Ancient Macedonian language – Hoffmann

 

Some years back, a German linguist by the name Otto Hoffmann wrote a book with the title “Makedonians, their language and their Ethnicity“. Hoffman analyzed the paradoxical or idiomatic words (calling them languages),which past grammaticals, lexicographers and more in general everyone engaged around the Hellenic language had noted them as “worthy to be analyzed” in Makedonia.

To begin with, all those people were believing that the Makedonian language was an Hellenic dialect, and exactly this is the reason mentioning certain of its peculiarities, had they believe that the Makedonian language was alien to that Hellenic one, there was not a reason mentioning those Makedonian paradoxical and/or idiomatic “languages”. According to the same Hoffmann his conclusions after “supervising” other peoples work are the following:

“”And now after supervising the ancient Makedonian linguistic thesaurus we are posting the decisive question, if what is adding to the Makedonian language its character,are the hellenic or the barbarian elements of it,the responce can not be of any doubts. From the 39 “languages” that according to Gustav Mayer their form was “completely alien” has been proven after this research of mine,that 10 of them are clearly Hellenic,with 4 more possibly dialectical forms of common hellenic words,so from the entire collection are remaining only 15 words appearing to be justifiable or at least suspected of anti-hellenic origins.Adding to those 15, few others which with regards their vocals could be hellenic,without till now being confirmed as such,then their number, in comparison to the number of pure hellenic ones in the Makedonian language,is so small that the general Hellenic character of the Macedonian linguistic treasure can not be doubted.

The important thing about the Makedonian language is the fact that the alien and foreign to the Hellenic language words in it, are limited in a very narrow circle of objects and thoughts. Prominent as groups are those of names for plants,animals,foods,drinks,wa*r and fighting items and various names of dressing items. However in the Makedonian language there is absolutely not one barbarian word having relation to the governing of the society,military or confering justice. There is the worshipping of the ancient god Savadion, same as the one for the ancient Hellenic Gods, after which the Makedonian named the months of the year.

In Hellas we had the meeting of two civilizations, from which the superior one, that Hellenic represented by the Kings and the nobles became the base for the Makedonian society. Was this Hellenic civilization a pure Makedonian one or it was imported in the country from outside? Are the Hellenic words in the Makedonian language pure Makedonians or they were accepted as loans from the Hellenic? If such loaning happened, it must have happened in very old times. The already mentioned “”languages”” are not derived from the Attick dialect or the “Common-Koinh” Hellenic one. Not only this, but they are not connected with the Attick dialect that was “imported” by Phillip and Alexander in their society and political organization. Those words are formed in an extremely ancient manner, they are to be found just in Makedonia and they are very dialectical. Such statement is especially important. If somehow we can define and connect those Macedonian “languages” with a specific hellenic dialect,then we have a solid base for their definition.

The fact that the ancient Makedonian history is guarded with distrust might be somehow justified to partial ignorance of that early Makedonian history. However once in Makedonia time arrived for the reigning of Alexander the 1st and Archelaos, the mood has been changed. There is the first connection-contact between Amyntas the 1st and Hippias an Hellene (Herodotus 5-92g) in the land of Anthemus (Herodotus 5-94)…….

“”Before he went,Amyntas of Macedon offered him Anthemus,and the Thessalians Iolcus……………”

Next comes the close relation of Alexander the 1st and 2nd, Macedon’s and Amyntas’ sons and the Hellenes. One participates in the Olympic games ( Herodotus 5-22) Amyntas’ son favors the Hellenes in their wars against the Persians.(Herodotus 9-44,45).

