Evidence on the Greek ethnicity of Ancient Macedonians


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)

By Ptolemy

Want more of this? See these Posts:

  1. Macedonia in Antiquity – the Greek ethnicity of ancient Macedonians
  2. Quiz for FYROM’s Slavs regarding the Ethnicity of Ancient Macedonians
  3. FYROM propaganda regarding the ethnicity of ancient Macedonians
  4. Historians Regarding the Greek Ethnicity of Ancient Macedonians
  5. Modern Historians write about the Greek Ethnicity of ancient Macedonians
Michalis says:

Agapite owner, pistebw na katalabes giati ekana oti ekana kai se rwtaw, giati afineis na milane edw tetoia atoma enw emas den mas ainoun na milame! Ekanes kati gia deikseis ston kosmo kati, oxi na akoume tis blakeies tou Ka8e Skopianou! Tin kalispera mou!

Edessa says:

Επειδή αυτοί δεν έχουν μάθει να αποδέχονται διαφορετικές απόψεις στο φασιστικό κράτος που έχουν μεγαλώσει, δεν σημαίνει ό,τι και εμείς πρέπει απαραιτήτως να πέσουμε στο επίπεδο τους. Απ’ όσο γνωρίζω 4 στα 5 σχόλια Σκοπιανών και λοιπών Βαλκάνιων εθνικιστών, κόβονται λόγω υβριστικού/ακαταλαβίστικου περιεχομένου. Μένουν αυτά που περιέχουν τουλάχιστον κάποιο ίχνος λογικού συνειρμού.

westclub4 says:

Can we imagine a united balkan peninsula today? Can we expect from the slavophone modern-day ‘bulgarians’ (ie. the thrako-pelasgian greeks and the ancient graeco-macedonians who got mixed/blended with the ‘newcomers'; that is, with the invading avaro-slavic ‘barbarian peoples’ of proto-bulgarian, tatar and/or scytho-sarmatian, indo-persian origin), the various slavophone ‘serbo-croats’ of the former yugoslavia (ie. the mixture of the indigenous graeco-pelasgians and of the graeco-illyrian indigenous peoples with the ‘newcomers'; that is, with the ‘barbaric’ avaro-slavic invaders from the north, who were also of substantial caucasian and scytho-persian and/or scytho-sarmatian origin) to live today side by side with eachother as well as to live in peace with the more ancient and indigenous peoples of the peninsula (ie. the Greeks, the Albanians, the Romanians, some of the so-called modern-day Macedonians, and so on)?

Can we ever expect from the ‘neo-greeks’ (ie. modern-day Greeks) and of the ‘neo ”graeco-latin” peoples’ of the hellenic peninsula (ie. the modern-day Albanians and Romanians and/or Moldovans) to live in peace with their slavophone neighbours, and also accept to much of their most ridiculous propaganda, which somehow claims that Alexander the Great spoke ‘ancient slavic’ and that even Alexander’s horse, Voukephalas, was a Yugo Zastava?

To the extend that the modern-day slavophone-Macedonians remain ‘true macedonians’ who only got slavicized in language but not in spirit, they have to rid off the muck of all these centuries of roman, slavic and of ottoman occupations, and yet again lean on to Greece for guidance and acceptance. Be sure, that like anyone lost or stray child who gets back home to his mother, Greece will accept and take back her all of her lost and stray children; and that, along with the greek people today, Greece will -for once more- open her arms to hug and protect them again, like she did in the distant past of the proto-bulgarian (ie. tataric) and of the avaro-slavic (ie. tataric and caucasian scytho-sarmatian) raids and invasions.

The scytho-sarmatian slavophones are no longer the slaves (ie. ‘slavs’) or the servants (ie. ‘serbs’) of the various tataric and turranic hordes and tribes. They no longer are the southernmost ‘extended arm’ of the Tzarist Russia and of her imperialist foreign policy nor they no longer remain the southernmost ‘invisible hand’ of Stalinist Russia’s diplomacy in the balkans. It is about time for the slavophones of the balkans to find a common ground with the more ancient peoples of the peninsula (ie. first and foremost with the Greeks, then with the Albanians and the Romanians) so that they will soon co-operate, learn how to live toghether in peace, learn how to build stronger intra-national relations so that any part in this accord will benefit, prosper and progress.

The neo-Greeks (of ancient dorian and ionian greek origins), the modern-day Albanians (of ancient graeco-illyrian and of graeco-latin origins), the modern-day Romanians and Moldovans (of ancient thrako-pelasgian greek and daco-roman and graeco-byzantine origins) shall learn to cooperate with the ‘mixed’ in terms of origin, slavophone peoples of the penisnula (ie. with the modern-day bulgarians, serbo-croats, bosniacs, slavophone-macedonians, and so on) and lead them to a united europe of the peoples, and to a united balkan peninsula of all its peoples.

A southern balkan federation could begin very shortly, which would include Greece, Albania and Kosova, Montenegro, FYROM and Bulgaria. Later on, to that federation could also take part the Serbo-Croats, along with the Bosniacs, and the Romanians, along with the Moldovans. An extended balkan federation could also include the Hungarians and the Slovenians to the north, as well as, the Cypriots in the south, the southern-Italians and the Sicilyans in the west, and the western-Turks of ancient Ionia and of Asia Minor in the east. The name of the Federation could possibly be that of Pelasgia or Hellenic Republic, since all the peoples who inhabit those lands today -to a lesser or greater extend- can claim a common unique ancestry, given that they all come from the ancient common genator named Pelasgus and/or from his children, the Hellenes.

Indeed, the peoples of the balkans today look so much alike that, despite of their significant difference in terms of the language they speak today (note, that from all the ancient and indigenous peoples of the balkans, it is only the greeks who have kept their original laguage almost intact until the present day), their -more or less- common culture and their alomost identical physical characteristics, clearly indicate that they have significantly more in common with one another than with any other people in the whole of europe or, as a matter of fact, in the whole of asia.

Long live the united balkan federation, long live Pelasgia and the federal Hellenic republic

Elias Leon Assimakopoulos,
Athens, Greece.

westclub4 says:

However, the point is for the people that inhabit the macedonian lands today to find a common ground in order to answer satisfactorily the ‘macedonian question’ as it is set bluntly by todays’ facts due to the epitomisation of some significant and more contemporary events. In particular, the proto-boulgarian and the avaro-slavic raids in the greek peninsula (ie. in the balkans) that took place from the 6th century onwards -and, up until the demise of the graeco-byzantine empire and the fall of its capital Constantinople to the Turko-mongolian hordes of the Otthomans, did not leave the ethnic composition of the peninsula anaffected. The ethnic composition of the greek peninsula has changed completely ever since the avaro-slavs set foot at the north of the balkans. The Pannonian (thrako-illyrian) lands were occupied by the slavs, the huns (magyars, hungarians -or, simply the ‘turks of the north’ if we follow the greek scholars of the byzantine era). The historic lands of Illyria-proper (ie. pretty much of the area which comprised of the former Yugoslavia) have ever since become ‘slavicised’. The illyrians of those lands have been either ‘pushed’ southwards in the peninsula or become ‘assimilated’ by the various slavophone scytho-sarmatian (ie. perso-caucasian) and avaro-slavic (ie. tataro-turanic, with the proto-boulgarians being included) tribes.

There is the assumption that the Illyrians of the north, as well as those of the north-western parts of the hellenic peninsula, from pannonia and upto the dalmatian coast, had become ‘romanised’ prior to their partial slavicisation, which happened many centuries later. To the extend that something like that could have really happened many centuries earlier than the avaro-slavic raids of the balkans, we can explaine the uniqueness of the methysteron ‘albanian faenomenon’. The albanians always attested their kinship and traced their historic roots to the illyrians, the dardanians, the paeonians, the mollosians (ie. an epirotan-greek tribe), the ancient macedonians (ie. a dorian-greek tribe), the mythical troyans (achean-mycenaean greeks) of Ilium and finally to the ancient pelasgians (ie. ionian-mycenaean greeks), which were probably the first inhabitants of the greek peninsula. By the time when they were violently pushed southwards by the raiding avaro-slavs -and by the time when they finally managed to reach the lands of the graeco-illyrians in montenegro, south serbia, northern albania, as well as, when they finally reached the dardanians and the paeonians -in and around the lands of Kosovo and in Fyrom, they had already developed an up to a certain extend romanized illyrian-latin dialect, by which they tried to communicate with the hellenic and/or hellenicized peoples in the south and in the ‘new lands’ (ie. in the northern and central albania, in kosovo, in the northwestern parts of Fyrom, and so on) where they found refuge.

On the other hand, the graeco-illyrians, or the so called ‘real illyrians’ of montenegro and of northern albania (ie. the ancient illyro-macedonian kingdom of Illyris) did not ever develop a significant latinophonia or simply put it, they had never become at any extend significantly romaniazed up until the arrival of the north romanized latino-illyrians. The reason for it, has been that their lands were laying -for most of the time- within the boundaries of the hellenistic byzantine empire. Hence, the language of them remained greek, as it quite probably ever was. Moreover, to the extend that those real illyrians -along with the original dardanians, the indigenous epirotans, the paeonians, the macedonians, and so on- were mixing with the fleeing, romaniazed and up to a certain extend, latinophones illyrians of the north, they finally developed a rather different and unique language of graeco-latin origin, which up until nowadays is widely spoken amongst the albanians. Hence, the contemporary albanians trully can claim ancestry to the ancient illyrians, and to all the other graeco-pelasgian tribes of the north-western parts of the hellenic peninsula, since they are of ancient romanized illyrian-pelasgian -and therefore of an indigenous to the peninsula- northern greek stock, which developed a particular gaeco-latinophonous language by the times of the roman conquest.

The same applies, more or less, to ancient macedonians. Before the avaro-slavic raids, that is before the 6th-8th centuries, they all spoke greek and quite probably they all fell macedonian, which is also greek. Despite the many centuries of the roman conquest they never seem to have lost their original language, unlike the northern illyrians of pannonia and of dalmatia or the northern thrakians, who lived beyond the mount Haemus and the river Danube. The northern thrakian tribes have got completely romanized and therefore developed a certain latinophonia (ie. the dacians, the northern thrakians, the triballoi, the mysians, and so on, all of them nowadays speak romanian or the vlackh language, which is akin to ancient latin).

As for the macedonians of the north, the paeonians, the southern dardanians, and for some thrakian agriannes, throughout the centuries that followed the furious avaro-slavic raids and their final conquest by the barbarians, and throughout the centuries of the turkish-Otthoman conquest, they all adopted the boulgarian or, alternatively, the serbian languages as their own. However, it is significant that -up to a certain extend, and especially during the last two centuries in particular, there is a continuous process of national re-awakening of those ”mixed”, ancient and barbarian peoples alike. That is the case, especially amongst the peoples that today inhabit much of the land of Fyrom and of the Pyrin-macedonian region, which lays into the modern day Boulgaria.

On the other hand, the slavicized graeco-thrakians and the ionian-greeks mixed with the avaro-slavs and with the proto-boulgarians of the contemporary boulgarian province of Eastern Romylia, as well as those of the boulgarian-pontic coastal-line region (which, also belonged to the historic north Thrake and layed within the ancient greek world for many centuries, indeed) still do not seem to show any significant signs of national re-awakening.

Hence, it is to the benefit of Greece for the slavophones-macedonians to return to their macedonian origins, even though more or less abnormaly. This particular abnormality has to do far less with their ‘prototype’ -and up to a certain extend ‘unique national consiousness’ of macedonianism, as something dinstictive and, in general terms, even opposed to greekness and to historic facts. Moreover, the muck of centuries of violent slavicisation will fall apart as soon as the slavophone-macedonians find their common ground with Greece, which has to be a non-antagonistic common ground for sure that respects the two macedonian cultures; that of the greek continuouity as well as that of the slavo-macedonian ‘pseudo-ekremes’. The slavophone macedonian brothers of modern-day greeks need protection from Boulgaria’s historico-political aspirations and expantionist-nationalist ideology. Greece should be on their side, not against them. Together, we surely can!

