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Alexander did not care about Helenism nor Helenization

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    Posted: 23-Nov-2004 at 17:48

Ethnicity and Cultural Policy at Alexanders Court

Makedonika 1995 (pp.149-58) by Eugene Borza

In the more than half a century since William Woodthorpe Tarn proclaimed the "Brotherhood of

Mankind,"1 there has been a narrowing interpretation of Alexander the Great's vision. Recent scholarship

has replaced most of Alexander's Grand Plans with "minimalist" interpretations.

Tarn's conception of homonoia was never accepted by some scholars, and within five years of its

publication in the Cambridge Ancient History, Ulrich Wilcken attacked it as unsupported by the evidence.2

Despite Wilcken's criticism, Tarn's views of Alexander as a social philosopher settled into the public

consciousness, and into some scholarly opinion, as well.3

It was not until the 1950s and 1960s that the full force of criticism turned on Tam. The

"revisionist" school of Alexander historiography, led by Ernst Badian, was characterized by severe source

criticism and proved that the "homonoic" vision of Alexander was mainly a product of Tarn's unacceptable

squeezing of sources. An analysis of the language of Arrian at 7.11.9-the famous prayer of reconciliation at

Opis-shows that, in comparison with uses of similar constructions elsewhere in Arrian, the "concord" or

"harmony" referred to in Alexander's prayer4 is limited to the Persians and Macedonians and is not

inclusive of the whole human race.5

What was left of Alexander's Grand Plan was an idea introduced by Wilcken in 1931 to replace

Tarn's World Brotherhood.6 Wilcken argued that, while the king had no intention of uniting all the races of

Europe and Asia into a great concord, he did, in fact, attempt to join the ruling peoples of those continentsthe

Macedonians and Persians-into a commonality of shared power. This view-called "Fusion" has

persisted for more than a half century, generally accepted at one time by many persons, myself included.

But in 1978 A.B. Bosworth presented a paper at a meeting of the Association of Ancient

Historians, the full version of which appeared in the Journal of Hellenic Studies (1980) under the title

"Alexander and the Iranians." Bosworth argued persuasively that there was little evidence even for a fusion

between Persians and Macedonians. In an analysis of Alexander's activities toward the end of his life-where

most of the evidence for Fusion has seemed to reside-Bosworth showed, for example, that nearly all the

Iranian auxillaries incorporated into the army were kept as separate units. The Asians were used mainly as

a political counterweight to threaten Macedonians who were disaffected from their king. Other evidence for

uniting the races of Europe and Asia must be seen as ad hoc solutions to immediate problems, not as a part

of a general Policy.7

I accept the views of Bosworth on this issue. But what are we left with? Has the position about

Alexander's Grand Scheme become so minimalist as to leave nothing but a piece of military history and a

serendipitous adventure story?

1 1.Tarn in CAH 6 (1926), Proc. of the British Academy (1933), and Alexander the Great (Cambridge,

1948), esp. 2: 399 ff. Earlier versions of the present paper were presented at the 1989 annual meeting of the

Friends of Ancient History in Baltimore, and at the 1990 meetings of the Pacific Coast Branch of the

American Historical Association in Salt Lake City. I wish to thank Ernst Badian, Ian Morris, and Edward

Anson, who were commentators at those meetings, for their suggestions, criticism and encouragement.

What appears here is part of a continuing larger study of ethnicity in the administration of Alexander. I am

pleased to offer it in its present form as a tribute to my teacher, Stewart Oost, who neither admired

Alexander nor believed he had any impulse beyond conquest.

2 E.g., Alexander der Grosse (1931), English trans. by G. C. Richards, notes by E. N. Borza (New York,

1967), 22 1.

3 E.g., C.A. Robinson, "The Extraordinary Ideas of Alexander the Great," AHR 62 (1957) 326-44.

4 The publication by Stadter and Boulter of a microform concordance to Arrian has greatly simplified

textual analysis of this type.

5 The version Arrian gives us probably is verbatim or near-verbatim of what Alexander actually said. Of

course, one must consider seriously that whatever Alexander said may not have been what he intended,

which is one of the main points of the present paper.

6 Alex. the Great (1967) 246-56.

7 Bosworth's views have not persuaded everyone, especially those for whom old habits die hard; e.g.

N.G.L. Hammond in Alexander the Great. King, Commander and Statesman (1980) and elsewhere.

There is, in fact, one surviving theme that runs through the literature and is also one of the most

enduring public views of the great king's achievement: Alexander spread Greek civilization by means of his

passage through Asia. It is this perception of Alexander's mission that forms the subject of the present

essay.

Caution must be the methodological byword. One must make a clear distinction between what our

ancient sources believed was Alexander's thinking on the matter of hellenism, and what Alexander himself

actually accomplished. Ancient writers, like modern ones, wrote with the advantage of hindsight. They

understood that western Asia was transformed as the result of Alexander's passage. They also knew that

Alexander and his court were in many respects quite highly hellenized. It was thus easy to connect the two

in a cause-and effect relationship. (On this issue, scholarly method seems not to have advanced very much

during the past eighteen centuries.)

Let us, therefore, set aside for the moment our recognition of Alexander's great achievement of

conquest, and our knowledge that his passage resulted in, among other things, the establishment of Greek

culture in its Hellenistic form around the eastern rim of the Mediterranean, and that this remained an

enduring cultural feature of the region until the Islamic conquests. Let us, instead, review the evidence to

see precisely what Alexander intended in the way of hellenization, and what he consciously instituted as

policy.

First, the matter of the Hellenic origins of the Macedonians: Nicholas Hammond's general

conclusion (though not the details of his arguments)8 that the origin of the Macedonians lies in the pool of

proto-Greek speakers who migrated out of the Pindus mountains during the Iron Age, is acceptable. As for

the Macedonian royal house, the Argead dynasty was probably indigenous, the story of their Temenid

Greek origin being part of the prohellenic propaganda of King Alexander 1. This is a position I have

already argued in print and do not wish to take up further here.9

Whatever the truth about the origins of the Macedonian people and their royal house, it does not

affect what follows. We have suspected from literary sources for some time that the Macedonian court had

become highly hellenized. at least by the time of King Archelaus at the end of the fifth century B.C. And

now the recent remarkable discoveries of Greek archaeologists working at Vergina and elsewhere confirm

the cultural debt owed by the Macedonian gentry to the Greeks who lived in the south. There can be no

remaining doubt about the degree to which at least some Macedonians on the highest levels shared a

version of Greek culture.

Moreover, Alexander himself, tutored by Aristotle and raised in a court in which a manifestation

of hellenism was a component of diplomacy, was a lover of Greek culture. But we must make a distinction

between Alexander's personal predilections-his cultural baggage, as it were-and what he intended as policy.

Whether Alexander had a strategic policy for his empire is a matter that cannot be considered here.

