THE ORIGIN OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT AND THE MACEDONIANS

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in the periphery from Macedonia Epirus because these were classified in a lower rank. of political and social development due to intermarriage with other races Rangavis. pinpoints that the Dorian invasion and the Delphi Amfiktyon contributed to the expansion. of the name Hellenes to the entire Hellenic race4, Back to Thucydides in the history of the Peloponnesian War and at the point where the. expedition of the people of Thrace under Sitalces against Macedonians is described the. geographical coordinates of lower Macedonia of current Macedonia as the historian. names it are accurately defined5 As results from studying Thucydides description old. maps and current geography the region is defined as being the area around the Pieria. basin the mouth of Axios river as far as the Pangaio mountain and beyond the Strymon. river the area includes Pella Chalcidice Vottia next to Chalcidice Eordea Aridea. Almopia Grystonia Gyrtonia Mygdonia Anthemous near Polygyros and other Greek. areas6 Worth mentioning is that Thucydides says that Macedonians include nations. over as the Lyngistai7 and Elimiotes8 who are allies and submissive to the lower. current Macedonia as he describes it, In old maps these areas are located north of current Pieria and NE of. Magnesia within Greek territory To the north of Lygkestia we find Paeonia border. area between Greece and FYROM within the Greek territory of which. as Thucydides says the Macedonians conquered a narrow strip along the Axios river to. Pella and as far as the sea It is noteworthy that the Paeonians probably those who. had not been conquered by the Macedonians are described by Arrian as barbarians. together with the Thracians Illyrians and Agrians9 The conclusion is that Macedonia at. Thucydides time in which Alexander10 and his son Perdiccas reigned was the area the. centre of which was Pieria Imathia and Chalkidice11. II HERODOTUS 485 421 BC, A truly catalytic testimony regarding the national identity of Macedonians as a. Hellenic race is in Herodotus in his description of the preparation for the battle in Plataies. 479 BC which put an end to the Persian ambitions to conquer Greece on the eve of. the battle Alexander A son of Amyndas and king of Macedonia and unwilling ally of. Mardonius as a subordinate of the Persians9 he secretly at night approached the. Athenian outposts and gave them valuable information regarding the strategic plans of. Mardonius He did this as he said because was himself a Hellene and from an old. family and would not want to see Greece enslaved He begged the Athenians that in. the case they won that they should care for his liberation10 Herodotus narrative through. Alexander R Rangavis Dictionary of Greek Archaeology Volume entry. Thucydides Historiae Lib 2 XCIX, What is referred to by Thucydides coincides with the extensive writings of Strabo on Macedonia in his. work Geographica Kaktos Lib 7 see below under VIII. West of Imathia About Lyngistai Strabo says that they were governed by Arravvaios from the breed of. Vakhiades whose grand daughter was Eurydice mother of Philip son of Amyntas Geographica Lib 7 8. Note Vakhiades was a Doric tribe from Corinthus,South of Kastoria lake Elimaia.
