Modern Sources

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Modern Sources

Eugene Borza

Professor of Ancient History at the Pennsylvania State University

Makedonika and In the Shadow of Olympus

The American Philological Association refers to E. Borza as the “Macedonian specialist”. In the introductory chapter of “Makedonika” by Carol G. Thomas, Eugene Borza is also called “the Macedonian specialist”, and his colleague Peter Green describes Eugene’s work on Macedonia as “seminal”. Do Ancient Historians hold Eugene Borza in high esteem? Please read what P. Green thinks of Borza’s approach to the studies of ancient history, and of his method of abstraction of truth: “Never was a man less given to the kind of mean-spirited odium philologicum that so often marks classical debate. Gene could slice an argument to pieces while still charming its exponents out of the trees.”

Ernst Badian from Harward University writes: “It is chiefly Gene’s merit that recognizably historical interpretation of the history of classical Macedonia has not only become possible, but it is now accepted by all ancient historians who have no vested interest in the mythology superseded by Gene’s work. Needless to say, I welcome and agree with that approach and have never disagreed with him except on relatively trivial details of interpretation.” Here are some excerpts from Borza’s writings regarding the Ancient Macedonians and the Ancient Greeks. I will offer no interpretations, for none is needed, indeed. On the matter of distinction between Greeks and Macedonians:

[1] “Neither Greeks nor Macedonians considered the Macedonians to be Greeks.”


[2] On the composition of Alexander’s army: “Thus we look in vain for the evidence that Alexander was heavily dependent upon Greeks either in quantity or quality.”


[3] “The pattern is clear: the trend toward the end of the king’s life was to install Macedonians in key positions at the expense of Asians, and to retain very few Greeks.”


[4] “The conclusion is inescapable: there was a largely ethnic Macedonian imperial administration from beginning to end. Alexander used Greeks in court for cultural reasonsGreek troops (often under Macedonian commanders) for limited tasks and with some discomfort, and Greek commanders and officals for limited duties. Typically, a Greek will enter Alexander’s service from an Aegean or Asian city through the practice of some special activity: he could read and write, keep figures or sail, all of which skills the Macedonians required. Some Greeks may have moved on to military service as well. In other words, the role of Greeks in Alexander’s service was not much different from what their role had been in the services of Xerxes and the third Darius.”


[5] On the policy of hellenization with Alexander conquest of Asia and the Greek assertion that he spread Hellenism: “If one wishes to believe that Alexander had a policy of hellenization – as opposed to the incidental and informal spread of Greek culture – the evidence must come from sources other than those presented here. One wonders – archeology aside – where this evidence would be.” On the ethnic tension between Macedonians and Greeks, referring to the episode of Eumenes of Cardia and his bid to reach the throne: “And if there were any doubt about the status of Greeks among the Macedonians the tragic career of Eumenes in the immediate Wars of succession should put it to rest. The ancient sources are replete with information about the ethnic prejudice Eumenes suffered from Macedonians.”


[6] On the issue of whether Alexander and Philip “united” the Greek city-states or conquered them: “In European Greece Alexander continued and reinforced Philip II’s policy of rule over the city-states, a rule resulting from conquest.”


[7] “The tension at court between Greeks and Macedonians, tension that the ancient authors clearly recognized as ethnic division.”


[8] On Alexander’s dimissal of his Greek allies: “A few days later at Ecbatana, Alexander dismissed his Greek allies, and charade with Greece was over.”


[9] On the so called Dorian invasion: The theory of the Dorian invasion (based on Hdt. 9.26, followed by Thuc. I.12) is largely an invention of nineteenth-century historography, and is otherwise unsupported by either archeological or linguistic evidence.”


[10] “The Dorians are invisible archeologically.”


[11] “There is no archeological record of the Dorian movements, and the mythic arguments are largely conjectural, based on folk traditions about the Dorian home originally having been in northwest Greece.


[12] “The explanation for the connection between the Dorians and the Macedonians may be more ingenious than convincing, resting uncomfortably on myth and conjecture.”


[13] On the Macedonian own tradition and origin: “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 adopted any existing language, even though they were now in contact with neighboring populations who spoke a variety of Greek and non-Greek tongues.”


[14] On the Macedonian language: “The main evidence for Macedonian existing as separate language comes from a handful of late sources describing events in the train of Alexander the Great, where the Macedonian tongue is mentioned specifically.”


[15] “The evidence suggests that Macedonian was distinct from ordinary Attic Greek used as a language of the court and of diplomacy.”


[16] “The handful of surviving genuine Macedonian words – not loan words from Greek – do not show the changes expected from Greek dialect.”


[17] On the Macedonian material culture being different from the Greek: “The most visible expression of material culture thus far recovered are the fourth – and third-century tombs. The architectural form, decoration, and burial goods of these tombs, which now number between sixty and seventy, are unlike what is found in the Greek south, or even in the neighboring independent Greek cities of the north Aegean littoral (exception Amphipolis). Macedonian burial habits suggest different view of the afterlife from the Greeks’, even while many of the same gods were worshipped.”


[18] “Many of the public expressions of worship may have been different.”


[19] “There is an absence of major public religious monuments from Macedonian sites before the end of the fourth century (another difference from the Greeks).”


[20] “Must be cautious both in attributing Greek forms of worship to the Macedonians and in using these forms of worship as a means of confirming Hellenic identity.”


[21] “In brief, one must conclude that the similarities between some Macedonian and Greek customs and objects are not of themselves proof that Macedonians were a Greek tribe, even though it is undeniable that on certain levels Greek cultural influences eventually became pervasive.”


[22] “Greeks and Macedonians remained steadfastly antipathetic toward one another (with dislike of a different quality than the mutual long-term hostility shared by some Greek city-states) until well into the Hellenic period, when both the culmination of hellenic acculturation in the north and the rise of Rome made it clear that what these peoples shared took precedence over their historical enmities.”


[23] “They made their mark not as a tribe of Greek or other Balkan peoples, but as ‘Macedonians’. This was understood by foreign protagonists from the time of Darius and Xerxes to the age of Roman generals.”


[24] “It is time to put the matter of the Macedonians’ ethnic identity to rest.”


[25] “There is other aspect of Alexander’s Greek policy, and that is his formal relationship with the Greek cities of Europe and Asia. In European Greece Alexander continued and reinforced Philip II’s policy rule over the city-states, a rule resulting from conquest. As for the island Greeks and the cities of Asia Minor, their status under the reigns of Philip and Alexander has been much debated. Fortunately, for my purposes, the status of these cities, whether as members of Philip’s panhellenic league or as independent towns, is not crucial, as they were in fact all treated by Alexander as subjects. Much of the debate on this issue, while interesting and occasionally enlightening, has sometimes obscured a simple reality: Greeks on both sides of the Aegean were subjects to the authority of the king of Macedon.” Ethnicity and Cultural Policy at Alexander’s Court. Makedonika


[26] “I have not cited several pieces of anecdotal evidence from the sources on Alexander that establish the continuing tension at court between Greeks and Macedonians, tension that the ancient authors clearly recognized as ethnic division. A fuller version of this study will consider these incidents to support my view that Greeks and Macedonians did not get along very well with one another and that this ethnic tension was exploited by the king himself.” Makedonika p.158


[27] “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.”


Ernst Badian

Department of History at Harvard University

Macedonia and Greece in Late Classical and Early Hellenistic Times

[1] “There is no evidence of any Macedonian claim to a Greek connection before the Persian war.”


[2] On Alexander’s I attempt to enter the Olympic games: “There were outraged protests from the other competitors, who rejected Alexander I as a barbarian — which proves at the least, that the Teminid [Greek] descent and the royal genealogy had hitherto been an esoteric knowledge.” The Olympic games in Greece were reserved for Greeks only.


[3] “With the exception of the single item, no Macedonian king between Alexander I and Philip II is in anyway connected with the Olympic or any other games.


[4] The Macedonian king Archelaus founded Macedonian Olympic games which Badian calls it “counter Olympics“.


[5] “No Macedonian appears on the list of Olympic victors that have survived (a fair proportion of the whole) until well into the reign of Alexander the Great.”


[6] “Nor do we find the Macedonian people ever regarded as a political entity transacting business with the Greek states.”


[7] “For political purposes no difference was seen between Macedonians and (say) Thracian and Persian, i.e. other nations under monarchical rule. This may have been a contributing factor in unwillingness to recognize Macedonians as Greek.”


[8] On Alexander the Great: “Characteristically for Alexander despite his thorough Greek education and obviously genuine interest in Greek literature, was nevertheless a Macedonian king.”


[9] On Philip, “Greeks never commanded his armies“.


[10] Alexander’s integration of troops: “…interesting to notice that he never – either before or at the time – tried to integrate Greeks into the Macedonian units that were his best military assets, either in the tactical or in the emotional sphere, while at the very end, both for tactical and for political reasons integration of Macedonians and Iranians was important, while integration of Greeks with either was not.”


[11] On Macedonian language: “The suggestion is surely that Macedonian was the language of the infantry and that the Greek was a difficult indeed a foreign tongue to them“.


[12] Alexander never tried to impose Greek on his Macedonian infantry, or to integrate it with Greek ‘foreign’ individuals”.


[13] On Demosthenes’ tirades about Macedonians: “… we are concerned only with sentiment, which is itself historical fact and must be taken seriously as such. In these tirades we find not only the Hellenic descent of Macedonian people (which few seriously accepted) totally denied, but even that of the king.”


[14] “As regards the Macedonian nation as a whole, (there was as we can see) no division. They were regarded as clearly barbarian, despite the various myths.


