Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Macedonian names and makeDonski pseudo-linguistics: The case of the name Pyrrias

by Miltiades Elia Bolaris

Balkan Illusion - phantasia archaica:

" is very interesting to note that many of the authentic ancient Macedonian words, according to their etymology and pronunciation, have a striking resemblance to the appropriate words used in the modern Macedonian language (and other so called "Slav"[sic] languages). "Pyri(as). The root of this name could be connected to the noun "pir" (merriment). The name Piri is present in todays' Macedonian onomasticon." Quote taken from: "Similarities between ancient Macedonian and today's' Macedonian Culture (Linguistics and Onomastics)" by Aleksandar Donski, celebrity historian from FYROM./ Πυρίας/Pyrrias/Πυρρίας

In his "Dictionary of Classical Mythology", Sorbonne professor Pierre Grimal gives us a beautiful story from the Greek Mythology. It is an ancient myth about a boatman, named Pyrias/

"Pyrias was a boatman from Ithaca who took pity on an old man captured by pirates. The old man was carrying vessels full, apparently of pitch. These jars later came into the possession of Pyrias who realized that under the pitch they contained jewels and treasures. In his gratitude Pyrias sacrificed an ox to his unknown benefactor. From this came the proverb : "Pyrias is the only man to have sacrificed an ox to his benefactor.""
 Pyrrias was not a very common Greek name, but at the same time it was not exclusive to any part of Greece either. We find this name from Peloponnesus to Macedonia and from Sicily to the Hellenistic East.

Pyrias of the aforementioned myth was from Ithaca, Ulysses' island, but a more flesh and bone Pyrrias appears in the historical record. It was in the year 401BC, right after the battle of Cunaxa. He was an Arcadian from central Peloponnese. He was stranded, like all the other myriad (10 thousand) Greek mercenaries, in the midst of Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) then part of the huge and powerful Persian Empire. The Greek Mercenaries had been in the pay of Cyrus who had revolted against his brother, the king of Persia, Artaxarxes. In the Cunaxa battle Cyrus was killed, leaving his Greek mercenaries stranded deep inside enemy territory. When their military leaders from their Spartan general Clearchos down to the most junior officers were massacred in a treacherous banquet plot where king Artaxerxes had invited them the situation for the Greek rank and file hoplites became desperate.

In the midst of the night, with Persian arrows harassing them on top of the hill where they had gathered to defend themselves, they started to .....

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009


by Ioannis Xydopoylos
abstract from the book "Communities in European history: representations, jurisdictions, conflicts", pages 7-9

In 2006  I published a study of the representation of the Macedonians and their country by the historian of die Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC)[23] In it I suggested that Thucydides references to the Macedonian people and their country have a clearly circumstantial character. Furthermore they arc informed by the Poteidaea incident (432/1), the intervention of the Thracian king Sitalkes (429) and the military operations the Spartan general Brasidas undertook in the area (424/3). Thucydides frames his representation of die Macedonians with the Spartan general Brasidas reference to them in the speech he made to his troops. In his harangue Brasidas clearly classified them as barbarians:” you should learn about these barbarians whom now you are afraid of, a part of them you have already fought against, the Macedonians among them, that, from my own estimate of them, and what 1 have heard from others, they arc notstrong”(IV,126.3)[24] Thucydides further establishes this view in his narrative of Brasidas and Perdikkas campaign in Lynkestis in 42V3 B.C. when he wrote that "the Chalkidians and Macedonian cavalry [came to] nearly a thousand, and there was also a large mass of barbarians[25]. These passages have provoked considerable discussion, especially during die late 20th century. Regarding the question of ethnicity, the question is: ..........

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Some intresting quotes from Plutarch regarding Demosthenes and his policy towards Macedonians and Persians.

Demosthenis letters in the Persian Royal Court.......
The fame of it also reached even to the court of Persia, and the king sent letters to his lieutenants commanding them to supply Demosthenes with money, and to pay every attention to him, as the only man of all the Grecians who was able to give Philip occupation and find employment for his forces near home, in the troubles of Greece. This, afterwards came to the knowledge of Alexander, by certain letters of Demosthenes which he found at Sardis, and by other papers of the Persian officers, stating the large sums which had been given him.
[Plutarch's Life of Demosthenis,20,4-5]

Arpalos money.......
[25].It was not long after that Harpalus fled from Alexander, and came to Athens out of Asia; knowing himself guilty of many misdeeds into which his love of luxury had led him, and fearing the king, who was now grown terrible even to his best friends. Yet this man had no sooner addressed himself to the people, and delivered up his goods, his ships, and himself to their disposal, but the other orators of the town had their eyes quickly fixed upon his money, and came in to his assistance, persuading the Athenians to receive and protect their suppliant. Demosthenes at first gave advice to chase him out of the country, and to beware lest they involved their city in a war upon an unnecessary and unjust occasion. But some few days after, as they were taking an account of the treasure, Harpalus, perceiving how much he was pleased with a cup of Persian manufacture, and how curiously he surveyed the sculpture and fashion of it, desired him to poise it in his hand, and consider the weight of the gold. Demosthenes, being amazed to feel how heavy it was, asked him what weight it came to. "To you," said Harpalus, smiling, "it shall come with twenty talents." And presently after, when night drew on, he sent him the cup with so many talents. Harpalus, it seems, was a person of singular skill to discern a man's covetousness by the air of his countenance, and the look and movements of his eyes. For Demosthenes could not resist the temptation, but admitting the present, like an armed garrison, into the citadel of his house, he surrendered himself up to the interest of Harpalus. The next day, he came into the assembly with his neck swathed about with wool and rollers, and when they called on him to rise up and speak, he made signs as if he had lost his voice. But the wits, turning the matter to ridicule, said that certainly the orator had been seized that night with no other than a silver quinsy. And soon after, the people, becoming aware of the bribery, grew angry, and would not suffer him to speak, or make any apology for himself, but ran him down with noise; and one man stood up, and cried out, "What, ye men of Athens, will you not hear the cup-bearer?" So at length they banished Harpalus out of the city; and fearing lest they should be called to account for the treasure which the orators had purloined, they made a strict inquiry, going from house to house; only Callicles, the son of Arrhenidas, who was newly married, they would not suffer to be searched, out of respects, as Theopompus writes, to the bride, who was within.

[26]. Demosthenes resisted the inquisition, and proposed a decree to refer the business to the court of Areopagus, and to punish those whom that court should find guilty. But being himself one of the first whom the court condemned, when he came to the bar, he was fined fifty talents, and committed to prison; where, out of shame of the crime for which he was condemned, and through the weakness of his body, growing incapable of supporting the confinement, he made his escape, by the carelessness of some and by the contrivance of others of the citizens. We are told, at least, that he had not fled far from the city when, finding that he was pursued by some of those who had been his adversaries, he endeavoured to hide himself. But when they called him by his name, and coming up nearer to him, desired he would accept from them some money which they had brought from home as a provision for his journey, and to that purpose only had followed him, when they entreated him to take courage, and to bear up against his misfortune, he burst out into much greater lamentation, saying, "But how is it possible to support myself under so heavy an affliction, since I leave a city in which I have such enemies, as in any other it is not easy to find friends." He did not show much fortitude in his banishment, spending his time for the most part in Aegina and Troezen, and, with tears in his eyes, looking towards the country of Attica. And there remain upon record some sayings of his, little resembling those sentiments of generosity and bravery which he used to express when he had the management of the commonwealth. For, as he was departing out of the city, it is reported, he lifted up his hands towards the Acropolis, and said, "O Lady Minerva, how is it that thou takest delight in three such fierce untractable beasts, the owl, the snake, and the people?" The young men that came to visit and converse with him, he deterred from meddling with state affairs, telling them, that if at first two ways had been proposed to him, the one leading to the speaker's stand and the assembly, the other going direct to destruction, and he could have foreseen the many evils which attend those who deal in public business, such as fears, envies, calumnies, and contentions, he would certainly have taken that which led straight on to his death.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Before and the Arrival of the Proto-Greeks in Macedonia(3000 b.c.-2300 b.c.)