The question is complex and tangled in source problems, and one often despairs that it can ever be

answered. But it may be possible to examine the evidence for hellenization. That is, did Alexander

consciously attempt to hellenize, keeping in mind, of course, the distinction mentioned above between his

personal cultural attitudes and what he intended for others to do?

Of the cultural features of Alexander's court, very little need be said. The king's train included a

number of Greeks, and court practices were often hellenized,10 resulting from the influence of Greeks in the

king's train and also from those features of Macedonian life already hellenized. Although it is undeniable

that a Macedonian court somewhat hellenized may have influenced policy and helped spread Greek culture,

it is difficult to prove. One suspects that the extent to which Greek culture was propagated in this manner

was as a byproduct of imperial conquest and administration rather than as the result of direct policy. On this

point we look forward to the development of Greek frontier studies comparable to the successful

accomplishments of our colleagues in Roman frontier studies. The recent work of Frank Holt on the

Bactrian frontier, for example, suggests that Greek culture in the early Hellenistic period did not permeate

8 As expressed in History of Macedonia I and II (Oxford, 1972-79) passim, and more recently in The

Macedonian State (Oxford 1989) chap. 1.

9 See my "Origins of the Macedonian Royal House," Hesperia, Suppl. 19 (1982) 7-13, [see article 5 in this

volume] and In the Shadow of Olympus. The Emergence of Macedon (Princeton, 1990) 80-84 and 110-13.

10 E.g., the Macedonian version of the symposium; see my "The Symposium at Alexander's Court,"

Archaia Makedonia 3 (1983) 4555, [see article 9 in this volume] and "Anaxarchus and Callisthenes.

Academic Intrigue at Alexander's Court," Ancient Macedonian Studies in Honor of Charles F. Edson

(Thessaloniki, 1981) 73-86 [see article 10 in this volume].

native traditions very deeply, a conclusion similar to that reached by Stanley Burstein in his study of

Egyptian Mero.11

None of this adds up to a policy of hellenization. Perhaps we can see something in the relationship

between Alexander and the Greeks themselves. There is one feature of Alexander's administration that has

not been much examined, and that is the ethnicity of the persons who surrounded the king. If, for example,

it could be shown that Greeks were often selected to hold important posts in imperial administration, one

might conclude that that very selection and Alexander's dependence upon those Greeks were tantamount to

a policy of hellenization.

What was the role of the Greeks associated with Alexander during his Asian campaign? What

military or administrative assignments were they given? How close were they to the king? Of needs we turn

to that magisterial data bank of Alexander's reign, the Das Alexanderreich of Helmut Berve, published

nearly seven decades ago, but still the most useful compilation of prosopographical evidence relating to the

Macedonian conqueror. What follows is based on a computer-assisted study of Alexander's associates,

using the data from Berve, with some corrections and modifications. The computer was used to organize

several categories of information about these persons, such as ethnic background and cursus honorum. A

simple sort and list routine enabled the extraction of information about the individuals according to

category. The two categories of information used here are: (1) ethnic origin, and (2) the offices or

commands held by persons according to ethnicity.

What follows are some of the conclusions arising from this study of ethnicity, with the following

caveats: first, there are a number of persons in Berve's list whose origin is uncertain. I have taken this

problem into account, although the number is too small to affect much the outcome of the study. Second, I

believe that one can make valid ethnic distinctions among the peoples of antiquity. The ancient authors

themselves did so regularly, and such distinctions are a necessary component of my method.

On the matter of distinctions between Greeks and Macedonians in particular, I accept the general

view expressed by Ernst Badian in his paper, "Greeks and Macedonians."12 Badian showed that in

antiquity, neither Greeks nor Macedonians considered the Macedonians to be Greek. The ethnic

distinctions in the present study are: mainland Greek, Asian and island Greek, Macedonian, other Balkan,

Persian, other Asian, and a small miscellaneous category for the remainder.

Of the nearly 850 persons listed by Berve, 275 are either certainly or probably ethnic Greeks. Of

this number, 126 persons are not associated with Alexander's train, and thus outside present concerns. Of

the 149 which remain, sixty-nine-nearly half-are court figures not associated with administration. They are

there mainly for what one might call cultural" reasons. They include sophists, physicians, actors, athletes,

musicians, jugglers and other entertainers, and a variety of hangers-on.

Eighty names remain. Of these three are of uncertain ethnic origin. Twenty-four Greeks serve the

king in a variety of administrative tasks: some are envoys, some are clerks, some financial officers, some

act as the king's agents in local places. They pop in and out of the historical record as Alexander sees the

need to employ them. More of these Greeks are Asian than European. Beyond that there is no pattern or

apparent policy. The king uses these people because he finds it expedient to exploit individual skills.

The remaining fifty-three Greeks serve specific military functions. Of these, the extraordinary

number of twenty-two names are attached to a single unit, the allies from Orchomenos, who are dismissed

along with the other Greek allies in 330 B.C. Fourteen other Greeks hold naval appointments, either as ship

commanders on the Hydaspes fleet, or in conjunction with Nearchus' ocean voyage.

Four Greeks are in charge of mercenary units, and nine others have unspecified, low-level military

assignments. Seven have duties that did not take them beyond Egypt, where a number remained to carry on

administrative tasks.

In summary, of the 149 known Greeks with official connections to the king, only thirty-five to

forty held positions of rank-some as officers, some as administrators, but only a handful in top positions.

A look at Alexander's satrapal appointments reveals a similar pattern. We know of fifty-two

different persons who held satrapies in Alexander's empire over a dozen years. Of these, twenty-four were

Persians and Asians, a number of them continuing in posts held earlier under Darius. Twenty-three

Macedonian satrapal appointments were made, nearly the same number as Asians. There are only five

11 F.L. Holt, Alexander and Bactria, Mnemosyne Suppl. 104 (Leiden, 1988), and the papers of Holt and

Burstein in Hellenistic History and Culture, ed. Peter Green (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1992).

12 Macedonia and Greece in Late Classical and Early Hellenistic Times. Studies in the History of Art 10,

ed. B. Barr-Sharrar and E.N. Borza (Washington, 1982) 33-51.

Greeks who held satrapies. Of these, Nearchus (Berve #544) and perhaps Sibyrtius (#703) were Cretan,

Stasenor (#719) was a Cypriote, Cleomenes (#431) was from Naucratis in Egypt, and Thoas (#376) was

from Magnesia on the Meander. No mainland Greek ever held a satrapy in Alexander's empire.

An examination of the satrapal offices held at the time of Alexander's death shows that of the

twenty-four known satraps, six were easterners, fifteen were Macedonian and three were Greek, in this

case-stretching the ethnic definition Nearchus (#544) and Sibyrtius (#703) of Crete, and Cleomenes (#431)

of Egypt The pattern is clear: the trend toward the end of the king's life was to install Macedonians in key

positions at the expense of Asians, and to retain very few Greeks.

Similarly, of the twenty-four garrison commanders mentioned in Arrian, twenty-one are

Macedonian, two are Indian and only one is Greek-Lycidas (#475), who was left in charge of mercenaries

in Egypt.

