Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Quintus Curtius Rufus and Macedonia

Quintus Curtius Rufus was a Roman historian. It is generally thought that he has written his works during the reign of the Emperor Claudius (41-54 AD) or Vespasian. His only surviving work, Historiae Alexandri Magni, is a biography of Alexander the Great in Latin in ten books, of which the first two are lost, and the remaining eight are incomplete. His work is fluidly written, but reveals ignorance of geography, chronology and technical military knowledge, focusing instead on character.

“They recalled that at the start of his reign Darius had issued orders for the shape of the scabbard of the Persian scimitar to be altered to the shape used by the Greeks, and that the Chaldeans had immediately interpreted this as meaning that rule over the Persians would pass to those people whose arms Darius had copied.“
(Quintus Curtius Rufus 3.3.6)

“and he [alexander] demonstrated the strength of his contempt for the barbarians by celebrating games in honour of Aesclepius and Athena.”
(Curtius Rufus 3, 7, 3)

“About this time there took place the traditional Isthmian games, which the whole of Greece gathers to celebrate. At this assembly the Greeks - political trimmers by temperament - determined that fifteen ambassadors be sent to the king to offer him a victory-gift of a golden crown in honour of his achievements on behalf of the security and freedom of Greece.”
(Curtius Rufus 4, 5, 11)

“they also occupied Tenedos and had decided to seize Chios at the invitation of its inhabitants.”
(Curtius Rufus 4, 5, 14)

“Then Alexander’s horses dragged him around the city while the king gloated at having followed the example of his ancestor Achilles in punishing his enemy.”
(Curtius Rufus 4,6.29)

” Moreover, as a reward for their exceptional loyalty to him, Alexander reimbursed the people of Mitylene for their war expenses and also added a large area to their territories.”
(Curtius Rufus 4.8.13)

” Furthemore, appropriate honours were accorded the kings of Cyprus who had defected to him from Darius and sent him a fleet during his assault on Tyre.”
(Curtius Rufus 4.8.14)

“Amphoterus, the admiral of the fleet, was then sent to liberate Crete, most of which was occupied by both Persian and Spartan armies”
(Curtius Rufus 4.8. 15)

“For his part Alexander responded much like this:‘His majesty Alexander to Darius: Greetings. The Darius whose name you have assumed wrought much destruction upon the Greek inhabitants of the Hellespontine coast and upon the Greek colonies of Ionia, and the crossed the sea with a mighty army, bringing the war to Macedonia and Greece. On another occasion Xerxes, a member of the same family, came with his savage barbarian troops, and even when beaten in a naval engagement he still left Mardonius in Greece so that he could destroy our cities and burn our fields though absent himself.”
(Quintus Curtius Rufus 4.1.10)

“Mutiny was but a step away when, unperturbed by all this, Alexander summoned a full meeting of his generals and officers in his tent and ordered the Egyptian seers to give their opinion. They were well aware that the annual cycle follows a pattern of changes, that the moon is eclipsed when it passes behind the earth or is blocked by the sun, but they did not give this explanation, which they themselves knew, to the common soldiers. Instead, they declared that the sun represented the Greeks and the moon the Persians, and that an eclipse of the moon predicted disaster and slaughter for those nations.”
(Quintus Curtius Rufus 4.10.1)

“Alexander called a meeting of his generals the next day. He told them that no city was more hateful to the Greeks than Persepolis, the capital of the old kings of Persia, the city from which troops without number had poured forth, from which first Darius and then Xerxes had waged an unholy war on Europe. To appease the spirits of their forefathers they should wipe it out, he said.”
(Quintus Curtius Rufus 5.6.1)

“One of the latter was Thais. She too had had too much to drink, when she claimed that, if Alexander gave the order to burn the Persian palace, he would earn the deepest gratitude among all the Greeks. This was what the people whose cities the Persians had destroyed were expecting she said. As the drunken whore gave her opinion on a matter of extreme importance, one or two who were themselves the worse for drink agreed with her. the king, too, was enthusiastic rather than acquiescent.“Why do we not avenge Greece, then and put the city to the torch?” he asked.”
(Quintus Curtius Rufus 5. 7. 3)

