The Hellenistic period, which is taken here to last from the death of Alexander the Great in Babylon in 323 to about 100 BC , has a political and diplomatic character all its own. Of course, many characteristics were inherited from the past – from Greece, from the Akhaimenid Empire, from pharaonic Egypt – but the eventual set of diplomatic practices was different from all of them; in addition, the several regions were distinct in their mixtures of cultures and peoples; it was not a period of uniformity. It was a time, in international political terms, which is what diplomacy deals in, of several monarchic great powers, leagues of cities, and individual cities, which took the place of the independent city states of Greece and Italy of the preceding period; in place of the Akhaimenid Empire were the great monarchies of the Seleukid, Ptolemaic, and Antigonid dynasties, who both divided up that empire and dominated the Greek peninsula; but in Greece the old cities and the new leagues of Aitolia and eventually Achaia resisted that domination; to the west this monarchic factor reached Sicily and Numidia, but again the city states still resisted and remained the norm for a time.