Sunday, November 30, 2008
by Professor Elias Kapetanopoulos
A papyrus fragment (PSIXII (2) 1284), which may be from Arrian's τά μετά Άλέξανδρον (now lost), preserves the phrase Ξεννίας άνήρ μακεδονίζων τη φ[ω]νή. The fragment's historical setting has been identified with the conflict between Eumenes and Neoptolemos of 320 (321/20) B.C. Eumenes, as reported in the fragment, sent for a second time (αύθις) Xennias άνήρ μακεδονίζων τη φωνή to address the Makedones, or the phalanx of Makedones, arrayed against him.
From the phrase μακεδονίζων τη φωνή and its context, A. B. Bosworth inferred that "... whatever its etymological roots, Macedonian was regarded in antiquity as a language separate from and alien to Greek" .
E. Badian, in his essay "Greeks and Macedonians", dwelled on the theme of a separate "Makedonian language" and drew the inference that "...Xennias* name at once shows him to be a Macedonian". E. Badian's inference was based apparently on the name's double vv , reinforced at the same time by the phrase άνήρ μακεδονίζων τη φωνη . However, the name Xennias is almost exclusively attested outside a Makedonian context (below).
E. Badian also inferred from PSI XII (2) 1284 that Eumenes could not communicate with his Makedones, because he did not speak Makedonian or his (Eumene's) Greek would not have been understood by the phalanx of Makedones. This, then, would explain why Xennias άνήρ μακεδονίζων τη φωνή was sent to address the opposing Makedones. However, the writer has read the sources where Eumenes figures and noticed no language problem(s) between Eumenes and his Makedones. In fact the opposite is true, as there was excellent language communication between Eumenes and his Makedones. One example of this is Eumenes' speech which moved το άλλο πλήθος, i.e. the Makedonian phalanx, as contrasted to the άργυράσπιδες, to άχθος and κλαυθμός . This is after he was seized and tied. Therefore, a language factor cannot, and should not, be introduced into Eumenes' relations with his Makedones.
As Plutarch tells us, once the Makedones greeted Eumenes, carried at the time on a litter, μακεδονιστί τή φωνή: άσπασάμενοι μακεδονιστί τή φωνή τάς τε ασπίδας άνείλοντο καί ταϊς σαρίσαις έπιδουπήσαντες ήλάλαξαν, ... (Eum. XIV. 5). Context shows that this greeting was spontaneous and complimentary at the same time, a result of the warmth that the troops (Makedones) felt toward Eumenes, their commander, whom they urged on to fight. Plutarch does not say what the troops said μακεδονιστί τή φωνή, and accordingly it is impossible to infer anything. The same uncertainty, as far as what is meant by μακεδονιστί, is also observed when Plutarch states that some of the Ptolemies gave up τό μακεδονίζειν.
However, in the Kleitos affair, Plutarch defines Alexander's άνεβόα μακεδονιστί as a σύμβολον θορύβου μεγάλου. As R. A. Crossland has noted, such an expression as μακεδονιστί, or even μακεδονίζειν, is very imprecise in determining whether it is meant in the Makedonian fashion, Makedonian dialect, or even in a "Makedonian language" which the existing evidence does not support. In the Eumenes instance φωνή accompanies μακεδονιστί, but compare τή φωνή λέγειν Άττικιστί (Άττικώς) in Demosthenes, υπέρ Μεγαλοπολιτών 2 .
Does this phrase imply a separate, non-Greek, Attic language?
The inscriptions from Makedon show that the entire area was Hellenic, although one could argue that this is the result of Hellenization. However, it remains to be shown that this is so, and the arguments must rest upon indisputable evidence which does not exist. Moreover, it should be borne in mind that Herodotos, Thoukydides and Xenophon, for example, do not hint in any way to a distinct "Makedonian language" in their passages which deal with the Makedones17; and this is also true of Isokrates and Demosthenes.
Recent archaeological discoveries testify to the close affinity of Makedon and the rest of Hellas, and literary evidence of about 700 B.C. identified the Makedones with the Greek world, as witnessed by Hesiod's fragment which makes Makedon a brother of Magnes, eponyms of the Makedones and Magnetes respectively. The recognition of the Makedones as Greeks is also borne out by the Persians who called the Makedones (YAUNA TAKABARA), and at Plataia they arrayed the Makedones, together with the inhabitants about Thessaly, against the Athenians, an act that truly presaged the later struggles between the Athenians and the Makedones. Moreover, the fact that Alexander I sent Makedones to safeguard the Boiotian cities indicates that the Makedones, or at least these Makedones, spoke Greek, and perhaps of the Boiotian variety. As for Alexander I himself, his speech before the Athenians and the Lakedaimonia comment  are good testimony of his Greek. His participation in the Olympics was at first contested (ου βαρβάρων άγωνιστέων) by his contenders, but as an Argive he competed in the στάδιον and apparently won, or at least ran an equal race. Herodotos identifies, it seems, the Makedones as Hellenes in V.22, for Έλληνας δέ είναι τούτους τούς από Περδίκκεω γεγονότας, κατά περ αυτοί λέγουσι, αυτός τε ούτω τυγχάνω επισταμένος και δή και εν τοΐσι δπισθε λό-γοισι άποδέξω ώς εισι Έλληνες, ..., must also refer to the Makedones involved in the incident therein, and not only to Alexander I and Amyntas.
As indicated elsewhere, Thoukydides does not explicitly recognize the Makedones as Hellenes, but at the same time he does not include them among the βάρβαροι. In II.80.7, Thoukydides reports έπεμψε δέ και Περδίκκας κρύφα των Αθηναίων χιλίους Μακεδόνων, οϊ ύστερον ήλθον. From the comment οϊ ύστερον ήλθον, it is clear that the whole remark is a footnote to the preceding events and in no way places the Makedones on the same footing with the Chaones and others. In Perdikkas' and Brasidas' expedition against Arrhabaios of Lynke-stis (IV. 124.1), Thoukydides writes ίππής δ'οί πάντες ήκολούθουν Μακεδόνων ξύν Χαλκιδεΰ-σιν ολίγον ές χιλίους, καί άλλος όμιλος των βαρβάρων πολύς. It is not certain who this όμιλος βαρβάρων is, but it is not the Makedones, for in 125.1 Thoukydides differentiates the Makedones from the όμιλος βαρβάρων: οί μέν Μακεδόνες καί τό πλήθος τών βαρβάρων... It should be also noted that in this expedition against the Lynkestians only the Illyrians are distinctly called βάρβαροι.
In Xenophon's Hellenika (V.2.12), the ambassadors of Akanthos and Apollonia declared before the Lakedaimonians πράγμα μέγα φυόμενον έν τή Ελλάδι. From what follows it may be concluded that Makedon and Amyntas are considered as part of Hellas. Although Xenophon's remarks on Makedon proper are brief, the impression gained is that the Makedones are part of the Greek world, but parts of later greater Makedon are ruled by βασιλείς and Elimea by Derdas, for whom Xenophon has only admiration. Thoukydides also refers to these βασιλείς of the various εθνη of Makedones, and they are also mentioned in IG I3 89 of perhaps 423/2 B.C. One relative remark to the discussion here is Thrasymachos' dramatic line in defense of the Larisaians: 'Αρχελάωι δουλεύσομεν Έλληνες όντες βαρβάρωι;. This altered Euripidean line has been cited as evidence that the Makedones were barbarians, but it's a line out of context and involves only king Archelaos. There is the περί Πολιτείας, but it's a polemic treatise. In Plato's Gorgias, Archelaos is simply called άθλιος-άθλιώτατος because of his deeds, but never βάρβαρος. As noted elsewhere, Demosthenes made a distinction in Μακεδόνες καί βάρβαροι, and Isokrates introduces us to the classification of Έλληνες-Μακεδόνες-βάρβαροι. On the other hand, both Aischylos and Aristophanes saw Makedon and the Makedones as part of the Greek world, when Pelasgos is said to have ruled the lands west of the Strymon and barbarian gods, Triballian (in conjunction with the Illyrians), are imagined to exist above Zeus.
However, let's return once more to Xennias άνήρ μακεδονίζων τή φωνή.
How is this phrase appended to Xennias to be interpreted?
It may simply mean that Xennias spoke in some Makedonian fashion, and possibly he may not have been a Makedon himself, but hailed instead from Aitolia or Boiotia. Nevertheless, the phrase άνήρ μακεδονίζων τή φωνή would indicate that the Makedones spoke in some particular mode. This is also indicated by Pausanias who says that the inhabitants of Messene recognized the intruders as Makedones and Demetrios, son of Phiuppos, from their όπλα and φωνή, which at the same time suggests that the Makedones' φωνή was understood by the populace of Messene. On the other hand, in the case of Xennias the phrase άνήρ μακεδονίζων τή φωνή appears to be an equivalent to Μακεδών, as in ... έκ Μακεδονίας άνήρ Μακεδών, Αμύντας. This equivalence finds support in a manumission inscription from Makedon, dated after A.D. 212. In this document, a two month old girl by the name of Nike is qualified by the phrase φωνή μακεδονική(ν), which stands for the usual designation of γένει μακεδονικόν49.
No ancient source identifies the Makedones as δίγλωττοι, as Strabon does some inhabitants adjacent to Korkyra (fe'vtot δέ και δίγλωττοί εϊσι), to which area some extended Makedon, because of tonsure, διάλεκτος and chlamys (VII.7.8, C 327). This διάλεκτος kinship between Epeiros and Makedon is illustrated undoubtedly by Plutarch's story concerning the baby Pyrrhos and the flight to Makedonian Megara and then to Glaukias, king of the Illyrians, When attempting to cross into Makedon those carrying Pyrrhos communicated with the inhabitants across the river by means of a written message, showing undoubtedly that both parties spoke a common language. The same is observed when Pyrrhos planted among the Makedones men pretending to be Makedones and urging the latter to rid themselves of Demetrios.