Alexander's inner circle, his hetairoi, would appear to replicate the pattern. Of the sixty-five or so

men named as hetairoi, nine are Greek, including three mainlanders. Of the nine, four owed their positions

to life-long connections with Macedon: Nearchus (#544) and the brothers Erygius (#302) and Laomedon

(#464) were in fact raised as Macedonians, and Demaratus (#253) of Corinth had been associated with the

court, since the time of Philip II.

Thus we look in vain for the evidence that Alexander was heavily dependent upon Greeks either in

quantity or quality. We learn that rather few Greeks beyond the sycophants and entertainers at court were

associated with the king either in his inner circle or in important military and administrative positions.13

There is one exception, however, the faithful and competent Greek grammateus Eumenes (#317) of Cardia,

but he may be the exception that proves the rule. And if there were any doubt about the status of Greeks

among the Macedonians, the tragic career of Eumenes in the immediate Wars of Succession should put it to

rest. The ancient sources are replete with information about the ethnic prejudice Eumenes suffered from

Macedonians.14

There is one other aspect of Alexander's Greek policy, and that is his formal relationship with the

Greek cities of Europe and Asia. In European Greece Alexander continued and reinforced Philip 11's policy

of rule over the city-states, a rule resulting from conquest. As for the island Greeks and the cities of Asia

Minor, their status under the reigns of Philip and Alexander has been much debated.15 Fortunately, for my

purposes, the status of these cities, whether as members of Philip II's panhellenic league or as independent

towns, is not crucial, as they were in fact all treated by Alexander as subjects. Much of the debate on the

issue, while interesting and occasionally enlightening, has sometimes obscured a simple reality: Greeks on

both sides of the Aegean were subject to the authority of the king of Macedon.

13 There are limits to such a statistics-based argument. We are prisoners of the evidence that has survived,

and my use of statistics in this fashion recognizes that the tiny number of Greeks who played important

roles in Alexander's court is relative to the total number of names that have survived. Some persons friendly

to my conclusions have suggested that I should consider using some modern statistical techniques to

determine the possible total number of those who served Alexander in administrative and other capacities

by extrapolating from the evidence we have. I have thought seriously about this, but am unable to develop a

sound historical method by which I can make something from nothing. I do not know whether the

ethnicities of those who served Alexander would be the equivalent of what was determined from Berve's

prosopography, should I attempt to establish some total numbers. Only in the case of the satrapal

appointments can we be reasonably certain that we have close to total numbers; in the case of the satrapies

the pattern of a tiny number of Greeks relative to the total is confirmed. One must act prudently on this

issue and report what the evidence says, while admitting that it is difficult, if not impossible, to determine

the extent to which the surviving evidence is an accurate reflection of the actual total numbers.

14 E.g., Plut. Eum. 3.1; 8.1; 18.1; Diod. 18.60.1-3, 62.7 and 19.13.1-2. For present purposes I have not cited

several pieces of anecdotal evidence from the sources on Alexander that establish the continuing tension at

court between Greeks and Macedonians, tension that the ancient authors clearly recognized as ethnic

division. A fuller version of this study will consider these incidents to support my view that Greeks and

Macedonians did not get along very well with one another and that this ethnic tension was exploited even

by the king himself.

15 E. Badian, "Alexander and the Greeks of Asia," Ancient Society and Institutions. Studies Presented to

Victor Ehrenberg (Oxford, 1966) 3796. Also see, e.g., V. Ehrenberg, Alexander and the Greeks (Oxford,

1938) 1-51; Tarn, Alexander 2: App. 7; and AJ. Heisserer, Alexander the Great and the Greeks. The

Epigraphic Evidence (Norman, 1980), conclusions at 230-37.

The conclusion is inescapable: there was a largely ethnic Macedonian imperial administration

from beginning to end. Alexander used Greeks at court for cultural reasons, Greek troops (often under

Macedonian commanders) for limited tasks and with some discomfort, and Greek commanders and

officials for limited duties. Typically, a Greek would enter Alexander's service from an Aegean or Asian

city through the practice of some special activity: he could read and write, keep figures or sail, all of which

skills the Macedonians required. Some Greeks may have moved on to military service as well. In other

words, the role of Greeks in Alexander's service was not much different from what their role had been in

the service of Xerxes and the third Darius.

If one wishes to believe that Alexander had a policy of hellenization-as opposed to the incidental

and informal spread of Greek culture-the evidence must come from sources other than those presented here.

One wonders-archaeology aside-where this evidence would be.

We have seen that not only has the idea of World Brotherhood been put to rest and the idea of a

Fusion of Persian and Macedonian ruling classes made doubtful, but that the value of Greeks to Alexander

for policy reasons cannot be sustained by evidence. In short, there is no World Brotherhood, no Fusion, and

no evidence of a policy of hellenization, if that hellenization were intended to be accomplished through the

medium of ethnic Greeks.

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  Quote Christscrusader Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Nov-2004 at 18:34
Look noone cares about your book. Do you have anything to say, cause i'm not reading all that.
Heaven helps those, who help themselves.
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  Quote Kids Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Nov-2004 at 22:36
I do acknowledge the fact that Macedonians were not Greeks, but Hellenized people. In other words, the kingdom of Macedonia was no different than the Asian cities, which had been Hellenized. I understand how Greeks would enrage on what I said about the Macedonia. But Macedonia was not unique itself. When Germanic tribes sacked Rome, and declared themselves as Roman Emperor, were they really the Roman people? When Mongols sacked Sung Dynasty and established Yuan in 13th century, were they legitimated Chinese dynasty? Of course, Germanic or later Europeans claimed themselves as descendant of Rome, Chinese believed Yuan was a Chinese Dynasty, and they still believe so. From this perspective, the invaders gradually adopted and integrated into the much "sophisticated" local cultures, and this willingness of acquired the natives' way of life consciouslly played the minds of the invaders. In the end, while desirired to retain much of its identity, the invaders evolved into a new identity; a hybrid of both local and native cultures. Europeans and Islamic civilizations were all the descendent of Roman empire; they were the next step of evolution of Hellenic culture, as Hellenic culture was experiencing progression during the Macedonian rule in Greece as well as later in Asia.

The ethical identity of Greeks and Romans were lost, as their civilizations were either diminished or destroyed from invaders. But, cultures remained and flourished in the hands of outsiders, who adopted the identity as part of their own, even they were never been accepted by the subjugated population.
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  Quote Yiannis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Nov-2004 at 01:04

This place is called a forum because we DISCUSS about matters.

Next time dear Macedonian, make your point and post a link to the supporting theory. Don't copy/paste. You have been warned about this before. Clear?

Kids, you make some interesting points but there're some unsupported arguments as well in your post. What does "Hellenized" mean for example? Who were the "original" Greeks? In my mind the "ethnicity" one belongs to, is determined by cultural rather than bloodline standards. So "Hellenized" is as good (or even better, since they "volunteered" ) as "Hellenas".

