Greek Lies

Let us now go through the Greek Propaganda, a propaganda which extensively bombards the internet, the libraries, the bookstores, and try to examine it in greater details:

 


Macedonia is a Greek land

There is nothing in the ancient literature to suggest that ancient Macedonia was a Greek land. On the contrary, the ancient authors knew the difference between the Greek city-states and the kingdom of Macedon. Ancient and modern authors report:

[1] “While Demosthenes was still in exile, Alexander died in Babylon, and the Greek states combined yet again to form a league against Macedon. Demosthenes attached himself to the Athenian convoys, and threw all his energies into helping them incite the various states to attack the Macedonians and drive them out of Greece.” [p.212] Plutarch, ‘The Age of Alexander’ [Plutarch here specifically distinguishes Greece from Macedonia.][2] M.Cary in his book “The Geographic background of Greek and Roman History” (ICBN 0-313-23187-7) I find the following constituent parts of Greece: Epirus, Acarnania, The Ionian Isles, Aetolia, Thessaly, The Spercheu Valley, Locris, Phocis, Boeotia, Euboea, Attica, Aegina, Corinth, Achaea, Elis, Arcadia, Argolis, Laconia, Messenia, The Greek Archipelago, Crete, The Outer Isles, The Northern Aegean, The East Aegean, Rhodes, ………. and of course, No Macedonia. Why M. Cary would omit Macedonia from the general description of Greece? Perhaps for the same reason the German classical scholar Bursian failed to include Macedonia in his otherwise comprehensive geographical survey of Greece “Geographie von Griechenland”. Macedonia was simply different country then Greece.

[3] On p. 91 in “Hellenistic World” by F.W.Walbank we find: “It is necessary, in any assessment of the role of Macedonia in the hellenistic world to bear in mind that although our sources naturally, being Greek or based on Greek writers, lay their emphasis on Macedonian policy towards Greece, Macedonia was in fact equally a Balkan power for which the northern, western and north-eastern frontiers were always vital and for which strong defenses and periodic punitive expeditions over the border were fundamental policy.” “…. Macedonians were an essential bulwark to the north of Greece“. [Self-explanatory][4] In N.G.L.Hammond’s book “The Macedonian State” on p. 141 states: “Philip and Alexander attracted many able foreigners, especially Greeks, to their service, and many of these were made Companions.” [The operative word is “foreigners-especially Greeks”, which shows that even Hammond forgets to tow the line.][5] In “Makedonika” by Eugene Borza on p. 164 we read: “Alexander seem to have imported troupes of performers from Greece.” [One does not import from his own country, does he?]

[6] Plutarch “The Age of Alexander” “Thebans countered by demanding the surrender of Philotas and Antipater and appealing to all who wished to liberate Greece to range themselves on their side, and at this Alexander ordered his troops to prepare for battle.” [p.264][7] Quintus Rufus “The History of Alexander” Alexander, in a letter, responds to Darius: “His Majesty Alexander to Darius: Greetings. The Darius whose name you have assumed wrought utter destruction upon the Greek inhabitants of the Hellespontine coast and upon the Greek colonies of Ionia, and then crossed the sea with a mighty army, bringing the war to Macedonia and Greece.” [p.50-1][8] Arrian “The Compaigns of Alexander” Alexander speaking to his officers: “…….But let me remind you: Through your courage and endurance you have gained possession of Ionia, the Hellespont, both Phrygias, Cappadocia, Paphlagonia, Lydia, Caria, Lycia, Pamphylia, Phoenicia and Egypt; the Greek part of Libya is now yours, together with much of Arabia, lowland Syria, Mesopotamia, Babylon, and Susia;………” [p.292] [“The Greek part of Libya is now yours”, Alexander and the Macedonians conquer the Greek part of Libya.][9] “Only in Thessaly and Boetia, and outside Greece, in Macedonia, was there cavalry worthy of the name.”

[10] “The Peloponnesian War was a fratricidal war among the Greeks, a fact that was not altered by the intervention of foreign powers, Macedonia, for instance and later the Persian Empire.”

Point of Interest: “a fratricidal war among the Greeks”, and “of foreign powers, Macedonia and Persia.” Macedonia and Persia clearly painted as non-Greek foreign lands? Ancient and modern scholars alike seem to know much more than today’s modern Greeks. [Excerpts taken from The Greeks and Persians, from the sixth to the fourth centuries; edited by Hermann Bengston; published by Delacorte Press, New York.][11] This passage is taken from “Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic World” By Pierre Jouguet p.179

“After crossing the Spercheios and ravaging the territory of Heracleia, which he could not take, he marched on Thermopylae. The pass was defended. The peoples of Northern Greece -Locrians, Phocians, Megarians, Boeotians, Athenians- had sent their contingents, the largest being that of Aetolians. Antigonos Gonatas and Antiochos had furnished 500 hoplites each.”

The term “Northern Greece” does not include Macedonia. Needless to say, Macedonia lay north of northern Greece and it was never a Greek land.

[12] “His death (Pyrrhos) delivered Antigonos from a great danger. He readily recognized Alexander, Pyrrhos’ son, as King of Epeiros. He remained master of Macedon and Greece (272). He placed garrisons in Corinth, the Peiraeus, and Chalcis, and tyrants in many cities, such as Argos, Elis, and Sicyon. So, about 270, a great power was constituted, which had all the resources of Macedon and Greece at its disposal, but had a weakness in the impatience with which the Hellenes supported the yoke.” ibid p.181-2 [Pierre Jouguet’s book]

a) “He remained master of Macedon and Greece.” (272). If Macedonia was a ‘Greek land’, there would be one identifier in this sentence and not two.

b) “but had a weakness in the impatience with which the Hellenes supported the yoke.” Hellenes (Greeks) supporting the yoke? And whose yoke were the Hellenes supporting? The Macedonian, of course. The Hellenes, collectively were enslaved by the Macedonians.

[13] The Geographic Background of Greek and Roman History by M.Cary, D.Litt. Oxon Formerly professor of Ancient History at the University of London. On p.303 we find the following description of the Macedonians:

“Morever, the central position of Macedonia, which exposed it to converging onslaughts in times of weakness, gave it the opportunity of quick counter-thrust from inner lines. Thus from the time of Philip II to the coming of the Romans we find its kings laying about them in all directions-eastward across mount Rhodope into the Hebrus valley, where Philip II established Philoppopolis (Plovdiv) as a bridgehead, northward across the Balkan range to the Danube (Alexander in 335 B.C.), and westward to the Albanian coast (Cassander in 314 B.C.). The lure of Greece and Asia, it is true, diverted Macedonian energies into other objects and reduced attempts at expansion in the Balkan Lands to spasmodic and uncoordinated thrusts. A more systemic policy of ‘fanning out’, such as the Romans carried out under similar geographic conditions in Italy, might have enable the rulers of Macedon to establish a pax Balkanica.”