Thoukydides limits the designation δίγλωσσοι to the inhabitants of Akte (Athos) area: αϊ (πόλεις) οικούνται ξυμμίκτοις έθνεσι βαρβάρων δίγλωσσων (IV. 109.4). Arrian identifies Laomedon as δίγλωσσος, but this is in reference to the βαρβαρικά γράμματα and the αιχμάλωτοι βάρβαροι (III.6.6). Nor is there any mention in the sources that the Makedones have been hellenized, as Thoukydides remarks about part of the Amphilochians: καϊ ήλληνίσθησαν τήν νυν γλώσσαν τό πρώτον από τών Άμπρακιωτών ξυνοικησάντων οί δέ άλλοι Άμφίλοχοι βάρβαροι είσιν (II.68.5). In his Life of Pyrrhos (1.3), Plutarch speaks of some kings of the Molossoi (and Thesprotoi) as once έκβαρβαρωθέντες, with Tharrhypas introducing Έλληνικοΐς έθεσι και γράμμασι καί νόμοις φιλανθρώποις.
Curtius' account of the Philotas affair may be taken as an indication of διγλωσσία, as he has Alexander in a contio asking Philotas whether he will address the Makedones in the sermo patrius. In this contio apparently the koine was used, and Curtius makes no mention of interpreters for the benefit of the Makedones who may not have known the koine, nor does Curtius specify in what language Boion, Philotas' accuser, spoke. Later Curtius mentions an interpreter, but this is between Philotas and the Makedones: qui (· Philotas) non erubesceret, Macedo natus, homines linguae suae per interpretem audire. However, Curtius' account of the Philotas affair must be closely scrutinized as to how it fits into his scheme. The sermo patrius, with Philotas not knowing it, is undoubtedly a dramatic introduction by Curtius or his source(s) to spice up the Philotas controversy, in view of the friction between Alexander and Philotas, Moreover, Curtius' sermo patrius and the drama thereof may be a mere creation out of μακεδονίου or μακεδονίζειν found in his source(s).
From other parallels, it can be said that μακεδονιστί or μακεδονίζειν points to a Makedonian mode of speech rather than to a separate "Makedonian language", as advocated by some. Arrian, for example, has a man from Boiotia approaching Alexander and addressing him βοιω-τιάζοντα άμα τή φωνή, but what follows is regular Greek; the Boiotian dialect or pronunciation is not reproduced. In contrast, Plutarch gives us an example of τή φωνή λακωνίζων, when speaking of Mandrokleidas. There is a specimen of "Makedonian" in the Βίος Αλεξάνδρου, where Peukoiaos addresses the dying Alexander μακεδονιστί, after an address in common Greek60. The "Makedonian" specimen has no peculiarities and is comparable to the Boiotian example given above61. There is also Stratus' line from his play the Makedones, but it cannot be identified exclusively as Makedonian, since the speaker of that line remains unknown. The inscriptions, of course, have only revealed a Greek language in Makedon (above), with dialectic remains. Moreover, it was a man wearing a Greek chlamys and dressed in Greek in other respects and speaking Greek that moved Nearchos' men to emotion and jubilation, when they learned from him that Alexander's camp was not far away. This strengthens the evidence that Greek was the language of Alexander's army of Makedones and Hellenes (and others), and as Koinos told Alexander there was no shortage of Makedones and Hellenes to follow the king. E. Badian, for example, has dwelled on this distinction of Makedones and Hellenes, but its significance is to be traced to their eponyms Makedon and Hellen respectively. Makedon, the country, was part of Hellas, or at least came to be considered as such, although this does not always appear in our sources. Moreover, there is no evidence of the Makedones ever reacting against Greek culture per se, as they did when the Μακεδόνικα ονόματα (άγημα, πεζέταιροι, κτλ.) came to include Persians and Medes. Thus, if the Makedones had felt that they were not part of Greek culture, they would have manifested this in some way, as they were so-to-speak overenamoured with their "Makedonism".
Lastly, with reference to Xennias άνήρ μακεδονίζων τή φωνή, a parallel is found in Diodo-ros, XIX.41 (n. 72 below). In this passage, where Eumenes is about to clash with Antigonos (or vice versa), Antigenes, the Argyraspids' commander, dispatched one of his Makedonian horsemen to address the phalanx of Makedones with Antigonos before the battle began. This was a correct, and courteous, diplomatic move as the combatants were principally Makedones. The Makedonian horseman approached Antigonos' Makedones and called them κακαί κεφαλαί, which may be a Makedonian expression, since Alexander also used it twice, once at Attalos and again at Kleitos, and the Argyraspids, too. In any case, the horseman's address caused a tumult in Antigonos' lines, but eventually the two contestants joined battle. Diodoros' Makedonian horseman parallels Xennias άνήρ μακεδονίζων τή φωνή and at the same time strengthens the argument that the phrase άνήρ μακεδονίζων τή φωνή stands for Μακεδών (above).
But what inferences are to be drawn from Antigenes' Makedonian horseman?
Is it to be inferred that Antigenes did not speak or understand Makedonian and this is why he sent the Makedonian horseman to address the opposing Makedones, as it has been speculated about Eumenes? No such speculation is possible here, because Antigenes was a Makedon himself, although one could choose to argue, for argument's sake, that Antigenes did not know Makedonian, even though a Makedon, as Curtius reports ahout Philotas (above).
However, as also stated earlier, a Makedon would have been most fitting to address opposing fellow Makedones, because this was mainly a combat between Makedones. Therefore, it does not follow that one can do much or anything with Xennias άνήρ μακεδονίζων τή φωνή, or with similar imprecise instances, as far as a separate "Makedonian language" is concerned. Nor can the same phrase be used to inject nonexistent language difficulties into the relations of Eumenes and his Makedonian troops. As it has been stated above, there are no observable language obstacles between Eumenes and his Makedones, and his speech which greatly moved the common Makedonian soldiers best exemplifies this.
For Fair Use Only
*The notes as and the appendixes you can read them in Professor Kapetanopoulos website in this link. You need Greek fonts in order to read some of the words of this academaic essay.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
The battle of Gettysburg was a turning point during the American Civil war. It marked the beginning of the end – and also the beginning of the United States of America that the world now knows today.
The same can be said of the Greek battle of Chaeronea in 338 BCE.In ancient times Greece was not a single nation – but a group of nations and individual city states – such as Athens, Sparta, Thebes, Molossia,Corinth,Argos and Macedonia – linked by a common language, culture, and religion.Similar to the early United States where states individualy made alliances on who's side they will fight during the US Civil War.So in Greece we had a similiar outlook where Philip II of Macedon made alliances against the imminent threat of a unison between Thebes and Athens.We want to show you here contrary to Fyrom propaganda(Stefov,Gandeto,Donski etc etc) that it wasn't just Philip against the whole of Greece but a collection of states that joined him,against him or just stayed neutral.Chaeronea was the attempt of the philo-Philippic Greek party (Macedonians , Thessalians , Epeirotans , anti-Demosthenean Athenean party etc) to create a "common peace" situation (κοινή ειρήνη) among the Greek city States and Kingdoms (the Isocratic "Panhellenic Cause") against the "secessionist" philo-Demosthenean party (Atheneans , Thebans ,Eubeans etc) that prefered "autonomy" and "liberty of war" among Greek city states.
Isocrtaes supported Philip against Demosthenes
Macedonia, Thessaly, Epirus, Aetolia, Northern Phocis, Epicnemidian Locrians*
Athens, Beotian League (Thebes, etc), Euboean League, Achaean League, Corinth, Megara, Corcyra, Acarnania, Ambracia, Southern Phocis.
Sparta, Argos, Arcadia, Messene. The three last had alliances both with Athens and Philip but their pro-Macedonian activity of 344/3 BC showed they were leaning towards Philip. However they didnt sent aid to Chaeronea in Philip's side because of the blocking in Isthmus by Corinth and Megara.Sparta had withdrawn almost entirely from Greek affairs in 344 BC.
Elis had an alliance with Philip though they didnt take part in Chaeronea but showed their pro-Macedonian feelings by joining their forces with Philip in the invasion of Laconia in the autumn of 338 BC.
This lack of unity meant that the full military strength of Greece was never fully realized – which is why they were such easy targets for the might of empires such as Persia and Rome. However, for one brief moment in history Greece was united – in way very similar to the way the United States of America was united under a single president following the American Civil war and Gettysburg.
In 338 BCE near Chaeronea, in Boeotia (Central Greece), Philip II – King of Macedonia - accompanied by allied contigents from Thessaly, Epirus, Aetolia, Northern Phocis and Epicnemidian Locrian, defeated the combined forces of Athens and Thebes and initiated the unity of ancient Greece.
Philip II of Macedon father of Alexander The Great King of the Greeks
The aim of Philip and his Macedonians was not to destroy their fellow Greeks – but to unite them. Following his victory at Chaeronea, Philip did not destroy Athens, Thebes or their allies – but offered them peace. But it needed to be a binding peace – a binding union. To do this he created the Corinthian League, which was also sometimes referred to as Hellenic League (Hellenes - 'The Greeks').
The major provisions of the League were:
Member states' constitutions in force at the time of joining were guaranteed.
The Synedrion, or congress of representatives, was to meet at Corinth.
The League would act to prevent any acts of aggression or subversion against any member state.
The League would maintain an army levied from member states in approximate proportion to their size.
Philip was declared commander of the League's army.
Unlike previous attempts to unite the Greek people, the Hellenic League lasted much longer and was far more successful than any Greek alliance attempted before, creating a sense of national unity and identity that has lasted until the present day, and helped the Greek people maintain their sense of nationality even during 500 years of Muslim occupation under the Otttoman Turks.
Tha battle formation
In this way we can see the similarities with the early United States – individual states providing political and military support – with the president as commander in chief of the combined armies. It was this united strength of Greece that gave rise to the victories of Alexander the Great that brought to light the Hellenic age of the ancient world.
Today Macedonia – the homeland of Philip II, who sought to unite Greece more than 2,300 years ago – is the largest region of Greece, and is home to some 2.6 million individuals – proudly Macedonian, but also fiercely proud to be Greek.
This is the sense of unity created by great men like Abraham Lincoln and Philip II of Macedon, and the outcome of great battles like Gettysburg and Chaeronea.
