Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A question from a reader as regards the "Ancient Macedonian History"

A common question about Ancient Macedonian History is: “If Alexander A' was Greek, why was he called a Philhellene?”

Philhellene (φιλέλλην, meaning Greek-lover) is a term commonly used of non-Greeks. It is also a term for Greeks who sacrifice themselves for the common good. Plato states that the citizens should be both Greek and Philhellenes (Republic 470E). Agesilaus of Sparta was also called a philhellene (Xenophon, Agesilaus 7.4) because he was a good Greek.

More questions about Ancient Macedonia History are answered at

Friday, December 17, 2010

Exaugustus Boiοannes and the Macedonians

Exaugustus Boiοannes (Italian: Exaugusto Bugiano), son of the famous Basil Boioannes, was also a catepan of Italy, from 1041[1] to 1042[2]. He replaced Michael Doukeianos after the latter's disgrace in defeat at Montemaggiore on May 4. Boioannes did not have the levies and reinforcements that Doukeianos had had at his command. He arrived only with a Varangian contingent. Boioannes decided on trying to isolate the Lombard rebels in Melfi by camping near Montepeloso.

He stated the following prior to battle:

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Greece: Birthplace of the modern world?

by Paul Cartledge

E pluribus unum: "out of many – one". The one-time motto of the US reminds us that, much like most of the larger nation states today, ancient Greece was a mosaic of very different components: about 1,000 of them at any one time between c600BC and AD330. That is, there were a thousand or so separate, often radically self-differentiated political entities, most of which went by the title of polis, or citizen-state. Our term "Greece" is derived from the Romans' Latin name, Graecia, whereas the ancient Greeks spoke of Hellas – meaning sometimes the Aegean Greek heartland, at other times the entire, hypertrophied Hellenic world – and referred to themselves as "Hellenes".

In the foundational epics attributed to Homer, however, you won't find Greeks referred to as "Hellenes" but as "Achaeans", "Danaans", or "Argives". That was because the epics are set in a period before "Hellas" and "Hellenes" had become common currency – before, that is, the eighth century BC, when Greeks first started emigrating permanently from the Aegean basin and settling around the Mediterranean and Black Seas. By the time of Plato, around 400BC, Hellas stretched from the Pillars of Heracles (straits of Gibraltar) in the west to Phasis in Colchis (in modern Georgia) in the far east. Later, following the conquests of Alexander the Great, the pale of Hellenic settlement was extended even further eastwards, as far as Afghanistan and the Indus Valley of Pakistan.

Everyone who was not a Hellene by birth, language or culture was labelled a barbaros. Originally an...... 

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Population changes in Macedonia under Ottoman Rule(14th-18th cent)

The first century of Ottoman rule in Macedonia is characterized by a marked decrease in the Christian population which was primarily due to Muslim Turkic colonization. The Yuruks, a semi-nomadic Turkic tribe, represented the majority of the newcomers, having already appeared in Macedonia since the 14th century. Most ofthem settled in the region of Thessaloniki, in Central and Western Macedonia (Yenitsa, Kilkis, Strornnitsa, Servia, Florina) and as far north as Monastir (Bitola). At the same time, the Christian populations retreated either to the western and southern mountainous regions or to Chalcidice.2

Towards the end of the 15th century it was the tum of Jews to come in lagre numbers from Central and Western Europe and settle, mainly in Thessaloniki. The Askenazim, Jews of German and Hungarian origin, were the first to arrive, but the most numerous group was that of Spanish Jews who were expelled from Spain in 1492. Other groups came from Sicily and Southern Italy and still more from Portugal in 1497. Jews of Western origin came to be known collectively as Sefardim (Spanish Jews). During the 16th century the Jewish element moved towards the interior of Macedonia and by the end of the century Jewish communities had been established at Skopje (Uskub), Monastir, Kavala, Drama, Serres, Siderocausia of Chalcidice, and elsewhere.3

However, the Jews were not the only mobile part of the population during the 16th century. Christian populations also began to move towards the plains. One part headed for Chalcidice where metallurgy was flourishing:

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Writer Marko Attila Hoare fails

Writer Marko Attila Hoare, a British integral nationalist (see Smith at national identity 1991, page 79) in a recent article at his blog(, try to explain the nationality of the ancient Macedonians.
How a modern writer try to define the nationality in a field of the Classicism raise a lot of questions.
Hoare's article fails in two things.