Elias Leon Assimakopoulos,
Athens, Greece.

westclub4 says:

Dear Gallus,

For ancient Greeks, including ancient Makedonians, the word ‘e8nos’ had a quite different meaning. In ancient greek culture, anyone genuine e8nos had to meet 3 criteria.

a) ‘Omaimon’ (and sometimes reffered to as ‘omotropon’), that is for the immense majority of its people to belong to the same ‘race’ or simply to ‘share the same blood’. Because, they could not conduct any significant an8ropological studies (sic!) or accurate ‘blood-tests’ by that time (lol), they had to meet the condition of the ‘omaimon-omotropon’ as the sharing of a common tradition, of having a common culture with a standrardised way of living. That is why they always tried to point to the sharing of common ancestry and they were preoccupied with the construction of explicit and thus, of very detailed ‘family trees’. In a word, they had to share a more or less ‘common’ ancestral blood-line. By that token, ancient makedonians claimed that they were of ancient dorian-hellenic stock and traced their roots back to Argos Orestiko and to the ancient Mycenean greek world.

Almost the same applies further north to the Illyrioi -or, to the Graeco-Illyrians, children of the mythical Illyrios, son of the greek Theban king Cadmos and of the greek royalty Armonia. The graeco-Illyrian kingdom extended from the Mat Valley of today’s N.Albania, well into the Montenegro and the Dalmatian coast in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and much of Serbia. That is, southwards of course of the Celtic city of Singidunum, ie. the ancient Beograd, and up to the land of the Dardanians near today’s Kosovo. Between, the city of Beograd and Kosovo, the ancient illyrian tribe of the Aytariatae lived, which was distinguished to the so called ‘real-illyrians’ of N.Albania, Montenegro and Dalmatia. Many illyrian tribes, feeling that they were either of Graeco-Hellenic (ie, dorian, magnessian, makedonian, north-western greek and/or epirotan, aeolic, etc.) or of Pelasgian (ie, ionian, arkadian, achean, danaian, thessalian, minoan-cretan, arkado-cyprian, graeco-pheonician, cretan-philistinean, cycladean, etc) discent and origin, had the need or simply were feeling compelled to apply for admitance to the olympic games, which by that time were only for greeks of origin. Note that the ancient makedonians were always allowed to compete to the olympic games and that their greekness was more or less taken for granted.

Equally, the Dardanoi in modern-day Kossovo, which by that time Dardania included the cities of Scopje in FYROM and that of Nis in contemporary Southern Serbia, claimed a common ancestry with the ancient greeks, the ionian and pelasgian greeks in particular, through their mythical hero, an ancient Dardanos who has been one of the founders of ionian-pelasgian city of Athens. Many 8rakian ‘fyles’ or tribes also claimed their common ancestry with the southern greeks, including the paeonians of Fyrom and of modern-day southwest Bulgaria, the agriannes, the triballoi, the bryges and the frygians, the bythinians, the lydians, the lykians and the lykaonians, even the kapadokians and the kolcheans, etc. The same is true for the roman and latin tribes of italy which claimed a common ancestry with the mythical graeco-pelasgus and with the trojans of the mycenean era. Not to mention the Tyrsinoi or the tyrrhenoi
(ie, the etrurians or etruscans), the Venetoi, the Istrians, the Messapians, the Japyges and the Japodes, the Liburnians, and so on.

b) The second criterion was that of the ‘omodoxon’ or ‘omo8riskon'; that is, the condition of a common religious dogma, of a system of common metaphysical and spiritual beleifs (and, up to a certain extend, of a system of common social and political beleifs), an exeigesis for the cosmos, for their relationship and for their attitude towards the nature or the ‘physis’, for their common past and their common ancestors, for the devine and for the ‘8eio’, etc. Not only the makedonians had the same religion with the southern greeks, they worshiped the same olympian gods with their southern ‘omoe8neis’ greeks, but also many thracian, illyrian, roman and various other ancient tribes had common religious and cultural beleifs. Hence, the greeks, makedonians included, the other pelasgians, ie. the illyrians, the thracians, the pelasgian tribes of asia minor, the pelasgian tribes of rome, latium and of italy, all of them had more or less the same gods, the same religious systems, they worshiped Zeys and the Olympians, Dionysos, Hercules, Aleksander, and all of their ancestors of various importance, historic or mythical persons of any significance to them like glorious kings, politicians, emperors, ‘stratilates’ or famous army officials of past war expenditions from their glorious and long forgotten past, as well as the nature, the sun and the ouranos, the mother earth and the seas, and so on.

c) The third criterion was that of the same and a common language, the ‘omoglotton’ or the ‘omoglosson’. The makedonians could easily understand and commounicate effectively with the southern greeks and with all the hellenes, and vice versa. The greeks though could not easily communicate with many of the northern-illyrians, with some of the northern thrakians, with the triballoi, the dacians and the mysians, and so on. Some of them could easily understand or even speak the more demanding and thus, more intellect southern ionian or the ‘attic koine’ dialect, which had been adopted by most fo the graeco-hellenic (dorian) and the graeco-pelasgian (ionian) tribes. That language was clearly understood and were spoken among the tribes of epirous and of the north-western greeks, among those tribes throughout the original makedonian lands and even in paeonia and dardania, in the greek epiroto-makedonian area of the ‘illyris’ (extending for the Mat Valley to the Dalmatian coastline and to the Montenegran heartland) as well as in much of the thrake, up to south of the Mt Aemos (today Stara Planina) and the river danube (Istros/Isteros), and southwards to mainland greece and up to the peloponese, crete, cyprus, the greek islands, in much of southern italy and in much of asia minor.

Others though didn’t adopt too quickly, so they left behind and their culture began to defferentiate significantly from that of the pelasgian-greeks or of the hellenic-greeks of the peninsula. Hence, the illyrians in libournia, istria, pannonia, japygia, the venetioi, the rhaetians, the carrinthians in southern austria, the etruscans and the lygurians, the messapians in italy, the aytariatae in today serbia, the triballoi, much of the mysians, as well as the northern thrakians, especially those in dacia (in modern-day Romania) did not adapt too quickly to the southern pelasgian-greek language, up until the era of the hellenistic kingdoms, the era of Alexander the Great and even much later, when they began to adopt the ‘hellenistic koine’ language the peoples from the balkans and asia minor, to the caucasus and the pontic regions, and up to the middle east, in syria and in palestine, and even among the peoples of the tigris and the eyphratis rivers.

Implications: First and foremost, ancient and historic makedonians were found on all three conditions greeks, like those of the south. Ancient and historic illyrians, at least the so-called ‘real illyrians’ of northern albania, montenegro and dalmatia, were also pelasgian-greeks -and, closer to greeks culturally, linguistically and according to the three conditions that were mentioned above, were closer to official ‘greekness’ and ‘greekhood’than to any other culture, spoken language and material civilisation of that particular era. Clearly though, they were not Celts, Slavs or Germans.

Along with the paeonians and the dardanians, and along with most of the thrakians up until the Mt Haemos that shared a common greek and pelasgian culture with the epirotans, the makedonians and with the southern greeks, the so called ‘real illyrians’ can be considered as to be indeed, fully-flegged graeco-pelasgians of the same ancient greek and pelasgian stock of the indigenous peoples of the north-western parts of the hellenic peninsula. From then onwards, this peninsula was homogenious ethnically, racially, linguistically, culturally and religiously up until the roman conquest. A significant and common culture was to be developed among most of the pelasgian peoples from the Mt Haemos southwards, to Dardania, Montenegro and Dalmatia, and yet again southwards to the peninsula into the greek mainland, westwards to S.Italy and Sicely and easternwards to Asia Minor and N.Egypt.

Few centuries later, even more of the peoples of thrake, dacia and up to the depths of asia minor met in full the above criteria and gained their position into the glorious ancient greek pantheon of eternity.

H.L. Assimakopoulos,
Athens, Greece.

westclub4 says:

Syntrofe ‘Kanenas’,

8a prepei na krinoume th skopimothta twn syn8hmatwn ths aristeras symfwna pantote me thn epikairothta k’ thn olh politiko-koinwnikh sygkhria. Anamfivola, alles oi syn8hkes to 1923, alles to 1944, alles to 1991-91, k polu pi8ana k’ alles akomh kai shmera. To oti shmera den yparxei meionothta sthn perioxh ths ellhnikhs makedonias de shmainei kala kai nte oti pantote htan kai etsi. Otan to 1922-23 to SEKE-KKE yio8etouse th 8esh ths KOMINTERN gia dikaioma sthn aytodia8esh k prwo8ouse kai thn efarmogh tou sth ellhnikh xersonhso tou Aimou -dld, se oloklhrh th valkanikh mazi me ta alla KK ths perioxhs, ta pragmata htan entelws diaforetika. H plh8hsmiakh syn8esh ths ellhnikhs makedonias kai ths 8rakhs htan teleiws diaforetikh apo ayth pou exoume sto myalo mas emeis shmera. Allh htan h pleiopshfia sth 8essalonikh tote, alloi einai h shmerinh. Alloi htan oi ply8hsmoi oloklhrhs ths perioxhs ths voreias elladas tote kai alloi einai shmera, idiaitera meta apo tis ‘antallages twn plh8ysmwn’ me thn tourkia k tis alles valkanikes xwres, k pantote ystera apo thn eisodo twn prosfygwn apo th mikra asia.

Se mia ellhnikh makedonia poy tote akoma den yphrxan oi ellhnes prosfyges ‘mikrasiates’ k’ ‘pontioi’, poy den eixan akoma apoxwrhsei polloi tourkoi, voulgaroi, slavo-makedones, roumanizontes k’ latinofonoi-vlaxoi, alvano-tsamhdes, polloi evraioi alla k’ ellhnes tsigganoi-‘rom’, oi apaithseis twn kairwn gia thn aristera htan diaforetikes, opote kai ta syn8hmata ofeilan na einai alla tote kai alla shmera. As mh vlepoume ta pragmata statika. Yparxei mia dynamikh alla kai ena synexes ‘protses’ politiko-koinwnikhs e3eli3hs, posotikwn k’ poiotikwn allagwn sta dedomena twn koinwniwn kai twn e8nwn thw perioxhs, ka8ws kai diaforwn shmantikwn gia th plh8ysmiakh systash ths makedonias tou aigaiou tote kai shmera, to opoio kai an paravlepsoume 8a katalh3oume se esfalmena symperasmata gia thn epikairothta twn syn8hmatatwn ths aristeras tote, opws k’ twra.

Se genikes grammes loipon tote oi syntrofoi toy SEKE k epeita toy KKE poly swsta ekanan kai yperaspizontan ekeinh th grammh. To na yperaspizesai to dikaioma twn e8nwn sthn aytodia8esh, mexri aposxisews, akomh k’ e8nikou apoxwrismou gia ta en logw e8nh, de shmainei kiolas pws propagandizeis ayta ta syn8hmata taktikhs, oute k’ pws ousiastika ensternizesai ta e8nikistika oramata twn e8nikwn meionothtwn pou tygxanei na dinoyn to diko toys agwna gia e8nikh ane3arthsia, aytodia8esh k gia apeley8erwsh. As mh 3exname pws to ‘e8niko’ einai kai ‘astiko’ kai pws tis perissoteres fores, idiaitera de se mia perifereiakh mini-imperialistikh xwra opws einai kai h ellada tou shmera, o ex8ros vrisketai mesa sthn idia mas th xwra!

