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Old 06-11-2019, 07:17 AM   #1
Chicho Makedonski
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Default Ancient Macedonian Culture

The Macedonians had their own culture with their traditions and beliefs which also included their ORAL Ancient Macedonian language of which the Macedonians only understood, they were known to be big alcoholics and drink unmixed wine and also intermixed with any peoples regardless of ethnicity. Although the Macedonians did admire and adopt parts of Hellenic culture as Hellenic culture was the pinnacle of culture at that time and very advanced, it still showcases that the Macedonians were a distinct people through their secluded barbaric culture, which the Hellenes opposed.

Iím wondering if anyone has any insight into and further information about Ancient Macedonian culture?
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Old 06-11-2019, 07:51 AM   #2
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I too have read about the alcohol practices of the ancient Macedonians that the Athenians saw as "barbaric".
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:45 AM   #3
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I too have read about the alcohol practices of the ancient Macedonians that the Athenians saw as "barbaric".
All the Greeks saw drinking unmixed wine as a barbaric tradition because it was, the Greeks didnít do it.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:22 AM   #4
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The Macedonians...intermixed with any peoples regardless of ethnicity.
This is true to an extent. While on campaign, under Alexander's command, the Macedonian soldiers are known to have sired thousands of bastard children that filled the baggage train that followed the army. The Macedonians were like modern-day rock stars back then and, wherever they passed, craftsmen, merchants and women would flock to them in a bid to make some money by selling their products or offering various services.

However, the Macedonians were quite racist by nature and considered the various peoples they conquered as being beneath them. To them, they were the invincible Macedonian army and the Macedonian ethnicity was the inherent status of belonging to the masterful race, the symbol of power and greatness. Their pride and extent to which they viewed and cherished their Macedonian name is evidenced by their tombstones, which show their ethnic affiliation next to their name.

When Alexander discharged the Macedonian war veterans (I think it was at Opis), which included all the injured and invalid soldiers as well, he did not allow them to take any of their offspring to Persian women with them back to Macedonia. He knew this would create problems for their own families back home so he took it upon himself to look after them all.

"Alexander had deliberately retained the offspring of his Macedonian veterans when he demobilised them, promising to train them in the Macedonian style" (Arrian VII.12.2; Justin XII.4.2-10).
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Old 06-11-2019, 10:49 AM   #5
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However, the Macedonians were quite racist by nature and considered the various peoples they conquered as being beneath them. To them, they were the invincible Macedonian army and the Macedonian ethnicity was the inherent status of belonging to the masterful race, the symbol of power and greatness.
The belief in superiority was common at the time amongst imperialists but I don't know if I'd characterise it in the racial sense you have. The Macedonian Kingdom itself was not homogenous and Alexander was known to have appealed to the cultural traits of his non-Macedonian soldiers to entice them to fight for him. Also given both his and his father's appreciation for Hellenic culture, I can't really believe that he saw Macedonian culture as superior.
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Old 06-11-2019, 05:11 PM   #6
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The belief in superiority was common at the time amongst imperialists but I don't know if I'd characterise it in the racial sense you have. The Macedonian Kingdom itself was not homogenous and Alexander was known to have appealed to the cultural traits of his non-Macedonian soldiers to entice them to fight for him. Also given both his and his father's appreciation for Hellenic culture, I can't really believe that he saw Macedonian culture as superior.
The core and overriding ethnicity of Alexander's army was ethnic Macedonian. Alexander did indeed try to lift the moral of the other Balkan contingents within his army with moral-boosting speeches but the nucleus of his army was ethnic Macedonian, on which he relied the most. Alexander had way more trust in his Balkan contingents to the north than he did in the Greeks, who mainly made up the rear guard, that is, they had the responsibility of protecting the baggage train. In fact, it wasn't unusual for Alexander to leave the Greeks in his army behind when facing the Persians and their thousands of Greek mercenaries.

