Fact #1 “Alexander the Great was Greek”
Alexander’s Greek descent, and in general Argead Greek lineage went unquestioned by ancient Greek and Roman writers, revealing a widely belief in ancient Greek and Roman world (including of course Macedonians themselves), the Argead royal house were Greeks descended from Argos of Peloponnese. The founder of their house belonged to the royal house of Argos, the “Temenidae”, descendants of Temenus, whose ancestor was Heracles, son of Zeus. (Diod. 17.1.5, 17.4.1; Plut, Alex 2.1-2, Fortuna 1.10 = Moratia 332a; Justin 11.4.5, 7.6.10-12, Theop. (FGTH US F3SS – Tzetzes, ad Lycophr 1439); Paus. ‘Description of Greece’ 1.9.8, 7.8; Velleius Paterculus: “The Roman History” Book I.5; Isocrates: ‘To Philip’ 32; Herod. 5.22.1-2, 8.43; Thuc. 2, 99, 3; Curt. 4.6.29)
Fact #2 ‘Earliest accounts verify the earliest Macedonians as Greeks”
The earliest literary accounts like Hesiodus (700 BCE) identified the earliest Macedonians as part of the greek world thus greek-speakers. Obviously if Macedonians werent Greeks but foreign people to Greeks, they wouldnt be part at all in Hesiodus’ account as Greek. After all its really irrational to have a supposedly ‘non-greek’ people while migrating to rename existing foreign toponymies into Greek, like the renaming from the earliest Macedonians of the original Phrygian place-name ‘Edessa‘ to the Greek ‘Aigae‘.
Fact #3 “Ancient Macedonians considered themselves as Greeks”
The surviving literary and archaeological evidence during Classical and Hellenistic Ages shows clearly that Macedonians considered themselves to be Greek, carriers to spread the Greek language and civilization to Asia while revenging Persians for their “crimes against Macedonia and the rest of Greece”.(Herod. 9.45; Diod. 16.93.1; Arrian 2.14.4, 3.18.11-12, I.16.10, “Indica” XXXIII; Plut- Alex. XXXIII, Moralia 332A; Curt. 5.6.1, 5.8.1; Joseph 11.8.5; Polyvius 7.9.4, 18.4.8; Liv. XXXI,29, 15; IG X,2 1 1031)
Fact #4 “Ancient Greeks viewed Macedonians as Greeks”
Ancient Greeks considered Macedonians as Greeks and specifically of Dorian stock. In fact ancient Greek accounts attributed some of the most patriotic Greek sentiments ever expressed to Macedonian rulers (Herodotos), described memories of the Greekness of the Makedones (Hesiodos, Hellanikos, Herodotos), mentioned their participations among Greek troops and folk, membership of Macedonia in the associations of the Greeks, namely the Delphic Amphictyony which had long been an important Panhellenic (Herodotos, Thucydides, Aichines). Hence they all verify the same conclusion. Greeks viewed Macedonians as Greeks. (Polyb., IX.35.2 (Loeb, W.R. Paton), IX.37, 38.8; Isocr, “To Philip”, 5.139, 5.140, 5.8; Callisth. ‘Oration of Demosthenes’ 2.3.4.-5, 2.4.5, 2.4.7-8 ; Curtius 3.3; Arrian ‘Anab. Alex’ 2.14. 4, 3.27.4-5; Pausanias, ‘Phocis’ VIII.4, Eleia VIII, 11 [Loeb]) ; Strab. VII.Frg. 9 [Loeb, H.L. Jones]), VII. Fr 7.1, 10.2.23; Herod. VIII.137. 1 [Loeb]), I.56.3 [Loeb, A.D. Godley]); Hesiod, Catalogues of Women and Eoiae 3 [Loeb, H.G. Evelyn-White])
Fact #5 “Foreign nations considered Macedonians as Greeks”
The ancient Roman, Persian, Indian, Jewish, Babylonian and Carthagenian testimonies are listing Macedonians among the other Hellenes, speaking the same language and in general Macedonians are portrayed as Hellenes fighting the Barbarians. (Curt. 3.3.6, 3.7.3, 3.12.27, 4.1.10, 4.5.11, 4.5.14, 4.6.29, 4.8. 13-14, 4.10.1, 5.6.1, 5.7.3, 5.7.11, 6.9.35, 7.5.36, 7.6.1, 7.6.35; Liv. XXXI.29.15, XLV, 32.22; Cicero Orations; Ceasar ‘Civ. Wars’ 111.103.3; Vel. Patercul. ‘Roman history’ I.5; Justinus Un. History 7.1, 11.3.6; Aelian ‘Var Historia’ VII.8, 12.37(39); Pliny ‘Natural history'; Tacitus ‘Annals of Imperial Rome’ Chap. 8 pg 221; Persian inscr. of ca 513, Persian story of Zulqarneen, Bahram Yasht 3.34; Edicts of Ashoka V & XIII; Maccabees 1:10, 8:18, Megillah 11a, Dan 11:2, 10:20, Isiaiah chap. 19.20, 19.23, Joel Cahp 3.v6, Habacoum cap. 2.v5; Josephus ‘Antiquities of the jews’ Book 11 par 337, 109, 148, 184, 286, Book 8 para. 61, 95, 100, 154, 213, Book 10 para. 273, Book 12 para. 322, 414, Philo of Alexandria, Maimonides; Babylonian Diaries Diary No -168. A14-15)
Fact #6 “Macedonian names are Greek”
In contrast with all their non-greek neighbours (Illyrians, Thracians, etc) ancient Macedonian names are either Greek or derive from Greek roots in a percentage of over 95%. According to the encyclopaedia Bolsaya Sovetskaya “In 200 names born 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.