For certain areas of the Greek mainland and many of the islands the names of some fifteen pre-Greek peoples are preserved in ancient traditions, together with a number of other references; information of this quantity or importance is wanting in the case of the inhabitants of Macedonia, however, not only for the period prior to the advent of the Proto-Greeks, but even before the end of the Bronze Age. This deficiency can be remedied to some extent by recourse to indirect evidence.

Firstly, it is a safe assumption that during the Stone and Bronze Ages, Macedonia was not settled by people very different from the population of southern Greece and the rest of the Balkan peninsula (or of Asia Minor, Italy and the Iberian peninsula). These regions are known to have been inhabited at an early date by pre-Indo-European (or Mediterranean) peoples and subsequently by Indo-Europeans. South of Olympos, the first Indo-Europeans made their appearance towards the end of the Neolithic and the beginning of the Chalcolithic periods (about 3000 B.C.)[1].

Archaeological evidence may be used to add details to this broad picture; there is, however, no agreement amongst the experts as to its interpretation.[2]

In southern Greece, the traditions concerning the pre-Greek Pelasgians coincide to a remarkable degree with certain innovations in the pottery that had made their ap¬pearance slightly earlier in western Macedonia, central Macedonia, Chalkidike, eastern Macedonia and further to the east and north.[3] This suggests that Macedonia was in¬habited by Pelasgians at the end of the Neolithic period.[4] The Pelasgians were one of the pre-Greek Indo-European peoples,[5] as were the Dryopes,[6] a section of whom remained in the valley of the Erigon (Crna) and survived into the historical period, when they were known by the name Derriopes, or Deuriopes or Douriopes: Dry-, Derr-, Deur- and Dour- are all the evolved form or rendering of the same root, the original meaning of which was 'tree' and which later came to mean oak tree.[7]

The features of the 'Tumulus Culture' that appeared in southern Macedonia towards the end of the Neolithic period and somewhat later in the Chalkidike and eastern Macedonia, suggest the arrival of a number of Indo-European groups that cannot be identified.[8]


The language and religion of the ancient Greeks contain features derived from a variety of different sources. They are predominantly Indo-European, but the non - Indo-European, or 'Mediterranean' features are by no means in¬significant. The Indo-European elements may in turn be divided into a main and a secondary group; the latter are connected with a variety of Indo-European peoples that had been absorbed by the dominant group, which had also absorbed the remnants of 'Mediterranean' peoples. The main ancestors of the ancient Greeks are usually also described as Greeks. This term, however, obscures the fact that the ancient Greeks also had other forebears, both Indo-European and 'Mediterranean'. In order to dis¬tinguish the historical Greeks from the main group of their prehistoric ancestors, the term Proto-Greeks has recently come to be applied to the latter.[9]

Study of the interrelations between the various Indo-European languages has shown that the Proto-Greek tongue had its closest and longest contact with Proto-Aryan (the forerunner of Indian and Iranian languages); that these two languages took shape in the centre of the area occupied by the Indo-European peoples (from the Ukraine to east of the Caspian); and that they separated out after the dispersal of the Indo-European peoples sur¬rounding the Proto-Greeks and Proto-Aryans.[10] A variety of archaeological evidence has demonstrated that the fragmentation of the main mass of the Indo-Europeans was already completed by the beginning of the fourth phase of the 'Tumulus Culture' of the Eurasian steppes (c. 2500 B.C.). Some features of this culture make their ap¬pearance on the Greek mainland and on adjacent islands, under conditions that suggest they were brought by im¬migrants, at the beginning of Early Helladic III (c. 2100 B.C.), though the main immigration dates to the beginning of the Middle Helladic period (1900 B.C.).[11] From that time to the end of the Late Helladic period (c. 1125 B.C.) there is no trace of any migration to Greece. These con¬siderations, combined with the circumstance that the Greek mainland and adjacent islands were undoubtedly occupied by Greeks during the Late Helladic period, clearly indicate that the immigrants of Early Helladic III and the Middle Helladic period were Proto-Greeks.[12]

The Proto-Greek settlements on the mainland during the Early Helladic period were few in number and were either on coastal sites or a short distance inland. It seems, therefore, that their founders arrived by sea, setting out either from Chalkidike or from the coast of eastern Macedonia. By contrast, the Proto-Greek settlements of the Middle Helladic period were much greater in number and extended over the area from north-east Thessaly to the southern Peloponnese. This suggests that the immigrants of the second wave were significantly more numerous and travelled overland. Their point of departure may be located in north-east Thessaly and western Macedonia.[13] Other evidence indicates that between 2100 (and possibly as early as 2300) and 1900 B.C. the main body of the Proto-Greeks was concentrated in these two areas, and also further west.[14]

[1]- Sakellariou, Peoples, 137-49,246-47,294-306.
[2]- See above
[3]- Sakellariou, Peoples, 138-44, 158-61.
[4]- Ibid., 158-61
[5]- Ibid., 81-137.
[6]- Ibid., 255-64.
[7]- Ibid., 258, 260.
[8]- Sakellariou, Proto-Grecs, 160.
[9]- Ibid., 9.
[10]- Ibid., 61-68, for earlier bibliography.
[11]- Ibid., 159-82, for earlier bibliography.
[12]- Ibid., 30-52.
[13]- Ibid., 162-71.
[14]- Sakellariou, IEE, 364-65.

Source:  Macedonia 4000 years of Greek History and Civilization,pages 46-47

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hellenic Migrations and Katadesmos:A Paradigm of Macedonian Speech by M.A. Templar

Secondary sources have informed us that a comedy, “Macedonians,” written by Strattis circa 410 BC contained a piece of conversation between an Attican and a Macedonian, each speaking in his own dialect. From the few saved words and other lexical evidence, Hoffman and Ahrens had identified the Macedonian speech as Aeolic, similar to Thessalian and Lesbian. Romiopoulou (1980) thought that Doric might have been a second dialect in pre-Hellenistic Macedon in addition to a Macedonian dialect.

The lead scroll known as the Pella katadesmos, dating to first half of the 4th century BC, which was found in Pella (at the time the capital of Macedon) in 1986, and published in the Hellenic Dialectology Journal in 1993, changed this view. Based on this scroll, Olivier Masson expressed his opinion in the Oxford Classical Dictionary that the Macedonian dialect was one of the northwestern dialects, an opinion that is echoed by Emmanuel Voutyras (cf. the Bulletin Epigraphique in Revue des Etudes Grecques 1994, no. 413). Brixhe and Panayotou (1994: 209) agree, although they have not ascertained whether it was the dialect of the whole kingdom. James L. O'Neil (2005) categorized the dialect as 4th century BC Northwestern, whereas Prof. Edmonds of Bryn Mawr College suggests a 3rd century BC date.

On the historical side, Hammond has expressed the view that Upper Macedonians, being Molossian (Epirotan) tribes, spoke a northwestern dialect while Lower Macedonians spoke Aeolic. He based his opinion on archeological and literary evidence of ancient sources referring to Hellenic migrations before and after the Trojan War. Heurtley (BSA 28 (1926), 159-194), also basing his theory on archeological evidence, cites the specific migration of the Macedonians through the Pindus mountain range to Pieria as ending by the mid-11th century BC.