What I believe is that "ethnicity" in ancient Greece was not as we perceive it to be today and there were no strong links between the various "Greeks" of the era. Macedonians were one of the Greek clans in the periphery of the Greek world regarded by their southern brethrens as semi-barbaric. After all we all need someone to call "inferior". Moreover, the Macedonian type of government, monarchy, wasn't well regarded by the other Greek powers so that gave them another point of difference.

In the end, it doesn't really matter if they were Greek or not. What matters is that they spread Greek culture and language all the way to India and were the spark that started another chapter in the history of culture, the Hellenistic one.

 

 

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  Quote vagabond Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Nov-2004 at 02:40

re:  ancient Macedonians - I think by our modern definitions - they would be considered every bit as much Greek as the Delians, Samians, Ephesians, Cretans Epirotes and residents of so many other parts of the Greek world.  We have discussed rather recently the idea that - to the ancient greeks, the idea of being greek applied only to a very few city states - and that they considered everyone else to be a foreigner "barbaros" -

re: Alexander and Hellenism

In one way, perhaps, the premise presented is correct.  Alexander did not care about Hellenism because Hellenism as a concept did not really appear until after his death - when people began to analyze what exactly it was that he had accomplished.  The idea of Hellenism has developed in the ensuing years as a term to explain the spread of Greek culture across a huge area due to his conquests - whether or not he intended to do so.  To argue that it did not penetrate the borders of unconquered regions of Bactria or India is really stretching to make a point.  That Pergamum, Alexandria (Egypt), Palmyra and Ephesus and so many other cities all benefited greatly from this rich cultural fusion is undeniable 

From the Columbia Encyclopedia:  http://www.bartleby.com/65/he/Hellenist.html

The conquests of Alexander the Great spread Hellenism immediately over the Middle East and far into Asia. After his death in 323 B.C., the influence of Greek civilization continued to expand over the Mediterranean world and W Asia.

I would have to disagree both with the concept that Alexander and his empire  were not not responsible for the spread of Greek culture and that he did not care about propagating this culture.  He quite specifically founded cities across his realm, named after himself - with the intention of transplanting Greek culture into those areas.  In these cities he began to establish schools to teach Greek and the ideas and philosophies of Greek culture.  He was not at all concerned with the ethnicities of the students -  but that they began to share a common culture.  He married many of his Macedonian soldiers to Persian women and settled them in his new cities - again - his goal was a common cultural thread - something that would unite the various groups in his empire. 

The article that you reproduced here seems to contradict itself somewhat as well:

one must consider seriously that whatever Alexander said may not have been what he intended ...  Moreover, Alexander himself, tutored by Aristotle and raised in a court in which a manifestation of hellenism was a component of diplomacy, was a lover of Greek culture. But we must make a distinction between Alexander's personal predilections-his cultural baggage, as it were-and what he intended as policy. ... Although it is undeniable that a Macedonian court somewhat hellenized may have influenced policy and helped spread Greek culture, it is difficult to prove. One suspects that the extent to which Greek culture was propagated in this manner was as a byproduct of imperial conquest and administration rather than as the result of direct policy.  

In the time of your life, live - so that in that wonderous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it. (Saroyan)
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  Quote Sharrukin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Nov-2004 at 02:42
I would be among the first to subscribe to the non-Greek origin of the Macedonians, but I also subscribe to a Hellenization which occurred even before Archelaus, perhaps beginning as far back as about 550 BC, from a direct Greek colonial presence in Macedonia.   I would have to agree with Yiannis, that Hellenism did spread in the wake of Alexander's conquests.  We find Greek language, poleis, architecture, and art expand all the way to India.  In Roman Judaea, there was even a group of Jews called Hellenists.  The New Testament speaks of "Jews and Greeks" as if the name Greek represented the most representative non-Jews.  As far east as India, a cultural synthesis occurred.  The Greek language survived in this region as late as about AD 120, when the Kushan king Kanishka, who ruled western India, Bactria, and Sogdiana (in an inscription) declared that Greek was to be replaced by "Aryan" (the Bactrian language).  The Parthians certainly adopted a form of Hellenism, even when they were pushing the Seleucids out, and encouraging the flourishing of Zoroastrianism.  So, irregardless whether Alexander purposefully or not spread Hellenism, it was present in the wake of his conquests.  Let's not confuse a covert political hostility to Greeks with an adoption of Greek culture.  In the Middle East today, there is an adoption of western culture, but a (in varying degrees) resentment of western political aims. 
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  Quote Romano Nero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Nov-2004 at 02:57

As far as I know, there is not a single piece of evidence for the non-Greeknes of the ancient Macedonians. On the contrary, all evidence we've got seems to imply a less sophisticated Greek group (possibly of Doric origin, that is what the ancient Greek writers seem to believe themselves, although the Greek dialect spoken in Macedonia in these days included more Aeolic elements) that settled in the Northern parts of the peninsula and was not viewed well by their genetical brethen of the south. The same scheme we find regarding the Molosses (Epirot Greeks) and several other Greeks that remained out of the ultra-sophisticated main body of the Greek city-states.

That being said, I do believe that those we call "Macedonians" included many non-Greeks (genetically) elements, especially Thracian and Illyrian. Since we are talking about a kingdom, I wish to remind you that kings and emperors defined the nation of their subjects, not vice versa. So, since the (of undisputed Greek origin) Argead house ruled over the Macedonians, it is safe to assume that they provided their subjects with the "ethnic" definition and not the other way around. The Argeads ruled over the Macedonians, and those genetically were Greeks and non-Greeks.

Culturally, though, they all were very much Greeks. They spoke Greek, upheld Greek customs and laws, worshiped the Dodekatheon, had a distinctive Greek culture in general... they even conquered the world in the name of the Greeks.

There is no dispute on this, I think. The various comedians who are acting as revisionist historians, are just trying to press some political claims and that's the deal behind the very recent effort to revise the history of the ancient Macedonians.

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  Quote Spartakus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Nov-2004 at 03:24
Yeah right!When he builded cities with Hellenic names,when he ordered 30.000 Persians to learn the Hellenic language,when he's teacher was a Hellene,when he participated in the Olympic games,when he honored Achille's grave he didn't care for Hellenism.Yeah you're right! 
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  Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Nov-2004 at 11:29
sharrukin, have you seen the thread "ottoman power" in the historical amusements forum? i'd like to hear your opinion of the whereabouts of the ancient macedonians...
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  Quote Sharrukin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Nov-2004 at 02:02

I never before went to that thread, until now, but I think its focused on a relationship between ancient Macedonians and the modern state of FYROM.   Really, that is beyond the scope of this thread.  I will address the following comments however:

As far as I know, there is not a single piece of evidence for the non-Greeknes of the ancient Macedonians.