“From here he now moved into Media, where he was met by fresh reinforcement from Cilicia: 5,000 infantry and 1,000 cavalry, both under the command of the Athenian Plato. His forces thus augmented. Alexander determined to pursue Darius”
(Quintus Curtius Rufus 5. 7. )

As for Alexander, it is generally agreed that, when sleep had brought him back to his senses after his drunken bout, he regretted his actions and said that the Persians would have suffered a more grievous punishment at the hands of the Greeks had they been forced to see him on Xerxes’ throne and in his palace.”
(Quintus Curtius Rufus 5.7.11)

“He did not want her tainting the character and civilized temperament of the Greeks with this example of barbarian lawlessness“ “Alexander advanced from there to the river Tanais, where Bessus was brought to him, not only in irons but entirely stripped of his clothes. Spitamenes held him with a chain around his neck, a sight that afforded as much pleasure to the barbarians as to the Macedonians.”
(Curtius Rufus 7.5.36)

” Meanwhile a group of Macedonians had gone off to forage out of formation and were suprised by some Barbarians who came rushing down on them from the neighbouring mountains.”
(Curtius Rufus 7.6.1)

“Menedemus himself, riding an extremely powerful horse, had repeatedly charged at full gallop into the barbarians’ wedge-shaped contingents, scattering them with great carnage.”
(Curtius Rufus 7.6.35)

“In pursuit of Bessus the Macedonians had arrived at a small town inhabited by the Branchidae who, on the orders of Xerxes, when he was returning from Greece, had emigrated from Miletus and settled in this spot. This was necessary because, to please Xerxes, they had violated the temple called the Didymeon. The culture of their forebears had not yet disappeared thought they were now bilingual and the foreign tongue was gradually eroding their own. So it was with great joy that they welcomed Alexander, to whom they surrendered themselves and their city. Alexander called a meeting of the Milesians in his force, for the Milesians bore a long-standing grudge against the Branchidae as a clan. Since they were the people betrayed by the Branchidae, Alexander let them decide freely on their case, asking if they preferred to remember their injury or their common origins. But when there was a difference of opinion over this, he declared that he would himself consider the best course of action. When the Branchidae met him the next day, he told them to accompany him. On reaching the city, he himself entered through the gate with a unit of light-armed troops.
The phalanx had been ordered to surround the city walls and, when the signal was given, to sack this city which provided refuge for traitors, killing the inhabitants to a man. The Branchidae, who were unarmed, were butchered throughout the city, and neither community of language nor the olive-branches and entreaties of the suppliants could curb the savagery. Finally the Macedonians dug down to the foundations of the city walls in order to demolish them and leave not a single trace of the city.”
“The gist of the passage was that the Greeks had established a bad practice in inscribing their trophies with only their kings’ names, for the kings’ were thus appropriating to themselves glory that was won by the blood of others.”
(Quintus Curtius Rufus 8.1.29)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The most known Pan–Hellenic Symbols of the Macedonian Kingdom.

Parts of the Phillip ivory shield that found in Vergina Tomb. You can see clearly the two Pan-Hellenic symbols: The 16th Sun/Star(Vergina Sun) and the Meander(Greek key). The shield itself can be found in the museum of Vergina in Central Macedonia of Greece.

Greek Sun/Star or Vergina Sun/Star

There are many other symbols with the Rayed Star as an ancient Greek symbols in all centuries. The ancient Greek stars has presented from 3-rays up to 24-rays. And all rays have many shapes according to the inner meaning of it in archaeological monuments. Many ancient archaeological foundlings exists today, such as ancient Greek coins, texts, icons, emblems, tituli, ostraca, fragments, epigrammata, papyrorum, tablettes, recensios, sculpures, vases, monuments etc which has the Rayed Star symbol of the ancient Greeks on them.

Even Achilles has the rayed star on his armory and many of the ancient Greek Gods and Goddesses.

Achilles and Ajax playing dice, 6th cent, BC amphora

The symbol is the continuation of the oldest ancient Greek symbol of the Sun, which also predominated on the Acropolis of Athens.

Inside the outer wall of columns of the Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee. This «Parthenon» is a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens. It was built in 1897 as part of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition.

