By Miltiades Elia Bolaris
Josif G., an author better known under the Italian-sounding pseudonym “Gandeto”, wrote an article in the May 2009 American Chronicle about the satrapal appointments of Alexander the Great. Josif G. aka J.S.G. Gandeto has made a name for himself in the Slavomacedonian diaspora of Canada and Australia as the author of the history revisionist book “Ancient Macedonians – Differences between the Ancient Macedonians and the Ancient Greeks”
( http://books.google.com/books?sitesec=reviews&id=L6xBsaLlFyYC ). This Book forced us to reply: “On the Alleged Differences between Ancient Macedonians and other Ancient Greeks”,
(http://macedonianissues.blogspot.com/2010/01/on-alleged-differences-between-ancient.html ), to make sure that pseudo-macedonism gets the answer it deserves when its revisionist invented pseudo-history gets out of control attempting to butcher legitimately accepted ancient History sneaking under the sheep-wolf aegis of fraudulent pseudo-academism.
In the beginning of his article (“Satrapal appointments in Alexander’s Empire – The Greek obsession with numbers cont.”, Gandeto, May 01, 2009), the author points out that “If one wishes to believe that Ancient Macedonians were Greeks, then he/she ought to reconcile with the following intrusive irregularities and inconsistencies: A look at Alexander’s satrapal appointments (equivalent to today´s states´ Governors position) reveals that only 2.6% of all assigned positions were held by Greeks.”
We immediately realize that, philosophically, we are being led to accept some perverse apocryphal logic:
A. History is a matter of “beliefs”. I can “believe” that the Romans were Latin while you can “believe” that the Romans were Turkish. I can “believe” that the Mayans spoke a native Amerindian language, while you can “believe” that they spoke Spanish. I can “believe” that the Macedonians were of Greek language religion and culture, while you can “believe” in the ancient Macedonians´ proto-Slavic nature. I can “believe” that History is a science that requires proof and documentation while you can “believe” that anything any clown from Skopje can write about ancient Greek History is fair game and invented pseudo-history has as much a place for academic consideration as anything written by Greek and Latin Classics Scholars and Historians.
B. The practical decisions Alexander the Great made on how best to run his multinational empire during the tumultuous time when he was still a captain general trailblazing through Asia and conquering new territories somehow, someway, esoterically and apocryphally reveals the “Macedoniist” ethnic nature of the ancient Macedonians.
“There were 52 different persons who held satrapies in Alexander’s empire.” Josif G. assures us: “24 were Persian and Asian, 23 were Macedonian, and 5 were given to Greeks.”
Josif G. is so certain of his pronouncements that he hybristically makes a special note for all to hear:
“To my readers: please note that no Greek will attempt to rebuff this piece of information;”
He even sarcastically subtitles his article “The Greek obsession with numbers, as we saw.
While it is true that, like all other Greeks who read Gandeto´s article, I was also initially terrified and ran scared for cover, I eventually started having insolent thoughts of mathematical heresy:
“only 2.6% of all assigned” satrapal positions in Alexander´s empire “were held by Greeks”, we were told. We were also informed that “5” out of “52 different persons who held satrapies in Alexander’s empire” were “given to Greeks”.
While most Greeks would wish they had Pythagoras´ or Ianis Xenakis´ energetically creative “obsession with numbers”, we at least do not have Gandeto´s disrespect for basic arithmetic: 5 out of 52, any ten year old child will assure us, is a little over 9.61%, not 2.6%. We always knew that in Skopje history is treated like a rubber band; we had no idea that mathematics are also taught in the same reckless way.
We are asked to naively assume that the national identity of the ancient Macedonians is to be somehow determined by Alexander´s decisions on who would be his local governor in the areas recently brought under his control. The local satrap was the man who would best represent Alexander´s interests in keeping his increasingly multinational empire´s machine lubricated and kept going.
If someone “wishes to believe that Ancient Macedonians were Greeks, then he/she ought to reconcile with the following intrusive irregularities and inconsistencies” Gandeto tells us. What were these “irregularities and inconsistencies”?
“only 2.6% of all assigned positions were held by Greeks.” True enough, 5 out of 52 being 9.62%, we disregard the 2.6 number, but who were the rest?
“24 were Persian and Asian, 23 were Macedonian, and 5 were given to Greeks.” Excellent! This now means that 46.15% were Persian, 44.23% were Macedonians and 9.62% were the other Greeks.
Let us do the Math here, because I am starting to get really confused already. Here it goes:
We assume that M is Macedonian satraps, G is “non mainland” Greek satraps and PA is Persians and Asiatics. We are trying to find the value of EM, where EM is the ethnicity of ancient Macedonians. We are told to assume that “if GM has a larger value than G then G cannot be EM, because it is also assumed that EM is the largest of these values. Following these parameters, then, PA which has a larger value than both G and GM can easily now proven equal to EM. Illogical assumptions bring us logically to the triumph of absurdity! It is not always the fault of the computer when the calculations give us flawed results, sometimes the input is flawed. Gandeto should look into this remote possibility.
Following Gandeto´s impeccable Skopjan logic, we come to the “obvious” though quite idiotic conclusion that the ancient Macedonians were (what else?) an essentially Persian–Asiatic Volk. Any other conclusion would be fraught with “irregularities and inconsistencies”!
As we are informed, “Of these (5) satrapal appointments given, Nearchus and Sybirtius were from Crete. Stasenor was Cypriote. Cleomenes was from Naucratis in Egypt, and Thoas was from Magnesia on the Meander.”
Let us briefly go over each one of the, individually.
Nearchos Son of Androtimos / Νέαρχος Ανδροτίμου was a Cretan by descent, from the city of Lato/Λατώ, but was probably born in Amphipolis, originally an Athenian colony that had recently been absorbed into Philip II´s Macedonian kingdom.
He was slightly older than Alexander and he was one of his mentors and close friends, as his exile after the Pixodarus affair seems to indicate; an exile from which he was recalled by Alexander only after Philip´s assassination.
He is most famously known as the captain of the flotilla that sailed from the Hydaspes river to the Indian Ocean and then made the journey to the Persian Gulf and through the Euphrates river to Babylon.
… τοῦ μὲν δὴ ναυτικοῦ
παντὸς Νέαρχος αὐτῷ ἐξηγεῖτο͵ τῆς δὲ αὐτοῦ νεὼς
κυβερνήτης ἦν Ὀνησίκριτος͵ ὃς ἐν τῇ ξυγγραφῇ͵
ἥντινα ὑπὲρ Ἀλεξάνδρου ξυνέγραψε͵ καὶ τοῦτο ἐψεύ
σατο͵ ναύαρχον ἑαυτὸν εἶναι γράψας͵ κυβερνήτην
Αρριανού: Αλεξάνδρου ανάβασις – 6.2.3
…the whole of the naval force was under the command of Nearchus;
but the pilot of Alexander´s ship was Onesicritus, who, in the narrative
which he composed of Alexander´s campaigns, falsely asserted
that he was admiral, while in reality he was only a pilot.
Alexandri Anabasis, 6.2.3, translated by E.J. Chinnock
Nearchos married Barsine´s daughter, becoming in this way intimately related to Alexander´s family, since Barsine was Alexander´s Persian mistress and had born him a son, Heracles. He had been assigned to be the admiral of the navy that was being prepared to coordinate with the army during the planned invasion of Arabia, an invasion that never happened because of Alexander´s untimely death. He wrote a chronicle detailing his Indian Ocean journey, and it became the basis of Arrian´s Indika/Ινδική, a book describing Nearchos´ famous voyage from India to Mesopotamia. Before these events, in 333BC Alexander had made him satrap of Lycia and Pamphylia, in SW Asia Minor. He died around 313BC and was buried in Amphipolis.
Thoas son of Mandrodoros from Magnesia on the Meander / Θόας Μανδροδώρου was an Ionian Greek from Asia Minor, who is first mentioned as a trierarch on the Hydaspes. Alexander made him satrap of Gadrosia.