Now, another compelling reason to dismiss the Greek propaganda as absurd and provocative and they claim that Macedonia was a Greek land. M. Cary does not even include Macedonia in his otherwise extensive and detailed description of Greece. Macedonia is included in the Balkan Lands, together with Thrace.

The lure of Greece and Asia, it is true, diverted Macedonian energies into other objects and reduced attempts at expansion in the Balkan Lands to spasmodic and uncoordinated thrusts. In other words, if Macedonia did not get entangled into the Greek scheme of things, Macedonia could have had pax Balkanica.

[14] Jean Pierre Vernant – “The Greeks” “Athens also imported wood for shipbuilding, wood that for the most part came from northern Greece and from Macedonia.” [p.43][15] Richard Stoneman – “Alexander the Great” Alexander the Great was born in summer 356 BC and died thirty-three years later in the month of Daisios (June) 323 BC. He was born the son of Philip, the King of Macedon, a fertile and predominantly pastoral region lying north of classical Greece;” [p.1]

The uncomfortable fact still remains: There is nothing Greek or Hellenic with the ancient Macedonians. Ancient Macedonians enslaved the Hellenes, and Macedon is not part of Greece. The conclusion is inescapable – Ancient Macedonians were distinct and separate ethnicity from the ancient Greeks.


Ancient Macedonians were Greeks

In antiquity the two most antagonistic people were the ancient Macedonians and the ancient Greeks. Their animosity was racially motivated. Here are the proofs that the ancient Macedonians could not have been Greek:

[1] On p. 180 in Agnes Savil’s book “Alexander the Great and his Time” we find: “For a time Hellenism revived when Demetrius of Bactria, half Macedonian, half Greek, tried in 187 B.C. to reclaim the Indian empire of Alexander.”

Now, how do we deal with this quote? Should we assume that there is a such person who is half Greek and half Greek? Or better yet, do we assume that perhaps there is a such person who could be half Athenian and half Greek? Did they not equate the terms “Athenians”, “Thessalians”, “Macedonians” to mean one and the same? Common logic dictates that there is no such thing as ancient Greek-Macedonian. Ancient Macedonians were simply Macedonians and proud of it.

[2] Quintus Rufus “The History of Alexander” “Accordingly, one festive day, Alexander had a sumptuous banquet organized so that he could invite not only his principle friends among the Macedonians and Greeks but also the enemy nobility.” [p.188]

Points of interest: ‘Macedonians and Greeks’. If ancient Macedonians were Greeks, then, one identifier would have been sufficient. As you can see, the ancient authors knew the difference between Greeks and Macedonians.

[3] Quintus Rufus “The History of Alexander” [Alexander speaks to his Macedonian troops] Where is that shout of yours that shows your enthusiasm? Where that characteristic look of my Macedonians?” [p.217][4] Arrian “The Compaigns of Alexander” “Gentlemen of Macedonand you my friends and allies, this must not be. Stand firm; for well you know that hardship and danger are the price of glory, and that sweet is the savour of a life of courage and of deathless renown beyond the grave.” [p.294]

An obvious question: If Macedonians were Greeks, and Macedonia was a Greek land, then, how can we reconcile with the fact that Alexander calls the Greeks “his allies” next to his Macedonians?

[5] Quintus Curtius Rufus “The History of Alexander” [The trial of Hermolaus]

“As for you Callisthenes, the only person to think you a man (because you are an assassin), I know why you want him brought forward. It is so that the insult which sometimes uttered against me and sometimes heard from him can be repeated by his lips before this gathering. Were he a MacedonianI would have introduced him here along with you – a teacher truly worth of his pupil. As it is, he is an Olynthian and does not enjoy the same rights.” [p.195] [Since Callisthenes was a Greek Olynthian is clearly distinguished from the Macedonians.][6] Robert A. Hudley in his paper “Diodoros 18.60.1-3: “A Case of Remodeled Source Materials” dissects “Eumenes”:

“We then come upon Eumenes’ second observation that, being a foreigner, he has no right to exercise command over Macedonians. At no point, however, in Diodoros’ prior narrative does Eumenes’ Greek origin excite animosity among the Macedonians. More important, Eumenes does not see his foreign origin as an impediment to accepting the dynasty’ offer of a supreme command in 18.58.4 and he proceeds to exercise that authority in 19.13.7 and 15.5 without any qualms on his part that he is not a Macedonian. Eumenes’ foreign origin does become an issue at one point among the commanders of the Silver Shields.”

One of the few Greeks that Alexander took with the Macedonian army – Eumenes had a foreign Greek origin among the Macedonians. He was a Greek and not a Macedonian. There is no need to elaborate this quote any further.

[7] Pierre Jouguet “Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic World” Speaking of Eumenes:

“He knew from experience that in the eyes of the Macedonians he was still a Greek, a foreigner. Plutarch praised his charming and refined manners, which were very unlike the haughty airs of the noble Macedonian officer.” [p.142][8] More on Eumenes: “But he was not a Macedonian, and the Macedonians did not look upon him as an equal. This may have been one reason for his tenacious loyalty to the cause of the Kings; his fortune was bound up with the Empire, and in the case of a partition he would not have received the support of the Macedonian troops in securing a portion for himself.” Ibid, [p.129][9] On Isocrates: “At the end of his speech, Isocrates, summarizing the programme which he was proposing to Philip, advised him to be a benefactor to the Greeks, a king to the Macedonians, and to the barbarians not a master, but a chief.” Ibid [p.106][10] [On Macedonians and Greeks] “It is sufficient for our purposes to note that the Hellenes and the Macedonians regarded themselves as different nations, and this feeling did not ceased to be the source of great difficulties for the union of Greece under Macedonian rule. When the union was achieved, it was only by policy of force.” Ibid, [p.68]

[11] The Ancient World Readings in Social and Cultural History by D. Brendan Nagle Stenley M. Burstein “Contemporary scholars hold a much less benign view of the nature Hellenistic society. Far from blending to form a new culture, Greek and native societies tended to co-exist with only limited contact between them in the new Macedonian – ruled kingdoms that were formed out of the wreckage of the Alexander’s empire. In other words, the Macedonian kingdoms in Egypt and Asia were essentially colonial regimes in which ethnicity was the principal determinant of social and political position. Weather or not Alexander intended his empire to be governed by a mixed elite of Macedonians, Greeks, and natives, in Ptolemiac Egypt and Seleucid Asia only Macedonians and Greeks belonged to the governing elites.” [p.149]

Macedonians and Greeks once again are clearly distinguished in the Macedonian ruled kingdoms.