The most ancient evidence from Greek narrative history certainly points to the contrary.  When Herodotus takes pains to prove to his readers that the Macedonians were Greeks, he related a story about the Macedonian king Alexander I who was judged a "barbarian" by the Greek athletes.  It took a geneology to prove his right to compete in the Olympics.  The interesting thing here (among other things) is that Herodotus, 60 years after the fact, was still trying to prove their Greekness.   But this is only the tip of the iceberg.

On the contrary, all evidence we've got seems to imply a less sophisticated Greek group (possibly of Doric origin, that is what the ancient Greek writers seem to believe themselves, although the Greek dialect spoken in Macedonia in these days included more Aeolic elements) that settled in the Northern parts of the peninsula and was not viewed well by their genetical brethen of the south.

On the contrary!!!  The idea that the Macedonians were "possibly of Doric origin" only goes back to the misunderstood idea posed by Herodotus.  He didn't say that the Macedonians were of Dorian origin but rather that the Dorians were of Macedonian origin.  The idea that "Aeolic elements" were present originated with Hellanicus of Lesbos, a contemporary of Herodotus who implies an Aeolian origin of the Macedonians.  Were they pre-Dorians or Aeolians?   Herodotus of Halicarnassus had Dorian heritage while Hellanicus of Lesbos had Aeolian heritage.  Either one could have been looking at the Macedonians with their own biases.  Could the Macedonians have tried to portray themselves to each for favor?  Actually the earliest evidence, that of Hesiod (c. 720 BC) doesn't even relate "Macedon" with "Dorus" or "Aeolus".  While the latter two were of the line of "Hellen", "Macedon" wasn't of the line, but rather from a collateral line.  "Macedon" was cousin to the Hellenes, but he himself was not.  The reality is that until 1994, the evidence from Greek inscriptions in Macedonia were brief enough in context to render it difficult to decide which dialect of Greek was spoken in Macedonia.  In 1994 however, a tablet was discovered at Pella of 4th century BC date which gives an entire Greek text.  The dialect was neither Aeolian nor Dorian, but rather related to Northwest Greek.  In either case the evidence from inscriptional evidence only points to Greek being spoken there from the late 5th century BC.  The evidence of Greek in Thrace was even more ancient, but nobody is going to say that the Thracians were Greeks.  And again, this is only the tip of the iceberg.

That being said, I do believe that those we call "Macedonians" included many non-Greeks (genetically) elements, especially Thracian and Illyrian. Since we are talking about a kingdom, I wish to remind you that kings and emperors defined the nation of their subjects, not vice versa.

Care must be taken as to what is meant by "kingdom", since the Greeks also recognized a "land" of Macedonia, of which the "kingdom" was a part of.  The Greeks accepted the identity of the Macedonian kings as Greek (only by 498 BC), however Macedonia was not recognized as a "Greek" land until the time of the successors, when Thessaly, a Greek land, was already an integral part of the kingdom, since the time of Philip.  Strabo, in the 1st century BC did write that "Macedonia was part of Greece" but also wrote that Macedonia was inhabited by "barbarians".  Nothing is mentioned about Greeks.  So, then, while "kings and emperors" can "define the nation" it is not so concrete, especially with classical thought. 

So, since the (of undisputed Greek origin) Argead house ruled over the Macedonians, it is safe to assume that they provided their subjects with the "ethnic" definition and not the other way around.

The origin of the Argead house is very much disputed in scholarly circles. 

Culturally, though, they all were very much Greeks. They spoke Greek, upheld Greek customs and laws, worshiped the Dodekatheon, had a distinctive Greek culture in general... they even conquered the world in the name of the Greeks.

1.  The Greek culture only dates from sometime between 650 and 550 BC.  Before that, the culture was Illyrian, and even before that, the culture was Brygian.  Mycenaean artefacts found in Macedonia are considered either as imitations or as imports in the literature.

2.  It is more accurate to say that Greek was spoken in Macedonia.  The physical evidence for this only dates from the late 5th century BC.

3.  They upheld some Greek customs and laws.

4.  Need I point out that the Greeks considered many of their gods of foreign origin?  It is better to say that both Greeks and local non-Greeks worshipped the same gods.  While Mt. Olympus defined the southern border of Macedonia, to the south of Mt. Olympus was the Thessalian district of Perrhaebia whose population was of Pelasgic (non-Greek) origin.  To the north of Mt. Olympus in southern Macedonia was the Pierian plain, inhabited by a tribe of Thracian (non-Greek) origin.  Just because the Greeks worshipped the Olympian gods doesn't mean that these gods were exclusively Greek.

5.  A big deal had been placed on the expression "Alexander and the Greeks" to define the Hellenic League and to define Alexander as the leader of Greek interests.  As it turns out, while Alexander and his successors brought Hellenism out to the rest of the known world; politically, the Greeks (except the Spartans) remained subject to Macedonian or Macedonian-derived rule, until local rebellions freed the Greeks from the rule of the northerners. 

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  Quote Yiannis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Nov-2004 at 04:16

Sharrukin, you make a lot of interesting but pointless points, because the data that you interpret in one way, can be easily be interpreted in another!

As I said before, one can interpret the evidence in many ways and actually that is what is happening today. I will not go into the discussions of the origin of the Macedonians because I'll never get a satisfactory reply to this question. We don't know for sure the origins of the Greeks! But I'll go to the aftermath of the Macedonians existense. Which is that they have relayed Greek culture and civilization to the ends of the then-known world. If their language was not Greek, then where is it? All we find is Greek. A few remarks by some writers that some orders were given in "Macedonian" is all the contracting evidence we have. But what was this "Macedonian"? For example the Boeotians were laughed at for their crude Greek that were barelly understandable by other Greeks. Were they non-Greeks? I think not.

Others interpret the Macedonian customs as Mycenean ones. E.g. the idea of the king as an Archon rather than an absolute ruler, or their tombs that they were Mycenean like  etc...

Anyway, like I said I don't think we'll ever have a clear answer but I think that it doesn't really matter even if they were not Greek to begin, with since they were Hellenized (volountarily) later which is even more important.

 

 

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  Quote Romano Nero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Nov-2004 at 04:57

Sharukkin,

I was prepared to go into a point-by-point reply, but then I reread Yiannis' post and he pretty much summed up my thoughts excactly.

I do believe that the Macedonian were of Greek origin (and the sources I am having at my disposal point out to this fact) but it's a moot point to try to convince you of that since you decide to interpret the archeological data in a different way.

There are a few obvious fallacious points in your post: Strabo said that "barbarians are living in Macedonia too" not exclusively, is one, that you take a mythical construct like Hesiod's poems at face value, while at the same time you stand critical against much, much, much more reliable sources like Herodotus and Hellanicus is another, the wrong evaluation about when Macedonia was considered a part of the Greek word is a third, the omission of the obvious fact that we have no written records of any other tongue spoken in Macedonia but a Greek dialect - rich in Aeolian roots - is a fourth and so on.

But there is little use in splitting hairs. The rest of my points are more or less covered by Yiannis' post.