Amyntas has surrendered during the campaign against Darius Ystaspis Allies of the Persians were those. accused of medism in the sense they had treacherous dealings with the Medes from Viotia Thessalia and. Herodotus Lib 9 Calliope chapter 44 45 p 174 176 Archaioi Syggrafeis Zitros. the mouth of Alexander A great grandfather of Alexander the Great11 is no doubt an. absolute juristic we could say proof on the issue in question that is on the origin of. Alexander and the Macedonians, In the eighth book of Herodotus Historiae Ourania there is reference to the kings of. Macedonia from the beginning of the dynasty until the aforementioned Alexander. A According to this description he was the son of Amyntas son of Alcetas whose. father was Aeropus son of Philip who was the son of Argaeus who was son of. Perdiccas from Argos who first climbed to the highest step of rule in Macedonia 12. PLUTARCHUS 1st century A D died circa 120 A D,ON THE ORIGIN OF ALEXANDER. On the origin of Alexander the most controversial among terminology issues Plutarchus. has a crystal clear answer he was a descendant of mythical Hercules through. Karanus Caranus13 on his father side and Aeacus through Neoptolemus14 on his. mother s15 The whole discussion could stop here unless one considers the origin of. Hercules Aeacus and Neoptolemus in dispute However it is worthwhile looking into the. exciting narrations of ancient Greek writers in order to find other equally clear answers. on the same question regarding the origin of Alexander. Since the talk is on names we should ponder parenthetically on the name of Alexander. whose etymological origin derives according to the prevailing view from the verb. repel ward off and the noun man Alexander is par excellence a. name proper to a leader since a leader s first quality is to keep away and eliminate. enemies Alexander s Greek name as well as his father s mother s teachers his. generals etc are by themselves proof on the Hellenic descent of the leader the dynasty. and on the whole the people of Macedonia, At this point it is worth mentioning the likewise Greek name of Bucephalus which. was given to his horse as Arrian describes because although the horse was black it had. a white spot in the shape of the head of an ox 16 Conclusively the entire terminology. known to us from historical sources is proof that the language of Macedonia was Greek. and it would have been odd had there been another spoken language of which there is not. even the slightest trace neither in the names nor even the horse s. HIS EDUCATION, Alexander was father of Amyntas B sons of whose were Alexander and Philip father of Alexander. Herodotus Historiae 8 Ourania139 Hatzopoulos The Greeks. Karanus from Argos descendant of Hercules conquered a town near Edessa which he named Aigai and. there he started the Macedonian dynasty Arrian agrees with this. Neoptolemus was son of Achilles, Chapter 2 q 2 references without source in this chapter are from Plutarchi Vitae Parallelae.
Alexander Caesar Ekdoseis Archaias Ellinikis Grammateias The Greeks Odysseas Hatzopoulos. Arrian Alexander s Anabasis Lib 5 19 The Greeks Odysseas Hatzopoulos. The teachers and those who nursed Alexander as the great biographer says were Greeks. and the education he received was Hellenic in charge of the team of his educators was. Leonidas a relative of Olympias and second in rank was Lysimachus from Akarnania17. However the predominant educator and formulator of Alexander s outstanding character. was the most renowned, and learned among philosophers Aristotle for whom Alexander had in the beginning. at least great respect and affection18,HIS READINGS. Alexander by nature studious fond of learning and studying. was notably fond of literature and Iliad in particular a. copy of which with comments by Aristotle he always carried with him under his pillow. 19 The books that accompanied, him in his expeditions were works by Filistos many of Euripides Sophocles and. Aeschylus tragedies as well as Telestus and Filoxenus dithyrambs. 20 Alexander s affection for Pindarus, as known saved the lives of the poet s descendants from death as they were excluded. from those who were killed or sold as slaves after the destruction of Thebes21. HIS PRINCIPLES, His education was based on the Greek ideals of virtue knowledge22 dignity and bravery.
and for this reason he desired not pleasure nor wealth bur virtue and glory and. important deeds For the same reason he wanted his rule to be free of money luxury. and pleasures but rich in struggles wars and ambitions 23 He thought it servile to. live in lavishness and royal to respect the laws and undergo hardships at a time when the. entire non Hellenic world and particularly the Persians and eastern oriental nations. praised the power of authority and money indulged in pleasures accumulated wealth. and as Herodotus scornfully depicts their leaders engrossed in luxury even during war. expeditions,DODECATHEON THE TWELVE GODS, His frequent visits to the Greek oracles24 and sacrifices to the twelve Olympian gods. highlight the Hellenic origin of Alexander In Asia he founded as Plutarchus says. altars of gods who were revered for centuries and where Greek sacrifices25 were offered. Ch 5 q 7 8 Lysimachus compared Alexander with Achilles Philip Pileas and himself with Phoenix. teacher of Achilles,Ch 11 q 12, And particularly science Alexander was very good at medicine Ch 8. THE OLYMPIC GAMES, Alexander s great love for physical exercise sports and military training resulted from. the Greek education he received And to those who urged him when he had not yet. succeeded his father on the throne to take part in the Olympic Games26 he replied that he. would certainly do it if he had kings as competitors Alexander was very proud of his. royal descent and utterly convinced about his divine origin And this concerns the known. argument that it could not be possible to talk about his participation in the Games since. only Greeks took part had he not been considered Greek27. As referred above the Greeks called barbarians all those who were not Hellenes 28. Consequently according to them the ancient world was divided in two categories the. Hellenic and the barbarian29 From the events that took place during the first years of. Alexander s reign Plutarchus cites the wars of the great warrior against the barbarians. to the north and by contrast the battles against the Greeks30 and this by no means. gives reason to support that Macedonians were not Greeks These battles are referred to. in the same sense as we see them described by Thucydides in the Peloponnesian War. battles of Athenians and Spartans to establish their leadership over the Greeks This does. not mean that Athenians and Spartans were not Greeks The same happens with the. Macedonians who claimed leadership in the Hellenic domain and were equally Greek as. Athenians and Spartans,THE EXPEDITION TO THE EAST, When describing the expedition to the east the first reference is on how the crucial. decision was made with a resolution at Isthmus the Greeks decided to campaign against. the Persians and Alexander was proclaimed in chief31 It goes unsaid that he who led the. Greek army would not be Greek himself,a The Granicus river.
