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Ο Bουκεφάλας του Μεγάλου Αλεξάνδρου

February 14, 2012

Βουκεφάλας - Voukefalas

 Ο Βουκεφάλας – Έργο του εξαιρετικού ζωγράφου Μιχαήλ Παπανδρώνη από την τριλογία του με τίτλο “ΟΙ ΨΙΘΥΡΟΙ ΤΟΥ ΟΛΥΜΠΟΥ”

της Χρυσούλας Σαατσόγλου – Παλιαδέλη,

ΚANENA ίσως άλογο στην ιστορία δεν είχε την τύχη της επωνυμίας του Βουκεφάλα, του μοναδικού ίσως αλόγου που μοιράστηκε ένα μέρος από τη δόξα του αναβάτη του, ακολουθώντας και εισπράττοντας, ταυτόχρονα, την εξέλιξη της μορφής του Αλεξάνδρου από ιστορική σε μυθική, και τη μετατροπή της εκστρατείας του από συγκροτημένη χρονική αλληλουχία γεγονότων σε υπερφυσική περιήγηση στον κόσμο των θαυμάτων.

Kαβάλα στον Bουκεφάλα, ο Aλέξανδρος εφορμά κατά του Δαρείου στη μάχη της Iσσού. Λεπτομέρεια από το περίφημο ψηφιδωτό στην Πομπηία («Oικία του Φούνου»), 2ος -1ος αι. π.X., αντίγραφο ζωγραφικού έργου του 4ου αι. π.X. Nάπολη, αρχαιολογικό Mουσείο. Πρόκειται για την αυθεντικότερη μάλλον απεικόνιση του αγαπημένου αλόγου του Αλεξάνδρου.

Η μυθοπλαστική προσέγγιση και η υπερφυσική διάσταση της εκστρατείας του Αλεξάνδρου στην Ανατολή, όπως καταγράφηκε στο Μυθιστόρημα του Αλεξάνδρου (αλλιώς Βίος του Αλεξάνδρου του Μακεδόνος), έξι αιώνες μετά τον θάνατό του, από έναν άγνωστο aλεξανδρινό που συμβατικά ονομάζεται Ψευδοκαλλισθένης (τέλος 3ου μ.Χ. αι.), εγκαινίασε μια μεγάλη σειρά από μεταφράσεις, διασκευές και παραλλαγές του, που διέδωσαν τις περιπέτειές του, διανθίζοντάς τες με πλήθος υπερβατικών επεισοδίων άσχετων με την ιστορική πραγματικότητα. Τελευταία ανάμεσά τους, H Φυλλάδα του Μεγαλέξαντρου, τυπωμένη στα τέλη του 17ου αι., αναδείχτηκε σε αγαπημένο λαϊκό ανάγνωσμα μέχρι και τις αρχές του 20ού αιώνα.

Η παλαιότερη φιλολογική μαρτυρία για τον Βουκεφάλα διασώζεται από τον Πλούταρχο (Βίος Αλεξάνδρου, 6) και αναφέρεται στον τρόπο με τον οποίον το άλογο αγοράστηκε από τον Φίλιππο στη μυθική τιμή των δεκατριών ταλάντων. Ο Φίλιππος ήταν έτοιμος να απορρίψει την προσφορά του Φιλόνικου από τη Θεσσαλία, επειδή κανείς δεν κατάφερε να τιθασεύσει το άλογο, αλλά υποχώρησε στην επιμονή του νεαρού Αλεξάνδρου να δοκιμάσει και εκείνος, και δέχτηκε το στοίχημα που του πρότεινε, να του πληρώσει, αν δεν τα κατάφερνε, το υπέρογκο ποσό. Ο Αλέξανδρος είχε παρατηρήσει πως το ζώο τρόμαζε από τη σκιά του, καθώς την έβλεπε να σαλεύει μπροστά και γύρω του.

Αρπαξε λοιπόν τα χαλινάρια και έστρεψε το άλογο προς τη μεριά του ήλιου. Ο Βουκεφάλας ηρέμησε λίγο, αφού δεν έβλεπε πια τη σκιά του, κι ο Αλέξανδρος κατάφερε να τον ιππεύσει. Μαλακά στην αρχή, πιο έντονα ύστερα, τον παρότρυνε να τρέξει. O Φίλιππος και οι άλλοι παρακολουθούσαν αμίλητοι τη σκηνή. Oταν ο Αλέξανδρος επέστρεψε σοβαρός και περήφανος για το κατόρθωμά του, όλοι ζητωκραύγασαν και ο πατέρας του που δάκρυσε, λένε, από τη χαρά του, τον φίλησε και του είπε: «Γιε μου, ψάξε πια για βασίλειο αντάξιό σου. Η Μακεδονία δε σε χωράει.»

Για τον Βουκεφάλα και τη μετέπειτα σχέση του με τον Αλέξανδρο, διαφωτιστικά είναι τα λιγοστά που αναφέρει ο Αρριανός (Αλεξάνδρου Ανάβασις, V. 19) με αφορμή τη μάχη στον Υδάσπη ποταμό, στα 327 π.Χ.: «Μετά τη νίκη του εναντίον των Ινδών, ο Αλέξανδρος ίδρυσε δύο πόλεις. Τη μια, στη θέση της μάχης, την ονόμασε Νίκαια, σε ανάμνηση της νίκης του. Την άλλη, στο σημείο που επρόκειτο να διασχίσει τον Υδάσπη, Βουκεφάλεια, στη μνήμη του αλόγου του, που πέθανε εκεί, όχι επειδή πληγώθηκε στη μάχη, αλλά από την κούραση και τα χρόνια.

Ο Βουκεφάλας ήταν κιόλας τριάντα χρόνων και εξαντλημένος. Είχε μοιραστεί με τον Αλέξανδρο πολλές δυσκολίες και είχε αντιμετωπίσει μαζί του πολλούς κινδύνους για πολλά χρόνια. Κανένας δεν είχε καταφέρει όλα αυτά τα χρόνια να τον ιππεύσει, εκτός από τον ίδιο τον Αλέξανδρο. Μεγαλύτερος από το φυσιολογικό και γεμάτος σφρίγος, είχε χαραγμένη επάνω του, σημάδι να τον διακρίνει, μια κεφαλή βοδιού, και μερικοί πιστεύουν πως γι’ αυτό τον ονόμασαν Βουκεφάλα. Αλλοι όμως λένε πως ήταν μαύρος και είχε στο μέτωπό του ένα σημάδι που έμοιαζε πολύ με κεφάλι βοδιού. Στη χώρα των Οξιανών, το άλογο εξαφανίστηκε και ο Αλέξανδρος απείλησε πως θα σκοτώσει όλους τους κατοίκους της αν δεν του φέρουν πίσω το άλογό του, με αποτέλεσμα να του επιστραφεί αμέσως. Τόσο μεγάλη ήταν η αγάπη που είχε ο Αλέξανδρος στο άλογό του και τόσο μεγάλος ο φόβος που ενέπνεε στους βαρβάρους».

Tο όνομα Bουκεφάλας

Βυζαντινοί σχολιαστές αρχαίων κειμένων αναφέρουν τη χρήση του όρου «βουκέφαλος» για τη δήλωση μιας συγκεκριμένης θεσσαλικής ράτσας αλόγων που είχαν για σφραγίδα τους ένα κεφάλι βοδιού. Αυτήν την παράδοση ακολουθούν οι πηγές, που αναφέρουν πως ο Βουκεφάλας είχε χαραγμένο στον μηρό του ένα κεφάλι βοδιού, και αυτή η ερμηνεία του ονόματος φαίνεται, επομένως, η πιο πιθανή. Η εναλλακτική προέλευση του ονόματος Βουκεφάλας από ένα λευκό σημάδι όμοιο με κεφαλή βοδιού που είχε εκ γενετής στο μέτωπό του, όπως αναφέρει ο Αρριανός, δεν πιστοποιείται στις λιγοστές απεικονίσεις του, οι οποίες ανάγονται στα χρόνια του Αλεξάνδρου.

Τον Βουκεφάλα θα πρέπει να αναγνωρίσουμε στο χάλκινο αγαλμάτιο που αναπαριστά τον έφιππο Αλέξανδρο σε δράση. Πιστεύεται πως αναπαράγει τμήμα ενός μεγάλου συνόλου χάλκινων έργων του Λυσίππου, το οποίο αφιέρωσε ο aλέξανδρος στο Ιερό του Δία στο Δίον, μετά τη νίκη του στον Γρανικό. Φλωρεντία, aρχαιολογικό Mουσείο.