First fail is to take adequately into account the important distinction, first proposed by Max Weber (1921) and since used by social anthropologists, between objective and subjective ethnicity. Objective ethnicity is a biological category which defines groups of human beings in terms of their shared physical characteristics resulting from a common gene pool. Subjective ethnicity, however, describes the ideology of an ethnic group by defining as shared its ancestors, history, language, mode of production, religion, customs, culture, etc., and is therefore a social construct, not a fact of nature (Isajiw 1974).

Objective and subjective ethnicity may and often do overlap, and the subjective, ideological boundaries between ethnic groups may be commensurate with objective ethnic boundaries (Barth 1969), especially where an ethnic group has been isolated or has rigorously avoided intermarriage.

Second fail is the...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Shah Nameh/Sikander(Great Alexander)

The Shahnameh (The King's Chronicles) is an enormous poetic opus written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi around 1000 AD and is the national epic of the cultural sphere of Greater Persia. Consisting of some 60,000 verses, the Shāhnāmeh tells the mythical and historical past of Greater Iran from the creation of the world up until the Islamic conquest of Persia in the 7th century. The work is of central importance in Persian culture, regarded as a literary masterpiece, and definitive of ethno-national cultural identity of Iran.

The Shâhnameh recounts the history of Persia, beginning with the creation of the world and the introduction of the arts of civilization (fire, cooking, metallurgy, law) to the Aryans and ends with the Arab conquest of Persia. The work is not precisely chronological, but there is a general movement through time. Some of the characters live for hundreds of years but most have normal life spans.

The work is divided into three successive parts: the mythical, heroic, and historical ages. At the the historical age A brief mention of the Ashkānīyān dynasty follows the history of Alexander and precedes that of Ardashir I, the founder of the Sassanid dynasty.

The following text describe the age of the Great Alexander.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Occupants of Tomb II at Vergina. Why Arrhidaios and Eurydice must be excluded

ON 21 April 2000 Science published an article by Antonis Bartsiokas titled 'The Eye Injury of King Philip II and the Skeletal Evidence from the Royal Tomb II at Vergina'. In it he criticised some observations made by Prag, Neave and Musgrave in earlier publications concerning possible trauma to the cranium and facial asymmetry. In an attempt to identify the man in the main chamber of Tomb II at Vergina as Philip III Arrhidaios rather than Philip II, he also argued that the bones had been burned dry, degreased and unfleshed. This paper  answer his criticisms, and refute his dry cremation argument, pointing out that, far from strengthening the claim for Arrhidaios, it weakens it considerably.
Dr Jonathan Musgrave of the University of Bristol's Centre for Comparative and Clinical Anatomy and colleagues argue that evidence from the remains is not consistent with historical records of the life, death and burial of Arrhidaios, a far less prominent figure in the ancient world than his father Philip II.
Dr Musgrave said:

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Louvre Alexander the Great exhibition to travel to Dion

A rare exhibition of engravings from the Louvre Museum on Alexander the Great's campaigns, crafted by renowned French artists, will be traveling outside of France for the first time, to be exhibited at the Center of Mediterranean Mosaics in Dion, Pieria prefecture, as part of the 39th annual Olympus Festival.