Ὡς δὲ ἀφίκετο ἐς τῶν Γαδρωσίων τὰ βασίλεια, ἀναπαύει ἐνταῦθα τὴν στρατιάν. καὶ Ἀπολλοφάνην μὲν παύει τῆς σατραπείας, ὅτι οὐδενὸς ἔγνω ἐπιμεληθέντα τῶν προεπηγγελμένων, Θόαντα δὲ σατραπεύειν τῶν ταύτῃ ἔταξε• τούτου δὲ νόσῳ τελευτήσαντος Σιβύρτιος τὴν σατραπείαν ἐκδέχεται• ὁ αὐτὸς δὲ καὶ Καρμανίας σατράπης ἦν νεωστὶ ἐξ Ἀλεξάνδρου ταχθείς• τότε δὲ τούτῳ μὲν Ἀραχωτῶν τε καὶ τῶν Γαδρωσίων ἄρχειν ἐδόθη, Καρμανίαν δὲ ἔσχε Τληπόλεμος ὁ Πυθοφάνους.
WHEN he arrived at the capital of Gadrosia (Pura), he there gave his army a rest. He deposed Apollophanes from the viceroyalty, because he discovered that he had paid no heed to his instructions. Thoas was appointed viceroy over the people of this district; but as he fell ill and died, Sibyrtius succeeded to the office. The same man had also lately been appointed by Alexander viceroy of Carmania; but now the rule over the Arachotians and Gadrosians was given to him, and Tlepolemus, son of Pythophanes, received Carmania.
Αρριανού: Αλεξάνδρου ανάβασις – 6.27 / Alexandri Anabasis, 6.27
The man who succeeded Thoas son of Mandrodoros, as we already saw in the quote above, was another Cretan, Sibyrtios / Σιβύρτιος who was initially appointed by Alexander (326 BC) governor of the province of Carmania, replacing the Macedonian Apollophanes but immediately afterward the provinces of Gadrosia (Makran) and Arachosia (Kandahar).
Stasanor of Soli in Cyprus / Στασάνωρ εκ Σόλων Κύπρου was a member of the royal house of his city-state in Cyprus, and an hetaeros of Alexander since 332BC. In 330 BC he replaced the rebel satrap of Areia, Arsaces, whom he had defeated and arrested. Later on Zarangiane was added to his satrapy.
ἐνταῦθα δὲ Στασάνωρ τε ὁ Ἀρείων καὶ ὁ Ζαραγγῶν σατράπης ἧκεν καὶ ξὺν αὐτοῖς Φαρισμάνης ὁ Φραταφέρνου τοῦ Παρθυαίων καὶ Ὑρκανίων σατράπου παῖς.
Thither also came Stasanor, the viceroy of the Areians and Zarangians, accompanied by Pharismanes, son of Phrataphernes, the viceroy of the Parthians and Hyrcanians.
Αρριανού: Αλεξάνδρου ανάβασις – 6.27 / Arrian, Alexandri Anabasis, 6.27
Stasanor was the man who saved Alexander and his army by bringing to them pack animals which they desperately needed, during the army´s grueling march through the Gedrosia desert.
οἱ δὲ σὺν Στασάνορι καὶ Φραταφέρνῃ πλῆθός τε ὑποζυγίων παρ´ Ἀλέξανδρον ἄγοντες ἦλθον καὶ καμήλους πολλάς, ὡς ἔμαθον ὅτι τὴν ἐπὶ Γαδρωσίων ἄγει, εἰκάσαντες ὅτι τὰ αὐτὰ ἐκεῖνα πείσεται αὐτῷ ἡ στρατιὰ ἃ δὴ ἔπαθε• καὶ οὖν καὶ ἐν καιρῷ μὲν καὶ οὗτοι ἀφίκοντο, ἐν καιρῷ δὲ αἱ κάμηλοί τε καὶ τὰ ὑποζύγια
Stasanor and (the son of) Phrataphernes came to Alexander bringing a multitude of beasts of burden and many camels, when they learnt that he was marching by the route to Gadrosia, conjecturing that his army would suffer the very hardships which it did suffer.
Αρριανού: Αλεξάνδρου ανάβασις – 6.27 / Arrian, Alexandri Anabasis, 6.27
After the death of Alexander Stasanor was confirmed as satrap of Bactria and Sogdiane, in today´s Afghanistan.
The last man in Gandeto´s list is Cleomenes of Naucratis / Κλεομένης ο Ναυκρατίδης, from Naucratis / Ναυκρατίς a Greek colony in Egypt. He was entrusted by Alexander with the eastern, Arab part of Egypt, named the Arabarch/Αραβάρχης. He is credited with the building of Alexandreia (Justin, 13.4.11) and he became notorious for the taxing efforts that made him immensely unpopular with the native Egyptians. He was later confirmed as Hyparch / Υπαρχος to Ptolemaios in Egypt and was eventually executed by him as being allegedly an ally of Perdikas.
A Greek man in the service of Alexander that Josif G. forgot is Stasandros / Στάσανδρος (in English Stasander or Stasandrus), another Greek from Cyprus, probably related or a friend of him, who replaced Stasanor in Areia – Drangeiane when Stasanor became the satrap of Bactria-Sogdiane. This means that the Greek (excluding the Macedonians) satraps are in fact six. What does this do to the percentage? Speaking of numbers, and to quench our “Greek obsession with numbers” we need to revise the 2.6%, once again. It is not even 9.62%, but 11.5% of the total, or about 4.5 times more than what we were told. This means that about one in ten men appointed by Alexander were non Macedonian Greeks, while the other 9 were evenly divided between Macedonians and Persians or other Asians, with the edge given to the Persians and Asians. If we add to this list Socrates son of Sathon / Σωκράτης Σάθωνος who was appointed by Alexander as governor of Cilicia
Reges quidem haec invicem scripserant. Sed Rhodii urbem suam portusque dedebant Alexandro. Ille Ciliciam Socrati tradiderat Philota regioni circa Tyrum iusso praesidere. Curtius 4.5.9
then the percentages become even higher than Josif G.´s grossly misleading 2.6%.
“No mainland Greek ever held a satrapy in Alexander’s empire; no Athenian, no Spartan, no Theban, no Phocian, no Argive no Corinthian…None, zero, zilch, nada, nula.”
This argument is so devastating that I lay speechless! Let us keep the emphasis on the second word, MAINLAND, for now, and let us continue with Mr. Josif G.´s brilliant arguments to their conclusion:
“Greek friends; ask yourselves this question:
Why would Alexander not appoint a mainland Greek to any satrapal position in Asia? Surely, there were many capable and experienced administrators among the mainland Greeks. Why, indeed, would King Alexander hesitate to trust his newly conquered territories in the hands of the Greeks?
This fact alone signifies the extent to which one can lay claims in the greekness of Alexander’s army, the greekness of Alexander’s crusade, the greekness of the ancient Macedonians and the extent to which one can reliably measure the degree of Alexander´s own commitment to his Macedoniism. He was first and foremost the King of Macedon.”
Here, I note in passing that “greekness”, a rather harsh word invented with the intent to replace “Hellenism” was written with a small “g”, while Macedoniism (with which some Slavs to the north of historic Macedonia attempt to identify) is written with a capital “M”. Pettiness, someone would say, but that is ok. What bothers me more is the misspelling of “Macedoniism”: you do not need the double ii in Macedonism: Makedonismos/Μακεδονισμός is written with one iota for reasons of euphonism, and the English transliteration needs to confront to the Greek original. Since Greeks refuse to accept the attempt of the ultra-nationalists in Skopje and their Canadian and Australian diaspora to un-historically claim a direct connection between the Slavs of FYROM with the Hellenic in language and culture ancient Macedonians, the Skopjans reply in kind by once again un-historically try to claim that the modern Greeks are not Hellenic in nature and they should not be called Hellenes (the word Greeks use for themselves) but merely some unidentified Grci. The Greeks, ever since Isocrates use a cultural definition of who is a Greek, a Hellene, while the Skopjan revisionists are trying to play the race card, attempting to claim that the genes of the Greeks are “polluted” by west African and other assorted Asian genes. How “pure” were the Greeks (and yes, this includes the Macedonians, of course) after the massive population mix up that followed Alexander´s expansion into Asia, and the subsequent establishment of the Hellenistic kingdoms, is not even an issue. What matters is the Hellenization of Asia and the near East and not the bean counting of which Hellenic, or call it European, genes mixed up with what Persian or other Asian genes. We are speaking of humans, after all, not of cats and dogs, we are speaking of cultural exchanges and not of dog and cat breeds and their gene pools. People with a Nazi mind frame are obviously unable to get out of their provinciality and this is their tragedy.