Philip II of Macedon (359-336 B.C.) Silver Tetradrachm Amphipolis mint
In recent times the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) has sought to undermine the unity of Greece engendered by Philip and Chaeronea, by claiming that Macedonia is not Greek – by attempting to rewrite history and claim lands that have belonged to the Greek people since time immemorial. This is a continuation of a Communist Government policy engendered by the now defunct Yugoslavia in 1944.
Considering as a historical fact Philip's Demosthenean accusation as a "barbarian from Pella" is as stupid and shallow as considering Abraham Lincoln as a "Tyrant" simply because John Wilkes Booth while shooting him clamored "sic semper tyrannis !!" (Latin: "Thus always to tyrants !!").
To put it into context, it would be like Mexico claiming that Texas and California are really Mexican lands – and that their inhabitants are really Mexican – but have been convinced by the ´Americans´ in the north that they aren´t – that these lands being part of the United States is all a fictitious lie.
Unfortunately the FYROM policy of rewriting history and trying to claim Macedonia for their own has been supported by the Bush administration – who recognized FYROM as ´Macedonia´ in exchange for a handful of troops going to Iraq – an exchange to support the Bush administrations arguments of a New Europe.
If the chances of another issue to the battle of Chaeronea have been
exaggerated, the significance of that event has been often misrepresented. The battle of Chaeronea belongs to the same historical series as the battles of Aegospotami (405 B.C.) and Leuctra (371 B.C.).
As the hegemony or first place among Greek states had passed successively from Athens to Sparta, and to Thebes, so now it passed to Macedon. The statement that Greek liberty perished on the plain of Chaeronea is as true or as false as that it perished on the field of Leuctra or the strand of the Goat's River. Whenever a Greek state became supreme, that supremacy entailed the depression of some states and the dependency or subjection of others. Athens was reduced to a secondary place by Macedon, and Thebes fared still worse; but we must not forget what Sparta, in the day of her triumph, did to Athens, or the more evil things which Thebes proposed."
The monument built by the Thebans to honour their Sacred Band's 254 dead. A few years back, archaeological excavations brought to the light the remains of 254 men, burried in seven layers. When King Philip saw the 254 Thebans lying dead, said in tears: "Perished is the man who suspects that these brave men have done bad deeds or have accepted measly things"
The famous speech by the young Alexander III the future King of all Greeks after the battle
"Holy shadows of the dead, I´m not to blame for your cruel and bitter fate, but the accursed rivalry which brought sister nations and brother people, to fight one another. I do not feel happy for this victory of mine. On the contrary, I would be glad, brothers, if I had all of you standing here next to me, since we are united by the same language, the same blood and the same visions."
Alexander the Great addressing the dead Greeks of the battle of Chaeronia. Curtius Rufus
Macedonia has always been Greek. It was Greek to Philip and Alexander; it was Greek to St Paul when he visited Thessaloniki and Philippi – and when he wrote his letters in Greek to the early Greek churches in Macedonia (now part of the New Testament).
Gettysburg and Chaeronea – two turning points in history that should never be forgotten. Support Greece. Support the Truth. Macedonia is Greek!
author Andreas MOTW
AUSTRALIAN MACEDONIAN ADVISORY COUNCIL (AMAC)
Saturday, November 22, 2008
In the following text I shall present the whole Herodotean testimony on the ancient Macedonian history. But before proceeding with the presentation I must clarify the four separate components of the ancient Macedonian history. These components can be seen as distinctions between the Macedonian Royal House and the Macedonian population and between Macedonia proper and the land over which the Macedonian king's authority extended in various periods. Not all the king's subjects were Macedonians and not all the king's dominion was Macedonia.
Let's start with the Macedonian Royal House. From antiquity it is known and well accepted as the Temenid Royal house because it's founder Perdikkas I claimed Argive descent from Temenos, the Dorian conquer of the Peloponnesian Argos. Herodotus informs us in many passages about that.
In [V.22] he states: "And that these descendants of Perdikkas are Hellenes, as they themselves say, I happen to know myself, and not only so, but I will prove in the succeeding history that they are Hellenes. Moreover the Hellanodicai, who manage the games at Olympia, decided that they were so: for when Alexander wished to contend in the games and had descended for this purpose into the arena, the Hellenes who were to run against him tried to exclude him, saying that the contest was not for Barbarians to contend in but for Hellenes: since however Alexander proved that he was of Argos, he was judged to be a Hellene, and when he entered the contest of the foot-race his lot came out with that of the first."
Also in [VIII.137] he writes about the Macedonian tradition about the arrival of Perdikkas I and his brothers from the Peloponnesian Argos to Western Pieria, and this is a text that we shall analyse later. Finally, the other important passage is the one in [IX.45] here he quotes the words of Alexander I saying:
"...for I should not utter them if I did not care greatly for the general safety of Hellas, seeing that I AM A HELLENE MYSELF BY ANCIENT DESCENT and I should not wish to see Hellas enslaved instead of free."
So Herodotus, who almost certainly has visited the Macedonian palace and met in person Alexander I, states that he personally knows and the Macedonian kings themselves admit that they are of Hellenic Argive descent, and that although some Greeks have questioned their Hellenism the Hellanodicai finally have recognized them as Greeks, after Alexander I proved his Hellenism. Herodotus´s statement - "I happen to know myself" - has a particular meaning here because Herodotus was himself from Halicarnassus, an Argive-Doric colony and so was familiar with the specific Doric dialect of Argos. NGL Hammond is considered "the patriarch of Macedonian history" and has always considered the Temenid-Argive descent as true. In "History of Macedonia" (volume II, "the language of the Macedonians") he states that while the general Macedonian population spoke the distinctive and conservative Macedonian dialect of Greek, the Royal family inside the palace spoke Argive Doric. So Herodotus could easily identify by first hand a speaker of Argive Doric - the dialect of his city's metropolis - and that is why he "happens to know himself" that the Macedonian kings were Temenids from Argos.
Now let's consider the most specific event, that is Alexander's I participation in the Olympics. When did this happen? Why Alexander I was the first KNOWN Macedonian to do that? Why did some Greeks question his Hellenism? To understand all that we must consider the Macedonian history under the first Temenids. Perdikkas I became king of Macedonia around 700 BC. He found the Macedonians as transhumant pastoralists in mountainous west Pieria. With the Temenids starts the Macedonian expansion. In their first expansionary phase, they drove away the Thracians from coastal Pieria and the Bottians from south Bottia and founded the capital of their new kingdom in Aegai. In a second expansionary phase later they drove away the remaining Bottians from northern Bottia - conquering the whole central Macedonian plain - and continued by eliminating the Almopians and the Eordeans and adding the territories of Almopia and Eordea into their kingdom. In that way, they formed the so-called Old Macedonian Kingdom, who's borders were the river Axius in the east, Mt Barnous in the north, Mt Vitsi in the West and the Penius river in the south. If to all this we add Polyaenus' testimony (a Macedonian himself) in his "Stratagems" (IV.1) where he informs us about a Macedonian-Illyrian conflict during the times of the second Temenid king (Argaeus, around 650 BC), during which Argaeus, due to a lack of male warriors, was compelled to resort in his famous stratagem to a force consisting of young women "dressed as male warriors" (Mimallones and the cult of Dionysus Pseudanor), and we also consider that the neighbouring Paeonians were at the summit of their strength during the period 550-511 BC, when they stretched their military operations from Northern Bottia (which they took from the Macedonians) to Propontis (they sieged the city of Perinthus), then we can make a solid conclusion: From 700 BC till 511 BC the Macedonians were in constant warfare in order to expand or defend their kingdom and the male manpower for these operations was at the limits of sufficiency.
The Rosetta Stone written in Hieroglyphic,Demotic Egyptian and Koine Greek
What does all this have to do with Alexander's I participation in the Olympics? Well we know that the Olympics were held each summer every four years from 776 BC onwards. In a Olympian summer all the Greeks observed the Olympic ceasefire (the so called Olympiake Ekekheiria) in order to permit the most physically qualified men from every Greek state to participate in the Olympics. Now the problem with the Macedonians was that from 700 BC till 511 BC their major threats weren't other Greek tribes, but non-Greeks such as Paeonians, Illyrians and Thracians. This means that these non-Greek tribes had no reason to observe the ceasefire relating to the Olympics, and so the Macedonians needed every physically qualified male in order to defend and expand their kingdom through military operations that generally occurred during summer. This explains why no Macedonian may have participated in the Olympics during the period 700-511 BC (though we do not know for sure whether Macedonians participated in the Olympics prior to this time, as the extant records only list Olympic victors, not participants).
What happened immediately after? In 511 BC the Persians managed to subdue the Paeonians ending in this way their period of strength. The Macedonians capitalising on the Paeonian impotence regained northern Bottia and brought again their eastern borders to the river Axius. This is definitely the time frame of the destruction of the Paeonian city Amydon on the eastern bank of the Axius by the Argeads that Stabo refers to in [VII.20] ("Amydon a city of Paeonians. The place was destroyed by the Argeads"). After that the Macedonians offered "earth and water" to the Persians - that is, voluntarily subdued themselves to the Persian king. By doing so they solidified their new re-acquisitions and further more the Persians rewarded them by appointing Amyntas I and his son Alexander later as general supervisors of a region - for the first time - much wider than the Old Macedonian Kingdom. So for the first time, the Macedonian kings expanded their control over non-Macedonian populations, that is, Paeonians, Thracians, Pelasgian Krestonians and the Greek Epeirotan tribes (or "Molossian" tribes as Hecataeus names them back in ca. 515 BC) of the later Upper Macedonia, that is, Elimeians, Tymphaeans, Orestae, Lynkestae and Pelagonians. This new situation explains perfectly the known Herodotean testimony of Alexander I´s speech to the Persians [V.20]: "report to the king who sent you that a Hellene, ruler under him of the Macedonians". Many use this phrase in order to prove that while the Royal family was of Greek descent the Macedonians weren't. Note that Alexander I was hereditary king of the original Macedonians and "ruler under the Persian king" of the new dominion that the Persian king rewarded him with. That means that the "Macedonians" in the above phrase are not the original Macedonians of the Old Kingdom - who considered Alexander king (βασιλεύς) and not "ruler under a king" (ὕπαρχος) - but the whole new heterogeneous population posted under Alexander's authority by the Persians.