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  Quote Sharrukin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Nov-2004 at 23:37

I was prepared to go into a point-by-point reply, but then I reread Yiannis' post and he pretty much summed up my thoughts excactly.

A summary (or rather a conclusion) is different than doing a point-by-point reply.  A summary is simply a declarative statement without support of reasons, whereas a point-by-point reply would give more substance to your conclusion. 

I do believe that the Macedonian were of Greek origin (and the sources I am having at my disposal point out to this fact) but it's a moot point to try to convince you of that since you decide to interpret the archeological data in a different way.

The archaeological data is quite conclusive.  No "interpretation" is required.  If you feel that the archaeological information I've given should lead to a different conclusion, than please inform us of your data. 

There are a few obvious fallacious points in your post: Strabo said that "barbarians are living in Macedonia too" not exclusively, is one,

It wouldn't be the first time that I provided a translation, which were different from anothers.  I'm currently trying to find my source, for proof-reading.

that you take a mythical construct like Hesiod's poems at face value, while at the same time you stand critical against much, much, much more reliable sources like Herodotus and Hellanicus is another

The "mythical construct" you so despise speaks volumes about Greek perceptions about how they saw their own relationships.  What you don't mention is that while Hesiod doesn't relate "Macedon" to "Dorus" or "Aeolus", Hellanicus, almost 300 years later, for lack of a better word "corrects" Hesiod by making Macedon, "son of Aeolus".  Its interesting to note that you consider Hellanicus "a much, much, much more reliable source" when his perception was based on a "mythical construct".  Between the two is the general agreement among the Olympic athletes what the Macedonians were "barbarians". 

As for Herodotus, not every thing he wrote was correct.  I do in fact have a high respect for him, and I do use him as a source of information.  However, when speaking about high antiquity (from his time) there is obviously much to be desired, that he didn't have access to.

the wrong evaluation about when Macedonia was considered a part of the Greek word is a third, the omission of the obvious fact that we have no written records of any other tongue spoken in Macedonia but a Greek dialect - rich in Aeolian roots - is a fourth and so on.

1.  So, then, what source are you using to show that the Greeks considered Macedonia a part of Greece, earlier than the Successors?

2.  You did say that there were other peoples in Macedonia.  The implication is that other languages were spoken there.  The only written evidence of language in Macedonia was Greek.  So what!!!  The only evidence of written language in Thrace and Bactria was Greek.  Yet, we know that the Thracians were non-Greeks and so were the Bactrians. 

2a.  However, the reality is that the Greeks did indeed preserve words in what they called "Macedonian" in ancient texts.  The most modern analysis of the extant corpus of these Macedonian words (the study by Crossland) only gives a Greek etymology just a little more than one-third of these.  Of those 58 Greek words, all have been found to be in the Attic dialect!!!  Since we know that the Attic dialect was not native to Macedonia, these "Macedonian" words were borrowings.  The others could either have other IE roots, or were from other IE languages. 

3.  The evidence for a Greek dialect in Macedonia was Northwest Greek, not Aeolic. 

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  Quote Kids Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Nov-2004 at 02:18
I think everyone, regarding of racial and ethinicities, can be included into Hellenic people, since we all share same Hellenic ideas as that in Plato and in Aristotle tradition.


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  Quote cattus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Nov-2004 at 02:23
thats beautiful Kids
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  Quote Romano Nero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Nov-2004 at 09:54

A summary (or rather a conclusion) is different than doing a point-by-point reply. A summary is simply a declarative statement without support of reasons, whereas a point-by-point reply would give more substance to your conclusion.

Since you reeeally want us to dive deep into it, fine with me. I am warning you though: this will take a long time.

The archaeological data is quite conclusive. No "interpretation" is required. If you feel that the archaeological information I've given should lead to a different conclusion, than please inform us of your data.

Problem is you havent given any. Archeological data, I mean. Provide me with your sources and Ill do my best to discredit them ok, that was a joke, Ill do my best to provide sources that state otherwise or come to different conclusions or give you credit where credit is due. I cant dismiss evidence I havent seen and Ill Ive seen for now are conclusions (and those are yours, you dont even refer to one archeologist or another).

It wouldn't be the first time that I provided a translation, which were different from anothers. I'm currently trying to find my source, for proof-reading.

Yes, I am relying on printed material myself. I tried to find some online transcriptions of Strabos work (if my minds not playing games, it must be book 7) but I couldnt find it somewhere in a conclusive form. I havent checked out Project Gutenberg, though, might find something there. I am looking for the original Greek text though, so we dont fall into the different translation case. Can you understand ancient Greek?

The "mythical construct" you so despise speaks volumes about Greek perceptions about how they saw their own relationships. What you don't mention is that while Hesiod doesn't relate "Macedon" to "Dorus" or "Aeolus", Hellanicus, almost 300 years later, for lack of a better word "corrects" Hesiod by making Macedon, "son of Aeolus". Its interesting to note that you consider Hellanicus "a much, much, much more reliable source" when his perception was based on a "mythical construct". Between the two is the general agreement among the Olympic athletes what the Macedonians were "barbarians".

As for Herodotus, not every thing he wrote was correct. I do in fact have a high respect for him, and I do use him as a source of information. However, when speaking about high antiquity (from his time) there is obviously much to be desired, that he didn't have access to.

  1. I do not despise Hesiod, where did you find that? On the contrary. But its highly unscientific to draw conclusions about historical context from a purely mythical construct. Of course there are some historical roots in every mythical construct (see also the story of Hercules, the Homeric epics etc. etc. even the ascension of the Macedonian dynasty is covered in the midst of mythology: the Temenidae, sons of Temenos son of Hercules.)
  2. Hesiod does not relate Macedon with the Greeks? I think you do need to reread Hesiod, you are making quite a mistake here. Hesiod claimed that Makednos and Magnes (residents of the area around Olympos and Pieria Magnes was the forefather of the Magnetes, another Greek tribe) were sons of Zeus and Thyias, daughter of Deukalion. Not related?
  3. Hellanikos, who lived at the time of Herodotos, considered Macedon son of Aeolos. Also, Apollodoros considered Macedon son of Lykaon and thus grandson of the king of Argos Pelasgos and Lykaon king of Arcadians whose 50 sons became leaders of various greek tribes. On the other hand Aelianos considered Lykaon, King of Emathia and Pindos, son of Macedon. Need any more info on the Greek mythical constructs? Even they, while not of any historical value, provide ample indications that Greeks considered the Macedonian Greek.
  4. Between the two is the general agreement among the Olympic athletes what the Macedonians were "barbarians". : Source, please. How did the Snobbish, we-are-the-best Greeks allowed Barbarians to compete against them? I think that was not very likely to happen
  5. Let us make a rundown on some ancient writers who are presenting the Macedonian case. We dont need to mention Herodotus here, he was 100% sure Macedonians were Doric Greeks and he says so in half a dozen points of his History. Lets see about others:
  • "This is a sworn treaty made between us, Hannibal.. and Xenophanes the Athenian... in the presence of all the gods who possess Macedonia and the rest of Greece". The Histories of Polybius, VII, 9, 4 (Loeb, W. R. Paton)
  • "Aetolians, Acarnanians, Macedonians, men of the same language" T. Livius I, 29, 15
  • "Your ancestors invaded Macedonia and the rest of Greece and did us great harm, though we had done them no prior injury;... I have been appointed hegemon of the Greeks... "Arrian, Anabasis of Alexander II, 14, 4
  • "The country by the sea which is now called Macedonia... Alexander, the father of Perdiccas, and his forefathers, who were originally Temenidae from Argos" Thucydides 99,3 (Loeb, C F Smith)

There are many more, but I dont have all day to search passages from ancient writers about Macedonian.

