Historically, Hellenists were Jews who were more attracted to the Ancient Greek way of life and longed to break free from the collectivist constraints of their heritage. They valued their personal individuality, and wished to identify themselves as the popular, dominant, scintillating Greeks rather than as the traditionalist and reviled Jews.

Some Hellenists converted due to antisemitism, and may have sacrificed their Jewish identity against their will for the sake of survival. However, many Hellenists simply loved Greek culture and identified with it more strongly than with their "Jewish roots". They did not think race and blood had anything to do with their own self-created identity, and they were completely assimilated.

Hellenists don't have to be Jewish at all. They are generally people who have a Western way of thinking, valuing image, Platonic philosophy, and a high quality of life over moral stipulations. Materialistic glory and aesthetic perfection are valued slightly higher than "Marxist" or "communist" compassion and collectivism.

American "democracy" and capitalism is the scion of ancient Greek Hellenism.
While you prefer Mark Chagall's fiddler painting because it holds more moralistic meaning to you, I find it somewhat crude and prefer Michelangelo's David statue, it is so much more beautiful and elegant! It took a lot more skill to create! What can I say, maybe I'm just a Hellenist
by spliffsmoker September 03, 2011

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