Alexander announced the first significant victory at Granicus river by sending the. Athenians three hundred shields from captives on which the famous epigram was written. Alexander son of Philip and the Hellenes except Lacedaemonians from the barbarians. living in Asia,32 It is apparent that if Macedonians were not. Greeks there would be no sense writing such an epigram33. He ran very fast, Only Greeks were rendered honours in Olympic Games his great grandfather Alexander was already. The etymology of barbarian Gr varvaros signifies ignorance as far as language is concerned and. foreign repetition of the sound var which means nothing in Greek. Thucydides Historiae lib p 62 Govostis pub,Ch 16 q 18. This was how epigrams were written e g Pausanias son of Kleovrotus Lacedaemon who freed Greece. from Medes with Greeks who wanted to share the danger of battle Alexander did not add the term. Macedon as Pausanias as did with Lacedaemon,b The Omen in Lycia. After he conquest of Sardis Halicarnassus and Miletus as Plutarchus relates Alexander. was hesitant about the further course of the expedition And as he had particularly. believed as is known in omens he thought the following event as a turning point for. designing his strategy the bed of a fountain in Lycia near the town of Xanthos suddenly. changed flooded and from the bottom rose a copper plate with ancient scripture saying. that the Persian domination would end when it is conquered by the Greeks Encouraged. by this omen Alexander made instant decisions and marched victoriously along the. entire coast as far as Phoiniki and Kilykia34 It is apparent that this excerpt from the. narration is proof of the origin of Alexander and of the entire army as how would he be. encouraged by this incident if he did not consider himself Greek and his army for that. c ALEXANDRIA,After the conquest of Egypt,35 he wished that he built a big city that would.
be Greek and be named after him The dissemination of Greek civilization was the. purpose of Alexander s expedition and proof is among other his decision to create this. large Greek as he wanted it city The design and construction of Alexandria is. described by Plutarchus in a fascinating way36,d On the sanctuary of Zeus Ammon. The next episode finds Alexander after the magnificent and mystical march of the army. in the desert before the priest of the temple of Ammon Zeus who in his effort to address. him courteously oh Child, out of barbarism he pronounced the last letter as s instead. of n which was interpreted as oh son of Zeus 37 another piece of. evidence of the divine descent of Alexander What indeed would be the point of the. courteous address in Greek by the priest of Ammon if Alexander had not been Greek. e At Gaugamila, For the description of the decisive battle of Gaugamela where the army. finally defeated the Persian king Plutarchus refers to the testimony of Callisthenes. according to which Alexander appealed to the gods and wished if indeed he descended. THE ORIGIN OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT AND THE MACEDONIANS DOCUMENTATION ACCORDING TO ANCIENT GREEK LITERARY TEXTS Herodotus Thucydides Plutarchus Arrian Demosthenes Polybius Isocrates Strabo Hesiod INTRODUCTION This survey is written to prove historical facts that are actually indisputable and beyond the shadow of any doubt However since today there is on going discourse on the self

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