Archive for June 2006

Participation of ancient Macedonians in Pan-Hellenic games

June 27, 2006

Quite characteristical for the greekness of ancient Macedonians is their participation on other pan-hellenic games except Olympics, namely Isthmia, Pythia, Amfiaraa and Lycaia. For example, its quite typical the case of Arhon (Άρχων), son of Kleinos. As it is proved from a inscription in Delphi, Arhon took part both in Isthmia and Pythia, where he won. Arhon was an officer of Alexander the Great, took part in all the battles during the campaign in Asia and according to another inscription he was one of the distinguished Macedonians on the battles. Furthermore he was appointed Satrap of Caria.

In a consular resolution originated again from Delphi, Arhon along with his brothers(one of them is called Isocrates) and his mother Sinesis, are honoured as colsulars of the city. Without doubt, both Arhon and his family considered it of great importance his victories in Pan-Hellenic games to be immortalized, something that explains their intense showing off in the most famous Pan-Hellenic place. His victories to Pan-Hellenic games appear to be also an honour for his city Pella, thats why it is said that Pella has “αείμναστον κλέος” because of the victories of Arhon.

Σόν κατά, άναξ| ιερόν τέμ[εν]ος κλυτότοξε σνωρίς | |έστεφεν
Άρχ|ωνος Δελφίδι κράτα δάφναι, |[ός Βαβυλώ]να ιεράν κραίνεν χθόνα, πολλά δε διωι | [σύμποτε] Αλεδάνδρωι στάσε τρόπαια δορός || [τούνε]κα οι μορφάς γονέων κτίσεν ηδέ συναίμων | [τα]σδε, κλέος δ’ αρετάς Πέλλα σύνοιδε πατρίς

[Ω] μάκαρ ευκλείας Άρχων στέ|φανον δις εδέξω | Ίσθμια νικήσας Πύθια τε ιππ[οσύναι ]| ζηλούται δε πατήρ Κλείνος κ[αι πότνια μήτηρ] Πέλλα τε αείμναστον πατρίς έ|χουσα κλέος]|

It is easy to conclude that:

– Eminent Macedonians, and more importantly those who were from the Macedonian capital Pella, considered as a great honour to be victors in Pan-Hellenic games. This pressuposes that they were considering themselves Greeks and they wanted to set it off like all the rest of Greeks did in similar cases.

– To say that Pella, the macedonian capital, has “αείμναστον κλέος” because of the one of her citizens victories in Pan-Hellenic games, at the same era where the Macedonian king had abolish the mightly Persian empire, shows the existence of a collective Hellenic national consciouness in Macedonian citizens.

What we must not forget is that in Pan-Hellenic games participated and in earlier years Macedonians. We know for example, that in races (stadion) who were in Amfiaraa of Oropos, the Macedonian Malakos was the victor, an event taken place before 366 and 338 BC.

This participation of Macedonian athletes in Pan-Hellenic games happen both based on the wish of Macedonians to take part and their simultaneous acceptance of the rest of Greeks, independently of political coincidences or of economical character purposeful acts.


The Lycean Victor List and Three Lists from Oropos

A rare inscription found in Lycaea in Asia Minor [Syll3.314] contains a record of 52 winners in equestrian and other contests at the quadrennial Lykaian festival, from 320 to 304 BCE. Thirteen winners of hippic contests were in chronological order (Table 1). On the other hand, clay tablets οf the 4th and 1st centuries BCE unearthed at Oropos bear inscriptions with the names of more than 64 victorious athletes in athletic contests including hippic events. Eleven victorious horsemen were included in three inscribed lists (Table 2).

Table 1: Victors on the Lycaean list Table 2: Victors on the lists of Oropos*

Year Name-Origin of Victor Contest Won
320 Dameas of Lycaea synoris
Thasyaner of Colophon horse race-boys
Eupolemos of Arcadia colt tethrippon
Mnesarchides of Athens horse race-men
Chionidas of Arcadia tethrippon
Nikokles of Sparta tethrippon
Philonikos of Argos keles flat race
316 Amphinetos of Arcadia synoris
Nikokles of Sparta horse race-boys
Pasikles of Sparta keles flat race
Asopechos of Thebae horse race-men

308 Dagos of Macedonia synoris
Praxias (not extant) colt tethrippon
Damolytos of Lycaea colt tethrippon
Distamenos (not extant) colt synoris
Onomantos of Argos keles flat race
Plutades (not extant) colt keles
Epinetos of Macedonia tethrippon
Apollonios (not extant) synoris
304 Nikagoras of Rhodos synoris
Habris of Cyme keles flat race
Thearidas of Arcadia colt tethrippon
Amyntas of Aeolia Zeugoi diavlon
Boubalos of Cassandria keles flat race

* David Matz, Greek and Roman Sport, McFarland, 1991. The Oropos inscriptions also contained flute and lyre players followed by the name of a sophistes [master musician]. They evoke interest, because they do not follow the Olympic program, contain a greater variety of equestrian events, as well as rules which apparently allowed boys to compete in the mens division

*Note Lykaian was a festival of Zeus held in Arkadia. It was held mainly from Arkadians and other Greeks. Thus we see Macedonian Athletes participating among other Greeks in games in honour of Zeus.