Also, the Athenian comedy writers used to make great fun of the other Greek dialects (there was very little understanding between Greeks who spoke a different dialect) and some time in the late 5th century Stratis wrote a comedy titled "Pausanias or Macedonians?". In various parts of this comedy a Macedonian explains how various words of the attic dialect are called in the Macedonian dialect. To an ancient Greek speaker, this is really hilarious the Macedonian pronunciation of the refined attic words, sound like a hillbilly speaking the Queens English

1. So, then, what source are you using to show that the Greeks considered Macedonia a part of Greece, earlier than the Successors?

I think Herodotus wrote his history a century before Alexander. And Thucydides a few decades after Herodot. Hellanicus is contemporary to Herodotus. All agreed that Macedonian are Greeks. I assume they were presenting mainstream opinions, not some marginal ones. Sort of an ultimate criteria for someone being Greek, was to be accepted in the Olympics. Macedonian took part in the Olympics from the early 5th century. Now would you please reassess your rather presumptuous assumption about the Successors era?

2. You did say that there were other peoples in Macedonia. The implication is that other languages were spoken there. The only written evidence of language in Macedonia was Greek. So what!!! The only evidence of written language in Thrace and Bactria was Greek. Yet, we know that the Thracians were non-Greeks and so were the Bactrians.

The Thracians got hellenized over time, as did Karians and Lycians and the Lydians well before them. Bactrians probably were not Jokes aside, it is not an implication that other languages were spoken there if the Greek language was the prevalent and the only one used for official affairs, the other languages would vanish quickly.

Really, this is a moot point. You seem to believe that 5.500 inscriptions in Greek and none in any other written language, is not proof enough? What is, then? You consider the absence of non-Greek inscriptions proof that a non-Greek language was spoken in Macedonia before the 5th century? That is really a new way to look into history kind of reminds me Schroedingers cat Quantum Archeology we could call it.

2a. However, the reality is that the Greeks did indeed preserve words in what they called "Macedonian" in ancient texts. The most modern analysis of the extant corpus of these Macedonian words (the study by Crossland) only gives a Greek etymology just a little more than one-third of these. Of those 58 Greek words, all have been found to be in the Attic dialect!!! Since we know that the Attic dialect was not native to Macedonia, these "Macedonian" words were borrowings. The others could either have other IE roots, or were from other IE languages.

You put your trust on linguistics, which is quite good for my case. First of all, you have to make up your mind. Attic or Northwest Greek? Because your next sentence is

3. The evidence for a Greek dialect in Macedonia was Northwest Greek, not Aeolic.

I said rich in Aeolic roots and I think that is correct. It makes sense because the Thessalians spoke an Aeolian dialect and they shared a long border with Macedonia since the wake of time. Likewise, many Thessalian dialects had heavy Doric loans (which can be explained by a mutual fusion).

But googling to find something more about the language (I was thinking that maybe my data was outdated) I came up with some interesting stuff. The Macedonian elite have used the Attic language in the 4th century BC and perhaps even as early as the late 5th century BC. It was a sign of them showing more civilized than the lower classes of the (almost feudal, in some aspects) Macedonian social system. After all, the Attic dialect, which later evolved in the Koene, the common Greek language that was the lingua franka in the Mediterranean for several centuries, was the dominant dialect for the civilized Greeks everywhere. The lower classes kept on talking in their dialect, which was definitely not Attic.

The famous Makedonisti passage from Plutarch, for instance (absent from Arrian, though, who was closer to the events and had most of the original sources on Alexanders campaign at his disposal) doesnt indicate a different language (as some wish to believe) but more a different dialect (see also use of the terms Attikisti, Doristi, Aeolisti etc. etc.). Alexander and his officers but also his etairoi (all of noble breed) spoke in the attic dialect, while the bulk of the Macedonian army spoke the rough, unsophisticated Macedonian dialect.

One could also argue that the names of the Macedonian would preserve some of their barbaric origin, if they were as you suggest hellenized (in the early 5th century, you seem to imply). This is not the case, as of the multitude of Macedonian names we are aware of, only one has been recognized to have an Illyrian root and the rest have Greek roots. That should be, linguistically, ample evidence.

R.A. Crossland might be the only (more correctly: one of the very few) non-Slavic Linguist claiming that Macedonian is not definitely Greek. But there is a multitude of others who do not doubt for a minute that Macedonian spoke a Greek dialect? Here are some: Fr. Sturz , August Flick, O. Hoffmann, Otto Abel, and Karl Belloch, as well as Georg Busolt, Fritz Geyer, Ulrich Wilcken, Helmuth Berve, Gustave Glotz, P. Roussel, P Pouquet, A Jarde, R Cohen, J. Bury,, St. Casson, W. Heurtley, D. Hogarth, J. de Waele are only a few of those.

The most recent findings point out that the Macedonian tongue was a northwestern Greek dialect, this I gladly give to you.

A Greek dialect, nevertheless.

Just for arguments sake, my friend.

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  Quote Sharrukin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Dec-2004 at 15:37

Hmmm, I seemed to have neglected coming here for the longest.  Shame on me!!!   Anyway, it is good to get a response, and so I respond in kind.

Problem is you havent given any. Archeological data, I mean. Provide me with your sources and Ill do my best to discredit them ok, that was a joke, Ill do my best to provide sources that state otherwise or come to different conclusions or give you credit where credit is due. I cant dismiss evidence I havent seen and Ill Ive seen for now are conclusions (and those are yours, you dont even refer to one archeologist or another).

Curiously my main source comes from someone who did favor the Hellenic origin of the Macedonians:  N. G. L. Hammond in The Cambridge Ancient History, III Part I:  The Prehistory of the Balkans; The Middle East and the Aegean World, Tenth to Eighth Centuries BC, Chapter 15:  Illyris, Epirus, and Macedonia in the Early Iron Age, Article:  Ancient Remains in Macedonia.

For a more recent treatment of the archaeology of Macedonia, I refer to Eugene Borza, In the Shadow of Olympus.   All my other sources reflect their conclusions. 

Yes, I am relying on printed material myself. I tried to find some online transcriptions of Strabos work (if my minds not playing games, it must be book 7) but I couldnt find it somewhere in a conclusive form. I havent checked out Project Gutenberg, though, might find something there. I am looking for the original Greek text though, so we dont fall into the different translation case. Can you understand ancient Greek?