Oτι το όνομά του Βουκεφάλα προέρχεται, όπως αναφέρει ο Στράβων (XV,698) από το εύρος του μετώπου του, θα μπορούσε, ενδεχομένως, να συνδυαστεί με τη μαρτυρία του Αρριανού ότι ο Βουκεφάλας ήταν μεγαλύτερος από το φυσιολογικό είναι, εν τούτοις, αδύνατο επίσης να αποδειχτεί από τα λιγοστά έργα της τέχνης που τον απεικονίζουν.

Με αφορμή το όνομά του, μεταγενέστερες πηγές προσέδωσαν τερατικές μορφές στον Βουκεφάλα. Oτι είχε κεφάλι ή κέρατα βοδιού και πως το προσωνύμιο Δικέρατος (Dho’l Qarnayn), με το οποίο αναφέρεται ο Αλέξανδρος στο Κοράνιο, προέρχεται στην ουσία από τα κέρατα του αλόγου του.

Τερατικές απεικονίσεις του Βουκεφάλα με κέρατα, εμπνευσμένες προφανώς από τις μυθοπλαστικές διασκευές της ιστορίας, αποτυπώνονται σε ταπισερί που κοσμούνται με σκηνές από τις περιπέτειες του Αλεξάνδρου. Στις τερατικές προσεγγίσεις του Βουκεφάλα θα έπρεπε, από την άποψη αυτή, να ενταχτεί, τουλάχιστον ως προς τη συνήθειά του να τρώει ανθρώπους, και η ποιητική περιγραφή του από τον Ιωάννη Τζέτζη, αν βεβαίως δεν θεωρηθεί ως απλή μεταφορά που αποσκοπεί να δηλώσει απλώς και μόνον την άγρια φύση του:

«Του Βουκεφάλου σύμπασαν έχεις την ιστορίαν,

Ως ίππος ήν ατίθασσος ανθρώπους κατεσθίων.

Μόνω δε Μακεδόνι υπείκων Αλεξάνδρω

Την Βουκεφάλα κλήσιν δε τοιουτοτρόπως έσχε.

Βοός ως έχων κεφαλήν εν τω μηρώ σφραγίδα,

Ού μην βοός εκέκτητο ή κεφαλήν ή κέρας».

Εκτός από τον Πλούταρχο, που μας πληροφορεί πως ο Βουκεφάλας ήταν από τη Θεσσαλία και αγοράστηκε από τον Φίλιππο μετά την πετυχημένη προσπάθεια του νεαρού διαδόχου του να τον τιθασεύσει, μεταγενέστερη πηγή αναφέρει πως ο Βουκεφάλας ήταν από την Καππαδοκία και δόθηκε δώρο στον Φίλιππο όταν ο Αλέξανδρος ήταν περίπου δώδεκα χρόνων. Η καππαδοκική καταγωγή του Βουκεφάλα αναφέρεται σε μια ακόμη πηγή, που λέει ότι ο Δημάρατος από την Κόρινθο έδωσε στον Αλέξανδρο «Βουκέφαλον ίππον. Καππάδοξ δε ην».

Η μυθοπλαστική λογική που διέπει όλες τις μη ιστορικές αναφορές στον Αλέξανδρο είχε επίδραση και στον Βουκεφάλα. Tα θρυλούμενα πως γεννήθηκε από την ένωση ελέφαντα με καμήλα δρομάδα, ή αλόγου και γρύπα, δεν μπορούν βεβαίως να θεωρηθούν παρά μόνο μέσα από το σκοτεινό πρίσμα της μεσαιωνικής Ευρώπης.

Η στενή σχέση του Βουκεφάλα με τον Αλέξανδρο, σε συνδυασμό με την πληροφορία του Αρριανού πως το άλογο πέθανε στα τριάντα του χρόνια, επέτρεψαν αρχικώς συνειρμικούς συσχετισμούς με τον θάνατο του Αλεξάνδρου στα τριάντα τρία του χρόνια. Εν τούτοις, είναι δύσκολο να αποδεχτούμε πως ο Βουκεφάλας ήταν κιόλας δεκατριών ή δεκατεσσάρων χρόνων όταν τον τιθάσευσε ο Αλέξανδρος. Είναι πιθανότερο πως το άλογο που γνώρισε ο Αλέξανδρος στη Μακεδονία και πήρε μαζί του στην Ασία δεν ήταν παραπάνω από τριών ή τεσσάρων χρόνων, αν όχι λιγότερο.

Ακόμη πιο έντονη είναι η προσπάθεια συσχετισμού ιππέα και αναβάτη στην αραβική εκδοχή του Mυθιστορήματος του Αλεξάνδρου, όπως διασώθηκε στην αιθιοπική παραλλαγή του, από την οποία προκύπτει πως σχεδόν ταυτόχρονα με τη σύλληψη του Αλεξάνδρου, από το σμίξιμο της Ολυμπιάδας με τον αετό, λιοντάρι και δράκοντα Νεκτανεβώ, μια από τις φοράδες του βασιλιά Φιλίππου συνέλαβε τον Βουκεφάλα, πίνοντας νερό από την πηγή που λούστηκε ο Νεκτανεβώ όταν άφησε την Ολυμπιάδα.

Οι τερατικές μορφές του αλόγου και του αναβάτη του, όπως αποτυπώθηκαν με αφορμή το ψευδοκαλλισθένειο μυθιστόρημα και τις μεταγενέστερες μεταφράσεις, παραλλαγές ή διασκευές του, δεν είναι δυνατό να συμβάλουν στη γνώση μας για τον Βουκεφάλα της ιστορίας. Ούτε βεβαίως είναι εφικτό, στα περιορισμένα όρια του κειμένου αυτού, να περιλάβουμε τους τρόπους με τους οποίους εικονίστηκε το άλογο του Αλεξάνδρου στην τέχνη της Ευρώπης ή της Ανατολής. Αν θέλουμε να απαλλάξουμε τον Βουκεφάλα από τις μεταπλάσεις τις οποίες δέχτηκε στη διάρκεια της μακρόχρονης επίδρασης που είχε η εκστρατεία του Αλεξάνδρου στη λογοτεχνία, την τέχνη και τη λαϊκή συνείδηση, πρέπει να περιοριστούμε στις λιγοστές απεικονίσεις του έφιππου Αλέξανδρου που ανάγονται στα χρόνια της ιστορικής δράσης του, ή αντανακλούν απεικονίσεις του που χρονικά σχετίζονται με αυτήν.

Απεικονίσεις

Αν δεχτούμε πως ο Αλέξανδρος ήταν περίπου δωδεκαετής όταν απέκτησε τον Βουκεφάλα, είναι πολύ πιθανό πως στην εντυπωσιακή τοιχογραφία με το κυνήγι που διατηρείται στην πρόσοψη του τάφου του Φιλίππου στη Βεργίνα θα πρέπει να αναγνωρίσουμε στο άλογο του νεαρού ιππέα που εικονίζεται στο κέντρο της παράστασης, την παλαιότερη προφανώς απεικόνιση του Βουκεφάλα.

Eφιππος ο aλέξανδρος εισέρχεται στην Iνδία για να συναντήσει τον βασιλιά Πώρο. aπό το «Mυθιστόρημα του aλέξανδρου», 14ος αι. Eλληνικό Iνστιτούτο Bυζαντινών και Mεταβυζαντινών Σπουδών, Bενετία.

Στο περίφημο ψηφιδωτό δάπεδο από την Πομπηία, σήμερα στο Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο της Νάπολης, όλοι οι ερευνητές αναγνωρίζουν το αντίγραφο ενός μεγάλου, χαμένου σήμερα, ζωγραφικού έργου του 4ου π.Χ. αι., που εικόνιζε μιαν από τις μεγάλες μάχες του Αλεξάνδρου στην Ανατολή.