[15] “Philip had not tried to pass of his Macedonians as Greeks


[16] “He, Philip, never tried to make his Macedonians members of the Hellenic league.”


[17] “The feeling of being peoples of nonkindred race existed on both side” referring to Isocrates’ statement.


[18] On Python and the 17,000 Greek soldiers cut down by Macedonian soldiers: ” the patent needs of the empire and the oath of their commander were swallowed up in the explosion of what we can only regard as the men’s irrational hatred for their Greek enemies.”


[19] “What ever the ethnic origins and identity of the Macedonians, they were generally perceived in their own time by Greeks and themselves not to be Greek“.


Peter Green

Alexander of Macedon and Alexander to Actium

[1] “The Colonels, as it happened, promoted Alexander as a great Greek hero, especially to army recruits: the Greeks of the fourth century B.C., to whom Alexander was a half-Macedonian, half-Epirote barbarian conqueror, would have found this metamorphosis as ironic as I did.” [The Greek island on which Peter Green stayed while working on his book, happened to be the same island on which the Greek Colonels, after assuming power in Greece, used it as a dumping-ground for royalist officers and “thinkers with mind of their own”.][2] “Macedonia was the first large territorial state with an effective centralized political, military and administrative structure to come into being on the continent of Europe”. [p.1][3] “No one had forgotten that Alexander I, known ironically as ‘the philhellene’, had been debarred from the Olympic Games until he manufactured a pedigree connecting the Argeads with the ancient Argive kings”. [p.7] [On p.9 Green refers to this Argive link as ‘fictitious’.][4] Isocrates’ letter to Philip II where he, Isocrates refers to Philip “as one who has been blessed with untrammeled freedom to consider Hellas your fatherland” Green calls this a “rhetorical hyperbole”. “Indeed, taken as a whole the Address to Philip must have caused its recipient considerable sardonic amusement”. [p. 49] “Its ethnic conceit was only equaled by its naivety” [p.49][5] “And though Philip did not give a fig for Panhellenism as an idea, he at once saw how it could be turned into highly effective camouflage ( a notion which his son subsequently took over ready-made). Isocrates had, unwittingly, supplied him with the propaganda-line he needed. From now on he merely had to clothe his Macedonian ambitions in a suitable Panhellenic dress.” [p.50][6] “The Greeks had done a deal with Artaxerxes, [Persian commander], and if Philip did not move fast it would be they who invaded his territory, not he theirs. In the event, he moved faster than anyone could have predicted.” [p.69][7] “The Greek states retained no more than a pale shadow of their former freedom”. [p.80] [This is how Philip “united” the Greek states.][8] “The dedication of the Philipeum was a salutary reminder that from now on, whatever democratic forms might be employed as a salve to the Greeks’ self-respect, it was Philip who led and they who followed.” [p.86][9] “The Greek states were to make a common peace and alliance with one another, and constitute themselves into a federal Hellenic League. Simultaneously, the league was to form a separate alliance with Macedonia, though Macedonia itself would not be a league member.” [p.86][10] “Philip’s Panhellenism was no more than a convenient placebo to keep his allies quiet, a cloak for further Macedonian aggrandizement.” [p.87][11] “Most Greek statesmen recognized this only too well. To them, their self-styled hegemon was still a semi-barbarian autocrat, whose wishes had been imposed on them by right of conquest; and when Alexander succeeded Philip, he inherited the same bitter legacy of hatred and resentment – which his own policies did little to dispel.” [p.87][12] “The military contingent they supplied were, in reality, so many hostages for their good behavior. As we shall see, whenever they saw the slightest chance of throwing off the Macedonian yoke, they took it.” [p. 87][13] “Some 15,000 Greek mercenaries, not to mention numerous doctors, technicians and professional diplomats, were already on the Persian pay-roll; twice as many men, in fact, as the league ultimately contributed for the supposedly Panhellenic crusade against Darius.” [p.95][14] “In the early spring of 336, an advance force of 10,000 men, including a thousand cavalry, crossed over to Asia Minor. Its task was to secure the Hellespont, to stockpile supplies, and in Philip’s pleasantly cynical phrase, to ‘liberate the Greek cities’.” [p.98] [The operative word is “cynical phrase” to ‘liberate the Greek cities’.][15] “Only the Spartans held aloof. The traditions of their country, they informed the king, did not allow them to serve under a foreign leader. (So much for Macedonia’s pretensions to Hellenism.) Alexander did not press the point…..” [p.121] [The operative word is “a foreign leader” referring to Alexander.][16] [Regarding the news of Alexander’s death.] “If anyone had doubts about the report, he quickly suppressed them: this, after all, was just what every patriotic Greek had hoped and prayed might happen.” [p.136][17] “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][18] “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][19] “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][20] “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][21] “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][22] 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][23] 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][24] “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][25] “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][26] “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][27] “But Greek public opinion was something of which Alexander took notice only when it suited him; and the league served him as a blanket excuse for various questionable or underhand actions, the destruction of Thebes being merely the most notorious.” [p.506-7][28] “It is significant that two native rising occurred on the news of Alexander’s death, and both of these, as we shall see in a moment, involved Greeksthere were otherwise no ingenuous revolts against the colonial government.” [p.6. “Alex. to Actium”][29] “But then, Eumenes was a Greek, and Macedonian troops, especially the old sweats who had served under Philip II, were never really comfortable being led by non-Macedonians.” [p.7. “Alex. to Actium”.][30] “Nearcus never came to much among the Successors: but then he, like Eumenes, was a Greek; worse still, he was a Cretan, and thus a proverbial liar.” [p.7. “Alex. to Actium”]

One can clearly see the distinction between ancient Macedonians and the Greeks. Modern Greek’s assertion that ancient Macedonians were Greeks simply does not hold any water.


Professor of Classics and Ancient History, The University of Western Australia

On the Macedonian language and ethnicity of the Macedonian Army

[1] Bosworth responds to Hammond regarding the usage of the Macedonian language by Alexander: “I deliberately refrain from adopting any position on the linguistic status of ancient Macedonian. 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 Neoptolemus by a man fluent in Macedonian (MAKEDONI/ZONTA TH]=FWNH]=:PSI 12. 1284,col. ii. 19-20).] “Alexander shouted out in Macedonian, and called the hypaspists in Macedonian.” In my view 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.”


[2] In Hammond’s view the soldiers from Lower Macedonia (old kingdom) spoke Macedonian while the soldiers from the Upper Macedonia spoke a dialect of West Greek.


Bosworth’s response: “The evidence for this hypothesis is decidedly tenuous. Nearly two centuries before Alexander Hecataeus may have described the Orestians as a Molossian tribe, but, as far as I can ascertain, there is no evidence for the language of any or all of the Upper Macedonian people before the time of Alexander, and nothing to suggest that the hypaspists were anything other than linguistically homogeneous.” “Alexander’s invitation to speak (Curt. 6. 9. 34) presupposes that the entire army spoke Macedonian.” “Alexander’s challenge presupposes that all the army would understand an address in Macedonian.” “He used Macedonian because the troops would instantly understand and (he expected) would react immediately. There is no need for more complicated explanation.”

It is evident from the text of Arrian, Plutarch, and Curtius Rufus that Alexander’s army spoke Macedonian and not Greek. Any other interpretation would be intolerably difficult, if not impossible, to accept.

[3] About the Macedonian army: “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, [the Greek] 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 [Greek] 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.” [p.271] Conquest and Empire.


“Alexander had deliberately retained the offsprings of his Macedonian veterans when he demobilized them, promising to train them in Macedonian style.(Arr. VII.12.2; Justin XII.4.2-10.) His ultimate purpose was to weld them into a military force without attachment of race or domicile, loyal to himself alone. The transformation of the Macedonian national army with its regionally based units could not have been more complete.” [p.273] Conquest and Empire

[4] Bosworth on the allied (including Greek) troops: “The structure of command seems to have been parallel to that of the Macedonian cavalry, with regionally based ilai, but at the head was a Macedonian commander. The rest of the [Greek] allied cavalry, predominantly from central Greece and the Peloponnese, was much less important and effective, fewer in number and less prominent in action. Like the [Greek] Thessalian they were divided into ilai (Tod. GHI no 197.3) under the command of a Macedonian officer.” [p.264] Conquest and Empire


“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.” [p.264] Conquest and Empire

[Point of Interest] Are these the Greek troops with Alexander? Are these the same Greek troops with Alexander that went on the Asian conquest? Can Alexander’s conquest be called a Greek conquest? Can Alexander’s army be called Greek army? There is absolutely nothing in the literature to even remotely suggest that my quest to find and bring forward documented evidence for the ethnic affinity of the ancient Macedonians is losing steam. On the contrary, the conclusion is solidified with avery passing sentence: There was no Greek conquest with Alexander. There was nothing Greek with Alexander or his Macedonians.


[5] “There was also the question of loyalty. Alexander might well have been reluctant to rely on men recently vanquished at Chaeronea to face the Hellenic mercenaries in Persian service. It was too much kin against kin, and his Greek allies naturally had less stomach for the task than his native Macedonians.” [p.264] Conquest and Empire


[6] Alexander’s views on the Greeks in Asia. We should never deviate too far from our main focal point to find and present demonstrable evidence where Alexander’s actions and policies strongly and convincingly illustrate his innermost feelings and aspirations. Here, you will see that Alexander treated the Greeks in Asia as any other conquered people, and that is a testament, by itself, that, he, Alexander did not view the Greeks as his own people. Judging by his actions, one will be hard press to find any difference between his treatment of the Greeks and that of the barbarians.


