Macedonian names and makeDonski pseudo-linguistics: The case of the name Atarchias



By Miltiades Elia Bolaris


Balkan Illusion – phantasia archaica:

“…it is very interesting to note that many of the authentic ancient Macedonian words, according to their etymology and pronunciation, have a striking resemblance to the appropriate words used in the modern Macedonian language (and other so called “Slav”[sic] languages).”

“Atarhi(as). The root of this name contains the noun “atar”. This is a Macedonian archaism for the word “love”. Names that contain the word “love” exist in a majority of lexicons.”

From: “Similarities between ancient Macedonian and today’s’ Macedonian Culture (Linguistics and Onomastics)” by Aleksandar Donski, celebrity folk “historian” from FYROM.

Atarchias/ ταρχίας

In most Slavic languages we encounter the beautiful Slavic word Ljubov/любовь, Ljubav/љубав, Lubov, Ljubav/любaвь, Ljubov,/любов, with slightly changes from one Slavic language to another: it is the Slavic word for Love. There are other Slavic words for Love, like Kocham, Láska, Oбичам

/Ovitsham etc. But search as much as I did, I could not find any language, Slavic or other, where “atar” means “love”. While it is true that I am deficient in the occult and other spiritualist connections that some of the pseudo-makedonists seem to possess ( ) I wish I was given more references as to where they get their profound linguistic, historical and other information. Not being privy of their assistance on this issue, and lacking their references for “atar-as-love”, we decide to proceed alone in our search.

Τhere was a man in Thebes called Archias/ρχίας, and during the turbulent times of the early 4th century BC in Greece he was one of the strongmen governing dictatorially that city. He was one of the oligarchs, an ally of oligarchic Sparta. The democratic Thebans, under the leadership of a young revolutionary, Pelopidas, with the support of democratic Athens, wanted to stage a coup and kill Archias and his fellowmen. They arranged to attack him in a party, given by the crypto-democrat Phyllidas/Φυλλίδας

, where he had been invited. But another man also called Archias, an Athenian sent him a message, describing the plot to him:

κε γάρ τις ξ θηνν παρρχίου το εροφάντου πρς ρχίαν τν μώνυμον, ξένον ντα κα φίλον, πιστολν κομίζων ο κενν χουσαν οδ πεπλασμένην πόνοιαν, λλ σαφς καστα περ τν 8 πρασσομένων φάσκουσαν, ς στερον πεγνώσθη.

for a messenger came with a letter from one Archias, the Hierophant at Athens, to his namesake Archias, who was his friend and guest. This did not merely contain a vague conjectural suspicion but, as it appeared afterwards, disclosed every particular of the design.

τότε δ μεθύοντι τ ρχί προσαχθες γραμματοφόρος κα τν πιστολν πιδούς ταύτηνφηπέμψας κέλευσεν εθς ναγνναι· περ σπουδαίων γάρ τινων γεγράφθαι


The messenger being brought in to Archias, who was now pretty well drunk, and delivering the letter, said to him, ‘The writer of this desired it might be read at once; it is on urgent business

9 ” κα ρχίας μειδιάσαςοκον ες αριονφητ σπουδαα,” κα τν πιστολν δεξάμενος π τ προσκεφάλαιον πέθηκεν, ατς δ πάλιν τ Φυλλίδ 10 περ ν τύγχανον διαλεγόμενοι προσεχεν. μν ον λόγος οτος ν παροιμίας τάξει περιφερόμενος μέχρι νν διασζεται παρ τος λλησι.

Archias, with a smile, replied, ‘Urgent business tomorrow,’ and so receiving the letter, he put it under his pillow, and returned to what he had been speaking of with Phillidas, and these words of his are a proverb to this day amongst the Greeks.