The Sun was also the most important symbol of the origin and continuation of all Hellenes: Arcadians, Athenians, Thessalians, Macedonians - their first God, before the Olympian Gods. The choice of this symbol was obvious and natural: one of the most vital elements on earth is the Sun - the source of life.

Many people call it “the Sun of Vergina” or the “Macedonian Star” but this is only a partial truth. This symbol has a history of more than three thousand years. It was the original logo or sign which the Proto- Hellenes used as their emblem for many centuries. The Macedonians simply continued the ancient Proto-Hellenic (Homeric) heritage or tradition of their forefathers.

From the late 17th century AD, and in particular the 18th century, classical Greek civilization began to attract the ever-growing interest, curiosity and imagination of western Europeans. One manifestation of this was the numerous “journeys of discovery” undertaken by various scholars to the soil of “rediscovered Hellas” itself, which was then still part of the Ottoman Empire. Two such individuals were the young architects James Stuart and Nicholas Revett, who in 1751 arrived in Attica and immediately set about accurately recording the architectural details of surviving buildings of classical Athens and its surroundings.

The most known Rayed Star is the ancient Greek Macedonian symbol of Vergina. The “Vergina Sun”, “Star of Vergina” or “Argead Star” is the name given to a symbol of a stylised star or sun with sixteen rays. It was unearthed in 1977 during archaeological excavations in Vergina, in the northern Greek province of Macedonia.

The star is also in tombs of the kings of the ancient kingdom of Macedon and described as the symbol variously as a "star", a "starburst" or as a "sunburst". In the well know larnax on which it appears belonged to Greek King Philip II of Macedon, the father of the Greek Alexander the Great III. The larnax is on display at the archaeological museum in Vergina, where it was found. Another version of the Vergina Sun, with 12 rays, was found on the larnax of Olympias, the mother of Alexander the Great. Only the Greeks can understand the inner esoteric hidden ancient meaning of the Rayed symbol and, in this movie a hit of it, is presented.

The Macedonian Tomb of Lyson and Kallikles at Leucadia. The tomb is dated to ca. 200 B.C. The tomb was accidentally discovered in 1942 at Leucadia Emathias and subsequently excavated by Ch. Macaronas. The results of the investigation were published in a book by his collaborator, Stella Miller, in 1993.

Depictions of Macedonian shields prove that their surface was decorated in relief. This is the case, for example, with the shields carved on the balustrade of the Alhena temple al Pergamon, where the central convex part of the shield was covered with concentric circles with patterns and an eight-ray star in the middle. One of two shields shown on the walls of the tomb of Lyson and Collides is decorated with a sixteen- raystar and similar shields occur on the walls of the Agios Athanasios tumulus (Thessaloniki) excavated in 1994 .

There is a surviving fragmentary Macedonian shield with a twelve-ray star in the centre and elements of an arch-shaped ornament and eight-ray stars around the edge ; a similarly designed silver circular applique with an eight-ray star in the middle and seven arch-shaped elements around the edge was found in tomb A at Derveni .

Meander or Greek Key

A Greek key pattern or meander, symbolizing the flow of a river, often is found in stylized form as a border decoration on rugs, ceramics, and walls. A meander is similar to the Chinese sign for "returning," thus it is also a symbol of rebirth and eternity.

About 900 B.C. a geometric rectilinear decorative style of triangles, chequers, and meanders began to dominate. These elements were organized in rows of separate bands, encircling the vase. During this period in Geometric Greece, the meander became the dominating motif on the vases. From its origin in the Palaeolithic onward the meander, a rectilinear geometric design, was symbolic of water, perhaps because of its resemblance to waves, lightening, and rivers. The meander was adapted, or perhaps reinvented and made more complex by the vase painters of Athens. Rectilinear decorations of meanders, triangles, and rectangles, soon covered the vase, like a mesh or mosaic design, becoming one with the vase itself. The shape of the vase was influenced by the design and became more sculptural and architectonic.

Archaeologists have found what we have come to call the Greek key pattern on artifacts whose dates preceded ancient Greece by thousands of years. Anthropologist Marija Gimbutas found a meander pattern on a figurine in the Ukraine that dates from 18,000 to 15,000 BCE. Many believe the root of the labyrinth pattern derives from the shifting, twisting path of the Meander River of Phrygia in the Mediterranean region of present-day Turkey.