“It is most unlikely that the Greeks of Asia were incorporated in the Corinthian League. This is an issue which has been endlessly debated with surprising intensity, but arguments inevitably founders on the lack of evidence. That silence does have some weight. If the Greek cities had been involved in the League with its symmachical obligations, it is remarkable that there is never any reference to alliance or even to a formal treaty. As we have seen repeatedly, Alexander dealt with them as a victorious despot not as the executive head of an expanding League.”[p.255], “As he continued east, the Greeks receded into obscurity and there is virtually no record of them.” [p.256] [Conquest and Empire][7] Ancient authors testify that Alexander heavily depended on his Macedonians, whom he called ‘his kinsmen’, to carry the brunt of his campaign. “Alexander himself seems to have made little distinction in his last years between Greeks of Europe or Asia, or even between Greeks and barbarians.” [p.257][Point of Interest] And this fact alone, must be constantly born in mind when one ascribes any “greekness” to Alexander. For, Alexander would not put his own people in an equal balance with the barbarians of the East. Was Alexander the Great a Greek King? Does this action suggest anything of a sort? It is morally corrupt, and historically incorrect to even suggest that Alexander the Great belonged to any other nation but Macedonia. He remained loyal to his royal Macedonian heritage to the last day of his life.


Professor of Greek University of Cambridge, 1993

Hammond is one of the modern writers representing the ‘Greek’ position. It’s interesting to note that Hammond had changed his position. His earlier position was that the Macedonians spoke a “patois which was not recognizable as a normal Doric Greek but may have been a north-west-Greek dialect of a primitive kind” (in other words he couldn’t say for sure). Later however, he changed this position and launched his “firm conclusion” that the Macedonians now spoke a dialect of Aeolic Greek, i.e. the ancient Macedonians were Greek, despite of the overwhelming and extensive research done by Badian and Borza which proved the opposite. Interestingly, he had done this ‘transformation’ towards firm Greek origin of the ancient Macedonians, during the period when the modern Greek propaganda intensified in spreading their “Macedonians are Greek” position, a position which was later used against the part of the modern Macedonian nation that was in a process of getting independence (today’s Republic of Macedonia). It may look like Hammond is a ‘Greek agent’ whose writings reflect the wishes of modern Greece and it’s propaganda, however, in that process he proved that he was obviously ignorant to many of the ancient sources that do not conclude what he concludes. He is also ignorant to many modern sources as well, particularly the ones of Borza, Green, and Badian which have proven in-depth that the Macedonians could not have been Greek. It should be pointed out that Hammond had been proven incorrect in many matters (not just the ethnicity of the ancient Macedonians) regarding the history of Macedonia, specifically by the Macedonian specialist Borza. His views are nowadays corrected and regarded as outdated.

Although Hammond believes that the Ancient Macedonians had a Greek origin, he however, contradicts himself in few passages where he clearly separates the ancient Macedonians from the ancient Greeks:

“We have already inferred from the incident at the Olympic Games c.500 that the Macedonians themselves, as opposed to their kings, were considered not to be GreeksHerodotus said this clearly in four words, introducing Amyntas, who was king c.500, as ‘a Greek ruling over Macedonians’ (5.20. 4), and Thucydides described the Macedonians and other northern tribes as ‘barbarians’ in the sense of ‘non-Greeks’, despite the fact that they were Greek-speaking. (Thuc. 2. 80. 5-7; 2. 81. 6; 4. 124.1) When it comes to political controversy, it was naturally good invective to call the king a barbarian too. Thus a Greek speesh-writer called the Thessalians ‘Greeks’ and Archelaus, the contemporary Macedonian king, ‘a barbarian’. Demosthenes spoke of Philip II as ‘the barbarian from Pella’.”

Point of Interest: I will stop Hammond here and analyze his last words. He begins by saying that the Macedonians were considered non-Greek. At the end he says that the Macedonians, including their kings were called barbarians i.e. non-Greeks, but he implies that they were really Greek, and were called non-Greek only due to “political controversy”. This is not convincing at all. If the ancient Greeks referred to the Macedonians as barbarians only because of political conflict, then why other Greek tribes are not called barbarian or non-Greek by the ancient Greeks. That never happened, during any of the so many political conflicts, “controversies”, and wars among the Greek city-states, not involving the Macedonians. Furthermore, the ancient Greeks referred to the Persians as barbarians too. According to Hammond’s logic the Persians are therefore Greek too, but were called non-Greek only because ancient Greece was in “political controversy” with Persia. Hammond’s words obviously make no sense. The ancient Greeks called very clearly all non-Greeks barbarians (Macedonians and Persians included), and any try to change the meaning of that word only in the case of the Macedonians, is ridiculous and can be ascribed as siding with the modern Greek propaganda. Now let’s examine the rest of Hammond’s words:

“Writing in 346 and eager to win Philip’s approval, Isocrates paid tribute to Philip as a blue-blooded Greek and made it clear at the same time that Macedonians were not Greeks. (Isoc. 5. 108 and 154) Aristotle, born at Stageira on the Macedonian border and the son of a Greek doctor at the Macedonian court, classed the Macedonians and their institution of Monarchy as not Greek, as we shall see shortly. It is thus not surprising that the Macedonians considered themselves to be, and were treated by Alexander the Great as being, separate from the Greeks. They were proud to be so.”

Interesting (inadvertent) reversals in Hammond narrative: “Philip and Alexander attracted many able foreigners, especially Greeks, to their service, and many of these were made Companions (e.g. Nearchus a Cretan, Eumenes a citizen of Cardia, and Sitalces a member of the Odrysian royal family). Some of them, if they served in the King’s Army, were given Macedonian citizenship, which apparently was in the gift of the king.” The Macedonian State p.141

Points of interest: These phrase alone claims that:
(a) Macedonia was a not a Greek land, and
(b) that Macedonians were not Greeks
One does not attract foreigners from his own country, and second, one cannot be called a foreigner in his own country.

“These instances show us that even Philip II and Alexander III introduced very few Greeks into the Assembly of Macedones. They wanted the ‘Macedones’ to have their own esprit the corps; and those of them who came from Lower Macedonia continued to speak the Macedonian dialect among themselves and to address the king or a commander in that dialect as a sign of affection.”

[53-an ordinary soldier is represented as speaking in the Macedonian dialect to the dying Alexander in Ps-Callisthenes B 32. 14 (ed. Kroll), and the Macedonian soldiers greeted Eumenes in the Macedonian dialect when he came to command them (Plu. Eum. 14. 11). [p.64]

“The name of the ancient Macedonians is derived from Macedon, who was the grandchild of Deukalion, the father of all Greeks. This we may infer from Hesiod’s genealogy. It may be proven that Macedonians spoke Greek since Macedon, the ancestor of Macedonians, was a brother of Magnes, the ancestor of Thessalians, who spoke Greek.”

Response to Hammond’s conclusion that the Macedonians were Greek:

[1] There were many tribes in Macedonia. If we accept Macedon to be the progenitor of his tribe, where is the connection for the rest of the Macedonian tribes? What about the Lynchestians, Elimiotes, Eordians, Orestians etc., etc.. Besides; 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.” (Ethnic Identity in Greek Antiquity, by J.Hall, p.64)


[2] Professor Borza who is credited as Macedonian specialist and who had completed an extensive research on the ethnicity of the ancient Macedonians, had proven that Hammond’s conclusions that the Macedonians were Greek are inaccurate:


Hammond’s firm conclusion that the Macedonians 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 dialectAnd 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 [Macedonia] 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?”

The above passage showed us clearly that Hammond, no mater how firm he stands on his ‘Greek’ position, still contradicts himself by saying that the Macedonians and the Greeks are two separate ethnic groups. The lines of Professor Eugene Borza, had put an end to the Hammond’s speculations of the supposed Greek origin of the ancient Macedonians, and proven on many instances (not just on the ethnicity issue) in In the Shadow of Olympus and Makedonika, that Hammond’s work on the Macedonian history is inaccurate and as such should be rejected.

Werner Jaeger


Here, in these excerpts from Jeager’s book, you will find Demosthenes’ hatred for Macedon not only readily displayed and exercised, but its Hellenic descent categorically excluded and implicitly denied. The fact that some modern authors ascribe Hellenic affinity to the ancient Macedonians should come to no great surprise because of the impact left by Johan Gustav Droysen on early nineteenth-century historian where Macedon is depicted as a natural “unifier” of the Greek city-states, the same role played by Prussia and Savoy in German and Italian unification in the nineteenth century. “On this false analogy the whole of Greek history was now boldly reconstructed as a necessary process of development leading quite naturally to a single goal: unification of the Greek nation under Macedonian leadership”.

Demosthenes and most of his contemporaries did not see it that way; to them the leadership of Macedon was seen as the ‘death of Greek political liberty’ Some people dismiss Demosthenes’ outbursts as a political rhetoric, others hold his political abuse of Philip from Macedon as historical facts, undeniably blunt and truthful. His sentiments are, in this case, fundamental historical documents, which testify to the simmering hate and the undamped contempt for the Macedonian conqueror. The hands of the sculptor are being replaced by his sharply cutting tongue. At the end the features emerge to the surface unpretentiously clear and aggressive. Demosthenes unlike Isocrates does not mask his national ideals with “Panhellenistic union” against the Persians, but boldly and aggressively calls his Hellenic nation to an uprising against the barbarian from the north -the Kingdom of Macedon and its king Philip.

