Orient. The East, until his day, was an almost unknown land. Now it lay open to the spread of Greek civilization. In the wake of the Macedonian armies followed Greek philosophers and scientists, Greek architects and artists, Greek colonists, merchants, and artisans. Everywhere into that huge, inert, unprogressive Oriental world came the active and enterprising men of Hellas. They brought their arts and culture and became the teachers of those whom they had called “barbarians.”

From The Making of Europe / Early European History