One of the most important finds made during the Vergina excavations is the splendid Hellenistic Palace, which dates from the last 3rd of the 4th c. or the beginning of the 3rd c. BC

The enormous peristyle, which formed four great porticoes around the courtyard, consisted of 60 Doric columns. In the round chamber which Heuzey named the 'tholos') to the east of the propylon was found a dedicatory. The 5 rooms on the south side had mosaic floors, one of which - executed in pebbles - survives in excellent condition. You can see one from them with the Greek key pattern surrounding.

Finally the most important archaeological found that combine Greek Key/Meander and Sun/Star is the Ivory Shield that was found in pieces in Philip’s tomb at Vergina archaeological site. The arduous process of restoration took several years. It is a unique masterpiece of the 4th century. You can see clearly these pan–Hellenic symbols in the picture at the beginning.

1- Times of Remedies and Moon Phases by C. M. Boger, page 132
2- Sally Hutchison Ceely-Geometric Style in Art, Wisconsin Academy oj Sciences, Arts and Leiters,Vol. 71, Part 2, 1983, page 3
3- Vergina by Konstantinos Faridis, pages 33-34
4- The Way of the Labyrinth by Helen Curry, pages 21-23
5- "Vergina Sun" or the "Rays of the Sun God" ?[ http://ancient-medieval-macedonian-history.blogspot.com/2008/12/vergina-sun-or-rays-of-sun-god.html]
6- Vergina Sun, a Pan-Hellenic Symbol [http://ancient-medieval-macedonian-history.blogspot.com/2008/07/vergina-suna-pan-hellenic-symbol.html]
7- Macedonia, Stavros Theofanides, 2006
8- Andronikos, Discover the Vergina,1984

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Eugene Borza as regards Slav Macedonian and Ancient Macedonian connection.

From the book "The Eye Expanded Life and the Arts in Greco-Roman Antiquity" and the article "Macedonia Redux"

Great Alexander's dedication to Athena Polias

In 334 BC Alexander crossed the Hellespont, the narrow strait separating Europe and Asia, and went first to Troy. There he dedicated his armour to Athena and laid a wreath at the tomb of Achilles, the legendary hero and champion of the Greeks in the Trojan War. This act prefigured Alexander's role as a new Achilles liberating the Greek cities of Asia Minor from Persian rule.

Alexander the Great made a more imposing dedication to the goddess Athena, an entire temple at Priene in Asia Minor. The first part of his long journey of conquest took him through Asia Minor, where he liberated the Greek cities from Persian rule. The historian Strabo records that Alexander offered to defray the entire cost of rebuilding the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, which had been burnt down in 356 bc, on condition that the gift should be recorded by an inscription on the Temple.

There was a precedent for this since King Croesus had dedicated many of the columns of the previous temple. The Ephesians, however, declined Alexander's offer on the grounds that it was not fitting for one god to dedicate a temple to another. No ancient historian records that Alexander made a similar offer to the people of Priene, but the dedicatory inscription on the temple indicates that the offer was both made and accepted;
Βασιλεύς Αλέξανδρος \ ανέβηκε τον ναόν \ Άθηναίηι Πολιάδι
King Alexander dedicated the temple to Athena Polias

After the temple was excavated in 1869-70 by the architect-archaeologist Richard Pullan leading an expedition on behalf of the Society of Dilettanti, this block and several others from the adjacent wall were removed to London. Immediately below the dedication was inscribed a letter from Alexander granting Priene various privileges including exemption from taxes, while the rest of the wall was used for other records, forming a kind of perma­nent civic archive.

The inscription located in the British Museum and displayed in Room 78.