Although you might be able to say that the Macedonian Royals and part of the nobility were influenced by the Greeks and their culture, the same cannot be said of the average Macedonian who detested the Greeks. The Macedonians did indeed see themselves as being above the Greeks which they regarded as pedantically arrogant in their assumed cultural superiority over the rest of the world while, it is said, the Macedonians walked with a "swagger" assured in their warrior superiority status.

We can be confident of the average Macedonian's ethnic hatred for the Greeks because it has been recorded on numerous occasions by the ancient writers (Arrian and Plutarch). To illustrate this point, take for example the fate of the 23,000 Greek mercenaries who came out to the East to make their fortunes and were settled by Alexander in the far reaches of the empire. No sooner had Alexander died, then these same Greeks decided to rebel against the empire. The Macedonians first disarmed them and then slaughtered them to the man. Modern writers have expressed the prevailing opinion that this action was racially motivated...The hatred for the Greeks was pervasive. A similar fate befell the Greek mercenaries under Persian command at the Granicus river early on in Alexander's campaign.
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:02 PM   #7
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The Macedonians had their own culture with their traditions and beliefs which also included their ORAL Ancient Macedonian language of which the Macedonians only understood, they were known to be big alcoholics and drink unmixed wine and also intermixed with any peoples regardless of ethnicity. Although the Macedonians did admire and adopt parts of Hellenic culture as Hellenic culture was the pinnacle of culture at that time and very advanced, it still showcases that the Macedonians were a distinct people through their secluded barbaric culture, which the Hellenes opposed.

I’m wondering if anyone has any insight into and further information about Ancient Macedonian culture?
Although ancient Macedonians had their own culture I wonder to what extent it actually differed from their neighbours? What was the ancient Macedonian language like? Also, what was the difference between the royal house and their subjects?

The religious practices of ordinary people and their day-to-day lives were likely similar to their neighbours. Also, there were communities which were perhaps never "assimilated". Livy talks about "the warlike tribe of the Vettii and also a large population of Gauls and Illyrians who are devoted to husbandry" which lived in an area that included the famous cities of Edessa, Beroea and Pella. Contemporary Roman authors essentially poopooed the modern ideas or notions of the Hellenism of Macedonia; it seems the ordinary folk, the main kernel of the population of Macedonia, were largely of Thracian and "barbarian" stock in Roman times (Read more here: http://www.macedoniantruth.org/forum...&postcount=198).

The royal house looked more to the south and associated themselves with Hellenic culture and language, which they introduced and utilized at the Macedonian court. Probably, the "religious practices" of the royalty were somewhat different when compared to the ordinary Macedonians. If I recall correctly Polybius wrote (2nd century BC) that the Macedonian royal house went extinct in his time.

One similar characteristic of "culture" is that royal houses throughout the region often associated themselves and "traced direct descent" to some legendary or mythical hero/kings, such as Achilles or Hercules. This was the case within Macedonia itself, prior to becoming a unified kingdom - various regions were ruled by independent or semi-independent chieftains who claimed "glorious" descent.

One such example might be Lyncestis, which the English Wikipedia entry describes as being ruled by wealthy kings which traced their origins to the Bacchiad kings that were expelled from Corinth in the 7th century BC. There seems to be no way to verify any of these mythical claims; they were likely invented to "justify" the rule of the kings over their subjects.

I'd be interested to find out more about the lives of ordinary people and how they went about their daily tasks.