Demosthenes’ cries and pleas are not intended for his beloved Athens only, but to every liberty loving Hellene, and even the Persians themselves. He calls on the Persians to join the Hellenes in the war against Macedon, and at the same time he warns them that if they leave the Greeks in the lurch, they would be next Philip’s victim. As destiny would have it, Demosthenes was right. Here we go:

[1] “On the Symmories, namely, that Demosthenes originally stood close to a group of politicians who were vigorously combating the radical democratic influence; indeed, it is only to this degree that he can be said to have come from any one party at all. It is true that in later years, when he is coming to grips with the danger of Macedonia’s foreign yoke, he naturally appeals to the lofty ideal of Greek liberty.” [p.93][2] “It is not until Demosthenes is fighting the “tyranny” of the Macedonian conqueror that the idea of liberty takes on its true color for him and becomes significant as a great national good.” [p.93][3] “Even then this watchword of “liberty” serves solely to promote his (Demosthenes’ foreign policy; but by that time it has really become an essential factor in his envisagement of the world about him, in which Greece and Macedonia are polar opposites, irreconcilable morally, spiritually, intellectually.” [p.93-4][4] “Thereupon all Thessaly submitted to him of its own accord. He was acclaimed as a deliverer and named commander-in-chief of the Thessalian confederacy. He would have marched at once into central Greece as a conquering hero and would probably have brought the war to an end there with a single blow, had not the Athenians and Spartans bestirred themselves to send auxilary troops to Thermopylae, thus shutting against him this gateway to Hellas.” [p.114][5] “In the Panegyricus he [Isocrates] had urged an understanding between Sparta and Athens, so that the Greeks might unite in a common expedition against the Persian empire. Nothing of that sort was any longer thinkable. But the policy of which he now had such high hopes offered a surprisingly simple solution for the distressing problem that lay heavily on all minds the problem of what was to be the ultimate relationship between Greece and the new power in the north.” [p.152][6] “If Philip was not to remain a permanent menace to the Greek world from outside, it was necessary to get him positively involved in the fate of Hellas; for he could not be eluded. Of course in the view of any of the Greek states of the period, this problem was comparable to that of squaring the circle.” [p.152][7] “But for Isocrates that was no obstacle. He had long since come to recognize the impossibility of resisting Macedonia, and he was only trying to find the least humiliating way to express the unavoidable submission of all the Greeks to the will of Philip. Here again he found the solution in a scheme for Macedonian hegemony over Greece. For it seems as if Philip’s appearance in this role would be most effective way to mitigate his becoming so dominant a factor in Greek history; moreover, it ought to silence all Greek prejudices against the culturally and ethnically alien character of the Macedonians.” [p.153][8] “With the help of the role that Isocrates had assigned to him, he had the astuteness to let his cold-blooded policy for the extension of Macedonian power take on the eyes of the Greeks the appearance of a work of liberation for Hellas. What he most needed at this moment was not force but shrewd propaganda; and nobody lent himself to this purpose so effectively as the old Isocrates, venerable and disinterested, who offered his services of his own free will.” [p.155][9] “Philip now had the problem of compelling the Athenians to recognize the Delphic resolutions aimed against Phocis; and he sent ambassadors to Athens, where strong opposition prevailed. However, with the Macedonian army only a few day’s march from the Attic border and in good fighting trim, Athens was quite defenseless, and even Demosthenes advised submission.” [p.157][10] “When Demosthenes draws up his list of Philip’s transgressions, it includes his offense against the whole of Greece, not merely those against Athens; and Demosthenes’ charge of unbecoming remissness is aimed at all the Greeks equally- their irresolution, and their failure to perceive their common cause.” [p.171][11] “Therefore he (Demosthenes) urges them to send embassies everywhere to call the Greeks together–to assemble them, teach them, and exhort them; but the paramount need is to take the necessary steps themselves and thus perform their duty.” [p.171][12] “In this appeal to the whole Greek world Demosthenes reached a decisive turning point in his political thought…………….He was still thoroughly rooted in Athens’s governmental traditions, never overstepping the bounds of her classical balance-of-power policy for the interior of Greece. But the appearance of the mighty new enemy from beyond the Greek frontier now forced him to take a different track.” [p.171-2][13] “Looking far beyond the actualities of the Greek world, hopelessly split asunder as it was, he (Isocrates) had envisaged a united nation led by the Macedonian king.” [p.172][14] “Quite apart, however, from any theoretical doubts whether the nationalistic movement of modern times, which seeks to combine in a single state all the individuals of a single folk, can properly be compared with the Greek idea of Panhellenism, scholars have failed to notice that after the unfortunate Peace of Philocrates Demosthenes’ whole policy was an unparalleled fight for national unification. In this period he deliberately threw off the constrains of the politician concerned exclusively with Athenian interests, and devoted himself to a task more lofty than any Greek statesman before him had ever projected or indeed could have projected. In this respect he is quite comparable to Isocrates; but an important point of contrast still remains. The difference is simply that Demosthenes did not think of this “unification” as a more or less voluntary submission to the will of the conqueror; on the contrary, he demanded a unanimous uprising of all the Greeks against the Macedonian foe.” [p.172][15] “His Panhellenism was the outgrowth of a resolute will for national self-assertiveness, deliberately opposed to the national self-surrender called for by Isocrates – for that was what Isocrates’ program had really meant, despite its being expressed romantically as a plan for a Persian war under Macedonian leadership.” [p.172-3][16] “As the success of his appeal was to show, he was correct in his estimate of the actual political prospects of a really national uprising now that direct hostile pressure was felt. Since the days of the Persian wars Hellas had at no time been seriously endangered from without.” [p.173][17] “The foe and the emergency [Macedon and its king Philip] had now appeared; and if the Greeks still had a spark of their fathers’ sense of independence, the fate that was now overtaking them could not but bring them together. The Third Philippic is one mighty avowal of this brand of Panhellenism; and this is entirely Demosthenes’ achievement.” [p.173][18] “The task that confronted Demosthenes demanded utterly gigantic powers of improvisation; for the Greek people had not been making preparedness an end in itself for years as the enemy had done, and they also found it hard to adjust themselves spiritually to their new situation. In the Third Philippic Demosthenes’ prime effort was to break down this spiritual resistance, and everything hinged on his success.” [p.174][Greek people on one side, and the enemy on the other. Were Macedonians seen as Greeks by the ancient Greeks? Did the Greeks have the enemy from within their own kin? Were there some Greeks who were making preparations for a war, and other Greeks who were not? It is a clear no, since the Macedonians were not Greek][19] “Demosthenes speaks of embassies to be sent to the Peloponnesus, to Rhodes and Chios, and even to the king of Persia, to call for resistance against the conqueror.” [p.177][Point of Interest] Greeks were sending embassies to the king of Persia to ally with them against the conqueror from the north – Macedonia and its king Philip. One needs not be a scholar to see through the lies propagated by today’s Greeks when they claim that Macedonia was a part of Greece and Philip was their king. “It is an illusion to think that ancient Macedonians were Greeks”. [Karagatsis – a Greek writer]


[20] Demosthenes’ call for a national uprising was slowly gaining strength; Corinth and Achaea went over to the Athenian side, Messenia, Arcadia and Argos were won over and lined themselves behind the program. In March of the year 340 the treaty was formerly concluded at Athens. Even Athens and Thebes reconciled and joined his national program. “The true greatness of these achievements — achievements for which the citizens of Athens honored Demosthenes with a golden crown at the Dionysia of 340 – was rightly appreciated by the ancient historians.” [p.178][21] “If the Persian leaves us in the lurch and anything should happen to us, nothing will hinder Philip from attacking the Persian king.” [Fourth Philippic] [p.181][22] For historians of the old school, Greek history ended when the Greek states lost their political liberty; they looked upon it as a closed story, mounting to a heroic finish at Chaeronea.” [p.188]


[23] For if any non-Greek power, whether Persian or Macedonian, were to achieve world dominion, the typical form of the Greek state would suffer death and destruction.” [p.188][24] “Anyone who had assured himself that Macedonian hegemony would lead to the inner unification of the Greeks, was bound to be disappointed. Philip surrounded Athens with four Macedonian garrisons placed at respectful distances, and left everything else to his supporters and agents in the cities.” [p.191][25] The first resolution passed by Synedrion at Corinth was the declaration of war against Persia. “The difference was that this war of conquest, which was passionately described as a war of vengeance, was not looked upon as a means of uniting the Greeks, as Isocrates would have had it, but was merely an instrument of Macedonian imperialism.” [p.192][26] “But although the Greek people thus came to play a uniquely influential role as pioneers of culture and, to that degree, as inheritors of the Macedonian empire, politically they had simply dropped out of the ranks of free peoples, even if Philip abstained from formally making Hellas a Macedonian province. The Greeks were themselves aware of this.” [p.192][27] “Outwardly, the “autonomous” city-states kept their relations with Macedonia on a fairly strict level of rectitude. Inwardly, the time was one of dull pressure and smoldering distrust, flaring up to a bright flame at the least sign of any tremor or weakness in Macedonia’s alien rule – for that is how her surveillance was generally regarded. This excruciating state of affairs continued as long as any hope remained. Only when the last ray of hope was exctinguished and the last uprising had met disaster, did quiet finally settle down upon Greece — the quiet of the graveyard.”[p.192][28] (Aeschines attempt to triumph over Demosthenes for the last and final round backfires with Demosthenes’ heroics in “The Crown”. Demosthenes at the end received the crown.) “But though Athens was powerless against the might of her Macedonian conqueror, she retained her independence of judgment and declared that no history could confute Demosthenes.” [p.196][29] “Then when Alexander suddenly died in the flower of his age, and Greece rose again for the last time, Demosthenes offered his services and returned to Athens. But after winning a few brilliant successes, the Greeks lost their admirable commander Leosthenes on the field of battle; and his successors was slain at Crannon on the anniversary of Chaeronea; the Athenians then capitulated, and, under pressure of threats from Macedonia, suffered themselves to condemn to death the leader of the “revolt”.” [p.196]

Demosthenes died from a dose of poison on the island of Calauria, in the altar of Poseidon. Forty years later Athens honored him for eternity. Such was the destiny of a man whose ideals were his people, his country and their liberty. When modern Greeks dismiss him (in order to divert the stinging truth of his oratory) as a mere politician and his arousing oratory against Macedonia and the Macedonian conqueror as a political rhetoric, they, the modern Greeks, denounce the true Greek spirit, devoid of which, they, themselves, are.