Katadesmos proves to be a challenge due to the deteriorated condition of the scroll, the vocabulary, grammar, and syntax of its dialectal form, as well as the location in which it was discovered. Nevertheless, the fourth century BC spell written in a Northwest Hellenic dialect reinforces Livius' statement in the History of Rome that “Aetolians, Acarnanians and Macedonians [were] men of the same speech.” In this paper, I will appraise the scroll, analyze the script from a linguistic standpoint, and compare and contrast it with other Hellenic dialects, while stressing the significance of the Dorian migrations in the Hellenic dialectology.

Hellenic Migrations and Katadesmos:A Paradigm of Macedonian Speech by M.A. Templar

Friday, November 06, 2009

Macedonian tomb of Eordaia opens to the public

An important, but lesser known, tomb monument of the 4th century BC, discovered in 1987 in the village of Spilia, Kozani pprefecture in northwest Greece, will be accessible to visitors following the completion of restoration works conducted by the culture ministry's 30th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities.

The ancient Macedonian tomb of Eordaia, or the Macedonian tomb of Spilia, as it is also known, is located in Spilia, which is situated along the Via Egnatia, an ancient Roman road.

The tomb has two chambers with a Doric monument-like facade. The monument is among the most significant of its kind across Macedonia and its architecture is exquisite, matching that of the tomb of King Philippos II of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great, in Vergina and the Macedonian tomb of Lyson and Kallikles, sons of Aristophanes, at Leucadia.

The works launched in 2008 to promote the archaeological site have cost roughly 250,000 euros and were funded by the 3rd Community Support Framework (CSF).

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The nationality of the ancient Macedonians

by Michalis Sakellariou,
Abstract from the book...
Macedonia: 4000 Years of Greek History and Civilization,
pages 44-63, 1983, Ekdotike Athinon

Many passages in ancient authors record echoes of the traditions, testimonia and opinions regarding the nationality of the Macedonians, or, more narrowly, of the Macedonian royal family. We shall first examine what these passages have to say. After completing this review, we shall proceed to an assessment of their content and arrive at definitive conclusions derived from this kind of evidence.

a) Concerning the Macedonian people
It is convenient to refer separately to the passages (1) that support the idea that the Macedonians were Greeks; (2) that are opposed to this idea; and (3) that can be used to argue either case, or that are inconclusive. We shall also (4) deal with the hypotheses put forward by modern historians on the view held by Philip and Alexander as to the nationality of their subjects.

1) Reference has been made above (see page 46) to an ancient tradition, according to which the Dorians were descended from a section of the Makednoi or Makedones. This tradition came down to Herodotos either through information he himself gathered in some Doric city,52 or through a very ancient epic poem, the Aigimios.53 The sur¬viving fragments of this poem, together with other sources, reveal more precisely that the Dorians were formed by the union of some Macedonians with other tribes. The Dorians were pure Greeks. Various attempts to derive one section of them from Illyrian origins have been unsuccessful. In any case, these attempts were concerned with the Doric tribe the Hylleis, which was certainly not identical with the Makednoi.54 The fact that the Dorians were Greek naturally presupposes that the tribes of which they were composed were also Greek, and these include the Makednoi or Makedones, at a date earlier than the fourteenth cen¬tury (see page 46).

A Persian inscription dating from 513 B.C. records the European peoples who were at that date subject to the Great King. One of these is described as Yauna Takabara - 'Ionians whose head-dress is like a shield'. The Persians, like the other eastern peoples of antiquity, are known to have applied the term 'Ionians' to all the Greeks; on the other hand the head-dress resembling a shield has been rightly recognized as that depicted on Macedonian coins. The people called by the Persians 'Greeks whose head¬dress is like a shield' are therefore identified with the Macedonians. The identification is supported by the fact that, in another Persian inscription, of 479 or 478, also listing the peoples of Europe subject to the Great King, this name is missing; at this date, it is known that the Macedonians were fighting the Persians. This Persian name for the Macedonians is the earliest piece of direct evidence available so far for the nationality of the Macedonians.55

In a fragment of Hellanikos (fifth century B.C.), Makedon, the mythical founder of the Macedonians, appears as the son of Aiolos.56 This genealogical relationship reflects the idea that the Macedonians were a section of the Aiolians, a sub-division of the Greek race.

After the battle of Issos, Alexander the Great sent a let¬ter to Darius that began as follows: 'Your ancestors came to Macedonia and the rest of Greece and did us much harm though we had done them no prior injury; I have been appointed commander-in-chief of the Greeks and in¬vaded Asia in the desire to take vengeance on Persia for your aggressions.'57 From this extract it emerges clearly that Alexander regarded Macedonia as a Greek country, identified the sufferings of Macedonia at the hands of the Persians with the destruction they had wrought in southern Greece, and represented himself as the avenger of all these wrongs.

The formulation 'Macedonia and the rest of Greece' also occurs in the treaty of alliance between Philip V of Macedonia and Hannibal.58 In the same text the phrase 'the Macedonians and the rest of the Greeks' occurs twice. The ambassador of this same king, in his address to the Aitolians in 200 B.C., ranged the Macedonians with the Greeks and not with the 'foreigners' (αλλοεθνείς) and 'barbarians' (βάρβαροι).59

Other passages demonstrate that non-Macedonian Greeks also thought of the Macedonians as their kindred, and of Macedonia as a Greek country. In 217 B.C. Agelaos of Naupaktos, speaking to a gathering at which Philip V and representatives of his allies were present, prayed that internecine wars between the Greeks would cease.60 In 211 B.C., Lykiskos, representative of the Akarnanians, described the Macedonians as kinsfolk of the Achaeans.61 Macedonia is accounted part of Greece by various authors.62 As late as the second century A.D., the Ephesians referred in a decree to 'the Macedonians and the other Greek peoples'.63

2) The general sense of a passage in Thucydides gives the impression that the historian considered the Macedo¬nians barbarians.64 The Macedonians are also distinguished from the Greeks and classified with the barbarians in the Peri Politeias, an anonymous work written about the end of the fifth or the beginning of the fourth cen¬tury B.C.65 Various ancient geographers and historians of the classical and post-classical periods, such as Ephoros, Pseudo-Skylax, Dionysios son of Kalliphon and Dionysios Periegetes, put the northern borders of Greece at the line from the Ambrakian Gulf to the Peneios.66 Isokrates places Macedonia outside the boundaries of Greece and describes the Macedonians as ούχ όμόφυλον γένος ('an unrelated race').67 Medeios of Larisa, who accompanied Alexander on his campaign in Asia, calls the Thessalians 'the most northerly of the Greeks'.68

3) In contrast with the genealogy of the mythical foun¬der of the Macedonians to be found in Hellanikos (see above), there are three other genealogies of Makedon in which he is not included in the stemma of Hellen. About 700 B.C., Hesiod refers to Makedon as the son of Zeus and Thyia.69 Pseudo-Skymnos calls him γηγενής, that is, born from the earth.70 Pseudo-Apollodoros and Aelian reflect a tradition according to which Makedon was the son of Lykaon.71 However, the lack of any genealogical connection between Makedon and Hellen does not imply that the Macedonians were not Greeks. These three genealogies were not concerned with the question of the nationality of the Macedonians, as was that preserved by Hellanikos, but had different sources and different con¬cerns. This also happens with many other genealogies of the mythical founders of Greek tribes. I shall refer here to only two examples: in the same fragment of Hesiod, Zeus and Thyia are said to be the parents not only of Makedon, but also of Magnes, the eponymous hero of the Greek tribe the Magnetes. Arkas, founder of another Greek tribe, is usually said to be the offspring of Zeus and the nymph Kallisto. Although the three genealogies of Makedon referred to above do not indicate that the Macedonians were distinct from the Greeks, we cannot deduce from this negative conclusion its opposite — that they support the view that the Macedonians were Greeks. The fragment of Hesiod, on the other hand, does reflect a knowledge of Magnetes, who were Greeks. It also portrays the mother of Makedon as the sister of Hellen.