Now let us go back to that devastating argument thrown at us, his “Greek friends”, just a moment ago:
“No mainland Greek ever held a satrapy in Alexander’s empire; no Athenian, no Spartan, no Theban, no Phocian, no Argive no Corinthian…None, zero, zilch, nada, nula.”
Ziltch Argive? Nada Phocian? Nula Corinthian?
The original argument, as I recall it was that: “…only 2.6% of all assigned positions were held by Greeks.”
So, now we are no longer talking simply about “Greeks”. The bar has now been raised: They have to be MAINLAND Greeks, south of the Olympus, to be counted in the fictitious 2.6% which is more like 11.5% anyway.
This sounds like a rabbit pulled out of the hat to me; a qualitative change of the original argument, meant to confuse the not so analytical reader.
Let us look at the names once again:
1. Nearchos was an islander, a Cretan Greek.
2. Sybirtios was also an islander, also a Cretan Greek.
3. Stasenor was likewise an islander, a Cypriot Greek.
4. Stasandros, whom Josif G. forgot, was an islander, a Cypriot Greek.
5. Cleomenes was Egyptiote Greek from the Naucratis a Greek city in mainland Egypt.
6. Thoas was an Ionian Greek, from Magnesia on the Meander, which was in Ionia, in mainland Asia Minor.
True to our “Greek obsession with numbers”, we will analyze the descent of the men above: The first three, Nearchos , Sybirtios and Stasenor are indeed islanders. Nearchos and Sybirtios were both islanders from Crete, most arguably a European island, but Greeks, nevertheless.
Stasenor and Stasandros were also islanders, from Cyprus, a Greek island which geographically lies in Asia. Politically and geographically, it was always partly Asian and partly European. Cleomenes was Greek but from Egypt, in Africa. Egypt was not part of “mainland Greece”, but then how do we define “mainland Greece”, at that time anyway? Narrowly defined, Greece, Hellas, was originally what is now part of Central Greece and it later encompassed the Peloponnese. The Greeks of southern Italy, should they be considered Islanders? The Sicilians, yes, but the mainland Italiotes Greeks definitely not. They actually gave a new name to their collection of Greek cities of Southern Italy and called it Megali Hellas/Μεγάλη Ελλάς, Magna Graecia, Greater Greece. Is Greater Greece part of “mainland Greece”? During the Hellenistic years geographic Macedonia and even the Greek inhabited areas of Thrace, are also identified as part of Hellas. Esti oun Hellas kai he Makedonia/Εστι ούν Ελλάς καί η Μακεδονία, tells us Strabo by the Roman times: “Macedonia is therefore also part of Greece”. During the Roman times Greece is divided into Macedonia to the north and Achaia to the south.
What about Thoas, the Ionian. Ionia in the Asian coast of the Aegean is as Greek as any other part of Greece. The Asians still now call the Greeks Ionians: Yunan, Yavan, Yunani, etc. What is now western Turkey was from the mid of the second millennium BC untill 1922 as part of Greece as any other place, and even more so, if not always politically (under the Persians, the Romans or the Turks at times), but for sure always culturally.
Thoas while not an islander was from the Asian mainland of Greece. In other words, Greece, was not what we would identify today as a single, compact, monolithic state, like modern Italy, for example, but a loose collection of fiercely independent cities, each one a free state, like Renascence independent Italian city republics, Pisa, Florence, Venice, Genova, Amalfi etc.
Gandeto´s attempt to make an imaginary distinction between so called mainland Greeks and islander or Ionian Greeks is simply a hoax.
Realizing this himself, Josif G. is trying to cover some of his tracks, throwing some smoke screen to confuse his reader:
“One should also keep in mind that Asia minor was under Persian control when Alexander liberated the cities, and therefore, in accordance with his policy, he left many existing satrapies intact i.e., in Persian or Greek hands.”
While this statement is true for some of the Asian satrapies, in the case of Asia Minor Gandeto is simply lying: Alexander placed the Asian Minor satrapies either under Macedonian commanders or as in the case of Nearchos as we saw, to a Cretan, not to local Ionian Greek. The first time that Alexander allowed an existing local satrap to keep his old satrapy was Mazaios, the commander of Babylonia, who (after ferociously leading the Persian right flank against Alexander in the battle of Gaugamela) he wisely opened the gates of Babylon to Alexander and the Macedonian army. In most other cases till then Alexander was either placing his own people (whether Macedonians or other Greeks in his service) in power, or he was bringing in previously deposed allies, like queen Ada/ Ἄδα of Caria or the Phoenecian non-entity Abdalonymus/Ἀβδαλώνυμος a poor gardener of old royal descent into power. In all these cases we see persons that were under Alexander´s direct control with little chance of ever revolting against him. In the case of queen Ada, she even adopted Alexander as her son, ensuring that her royal line would end with her, placing her kingdom in Macedonian hands.
With the smoke screen gone, we go back to Josif G.´s arguments again:
“It should be emphasized, however, that;
no mainland Greek ever held satrapal position in Alexander’s empire. And this fact alone speaks volumes by itself.”
This fact alone speaks volumes by itself about what? Mainland Greek or islander Greek, the Greeks were Greeks. And as long as other Greeks recognized you as a Greek, you could participate in the Olympic games, where a Persian an Illyrian or a Thracian could not participate but a Spartan an Epirote, a Syracusan or a Macedonian could. Gandeto and company may not like it but this is history, these are the facts.
The Greeks, as Plato graphically described, were like frogs around a lake, building cities around the water, filling every commercial spot watered by the Black sea, the Aegean Sea and the rest of the Mediterranean. A Greek from Massalia/Μασσαλία, modern Marsailles, in France was no less a Greek than a Greek from Panormos/Πάνορμος, modern Palermo in Sicily, or Neapolis/Νεάπολις, modern Napoli in Italy. A Greek from Leuke Acra/Λευκή Άκρα, Modern Alicante in Spain, or from Alexandreia/Αλεξάνδρεια Al Iskenderiyia, in Egypt and a Greek of Theodosia/Θεοδοσία, modern Feodosiya/Феодосія/Феодосия on the Crimea were as Greek as an Athenian, a Corinthian/Κορίνθιος, or an Ionian from Smyrna/Σμύρνη, modern Izmir, a Trapezountian from Trapezous/Τραπεζούς, from modern Trebizond on the Black Sea, a Pellan/Πελλαίος and an Amphipolitan/Αμφιπολίτης from Macedonia/Μακεδονία.
Should we leave the Macedonians out of the equation for a moment, to make Josif G. happy? We have no problem. Greeks know who is who in the Balkans and who was who, and we are not torrn by the ethnic insecurities of some of Gandeto´s compatriots who joyfully jump the fence to get a Bulgarian passport when the Bulgarian Government offers it to them, as they sign that they are of Bulgarian ethnicity.
We leave the Macedonian Greeks aside for now, to make Josip G. happy, and we concentrate on the other Greeks:
What difference in this world does it make if we speak of islander Greeks or of mainland Greeks, of Greeks from Sicily or of Greeks from the Peloponnese or Ionia, when the satrapal appointments in Alexander’s empire are to be considered? What is the point he is trying to make here? That some Greeks had somehow, more Hellenism than others?
“No mainland Greek ever held a satrapy in Alexander’s empire; no Athenian, no Spartan, no Theban, no Phocian, no Argive no Corinthian…None, zero, zilch, nada, nula.”
What is the point here? Might we also add to this that no Spartan , Theban or Macedonian was ever given leadership position in any Athenian enterprise? Would this prove that the Athenians were any less Hellenic than the Spartans, the Thebans or the Macedonians?
An example will help us explain this a bit easier. The Delian League (the only truly offensive Greek alliance before Philip´s and Alexander´s hegemony), started as an anti Persian alliance and ended up as an Athenian hegemony and empire. In it, some cities were contributing money and others were contributing ships and men. Macedonia for its part, to mention an example, was contributing wood for building ships, into the Delian League´s coffers, something that earned Archelaos/Αρχέλαος, the Macedonian king of the time, the title Euergetes/Ευεργέτης, the benefactor, by the people of Athens. Despite that, all the important decisions in the alliance were always taken by the Athenians. Kimon/Κίμων did not have to give much account to everyone else when he asked the allies to accompany the Athenian fleet in the Eurymedon expedition when he destroyed the Persian navy and army in the famous double (naval and land) homonymous battle.