Two and a half milennia later, Greeks indeed still use this expression, that has so much mortal irony in it. It is like the negation of the Mexican Mañana (leaving things of today for tomorrow), with a heavy doze of black humor: ες αριον τ σπουδαα“/ eis aurion ta spoudaia

/leaving important-urgent matters for tomorrow, is the expression still very popular among Greeks. But they mean the opposite: something that needs to be done NOW, needs to be done NOW, not Mañana: for there may never be a tomorrow!!

But let us see what happened to Archias:

σπάσαντο τς μαχαίρας κα φερόμενοι δι τν τραπεζν π τν ρχίαν κα Φίλιππον φάνησαν οπερ σαν, λίγους μν Φυλλίδας τν κατακειμένων πεισεν συχίαν γειν, τος δλλους μύνεσθαι μετ τν πολεμάρχων πιχειροντας κα συνεξανισταμένους δι τν μέθην ο πάνυ χαλεπς πέκτειναν.

they drew their swords, and making at Archias and Philip amongst the tables, disclosed who they were. Phillidas persuaded some few of his guests to sit still, and those that got up and tried to assist the polemarch, being drunk, were easily killed.

Plutarch, Parallel Lives, Pelopidas

The unfortunate Theban Archias was not the only one Greek man known by that name. There was also the Macedonian Archias son of Anaxidotus from Pella / ρχίας ναξιδότου Πελλαος / Archias Anaxidotou Pellaios, who was an officer and a geographer who served as Trierarch (governot of a trireme/τρίηρης ship) under admiral Nearchos/Νέαρχος

, in Alexander’s India to Mesopotamia navy. Alexander’s army had taken the return road from India by land, while Nearchos had sailed along the Indian Ocean coast and then along the north coast of the Persian Gulf. They had lost each other, but at some point, Arrian tells us:

νταθα κβανουσ τε κ τν νεν κα π τν πολλν πνων σ­μενοι νεπαοντο, μεμνημνοι, σα κακ κατ τν θλασσαν πεπονθτες σαν, κα πρς τ γ τν χθυοφγων, τν τε ρη­μην τς χρης κα τος νθρπους, πως θηριδεες, κα τς σφν πορας πι­λεγ­μενοι. κα τινες ατν π θαλσσης ς τ πρσω νλθον, ποσκεδασθντες τς στρατις κατ ζτησιν λλος λλου


κα τς σφν πορας πι­λεγ­μενοι. κα τινες ατν π θαλσσης ς τ πρσω νλθον, ποσκεδασθντες τς στρατις κατ ζτησιν λλος λλου.

νταθα νθρωπς σφισιν φθη χλαμδα τε φορν λληνικν κα τ λλα ς λλην σκευασμνος, κα φωνν λλδα φνεε. τοτον ο πρτοι δντες δακρ­σαι λεγον· οτω τι παρλογν σφισι φανναι κ τν τοσνδε κακν λληνα μν νθρωπον δεν, λλδος δ φωνς κοσαι. πηρτων τε, πθεν κοι κα στις ν· δ π το στρατοπδου το λεξνδρου ποσκεδασθναι λεγε, κα εναι ο πρρω τ στρατπεδον κα ατν λξανδρον. τοτον τν νθρωπον βον­τς τε κα κροτοντες νγουσι παρ τν Ναρχον· κα Νερχ πντα φρασε, κα τι πντε μερων δν πχει τ στρατ­πεδον κα βασιλες π τς θαλσσης.

There they disembarked, and had a welcome rest from their long toils, remembering the miseries they had endured by sea and on the coast of the Fish-eaters; recounting one to another the desolate character of the country, the almost bestial nature of the inhabitants, and their own distresses. Some of them advanced some distance inland, breaking away from the main force, some in pursuit of this, and some of that. There a man appeared to them, wearing a Greek cloak, and dressed otherwise in the Greek fashion, and speaking Greek also. Those who first sighted him said that they burst into tears, so strange did it seem after all these miseries to see a Greek, and to hear Greek spoken. They asked whence he came, who he was; and he said that he had become separated from Alexander’s camp, and that the camp, and Alexander himself, were not very far distant. Shouting aloud and clapping their hands they brought this man to Nearchos; and he told Nearchos everything, and that the camp and the King himself were distant five days’ journey from the coast.