Last edited by Carlin15; 06-11-2019 at 11:10 PM.
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Old 06-12-2019, 03:20 AM   #8
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The religious practices of ordinary people and their day-to-day lives were likely similar to their neighbours. Also, there were communities which were perhaps never "assimilated". Livy talks about "the warlike tribe of the Vettii and also a large population of Gauls and Illyrians who are devoted to husbandry" which lived in an area that included the famous cities of Edessa, Beroea and Pella. Contemporary Roman authors essentially poopooed the modern ideas or notions of the Hellenism of Macedonia; it seems the ordinary folk, the main kernel of the population of Macedonia, were largely of Thracian and "barbarian" stock in Roman times (Read more here: http://www.macedoniantruth.org/forum...&postcount=198).
Macedonia until really the reign of Philip II was divided into 'Upper' and 'Lower'. Lower Macedonians were town dwellers in lived in the flat fertile planes whilst Upper Macedonians lived in the mountains and were mostly tribal Illyrians.

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The royal house looked more to the south and associated themselves with Hellenic culture and language, which they introduced and utilized at the Macedonian court. Probably, the "religious practices" of the royalty were somewhat different when compared to the ordinary Macedonians. If I recall correctly Polybius wrote (2nd century BC) that the Macedonian royal house went extinct in his time.

One similar characteristic of "culture" is that royal houses throughout the region often associated themselves and "traced direct descent" to some legendary or mythical hero/kings, such as Achilles or Hercules. This was the case within Macedonia itself, prior to becoming a unified kingdom - various regions were ruled by independent or semi-independent chieftains who claimed "glorious" descent.

One such example might be Lyncestis, which the English Wikipedia entry describes as being ruled by wealthy kings which traced their origins to the Bacchiad kings that were expelled from Corinth in the 7th century BC. There seems to be no way to verify any of these mythical claims; they were likely invented to "justify" the rule of the kings over their subjects.

I'd be interested to find out more about the lives of ordinary people and how they went about their daily tasks.
The Macedonian interpretation of Olympianism differed slightly to the Hellenic and was closer to the Thracian branch from memory.
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Old 06-12-2019, 04:55 AM   #9
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From the wikipedia article about the Via Egnatia

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Bilingual inscriptions on the milestones record that Gnaeus Egnatius, proconsul of Macedonia, ordered its construction, though the exact date is uncertain; the road presumably took its name from its builder.[3] It may have succeeded an earlier military road from Illyria to Byzantium, as described by Polybius and Cicero, which the Romans apparently built over and/or improved.[4]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Via_Egnatia

If there was heavy trade on the road that preceded the Via Egnatia, one could assume that the southern Illyrians and Thracians (atleast) shared a similar culture to the (common) Macedonians, given their close proximity.
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:35 AM   #10
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Although ancient Macedonians had their own culture I wonder to what extent it actually differed from their neighbours? What was the ancient Macedonian language like? Also, what was the difference between the royal house and their subjects?
The Ancient Macedonian language was most likely an oral language as there isn’t clear evidence of it in written form, yet ancient writers claimed the Macedonians to speak in their native Macedonian which nobody else understood apart from the Macedonians.

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One similar characteristic of "culture" is that royal houses throughout the region often associated themselves and "traced direct descent" to some legendary or mythical hero/kings, such as Achilles or Hercules. This was the case within Macedonia itself, prior to becoming a unified kingdom - various regions were ruled by independent or semi-independent chieftains who claimed "glorious" descent.
The Macedonian kings claimed to have mythical Hellenic descent at times in order to be accepted as Greeks to be eligible to compete in the Olympic Games. It was pure manipulation which was kickstarted by Alexander I of Macedon as he was denied entry into the Olympic Games due to being a foreigner. So he had to claim mythical descent to Greeks in order to be classified as ‘Greek’. But the clue is right there, MYTHICAL. He manipulated the Greeks. Even so, the Macedonians after this were still regarded as barbarians and consistently being banned from competing as they were believed to be of foreign stock which is the truth. The Macedonians for the most part were differentiated on an ethnic basis from the Greeks “Macedonians and Greeks”. The Macedonians were a separate people that admired parts of Hellenic culture as it was the pinnacle of culture at the time, simple as that.

I just want to know more about the Ancient Macedonian culture.

Last edited by Chicho Makedonski; 06-12-2019 at 09:39 AM.
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