The Spartans and their allies, in a prelude to what happened later under Alexander, famously remained home and stayed away from all this. This does not make the Delian League, any less Pan-Hellenic nor does the fact that many Greek city states vehemently opposed Philips´ and Alexander´s plans on Asia, make the Macedonian enterprise any less Pan-Hellenic.
Alexander and his Macedonians forced the other reluctant Greeks into the Asian expedition but this does not make it any less a Pan-Hellenic effort. Obviously, the Skopjan pseudo-makedonists are indignant! How can the Greeks claim Alexander´s invasion a Pan-Hellenic enterprise?
The answer is always in the sources:
To cover himself politically, Alexander took the following actions:
3. 173τοῦ δ᾽ Ἀλεξάνδρου παραγγείλαντος εἰς Κόρινθον ἀπαντᾶν τάς τε πρεσβείας καὶ τοὺς συνέδρους, ἐπειδὴ συνῆλθον οἱ συνεδρεύειν εἰωθότες, διαλεχθεὶς ὁ βασιλεὺς καὶ λόγοις ἐπιεικέσι χρησάμενος ἔπεισε τοὺς Ἕλληνας ψηφίσασθαι στρατηγὸν αὐτοκράτορα τῆς Ἑλλάδος εἶναι τὸν Ἀλέξανδρον καὶ συστρατεύειν ἐπὶ τοὺς Πέρσας ὑπὲρ ὧν εἰς τοὺς Ἕλληνας ἐξήμαρτον.
3. 173Then Alexander called a meeting at Corinth of envoys and delegates, and when the usual representatives came, he spoke to them in moderate terms and had them (the original Greek is using the verb ἔπεισε which means: convinced) pass a resolution appointing him general plenipotentiary of the Greeks and undertaking themselves to join in an expedition against Persia seeking satisfaction for the offenses which the Persians had committed against Greece.
Διόδωρος Σικελιώτης / Diodorus Siculus , Vol. VIII of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1963
Then just before the campaign started:
16 μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα ὁ μὲν βασιλεὺς ἐπανελθὼν μετὰ τῆς δυνάμεως εἰς τὴν Μακεδονίαν συνήγαγε τοὺς ἡγεμόνας τῶν στρατιωτῶν καὶ τοὺς ἀξιολογωτάτους τῶν φίλων καὶ προέθηκε βουλὴν περὶ τῆς εἰς τὴν Ἀσίαν διαβάσεως, πότε χρὴ στρατεύειν καὶ τίνι τρόπῳ χειριστέον τὸν πόλεμον. τῶν δὲ περὶ τὸν Ἀντίπατρον καὶ Παρμενίωνα συμβουλευόντων πρότερον παιδοποιήσασθαι καὶ τότε τοῖς τηλικούτοις ἐγχειρεῖν ἔργοις, δραστικὸς ὢν καὶ πρὸς πᾶσαν πράξεως ἀναβολὴν ἀλλοτρίως διακείμενος ἀντεῖπε τούτοις: αἰσχρὸν γὰρ ὑπάρχειν ἀπεφαίνετο τὸν ὑπὸ τῆς Ἑλλάδος ἡγεμόνα καθεσταμένον τοῦ πολέμου καὶ πατρικὰς ἀνικήτους δυνάμεις παρειληφότα καθῆσθαι γάμους ἐπιτελοῦντα καὶ τέκνων γενέσεις ἀναμένοντα.
16 Thereupon the king returned with his army to Macedonia, assembled his military commanders and his noblest Friends and posed for discussion the plan for crossing over to Asia. When should the campaign be started and how should he conduct the war? Antipater and Parmenion advised him to produce an heir first and then to turn his hand to so ambitious an enterprise, but Alexander was eager for action and opposed to any postponement, and spoke against them. It would be a disgrace, he pointed out, for one who had been appointed by Greece to command the war, and who had inherited his father’s invincible forces, to sit at home celebrating a marriage and awaiting the birth of children.
Διόδωρος Σικελιώτης / Diodorus Siculus , Vol. VIII of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1963
Finally, after the battle of Granicus:
ἔθαψε δὲ καὶ τοὺς μισθοφόρους Ἕλληνας, οἳ ξὺν τοῖς πολεμίοις στρατεύοντες ἀπέθανον. ὅσους δὲ αὐτῶν αἰχμαλώτους ἔλαβε, τούτους δὲ δήσας ἐν πέδαις εἰς Μακεδονίαν ἀπέπεμψεν ἐργάζεσθαι, ὅτι παρὰ τὰ κοινῇ δόξαντα τοῖς Ἕλλησιν Ἕλληνες ὄντες ἐναντία τῇ Ἑλλάδι ὑπὲρ τῶν βαρβάρων ἐμάχοντο.
He also buried…the Greek mercenaries who were killed fighting on the side of the enemy. But as many of them as he took prisoners he bound in fetters and sent them away to Macedonia to till the soil, because, though they were Greeks, they were fighting against Greece on behalf of the foreigners in opposition to the decrees which the Greeks had made in their federal council. \
Αρριανού Αλεξάνδρου Ανάβασις, Βιβλίν Πρώτον, 16 / Arrian, Alexandri Anabasis Book 1.16
In Persepolis, Parmenion argued against burning the Achaemanid capital, but Alexander decided to go ahead and burn it anyway as revenge on the Persians for what they had done to Greece and for the burning of Athens:
ὁ δὲ τιμωρήσασθαι ἐθέλειν Πέρσας ἔφασκεν ἀνθ’ ὧν ἐπὶ τὴν Ἑλλάδα ἐλάσαντες τάς τε Ἀθήνας κατέσκαψαν καὶ τὰ ἱερὰ ἐνέπρησαν, καὶ ὅσα ἄλλα κακὰ τοὺς Ἕλληνας εἰργάσαντο, ὑπὲρ τούτων δίκας λαβεῖν.
But Alexander said that he wished to take vengeance on the Persians, in retaliation for their deeds in the invasion of Greece, when they razed Athens to the ground and burnt down the temples. He also desired to punish the Persians for all the other injuries they had done the Greeks.
Αρριανού Αλεξάνδρου Ανάβασις, Βιβλίον Τρίτον / Arrian, Alexandri Anabasis, Book 3
When after the end of Dareius the last of his remaining Greek mercenaries realized that it was time to change employer, they started negotiations with Alexander. He took the high approach:
τοῖς πρέσβεσι δὲ τῶν Ἑλλήνων δεομένοις σπείσασθαί σφισιν ὑπὲρ τοῦ παντὸς ξενικοῦ ἀπεκρίνατο ὁμολογίαν μὲν οὐκ ἂν ποιήσασθαι πρὸς αὐτοὺς οὐδεμίαν. ἀδικεῖν γὰρ μεγάλα τοὺς στρατευομένους ἐναντία τῇ Ἑλλάδι παρὰ τοῖς βαρβάροις παρὰ τὰ δόγματα τῶν Ἑλλήνων.
To the envoys from the Greeks, begging him to make a truce with them on behalf of the whole mercenary force, he replied that he would not make any agreement with them; because they were acting with great guilt in serving as soldiers on the side of the barbarians against Greece, in contravention of the resolution of the Greeks.
Αρριανού Αλεξάνδρου Ανάβασις, Βιβλίον Τρίτον, 23 / Arrian, Alexandri Anabasis Book 3.23
And when Alexander, despite Josif G.´ naïve pronouncements of “Alexander´s own commitment to his Macedoniism[sic]. He was first and foremost the King of Macedon.”decided to become an orientalist king, on his way to deification, and demanded proskynesis, something that all Greeks, with Macedonians first among them, revolted, Callisthenes/ Καλλισθένης the philosopher, and nephew of Aristotle, reminded Alexander of why and on whose sake this expedition had been undertaken:
εἰ δέ, ὅτι ἐν τῇ βαρβάρῳ γῇ οἱ λόγοι γίγνονται, βαρβαρικὰ χρὴ ἔχειν τὰ φρονήματα, καὶ ἐγὼ τῆς Ἑλλάδος μεμνῆσθαί σε ἀξιῶ, ὦ Ἀλέξανδρε, ἧς ἕνεκα ὁ πᾶς στόλος σοι ἐγένετο, προσθεῖναι τὴν Ἀσίαν τῇ Ἑλλάδι.