Ara, se kamia periptwsh ta syn8hmata ths aristeras, akomh pio poly shmera, sto edw kai to twra, den mporoun na einai ta idia me ekeina ths egxwrias astikhs ta3hs. H aristera ofeilei na exei diaforetika syn8hmata apo thn astikh ta3h shmera gia to 8ema twn e8nikwn meionothtwn, ara epeishs kai gia to 8ema ths makedonias kai twn slavomakedonwn. Den mporoume na arnoumaste peismatika thn ypar3h tous, thn e8nikothta tous, tis paradoseis tous kai to dikaioma tous ston e8niko ayto-prosdiorismo, oso ki an mas stenoxwroun oi ypervoles kai oi e8nikistikoi dy8yrramvoi pou dystuxws akougontai kai apo thn allh meria twn synorwn.

Apo thn allh pali, as mhn 3exname pws oi slavomakedones shmera sthn ellada einai mia katapiesmenh meionotikh e8nothta, sthn opoia anamesa stis alles e8nikes meionothtes ths xwras, ofeiloume san aristeroi alla kai san die8nistes na anagnwrisoume plhrh dikaiomata sth glwssa, ton e8niko ayto-prosdiorismo kai th politikh ‘ thn 8rhskeytikh syneidhsh. Eidallws, den 8a eimaste pragmatika aristeroi kai die8nistes, toulaxiston a3ioi aytou tou orou.

Hlias L. Assimakopoulos,
A8hna, Greece.

westclub4 says:

The greek nation-state systematically tries for over one hundrend years to convince the whole world that it is the sole and true successor of the glorious ancient greek culture and of the more contemporary ‘byzantine’ cosmopolitismos that sprang out of it. The modern-day greeks claim that the ancient ‘hellenic culture’ is theirs. That, it is theirs the ‘old pelasgian world’ along with all of ‘the sea peoples’, the mythical dorian-hellenes or dorian-greeks of the north-western greek peninsula, the acheans, the argeians, the myceneans, the danaoians, the ionians, the arkadians, the makedonians, the apeirotans or the epeirotai, the acarnanians, the aetolians, the avantes, the thessalians, the magnetes or the magnessians, the aeolians, the greco-illyrians, along with the modern-day albanians, the arvanites and all the arberesh people, the pontians, the colchians, the lazikoi, the bythinians, the frygians and their older ancestors the brygians, the thrakians and the various peoples of romylia, the bulgarians or burgharians of the byzantine empire’s burghs-bourghas (‘pyrgos’, in greek -- which means ‘castle’), the paeonians, the mysians of asia minor and the moesians of the greek peninsula, the dacians and the panonians, as well as the more contemporary to us latin-speaking vlackhs and moldovlackhs, the modern-day moldovans and the romanians, the macedonian-slavs, the peoples of the former yogoslavia, that is the greco-illyrian sub-stratum which evidently has become slavicised and got blended with serbs and with croats, which were originally of scytho-sarmatian and thus, of possible caucasian and/or persian-iranian origin. The modern greek nation-state claims the peoples and the ethicities of the ancient ‘asia minor’, of ionia or of the modern-day turkey, along with those of crete and cyprus, the minoans, the cycladeans and the aegians, the peoples of the ionian sea and of the adriatic, the inhabitants of ‘magna grecia’ and their descendants, the people of sikelia, sardinia and korsika of modern italy and france, and so on.. Don’t you think that such an imperialist ‘dream of panhellenism’ and of ‘greekness’ which still sells well in modern-day greece, is the shorter way for peace to become re-established again in the greek peninsula?

By the way, the modern-day greek nation-state tries for over a century now to convince the macedonian-slavs that they are not bulgarians but, that they too are somewhat.. ‘macedonians’. On the other hand, the greek state tries to convince the bulgarians, they are not tatars and turko-mongols as the proto-voulgarians and the avaro-slavs were in the past but that they too are indeginous greco-thrakians, mixed or blended with a bit of celtic, german, baltic-slavic and miscalaenious ‘noric’ blood, which in general ‘is not a bad thing at all..’ (lol).

Equally, they try to convince the albanians that they too are of ancient greco-italic or greco-latin stock, that is greco-illyrian or simply ‘illyrian’, which historically is more akin to ‘greek’, ‘greekness’ and ‘greekhood’ than to the modern-day italian-papistans or to the slavs and/or to the turks and to the ottomans..

It is funny that the modern-day greeks have somehow succeeded to convince more or less the albanians that they are ‘pure’ greco-illyrians or greco-dardanians, the bulgarians that they are greco-thrakians, the macedonian-slavs that they are not bulgarians but somehow.. ‘macedonian-slavs’, the serbo-croats that they are greco-illyrian and persian-iranian and not slav or baltic and finaly the turks that they are not turanic, yellow or asian but, because of their greek origins and of their glorious past, they too are ‘mikrasiates’, that is greco-ionians and greco-frygians and thus, that they too are a pure white, european and indigenus people.

This is madness, but some people like it! So, keep it up you ‘neo-greeks’ and you modern-day ‘greculoi’ of avaro-slav origin, you people of turano-mongol, tataro-fino-hungrian and of turko-albanian stock. And if you find the true and the pure discendants of the ancient inhabitants of the greek peninsula i will make a ‘spondi’ to Zeus and to all the Olympian Gods!

Hlias Leonidas Assimakopoulos,
Athens, Greece ;)

kanenas says:

Kalispera se olous . Asxoloume me to thema tis Makedonias edw kai arketa xronia , exw diabasei arketa biblia kai k symmeteixa para polles fores se syzhthseis san kai ayth . Grafw se greeklish polu apla , ton typo pou grafei edw mesa arxika me to nick Dragan en synexeia me to Zlatko sitkpvski kai me to Gallus ton exw synanthsei se diafora site . Einai to idio proswpo . Tha nomizete oti yperballw kai oti lew anohsies, alla molis ton eida na grafei k edw mesa epesa apo ta synnefa . Se ola ta site grafei akrivws ta idia , epikaleitai tis idies piges k parathetei ta idia epixeirimata .Arxika mou parousiasthke san Gallos taxa antikeimenikos ereythths , en synexeia kapoies stigmes den mporouse na apantisei se diafora erwtimwta mou k arxise na ekneurizete .Otan kapoia stigmh ton apokalesa amorfwto ,anistorito kai agrammato , mou ksanasysthithike gia na apodeiksei oti kanw lathos oti einai kapoios Gallos psyxiatros me to onoma Dr Jacque , kai oti gnwrizei proswpika ton Ellina filosofo Kosta Axelo o opoios an zei akomh , brisketai sto Parisi.Epsaksa arketa gia to onoma pou mou systithike k brika kapoion………… To thema einai oti grafw ola auta dioti o typos, asxoleitai olh thn hmera me auto to thema , na grafei sto net gia thn makedonia. Autos k enas apo tous logous pou mpainei me diaforetika nick , gia na mhn anarwtieste pws ginete na einai toso porwmenos k olh thn hmera na grafei sto site les k den exei kati allo na kanei.Paidia eftasa sto shmeio na malwnw me thn gynaika mou apo to na eimai olh thn wra sto net gia na apantw k na antiparetithomai s auton .Opote empaina sto site na grapsw , k empaina 2-3 fores thn hmera , autos eixe hdh apanthsei .Einai h douleia tou . Molis eida auto to site pragmatika epatha plaka k pleon sigoureytika oti prokeitai gia diko tou dhmiourghma to site , dioti auta pou grafei arxika sto site , tous logous gia thn Ellinikothta ths macedonias pou mas parathetoun se arxaious syggrafeis….ta egrafe akribws idia kai sto prohgoumrno site.Kati akomh , stanatisa na tou grafw sto allo site arxes maiou…..kai ton eixa strimwksei kala pou den eixe ti na apanthsei.aporw twra pou eida oti grafei k egrafe toso kairo k edw . pws prolabaine na grafei k sta dyo site?Tha prepei na einai to epaggelma tou . Sas grafw ola auta giati adika syzitate . Paidia , diabasa ton Irodoto ksana k ksana , piga se bibliothikes pira biblia me apodeikseis apo istorikous ,ethnologous ,grafologous…. k den ebgala akri me auton. 4 mhnes egrafa , k autos ta dika tou .Den kserw ti skopo exei.Kapoia stigmh skeftika oti mporei na douleuei gia thn kybernhsh twn skopianwn gia na propaganda ,allh fora oti isws kanei kapoia ergasia k mazeuei me ton tropo auto plirofories .To thema einai oti xrhsimopoiei tous xrhstes tou site ‘paizontas’ mazi tous.Sas protrepw na mhn grafete katholou .Epishs einai aristos gnwsths tou aristoteli.kserei papa para polla . Einai morfwmenos kala .Diabazw aristotelh xronia k autos kserei ta dipla .Epishs an mpeite sto net k deite gia ton Axelo einai apo tous koryfaious Ellines filosofous ths neoterhs istorias. Den kserw an ton exei filo pragmatika , alla o Kwstas Axelos autoeksoristike meta ton emfylio gia thn kommounistikh tou drash .Einai lepto to thema k den thelw na parreksigithw alla to K.K.E. kata ton emfylio htan yper ths dhmiourgias tou kratousThs MAKEDONIAS symfwna me osa o TITO ithele .Na anagnwristei dld kratos makedonwn to opoio tha apoteloutan apo tous Slabous ths perioxhs .Lupamai gia ola auta,alla einai alitheies me apodeikseis.Logika k o Axelos tha htan yper auths ths apopshs.Isws na gnwrizontai apo ekei . Polloi Ellines boulgarofwnoi htan yper tou kommounismou k auths ths ideas .Meta ton emfylio perasan sta Skopia k twra lene oti h Ellada tous ediwkse (p.x. h oikogeneia tou prwthipourgous tous Grouefski). H alitheia einai oti den ekatsan edw gia na mhn dikastoun gia prodwsia k anagkastikan na fygoun apo tis prakseis tous .Isws loipon gnwrizeio Dragan ton Axelo apo thn koinh tous drash , alla auta einai mono eikasies .Prin pareksigithw gia ola , prepei n anaferw oti anhkw ki egw ston xwro ths aristeras alla auta einai mia pikrh alitheia . Auta ta oliga .Na pernate kala . Briskomai makrya apo to spiti mou . Otan epistrepsw telos kalokairiou , tha sas steilw thn dieythinsh tou site pou egrafa me ton Dragan gia na deite oti lew thn alitheia . Ta egrapsa ola auta gia na mhn spatalate adika ton xrono sas sto paixnidi tou .Kalo kalokairi se olous .H makedonia einai Ellinikhopws panta htan . As psaksoun allh tautothta ethnikh sybeidhsh k istoria na tous enwnei k na tous kanei kratos…oi boulgaroi ths Serbias .

Pamis says:

Hello Dragan…………….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!hahahahahah How r u?

Gallus says:

Of course, this is what I said yesterday I think, in the comment 26, the last paragraph.

But we really can not help by agreeing as we do. The Republic Macedonia would like to claim Alexander a direct ancestor while Greece wants to claim Alexander as a direct ancestor of their Macedonians who are Greeks! Both claims are ridiculous and right at the same time! since there is no other people who could have such a claim; and, as you seams to agree, that such a claim, so concrete and so defined claim is -- ABSOLUTELLY irrelevant.

Let me say a word more, not for you but may be for the others who are also following this discussion. You seam to know the works of Ernest Renan, or modern authors alike Gellner or Hobsbawm on the notion of “nation”. There is an entry in Wikipedia about “nation” which is not of much help, although some good literature is given. So let me say briefly: I thought, long ago, that the “nation” did not exist in reality. Now I think that it could be a kind of World 3 object (as Popper defined it), and that its reality can not be contested, although it escapes all definitions.

But! There are moral reasons why we should behave as we most often do in respect to “nations”: respect personalities and human rights. I think that we are all born in time and place and this may be, for majority of us – and should hold for ALL of us, where we are “at home”. Certainly, people may change their preferences. But we, we should respect their feelings about belonging to places and times. Displacement of populations is a crime and if we do not keep this to be an essential rule, we will have terrible problems (take Palestine for example).

