HISTORY OF MACEDONIA

                                    

                                   

 

ORIGIN OF THE MACEDONIANS


INTRODUCTION

Many writers investigated the origin of the Macedonians in their own way and have, as a result, arrived at different conclusions, often in conflict with one another.' This subject is of vital significance to us, Macedonians, for we want to know whether or not our ancestors were Greek. Much more so, because aligned with it, is another question of equal importance, namely, whether Greece has any inheritance rights upon Macedonia, or whether, in the absence of such historical or ethnological rights, Macedonia can be considered a property without an owner where anybody can stake his claim. The Greek origin of the Macedonians or rather the homogeneity of the Greeks and the Macedonians are proven by the history of the settlement of the Indo- Europeans in Europe, particularly the South Group, i. e. the Thracians, the Greeks and the Illyrians, in the Balkan Peninsula.

THE FIRST SETTLERS

The Thracians, having arrived first, occupied the eastern part of the peninsula and Macedonia. The Greeks probably came after the Thracians, about 2500 B. C., making their way through the valleys of Axios, the Morava (Margos) and the mountainous passes of Illyria. They stopped at the Western part of the Balkan pleninsula and Macedonia, which was seized from the Thracians. This land has been their station and was Arian-Greek for many centuries before Southern Greece became Greek. Further movements to the south were obstructed by the chain of the Kambounian mountains and Olympus. It was then that they built in Amphaxitis' and further south, the cities of Eidomene, Europus, Atalante, Gortynia, Ichnae, Dion.
About five centuries later the Thracians regained Central Macedonia as a result of which some Greek tribes, such as the Ionians and Achaeans occupying the afore- mentioned cities,, were forced to submit but retained the names of their native towns, while others moved south- ward and built new cities by the same names in various parts, especially in Arcadia, where, according to Strabo only Achaeans settled (Gortys-Gortynia, Europus, Eidomene, Atalante). Others, such as the Penestae of northern Macedonia who spoke an archaic dialect, settled in Thessaly, having left behind them the name of the old country Penestia in its original seat.

THE APPEARANCE OF THE ILLYRIANS

In the 13th century B. C. the Illyrians penetrated the westernmost parts of the Balkan peninsula. They occupied Penestia and the territory up to the Genousos River, as shown by the folklore, before, during and after Strabo, up to this very day. According to an ancient tradition, the town of Pylon, near lake Lychnitis (Achris or Ochrida), formed the meeting point of the boundaries of Macedonia and Illyria. This territory has also been known under the name of Dassaretia, and constituted the outermost limit of Macedonia and Epirus ("Finis Macedonia et Epiri", Itiner.Hierosol.) at least during the Greco-Roman period.' The Illyrian incursion and pressure forced out many Eordian's from the plain of the Eordian River ( (Devole) who settled in another plain near the lake of the ancient Arnissa (Ostrovo) in Western Macedonia. This territory was known thereafter as Eordia or Eordaea (in an old inscription discovered in Epidaurus another form of the name is given: Euordia) which was derived from the Eordians. 

MACEDONIANS (DORIANS) MIGRATE ALL OVER GREECE

The latter in turn pushed out the Macedonian tribe of the Dorians (whom Kretchmer identifies with the Douriopes of Macedonia) and forced them to leave the country around the mountains of Olympus and Pindus (Herodotus, Pindar, Strabo) and settled in the land to the south of the Kambounian mountains as well as to the south of the Isthmus of Corinth. They (the Dorians) were followed by other tribes of the so-called north- western type and were scattered all over Greece, except Arcadia. From such new settlers certain localities derived and retained up to this day their historical names, i. e. Boeotia, Phocis Acarnania, Thessaly, etc. The Boeotians themselves must have come down from the western Macedonian mountain Boion, from which their name is derived. But they were not alien to the extension of the Boion mountain further south, that is Pindus, from which Pindar's name is derived.