There is in fact an on-line translation of Strabo's work, but it seems to not be working well.  I too, thought that the text in question was in Book 7, but the blasted link just takes me to Book 8.  I'm going to have to rely on a copy of the Loeb Classical series at the local University (at least it also has the Greek text), when I am able to get there.  So little time......so little time......

I can understand ancient Greek a little.  But what helps me was that I was able to get my hands on the exhaustive Greek-English Lexicon which was originally compiled by H. G. Liddell and Robert Scott, with the help of many professors and scholars.

I do not despise Hesiod, where did you find that? On the contrary. But its highly unscientific to draw conclusions about historical context from a purely mythical construct. Of course there are some historical roots in every mythical construct (see also the story of Hercules, the Homeric epics etc. etc. even the ascension of the Macedonian dynasty is covered in the midst of mythology: the Temenidae, sons of Temenos son of Hercules.)

And yet you cite Hellanicus who makes such mythological constructs.  In fact there is historical context to Hesiod.  We know that by the middle of the eighth century BC, the Euboians were planting colonies on the Aegean side of Macedonian Pieria itself.  By the end of the eighth century BC Hesiod writes his mythical construct.  If Macedonia was Greek, what were "other" Greek colonies doing there?  The archaeological context has Macedonia as Illyrian in culture, during this time, (c. 800-650 BC).

As for Hercules, come on, lets face it.  He supposedly gave rise to Lydian and Scythian dynasties, as well.  Hercules is actually a digression, a dynastic figure, not a founder of nations.  What I'm talking about are mythical personages representing peoples and tribes.  How Greeks related peoples is reflected by how they are placed on the "family tree".  For Hesiod, "Macedon" was outside the line of Hellen and was neither a son of Dorus or of Aeolus.  Therefore, not only was Macedon, to him not a Dorian or an Aeolian, but also that he wasn't a Hellene. 

Hesiod does not relate Macedon with the Greeks? I think you do need to reread Hesiod, you are making quite a mistake here. Hesiod claimed that Makednos and Magnes (residents of the area around Olympos and Pieria Magnes was the forefather of the Magnetes, another Greek tribe) were sons of Zeus and Thyias, daughter of Deukalion. Not related?

You read far too much into what I wrote.  Please read above for clarification.  As for the Magnetes, we know that in historic times they did indeed spoke a Greek dialect........but not just any Greek dialect but Thessalian Aeolic.  This reflects their conquest by the Thessalians.  We don't know what their original language was.  Later, Magnes was "son of Aeolus" just as Macedon.

Hellanikos, who lived at the time of Herodotos, considered Macedon son of Aeolos.

Yes, and his contemporary, Herodotus considered them, pre-Doric.   

Also, Apollodoros considered Macedon son of Lykaon and thus grandson of the king of Argos Pelasgos and Lykaon king of Arcadians whose 50 sons became leaders of various greek tribes.

Need I point out that the Argos and Arcadia of this construct were Pelasgian?  Since Pelasgians were considered non-Greeks by the ancient Greeks themselves, this Macedon was non-Greek!!!  This fits quite well with the region about Mt. Olympus itself.  If Macedon to the north of Mt. Olympus was "Pelasgian", and the Perrhaebi to the south of Mt. Olympus were of Pelasgic origin, and the region to the south of Perrhaebia (Pelasgiotis) was named after the Pelasgians, then, we have a pattern of Greek thought which considered them non-Greek in origin.  As for the sons, weren't they all killed by Zeus, except Nyctimus? 

On the other hand Aelianos considered Lykaon, King of Emathia and Pindos, son of Macedon.

A variation on Apollodorus.  So, where is his Greekness?

Need any more info on the Greek mythical constructs? Even they, while not of any historical value, provide ample indications that Greeks considered the Macedonian Greek. [/quote]

You may not consider them of any historical value, but they definitely have behind them Greek perceptions of the peoples involved.   Thus far none of these constructs except Hellanicus shows that the Greeks considered them Greeks. 

 Between the two is the general agreement among the Olympic athletes what the Macedonians were "barbarians". : Source, please. How did the Snobbish, we-are-the-best Greeks allowed Barbarians to compete against them? I think that was not very likely to happen

The source was Herodotus (Book 5, 22).   The "snobbish" Greek athletes were sure that Alexander I was a barbarian, despite his Greek name; but the officials accepted him when he "proved" his Argive descent.  Now, when you read between the lines, you find that Herodotus took pains to prove the Greekness of the Macedonian royal house, as he himself said that he had to "demonstrate" to his contemporary readers of that claim. 

I haven't been in these forums for quite awhile.  I ask graciously for you to grant me time to finish answering your other points, before you respond again, since I have little time right now.   All the following passages you've cited, are familiar with me, and I do have variant readings of the same, which give other understandings.  Some quality study is required.  All your other points that I've not addressed will be responded to in good time as well.  Thanks.

 

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  Quote Yiannis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Dec-2004 at 03:17
Originally posted by Sharrukin

Curiously my main source comes from someone who did favor the Hellenic origin of the Macedonians:  N. G. L. Hammond in The Cambridge Ancient History, III Part I:  The Prehistory of the Balkans; The Middle East and the Aegean World, Tenth to Eighth Centuries BC, Chapter 15:  Illyris, Epirus, and Macedonia in the Early Iron Age, Article:  Ancient Remains in Macedonia.

For a more recent treatment of the archaeology of Macedonia, I refer to Eugene Borza, In the Shadow of Olympus.   All my other sources reflect their conclusions. 

Quite truth! Hammond is in favor and Borza against the Greek origin of Macedonians. So how do you combine these two on that subject?

Don't have enough time now, but you seem to underestimate the power of politics in the writings of ancient Greek writers, especially when it comes to the so-called "Pelasgians". E.g. why do you think that Herodotus calls the Athenians "of Pelasgic stock"? Do you think that he consider's them non-Greek?

 



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  Quote Sharrukin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Dec-2004 at 07:05

Quite truth! Hammond is in favor and Borza against the Greek origin of Macedonians. So how do you combine these two on that subject?

Quite simple.  Neither of them considered the early Iron Age cultures of Macedonia as of Greek origin.

Don't have enough time now, but you seem to underestimate the power of politics in the writings of ancient Greek writers, especially when it comes to the so-called "Pelasgians". E.g. why do you think that Herodotus calls the Athenians "of Pelasgic stock"? Do you think that he consider's them non-Greek?

He meant that they were originally of Pelasgic stock but that they, like the rest of the Ionians became Greeks.  ".....the Athenians , being themselves Pelasgian, changed their language when they were absorbed into the Greek family of nations." Herodotus, Book 1,57.   For him, the Dorians were always Greeks. 

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  Quote Yiannis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Dec-2004 at 08:33
Yes I know what he means, but WHY does Herodotus claim that they were of "Pelasgic stock"?
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