Macedonia – An Hellenic Kingdom


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Hellenic Macedonia

Prior to the 4th century BC, the Greek kingdom of Macedonia covered a region approximately corresponding to the Western and Central parts of province of Macedonia in modern Greece.

The Greek kingdom was situated in the fertile alluvial plain, watered by the rivers Haliacmon and Axius, called Lower Macedonia, north of the mountain Olympus.

Around the time of Alexander I of Macedon, the Argead Macedonians started to expand into
Upper Macedonia, lands inhabited by independent Greek tribes like the Lyncestae and the Elmiotae and to the West, beyond Axius river, into Eordaia, Bottiaea, Mygdonia, and Almopia, regions settled by, among others, many Thracian tribes.

Upper Macedonia
(Greek: Ἄνω Μακεδονία, Ánō Makedonía) is a geographical and tribal term to describe the regions that became part of the Greek kingdom of Macedon in the early 4th century BC. From that date, its inhabitants were politically equal to Lower Macedonians. Upper Macedonia was divided in the regions of Elimeia, Eordea, Orestis, Lynkestis, Pelagonia and Deuriopus.

A unified Macedonian state was eventually established by King Amyntas III (c. 393–370 BC), though it still retained strong contrasts between the cattle-rich coastal plain and the fierce isolated tribal hinterland, allied to the king by marriage ties.

Occupying the bigger part of northern Greece, Macedonia first appears on the historical scene as a geographical-political unit in the 5th century BC, when it extended from the upper waters of the Haliakmon and Mount Olympus to the river Strymon. In the following century it reached the banks of the Nestos.

To the north of Macedonia lay various non-Greek peoples such as the Paeonians due north, the Thracians to the northeast, and the Illyrians, with whom the Macedonians were frequently in conflict, to the northwest.

To the south lay Thessaly, with whose inhabitants the Macedonians had much in common both culturally and politically, while to west lay Epirus, with whom the Macedonians had a peaceful relationship and in the 4th century BC formed an alliance against Illyrian raids.

The term Archaic Greece refers to the time three centuries before the classical age, between 800 B.C. and 500 B.C.—a relatively sophisticated period in world history. Archaic Greece saw advances in art, poetry and technology, but most of all it was the age in which the polis, or city-state, was invented. The polis became the defining feature of Greek political life for hundreds of years.

Ancient Macedonians were fundamentally Greeks.
They were Greek speakers and ethnically they were Greek.

The name of the ancient Macedonians is derived from Macedon, who was the grandchild of Deukalion, the father of all Greeks.
This we mayinfer from Hesiod’s genealogy. It may be proven that Macedonians spoke Greek since Macedon, the ancestor of Macedonians, was a brother of Magnes, the ancestor of Thessalians, who spoke Greek.

The Hellenes, as the Greeks of Classical times called themselves, traced their ancestors back to Thessaly, then ruled by Deucalion’s Descendants Hellen, the war-loving king, and his sons Dorus, Xuthus, and Aeolus’, and to southern MACEDONIA where Magnes and Macedon, delighting in horses, lived in the area of Olympus and Pieria’

but it was also an era of unprecedented political and cultural achievement. Besides the Parthenon and Greek tragedy, classical Greece brought us the historian Herodotus, the physician Hippokrates and the philosopher Socrates. It also brought us the political reforms that are ancient Greece’s most enduring contribution to the modern world: the system known as demokratia, or “rule by the people.”

In 336 B.C., Alexander the Great became the leader of the Greek kingdom of Macedonia. By the time he died 13 years later, Alexander had built an empire that stretched from Greece all the way to India.

Hellenistic civilization (Greek civilization beyond classical Greeks) represents the zenith of Greek influence in the ancient world from 323 BCE to about 146 BCE (or arguably as late as 30 BCE).

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By Macedonian Uprising

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  4. Modern historians about Macedonia – Ernst Badian
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