The stele of Kytenians

June 27, 2006

According to Bousquet (1988: 14-16, lines 37.42) the stele says:

Responding favourably to their request, we shall make ourselves agreeable not only to them, but also to the Aetolians and to all the other Dorians, and above all, to king Ptolemy, who is related to the Dorians through the Argead kings descending from Heracles; because King Ptolemy, who is a descendant of Heracles, traces his kingship to the kings descending from Heracles; to the kindred cities and to the kings Ptolemy and Antiochos, who descend from Herakles; to the Aetolians and all the other Dorians and , above all, to king Ptolemy, for he is related to us through the kings

Sounds another archaeological proof showing clearly the Hellinistic Kings Ptolemy and Antiochos were seen as Greeks as all of the rest of Dorians.

Macedonians honoured by Oropus about 350 B.C

June 27, 2006

Macedonians honoured by Oropus : about 350 B.C

A white marble stele, broken at top and bottom, found in the Amphiaraeum at Oropus.
Ionic letter, ΘΟΩ smaller than the rest. All lines end with words.
S.I.G 258 + Hoffman, G.D iii. 27

[Θεό]ς | [Δρί]μων έλεξε έδοξε| [τ]εί εκκλησίει, αγαθεί τύχει|
[Α]μύνταν Περδίκκα Μακεδόνα |[πρ]όξενον είν Ωροπίων | [κ]αι ευεργέτην, ατέλειαν δε | είν και ασυλίαν και πολέμου | και ειρήνης, και γής και οικίης | ένκτησιν, αυτώι και εκγόνοις

A white marble stele with pediment, found close to A.
Ionic letters, similar to Ar but ΟΩ are only occasionally smaller* Syllabic division of linfis*.
S.I.G. 258+ Hoffmann. G.D. iii. 26; G.D.I 5338; ; D.G.E S12.

Θεός | Δρίμων έλεξε έδοξε| τεί εκκλησίει, αγαθεί τύχει|
Αμύνταν Αντιόχου Μακε||δόνα πρόξενον είν Ωροπί|ων και ευεργέτην, ατέλειαν| δε είν και ασυλίαν και πολέμου| και ειρήνης, και γής και οικίης | ένκτησιν, αυτώι και εκγόνοις.

The identity of the formulae used in these two honorary decrees, of their proposer (for the name Δρίμων cf. BechteK HP. 500) and of the forms of script and stone proves them to be contemporaneous. The dialect shows an intermixture of Euboic(τει εκκλησίει, αγαθεί τύχει, είν, οικίης) and Boeotian (έλεξε) elements, but the characteristic Euboic rhotacism is lacking (εκκλησίει, ασυλίαν, ένκτησιν), see further G.D.I. iii (2), p. 537 f. Dialect and script indicate the period 366-338 B.C., during which Oropus was a member of the Boeotian League,

Amyntas (A 4), son of Perdiccas III of Macedon, succeeded his father on the throne in 359; his uncle and guardian Philip became regent and soon arrogated the kingship to himself, but Amyntas is described in an inscription of Lebadea (I.G. vii. 3055.8) as Μακεδόνων Βασιλεύς , and Βασιλέα may have stood in A 4. where Μακεδόν[α] has been cut over an erasure. As he was regarded by some as the rightful king, Alexander the Great put him to death in 335, soon after his accession (U. Wilcken, Alexander the Great, 62, U. Koehler, Hermes, xxiv. 641 f., H. Rerve, Das Alexanderreich,)

Amyntas (Β4), son of Antiochus, deserted Alexander at the beginning of his reign and took service under Darius of Persia. Shortly after the battle of lssus he crossed from Syria by way of Cyprus to Egypt at the head of a mercenary force, and there met his death in 333 (Arrian, Anab. i. 17. 9,25. 3, ii.6.3, 13, 2f.; Q. Curtius, iv, 1. 27ff„ 7. 1; Diod. xvii. 4S. Cf. Niese, G.G.M.8. i. 62, 67, 74, 76, 84, H. Berve, Das Alexanderreich ii, 28 f )

Source : “A Selection of Greek historical inscriptions” by Marcus N. Tod

Ancient Macedonian language – Hoffmann

June 20, 2006

Some years back, a German linguist by the name Otto Hoffmann wrote a book with the title “Makedonians, their language and their Ethnicity“. Hoffman analyzed the paradoxical or idiomatic words (calling them languages),which past grammaticals, lexicographers and more in general everyone engaged around the Hellenic language had noted them as “worthy to be analyzed” in Makedonia.

To begin with, all those people were believing that the Makedonian language was an Hellenic dialect, and exactly this is the reason mentioning certain of its peculiarities, had they believe that the Makedonian language was alien to that Hellenic one, there was not a reason mentioning those Makedonian paradoxical and/or idiomatic “languages”. According to the same Hoffmann his conclusions after “supervising” other peoples work are the following:

“”And now after supervising the ancient Makedonian linguistic thesaurus we are posting the decisive question, if what is adding to the Makedonian language its character,are the hellenic or the barbarian elements of it,the responce can not be of any doubts. From the 39 “languages” that according to Gustav Mayer their form was “completely alien” has been proven after this research of mine,that 10 of them are clearly Hellenic,with 4 more possibly dialectical forms of common hellenic words,so from the entire collection are remaining only 15 words appearing to be justifiable or at least suspected of anti-hellenic origins.Adding to those 15, few others which with regards their vocals could be hellenic,without till now being confirmed as such,then their number, in comparison to the number of pure hellenic ones in the Makedonian language,is so small that the general Hellenic character of the Macedonian linguistic treasure can not be doubted.