[30] “The dispute of modern scholars over the racial stock of the Macedonians have led to many interesting suggestions. This is especially true of the philological analysis of the remains of the Macedonian language by O. Hoffmann in his Makedonen etc. Cf. the latest general survey of the controversy in F. Geyer and his chapter on prehistory. But even if the Macedonians did have some Greek blood- as well as Illyrian- in their veins, whether originally or by later admixture, this would not justify us in considering them on a par with the Greeks in point of race or in using this as historical excuse for legitimizing the claims of this bellicose peasant folk to lord it over cousins in the south of the Balkan peninsula so far ahead of them in culture. It is likewise incorrect to assert that this is the only way in which we can understand the role of the Macedonian conquest in Hellenizing the Orient. But we can neglect this problem here, as our chief interest lies in discovering what the Greeks themselves felt and thought. And here we need not cite Demosthenes’ well-known statements; for Isocrates himself, the very man who heralds the idea of Macedonian leadership in Hellas, designates the people of Macedonia as members of an alien race in Phil.108. He purposely avoids the word barbaroi but this word is one that inevitably finds a place for itself in the Greek struggle for national independence and expresses the views of every true Hellene. Even Isocrates would not care to have the Greeks ruled by the Macedonian people: it is only the king of Macedonia, Philip, who is to be the new leader; and the orator tries to give ethnological proof of Philip’s qualifications for this task by the device of showing that he is no son of his people but, like the rest of his dynasty, a scion of Heracles, and therefore of Greek blood.” [p.249]

[Point of Interest]

(a) Macedonians cannot be considered as Greeks even if they had some Greek blood in their veins.

(b) Macedonia’s conquest of the Orient should not be contingent upon Greek culture.

(c) Isocrates places the Macedonians with alien races and hitherto, outside the Hellenic world.

(d) Isocrates takes care of this “alien race” not to be seen as leaders of Greece. He isolates their king Philip as not of the same race as the people over which he governs.

Note: The speech On the Chersonese was, to be sure, delivered in a specifically Athenian emergency; but the interest of the Greeks as a whole is never left out of sight. The Third Philippic is entirely dedicated to the danger that threatens all Greece. Similarly, when the past and future are compared, it is the whole of Hellas that is considered, not Athens alone.

Once again, it is not surprising that Jeager places the ancient Macedonians outside the Greek ethnic world. Fact is that when an author follows the writings of the ancient biographers it is almost impossible for anybody to come to a different conclusion.

Pierre Jouguet

Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic World 1928

[1] “The mythical imagination was always fertile in Greece, and it would have found Greek ancestors for the Macedonian people as easily as it had done for the royal line” [p.70] [This is self-explanatory].


[2] “Except the Macedonian kingdom, the Hellenistic monarchies were not national” [p.173][3] 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][4] 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.” [p.129][5] On Isocrates: “At the end of his speech, Isocrates, summarizing the programme which he was proposing to Philip, advised him to be a benefector to the Greeks, a king to the Macedonians, and to the barbarians not a master, but a chief.” [p.106][6] On stationing garrison in Greek cities “To endure and maintain a royal garrison must have been, for a city, one of the most certain signs of servitude. As a rule, except in the cases of strategical necessity, Alexander seems to have abstained as much as possible from inflicting the presence of his soldiers and the duty of maintaining them on Greek cities.” [p.87][7] “Between Macedonia, Greece, and Asia, the three worlds which made up the Empire, union was maintained by the power of the King.” [p.74][8] [On Greece’s role with Antalcidas Treaty, versus that of the King of Macedon] “So Greece was in a peculiar situation. It was not properly incorporated in the Empire. It was attached to it by a treaty of alliance which consecrated the hegemony of one ally, without injuring the autonomy of the states. It was directed rather than ruled. But it did not resign itself readily to this secondary role, or to the menace which was always suspended over its liberties. And, indeed, while it was to be feared that Alexander could not be content with this hazardous limited authority, it might also be foreseen that the most serious obstacles to the accomplishments of his designs would come from Greece.” [p.71][9] “Athens accepted the terms of the Confederation of Corinth, because Alexander had required only a moderate effort of the allies, and had demanded only a few ships from herself. The Empire to which he aspired was to be made chiefly by Macedonians, and for the King of Macedon.” [p.70][10] [After Chaeronea] “But there were more serious difficulties- the resentment of those defeated at Chaeronea, the political selfishness of each city, the historical past, binding the great states to their traditions, and an invincible repugnance for accepting national unity imposed by a foreign sovereign.” [p.70][11] [On Macedonian ethnicity] So little do the Macedonians seem to have belonged to the Hellenic community at the beginning, that they did not take part in the great Games of Greece, and when the Kings of Macedon were admitted to them, it was not as Macedonians, but as Heraclids. Isocrates, in the ‘Philip’ praises them for not having imposed their kingship on the Hellenes, to whom the kingship is always oppressive, and for having gone among foreigners to establish it. He, therefore, did not regard the Macedonians as Greeks.” [p.68][12] [On the membership in the Delphic Amphictiony] “So, too, when, after the Sacred War, Philip obtained a voice in the Delphic Amphictiony, it was given to the King, not to the people of Macedonia.” [p.68][13] [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.” [p.68][14] [On Macedonian Empire and Alexander] “The architect was a King of Macedon, and he never forgot his origin, even when, after he had accumulated many crowns, his suspicious comrades accused him of denying it. Alexander always wore the insignis of his national kingship– the purple cloak, the kausia, or great hat adorned with purple, and the Macedonian boots. With the insignia, he retained to the end of his life the simple, free manners of his forbears.” [p.62][15] [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 Macedonia. That 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 a undertaking for which Asia Minor was already too small a prize.” [p.20][16] [On Macedonia and its neighbors] “Alexander had left Antipatros 12,000 foot and 1,500 horse, to protect Macedonia and to watch Greece.” [p.9]

Ulrich Wilcken

German Writer

Alexander the Great

[1] “The beginnings of Macedonian history are shrouded in complete darkness. There is keen controversy on the ethnological problem, whether Macedonians were Greek or not.” [p.22][Point of Interest] Key elements in these few sentences are: “ethnology” and “keen controversy”. Based on ethnology, one cannot conclude that the ancient Macedonians were Greek. One cannot, because there is keen controversy whether Macedonians were Greeks or not. That is what Wilken states.


[2] “Linguistic science has at its disposal a very limited quantity of Macedonian words, and the archeological exploration of Macedonia has hardly begun.”


[Point of Interest] Key elements are: “limited quantity of Macedonian words.” Archeologically, Macedonia is unexplored. Result? There are Macedonian words, albeit, in a “limited quantity”, but nevertheless, the words are Macedonian. (Note, it did not say Greek words. Consequently, one cannot equate the term “Macedonian” to mean the same as “Athenian”, “Theban”, “Spartan” and such. For to claim that Macedonians were Greeks, one must expect that these Greeks used same language – same words. But the author, here, clearly states the existence of “Macedonian words”.)


[3] Describing the all familiar episode with Cleitus: “He shouted in Macedonian for his hypaspists, and ordered the trumpeter to sound the alarm”. [p167][Point of Interest] (The most revealing point in Alexander’s psyche; the time when he felt that conspiracy against his life is in the making, when he felt his life is in danger, forgetting his “Hellenic” mask, he shouts in his native Macedonian language. Yes, indeed, a very revealing point. Stripped from any artificiality, and pretentiousness, he reverts to the most instinctive/primitive response and shouts to his guards in Macedonian language.)


[4] “And yet when we take into account the political conditions, religion and morals of the Macedonians, our conviction is strengthened that they were Greek race and akin to the Dorians.”


[Point of Interest] Based on political conditions “religion and morals” “our convictions are strengthened” “They were Greek race and akin to the Dorians”. A fixed or strong belief being strengthened. These beliefs are formed based on such identifiers/classifiers as religion, political conditions and morals. Let us take a closer look:


(a) Religion is not limited or restricted to one people only. Religion transcends borders and ethnic make-ups of communities with the greatest of ease. One should not go any further than today’s Greece, for example. There you have Orthodox, Jewish, Muslum, Catholic, Jehovah, Protestant and other religious denominations. (Weak link) Nevertheless, Alexander is shown to have sacrificed to his father Ammon, to Indian gods, and to local gods in the country he happened to fight. Besides, on p.142 we see that at Susa, Alexander sacrificed to “Macedonian gods according to ancestral rituals, and ordered a torch-race and gymnastic contest to follow.” p. 187, line 15, we read the following passage referring to his advances to the Hyphasis:

“Alexander built twelve great tower-like altars on the nearer side of the river. We have been informed by those who refer everything to Babylonia, that this was for the twelve signs of the zodiac. In reality it was the twelve gods of Macedonia to whom these altars were raised.” Key words are: Twelve Macedonian gods, not Greek.

(b) “political conditions”? Not much to draw from here. Common land brings common wars, common enemies and common destiny. Political condition can bring people close together and/or drive them apart. The war against Persia brought these two peoples together. (Weak point) However, let us consider the following statements by Wilcken: On p.170, line 31 we find: (Referring to the conspiracy involving the royal pages, the sons of Macedonian nobles. These royal pages who “waited on the king’s person”, were brought, and tried, in front of the Macedonian army, and consequently executed by stoning. By the way, these royal pages were tutored by Callisthenes).