[12] Wilcken’s quotes from “Alexander the Great”:

On p.22-23. “Even in Philip’s day the Greeks saw in the Macedonians a non-Greek foreign people, and we must remember this if we are to understand the history of Philip and Alexander, and especially the resistance and obstacles which met them from the Greeks. The point is much more important than our modern conviction that Greeks and Macedonians were brethren, this was equally unknown to both, and therefore could have no political effect.”

[13] On p.45 “The Greeks regarded the hegemony of Philip as, after all, a foreign domination; they did not look upon the Macedonians as Greeks.”

[14] On p.26: “The dislike was reciprocal, for the Macedonians have grown into a proud masterful nation, which with highly developed national consciousness looked down upon the Hellenes with contempt. This fact too is of prime importance for the understanding of later history.”

[15] Lycurgus: [after the battle of Chaeronea] “With the death was buried the freedom of Greece.”

[16] Homer’s Greeks are variously described as Danaoi, Argives, and Achaians, but never Hellene Jonathan M. Hall Ethnic Identity in Greek Antiquity [Macedonians are not included][17] In the Catalogue of Women, the eponymous founder of Makedonia, Makedon, was the son of Zeus and Deukalion’s daughter Thuia. This line of descent excludes him from the Hellenic geneology – and hence, by implication, the Makedonians from the ranks of Hellenism.” [ibid., p.64][18] “But by the fourth century, certainly, the rulers of Macedonian Lyncestis prided themselves on descent from the Corinthian Bacchiads – a royal dynasty fully comparable with the Temenid claims of their rivals at Aegae.” Ernst Badian “Studies in the History of Art vol. 10: Macedonia and Greece In Late Classical and Early Hellenistic Times”

[Even if one is inclined to accept Macedon’s genealogy for the “hellenic” descent of the Macedonians, one must be aware of the existence of other Macedonian tribes who did not trace their genealogy from Temenus.][19] Furthermore, the fact that Zeus is Makedon’s father does not necessarily testify to his credentials as a “bona fide Hellene: after all, Sarpedon is the son of Zeus but he is Lykian not a Hellene.” Jonathan Hall “Ethnic Identity in Greek Antiquity”. p.64

[20] Lamian War 323-322 is also known as the “Hellenic War” by its protagonists. The Greeks, the Hellenes, were fighting the Macedonians led by Antipater at Lamia.

[21] [Referring to Arrian’s separation of Macedonians and Greeks] “The same painstaking attention to details is evident in administrative matters. Appointments of governors are duly mentioned, and throughout his book Arrian is careful to give the father’s name in the case of Macedonians, e.g. Ptolemy son of Lagus, and in the case of Greeks their city of origin.” [p.25][Points of interest: Arrian pays close attention to clearly identify the Macedonians and the Greeks: father’s name in the case of Macedonians and for the Greeks their city of origin.]

[22] Arrian “The Campaigns of Alexander” “The backbone of the infantry was the Macedonian heavy infantry, the ‘Foot Companions’, organized on territorial basis in six battalions (taxeis) of about 1,500 men each. In place of the nine-foot spear carried by the Greek hoplite, the Macedonian infantryman was armed with a pike or sarissa about 13 or 14 feet long, which required both hands to wield it. The light circular shield was slung on the left shoulder, and was smaller than that carried by the Greek hoplite which demanded the use of the left arm. Both, Greek and Macedonian infantry wore greaves and a helmet, but it is possible that the Macedonians did not wear a breastplate. The phalanx (a heavy infantry), like all the Macedonian troops had been brought by Philip to a remarkable standard of training and discipline.” [p.35][23] Quintus Rufus “The History of Alexander” At a banquet prepared by Alexander for the ambassadors of certain tribes from India, among the invited guest present was the Macedonian Horratas and the Greek boxer named Dioxippus. Now at the feast the Macedonian Horratas who was already drunk, began to make insulting comments to Dioxippus and to challenge him, if he were a man, to fight a duel. Dioxippus agreed and the two men fought rather a short fight with Dioxippus emerging a victor. A huge crowd of soldiers, including the Greeks, supported Dioxippus. “The outcome of the show dismayed Alexander, as well as the Macedonian soldiers, especially since the barbarians had been present, for he feared that a mockery had been made of the celebrated Macedonian valour.” [p.229]

Point of interest: Two fighters, one Macedonianone Greek. Macedonian lost the fight. Alexander is dismayed. Why? How can a mockery be made of the Macedonian valour if in this fight the Greek won? If Alexander considered himself Greek, then, the outcome of the fight should have had no disturbing influence on him. But, as we see, he was dismayed. Peter Green says: “it was a matter of national prestige”, and Bosworth states that the crowd was “ethnically polarized.” This needs no further analysis. Ethnicity of the two fighters, and their affect on the polarized crowd, is not an option for consideration. It is a given.

[24] “Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic World” By Pierre Jouguet [p.187]

“An Athenian decree, voted at his instigation [Chremonides] (266-265 or 265-264), declared an agreement between Athens and Sparta, always united against the enemies of the Hellenes” (Chremonidean War)

In this case, these “united Hellenes” were fighting against the Macedonian Antigonos. Here you have a clear delineation between Greeks Hellenes [Athenians and Spartans] and their common enemy – the Macedonians Why not accept the fate of the ancient authors and reconcile with the fact that ancient Macedonians were just that – Macedonians. There was nothing Hellenic about these loyal followers of their King, and there was nothing Greek with this hardy warriors of Macedon.

[25] The Rise of the Roman Empire Polybius [p 45] By combining and comparing various statements from the ancient authors we can arrive to the truest picture of the ancients themselves. Let them speak of themselves, and let their true sentiments flood the pages, uncorrupted and free of any biased and preconceived prejudices. Only then, can we assess the magnitude of their purity of soul, and the passion for their national aspirations.

[26] Polibius reports on the speech made by Agelaus of Naupactus at the first conference in the presence of the King and the allies. He spoke as follows: [A selected segment from his speech] “I therefore beg you all to be on your guard against this danger, and I appeal especially to King Philip. [Philip V] For you the safest policy, instead of wearing down the Greeks and making them an easy prey for the invader, is to take care of them as you would of your own body, and to protect every province of Greece as you would if it were a part of your own dominions. If you follow this policy, the Greeks will be your friends and your faithful allies in case of attack, and foreigners will be the less inclined to plot against your throne, because they will be discouraged by the loyalty of the Greeks towards you.” [‘The Rise of the Roman Empire‘ p .300.] (book 5.104)

“instead of wearing down the Greeks” “making them an easy prey for the invader” “to protect every province of Greece as you would if it were a part of your own dominions” Polibius clearly distinguished not only between Greeks and Macedonians in the above passage, but also between the lands of Greece and Macedonia.