So after the Macedonian vassalisation to the Persians, the two centuries long warfare of the Macedonians finally ended and FOR THE FIRST TIME the physically qualified Macedonian men could afford to participate in the Olympics. That is why Alexander I chose to compete to the Olympics immediately after the Macedonian annexation to the Persians in 511 BC. Herodotus informs us in [V.20] that in 511 BC when the Persians arrived in Macedonia and king Amyntas I offered them a welcome-meal, and when Amyntas retired from the table "Alexander took his place" as a host. This means that Alexander I back in 511 BC was at least 12 years old and this can help us calculate the date of his participation in the Olympics. Since he contested in running - a tough sport - his participation age ranged most probably between 18-30 years of age, and so the most probable Olympiads he would have participated in are the ones that occurred in either 504 BC (19 years old), 500 BC (23 years old), 496 BC (27 years old) and 492 BC (31 years old). Alexander's age clearly excludes any participation after the Greco-Persian wars, that is, after 478 BC. In 478 BC he was around 45 years old, an improper age for Olympian competitor. So, considering only Alexander's age, we can easily reject the theories that make him "a non-Greek that was granted permission to participate in the Olympics AFTER the Greco-Persian wars as a reward for his assistance to the Greeks during the wars".
Shield with Star of Vergina on it
What about the Greeks that questioned his participation right? The fact that probably no Macedonian before Alexander could have participated in the Olympics only due to the constant two centuries long warfare with various non-Greek tribes, made Alexander's participation look odd and unparalleled. After all, the Olympics were one of these events that reminded and renewed the bond between the various Greek tribes and so it is more than obvious that some Greeks were surprised when they saw a participant from a region that never before gave another Olympic athlete. After all, as the Italian Indro Montanelli brilliantly states in his book "Storia dei Greci" (page 281) about the Macedonians: "a big part of the Greeks simply ignored even the existence of their northern most kingdom named Macedonia". We can easily reject also the theories that the Alexander had to invent his "Argive descent" around 500 BC in order to compete. If a Macedonian in general wanted to prove himself as a Greek around 500 BC the only thing that he had to do was remind the other Greeks of the ALREADY EXISTING two-century old Hesiodic tradition in which Macedon was "brother" of Magnes and a Deucalionid by ancient descent. Only that was enough to guarantee him equal rights to those of the Magnetes and the right to participate in the Olympics. So Alexander I had no need to invent a Greek genealogy in order to participate in the Olympics and this only strengthens the originality of his Argive descent.
Before closing with the Royal House and passing on to the Macedonian population there's one thing left to clarify. Many modern scholars have rejected the Argive descent of the Temenids and considered it "Royal House propaganda". At this point I would like to point out what the eminent British scholar Andrew Robert Burn says about the large number of examples of Royal Houses with different origin than that of the tribes that they control. In his book "A Traveller´s History of Greece" written in Oxford in 1984, in the chapter "people, idioms and the coming of the Greeks" he states:
"The expansion of the Hellenes (as the descendants of the proto-Greeks used to refer to themselves) wasn't always the result of direct conquests. Sometimes they were invited, AS THE GREEK LEGENDS NARRATE, by the local kings in order to help them against their enemies; For Thucydides, this was the mode that the "sons of Hellen" managed to expand from Thessaly. In the legends, the hero arrives alone or followed by a few faithful companions. This is of course a poetic convention. After liberating the territory from enemies or "monsters", the hero takes for bride the king's daughter, "the prefixed price for the job", to use the phrase of a modern scholar. Sometimes the hero inherits the Kingdom. IT IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE THAT SIMILAR THINGS OCCURED IN REALITY, BECAUSE IN THE PREHISTORICAL AEGEAN (AND IN HISTORICAL TIMES IN SOME TERRITORIES WITH ARCHAIC CUSTOMS *like Macedonia, personal note*) PARENTAGE WAS DETERMINED AND THE PROPERTY INHERITED PROBABLY THROUGH THE FEMALE LINE. IN HOMER, MENELAUS (A MYCENAEAN, BROTHER OF THE POWERFUL MYCENAEAN KING AGAMEMNON) BECOMES KING OF SPARTA AFTER TAKING FOR BRIDE HELEN, THE DAUGHTER OF THE OLD KING TYNDAREUS, ALTHOUGH TYNDAREUS HAD LIVING SONS (AS HELEN NARRATES IN THE ILIAD), THE DIOSCURIDS (KASTOR AND POLYDEYKES)".
Ruins of ancient Pella in Greece
This pattern of a "Hero" invited to fight the old king's enemies fits perfectly with the Temenids, because immediately after Perdiccas' I accession to the Macedonian throne we have the Macedonian expansion through warfare. Anyway, Herodotus provides us another example of a king belonging to a different Greek tribe from the one that he controls. In [V.72] he reminds us that the Spartan king Cleomenes was an Achaean ruling over Dorians:
" ...but the priestess stood up from her seat before he had passed through the door, and said, "Lacedemonian stranger, go back and enter not into the temple, for it is not lawful for Dorians to pass in hither." He said: "WOMAN, I AM NOT A DORIAN, BUT AN ACHAEAN"."
Other examples of the genre are the Phtiotid Aeakid Royal house of the Molossians, the Corinthean Bakkhiad Royal house of the Lynkestians, the Pylean "Nestorid" descent of the Peisistratids and Alcmeonids in Athens and the more historical examples of Gelon from Gela and the Rhegian Agathocles becoming respectively successful tyrant and chief-general of the Syracusans in Sicily. In this frame there is nothing "suspicious" in a Doric-Argive family ruling over the Macedonians. After all, Thucydides, a more "standard" historian than Herodotus who rarely concords with the later, in this particular theme is in accord with him about the Argive descent of the Temenid kings of Macedonia (II,98).
The next component of the ancient Macedonian history is the general population. We've already seen that we must make a distinction between the "Eteomacedonians" (that is the original Macedonians of the Old Kingdom) and the "Macedonians" who the Temenids finished up ruling under the Persian kings - that is after the submission to the Persians the Temenid dominion expanded outside the Eteomacedonians and the Old Kingdom. Intermarriages with the neighbouring Royal houses took place in order to solidify the expanded dominion and there is no doubt that non-Greek populations were eventually assimilated into the Macedonian stock. This can explain the minority of non-Greek names found in Macedonia (less than 5% of all the attested names). But if we must speak on the "origin of the ancient Macedonians", then the focal point are the "Eteomacedonians", just like any research on the early Roman History must be limited to the original Latins of Latium. NGL Hammond underlines this distinction clearly in his book "The Macedonian State: Origins, Institutions and History" where in chapter VI in a discussion about the earliest Macedonian institutions he states: "at this point we must focus on the real Macedonians and not on the "Molossian" tribes of Upper Macedonia and the populations east of the river Axius that the Macedonians managed to subdue".
So what does Herodotus' testimony has to offer for these "Eteomacedonians"?
In two different and independent passages he equates the Macedonians and the Dorians:
In [I.56] he states:
"for in the reign of Deucalion this race dwelt in Pthiotis, and in the time of Doros the son of Hellen in the land lying below Ossa and Olympus, which is called Histiaiotis; and when it was driven from Histiaiotis by the sons of Cadmos, it dwelt in Pindos and was called Makednian; and thence it moved afterwards to Dryopis, and from Dryopis it came finally to Peloponnesus, and began to be called Dorian."
It is clear that in Herodotus' opinion - a man descended from a Doric colony in Asia minor - the Dorians used to be called Makednians when they inhabited northern Pindus. In other words, the Dorians were Makednians that migrated southwards.
Later in [VIII.43] when he's presenting the Peloponnesian contribution to the Greek fleet opposing the Persians he states:
"From Peloponnese the Lacedemonians furnishing sixteen ships, the Corinthians furnishing the same complement as at Artemision, the Sikyonians furnishing fifteen ships, the Epidaurians ten, the Troizenians five, the men of Hermion three, THESE ALL, except the Hermionians, BEING OF THE RACE CALLED DORIC AND/OR MAKEDNIAN and having made their last migration from Erineos and Pindos and the land of Dryopis."
Again the Macedonians and the Dorians are being equalised in Herodotus' opinion. What does this mean? Instead of equalising the two Greek tribes it would be better if we considered them as "brother" tribes originating from the same North-Western Greek stock that used to inhabit the Boion range in northern Pindus. Boion is a focal point for all the tribes belonging to the so-called Northern Greek group. The eminent German linguists Porzig & Risch based on the various isoglosses of the various Greek dialects have proven that Mycenaean Greek was already a south Greek dialect and wasn't the precursor of all the historical Greek dialects, but only of the Attic-Ionic and the Arkado-Cypriot ones. Aeolic and North-Western Greek on the other hand form a northern Greek group, and both derived from a common "undifferentiated" precursor. So far we know that the Dorians and Macedonians originate from the Boion range, the Aeolophon Boetians took their name from this mountain, meanwhile the Aeolophon Perrhaebians' ethnonym literally means "from the source of the Aias/Aous" (Πέρρας ΑἴFου) situated immediately west of the Boion range.