As Callisthenes was a Greek, there was no question of trying him by the Macedonian army.” Key point: Since Callisthenes was a Greek and not a Macedonian, like the royal pages, he, Callisthenes, a Greek, cannot be tried by the Macedonian army This is a political differentiation based on ethnic classification or national separation, for on p.171, line 33, we see the following reference: “On the march and in battle he was just the same as ever, he (Alexander) was the king of the Macedonian nation, who shared with them the unspeakable fatigues, and the hunger and thirst of this guerrilla warfare.” Macedonians clearly distanced as a nation.

(c) “Morals”? This must be the weakest link of the three. As it was indicated above, people who inhabit same geographical area, share common borders and fight common enemies, and most of all, trade with each other, sooner or later, they are not only going to borrow from one another, imitate each other’s styles (to a certain extent), but even steal ideas from each other. That is, surely, inevitable. Nevertheless, the morals of the ancient Macedonians were quite different from those of the ancient Greeks. They were not branded “barbarians” for nothing. (Very weak point)

On Line 20, p. 22. Referring to the episode of Alexander I who desired to take part in the Olympic Games, to which only Hellenes had access to: “He was at first refused as a barbarian, and it was only when by a bold fiction he traced back the pedigree of his house, the Agreed, to the Herald Tameness of Argues, that he was admitted as a competitor.” Key words: “Bold fiction”. This is self-explanatory.

[5] [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.”


Key words: (a) “non-Greek foreign people”, (b) “we must remember”, (c) “the point is much more important than our modern conviction”, (d) “equally unknown to both” and (e)”no political effect”.

Conclusion: This is same Wilcken who previously stated that: “When we take into account the political conditions, religion and morals of the Macedonians our convictions are strengthened…”

Now, after giving thorough description of the existing conditions in the fifth and fourth cent. BC, he, Wilken states: The point is much more important than our modern conviction. And that means: Ancient Macedonians and ancient Greeks did not regard themselves as brethren; “this was equally unknown to both”. Much more important than what we think them today.

[6] [p.23] “A strong Illyrian and Thracian can thus be recognized in Macedonian speech and manners. These however are only trifles compared with the Greek character of the Macedonian nationality; for example, the names of the true full-blooded Macedonians, especially of the princes and nobles, are purely Greek in their formation and sounds“.


Key notes: “Macedonian speech and manners” “Macedonian nationality” “names are purely Greek in their formation and sounds”.

Conclusion: So far we have witnessed the usage of “Macedonian words”, “Macedonian speech”, and “Macedonian nationality”.

Line 4 on p. 26 we find the following statement: “The Macedonians were thoroughly healthy people, trained not by Greek athletics, but, like the Romans, by military service.”

[7] [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.”


Key points: (a) “The dislike was reciprocal”, (b) “Macedonians had grown into a proud masterful nation”, (c) “Highly developed national consciousness”, and (d) “looked down upon the Helleness with contempt”.

Conclusion: The fact that Macedonians looked down upon the Hellenes with contempt, is not the point I would elevate for “storage” (as J.P. suggests), what I would gladly elevate, though, is the following statement: “proud masterful nation“.

Note: (1) If in fact the ancient Macedonians were Greeks, and the Greeks are the Hellenes, then, how can a “Greek- Hellene”, like the ancient Macedonians, look down upon themselves? Note: (2) If in fact the ancient Macedonians were regarded as Greeks, like the Thebans, Athenians, Spartans and the other city-states of Greece, how come, we do not find any Greek city-state elevated as a nation? For example, the Athenian nation, the Spartan nation and so forth? This usage of “Macedonian nation” by Wilcken is not an accidental at all. He uses the terms “Macedonians and Greeks” repeatedly throughout the book. Obviously, he finds a strong need to differentiate between these two peoples.

[8] [p.44] “Philip was the Hegemon, the federal general, selected for life by the congress. His kingdom of Macedon naturally did not belong to the Hellenic League…”


Note: Macedonians were not Hellene, and Macedonia was never a member of the Hellenic League, a league that encompassed and “united” all the Greek city-states. Isocrates expanded the term Hellene to include, no racial descent, but mode of thought, and those who partook of Attic culture, rather than those who had a common descent were called Hellene. He saw the true Hellene only in the Greek educated in the Attic model. He did not regard the barbarians of Attic education as Hellenes. Here are the rest of the Wilken quotes:

Wilcken’s Quotes

[1] “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.” [p. 22-23][2] “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. [p.26][3] “Philip was the Hegemon, the federal general, selected for life by the congress. His kingdom of Macedon naturally did not belong to the Hellenic League…” [p.44][4] “On the other hand, we look in vain for the 7000 league infantry in the battle front. One gets the impression that, apart from the Tessalians, Alexander took the Greek contingents rather as hostages, who would help to keep Hellas quiet.” [p.75][5] “The naval superiority of the enemy had a determining effect on Alexander’s plan of campaign. As the Persian fleet controlled the sea, the greatest danger was the possibility that the Great King might transfer the war to Greece and by his immense treasures coerce the Greeks into fighting against him.” [p.77] [fighting against Alexander][6] Thebans responding to Alexander’s demands: “anyone who wished, in company with them and the Great King, to free Greece from the tyranny of Alexander, should forthwith join them.” [P.72][7] “It appears that while Alexander stayed in Macedonia, the Greeks kept quiet, though the parties hostile to him in the cities felt his hegemony as a grevious burden. But when he went northwards and remained a long time in unknown and remote lands, from which no news come, the Greek world was filled with unrest and excitement.” [P70][8] “To the latter [Philip II] the designed campaign of vengeance was merely a pretext and an instrument of policy for making Macedonia a great power. But Alexander, into whom Aristotle had instilled a love of Greek culture, was bound to take up the Panhellenic idea with the greatest enthusiasm as affording him an opportunity to carry Greek culture into Asia; there was also the personal motive, the example of his heroic ancestors and especially of Achilles. Accordingly he crossed over to Asia, full of the romantic conceptions that he as a second Achilles was leading the Greaks against the barbarians; but at the same time he went forth as King of Macedonia, to conquer new territory.” [p.66][9] “The Greeks regarded the hegemony of Philip as, after all, a foreign dominationthey did not look upon the Macedonians as Greeks.” [p.45][10] “His Kingdom of Macedonia naturally did not belong to the Hellenic League.” [Philip’s kingdom] [p.44][11] “Isocrates never for an instant thought of a politically unified state under Philip’s leadership. It is simply the internal unification of Hellas which he calls on Philip to bring about.” [p.37][12] “it is equally an error to believe that the Panhellenic idea started with the object of the union of the nation into one state.” [p.37][13] “When Philip read the book, the insistence of his descent from Heracles must have been welcome to him; for in his policy he had to stress this mythical derivation, as the types of Heracles on his coins show. But on the other hand he must have smiled at the naivete shown by Isocrates.” [p.36][14] “Isocrates must have taken this strong realist for an idealist, such as he was himself, if he believed that Philip would draw his sword for the beaux yeux of the Greeks.” [p.36][15] “He [Philip] needed but to modify these plans cleverly, in order to conceil his Macedonian aims with Panhellenic catch-words.” [p.37][16] Jacob Burckhardt: “the myth was the ideal basis of their whole existence.” [p.34][17] “When Isocrates in this treatise makes so much of Heracles as Philip’s ancestor, this was meant not merely for Philip, but for the Greek public as well.” [p.35][18] “The strong emphasis on Philip as a Heraclid and therefore a true Hellene, was to make easier for Greeks the idea of subordination to foreign leadership.” [p.35-6]

Michael Grant

From Alexander to Cleopatra and The Hellenistic world

[1] 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][2] “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][3] “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][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][5] “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][6] “The Hellenistic kings talked a lot about ‘liberating’ cities, which (as the realistic Polybius remarked) generally meant seizing 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]

Fred E. Reed

Salonica Terminus

[1] “Perhaps more intensely than anywhere else, Truth and History, in the Balkans, are national considerations. In Greece, they are generated and reproduced by what a scholar, who asked that I not reveal his name, termed the “archeological Mafia,” and by an academic establishment which maintains an incestuous relationship with the State.” [p.xiii] [2] ‘The effacement of the square [Liberty Square] that was once the its heart, its window to the world during the turbulent years when Salonica was the metropolis of Ottoman-ruled Macedonia, is a function of an unavowed modern Greek selective memory syndrom-a condition which dictates thatall that does not mesh with the founding myth must be obscured, buried, eliminated, caused to vanish from public historical consciousness.” [p.6] [Eradication of anything from the past that suggests connection with the ethnic Macedonians was the order of the day for the Greek government. Not even churches and cemeteries are spared. To erase the Macedonian element from the newly obtained lands [thanks western powers, for your ‘just’ hand has helped the fanatical Greeks to exercise their cultural genocide against the local ethnic Macedonians] was the most urgent task of the Greek state. Newly arrived christians from Asia, were now occupying the farms and the buildings of the expelled Macedonians.][3] “Liberty Square is not a place to linger. Often I circumnavigate it, and always hastily, on my way to or from the west end of the town. Today, lined with bank headquarters, on one side, fast-food restaurants and travel agencies on the other, the square which lies hard by the elegant, despairingly silent maritime passenger terminal, owes its name not to some putative liberation of Greek Macedonia. The embarrassment, for Salonica’s masters, is that the Greeks had very little to do with it, except as onlookers.” [p.9][4] “In Athens, Sofia and Belgrade the carving knives were being sharpened. London, Paris, Moscow and Vienna watched with ill-concealed glee as their general staffs drew up mobilization plans. If Macedonia was to be the meal, Salonica would be the plat de resistance”. [p.18][5] “The Greeks claim they liberated Salonica,” snorts Petropoulos. “But whom did they liberate?” [p.22][6] “The ‘natives’ possess no written language – some say they have no language at all, only a debased patios – their traditions are oral, their history passed on furtively from the mouths of the elders, their songs and dances proscribed. For even well-intentioned, broad-minded men like Mr. Stalidis, they escape examination, cannot be understood, are not easily inserted into the complex analytical schemata which the Greek mind is capable of devising. They are people of the shadows, these Macedonians; phantoms. Their speech, fleeting whispers spirited away by the wind; their land, clods of anonymous earth wrapped in newly-printed title deeds; their existence, a pang of abstract conscience. And though invisible, yet they do not disappear.” [p.181]