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE CENTRAL MACEDONIAN THRONE

Those who remained in Macedonia settled in small villages and, divided according to areas in independent Kingdoms, were engaged in constant warfare with their neighbors, the Illyrians, whom they kept in check. Between 700-500 B. C. the dynasty of Orestis (the territory sow covered by Kastoria and Korytsa) appeared and established the central Macedonian throne in Aegae (Vergina) of Emathia after subduing the local kings of the other Macedonian territories of Pelagonia (Monastir), Lyngus (Florina), Douriopia (Krousovo-Perlepes), Elimia (Kozane- Grevena), Tymphaea (Konitsa), Eordia (Ptolemais), Pieria ( Katerini-Litochoron ) and Bottiaea (Giannitsa- Pella). The town of Aegae (in Central Macedonia) was the seat of the King of the entire Macledonia who ruled over the already subdued small kingdoms. These, according to Thucydides, "were allies and subjects, but also had kings of their own". That is, to put it in another way, they were federative units, having approximately the same relation with the central government as the small states of Germany had with the King of Prussia before the first World War (1914-18).

EXPANSION OF THE KINGDOM OF MACEDONIA

Following the repulse of the Persians, King Alexander I, occupied the entire territory between the rivers Axios and Strymon, with the exception of the coastline. Philip II, father of Alexander the Great, extended his dominion eastward to the shores of Euxine. He imposed his political influence even beyond Kaemus (the Balkan Mountains) as far as the Danube River, after having traversed all the land beyond the river Axios from the south to north as well as from east to west: that is from Scythia Minor (Dobrudja),where, according to Atheneus, he married Meda or Medope, the daughter of Kothela, King of Odessa (Varna).
Along the coastline of the Aegean, the Propontis and the Euxinus already existed colonies founded by Greeks from Southern Greece since the 8th century B. C. But Philip founded other colonies inland of which we know only Philippi, Kabyle and Philippopolis. These were the bases for a methodical intercourse with, and hellenization of the Thracians in the interior. '4' But Philip's colonies must have been many more, for Philippopolis alone in the center of Thrace, without any other support (that is, a series of similar colonies), would not have been able to remain Greek in character together with her suburbs up to the recent exchanges of populations.'5'
In the nearby tombs jewels of genuine Greek workmanship were discovered testifying to the presence not merely of transient merchants, but of Greek colonists as well, who penetrated and settled in the interior as an extension of the Greek colonies founded along the coastline in the 8th century B. C. and afterwards. 

DISSEMINATION OF GREEK CULTURE

It was through the presence of such settlers that the taste and pursuit of works of classical Greek art has already been imparted in the 5th century B. C., which coincides with the beginning of coinage in the Greek colonies along the coastline. The presence of such abundant works of Greek art in the interior can not be explained only by the existence of the Greek coastal colonies. Similar colonies also existed along the coast of Dacia, but the interior did not assume a Greek character by the presence of any such Greek works in large numbers. There is, from this point of view, a similarity between northern Thrace and the peninsula of Taurus. This peninsula, however, has been almost purely Greek with Iphigenia in Tauris and Prometheus in Caucasus. All in all, the Greek nation has, at least from the time: of Philip, been the master not only of the coastline, but of the interior of Thrace as well. With the exception of the Romans and the Turks, no other Balkan people has seized the coast, but only occasionally and in such a manner as travelers are accommodated for s night in hotels.(6)

CONSOLIDATION OF THE STATE OF MACEDONIA

Throughout this period and until the days of the Byzantine Empire, no other people has ever invaded Macedonia to displace the Arian-Greeks. Nor have Greek colonists come from Southern Greece. Had they tried to, they would have been unable to fill up a vast land, such as Western Macedonia. Poor and thin-soiled, it was not suitable for colonization. Besides, in Southern Greece, which was cut up into city-states, no Power could have been found strong enough, to conceive the idea, and have the necessary means, in order to colonize the whole of the interior of a distant country, which would have meant the displacement of the native population. In such case it would have been necessary to determine the racial character of the population and explain its presence there, had it not been originally Greek.
Legends, such as those about immigration of Kings and other settlers from Southern Greece to Macedonia (Temenides, Bacchiadae, Kadmeians) were invented by the Greeks precisely to explain the Greek character of the Macedonians. All this is due to the fact that the ancient Greeks could not understand this in any other way, since they did not know their own origin and the route their ancestors followed in coming into Macedonia and Greece.

