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Soldier of Macedon 07-25-2009 03:13 PM

Marcus Justinus - Epitome of Phillip (2nd Century AD)
Marcus Justin - Justinus was a Latin historian who most likely wrote during the 2nd century AD. Little information beyond this work exists on the man, but his texts provide a valuable source of information where it concerns the ancient Macedonians and Phillip II in particular.

The 'Greek' connection to the Macedonians is limited to an exaggerated version of mythology, with additional elements included given the time that had lapsed since its innovation. Hence, no longer is Perdiccas the original ruler of Macedon, but in his place we hear of a Caranus, rendering the myth even more unreliable than before. The relevant passage is as follows:
[QUOTE]...........Caranus, accompanied by a great multitude of Greeks, having been directed by an oracle to seek a settlement in Macedonia, and having come into Emathia, and followed a flock of goats that were fleeing from a tempest, possessed himself of the city of Edessa…..(7,1).[/QUOTE]
It obviously differs from the original myth told by Herodotus, not only by character but events also. The Thebans would try to use it as leverage for leniency from Alexander III, asking the young king to:
[QUOTE].............spare a city which adored some of his ancestors, who had been born in it, as gods, and saw others who had been brought up in it, princes of the highest dignity.(11,4)[/QUOTE]
There was also the primary (among the countless) myth told to Alexander by his mother, that from her side he was related to Achilles himself, a tool that Alexander would later use in coercing some of the Greeks:
[QUOTE]In the course of his march he had exhorted the Thessalians to peace, reminding them of the kindnesses shown them by his father Philip, and of his mother’s connexion with them by the family of the Aeacidae.(11,3)[/QUOTE]
Placing this myth aside, Justin's writings make a clear indication that the Macedonians and Greeks are two totally different nations, bitterly opposed to each other. Concerning the origin of Macedonia, Justin writes:
[QUOTE][B][COLOR="Blue"]Macedonia was formerly called Emathia, from the name of king Emathion[/COLOR][/B], of whose prowess the earliest proofs are extant in those parts. As the origin of this kingdom was but humble, so its limits were at first extremely narrow. [B][COLOR="blue"]The inhabitants were called Pelasgi, the country Paeonia….In the region of Paeonia, which is now a portion of Macedonia[/COLOR][/B]……(7,1)[/QUOTE]
According to Justin, the original inhabitants of Macedonia were not Greek, rather, they were known as the Pelasgi of Paeonia. Even from the Homeric era, the territory that came to be Macedonia had been known for its Thracian and Paeonian population, and was akin to Thrace and Illyria. It was not until Phillip II that Macedonia underwent a rapid cultural advancement, bringing it closer to the Greek city-states. Nevertheless, Macedonia was hardly known in the Greek world when it rose from its humble origins and began to exert its influence and power on the fratricidal Greeks, with devastating consequences.
[QUOTE]By which means it came to pass, that during the absence of exertion on the part of the Greeks, [B][COLOR="Blue"]the name of the Macedonians, previously mean and obscure, rose into notice; and Philip[/COLOR][/B], who had been kept three years as a hostage at Thebes, and had been imbued with the virtues of Epaminondas and Pelopidas, [B][COLOR="blue"]imposed the power of Macedonia, like a yoke of bondage, upon the necks of Greece and Asia[/COLOR][/B].(6,9)[/QUOTE]
Only a conqueror imposes a yoke of bondage around the necks of another people and territory. In realistic terms, Phillip II was no friend to Greece or the Greeks, his aim was purely to further the Macedonian cause by enhancing the power of the kingdom. He is the man that solidified the Macedonian nation in antiquity:
[QUOTE]……[B][COLOR="blue"]out of various tribes and nations, he formed one kingdom and people[/COLOR][/B].(8,6)[/QUOTE]
Arguably the greatest general that Europe had ever produced, Phillip II features prominently in Macedonian history, as it was from him that Alexander III inherited the great army that shook Greece and Asia to its very foundations. Alexander would later refer to his father as the 'conqueror of the Athenians', and conquer he did, by manipulating the Greeks in various ways to realise his aim of absolute power for Macedonia, and absolute submission from Greece.
