Monday, December 18, 2006

Ancient Writers and Macedonia

Strabo - “Geography”

“There remain of Europe, first, Macedonia and the parts of Thrace that are contiguous to it and extend as far as Byzantium; secondly, Greece; and thirdly, the islands that are close by. Macedonia, of course, is a part of Greece, yet now, since I am following the nature and shape of the places geographically, I have decided to classify it apart from the rest of Greece and to join it with that part of Thrace which borders on it and extends as far as the mouth of the Euxine and the Propontis. Then, a little further on, Strabo mentions Cypsela and the Hebrus River, and also describes a sort of parallelogram in which the whole of Macedonia lies.”
[Strabo, Geography,book 7,Fragm,9]

“And even to the present day the Thracians, Illyrians, and Epeirotes live on the flanks of the Greeks (though this was still more the case formerly than now); indeed most of the country that at the present time is indisputably Greece is held by the barbarians — Macedonia and certain parts of Thessaly by the Thracians, and the parts above Acarnania and Aetolia by the Thesproti, the Cassopaei, the Amphilochi, the Molossi, and the Athamanes — Epeirotic tribes.”
[Strabo, Geography,book 7,VII,1]

“What is now called Macedonia was in earlier times called Emathia. And it took its present name from Macedon, one of its early chieftains. And there was also a city emathia close to the sea. Now a part of this country was taken and held by certain of the Epeirotes and the Illyrians, but most oii by the Bottiaei and the Thracians. The Bottiaei came from Crete originally, so it is said, along with Botton as chieftain. As for the Thracians, the Pieres inhabited Pieria and the region about Olympus; the Paeones, the region on both sides of the Axius River, which on that account is called Amphaxitis; the Edoni and Bisaltae, the rest of the country as far as the Strymon. Of these two peoples the latter are called Bisaltae alone, whereas a part of the Edoni are called Mygdones, a part Edones, and a part Sithones. But of all these tribes the Argeadae, as they are called, established themselves as masters, and also the Chalcidians of Euboea; for the Chalcidians of Euboea also came over to the country of the Sithones and jointly peopled about thirty cities in it, although later on the majority of them were ejected and came together into one city, Olynthus; and they were named the Thracian Chalcidians.”
[Strabo, Geography, book 7, Fragm 11]

“When the Euboeans were returning from Troy, some of them, after being driven out of their course to Illyria, set out for home through Macedonia, but remained in the neighborhood of Edessa, after aiding in war those who had received them hospitably; and they founded a city Euboe”
[Strabo, Geography,book 10,I,15].

“From its melody and rhythm and instruments, all Thracian music has been considered to be Asiatic. And this is clear, first, from the places where the Muses have been worshipped, for Pieria and Olympus and Pimpla and Leibethrum were in ancient times Thracian places and mountains, though they are now held by the Macedonians;”[Strabo, Geography,book 10,III,17]
“….and again, of the Epeirotes, the Molossi became subject to Pyrrhus, the son of Neoptolemus the son of Achilles, and to his descendants, who were Thessalians. But the rest were ruled by men of native stock.”
[Strabo, Geography, book 7, VII, 8]

“It is said that Orestes once took possession of Orestias — when in exile on account of the murder of his mother — and left the country bearing his name; and that he also founded a city and called it Argos Oresticum.”
[Strabo, Geography,book 7,VII,8]

“After having described as much of the western parts of Europe as is comprised within the interior and exterior seas, and surveyed all the barbarous nations which it contains, as far as the Don and a small part of Greece, [namely, Macedonia,] we propose to give an account of the remainder of the Helladic geography. ”
[Strabo, Geography, BOOK VIII, 1]

“…but after they had intrusted to Lycurgus the formation of a political constitution, they acquired such a superiority over the other Greeks, that they alone obtained the sovereignty both by sea and land, and continued to be the chiefs of the Greeks, till the Thebans, and soon afterwards the Macedonians, deprived them of this ascendency
[Strabo, Geography, VIII- V]

“The veneration for this god prevailed so strongly among the Greeks, that the Macedonians, even when masters of the country, nevertheless preserved even to the present time the privilege of the asylum, and were restrained by shame from dragging away the suppliants who took refuge at Calauria
[Strabo, Geography,VIII-VI]