[7] “Here, in the building which housed the Greek Consulate during the tumultuous years preceding the capture of Ottoman Salonica in 1912, the Museum is dedicated to the proposition that the sole legitimate Macedonian identity is Greek.” Strange phenomenon; A Greek consulate in Salonica? Since when do Greeks place consulates in ‘their own country’? [p.181]

David G Hogarth

Philip and Alexander of Macedon

[1] Hogarth on Philip: “Reading the lesson of his times, and making the proved inferiority of citizen militia to standing forces, and of the capricious rule of the many to an imperial system under a single head, he evolved the first European Power in the modern sense of the word– an armed nation with a common national ideal. This, his own conception, he understood clearly and perused consistently through twenty-three years. Surely such a man may be called great for what he was.” (p.3)


[2] “The clearest distinction is always drawn between “Macedonians” and all other components of the national phalanx in the Asiatic army of Alexander.” (p.7)


[3] “So far as we can tell, the belief that the “Macedonians” of the coast-planes and the men of the hills were distinct people with distinct traditions and claims was held not only in Greece but in Macedonia as well.” (p.7)


[4] “His clansmen spirits rose, and their faith centered in him. Here was the nucleus of the army, but as yet too small and too little professional. Philip must train and arm this Clan like Greeks, and swell their number by the only method open to him as yet — the hiring of mercenaries.” (p.45)


[5] “Philip thought his Macedonians the Greek drill and tactics, constantly exercised them under arms, and made them cover as much as five and thirty miles a day in heavy marching order, each man with flour for a month and full baggage.” (p.45)


[6] “Philip demanded that the Lyncestian towns be surrendered at discretion and the Illyrian allies be sent away. The armies met, and Philip experimented for the first time in the new tactics, which were to crush Greece and conquer Asia.” (p.47)


[7] “Twelve years later again his son, rising to a conception of world-wide empire on the stepping-stone of his father’s panhellenic kingdom, dreamed of effacing the distinction of Macedonian, Hellene, and Asiatic, by making all march shoulder to shoulder to the conquest of Africa and Europe.” [“A national standing army was a new thing in those days”] (p.50) “A professional army with a national spirit–that was the new idea; and Philip, equally great in practice and theory, intended to add later a new organization, a new weapon, and new tactics.” (p.51)


[8] “Neither an army nor a nation is made in a day. The six years which succeeded the capture of Amphipolis and preceded the first serious attempt on Greece, probably saw in Macedonia the birth of both one and the other; but Philipwas engaged all his life in completing his work.” (p.52)


[9] Philip began enrolling his subjects according to their local and tibal divisions and assigned them to standing territorial regiments. These standing regiments were known each by its colonel’s name and quoted thus by Arrian. “All were called ‘Macedonians’; the only general distinction, made thereafter, is between Macedonians and Greeks, Thracians and Illyrians.” (p.54)


[10] “Philip promoted whom he pleased to this sevice, Macedonian or Greek, and thus in time swelled the six hundred who accompanied him on his first campaign, to the two thousand who followed his son to Asia.” (p.55)


[11] “As Philip had extended the honourable title of ‘King’s Followers’ to all his native cavalry, so he took the corresponding term ‘pezshatairoi’, and applied it to all the Macedonian infantry, whether of his clan or no: thus distinguishing the new nation from the Greeks, as the clan had once distinguished itself from the feudatories.” (p.56)


[12] “Though in conception this phalanx was not different from the existing Greek fighting array, Philip so far developed and systematized it that he came to be regarded as its inventor.” (p.60)


[13] “Let a foot or two more be allowed to the phalangite of Philip and Alexander, and we save the indubitable fact that a longer weapon than the Greek was introduced, and do not render the attack at Issus a practicable impossibility. This phalanx, however, be it observed, did not prove instantly superior to the Greek infantry formations that it encountered; and it is a frequent error, derived from the Romans, to attach to it a supreme importance in the Macedonian fighting line.” (p.63)


[14] “During the winter he pressed the Thessalians to supply better support, and when he came south again in the spring of 352 he was able to take the field with with more than twenty thousand foot and three thousand horse. A host of knights and mercenaries, superior to his own, was awaiting him, and in the plain of Volo Philip fought his first great battle on Greek soil.” (p.70)


[15] “Flushed with success, Philip conceived the idea of pushing his pious championship of Apollo even to Delphi. Perhaps already he craved for Hellenic recognition;…” (p.70)


[16] Philip in front of Olynthus. “He razed the city to the ground, sold its citizens for slaves, after the brutal


Macedonian manner, which even his hellenized son used, executed his two half brothers, and went off to Dium to give thanks at the great festival of Macedonian Zeus for the crowning mercy of a united Macedonia. (p.78)

[17] “Never did Philip hold better cards than at Pella in May, 346, and never better did he play his game. Encamped about him in the plain of the Vardar was such an army as united Greece could not excel;” (p.92) [Philip’s Macedonian army is being compared to that of united Greece.][18] “His whole soul was set on one great end—unconditional supremacy over the Hellenes—and he had the most definite plan of action.” (p.92)


[19] “For the six years or more that follow, Philip’s life, alas! is withdrawn, except at rare intervals, from our knowledge. Alas, indeed! for these are the years in which his men at arms marched, the first foreigners since history has begun, into the Peloponnese, and he himself besieged and took cities on the Adriatic, and led his spearmen up to, or even beyond, the Danube; years, too, in which his final ambition took shape, ‘for it was coming to be his desire to be designated Captain- General of Hellas, and to wage the War against the Persians’.” (p.97)


[Please visit “Green” and “Isocrates’ Letter to Philip” (345), for further enlightenment] Notice also the usage of quotes by David Hogarth, regarding Philip’s desire to be Captain-General of Hellas.]

[20] While Philip was conquering (342) the western shores of the Black Sea, and the northern coast of the sea of Marmora, and all inland up to the Danube, the Greek states conspire against him forming a kind of anti-Macedonian League. “They sent envoys up to the Great King in Susa, to warn him of Philip’s panhellenic project, and induce him to assist Philip’s enemies.” (p.108)


Note: Please be reminded to read quote #19 above and compare it with this passage. Notice, also, what the Greeks were preparing for Philip. While Philip’s desire to “lead them in panhellenic crusade”, offered by Isocrates, played into his hands, for his Macedonian eggrandizement, the assumed “crusade of vengeance” against the Persians by the Hellenes, here, is effectively dispelled and removed as invalid piece of modern Greek propaganda.

Common logic dictates that ancient Greeks had no intention to assist Philip and Macedonia in their quest of Persia’s land and money. The so-called “Panhellenic crusade” was, in fact, an euphemistic expression for the inevitable Greek fiasco under this brutal Macedonian conqueror. As a matter of fact, their “panhellenic crusade” was organized with Persia against Philip, and not with him.

Referring to Athens, Hogarth writes: “Her adhesion to his panhellenic League against Persia was only compelled, as not he, but his son lived to know.” (p.132)

[21] “Not only were the Thracian lands compelled henceforward to pay him tithe, but he founded military colonies here and there in all the region, continuing a policy inaugurated by himself at Philippi, and destined to be developed signally by his son and his successors in Asia, Egypt, and Greece.”(p.110)


[23] At Chaeronea “On the one side stood the miscellaneous array, half mercenary, half civic, of the last imperial Greek city-states; on the other was ranged the first great army of a national power.” (p.127) [Greek city-states against the Macedonian national army. No further elucidation is required][24] “To Philip it mattered little if the panhellenic movement was factitious now; a successful campaign in Asia would go far to give it reality, and common danger and common triumph would unite his Macedonians and their Greek allies.” (p.136)


[25] “Alexander, however, began his venture two years later with no more than forty thousand men; and at no higher figure is it probable that Philip’s national Macedonian force should be estimated. But there remains to be added the auxiliary host of Greeks, who would have been used rather to garrison towns and keep open communications than to accompany the seasoned troops into the heart of the Persian Empire.” (p.137)


[Rationale: This was a Macedonian conquest, not Greek. Greek troops were used for secondary duties. Alexander did not trust their loyalty; as a matter of fact, the Greeks were more loyal to Darius than to Alexander, and rightfully, they were all dismissed][26] “For all that, it may be said of Philip that perhaps he died none too soon. The great work of his life was accomplished. Macedonia was already a nation, and as Phocion warned the exulting Athenians, by the death of its creator, the army of Chaeronea lost no more than one man.” (p.143)


[27] “Europe had borne no such man, take him for all in all, as the son of Amyntas” (Theopompus) (p.145)


