Falsified versions and mistranslations of ancient sources about Macedonia



The Thessalians in particular wore long robes, probably because they of all the Greeks lived in the most northerly and coldest region.


This quote is used by FYROM’s nationalistic site as ‘evidence’ for something as they claim but if someone examines it a little better he will find its deliberately taken out of context.

Here is the complete text.

[12] There is an ancient story of the Armenian race to this effect: that Armenus of Armenium, a Thessalian city, which lies between Pherae and Larisa on Lake Boebe, as I have already said,26 accompanied Jason into Armenia; and Cyrsilus the Pharsalian and Medius the Larisaean, who accompanied Alexander, say that Armenia was named after him, and that, of the followers of Armenus, some took up their abode in Acilisene, which in earlier times was subject to the Sopheni, whereas others took up their abode in Syspiritis, as far as Calachene and Adiabene, outside the Armenian mountains. They also say that the clothing of the Armenians is Thessalian, for example, the long tunics, which in tragedies are called Thessalian and are girded round the breast; and also the cloaks that are fastened on with clasps, another way in which the tragedians imitated the Thessalians, for the tragedians had to have some alien decoration of this kind; and since the Thessalians in particular wore long robes, probably because they of all the Greeks lived in the most northerly and coldest region, they were the most suitable objects of imitation for actors in their theatrical make-ups. And they say that their style of horsemanship is Thessalian, both theirs and alike that of the Medes. To this the expedition of Jason and the Jasonian monuments bear witness, some of which were built by the sovereigns of the country, just as the temple of Jason at Abdera was built by Parmenion.

Strabo, Geography

Strabo talks about the story of Armenus who accompanied Jason in Armenia. In other words at the time of Argonautic expedition which of course happened centuries *before* the Macedonian migration from Pindos and *obviously* at the time being, Thessalians were “in the most northerly and coldest region” since Macedonia didnt exist.



Darius’ Greeks fought to thrust the Macedonians back into the water and save the day for their left wing, already in retreat, while the Macedonians, in their turn, with Alexander’s triumph plain before their eyes, were determined to equal his success and not forfeit the proud title of invincible, hitherto universally bestowed upon them. The fight was further embittered by the old racial rivalry of Greek and Macedonian. [p.119]

[Arrian 2.10]

This is a clear a mistranslation that leads to a serious misunderstanding and falsification from the known propagandists.

kai to ergon entau8a karteron hn, twn men es ton potamon apwsas8ai tous Makedonas kai thn nikhn tois hdh feugousi sfwn anaswsas8ai, twn Makedonwn de ths te Aleksandrou hdh fainomenhs eupragias mh leif8hnai kai thn doksa ths falaggos, ws amaxou dh es to tote diabebohmenhs, mh afanisai. kai ti kai tois genesi tw te Ellhnikw kai Makedonikw filotimias enepesen es allhlous kai entau8a piptei Ptolemaios to o Selekhou, anhr aga8os genomenos kai alloi es eikosi malista kai ekaton twn ouk hmelhmenwn Makedonwn

note (h=hetta, 8=thetta, w= omega

So the line in question is :

καὶ τοῖς γένεσι τῷ τε Ἑλληνικῷ καὶ τῷ Μακεδονικῷ φιλοτιμίας ἐνέπεσεν ἐς ἀλλήλους.


kai tois genesi tw te Ellhnikw kai Makedonikw filotimias enepesen es allhlous

but what does it say ???

kai = and
tois = the
genesi = beginning, origin, descent, clan/tribe, race, kind
tw = of
te = the
Ellhnikwn = Hellinic
Makedonikwn = Makedonian
filotimias = literally “love of honour”, but can also mean ‘ambition’ among other things..
enepesen = to fall
es = on
allhlous = eachother

So in short.. during the battle and while the Makedones were trying to equal Alexander’s accomplishemnts and not stain the honor of the phallanx, which was ‘unbeatable’… the ‘love for honor’/ambition drove the two tribes/clans upon eachother..

While the word ‘genesi’ may also mean ‘race’, Arrian (and NOT Diodorus) leaves us no reason to question the meaning, since he has already indicates that he’s using it with the meaning of ‘clan/tribe’ just a couple of lines down..