“The Acarnanians, and the Ætolians, like many other nations, are at present worn out, and exhausted by continual wars. The Ætolians however, in conjunction with the Acarnanians, during a long period withstood the Macedonians and the other Greeks ”
[Strabo, Geography, Book 10, Chapter 2, 23]

Isocrates, Speeches and Letters, “To Philip”

“It is your privilege, as one who has been blessed with untrammeled freedom, to consider all Hellas your fatherland, as did the founder of your race.”
[Isokrates, Speeches and Letters, “To Philip” 127]

“Argos is the land of your fathers, and is entitled to as much consideration at your hands as are your own ancestors…”
[Isocrates, Speeches and Letters, “To Philip”, 32]

“Now I am not unaware that many of the Hellenes look upon the King’s power as invincible. Yet one may well marvel at them if they really believe that the power which was subdued to the will of a mere barbarian–an ill-bred barbarian at that–and collected in the cause of slavery, could not be scattered by A MAN OF THE BLOOD OF HELLAS, of ripe experience in warfare, in the cause of freedom–and that too although they know that while it is in all cases difficult to construct a thing, to destroy it is, comparatively, an easy task.Bear in mind that the men whom the world most admires and honors are those who unite in themselves the abilities of the statesman and the general. When, therefore, you see the renown which even in a single city is bestowed on men who possess these gifts, what manner of eulogies must you expect to hear spoken of you, when AMONG ALL THE HELLENES you shall stand forth as a statesman who has worked for the good of Hellas, and AS A GENERAL WHO HAS OVERTHROWN THE BARBARIANS?”
[Isocrates, Speeches and Letters, “To Philip”, 5.139, 5.140]

“Well, if I were trying to present this matter to any others before having broached it to my own country, WHICH HAS THRICE FREED HELLAS-twice from the barbarians and ONCE FROM THE LACEDAEMONIAN YOKE–I should confess my error. In truth, however, it will be found that I turned to Athens first of all and endeavored to win her over to this cause with all the earnestness of which my nature is capable,2 but when I perceived that she cared less for what I said than for the ravings of the platform orators,3 I gave her up, although I did not abandon my efforts.”
[Isocrates, Speeches and Letters, “To Philip”, 5.129]

“The Lacedaemonians were the leaders of the Hellenes, not long ago, on both land and sea, and yet they suffered so great a reversal of fortune when they met defeat at Leuctra that they were deprived of their power over the Hellenes, and lost such of their warriors as chose to die rather than survive defeat at the hands of those over whom they had once been masters.”
[Isocrates, Speeches and Letters, “To Philip”, 5.47]

“As I continued to say many things of this tenor, those who heard me were inspired with the hope that when my discourse should be published you and the Athenians would bring the war to an end, and, having conquered your pride, would adopt some policy for your mutual good. Whether indeed they were foolish or sensible in taking this view is a question for which they, and not I, may fairly be held to account; but in any case, while I was still occupied with this endeavour, you and Athens anticipated me by making peace before I had completed my discourse; and you were wise in doing so, for to conclude the peace, no matter how, was better than to continue to be oppressed by the evils engendered by the war. [8] But although I was in joyful accord with the resolutions which were adopted regarding the peace, and was convinced that they would be beneficial, not only to us, BUT ALSO TO YOU AND ALL THE OTHER HELLENES, I could not divorce my thought from the possibilities connected with this step, but found myself in a state of mind where I began at once to consider how the results which had been achieved might be made permanent for us, and how our city could be prevented from setting her heart upon further wars, after a short interval of peace.”
[Isocrates, Speeches and Letters, “To Philip”, 5.8]

Plutarch - Moralia, “On the Fortune of Alexander”

“Alexander lived many hundred years ago. He was king of Macedon, one of the states of Greece. His life was spent in war. He first conquered the other Grecian states, and then Persia, and India, and other countries one by one, till the whole known world was conquered by him. It is said that he wept, because there were no more worlds for him to conquer. He died, at the age of thirty-three, from drinking too much wine. In consequence of his great success in war, he was called Alexander the Great.”
[Plutarchos, Moralia, On the Fortune of Alexander, I, 328D, 329A ]