When Alexander I, king of the Macedonians, wanted to compete at Olympia (possibly in 496 B.C.),71 his prospec¬tive opponents attempted to exclude him by arguing that only Greeks, and not barbarians, could take part in the Olympic games. Alexander proved that he was a Greek and was therefore allowed to compete.72 We may safely conclude from this episode that the Greeks who attended the Olympic games had no reason, at the beginning of the fifth century B.C., to know the nationality of the Macedo¬nians. It is also certain that when Alexander I submitted to the Hellanodikai proofs of his own, but not of his subjects' Greek descent, he left the question open. But this was not the question that had been posed. Thus it cannot be argued that Alexander I considered the Macedonians to be Greeks; but neither can the reverse. These same considera¬tions hold good in a number of other cases: when, for example, Alexander I, speaking only of himself, says 'for I am a Greek by race'73 or when other kings, or the Macedo¬nian royal family in general, are described as Greek.74 One further point should be added: the application of the term 'philhellene' to Alexander I does not imply that the king was not a Greek. Jason of Pherai was also so called,75 and a number of other passages demonstrate that this epithet was also applied to Greeks in antiquity, in which cases it was equivalent to 'patriotic'.76

The distinction is made in a passage of Isokrates bet¬ween Greeks, Macedonians and barbarians.77 Those who believe that the Macedonians were not Greeks concentrate on the distinction between Greeks and Macedonians rather than that between Macedonians and barbarians. From the context, it emerges clearly that the basis used by the author to distinguish between the Greeks and the Macedonians was the difference in their political relationship to Philip.

4) Those who believe that the Macedonians were not Greek have used the argument that the term Makedones is never employed in negotiations, treaties and other political actions in which the Macedonian state was involved, as was the Greek custom (cf. the use of Athenaioi, Lakedaimonioi, Korinthioi)™ but that it was always represented by its king. Even Philip did not admit his subjects to the Delphic Amphiktyony in 346 B.C. nor to the confederation Of the Greeks' in 338/337 B.C. This argu¬ment, however, does not take account of the fact that those ancient Greek states that were ruled by monarchs entered into agreements and negotiated alliances through the agency and in the name of their rulers. It was thus perfectly normal practice for Philip, but not the Macedonians, to become a member of the Delphic Amphiktyony. As for the confederation 'of the Greeks', even Philip himself did not become a member, but rather assumed the titles and responsibilities of its 'leader' and of commander-in-chief of its military forces.

The same scholars argue that Alexander the Great did not believe that the Macedonians were Greeks, supporting their case by reference to the fact that when he sent spoils to Athens, he accompanied them with the inscription 'Alexander and the Greeks with the exception of the Lacedaemonians....' and that in many passages of Arrian he addresses his soldiers as 'Macedonians and Greeks'. In both cases, however, the term 'Greeks' is used to indicate the soldiers of the confederation of the 'Greeks' of 338/337, which was renewed after the death of Philip and which bestowed upon Alexander the same powers and offices it had given to his father. Thus, in the inscription, Alexander uses his own name to include his subjects and the term 'Greeks' to cover the soldiers of the allied cities. In his speeches, 'Macedonians and Greeks' is addressed to the two component parts of his army with each of which he had a different relationship: to the Macedonians he was king, to the 'Greeks' commander-in-chief. In any event, Alexander's letter to Darius, referred to above (see page 49) leaves no doubt that Alexander considered his Macedonians to be Greeks.

5) Lastly, on the following grounds, it has been main¬tained that Macedonians no more felt like Greeks than Greeks recognized them as compatriots: a) many thou sands of Greek mercenaries served the Persians during Alexander's campaigns; b) others who eventually enlisted in Alexander's army revolted after his death, and seventeen thousand were butchered by Macedonians; c) as soon as the news of Alexander's death reached Greece, the main cities tried to throw off the Macedonian yoke.

These arguments are unconvincing. Let us consider how many Greek states should be discounted as Greek because they encountered Greek mercenaries on the field of battle; or because they revolted against Greek domination; or because they shed the blood of those who had revolted. In the particular connection of the Greeks of the city-states and Alexander, and indeed with Philip, it should not be ignored that these were determined, to a large extent, by fear of the popular classes, that the domination of the Macedonians would reinforce the oligarchic parties and limit the autonomy of the city states. Because the mercenaries came from the poorer classes they probably har¬boured deeper resentment of the Macedonians. Finally, it should be noted that the revolt of the Greek mercenaries in 323 B.C. was motivated by a desire to return home after long years of absence, first in the service of the Great King and then of Alexander.

b) Concerning the royal family

1) From the time that Alexander I asserted at Olympia that he was Greek, and the tradition that the Macedonian dynasty was descended from the Temenids of Argos became generally known, it was commonly accepted by the Greeks that the Macedonian royal family was part of the Greek race (see above).

2) There were exceptions, however: in a fragment of the speech 'for the people of Larisa' by the orator Thrasymachus of Chalkedon (second half of the fifth cen¬tury), Archelaos, king of the Macedonians, is described as a barbarian,79 and similar descriptions of Philip were formulated by Demosthenes80 and even by Aischines at the beginning of his political career.81

Evaluation of the categorical evidence

Thus far we have set out the evidence to be derived from ancient traditions, testimonia and opinions concerning the nationality of the Macedonians or, more specifically, of the Macedonian royal family, distinguishing between that which expresses a definite view, whether for or against the idea that they were Greeks, and that which is inconclusive or inconsistent (see page 49). We shall now attempt to evaluate the former, with a view to seeing which of it is credible and which is not.

1) Traditions. Amongst the categorical evidence, we have met one ancient tradition that connects the Macedo¬nians with the Dorians and another which traces the royal family to Argos in the Peloponnese. The former contains a kernel of truth that is a synopsis of events earlier than the middle of the thirteenth century. From this it can be deduced indirectly, but with certainty, that the Macedo¬nians, like the Dorians, were Greeks (see page 49). The opinions of historians are divided on the second tradition: some accept that it reflects a historical memory, while others believe that it arose from the circumstance that the Temenids who ruled in Macedonia had the same name as the royal house of the Argives, and explain this fact in terms of the presence of a Macedonian element amongst the Dorians. The first view founders on the phenomenon to be observed in early societies whereby the royal family emerged from within the ranks of the tribe. The second view, on the contrary, is consistent with the thesis that the Dorians were in part descended from Macedonians. The Temenids of Macedonia will have been part of that branch of the original tribe that did not move southwards, while the Temenids of Argos will have been descended from a branch that migrated from the Pindos to central Greece where, with other groups, it helped to form the Dorian peo¬ple.