B.F. Cook, Greek inscriptions (London, The British Museum Press, 1987)

Friday, January 09, 2009

The Hellenicity of the “barbarian” Macedonians

Parts of the Phillip ivory shield that found in Vergina Tomb. You can see clearly the two Pan-Hellenic symbols in ancient Greece: The 16th Sun/Star(Vergina Sun) and the Meander(Greek key). The shield itself can be found in the museum of Vergina in Central Macedonia of Greece


The invention of a barbarian antitype provided a completely new mechanism for defining the Hellenic identity. During the Archaic period, Hellenic self-definition was ”aggregative”. That is to say, it was constructed by evok­ing similarities with peer groups which were then cast in terms of ficticious kin relationships within the 'Hellenic Genealogy'. Hellenicity was defined contrary through differential comparison with a barbarian out-group. At this point, however, some qualification is necessary. By oppositional self-definition, Jonathan Hall means simply that perceived differences served as a basis for the construction of a specifically Hellenic identity. [1]

Hall argues at greater length in his books and articles in the 5th century, mainly as a consequence of the Persian Wars, the definition of Greek identity evolved from an “aggregative” no inclusive conception based on fictitious descent from the eponymous Hellen and expressed in forged genealogies (which may leave outside not only Macedonians and Magnetes, but also other goups such as Arcadians or Aitolians) into an “oppositional” one, turned against out-groups, relegating thus (fictitious) community of blood to the same level –if not to an inferior one (vide infra)– as linguistic, religious and cultural criteria. (In this perspective there is not much sense in opposing a putative compact, homo­geneous and immutable “Greekness” to the contested identities of groups such as the Aitolians, Locrians, Acarnanians, Thesprotians, Molossians, Chaones, Atintanias, Parauaians Orestians, Macedonians)

The Greek tribes quickly noticed that they did not speak the same tongue as their neighbours, and used the term "βάρβαρος" ("barbarian") for them, with the meanings "uncultured", "uncivilized" or "speaker of a foreign language". The term βάρβαρος is thought to be onomatopoeic in origin: "bar-bar"—i.e. stammering—may have been how the speech of foreign peoples sounded to Greek speakers. [2]


According to several ancient writers named as barbarians all those who spoke a different tongue [Polybius, "History", 9-38-5; Strabo, "Geographica", 7-7-4; Herodotus, "Histories", book I, 56 and II, 158]

Discrimination between Hellenes and barbarians lasted until the 4th century BC. Euripides thought it plausible that Hellenes should rule over barbarians, because the first were destined for freedom and the other for slavery.[ Iphigeneia at Aulis, 1400 ]

Aristotle came to the conclusion that "the nature of a barbarian and a slave is one and the same".[Republic,I,5]

Aristophanes calls the illiterate supervisor a "barbarian" who nevertheless taught the birds how to talk.["The Birds", 199] The term eventually picked up a derogatory use and was extended to indicate the entire lifestyle of foreigners, and finally coming to mean "illiterate" or "uncivilized" in general. Thus "an illiterate man is also a barbarian".[The Clouds, 492 ]

According to Dionysius of Halicarnassus (1st cent BC), a Hellene differed from a barbarian in four ways: refined language, education, religion, and the rule of law. In more detailing defined Hellenicity yas speaking the Greek language, having a Greek way of life, acknowledging the same gods and having fitting, reasonable laws. [Roman Antiquities, 1, 89, 4]

Isocrates declared in his speech Panegyricus: "So far has Athens left the rest of mankind behind in thought and expression that her pupils have become the teachers of the world, and she has made the name of Hellas distinctive no longer of race but of intellect, and the title of Hellene a badge of education rather than of common descent."[Panegyricus, 50]

Racial differentiation faded away through the teachings of Stoics, who distinguished between nature and convention and taught that all men have equal claim before God and thus by nature cannot be unequal to each other. In time, Hellene, to use the words of Isocrates, became a trait of intellect, not race.

Alexander the Great's conquests consolidated Greek influence in the East by exporting Greek culture into Asia and permanently transformed education and society in the region.

Greek education became identified with noble upbringing. Paul of Tarsus (a non Greek) considered it his obligation to preach the Gospel to all men, "Hellenes and barbarians, both wise and foolish".[Epistle to the Romans, 1, 14 ]


The beginnings of Macedonian history are shrouded in complete darkness. There is keen controversy on the ethno­logical problem, whether the Macedonians were Greeks [3] or not [4]. Linguistic science has at its disposal a very limited quantity of Macedonian words, and the archaeological ex­ploration of Macedonia has hardly begun. And yet when we take into account the political conditions, religion and morals of the Macedonians, our conviction is strengthened that they were a Greek race and akin to the Dorians. Having stayed behind in the extreme north, they were unable to participate in the progressive civilization of the tribes which went further south, and so, when in the time of the Persian Wars they emerged on the horizon of the other Greeks, they appeared to them as non-Greeks, as barbarians.