Αντανάκλαση του ίδιου ζωγράφου που κόσμησε με την τοιχογραφία του την πρόσοψη του τάφου του Φιλίππου, το ψηφιδωτό αναπαράγει με θαυμαστή ακρίβεια τα εικονογραφικά στοιχεία του πρωτοτύπου, ανάμεσά τους και τον Βουκεφάλα, στο καστανόχρωμο, αλλά αποσπασματικά διατηρημένο άλογο που ιππεύει ο Αλέξανδρος. Είναι κρίμα ότι δεν σώζεται κανένας από τους μηρούς του εικονιζόμενου αλόγου, που θα επιβεβαίωνε ή θα αναιρούσε την πληροφορία για το εγκεκαυμένο σημάδι σε σχήμα κεφαλής βοδιού που αναφέρουν οι φιλολογικές μαρτυρίες.

Αντιθέτως, είναι σαφές πως η πληροφορία του Αρριανού πως ο Βουκεφάλας ήταν μαύρος, με ένα λευκό σημάδι όμοιο με κεφάλι βοδιού στο μέτωπό του, δεν πιστοποιείται ούτε στην τοιχογραφία με το κυνήγι, στη Βεργίνα ούτε, πολύ περισσότερο, στο κατά τα άλλα εντυπωσιακό -για τη λεπτομερειακή απόδοση των εικονογραφικών στοιχείων του ζωγραφικού προτύπου του- ψηφιδωτό δάπεδο από την Πομπηία. Η αναντιστοιχία, επομένως, ανάμεσα στη γραπτή και τις εικαστικές μαρτυρίες θα πρέπει να ερμηνευτεί μάλλον ως ανακριβής πληροφόρηση του συγγραφέα, που έγραψε για τον Αλέξανδρο πέντε αιώνες μετά τη δράση του, παρά ως καλλιτεχνική αυθαιρεσία του σύγχρονου με τον Αλέξανδρο μεγάλου ζωγράφου των ύστερων κλασικών χρόνων που ανέλαβε να απεικονίσει σκηνές από τη δράση του στη Μακεδονία και την Ασία. Οι απεικονίσεις, επομένως, του Βουκεφάλα σε δύο έργα που δημιουργήθηκαν στα χρόνια του Αλεξάνδρου βεβαιώνουν πως το άλογό του ήταν καστανόχρωμο, χωρίς σημάδι σαν κεφαλή βοδιού στο μέτωπό του.

Τον Βουκεφάλα θα πρέπει, επίσης, να αναγνωρίσουμε σ’ ένα μικρής κλίμακας χάλκινο αγαλμάτιο, που αναπαριστά τον έφιππο Αλέξανδρο σε δράση και πιστεύεται πως αναπαράγει τμήμα ενός μεγάλου συνόλου χάλκινων έργων του Λυσίππου, το οποίο αφιέρωσε ο Mακεδόνας βασιλιάς στο Ιερό του Δία, στο Δίον της Μακεδονίας, μετά τη νικηφόρα μάχη του στον Γρανικό ποταμό.

Tέλος, στην πίσω όψη ενός αναμνηστικού αργυρού νομίσματος που κυκλοφόρησε με αφορμή τη νίκη των Μακεδόνων εναντίον των Ινδών το 327 π.Χ. έχουμε την τελευταία απεικόνιση του Αλέξανδρου με τον Βουκεφάλα, αντιμέτωπων με τον Πώρο και τον ελέφαντά του, στη μεγάλη μάχη στις όχθες του Υδάσπη (σημ. Τζέλουμ), όπου κοντά στη θέση Τζαλαλπούρ της πολύπαθης Κεντρικής Ασίας, θα πρέπει να αναζητήσουμε και την πόλη που έχτισε ο Αλέξανδρος για να τιμήσει τον Bουκεφάλα.

 

Bιβλιογραφία

Α.R. anderson, «Bucephalas and his Legend», aJPh 51, 1930.

«Η Φυλλάδα του Μεγαλέξαντρου», Α. Α. Πάλης (εκδ.), Αθήνα 1935, Στοχαστής 1990.

Ε. Βουτυράς, «Οι απεικονίσεις του Μεγάλου Αλεξάνδρου στην αρχαία τέχνη», στο «aλέξανδρος και aνατολή», Θεσσαλονίκη 1997.

Μ. Καμπούρη, «Ο μύθος του Μεγάλου Αλεξάνδρου στη χριστιανική Ανατολή και το Iσλάμ», ό.π.

Χρυσ. Σαατσόγλου-Παλιαδέλη, «Οι μάχες του Αλεξάνδρου στην τέχνη του 4ου π.Χ. αι.», ό.π.

Ν. Χατζηνικολάου (επιμ.), «Ο Μέγας Αλέξανδρος στην Ευρωπαϊκή Τέχνη», Θεσσαλονίκη 1997.

 

Πηγή http://www.kathimerini.gr/

 Αναπλ. καθηγήτριας Κλασικής Αρχαιολογίας στο Αριστοτέλειο Πανεπιστήμιο Θεσσαλονίκης

Ο Ιουλιανός ο Αποστάτης για την Ελληνικότητα της Μακεδονίας

February 2, 2012

JulianusII-antioch(360-363)-CNG.jpg

Ο Ιουλιανός (Φλάβιος Κλαύδιος Ιουλιανός, Λατ. Flavius Claudius Julianus), γνωστός ως Ιουλιανός ο Παραβάτης ή Ιουλιανός ο Αποστάτης, αλλά και Ιουλιανός ο Μέγας, ήταν Ρωμαίος αυτοκράτορας κατά την πρωτοβυζαντινή περίοδο. Συμβασίλευσε, ως Καίσαρας, με τον Κωνστάντιο Β’ από το 355 ως το 360 και μόνος του, ως Αύγουστος, από το 361 ως το 363. Ο Ιουλιανός ήταν ο τελευταίος αυτοκράτορας της Κωνσταντίνειας δυναστείας και ο μοναδικός παγανιστής μετά τον Μέγα Κωνσταντίνο.

Στης “Ευσεβίας της βασιλίδος το εγκώμιον”, γράφει μεταξύ άλλων για την Ευσεβία, “ότι δή γένος μέν αυτή σφόδρα Ελληνικόν, Ελλήνων των πάνυ, και πόλις η μητρόπολις της Μακεδονίας”. Η Ευσεβία προερχόταν από γνωστή Μακεδονική οικογένεια της Θεσσαλονίκης. Ο πατέρας της ήταν διπλωμάτης αλλά όλοι γνώριζαν – ανάμεσα τους και ο Ιουλιανός – ό,τι ως Μακεδόνες ήταν φυσικά Έλληνες.

Macedonia : Nicholas Hammond about the Ancient Macedonian Origins

October 7, 2011

NGL Hammond

Nicholas Hammond, one of the world’s top authorities on the ancient Macedonian history, stated the historical reality in Macedonia. Ancient Macedonians were a Greek Tribe and Skopje who was OUT of Macedonia should be named Paionia.

His interview in the magazine “Macedonian Echo” of February 1993:

(Q): Who were the Macedonians ?

(A): The name of the ancient Macedonians is derived from Macedon, who was the grandchild of Deukalion, the father of all Greeks. This we may infer from Hesiod’s genealogy. It may be proven that Macedonians spoke Greek since Macedon, the ancestor of Macedonians, was a brother of Magnes, the ancestor of Thessalians, who spoke Greek.

(Q): Isn’t it true that Demosthenes called them “barbarians” ?

(A): The speeches of Demosthenes, that deal with Philip as the enemy, should not be interpreted as an indication of the barbarian origins of Macedonians, but as an expression of conflict between two different political systems: the democratic system of the city-state (e.g.Athens) versus the monarchy (Kingdom of Macedonia).

Personally, I believe that it is the common language, which gives one the opportunity to share a common civilization. Thus the language is the main factor that forms a national identity.

(Q): What was the geographic location of the Macedonian Kingdom ?

(A): It should be emphasized that Macedonia occupied only the area of Pieria, as is characteristically mentioned by Hesiod and Thucydides. It had to wait until Philip II ascended to the throne and expanded his kingdom by occupying, among others, the Thracians and the PAEONIANS. The Paeonians were allowed to keep their customs, which was a sign of liberal policy of Philip after each conquest. From Homer we learn that the Paeonians had their own language and that they fought on the side of the Trojans. THEY LIVED IN THE AREA AROUND SKOPJE, and this is the reason I suggested to Patrick Leigh Fermor to suggest in his article in the Independent the name of “PAEONIA” AS THE MOST SUITABLE FOR SKOPJE.

(Q): Given your experience as a liaison officer in German occupied Macedonia, do you believe that there may be a Macedonian nation ?

