Friday, July 6, 2007

Michael Grant

As was the case with the other authors, here you will find several passages where ancient Macedonians are clearly separated from the ancient Greeks. Their ethnic distinction does not even come into question.

Several passages are lifted from "From Alexander to Cleopatra the Hellenistic world."

"Philip II of Macedonia (359 - 336), who made his country into a major power, virtually controlling the mainland Greek city-states, intended to lead his and their forces against the two-centuries-old Persian (Achaemenid) empire, which ruled over huge territories extending from the Aegean to Egypt and central Asia. Philip's motives were mixed: revenge for the Persian invasion of Macedonia and Greece in the previous century, annoyance because the contemporary Persians had at times aided the king's own Greek opponents, a desire to wipe out the only large-scale potential enemy to the Macedonians that was still in existence - and pure lust for expansion." [p.1]

There is hardly any serious support for the claim that Macedonia was part of Greece.

"In 334 BC, at the head of 40,000 Macedonian and Greek troops, he (Alexander) crossed the Hellespont (Dardanelles) and confronted the Persian advanced forces on the river Granicus (Can Cayi), winning a victory which enabled him to conquer western and southern Asia Minor." [p.1]

"His motives for undertaking these vast enterprises seem to have been mixed. As a Macedonian, he wanted to show that he could do better than any of the Greeks, who considered his people barbarians." [p.4]

"The loyalest of all the successors was Eumenes of Cardia, not a Macedonian but a Greek, which meant that even his first-rate generalship could not gain him the continued support of Macedonian soldiery." [p.101]

"Alexander's various successors, to whom Greece was still the most coveted prize, held two conflicting opinions of the city-states (with many nuances in between): that they were still free allies (a view upheld ostensibly, and perhaps genuinely, by the philhellenic Antigonus I Monophtholmos), and, conversely, that they were little better than subjects (the attitude of Antipater and Cassander). [p.105]

"The Hellenistic kings talked a lot about 'liberating' cities, which (as the realistic Polybius remarked) generally meant seazing them from their rivals - and only rarely signified their exemption from tax. However, the monarchs, for the most part, soon stopped proclaiming that all Greeks must be free, and instead offered 'freedom' as a reward or prize for loyalty to themselves, though this was often a matter of prestige rather than substance, since such freedom, in effect, did not make much difference to the cities one way or the other." [p.106]

Once again, there is nothing to suggest that ancient Macedonians were regarded as anything but Macedonians. Greeks were a separate people.

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