[28] “The interest of the modern world in Philip, and his place in universal history, depend after all most on his relation to Greek civilization. Therefore, we must examine, in conclusion, the indictment so often repeated, that the Macedonian destroyed Hellenic liberty, and the measure of the wrong he did to civilization, if that indictment be true.” (p.145)


[Points of interest: Philip and his Macedonians were already tried, found guilty, and convicted. The western (romantically involved with Greek culture) press could not possibly ascribe any greatness to this uncouth Macedonian and merit his achievements. Unable, or unwilling to grapple with the problem, and accept the Macedonians for what they were, the western scholars had to invent the Greekness for the Macedonians. Yes, they did, indeed. This is why, the Macedonian conquest of Asia is colored as Greek conquest, never mind the fact that there were no Greeks fighting on Alexander’s side. This is why Alexander’s Macedonian army is referred to by some as Greek army, and the Macedonian kingdoms, as Greek kingdoms, or Macedonian empire as Greek empire, even though, these same Greeks were the conquered people themselves, and were promptly enslaved by the Macedonians][29] “Whose disposed of the forces of Macedon could dispose also of the earth” (p.164)


[30] “Alexander came, then, in this April of 334, to the shore of Dardanelles, with an ambition to possess all Persia as already he possessed all Greece.” (p.177)


[31] In a few passages here, Hogarth writes that both Philip and Alexander were Hellene by birth and training, and both believed that the second element — to conquer and hold a vast empire– must be incorporated with the Macedonian– can be understood more fully with the following passage:


“But to say that he had learned from his father’s and his own experience that a base on which Hellene and Macedonian would fuse firmly together must be outside the traditional home of the either; that the Hellene would prove of even greater service in the holding of Empire than in the conquering thereof;…” (p.177)

[Taken in the context of conquering and holding of an empire, the Hellene and the Macedonian will fuse together. Alexander Homeric notion as “captain general of the Hellenes” will allow him to play the role of Achilles, his hero. Subsequent passages will reveal his abrupt change of heart, and the inevtable, turn around. Alexander was a Hellene as long as he could play the role of Achilles][32] “It is a small matter, but a straw on the stream of events. What had happened since the ‘Cavalry Battle’, to ease the conscience of the Captain–General? In effect enough to make Miletus a point clearly marked in the passing of the enthusiastic boy into the calculating man of affairs. For those two months had proved to demonstration nothing less than that the meritime states of Hellas, those that alone greatly mattered, were in their hearts not for Alexander, but for his enemies. The larger islands, Rhodes, Chios, and Lesbos, and nearly all the lesser, kept open ports to the Persian admirals, and the city of Athens had been at no pains to disguise her sympathies. Her continental position and twenty of her ships, held as hostages by the Macedonian, made her warn Pharnabazus off the Piraeus; but openly she sat within her walls watching for the first Macedonian reverse, and indeed had sent already, or was about to send soon, an envoy direct to Darius.” (p.179)


[Hellenic cities side with Darius. Athens had sent embassies to Persia while Alexander is avenging Hellas for the wrongs done to her by Xerxes. Are these the same Hellenes whom Alexander took in the war against their eternal enemy? Is this the Hellenic crusade? Is this the base for Alexander’s empire? Is this how Hellenes support their ‘Hellenic Captain–General’? [Alexander’s boyhood infetuation with ‘Captain of the Hellenes’ notion assumes more sober groove: He quickly realizes that they, the meritime Hellenic cities, and Athens in particular, do not count on him as one of them, but openly conspire against him.][33] “Therefore, at Miletus, the first sanguine hour of Alexander’s life has closed, and on the wreck of his exuberant illusions begins his rise a sterner purpose. Greece must be coerced if she will not be courted. Her command of the seas shall be broken by the capture of the coasts of the Levant,and her people be bent willy nilly to the panhellenic work.” (p.180) [This is certainly enough to dispell any notion that Alexander was Hellene, or that he believed in panhellenism][34] “In the face of present hostility, however, it was no longer worth while to maintain an offensive fleet; and, accordingly, he issued now his much canvassed decision to ‘burn his boats’ and leave himself stranded in Asia.” (180)


[35] “The sea was the element of the Greek. No fleet that, as yet, Alexander could requisition would make head for a moment against the squadrons of Persia and the Hellenic powers, should these combine.” (p.180)


[These are the points for which the answer looms convincingly obvious. Macedonians and the Greeks did not have same agenda nor did they have the same affinity as kinsmen.][36] “This early disillusionment, though it cooled the boy’s spirit all too soon, and when pressed home by much future trouble with Greeks, embittered him not a little, and forced him in the end to adapt a policy alien to modern sympathy, was in certain ways salutary.” (p.180-1) [Contrast this views with those in #31 above][37] “Certain consequents of Issus, however, are of more importance to Alexander’s individual history than the battle itself; for through it, in two ways, illumination come to him, and a distinct change in his personal attitude ensues. In the first place, not only had he been placed by the capture of Darius’ baggage in possession of much correspondence between the Great King and Hellenic states, but also, for the first time, he had seized in flagrant fault the persons of Hellenic envoys sent up to the Persians.” (p.185)


[Points of interest: The Hellenic states conspire against Alexander, while he led them on a “vengeance” against the Persians. [Note: These are the reasons that I had no trouble posting passages where Hogarth speaks of Alexander as being Hellene (#31). His referral to Alexander as such is in accordance with, and as a result off, the assumed generalship of the crusade by the League of Corinth, and the self-proclaimed Homeric spirit of the Macedonian. The reader is left with unobstructed view of Alexander’s most inner feelings (“exuberant illusions” and “early disilusionment”),and his subsequent hatred for the Hellenes]


[38] “These springs of irritation fell to be added to all that had been happening for a year past in Greece, to the crusade preached by Agis of Sparta, to the militant speeches of the anti-Macedonian orators at Athens, and to the unequal struggle of his friends in the islands with the ubiquitous Persian admirals.” (p.185)


[Points to reflect about: Do you get the picture of Alexander’s feelings towards these back-stabbing Hellenes? These “indicators” unambiguously solidify the position that the Greeks (the Hellenes) had very little to do with Alexander’s conquest, nor did they share in his enthusiasm for an Empire. A few things are emerging to the forefront: (a) It was their (Greeks) fervent hope to see him (Alexander) perish in the mountains of Asia. (b) Alexander is nearing the point of disposing with his Hellenic mask. Can anyone with a clear conscious blame the man? Funny, though, the modern Greeks have the audacity to claim Alexander and his Macedonian Empire as being Greek.]

39] “If the Greeks and the Macedonians were to coalesce into a Hellenic nation, there was no land on the eastern Mediterranean left so open to mixed colonization as the Egyptian.” (p.189)

[40] “Arrian is probably right in saying that the Macedonian system, with its lack of an all-powerful supreme official, its three nationalities set one against the other, and its counteracting civil and military powers, anticipated in some ways the Romans.” (p.192-3)


[41] “The king, say they, about to proceed to the East, and already desirous of exaltation above his Macedonians and Greeks, deliberately assumed divine character as son of Amen.” (p.196)


[42] “He was officially both King of Macedon, and Federal Captain-General of the Hellenes; but neither the habitual attitude of his Macedonians towards his Greeks, nor of his Greeks towards his Macedonians, was consistent with the relation in which each stood to the general.” (p.207)


[43] “The attitude of the Hellenes in Greece had raised, as we have seen, a first difficulty; the attitude of the older Macedonians was now raising a second. The party which Parmenio led had no panhellenic ideals. They would have had Alexander even as Philip and his forefathers had been–feudal king of the Macedoniansconqueror of the Greeks if he would, and of the Persians if he could.” (p.207)


[44] “The Macedonians would be retained, for to follow the king was their simple feudal duty. The professional part of the Philipian army, even if not Macedonian by birth, could be relied on to stay by the standards, for it knew no other trade half so lucrative. But to all the allied political contingents, especially the Greeks, which had been sent by their cities to assist a crusade for which neither they themselves nor their Captain-General felt unmixed enthusiasm, there must now be offered a choice between retiring from further service or re-enlisting simply as soldiers of fortune.” (p.212) [If any of the Greeks stayed with Alexander, they did as “soldiers of fortune”, In other words, their services were not different than those with Darius III][45] “How far and fast had the world moved since Marathon! Greeks were fraternizing now with Persians, both at their ease; only the Macedonians sat glowering and constrained, masterful, stiff-necked Northerners that they were. They might well feel uneasy! Their native speech had become so rare at the court of their King that a word of command, shouted in it, rang on unwonted ears like a tocsin.” (p.234)


Points of interest: The author list three different nationalities here. He does not mention “dialect of Greek”, “Greek language”, but a Macedonian “native speech.” The truth, like a rushing avalanche down the mountain that could not be stopped, echoes the previous hundred of passages with same familiar tone: Macedonians were not Greeks. There is, as it has been from the onset, only one conclusion and Hogarth, even though at times strongly influenced by the romantic trappings of J. G. Droysen, brings forth the inescapable finale–the ancient Macedonians were different nation from the ancient Greeks.

American Philological Association

Ancient Macedonians vs the ancient Greeks Differences cited by modern historians

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

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 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 legitimizing terminology devised by Greeks for their own, often violent, colonizing 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 hegomonic 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.

[The Greek inscriptions found in Macedonia are not a proof that the Macedonians were Greeks, just like the Greek inscriptions in found in Thrace do not prove that the Thracians were Greek as well. We know for certain that the Thracians were non-Greek nation, therefore, the using of Greek on the territories of Macedonia and Thrace does not prove that the Thracians nor the Macedonians 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:

[3] “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 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.”


[4] “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”.


[We need to refresh our memories about 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” – was the term used by Isocrates to describe the Macedonians. Obviously, 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 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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