(A): NO. Macedonia was under Ottoman occupation until the beginning of the 20th century. With the decline of the Ottoman empire, the Great Powers began to seek spheres of influence in the Balkans. The result was the emergence, during the latter part of the 19th century, of the Macedonian revolutionary movements. The Serbian IMRO, the Bulgarian VMRO and the Greek “Ethniki Etairia” were formed with the support of certain Great Powers with the goal of organizing revolutionary units in the area. After the Balkan wars, the Macedonia (the geographical region) was divided between Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria. The movement for the creation of a Slav-controlled Greater Macedonia continued until 1934, when the Yugoslav government declared IMRO illegal, as a good will gesture to Greece. Therefore, given the struggle of the three ethnic groups (Serbs, Greeks, Bulgarians) for the control of Macedonia AND THE ABSENCE OF ANY LOCAL NATIONAL MOVEMENT, we can talk of Macedonia only as a GEOGRAPHICAL ENTITY AND NOT as A NATION.

(Q): Tell us of your experience in Northern Greece during the German occupation.

(A): I fell with the parachute into Greece in 1943. Our goal was to cooperate as liaison officers with the Greek resistance against the Germans. Tito’s plan was to found a Greater Macedonia, that would include Greek Macedonia and South Yugoslavia; in practice it would be under Russian control. In January 1944, Tito formed a government and declared a federal Yugoslavia that would be composed of six different republics, the southernmost of which would be called Macedonia. It is here that the name Macedonia appears at the forefront of a plan of a Greater Macedonia against Greece. The same year,Tito’s guerillas invaded Greece three or four times and attempted to enlist men from slavophone villages in the area of Florina. Based on my knowledge, they were unsuccessful.

(Q): Could you please explain, who are these slavophones you refer to ?

(A): They are people who have been living in the area for centuries, perhaps from the time of the Slavic invasions of the 7th century. Nevertheless, they have been integrated with the population and consider themselves Greek.

Macedonia : Nicholas Hammond about the Ancient Macedonian
Origins

Ancient Macedonians : Their Greek Ethnicity according to Romans

October 3, 2011

Roman Testimonies

Ancient Macedonia: The Greek ethnicity of the Ancient Macedonians, according to Romans authors and statesmen.

Quintus Curtius Rufus

Παράθεση:

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

Παράθεση:

“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)

Παράθεση:

“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)

Παράθεση:

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)

Παράθεση:

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)

Παράθεση:

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)

Παράθεση:

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)

Παράθεση:

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)

Παράθεση:

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.”

Παράθεση:

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)

Παράθεση:

“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)

Παράθεση:

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

(Curtius Rufus 3, 12, 27)

Παράθεση:

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)

Παράθεση:

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

(Curtius Rufus 4, 5, 14)

Παράθεση:

“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)

Παράθεση:

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)

Παράθεση:

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)

Παράθεση:

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)

Παράθεση:

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)

Παράθεση:

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)

Παράθεση:

“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)

Παράθεση:

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

Παράθεση:“

Aetolians, Acarnanians, Macedonians, men of the SAME language

(T. Livius XXXI,29, 15)

Παράθεση:

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)

Παράθεση:

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

Παράθεση:

“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

Παράθεση:

“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

Παράθεση:

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

Παράθεση:

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

Παράθεση:

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

Παράθεση:

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.

Παράθεση:

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.

12.37(39)

————————————————————————

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.

Pliny, Natural History, chapter 12

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

Ancient Macedonians and their Self-identification

September 15, 2011

Alexander the Great - History-of-macedonia.com

 

In reality we have only scarce evidence on what the ancient Macedonians believed for themselves. However i will try to collect the available literary and archaeological evidence that would shed some light on the beliefs of the ancient macedonians during Classical and Hellenistic Ages. The available evidence shows that ancient Macedonians considered themselves to be Greek.

Alexander I, king of Macedon

1. Speaking to Atheneans
Quote:

Men of Athens… Had I not greatly AT HEART the COMMON welfare of GREECE I should not have come to tell you; but I AM MYSELF GREEK by descend, and I would not willingly see Greece exchange freedom for slavery. …If you prosper in this war, forget not to do something for my freedom; consider the risk I have run, out of zeal for the GREEK CAUSE, to acquaint you with what Mardonius intends, and to save you from being surprised by the barbarians. I am ALEXANDER of MACEDON.

[Herodotus, The Histories, 9.45, translated by G.Rawlinson]

2. Speaking to Persians

Quote:

Tell your king who sent you how his GREEK viceroy of Macedonia has received you hospitably… “

Herodotus V, 20, 4 (Loeb, A.D. Godley)

PHILIP II OF MACEDON

Quote:

Every seat in the theater was taken when Philip appeared wearing a white cloak and by his express orders his bodyguard held away from him and followed only at a distance, since he wanted to show publicly that he was protected by the goodwill of all the Hellenes, and had no need of a guard of spearmen.

(Diodoros of Sicily 16.93.1)

Alexander III (the Great)

3. In his letter to the king of the Persians:

Quote:

Your ancestors invaded Macedonia and the rest of Greece and did US great harm, though WE had done them no prior injury […] I have been appointed hegemon of the Greeks […]

(Arrian, Anabasis of Alexander II,14,4)

4. ALEXANDER TALKING ABOUT HIMSELF AND MACEDONIANS
BEING GREEK AND FIGHTING FOR GREECE:

Quote:

……………There are Greek troops, to be sure, in Persian service — but how different is their cause from ours ! They will be fighting for pay— and not much of it at that; WE on the contrary shall fight for GREECE, and our hearts will be in it. As for our FOREIGN troops —Thracians, Paeonians, Illyrians,Agrianes — they are the best and stoutest soldiers of Europe, and they will find as their opponents the slackest and softest of the tribes of Asia.

Arrian (The Campaigns of Alexander) Alexander talking to the troops before the battle. Book 2-7 Penguin Classics. Page 112. Translation by Aubrey De Seliucourt.

5. Burning Persepolis

Quote:

He set the Persian palace on fire, even though parmenio urged him to save it, arguing that it was not right to destroy his own property, and that the Asians would not thus devote themselves to him, if he seemed determined not to rule Asia, but only to pass through as a conqueror.
but Alexander replied that he intended to punish the persians for their invasion of Greece, the destruction of Athens, the burning of the temples, and all manner of terrible things done to the Greeks: because of these things, he was exacting revenge.
but Alexander does not seem to me to have acted prudently, nor can it be regarded as any kind of punishment upon Persians of long ago.

[Arrian Anab. 3. 18. 11-12].

6. Speaking to Thessalians and other Greeks

Quote:

On this occasion, he [Alexander] made a very long speech to the Thessalians and the other Greeks, and when he saw that they encouraged him with shouts to lead them against the Barbarians, he shifted his lance into his left hand, and with his right appealed to the gods, as Callisthenes tells us, praying them, if he was really sprung from Zeus, to defend and strengthen the Greeks.

[Plutarch. Alexander (ed. Bernadotte Perrin) XXXIII]

7. Speaking to his own Macedonian Commanders

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)

8.

King Alexander had his siege engines and provisions conveyed by sea to Halicarnassus while he himself with all his army marched into Caria, winning over the cities that lay on his route by kind treatment. He was particularly generous to the Greek cities, granting them independence and exemption from taxation, adding the assurance that the freedom of the Greeks was the object for which he had taken upon himself the war against the Persians.

[Diodorus of Sicily, 17.24.1]

9.