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. ” All these of course are taking place at a time where the Illyrian and Thracian names have in their vast majority non-greek etymologies.
Fact #7 “Ancient Macedonian was a Greek dialect”
According to the eminent linquist, Olivier Masson, writing in 1996 for the “Oxford Classical Dictionary: ‘Macedonian Language”. “For a long while Macedonian onomastics, which we know relatively well thanks to history, literary authors, and epigraphy, has played a considerable role in the discussion. In our view the Greek character of most names is obvious and it is difficult to think of a Hellenization due to wholesale borrowing. ‘Ptolemaios’ is attested as early as Homer, ‘Ale3avdros’ occurs next to Mycenaean feminine a-re-ka-sa-da-ra- (’Alexandra’), ‘Laagos’, then ‘Lagos’, matches the Cyprian ‘Lawagos’, etc. The small minority of names which do not look Greek, like ‘Arridaios’ or ‘Sabattaras’, may be due to a substratum or adstatum influences (as elsewhere in Greece). Macedonian may then be seen as a Greek dialect, characterised by its marginal position and by local pronunciations (like ‘Berenika’ for ‘Ferenika’, etc.). Yet in contrast with earlier views which made of it an Aeolic dialect (O.Hoffmann compared Thessalian) we must by now think of a link with North-West Greek (Locrian, Aetolian, Phocidian, Epirote). This view is supported by the recent discovery at Pella of a curse tablet (4th cent. BC) which may well be the first ‘Macedonian’ text attested (provisional publication by E.Voutyras; cf. the Bulletin Epigraphique in Rev.Et.Grec.1994, no.413); the text includes an adverb ‘opoka’ which is not Thessalian. We must wait for new discoveries, but we may tentatively conclude that Macedonian is a dialect related to North-West Greek.”
(Pausanias Messeniaka XXIX.3; Strabo 7.7.8; Plutarch Pyrrhus II.1, XI.4; . Livius XXXI.29.15, XLV; Curtius VII.5.29, VII 9.25 – 11.7)
Fact #8 “Alexander’s campaign Pan-Hellenic character”
Alexander the Great launched a Pan-hellenic campaign against Persia and through his conquests spread Hellenism in a vast colonizing wave throughout the Near East and created economically and culturally, a single world stretching from Greece to the Punjab in India with Greek (koine) as lingua franca. He built a network of almost thirty Greek cities throughout the empire, a building program that was expanded by later Hellenistic rulers. These became enclaves of Greek culture. Here gymnasia, baths, and theaters were built. The upper classes spoke koine Greek, wore Greek dress, absorbed Greek learning, adopted Greek customs, and took part in Greek athletics. Ancient sources reports as such and the pan-hellenic character of his campaign were the definitive statements of the Macedonian royalty and nobility. (Aelian ‘Varia Historia’ 13.11; Arrian I.16.7, I12.1-2, Plutarch Ages. 15.4, Moralia I, 328D, 329A, Alex. 15, 33, 37.6-7; Diod. 16.95.1-2, 17.67.1; Callisthenes 2.3.4-5, 2.4.5, 2.4.7-8, 3.1.2-4; Arrian “Indica” XXXIII, XXXVIII, XXIX, ‘Anab.’ Arrian I.16.7, II, 14, 4, 3.18.11-12 ; Polybius IX.35.2, IX.34.3, 17.4.9; Curtius 3.3.6, 4.1.10-11, 4.5.11, 4.14.21, 5.6.1, 5.7.3, 5.7.11, 8.1.29)
Fact #9 “Macedonians shared the same religion as the rest of Greeks”
Nowadays historians agree that Macedonians had the religious and cultural features of the rest Hellenic world. Like other Greek regions, regional characteristics have also to be noted especially near the borders.
Its quite interesting the fact that Macedonians also gave these deities the familiar Greek epithets, such as Agoraios, Basileus, Olympios, Hypsistos of Zeus, Basileia of Hera, Soter of Apollo, Hagemona and Soteira of Artemis, Boulaia of Hestia, etc.
The worship of the twelve Olympian gods in Macedonia is undoubted
and it is shown explicitely in the treaty between Philip V and Hannibal of Carthage “`In the presence of ZEUS, HERA and APOLLO…and in the presence of ALL THE GODS who possess Macedonia AND THE REST OF HELLAS“. (Arrian I 11.1-2, I.11.6; Diod. 16.95.2, 16.91.5-6; Pausanias 6.18.3, 9.39.3; Ath. Deipnos. XII.537d-540a, XIII 572d-e; Diogenes Laert. 1.8; Curtius 3.7.3, 3.12.27, 4.13.15, 6.10.14, 8.2.32, 8.11.24, Plutarch ‘Alexander’ 33; Polybius 7.9.1-7)
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