In our context this should mean: keep all as it is and try to recompense for the losses in the recent past without casing another harm. Then we should accept that there are no historical rights that can be transformed into the sufferings of the people who even were not born then when these rights had been presumably gained.

We hvery likelly have similar conclusion. Macedonians of all ancient Macedonian territories and all that feel being Macedonians would have to find a way, as you propose, for example, to tune finely the names of their regions or states so that they could, in collaboration, help each other to survive. Since the region is such that there are forces around which tend to expand on the account of exactly Macedonian entity which is being mutually negated by exactly those who should do just the opposite: acclaim each other.

SM says:

The reason I asked this hypothetical question is to elicit your sense of fairness. Please try and understand that other people feel just as Macedonian as the people of Southern ex-Yugoslavia.

By your own admission you’ve said that a Macedonian is someone who has lived in the land of Macedonia for generations (let’s not get on to silly topics of who has been living there the most generations as this is obviously irrelevant). If this is the only requisite of being Macedonian, then all the peoples of this region have an equal right to identifying themselves by this name regardless of ethnicity, race or language.

Would you not therefore agree that the only way forward is for each group to use a disambiguated form of the term ‘Macedonia’ and ‘Macedonian’? A geographic or ethnic qualifier perhaps e.g. Northern Macedonian, Greek Macedonian. This would be fair to everyone.

North Macedonia or New Macedonia or Upper Macedonia can henceforth start to have a normal relationship with Greece, consolidate its place in the world and address the ‘real’ issues facing its existence.

Gallus says:

Sorry, again. I forgot the language question.

There is no single word for which we are sure to be ancient Macedonian word. Kalleris I think cited 156 glosses. Indeed when we have a glossa (a word), we do not know whether this is its preserved original form, or Hellenised original one or whatever combination of use or reuse, indirect import etc. When surroundings is linguistically clear then such inferences could be made. Unfortunately our knowledge of 4th century BC and of earlier times is very limited, there is no language from the region that is preserved (Illyrian may be some glosses, Thracian I think 5-6 glosses in spite of the fact that certainly over 200 language were spoken and that there were almost all quite distant.

The Macedonians from the Republic of Macedonia speak a variant that is south Slave and if the ancient Macedonians in reality spoke that language, then we would have a surprise of the order of a revolution. But, one has to compare Sanskrit with the old languages, old Slave for example, or Baltic languages, and then the ancient Greek to realise that the languages are in fact not so distant and that, who knows, we may have surprises.

However, this what I just said is all on some other level and has NOTHING to do with today’s political problem.

Gallus says:

First, my apology for my first paragraph which, when I read it again, sounded to me too aggressive.

I think that we had just a misunderstanding about our concepts of “race” which is obviously identical. Now your question is… I am sorry -- too complicated. Or we differ so much that I even can not grasp your hypothetical answers to your hypothetical question.

Do you want to say that let us imagine, Yugoslavia and its Republic of Macedonia still exist and then a “NEW Macedonia” springs out of the hypothetically dismantled Greece? And that “new” Macedonia claims rights to be exclusive “Macedonia”?

The example does not help much because it is exactly inversed from what we just have! Why should we discuses a hypothetical situation when we have a real one?

My answer would be that it does NOT have EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS, but that a problem appears to be formal: just a problem of the name. The claims of both sides about their “racial ancestry” is void. Culturally Greece has certainly linguistic advantages in spite of the fact that Greek for Macedonians was probably not more then English for us today is: just acquired language of communications. On the other hand, the Republic of Macedonia has territorial claims based on their very long time residence in the region (from the 9th century onwards, while, and this is great disadvantage, Greece acquired it, for the FIRST TIME EVER, in 1914, or more precisely at the end of the WWI.. Etc. There are many arguments for and against on both sides.

The essence of the problem is: the problem is formal. However, the actors (Greece and the Republic of Macedonia – i.e. FYROM) declare their maximal claims with the scope to get more after very hard negotiations. I think this is what we haveas a problem.

Some repetitions, may be, to make it more clear:
As I said the territories are both legitimate “Macedonian” territories, but who are the people – we do not know. They both have rights to claim, I think, to be “Macedonians”. Greek part speaks Greek language, which was obviously official language even after the Roman conquest of Macedonia and particularly after 6th century A.D. The Slave part speaks a Slave language. “Genetically” we do not know what both are. This may be a relevant factor, not because of the “genetics” itself, but because of the values (cultural values) the people attach to supposed genetic characteristics. Greeks attach enormous value to the language problem, forgetting that we in Europe now write and speak English, without being all British! Or in 19 century Russians aristocracy spoke French without being French! The ancient Macedonian very likely did the same. Then they even did not have much choice since writing, that was available, was Greek. So this was quite logical that higher class knew some Greek.

My conclusion would be that the compatible solution must be found that permits both to keep their Macedonian names (North and South , or whatever). The exaggerations of both, the Republic of Macedonia or Greek Macedonia must be levelled.

SM says:

Excellent! I’m glad we agree on so many points.

Now that we have agreed that Alexandrian Macedonia is irrelevant to the naming question of the modern state of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia we need not refer to it again.

So let’s get down to the guts of it. There’s really only one important question as I see it:

“The question therefore arises as to what gives the New Macedonians a monopolistic right to exclusively identify themselves by this term.”

To which you replied,

“10 centuries of residence on the Macedonian land and not having any other identity since their other identities disappeared.”

Your answer is that it is by virtue of living in the geographical area of Macedonia that gives a person his/her right to call themself Macedonian.

I agree with you absolutely.

However you have not adequately answered my question which was centred on the idea of a ‘monopolistic’ and exclusive right. To demonstrate my point let me use a hypothetical example.

Suppose it was Greece that broke up into various smaller states each wishing self determination. And also suppose that Yugoslavia had remained intact. The Greek province of Macedonia wanted to be known as Macedonia. Ethnically different from the southern Yugoslavs of that homonymous province they claimed to be the ‘real’ and ‘only’ Macedonians. They spoke a dialect which was similar to Southern Greek (not identical) but they preferred to call it Macedonian.

My question to you is this:

Does this state have a right to claim to be the one and only Macedonia and its language the one and only Macedonian language?

If your answer is ‘yes’, what should the people of the province of Macedonia in Yugoslavia now call themselves?

If you’re answer is ‘no’ (which I can’t see how it could be) please explain why?

Gallus says:

Sorry, I did not want it to be so long.

Thanks for answering my comment. Although you started badly, but we almost completely agree afterwards. First about your beginning.

You are one of rare “philosophers” who would the affirmation of non-homogeneity of the inherited factors (blood as I use it in this popular text) interpret as a “well defined race”.

I do not know what your logical persuasion is, but the meaning of what I said and you cited is just opposite of what you think it is. Let me repeat it, when speaking of “Macedonians” of today: “These are the people who, some more and some less, have in their veins the blood that the great Ancient Macedonians probably also had.”

The meaning is that “there is obviously no Macedonian race” but they may be some more similarity between these people. May be but who knows… I personally think that there is no Race in principle, as the race was defined in the last century (clades may be, but this is not the subject here). Let us don’t waist our time on these points where we obviously agree.

I am sorry, it is a historical fact that the language that “prevailed in the Eastern Mediterranean right up to the fall of Constantinople (1453)” was – who knows, but a great deal Slave. The state language at first being Latin, in the sixth century and afterwards, was officially Geek. The population spoke all but more and more just Latin, Slave and Greek, the the ONLY languages that have remained up to now! Although, then, in the today’s Vardar, Pirin and Aegean Macedonia the population was increasingly Slave, to be in 9the century almost exclusively Slave (I mean the region of Thessalonica). The language, I mean, was predominantly Slave, Greek, may be some Latin (we still have “Cincar” who spoke Roman), but the population was a strong mixture. As I said nobody knows what is that mixture, but probably there was some “blood” of ancient Macedonia there while in Athens was certainly less. As I explained, the Greece took these regions first time after Alexander, first time ever in fact in 1914 (Greek polisis never reigned over Macedonia, they were just on the coast, while Macedonia was in the north-westward of the Thessalonica (Philip named the city). Then, when Ottomans left, the great masses of the populations moved. Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece forces shared the territory of –Macedonia!!! The people who remained to be there called themselves “Macedonians”. There is a lot of evidence from the solders who took part in this operations.

You say: “becoming fully Hellenised by the time of Philippos and Alexandros.” No friend, the real Hellenisation, linguistic hellenisation, started with Alexaned III. The Macedonans were “Hellenes” as much as the French were Latines, while loving Latin and speaking latin in the “cartier latin” in Paris. (look up biographies of Alexander by Arrian, Curtius, Diodorus)

“They (Macedonians) faded away into the twilight of history, genes and all” Yes, where is the problem although you are talking now of the race!. The last Cleopatra VII (read Shakespeare’s’ Julius Caesar?) was – Macedonian who spoke Macedonian, of course. All Ptolemyes were Macedonians! This was Macedonian kingdom. Macedonia existed throughout the history up to our day (after Alexander under Diadochy, then as Roman provinces of Macedonia which is distinct from Hellene province in the south; as distinct Byzantine provinces of Macedonia (Thema), We have long line of Macedonian dynasty in Eastern Roman Empire (about 300 years). I do not exactly know how Turks Vilayets were constructed, but the Macedonia was distinct region during Ottoman empire also.

“the Slavs entered the Balkans centuries after the demise of the ancient Macedonian kingdom”. No, much, much later, but they entered in the Thema of Macedonia ! All these people considered themselves to be Macedonians, of course, although probably already a strong mixture of various “peoples.

“The question therefore arises as to what gives the New Macedonians a monopolistic right to exclusively identify themselves by this term.” Let us say 10 centuries of residence on the Macedonian land and not having any other identity since their other identities disappeared.

Now, your great misconception:
“ethnic cleansing is as intrinsic to the history of the Balkans” is hardly through. The Balkan people did not move more then 200km away from where they were 1000 years ago. While the other Europeans… o la la, mon ami. DO I have to explain this? Let me rather talk about populations displacements, because these are not always clearly defined ethnic groups. The recent great ethnic cleansing: Palestinians, then WW2 ethnic cleansings all over the Europe, didn’t we ethnically cleansed, just partially may be, all our colonies? I mean displaced populations. Not to talk about American genocide of Indians… Even in the last Balkan wars, the Balkan people have been cleansing some cities, before the NATO arrived to cleanse entire regions (!!!) (in 1995, to cleanse Croatian Kraina of all Serbs, and then Bosnia – what preceded the “Dayton peace”, and then 1999, cleansing Kosovo of all the Serbs also.

The today Macedonians have a conflict with Greece. Yes. There you are right. “alienating its greatest benefactor and friend in the region.” This is true. And your last paragraph is of course true.

SM says:


Firstly I’d like to thank you for taking the time to respond.

If I am correct in my understanding of your argument you are saying that the Macedonians are simply the people living in the geographical area of Macedonia. They are distinct somehow from the Greeks and the Slavs whose languages they have adopted. This distinction you attribute to race: “These are the people who, some more and some less, have in their veins the blood that the great Ancient Macedonians probably also had.”

That’s an incredible claim: Macedonian by virtue of blood line. A nation made up of a distinct genotype. A Macedonian genotype. An Arian race.

The many years spent on the study of population genetics taught me that nations are gene ‘salads’. Pedigree bloodlines are as mythical as the Holy Grail. It is cultural heritage and legacy that characterises nations not their gene pool. One can not be a Macedonian by virtue of having assimilated some of the earlier inhabitant’s genes, just as a Turk can not claim to be Ionian, or Palestinians to be Israelites or the Polish people to be East Prussian.

You’re right when you say I don’t know my history. It’s true. You’ve caught me out… I’m not a historian. However I do know a logical argument when I see one.