When Alexander I of Macedon, who, though a vassal of Xerxes, had in the Persian War given many proofs of his sympathy with the Greek cause, desired to take part in the Olympic Games, to which only Hellenes had access, he was at first refused as a barbarian, and it was only when by a bold fiction he traced back the pedigree of his house, the Argeadae, to the Heraclid Temenus of Argos, that he was admitted as a competitor. Since then the kings of Mace­donia passed with the Greeks as Hellenes, and as descend­ants of Heracles; but, as before, so afterwards, the people were regarded as barbarianseven by Isocrates in his 'Philip'though in the meantime many kings had done much for the introduction of Greek culture into their country. Even in Philip's day the Greeks saw in the Macedonians a non-Greek foreign people, and we must remem­ber this if we are to understand the history of Philip and Alexander, and especially the resistance and obstacles which met them from the Greeks. The point is much more important than our modern conviction that Greeks and Macedonians were brethren; this was equally unknown to both, and therefore could have no political effect. [5]

Quite apart from the local separation of the two peoples, the barbaric impression which the Macedonians made on the Greeks is explained by the close relationship in which the Macedonians lived for centuries with their barbarian neighbours, the Illyrians in the West, and the Thracians in the East. A strong Illyrian and Thracian influence can thus be recognized in Macedonian speech and manners. These however are only trifles compared with the Greek character of the Macedonian nationality; for example, the names of the true full-blooded Macedonians, especially of the princes and nobles, are purely Greek in their formation and sounds. [6]

Above all, the fundamental features of Macedonian poli­tical institutions are not only Greek but primitive Greek, a Homeric Greek. The old patriarchal monarchy over people and army lasted here down to the days of Philip and Alexander, a monarchy such as had once existed in all Greek tribes, until it had to give way to aristocratic forms of government under the dissolving influence of the Polis. One of the factors which explain the tenacious retention of the old monarchy is that the progressive idea of the Polis had not entered Macedonia. Another point is that the power of the king, who was supreme general, judge and priest, was tem­pered by the fact that the old Greek community in arms, in whose eyes the king was primus inter pareswhich had once existed in primitive times among the Greeksmain­tained itself down to Alexander's day, and beyond, in the assembly of the army, which was possessed of definite privi­leges. But the Argeads were not at first lords of the whole Mace­donian nation. Originally the tribes of Upper Macedonia, the Lyncestae, Orestae and Elimiotae had their own princes or kings. Tedious struggles were necessary to incor­porate them into the Macedonian state, and it is likely that the mediatisation of these princely houses was only com­pleted under Philip, by whose hand the unified Mace­donian state was thus constituted. [7]


Jonathan Hall proceeds to a penetrating analysis of the shifting definitions of Hellenicity in Herodotus, Thucydides and Isocrates, our main sources for the evolution of the concept in the Classical period. About Thucydides in particular he writes that, contrary to Herodotus, he did not view Greeks and barbarians “as mutually exclusive categories” but as “opposite poles of a single, linear continuum”. Thus, the inhabitants of north-western Greece “are ‘barbarian’ not in the sense that their cultures, customs, or behavior are in direct, diametrical opposition to Greek norms but rather in the sense that their seemingly more primitive way of life makes them “Hellènes manqués”. [8] [9]

Hall challenges the view that Macedonia was marginal or peripheral in respect to a Greek centre or core, for the simple reason that such a Greek hard core never existed, since “‘Greekness’ is constituted by the totality of multifocal, situationally bound, and self-conscious negotiations of identity not only between poleis and ethne but also within them”, and because a view such as this “assumes a transhistorically static definition of Greekness” [10]

Jonathan Hall in his conclusions affirm the doubts about the possibility of answering the question concerning the “nationality” of the ancient Mace­donians. “To ask whether the Macedonians ‘really were’ Greek or not in anti­quity“, he writes, “is ultimately a redundant question given the shifting semantics of Greekness between the sixth and fourth centuries B.C. What cannot be denied, however, is that the cultural commodification of Hellenic identity that emerged in the fourth century might have remained a provincial artifact, confined to the Balkan peninsula, had it not been for the Mace­donians” [11]

