While Alexander the Great is a well-known figure from ancient history, the Hellenistic period as a whole is not. The reason for that relative neglect (in popular culture and in many history surveys, at least those at the pre-college level) is that the Hellenistic age is overshadowed by what was happening simultaneously to the west: the rise of Rome. In precisely the same period in which Alexander and his successors first conquered then ruled the territories of the former Persian Empire, Rome was in the process of evolving from a town in central Italy to the center of what would eventually be one of the greatest and longest-lasting empires in world history. That is the subject of the next few chapters.
Image Citations (Wikimedia Commons):
Macedonian expansion - MaryroseB54
Alexander mosaic - Unattributed
Alexander's conquests - George Willis Botsford
Hellenistic kingdoms - Javierfv1212
Rosetta Stone - Creative Commons License