[QUOTE]When [B][COLOR="Blue"]Philip had once come into Greece, allured by the plunder of a few cities[/COLOR][/B], and had formed an opinion, from the spoil of such towns as were of less note, how great must be the riches of all its cities put together, [B][COLOR="blue"]he resolved to make war upon the whole of Greece[/COLOR][/B].(9,1)[/QUOTE]
The above text cannot make the intentions of Phillip II more clearer, his aim was obvious enough. Justin states that Phillip II had come into Greece from Macedonia, indicating two separate entities, this is corroborated in other parts of the text:
[QUOTE]The Athenians, hearing the result of the conflict, and [B][COLOR="blue"]fearing that Philip would march into Greece[/COLOR][/B], took possession of the straits of Thermopylae….(8,2)[/QUOTE]
To the Greeks of the 4th century BC, the Macedonians were the nation that oppressed their people and eliminated their freedoms, never had they expected a local 'barbarian' kingdom on the fringes of Greece to rise as masters of Europe.
[QUOTE][B][COLOR="blue"]The states of Greece[/COLOR][/B], while each sought to gain the sovereignty of the country for itself, lost it as a body. Striving intemperately to ruin one another, [B][COLOR="blue"]they did not perceive, till they were oppressed by another power[/COLOR][/B], that what each lost was a common loss to all; for [B][COLOR="blue"]Philip, king of Macedonia, looking, as from a watch-tower, for an opportunity to attack their liberties[/COLOR][/B], and fomenting their contentions by assisting the weaker, obliged [COLOR="blue"][B]victors and vanquished alike to submit to his royal yoke[/B][/COLOR].(8,1)[/QUOTE]
Victors and vanquished alike had to submit to the Macedonian yoke, which meant the Greeks that fought as allies of the Macedonians were treated with little favour over those that fought against the Macedonians. The 'other power' was Phillip II, who, like a predator, gained the trust of some city-states while bringing harm to the others, all the while planning the ultimate subjugation of Greece.
[QUOTE]To oppose Onomarchus, the [B][COLOR="blue"]Thebans and Thessalians chose as general, not one of their own people[/COLOR][/B], lest they should not be able to endure his rule if he should conquer, [B][COLOR="blue"]but Philip, king of Macedonia, voluntarily submitting to that power from a foreigner which they dreaded in the hands of their own countrymen[/COLOR][/B].(8,2)[/QUOTE]
Such was the power of this foreigner, this Macedonian king called Phillip II, who was the main cause of Greece's demise. Justin records the following:
[QUOTE][B][COLOR="blue"]It was a shameful and miserable sight, to behold Greece, even then the most distinguished country[/COLOR][/B] in the world for power and dignity, a country that had constantly been the conqueror of kings and nations, and was still mistress of many cities, [B][COLOR="blue"][U]waiting at a foreign court[/U] to ask or deprecate war; that the champions of the world should place all their hopes on assistance from another[/COLOR][/B]…….(8,4)[/QUOTE]
The above is absolute and clinical, Macedonia was foreign to Greece, no myth can oppose that obvious fact. Greece's history under the Macedonian yoke is filled with constant rebellions and uprisings against these foreign rulers from the north, and this continued to be the case until the very last Macedonian king, Perseus, was taken captive by the Romans, effectively ending the independence of the Macedonian state. Alarmed and troubled by the growing strength of the Macedonians, the Greeks made an effort to unite, under the leadership of the Athenians and Thebans. A great battle ensued, resulting in Macedonian victory and capitulation by Greece.
[QUOTE]A battle being brought on, though the Athenians were far superior in number of soldiers, they were [B][COLOR="blue"]conquered by the valour of the Macedonians[/COLOR][/B], which was invigorated by constant service in the field. They were not, however, in defeat, unmindful of their ancient valour; for, falling with wounds in front, they all covered the places which they had been charged by their leaders to defend, with their dead bodies. [B][COLOR="blue"]This day put an end to the glorious sovereignty and ancient liberty of all Greece[/COLOR][/B].(9,3)[/QUOTE]
Justin echoes the words of Pausanias:
[QUOTE].......[B][COLOR="blue"]the defeat at Chaeroneia was a disaster for all the Greeks[/COLOR][/B]………..(9.6.5).[/QUOTE]
As a nation, the Macedonians were responsible for the end of Greece’s democracy, liberty and sovereignty, no Greek had ever caused such harm to their own people as the 'barbarians' from the north did. Unfortunately, Macedonia's future took a sudden turn shortly afterwards with the death of Phillip II, resulting from an assasination, elaborated on the below link:


Had Phillip II lived on, the Macedonian kingdom would have remained more conservative. Alexander III was the one who initiated the trend of adopting various foreign cultural elements on a more significant scale, which, as a by-product allowed for the Greek language (used for administrative purposes at that point) to spread to conquered territories. Although Alexander III did not wish to appear as an enemy of the Greeks, when rumours of his apparent death circulated soon after he assumed the throne from his deceased father, the Greeks did not waste any time in revealing their true sentiments:
[QUOTE].........[B][COLOR="blue"]the feelings of almost all the cities were changed, and the garrisons of the Macedonians besieged[/COLOR][/B].(11,2) [/QUOTE]
[QUOTE]After the departure of Alexander from Macedonia, [B][COLOR="blue"]almost all Greece[/COLOR][/B], as if to take advantage of the opportunity [B][COLOR="blue"]for recovering their liberty, had risen in arms[/COLOR][/B]….(12,1) [/QUOTE]
The sheer hatred from the Greeks towards the Macedonians was expressed time and again, the below excerpt by Plutarch provides another example of typical Greek thought about their Macedonian overlords:
The first person that brought the news of Alexander's death, was Asclepiades the son of Hipparchus. Demades desired the people to give no credit to it: For, said he, [B][COLOR="blue"]if Alexander were dead, the whole world would smell the carcase[/COLOR][/B] (9). [/QUOTE]
Alexander III, the Great Alexander, was hated by the overwhelming majority of the Greeks of his day, they never regarded him as their true ruler, and deeply despised him, his father and the Macedonians in general.

One of the most fantastic speeches that Alexander III had given to his men, is eloquently presented in Justin's rendition:
[QUOTE].........he rode round among his troops, and [B][COLOR="blue"]addressed those of each nation[/COLOR][/B] in an appropriate speech. He excited the [B][COLOR="blue"]Illyrians and Thracians[/COLOR][/B] by describing the enemy’s wealth and treasures, and [B][COLOR="blue"]the Greeks[/COLOR][/B] by putting them in mind of their wars of old, and their deadly hatred towards the Persians. [B][COLOR="blue"]He reminded [U]the Macedonians[/U] at one time of their conquests in Europe, and at another of their desire to subdue Asia, boasting that no troops in the world had been found a match for them, and assuring them that this battle would put an end to their labours and crown [U]their glory[/U][/COLOR][/B].(11,9)[/QUOTE]
It was for the glory of Macedon, the glory of the Macedonians. The speech clarifies the motive of each of the nations cited, while Alexander III claimed to lead the Greeks in their crusade of revenge against Persia, this goal was minimal in the greater scheme, and was not a focus point subsequent to the sacking of Persepolis. Alexander had made good use of the Greeks he had, however, compared to his Macedonians the Greeks in his service were a small force, a token gesture of an unwilling league. As Peter Green has remarked:
[QUOTE].............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. (Alexander of Macedon)[/QUOTE]

Justin sees it fit to further distinguish between Macedonians and Greeks in his text, where he writes about events concerning Alexander's visit to the temple of Ammon in Egypt.
[QUOTE]Hence it was that his haughtiness was so much increased, and a strange arrogance arose in his mind, the agreeableness of demeanour, which he had contracted from [B][COLOR="blue"]the philosophy of the Greeks and the habits of the Macedonians[/COLOR][/B], being entirely laid aside. On his return from the temple of Ammon he founded Alexandria, and desired that that colony of the Macedonians might be considered the metropolis of Egypt.(11,11)[/QUOTE]