Using the principle of Occam’s Razor I ask myself a question: did the Ancient Macedonians after becoming fully Hellenised by the time of Philippos and Alexandros swap this culture and language to take on a culture and language of a newly arrived ethnic group. What would be the attraction of this? To give up a language that prevailed in the Eastern Mediterranean right up to the fall of Constantinople (1453) with obvious commercial and social advantages to take on an insular local dialect which hadn’t even yet been alphabetised. That would be equivalent to the English adopting Wampanoag during the colonisations of America.

Occam’s Razor principle would suggest not. Simple reason would also suggest that the Ancient Macedonians once Hellenised (to avoid the conjectural subject of whether they were Greek to begin with or not) would have become indistinct in their adopted culture just like the Etruscans in the Roman Empire or the Normans in Britain. The Macedonians simply ceased to exist just like the Pelasgians, Minoans, Lydians and Medeans. They faded away into the twilight of history, genes and all.

What is not simple reasoning to me is to assume, especially in light of any supportive evidence that the Macedonians remained extant -- as a racially distinct group floating like oil on water changing and swapping cultures and languages with the changing ethnic tides. If we strip this question from all emotionalism, you will see that this logic is taking an unnecessary detour. The intention of this is obvious: to avoid the most probable conclusion which is that “modern Slavs, both Bulgarians and New Macedonians (aka FYROMians), cannot establish a link with antiquity, as the Slavs entered the Balkans centuries after the demise of the ancient Macedonian kingdom.”

Why can’t people “claim to be what they feel.” Where is the problem, you ask. Good question. The answer is that there is nothing wrong in claiming to be who you feel that you are. However just as you suggest that no one has a right to deny one of his/her self expression of identity, one must in turn not deny others of this right.

If the New Macedonians win the right to call themselves Macedonian with out any disambiguation to this name they will in effect be stripping other people the right off self-determination; that is people who also see themselves as Macedonian i.e. Greek Macedonians. These are not as you claim Macedonians who have been Hellenised. These are patriotic Greeks who see themselves both as Greeks and at once as Macedonians. The question therefore arises as to what gives the New Macedonians a monopolistic right to exclusively identify themselves by this term.

I agree that there were many Slavo-Macedonians in Greek Macedonia. I’ve known a few over the years. Likewise there were many Greeks in Constantinople now there are but a few. We can go on all day about this topic. The truth of the matter is that ethnic cleansing is as intrinsic to the history of the Balkans as the Balkan mountains are to its topography. What counts is not the past but avoiding a repeat of these mistakes in the future.

In conclusion the real tragedy in all this is that New Macedonia (aka FYROM) whilst pursuing this Holy Grail is blindsiding itself to the real threats of its nation building and at once alienating its greatest benefactor and friend in the region

The fact is that the New Macedonians and Greeks are neighbours who share a common Byzantine and Christian heritage. They can co-exist in a harmonious and mutually beneficial relationship. Neither side should lose sight of this.

Gallus says:

Sorry: When I write “the end of 19 century”, I meant „the beginning of the 20th century“. So let me restate and explain: The Macedonia was taken from Turkey after the Balkan wars (1914) to be “occupied” by the Serbs (Vardar Macedonia), Greece (Aegean Macedonia) and Bulgaria (Pirin Macedonia). Only the Vardar Macedonia got its independence after the WW2 (1945, entering the Yugoslav federates state) and the others remained incorporated in the mentioned states.

So just one part of the Macedonia has been incorporated into Greece FOR THE FIRST TIME in the beginning of the 20th century. Evers since the death of the Alexander III in the 323 BC. Appart from their language, it dos NOT have much in common with neither Bulgaria, Serbia nor with Greece.


Gallus says:

Dear SM,

Not less then 15 centuries these people have been there and have been calling themselves “Macedonians” and you want to call them Greeks? Just because they slowly in time forgot their language and replaced it by Slave or Greek? Some of them to replace it by Latin (during Rome) or Slave (during Byzantium), to learn Greek again in the last century?

Why don’t you learn history first, for example?

At certain point in history (in fact after Chaeronea in 338 BC) the Hellenes (who lived south of Olympus) were absorbed into Macedonian state, to become a huge Macedonian empire some years later under Alexander III (who might have been of Hellenic origin, but this is seriously disputed). When he died, the empire split in at least 4 MACEDONIAN states. They lasted until the Romans arrived (second century BC; the MACEDONIAN Egypt remaining until the turn of the Era). Romans split the entire Mediterranean region it into provinces, where the Macedonian province continued to be separated from the south, Hellenic province. This state of affaires remained until – what do you think? Until the end of the 19 century! So “Greeks” or the Hellenes, Aegeans, after Alexander (323 BC), were never again with the Macedonians in the same province or under same local government until the end of 19 century.

Now the Slaves, who probably arrived there in 6-7 century, remained, mixing with the local population – until today. That mixture of all these people, was, during the Eastern Roman empire, and has remained to be, until our days, just Macedonians. The Constantinople spoke Greek, but Thessalonica spoke Slave! For how long that mixture of people, speaking mainly Slave was there? 15 centuries. Now some want to say that they are the newcomers!?

The Greece then, for the first time in history, when the Turkey retreated, took the deeper northern and eastern regions around and away from the coast of the bay of Thessalonica and slowly suppressed the Slave language. FOR THE FIRST TIME ever since Greece was united with the Macedonia!!!.

If there are any “Macedonians” remained at all, they live in the blood of all these peoples who are now in the Vardar Macedonia, Pirin Macedonia, Aegean Macedonia -- around the Thermaic golf (bay of Thessalonica), stretching to the south may be including Magnesia, and on the west over Pidna mountain and ancient Illyrian mountains.

Who are they? They are as they are. Ma-ce-do –ni-ans.

The Greeks, i.e. the Hellenes, may be or may become Macedonians, if they wish, but Macedonians remain to be just Macedonians. The language that they speak are different, but mainly Slave and Greek. They are what they are. Similarly, the people who make up the US of America speak English but they are not British. They are what they are, and now they say they are “Americans”. People are what they claim to be and what they feel. Where is the problem?

If Greeks want to become Macedonians, I think the Macedonians do not have anything against. This was a desire of Alexander anyway. Some Macedonians may want to be Greeks? This should be no problem either. But if some people, and particularly Greeks, say that Macedonians are all Greeks, they should know that exactly the inverse would be more likely. And that they obviously do not know history.

Who are these people? If we would travel from Larisa to Thessalonica, or northward to Skopje, we will see them. These are the people who, some more and some less, have in their veins the blood that the great Ancient Macedonians probably also had. We can recognise them by their slightly sun burned skin, hard faces, sometimes blond hare, as Alexander might have had, or just because more Slave blood flows in theri veins. You, who may be Greek, should be proud to have a chance to carry some of Ancient Macedonians blood in your veins also. I, coming from the other side of Europe, certainly can not hope to have Alexander for an ancestor, but who knows? May be we all have some Alexander in us. Because quite obviously, we all aspire to what he aspired and almost managed: a world, united in peace and brotherhood.

So do not fight against -- yourself. Learn more.

SM says:

Its a ridiculous argument -- that the Ancient Macedonians were not Ancient Greek ergo they must be related to a self proclaimed Macedonian socio-ethnic group of the modern world. Even if the Ancient Macedonians are ‘ethnically’ worlds apart from the conventional definition of ‘Hellenism’ does this, by reasonable association relate them to the Slavic peoples of the modern nation?

The onus of proof is not on Greeks to show that they have common cultural grounds with Ancient Macedonians but for the Wannabee Macedonians to show what on Earth gave them the idea that their culture is somehow even remotely associated with Alexander’s Hellenic legacy.

If you still don’t know what I’m talking about explain in simple logic how the names of Macedonians regressed into names like ‘Zlatko’?

Dragan says:

And just an explanation. The posted texts apparently do not appear sometimes, but it is the browser. I tried differente browsers at the same time and some show, the other do not show some texts. The editor, I think, is extremely democratic and do not interfere, even when he should, as I think, be interfering. The site is really very fair indeed.

Dragan says:

Thanks, Ntemis G21 (your name is funny!).

This is the section from Anabasis of Alexander, by Arrian, II, 7, 4 and further (sorry, I had to masacre the text: some crazy sighs appeared and I had to replace them; as a result, all accents disapeard!):

Μακεδόνας τε γaρ Πέρσαις καi Μήδοις, eκ πάνυ πολλοu τρυφωσιν, αuτοuς eν τοiς πόνοις τοiς πολεμικοiς πάλai eδη μετa κινδύνων aσκουμένους, aλλως τε καi δούλοις aνθρώποις eλευθέρους, εiς χεiρας nξειν. oσοι τε Eλληνες Eλλησιν, οuχ uπερ των αuτων μαχεiσθαι, aλλa τοuς μeν ξuν Δαρείω eπi μισθω καi οuδe τούτω πολλω κινδυνεύοντας, τοuς δe ξuν σφίσιν uπeρ τnς Eλλάδος eκόντας aμυνομένους.

I gave two emglish translations but have to verify the third, which is so often cited and which mift be wrong. You can verify the Greek text: it is not explicit that the Macedonians and the Greeks are the same group, while is almost certain, as other English translators suggest (I really did not look what Bosswort says?), that Greeks are treated as separate group that while fiting for money (on the Persian side) they fight for their country (on the Macedonian side).
Really all of this is not convincing.

Ntemis G21 says:


I would be pleased if you provide citations, accompanied by publications of your sources. I cant guess where each quote comes from when i just read ie ‘Arrian Ancient Greek Historian The Campaigns of Alexander, page 111 ‘.

Most of them are anyway text out of context but i wanna hold in check the level of accuracy in english translations.

Ntemis G21 says:


I got the Greek text from Greek wikisource.


I dont know why my posts are getting deleted by admins but i suspect it has to do with the links.

I provide the ancient Greek text in Greeklish next to the English translation coz i cant paste here the ancient Greek text. The translation is mine.

(‘ouh yper twn aytwn maheisthai’) —-> all those Greeks not fighting for themselves
(‘Dareio epi mistho’) —-> but for Darius on a salary,
(‘kai oude touto pollo’) —-> and that not that big,
(‘kindyneyontas’) putting in danger,
(‘tous de xyn sfisin yper tis Ellados ekontas amynomenous’) —-> those spontaneously (?) defending on behalf of Greece.. [*]

[*] I wanna check my ancient Greek lexicon about the precise meaning of the word ‘sfisin’.

Ntemis G21 says:

Greeks ansuer me that. If macedanians were greeks why ALL ancient historian say they were just Macedonians (NOT GREEKS)??
Learn the truth. Macedonians are Macedonians. Thessalans were the last greeks at north.

Roman Historian

“The Thessalians in particular wore long robes, probably because they of all the Greeks lived in the most northerly and coldest region” [11.14.12].

As Macedonia is located north of Thessaly it is obviously not a part of Greece, nor the Macedonians were Greeks, for the most northerly Greeks were already the Thessalians.


Why dont you just pasted the link of the page you got them?


[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.

Yeah if you cut it off and read it out of context you will get inevitably a wrong impression. Strabo narrates at length the story of Armenus of Armenium, one of the Argonauts of Jason during Argonautic expedition. Apparently this took place centuries *before* the Macedonian migration from Pindos and for obvious reasons at the time, Thessalians were *in the most northerly and coldest region* as Macedonian state was formed much later. Its sad how people are easily tricked this way.

I am under the impression your *source* strives to misinterpret historical accounts.

Your second quote:

[1] “Alexander was born on the sixth day of the month Hecatombaeon, which the Macedonians call Lous, the same day on which the temple of Artemis at Ephesus was burned down.” [p.254] [Macedonians had a their own distinct calendar]

So? Almost everybody in Greek world had distinct calendars from each other.

Dragan says:

Well, the FYROM people, or why not, Macedonians from Republic of Macedonia, did a good job giving all these citations. This does not disapprove what I am saying though.