The Festival proper takes place every summer with concerts and stage performances at the Ancient Theater of Dion, and various fringe events, including exhibitions, are staged in other venues.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Slavs in the South Greece

The first appearance of the Slavs in the Byzantine Empire can be dated no earlier than the 6th century. Throughout this century, beginning with the reign of Justinian, Slavs repeatedly invaded the Balkan possessions of the Byzantine Empire. Not until the reign of Maurice, however, did any Slavs settle in these territories. Between the years 579-587 there took place the irruption of several barbarian waves led by the Avars, but consisting mostlyof Slavs. The latter came in great numbers, and, as the troops of the Empire were engaged in the war with Persia, they roamed the country at will.

Slavs devastated Illyricum and Thrace, penetrated deep into Greece and the Peloponnesus, helped the Avars to take numerous cities, including Singidunum, Viminacium (Kostolac), Durostorum (Silistria), Marcianopolis, Anchialus, and Corinth, and in 586 laid siege to the city of Thessalonica, the first of a series of great sieges which that city was destined to undergo at their handss What is more, they came to stay.

"The Slavonians," wrote John of Ephesus in 584, "still encamp and dwell in the Roman territories and live in peace there, free from anxiety and fear, and lead captives and slay and burn." The counter offensive launched by Maurice after 591, following the successful termination of the Persian war, had the effect, on the whole, of checking the repeated incursions of the Avars, who then seem to have transferred their operations farther west beyond the limits of Byzantine territory. The treaty of peace which the Empire concluded with them in possibly in 601, fixed the Danube as the boundary line between the two powers, but left the way open for the Byzantines to cross that river and chastise any Slavs that might appear dangerous.80 There is no indication, however, that the Slavs who had penetrated into the Empire were forced to retire beyond the Danube, or that they did so of their own accord.

Settlement of the Slavs in the Balkan Peninsula occurred mainly in the....

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Dr. Frank Holt regarding Macedonian History and FYROM

The following text, written by Dr. Frank Holt Professor of Ancient History at the University of Houston, will be the prologue of a book published by the Macedonian Studies Center.
The book will include the letter by world known archeologists, historians and researchers from various academic institutions in the world to President Barack Obama regarding the Greekness of Macedonia.

The documents comprising this book speak forcefully for the proposition that the history of ancient Macedonia, including the brilliant reigns of Philip and his son Alexander, belongs squarely in the cultural, economic, political, religious, and military history of Hellenism.
The cultural milieu of the Macedonian court was Greek.
The texts that Alexander studied as a youth were Greek.
The books he read while in Asia were Greek.
The heroes he emulated, the gods he worshipped, the temples he built were Greek.
The coins he minted in the millions were Greek.
The legacy he left behind from Anatolia to India was as Greek as his settlers could make it, right down to a theater, gymnasium, and inscribed copy of the Delphic maxims in a far corner of Afghanistan. To say that Alexander’s kingdom was......

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Protecting the brand name Macedonia - lessons from Byzantine Diplomacy

by Miltiades Bolaris

A 2007 article by the Greek political scientist Constantinos Holevas, originally published in Antibaro, a Greek magazine made its re-appearance in the Akritas Macedonian blog recently.
It is titled "The importance of the name and Byzantine Diplomacy".

Professor Holevas reminded us in this article that the Byzantines never called their state Byzantium. They called themselves Romaioi/Ρωμαίοι (Romans) and their state Romania/Ρωμανία (State of the Romans). They were in full conscience of their Greek language descent and culture, yet they did not consider their state simply a kingdom of the Greeks but an ecumenical empire, a representation of Christ's kingdom on earth, a continuation of the Roman empire of the Caesars, aspiring to govern the whole known world. Constantinos Holevas reminded us that even in the bleakest moments of the empire, when, after the fall of Constantinople to the Franks of the Fourth Crusade in 1204 a Latin king was sitting on the throne of Constantinople the Eastern Romans, the Byzantines, never relented on their title. John III Doukas Vatatzes / Ιωάννης Γ΄Δούκας Βατάτζης (1222-1254) the Greek king of the tiny Byzantine kingdom of Nicaea (modern Iznik in Asia Minor-Turkey), replying to the Caesaropapist demand of Pope Gregory 8th (1227-1241) that he recognizes the Latin king of conquered Constantinople as the a legitimate Roman Emperor, he refused. He reminded the Pope that all his predecessors called themselves Emperors of the Romans / Ρωμαίων Aυτοκράτορες and that he would not give up his title to a forger who simply happened to be sitting on some of his lands. To the Pope's claims that he is simply a king of the Greeks, and not a Roman Emperor, John III Doukas Vatatzes replied, that.....