[27] “while Craterus and Antipater collaborated under the command of the latter to suppress a Greek revolt (the so-called Lamian War ended in a crushing blow to the Greeks and especially Athens), Perdiccas took control of the kings……..” The Hellenistic World by F.W. Wallbank p 49

Points of interest: ended in a crushing blow to the Greeks and especially Athens. Very clearly the Lamian war ended with a victory of the Macedonians over the Greeks (Athenians being part of that Greek force).

[28] “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.” Eugine Borza

The conclusion is still the same – the Ancient Macedonians were not Greeks. If they were, they would have been called Greeks, not Macedonians, and they would not have been specifically distinguished from the Greeks by ancient authors (including ancient Greek authors). Nothing could be further from the truth than to claim that the ancient Macedonians and the ancient Greeks were brethren. There were simply two different nations.


Philip II from Macedon united the Greek states

Let us allow the ancients Greeks, themselves, to express their feelings on this matter which modern Greeks today claim:

[1] Alexander asks a women, who was being taken captive, who she was, she replied: ‘I am the sister of Theogenes who commanded our army against your father, Philip, and fell at Chaeronea fighting for the liberty of Greece.’

[If Philip and Alexander were “uniting” the Greek states, then, why were the Greeks fighting for the liberty of Greece?][2] The epitaph at CHAERONEA I do recall reading that the Thebans and the Athenians were fighting together, for the holy soil of Hellas on August the 4th, 338 at the sleepy village of Chaeronea. The fellow Hellenes, the Athenians and the Thebans, against the barbarians from the north- the Macedonians. Let us examine the following epitaph composed for the common grave of the fallen Hellenes:

“Time, whose overseeing eye records all human actions, Bear word to mankind what fate was suffered, how Striving to safeguard the holy soil of Hellas Upon Boeotia’s plain we died.”

[If these Macedonians, were “Hellenes”, (as the modern Greeks claim today), then why they were not fighting to safeguard the holy soil of Hellas? Weren’t they of the same Hellenic stock? It is clear they were not, and they fought against Greece][3] “When Archelaus attacked Thessalian Larisa, Thrasymachus wrote what was to become a model oration On Behalf of the Larisians. Only one sentence happens to survive:

Shall we be slaves to Archelaus, we, being Greeks, to a barbarian?’.

[Ancient Greeks stereotyped and called barbarian all people who were non-Greek, therefore, the Macedonian king Archelaus is not a Greek, but a foreigner who enslaved the Greeks][4] Plutarch “The Age of Alexander” [Modern day Greeks would like to dispatch off Demosthenes castigations of Philip II as political rhetoric, and yet Demosthenes was twice appointed to lead the war effort of Athens against Macedonia. He, Demosthenes, said of Philip that Philip was not Greek, nor related to Greeks but comes from Macedonia where a person could not even buy a decent slave.

“Soon after his death the people of Athens paid him fitting honours by erecting his statue in bronze, and by decreeing that the eldest member of his family should be maintained in the prytaneum at the public expense. On the base of his statue was carved his famous inscription: ‘If only your strength had been equal, Demosthenes, to your wisdom Never would Greece have been ruled by a Macedonian Ares'”. [p.216][5] Plutarch “The Age of Alexander” The news of Philip’s death reached Athens. Demosthenes appeared in public dressed in magnificent attire and wearing a garland on his head, although his daughter had died only six days before. Aeshines states: “For my part I cannot say that the Athenians did themselves any credit in puting on garlands and offering sucrifices to celebrate the death of a king who, when he was the conqueror and they the conquered had treated them with such tolerance and humanity. Far apart from provoking the anger of the gods, it was a contemptible action to make Philip a citizen of Athens and pay him honours while he was alive, and then, as soon as he has fallen by another’s hand, to be besides themselves with joy, tremple on his body, and sing paeans of victory, as though they themselves have accomplished some great feat of arms.” [p.207][6] [Book II – Battle of Issus, in Arrian’s “The Campaigns of Alexander”

“Darius’ Greeks fought to thrust the Macedonians back into the water and save the day for their left wing, already in retreat, while the Macedonians, in their turn, with Alexander’s triumph plain before their eyes, were determined to equal his success and not forfeit the proud title of invincible, hitherto universally bestowed upon them. The fight was further embittered by the old racial rivalry of Greek and Macedonian.” [p.119][7] Quintus Rufus “The History of Alexander”

“Alexander meanwhile dealt swiftly with the unrest in Greece – not only did the Athenians rejoice at Philip’s death, but the Aetolians, the Thebans, as well as Spartans and the Peloponnesians, were ready to throw off the Macedonian yoke. (Diod. 17.3.3-5) – and he marched south into Thessaly, demanding the loyalty of its people in the name of their common ancestors, Achilles (Justin 11.3.1-2; cf. Diod. 17.4.1). And with speed and diplomacy Alexander brought the Thebans and Athenians into submission (Diod. 17.4.4-6)

[When one unifies, there is no “yoke” to be thrown off.][8] Quintus Rufus “The History of Alexander” “Alexander also referred to his father, Philip, conqueror of Athenians, and recalled to their minds the recent conquest of Boeotia and the annihilation of its best known city.” [p.41]

Philip, a conqueror of Athenians, recent conquest of Boeotia. It would be redundant if I re-emphasize the fact that there was a “conquest” and not an “unification” of the Greek city-states by Philip from Macedon. The word is a “conqueror”, and not a “unifier”, as modern Greeks would like to believe.

[9] Quintus Rufus “The History of Alexander”

“Men! If you consider the scale of our achievements, your longing for peace and your weariness of brilliant campaigns are not at all surprising. Let me pass over the Illyrians, the Triballians, Boeotia, Thrace, Sparta, the Aecheans, the Peloponnese – all of them subdued under my direct leadership or by campaigns conducteded under my orders of instructions”. [When one “unites”, one does not force submission of the conquered people. Boeotia, Thrace, Sparta, the Aecheans, the Peloponnese are all Greeks][10] Quintus Rufus “The History of Alexander”

“Starting with Macedonia, I now have power over Greece; I have brought Thrace and the Illyrians under my control; rule the Triballi and the Maedi. I have Asia in my possession from the Hellespont to the Red Sea.” [p.277][11] Arrian “The Compaigns of Alexander” Alexander continues to speak to his Macedonians and allies:

“Come, then; add the rest of Asia to what you already possess – a small addition to the great sum of your conquests. What great or noble work could we ourselves have achieved had we thought it enough living at ease in Macedon, merely to guard our homes, excepting no burden beyond checking the encroachment of the Thracians on our borders, or the Illyrians and Triballians, or perhaps such Greeks as might prove a menace to our comfort.” [p.294][12] This one is taken from A.B.Bosworth’s “Alexander and the East”, p.6-8.