Reading the narrative above, I would think that someone who had doubts about the language of the Macedonians will think twice after this: Why should these battle hardened Macedonian men cry like children expressing their raw emotions after having heard someone speaking Greek to them, λλδος δ φωνς κοσαι/having heard the voice of Greece, in exact translation, had Greek not been their own language too? I cannot think that a Frenchman will cry out of joy hearing someone speaking German in a foreign land, yet these Macedonians δντες δακρ­σαι λεγον· οτω τι παρλογν σφισι φανναι κ τν τοσνδε κακν λληνα μν νθρωπον δεν, λλδος δ φωνς κοσαι/ they burst into tears, so strange did it seem

after all these miseries to see a Greek, and to hear Greek spoken. Being a Greek in the United States, I have yet to see a Slavomacedonian cry out of joy hearing me speak Greek to him, yet somehow I harbor the suspicion that had I ever spoken to them in their Bulgarian-derived Slavic dialect (which regrettably I do not speak) maybe they would! But let us allow Arrian to continue:

ν τοτ δ τν τινες κατ ζτησιν το Νερχου σταλμνων ππους τε π κομιδ ατν κα πνας δ γοντες ντυγχ­νουσι κατ τν δν ατ τε Νερχ κα τ ρχίῃ κα πντε ξ μα ατοσιν· μετ τοσοτων γρ νει. κα ντυχντες οτε ατν γνρισαν οτε τν ρχηνοτω τοι κρτα λλοοι φνησαν, κομ­ωντς τε κα υπωντες κα μεστο λ­μης κα ικνο τ σματα κα χρο π γρυπνης τε κα τς λλης ταλαι­πωρηςλλ ρομνοις γρ ατος ναπερ εη λξανδρος, ποκρινμενοι τν χρον ο δ παρλαυνον. ρχης δ πιφρασθες λγει πρς Ναρχον Ναρ­χε, τοτους τος νθρπους διρη­μας λανειν τν ατν μν δν οκ πλλ τιν συντθημι, τι μ κατ ζτησιν τν μετρην πεσταλμνους. τι δ ο γιγ­νσκουσιν μας, οκ ν θματι ποιο­μαι· οτω γρ τι χομεν κακς ς γνω­στοι εναι. φρσωμεν ατοσιν, οτινς εμεν, κα ατος ρμεθα, καθτι τατ λα­νου­σιν.” δοξε τ Νερχ νασιμα λ­γειν· κα ροντο ποι λανουσιν· ο δ πο­κρνον­ται, τι κατ ζτησιν Νερχου τε κα το στρατο το ναυτικο. δοτοςφηγ εμι Ναρχος, κα ρχας οτος. λλγετε μας· μες δ τ πρ τς στρατις λεξνδρ πηγησμεθα.”

Meanwhile, however, some of those sent to search for Nearchos, who had horses to convey him, and chariots, did meet on the way Nearchos and Archias, and five or six others; that was the number of the party which came inland with him. On this meeting they recognized neither Nearchos nor Archias — so altered did they appear; with their hair long, unwashed, covered with brine, wizened, pale from sleeplessness and all their other distresses; when, however, they asked where Alexander might be, the search party gave reply as to the locality and passed on. Archias, however, had a happy thought, and said to Nearchos: ‘I suspect, Nearchos, that these persons who are traversing the same road as ours through this desert country have been sent for the express purpose of finding us; as for their failure to recognize us, I do not wonder at that; we are in such a sorry plight as to be unrecognizable. Let us tell them who we are and ask them why they come hither.’ Nearchos approved; they did ask whither the party was going; and they replied: ‘To look for Nearchos and his naval force.’ Whereupon, ‘Here am I, Nearchos,’ said he, ‘and here is Archias. Do you lead on; we will make a full report to Alexander about the expeditionary force.’