“But he said, `If I were not Alexandros, I should be Diogenes’; that is to say: `If it were not my purpose to combine barbarian things with things Hellenic, to traverse and civilize every every continent, to search out the uttermost parts of land and sea, to push the bounds of Macedonia to the farthest Ocean, and to diseminate and shower the blessings of the Hellenic justice and peace over every nation, I should not be content to sit quietly in the luxury of idle power, but I should emulate the frugality of Diogenes. But as things are, forgive me Diogenes, that I imitate Herakles, and emulate Perseus, and follow in the footsteps of Dionysos, the divine author and progenitor of my family, and desire that victorius Hellenes should dance again in India and revive the memory of the Bacchic revels among the savage mountain tribes beyond the Kaukasos…’ “
[Plutarchos, On the Fortune of Alexander, 332 a-b]

“Yet through Alexander, Bactria and the Caucasus learned to revere the gods of the Hellenes … Alexander established more than seventy cities among savage tribes, and showed all Asia with Hellenic magistracies … Egypt would not have its Alexandria, nor Mesopotamia its Seleucia, nor Sogdiana its Prophthasia, nor India its Bucephalia, nor the Caucasus a Hellenic city, for by the founding of cities in these places savagery was extinguished and the worse element, gaining familiarity with the better, changed under its influence.’
[Plutarchos Moralia. On the Fortune of Alexander, I, 328D, 329A]

Diodoros of Sicily, Histories

Such was the end of Philip … He had ruled 24 years. He is known to fame as one who with but the slenderest resources to support his claim to a throne won for himself the greatest monarchy among the Hellenes, while the growth of his position was not due so much to his prowess in arms as to his adroitness and cordiality in diplomacy.”
[Diodoros of Sicily 16.95.1-2]

“Along with lavish display of every sort, Philip included in the procession statues of the twelve Gods wrought with great artistry and adorned with a dazzling show of wealth to strike awe to the beholder, and along with these was conducted a thirteenth statue, suitable for a god, that of Philip himself, so that the king exhibited himself enthroned among the twelve Gods. Every seat in the theater was taken when Philip appeared wearing a white cloak and by his express orders his bodyguard held away from him and followed only at a distance, since he wanted to show publicly that he was protected by the goodwill of all the Hellenes, and had no need of a guard of spearmen.”
[Diodoros of Sicily 16.92.5-93.2]

“After this Alexandros left Dareios’s mother, his daughters,and his son in Susa, providing them with persons to teach them the hellenic dialect,…”
[Diodoros of Sicily 17.67.1]

“Alexandros observed that his soldiers were exhausted with their constant campaigns. …The hooves of the horses had been worn thin by steady marching. The arms and armour were wearing out, and the Hellenic clothing was quite gone. They had to clothe themselves in materials of the barbarians,…”
[Diodoros of Sicily 17.94.1-2]

“Is considered this king (Philip) began his monarchy with the bad conditions and he conquered the bigger monarchy of Hellenes (Macedonia) increasing the hegemony no so much with the heroism of arms, as long as with the skilful handlings and his diplomacy.”
[Diodorus Sikeliotis, 16-95]

“and the Athenians were not ready to concede the leading position among the Greeks to Macedon.”
[Diodorus of Sicily, 17.3.2]

“Similarly, the Thebans voted to drive out the garrison in the Cadmeia and not to concede to Alexander the leadership of the Greeks.”
[Diodorus of Sicily, 17.3.4]

“First he [Alexander] dealt with the Thessalians, reminding them of his ancient relationship to them through Heracles”
[Diodorus of Sicily, 17.4.1]

“where he convened the assembly of the Amphictyons and had them pass a resolution granting him the leadership of the Greeks”
[Diodorus of Sicily, 17.4.2]

“He [Demosthenes] was generally believed to have received large sums of money from that source [King of Persian] in payment for his efforts to check the Macedonians and indeed Aeschines is said to have referred to this in a speech when he taunted Demosthenes with his venality:At the moment, it is true, his extravagance has been glutted by the king’s gold, but even this will not satisfy him; no wealth has ever proved sufficient for a greedy character”"
[Diodorus of Sicily, 17.4.8]

“he spoke to them in moderate terms and had them pass a resolution appointing him general plenipotentiary of the Greeks and undertaking themselves to join in an expedition against Persia seeking satisfaction for the offences which the Persians had committed against Greece”
[Diodorus of Sicily, 17.4.9]

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