THE MACEDONIANS CLUNG TO THEIR OLD TRADITIONS

This being the case, the inhabitants of Macedonia are descendants of the old Arian (Greek) settlers. Prehistorical data are very clear on this point. Since the dawn of history, the names of the people and the places in 'Macledonia are Greek (Karanos, Perdiccas, Amyntas, Aeropus, Alcetas, Kleitos, Emathia, Eidomene, Haliacmon, Echedorus, Dion, etc). In addition, there is a tradition that the Greek dialect of the Macedonians preserved, and rightly so, the old peculiarities of the Homeric times, retaining the nominative cases of the first declension without "s", as is the case with the Thessalian and the Boeotian dialects, such as ippota, mhtieta, nepheligereta, olympionica, etc. This very thing is also denoted by the name Ptolemaios (Homeric Ptolemos), while the southerners were saying later polemos-Polemon. It is not improper to mention here that the bodyguards of the kings of Macedonia were called "etairoi" of the King, that is, fellow-warriors and companions, as in the time of Homer.
Thus, the Macedonian dialect was preserved in an undeveloped and archaic state, as was the case with their entire civilization, but it was Greek. It follows, therefore, that the people, too, were rude and backward, but they were Greeks, appearing as such during the time of Philip and Alexander and even later, when the light of civilization was shining on in their own land. The Greeks moved to Peloponnesus from what is called "Sterea Hellas" Central or Middle Greece. The latter, however, was not wholly evacuated as a result of this southward movement, The same holds true as to Thessaly, whose population or rather a part of it, moved to Middle Greece. Another example: Greeks from all over Greece had left their original hometowns and settled in colonies outside Greece. The latter, however, has never been evacuated altogether by its Greek inhabitants. Thus Macedonia, too, sent out her surplus population without ceasing to be a country of Greeks.'7' 


Olympus


 Article of Archaeologist Efi Pandermali-Poulaki
(Edited by Michael D. Stratis)


Olympus is located between Macedonian Pieria and Thessalian Perrhaebia, ancient regions divided by mountain range and indefinite borders. It is composed of an Upper and Lower Olympus, although Titarus, coexisting with Olympus marks the northwestern reach of the same mountain range as Olympus. Nevertheless, Upper Olympus, the distinct central base of the triple range, is Olympus proper, and it is due to this that it is named polydeira and polyptychos in poetry.
From a historical point of view the Macedonian character of Olympus is important because Olympus and its region are related to the early phases of Macedonian historical development. This is indicated by ancient references and has been noted by contemporary research. What remains to be discovered is just how early this relationship begins. This is the question that will mainly concern us here.
Macedonians are one of the tribes known as Proto-Doric. It is established that at an early phase such racial groups were gathered around the foothills of Olympus in northeastern Thessaly. According to Herodotus, the Hellenic race (meaning the Doric) moved widely ... at the time of Doros, the son of Hellen, [and] they inhabited a region between Ossa and Olympus. We shall return to this later.
I will not mention other numerous references to the above since they are more or less well known and repeat much the same information. I will limit myself to one which is less well known. It is a reference by Diodorus of Sicily in his historical description in relation to Crete:
    and it is said that the third race, the Dorians,
    reached Crete under the leadership of Tektamos,
    the son of Doros. And indeed it is said that the
    greater part of these peoples were gathered in
    the region around Mount Olympus.
    (1)