'Yauna Takabara',(Greeks with sun hats)the Persian name of the Macedonians
Furthermore we have Hesiod's account that the Macedonians were "brother" tribes with the Aelophon Magnetes (mythological sons of Zeus and Thyia and by the last Deucalionids, that is, descendants of Deucalion, the genarch of all Greeks). Some have questioned the Macedonians´ Hellenicity because of their "co-laterality" to the mythological Hellen - that is, Thyia was Hellen's sister and so her children were not Hellenes. This argument - at the degree that we can argue over mythology - is definitely shallow because there are other Greek-speaking tribes that do not descent from Hellen directly, but do descent from Deucalion. In the myth Deucalion had three children: Hellen, Thyia and Pandora junior. From Hellen derived Dorus, Aeolus and Xouthus, and from Xouthus Ion and Achaean. From Thyia and Zeus originated the two brothers "Magnes and Macedon rejoicing in horses and dwelling in Pieria around Olympus", while from Zeus and Pandora originated Graecus, the genarch of the Epeirotans and the other north-western Greeks except the Dorians. Since no historian ever rejected the Greekness of the Magnetes, and since the vast majority of historians accept the Greekness of the Epeirotans, it is logical to include the Macedonians also in the bulk of the Greek-speaking population. After all, independently of the Hesiodic myth, and based on historical conclusions, the vast majority of the modern NON-GREEK scholars like Hammond, Burn, Bengtson, Brixhe, Masson - to mention some of them - accept the Greekness of the Macedonians. Furthermore, there are some important common usances specifically between Macedonians and Magnetes that seem to enhance the Hesiodic myth. Both (and only the Macedonians and Magnetes) had the cult of Zeus Akraeus and the festival of the Heretideia (although the Magnetes had for a very long time ceased to have a king and hetairoi), and both of them and the Aenians had a dance simulating livestock theft that the Macedonians named "Karpea", and the Magnetes and Aenians "Karpaea", from the Greek verb "karpeuein", meaning "to gain".
Now lets to return to the Boion and the bulk of the northern Greeks. It was the Phrygian descent into the region at the beginning of the Early Iron Age or the end of the Late Bronze Age that prompted the so called "Great Aegean Migration" that we know better as the "Dorian Descent". The Phrygians pushed out this northern-Greek bulk and caused it's dispersion and fragmentation into smaller tribes. The Dorians and Epeans ended up in the Peloponnese, the Thessalians moved to "Pelasgian Argos" and renamed it Thessaly, the majority of the Epeirotans moved south of the Aous and the Macedonians, the Magnetes and the Perrhaebians ended up around mount Olympus in Pieria and Perrhaebia.
What caused the migration of the Magnetes south of the river Penius in historical Magnesia? Herodotus gives us the answer in [VII.20.2] "...nor that of the Mysians and Teucrians, before the Trojan war, who passed over into Europe by the Bosphorus and not only subdued all the Thracians, but came down also as far as the Ionian Sea and marched southwards to the river Peneios."
He informs us that Teucrians (Trojans) and their allies (Thracians, Paeonians, Mysians, Luwians, etc) had undertaken a vast military operation in the Balkans that reached to the Ionian Sea and the river Penius. This is definitely the best known reason for the departure of the Magnetes from Pieria southwards, for the isolation of the Macedonians in mountainous Western Pieria and for the arrival of the Thracian Cicones in coastal Pieria. Do we have any proof that this operation indeed occurred? Of course! During the Late Helladic IIIB period (ca. 1250 BC) we have massive fortifications constructed in the Mycenaean centres of Gla, Orkhomenos, Athens, Mycenae and Tiryns, but not in Messenia and Laconia. What does this mean? It means that the feared enemy of the Mycenaeans at that time was coming from the North-north East and it wasn't only a naval force, but a terrestrial one also since Orkhomenos, far from the Aegean coast, was fortified also in this period.
Lets return now to the Macedonians gathered in western Pieria. We have a Mycenaean Greek presence archaeologically documented in this area with the necropolis near the modern village of Agios Demetrios. Being a necropolis - that is, a cemetery - one can exclude immediately influence from the south since the burial modalities of all cultures tend to remain conservative and adhering to the proper tradition. As NGL Hammond has argued many times, ALL THE TOPONYMS AND HYDRONYMS IN WESTERN PIERIA ARE OF GREEK ETYMOLOGY. IF THE MACEDONIANS DID NOT SPEAK GREEK FROM THE BEGINNING, THEN THEIR EARLY HOMELAND SHOULD HAVE CONTAINED NON-GREEK NAMES. Pieria, Leibethron, Lebaea, Aison, Aigai, Aegidion, Pimpleia, Haliakmon, Balla, Phylake, Akasamenae are examples of some of these topyonyms and hydronyms, and all have a purely Greek etymology. A classical example is that of the Thracians, who although massively Hellenized in late antiquity, kept toponyms and hydronyms indicating their early non-Greek background. Cities ending in "-bria" (Thracian word for "city"), "-diza" (Thracian word for "walls", that is, walled city), and "-para" (Thracian word for "village") can be found till today, while Hadrianople's Thracian name "Uscudama" had survived until the Roman Emperor Hadrian changed it in the 2nd AD century.
ANCIENT RUINS ARGOS ORESTIKON GREECE
Gathered in mountainous Pieria, from ca. 1200 BC until 700 BC when the Temenids arrived, the Macedonians practiced transhumant pastoralism between the southern part of the Emathian plain in the winter (another Greek word meaning "sandy place" and used many times by Homer in the form "emathoen" = sandy) and the Pierian highlands in the summer. During this period they came into strong contact with the Phrygians who were living in the central Macedonian plain and having their capital in Edessa, the town where later the Macedonians founded Aegai in modern Vergina. The name Edessa and the nearby river Ascordus are the only non-Greek toponyms in northern Pieria-South Emathia and are unquestionably of Phrygian origin ("Vedy" in Phrygian means "water"). The Phrygian presence in the area is archaeologically documented by their characteristic "Lausitz" culture that the Phrygians brought with them from the north.
Around 700 BC as we have seen, Perdikkas I becomes king and the Macedonian expansion begins. What does Herodotus have to say about the Macedonians living in Western Pieria and their contact with the Phrygians?
In [VII.127] he states that the northern limit of Macedonia was the union of the rivers Haliakmon and Ludias, north of which started Bottia:
"as far as the river Lydias and the Haliacmon, which form the boundary between the lands of Bottiaia and Macedonia, mingling their waters together in one and the same stream".
Herodotus wrote his histories around 450 BC, and so Hammond is convinced that Herodotus has borrowed this quote from the Milesian geographer Hecataeus who wrote around 515 BC, a time when indeed - as we have seen above - Ludias was the northern limit of Macedonia.
In [7.131] he names the Pierian mountains the "Macedonian mountain", and that is in agreement with the fact that Western Pieria was the homeland of the Macedonians:
"...in the region of Pieria many days, for the road over the Macedonian mountain..."
In [VIII.137] He says that Perdikkas I found the Macedonians in Lebaea in Upper Macedonia.
"Now of this Alexander the seventh ancestor was that Perdikkas who first became despot of the Macedonians, and that in the manner which here follows: From Argos there fled to the Illyrians three brothers of the descendents of Temenos, Gauanes, Aëropos, and Perdiccas; and passing over from the Illyrians into the upper parts of Macedonia they came to the city of Lebaia".
Where was Lebaea? Before presenting Hammond's conclusions based on later epigraphy let's try to find out for ourselves. Herodotus says in Upper Macedonia near Illyria, so one´s mind goes to the LATER Upper Macedonia which bordered the HISTORICAL Illyria. But Perdikkas was the first king, the one who started the expansion so it is impossible to find Macedonians in Upper Macedonia (which Greek Molossian tribes inhabited) near historical Illyria. Where was this Illyria and where was this "Upper Macedonia" in Pediccas' times? Herodotus helps us find the second one, since in [VII.128] he makes reference to Xerxes' army having passed from the pass of Petra in western mountainous Pieria "from the Macedonians who dwell in the highland":
"because he was meaning to march by the upper road, through the land of the Macedonians who dwell in the highland, until he came to the Perraibians, passing by the city of Gonnos."
The Star of Vergina the symbol of Greek Macedonia
So Perdikkas' "Upper Macedonia" is nothing else but the Macedonian homeland in western Pieria. What about Illyria? When Perdikkas became king around 700 BC the central plain was still under Illyrian control. One must consider that the Illyrian expansion lasted from ca.1000 BC to 650 BC and was the basic reason that caused the Phrygian migration in Asia minor sometime around 900-800 BC. Professor Andronikos in Vergina (Aegai) has found three different and independent cemeteries: the oldest was Phrygian (Lausitz culture) dating from ca.1100 BC to 900 BC, the second one was Illyrian (Glasinac culture) dating from ca. 900 BC to 700 BC, and the last one was Macedonian, in which in historical times the inscriptions survived and the discovered graves have Greek names and patronymics dating from ca. 480 BC. If to all that we add Polyaenus' testimony about an early Macedonian-Illyrian conflict around king Argaeus' times (ca. 650 BC), then it becomes clear that Illyria in Herodotus' [VIII.137] is nothing else but the Central Plain and it's western highlands under Illyrian control. This "Illyria" is indeed bordering "Upper Macedonia" as we defined it from [VII.128], that is, Western Pieria.
So we can be pretty sure that Perdikkas had found the Macedonians grazing their stock in the highland of Pieria near the city of Lebaea. And finally, here is what Hammond has to say about Lebaea on page 5 of "The Macedonian State":
"Where was Lebaea? An answer was provided recently by the discovery of an inscription which recorded the dedication of a liberated slave to "The autochthonous Mother of the Gods at Alebea, a village (attached) to Elimea", a city of which we know the location. If Lebaea and Alebea are the same place, which is probable, we can put Lebaea in the western part of Pieria. This is consistent with our knowledge that the early home of the Macedonians was around Pieria and Olympus."
It is more than obvious that Lebaea was a pre-Temenid settlement somewhere in the Pierian mountains. But where? In the archaeological site of Paleogratsiano in the southwestern slopes of the Pierian mountains, archaeologists have found an ancient settlement dating from the Early Iron Age which satisfies all the above pre-requirements and additionally explains the name Lebaea. Immediately west of the Pierian mountains today, the Haliakmon forms an artificial lake due to the presence of a dam. Immediately after the dam, the river enters Emathia and in the border between the modern provinces of Kozani and Emathia it forms a number of little natural lakes. It is more than probable that before the construction of the dam this pattern of small lakes created by the river was present in all its Pierian course. Now Lebaea in Greek literally means "water deposit", hence both ancient and modern Greek word "Lebetas" meaning the same thing. All this indicates that the Macedonians spoke Greek long before the Temenids arrived and that is why all the Pierian toponyms and hydronyms are of Greek etymology. After all, the Temenids had nothing to do with the name of Lebaea as they had nothing to do with the Mycenaean findings near Agios Demetrios.