Arrian, Allexander Anabasis / ρριανού, λεξνδρου νβασις

Archias seems to have been an immensely popular name among ancient Greeks. Hundreds of inscriptions with the names Archias have been found.

Among many others, there were actually several Greek poets by this very name, like Archias of Macedon/Αρχίας ο Μακεδών, Archias of Byzantium/Αρχίας Βυζαντινός, Archias of Mytilene/Αρχίας ο Μυτιληναίος, Archias the Grammarian or the Younger / Αρχίας ο Γραμματικός ή Νεώτερος

, and others.

Here is a poetic fragment from Archias the Macedonian who wrote in the Doric Greek dialect (should we maybe ask the later day “makedonists” to “translate” it, using their Bugarski-derived Slavic dialect? I am sure professor Aleksandar Donski would be up to the task, or better yet, another pseudo-makedonist going under the pseudonym “Petrus Invictus”, who published a “treatise” on why Homer’s language is purely Slavic and has -of course!- no relation to Greek: ).

Then of course we also have the testimonial of another FYROM’s pseudo-makedonist regime apologist, Dr. Petar Popovsky, who in all seriousness propagates in front of Skopje’s Makedonska Televizija (the state-controlled tv station), why and how Homer wrote his Iliad and Odyssey epics in the yugo-Slavic Makedonski dialect, and not in the Greek language:



Given the earth shaking nature of such a revelation, someone could propose the immediate and irrevocable shutting down of all the Homeric studies departments in Universities, worldwide, starting with Oxford, Sorbonne, Cambridge and Harvard for having so grossly misled us for centuries now! They might as well invite Dr. Petar Popovsky of Skopje instead, to assist them in the reconstitution of Homeric studies by incorporating them as part of the Slavic languages curriculum…

Balkan nationalistic delusions and Skopje-originating pseudo-macedonian propaganda aside, we move to Archias the (real) Macedonian’s/Αρχίου τού Μακεδόνος

poetic verses:

Κα γενταν το νρϑε κα ονομα κα χϑνα φνει,

στλα, κα ποίᾳ κηρ δαμες ϑανε.

Γενντωρ Πραμος, γ δΙλιον, ονομα δΕκτωρ,

νερ, πρ πτρας δλετο μαρνμενος.

And the family ancestor, the one below the ground and the name and the earth all cried loud

the gravestone, and what evil injury having he at last subdued he died,

Priamos was the Ancestor, and Ilion the land, and the name is Hector

having bargained for the sake of the fatherland, and destroyed it through fraternal strife

Archias the Macedonian 7.140 / Aρχίου τού Μακεδόνος

7.140 (translation by MEB)

Another poet named Archias was Aulus Archias/Αύλος Αρχίας, born circa 120 BC, in Antiochia/Αντιόχεια, Syria. Οnce he became a Roman citizen, he also added his Roman middle name Licinius: Aulus Licinius Archias/Αύλος Λικίνιος Αρχίας

. Here is one of his epigrammatic poems, about the futility of fighting back an attack of Eros, the winged God of Love:

Φεγειν δ τν Ερωτα· κενς πνος· ο γρ λξω

πεζς π πτηνο πυκν διωκμενος.

Trying to escape from Eros? a futile effort; I won’t get stressed over it!

since I am on foot while being closely chased by a winged one…

Archias/Αρχίας 5.59 (Translation: MEB)

Aulus Licinius Archias was accused by a certain Roman named Gracchus of pretending to have acquired the rights of the Roman citizen illegally and he had none other than his former student Cicero defend him at his trial, leaving for posterity one of the most celebrated speeches in Latin language: Pro Archia Poeta Oratio.