2) The official Macedonian view. In official docu¬ments of Alexander the Great and Philip V, Macedonia is described as a Greek country; in the first of them, moreover, Alexander represents himself as the avenger of the evils wrought by the Persians both in Macedonia and in the rest of Greece; and an ambassador of Philip V classifies the Macedonians with the Greeks in contradistinction with 'foreigners' (αλλοεθνείς) and 'barbarians' (βάρβαροι) (see page 49). The Macedonian kings, therefore, although they believed that they had a different ancestry from their subjects, did not consider themselves to be ruling outside Greece, or over a people foreign to the Greeks.

3) External Testimonia. The rest of the evidence cited above consists of testimonia about the Macedonians deriving from external observers. By their very nature, these are less valuable as evidence than a genuine tradition recalling that a branch of the Macedonians had made its contribution to the formation of the Greek tribe of the Dorians, or the official Macedonian view. Let us examine them in their own right, however, as though we did not have more reliable evidence at our disposal.

The external testimonia fall into two conflicting groups. A Persian inscription of 513 B.C., the representation of Makedon as son of Aiolos in a fragment of Hellanikos, the speeches of Agelaos and Lykiskos, and a number of passages in other authors and a decree of the Ephesians af¬ford evidence in support of the thesis that the Macedonians were Greeks (see page 49). In contrast, Thucydides, the unknown author of the Peri Politeias, Isokrates, Medeios, Ephoros, Pseudo-Skylax, Dionysios son of Kalliphon and Dionysios Periegetes, all depict the Macedonians as non-Greeks, or Macedonia as a non-Greek country (see page 49). The passages in the orators that portray Archelaos and Philip II as barbarians point in the same direction (see page 52). In which of the two groups should we place our trust? The Persian inscription is an early and direct piece of evidence. The earliest of the authors of the first group is the sole writer who knew the Macedonians at first hand: he resided at the court of Amyntas I, some time before the middle of the fifth century B.C.82 He himself, as a native of Mytilene, spoke Aiolic, and recognized in the Macedonian language a dialect resembling his own: it was for this reason that he made Makedon son of Aiolos. On the other hand, it is interesting that one of the authors in the second group, Ephoros, refers to the Pamphylians as barbarians83 though they were in fact Greeks. This demonstrates that some Greeks came close to being thought barbarians by their fellow Greeks. The backward institutions and coarseness of the Macedonians will have been among the reasons why they seemed to other Greeks to be barbarians. The rhetorical apostrophes of Thrasymachos and Demosthenes should, a fortiori, be considered unreliable: the former was attempting to arouse the people of Larisa, the latter the Athenians, to resist the Macedonian kings, and they described them as barbarians in spite of the fact that they had officially and widely been recognized as Greeks.84 The rhetorical accusations that they were 'barbarians' made not against the Macedonians but against their kings, refer in any case to court scandals, or to the incontinence and violence of the rulers (cf. Plato on Archelaos and Theopompos85 and other authors on Philip.).

4) Conclusion. The hypothesis that the Macedonians were Greeks is supported by all the reliable evidence: the ancient tradition that the Dorians were descended from a section of the Macedonians; the view the Macedonian kings held about themselves; and the testimony of Hellanikos, who lived at the Macedonian court. All the testimonia that contradict this view are external and derive either from observers who might have been mistaken, or from enemies of the Macedonians.


Saturday, October 31, 2009

Oliver Masson as regards the ancient Macedonian Language

source: The Oxford Companion to Classical Civilization, Simon Hornblower & Antony Spawforth 1998 p 438

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Yaunã takabara and the ancient Macedonians

by Demetrius E. Evangelides, Ethnologist

Recent research has provided unambiguous details concerning the ethnological classification of the ancient Macedonians, including from another source that lies outside the Greek world, which removes all doubt that had existed concerning the Hellenic nature of this nation. The unexpectedness of this source is certainly the fact that it comes from the Persian Empire – the Persians, the relentless enemies of the Greeks during antiquity.

North of the ruins of Persepolis, the capital of the Achaemenian Dynasty of the Persian Empire, at a distance of about 5 kilometers lies the site Naqsh-I Rustam (i.e. the reliefs of the [mythical hero] Rustam) where are to be found the tombs of Darius I (521-486 B.C.), his son Xerxes (486-465) and two more kings (Artaxerxes I and Darius II) cut into the rock, as well as eight other reliefs from the period of the Sassanids (the dynasty that ruled the Iranian plateau - after the Parthians - between 224 and 651 A.D. and is known for its wars against the Byzantines.

Tomb of Darius at Naqsh-I Rustam

The Tomb of Darius at Naqsh-I Rustam

The façade of the tomb of Darius I has the shape of a cross (see the photograph) with the entrance to the tomb at the center, while above is a monumental relief showing Darius I who is praying at an altar of the supreme god of the Persians, Ohrmazd (Ahuramazda) on top of a base that is supported by 28 different subject peoples of the Persian Empire. An inscription at the upper right corner (see the photograph), known to archaeologists as DNa (i.e. Darius Naqsh [inscription] a), names those peoples, and presents Darius as a reverent and strong leader. Another inscription in the central part of the "cross", which consists of a representation of the southern entrance of the palaces of Persepolis, known as DNb, comprises the famous "Will" of Darius I, a copy of which is also – lightly adapted – on the façade of the tomb of Xerxes, known as XPl.

Inscription where Macedonians are called Greeks (DNa)

The inscription with the subject peoples (DNa)

The text is written in the ancient Persian language (Old Persian) in a script inspired by the Sumerian-Akkadian cuneiform script, but with simpler characters. As it has been maintained (see especially D.T. Potts: The Archaeology of Elam, 1999, p. 317) this first Persian script was created on purpose by Darius I for the texts of the famous inscription of Behistun. This script is syllabic consisting of only 36 symbols and also preserved four ideograms representing the words "King", "Country", "Province", and "Ahuramazda" (the supreme god in the Iranian Pantheon). The script was written from left to right, and is known as the "Syllabic System of Persepolis" (see image), and was used from the 6th to the 4th century B.C. for the monumental inscriptions of the Achaemenian Kings. After the kingship of Artaxerxes III (359/8-338 B.C.), inscriptions in the "Persepolis" script are completely lacking and after the dissolution of the Persian Empire by Alexander the Great, this script was not used again, given its connections with the previous regime (see Charles Higounet, Η γραφή Athens 1964, pp. 37-38).

Syllabic System of Persepolis

The Syllabic System of Persepolis

In the aforementioned inscription DNa that lists the subject peoples, we read the following:

. . . King Darius says: By the favor of Ahuramazda these are the countries which I seized outside of Persia; I ruled over them; they bore tribute to me; they did what was said to them by me; they held my law firmly. (These countries are:) Media, Elam, Parthia, Areia, Baktria, Sogdia, Chorasmia, Drangiana, Arachosia, Sattagydia, Gandara, India, the Skythians who drink (the sacred drink) haoma, the Skythians with pointed caps, Babylonia, Assyria, Arabia, Egypt, Armenia, Kappodokia, Lydia, the Ionians (Greeks of Asia Minor), the Skythians across the sea (on the shores of the Black Sea), Thrace, the Greeks who wear shieldlike headcoverings, the Libyans, the Nubians, the people of Maka and the Carians . . .

Inscription on the tomb of Darius I (DNa)

The Inscription on the tomb of Darius I (DNa)

In the above text, with the enumeration of the subject peoples we see that they include the Greek colonists of Asia Minor who are called in ancient Persian Yaunã (i.e. Ionians), a name for the Greeks that will subsequently be spread to all the peoples of the East. These Yaunã – Ionians (=Greeks) are referred to for the first time in a catalogue of subject peoples in the famous monumental inscription of Darius I at Behistun which we mentioned earlier (for details of the inscriptions see D. E. Evangelides, Λεξικό των Λαών του Αρχαίου Κόσμου, ΚΥΡΟΜΑΝΟΣ Thessaloniki 2006, under "Persians.")