I will proceed from this interesting (to say the least) information of Diodorus concerning Crete in order to remain in the area of concentration, namely Olympus and the Macedonians. As a Proto-Doric tribe therefore, they must have early inhabited the vicinity of Olympus; indeed, we have a confirmation of this fact from early antiquity: the precious witness of Hesiod.
    And she of Zeus the lightning-bearer gave birth
    to two sons, one was Magnes and the other
    Macedon who loved horses, these two who lived
    in the region of Pieria and Olympus.
(2) I will not refer to the general mesh of traditions which link the history of the Macedonians with the region of Olympus. I will mention only two of these traditions which are not particularly known but are also indicative of this relationship arising from earlier times.
Strabo, referring to early tribal movements, informs us that when the Lapiths brought pressure to bear on the Aeneans and the Perrhaebi, a section of the latter retreated around the western parts of Olympus where they became proschoroi Makedosi that is neighbors of the Macedonians (3). The mythical first king of the Macedonians, Karanos (according to Pausanias), after a battle set up a triumphal trophy in accordance with the age old customs of his Argive forebears. At night a lion descended from Olympus and destroyed it. From then on, by order of Karanos, the Macedonians never again set up victory trophies (4).
This early settlement of Macedonians near Olympus is indirectly confirmed by Thucydides who places Pieria as first among the conquests of the Temenidae (5). The original nucleus and center of power of the Temenidae was the kingdom of Lower Macedonia. Lower (kato) was called the coastal Macedonia of the plains, while upper (ano) was used in reference to mountainous western Macedonia.
The Macedonian tribes of Upper Macedonia were later and by stages incorporated into the state of the Temenidae while, especially at the beginning, retaining their national kings and names. But who were these Temenidae? They were the first and exceptionally dynamic dynasty of Lower Macedonia, mainly to which can be owed the expansionism of the Macedonians. This expansionism started as early perhaps as the 7th Century, with king Perdiccas who first organized the tribes of Lower Macedonia into a state, continued with the succeeding kings of the dynasty in all possible directions, and completed an almost imperialistic cycle with the last representative of the dynasty, the young Alexander the Great, the romantic lover of the mythical images of the Mycenean heroes of ages past.
It is widely known - from antiquity to this day - that the royal dynasty of Lower Macedonia owed its descent to Temenos, son of Heracles. They were therefore descendants of Heracles or Heracleidae. The Heracleidae felt proud in antiquity for having led the so-called "Descent of the Dorians" to the Peloponnese, that is for leading the migration of more northerly Greek tribes to the very centers of power of the Mycenean world in the Peloponnese.
The descent of the Dorians and the return of the Heracleides was for antiquity one of the most important, if not the most important, events of the early history of the Greek world. Even today it still remains a provocative mystery of antiquity, the interpretation of which still creates disagreement among scholars. Thus follows the old viewpoint which envisages the descent as a catastrophic horde of Indo-European barbarians who destroyed Mycenean civilization, another theory which questions the whole of ancient tradition and is in general a condemnation of the descent. I will not expand further on the subject. I will stop at the Myceneans of the diaspora, namely the Heracleidae, since it is to them that is owed the descent of the Temenidae which interests us.
The Heracleidae therefore led the so-called descent of the Dorians in their own return to the Peloponnese, since they themselves were not Dorians but descendants of the same nuclear core of Mycenean power in the north Peloponnese as the newer Mycenean dynasty which had exiled them from areas of Mycenean rule. Some of these finally found refuge in areas ceded to them by Dorian tribes, a cession that was granted - according to ancient tradition - because their progenitor Heracles had helped the Dorians when they were fighting the Lapiths (the Lapiths being a tribe somewhere between myth and reality, first encountered in the region of Olympus).
The tradition concerning the exile of the Heracleidae, a beloved subject of the ancients, is probably indicative of the well attested endemic disease of the Hellenic race, namely internal discord, which on this occasion led to instances of Mycenean resettlement amongst the most northerly of Greek tribes.
Since Mycenean civilization was principally seafaring, one would have expected to find the new Mycenean settlements next to the sea. Therefore, if the region of northern Thessaly near Olympus is one of the first places of concentration for the Proto-Doric tribes, then the coastal area in the vicinity of Olympus in neighboring Pieria could be one of the possible areas of settlement of the Mycenean colonizers.