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 5.8)

10. Speaking with Diogenes

But he said, ‘If I were not Alexandros, I should be Diogenes’; that is to say: `If it were not my purpose to combine barbarian things with things HELLENIC, to traverse and civilize every continent, to search out the uttermost parts of land and sea, TO PUSH THE BOUNDS OF MACEDONIA TO THE FARTHEST OCEAN, AND TO DISSEMINATE AND SHOWER THE BLESSINGS OF HELLENIC JUSTICE and peace over every nation, I should not be content to sit quietly in the luxury of idle power, but I should emulate the frugality of Diogenes. But as things are, forgive me Diogenes, that I imitate Herakles, and emulate Perseus, and follow in the footsteps of Dionysos, the divine author and progenitor of my family, and DESIRE THAT VICTORIOUS HELLENES SHOULD DANCE AGAIN in India […]”

[Plutarch’s Moralia, On the Fortune of Alexander, 332A (Loeb, F.C Babbitt)]

11. Dedication of Alexander to Athena

Alexander, son of Philip, and the Greeks, except the Lacedaemonians, from the barbarian inhabitans in Asia

[Arrian, I, 16, 10]


12. Prophesy of Daniel about Alexander

And when the book of Daniel was showed to him (Alexander the Great) wherein Daniel declared that one of the Greeks should destroy the empire of the Persians, he supposed that himself was the person intended

Josephus (11.8.5)

13. Alexander points out the Pan-Hellenic character of his campaign

Antipater and Parmenion advised him to produce an heir first and then to turn his hand to so ambitious an enterprise, but Alexander was eager for action and opposed to any postponement, and spoke against them. It would be a disgrace, he pointed out, for one who had been appointed by Greece to command the war, and who had inherited his father’s invincible forces, to sit at home celebrating a marriage and awaiting the birth of children.

[Diodorus of Sicily, 17.16.2]

14. Alexander and Spitamenes’ wife

The savagery of the deed carried more weight with him than gratitude for the favour, however, and he had her ordered from the camp. He did not want her tainting the character and civilized temperament of the Greeks with this example of Barbarian lawlessness.

[Curtius Rufus 8.15]

PHILIP V, KING OF MACEDON

15. Philip verifying he is Greek

For on many occasions when I and the other Greeks sent embassies to you begging you to remove from your statutes the law empowering you to get booty from booty, you replied that you would rather remove Aetolia from Aetolia than that law

[Polyvius, 18.4.8]

16. TREATY BETWEEN HANNIBAL AND PHILIP V OF MACEDON

Quote:

In the presence of Zeus, Hera, and Apollo: in the presence of the Genius of Carthage, of Heracles, and Iolaus: in the presence of Ares, Triton, and Poseidon: in the presence of the gods who battle for us and the Sun, Moon, and Earth; in the presence of Rivers, Lakes, and Waters: 3 in the presence of all the gods who possess Macedonia and the REST of Greece: in the presence of all the gods of the army who preside over this oath. 4 Thus saith Hannibal the general, and all the Carthaginian senators with him, and all Carthaginians serving with him, that as seemeth good to you and to us, so should we bind ourselves by oath to be even as friends, kinsmen, and brothers, on these conditions. 5 (1) That King Philip and the Macedonians and the REST of the Greeks who are their allies shall protect the Carthaginians, the supreme lords, and Hannibal their general, and those with p423him, and all under the dominion of Carthage who live under the same laws; likewise the people of Utica and all cities and peoples that are subject to Carthage, and our soldiers and allies 6 and cities and peoples in Italy, Gaul, and Liguria, with whom we are in alliance or with whomsoever in this country we may hereafter enter into alliance. 7 (2) King Philip and the Macedonians and such of the Greeks as are the allies shall be protected and guarded by the Carthaginians who are serving with us, by the people of Utica and by all cities and peoples that are subject to Carthage, by our allies and soldiers and all peoples and cities in Italy, Gaul, and Liguria, who are our allies, and by such others as may hereafter become our allies in Italy and the adjacent regions. 8 (3) We will enter into no plot against each other, nor lie in ambush for each other, but with all zeal and good fellowship, without deceit or secret design, we will be enemies of such as war against the Carthaginians, always excepting the kings, cities, and ports with which we have sworn treaties of alliance. 9 (4) And we, too, will be the enemies of such as war against King Philip, always excepting the Greeks, cities, and people with which we have sworn treaties of alliance. 10 (5) You will be our allies in the war in which we are engaged with the Romans until the gods vouchsafe the victory to us and to you, and you will give us 11 such help as we have need of or as we agree upon. 12 (6) As soon as the gods have given us the victory in the war against the Romans and their allies, if the Romans ask us to come to p425terms of peace, we will make such a peace as will comprise you too, 12 and on the following conditions: that the Romans may never make war upon you; that the Romans shall no longer be masters of Corcyra, Apollonia, Epidamnus, Pharos, Dimale, Parthini, or Atitania: 14 and that they shall return to Demetrius of Pharos all his friends who are in the dominions of Rome. 15 (7) If ever the Romans make war on you or on us, we will help each other in the war as may be required on either side. 16 (8) In like manner if any others do so, excepting always kings, cities, and peoples with whom we have sworn treaties of alliance. 17 (9) If we decide to withdraw any clauses from this treaty or to add any we will withdraw such clauses or add them as we both may agree

The Histories of Polybius, VII, 9, 4 (Loeb, W. R. Paton)

17.

Now that these descendants of Perdiccas are Greeks, as THEY THEMSELVES SAY, I myself chance to know

Herodotus V, 22, 1 (Loeb, A.D. Godley)

OTHER MACEDONIANS:

18. Speech of the Macedonian ambassador to the Aitolians:

Quote:

The Aitolians, the Akarnanians, the Macedonians, men of the SAME speech, are united or disunited by trivial causes that arise from time to time; with aliens, with barbarians, all Greeks wage and will wage eternal war; for they are enemies by the will of nature, which is eternal, and not from reasons that change from day to day.

Titus Livius, From the Foundation of the City 31

19. Macedonians finding another Greek

There a man appeared to them, wearing a Greek cloak, and dressed otherwise in the Greek fashion, and speaking Greek also. Those [Macedonians] who first sighted him said that they burst into tears, so strange did it seem after all these miseries to see a Greek, and to hear Greek spoken. They asked whence he came, who he was; and he said that he had become separated from Alexander’s camp, and that the camp, and Alexander himself, were not very far distant. Shouting aloud and clapping their hands they brought this man to Nearchus…

Arrian, “The Indica” XXXIII

20 “`Alexander, I demand you remember Hellas, for the sake of which you embarked on this expedition, with the intention to add Asia to Greece. …so that by the Hellas and Macedonians you are treated as a man in the way FITTED FOR HELLENES to honor, and only by the barbarians in the barbarian way…’ …And the Macedonians APPROVED his speech.”

Arrian, Anabasis of Alexander 4.11.7-12.1

21 “And the Macedonians were truly DISAPPOINTED BECAUSE they believed that HE [Alexander] CHOSE TO FOLLOW THE BARBARIAN ways OVER THE MACEDONIAN customs and the Macedonians.”

Arrian, Anabasis of Alexander 7.6.5

23 “…she lit the fire before the king himself <Alexander> and wished the world would learn that the women in Alexander’s train took revenge upon the Persians ON BEHALF OF HELLAS, surpassing both sailors and infantry. Noise and commotion ensued and encouraged by FRIENDS and COMPANIONS the king was moved and he jumped up wearing his crown and holding a torch. THE REST followed him, singing and shouting they surrounded the palace, and all the OTHER MACEDONIANS who heard that RUN WILLINGLY holding torches.”
<Plutarch, Alexander 38>

24.

Around 143/142 BC, Damon the Macedonian, son of Nicanor, from the city of Thessalonica, paid with his own money and erected a statue of copper in Olympia, honouring Q.Caecilius Metellus. In the statue’s inscription it is written as motives of this honouring the virtue of the honoured and the sympathetic actions of Quintus Metellus to “Macedonians and the rest of Greeks“. What is more interesting is that the statue was erected from Damon the Macedonian in Olympia, the most important Hellenic centre of that era and it reveals Macedonians saw themselves as Greeks.

 

Damon of Macedon

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Ancient Macedonia : Slavs Lost in Translation

May 24, 2011

Thessaloniki was a princess; daughter of King Philip II, half sister of Alexander the Great. She was given this name because she was born on the day of the Macedonian victory at the Battle of Crocus Field. Her name literally translates to “Thessalian Victory“, in Greek. The city of Thessaloniki, today the largest city of Macedonia, was founded by her husband, King Cassander. Evidently, two Macedonian Kings used the Greek language in moments of great sentimental value to them. They had no need for intermediaries.

Recently, Aleksandar Donski published an article headlined as “Ancient Macedonians Used Translators To Communicate With Hellenes“.[1]

Naturally an article’s title aims to highlight the article’s main point. The author obviously ought to indicate passages, excerpts, paragraphs that would eventually provide the evidence to support his primary point.

In a provocatively forged article, the author interlaces his exposition with  series of unfounded assumptions, while he fails to provide substantial evidence for the claims introduced in his own title. Aside from the fact that ancient Macedonians were Greeks (See Appendix A), it leaves the reader with the following observation.

