Isocrates phrase “OYX OMOFYLOY GENOYS”

One of the usual arguments of FYROM’s propagandists is touching phrases used by Isocrates in his letter to Philip II of Macedonia. Specifically he used the phrases “ALOFYLON TO GENOS”, “OYX OMOFYLOY GENOYS”. Lets analyze what these phrases mean and if they are an indication of non-greekness of Macedonia as Skopjan propagandists wanna believe.

Firstly we should consider if they have been used previously in ancient sources regarding other Greeks.

We find the following cases:

From Perseus


machκi men gar miai pros* hapantas Hellκnas dunatoi Peloponnκsioi kai hoi xummachoi antischein*, polemein de mκ pros homoian* antiparaskeuκn adunatoi, hotan** mκte bouleutκriτi* heni chrτmenoi parachrκma ti oxeτs epitelτsi pantes te isopsκphoi ontes kai ouch homophuloi** to eph’ heauton* hekastos* speudκi**: ex hτn philei* mκden epiteles gignesthai

[Thuc. 1.141.6]

So Pericles is refering to members of Peloponesian league as “ουχ ομοφύλου γένους” pointing out the difference of the Ionic Athenians with some Doric Peloponessians.

Thucydides also uses the phrase “Alofylos” in:


kai diaphora ek tautκs tκs strateias prτton Lakedaimoniois kai Athκnaiois phanera egeneto*. hoi gar Lakedaimonioi, epeidκ to chτrion biai ouch hκlisketo, deisantes tτn Athκnaiτn to tolmκron kai tκn neτteropoiian, kai allophulous hama* hκgκsamenoi*, mκ ti, κn parameinτsin

[Thuc. 1.102.3]

where Spartans decided to sent away the expedition force of Atheneans under Kimon who came for their help during the revolt of Helots, not just because they consider Atheneans as agitators but also because they were “Allofylloi” (=different tribe). So the difference here consists between the two different tribes of Ionian Atheneans and Doric Spartans but again it doesnt hold anyway the meaning of ‘non-greek’.

Again we get the same meaning from:


tous de allophulous epelthontas hathrooi aiei, κn sτphronτmen

[Thuc. 4.64.1]

where The Doric Syracusian Politician Ermocrates states the war against Atheneans is war against “Allofyllon”.

One of the same we get from another quote of Thucydides:


[3] patrion te humin straton allophulon epelthonta kai en tκi oikeiai kai en tκi tτn pelas homoiτs amunesthai

[Thuc. 4.92.2]

where Pagondas spoke to the Boeotians, just a little earlier to the battle of Delius and distinguish the “Patrion” (Boeotian) with the “Allofylon” Athenean army.

Similar with Demosthenes when he addresses Philip he calls him “Allophylon” [Demosth. Peri Stefanou 18.185] like the Spartan Brasidas refered to Atheneans as “Allophylous” in [Thuc. 4.86.5]

Conclusion: Isocrates used the phrase “Ουχ ομοφύλου γένους” solely to inform us that the Macedonian kings werent part of the same Greek tribe with the Macedonian people and not as Skopjan propagandists wish to believe in the sense of foreigners (non-greek).

After all it will be absurb Isocrates to propose a PanHellenic expedition which would be based on…non-Greeks. The difference between the Monarchs in Macedonia versus Macedonians is similar to the difference between the hereditary kings of Sparta (paternal side) versus the other Lakedaimonians, or the Neleids and Gephyraians versus the other Athenians, etc.


Related posts: