Archive for May 2007

Modern Historians about Macedonia – N. G. L. Hammond

May 27, 2007


The strand in his[Alexander] personality which needs to be emphasised in his religious faith. Since childhood he had worshipped Heracles Patrous, the son of Zeus and a mortal woman and through his mother he was descended from Achilles, son of the goddess Thetis and a mortal Peleus. In his mother’s veins there was also the blood of a son and a daughter of Priam, king of Troy. To Alexander, Heracles and Achilles were not fantasies of poetic imagination but real people, who expected their descendants to excel as warriors and as benefactors of mankind.

“The Genius of Alexander the Great” By Nicholas G Hammond, page 7 


There were two parts of the Greek-speaking world at this time which did not suffer from revolution and did not seek to impose rule over the city-states. In Epirus there were three clusters of tribal states, called Molossia, Thesprotia and Chaonia, and although a tribal state might move from one cluster to another cluster, each state remained a tight-knit community (a koinon as it was called).The strongest cluster in 356 was the Molossian state. Its monarchy had exceptional prestige because the royal family, it was believed, was descended from Neoptolemus, son of Achilles. These states held the frontier against the Illyrians, whose institutions were fairly similar. In the fourth century down to 360 they were outfought by a cluster of Illyrian states which formed around the Dardanians (in Kosovo and Metohija), whose king Bardylis developed a strong economy. In 385 the Molossians lost 15,000 men in battle and were saved from subjection only by a Spartan army. They suffered losses again in 360.

The other part of the Greek-speaking world extended from Pelagonia in the north to Macedonia in the south. It was occupied by several tribal states, which were constantly at war against Ilyrians, Paeonians and Thracians. Each state had its own monarchy. Special prestige attached to the Lyncestae whose royal family, the Bacchiadaet claimed descent from Heracles, and to the Macedonians, whose royal family had a similar ancestry. Although these tribal states occasionally fought one another, each was close-knit and free from revolution (stasis). They suffered most from the Dardanians who raided far and wide, even reaching the Thermaic Gulf where they imposed a puppet-king on the Macedonians from 393 to 391. Thereafter Pelagonia and Lyncus were frequently overrun, and in 359 the Macedonian king Perdiccas and 4,000 Macedonians were killed in battle against the Dardanians.

In the opinion of the city-states these tribal states were backward and unworthy of the Greek name, ALTHOUGH THEY SPOKE DIALECTS OF THE GREEK LANGUAGE. According to Aristotle, monarchy was the mark of people too stupid to govern themselves. The city-states, on the other hand, with the exception of Sparta, had rid themselves of monarchy centuries ago. They governed themselves democratically or oligarchi-cally, and their citizens were highly individualistic. There were other great differences. The northern states lived largely by transhumant pastoralism, used barter more than currency, and had no basis of slaves, whereas the citv-state populations lived largely in cities, had capitalist economies and employed very large numbers of slaves, even in agriculture. Northerners herded their flocks, worked the land, and served as soldiers in person, whereas in the fourth century the most sophisticated southerners, the Atheneans, preferred to leave labour to slaves and foreigners and hied mercenaries for wars overseas.

The Balkan tribes beyond the Greek-speaking world were continually at war. For as Herodotus said of the Thracians, to live by war and rapine is the most honourable way oflife, and the agricultural worker is the least esteemed. The well-armed aristocrats of the Thracian tribes engaged in wide-ranging raids, such as that led by Sitalces, the king of the Thracian Odrysae, into Macedonia in 429. The Paeonians (in south¬east Yugoslavia) and the Illyrians (in Albania) were equally warlike, and they too engaged in rapine. In the raids they carried off men. women and children as well as goods and livestock. One Illyrian tribal group, the Ardiaei, boasted at this time that it had acquired 300.000 serfs.

N.G.L Hammond – The Genius of Alexander, Page 11


In their place the Macedonians were elected members. The two votes of Phocis on the council were transferred to the Macedonian state.On the advice of Philip the council published regulations for the custody of the oracle and for everything else appertaining to religious practice, to common peace and to concord among the Greeks. Within Boeotia Thebes had a free hand; She destroyed three cities which had been forced to submit to the Phocians and sold their populations into slavery. She would have preferred to treat Phocis similarly.

N.G.L Hammond – The Genius of Alexander, Page 18


He adviced Philip as the ruler of the strongest state in Europe to bring the city-states into concord, lead them against Persia, liberate the Greeks in Asia and found there new cities to absorb the surplus population of the Greek mainland.

N.G.L Hammond – The Genius of Alexander, Page 18-19

Thebes was treated harsly as the violator of its oaths. Athens was treated generously. Alexander led a guard of honour which brought the ashes of Athenian dead to Athens – a unique tribute to a defeated enemy – and the 2,000 Athenian prisoners were liberated without ransom

N.G.L Hammond – The Genius of Alexander, Page 20


The Balkan situation was far from secure, with the Odrysians and Scythians only recently defeated and with the TRiballi still defiant. Yet Philip was confident of success in the interest of the Greek-speaking world and OF MACEDONIA IN PARTICULAR

“The Genius of Alexander the Great” By Nicholas G Hammond, page 21


His remark ‘if i were not Alexander, i would indeed be Diogenes’ carried the meaning ‘if i were not already King of Macedonia, President of Thessaly, the favourite of the Amphictyonic league and Hegemon of the Greek community’.

N.G.L Hammond – The Genius of Alexander, Page 31


Reports came from friends in Athens that Demosthenes was receiving subisdies from Persia and was in correspondece with Attalus, the commander of the Macedonian infantry in Asia, with whom he was very popular.

N.G.L Hammond – The Genius of Alexander, Page 31


In late summer Alexander led his army southwards towards the land of the Agrianians (round Sofia) and the Paeonians (round skopje).

N.G.L Hammond – The Genius of Alexander, Page 36


The first sentence of the actual Life of Alexander lives up to Plutarch’s warning words. ‘Alexander’s descent, as a Heraclid on his father’s side from Caranus, and as an Aeacid on his mother’s side from Neoptolemus, is one of the matters which have been completely trusted.While the Heraclid and Aeacid descent went UNQUESTIONED BY ANCIENT WRITERS, the citation of Caranus as the founding father in Macedonia and so analogous to Neoptolemus in Molossia was not only controversial but must have been known to be controversial by Plutarch. For he was conversant with the histories of Herodotus and Thucydides. which had looked to Perdiccas as the founding father in Macedonia. Caranus was inserted as a forerunner of Perdiccas in Macedonia only at the turn of the fifth century: he appeared as such in the works of fourth-century writers, such as Marsyas the Macedonian historian (FGrH 135/6 i- 14) who on my analysis was used by Pompeius Trogus (Prologue 7 ‘origines Macedonicae regesque a conditorc gentis Carano’). Thus the dogmatic statement of Plutarch, that Caranus was the forerunner, should have been qualified, if he had been writing scientific history. But because the statement conveyed a belief which Alexander certainlv held in his lifetime it was justified in the eyes of a biographer and in the eyes of those who were more concerned with biographical background than with historical facts. If Plutarch had been challenged, he would no doubt have claimed that his belief was based on his own wide reading of authors who had studied the origins of Macedonia and provided ‘completely trusted’ data.

“Sources for Alexander the Great: An Analysis of Plutarch’s ‘Life’ and Arrian’s ‘Anabasis Alexandrou'” by N.G.L Hammond, Page 5


Hesiod would not have recorded this relationship, unless he had believed, probably in the SEVENTH CENTURY, that
the Macedones were a GREEK-SPEAKING PEOPLE. The next evidence comes from Persia. At the turn of the
SIXTH CENTURY the Persians described the tribute- paying peoples of their province in Europe, and one of them was the ‘yauna takabara’, which meant “Greeks wearing the hat”. There were Greeks in Greek city-states here and there in the province, but they were of various origins and not distinguished by a common hat. However, the Macedonians wore a distinctive hat, the kausia. We conclude that the Persians believed the Macedonians to be SPEAKERS OF GREEK. Finally, in the latter part of the FIFTH CENTURY a Greek historian, Hellanicus, visited Macedonia and modified Hesiodus genealogy by making Macedon not a cousin, but a son of Aeolus, thus bringing Macedon and his descendants FIRMLY INTO the Aeolic branch of the GREEK-SPEAKING-FAMILY. Hesiod, Persia, and Hellanicus had no motive for making a false statement about the language of the Macedonians, who were then an obscure and not a powerful people. Their independent testimonies should be ACCEPTED AS CONCLUSIVE.”

<N.G.L.Hammond, “The Macedonian State”, Clarendon
Press, Oxford, 1989, pp. 12-15


As we have mentioned in Chapter I, Perdiccas and his brothers
came from Argos and Peloponnese
. They were members of the Royal house of Argos, the “Teminidae”, descendants of Temenus, whose ancestor was Heracles, son of Zeus; it was this Temenus who led the Dorian tribes into the Argolid and founded Dorian Argos late in the 12th century. Thus Perdiccas came to Macedonia with the aura of divine favor, and he could claim that the Temenidae and the Argeadae were both descended from Zeus and so were diogeneis. To Greeks of the classical period the Temenid name was well known. Thus the oracle which
was concerned post eventum with he following of the new capital, Aegeae, by Perdiccas began with the line “The noble Temenidae have royal rule over a wealth producing land. Herodotus made a special point of emphasizing that the royal house of Macedonia was Greek by descent, and Thucydides, who questioned much of what Herodotus said, concurred with him in calling the Macedonian kings “Temenidae from Argos”. Almost a century later Isocrates wrote to Philip II, saying “Argos is your fatherland”, and he asked Philip to emulate his father [Amyntas], the founder of the monarchy [Perdiccas], and the originator of the family (Heracles).

N.G.L Hammond: The Macedonian State: pg 18.


The matter is of only academic interest to a few scholars today. NO ONE IN ANTIQUITY DOUBTED THE TRUTH OF THE CLAIM.

N.G.L Hammond: The Macedonian State, pg 19.


It seems now that Alexander wanted from the Greek states a public and universal recognition of his benefactions, and that he wanted IT AS BEING HIMSELF A GREEK OF THE TEMENID FAMILY

N.G.L Hammond: The Macedonian State: pg 235


Although the southern Greeks in the world of city-states were unaware of the fact, the MACEDONES were themselves an example of that Greek-speaking expansion which planted colonies at many places on the Mediteterranean coast… They had learnt much from their neighbours – Thracian, Phrygian, and Illyrian – and in 650 B.C. or so they put their lessons to good purpose… By expropriating and in some cases by destroying the previous inhabitants THEY created a solid block of GREEK-SPEAKING Macedonians in Pieria, Eordea, Almopia, and Bottiaea, which was… in time of trouble …the almost irreducible minimum of Macedonian strength.

