Some Albanians ‘discovered’ last years the…’Albanian ancestry’ of Alexander. So every now and then we will witness cheerful Albanians signing in history forums and writing the text below.
Lets analyze the text they made up.
Sir William Woodthorpe Tarn, of the British Academy, regarded worldwide as having written the definitive work on Alexander the Great, states in the opening paragraph of his book “Alexander the Great” that “Alexander certainly had from his father (Philip II) and probably from his mother (Olymbia) Illyrian, i.e. Albanian, blood!”*
Error #1. On the contrary Tarn isnt regarded as “having written the definitive work on Alexander the Great”. W.W Tarn wrote his book in 1948. Until then, Alexander’s biographies were only a few. Since then lots more better documented biographies about Alexander have been written, we have huge archaeological discoveries (Vergina tombs, Pella Katadesmos, molossian decrees etc) which certainly change perspectives about Alexander and ancient Macedonian history in general. Hence, Tarn’s claims are considered from modern historians ‘outdated’ and non-valid.
During Rose Wilder Lane’s visit to Albania in 1921 resulting in the publication in1923 of her book Peaks of Shala, she heard the following rather extraordinary rendition of Albanian oral history about Alexander the Great from an Albanian elder:
“There was at that time two capitals of the united kingdom of Macedonia. There was Pela, between Salonika and Manastir, and there was Emadhija**, the old capital, lying in the valley which is now Mati (a high, fertile plateau north of Shkodra, near the coast of northern Albania – ED).
“Alexander’s father, Filip the Second had great houses in both Pela and Emadhija, and before Lec i Madhe was born, his mother left Pela and came back to the original capital, Emadhija. It was there that Lec i Madhe was born, and there he lived until he was out of the cradle and rode on a horse when he first went down into Pela to see his father who came from the city to meet and see his son for the first time.
Error #2 Rose Wilder Lane was a.. fiction-novel writer. She is totally unrelated with history. The argument ‘One Albanian grandpa heard from his own grandpas a folkstory’ doesnt stand anywhere in historian community as having anything valid!!!
“Filip the Second was very proud of his son, and his pride led him to the one great foolishness of a good and wise king. He said that he would make Lec i Madhe king of the world, and that was well enough, but he thought to be king of the world a man must be more learned than he himself. Whereas all old men who have watched the ways of the world know that to be strong and ruthless will make a man powerful, but to be learned makes a man full of dreams and hesitations.
“In his pride and blindness, Filip the Second sent to Greece for an Albanian who had learned the ways of the ancien Greeks, and to that man he gave the boy, to be taught books. (The Albanian’s) name was Aristotle, and he came from a family of the tribe of Ajeropi, his father having gone to a village in Macedonia and became a merchant there. Being rich, he sent his son, who was fond of thought rather than of action, to learn the ancient Greek ways of thinking. And it was this man who was brought by Filip the Second to teach his son.”***
Error #3. Aristoteles was son of Nicomachos and Phaestis. Nicomachos was the court physician of Amyntas III, king of Macedonia, father of Philip II and grandfather of Alexander the Great. The family of Nicomachos traced its descent from Asclepieus. Aristoteles’ mother, Phaestis came from a Chalcidean family also associated with the Ascleipiadae in Chalcis on Euboea, where she owned an ancestral estate. (Dionys. De Demosth. et Arist. 5) Aristoteles lost his father before he had attained his 17th year and he was intrusted to the guardianship of one Proxenus of Atarneus who was settled in Stagira. When he reached his 17th, Aristoteles went to Athens where he became a pupil of Plato.
Now back to his birthplace Stageira. Stageira was an ancient greek city that was founded by settlers coming from Chalkis and Andros hence the ancestry of Aristoteles from Chalkis. Albanians’ claims about Aristotle should be taken only as a bad-tasted joke!