“The coins seem to emphasize the fighting potential of Porus’ army, and there must be conscious propaganda at work. Alexander was underscoring his victory. In a manner unique in ancient coinage he was sending message to people who could never hope to witness an Indian army in the flesh. These were the outlandish and formidable forces which he had faced in battle and crushed. Five years might have elapsed since the Persian grand army was humiliated at Guagamela, but his army had lost none of its frightful efficiency. The victory over Porus was the proof, and the coinage ensured that its implications were not lost. In the context of the troubles in Greece which followed the Exiles’ Decree it would constitute a blunt warning. Beware the consequences of revolt. The army which crushed Porus will easily crush you.”

[The Macedonian army would crush a revolt in Greece against the Macedonian rule there][13] From F.W. “Walbank “The Hellenistic World”, p.91-2

We find the following references used to describe Macedonia and Greece: “In a speech delivered at Sparta in 210 the Aetolian Claeneas, appealing for Spartan collaboration in the Roman alliance against Macedonia, is said by Polybius (ix, 28, ) to have opened with the truism:

‘Men of Sparta, I am quite certain that nobody would venture to deny that the slavery of Greece owes its origin to the kings of Macedonia‘.….He goes on to describe in detail the outrages which Philip, Alexander and their third-century successors have inflicted on the Greek cities.”

[Common logic dictates that we ask the following questions: If Philip united the Greek states, how can Greece feels enslaved? If king Philip was uniting the Greek states, why would he inflict outrages on his own cities? It is more then obvious that the Macedonian conquered Greece and kept it enslaved.][14] F.W.Walbank “The Hellenistic World” [p.94]

“The Greeks themselves were under no illusions about the significance of this garrisons. In winter 198/7 Greek envoys sent to Rome in the hope of securing (Macedonian king) PhilipV’s complete expulsion from Greece“, pleads:

“all took pains to impress on the Senate that so long as Chalcis, Corinth, and Demetrias remained in Macedonian hands, it was impossible for the Greeks to have any thought of liberty. For Philip V’s expression when he pronounced these places to be the ‘fetters of Greece’ was, they said, only too true, since neither could Peloponnesians breathe freely with the royal garrison established at Corinth, nor could the Locrians, Boeotians, and Phocians, feel any confidence while Philip occupied Chalcis and the rest of Euboea, nor again could the Thessalians or Magnesians ever enjoy liberty while the Macedonians held Demetrias.” (Polybius, xviii, II,4-7).

[Points of interest: Thoughts of Greek liberty, while the Macedonian had Philip occupied Greece.][15] The Ancient World Readings in Social and Cultural History By Brendan Nagle Stemley M. Burstein

“Equally important, fourth century B.C. Greece found itself once again vulnerable to foreign threat, not this time from Persia in the east but from the newly unified and invigorated kingdom of Macedon in the north.”

[16] PolybiusThe Rise of the Roman Empire Book XVIII, 2

“Dionysodorus, the representative of King Attalus of Pergamum, was the first to rise. He declared that Philip must surrender those of the King’s ships he had taken at the bottle of Chios, together with the crews captured in them, and must restore to their original condition both the temple of Aphrodite and the sanctuary of Athena Nicephorus near Pergamum which he had destroyed.” [p.495][Points of interest: Kings do not destroy their own religious temples. If ancient Macedonians were Greeks they would definitely not have destroyed their own religious monuments and temples. If ancient Macedonians had same religion as the ancient Greeks, they, the ancient Macedonians, would have shown much different treatment of their own temples. The uncomfortable fact still persist: ancient Macedonians were not Greeks, did not believe in same Gods as the Greeks, and most certainly, they did not unite the Greek city-states, but simply ruled over them, as in subjugation, as in having a master.][17] Polybius, book XVIII, 45

[This passage illustrates how Aetolians saw the Roman Senate proclamation/decree concerning the peace settlement with Philip] “This was surely a clear indication that the Romans were taking over from Philip the so called “fetters of Greece”, and that the Greeks were not being given their freedom, but merely a change of masters.”

[The summation is clear: Greeks were under Macedonian yoke imposed by the Macedonian masters. When one speaks of “being united” there is no need for one of the parties to seek freedom and the mere exchange of masters, needs no further elaboration.]

The uncomfortable fact still persists: The ancient Macedonians conquered Greece. It was a land won by the Macedonian spear. It was a subjugation by force of arms and the ancient Greeks were quite aware that.


Alexander’s conquest was a Greek conquest

One of the main obstacles to Alexander’s Macedonian conquest of the Asian continent were actually the ancient Greeks. Alexander’s conquest of Asia was undertaken for the wealth of Persia and for the greatness of Macedonia. There are but a few “eras” in history that have suffered from inaccurate presentation and have gone uncorrected for a long period of time. It is, simply, quite puzzling to see an era in which the dominant protagonist, the one who dictates respect and elicits awe, the one whose actions and accomplishments will forever grace the pages of history, and serve as a measuring devise for others, is overlooked and forgotten, and his place in history is assigned to an impostor. From the mid fourth century B.C., until the first century A.D, a span of four hundred years history revolved around the kingdom of Macedon. It was the legendary kings of Macedon that shaped and turned the events of the time. The news was created and delivered by the Macedonians. And yet, this period of time is termed “Hellenistic”.

Why? What fate will this epoch suffer if it is named after its main contributor? Or, to put this question in a different form, what would this epoch be known for if the name of the Macedonians and their kingdom of Macedon is removed from it? Wouldn’t it be left inconclusive, empty and desolate without its leader? Isn’t it more fitting and appropriate to call this epoch Macedonian epoch? And the ‘Hellenistic Kingdoms’ changed to Macedonistic Kingdoms? After all, there was nothing hellenic with the ancient Macedonians. It looks like a marathon runner who dominates the race for 26 miles and the crown of victory is given to a side-road water supplier. Alexander wuld have turned in his grave had he known that today his conquest is labeled as Greek by some propagandists and unqualified ‘historians’ (like Hammond, Martis, and Daskalakis above).