But if, because the discussion is held in the land of foreigners, we ought to adopt the sentiments of foreigners, I for my part demand, Alexander, that thou shouldst be-think thyself of Greece, for whose sake the whole of this expedition was undertaken by thee, that thou mightest join Asia to Greece.
Αρριανού Αλεξάνδρου Ανάβασις, Βιβλίον Τέταρτον, 11 / Arrian, Alexandri Anabasis Book 4.11
Reading the above, someone could easily establish a litmus test for Macedonism/Μακεδονισμό:
A true Macedonian/Μακεδών is someone who lives or was born in Macedonia and loves Greece and Greek culture as Alexander did. Alexander used to carry his Homer´s Iliad on his horse, and read it throughout his Asian campaign.
This test can easily clear out the Greek Macedonians, whether Greek speaking or bilingual ones (the Skopians´ hated “Grecomani”) from the Bulgarophiles and the Slavomacedonians who identify with Skopje.
Choosing to ignore the real Alexander, Skopjean pseudo-macedonists are creating their own, cartoonish version of him. Basileus (King) Alexandros son of Philippos, the student of Aristotle who loved Greece and anything Hellenic has been transformed in their provincial imagination into an unmistakably Balkan and viciously Greek-hating voevoda, reflecting onto him their own deleterious ethnic prejudices. Alexandros ho Macedon is thus miraculously transformed into Aleksandar Filipov Makedonski, a yugoslavic-proto-Slavic Czar, right at home in the Albanian and Slavic speaking Skopje-grad, FYROM´s capital.
“Greeks can continue to keep a veil of ignorance over the facts as well as the truth as long as they want, but the evidence cannot and will not be suppressed for long.”
What “veil of ignorance over the facts as well as the truth” is he referring to, is what I wonder…empty talk is cheap and the facts are devastating to the case the modern Skopjans are trying to make: Alexander was no Slavic Czar because the Slavs did not appear in his Macedonia for another thousand years after he died. The epigraphic record easily proves the Greek language of the ancient Macedonians. And what better proof that the Macedonians spoke Greek than the clear fact that Greek was the language that the Macedonians propagated to the far corners of their Macedonian Empire. The Hellenistic kingdoms were not Athenian, nor Spartan or Theban kingdoms. They were purely Macedonian Kingdoms established by Macedonians in Egypt, Syria, Asia Minor – Turkey, Afghanistan, India, Thrace – Bulgaria and Persia – Iran. FYROM´s ancient cities, all in the southern part of that land, are giving up to the Modern Slavic and Albanian speaking archaeologists their secretes in marble inscriptions and they are all in Greek…and few in Latin, very few, all after the conquest. No other language appears in these lands, and for sure no Albanian nor Slavic whether Bulgarian or Slavomacedonian. So, then, what “evidence” is there that the Greeks should want to”suppress”? Why should the “Greeks” ever want to”continue to keep a veil of ignorance over the facts as well as the truth”?
Au contraire, mon ami, the Greeks want ALL THE EVIDENCE out in the sun! We want the reader to be informed and to decide which authors or professors “possess superb knowledge and resolute analytical skills—they teach, and then, there are some so called scholars who sweep everything beyond their cognitive grasp under the Greek carpet.”
If anyone is wondering what that Greek carpet is hiding under it, maybe checking out what “some so called scholars” (350 and counting) have to say on this issue. Here is their Macedonian EVIDENCE:
The Greeks have the 350 Classics professors behind their case (the number is continuously growing)…Divine Athena of the Letters and Phoebos Apollon, of Justice, thank you!
Skopje on the other hand has Stefou, Iliov, Donski, Tendov, Boshevski, Sardzoski and Grezlovski…Divine Dionyssos, God of drama and comedy and Hermes, God of the thieves, what have we done to deserve such spite from you?
Revolting against accepted Linguistic science and crying foul against History is normal state of mind to the Balkan history revisionist. He is vociferously raising the black flag against the conspiracy of worldwide academia that has thrown a Hellenic “veil of ignorance over the facts”, covering the case of the Slavic nature of the ancient Macedonians, but “the evidence cannot be suppressed for long”! It is all a malicious academic plot, a cruel world-wide conspiracy led by the Greeks, who are feverishly laboring over to cover the facts, trying to plaster over the proto-Slavic ethnicity of Aristotle, Philip II and Alexander the Great. The Greeks are the ones who are bribing all the university professors of the Classics and History around the world to hide from the international community the facts which prove that the ancient Macedonians were not related to the Greeks, who spoke no Greek language, despite the thousands of marble inscriptions in the Greek language of the ancient Macedonians which are being daily uncovered in Macedonia, Greece and in FYROM too. Any high school girl in Skopje can attest to this conspiracy, she knows it all too well, they have taught her this in school:
“Propaganda in FYROM’S school books”:
“There are some authors” josif G. assures us, “who possess superb knowledge and resolute analytical skills—they teach, and then, there are some so called scholars who sweep everything beyond their cognitive grasp under the Greek carpet.”
We could not agree more: “there are some so called scholars who sweep everything beyond their cognitive grasp” Well said, indeed, Josif G.!…stop here: You single-handedly and in one stroke described Tendov and Boshevski of the University of Skopje, who, ignorant of ancient Egyptian and ancient Greek were able to “decipher” the Rosetta Stone from ancient Egyptian reading it using the Bulgarian dialect spoken in Skopje, the Slavomakedonski.
You also described Pero S., aka Petrus Invictus, who, deeply ignorant of the Greek language, gave us nevertheless such literary gems as the “Slavic elements in Homer”! (Are we all ready now for the “Turkish roots of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides” or the “Albanian influence on Plato?). Here , by the way is Slavic Homer, in Skopje:
Should we continue with such serious academics of Christos Stefou´s caliber, the office-assistant-turned-historian and publicist, “who sweeps everything beyond his cognitive grasp” indeed!
Or should we mention Gandeto´s legendary pseudo-history book, the one he published and is peddling himself, http://books.google.com/books?sitesec=reviews&id=L6xBsaLlFyYC
The problem is not that he wrote the book, but the sorry fact that he finds people who buy it and believe in his Bucephalean fantasies.
Back to Alexander now: When the great Macedonian was trailblazing through Asia, he needed to secure his newly conquered lands. To do what Alexander achieved was no simple task and it was not simply a matter of brute military force. Alexander was no mere military genius, but he had an acute political mind. He had to create allies and strengthen alliances as he was crushing adversaries and was weakening potential enemies everywhere he went. On strategic locations and crossroads, wherever he needed, he established garrisons. In the garrisons he would leave his veterans and the wounded and later on he actively brought people from Greece, merchants, soldiers and farmers alike. He was never cut off from his base and his base was Macedonia primarily and the rest of Greece, secondarily. From Macedonia he was constantly receiving fresh recruits, as tired veterans were returning home and were being exchanged with younger and newly trained soldiers. From the rest of Greece, beyond his immediate control (the Greek cities beyond the Macedonian kingdom were Alexander´s allies, not his subjects) he was receiving mercenaries. He always kept his lines of communications open. Even while marching through the Gedrosia desert he was never completely cut off, as the Stasanor incident descriptively reveals.
Alexander was an empire builder, not some idiotic narrow minded provincialist.
Josif G. assures his readers that
“…one can reliably measure the degree of Alexander´s own commitment to his Macedoniism[sic]. He was first and foremost the King of Macedon.”
I beg to disagree: Deng Xiaoping´s famous aphorism “Black cat, white cat, who cares as long as it can catch mice” was vigorously applied by Alexander to the fullest, twenty three hundred and fifty years before Deng Xiaoping: Alexander always looked for three things, talent, bravery and loyalty. Nothing else mattered to him in a man. No man, Greek or other, that was not under Alexander´s direct service and control ever received a satrapal appointment. The easiest way to become a general or an administrator was to be in the king´s inner circle, to be the king´s companion, his hetairos/εταίρος. Most, if not all (Cleomens for sure not, but he had other things in his favor, intimate knowledge of Egypt and its people being the most important one), of the appointees were in fact Alexander´s hetairoi, his companions, men in his inner circle in other words men who fought next to him in battle, men who drank together with him in the symposia. To be the king´s companion someone had to be the son of an allied prince or king or the son of a Macedonian baron or some notable. It was from this inner circle of companions that Alexander chose his army commanders and future empire administrators. Administrative talent “head-hunting” was still unknown in the ancient world. If you knew Alexander and you belonged to his inner circle, and he saw something that he liked about you, you had a good chance to get a placement advance in his empire. Being the best orator, administrator or army general in Syracuse, in Corinth or in Athens, and a continent away from Alexander, you simply had no chance to get anywhere with him.