1] Si quid est in me ingeni, judices, quod sentio quam sit exiguum, aut si qua exercitatio dicendi,

in qua me non infitior mediocriter esse versatum, aut si hujusce rei ratio aliqua ab optimarum artium studiis ac disciplina profecta, a qua ego nullum confiteor aetatis meae tempus abhorruisse, earum rerum omnium vel in primis hic Archias Licinius fructum a me repetere prope suo jure debet.

IF there be any natural ability in me, O judges,—and I know how slight that is; or if I have any method in my oratory, drawn from my study of the liberal sciences, and from that careful training to which I admit that at no part of my life have I ever been disinclined; certainly, of all those qualities, this Aulus Licinius is entitled to be among the first to claim the benefit from me as his peculiar right.

Nam quoad longissime potest mens mea respicere spatium praeteriti temporis, et pueritiae memoriam recordari ultimam, inde usque repetens hunc video mihi principem et ad suscipiendam et ad ingrediendam rationem horum studiorum exstitisse.

For as far as ever my mind can look back upon the space of time that is past, and recall the memory of its earliest youth, tracing my life from that starting-point, I see that Archias was the principal cause of my undertaking, and the principal means of my mastering, those studies.

Therefore, I say that the men by whose genius these exploits are celebrated, make illustrious at the same time the glory of the Roman people.

Quae quorum ingeniis efferuntur, ab eis populi Romani fama celebratur.

Nam si quis minorem gloriae fructum putat ex Graecis versibus percipi quam ex Latinis, vehementer errat: propterea quod Graeca leguntur in omnibus fere gentibus, Latina suis finibus, exiguis sane, continentur. Qua re si res eae quas gessimus orbis terrae regionibus definiuntur, cupere debemus, quo manuum nostrarum tela pervenerint, eodem gloriam famamque penetrare: quod cum ipsis populis de quorum rebus scribitur, haec ampla sunt, tum eis certe, qui de vita gloriae causa dimicant, hoc maximum et periculorum incitamentum est et laborum. Quam multos scriptores rerum suarum magnus ille Alexander secum habuisse dicitur! Atque is tamen, cum in Sigeo ad Achillis tumulum astitisset: “O fortunate” inquit “adulescens, qui tuae virtutis Homerum praeconem inveneris!” Et vere. Nam nisi Illias illa exstitisset, idem tumulus, qui corpus ejus contexerat, nomen etiam obruisset.

For if any one thinks that there is a smaller gain of glory derived from Greek verses than from Latin ones, he is greatly mistaken, because Greek poetry is read among all nations. Latin is confined to its own natural limits, which are narrow enough. Wherefore, if those achievements which we have performed are limited only by the bounds of the whole world, we ought to desire that, wherever our vigor and our arms have penetrated, our glory and our fame should likewise extend. Because, as this is always an ample reward for those people whose achievements are the subject of writings, so especially is it the greatest inducement to encounter labors and dangers to all men who fight for themselves for the sake of glory. How many historians of his exploits is Alexander the Great said to have had with him; and he, when standing on Cape Sigeum at the grave of Achilles, said, “O happy youth, to find Homer as the panegyrist of your glory!” And he said the truth; for, if the Iliad had not existed, the same tomb which covered his body would have also buried his renown.

Pro Archia Poeta Oratio, Cicero / In Behalf of Archias the Poet, Cicero

Centuries before Cicero’s teacher the poet Archias, another man by the same name, the semi-mythical person Archias of Corinth/Αρχίας ο Κορίνθιος, was a citizen of Corinth, in the Peloponnese. He was said to have led a colonial expedition of fellow Corinthian colonists to Cicily/Σικελία and he thus became the founder of the city of Syracuse/Συρακούσαι, circa 734 or 733 BC.

Τς δ Συρακούσσας ρχίας μν κτισεν κ Κο ρίνθου πλεύσας.

As for Syracuse, Archias built them, having sailed from Corinth.