Most of the ancient authors offer meaningful insights from which a significant body of knowledge emerges for us to create, comparatively speaking, a framework of referenced material. This, in turn, will enable us to weed out fallacies and irrelevant narration, and find infallible criterion of truth or at least a source/narrations which is universally preferable to all others.

Let us now shift through the writings of the ancients and see if the modern Greek claim that “Alexander’s conquest was a Greek conquest”, can withstand the test:

[1] Arrian’The Campaigns of Alexander “The cavalry action which ensued was desperate enough, and the Persians broke only when they knew that the Greek mercenaries were being cut and destroyed by the Macedonian infantry.” [p.119-20][ancient Greeks fighting against ancient Macedonians and the modern Greeks called Alexander’s conquest Greek? Something doesn’t add up here.][2] Arrian “The Campaigns of Alexander” “When received the report that Alexander was moving forward to the attack, he sent some 30,000 mounted troops and 20,000 light infantry across the river Pinarus, to give himself a chance of getting the main body of his army into position without molestation. His dispositions were as follows: in the van of his heavy infantry were his 30,000 Greek mercenariesfacing the Macedonian infantry, with some 60,000 Persian heavy infantry- known as Kardakes.” [p.114][Paradoxical juncture: Alexander’s conquest can not be called Greek conquest while 30,000 Greeks are actually fighting against Alexander and his Macedonians, while far less, (7,000) were part of the Macedonian army.][3] Quintus Rufus “The History of Alexander” Patron, the Greek commander, speaks with Darius:

“Your Majesty”, said Patron, “we few are all that remain of 50,000 Greeks. We were all with you in your more fortunate days, and in your present situation we remain as we were when you were prospering, ready to make for and to accept as our country and our home any lands you choose. We and you have been drawn together both by your prosperity and your adversity. By this inviolable loyalty of ours I beg and beseech you: pitch your tent in our area of the camp and let us be your bodyguards. We have left Greece behind; for us there is no Bactria; our hopes rest entirely in you – I wish that were true of the others also! Further talk serves no purpose. As a foreigner born of another race I should not be asking for the responsibility of guarding your person if I thought anyone else could do it.” [p.112-13][50,000 Greeks serving with Darius’ army and fighting Alexander’s Macedonians. A legitimate and a very obvious question: If Alexander’s army was in fact a ‘Greek army’, as the modern Greeks claim, then how is it possible for a ‘Greek king’- Alexander, to hire mercenaries – Greeks, from his ‘own’ country? 50,000 strong Greeks were with Darius fighting the Macedonians, while Alexander took only 7,000 Greeks next to his Macedonians which served him as “hostages” and “were potential trouble makers” (Green), which he got rid of only when he learned that the rebellion in Greece against the Macedonian occupation forces there was suppressed (Green, Badian, Borza). The fact that 50,000 Greeks were fighting Alexander’s Macedonians shows clearly that their loyalty and their numerical superiority lies with Darius and his Persians, not with Alexander and his Macedonians. As Peter Green puts it: “if this was a Greek conquest where were the Greek troops?” Alexander’s conquest can not therefore be at all a Greek conquest, but simply a Macedonian conquest.][4] “The turning point in the evolution of Alexander’s army appears to have been the year 330. Until then the Macedonian component was progressively reinforced, reaching peaks before Issus and after the arrival of Amyntas’ great contingent late in 331. Alexander then thought it safe to divest himself of non Macedonian troops. The forces from the Corinthean League, infantry and cavalry, were demobilized from Ecbetana in the spring of 330;

[Arr. III.19.6-7; Plut. Al. 42.5; Diod. XVII.74.3-4; Curt. VI.2.17] even the Thessalian cavalry who re-enlisted were dismissed at the Oxus last than a year later (Arr. III.29.5) Alexander now relied on the Macedonian nucleus for front-line work and the mercenaries for support function.” Bosworth,Conquest and Empire. [p.271]

Points of interest: a) (Greek) non-Macedonian troops and b) The forces from the Corinthian League were demobilized in 330. [These forces were with Alexander less than four years] Those that re-enlisted as mercenaries were used sparingly and in secondary missions.

[5] “The infantry from the allied Greek states is more problematic. They formed a contingent numerically strong, 7,000 of them crossing the Hellespont in 334, and they were predominantly heavy-armed hoplites. But once in Asia they are mainly notable for their absence. There is no explicit record of them in any of the major battles. At Guagamela we may infer that they provided most of the men for the reserve phalanx (Arr. III.12.1), but in the other engagements there is no room for them. They are only mentioned as participants in subsidiary campaigns, usually under Parmenio’s command (in the Troad, at the Amanid Gates, in Phrygia, and in the march on Persis), and they never appear in the entourage of Alexander.” Bosworth, Conquest and Empire [p.264][6] “It is likely that Philip saw Asia as a source of wealth and new lands in which to settle the many exiles and dispossessed people who were at this time a general threat to both Greece and Macedonia, given that there were states with sufficient wealth to hire them as mercenaries.” Isocrates was trying to sell to Philip II his idea of unified front against Persia. “Philip, however, saw his enterprise in a much more obviously Macedonian context than Isocrates had envisaged.” F.W. Walbank “The Hellenistic World” [p.30-1][7] Pierre Jouguet “Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic World” [On the Macedonian conquest]

“It was quite certain that Alexander would not be content. He had called himself the avenger of Greece, and had begun the war in the capacity of Strategos of all the Hellenes, but he meant the war chiefly to serve the greatness of MacedoniaThat is why there were so few Greeks in the army, which was mainly Macedonian; the Macedonians alone were sufficiently attached to the royal house of their country to follow Alexander in an undertaking for which Asia Minor was already too small a prize.” [p.20][8] This one is taken from A.B.Bosworth’s “Alexander and the East”, p.6-8.

“The coins seem to emphasize the fighting potential of Porus’ army, and there must be conscious propaganda at work. Alexander was underscoring his victory. In a manner unique in ancient coinage he was sending message to people who could never hope to witness an Indian army in the flesh. These were the outlandish and formidable forces which he had faced in battle and crushed. Five years might have elapsed since the Persian grand army was humiliated at Guagamela, but his army had lost none of its frightful efficiency. The victory over Porus was the proof, and the coinage ensured that its implications were not lost. In the context of the troubles in Greece which followed the Exiles’ Decree it would constitute a blunt warning. Beware the consequences of revolt. The army which crushed Porus will easily crush you.”