Friday, April 09, 2010

Alexander I at Olympia (Olympic Games)

Old king Amyntas was a conservative obliged to carry on his traditional local policy and consumed with fear of a new Persian onslaught. While he was alive, his heir Alexander spent his youth more or less in the background. But from the time when he ascended the throne on his father's death he was not slow in showing his deep felt convictions and opening up Greek horizons to Macedonia for the first time by means of direct contact with the Hellenes. The erstwhile youth who had slain the Persian nobles was still apparently alive in him and his heart had not ceased responding to the lure of legends and poetic traditions from his Hellenic schooling as a boy. Despite the fact that his sister lived at the Persian court as wife of a powerful Persian grandee, he felt himself a Greek to the core and was burning with desire to bring Macedonia actively into the orbit of Hellenic life and even more so, to exhibit his pan-Hellenic schoiling. The ambition to visit Olympia and take part in the games is also explained by his family traditions. As a Heracleid he would go on a pilgrimage to the all-Greek sanctuary which, according to the belief of all Greece, Heracles himself had founded. By gaining victories there and receiving a branch of the sacred olive his illustrious ancestor had planted, he would be acclaimed by all the Hellenes and show himself a worthy scion of the legendary hero.

So very shortly after his accession he determined to do what no Macedonian king before him and very few after him until Philip's day had contemplated doing. He made up his mind to visit Greece, to make personal acquaintance with the political and social life of the Greek cities, to sacrifice at the pan-Hellenic shrines and take part in the pan-Hellenic games. History tells us nothing of Alexander I's journey to Greece apart from his.......

Friday, March 12, 2010

Afrocentrism and the distortion of Greek history

Ioannis Kotoulas
(Translation into English by Athan).

On February 1993 in the College Wellesley of Massachusetts a lecture was given regarding the ancient Egyptian civilization. The speaker, Yosef A. A. Ben Jochannan was presented by the event organizers as a “distinguished Egyptologist”. During his lecture Jochannan more or less supported that the ancient Greeks practically stole their civilization from Egypt, that philosopher Aristotle went to Alexandria along with Alexander the Great to visit the library which Aristotle eventually sacked in order to write his works.

During questions, a professor of classical studies named Mary Lefkowitz asked the lecturer why he would claim something like that when Alexandria acquired its great library well after the death of Aristotle, and moreover, the Greek philosopher never visited Egypt. Jochannan refused to answer, accusing Lefkowitz for empathy and negative stance towards the opinions of the black population. After the lecture many students accused Lefkowitz for racism and a one way comprehension of history. Indeed, what is happening in the American universities?

Afrocentrism is an ideological movement with historical and political extensions, which has spread through many universities across the Atlantic especially during the 90s. It is a branch of a new wave of political correctness that swept the American society during the last decade.

The supposed basic core of the beliefs of afrocentrism is shaped as thus: Mother of civilization – especially of Western civilization – is .....

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Hellenistic coins dating back Alexander the Great’s era found in northern Syria

Washington, March 3 : Reports indicate that a collection of Hellenistic coins dating back to the era of Alexander the Great in northern Syria have been found by a local man

According to a report in Global Arab Network, a local man found the coins near Najm Castle in the Manbej area in Aleppo governorate, as he was preparing his land for construction, uncovering a bronze box that contained around 250 coins.

He promptly delivered the coins to the authorities who in turn delivered them to Aleppo Department of Archaeology and Museum.

Yousef Kanjo, the director of archaeological excavations at Aleppo Department of Archaeology and Museum, said that the box contained two groups of silver Hellenistic coins: 137 tetra drachma (four drachmas) coins and 115 drachma coins.