But in the cited text in ancient Persian of Naqsh-I Rustam, some people described as Yaunã takabara (i.e. Greeks with shieldlike headcoverings) are mentioned. Who are these Greeks? We should mention that the inscription of Behistun is to be dated around 520 B.C. when Darius I swallowed the wave of rebellions which broke out during his ascension to the Persian throne and thus stabilized his power. In 513/2 B.C. Darius I undertook the well-known (thanks to Herodotus) "Skythian campaign” with which he took over Thrace (Skudra), the northern Greek region (i.e. Macedonia) and the regions around the mouth of the Danube where certain Skythian tribes lived (i.e. the across the sea Skythians).

It is thus determined that the mysterious Yaunã takabara or Greeks with shieldlike headcoverings were none other than the ancient Macedonians and the relevant facts of the submission by Amyntas I, father of Alexander I, are recorded by Herodotus (5.18-21).

Thus for the Persians the Macedonians were Greeks (same language, same customs and same habits) and were therefore included within the Yaunã, but they separated from the other Greeks of Asia Minor, who were also subjects, because of the fact that they inhabited the European side of the Aegean and in order to distinguish them they were called after a characteristic, the type of head coverings they wore. We see that the same was done with the Skythians (Sakas in the Persian language) who are distinguished into those manufacturing / drinking the sacred drink haoma (Sakã haumavargã), nomads to the north of Sogdia and the Iaxartes River (=Syr Darya), and into those other Sakas (i.e. Skythians in Greek) who wore "pointy caps" (Sakã tigraxaudã) and live between the Caspian Sea and the Aral Sea, and finally into the Skythians who lived across the sea (Sakã tyaiy paradraya) whom the Persians encountered in the area at the mouth of the Danube. In addition, the Macedonians wore a characteristic headcovering called the kausia (Polybios 4.4-5, Arrian, Anabasis 7.22) that distinguished them from the rest of the Greeks. [The word kausia comes from the Greek root καύσ- from which καύση, καύσων =heat]. For that reason the Persians called them Yaunã takabara; i.e. "Greeks with shieldlike headcoverings." The Macedonian cap was very different form the headcovering that the Greeks of Asia Minor wore, and that detail was used by the Persians to distinguish between their Greek subjects.

Coin of Alexander I with a horseman wearing the Macedonian kausia

Coin of Alexander I with a horseman wearing the Macedonian kausia.

The fact that completely proves the above analysis is that it comes also from a source foreign to the Greeks. In the inscription mentioned above from the Naqsh-I Rustam tomb of Xerxes, it is to be noted that in the catalogue of subject peoples there are missing the Yaunã takabara which agrees with everything we know from historical sources. After their failure to conquer Greece and after the battle of Plateia (479 B.C.) the Persians withdrew from their European holdings, and therefore from Macedonia. It was thus impossible at the time of the death of Xerxes (465 B.C.) to include the Yaunã takabara or Macedonians as subjects of the Persian Empire.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

MACEDONIA ARCHITECTURE Fragments ~ Large Art Print

DESCRIPTION OF PRINT SUBJECT: The lack of durable materials and constant human occupation of the sites has prevented the conservation of much of the architecture of the early years of life in Macedonia. The temples (Therme, Neapolis) and public buildings (Aigai, Pella) follow the architectural trends of southern Greece, in particular of the Ionic colonies and the Aegean islands. The selectivity and originality with which features borrowed from the Ionic and Doric styles are combined and incorporated are characteristic of the public buildings erected in the ancient and new walled cities of the Macedonian kingdom. In the Hellenistic period palaces, sanctuaries, theaters, gymnasia, and baths, where the use of stucco and decorative detail is extensive, are incorporated in the town-plan. The improvement of the socio-political and economic conditions is attested in the splendid private houses and monumental tombs. In Roman times, the concept of architecture on a big scale led to the reconstruction or erection of large buildings of a public nature in the populous cities, such as Thessalonike.

The most representative examples of palace architecture in Greece are the palaces of Vergina (ancient Aigai) and Pella. The residential apartments of the palace at Vergina (350-325 BC) are disposed around a peristyle (central columned courtyard), while at Pella (mid-4th century BC) the ensemble consists of connected self-contained units forming suites around a peristyle and having access to a monumental gateway. Theaters, which often belonged to the same building project, were built near the palaces. At the time of the Successors and of the Antigonids, these building complexes underwent modifications and additions. In Thessalonike, the Galerian complex of the Roman period (early 4th century AD) is a unique example of combined royal residence, administrative-military center and Hippodrome. At that period new theaters (Dion) and odea were built and the older ones reconstructed in order to accommodate the contemporary requirements of theatrical performances and games.

The numerous sanctuaries of the Macedonian cities (Dion, Thessalonike, Pella, Amphipolis, Edessa) were either scattered about the city or concentrated in its religious center. The absence of their architectural remains is due to the lack of resistant building materials (such as marble) for the construction of monuments. In sanctuaries built of plastered limestone blocks and unbaked bricks, Zeus, Athena, Demeter, Dionysos, Artemis, Aphrodite, Asklepios, Herakles, and the Muses -- among others -- were worshipped under a variety of epithets. In the Hellenistic period the cult of various eastern deities, such as Serapis and Isis, was also introduced. To these divinities were added under the Romans the deified emperors (at Beroia, Thasos, Philippi). The cult of autochthonous gods was often combined with that of eastern deities in shrines containing small 'oikoi' (Dion, sacred precint of Isis).

BACKGROUND HISTORY ON PRINT : Louis XIV, the King of France, was a generous patron of the arts. During his long reign (1643-1715), he sought to raise standards of taste and sophistication in the Arts and so a number of royal academies were founded, including the Academy of Painting and Sculpture (1648), the Academie de France in Rome (1663) and the foundation of the Academie royale d'Architecture (1671). This formalized a system for the training of French architects and by elevating artisans to academicians, the power of the medieval guilds was eroded and centered instead on the patronage of the king. Subsidized by the state, the Academy of Architecture was free to those, aged fifteen to thirty, who could pass the entrance examinations. By the nineteenth century, students were obliged to complete a number of increasingly demanding concours or competitions, the most prestigious of which was the Grand Prix de Rome, a rigorous annual examination (a first competition was in 1702, then 1720, then yearly) that provided the winner advanced study at the French Academy in Rome at the Villa Medici, where classical antiquities could be seen first hand. Although drawings of ancient classical ornament had been made for generations before the winners of the Grand Prix de Rome were sent to the Villa Medici, these young French students were the first to go about the work systematically. The drawings were limited to, and solidly based on, carefully studied remains. Further, their presentation in formal academic renderings offers more information than could possibly be supplied even by a large number of photographs. Each year, for the four or five years they were in Rome, the students, supported financially with pensions, (hence their name of pensionnaires) were required to produce two sets of drawings, or envois, of Rome's ancient and medieval monuments: the état actuel, which was an exacting representation of the extant state, documenting the site with the precision of an archaeologist, and the état restauré, a more imaginary and often idealized restoration including the rendering of shade and shadow, which was accompanied by a written description of the monument's antiquity and construction. The artists progress usually was from a study of architectural ornaments and fragments gradually moving towards study and design of whole architectural ruins or sites. The series of prints presented here are those of the artist's earlier years when they focused on the details of architectural ornament.