All quotes below are from Professor Peter Green’s Alexander of Macedon:

[9] “Darius reversed his earlier policy of non-intervention, and began to channel gold into Greece wherever he thought it would do most good. He did not, as yet, commit himself to anything more definite: clearly he hoped that the Greek revolt would solve his problem for him. But the mere thought of a Greek-Persian coalition must have turned Alexander’s blood cold.” [p.138][10] “This was the Panhellenic crusade preached by Isocrates, and as such the king’s propaganda section continued – for the time being – to present it. No one, so far as we know, was tactless enough to ask the obvious question: if this was a Panhellenic crusade, where were the Greek troops? [p. 157][11] “Indeed, despite the league’s official veto, far more Greeks fought for the Great King – and remained loyal to the bitter end – than were ever conscripted by Alexander.” [p.157][12] “What is more, the league’s troops were never used in crucial battles (another significant pointer) but kept on garrison and line-of-communication duties. The sole reason for their presence, apart from propaganda purposes, was to serve as hostages for the good behavior of their friends and relatives in Greece. Alexander found them more of an embarrassment than an asset, and the moment he was in a position to do so, he got rid of them.” [p.158][13] “Alexander lost no time in getting rid of the league’s forces which accompanied him – another ironic gloss on his role as a leader of a Panhellenic crusade.” [p.183][14] On the subject of “liberating the Greek cities in Asia: “But the euphemism of a ‘contribution’ did not carry the same unpleasant associations; and the whole scheme, with its implication of a united Greek front, must have made splendid propaganda for home consumption.” [p. 188][15] On the league’s crews: “Their own crews, he pointed out, were still half-trained (the cities of the league must have been scraping the bottom of the barrel when they chose them); and – a revealing admission – a defeat at this point might well trigger off a general revolt of the Greek states. So much for the Panhellenic crusade. Alexander’s main fear, we need scarcely doubt, was that the league’s fleet might actually desert him if the chance presented itself.” [p.190][16] “The truth of the matter seems to have been that Alexander distrusted his Greek allies so profoundly – and with good reason – that he preferred to risk the collapse of his campaign in a spate of rebellion rather than entrust its safety to a Greek fleet.” [p.192][17] “The case of Aspendus exposes, with harsh clarity, Alexander’s fundamental objectives in Asia Minor. So long as he received willing cooperation, the pretence of a Panhellenic crusade could be kept up. But any resistance, the least opposition to his will, met with instant and savage reprisals.” [p.208][18] “The burning of Persepolis had written finish to the Hellenic crusade as such, and he used this excuse to pay off all his league’s troops, Parmenio’s Thessalians included. The crisis in Greece was over: he no longer needed these potential trouble makers as hostages.” [p. 322]

Alexander’s conquest was for the greatness of Macedonia. The Greeks served Alexander only as mercenaries and were assigned low garrison duties after 330. The 7000 Greek ‘hostages’ that Alexander took with himself, were commanded by Macedonian officers, and had insignificant role in the Macedonian victorious battles. Therefore, Alexander’s conquest was a Macedonian conquest, not Greek, and his empire can only be Macedonian (as it was), not Greek.


Alexander’s army was a Greek army

Actually it is much better to call Darius’ army – Greek army, since 50,000 Greeks were fighting on Darius’ side against Alexander and his Macedonians, while only 7,000 Greeks served as ‘hostages’ the ambitions of the Macedonian king (Green). These hostages, Alexander got rid of only when he learned that the Macedonian occupation troops have a firm control of the whole of Greece, when Antipater finally subdued the Spartans next to the rest of the Greeks. Here are the overwhelming proofs that the Alexander’s army was not a Greek army, and that Alexander did not care about the Greeks, but his Macedonians:

[1] “This was the Panhellenic crusade preached by Isocrates, and as such the king’s propaganda section continued – for the time being – to present it. No one, so far as we know, was tactless enough to ask the obvious question: if this was a Panhellenic crusade, where were the Greek troops? Peter Green Alexander of Macedon [p. 157][2] “The truth of the matter seems to have been that Alexander distrusted his Greek allies so profoundly – and with good reason – that he preferred to risk the collapse of his campaign in a spate of rebellion rather than entrust its safety to a Greek fleet.” [p.192][3] “The burning of Persepolis had written finish to the Hellenic crusade as such, and he used this excuse to pay off all his league’s troops, Parmenio’s Thessalians included. The crisis in Greece was over: he no longer needed these potential trouble makers as hostages.” [p. 322][4] Eugene Borza “Makedonika” on the number of Greeks serving the Macedonian king together with the Macedonians:

“Of the nearly 850 persons listed by Berve, 275 are either certainly or probably ethnic Greeks. Of this number, 126 persons are not associated with Alexander’s train, and thus outside present concerns. Of the 149 which remain, 69– nearly half– are court figures not associated with administration. They include sophists, physicians, actors, athletes, musicians, jugglers, and other entertainers, and a variety of hangers-on. 89 names remain. Of these three are of uncertain ethnic origin. 24 Greeks serve the king in variety of administrative tasks: some are envoys, some are clerks, some financial officers, some act as king’s agents in local places. They pop in and out of the historical record as Alexander sees the need to employ them. The remaining 53 Greeks serve specific military functions. Out of these 53 persons, 22 names are attached to a single unit (the allies from Orchomenos), who, by the way, are dismissed along with the other Greek allies in 330 B.C. (Only a few short years into the expedition). Fourteen other Greeks hold naval appointments, either as ship commanders in the Hydaspes fleet, or in conjunction with Nearchus’ ocean voyage. Four Greeks are in charge of mercenary units, and 9 others have unspecified, low- level military assignments. Seven have duties that did not take them beyond Egypt. In summary, of the 149 known Greeks with official connections to the king, only 35 to 40 held positions of rank- some as officers, some as administrators, but only a handful in top positions.”

[Now, one is seriously pressed to provide the needed evidence for the assertion held by this Greek propaganda that Alexander’s crusade and Alexander’s army were Greek. The evidence presented simply does not support such an act. An army of over 40,000 soldiers cannot possibly be called Greek army where the Greeks representation is so minuscule and largely insignificant. If Greeks like to claim somebody’s army, then their rightful claim should be the Persian army of Darius the III, where the number of Greeks exceeded 50,000 paid mercenaries fighting against the Macedonians despite the Corinth rules that those Greeks who serve the Persian will be treated as traitors.]

[5] “Of the sixty-five or so men named as hetairoi, 9 are Greek, including 3 mainlanders. Of the nine, four owed their position to life-long connections with Macedon: Nearchus (#544) and the brothers Erygius (#302) and Laomedon (#464) were in fact raised as Macedonians, and Demaratus (#253) of Corinth had been associated with the court since the time of Philip II.”