If translators were allegedly used in the communications between ancient Macedonians and the Rest of Greeks, as the author suggests, why did he failed to provide any valid evidence of translators mentioned in ancient literary/epigraphic sources?

In short, where are the numerous excerpts from ancient testimonies to back up his primary claim?

Anyone could find numerous ancient accounts mentioning the existence of Interpreters in the dealings between Greeks and non-Greek populations.

On the contrary, among thousands of ancient literary and epigraphical sources, there are No examples of Interpreters between Macedonians and the Rest of Greeks. A clear evidence that ancient Macedonians always spoke Greek, thus were a Greek people.

The article contains a certain number of interesting falsifications, groundless assertions, contradictions and over-generalizations. This is why it is necessary to focalize on these points.

Misconception #1.

Claim:

“we read that the secretary to Philip and Alexander of Macedon, Eumenes, “…sent forward a man named Xenias, who spoke Macedonian…” to negotiate with the Macedonian army of Neoptolomeus. This event took place around 321 BCE.”

 

Here the Author embarks on an clumsy effort to spread mendacious disinformation.  In the original greek text, Arrian speaks explicitely of a man called Xennias “Μακεδονίζων τη φωνή“. This doesnt necessarily mean Xennias is a Macedonian and neither we have “clearly evident distinctiveness of the Macedonian language”. Following the same unfounded assumption, we should also assume of the “evident distinctiveness” of the Doric ( δωρίζουσα τη φωνή“) [2] and Attic (“Αττικής…φωνής) [3]

Furthermore sending a man to address the phalanx in Macedonian, does not mean that Eumenes could not speak/understand the Macedonian dialect himself. Readers should be aware that in the ancient world, it was a common trait among military commanders to dispatch soldiers/messengers and send them to address parts of their own, allied or opponent armies.

The author’s baseless assumption is one giant logical leap. You need only to consider other examples where the same inference could be made, to distinguish the flaw. Just because we  find in Diodorus (XIX 39.5),  the Macedonian General Antigenes to dispatch a Macedonian in order to address the Phalanx, should we also arbitrarily conclude that Macedonians did not speak Macedonian and needed “interpreters” to speak to each other?

“…..Antigenes, the general of the Sliver Shields, sent one of the Macedonian horsemen toward the hostile phalanx, ordering him to draw near to it and make proclamation. This man…shouted: “Wicked men, are you sinning against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander?”

(Diod. Sicily XIX 39.5, Loeb Edition volume IX)

In fact, contrary to the author’s assertions, Eumenes was able to communicate with his Macedonian soldiers. In Plutarch ( Eumenes’ XVII2),  Eumenes finds it quite easy to address Macedonians and also in return the Macedonian mob to be delighted by Eumenes’ speech.

Misconception #2

Claim:

“The fight was further embittered by the old racial rivalry of Greek and Macedonian”. (Arrian: “The Campaigns of Alexander”, translated by Aubrey De Selincourt, Penguin books, USA, 1987, pg. 119.)

The original line in question is :

καὶ τοῖς γένεσι τῷ τε Ἑλληνικῷ καὶ τῷ Μακεδονικῷ φιλοτιμίας ἐνέπεσεν ἐς ἀλλήλους.”

I provide the exact meaning of each word:

καὶ = and
τοῖς = the
γένεσι = beginning, origin, descent, clan/tribe, race, kind
τῷ = of
τε = the
Ἑλληνικῷ = Hellenic
Μακεδονικῷ = Makedonian
φιλοτιμίας = literally “love of honour”, but can also mean ‘ambition’ among other things..
ἐνέπεσεν = to fall
ἐς = on
ἀλλήλους = eachother

In fact the exact passage gives away the nature of the pride in filotimia: “Proud invicible Macedonian phallanx”. So it talks about the pride of which army is better, the one trained exclusively in Macedonia, or the Mercenary one, trained from various places of the entire Greece. In short, the event occurs during the battle and while the Macedonians were trying to equal Alexander’s accomplishments and not tarnish the honor/reputation of the phalanx, which was ‘invincible’. It becomes painfully obvious that the word “γένεσι” , having the meaning of origin, flows naturally and refers to the pride of each military unit. Segregation of ancient Greek tribes with the rest of Greeks is a common phenomenon in the surviving literary sources. [4]

Point of Interest:

The Greek Mercenary forces of Darius included Macedonians. The Macedonian Prince, Neoptolemus, son of Arrhabaeus, joined the Persian army like other Greek Mercenaries and lost his life at the gates of Halicarnassus (Arrian 1.20.10) fighting even his own countrymen. Similarly after Issus, the Macedonian Noble Amyntas, son of Antiochus, leads a army of 4000 Greek mercenaries fled to Egypt  (Diodorus, 17.48.2). It must be re-emphasized the fact that these Greek mercenaries fighting in the Persian side had as their Commander a Macedonian. Finally we are informed, the Macedonian Commander was slaughtered along with his mercenary troops during a plunder in Memphis. (Diodorus 17.48.3-5; Curtius 4.1.27-33)

Misconception #3

Claim:

“The ancient historian Plutarch (c.45-120AD) gave an outstanding account of the distinctivenessof the ancient Macedonian language…. On the first sight of the general of their heart, the troops saluted him in the Macedonian language, clanked their arms, and with loud shouts challenged the enemy to advance, thinking themselves invisible while he was at their head.”

To begin with, nowhere the passage suggests an alleged “distinctiveness”. In fact, Plutarch tells us, once the Macedonians greeted Eumenes, carried at the time on a litter, «μακεδονιστί τη φωνή» (Eum. XIV.5). Context shows that this greeting was spontaneous and complimentary at the same time, a result of the warmth that the troops (Macedonians) felt toward Eumenes, their Commander, whom they urged on to fight.

Following the same irrational logic when we read in Demosthenes’ (Yper Megalopoliton 2), the reference, “τη φωνή λέγειν Αττικιστί», should we also assume the “distinctiveness” of the dialect spoken in Attica?

Misconception #4

Claim:

Sometime around 76 CE, Plutarch, referencing some older works, wrote a biography of Alexander the Great of Macedon”

This is where the esteemed Author brings out his best. Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans is a series of biographies of famous men, arranged in tandem to illuminate their common moral virtues or failings, written in the late 1st century. It is a work of considerable importance, not only as a source of information about the individuals biographized, but also about the times in which they lived.

The surviving Parallel Lives [in Greek: Βίοι Παράλληλοι], as they are more properly and commonly known, contain twenty-three pairs of biographies, each pair consisting of one GREEK [Emphasis given] and one Roman, as well as four unpaired, single lives.

Plutarch makes it blatantly obvious that he considers Alexander as a Greek, when one of the pairs he compares between Greeks and Romans, is Alexander the Great Vs Julius Ceasar. Since Julius Ceasar is apparently a Roman, obviously Plutarch considers Alexander as a Greek.

In another Plutarch’s comparison of a Greek and a Roman, we find the pair of the Macedonian Demetrius the (so-called) Besieger Vs Mark Antony. Again we become witnesses of the same fact. Plutarch’s list contains two Macedonians among the Greeks because simple and plainly Plutarch considers Macedonians as being Greeks.

Misconception # 5

Claim:

“the official language in the Macedonian Empire and in its army, during the Macedonian dominion, was the language of “koine” (mixed language) that was used in the Macedonian Empire. In addition to words from the ancient Greek dialects (which were numerous) koine contained words from other languages as well. Alexander established this language for practical reasons, since he was aware that he would encounter resistance were he to impose the unfamiliar Macedonian language on the different nations in his empire.”

Of course, there is a hidden reality behind this excerpt. It’s the inability of its author to admit that the Hellenistic Koine was a Greek language (in fact the Attic dialect developed into Koine as the eminent linguists verify)

A little later, we find in the article a map originating from the book “Ancient Language of Europe”, edited by Roger D. Woodard. However the author quite hypocritically omits to mention what his own source testifies about the Koine [5]:

“With the expansion of Hellenic culture under Philip of Macedon in the middle of the fourth century BC, the Attic dialect begins to spread geographically, developing into a Hellenistic Koine. This Hellenistic period of Greek continues until the fourth century AD”

Other sources add more interesting information about the Koine Greek.