Στράβων, Γεωγραφία/Strabo, Geography, 6.2.4

For the Greek colonists of Cicily having as a leader a man named Archias, was actually quite appropriate, for it signified a new beginning for them, in their new life in their new land, beyond the Ionian Sea. I will explain:

Everything at some point has to have a beginning. Τhe word “beginning” in Greek is called Αrchê / ρχή.

ν ρχ ν Λόγος καί Λόγος ν πρός τόν Θεόν καί Θεός ν Λόγος· οτος ν ν ρχ

πρός τόν Θεόν. ΚΑΤΑ ΙΩΑΝΝΗΝ 1:1

En archê een o Logos kai o Logos een pros ton Theon kai Theos een o Logos; outos een en archê pros ton Theon.]

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. John 1:1

This is the archê/ρχή of

John’s Gospel, in the original language it was written: the Alexandrian Coene/Koine/Κοινή which was a linguistic mix of Attic Greek with infusions of the Macedonian and other Greek dialects.

The Jews of Hellenistic Alexandria had forgotten their Hebrew, and (like American Jews today who speak only English, with bare minimal knowledge of Hebrew), they only spoke Greek Koine. To accommodate his Jewish subjects, Ptolemaios II Philadelphos / Πτολεμαίος Β’ ο Φιλάδελφος (309-246 BC) ordered a translation to be undertaken of the sacred bible of the Jews into Koine Greek, at the library of Alexandria. It became known as the translation of the 0′, the Greek numeral for the 70, for the number of the scholars who worked on it. This is how it begins:

1Εν ρχ ποίησεν ϑες τν ορανν κα τν γν.

Γένεσις α΄1

En archê epoiesen o Theos ton ouranon kai ten gen.]

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1

Archê, is the source, the beginning, the starting point. And since everything has to have its own beginning, even archê/ρχή had its own archê: it started most probably as a humble Indo-European word: *h4erh2os, which meant the border, the line, the limit. Incidentally, if you were an Indo-European farmer, standing by your field, *h4erh2os would be the beginning of the boundary of your field and *termn would be the other end of it, the limit of your property. A Latin speaking Roman farmer would call that end terminus, and a Greek farmer would call this part of the field’s border the archê/ρχή and the end of his property he would call it the terma/τέρμα. The politician’s dreaded term santorinilimits come from this terminal word, and so is the term paper that college students have to write. And in modern Greek, the goalkeeper is called termatophylacas, the phylacas/φύλακας/guard of the terma/τέρμα, the net at the end of the field. But that is the end and we are still at the beginning: archê. If you were the owner of the land from here to there, you were the Archon/ρχων of that property, the one in control. Archo/ρχω, the verb, in Greek means:

I. a. of time: to begin, to make a beginning of a thing

b. to begin from or with

c. to make preparations

d. to show the way to someone

II. a. to rule to be a leader

b. passively Archomai/ρχoμαι: to be ruled, under

someone’s control

Consequently, Archon/ρχων in different circumstanc

es can mean a property owner, a ruler, a captain, a noble, a magistrate, a king, etc.

In other words, the prefix Arche-/ρχε- and the prefix Archi-/ρχι-

in the beginning of a word, can mean either “the leader of” or “the beginner of”.

ρχιτέκτων/Architecton is the “master builder”, ρχιερέυς/Archiereus is the “chief priest”, ρχιμανδρίτης/ Archimandrites is the “chief shepherd”, ρχιεπίσκοπος/Archiepiskopos is the “leader of the επισκοποι/episkopoi, the bishops,”, ρχηγός/Archegos is the “master guide”, th leader, ρχάγγελος/Archangelos is the “leader of the messangers”, the master of all Angels, ρχικυβερνήτης/Archikybernetes is the “supreme governor”, or the chief pilot of a ship, ρχιπέλαγος/Archipelagos is the “great, unrestricted, sea”, ρχλαος/Archelaos is “the leader of the people in arms”.

On the other hand, ρχηγενής/Archigenes is the “one causing the beginning or origin of something”,

ρχέτυπον/Archetypon is the archetype, the “ori

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