[Very small number of Greeks were hetairoi, next to the overwhelming number of Macedonians][5] Eugene Borza “Makedonika” “A look at Alexander’s satrapal appointments reveals that only 5 of all assigned positions were held by Greeks. There were 52 different persons who held satrapies in Alexander’s empire. 24 were Persians and Asians 23 were Macedonians 5 were given to GreeksOf these (5) satrapal appointments given, Nearchus and Sybirtius were from Crete. Stasenor was Cypriote. Cleomenes was from Naucratis in Egypt, and Thoas was from Magnesia on the Meander. No mainland Greek ever held a satrapy in Alexander’s empire.”

Alexander’s conquest was for the greatness of Macedonia. The Greeks served Alexander only as mercenaries and were assigned low garrison duties after 330. The 7,000 Greek ‘hostages’ that Alexander took with himself, were commanded by Macedonian officers, and had insignificant role in the Macedonian victorious battles. Therefore, Alexander’s conquest was a Macedonian conquest, not Greek, his empire can only be Macedonian (as it was), not Greek, an empire that was won by the Macedonians, not Greek.


There is no ancient Macedonian Language but a Greek dialect

If the modern Greeks want to deny the ancient Macedonians their spoken language, then, they need to rewrite the history to suit their version.

[1] Quintus Curtius Rufus “The History of Alexander”

“Alexander the Great speaks in front of the Macedones of his army: “The Macedonians are going to judge your case,” he said. “Please state whether you will use your native language before them.”

Philotas: “Besides the Macedonians, there are many present who, I think, will find what I am going to say easier to understand if I use the language you yourself have been using, your purpose, I believe, being only to enable more people to understand you.”

Then the king said: “Do you see how offensive Philotas find even his native language? He alone feels an aversion to learning it. But let him speak as he pleases – only remember he as contemptuous of our way of life as he is of our language“. [p.138]

This is Alexander himself talking about “our way of life” and “our language” “Macedonians are going to judge your case” There is no need for any explanation.

[2] Eugene Borza. “The lesson is clear: the use of the Greek language as a form of written expression does not by itself identify the ethnicity of a culture”. (“In the Shadow of Olympus -The Emergence of Macedon”, p. 94.)

“As the Macedonians settled the region following the expulsion of existing peoples, they probably introduced their own customs and language(s)there is no evidence that they adapted any existing language, even though they were now in contact with neighboring populations who spoke a variety of Greek and non-Greek tongues.”

“Hammond’s firm conclusion that the Macedonian spoke a distinctive dialect of Aeolic Greek is unconvincing to me, resting as it does on an interpretation of a bit of myth quoted by Hellanicus, who made Aeolus the father of the legendary progenitor Macedon”. (“In the Shadow of Olympus” p.92.)

“The handful of surviving genuine Macedonian words – not loan words from a Greek – do not show the changes expected from a Greek dialect. And even had they changed at some point it is unlikely that they would have reverted to their original form”. (“In the Shadow of Olympus” p.93.)

“As a question of method: why would an area three hundred miles north of Athens – not colonized by Athens – used an Attic dialect, unless it were imported? That is, the Attic dialect could hardly be native, and its use is likely part of the process of Hellenization. To put the question differently: if the native language of the Macedonians is Greek, what is its Macedonian dialect?”

“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”.

[3] Earnst Badian “Stadies in the History of Art vol. 10: Macedonia and Greece In Late Classical and Early Hellenistic Times”

Regarding the Cleitus’ episode, Ernst Badian writes: “He used the only language in which his guards could be addressed”.. [Note: The guards could be addressed in Macedonian language.]

Episode #2. Eumenes of Cardia. In 321 B.C., Greek commander Ambiance, with cavalry and light arms only, faced the Macedonian noble, Neoptholemus, with the Macedonian phalanx. To avoid battle Xennias, a man whose speech was Macedonian, was sent by Eumenes to negotiate with the commander of the phalanx. Badian analyzes:

“Now, Xennias’ name at once shows him to be a Macedonian. Since he was in Ambiance entourage he was presumably a Macedonian of superior status, who spoke both standard Greek and his native language. He was the man who could be trusted to transmit Ambiance’ message. This clearly shows that the phalanx had to be addressed in Macedonian, if one wanted to be sure (as Ambiance certainly did) that they would understand. And almost equally interesting – he did not address them himself, as he and other commanders normally address soldiers who understood them, nor did he sent a Greek. The suggestion is surely that Macedonian was the language of the infantry and that Greek was a difficult, indeed a foreign language to them. We may thus take it as certain that, when Alexander used Macedonian in addressing his guards, that too was because it was their normal language, and because (like Ambiance) he had to be sure he would be understood”.

[4] Ulrich Wilcken in his book ‘Alexander the Great’ on p.22 notes that “linguistic science has at its disposal a very limited quantity of Macedonian words” [Wilken mentions Macedonian and not Greek words][5] “The Tumult and the Shouting: Two Interpretations of the Cleitus Episode”, (published by APA in The Ancient History Bulletin, Vol. 10, number 1, 1996) [I will not endeavor myself with “their” Hammond-Bosworth fight, for obvious reasons. What I will do, however, is lift certain references where these giants, specifically, deal/address the ancient Macedonian language in question.][6] p.20, line 23. “Alexander shouted out in Macedonian, and called the hypaspists in Macedonian”.

[7] p.25, line 4. “In my view”, writes Bosworth, ” there is nothing at all surprising in the use of Macedonian. Alexander was calling his hypaspists, who were Macedonians, and he addressed them in their native language/dialect. In Hammond’s view, however, the hypaspists would normally have been addressed in standard Greek. Macedonian proper he restricts to the people of the old kingdom, Lower Macedonian, while the tribes of the mountain districts of Pindus (Upper Macedonia) spoke a dialect of West Greek. The evidence for this hypothesis is decidedly tenuous.”

[8] p.25 elaboration: Bosworth cont. “I deliberately refrain from adopting any position on the linguistic status of ancient Macedonians. It has little significance outside the nationalistic propaganda of the contemporary Balkan states, in which prejudice and dogma do duty for rational thought. What matters for the present argument is the fact, explicit in Curtius, that Macedonian was largely unintelligible to non-Macedonians. Macedonians might understand Greek, and some Greek (like Eumenes) with experience of Macedon might speak Macedonian. However, even Eumenes took care that a vital message was conveyed to the phalangites of Neoptholemus by a man fluent in Macedonian.”

[9] p.30, line 28, we find the final statement by Bosworth: “He used Macedonian because the troops would instantly understand and (he expected) would react immediately. There is no need for more complicated explanation.”

 

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