There were Athenians and Syracusans , Corinthians and other Greeks in his entourage, for sure. From doctors and soldiers to administrators and naval officers, Alexander´s army was full of other Greeks, besides the Macedonians. In fact it was for all practical purposes a Pan-Hellenic army based on the Macedonian phalanx and the Hetairoi cavalry, that was augmented by the Paionian and Thracian allies, the Thessalian cavalry, the other Greek allies, the Greek mercenaries and finally the Asian recruits who had to learn Greek. As for Alexander himself, and his imaginary “own commitment to his Macedoniism[sic]” (Gandeto assures us that “He was first and foremost the King of Macedon”), this is as naïve and credible historically as Snow White and the seven dwarfs.
Far from being a narrow minded provincialist, Alexander started as the King of Macedon, proceeded to become in Corinth the Hegemon of all Greeks, he became after Gaugamela the King of Asia and saw himself as being the son of Amon Zeus, a living God. Alexander was working for Alexander´s glory, world domination and his own deification, period! The whole Calisthenes affair clearly proves this assertion.
Busy with becoming a living God, Alexander never found the time to look into the future and realize that some 2320 years after his ascent to Olympus, a small nation, part of a tiny spin off of Yugoslavia, bent on breaking off with its Serbian and Bulgarian Slavic roots would claim him, Alexandros, as their imaginary proto-Slavic progenitor, Czar Aleksandar Velikiot.
From Olympus to Florida, now, and to Josif G. who hubristically forewarned his readers:
“To my readers: please note that no Greek will attempt to rebuff this piece of information;”
Unfortunately, we just wasted several hours doing just that. I thought that it took about a year for Josif G. to get his reply, and I thought that Greeks should not be blamed for this. While imitation “Makedoniism” and the Macedonia name issue is for the government agencies of FYROM burdened with pseudo-makedonist propaganda and to the theorists of pseudo-makedonism in the Slavomacedonian diaspora what they live and breathe on a daily basis, the “Skopiano” issue for Greeks is somewhere between priority #17 and priority #71, and it shows. For every couple hundred entries that pseudo-makedonists post on the internet in support of their false case it is doubtful that Greeks write more than one entry back. Then, on a quick search on the internet I happily found out that Gandeto´s article had already been answered on May 03, 2009 by the vigorous Macedonians of Australia, the Australian Macedonian Advisory Council:
Unfortunately I had already put a lot of research on this article, and I had already written a few chapters, so I decided to continue. At any rate the reply of theAustralian Macedonian Advisory Council looks at the issue from a different angle, so G. should not complain: He had enough time to lick his old, Macedonian-Australian wounds.
I began this article wondering: What do the satrapal appointments in Alexander’s empire have to do with today´s Slavomacedonians, the Slavomacedonci in the Former Yugoslav republic of Makedonija?
The “connection” is given by Gandeto:
“what they will do instead is write nonsense about the Republic of Macedonia simply because they want to divert the attention from the real issues occurring in Greece today: namely, the plight of the ethnic Macedonians in Greece whose rights as human beings are being denied, whose Macedonian mother´s tongue is forbidden and who are persecuted and discriminated simply because they are ethnic Macedonians.”
Following the events in Greece on a daily basis, I have still to read anything anywhere, in the Greek or international press about this bogus issue. If it was true that there is an oppressed Slavomakedonska minority in Greece, where is it? Greece is a country where everyone is always demonstrating about anything and everything…where are these “persecuted and discriminated” “ethnic Makedonci” hiding? The way I see it, when a group feels persecuted and discriminated beyond hope of relief, they grab their AK47´s and they take to the mountains to get justice…sort of like what the Albanian minority was forced to do less than ten years ago in the Former Yugoslav Republic that Gandeto thinks we should call Makedonija. As for the 100 to 200 thousand Greeks in FYROM, Josif G. obviously thinks that their rights as human beings are not being denied, whose Greek mother´s tongue is not forbidden since he never mentioned them. Kiro Gligorov, FYROM´s first president did though:
“In the Balkans today everyone is competing with numbers and their own nation they present it as the larger one. The Greeks declare that 250,000 Greeks live here, while according to the statistics they are only 100,000. They are supposed to be between 700,000 and 1,000,000 Albanians here. The Serbs mention that they are 250,000 or 300,000 but the recent census showed at any rate that their number does not extend beyond 43,000″.
Kiro Gligorov, President of FYROM, interview in the Czek newspaper CESKY DENIK, reprinted from Ta Nea, June, 16, 1993
As for the so called “ethnic Makedonska” minority in Greece, it is true that there are several Greek citizens who have a Slavomacedonian identity. But are they “persecuted and discriminated”? Here is a video from the opening speech by Pavlos Voskopoulos, at the “2nd Congress of the “Vinozhito” / Ouranio Toxo” party in Greece, held in Amyntaion, on November 23, 2008. Ouranio Toxo-Vinozhito is a political party that represents Gandeto´s “ethnic-Macedonians” of Greece, the Greek Slavomacedonians:
Here is another video, from a television political advertisement spot, aired on Greek TV where the candidate Mr. Parisis is speaking, and the slogan is clear:
Ψηφίστε ΕΕΣ- Ουράνιο Τόξο! Гласајте за ЕСА-Виножито! Vote for EFA-Rainbow! .
Despite Gandeto´s cries, this does not seem like a “persecuted and discriminated” minority to me, not as desperate as to grab their Kalashnivovs, like the Albanians of FYROM anyway. Ouranio toxo never slated any candidates in the competitive national elections, choosing instead to run in the Europarliament elections where people love to show their dissatisfaction to the governing parties and where all sort of parties come out of the woods to solicit votes. Ouranio Toxo among the 2,500,000 Greeks of Macedonia in Greece managed to get less than 2,500 votes. We can let Mr. Josif G. figure out the exact percentage of the “persecuted and discriminated” in Macedonia, Greece. To establish rights for a “persecuted and discriminated” minority, and to make irredentist claims on the land of Northern Greece-Macedonia, you need to first of all start with a real minority, with a sizeable population of people that have the desired identity, and in the case of the Greek Slavomacedonians, this is simply not the case. Their identity is Greek, and the few that have a Bulgarian or an “ethnic-Makedonian”-Skopian identity are simply too few to make such claims based on their numbers. When Mr. Parisis is demanding in the TV spot above that the Slavomacedonian dialect has to be introduced in all the levels of education in Macedonia in Greece, from kindergarten to University, he is obviously not being serious. Kiro Gligorov´s 100,000 Greeks of FYROM (if we are to accept his number as correct and not the 200 or 250 thousand that Greeks claim), are a much larger group when compared to the total population of FYROM as a country and they can make a far stronger claim for a minority status and for the teaching of their language in FYROM. They did not wait for that though. Private schools teaching the Greek language have sprung all over southern FYROM doing just that. Greeks has never raised any minority issues with FYROM. “In the house of the man who was hung”, the Greeks say,” you should not mention or talk about ropes”. Look at your own track record first, in other words, before you raise the flag of Human Rights against others…and as far as Human Rights are concerned, Greece is not Albania, Turky or Yugoslavia and for sure it is not FYROM.
The article which Josif G. wrote, was trying to make the unsustainable case that since Alexander did not assigned any “mainland” Greeks as satraps, this somehow was indicative of the ethnic identity of the ancient Macedonians and of Alexander´s own provincial ideology, Gandeto´s “Makedoniism”.
Extracting the juice out of his article, I would say that what Gandeto is claiming is that: Since Alexander used more Macedonians as Satraps in his enterprise in Asia, than other Greeks, this in itself proves that the Macedonians are not Greeks. Using the flawed logic of his paper-thin argument someone could easily claim that:
If a Venician uses forty six Turks, forty four Venetians and one or two Italians from Pisa as managers to do a project in Turkey, and since there is more Venetians than Pisans in managerial positions in that project, that leads us to safely assume that the Venetians are not Italians.
