Friday, July 6, 2007

Differences between the Ancient Macedonians and ancient Greeks

America Philological Association (APA)

Differences between the Ancient Macedonians and ancient Greeks.

Taken from articles on Ancient History published by the A.P.A.

The contributors are:
1. D.Brenden Nagle " Macedonian Appropriation of Greek Kulturgechichte"
2. Eugene Borza "Who were (and are) the Macedonians"
3. Edmund F. Bloedow "Diplomatic Negotiations between Darius and Alexander: Historical Implications of the First Phase at Marathus in Phoenicia 333/332 BC"

1. "...the appropriation of Greek Kulturgescichte, and the use by non-Greeks for political purposes against Greeks, is less common, and even less well documented. Here I offer an example of highly effective Macedonian use of Greek cultural history to advance the propaganda aims of Philip II which had the double aim of blunting Greek criticism of his state-building while at the same time cloaking his work in the legitimising terminology devised by Greeks for their own, often violent, colonising and city founding activities."

"camouflage the fact that he was creating a wholly new type of state, a consolidation of ethne under a personal monarchy."

"That it has continued to confuse interpreters is testament to the hegemonic power of Greek cultural history and the adroitness of the Macedonians in using this powerful tool of self-identification against its devisers."

2) "On the matter of language, and despite attempts to make Macedonian a dialect of Greek, one must accept the conclusion of linguist R.A.Crossland in the recent CAH, that an insufficient amount of Macedonian has survived to know what language it was."

'Macedonian and Greek were mutually unintelligible in the court of Alexander the Great"

"no more proof that Macedonians were Greeks than, e.g., the existence of Greek inscriptions on Thracian vessels and coins proofs that the Thracians were Greeks.

"What did others say about Macedonians? Here there is a relative abundance of information", writes Borza, "from Arrian, Plutarch (Alexander, Eumenes), Diodorus 17-20, Justin, Curtius Rufus, and Nepos (Eumenes), based upon Greek and Greek-derived Latin sources. It is clear that over a five-century span of writing in two languages representing a variety of historiographical and philosophical positions the ancient writers regarded the Greeks and the Macedonians as two separate and distinct peoples whose relationship was marked by considerable antipathy, if not outright hostility."

Yet there is much that is different, e.g., their political institutions, burial practices, and religious monuments

"The designation of Macedonia as part of Greece has intrigued modern critics. This, according to Schachermeyr, is enough to 'take one's breath away'. He went so far as to suggest that, however brief, it encapsulates a whole and bold strategy: to counter the Great King's strategy of attempting to exploit the age-old distinction between Macedonians and Hellenes. The reason for including Macedonia as part of a larger Hellas was designed to justify Macedonian participation in the so-called war of revenge. Whatever the truth on this point, on the basis of what we know happened in Macedonia in 480, Alexander had no more grounds for carrying out a war of revenge on behalf of Macedonia than he had on behalf of Athens or Sparta. Of course, Macedonians never regarded their territory as forming part of Greece, and certainly the Greek poleis did not regard Macedonia as being another Greek polis. The reason why Alexander here includes Macedonia as being part of Greece may be an attempt to paper over the glaring anomaly between what Philip and he had just done to 'the rest of Greece' and what he is in the process of doing to the Persian empire. The Persians had never done anything significant against the Macedonians. It is noteworthy that Herodotus, although he provides considerable information on Xerxes' activities when he passed through Macedonia in 480, does not record any acts of destruction--- scarcely surprising if Xerxes was instrumental in Macedonia gaining control of Upper Macedonia."

"What is more important is the that Chaeronea, Thebes, and Agis make a complete mockery of attempting in this context to suggest that the Greeks in Hellas regarded themselves as willing subjects under legitimate Macedonian kings (Philip and Alexander) or- that the inhabitants of the regions he had just conquered did so entirely of their own will".

Consider Isocrates' letter to Philip where he, Isocrates, makes clear that:
(a) "Philips's ancestors understood that Greeks cannot submit to the rule of a monarch, while non-Greeks actually cannot live without such a regime," and
(b) "people of non-kindred race"
Clearly highlighting the distinction between Macedonians and Greeks.

The epitaph composed by Demosthenes for the common grave of the fallen Hellenes at Chaeronea reads as follows:

"Time whose o'erseeng eye records all human actions,
Bear word to mankind what fate was suffered,
how Striving to safeguard the holly soil of Hellas
Upon Boeotia's plain we died."
"If all the peoples in the regions which Alexander had conquered were willing subjects under the new king, he presumably should not have left any military troops with the satraps he everywhere instated."

(What an arrogant bluff by Alexander, to refer to the conquered people [Greeks] as "willing subjects". What Alexander failed to disclose is the fact that he left "no less than one quarter of his forces behind under one of Philip's most tried generals when he set out for Asia!")

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