Modern historians about Macedonia – Robin Lane Fox

Robin Lane Fox – “Alexander the Great”

  • he was still in a world of Greek gods and sacrifices, of Greek plays and Greek language,though the natives might speak Greek with a northern accent which hardened ‘ch’ into ‘g’,’th’ into ‘d’ and pronounced King Philip as Bilip“.

Page 30.

  • “Philip’s mother had been a Lyncestian noblewoman” – “rebellious kings of Lyncestis who traced their origins to the notorious Bacchiad kings of Greek Corinth

Page 32.

  • Olympia’s royal ancestry traced back to the hero Achilles, and the blood of Helen of Troy was believed to run on her father’s side

Page 44.

  • The Macedonian kings, who maintained that their Greek ancestry traced back to Zeus, had long given homes and patronage to Greece’s most distinguished artists

Page 48.

  • But Alexander was stressing his link with Achilles… Achilles was also a stirring Greek hero, useful for a Macedonian king whose Greek ancestry did not stop Greeks from calling him a barbarian”

Page 60.

  • “No man, and only one hero, had been called invincible before him, and then only by a poet, but the hero was Heracles, ancestor of the Macedonian kings

Page 71.

  • “War, Philip had announced, ‘was being declared against the Persians on behalf of the Greeks, to punish the barbarians for their lawless treatment of the old Greek temples

Page 92.

  • “among the conservative Greek opinion there would be no regrets that Alexander the Greek leader was invading the barbarians

Page 101.

  • “To his ancestors (to a Persian’s ancestors) Macedonians were only known as ‘yona takabara’, the ‘Greeks who wear shields on their heads’, an allusion to their broad-brimmed hats”

Page 104.

  • “As for the hired Greeks in Persian service, thousands of the dead were to be buried, but the prisoners were bound in fetters and sent to hard labour in Macedonia, ‘because they had fought as Greeks against Greeks, on behalf of barbarians, contrary to the common decrees of the Greek allies’

Page 123.

  • Alexander son of Philip and the Greeks, except the Spartans…”, as “Sparta did not consider it to be her fathers’ practice to follow, but to lead”

Page 123.

  • “In spirit, Alexander made a gesture to the Lydians’ sensitivities, though his Greek crusade owed them nothing as they were not Greeks.”

Page 128.

  • Alexander was not the first Greek to be honoured as a god for political favour…”

Page 131.

  • “Alexander was recognized as a son of Zeus after his visit”

Page 201.

  • “it was the Delphi of the Greek East and as a Hellene, not as Pharaoh, Alexander would be curious…”

Page 204.

  • “supported the belief that he was the Greek gos Zeus’s son”

Page 214.

  • “when his Macedonians mutinied at the end of their marching, they were said to have ridiculed him and told him to ‘go fight alone with his father’, meaning Zeus, not Philip

Page 216.

  • “The occasion was not lost on Alexander: at Susa, he sacrificed to Greek gods and held Greek gymnastic games…”

Page 253.

  • “In return he left behind Darius’s mother, daughters and the son whom he had captured at Issus, and appointed teachers to teach them the Greek language.”

Page 254.

  • Alexander was still the Greek avenger of Persian sacrilege who told his troops, it was said ‘that Persepolis was the most hateful city in the world’. On the road there, he met with the families of Greeks who had deported to Persia by previous kings, and true to his slogan, he honoured them conspicuously, giving them money, five changes of clothing, farm animals, corn, a free passage home, and exemption from taxes and bureaucratic harassments.”

Page 256.

  • “But Alexander replied that he wished to take revenge on the Persians for invading Greece, for razing Athens and burning her temples.”

Page 261.