Returning to Herodotus, what has he to say about the relation of the Phrygians and the Macedonians? In [VII.73] he states:
"Now the Phrygians, as the Macedonians say, used to be called Brigians during the time that they were natives of Europe and dwelt with the Macedonians; but after they had changed into Asia, with their country they changed also their name and were called Phrygians".
He reminds us that the Macedonians had lived nearby the Phrygians. This is definitely the period when the Phrygians were inhabiting the central Macedonian plain and the Macedonians the Pierian Highland. Furthermore, the fact that they had inhabited nearby helps us to verify the arrival of the Macedonians in Pieria. We know that the Phrygians had migrated to Asia Minor sometime between 900 and 800 BC due to Illyrian harassment. We also know that the Macedonians were heavily influenced by the Phrygians in both tradition, religion, and language. The eminent linguist Claude Brixhe (and an expert in the Phrygian language) in his model of "phonological osmosis" has argued that the Macedonian dialect is nothing else than a north-western Greek dialect heavily influenced phonologically by the Phrygians and that explains perfectly it's "unorthodoxies" in respect to the other Greek dialects. The same tendencies of voicing and deaspiration of the standard Greek unvoiced aspirates are not only found in the Macedonian dialect, but also in some rare dialectic forms of the Dorian and Aeolic dialects (which descent from the same northern-Greek precursor as the Macedonian) and also in the Pamphylian Greek dialect in southern Anatolia where the Pamphylians were neighboring the Luwian speakers of Lycia and Cilicia. Even there the same unorthodoxies can be found (Aspendos and andropos instead of "standard" Greek Aspenthos and anthropos) and that means that what happened to the Macedonians is nothing more than what has happened in every Greek dialect spoken in the borders of the Greek-speaking world.
The fact that the Macedonians were heavily influenced in both culture and language by the Phrygians means that they had inhabited nearby for a very long time. The Phrygians stayed in Macedonia from ca 1150 BC to ca 850 BC and since an influence of that measure needs at least two centuries of neighbouring, this means that the Macedonians were in the Pierian mountains all the time that the Phrygians were in the plain. After all, it was the Phrygian descent in the first place around 1200 BC that prompted the whole "migrating" phenomenon that caused the dispersion of the Northern Greek tribes from the Boion range to the rest of the peninsula, bringing the Dorians in the Peloponnese and the Macedonians in Pieria. In this time frame the Mycenaean findings in Western Pieria dated around 1200 -1100 BC (that is, after the so called "Trojan Balkanian Operation" that Herodotus mentions, which caused the migration of the Magnetes south of the Penius and the massive fortifications of the south Greek Mycenaean centres around 1250 BC (LH IIIB)) must be attributed to the Macedonians, the "Highlanders" of Pieria.
After all that, the conclusion is that Herodotus is a valuable historical source when one knows what to accept and what to reject. Everything he said about the Macedonians, their kinship with the Dorians, their gathering in mountainous Pieria from where they started their expansion and their neighbouring with the Phrygians are things that linguists and archaeologists have confirmed directly or indirectly.
In a general discusion about Herodotus' credibility in the introduction of the Italian edition of his "Histories" (the one translated by Fulvio Barberis and edited by Garzanti) , Luciano Canfora states : "certainly like every mortal Herodotus wasn't infallible , but when we must discuss about his ability to discriminate between true and false and his willingness to express the first , Herodotus speaks by himself:
In [III,124] he states : " For Polycrates was the first of the Hellenes of whom we have any knowledge, who set his mind upon having command of the sea, excepting Minos the Cnossian and any other who may have had command of the sea before his time. Of that which we call mortal race Polycrates was the first".
And this is a proof that he can distinguish between myth (Minos the Cnossian ,a mythological figure) and reality (Polykrates of Samos , a person of the "mortal race" that is a historical person) although Thucydides -who is generally considered more standard and less "naif"- failed to make this distinction in [I.4].
About his willingness to speak the truth in [VII.139] he states: "And here I am compelled by necessity to declare an opinion which in the eyes of most men would seem to be invidious, but nevertheless I will not abstain from saying that which I see evidently to be the truth".
Written by Andrew MOTW
Friday, November 21, 2008
November 20, 2008
As we emphatically pointed out in our previous article, the art of commiting provocative falsification and blatant violation of the historical reality finds full use into the propaganda originating from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). If we are looking for a pure sample of the deplorable “taking text out of context” method in order to misrepresent a source´s actual position, then one of the best candidates should definitely be one of the latest articles of Risto Stefov, ironically entitled “Greek Australian Advisory Council and the falsification of Ancient Macedonian history Part 9″. For example in one of the most comical writings you could ever read in your lives, as regards to ancient history, the author once more, attempts to isolate and take out of context a certain small number of references taken from the book “Plutarch The Age of Alexander” by Ian-Scott Kilvert.
First and foremost even the source he attempts to forge this time, is crystal clear about the Greek ethnicity of ancient Macedonians. For the sake of materiality, in page 3 of Ian-Scott Kilvert´s “Plutarch The Age of Alexander” - a “special edition” of Nine Lives roughly concomitant with Alexander and his time - we can read:
The Age of Alexander – Nine Greek lives by Plutarch
Right afterwards we read the names of these prominent nine Greeks of which the book deals with their Biographies.
Agesilaus – Pelopidas- Dion – Timoleon – Demosthenes – Phocion – Alexander – Demetrius – Pyrrhus
In other words, two of the Nine Greeks are Macedonian themselves. Inevitably, Risto Stefov continues to pursue a policy of constant self-contradictions since once more he tried to present a source which completely shatters his historical inaccuracies and contrarily to his erroneous claims, proves the Greekness of ancient Macedonians.
Secondly, the author employs a number of selected lines to draw connections to an alleged “implied ethnic distinction” but as usual, he fails to take account of the particular place, time and circumstance these lines apply, which often is crucial to understand what someone really means or intends to. Moreover he also fails to take account of even the other words or lines which immediately surround it with result the overall meaning to be quite different from the author´s agenda. The latter constitutes a blatant case of wilful distortion.
Take a look for instance to the first “unique finding” of Risto Stefov
1] “Alexander was born on the sixth day of the month Hecatombaeon, which the Macedonians call Lous, the same day on which the temple of Artemis at Ephesus was burned down.” [p.254]
The above quote underscores the ill-informed and quite amateurish notion of ancient history that currently prevails the author. Unfortunately Risto Stefov totally ignores that almost all places in the Greek world had their own distinct Calendars, yet some months were common among them. Quite indicatively if for a moment, someone was inclined to consider the author´s implication as valid then he should also conclude for instance that Delphi was not Greek since the Delphian calendar called the specific month Hyllaios and not Hecatombaeon. In fact the month Lous/Loios was also a Thessalian month. I denote here that there are also Macedonian months whose names are shared with other Greeks, namely the calendars of Argos, Corinth, Epidaurus, Crete and Rhodes. Argives, Corinthians, Cretans, Epidaurians and Rhodians. In essence the ancient Macedonian calendar emphatically points out the Greekness of ancient Macedonians.
In the same manner, the rest of the absolutely selective and taken out of context, lines in the article of Risto Stefov, rely heavily on outrageous half truths, mainly dealing with the characteristical ignorance of the author with similar statements pertaining to “freed” or “enslaved” Greeks by the Atheneans, Spartans and others abound in ancient sources.
Plutarch “The Age of Alexander”
1] On his father´s side Alexander was descended from Hercules through Caranus, and on his mother´s from Aeacus through Neoptolemus: so much is accepted by all authorities without question.
(Plut. 7.2 page 252)
Point of Interest: The fact that Alexander was Greek by both his parents went unquestioned by all authorities]
2] The first was that his general Parmenio had overcome the Illyrians in a great battle, the second that his race-horse had won a victory in the Olympic games, and the third that Alexander had been born.
(Plut. 7.3, page 255)
Philip participated in Olympics during Classical Ages where only Greeks could take place since he was a Greek himself]
3]Philip for example was as proud of his powers of eloquence as any sophist, and took care to have the victories won by his chariots at Olympia stamped upon his coins.
(Plut. 7.4, page 256)
Philip as a proud Greek, had his victories in Olympics stamped on his coins]
4]The person who took on both the title and the role of Pedagogue was an Acarnanian named Lysimachus. He was neither an educated nor a cultivated man but he managed to ingratiate himself by calling Philip Peleus, Alexander Achilles, and himself Phoenix, and he held the second place in the prince´s household.
(Plut. 7.5, page 257)
The love of Philip and Alexander for anything Greek is apparent]
5]Besides this he considered that the task of training and educating his son was too important to be entrusted to the ordinary run of teachers of poetry, music and general education: it required as Sophocles puts it:
The rudder´s guidance and the curb´s restraint,
and so he sent for Aristotle, the most famous and learned of the philosophers of the time and rewarded him with the generocity that his reputation deserved.
(Plut. 7.7, page 258)
One of the most famous Greek philosophers, Aristotle was entrusted by Philip with the task of training and educating his son]
6] He [Alexander] regarded the Iliad as a handbook of the art of war and took with him on his campaigns a text annotated by Aristotle, which became as “the casket copy” and which he always kept under his pillow together with his dagger. When his campaigns had taken him far into the interior of Asia and he could find no other books, he ordered his treasurer Harpalus to send him some. Harpalus sent him the histories of Philistus, many of the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides and the dithyrambic poems of Telestes and Philoxenus.
(Plut 7.8, pages 259-260)
Alexander never hide his love for anything Greek]
7] During this period he [Alexander] defeated the Maedi who had risen in revolt, captured their city, drove out its barbarous inhabitants, established a colony of Greeks assembled from various regions and named it Alexandroupolis.
Plut. 7.9, page 260)
Here we have undisputed evidence of Macedonia´s Greekness. On one hand, the term “barbarians” is used only for Maedi, not Macedonians while on the other hand Alexander of course establishes a Greek colony since apparently he is Greek himself.]