But we should not expect from a 4th century writer or 3rd century writer to say explicitly: “Macedonians who were NOT Hellenes” or “Macedonians who ARE Hellenes”. This would be too much. In the 4th century up to Alexander III and his unifying efforts, apparently nobody doubted that the Hellenes and the Macedonians were two different entities. We of course do not know whether the languages were very close, or completely different. They were Indo-European, this is certain.

In the 20th century we had may be similar situation when Germany took Austria. And Austrian language is German par excellence! And still, these are two distinct people and states. And today Croats and Serbs speak the same language, but nationalistic antagonism is quite clear. Or take other former Yugoslav republics. Or Serbia and Bulgaria: the languages are similar but the antagonism goes back to Byzantine times.

So language does not mean much for that purely political confrontation.
What I want to say is that if the arguments are purely political, they have little to do with the question discussed. Indeed, it is very interesting to discuss history with the people who understand past events, but political connotations make the discussion fails. Please do not spoil this discussion with politics and insults. We do not need this.

Zlatko Ristovski says:

Ancient Greek Historian
The Campaigns of Alexander

[1] “Destiny had decreed that Macedon should wrest the sovereignty of Asia from Persia, as Persia once had wrested it from the Medes, and the Medes, in turn, from the Assyrians.” [p. 111]

[2] “Our enemies are Medes and Persians, men who for centuries have lived soft and luxurious lives; we of Macedon for generations past have been trained in the hard school of danger and war. Above all, we are free men, and they are slaves.” [p.112]

[3] “When received the report that Alexander was moving forward to the attack, he sent some 30,000 mounted troops and 20,000 light infantry across the river Pinarus, to give himself a chance of getting the main body of his army into position without molestation. His dispositions were as follows:

in the van of his heavy infantry were his 30,000 Greek mercenaries, facing the Macedonian infantry, with some 60,000 Persian heavy infantry- known as Kardakes.” [p.114]

[4] [Book II -- Battle of Issus] “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]

[5] “The cavalry action which ensued was desperate enough, and the Persians broke only when they knew that the Greek mercenaries were being cut and destroyed by the Macedonian infantry.” [p.119-20]

[6] “The same painstaking attention to details is evident in administrative matters. Appointments of governors are duly mentioned, and throughout his book Arrian is careful to give the father’s name in the case of Macedonians, e.g. Ptolemy son of Lagus, and in the case of Greeks their city of origin.” [p.25]

[7] “In the spring of 334 Alexander set out from Macedonia, leaving Antipater with 12,000 infantry and 1,500 cavalry to defend the homeland and to keep watch on the Greek states.” [p.34]

[8] “The backbone of the infantry was the Macedonian heavy infantry, the ‘Foot Companions’, organized on territorial basis in six battalions (taxeis) of about 1,500 men each. In place of the nine-foot spear carried by the Greek hoplite, the Macedonian infantryman was armed with a pike or sarissa about 13 or 14 feet long, which required both hands to wield it. The light circular shield was slung on the left shoulder, and was smaller than that carried by the Greek hoplite which demanded the use of the left arm. Both, Greek and Macedonian infantry wore greaves and a helmet, but it is possible that the Macedonians did not wear a breastplate. The phalanx (a heavy infantry), like all the Macedonian troops had been brought by Philip to a remarkable standard of training and discipline.” [p.35]

[9] Modern Greeks, have used this particular passage as evidence of Alexander’s greekness. Alexander sent to Athens, as an offering to the goddess Athena, 300 full suits of Persian armor, with the following inscription:

“Alexander, son of Philip, and the Greeks (except the Lacedaemonians) dedicate these spoils, taken from the Persians who dwell in Asia.” [p.76]

J.R. Hamilton, Associate professor of Classics and Ancient History from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, writes: ‘In view of the small part that the Greeks had played in the battle the inscription (with its omission of any mention of the Macedonians) must be regarded as propaganda designed for his Greek allies. Alexander does not fail to stress the absence of the Spartans.’

[10] Alexander’s rationale as to why he would not like to engage the Persian fleet in a battle:

“In the first place, it was to rush blindly into a naval engagement against greatly superior forces, and with an untrained fleet against highly trained Cyprian and Phoenician crews; the sea, morever, was a tricky thing -- one could not trust it, and he was not going to risk making a present to the Persians of all the skill and courage of his men; as to defeat, it would be very serious indeed and would affect profoundly the general attitude to the war in its early stages, above all by encouraging the Greeks to revolt the moment they got news of a Persian success at sea.” [p.80]

[11] Alexander speaking to his officers: “…….But let me remind you: Through your courage and endurance you have gained possession of Ionia, the Hellespont, both Phrygias, Cappadocia, Paphlagonia, Lydia, Caria, Lycia, Pamphylia, Phoenicia and Egypt; the Greek part of Libya is now yours, together with much of Arabia, lowland Syria, Mesopotamia, Babylon, and Susia;………” [p.292]

[12] Alexander addressing his troops: With all that accomplished, why do you hesitate to extend the power of Macedon -- your power- to the Hyphasis and the tribes on the other side? [p.293] Arrian, book 5.

[13] Alexander continues to address his troops: “Gentlemen of Macedon, and you my friends and allies, this must not be. Stand firm; for well you know that hardship and danger are the price of glory, and that sweet is the savour of a life of courage and of deathless renown beyond the grave.” [p.294]

[14] Alexander continues to speak to his Macedonians and allies: “Come, then; add the rest of Asia to what you already possess -- a small addition to the great sum of your conquests. What great or noble work could we ourselves have achieved had we thought it enough, living at ease in Macedon, merely to guard our homes, excepting no burden beyond checking the encroachment of the Thracians on our borders, or the Illyrians and Triballians, or perhaps such Greeks as might prove a menace to our comfort.” [p.294] Arrian, Book 5.

Zlatko Ristovski says:

Greeks ansuer me that. If macedanians were greeks why ALL ancient historian say they were just Macedonians (NOT GREEKS)??
Learn the truth. Macedonians are Macedonians. Thessalans were the last greeks at north.

Roman Historian

“The Thessalians in particular wore long robes, probably because they of all the Greeks lived in the most northerly and coldest region” [11.14.12].

As Macedonia is located north of Thessaly it is obviously not a part of Greece, nor the Macedonians were Greeks, for the most northerly Greeks were already the Thessalians.

Ancient Greek Historian
The Age of Alexander

[1] “Alexander was born on the sixth day of the month Hecatombaeon, which the Macedonians call Lous, the same day on which the temple of Artemis at Ephesus was burned down.” [p.254] [Macedonians had a their own distinct calendar]

[2] Alexander was only twenty years old when he inherited his kingdom, which at the moment was beset by formidable jealousies and feuds, and external dangers on every side. The neighboring barbarian tribes were eager to throw off the Macedonian yoke and longed for the rule of their native kings: As for the Greek states, although Philip had defeated them in battle, he had not had time to subdue them or accustomed them to his authority. Alexander’s Macedonian advisers feared that a crisis was at hand and urged the young king to leave the Greek states to their own devices and refrain from using any force against them. [p.263] [Alexander chose the opposite course] Plutarch never said that Philip “united” the Greeks, but he states that Philip “defeated” them in battle.

[3] Alexander returns from the campaigns at the Danube, north of Macedon. When the news reached him that the Thebans had revolted and were being supported by the Athenians, he immediately marched south through the pass of Thermopylae. ‘Demosthenes’, he said, ‘call me a boy while I was in Illyria and among the Triballi, and a youth when I was marching through Thessaly; I will show him I am a man by the time I reach the walls of Athens.’ [p.264]

[4] “Thebans countered by demanding the surrender of Philotas and Antipater and appealing to all who wished to liberate Greece to range themselves on their side, and at this Alexander ordered his troops to prepare for battle.” [p.264] [The ones who want to liberate Greece against the Macedonian troops]

[5] Alexander asks a women, who was being taken captive, who she was, she replied: ‘I am the sister of Theogenes who commanded our army against your father, Philip, and fell at Chaeronea fighting for the liberty of Greece.’ [p.265]

[6] There is a story that on one occasion when a large company had been invited to dine with the king, Callisthenes (Alexander’s biographer) was called upon, as the cup passed to him, to speak in praise of the Macedonians. This theme he handled so eloquently that the guests rose to applaud and threw their garlands at him. At this Alexander quoted Euripides’ line from the Bacchae On noble subjects all men can speak well. ‘But now’, he went on, ‘show us the power of your eloquency by criticizing the Macedonians so that they can recognize their shortcomings and improve themselves.’ Callisthenes then turned to the other side of the picture and delivered a long list of home truths about the Macedonians, pointing out that the rise of Philip’s power had been brought about by the division among the rest of the Greeks, and quoting the verse Once civil strife has begun, even scoundrels may find themselves honoured. The speech earned him the implacable hatred of the Macedonians, and Alexander that it was not his eloquence that Callisthenes had demonstrated, but his ill will towards them. [p.311]

[7] Alexander’s letter to Antipater in which he includes Callisthenes in the general accusation, he writes: ‘The youths were stoned to death by the Macedonians, but as far as the sophist I shall punish him myself, and I shall not forget those who sent him to me, or the others who give shelter in their cities to those who plot against my life.’ In those words, at least, he plainly reveals his hostility to Aristotle in whose house Callisthenes had been brought up, since he was a son of Hero, who was Aristotle’s niece.’ [p.133]

[8] Cassander’s fear of Alexander ‘In general, we are told, this fear was implanted so deeply and took such hold of Cassander’s mind that even many years later, when he had become king of Macedonia and master of Greece, and was walking about one day looking at the sculpture at Delphi, the mere sight of a statue of Alexander struck him with horror, so that he sguddered and trembled in every limb, his head swam, and he could scarcely regain control of himself.’ [p.331]

[9] ‘It was Asclepiades, the son of Hipparchus, who first brought the news of Alexander’s death to Athens. When it was made public, Demades urged the people not to believe it: If Alexander were really dead, he declared, the stench of the corpse would have filled the whole world long before.’ [p.237] [This is how much the ancient Greeks hated Alexander]

[10] Lamian War 323-322 is also known as the “Hellenic War” by its protagonists. The Greeks, the Hellenes, were fighting the Macedonians led by Antipater at Lamia.

[11] [Modern day Greeks would like to dispatch off Demosthenes castigations of Philip II as political rhetoric, and yet Demosthenes was twice appointed to lead the war effort of Athens against Macedonia. He, Demosthenes, said of Philip that Philip was not Greek, nor related to Greeks but comes from Macedonia where a person could not even buy a decent slave. ‘Soon after his death the people of Athens paid him fitting honours by erecting his statue in bronze, and by decreeing that the eldest member of his family should be maintained in the prytaneum at the public expense. On the base of his statue was carved his famous inscription: ‘If only your strength had been equal, Demosthenes, to your wisdom Never would Greece have been ruled by a Macedonian Ares’ [p.216]

[12] “While Demosthenes was still in exile, Alexander died in Babylon, and the Greek states combined yet again to form a league against Macedon. Demosthenes attached himself to the Athenian convoys, and threw all his energies into helping them incite the various states to attack the Macedonians and drive them out of Greece.” [p.212]

[13] The news of Philip’s death reached Athens. Demosthenes appeared in public dressed in magnificent attire and wearing a garland on his head, although his daughter had died only six days before. Aeshines states: “For my part I cannot say that the Athenians did themselves any credit in putting on garlands and offering sacrifices to celebrate the death of a king who, when he was the conqueror and they the conquered had treated them with such tolerance and humanity. Far apart from provoking the anger of the gods, it was a contemptible action to make Philip a citizen of Athens and pay him honours while he was alive, and then, as soon as he has fallen by another’s hand, to be besides themselves with joy, tremple on his body, and sing paeans of victory, as though they themselves have accomplished some great feat of arms.” [p.207]

[14] “Next when Macedonia was at war with the citizens of Byzantium and Perinthus, Demosthenes persuaded the Athenians to lay aside their grievances and forget the wrongs they had suffered from these peoples in the Social War and to dispatch a force which succeeded in relieving both cities. After this he set off on a diplomatic mission, which was designed to kindle the spirit of resistance to Philip and which took him all over Greece. Finally he succeeded in uniting almost all the states into a confederation against Philip.” [p.202]

[15] “The maladies and defects in the Greek scene of the fourth century were not hard to find. But its great and overriding merit is summed up in the word ‘freedom.’ With allowance made for the infinite variety promoted by so many independent governments, Greece was still broadly speaking a free country. This freedom was threatened and in the end extinguished by the coming of the great Macedonians.” [p.8] [In Plutarch The Age of Alexander, noted by J.T.Griffith]

[16] “What better can we say about jealousies, and that league and conspiracy of the Greeks for their own mischief, which arrested fortune in full career, and turned back arms that were already uplifted against the barbarians to be used against themselves, and recall into Greece the war which had been banished out of her? I by no means assent to Demaratus of Corinth, who said that those Greeks lost a great satisfaction that did not live to see Alexander sit on the throne of Darius. That sight should rather have drawn tears from them, when they considered that they have left the glory to Alexander and the Macedonians, whilst they spent all their own great commanders in playing them against each other in the fields of Leuctra, Coronea, Corinth, and Arcadia.” [Plutarch “Lives” vol.2 The Dryden Translation. Edited and Revised by Arthur Hugh Clough p.50]

Dragan says:

Sorry, just to avoid confusion. I cited Yardley’s translation of Curtius Rufus (1984). In some earlier editions, like 1712 (translated by de Vogelas, Latin-French edition) the mentioned passage on Philotas is in 6, 10.