One side of the tetra drachma coins depicts Alexander the Great, while the other side depicts the Greek god Zeus sitting on a throne with an eagle on his outstretched right arm.

34 of these coins bear the inscription “King Alexander” in Greek, while 81 coins bear the inscription “Alexander” and 22 coins bear “King Phillip.”

The drachma coins bear the same images as the tetra drachma, with “Alexander” inscribed on 100 of them and “Philip” on 15 of them.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Laminated Linen Protected Alexander the Great

Alexander's men wore linothorax, a highly effective type of body armor created by laminating together layers of linen, research finds.

A Kevlar-like armor might have helped Alexander the Great (356–323 B.C.) conquer nearly the entirety of the known world in little more than two decades, according to new reconstructive archaeology research.

Presented at the annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America in Anaheim, Calif., the study suggests that Alexander and his soldiers protected themselves with linothorax, a type of body armor made by laminating together layers of linen.

"While we know quite a lot about ancient armor made from metal, linothorax remains something of a mystery since no examples have survived, due to the perishable nature of the material," Gregory Aldrete, professor of history and humanistic studies at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, told Discovery News.

"Nevertheless, we have managed to show that this linen armor thrived as a form of body protection for nearly 1,000 years, and was used by a wide variety of ancient Mediterranean civilizations," Aldrete said.

Indeed, Aldrede and co-investigator Scott Bartell discovered that linothorax was......

Monday, February 01, 2010

Falsifying History - Fabricating a Fake Identity: Skopjan pseudo-Makedonism on MACEDONIAN THEATER

Miltiades Elia Bolaris
January 25, 2010

δῆλον δὲ πρῶτον μὲν ὁρισαμένοις τί τὸ ἀληθὲς καὶ ψεῦδος. τὸ μὲν γὰρ λέγειν τὸ ὂν μὴ εἶναι ἢ τὸ μὴ ὂν εἶναι ψεῦδος, τὸ δὲ τὸ ὂν εἶναι καὶ τὸ μὴ ὂν μὴ εἶναι ἀληθές, ὥστε καὶ ὁ λέγων εἶναι ἢ μὴ ἀληθεύσει ἢ ψεύσεται (Αριστοτέλης, Μεταφυσικά)

This will be plain if we first define truth and falsehood. To say that what is is not, or that what is not is, is false; but to say that what is is, and what is not is not, is true; and therefore also he who says that a thing is or is not will say either what is true or what is false. (Aristotle, Metaphysics)

Once someone rejects truth and accepts falsehood, the search for explanations to cover the tracks of his falsehood becomes essential. This inevitably leads to the creation of an alternate reality that attempts to explain the unexplainable. The pseudo-Makedonist regime in Skopje has elevated fraud to the level of science, and it has correspondingly reduced science to being the contemptible paramour of their repulsive politics of hatred, ultra-nationalist bigotry and ethnic intolerance.

The Skopjan blog is one of the numerous ......

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Alexander the Great - Dr.Tellenbach interview

Dr.Tellenbach gives an interview about Alexander the Great and the Opening of the World, the museum exhibition. Related articles and information at

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Introduction to Ancient Greek History from the Yale University

In this lecture, Professor Kagan tells the story of the rise of Philip and describes his early actions: unifying Macedon, defeating barbarian armies, and creating a new, professional, national army. According to Professor Kagan, through these actions, Philip was able to make inroads into the Greek world. What made these inroads more effective was Philip's uncanny talent for diplomacy and the fighting between the various poleis. Eventually, the Greeks under the efforts of Athens and Demosthenes decided to face Philip in the battle of Chaeronea. The battle, though close, was won by Philip and his Macedonian forces. Finally, Professor Kagan evaluates the actions of Demosthenes and concludes that his actions should be judged as a noble endeavor of one who loved freedom.

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website:

This course was recorded in Fall 2007.

Thursday, January 07, 2010