The drawings submitted for the annual Grand Prix de Rome were on themes chosen by the Academy. The subjects set are indeed grand in scale and often in reach: triumphal arches (1730, 1747, 1763), palaces (1752, 1772, 1791, 1804, 1806), city squares and markets (1733, 1792, 1801), town halls (1742, 1787, 1813), law courts (1782, 1821) museums (1779) and educational institutions including libraries (1775, 1786, 1789, 1800, 1807, 1811, 1814, 1815, 1820) - all schemes for the promotion of civilization as the ancients would have understood the term. Stylistically, the entries usually share common characteristics: a grand Roman manner, with columns and orders, vaults and polychromy; an insistent and regular geometry, usually the square or the circle but sometimes the triangle; a penchant for the hemicycle, the propylaea and the pyramid; and finally a desire to impress by symmetry and the contrast between plain and decorated surfaces. These drawings first were shown in Rome at the French Academy and then were forwarded to Paris to be shown to the members of the Academie des Beaux Arts, one of the constituent bodies of the Institut de France, which was responsible for the Rome Academy. They were also exhibited to the public in Paris. Hector D'Espouy (1854-1929) won the Grand Prix de Rome in 1884, and after four years as a student at the Villa Medici, followed by several years of travel in Italy and Greece, as well as commissions for murals, he returned to the school that educated him in 1895 as the Professor of Ornamental Design at the Ecole Des Beaux Arts. It was in this role for the next several years that he amassed a large collection of the work of the students in Rome and the prints here are the best examples of this work.

Appreciation of these drawings cannot be complete without some explanation of the technique of India Ink wash rendering. Extreme discipline is required to produce these finely studied works of art. Even the simplest drawings require painstaking care and preparation before any of the washes are applied. Great skill is required to do the neccesary linework. All of the information must be recorded before tone is even thought about. The drawing is then meticulously transferred in ink to the watercolor paper and the paper mounted on a board. The rendering itself requires infinite care and patience. Each tone is built up through many faint layers of wash so that the ink seems to be in the paper rather than on it. Each surface is graded so that the final effect of the drawing is that of an object in light and space, with a sense of atmosphere surrounding it.

by Kostas K.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

ALEXANDER THE GREAT:Opening Up The World * Asia's Cultures in Transition

Mannheim, Germany
October 3, 2009 to February 21, 2010

The exhibit follows the path of the Macedon King all the way to Central Asia and brings to life the cultural, economic, and social changes that were radically triggered in his passing. It shows how Alexander's campaign gave impetus to the process of Hellenization and the spreading of Greek culture. The exhibit is a collaboration of renowned museums from Europe and Central Asia. Many items on display will be presented to the public for the very first time.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Friday, October 02, 2009

German museum man says Alexander the Great was mainly Greek

Mannheim, Germany -
The head of a German museum which is set to show an exhibition about Alexander the Great weighed into a dispute between Skopje and Athens on Friday, saying the ancient leader had been predominantly Greek.

The modern state of Macedonia, where the main language is a Slavic one, claims the heritage of ancient Macedonia.

'Alexander was predominantly Greek and definitely not an ancestor of contemporary Slavic Macedonians,' said Alfried Wieczorek, head of the Reiss-Engelhorn Museums in the southern German city of Mannheim.

The exhibition devoted to the ancient general and ruler, who lived from 356 to 323 BC, opens on Saturday and runs till February 21.

For two decades, Athens has been objecting to its northern neighbour calling itself Macedonia. Skopje has named its airport after Alexander and insists on having Alexander's 'star of Vergina' symbol on its coat of arms.

In an interview with the German Press Agency dpa, Wieczorek said, 'The latest research shows very clearly yet again that the Macedonians in the days of Alexander were closely related to the contemporary Greeks.'

He added, 'In antiquity, Greeks and Macedonians could interact because they spoke the same language.'

Athens has been insisting that the name Macedonia can only been applied to a province in its own north.

The country of Macedonia became independent in 1991 when Yugoslavia split up. The name issue has held up efforts to bring the new country into NATO and into formal assocation with the European Union.

The museum director referred to findings that its population of 2 million, one quarter of them Albanian speakers and three quarters Slavic speakers, are descended from people who immigrated in the 6th century of the modern era, long after Alexander's death.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Villages, Cities and Ethne in Upper Macedonia

by Miltiadis Hatzopoulos

Villages, Cities and Ethne in Upper Macedonia

Taliban targets descendants of Alexander the Great

For centuries, the blond-haired, blue-eyed people of the Kalash tribes of North West Pakistan have lived a libertine lifestyle.

By Dean Nelson in New Delhi and Emal Khan in Peshawar
Published: 6:48PM BST 21 Sep 2009

The group, believed to be descendants of Alexander the Great's invading army, were shielded from conservative Islam by the steep slopes of their remote valleys.
While Sikhs, Hindus, and Christians were slowly driven out of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province by Muslim militants, the Kalash were free to drink their own distilled spirits and smoke cannabis.

But the militant maulanas of the Taliban have finally caught up with them and declared war on their culture and heritage by kidnapping their most devoted supporter.

Taliban commanders have taken Professor Athanasion Larounis, a Greek aid worker who has generated £2.5 million in donations to build schools, clinics, clean water projects and a museum.
They are now demanding £1.25 million and the release of three militant leaders in exchange for his safe return.

According to local police, it was Professor Larounis's dedication to preserving Kalasha culture that Taliban commanders in Nuristan, on the Afghan side of the border that made him a target.
Confirmation of the Taliban's role in his kidnapping came as their leader Mullah Omar urged American and Nato leaders to learn from the history of Alexander the Great's invasion of Afghanistan and his defeat by Pushtun tribesmen in the 4BC.

He was kidnapped on Sep 8, when five masked Taliban broke into the three storey museum where he was living, killed a policeman guarding the building, tied a teacher to a post and grabbed the professor from his bed.

Ajmeer Kalash, a Kalash teacher who witnessed the incident, said he had saved his own life by pretending to be a Muslim.

"I did not understand their language and they did not understand mine. I tried to make them understand in Urdu language that I'm a teacher at the school."

He said the men asked for his religion and "I told them that I'm a Muslim by reciting Kalma, though I'm a Kalash."

"They brought out the Greek national and they opened fire at his police guard. The policeman died on the spot. They took me and the Greek citizen to the forest. There they tied my hands to a tree and left me there and went away," he said.

Locals said the professor had been visiting the area since 1994 when he first came as a tourist and fell in love with the area's unique culture and its people's links to his own in Greece and Macedonia.

Today there are an estimated 3,000 Kalasha left in three remote and steep valleys in Chitral in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province. The children wear their hair in orthodox Jewish-style ringlets and sport bright coloured topi hats. The women occasionally have tattooed faces, wear long black robes with coloured embroidery.

The Kalash are known as 'Black Kafirs' to local Muslims who regard them, and their women in particular, as immoral. They are scornful of their festivals and rituals, which include a rite of passage in which a prepubescent boy is fattened in the mountains over a summer and then when he returns is allowed to have sex with any woman he chooses.
Married Kalash women are able to elope with other men if the object of their desire accepts a written proposal and agrees to may double her dowry to the abandoned husband – often in cows.