N.G.L. Hammond, A History of Macedonia I (1972): <p.440>


We must remember too that Philip and Alexander WERE GREEKS, descended from Heracles;they wished to be recognized by the Greeks as benefactors of the Greeks, even as Heracles had been

N.G L Hammond [1989] “Alexander The Great” page.257


Before engaging at Gaugamela Alexander prayed in front of the army, raising his right hand towards the gods and saying, “If I am really descended from Zeus, protect and strengthen the Greeks.” That prayer, appearently, was answered

N.G L Hammond [1989] “Alexander The Great”, pg.260


As a Greek Alexander was attempting to change the age old course of city state politics from imperialistic particularism and internecine warfare to a federal system and an expansion outwards in terms of influence, Settlement, and trade.

N.G L Hammond [1989] “Alexander The Great” , pg.259


Disagreements over this issue have developed for various reasons. In the second half of the fifth century Thucydides regarded the semi-nomadic, armed northerners of Epirus and western Macedonia as “barbarians”, and he called them such in his history of events in 429 and 423. The word was understood by some scholars to mean “non-Greek-speakers” rather than “savages.” They WERE SHOWN TO BE MISTAKEN in 1956, when inscriptions of 370-68, containing lists of Greek personal names and recording in the Greek language some acts of the Molossians, were found at Dodona in Epirus. This discovery proved beyond dispute that one of Thucydides “barbarian” tribes” of Epirus, the Molossians, was speaking Greek AT THE TIME OF WHICH HE WAS WRITING. Demosthenes too called the Macedonians “barbarians” in the 340s. That this was merely a term of abuse has been PROVED recently by the discovery at Aegean (Vergina) of seventy-four Greek names and one Thracian name on funerary headstones inscribed in Greek letters.

“The Miracle that Was Macedonia” , N.G.L. Hammond, pages 5-6


Herodotus THINKS of them as speaking the HELLENIC tongue and being neighbours of barbarian Pelasgi in Thessaly (Htd.1.57.1). They were driven out of Thessaly into the Pindus range. At that stage the tribe took its name from the locality in which it lived, just as at a later stage it took its name from Doris. ‘Makednia’ was certainly in North Pindus by the valley of the Haliacmon river; for it was from this region that the name ‘Macedonia’ was carried by the invaders into the country which had been called Emathia and was renamed Macedonia.

<N.G.L.Hammond, “Epirus” (1967), p.374>


The Hellenes, as the Greeks of Classical times called themselves, traced their ancestors back to Thessaly, then ruled by Deucalion’s Descendants Hellen, the war-loving king, and his sons Dorus, Xuthus, and Aeolus’, and to southern MACEDONIA where Magnes and Macedon, delighting in horses, lived in the area of Olympus and Pieria’;… Extensive excavation has shown that the mainland experienced large-scale invasions c.2000-1700 B.C.;… The last wave of Greeks, those represented by the ancestor Dorus, entered Greece in the century c.1125 – c.1025, their dialects being Dorian and north-west Greek. As they came from the areas of Epirus and Western MACEDONIA, it seems likely that the reservoir of Greek-speaking peoples from which these waves of invasion spread was situated c.2000 B.C. in Albania and in WESTERN AND SOUTHERN MACEDONIA.

<Oxford Classical Dictionary, 2nd ed. (1970), s.v.”Greece,” by N.G.L.Hammond, p.478>


Of the DORIAN PEOPLES some known as Macedni (Herodotus 1.56) came from south-west Macedonia; a remnant of these perhaps formed the NUCLEUS OF THE CLASSICAL MACEDONIANS.”

<Oxford Classical Dictionary, 2nd ed. (1970), s.v. “Macedonia,” by N.G.L.Hammond, p.633>


The religion of the Makedones themselves was HELLENIC, as is proven by the names of the Macedonian months. Cults of most of the chief Greek deities are SUFFICIENTLY attested for the EARLY PERIOD.

<Oxford Classical Dictionary, 2nd ed.(1970), s.v. “Macedonia,” by N.G.L.Hammond, p.634>


City-state life on the Athenian model became for the Greeks of the fourth century the hall- mark of Greek civilization, and the RACIALIST DISTINCTIONS of the past were now of comparatively little significance.
Isocrates made the point succinctly in 380: ‘The name “Greeks” suggests no longer a race but an outlook, and the title “Greeks” is given rather to those who share our culture than to those who share our blood.’
It thus came about that peoples who may have been racially of the same stock as the Greek-speaking peoples of central and southern Greece were regarded as non-Greek and so barbarian, because their outlook and their culture were from the Greek point of view retarded and un-Greek. This was particularly so if the political unit was the ethnos or TRIBAL system and the constitution was MONARCHICAL. The peoples of what we call northern Greece were at a trivial stage of development, and many of the tribes were still ruled by constitutional monarchies at the beginning of the fourth century.

<N.G.L.Hammond, “The Classical Age of Greece” (1975), p.241>


Philip was born a Greek of the most aristocratic, indeed of divine, descent… Philip was both a Greek and a Macedonian, even as Demosthenes was a Greek and an AthenianThe Macedonians over whom Philip was to rule were an outlying family member of the Greek-speaking peoples.

Nicholas G. L. Hammond, ‘Philip of Macedon’ Duckworth Publishing, February 1998

Jewish testimonies about ancient Macedonian ethnicity

May 27, 2007


1. In the early Syriac documents the dating is by the “The rule of the Greeks”.

2. In the Greek translation of First Maccabees, one of our earliest witnesses, the dominion of Antiochus Epiphanes and his successors is termed “the king¬dom of the Greeks,” (1. Macc. 1:10, and elsewhere)

3. In the Jewish Talmud and Midrash, we have a reference to Yavans (Seleucid Greeks).

4. In Megillah 11a , we have “I did not reject them in the day of the Greeks”, ie. In the name of the Seleucid rule.

5. In Maccabaeus 8:18 we have “the kingdom of the Greeks, «την βασιλείαν των Ελλήνων».
6. In 1 Macc. 1:10 where is being mentioned the accession of Antiochus Epiphanes as “he ascended the throne of the Grecian Kingdom in the [Seleucid] year 137

7. In Dan 11:2 we have a reference in the same sense.

8. In Dan 10:20 we find a passage in which Yavan is used to designate the Greek state in Asia where the Angel Gabriel is foretelling the future to Daniel, saying that as soon as the conflict with Persians is finished, another will begin, namely that with the “Captain of Yavan”

In conclusion noticeably the prophers :
– Daniel (chap.8, 1-22 chap.2 para.39 4-13, 26-28, 31, 38 chap. 7, 2-7)
-Isiaiah chap. 19, 20 chap. 19,23
-Joel chap.3 v.6,
-Habacoum chap.2, v.5 and
-the books of the Maccabees (1st book chap. 1, v.1 & 10 chap. 6 v.2, II 8, 20 III 8)
include explicit elements for the greek character of Macedonia.

Furthermore Jewish historians like:

Flavius Josephus makes reference to the Greeks of Macedonia and to Greece or Macedonia, sometimes using the one term and sometimes the other, clearly regarding the Macedonians as Greeks and the Greeks as Macedonians (Antiquities of the Jews book 11 para.337, 109, 148, 286, 184 book 8 para.61, 95 100, 154, 312 book 10 para.273 book 12 para.322 & 414 where he includes these Macedonina kings together with Antiochus the Great in teh conquest if the Greek world by the Romans since he regards Macedonia as a Greek province).

Philo of Alexandria refers to the Macedonian King Alexander whom he indentifies with the Greeks.

Maimonides according to whom “thanks to the conquest of Judea by the Greek-Macedonian dynasty the greek learning was transplanted there and contributed to making Hellenism and Judaism acquainted with one another and to the creation of a new philosophical and religious synthesis which opened up new paths and gave new directions to human civilisation”.

-Numerous well known rabbis.

Indian Testimonies about ancient Macedonians

May 24, 2007


Edicts of Ashoka (250 BCE)

An irrefutable evidence of the greek ethnicity of ancient Macedonians comes from the famous “Edicts of Ashoka” (c. 250 BCE) where the Buddhist emperor Ashoka refers to the Greek populations under his rule.

The Rock Edicts V and XIII mention the Yonas (or the Greeks) along with the Kambojas and Gandharas as a subject people forming a frontier region of his empire and attest that he sent envoys to the Greek rulers in the West as far as the Mediterranean, faultlessly naming them one by one.

In the Gandhari original of Rock XIII, the Greek kings to the West are associated unambiguously with the term “Yona“:

More precicely we have the following: “Now it is conquest by Dhamma that Beloved-of-the-Gods considers to be the best conquest. And it (conquest by Dhamma) has been won here, on the borders, even six hundred yojanas away, where the Greek king Antiochos rules, beyond there where the four kings named Ptolemy, Antigonos, Magas and Alexander rule, likewise in the south among the Cholas, the Pandyas, and as far as Tamraparni.” Rock Edict Nb13 (S. Dhammika)

The distance of 600 yojanas (a yojanas being about 7 miles), corresponds to the distance between the center of India and Greece (roughly 4,000 miles).

1.Antiochos refers to Antiochus II Theos of Syria (261-246 BCE), who controlled the Seleucid Empire from Syria to Bactria, in the east from 305 BCE to 250 BCE, and was therefore a direct neighbor of Ashoka.

2.Ptolemy refers to Ptolemy II Philadelphos of Egypt (285-247 BCE), king of the dynasty founded by Ptolemy I, a former general of Alexander the Great, in Egypt.

3.Antigonos refers to Antigonus II Gonatas of Macedon (278-239 BCE)

4.Magas refers to Magas of Cyrene (300-258 BCE)

5.Alexander refers to Alexander II of Epirus (272-258 BCE).

In the Gandhari original Antiochos is refered as “Amtiyoko nama Yona-raja” (lit. “The Greek king by the name of Antiokos“), beyond whom live the four other kings: “param ca tena Atiyokena cature 4 rajani Turamaye nama Amtikini nama Maka nama Alikasudaro nama” (lit. “And beyond Antiochus, four kings by the name of Ptolemy, the name of Antigonos, the name of Magas, the name Alexander” [1]

From the book “The Cambridge Shorter History of India” of Cambridge Un. Press – 1934


It is evident then, from the testimony of the epigraphic records, that Asoka ruled the whole of India except the extreme south, which was in the hands of the Cholas and Pāndyas. The inscriptions refer also to the nations on the borders of the empire. There were in the south, as already mentioned, the Cholas and Pāndyas, whose lands stretched as far as Tamraparni, i.e. Ceylon; while one edict adds two smaller border chiefs, the Keralaputra, i.e. the king of Kerāla or Malabar, and the Satiyaputra, not yet satisfactorily identified, but probably connected with the āndhras. Mentioned along with these independent kingdoms of the south are the Yavana king, Antiyaka, that is the Seleucid Antiochos Theos, whose lands marched with the Maurya empire on the north-west, and the other Greek kings who were his neighbours. On the outer fringe of the empire, but within the king’s territory, were the Yonas, the Greeks in the lands ceded by Seleucus to Chandragupta; other Yavanas are named, along with the Gandhāras, apparently as independent; they were probably the rulers of southern Afghanistan and the land west of the upper Indus. The Kambojas, mentioned with them and located north-west of Gandhāra in the Hindu Kush, spoke a semi-Iranian language and were regarded by Hindus as only half-civilised. Another group of frontier peoples living within the king’s territory but probably retaining some vestiges of autonomy, belonged to the south.

Persian Testimonies about ancient Macedonian Ethnicity

May 23, 2007


1. Yauna Takabara

A Persian inscription dating from 513 BCE records the European peoples who were, at that date, subject to the Great King. One of these people is described as Yauna Takabara, meaning ‘Ionians whose head-dress is like a shield’. The Persians, like other eastern peoples of antiquity, are known to have applied the term ‘Ionians’ to all Greeks; on the other hand the head-dress resembling a shield has been rightly recognized as that of depicted on Macedonian coins.

According to Cambridge Ancient History Vol 4 “The Greek-speaking people with the shield-like hat were the Macedones, renowned for wearing the sun-hat, as Alexander I did on his fine coins from 478 B.C (look above). The Greek-speaking citizens of the colonial city states on the seaboard were not mentioned; nor did they wear a sun-hat.”

2. The Persian story of ZULQARNEEN

Persian Texts in Translation

Packard Humanities Institute – Persian Literature in Translation


It has been mentioned above that, according to the majority of historians, there were no other prophets sent between Nϋh and Ebrahim, except Hϋd and Sβlah. Some of the ancients, however, tell us that the greater Zulqarneen had been honoured after Sβlah and before Ebrahim with the exalted dignity of ambassadorship and prophecy; and Mujβhad has informed us after A’bdullah Bin O’mar—u. w. b., etc.—that the greater Zulqarneen was one of the prophets sent by God, and that the reason for the truth of this assertion is, because the glorious Lord of unity had honoured him with the allocution, ‘O Zulqar*neen!’* which cannot be addressed except to the perfect essences and virtuous spirits of prophets, u. w. b. p. According to the most correct tradition Zulqarneen was not Alexander the Grecian, whose biography is recorded in the history of the kings of Persia, because his genealogy ascends to Yβfuth the son of Nϋh, whereas Alexander the Greek is one of the descendants of A’yss the son of Esahβq, of the children of Sβm the son of Nϋh. This view has been adopted by commentators, such as I’mβd-ud-din Bin Kathir in his book entitled ‘Bedβyet wa Nuhβyet,’ and arguments have been adduced in support of the truth of his having been a prophet. Sanβn Bin Thβbut Allashbuhi has related in his work entitled ‘Jβmi’ that Zulqarneen had been sent after Sβlah, and that he lived in Europe, possessed of great power and an extensive kingdom, and was constantly engaged in waging wars against infidels, until his noble disposition impelled him to visit various cities and countries. He first undertook an expedition to the West, and, as infidels dwelt there who would not be admonished by his words, nor desist from idolatry, infidelity and sinful acts, he sojourned one year among them, and attacked and exterminated the majority of them with his merciless scimitar. After having established a Musalmβn colony in that country, he went to Jerusalem and remained there for some time; then he turned towards the East, and journeyed till he approached the habitations of Yajϋj and Majϋj.* Zulqarneen there entered a city which contained a large population, governed by a noble, affable and hand*some king, who hastened to meet Zulqarneen; as soon as he was informed of his approach, he brought offerings of nice and acceptable presents, and became a partaker in the obedience to the Lord of both worlds.* Zulqarneen looked at the sovereign and the people of that country with mercy, and rejoiced them with his favours. As they had been for a long time oppressed and injured by Yajϋj and Majϋj, and were unable to resist them, they were glad to inform Zulqarneen of all this, who, trusting in divine grace, made the necessary preparations to remove the oppression and tyranny of Yajϋj and Majϋj.

3. Bahram Yasht

If we search at “Zand-i Vohuman Yasht” CHAPTER 3, 34

We will find the following passage.


‘And then Mihr of the vast cattle-pastures cries thus: “Of these nine thousand years’ support, which during its beginning produced Dahak [Zohak] of evil religion, Frasiyav of Tur, and Alexander the Ruman, the period of one thousand years of those leather-belted demons with disheveled hair is a more than moderate reign to produce

Zand-i Vohuman Yasht, chapter 3

Lets see now what Prof. S. Eddy from University of Nebraska has to tell us about the above passage.


it must follow that at least a part of the Bahman Yasht, the detailed picture of the apocalyptic conditions brought about by a successful invasion of Iran by foreigners, existed before the time of Ardashir I. But the Bahman Yasht must therefore also have said something of the invasion. In fact it does, and twice names its leader as Alexander the Great. He was not at all a threat to Sassanid prophets living more than half a millennium after his death. The name Alexander, then, is further evidence of Hellenistic date. He is called “Destroyer of the Religion” and “Invader.” The first epithet is a parallel to the tradition preserved in the Dinkard, the second to the Sibylline Oracle. Furthermore, the rank and file of the aggressors are once identified as Yunan, which is ancient Near Eastern usage for “Greeks,” derived from the word for “Ionians.” This word is a Pahlevi vocalization equivalent to Old Persian Yaunā , Elamite Iauna, Hebrew Yāwān, and Hindu Yavanā. Sassanid writers, however, usually referred to Greeks as Rūmi.

It is true that the Bahman Yasht sometimes says that the invaders come from Rum. That is Sassanid editing. It sometimes indicates that they are Muslims. That is post-Sassanid editing. The apocalypse normally refers to them by the cryptic title, “The Demons with Dishevelled Hair of the Race of Wrath.” This, from the old Persian point of view, was a good characterization”

Conclusion: Ancient Persian Zoroastrian texts verified what we and the ancient people already know. Alexander the Great was Greek!!!

Roman testimonies about ancient Macedonian ethnicity

May 19, 2007


Quintus Curtius Rufus


Alexander also summoned the delegates of the League of Corinth in order to have himself declared its Hegemon and, when he had obtained their support for his expedition against Persia, he returned to Macedonia (Diod. 17.4.9) The government of Persia had undergone a number of changes since Philip II first organized the Greek crusade against the East.

The History of Alexander – Penguin Classics, Translation by John Yardley, page 20


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

(Quintus Curtius Rufus 3.3.6)


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

(Quintus Curtius Rufus 4.1.10)


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

(Quintus Curtius Rufus 4.10.1)


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

(Quintus Curtius Rufus 5.6.1)


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

(Quintus Curtius Rufus 5. 7. 3)


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

(Quintus Curtius Rufus 5. 7. 8)


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

(Quintus Curtius Rufus 5.7.11)


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


“The gist of the passage was that the Greeks had established a bad practice in inscribing their trophies with only their kings’ names, for the kings’ were thus appropriating to themselves glory that was won by the blood of others.”

(Quintus Curtius Rufus 8.1.29)


“and he [alexander] demonstrated the strength of his contempt for the barbarians by celebrating games in honour of Aesclepius and Athena

(Curtius Rufus 3, 7, 3)


“he consecrated three altars on the banks of the river Pinarus to Zeus, Hercules, and Athena,…”

(Curtius Rufus 3, 12, 27)


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

(Curtius Rufus 4, 5, 11)


“they also occupied Tenedos and had decided to seize Chios at the invitation of its inhabitants

(Curtius Rufus 4, 5, 14)


“Then Alexander’s horses dragged him around the city while the king gloated at having followed the example of his ancestor Achilles in punishing his enemy

Curtius Rufus 4,6.29)


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

(Curtius Rufus 4.8.13)


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

(Curtius Rufus 4.8.14)


“Amphoterus, the admiral of the fleet, was then sent to liberate Crete, most of which was occupied by both Persian and Spartan armies”

(Curtius Rufus 4.8.15)


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

(Curtius Rufus 7.5.36)


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

(Curtius Rufus 7.6.1)


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

(Curtius Rufus 7.6.35)


Besides the Macedonians there are many present who, I think, will
more easily understand what I shall say if I use the same language which you have employed, for no other reason, I suppose, than in order that you speech might be understood by the greater number

(Curtius 6.9.35)


2. Titus Livius


“Aetolians, Acarnanians, Macedonians, men of the SAME language


(T. Livius XXXI,29, 15)


“General Paulus of Rome surrounded by the ten Commissioners took his official seat surrounded by the whole crowds of Macedonians…Paulus announced in Latin the decisions of the Senate, as well as his own, made by the advice of his council. This announcement was translated into Greek and repeated by Gnaeus Octavius the Praetor-for he too was present.”

(T. Livius,XLV)


As for the Argives, apart from their belief that the Macedonian kings were descended from them, most of them were also attached to Philip by individual ties of hospitality and close personal friendships.”

(T. Livius, 32.22)


3. Cicero


“For if all the wars which we have carried on against the Greeks are to be despised, then let the triumph of Marcus Curius over king Pyrrhus be derided; and that of Titus Flamininus over Philip; and that of Marcus Fulvius over the Aetolians; and that of Lucius Paullus over king Perses; and that of Quintus Metellus over the false Philip; and that of Lucius Mummius over the Corinthians. But, if all these wars were of the greatest importance, and if our victories in them were most acceptable, then why are the Asiatic nations and that Asiatic enemy despised by you? But, from our records of ancient deeds; I see that the Roman people carried on a most important war with Antiochus; the conqueror in which war, Lucius Scipio, who had already gained great glory when acting in conjunction with his brother Publius, assumed the same honour himself by taking a surname from Asia, as his brother did, who, having subdued Africa, paraded his conquest by the assumption of the name of Africanus. [32] And in that war the renown of your ancestor Marcus Cato was very conspicuous; but he, if he was, as I make no doubt that he was, a man of the same character as I see that you are, would never have gone to that war, if he had thought that it was only going to be a war against women. Nor would the senate have prevailed on Publius Africanus to go as lieutenant to his brother, when he himself; a little while before, having forced Hannibal out of Italy, having driven him out of Africa, and having crushed the power of Carthage, had delivered the republic from the greatest dangers, if that war had not been considered an important and formidable war.”

[Orations of Cicero]

4. Julius Caesar


“Caesar judged that he must drop everything else and pursue Pompey where he had betaken himself after his flight, so that he should not be able to gather more forces and renew, and he advanced daily as far as he could go with the cavalry and ordered a legion to follow shorter stages. An edict had been published in Pompey’s name that all the younger men in the province [Macedonia], both Greeks and Roman citizens, should assemble to take an oath.”

Caesar, Civil War 111.102.3


5. Velleius Paterculus


In this period, sixty-five years before the founding of Rome, Carthage was established by the Tyrian Elissa, by some authors called Dido. 5 About this time also Caranus, a man of royal race, eleventh in descent from Hercules, set out from Argos and seized the kingship of Macedonia. From him Alexander the Great was descended in the seventeenth generation, and could boast that, on his mother’s side, he was descended from Achilles, and, on his father’s side, from Hercules

[Velleius Paterculus: “The Roman History” Book I, 5]


6. Marcus Junianus Justinus


Caranus also came to Emathia with a large band of Greeks, being instructed by an oracle to seek a home in Macedonia. Hero, following a herd of goats running from a downpour, he seized the city of Edessa, the inhabitants being taken unawares because of heavy rain and dense fog. Remembering the oracle’s command to follow the lead of goats in his quest for ar empire, Caranus established the city as his capital, and thereafter he made it a solemn observance, wheresoever he took his army, to keep those same goats before his standards in order in have as leaders in his exploits the animals which he had had with him to found the kingdom. He gave the city of Edessa the name Aegaeae and its people the name Aegeads in memory of this service

M.Justinus’ epitome of Pompeius Trogus’ Universal History 7.1


Next he directed the army towards Thebes intending to show the same mercy if he met with similar contrition. But the Thebans resorted to arms rather than entreaties or appeals, and so after their defeat they were subjected to all the terrible punishments associated with a humiliating capitulation. When the destruction of the city was being discussed in council, the Phocians, the Plataeans, the Thespians and the Orchomenians, Alexander’s allies who now shared his victory, recalled the devastation of their own cities and the ruthlessness of the Thebans, reproaching them also with their past as well as their present support of Persia against the independence of Greece. This, they said, had made Thebes an abomination to all the Greek peoples, which was obvious from the fact that the Greeks had one and all taken a solemn oath to destroy the city once the Persians were defeated, Thev also added the tales of earlier Theban wickedness – the material with which they had filled all their plays – in order to foment hatred against them not only for their treachery in the present but also for their infamies in the past.

M.Justinus’ epitome of Pompeius Trogus’ Universal History 11.3.6


7. Aelian


When Hephaestion died at Ecbatana (in 324) Alexander placed his weapons upon the funeral pyre, with gold and silver for the dead man, and a robe-which last, among the Persians is a symbol of great honor. He shore off his own hair, as in Homeric grief, and behaved like the Achilles of Homer. Indeed he acted more violently and passionately than the latter, for he caused the towers and strongholds of Ecbatana to be demolished all round. As long as he only dedicated his own hair, he was behaving, I think, like a Greek; but when he laid hands on the very walls, Alexander was already showing his grief in foreign fashion. Even in his clothing he departed from ordinary custom, and gave himself up to his mood, his love, and his tears.

Varia Historia, vii, 8.


Perdiccas the Macedonian who accompanied Alexander on his expedition was apparently so courageous that he once went alone into a cave where a lioness had her lair. He did not catch the lioness, but he emerged carrying her cubs. Perdiccas won admiration for this feat. Not only Greeks, but barbarians as well, are convinced that the lioness is an animal of great bravery and very difficult to contend with.



8. Pliny the Elder:

Such, at all events, were the opinions generally entertained in the reign of Alexander the Great, at a time when Greece was at the height of her glory, and the most powerful country in the world.

9. Tacitus

[6.41] At this same time the Clitae, a tribe subject to the Cappadocian Archelaus, retreated to the heights of Mount Taurus, because they were compelled in Roman fashion to render an account of their revenue and submit to tribute. There they defended themselves by means of the nature of the country against the king’s unwarlike troops, till Marcus Trebellius, whom Vitellius, the governor of Syria, sent as his lieutenant with four thousand legionaries and some picked auxiliaries, surrounded with his lines two hills occupied by the barbarians, the lesser of which was named Cadra, the other Davara. Those who dared to sally out, he reduced to surrender by the sword, the rest by drought. Tiridates meanwhile, with the consent of the Parthians, received the submission of Nicephorium, Anthemusias and the other cities, which having been founded by Macedonians, claim Greek names, also of the Parthian towns Halus and Artemita. There was a rivalry of joy among the inhabitants who detested Artabanus, bred as he had been among the Scythians, for his cruelty, and hoped to find in Tiridates a kindly spirit from his Roman training.

