Bolsaya Sovetskaya Encyclopaedia about ancient Macedonian ethnicity


180px GSE 3rd edition 1st volume title Bolsaya Sovetskaya Encyclopaedia about ancient Macedonian ethnicityBolsaya Sovetskaya Encyclopaedia, Moscow 1980
from the Greek Edition, Athens 1980

“Macedonians”: Ancient Greek tribe

THE QUESTION OF THE GREEKNESS. The Greekness of the Macedonians has been extensively discussed, but in these debates the objectives have been not only scientific but also political . There are three different opinions:

1.The Macedonians were Greeks

2.They were not Greeks, but either Thracians or Illyrians or a seperate people.

3.Macedonians and Greeks came from the same original people.

The data regarding the solution of this problem are of three different types:

1. Ancient testimonies (…)
2. Linguistic material (…)
3. Religion, feasts, traditions, constitutions (…)

We know some names of Gods and Heroes worshiped by the Macedonians. Among them,  39 are either pan-hellenic or worshiped by other Greek tribes, either purely macedonian, but with a Greek etymology [root].  2 come from names of cities with a non-hellenic root but with a greek termination syllabe  3 are Thracian  1 is Egyptian All of the names of Macedonian Feasts that we know are Greek. Regarding the names of the months, 6 are common with other Greek
calendars, and at least two more are also purely Greek. The idea that the Macedonians took the names of the months during their ‘hellenisation’ is out of the question, as in that case they would have taken an integral Greek calendar instead of creating an amalgam of different greek calendars and, more important, they would never invent themselves two Greek names of months. The Macedonian human names we know today [1980, now we know a lot more] are many hundreds and regard thousands of individuals. Very few are of non-Greek origin….

In 200 names from Macedonians born before the ascent of Philip II (359b.C.), hardly 5% are of non-greek origin. Non Greek names in small numbers can also be found in other Greek tribes.

3. Religion, feasts, traditions, constitutions: Everything we know on these issues lead effortlessly to the conclusion that the Macedonians were a Greek tribe. Here are some illustrative details.

Relations of the Macedonians with other Greek tribes.

Many elements show us the relations of the Macedonians with other Greek tribes. Very close relations of blood are both testified and sustained, by various indications, between the Macedonians, the Dorians and the Magnites. Herodotos saves for us us a Dorian tradition, according to which the Dorians came from the “Makednoi” of the Pindos mountains. A
combination of other traditions and proof confirms this tradition. The conclusion is that the Dorians came from a group of “Makednoi” (Macedonians} who migrated from Pindos in central Greece and mixed up with other Greek groups.
 This also explains other common elements between the macedonian and the dorian space: the Timenides house and its head Timenos ( macedonian and dorian Argos), various ceremonial acts (Macedonia and Sparta), the Godess Pasikrata (Macedonia and Selinous, dorian colony of Megara in Sicily). Other cultural elements between Macedonians and Dorians are even wider spread, as they were also common to the Lokroi, The Phokeis, the Aetolians and generally the western Greek tribes. Here are some of them: the feast Apellaia and the names of three months: Apellaios, Artemisios, Panamos. Three other months, Dios, Daisios or Theodaisios and Loos or Omoloos, are also common, except for the Macedonians and the Dorians, to the Aeolians. The Macedonian god Thaul(l)os is related to the Dorian feast Thaulia but also with Zeus Thaulios of the Thessalians and Zeus Thaulonas of the Athenians. The relationship with the Magnites was also known, as in a genealogy of Hesiodos Makedonas and Magnitas were brothers. But modern scientific research also proves it,  with proof
as the common root of the tribes’ names { mak= long, tall, big}, a common feast, the Hetaireidia, and a dance, the Karpiaia. This dance was also common to the Ainianes, who lived in the border of Macedonia and Thessaly before moving south to the valley of Spercheios river.

The Athamanes were also former neighbors of the Macedonians: that explains their common elements. One of the names of the Vachoi in Macedonia, Lafystiai, is related to the Lafystion mountain and Lafystios Zeus of the Athamanes. The word dramis and dramix in the athamanian and the macedonian dialect meant a special type of bread.
The word zerethron(=varathron, pit) is common in macedonian and in arcadian . It is not strange if we also consider other elements that suggest that the Arcadians came from south-western Macedonia.

Want more of this? See these Posts:

  1. Ancient Macedonian Language Part V
  2. Jewish testimonies about ancient Macedonian ethnicity
  3. Macedonia in Antiquity – the Greek ethnicity of ancient Macedonians
  4. Quiz for FYROM’s Slavs regarding the Ethnicity of Ancient Macedonians
  5. FYROM propaganda regarding the ethnicity of ancient Macedonians