If this is proven to be true, then it could give us a possible interpretation for the merging of the Macedonian dynasty with Mycenean tradition and its northern Peloponnesian origins. Besides, had the region been conquered by the Heracleidae then the absence of its inhabitants from the two opposing camps in the Iliad makes sense.
The symbiotic proximity, over a period of long duration, of a Macedonian tribe to a neighboring Mycenean colony could explain the Mycenean elements in the Macedonian dialect, which has been much discussed in the past.
Such a Macedonian tribe could have been the Argeadae Macedonians of Lower Macedonia who were ruled by kings, bearers of Mycenean culture, namely the Temenidae. I wish to point out here that the name Argeadae Macedonians completely correlates and is synonymous with the name "kato" (Lower) Macedonians, since the word Argos (root word for Argeadae) in both the Macedonian and Thessalian vernacular means "plain." (6)
The Argeadae Macedonians therefore, whose kings were the Temenidae, could be considered to be a Macedonian tribe which unlike the other northern tribes did not move on but stayed and settled in the area of Olympus, the Argos of the Pelasgians (in other words, Thessaly) or Pieria, under the appropriately descriptive name of Argeadae Macedonians, namely "kato" (lower) or "plains" Macedonians, who at least by name were differentiated from their related racial kinsmen of mountainous Western Macedonia, the "ano" (upper) or highland Macedonians.
The presence of Proto-Doric tribes in the Olympus region is confirmed by many sources and is generally accepted by contemporary historical research. The presence of bearers of Mycenean culture from southern Greece in this region is based on a hypothesis which arose from the deductions drawn above.
In searching for ancient sources to confirm the presence of such cultural entities at Olympus, one cannot but be greatly impressed by the well known passage from Herodotus, who speaks of Proto-Doric tribes: At the time of Dorus ..., they inhabited the region below Ossa and Olympus... and when the Cadmeians drove them from there, they went to Pindus and became known as the Macedonian race. (7)
The Cadmeians are the children of Cadmus, inhabitants of Mycenean Thebes before its terrible destruction. The destruction was total and led to the abandonment and desertion of the city, was painful to the defeated as well as the victors, and which was to become a legend throughout antiquity. Here was a city most remembered for its fall! was a line written in the Cambridge History. Let us continue with a few more extracts from this history:
    Further north the most important state is the
    city of Cadmus, the later Thebes, so important
    indeed as to be a rival of Mycenae for the
    supremacy of Greece. We may feel fairly
    confident that the destruction of Thebes was
    the work of the new masters of Mycenae. The
    sack of Thebes may then be regarded as one
    of the certain events of Mycenean history; and
    the elimination of this rival had an obvious
    bearing on the development of Mycenean
    power in the Peloponnese.
Let us note here the common enmity of the Cadmeians and the Heracleidae against the new dynasty of Mycenae, which immediately brings to mind Heracles Theban ancestry.
If we bear in mind the place names which are common to Boeotia and the region of Pieria in the Olympus vicinity (e.g. Leibethra, Pimpleia, Helicon, etc.) as well as other noteworthy common factors between the two regions (such as early worship of the Muses, a significant characteristic of both areas) then we begin to appreciate the full importance of Herodotus reference to Cadmeians at Olympus which cannot therefore be overlooked without due consideration.
I have mentioned above some ideas which I have put forward in the past, based on a variety of information stemming from antiquity. These thoughts have led to a hypothetical archaeological picture of the Olympus region (8), its main characteristics being the early settlement of the region by Greek tribes and the possibility of contacts with the Mycenean world. The first archaeological finds at Olympus, which followed later, have not refuted this theory. While on this quest, one can discern many threads of the same mesh which consequently tie Lower Macedonia, and especially Pieria, in a common cultural bond with southern Greece. The Late Bronze Age which had recently made its first appearance on Macedonian Olympus, has a Mycenean character; also, the succeeding Early Iron Age is not irrelevant. The problems and questions that arise are many and provocative.
Footnotes:
1. Herodotus 1. 56.
2. Diodorus of Sicily 5. 80.
3. Hesiod 7.
4. Strabo 9. 5. 22.
5. Pausanias 9.40. 7-8.
6. Thucydides 2.99.
7. Strabo 8. 372.
8. Herodotus 1. 56; See also 1. 