P 1, ALEXANDER THE GREAT, W.W. Tarn, Beacon Press, Boston, 1956
“Emadhija” means in Albanian “the great city”
PP 184, 186, 187, PEAKS OF SHALA, Rose Wilder Lane.Harper Brothers & Publishers, New York & London, 1923
Other nationalities , of course, have long laid claim to Alexander the Great as one of their own – most notably the Macedonians and the Greeks. However, as cited so authoritatively in the opening paragraph of Tarn’s book, Alexander the Great can be rightfully identified as an Albanian.
Error #4 Tarn’s book was written in 1948. The first reprint was in 1956.
To quote an historian’s view about Tarn.
‘Tarn is, of course, great. But he’s only for experienced Alexander-explorers. Many of his facts and virtually all of his interpretation is now either overturned or in serious doubt. At this point, he’s more useful as an example of what can go wrong in the study of Alexander–and history generally–and for his writing than for the content itself.
“Demosthenes (384-322) called him a ‘barbarian’, a non-Greek speaker…
Phillip the Great was perfectly capable of conversing in standard Greek, even though the local Macedonian dialect was so interladed with non-Greek (esp. Illyrian) linguistic forms that it would be unintelligible to standard Greek speakers.”
Error #5 Here is the the reply of the eminent historian about Macedonian history R. M.Errington.
“Ancient allegations that the Macedonians were non-Greeks all had their origin in Athens at the time of the struggle with Philip II. Then as now, political struggle created the prejudice. The orator Aeschines once even found it necessary, in order to counteract the prejudice vigorously fomented by his opponents, to defend Philip on this issue and describe him at a meeting of the Athenian Popular Assembly as being ‘Entirely Greek’. Demosthenes’ allegations were lent on appearance of credibility by the fact, apparent to every observer, that the life-style of the Macedonians, being determined by specific geographical and historical conditions, was different from that of a Greek city-state. This alien way of life was, however, common to western Greeks of Epiros, Akarnania and Aitolia, as well as to the Macedonians, and their fundamental Greek nationality was never doubted. Only as a consequence of the political disagreement with Macedonia was the issue raised at all.”
Malcolm Errington, ‘A History of Macedonia’
University of California Press, February 1993, pg 3
He wasn’t allowed to attend olympics for a whole week because he was a barbarian, and the Greek law was that only Greeks can attend the Olympics.
Book: Alexander the Great
Author: Ulrich Wilcken
Error #6 Unfortunately for Albanian propagandists, their habbit of taking text out of context so that they ‘make up’ a story is shattered if someone has read the sources they provide.
‘Accidentaly’ Albanian propagandists forget to include also the conclusions of Ulrich Wilcken’s book which are:
“The beginnings of Macedonian history are shrouded in complete darkness. There is a keen controversy on the ethnological problem, whether the Macedonians were Greeks or not. Linguistic science has at its disposal a very limited quantity of Macedonian words, and the archaeological exploration has hardly begun. And yet when we take into account the political conditions, religion and morals of the Macedonians, our conviction is strengthened that they WERE A GREEK RACE AND AKIN TO THE DORIANS.”
“A strong Illyrian and Thracian influence can thus be recognized in
Macedonian speech and manners. These however are only TRIFLES compared with the GREEK character of the Macedonian nationality; for example, the names of the true full-blooded Macedonians, especially of the princes and nobles, are purely Greek in their formation and sounds. Above all, the FUNDAMENTAL features of Macedonian political institutions are NOT ONLY GREEK but primitive GREEK “
Latest posts by Admin (see all)
- ΠΟΥΛΑΝΕ τον ΟΤΕ στη Deutsche Telekom… ΠΟΥΛΑΝΕ και την ονομασία της ΜΑΚΕΔΟΝΙΑΣ; - April 18, 2011
- Αρχαία Ολυμπία – Λίμνη Καϊάφα: Γη των Θεών και της Ειρήνης - April 18, 2011
- Παίρνει τις περιουσίες των Ελλήνων της Χειμάρρας το αλβανικό κράτος! - April 18, 2011
Want more of this? See these Posts: