Stratonicus verifies greekness of ancient Macedonians

One of the most famous harp-players of the ancient Greek world was the Athenean Stratonicos (410-360 B.C). In Athenaeos Deipnosophistes, there are series of anecdotes concerning Stratonicos where except his witty answers we learn also valuable infos about life in ancient Greece


Stratonicus said once to the father of Chrysogonus, when he was saying that he had everything at home in great abundance, for that he himself had undertaken the works, and that of his sons, one could teach and another play the flute; “You still,” said Stratonicus, “lack one thing.” And when the other asked him what that was, “You lack,” said he, “a theatre in your house.” And when some one asked him why he kept travelling over the whole of Greece, and did not remain in one city, he said- “That he had received from the Muses all the Greeks as his wages, from whom he was to levy a tax to atone for their ignorance.”

[Ath. Deipn. VIII.350e]


And Machon records these reminiscences of him: ‘Once on a time Stratonicus journeyed to Pella, having previously heard from several sources that the baths there usually made people splenetic. Well, observing several lads exercising in the bath beside the fire, all of them with bodies and complexions at the top of their form, he said that his informants had made a mistake. But when he came out again, he noticed a man who had a spleen twice as large as his belly. (He remarked) “The door-keeper who sits here and receives the cloaks of patrons as they enter must plainly have an eye on their spleens as well, to make sure immediately that the people inside are not crowded

[Ath. Deipn., Book VIII. 348 e-f]


And when Zethus the harper was giving a lecture upon music, he said that he was the only person who was utterly unfit to discuss the subject of music, inasmuch as he had chosen the most unmusical of all names, and called himself Zethus instead of Amphion. And once, when he was teaching some Macedonian to play on the harp, being angry that he did nothing as he ought, he said, “Go to Macedonia.”

[Ath Deipn. VIII.351b]

So Stratonicos the harp-player was “travelling all over Greece” without remaining in one city while he himself declared he considered “all the Greeks as his wages, from whom he was to levy a tax to atone for their ignorance”

Since Stratonicos visited also Pella, its clear that Pella (and naturally Macedonia) is inside Greece and this is even more clear from the fact that among the Greeks he was trying to educate, there were also Macedonians!!!

Stratonicos lived between 410-360 B.C.E. meaning he visited Macedonia before Philip’s reign but from the text attested we find absolutely no problem of communcation between him and Macedonians, obviously because they spoke the same language.