Professor Larounis, who is believed to have been living in the Kalash Valleys with his wife, had generated around two and a half million pounds in aid for 20 projects in the Kalash Valleys, including clean water schemes, and the museum in Broon village in Bumburet.
Since his kidnapping Kalash women have demonstrated for his release, while elders have travelled to Nuristan to try to negotiate with his kidnappers.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Greeks V Hellenes

We have heard many times from those that support the non Greekness of the Hellenic Macedonians that the ancient writers segregated them from the others Hellenes.
This is true but......
The ancient writers using to segerate them not only the Macedonians but also the Athenians, Spartans, Ionians e.t.c. Below some examples of ancient Greek tribes or cities occasionally or repeatedly juxtaposed to "the Hellenes». I don’t not include the Macedonians because the Slavmacedonians of the FYROM work "hard" for this in order to support the theory that there are descents from them.


  • "...the Lacedaimonians, fearful lest Themistokles should devise some great evil against them and the Hellenes, honoured him with double the numbers of gifts..." [Diodoros Sikeliotis 11.27.3]
  • "In this year (475 BCE) the Lacedaimonians... were resentful; consequently they were incensed at the Hellenes who had fallen away from them and continued to threaten them with the appropriate punishment." [Diodoros Sikeliotis11.50.1]
  • "In a single battle the Peloponnesians and their allies may be able to defy all the Hellenes, but they can not carry a whole war..." [Thukydides 1.141; Oration of Pericles]
  • "When the Eleians not only paid no heed to them [the Lacedaimonians] but even accused them besides of enslaving the Hellenes, they dispatched Pausanias, the other of the two kings, against them with 4,000 soldiers." [Diodoros Sikeliotis 14.17.6]
  • "But Pausanias, the king of the Lakedaimonians, being jealous of Lysandros and observing that Sparta was in ill repute among the Hellenes, marched forth with a strong army and on his arrival in Athens brought about a reconciliation between the men of the city and the exiles. [Diodoros Sikeliotis14.33.6]
  • "He says... the Lacedaimonians... gave to the Hellenes to taste the sweet drink of freedom..." [Plutarch, Lysandros 13]
  • "Agesilaos was accused... that he exposed the city (Sparta) as an accomplice in the crimes against the Hellenes." [Plutarch, Agesilaos 26]
  • "...the Lacedaimonians, who were hard put to it by the double war, that against the Hellenes and that against the Persians, dispatched their admiral Antalkidas to Artaxerxes to treat for peace." [Diodoros Sikeliotis 14.110.2]
  • "The Lacedaimonians... used their allies roughly and harshly, stirring up, besides, unjust and insolent wars against the Hellenes,..." [Diodoros Sikeliotis 15.1.3]
  • "At this time the kings of the Lacedaimonians were at variance with each other on matters of policy. Agesipolis, who was a peaceful and just man and, furthermore, excelled in wisdom, declared that they should abide by their oaths and not enslave the Hellenes contrary to the common agreements." [Diodoros Sikeliotis 15.16.4]
  • "Thus, the Hellenes were wondering what the state of the Lacedaimonian army would be had it been commanded by Agesilaos or... the old Leonidas." [Plutarch, Agis 14]
  • "Even though the Lacedaimonians had combated the Hellenes many times only one of their kings had ever died in action..." [Plutarch, Agis 21]


  • "When the estrangement which had arisen between the Athenians and the Hellenes became noised abroad, there came to Athens ambassadors from the Persians and from the Hellenes. [Diodoros Sikeliotis 11.28.1]
  • "...the Hellenes gathered in congress decreed to make common cause with the Athenians and advanced to Plataia in a body..." [Diodoros Sikeliotis 11.29.1]
  • "He soothed the Athenians' pride by promising them... that the Hellenes would accept their leadership..." [Plutarch, Themistokles 7]
  • "...the Athenians, because of their policy of occupying with colonists the lands of those whom they subdued, had a bad reputation with the Hellenes;..." [Diodoros Sikeliotis 15.23.4]
  • "And we decided upon a twofold revolt, from the Hellenes and the Athenians, not to aid the latter in harming the former... " [Thukydides, 3.13; Oration of the Mytilenaians]
  • "When the Athenians attacked the Hellenes, they, the Plataians... Atticized. [Thukydides, 3.62; Theban Accusations]
  • "The Athenians... by this denerous act they recovered the goodwill of the Hellenes and made their own leadership more secure." [Diodoros Sikeliotis 15.29.8]
  • "And this was the first naval victory that the city (Athens) had against the Hellenes, after the destruction." [Plutarch, Phokion 6]

Hellenes of Asia Minor, the Aegean islands, Crete, Cyprus, Central Greece, the Ionian Land :

  • "The Athenians... reasoned that, if the Ionians were given new homes by the Hellenes acting in common they would no longer look upon Athens as their mother-city." [Diodoros Sikeliotis 11.37.3]
  • "...and as for the Hellenes, they were emboldened by the promise of the Ionians, and... came down eagerly in a body from Salamis to the shore in preparation for the sea- battle." [Diodoros Sikeliotis 11.17.4]
  • "Now the Samians and Milesians had decided unanimously beforehand to support the Hellenes..." [Diodoros Sikeliotis 11.36.2]
  • "...although the Ionians thought that the Hellenes would be encouraged, the result was the very opposite." [Diodoros Sikeliotis 11.36.2]
  • "When the Samians and Milesians put in their appearance, the Hellenes plucked up courage,... and Aiolians participated in the battle,..." [Diodoros Sikeliotis 11.36.4-5]
  • "When the Aiolians and Ionians had heard these promises, they resolved to take the advice of the Hellenes..." [Diodoros Sikeliotis 11.37.2]
  • "The Cretans, when the Hellenes sent to ask aid from them... acted as follows..." [Herodotos 7.169]
  • "The King (of Persia), now that his difference with the Hellenes was settled, made ready his armament for the war against Cyprus. For Evagoras had got possession of almost the whole of Cyprus and gathered strong armaments, because (king) Artaxerxes was distracted by the war against the Hellenes." [Diodoros Sikeliotis 14.110.5]
  • "The Lokrians... when they learned that Leonidas had arrived at Thermopylai, changed their minds and went over to the Hellenes." [Diodoros Sikeliotis 11.4.6]
  • "Now the Phokians had chosen the cause of the Hellenes, but seeing that they were unable to offer resistance... fled for safety to the rugged regions about Mount Parnassos." [Diodoros Sikeliotis 11.14.1]
  • "The Thebans, anticipating the arrival of a large army from Hellas to aid the Lacedaimonians [controlling the citadel of Thebes, the Kadmeia], dispatched envoys to Athens to remind them... and to request them to come with all their forces and assist them in reducing the Kadmeia before the arrival of the Lacedaimonians." [Diodoros Sikeliotis 15.25.4]
  • "All the Hellenes gladly received the proposal [of Artaxerxes, the Persian King], and all the cities agreed to a general peace except Thebes; for the Thebans alone, being engaged in bringing Boiotia under a single confederacy, were not admitted by the Hellenes because of the general determination to have the oaths and treaties made city by city." [Diodoros Sikeliotis 15.50.4]
  • "Since the Lacedaimonians made peace with all the Hellenes, they were in war only with the Thebans..." [Plutarch, Pelopidas 20]
  • "... the recorders of the Amphictyons [the hieromnemones] brought charges against the Phokians and... if they did not obey, they should incur the common hatred of the Hellenes." [Diodoros Sikeliotis 16.23.3]
  • "And Gelon replied with vehemence: `Hellenes,... you exhort me to join in league with you against the barbarian...' [Herodotos, 7.157]
  • "Gelon [the ruler of the Hellenic city of Syrakousai]... was making ready... to join the Hellenes in the war against the Persians." [Diodoros Sikeliotis 11.26.4]
  • "This is how they (Kerkyraians) eluded the reproaches of the Hellenes. [Herodotos, 7.168]