Further distinction between Macedonia and Greece is provided by Justin:
[QUOTE]Such an arrangement being made, Antipater was appointed governor of [B][COLOR="blue"]Macedonia [U]and[/U] Greece[/COLOR][/B]…..(13,4)[/QUOTE]
[QUOTE][B][COLOR="blue"]Macedonia [U]and[/U] Greece[/COLOR][/B] were subject to Cassander.(15,1)[/QUOTE]
[QUOTE]In the meantime Eurydice, the wife of king Aridaeus, when she learned that Polysperchon was [B][COLOR="blue"]returning from Greece [U]into[/U] Macedonia[/COLOR][/B]……But during the course of these proceedings, the disturbed [B][COLOR="blue"]state of Macedonia obliged Cassander to [U]return home from[/U] Greece[/COLOR][/B]…..(14,5)[/QUOTE]
[QUOTE]Antipater, though he saw his auxiliaries defeated, was yet rejoiced at the death of Leonatus, congratulating himself that his rival was taken off, and his force added to his own. Taking Leonatus’s army under his command, therefore, and thinking himself a match for the enemy, even in a regular battle, he immediately released himself from the siege, and [B][COLOR="blue"]marched away to Macedonia[/COLOR][/B]. The forces of the [B][COLOR="blue"]Greeks, too, having driven the enemy [U]from the territory of Greece[/U], went off to their several cities[/COLOR][/B].(13,5)[/QUOTE]
[QUOTE]Success encouraging them, they betook themselves, in separate bands, [B][COLOR="blue"]some to Greece, and some to Macedonia[/COLOR][/B], laying waste all before them with the sword. Such indeed was the terror of the Gallic name……..(24,4) [/QUOTE]
[QUOTE]After the death of Pyrrhus, there were great warlike commotions, [B][COLOR="blue"]not only in Macedonia, but in Asia and Greece[/COLOR][/B]……(26,1) [/QUOTE]
[QUOTE]…….Alexander, king of Epirus, longing to avenge the death of his father Pyrrhus, [B][COLOR="blue"]laid waste the frontiers of Macedonia. Antigonus returned from Greece to give him battle[/COLOR][/B], but being deserted by his men, who went over to the enemy, he lost both the throne of Macedonia and his army.(26,2)[/QUOTE]
There can be no doubt about the author's statements, Macedonia and Greece are two completely separate entities, filled with animosity towards each other. The Macedonians were the first Europeans to invade and conquer Greece, followed by other nations, as the below text indicates:
[QUOTE]That [B][COLOR="blue"]Greece had frequently felt great disturbances[/COLOR][/B] at one time from the [B][COLOR="blue"]wars of the Persians[/COLOR][/B], at another from those of [B][COLOR="blue"]the Gauls[/COLOR][/B], at another from those of [B][COLOR="blue"]the Macedonians[/COLOR][/B], but that they would think all those to have been but trifling, if the force, which was now collecting in Italy, should once pour itself forth from that country…………..That the cruel resolutions of the conquerors, it was true, were less to be dreaded by Macedonia than by Greece; for [B][COLOR="blue"]Macedonia was both more remote, and better able to defend itself; but he knew that those who contended with such spirit would not be content with Greece as a limit to their conquests[/COLOR][/B], and that he himself should have to fear a conflict with the party that should get the advantage.(29,3)[/QUOTE]
Among the disturbances caused in Greece, there are Persians, Gauls and Macedonians, naturally, a Spartan or an Athenian could not fit into this category, for, as Demosthenes states, these are not foreigners or barbarians like the Macedonians, but rather:
[QUOTE]...true-born sons of Hellas.........(Phillipics - 3,30)[/QUOTE]