Dragan says:

Finally somebody normal.
The Philotas case refers to Rufus, 6, 9, 30 and later. The issue about who are (or were) Macedonians is hard and certainly new material will be needed to see this more clearly. Both FYROM people and Greeks take it for granted to be Macedonians.

Arrian never explicitly says that the Macedonians are in fact Greeks (he uses the expression “Hellenes”, of course). There is one place that attracted my attention on this very site where we “quarrel”, that I give below (Anabasis of Alexander, 2, 7, 4-5). There Arrina, in fact, is not clear, although more the context and obvious intention show that the Macedonians and Hellenes are different people. But this is really not stated explicitly. I am talking about Greek text, which you have in Loeb. Now the translation by Aubrey De Seliucourt (Penguin edition, that I have not seen) is certainly wrong -- if it is as it is given at the site. But similarly, the translations of Chinnock and Brunt are inexact also. However, they make explicit what Arrian only implies. I discussed this with some colleagues and they also think that the Greek version is clear, Arrian wants to say: the the Greeks that fight on the side of Darius, fight for money, while the Greeks who fight WITH Macedonians (on their side) fight for freedom and for Greece. But this is ONLY implicit meaning. And contemporary Greeks, of course, hold only to what is explicitly said. (I gave below these translations, from Brunt (1976) just the line. I do not habe Robson from 1929 but believe that Brunt did not deviate too much; original Greek majority of people have, I think and there is no need to type it now (I also do not have Greek fonts here). As I said in some of my messages, in all tertiary biographies of Alexander (5 essential), general atmosphere is that Macedonian and the Greeks are distinct people. It probably changed later, but I am not so well acquainted with the 3rd and latter centuries.
Thanks for your comment.

Here is the site:

On the above site we find the Quote:
(…) there are Greek troops, to be sure, in Persian service – but how different is their cause from ours ! They will be fighting for pay— and not much of it at that; WE on the contrary shall fight for GREECE, and our hearts will be in it. As for our FOREIGN troops —Thracians, Paeonians, Illyrians, Agrianes — they are the best and stoutest soldiers of Europe, and they will find as their opponents the slackest and softest of the tribes of Asia.
(And then, it is stated that this is from: Arrian (The Campaigns of Alexander) Alexander talking to the troops before the battle. Book 2-7 Penguin Classics. Page 112. Translation by Aubrey De Seliucourt.)

However, there are other translations and the original, Greek text (I do not give Greek text):

1. (Alexander speaking to Macedonians about Persian army) He added that their foes were similar to them neither in strength nor in courage; for the Macedonians, who had long been practised in warlike toils accompanied with danger, were coming into close conflict with Persians and Medes, men who had become enervated by a long course of luxurious ease; and, to crown all, they, being freemen, were about to engage in battle with men who were slaves. He said, moreover, that the Greeks who were coming into conflict with Greeks would not be fighting for the same objects; for those with Darius were braving danger for pay, and that pay not high; whereas, those on their side were voluntarily defending the interests of Greece. Again, of foreigners, the Thracians, Paeonians, Illyrians, and Agrianians, who were the most robust and warlike of men in Europe, were about to be arrayed against the most sluggish and effeminate races of Asia.

(From: E. J. Chinnock, London: George Bell and Sons, 1893.)

2. (…) the Greeks on our side will fight as volunteers in the case of Greece. (…)
(From: P.A. Brunt, London, The Loeb Classical Library, 1976.).

Ntemis G21 says:

I agree in general with your core points but it could be useful some of the citations to pinpoint more clearly the exact publications. Its difficult for instance to find out which publications of Arrian you refer to. I guess a couple of them are references to Loeb Arrian by P. A. Brunt, but there are more Arrian citations non related with this publication. Perhaps they are taken from the old Loeb translation by Robson??? I believe the admins should do something with the comments. The whole place is full of porno spammers and idiots insulting eachothers. Either delete the trash or close the entire thing up.

Dragan says:

I wish you all the best.

Dragan says:

Dear Sir, I hope that we agree not to let racist arguments on the site. Indeed, even in America racism is not in the vogue any more.
The above collection of aggression, insults and racist boasting almost certainly discloses a frustrated first year student of history. I hope that we agree not to tolerate discourses which are lacking good manners and I am inviting the editor to erase the above comment – in the interest of the site. Or… we may let some of them remain for our amusement -- as we keep wild animals in our zoos in towns. But at the same time publically informing that person that her/his comments will not be welcome here any more.
Thank you.

cameron says:

Wow. Those are some long comments.

Richard Daley says:

Congratz Dragan,

I have been an observer in similar historically-related sites for some months now and I am impressed to read such a reservoir of undiluted gibberish in just one post. In fact your post qualifies as a genune piece of self-contradictions, extensive number of fallacius arguments, entirely clueless remarks about historical issues and its not a secret, a couple of them are so outrageously stupid which doesnt impress anyone anymore what kind of Internet-addicted Balkan idiots are getting into these type of discussions.

I couldnt help from laughing reading lines like “, without a single citation and with empty references, will fool just a few” at the same time you consumed a long pointless post, making empty and idiotic claims without providing a single citation or references yourself.

Let me waste a little of my precious time pointing out some of the the fallacies and nonsense these Internet-addicted South-Eastern European idiots, especially those from the Southern Slavic groups (Serbs, Macedonians, Bulgarians, Croats) following by Greeks and partially the Turks.

“The author above is trying to prove that the Macedonians were simply – their Greek opponents!!!, i.e. that Macedonians were Greeks. Fantastic idea but here it is. What Alexander wanted was quite different matter: to unite, first the Hellens with Macedonians, and he managed this”

Had you a single clue you would know firstly Macedonian royals of lower Macedonian tried through centuries to unite the independent mountaineer Macedonian tribes with their Kingdom. Reflecting the boisterous attempts of the Upper Macedonian kingdoms to preserve their independence if we should follow the childish logic of Dragan we should conclude that their Mountaineer opponents couldnt have been… Macedonians. My lost soul most likely in the joke educational system you have there in Europe, they completely ignored to inform you, most members of Upper kingdoms’ royal houses NEVER viewed the so called ‘Argeads’ with friendly intentions and versa. Typically the royal house of Lyncestis was almost exterminated by Alexander and members of the other royal houses found themselves either exiled (Menelaus Pelagon) or in certain cases in the Persian camp.

A little later our genious becomes…a fortune-teller and from the paralel universe he resides, writes “the text above tries to justify something for which Alexander III would certainly crucify the “historian” who would try to spread these or similar ideas.” Readers certainly should appreciate the mighty South-Eastern internet warrior with the amazing ability of being into…Alexander’s head, knowing his next move. Hail to the mighty one!! Naturally aside from the funny element which these carnival freaks, the self-proclaimed “historians” carry all the time as accessories in their luggages, Alexander himself has left us plenty of ‘circumstantial’ evidence that points in the direction he considered himself as Hellene (not much to do with modern Greeks anyway) and the scant evidence of the common ancient Macedonian wasnt far from it. Certainly the latter became true during Hellenistic ages. Its no surprise among the collections we have in Ohio State University, there are a couple of epigraphies with ancient Macedonian testimonies pointing out this direction.

Then we read next a masterpiece of idiocy…”Neither Alexander nor the Greeks thought that the Macedonians were Greek. Remember Demosthenes!! Spartans never accepted Alexander! Why don’t you just read Arian or Rufus?”
If we are to determine on a people’s ethnicity from i) the leader of the Anti-Macedonian party of Athens without excempting all the charges lying heavily on him for taking “Persian gold”. ii) whether Sparta “accepted” or not Alexander then historians were really losing their time all these years. This is exactly what i call simple and plain “human stupidity”, a trait common found among Southern Slavic populations.

Then further the delirium of nonsense continues…”Macedonians, that were not Greeks, the Greeks call Barbarians!!, founded Macedonian empire, adopted Greek language, Greek writings and local culture (that was as much Egyptian, Assyrian, Persian as Greek), so that what we had during 2000 of years was Macedonian or post-Macedonian empire (East Roman Empire). ”

The amazing “Slavic” tales in full shape.. I hope the readers enjoy the utter gibberish these underdeveloped comical caricatures have been fed since their birth. First Macedonians founded Macedonian empire… THEN adopted Greek language, Greek writings etchetera and finally…we learn in world premier that the East Roman empire was in reality…a “Macedonian” empire. My boy i am afraid you ‘ve totally lost it. You posted so many cretinisms that you ‘ve made mental handicapped people looking like compared to you like…Nobel prize winners. Sometimes i read in the net similar nonsense from Slavic ultra-nationalists but its starting being annoying to all of us who care about history and not the modern political agenda of lobotomised morons in their struggle to use ancient history as a convenient tool. I love anyway the numerous utterings of our Slavic friend about Arrian which in essense is proved that he is the one who has absolutely no clue about Arrian. If he did he would have known by now Arrian distinguished Macedonians from Barbarians.

Speaking of ‘Barbarians’ i spotted a line which should go straight to the Hall of Fame of Lunacy. “The “barbarian argument” is indecisive either. For the Greeks all who were not Athenians -- were “barbarians”,… more or less.” On contrary your own “barbarian argument” is indecisive, if not plainly stupid. So in the Olympics if you werent an…Athenian..more or less…you were a “Barbarian” and…couldnt compete. *Applause* for this pearl of “Slavic” brilliance.

Right afterwards we have another pearl of the many fallacious arguments “If “barbarian” Macedonians were in fact “Greeks”, then “barbarian” Celts were also Hellenes !?.”

Makes as much sense if we had a Greek nationalist claiming if “Greek” Macedonians werent in fact Greeks then “Greek” Thebans werent also Greeks. As already being mentioned your argumentative skills varry between semi-intelligent to naive utterings of a complete moron.

Afterwards we have the series of claims which in essense reveal Dragan doesnt know about what he is talking about.

“BUT! When Alexander accuses Philotas, or, when his first class warrior loses a duel against Greek wrestler, then his anger shows his belongings and his adherence to the “Macedonian customs”, as he himself sad, as reported for example by Rufus (who reproduced Cleitarchu and Ptolemy –who of course new what happened, or you would disagree?).”