Quotations from Classical Sources Relating to Macedonia


Quotations from Classical Sources Relating to Macedonia Hesiod:
"And she conceived and bore to Zeus, who delights in the thunderbolt, two sons, Magnes and Macedon, rejoicing in horses, who dwell round about Pieria and Olympus."
(Hesiod, Catalogues of Women and Eoiae 3 [Loeb, H.G. Evelyn-White])
Herodotus:
"For in the days of king Deucalion it (i.e. a Makednian tribe) inhabited the land of Phthiotis, then in the time of Dorus, son of Hellen, the country called Histiaean, under Ossa and Olympus; driven by the Cadmeians from this Histiaean country it settled about Pindus in the parts called Macedonian; thence again it migrated to Dryopia, and at last came from Dryopia into Peloponnesus, where it took the name of Dorian."
(Herod. I, 56, 3 [Loeb, A.D. Godley])
"Tell your king (Xerxes), who sent you, how his Greek viceroy (Alexander I) of Macedonia has received you hospitably."
(Herod. V, 20, 4 [Loeb])
"Now, that these descendants of Perdiccas are Greeks, as they themselves say, I myself chance to know."
(Herod. V, 22, 1 [Loeb])
"But Alexander (I), proving himself to be an Argive, was judged to be a Greek; so he contended in the furlong race and ran a dead heat for first place."
(Herod. V, 22, 2)
"The Peloponnesians that were with the fleet were ... the Lacedaimonians, ... the Corinthians, ... the Sicyonians, ... the Epidaurians, ... the Troezenians, ... the people of Hermione there; all these, except the people of Hermione, were of Dorian and Macedonian stock and had last come from Erineus and Pindus and the Dryopian region."
(Herod. VIII, 43 {Loeb])
"Three brothers of the lineage of Temenos came as banished men from Argos to Illyria, Gauanes and Aeropos and Perdiccas."
(Herod. VIII, 137, 1 [Loeb])
"For I (Alexander I) myself am by ancient descent a Greek, and I would not willingly see Hellas change her freedom for slavery."
(Herod. IX, 45, 2 [Loeb])
Thucydides:
"The country by the sea which is now called Macedonia ... Alexander I, the father of Perdiccas (II), and his forefathers, who were originally Temenidae from Argos."
(Thuc. II, 99, 3 [Loeb, C. F. Smith])
Isocrates:
"Argos is the land of your fathers."
(Isoc., To Philip, 32 (Loeb, G. Norlin])
"It is your privilege, as one who has been blessed with untrammeled freedom, to consider all Hellas your fatherland, as did the founder of your race."
(Isoc., To Philip, 127 [Loeb])
" ... all men will be grateful to you: the Hellenes for your kindness to them and the rest of the nations, if by your hands they are delivered from barbaric despotism and are brought under the protection of Hellas."
(Isoc., To Philip, 154 [Loeb])
Polybius:
"This is a sworn treaty made between us, Hannibal ... and Xenophanes the Athenian ... in the presence of all the gods who possess Macedonia and the rest of Greece."
(Pol. Histories, VII, 9, 4 [Loeb, W.R. Paton])
"How highly should we honor the Macedonians, who for the greater part of their lives never cease from fighting with the barbarians for the sake of the security of Greece? For who is not aware that Greece would have constantly stood in the greater danger, had we not been fenced by the Macedonians and the honorable ambition of their kings?"
(Pol. Hist., IX, 35, 2 [Loeb])
Strabo:
"And Macedonia, of course, is a part of Greece."
(Strab. VII, Frg. 9 [Loeb, H.L. Jones])
Arrian:
"He sent to Athens three hundred Persian panoplies to be set up to Athena in the acropolis; he ordered this inscription to be attached: Alexander, son of Philip, and the Greeks, save the Lacedaimonians, set up these spoils from the barbarians dwelling in Asia."
(Arr. I, 16, 7 [Loeb, P. A. Brunt])
"Your ancestors invaded Macedonia and the rest of Greece and did us great harm, though we had done them no prior injury; ... (and) I have been appointed leader of the Greeks ..."
(Arr., Anab. Alex. II, 14, 4)
Pausanias:
"They say that these were the tribes collected by Amphiktyon himself in the Greek Assembly: ... the Macedonians joined and the entire Phocian race ... In my day there were thirty members: six each from Nikopolis, Macedonia and Thessaly..."
(Paus. Phokis VIII, 2 & 4 [Loeb, W. Jones])
"Belistiche, a woman from the coast of Macedonia, won with the pair of foals ... at the hundred and twenty-ninth Olympics."
(Paus. Eleia VIII, 11 [Loeb])
Plutarch:
"Yet through Alexander (the Great) Bactria and the Caucasus learned to revere the gods of the Greeks ... Alexander established more than seventy cities among savage tribes, and sowed all Asia with Greek magistracies ... Egypt would not have its Alexandria, nor Mesopotamia its Seleucia, nor Sogdiana its Prophthasia, nor India its Bucephalia, nor the Caucasus a Greek city, for by the founding of cities in these places savagery was extinguished and the worse element, gaining familiarity with the better, changed under its influence."
(Plut. Moralia. On the Fortune of Alexander, I, 328D, 329A [Loeb, F.C. Babbitt]) 


 SOURCE: www.macedonia.com

 wikipedia.org/wiki/Macedonia