Language; The Development of Koine Greek

Beginning with the reign of Philip II of Macedón, the Attic- Ionic dialect group grew in status to become the Panhellenic Greek of the emergent Macedonian empire. This so-called Macedonian Koine became the language of government, administration, and well-educated persons.

An introduction to Greek epigraphy of the Hellenistic and Roman periods from Alexander the Great down to the Reign of Constantine (323 B.C. – A. D. 337) by Bradley Hudson McLean, page 346

The Hellenistic koine, the Greek language which Alexander and his Macedonians spread everywhere they passed, may be viewed as a development of Attic Dialect and of course the linguists from all around the world consider it as a Greek language. In the aftermath of the Pan-Hellenic campaign of Alexander the Great , it became the lingua Franca of the conquered territories. It is necessary, to introduce here additional factors for consideration which refute the groundless conjectures found in the initial claim. Since Aramaic had been the Lingua Franca of the region for centuries and also very familiar to all the Asian subjects of the mighty Persian empire, Alexander had no reason to replace Aramaic with Greek, neither allegedly “for practical reasons” nor “to facilitate ease of communication among the different nations”. In fact the vast majority of those Asians didnt speak Greek prior to Alexander’s expedition. Macedonians obviously would not spread a foreign language to them, just like they would not spread a foreign Culture to them, but solely their own. Thus being Greek themselves, the Macedonians spread everywhere the Greek Language and Culture.

Misconception #6

claim:

“his military commanders and his army among whom the Macedonians were dominant; there were also many Greeks, Thracians, Jews and people from other nations”

Here we witness another malignant deception refuted by the words of the Macedonian king himself.

 

“There are Greek troops, to be sure, in Persian service – but how different is theirs cause from ours ! They will be fighting for pay— and not much of it at that; We on the contrary shall fight for Greece, and our heart will be in it.  As for our Foreign troops —Thracians, Paeonians, Illyrians,  Agrianes — they are the best and stouder soldiers of Europe, and they  will find as their opponents the slackest and softest of the tribes of  Asia.” [Underlined mine]

(Arrian, “the campaigns of Alexander”, translated by Aubrey De Selincourt, Penguin books, USA, 1987, pg 112)

Do you notice that there is no distinction between Macedonians and the rest of Greeks?

Alexander himself in his speech makes it explicit that:

(a) Macedonians fought for Greece with “their hearts being in it”,

(b) the foreign element in his army are solely the Thracians, Paeonians, Illyrians, Agrianes but not the Greeks.

Another apparent evidence of the Greekness of Macedonians.

Misconception #7

Claim:

” The incident of the trial of the Macedonian, Philotas… This event establishes the existence of an independent and separate Macedonian language.”

 

Again the author embarks on presenting unfounded claims. The event does not speak about Macedonian as a language and it becomes even clearer that Macedonian is a Greek dialect. Philotas explicitely states that using the Koine would make his speech “easier to understand“, indicating that the Macedonian dialect was not incomprehensible to the non-Macedonians, but a bit more difficult to understand.

In fact, the whole incident shows the Macedonian dialect was not that different from the Koine and could be understood eventhough it had some difficulty by other Greeks. This also explains the quick disappearance of the Macedonian dialect and the quick adoption of the Koine from Macedonians.

Misconception #8

Claim:

“Regarding the language of the ancient Macedonians we present a map (see page 13) from the “Ancient Languages of Europe” published in 2008 at the University of Cambridge Edited by Roger D. Woodard, published by Cambridge University Press, 2008 which depicts those territories in which ancient Greek was spoken. It is clear that most of Macedonia (with the exception of the sparsely inhabited peninsula Chalkidiki, where Greek colonies remained for a very long time) was not part of the Greek speaking area.”

Here we witness an attempt of the author to attribute scientific importance and seriousness to his ´analysis´. The method used is by providing a linguistic map which allegedly shows that the Macedonian speech was not part of the Greek Speaking area. Of course, the deliberate omission of what the same source [6] underlines about the linguistic status of the ancient Macedonians.speaks volumes.

1. “Much uncertainty surrounds the linguistic status of the Macedonian peoples

2.  “it remains unclear if Greek was the native language of the Macedonians”

So the author’s own source dismiss two of his basic claims and attests:

(a) The Hellenistic Koine was an Attic-based Greek language,

(b) it remains unclear the linguistic status of the Macedonian peoples.

Ignoring the context can often be a mere error. But selective quotation to fit one’s agenda is more like wilful distortion.

Misconception #9

Claim:

“First of all, we have cited accounts that state that some of them did not speak a word of spoken Greek.”

This one is a masterpiece. The author embarks on giving more false conclusions based on his previous groundless assertions. The above quote defies not only reality but most importantly Common Sense.

How could the Macedonians have Names in a language that they allegedly didn’t speak?

How would the Macedonian kings issue decrees, coins, etc that their own people would not understand at all?

How would the Macedonians even spread a language that they didn’t speak?

Why they never protested if they were allegedly imposed a foreign language and culture, like they did for example with the Persian?

Misconception #10

Claim:

“Even if we agree that the ancient Macedonian language did not exist in its written form and that the first written language used for communication among the Macedonians was Greek, it does not follow that writing in Greek makes them Greek people.”

Interestingly enough, the author keeps the same style; Denying the Historical Reality.

If allegedly ancient Macedonians were not Greeks, then we publicly challenge the author to share with us a non-Greek people who shared ALL these characteristics of the ancient Macedonians, prior to Alexander’s conquests.

Namely a Non-Greek people:

(a) speaking Greek,

(b) participating in Pan-Hellenic Games where Only Greeks can enter.

(c) having Greek names,

(d) sharing the same religion with Greeks.

(e) conquering/spreading Greek language and Culture everywhere they pass,

(f) using Greek Architecture,

(g) building Greek cities

(h) identifying themselves as Greek.

The conclusion is inescapable. Only Greeks could share the above characteristics.

 

Appendix A

“Macedonia and the Rest of Greece” in the ancient Literary & Epigraphical sources

Arrian II.14.4: “Macedonia and the rest of Greece” (..Είς Μακεδονίαν και είς την άλλην Ελλάδα)

Polybius 7.9.3: “Macedonia and the rest of Greece” (..Μακεδονίαν και τήν άλλην Ελλάδα)

Strabo, 7.9:Macedonia, of course, is a part of Greece[..]without taking her [Macedonia] from the rest of Greece” (..έστι μεν ουν Ελλάς και η Μακεδονίαν[…]χωρίς έγνωμεν αυτήν από της άλλης Ελλάδος )

Polybius 7.9.5: “Philip and Macedonians and the rest of Greeks(..Φιλίππον και Μακεδόνων και υπό τών άλλων Ελλήνων)

Julius Valerius Alexander Polemios I.18: omni Macedonia et et reliqua Graecia conspirante

Polybius 7.9.7: “Macedonians and the rest of Greeks” (..και Μακεδόνες και των άλλων Ελλήνων)

Plutarch, Alexander’s Fortune 99.3.6:Macedonians and the rest of Greeks(…Μακεδόνες και οι άλλοι Έλληνες)

Arrian Ι.16.7:Alexander, son of Philip and the Greeks..” (Αλέξανδρος Φιλίππου και οι Έλληνες )

Strabo, 10.2.23: “to the Macedonians and the rest of Greeks” (…πρός τε τους Μακεδόνας και τους άλλους Έλληνας )

Dio Chrysostom, Discourse on Kingship no. 4; 9 and 48:, Macedonians and the rest of Greeks(…Μακεδόνας τε και τους άλλους Έλληνας )

IG XII,2 525: “…Alexander and the Greeks..” (..καὶ πόλεμον ἐξε[νι]- [κ]άμενος πρὸς Ἀλέξανδρον καὶ τοὶς Ἔλλανας τοὶς μὲν πολίταις παρελόμενος τὰ ὄπλα ἐξε- κλάϊσε) (Eresos 332 BC)

IG X(2.1) no.1031 lines 6-7: “..Macedonians and the rest of Greeks..” (..και τους λοιπούς Μακεδόνας και τους άλλους Έλληνας) (Olympia, Damon the Macedonian, 143 BC)

Syll. 3 nos. 372, lines 6 kai 7: “Kings and the rest of Greeks”, (..[υ]πό των βασιλέων και /[τ]ών άλλων Ελλήνων) (Samothrace 288-281 BC)

Magnesia 6, 557, lines 30-31: “of the kings and the rest of Greeks“ (..των βασιλέων [κ]αί των άλλ[ων] Ελλήνων απάν]τωμ) (Magnesia et Maian.: Artemis Leukofryni, 207/6 BC)

Syll.³ 398 590, line 30, “of the kings and the rest of Greeks” (..τοίς βασιλεύσι και τοις άλλοις Έλλησι) (SbBerlin 24 (1905) 979-993, 196 BC)

Ephesos 163: ”..Macedonians and the rest of Greek ethne” (..εἶναι μῆνα καλούμενον παρ̣’ ἡ̣[μ]ῖν μὲν Ἀρτεμισ[ι]-ῶνα, παρὰ δὲ Μακεδόσιν καὶ τοῖς λοιποῖς ἔθνεσιν τοῖς Ἑλληνικοῖς) (Ephesos 160 BC)

 

[1] Τhe article was published in the magazine of a divided “Macedonian Diaspora” NGO, a Slavic anti-Greek organization using Greek words in its title; “United Macedonian Diaspora”, Voice Spring Edition 2011, pages 12-14. It can be found online here.