Typical Skopjan “reductio ad absurdum”, in other words, intended to convince only the very slow-thinking, uninformed readers. Such pseudo-historical clowning has brought enough ridicule and academic contempt upon the Skopjans yet they continue unabashed embarrassing themselves. Their endurance to derision is legendary among Greeks on the internet. Once we blow them out of one issue, they stoically accept the scorn and run for cover to their next forgery: a typical cat and mouse game, where the cat never loses. Are the Greeks smarter? Not necessarily, though we do know our history better than they think they know Greek history. And since Greek history (as is Greek culture, language, literature, science and art, among other things) is studied throughout the world as being common to all of Humanity, it is not easy for the pseudo-makedonists to slip away with their fraudulent claims unscathed. Countless books from serious authors in every language around the world prove them wrong. This is why the difference between them and the Greeks is that we defend historical truth and treat the reader with respect, while the pseudo-makedonists assume that their readers are either ignorant, uninformed or plainly stupid who will never open a book to check the validity of pseudo-makedonist claims. Our task is always easy: All we have to do is dig out the basic research and expose them as the pseudo-academic garbage disseminators that they are.
The list of the SATRAPS at the Partition of Babylon (323BC), when the captured Asian territories of Alexander the Great´s empire were divided among his generals:
Antipatros (Macedon & Greece), Philon (Illyria), Lysimachos (Thrace), Leonnatos (Hellespontine Phyrgia), Antigonos (Phyrgia), Asandros (Caria), Nearchos the Cretan (Lycia & Pamphylia) , Menandros (Lydia) ,Philotas (Cilicia), Eumenes of Cardia (Cappadocia & Paphlagonia) , Ptolemaios (Egypt), Laomedon of Mytilene (Syria), Neoptolemos (Armenia), Peucestas (Babylonia), Arcesilas (Mesopotamia), Peithon (Media), Tlepolemos (Persia), Nicanor (Parthia), Antigenes (Susiana), Archon (Pelasgia), Philippos (Hyrcania) , Stasanor of Cyprus (Aria & Drangiana), Sibyrtios the Cretan (Arachosia & Gedrosia) , Amyntas (Bactria), Scythaios (Sogdiana)
Five out of the twenty five are non-Macedonian Greeks:
Laomedon of Mytilene (Syria),
Nearchos the Cretan (Lycia & Pamphylia),
Eumenes of Cardia (Cappadocia & Paphlagonia),
Stasanor of Cyprus (Aria & Drangiana),
Sibyrtios the Cretan (Arachosia & Gedrosia).
Here is the map:
Five out of twenty five: that´s a hefty 20%. Should this surprise us and furthermore, does it even make much difference? Not really; not to a Greek anyway. To us this is normal and not indicative of anything else but that Alexander´s empire was already breaking up and was on its way to transform itself into the great Hellenistic Kingdoms of the post-Alexandrian age and that whoever was a strongman among Alexander´s Basilikoi Hetairoi, his royal companions made his claim, based on his own power and the others had to consent. It indicates that five out of the twenty five strongmen of Macedonian power politics were non-Macedonian Greeks. Gandeto will wish he should have thought twice before he wrote his article. A few centuries later, there was hardly any difference left between a Greek of Macedonia and a Greek of the Peloponnese, or Ionia or Southern Italy, not in the dialect anyway: by the time the Romans came, all Greeks spoke the Koine Greek, the “common” Greek dialect which the Macedonians brought into being through the great shuffling of the populations during the Hellenistic age. All modern dialects spoken by Greeks today, from the Muslim Pontians of Turkey to the Griko speaking Italians of Calabria and Grecia Salentina, and from the Greek dialects of Cyprus, Crete, and Macedonia, to the refined Greek spoken in Athens or Thessaloniki, all are derived from that Alexandrian Koine/Coine/Κοινή dialect, the language in which the New Testament of the Christian bible was originally written. If you live in or close to historic Macedonia and speak a modern dialect or language that is not directly derived from the Alexandreian Koine Greek dialect, then, in the language front at least, you most probably are not a Macedonian.
A very enlightening chapter in Arrianos´ “Anabasis of Alexander” is illuminating for us Alexander the Great´s political mindwork; how Alexander was thinking when he was making the appointments of the Satraps and the other administrators in the newly conquered lands. In Egypt we see Alexander installing two local Egyptians as Satraps, but, as everywhere else, he separates political and military administration, creating checks and balances. If we look at the names we see that in Egypt Alexander, besides the two Egyptians installed also:
Menidas, son of Hegesander, Macedonian
Asclepiodoros, son of Eunicus, Macedonian
Pantaleon the Pydnaean, Pydna, Southern Greek colony in Macedonia
Polemo, son of Megacles, a Pellaean, Macedonian
Lycidas, an Aetolian, Aetolia
Eugnostus, son of Xenophantes, Macedonian
Aeschylus the Rhodian, Rhodes
Ephippus the Chalcidean, Chalkis
Apollonius, son of Charinus, Macedonian
Cleornenes, a man of Naucratis, Greek of Naucratis, Egypt.
Peucestas, son of Macartatus, Macedonian
Balacrus, son of Amyntas, Macedonian
Polerno, son of Theramenes, Macedonian
Leonnatus, son of Anteas, Macedonian
Ombrion, Cretan, Crete
And as we mentioned earlier, the Egyptians:
Noiw let´s do the math:
Out of these sixteen men, two are local Egyptians, one, Cleomenes is a local Greek of Egypt, nine are Macedonians and six (including Cleomenes and Pantaloon) are non Macedonian Greeks.
56,25% Macedonians (and we mean real Macedonians, who spoke Greek, not the “Skopjan” Slavomacedonian type).
37.5% Other, non-Macedonian Greeks, from Egypt, Aetolia, Rhodes, Chalkis, etc.
Considering that this was primarily a Macedonian expedition, what is truly surprising is not why there were so few other Greeks in positions of power, but how many! Unless, of course, someone closes their eyes and ears, throws away all history books and the ancient authors and gleefully chooses to accept Gandeto´s fabricated “2.6%” and other pseudo-makedonist fables.