Plutarch once stated that:
[QUOTE]....the [B][COLOR="blue"]Romans came not to fight against the Greeks, but for the Greeks, against the Macedonians[/COLOR][/B]....(Flaminius)[/QUOTE]
That opinion is shared by other writers from antiquity, including Justin, who cited the following details:
[QUOTE]Not long after, too, [B][COLOR="blue"]the whole of Greece, stimulated by confidence in the Romans, and the hope of recovering their ancient liberty, to rise against Philip, made war upon him[/COLOR][/B]; and thus, being assailed on every side, he was compelled to beg for peace…….[B][COLOR="Blue"]Philip[/COLOR][/B], on the other hand, allowed that “he [B][COLOR="blue"]might be induced to submit to the Romans, but that [U]it was intolerable that the Greeks, who had been subdued by his ancestors Philip and Alexander, and brought under the yoke of the Macedonian empire, should dictate articles of peace to him, as if they were conquerors[/U]; and that they ought to give an account of their conduct in their state of slavery, before they sought to recover their liberty[/COLOR][/B].”(30,3)[/QUOTE]
A powerful statement. The Romans had earned their place, but who were the Greeks, mere servants of the Macedonian Empire, that they should even ponder about their 'right' to speak as equals towards the Macedonians? They were [B][U][I]subdued[/I][/U][/B] by Phillip II and Alexander III, elements of their culture were utilised for the purpose of furthering [B][I][U]Macedonian aims[/U][/I][/B]. Naturally, several Greeks would have found it beneficial were Macedonian power to be retained, as they had become prosperous under the Macedonan yoke and took advantage of the empire's commercial and other opportunities. On one occasion Justin makes the following remark regarding the Macedonian Empire:
[QUOTE]As all men were alarmed at this prodigy, the soothsayers predicted that “the rising power of the Romans would swallow up the ancient [B][COLOR="blue"]empire of the Greeks and Macedonians[/COLOR][/B].”…But the fortune of Rome was superior to that of the [B][COLOR="blue"]Macedonians; and Philip[/COLOR][/B], exhausted by his efforts in war, and suing for peace from Flamininus, the consul, was allowed to retain indeed the name of king; but, being [B][COLOR="blue"]deprived of all the cities of Greece, as being parts of his dominion beyond the bounds of its ancient territory, he preserved only Macedonia[/COLOR][/B].(30,4)[/QUOTE]
The influence of the Greek language spread beyond Macedonia, as the Romans, another non-Greek people, also employed it extensively:
[QUOTE].......many Romans, men even of consular dignity, had committed the acts of their countrymen to writing in Greek, a foreign language............(Preface)[/QUOTE]
Even the Carthigians were writing letters in the Greek tongue:
[QUOTE]...........given friendly notice to Dionysius, in a letter written in Greek, of the approach of the army and the inactivity of its leader, was found, through the letter being intercepted, guilty of treason; and a decree of the senate was made, “that no Carthaginian should thenceforward study the Greek literature or language, so that no one might be able to speak with the enemy, or write to him, without an interpreter.”(20,5)[/QUOTE]

In summary, I will again cite the true intentions of Phillip II:

[QUOTE][B][I][COLOR="blue"]When Philip had once come into Greece, allured by the plunder of a few cities........[U][SIZE="4"]he resolved to make war upon the whole of Greece[/SIZE][/U].....[/COLOR][/I][/B][/QUOTE]

[B]Macedonia and the Macedonians of antiquity were never Greek.[/B]

TrueMacedonian 07-25-2009 03:47 PM

Pure Gold. Thanks SoM. This sticks it up a certain myths a$$ as to who the ancient Macedonians were.

Risto the Great 07-25-2009 06:20 PM

Well ... I hope this promotes debate and dialogue with our modern Greek friends.
It should be approached logically and I submit the following method that may be of assistance:

1. Verify the quotes of Marcus Justinus. (Deep down you know SoM is watertight and fear his posts)
2. Interpret the quotes.
3. Compare the interpretation with Soldier of Macedon's interpretations.
4. FAIL when you persist with the fallacy of Macedonia being Greek.

Job (well) done.

Soldier of Macedon 07-25-2009 10:18 PM

Thanks guys.

RtG, Justin isn't exactly the greatest source for a Greek to use against Macedonians, but I am happy to discuss any of the points made above. I am confident that Justin, along with other writers such as Pausanias (who is very likely a contemporary or near-contemporary), make sufficient distinction between Macedonians and Greeks in their writings to class them as different people. One of the primary objectives here is to demonstrate the complete fallacy of Greek assertions that "[I]all of the ancient writers considered the Macedonians to be Greek[/I]" - This is simply not the case, and the texts of people such as Justin, Pausanias, Curtius Rufus, etc, all from the Roman era, testify to that fact.

Sovius 08-01-2009 11:09 PM

There was one citation that really brought this period into focus for me.

Marcus Justinus regarded the Macedonians as Pelasgians, a term used by Hellenic settlers for the indigenous populations of Southeastern Europe, such as the architects of Athens, a people who greatly influenced this influx of populations from around the Mediterranean region, who even came to worship many of their deities, supporting the view that the Southern Illyrian Peninsula came to be inhabited by many diverse populations, not conquered in the formal sense. It was observed and recorded that these populations spoke a different language than the language that the Hellenes spoke. Herodotus even reported that a number of Pelasgian urban centers remained uncosmopolitanized linguistically. He was also confident that the Dorians were a Macedonian population. Rodus, a Dorian stronghold (Rhodes/Rod), retains meaning in the Illyrian linguistic group (Laconia/lagonija), but, by the time of Herodotus, the Dorians were speaking what can be referred to as the Doric version of the creole language that had developed out of the admixture of these populations.