7]There he [Philip] scolded his son and angrily reproached him for behaving so ignobly and so unworthily of his position as to wish to marry the daughter of a mere Carian, who was no more than the slave of a barbarian king.
(Plut. 7.10, page 262)
Point of interest: Philip uses the term barbarian for a foreign king. Its obvious Philip was Greek, otherwise he wouldnt use at all the derogatory remark if he was “barbarian” himself]
8]The neighbouring barbarian tribes were eager to throw off the Macedonian yoke and longed for the rule of their native kings.
(Plut. 7.11, page 263)
The difference between the “neighbouring barbarian tribes” and Macedonians is clear.]
9]As for the barbarian tribes they [Macedonians] considered that he [Alexander] should try to win them back to their allegiance by using milder methods.
(Plut. 7.11, page 263)
Again, Barbarians are being distinguished from Macedonians, even by Macedonians themselves]
10]In the previous year a congress of the Greek states had been held at the Isthmus of Corinth: here a vote had been passed that the states should join forces with Alexander in invading Persia and that he should be commander-in-chief of the expedition. Many of the Greek statesmen and philosophers visited him to offer their congratulations…
(Plut. 7.14, page 266)
Macedonia as a greek state took part in the congress held at Isthmus of Corinth. Alexander was voted to be commander-in-chief while many Greek statesmen and philosophers showed their joy about the event by offering him their congratulations.]
11] Once arrived in Asia, he [Alexander] went up to Troy, sacrificed to Athena and poured libations to the heroes of the Greek army. He annointed with oil the column which marks the grave of Achilles, ran a race by it naked with his companions, as the custom is, and then crowned it with a wreath: he also remarked that Achilles was happy in having found a faithful friend while he lived and a great poet to sing of his deeds after his death. While he was walking about the city and looking at its ancient remains, somebody asked him whether he wished to see the lyre which had once belonged to Paris. I think nothing of that lyre, he said, but i wish i could see Achilles´ lyre, which he played when he sang of the glorious deeds of brave men.
(Plut. 7.15, page 268)
First thing Alexander did while being in Asia was to honour the Greek heroes and his own ancestor Achilles]
12] “At the same time he [Alexander] was anxious to give the other Greek states a share in the victory. He therefore sent the Atheneans in particular three hundred of the shields captured from the enemy and over the rest of the spoils he had this proud inscription engraved:
Alexander, the son of Philip, and all the Greeks, with the exception of the Spartans, won these spoils of war from the barbarians who dwell in Asia.”
(Plut. 7.16, page 270)
Needless to say much about it. Things are pretty clear. Alexander’s inscription itself reveals Macedonians are Greeks]
13] It is said that there was a spring near the city of Xanthus in the province of Lycia, which at this moment overflowed and cast up from its depths a bronze tablet: this was inscribed with ancient characters which foretold tha the empire of the Persians would be destroyed by the Greeks. Alexander was encouraged by this prophecy and pressed on to clear the coast of Asia Minor as far as Cilicia and Phoenicia.
(Plut. 7.17, page 270)
No reason Alexander to be enouraged unless he was Greek himself. Another undisputable evidence of his Greekness]
14]he [Alexander] managed to extend it round the enemy´s left, outflanked it, and fighting in the foremost ranks, put the barbarians to flight.
(Plut. 7.20, page 274)
The dinstiction between Macedonians and Barbarians is obvious]
15] It was here that the Macedonians received their first taste of gold and silver and women and of the luxury of the Barbarian way of life.
(Plut 7.24, page 278)
Macedonians couldnt receive their first taste of the luxury of the Barbarian way of life if they were Barbarians themselves]
16] he [Alexander] dshed to the nearest camp fire, dispatched with his dagger the two barbarians who were sitting by it
(Plut. 7.24, page 280)
Another evidence Macedonians were Greeks and certainly not Barbarians]
17]One day a casket was brought to him which was regarded by those who were in charge of Darius´ baggage and treasure as the most valuable item of all and so Alexander asked his friends what he should keep in it as his own most precious possesion. Many different suggestions were put forward, and finally Alexander said he intended to keep his copy of Iliad there.
(Plut. 7.26, page 281)
Alexander´s love for anything Greek was overwhelming. He considered Iliad as his most precious possession.]
18]According to this story, after Alexander had conquered Egypt, he was anxious to found a great and populous Greek city there, to be called after him.
(Plut. 7.26, page 281)
Alexander as a Greek himself founded Greek cities]
19] Others say that the Priest, who wished as a mark of courtesy to address him with the Greek Phrase ´O, paidion´ (O, My son)…
(Plut. 7.27, page 283-4)
20] On this occasion, Alexander gave a long address to the Thessalians and the rest of the Greeks. They acclaimed by shouting for him to lead them against the barbarians and at this he shifted his lance into his left hand, so Callisthenes tells us, and raising his right be called upon the gods and prayed that he were really the son of Zeus they should protect and encourage the Greeks.
(Plut. 7.33, page 290)
Greek soldiers couldnt have shouted to Alexander to lead them against the Barbarians if him and his Macedonians were Barbarians themselves. Alexander´s pray includes Macedonians to the rest of Greeks.]
21]To the Plataeans in particular he [Alexander] wrote that he would rebuild their city because their ancestors had allowed the Greeks to make their territory the seat of war in the struggle for their common freedom. He also sent a share of the spoils to the people of Croton in Italy in honour of the spirit and valour shown by their athlete Phayllus: this man when the rest of the Greeks in Italy had refused to give any help to their compatriots in the Persian wars, he fitted out a ship at his own expense and sailed with it to Salamis to share in the common danger.
(Plut. 7.34, page 291)
22] During the advance across Persis the Greeks massacred great numbers of their prisoners, and Alexander has himself recorded that he gave orders for the Persians to be slaughtered because he thought that such an example would help his cause.
(Plut. 7.37, page 294)
Macedonians are recorded by Plutarch as Greeks]
23]Alexander stopped and spoke to it [Xerxes Statue] as though it was alive. ´Shall i pass by and leave you lying there because of the expedition you led against Greece, or shall i set you up again because of your magnanimity and your virtues in other respects?´
(Plut. 7.37, page 294)
Xerxes statue was toppled by Macedonians and was left in the ground. This spontaneous action of Macedonians, plus Alexander´s words reveal how much Macedonians wanted to revenge Persia through this Panhellenic expedition.]
24] Demaratus the Corinthian, who was much attached to Alexander, as he had been to his father, began to weep, as old men are aprt to do, and exclaimed that any Greek who had died before that day had missed one of the greatest pleasures in life by not seeing Alexander seated on the throne of Darius.
(Plut. 7.37, page 295)
Greeks wouldnt have missed this great pleasure in life to see Alexander seated on Darius throne if he wasnt Greek himself]
25]She wanted to put a torch to the building herself in full view of Alexander, so that posterity should know that the women who followed Alexander had taken a more terrible revenge for the wrongs of Greece than all the famous commanders of earlier times by land or sea. Her speech was greeted wit wild applause and the king´s companions excitedly urged him on until at last he allowed himself to be persuaded, leaped to his feet and with a garland on his head and a torch in his hand led the way.
(Plut. 7.38, page 295)
26] From this point he advanced into Parthia, and it was here during a pause in the campaign that he first began to wear barbarian dress.
(Plut. 7.45, page 301)
So Macedonian dresses were Hellenic since in Parthia was the FIRST time Alexander began to wear BARBARIAN dresses]
27]However he didnt go so far as to adopt the Median costume, which was altogether barbaric and outlandish.
(Plut. 7.45, page 302)
More evidence of the greekness of Macedonians. The remark about the Median costume being Barbaric wouldnt make sense if Macedonian costume was Barbaric too. Here we have another dinstinction between Barbaric and Macedonian (Greek) costume]
28]For this reason he [Alexander] selected thirty thousand boys and gave orders that they should be taught to speak the Greek language and to use Macedonian weapons and he appointed a large number of instructors to train them.
(Plut. 7.47, page 303)
Alexander spread everywhere the Greek language since he was a Greek himself. There is no reason or even an example of a conqueror in classical ages to spread a “foreign” language but solely his own.]
29]The barbarians were encouraged by the feeling of partnership which their alliance created, and they were completely won over by Alexander´s moderation and courtesy..
(Plut. 7.47, page 304)
Again a clear dinstiction between barbarians and Macedonians]
30]After the company had drunk a good deal somebody began to sing the verse of a man named Pranichus which had been written to humiliate and make fun of some Macedonian commanders who had recently been defeated by the Barbarians.
(Plut. 7.50, page 307)
The dinstiction between Macedonian commanders and Barbarians is more than obvious]
31]Callisthenes then turned to the other side of the picture and delivered a long list of home truths about the Macedonians, pointing out that the rise of Philip´s power had been brought about by the divisions among the rest of the Greeks,
(Plut. 7.53, page 311)
The evidence of the Greekness of Macedonians is striking. Macedonians and the rest of Greeks]
32]In the meantime Demaratus of Corinth, although he was by now an old man, was eager to visit Alexander and when the king had received him Demaratus declared that those Greeks who had died before they could see Alexander seated on the throne of Darius had missed one of the greatest pleasures in teh world.
(Plut. 7.56, page 313)
No reason for those Greeks to “miss one of the greatest pleasures in the
world when they when they would see Alexander seated in Darius throne if Alexander was not Greek]
33]For example he put to death Menander, one of the Companions because he had been placed in command of a garrison and had refused to remain there, and he shot down with his own hand one the Barbarians named Orsodates who had rebelled against him .
(Plut. 7.57, page 314)
Clear Dinstiction between the Macedonian Menander and the Barbarian Orsodates.]
34] He [Alexander] also set up altars for the gods of Greece and eve down to the present day the kings of the Praesii whenever they cross the river do honour to these and offer sacrifice on them in the Greek fashion.
(Plut. 7.62, page 320)
Another evidence Alexander and Macedonians worshipped the Greek
35] The ladder was smashed so that no more Macedonians could join him and the barbarians began to gather inside along the bottom of the wall and to shoot at him from below.