Here below is Arrian´ supporting text:
Εἰς Μέμφιν δὲ αὐτῷ πρεσβεῖαί τε πολλαὶ ἐκ τῆς Ἑλλάδος ἧκον, καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν ὅντινα ἀτυχήσαντα ὧν ἐδεῖτο ἀπέπεμψε, καὶ στρατιὰ παραγίγνεται παρὰ μὲν Ἀντιπάτρου μισθοφόροι Ἕλληνες ἐς τετρακοσίους, ὧν ἡγεῖτο Μενοίτας ὁ Ἡγησάνδρου, ἐκ Θρᾴκης δὲ ἱππεῖς ἐς πεντακοσίους, ὧν ἦρχεν Ἀσκληπιόδωρος ὁ Εὐνίκου. ἐνταῦθα θύει τῷ Διὶ τῷ βασιλεῖ καὶ πομπεύει ξὺν τῇ στρατιᾷ ἐν τοῖς ὅπλοις καὶ ἀγῶνα ποιεῖ γυμνικὸν καὶ μουσικόν. καὶ τὰ κατὰ τὴν Αἴγυπτον ἐνταῦθα ἐκόσμησε. δύο μὲν νομάρχας Αἰγύπτου κατέστησεν Αἰγυπτίους, Δολόασπιν καὶ Πέτισιν, καὶ τούτοις διένειμε τὴν χώραν τὴν Αἰγυπτίαν. Πετίσιος δὲ ἀπειπαμένου τὴν ἀρχὴν Δολόασπις ἐκδέχεται πᾶσαν. φρουράρχους δὲ τῶν ἑταίρων ἐν Μέμφει μὲν Πανταλέοντα κατέστησε τὸν Πυδναῖον, ἐν Πηλουσίῳ δὲ Πολέμωνα τὸν Μεγακλέους Πελλαῖον. τῶν ξένων δὲ ἄρχειν Λυκίδαν Αἰτωλόν, γραμματέα δὲ ἐπὶ τῶν ξένων Εὔγνωστον τὸν Ξενοφάντου τῶν ἑταίρων. ἐπισκόπους δὲ αὐτῶν Αἰσχύλον τε καὶ Ἔφιππον τὸν Χαλκιδέως. Λιβύης δὲ τῆς προσχώρου ἄρχειν δίδωσιν Ἀπολλώνιον Χαρίνου, Ἀραβίας δὲ τῆς πρὸς Ἡρώων πόλει Κλεομένην τὸν ἐκ Ναυκράτιος. καὶ τούτῳ παρηγγέλλετο τοὺς μὲν νομάρχας ἐᾶν ἄρχειν τῶν νομῶν τῶν κατὰ σφᾶς καθάπερ ἐκ παλαιοῦ καθειστήκει, αὐτὸν δὲ ἐκλέγειν παρ’ αὐτῶν τοὺς φόρους. οἱ δὲ ἀποφέρειν αὐτῷ ἐτάχθησαν. στρατηγοὺς δὲ τῇ στρατιᾷ κατέστησεν, ἥντινα ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ ὑπελείπετο, Πευκέσταν τε τὸν Μακαρτάτου καὶ Βάλακρον τὸν Ἀμύντου, ναύαρχον δὲ ἐπὶ τῶν νεῶν Πολέμωνα τὸν Θηραμένους. σωματοφύλακα δὲ ἀντὶ Ἀῤῥύβα [τὸν] Λεοννάτον τὸν Ὀνάσου ἔταξεν. Ἀῤῥύβας γὰρ νόσῳ ἀπέθανεν. ἀπέθανε δὲ καὶ Ἀντίοχος ὁ ἄρχων τῶν τοξοτῶν, καὶ ἀντὶ τού ἄρχειν ἐπέστησε τοῖς τοξόταις Ὀμβρίωνα Κρῆτα. ἐπὶ δὲ τοὺς ξυμμάχους τοὺς πεζούς, ὧν Βάλακρος ἡγεῖτο, ἐπεὶ Βάλακρος ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ ὑπελείπετο, Κάλανον κατέστησεν ἡγεμόνα. κατανεῖμαι δὲ λέγεται ἐς πολλοὺς τὴν ἀρχὴν τῆς Αἰγύπτου τήν τε φύσιν τῆς χώρας θαυμάσας καὶ τὴν ὀχυρότητα, ὅτι οὐκ ἀσφαλές οἱ ἐφαίνετο ἑνὶ ἐπιτρέψαι ἄρχειν Αἰγύπτου πάσης. καὶ Ῥωμαῖοί μοι δοκοῦσι παρ’ Ἀλεξάνδρου μαθόντες ἐν φυλακῇ ἔχειν Αἴγυπτον καὶ μηδένα τῶν ἀπὸ βουλῆς ἐπὶ τῷδε ἐκπέμπειν ὕπαρχον Αἰγύπτου, ἀλλὰ τῶν εἰς τοὺς ἱππέας σφίσι ξυντελούντων.
At Memphis, many embassies from Greece reached him; and he sent away no one disappointed by the rejection of his suit. From Antipater also arrived an army of 400 Grecian mercenaries under the command of Menidas, son of Hegesander: likewise from Thrace 500 cavalry, under the direction of Asclepiodoros, son of Eunicus. Here he offered sacrifice to Zeus the King, led his soldiers fully armed in solemn procession, and celebrated a gymnastic and musical contest. He then settled the affairs of Egypt, by appointing two Egyptians, Doloaspis and Petisis, governors of the country, dividing between them the whole land; but as Petisis declined his province, Doloaspis received the whole. He appointed two of the Companions to be commandants of garrisons: Pantaleon the Pydnaean in Memphis, and Polemo, son of Megacles, a Pellaean, in Pelusium. He also gave the command of the Grecian auxiliaries to Lycidas, an Aetolian, and appointed Eugnostus, son of Xenophantes, one of the Companions, to be secretary over the same troops. As their overseers he placed Aeschylus and Ephippus the Chalcidean. The government of the neighbouring country of Libya he granted to Apollonius, son of Charinus; and the part of Arabia near Heroöpolis he put under Cleornenes, a man of Naucratis. This last was ordered to allow the governors to rule their respective districts according to the ancient custom; but to collect from them the tribute due to him. The native governors were also ordered to pay it to Cleomenes. He appointed Peucestas, son of Macartatus, and Balacrus, son of Amyntas, generals of the army which he left behind in Egypt; and he placed Polerno, son of Theramenes, over the fleet as admiral. He made Leonnatus, son of Anteas, one of his body-guards instead of Arrhybas, who had died of disease. Antiochus, the commander of the archers, also died; and in his stead Ombrion the Cretan was appointed. When Balacrus was left behind in Egypt, the allied Grecian infantry, which had been under his command, was put under that of Calanus. Alexander was said to have divided the government of Egypt among so many men, because he was surprised at the natural strength of the country, and he thought it unsafe to entrust the rule of the whole to a single person.
Αρριανού Αλεξάνδρου Ανάβασις, Βιβλίον Πέμπτον / Arrian, Alexandri Anabasis Book 5
The catalogue of trierarchs (chapter of 18. Of Indike/Indica/Ινδική by Arrian). The trierarchs were Alexander´s hetairoi who paid for the construction of the triremes ships from their own resources. This catalogue then, doubles also at the same time as the list of Alexander’s most important companions, whether Macedonians or other Greeks (translation by E. Iliff Robson) :
XVIII. For Alexander, when his fleet was made ready on the banks of the Hydaspes, collected together all the Phoenicians and all the Cyprians and Egyptians who had followed the northern expedition. From these he manned his ships, picking out as crews and rowers for them any who were skilled in seafaring. There were also a good many islanders in the army, who understood these things, and Ionians and Hellespontines. As commanders of triremes were appointed, from the Macedonians, Hephaestion son of Amyntor, and Leonnatus son of Eunous, Lysimachus son of Agathocles, and Asclepiodorus son of Timander, and Archon son of Cleinias, and Demonicus son of Athenaeus, Archias son of Anaxidotus, Ophellas son of Seilenus, Timanthes son of Pantiades; all these were of Pella. From Amphipolis these were appointed officers: Nearchus son of Androtimus, who wrote the account of the voyage; and Laomedon son of Larichus, and Androsthenes son of Callistratus; and from Orestis. Craterus son of Alexander, and Perdiccas son of Orontes. Of Eordaea, Ptolemaeus son of Lagos and Aristonous son of Peisaeus; from Pydna, Metron son of Epicharmus and Nicarchides son of Simus. Then besides, Attalus son of Andromenes, of Stympha Peucestas son of Alexander, from Mieza; Peithon son of Crateuas, of Alcomenae; Leonnatus son of Antipater, of Aegae; Pantauchus son of Nicolaus, of Aloris; Mylleas son of Zoilus, of Beroea; all these being Macedonians. Of Greeks, Medius son of Oxynthemis, of Larisa; Eumenes son of Hieronymus, from Cardia; Critobulus, son of Plato, of Cos; Thoas son of Menodorus, and Maeander, son of Mandrogenes, of Magnesia; Andron son of Cabeleus, of Teos; of Cyprians, Nicocles son of Pasicrates, of Soh; and Nithaphon son of Pnytagoras, of Salamis. Alexander appointed also a Persian trierarch, Bagoas son of Pharnuces; but of Alexander’s own ship the helmsman was Onesicritus of Astypalaea; and the accountant of the whole fleet was Euagoras son of Eucleon, of Corinth. As admiral was appointed Nearchus, son of Androtimus, Cretan by race, and he lived. in Amphipolis on the Strymon. And when Alexander had made all these dispositions, he sacrificed to the gods, both the gods of his race and all of whom the prophets had warned him, and to Poseidon and Amphitrite and the Nereids and to Ocean himself and to the river Hydaspes, whence he started, and to the Acesines, into which the Hydaspes runs, and to the Indus, into which both run; and he instituted contests of art and of athletics, and victims for sacrifice were given to all the army, according to their detachments.
Αρριανού Iνδική, 18 / Arrian, Indike/Indica 18
NOTES AND REFERENCES:
Who´s who in the Age of Alexander the Great, Prosopography of Alexander´s Empire, by Waldemar Heckel, Blackwell Publishers, Malden, Ma, & Oxford, UK, 2008
Αρριανού, Αλεξάνδρου Ανάβασις:
Arrianus, Anabasis of Alexander:
Διοδώρου Σικελιώτου, Ιστορική Βιβλιοθήκη:
Diodorus Sikelus, Historical Library:
List of notable non-Macedonian Greeks in Alexander´s campaign:
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