Contrary to Dragan’s crap Rufus’ account is known to be a nice reading but it contains way too many errors. What we keep from his narrative about Philotas is his statement that using the Koine would make his speech “easier to understand”, which indicates Macedonian language/dialect was not incomprehensible to the non-Macedonians, but a bit more difficult to understand. In fact, the whole incident shows the Macedonian dialect was not that different from the Koine and could be understood eventhough it had some difficulty by Greeks. This also explains the quick disappearance of the Macedonian dialect and the quick adoption of the Koine from Macedonians.

“Alexander hardly had any of the Greeks in command or as his general!”
You mean aside from Eumenes, Nearchus, Neoptolemus, Apollonius, Erigyios, Laomedon, etchetera?? Following this wonderful syllogism we should assume that Spartans couldnt have been Greek coz Agesilaus during his invasion in Asia hardly had any Greeks in command or as his general. Kudos to you Dragan. The notorious “Slavic” ignorance in its finest form and shape.

Anyway its nice to debate ideas relating to history but here I don’t see the point of wasting my time with the unhistorical idiocies of these “Slavic” fools. Their so-called inputs are entirely inelegant and crude, not to mention absurd even in their fundamental premise and in reality its embarrassing to read this politically motivated self-constructed falsification of history everywhere in the net. However, II’m afraid that no amount of proof will make any difference. I suggest to readers that honestly care about ancient history leave this trash to their misery. I am happy President Bush helped Albanians (descendants of ancient Illyrians) to have the independent state of Kosova. To sum up…the Southern Slavs or better the bunch of “Slavicised” Turks, Albanians, Bulgars and a couple of other proto-Mongolic tribes who now call themselves Serbs and modern “Macedonians” (ironic these illiterate fools to claim any relation with Alexander) will keep up spreading their crap from the moment they have linked ancient history to the very core of their ficticious identities. Thats why everybody in the free world will continue to think of them as the trash of Europe.

Dragan says:

My dear friend,

Since the authors are just repeating thousand times their nonsense, I will have to repeat what I wrote at some other similar places with the aim that we stop with that emty discussion and talk seriously about Macedonian history.

Your text above, without a single citation and with empty references, will fool just a few, I am convibced. I really can not believe that the author so much underestimates the intelligence of the readers! But I understand the reason: If the author would have given the citations, the reader would certainly think that he/she had quite a lot of sense of humour.

But, I think that the reader who would attempt to follow what is said in the text above should know the context. I must say first that, after I started couple of weeks to look for the Internet sites related to Macedonia, on my surprise I found so much propaganda that this really spoiled the pleasure of learning about great Macedonian history.

In a few words only: The author above is trying to prove that the Macedonians were simply – their Greek opponents!!!, i.e. that Macedonians were Greeks. Fantastic idea but here it is. What Alexander wanted was quite different matter: to unite, first the Hellens with Macedonians, and he managed this, i.e. Philip II imposed Macedonian rule over Athens and Hellenic lands following Cheronea (338 BC). And then, to unite the entire world, which was not much more from what he in fact united. Now the “historians” want to prevent even a desire to think of unity!!! I think they would deserve that Albanians take their land as they took Serbian land and that not only Macedonians but all the others Greeks or Hellenes, as you wish, be reduced just to poor remains of a great culture.

Let me make clear: the text above tries to justify something for which Alexander III would certainly crucify the “historian” who would try to spread these or similar ideas.

So. I propose that you read just one book: read Arrian and you will see who were Macedonians. And whether they were “Greek”. But let us come to our comment.
United Kingdom of Great Britain or Spain are today ruled by the German dynasty, similarly as Macedonia was reined by the probably Greek dynasty. If the fact that the Macedonian dynasty was of Greek origin is enough to call Macedonians Greek (!!?), then why don’t we call the British or Spaniards also German?!
I am sorry, the above listed “9 Facts” are, unfortunately, all false. It was quite an achievement to compose such a text that has almost no value. In fact the opposite of all what is said there is true. Neither Alexander nor the Greeks thought that the Macedonians were Greek. Remember Demosthenes!! Spartans never accepted Alexander! Why don’t you just read Arian or Rufus? Unfortunately, of Macedonian language remained nothing what we certainly know as Macedonian, except of names and may be separate words that are anyway of unknown origin. I suggest you start reading about Demosthenes to understand what the Greeks thought about Macedonians.
Hellenism was in fact Macedonism! And was more expression of the geographical closeness then of tribal belongings. Macedonians, that were not Greeks, the Greeks call Barbarians!!, founded Macedonian empire, adopted Greek language, Greek writings and local culture (that was as much Egyptian, Assyrian, Persian as Greek), so that what we had during 2000 of years was Macedonian or post-Macedonian empire (East Roman Empire). “Roman” culture was later adopted, as it also was of “Greek” steam.
Why we do not call all these people Roman people, all these people that wrote and are still using roman writings? Including you and me?
Why the West in the last century may be, named Macedonian empire to be “Greek” is unknown. In Byzantium nothing was really Greek. The last empire was macedonian. Athens was a province, Byzantium was Constantinople and the capital of the world. The most brilliant period of the today known as Greek world was – Macedonian world. The empire lasted for 3 centuries, to exist inside the Roman empire for another 14 centuries, 10 last centuries as Greek speaking Greek or Macedonian state (Macedonian dynasty reined over 300 years). All what the Greeks have had, until now, has been local but great culture (that we call Geek, but was of Egyptian as well as of Middle East origin as much as Greek). The first Greek state was created FIRST in the beginning of the nineteenth century!!! Macedonian lasted for over 17 centuries!!
When somebody talks about Ptolemaic dynasty and the Egypt and NOT Macedonian state, I realize how much ignorance is still to eradicate.

Then further.
As I said at some other place, discussions of this kind (as these above), if they have for the aim some political benefit for some distinct groups of political lunatics of today, are futile and do not deserve our attention. As a fun discussion, this is all OK, but, unfortunately, does not prove ANYTHING AT ALL.
But, first, I love you all.

Your way of repudiating some of my arguments is decent, and when it becomes really hard it is, sorry, quite funny and, by that, even more friendly and I think we would get along very well indeed and without really hearting each other.
I must disappoint you now.
An imaginary enemy looks most dangerous, I would say: I have to disappoint you, I do not belong to any one of the camps you feel is trying to steel something from you (“FYROM”, Bulgaria, Geek Macedonia, Albania). Your attacks, therefore, which are accusatory in that specific sense (of my “belonging” to FYROM or anything similar) were futile. This shows also that the arguments which are not supported by the facts, but go (on so called) “ad hominem” – pointing at the person and not on the argument -- are bad arguments.

Where to start from the jungle of your misconceptions?
The language argument is very week indeed. All words that Greeks took from other “barbarians” were changed and appeared later to be Greek. (The barbarians did not write so we really do not know what their words were!) These changes of the imported words normally happen still today with, for example, English names when take in French. Or with other various expressions taken from foreign languages into our own language. Read Kalleris’ “Les ancient Macedoniens”, etude lingustique et historique” and you will see how the language argument just do not lead anywhere.
The “barbarian argument” is indecisive either. For the Greeks all who were not Athenians -- were “barbarians”,… more or less. Even Aristotle could not owe property in Athens as one of “barbarians”. If “barbarian” Macedonians were in fact “Greeks”, then “barbarian” Celts were also Hellenes !?. This is all very unclear and no argument at all.
BUT! When Alexander accuses Philotas, or, when his first class warrior loses a duel against Greek wrestler, then his anger shows his belongings and his adherence to the “Macedonian customs”, as he himself sad, as reported for example by Rufus (who reproduced Cleitarchu and Ptolemy –who of course new what happened, or you would disagree?). Alexander hardly had any of the Greeks in command or as his general! And this went on for another 300 years all over MACEDONIAN empire. Macedonians just did not have confidence in the Greeks! Ptolemy married just between themselves, inside their MACEDONIAN family!
I find it… pity. Pity that Macedon impregnated Philip’s and Alexander’s, and post Allexander’s world was -- no, not forgotten, how could it be! -- but displaced and subordinated to something that was given the name “Hellenism” only in the 19th century. By an ambitious German historian who introduced something just for his prestige and made us today be surprised to hear that even Ptolemys was (were) Macedonians. Just ask around: majority of people believe that they were Egiptians, Copts or whatever – but not Macedonians!! Ptolemy (after Soter there were 14 or so!), Alexander’s devoted general and friend and probably brother, and his dynasty including Cleopatra (there were 7!), the most famous woman from the antiquity – were just a Macedonians, no more and no less. They may as well have been Greek for all peoples around, but they new -- and this is so clear from what we know today -- that they were Macedonians first of all.
The Greek knowledge – and it was REALLY immense, but also Eastern and Egyptian knowledge, put together became Macedonian and universal knowledge and culture, from Alexandria onwards. In the 19th century it became “Hellenistic”! No. Give Macedonia its place in history. Do not fight, do what is just. If there were no Alexander – there would have been no Hellenism either. (By the way, Byzantium, unknown as such a that time, and in fact Roman Empire, although adopted Greek language in 6th century, was all -- but not Greece, and this is a fact.
Here is my short comment that I posted somewhere else, on some site that is also so egger to let go some Macedonians just because they do not speak their language any more, and do not speak Greek either.
It is certainly of great academic importance whether the language of the Ancient Macedonians (Makedonians!) was close to the language(s) of the people who lived in the southern regions of today’s Greece. It has however nothing to do with today’s quarrel over the name of the so called „Macedonian state” or region. The people who are at home in the region that were inhabited by the Macedonians in the ancient times, are a mixed population, including Slaves, Macedonian, non-Macedonian ancient Balkan people, as well as all the others that later made up Roman or Byzantine population; and finally, some rests of the Ottoman empire.
The language discussion is displaced. After the adoption of the Greek (Phoenician!) writing in all northern regions (including ancient Peonia, and down the river Margos, probably even as northwards as the Ister) all the words looked like “Greek” and tracing a word back to the Macedonian or other roots is mostly impossible and absurd. Who are the ancestors of the people who are on the “Macedonian” land today? Similarly to the Greek writing earlier, the Slave language was adopted later. But this does not mean that the people were all Slave. The language difference and cultural antagonism between Greeks and Macedonians is too explicit in Arrian and Curtius Rufus and above (in some comments) elaboration on common language and mutual language understanding is simply false. Geek and Macedonian did NOT understand each.
It may be that the Slave predominance in these Macedonian regions is even not as it is thought to be, even not in the northern parts of the Serbia! The Slave arrival to the Balkans did not produce great exodus, since apparently the people from earlier times were less exclusive, nationalistic and intolerant towards other traditions. But this is irrelevant today, although may be of great scientific interest.
We should not be over-enthusiastic, though. The genetics studies may prove not to be conclusive because the population mixing has been so extensive. Some islands of isolated groups are still possible to find and may be that the genetic studies could try to extrapolate some although still -- uncertain hypotheses. The today Greek, Bulgarian, Albanian and Macedonian states would do better if they addressed the question as purely cultural and let people exercise their full subjective national feelings as they please. Because national feelings have just nothing to do with genetics, and this is certain.
After Alexander the World, the “Greek” world (!?), was explicitly Macedonian down to the Roman arrival in the mid of the 2nd century BC. The rulers, the military command, most important administration, were Macedonian. The culture was one that was as much Greek as it was the result of all influences steaming from the enormous varieties of the cultures unified in the kingdom of Alexander III. Injustice of naming the period “Hellenism” instead of “Macedonisme” comes from the 19th century German historians, and is waiting to be corrected. Certainly, not for the benefit of any political party, but for the benefit of the great idea of the most famous Aristotle’s student, Macedonian general, statesman, dictator and the greatest king of all times. The period is certainly much less Hellenic as it is Macedonian, and could probably most justly be named after its ultimate great Initiator: “Alexandrin”. Let us be just.

Don says:

Enjoyed the page…Well Done! Would like to see more!
For instance, where does Lagus (the Rabbit) fit into the
genealogy of Alexander the Great? Or does he at all?

Maximus says:

I would like to see a continuation of the topic