(Plut. 7.63, page 320)
Clear Dinstiction between the Macedonians and Barbarians]
36]Both men were wounded and Limnaeus was killed, but Peucestas stood firm wile Alexander killed the Barbarian with his own hand. But he was wounded over and over again and at last received a blow on the neck from a club which forced him to lean against the wall, although he still faced his assialants, At this moment the Macedonians swarmed round him..
(Plut. 7.63, page 321)
Clear Dinstiction between the Macedonians and Barbarians]
37] Nevertheless the prince Taxiles awas able to persuade Clanaus to visit Alexander. His real name was PShines but because he greeted everyone he met not with the Greek salutation chairete but with the Indian word cale, the Greeks called him Calanus.
(Plut. 7.65, page 323)
38] Not long afterwards Alexander discovered tha the tomb of Cyrus had been plundered and had the offender put to death, enen though he was a prominent Macedonian from Pella named Polymachus. When he read the inscription on the tomb he ordered it to be repeated below in Greek characters.
(Plut. 7.69, page 326)
39] The thirty thousand boys whom he had left behind to be given a Greek education and military traning had now grown into active and handsome men and had developed a wonderful skill and agilit in their military exercises.
(Plut. 7.71, page 328)
40] The other, Cassander, had only lately arrived in Babylon and when he saw some of the barbarians prostrate themselves before the king he burst into loud and disrespectful laughter for he had been brought up as a Greek and had never seen such a spectacle in his life.
(Plut. 7.74, page 331)
Plutarch - Moralia, “On the Fortune of Alexander”
“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 sowed 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)
“What spectator… would not exclaim… that through Fortune the foreign host was prevailing beyond its deserts, but through Virtue the Hellenes were holding out beyond their ability? And if the ones [i.e., the enemy] gains the upper hand, this will be the work of Fortune or of some jealous deity or of divine retribution; but if the others [i.e. the Hellenes] prevail, it will be Virtue and daring, friendship and fidelity, that will win the guerdon of victory? these were, in fact, the only support that Alexander had with him at this time, since Forune had put a barrier between him and the rest of his forces and equipment, fleets, horse, and camp. Finally, the Macedonians routed the barbarians, and, when they had fallen, pulled down their city on their heads. ”
Plutarch, On the Fortune of Alexander, 344 e-f
Again, however, Fortune stirred up Thebes against him, and thrust in his pathway a war with Greeks, and the dread necessity of punishing, by means of slaughter and fire and sword, men that were his kith and kin, a necessity which had a most unpleasant ending.
Plutarch, Virtue, 11]
For Alexander did not follow Aristotles advice to treat the Greeks as if he were their leader, and other peoples as if he were their master; to have regard for the Greeks as for friends and kindred, but to conduct himself toward other peoples as though they were plants or animals; for to do so would have been to cumber his leadership with numerous battles and banishments and festering seditions. But, as he believed that he came as a heaven sent governor to all, and as a mediator for the whole world, those whom he could not persuade to unite with him, he conquered by force of arms, and he brought together into one body all men everywhere, uniting and mixing in one great loving‐cup, as it were, mens lives, their characters, their marriages, their very habits of life.
He bade them all consider as their fatherland the whole inhabited earth, as their stronghold and protection his camp, as akin to them all good men, and as foreigners only the wicked; they should not distinguish between Grecian and foreigner by Grecian cloak and targe, or scimitar and jacket; but the distinguishing mark of the Grecian should be seen in virtue, and that of the foreigner in iniquity; clothing and food, marriage and manner of life they should regard as common to all, being blended into one by ties of blood and children.
Plutarch, Fortune, 6]
A comparison of Alexander with Pericles:
“Pericles collected tribute from the Greeks and with the money adorned the Acropolis with temples; but Alexander captured the riches of barbarians and sent them to Greece with orders that ten thousand talents be used to construct temples for the gods.”
On the Fortune or the Virtue of Alexander, II, 13
Alexander´s assault on the citadel of the Mallians:
“…that through Fortune the foreign host was prevailing beyond its deserts, but through Virtue the Greeks were holding out beyond their ability? And if the enemy gains the upper hand, this will be the work of Fortune or of some jealous deity or of divine retribution; but if the Greeks prevail, it will be Virtue and daring, friendship and fidelity, that will win the guerdon of victory? These were, in fact, the only support that Alexander had with him at this time, since Fortune had put a barrier between him and the rest of his forces and equipment, fleets, horse, and camp.Finally, the Macedonians routed the barbarians, and, when they had fallen, pulled down their city on their heads.”
On the Fortune or the Virtue of Alexander, II, 13
In conquering and civilising the barbarians, both the cities established and the form of government, law and culture is Greek:
“Yet no such busy wars as these employed their time in civilizing wild and barbarous kings, in building Grecian cities among rude and unpolished nations, nor in settling government and peace among people that lived without humanity or control of law.”
On the Fortune or the Virtue of Alexander, I, 4
“But Alexander, building above seventy cities among the barbarous nations, and as it were showing the Grecian customs and constitutions all over Asia, quite weaned them from their former wild and savage manner of living.”
On the Fortune or the Virtue of Alexander, I, 5
“It may, however, be more justly averred of those whom Alexander subdued, had they not been vanquished, they had never been civilized. Egypt had not vaunted her Alexandria, nor Mesopotamia her Seleucia; Sogdiana had not gloried in her Propthasia, nor the Indians boasted their Bucephalia, nor Caucasus its neighboring Grecian city; by the founding of all which barbarism was extinguished and custom changed the worse into better.”
On the Fortune or the Virtue of Alexander, I, 5
“But it behooves us also, as it were, to make a new coin, and to stamp a new face of Grecian civility upon the barbarian metal.”
On the Fortune or the Virtue of Alexander, I, 5
In the treatment and distinguishment of Greeks and barbarians:
“But Alexander made good his words by his deeds; for he did not, as Aristotle advised him, rule the Grecians like a moderate prince and insult over the barbarians like an absolute tyrant; nor did he take particular care of the first as his friends and domestics, and scorn the latter as mere brutes and vegetables…”
On the Fortune or the Virtue of Alexander, I, 6
“Nor would he that Greeks and barbarians should be distinguished by long garments, targets, scimitars, or turbans; but that the Grecians should be known by their virtue and courage, and the barbarians by their vices and their cowardice…”
On the Fortune or the Virtue of Alexander, I, 6
“But I would gladly have been a spectator of those majestic and sacred nuptials, when, after he had betrothed together a hundred Persian brides and a hundred Macedonian and Greek bridegrooms, he placed them all at one common table within the compass of one pavilion embroidered with gold, as being all of the same family…”
On the Fortune or the Virtue of Alexander, I, 7
Next Plutarch tells us of the imposition of Greek religion:
“Most admirable philosophy! which induced the Indians to worship the Grecian Deities…”
On the Fortune or the Virtue of Alexander, I, 5
“But Alexander engaged both Bactria and Caucasus to worship the Grecian Gods, which they had never known before.”
On the Fortune or the Virtue of Alexander, I, 5
Of Alexander´s descent, which would not be seen as “noble” in Plutarch´s eyes if it was not Greek:
“…the nobility of his Macedonian extraction…”
On the Fortune or the Virtue of Alexander, I, 9
And the ultimate revenge, to see a Greek king on the throne of Persia:
“Therefore it was that Demaratus the Corinthian, an acquaintance and friend of Philip, when he beheld Alexander in Susa, bursting into tears of more than ordinary joy, bewailed the deceased Greeks, who, as he said, had been bereaved of the greatest blessing on earth, for that they had not seen Alexander sitting upon the throne of Darius.”
On the Fortune or the Virtue of Alexander, I, 7
- From the side of his father, Alexander is shown clearly as descendant of Heracles and from his mother side a descendant of Aeacos. (Alex 2.1).
- He is educated by Aristotle, uses as his permanent favourite book the Iliad of Homer (see Alex 8,2, 26.2-3) but wishes also other Greek books to be sent to him.
- The inscription of Alexander with the first booty is clear and Macedonians are included as Greeks. (see Alex.16.18)
- After conquering Egypt Alexander wishes to found “a great Greek city with many people” (Alex. 26.4 and Moralia 328B). The Priest of Ammon adresses Alexander in Greek (Alex. 27.9).
- In Alexander´s Live, Macedonians are included in the general Greek race and those who are opposed to Persians and the rest of Barbarian tribes of Asia are called greeks and not Macedonians (Alex. 33.1-4)
- Alexander campaigns in Asia in the name of Greeks in order to revenge the campaign of Xerxes against Greece (see Alex. 37.5, 38.4)
- Before Gaugamela, Alexander encourages mainly Greeks and from Greeks he is being encouraged too (see Alex. 33.1)
- After the final defeat of Darius he chooses 30,000 young Persians and orders those to be educated in Greek (see Alex. 47.6)
- In the meantime he wishes to please all the Greeks by abolishing tyrranies, giving autonomy, urging Plateans to rebuild their city, sending booty even to Krotoniates in order to honour the participation of their ancestor Faylos in Medika (Alex. 34.2-3)
- Alexander´s behaviour to Greeks is entirelly different from his behaviour to Barbarians. (see Alex 28.1)
- Plutarch considered Macedonians as Greeks by distinguishing them always from Barbarians. (see Cleomenes 27.3; 30.1-3; Pyrrhus 16.8; Alexander 9.1;11.3; 11.5; 16.15; 16.18; 20.11;24.13; 28.11; 33.1; 33.4; 35.2; 38.7)
- Like we can easily realize from this plethora of hard evidence, Plutarch draws the same conclusion as the other ancient historians and verifies the Greekness of ancient Macedonians. Following Polybius, neither Plutarch is helpful at all to the petty efforts of the Slavs from FYROM who are comically inclined to believe that if they could ever disprove the Greekness of ancient Macedonians, their self-made mythical link to ancient Macedonians will be somehow validated.
Written by Ptolemy MOTW
Presented & produced by Truth Bearer & Makedonia25
AUSTRALIAN MACEDONIAN ADVISORY COUNCIL (AMAC)