[2] Dio Chrysostom – 4rth Discourse on Kingship 54;

[3] Athenaeus D. ΙΙΙ, 126e;

[4] See Segregation between Ancient Greek tribes in literary sources

[5] Roger D. Woodard (ed), “Ancient Languages of Europe”, University of Cambridge, , published by

Cambridge University Press  (2008)

[6] Roger D. Woodard (ed), “Ancient Languages of Europe”, University of Cambridge, published by

Cambridge University Press  (2008), page 14

[7] Roger D. Woodard (ed), “Ancient Languages of Europe”, University of Cambridge, published by

Cambridge University Press  (2008), page 9

 

Η Μυγδονία και οι Μύγδονες

April 19, 2011

 Χάρτης της Μυγδονίας (Photo @ komvos.edu.gr)

Του Αντώνη Ε. Κοντόπουλου

Η Μυγδονία, (ή Μυγδονίη, Ηρόδ. 7.123.3), ήταν η περιοχή που εκτεινόταν γύρω από την λίμνη Βόλβη (Θουκ. 1.58.2), βόρεια της Χαλκιδικής και νότια από την Κρηστωνία και τη Βισαλτία.

Ο Όμηρος μας πληροφορεί (Ιλιάς XXI 209–211) πως ο Παίονας ευγενής Μύδων (πιθανότατα επώνυμος των Μυγδόνων της Ευρώπης) σκοτώνεται από τον Αχιλλέα κατά την διάρκεια του Τρωικού πολέμου. Κατά την διάρκεια του 5ου αιώνα π.Χ. , στην περίοδο της βασιλείας του Αλεξανδρου Ι (495-452 π.Χ.), ο Ηρόδοτος περιγράφει την Μυγδονία ως μια ξεχωριστή περιοχή από την Μακεδονία.

Ο Ηρόδοτος (VII 123.3) περιγράφοντας την εκστρατεία του Ξέρξη εναντίον της Ελλάδος, το έτος 480 π.Χ. , αναφέρει ότι το Περσικό Ναυτικό μπήκε στον Θερμαϊκό Κόλπο, πηγαίνοντας κατά μήκος της Μυγδονίας. Εξασφάλισε την κατοχή της Θέρμης, Σίνδου και Χαλάστρας, ενώ προς τα Δυτικά, ο Αξιός χώριζε την Μυγδονία από την Βοττιαία. Ο Θουκυδίδης δίνει πλήρη περιγραφή της Μακεδονικής εξάπλωσης στα εδάφη άλλων λαών και αναφέρει πως οι Αργεάδες βασιλείς εκδίωξαν τους Ήδωνες από την Μυγδονία (Θουκ. ΙΙ, 99). Πιθανότατα οι Μύγδονες αποτελούσαν μέρος του βασιλείου των Ηδωνών και ήταν συγγενικό φύλο με αυτούς.

Ο Στέφανος Βυζαντινός (s.v. Ηδωνοί) έγραψε πως ο Ηδωνός ήταν αδερφός του Μύγδονος, ενώ σύμφωνα με τον Στράβωνα (VII παρ. 11) ένα μέρος των Ηδωνών είχε το όνομα Μύγδονες. Ο αρχαίος Γεωγράφος προσδιόριζε τους Μύγδονες της Ασίας ως μια Θρακική φυλή που είχε μεταναστεύσει από την Ευρώπη (Στράβ. VII 3, 2;  και XII 3, 22; 4, 4; 8, 10–11). Στην αρχή του Πελοποννησιακού πολέμου, ο Μακεδόνας βασιλιάς Περδίκκας φέρεται να παραχωρεί στους Χαλκιδείς, εδάφη της Μυγδονίας, γύρω από την λίμνη Βόλβη.

Οι αρχαίες γραμματειακές πηγές αναφέρουν ως πόλεις της Μυγδονίας την Απολλωνία (Ξεν. Ελλ. 5.2.11; Δημ. 9.26),  Αρέθουσα (Ψευδο-Σκύλαξ 66;  Πλουτ. Λυκ. 31.5), Βρομίσκο ή Βορμίσκο (Θουκ. 4.103.1), Χαλάστρη ή Χαλέστρη (Εκατ. Fr 146; Ηροδ. 7.123.3), Ηράκλεια (Στεφ. Βυζ.), Λήτη (Στεφ. Βυζ. 413.19), Σίνδο (Ηρόδ. 7.123.3) και Θέρμη (Ηρόδ. 7.124).

Κατά την διάρκεια ολόκληρου του 5ου και στις αρχές του 4ου αιώνα π.Χ., οι αρχαίες γραμματειακές πηγές περιγράφουν την περιοχή ως μέρος της Θράκης (Θουκυδ. I59, 1; II 95). Αργότερα ο Πλίνιος (Φυσ. Ιστορία, IV 10,35) αναφέρει τους Μύγδονες ως μια Παιονική φυλή στην περιοχή του Κάτω Αξιού, δίπλα από τους Πελαγόνες.

Ο Στράβωνας (Στραβ. VII frg. 41), μας πληροφορεί πως στην εποχή του (1ος αιώνας μ.Χ.), αλλά και στο παρελθόν, οι Παίονες είχαν στην κατοχή τους ένα μεγάλος μέρος της Μακεδονίας. Συγκεκριμένα την περιοχή της Κρεστωνίας, την Μυγδονία και από τους Αγριάνες ως το Παγγαίον. Δεν μπορούμε να γνωρίζουμε με ακρίβεια πότε οι Παίονες απόκτησαν τον έλεγχο της Μυγδονίας. Υποθέτουμε πως μπορεί να συνέβει μέσα στον 6ο αιώνα π.Χ., εφόσον στο τέλος του 6ου αιώνα η Μυγδονία είχε αποτελέσει τμήμα του Βασιλείου των Ηδωνών. Πιθανότατα η κατοχή της Μυγδονίας μπορεί να συνδιαστεί με τις Παιονικές εκστρατείες  στα Άβδηρα (Πίνδαρος, II Παιαν. 50–70) και την Πέρινθο (Ηρόδ. V 1–2) πριν το 512 π.Χ.

 Όπως είδαμε, ο Στράβωνας μας παραθέτει μια σημαντική πληροφορία για τους Μύγδονες της Ασίας. Ισχυρίζεται πως ήταν μια Θρακική φυλή που μετανάστευσε από την Ευρώπη (Στραβ. VII 3, 2). Η μαρτυρία του Ομήρου που αναφέρει τον Μύγδονα ως επώνυμο των Μυγδόνων της Ασίας (Ιλ. III 181–190) μας ωθεί στην υπόθεση πως η μετανάστευση πήρε μέρος πριν τον 8ο αιώνα π.Χ. και ανάμεσα στον 12ο και 11ο αιώνα π.Χ., την εποχή που οι Ευρωπαίοι Βρύγες μετανάστευσαν στην Ανατολία και ονομάστηκαν Φρύγες. Οι Μύγδονες της Ασίας ζούσαν στην Ανατολική Βιθυνία και κοντά στην Κύζικο, ενώ το παλαιότερο όνομα της Βιθυνίας ήταν Μυγδονία (Στραβ. XII 3, 22; 4, 4; 8,10–11; Pliny, Nat. hist. V 126, 145, Αμ. Μαρσ. XXII 8, 14 ).


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