There is also one more element which confirms the Hellenicity of the Macedonians. The epigraphic evidence of recent decades has also yielded a vast number of personal names. These are not only purely Greek from the very start, but also have a distinct local character which precludes the possibility of their being borrowed from the colonies on the coast. Epigraphic data of capital linguistic interest which have become available only after the Center of Hellenic Studies Colloquium of 1997 from Professor Miltiadis Hatzopoulos and important recent monographs and articles which seem not to have been accessible in the United States, if known, would have provided additional arguments and prevented some minor inaccuracies. [12]

Other epigraphic unique evidence are the “theorodokoi” catalogues which precisely list the Greek states (among them and Macedonia) visited by the theoroi, the sacred envoys, of the Pan-Hellenic sanctuaries and invited to participate through official delegations in sacrifices and contests celebrated in those sanctuaries. [13]


The question “Had the Macedonians an Hellenic consciousness ?” or "Were the Macedonians Greeks ?" perhaps needs to be chopped up further. The Macedonian kings emerge as Greeks by namely shared blood, and personal names indicate that Macedonians generally moved north from Greece. The kings, the elite, and the generality of the Macedonians were Greeks by criteria of religion and language. Macedonian customs were in certain respects unlike those of a normal polis, but they were compatible with Greekness, apart, perhaps, from the institutions which I have characterized as feudal. The crude one-word answer to the question has to be "yes."

[1]- Jonathan Hall, Hellenicity, 2002, page 179
[2]- Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd Edition, 1989, "barbarous"
[3]- Ulrich Wilcken in “ Ancient Greek History” and in “Alexander The Great” - N.G.L. Hammond, Wallbank and Errington in three volumes “History of Macedonia”- Ian Worthington in his last book “Philip of Macedonia” e.t.c.
[4]- E. Badian, “Greeks and Macedonians”, in Beryl Bar-Sharrar – E. N. Borza (eds.), Macedonia and Greece in Late Classical and Early Hellenistic Times and in “Herodotus on Alexander I of Macedon: A Study in some Subtle Silences”, in S. Hornblower (ed.), Greek Historiography,-E. N. Borza, in “the Shadow of Olympus” and in “The Emergence of Macedon”.
[5]- Volume “Macedonia: 4000 years of Greek History”, article from Sakellariou
[6]- Jean Kalleris, Les Anciens Macedoniens. Etude linguistique et historique
[7]- Ulrich Wilcken in “Ancient Greek History”, Greek edition, page 213
[8]- Irad Malkin (editor), Ancient Perceptions of Greek Ethnicity, Harvard Univeristy 2001, Contested Ethnicities: Perceptions of Macedonia within Evolving Definitions of Greek Ethnicity, page 169-172
[9]- Miltiadis Hatzopoulos, Macedonian Identities, Patakis publishing, 2008, Contested Ethnicities: Perception of the self and the other: the case of Macedon, page 51
[10]- Irad Malkin (editor), Ancient Perceptions of Greek Ethnicity, Cambridge, Mass. and London 2001, Contested Ethnicities: Perceptions of Macedonia within Evolving Definitions of Greek Ethnicity, page 166
[11]- Irad Malkin (editor), Ancient Perceptions of Greek Ethnicity, Cambridge, Mass. and London 2001, Contested Ethnicities: Perceptions of Macedonia within Evolving Definitions of Greek Ethnicity, page 172
[12]- Miltiadis Hatzopoulos in “Macedonian institutions under the kings,1996” and Giannis Xydopoulos “ Social and cultural relations of Macedonians and the other Greeks, 2006”
[13]- Miltiadis Hatzopoulos, Macedonian Identities, Patakis publishing, 2008, Contested Ethnicities: Perception of the self and the other: the case of Macedon, page 55

Monday, January 05, 2009

Ancient Macedonian coins

Below you will find a small collection of ancient Macedonian coins, where you can see the Greek names clearly printed on them, in Greek characters, proving that the Greek language was the official language used in the area of Makedonia :