Tacitus, The Annals of Imperial Rome Chapter 8, pg. 221

6. Marcus Junianus Justinus


Caranus also came to Emathia with a large band of Greeks, being instructed by an oracle to seek a home in Macedonia. Hero, following a herd of goats running from a downpour, he seized the city of Edessa, the inhabitants being taken unawares because of heavy rain and dense fog. Remembering the oracle’s command to follow the lead of goats in his quest for ar empire, Caranus established the city as his capital, and thereafter he made it a solemn observance, wheresoever he took his army, to keep those same goats before his standards in order in have as leaders in his exploits the animals which he had had with him to found the kingdom. He gave the city of Edessa the name Aegaeae and its people the name Aegeads in memory of this service

M.Justinus’ epitome of Pompeius Trogus’ Universal History 7.1


Next he directed the army towards Thebes intending to show the same mercy if he met with similar contrition. But the Thebans resorted to arms rather than entreaties or appeals, and so after their defeat they were subjected to all the terrible punishments associated with a humiliating capitulation. When the destruction of the city was being discussed in council, the Phocians, the Plataeans, the Thespians and the Orchomenians, Alexander’s allies who now shared his victory, recalled the devastation of their own cities and the ruthlessness of the Thebans, reproaching them also with their past as well as their present support of Persia against the independence of Greece. This, they said, had made Thebes an abomination to all the Greek peoples, which was obvious from the fact that the Greeks had one and all taken a solemn oath to destroy the city once the Persians were defeated, Thev also added the tales of earlier Theban wickedness – the material with which they had filled all their plays – in order to foment hatred against them not only for their treachery in the present but also for their infamies in the past.

M.Justinus’ epitome of Pompeius Trogus’ Universal History 11.3.6

7. Ammianus Marcellinus


Nicator Seleucus, after he had occupied that district, increased its prosperity to a wonderful degree, when, after the death of Alexander, king of Macedonia, he took possession of the kingdom of Persia by right of succession; being a mighty and victorious king, as his surname indicates. And making free use of his numerous subjects, whom he governed for a long time in tranquillity, he changed groups of rustic habitations into regular cities, important for their great wealth and power, the greater part of which at the present day, although they are called, by Greek names which were given them by the choice of their founder, have nevertheless not lost their original appellations which the original settlers of the villages gave them in the Assyrian language.

Ammianus Marcellinus, Roman History. London: Bohn (1862) Book 14 VIII

Isocrates phrase “OYX OMOFYLOY GENOYS”

May 18, 2007

One of the usual arguments of Skopjan propagandists is touching phrases used by Isocrates in his letter to Philip II of Macedonia. Specifically he used the phrases “ALOFYLON TO GENOS”, “OYX OMOFYLOY GENOYS”. Lets analyze what these phrases mean and if they are an indication of non-greekness of Macedonia as Skopjan propagandists wanna believe.

Firstly we should consider if they have been used previously in ancient sources regarding other Greeks.

We find the following cases:

From Perseus


machκi men gar miai pros* hapantas Hellκnas dunatoi Peloponnκsioi kai hoi xummachoi antischein*, polemein de mκ pros homoian* antiparaskeuκn adunatoi, hotan** mκte bouleutκriτi* heni chrτmenoi parachrκma ti oxeτs epitelτsi pantes te isopsκphoi ontes kai ouch homophuloi** to eph’ heauton* hekastos* speudκi**: ex hτn philei* mκden epiteles gignesthai

[Thuc. 1.141.6]

So Pericles is refering to members of Peloponesian league as “ουχ ομοφύλου γένους” pointing out the difference of the Ionic Athenians with some Doric Peloponessians.

Thucydides also uses the phrase “Alofylos” in:


kai diaphora ek tautκs tκs strateias prτton Lakedaimoniois kai Athκnaiois phanera egeneto*. hoi gar Lakedaimonioi, epeidκ to chτrion biai ouch hκlisketo, deisantes tτn Athκnaiτn to tolmκron kai tκn neτteropoiian, kai allophulous hama* hκgκsamenoi*, mκ ti, κn parameinτsin

[Thuc. 1.102.3]

where Spartans decided to sent away the expedition force of Atheneans under Kimon who came for their help during the revolt of Helots, not just because they consider Atheneans as agitators but also because they were “Allofylloi” (=different tribe). So the difference here consists between the two different tribes of Ionian Atheneans and Doric Spartans but again it doesnt hold anyway the meaning of ‘non-greek’.

Again we get the same meaning from:


tous de allophulous epelthontas hathrooi aiei, κn sτphronτmen

[Thuc. 4.64.1]

where The Doric Syracusian Politician Ermocrates states the war against Atheneans is war against “Allofyllon”.

One of the same we get from another quote of Thucydides:


[3] patrion te humin straton allophulon epelthonta kai en tκi oikeiai kai en tκi tτn pelas homoiτs amunesthai

[Thuc. 4.92.2]

where Pagondas spoke to the Boeotians, just a little earlier to the battle of Delius and distinguish the “Patrion” (Boeotian) with the “Allofylon” Athenean army.

Similar with Demosthenes when he addresses Philip he calls him “Allophylon” [Demosth. Peri Stefanou 18.185] like the Spartan Brasidas refered to Atheneans as “Allophylous” in [Thuc. 4.86.5]

Conclusion: Isocrates used the phrase “Ουχ ομοφύλου γένους” solely to inform us that the Macedonian kings werent part of the same Greek tribe with the Macedonian people and not as Skopjan propagandists wish to believe in the sense of foreigners (non-greek).

After all it will be absurb Isocrates to propose a PanHellenic expedition which would be based on…non-Greeks. The difference between the Monarchs in Macedonia versus Macedonians is similar to the difference between the hereditary kings of Sparta (paternal side) versus the other Lakedaimonians, or the Neleids and Gephyraians versus the other Athenians, etc.


Macedonia: Hellenism in Macedonia

May 14, 2007

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