Alexander, Amyntas’ son becomes in 480 B.C honorable citizen,console and beneficiary (Herodotus 8-136) “…..secondly,becaue he was well aware that Alexander’s friendship with Athens was an official relation,and was backed by deeds.””………….. Perdikkas is ally and friend of the Athenians (Thukididis 1-57), “…………..and Perdikkas son of Alexandros,king of Macedon,formerly an ally and friend,had been turned into an enemy.””……….. Archelaos not only he maintains friendly political relations with Athens but he is also inviting Athenian poets in his court.Euripedes and Agathon spend in his court the last years of their lives, and as is the case with the SKOPIANS and the Bulgars these days and their so-called different languages, no translators were in need to translate from Greek to Makedonian.

Those Makedonian idiomatism-“languages” are proving one thing and one alone.That neither Athens or the Ionian cities brought to the Makedonians the Hellenic language,since in those dialects clearly exist the influence of the Thessalian dialect!

But in that case the Makedonian linguistic treasure should be accepted not only as a loan from the Thessalians, but an early one as well,since once in Makedonia the Athenian dialect arrived, the Thessalian one couldn’t be consider as competitor.

With regards the names of the Royal House of the Argeades, Hoffman is stating: “” None of the names of the Royal House of the Argeades is of Barbarian origins,the roots of the words and their formation is HELLENIC IN EVERYTHING.Loan from the Hellenic Myth might be the name Orestes and possibly the name Menelaos””

Further down Hoffmann considers 40 names of official Makedonians found on an inscription from 423 B.C adding:

“”In final analysis it is possible that the name VYRGINON KRASTWNOS is of Thracian origins,while independent remains the name DIRVE…..ALL the other names are BEAUTIFULL,CLEAR,HELLENIC CONSTRUCTIONS and only two of them NEOPTOLEMOS and MELEAGROS could have been loans from the HELLENIC MYTHOLOGY.

Hoffmann considers the names of the populations of upper or Western Makedonia including the Orestians(Kastoria),Eordians(P*tolemais-Arnissa),Tymfaians(Pi*ndos-Konitsa), Elimiotians(Kozani),and Lyngestians(Florina-Monastiri. He considers and analyzes the names of the King’s body-guards,of the generals,of the administrative employees,of the leaders of the Makedonian cavalry,the leaders of the name and army,and those of many other common people of the 5th and 4th and even later centuries. His conclusions?

“”THE NAMES OF THE GENUINE MAKEDONIANS AND THOSE BORN OF MAKEDONIAN PARENTS ,ESPECIALLY THE NAMES OF THE ELITIC CLASS AND NOBLES,IN THEIR FORMATION AND PHONOLOGY ARE PURELY HELLENIC.”

And he continues,,,
“”The general Hellenic character of the Makedonians linguistic treasure can not be disputed even in case some of them might be loans from the Hellenic Mythology or from non-hellenic myths or for the better pre-hellenic myths (Teytamos-Marsyas-Seilinos….*).
The reason? Both Hellenic mythology and pre-hellenic SUCH, contributed many of their names not only in the Makedonian but as well in thegeneral hellenic vocabulary of names. Names that in their phonology and the laws governing their formations are
clearly different than those Thracians and Illyrians,and they can not even be used as “in between” those and the hellenic ones.

So………if someone not agreeing with the Hellenism of the Makedonians, then naturally has to accept the fact that during the 6th and 5th centuries B.C,the Makedonians dropped their ……Makedonian names and they………..introduced the Hellenic ones substituting theirs!

However, if their names were their original ones and in such a way since the names are clearly hellenic and the Makedonians were of pure Hellenic origins, one MUST conclude that the hellenic linguistic treasure,was not taken as a loan from the Thessalians,but it was their own ETHNIC inheritance!

The Hellenic civilization and the Hellenic language did not migrated from Thessaly to alien nations,tribes,and races within the Makedonian lands.

Want more of this? See these Posts:

  1. Ancient Macedonian language – Hoffman
  2. Modern linguists about ancient Macedonian Language/Dialect
  3. Modern linguists about Ancient Macedonian language
  4. The Ancient Macedonian Language according to Modern Sources
  5. Ancient Macedonian Language Part II
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