The important thing about the Makedonian language is the fact that the alien and foreign to the Hellenic language words in it, are limited in a very narrow circle of objects and thoughts. Prominent as groups are those of names for plants,animals,foods,drinks,wa*r and fighting items and various names of dressing items. However in the Makedonian language there is absolutely not one barbarian word having relation to the governing of the society,military or confering justice. There is the worshipping of the ancient god Savadion, same as the one for the ancient Hellenic Gods, after which the Makedonian named the months of the year.

In Hellas we had the meeting of two civilizations, from which the superior one, that Hellenic represented by the Kings and the nobles became the base for the Makedonian society. Was this Hellenic civilization a pure Makedonian one or it was imported in the country from outside? Are the Hellenic words in the Makedonian language pure Makedonians or they were accepted as loans from the Hellenic? If such loaning happened, it must have happened in very old times. The already mentioned “”languages”” are not derived from the Attick dialect or the “Common-Koinh” Hellenic one. Not only this, but they are not connected with the Attick dialect that was “imported” by Phillip and Alexander in their society and political organization. Those words are formed in an extremely ancient manner, they are to be found just in Makedonia and they are very dialectical. Such statement is especially important. If somehow we can define and connect those Macedonian “languages” with a specific hellenic dialect,then we have a solid base for their definition.

The fact that the ancient Makedonian history is guarded with distrust might be somehow justified to partial ignorance of that early Makedonian history. However once in Makedonia time arrived for the reigning of Alexander the 1st and Archelaos, the mood has been changed. There is the first connection-contact between Amyntas the 1st and Hippias an Hellene (Herodotus 5-92g) in the land of Anthemus (Herodotus 5-94)…….

“”Before he went,Amyntas of Macedon offered him Anthemus,and the Thessalians Iolcus……………”

Next comes the close relation of Alexander the 1st and 2nd, Macedon’s and Amyntas’ sons and the Hellenes. One participates in the Olympic games ( Herodotus 5-22) Amyntas’ son favors the Hellenes in their wars against the Persians.(Herodotus 9-44,45).

Alexander, Amyntas’ son becomes in 480 B.C honorable citizen,console and beneficiary (Herodotus 8-136) “…..secondly,becaue he was well aware that Alexander’s friendship with Athens was an official relation,and was backed by deeds.””………….. Perdikkas is ally and friend of the Athenians (Thukididis 1-57), “…………..and Perdikkas son of Alexandros,king of Macedon,formerly an ally and friend,had been turned into an enemy.””……….. Archelaos not only he maintains friendly political relations with Athens but he is also inviting Athenian poets in his court.Euripedes and Agathon spend in his court the last years of their lives, and as is the case with the SKOPIANS and the Bulgars these days and their so-called different languages, no translators were in need to translate from Greek to Makedonian.

Those Makedonian idiomatism-“languages” are proving one thing and one alone.That neither Athens or the Ionian cities brought to the Makedonians the Hellenic language,since in those dialects clearly exist the influence of the Thessalian dialect!

But in that case the Makedonian linguistic treasure should be accepted not only as a loan from the Thessalians, but an early one as well,since once in Makedonia the Athenian dialect arrived, the Thessalian one couldn’t be consider as competitor.

With regards the names of the Royal House of the Argeades, Hoffman is stating: “” None of the names of the Royal House of the Argeades is of Barbarian origins,the roots of the words and their formation is HELLENIC IN EVERYTHING.Loan from the Hellenic Myth might be the name Orestes and possibly the name Menelaos””

Further down Hoffmann considers 40 names of official Makedonians found on an inscription from 423 B.C adding:

“”In final analysis it is possible that the name VYRGINON KRASTWNOS is of Thracian origins,while independent remains the name DIRVE…..ALL the other names are BEAUTIFULL,CLEAR,HELLENIC CONSTRUCTIONS and only two of them NEOPTOLEMOS and MELEAGROS could have been loans from the HELLENIC MYTHOLOGY.

Hoffmann considers the names of the populations of upper or Western Makedonia including the Orestians(Kastoria),Eordians(P*tolemais-Arnissa),Tymfaians(Pi*ndos-Konitsa), Elimiotians(Kozani),and Lyngestians(Florina-Monastiri. He considers and analyzes the names of the King’s body-guards,of the generals,of the administrative employees,of the leaders of the Makedonian cavalry,the leaders of the name and army,and those of many other common people of the 5th and 4th and even later centuries. His conclusions?


And he continues,,,
“”The general Hellenic character of the Makedonians linguistic treasure can not be disputed even in case some of them might be loans from the Hellenic Mythology or from non-hellenic myths or for the better pre-hellenic myths (Teytamos-Marsyas-Seilinos….*).
The reason? Both Hellenic mythology and pre-hellenic SUCH, contributed many of their names not only in the Makedonian but as well in thegeneral hellenic vocabulary of names. Names that in their phonology and the laws governing their formations are
clearly different than those Thracians and Illyrians,and they can not even be used as “in between” those and the hellenic ones.

So………if someone not agreeing with the Hellenism of the Makedonians, then naturally has to accept the fact that during the 6th and 5th centuries B.C,the Makedonians dropped their ……Makedonian names and they………..introduced the Hellenic ones substituting theirs!

However, if their names were their original ones and in such a way since the names are clearly hellenic and the Makedonians were of pure Hellenic origins, one MUST conclude that the hellenic linguistic treasure,was not taken as a loan from the Thessalians,but it was their own ETHNIC inheritance!

The Hellenic civilization and the Hellenic language did not migrated from Thessaly to alien nations,tribes,and races within the Makedonian lands.

Ancient Macedonian Names

June 17, 2006


ALEXANDROS m Ancient Greek (ALEXANDER Latinized)
Pronounced: al-eg-ZAN-dur
From the Greek name Alexandros, which meant ‘defending men’ from Greek alexein ‘to defend, protect, help’ and aner ‘man’ (genitive andros). Alexander the Great, King of Macedon, is the most famous bearer of this name. In the 4th century BC he built a huge empire out of Greece, Egypt, Persia, and parts of India. The name was borne by five kings of Macedon.

PHILIPPOS m Ancient Greek (PHILIP Latinized)
Pronounced: FIL-ip
From the Greek name Philippos which means ‘friend of horses’, composed of the elements philos ‘friend’ and hippos ‘horse’. The name was borne by five kings of Macedon, including Philip II the father of Alexander the Great.

AEROPOS m Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
Male form of Aerope who in Greek mythology was the wife of King Atreus of Mycenae. Aeropos was also the son of Aerope, daughter of Kepheus: ‘Ares, the Tegeans say, mated with Aerope, daughter of Kepheus (king of Tegea), the son of Aleos. She died in giving birth to a child, Aeropos, who clung to his mother even when she was dead, and sucked great abundance of milk from her breasts. Now this took place by the will of Ares.’ (Pausanias 8.44.) The name was borne by two kings of Macedon.

ALKETAS m Ancient Greek (ALCAEUS Latinized)
Pronounced: al-SEE-us
Derived from Greek alke meaning ‘strength’. This was the name of a 7th-century BC lyric poet from the island of Lesbos.

AMYNTAS m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek amyntor meaning ‘defender’. The name was borne by three kings of Macedon.

ANTIGONOS m Ancient Greek (ANTIGONUS Latinized)
Pronounced: an-TIG-o-nus
Means ‘like the ancestor’ from Greek anti ‘like’ and goneus ‘ancestor’. This was the name of one of Alexander the Great’s generals. After Alexander died, he took control of most of Asia Minor. He was known as Antigonus ‘Monophthalmos’ (‘the One-Eyed’). Antigonos II (ruled 277-239 BC) was known as ‘Gonatos’ (‘knee, kneel’).

ANTIPATROS m Ancient Greek (ANTIPATER Latinized)
Pronounced: an-TI-pa-tur
From the Greek name Antipatros, which meant ‘like the father’ from Greek anti ‘like’ and pater ‘father’. This was the name of an officer of Alexander the Great, who became the regent of Macedon during Alexander’s absence.

ARCHELAOS m Ancient Greek (ARCHELAUS Latinized)
Pronounced: ar-kee-LAY-us
Latinized form of the Greek name Archelaos, which meant ‘master of the people’ from arche ‘master’ and laos ‘people’.

ARGAIOS m Greek Mythology (ARGUS Latinized)
Derived from Greek argos meaning ‘glistening, shining’. In Greek myth this name belongs to both the man who built the Argo and a man with a hundred eyes. The name was borne by three kings of Macedon.

DEMETRIOS m Ancient Greek (DEMETRIUS Latinized)
Latin form of the Greek name Demetrios, which was derived from the name of the Greek goddess Demeter. Kings of Macedon and the Seleucid kingdom have had this name. Demetrios I (ruled 309-301 BC) was known as ‘Poliorketes’ (the ‘Beseiger’).

KARANOS m Ancient Greek (CARANUS Latinized)
Derived from the archaic Greek word ‘koiranos’ or ‘karanon”, meaning ‘ruler’, ‘leader’ or ‘king’. Both words stem from the same archaic Doric root ‘kara’ meaning head, hence leader, royal master. The word ‘koiranos’ already had the meaning of ruler or king in Homer. Karanos is the name of the founder of the Argead dynasty of the Kings of Macedon.

KASSANDROS m Greek Mythology (CASSANDER Latinized)
Pronounced: ka-SAN-dros
Possibly means ‘shining upon man’, derived from Greek kekasmai ‘to shine’ and aner ‘man’ (genitive andros). In Greek myth Cassandra was a Trojan princess, the daughter of Priam and Hecuba. She was given the gift of prophecy by Apollo, but when she spurned his advances he cursed her so nobody would believe her prophecies. The name of a king of Macedon.

KOINOS m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek koinos meaning ‘usual, common’. An Argead king of Macedon in the 8th century BC.

LYSIMACHOS m Ancient Greek (LYSIMACHUS Latinized)
Means ‘a loosening of battle’ from Greek lysis ‘a release, loosening’ and mache ‘battle’. This was the name of one of Alexander the Great’s generals. After Alexander’s death Lysimachus took control of Thrace.

MENELAOS m Greek Mythology (MENELAUS Latinized)
Means ‘withstanding the people’ from Greek meno ‘to last, to withstand’ and laos ‘the people’. In Greek legend he was a king of Sparta and the husband of Helen. When his wife was taken by Paris, the Greeks besieged the city of Troy in an effort to get her back. After the war Menelaus and Helen settled down to a happy life. Macedonian naval commander during the wars of the Diadochi and brother of Ptolemy Lagos.

MELEAGROS m Greek Mythology (MELEAGER Latinized)
Derived from Greek meleagris meaning ‘pheasant’. Mythical hero from Aetolia, and one of the Argonauts. His father Oineus forgot to make sacrifices to Artemis, and as a punishment, she sent a huge boar to ravage Calydon. Meleager gathered the best hunters of Greece to kill the boar in what became known as the Calydonian hunt. Also the name of a king of Macedon (ruled 279 BC).

ORESTES m Greek Mythology
Pronounced: o-RES-teez
Derived from Greek orestais meaning ‘of the mountains’. In Greek myth he was the son of Agamemnon. He killed his mother Clytemnestra after she killed his father. The name of a king of Macedon (ruled 399-396 BC).

PAUSANIAS m Ancient Greek
King of Macedon in 393 BC. Pausanias was also the name of the Spartan king at the Battle of Plataea in 479 BC, and the name of the Greek traveller, geographer and writer whose most famous work is ‘Description of Greece’, and also the name of the man who assassinated Philip II of Macedon in 336 BC.

PERDIKKAS m Ancient Greek (PERDICCAS Latinized)
Derived from Greek perdika meaning ‘partridge’. Perdikkas I is presented as founder of the kingdom of Macedon in Herodotus 8.137. The name was borne by three kings of Macedon.

m Greek Mythology
Pronounced: PUR-see-us
Possibly derived from Greek pertho meaning ‘to destroy’. Perseus was a hero in Greek legend. He killed Medusa, who was so ugly that anyone who gazed upon her was turned to stone, by looking at her in the reflection of his shield and slaying her in her sleep. The name of a king of Macedon (ruled 179-168 BC).

PTOLEMEOS m Ancient Greek (PTOLEMY Latinized)
Pronounced: TAWL-e-mee
Derived from Greek polemeios meaning ‘aggressive’ or ‘warlike’. Ptolemy was the name of several Greco-Egyptian rulers of Egypt, all descendents of Ptolemy I, one of Alexander the Great’s generals. This was also the name of a Greek astronomer. Ptolemy ‘Keraunos’ (ruled 281-279 BC) is named after the lighting bolt thrown by Zeus.

PYRRHOS m Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology (PYRRHUS Latinized)
Pronounced: PIR-us
Derived from Greek pyrros meaning ‘flame-coloured, red’, related to pyr ‘fire’. This was another name of Neoptolemus the son of Achilles. The name of a king of Macedon (ruled 287-285 BC). This was also the name of a 3rd-century BC king of Epirus.

TYRIMMAS m Greek Mythology
Tyrimmas, an Argead king of Macedon and son of Coenus. Also known as Temenus. In Greek mythology, Temenus was the son of Aristomaches and a great-great grandson of Herakles. He became king of Argos. Tyrimmas was also a man from Epirus and father of Evippe, who consorted with Odysseus (Parthenius of Nicaea, Love Romances, 3.1)


EURYDIKE f Greek Mythology (EURYDICE Latinized)
Means ‘wide justice’ from Greek eurys ‘wide’ and dike ‘justice’. In Greek myth she was the wife of Orpheus. Her husband tried to rescue her from Hades, but he failed when he disobeyed the condition that he not look back upon her on their way out. Name of the mother of Philip II of Macedon.

PHERENIKE f Ancient Greek (BERENICE Latinized)
Pronounced: ber-e-NIE-see
Means ‘bringing victory’ from pherein ‘to bring’ and nike ‘victory’. This name was common among the Ptolemy ruling family of Egypt.

KLEOPATRA f Ancient Greek (CLEOPATRA Latinized), English
Pronounced: klee-o-PAT-ra
Means ‘glory of the father’ from Greek kleos ‘glory’ combined with patros ‘of the father’. In the Iliad, the name of the wife of Meleager of Aetolia. This was also the name of queens of Egypt from the Ptolemaic royal family, including Cleopatra VII, the mistress of both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. After being defeated by Augustus she committed suicide by allowing herself to be bitten by an asp. Also the name of a bride of Philip II of Macedon.

STRATONIKE f Ancient Greek (STRATONICE Latinized)
Means ‘victorious army’ from stratos ‘army’ and nike ‘victory’. Sister of King Perdiccas II. “…and Perdiccas afterwards gave his sister Stratonice to Seuthes as he had promised.” (Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War, Chapter VIII)

THESSALONIKI f Ancient Greek
Means ‘victory over the Thessalians’, from the name of the region of Thessaly and niki, meaning ‘victory’. Name of Alexander the Great’s step sister and of the city of Thessaloniki which was named after her in 315 BC.


Usage: Greek Mythology
Pronounced: an-TIG-o-nee
Means ‘against birth’ from Greek anti ‘against’ and gone ‘birth’. In Greek legend Antigone was the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta. King Creon of Thebes declared that her slain brother Polynices was to remain unburied, a great dishonour. She disobeyed and gave him a proper burial, and for this she was sealed alive in a cave. Antigone of Pydna was the mistress of Philotas, the son of Parmenion and commander of Alexander the Great’s Companion cavalry (Plutarch, Alexander, ‘The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans’).

APOLLODOROS m Ancient Greek
Means ‘gift of Apollo’ from the name of the god Apollo combined with Greek doron ‘gift’. The name of one of Alexander the Great’s Companions (Arrian, Anabasis, Book III, 16 and Book VII, 18).

ARISTANDROS m Ancient Greek (ARISTANDER Latinized)
Means ‘best man’, derived from aristos meaning ‘best’, and aner ‘man’ (genitive andros). The name of a soothsayer who accompanied Alexander the Great on his conquests (Plutarch, Alexander, ‘The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans’).

ARISTOPHANES m Ancient Greek
Derived from the Greek elements aristos ‘best’ and phanes ‘appearing’. The name of one of Alexander the Great’s personal body guard who was present during the murder of Cleitus. (Plutarch, Alexander, ‘The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans’). This was also the name of a 5th-century BC Athenian playwright.

ARISTOTELES m Ancient Greek (ARISTOTLE Latinized)
Pronounced: AR-is-taw-tul
From the Greek name Aristoteles which meant ‘the best purpose’, derived from aristos ‘best’ and telos ‘purpose, aim’. This was the name of an important Greek philosopher who made contributions to logic, metaphysics, ethics and biology among many other fields.

ARISTON m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek aristos meaning ‘the best’. The name of a Macedonian officer on campaign with Alexander the Great (Arrian, Anabasis, Book II, 9 and Book III, 11, 14).

KLETUS m Ancient Greek (CLETUS Latinized)
Means ‘calling forth’ or ‘summoned’ in Greek. A phalanx battalion commander in Alexander the Great’s army at the Battle of Hydaspes. Also the name of Alexander’s nurse’s brother, who severed the arm of the Persian Spithridates at the Battle of the Granicus.

HEPHAISTION m Greek Mythology
Derived from Hephaistos (‘Hephaestus’ Latinized) who in Greek mythology was the god of fire and forging and one of the twelve Olympian deities. Hephaistos in Greek denotes a ‘furnace’ or ‘volcano’. Hephaistion was the companion and closest friend of Alexander the Great. He was also known as ‘Philalexandros’ (‘friend of Alexander’).

HERAKLEIDES m Ancient Greek (HERACLEIDES Latinized)
Perhaps means ‘key of Hera’ from the name of the goddess Hera combined with Greek kleis ‘key’ or kleidon ‘little key’. The name of two Macedonian soldiers on campaign with Alexander the Great (Arrian, Anabasis, Book I, 2; Book III, 11 and Book VII, 16).

KLEITOS m Ancient Greek (CLEITUS Latinized)
Means ‘splendid, famous’ in Greek. This was the name of one of Alexander the Great’s generals.

KRATEROS m Ancient Greek (CRATERUS Latinized)
Derived from Greek ‘krater’ meaning ‘wine jar’. This was the name of one of Alexander the Great’s generals. A friend of Alexander the Great, he was also known as ‘Philobasileus’ (‘friend of the King’).

NEOPTOLEMOS m Greek Mythology (NEOPTOLEMUS Latinized)
Means ‘new war’, derived from Greek neos ‘new’ and polemos ‘war’. In Greek legend this was the name of the son of Achilles, brought into the Trojan War because it was prophesied the Greeks could not win it unless he was present. After the war he was slain by Orestes because of his marriage to Hermione. Neoptolemos was believed to be the ancestor of Alexander the Great on his mother’s (Olympias’) side (Plutarch). The name of two Macedonian soldiers during Alexander’s campaigns (Arrian, Anabasis, Book I, 6 and Book II, 27).

PHILOTAS m Ancient Greek
From Greek philotes meaning ‘friendship’. Son of Parmenion and a commander of Alexander the Great’s Companion cavalry.

PHILOXENOS m Ancient Greek
Meaning ‘friend of strangers’ derived from Greek philos meaning friend and xenos meaning ‘stranger, foreigner’. The name of a Macedonian soldier on campaign with Alexander the Great (Arrian, Anabasis, Book III, 6).

SELEUKOS m Ancient Greek (SELEUCUS Latinized)
Means ‘to be light’, ‘to be white’, derived from the Greek word leukos meaning ‘white, bright’. This was the name of one of Alexander’s generals that claimed most of Asia and founded the Seleucid dynasty after the death of Alexander in Babylon.

BUCEPHALUS Ancient Greek
The name of the horse of Alexander the Great. The name derives from the two Greek words vous (‘ox’) and kephali (‘head’), meaning the horse with a head as big as an ox’s head.

Known as the conspirator. His name derives from the greek verb (ηγέομαι = “walking ahead” + greek noun λόχος = “set up ambush”).

POLEMON m ancient Greek
From the house of Andromenes. Brother of Attalos. Means in greek “the one who is fighting in war”.

LAOMEDON m ancient greek
Friend from boyhood of Alexander and later Satrap. His names derives from the greek noun laos (λαός = “people” + medon (μέδω = “the one who governs”)

AUTODIKOS m ancient greek
Somatophylax of Philip III. His name in greek means “the one who takes the law into his (own) hands”

BALAKROS m ancient Greek
Son of Nicanor. We already know Macedonians usually used a “beta” instead of a “phi” which was used by Atheneans (eg. “belekys” instead of “pelekys”, “balakros” instead of “falakros”). “Falakros” has the meaning of “bald”.

NIKANOR (Nικάνωρ m ancient Greek; Latin: Nicanor) means “victor” – from Nike (Νικη) meaning “victory”.
Nicanor was the name of the father of Balakras. He was a distinguished Macedonian during the reign of Phillip II.
Another Nicanor was the son of Parmenion and brother of Philotas. He was a distinguished officer (commander of the Hypaspists) in the service of Alexander the Great. He died of disease in Bactria in 330 BC.

HERMIAS m ancient Hellinic
Philosopher – derives from the Hellinic God Hermes. Possibly indicating association with the gymnasium of which Hermes, Herakles and Theseus were patron Gods.

ANAXARCHOS m ancient Hellinic
Philosopher – his name derives from “anax” = ‘lord’, ‘master’ and “archos” = ‘master’. Giving the meaning of lord master.

ZOILOS m ancient Hellinic
Writer – From zo-e (ΖΩΗ) indicating ‘lively’, ‘vivacious’. Hence the Italian ‘Zoilo’

ZEUXIS m ancient Hellinic
Painter from Heraclea – from ‘zeugnumi’ = ‘to bind’, ‘join together’

LEOCHARIS m ancient Hellinic
Sculptor – Deriving from ‘Leon’ = ‘lion’ and ‘charis’ = ‘grace’. Literally meaning the ‘lion’s grace’.

DEINOKRATIS m ancient Hellinic
Helped Alexander to create Alexandria in Egypt.
From ‘deinow’ = ‘to make terrible’ and ‘kratein’ = “to rule”
Obviously indicating a ‘terrible ruler’

ADMETOS (Άδμητος) m Ancient Greek
derive from the word a+damaw(damazw) and mean tameless,obstreperous.Damazw mean chasten, prevail

ANDROTIMOS (Ανδρότιμος) m Ancient Greek
derive from the words andreios (brave, courageous) and timitis(honest, upright )

PEITHON m Ancient Greek
Means “the one who persuades”. It was a common name among Macedonians and the most famous holders of that names were Peithon, son of Sosicles, responsible for the royal pages and Peithon, son of Krateuas, a marshal of Alexander the Great.

SOSTRATOS m Ancient Greek
Derives from the Greek words “Σως (=safe) +Στρατος (=army)”. He was son of Amyntas and was executed as a conspirator.

DIMNOS m Ancient Greek
Derives from the greek verb “δειμαίνω (= i have fear). One of the conspirators.

TIMANDROS m Ancient Greek
Meaning “Man’s honour”. It derives from the greek words “Τιμή (=honour) + Άνδρας (=man). One of the commanders of regular Hypaspistes.

TLEPOLEMOS ,(τληπόλεμος) m Ancient Greek
Derives from greek words “τλήμων (=brave) + πόλεμος (=war)”. In greek mythology Tlepolemos was a son of Heracles. In alexanders era, Tlepolemos was appointed Satrap of Carmania from Alexander the Great.

AXIOS (Άξιος) m ancient Greek
Meaning “capable”. His name was found on one inscription along with his patronymic “Άξιος Αντιγόνου Μακεδών”.

THEOXENOS (Θεόξενος) ancient Greek
Derives from greek words “θεός (=god) + ξένος (=foreigner).His name appears as a donator of the Apollo temple along with his patronymic and city of origin(Θεόξενος Αισχρίωνος Κασσανδρεύς).

MITRON (Μήτρων) ancient Greek
Derives from the greek word “Μήτηρ (=Mother)”. Mitron of Macedon appears in a inscription as a donator

VOULOMAGA (Βουλομάγα) f ancient greek
Derives from greek words “Βούλομαι (=desire) + άγαν (=too much)”. Her name is found among donators.

KLEOCHARIS (Κλεοχάρης) M ancient greek
Derives from greek words “Κλέος (=fame) + “Χάρις (=Grace). Kleocharis, son of Pytheas from Amphipoli was a Macedonian honoured in the city of Eretria at the time of Demetrius son of Antigonus.

PREPELAOS (Πρεπέλαος) m, ancient Greek
Derives from greek words “πρέπω (=be distinguished) + λαος (=people). He was a general of Kassander

From the Pella Katadesmos names:

THETIMA f Ancient Greek
It has the meaning “she who honors the gods”; the standard Attic form would be Theotimē.

DIONYSOPHON m Ancient Greek
It has the meaning “Voice of Dionysos”. The ending -phon is typical among ancient greek names.


AEGAI Ancient Greek
Derives from the Greek word Aega meaning ‘goat’. The name of the first capital of the ancient kingdom of Macedonia. Karanos, the first king of Macedonia, who in order to find a place for the capital of the kingdom, followed a herd of goats (aegai) and settled the capital at the place were the goats had stopped. The goat appears as a symbol on Alexander I’s coins (E. N. Borza, In the Shadow of Olympus (1990[1992]) 127-128 and 285-286 [coins]; N.G.L. Hammond, History of Macedonia II [1979] 8).

MAKEDONIA Ancient Greek (MACEDONIA Latinized)
From Latin Macedonius “Macedonian,” from Greek Makedones, literarily “highlanders” or “the tall ones,” related to makednos “long, tall,” makros “long, large.”

The name “Macedon” is derived from the tribe of the “Makednoi” (“ma(e)kos” = length). It has the same root, which means ‘long’, ‘high’ or ‘tall’ as in the Greek adjective ‘makednos’ or the noun ‘mekos.’ The name Macedon therefore derives from ‘Makedones’ which means “tall people” or “highlanders”.

The Greek word ‘makednos’ is first mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey (Od. H106), and later by Herodotus, who called ‘Makednon eunos’ the various Doric tribes among which he included the Macedonians (Herodotus I.56, VIII.43):

’…during the reign of Deucalion, Phthiotis was the country in which the Hellenes dwelt, but under Dorus, the son of Hellen, they moved to the tract at the base of Ossa and Olympus, which is called Histiaeotis; forced to retire from that region by the Cadmeians, they settled, under the name of Macedni, in the chain of Pindus.’

According to ancient Greek mythology, Makedon was the name of the tribeleader of the Makedones – the part of the protohellenic tribe of Makednoi which spread throughout Western, Southern and Central Macedonia. The name Makedon comes from Makednos, which is derived from the Greek word Makos meaning length. The Makedones (or Macedonians) were regarded as tall people, and they are likely to have received their name on account of their height – for example Homer uses the term “makednis” while talking about the leaves of tall poplar trees.


Usage: English
Pronounced: SEER-il
From the Greek name Kyrillos which was derived from Greek kyrios ‘lord’. Saint Cyril of Jerusalem was a 4th-century bishop and a Doctor of the Church. Saint Cyril of Alexandria was a 5th-century theologian. Another Saint Cyril was a 9th-century linguist and a Greek missionary to the Slavs. The Cyrillic alphabet, which is still used today, was created by him and his brother Methodius in order to translate the Bible into Slavic.

Usage: Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Pronounced: me-THO-dee-us
Roman form of the Greek name Methodios, derived from Greek methodos meaning ‘pursuit’ or ‘method’, ultimately from meta ‘with’ and hodos ‘road’. Saint Methodius was a Greek missionary to the Slavs who developed the Cyrillic alphabet (with his brother Cyril) in order to translate the Bible into Slavic

Ancient writers about Macedonia – Dionysius of Halicarnassus

June 10, 2006

The Battle of Asculum (279 BC), between the Greeks forces of Pyrrhus of Epirus and the Romans under publius Decius Mus, from Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities, p387, Excerpts from Book XX

“Having agreed through heralds upon the time when they would join in battle, they descended from their camps and took up their positions as follows: King Pyrrhus gave the Macedonian phalanx the first place on the right wing and placed next to it the Italiot mercenaries from Tarentum; then the troops from Ambracia and after them the phalanx of Tarentines equipped with white shields, forced by the allied force of Bruttians and Lucanians; in the middle of the battle-line he stationed the Thesprotians and Chaonians; next to them the mercenaries of the Aetolians, Acarnanians and Athamanians, and finally the Samnites, who constituted the left wing. Of the horse, he stationed the Samnite, Thessalian and Bruttian squadrons and the Tarentine mercenary force upon the right wing, and the Ambraciot, Lucanian and Tarentine squadrons and the Greek mercenaries, consisting of Acarnanians, Aetolians, Macedonians and Athamanians, on the left. The light-armed troops and the elephants he divided into two groups and placed them behind both wings, at a reasonable distance, in a position slightly elevated above the plain. He himself, surrounded by the royal agema, as it was called, of picked horsemen, about two thousand in number, was outs the battle-line, so as to aid promptly any of his troops in turn that might be hard pressed.*

Ancient writers about Macedonia – Pausanias

June 10, 2006

Pausanias, “Description of Greece”

“They say that these were the clans collected by Amphictyon himself in the Greek assembly… The Macedonians managed to join and the entire Phocian race… In my day there were thirty members: six each from Nikopolis, Macedonia, and Thessaly – and from the Boeotoi that were the first that departed from Thessalia and that’s when they were called Aioloi – two from each of the Phokeis and Delphi, one from the ancient Dorida, the Lokroi send one from the Ozoloi and one from the ones living beyond Evoia, one from the Evoeis. From the Peloponnesians, one from Argos, one from Sikion, one from Korinthos and Megara, one from Athens…”
(Pausanias, Description of Greece, Phocis Book VIII, 4)

“…later they added sinorida (race between two-horse-chariots) and horse-riding. In sinorida Velistichi from Makedonia, a woman of the sea, and Tlipolemos Likion were proclaimed victors, he at the 131st Olympiad and Velistichi, in sinorida, at the third Olympiad before that (128th)…”
(Pausanias, Description of Greece, Iliaka, VIII, 11)

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