Statiras of Archelaos (412-399BC).
On the one side is a rider and on the other side the symbol of the Macedonian kingdom, the goat (aega). On the same side you can see the name Archelaos printed in Greek characters ().
(British Museum of London)
Statiras of Amyntas III (392-370BC).
On the one side is the head of Hercules, the mythical ancestor of the Argeades dynasty and on the other side a horse and the name Amyntas printed in Greek characters ().
(British Museum of London)
Statiras of Perdikkas III (365-359BC).
On the one side is the head of Hercules, the mythical ancestor of the Argeades dynasty and on the other side a horse and the name Perdikkas printed in Greek characters (). Note the small club under the horse, which is the symbol of Hercules.
Statiras of Philippos II (359-336BC).
On the one side is the head of god Apollo and on the other side a 2-horse carriage and the name Philippos printed in Greek characters ().
(Numismatic Museum of Athens)
Silver 4-drachma-coin of Philippos II (359-336BC).
On the one side is the king Philippos II riding a horse and the name Philippos printed in Greek characters ().
Coins of Philippos II and Alexandros III (330BC).
The treasure of golden Macedonian coins of Philippos II and Alexandros III. The coins were found in ancient Korinthos under the floor of the temple of Apollon. They were probably hidden there after 330BC.
(Numismatic Museum of Athens)
Coin of Philippos III (323-317BC).
On the one side you can clearly read the name Philippos printed in Greek characters ().
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Kyrinic statiras (323-313BC).
Probably issued when Kyrini was annexed to the Ptolemy kingdom. On the one side is a 4-horse chariot with the name Kyrinaion printed in Greek characters ().
4-drachma-coin of Antigonos I (319-301BC).
On the one side is the head of Alexander the Great, and on the other side the image of Antigonos I and the words King Antigonos printed in Greek characters ().
4-drachma-coin of Ptolemaios I (305-285BC).
On the one side is the head of Ptolemaios I Sotir, and on the other side the image of an eagle, symbol of the Ptolemy kingdom and the words King Ptolemaios printed in Greek characters ().
4-drachma-coin of Lysimachos (287-279BC).
On the one side is the head of Alexander the Great, and on the other side the image of godess Athena and the words King Lysimachos printed in Greek characters ().
Coin of Dimitrios Poliorkitis (306-288BC).
Coin of Dimitrios where on the one side is the head of Dimitrios and on the other side is god Poseidon and you can see the words King Dimitrios printed in Greek characters ().
4-drachma-coin of Dimitrios Poliorkitis (294-288BC).
Coin of Dimitrios where on the one side is the head of Dimitrios and on the other side is god Poseidon and you can see the words King Dimitrios printed in Greek characters ().
Coin of Antigonos (319-301BC).
Coin of Antigonos where on the one side you can see the words King Antigonos printed in Greek characters ().
4-ovoloi-coin of Philippos V and Perseus(185-168BC).
Coin where on the one side you can see a shield with the word MAKE(Makedonia) printed in Greek characters ().
(Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki)
4-drachma-coin of Perseus (179-168BC).
Coin of Perseus where on the one side you can see the words King Perseas printed in Greek characters ().
(Numismatic Museum of Athens)
Statiras of the First Merida of Macedonia (168-148BC).
Coin where you can see on the one side the club, symbol of Hercules and the words Makedonon First printed in Greek characters ().
(Archaeological Museum of Athens)
Silver 4-drachma coin of the Second Merida of Macedonia (168-148BC).
Coin where you can see on the one side the club, symbol of Hercules and the words Makedonon Second printed in Greek characters ().
(Numismatic Museum of Athens)
Coin of Thessaloniki (2nd century AD).
Coin of Thessaloniki where on the one side you can see the image of Thessaloniki and the words Thessalonikeon (meaning the residents of Thessaloniki) printed in Greek characters () and on the other side the image of the god Kaviros (prochristianic protector of Thessaloniki) with the word Kaviros printed in Greek characters ().
(Athens, Numismatic Collection of Alpha-Credit Bank)
Coin of Koinon Makedonon (3rd century AD).
Coin of Koinon Makedonon (Spiritual Union of Macedonian cities with Veroia as capital) where on the one side you can see the image of Alexandros the Great with the word Alexandros printed in Greek characters () and on the other side two neokoria temples with the words Koinon Makedonon Neokoron printed in Greek characters ().
(Numismatic Museum of Athens)

source :the falsification of the history of the Macedonia