If Phillip’s ancestors built Attica and the Temple of Delphi (Apollo/Opolo), why wouldn’t the Macedonians have not wanted them back? Cultural transformations in the region would have likely fragmented pre-existing regional political boundaries, confusing ethnic relationships and oversimplifying the complex dynamics of the events occurring in the region in the written record, due to a multitude of different perspectives for these same events.

Archeologically, there was a slight distinction between the Early Aegean and Anatolian Painted Ware cultures, which arose out of Eastern Akija and Southwestern Anatolia, and the Illyrian Painted and Impressed Pottery cultures. By the Bronze Age, the entire southernmost region of the Illyrian Peninsula and the Western coast of Anatolia had come to reflect varying degrees of differentiation between the Illyrian Bronze Age cultures in various areas within this zone of habitation.

According to archeological, linguistic and genetic evidence, the Macedonians would have been viewed as kindred populations by “Greeks” of Pelasgian descent and regarded as entirely unrelated by “Greeks” of Phoenician or Egyptian ancestry, yielding an advanced understanding of the ancient period that was beyond the grasp of Victorian Age nationalist scholars who constructed the unrealistic model of an ethnically homogenous land known as “Greece”. While the anachronistic and errant use of the term continues to pollute translations, there are obviously ways to circumvent this misleading terminology in order to arrive at a greater appreciation of the re-conquest of the Southern Macedonian lands.

Risto the Great 08-01-2009 11:26 PM

Excellent and logical conclusions Sovius.

Soldier of Macedon 08-03-2009 01:28 AM

[QUOTE="Sovius"]According to archeological, linguistic and genetic evidence, [B]the Macedonians would have been viewed as kindred populations by “Greeks” of Pelasgian descent and regarded as entirely unrelated by “Greeks” of Phoenician or Egyptian ancestry[/B], yielding an advanced understanding of the ancient period that was beyond the grasp of Victorian Age nationalist scholars who constructed the unrealistic model of an ethnically homogenous land known as “Greece”. While the anachronistic and errant use of the term continues to pollute translations, there are obviously ways to circumvent this misleading terminology in order to arrive at a greater appreciation of the re-conquest of the Southern Macedonian lands.[/QUOTE]
Interesting assessment. Perhaps it should be built upon with some relevant citations that make reference to any perceived differences in existence during that period, beginning with the likes of Hesiod, Homer, Herodotus and Thucydides.

Sovius 08-19-2009 09:03 PM

[B]The Hesiodic Myth of Macedonian and Greek Ethnogenesis[/B]

From Carlos Parada’s website:


Notions typically regarded as dating back to the 8th Century BC:
Pandora 2 consorted with Zeus and gave birth to Latinus 3, after whom the Latins were called, and to Graecus, after whom those who followed Hellenic customs were called Greeks.
Thyia 1 consorted with Zeus and gave birth to Magnes 1, after whom the district of Magnesia was called, and to Macedon, after whom Macedonia was called.

Hesiod regarded all four peoples as sharing a common descent. The Macedonians were thought of sibling peoples to the Magnesians and more distantly related to the Latins (Ladinci/ledyani) and Greeks (Graikoi). Magnes were essentially eastern Thessalians in a geographic sense.

[B]Homer [/B]

According to the tale of the Odyssey, the Pelasgians inhabited the regions between Crete and Thessaly, bordering the Thracians to the north. Around this time, populations who came to be regarded as Hellenic or Hellenized, such as the Myrmidons, also inhabited the Thessalian plain. The Illiad extends the lands of the Pelasgians into what came to be referred to as Epirus far to the west of the Thessalian Plain, where these southern Illyrian peoples maintained Dodona (ch), which was a matriarchal temple before it adopted a new patriarchal belief system. Hellas was a region in southern Thessaly, as well, within the kingdom of Peleus, the banner under which Achilles the Skythian fought. Between this region and that which would become the heart of the Macedonian Empire was Mount Olympus.

According to the records of the historian Ephorus, Hesiod also wrote of the Pelasgians in Arcadia.

Pelasgians were also recorded as inhabiting the Troad, the Peloponnesus and other regions between the northwestern region of Asia Minor, Epirus and Crete to the South.

It’s important to remember that Rhea (Rhaetia) was considered the mother of Zeus and that Rhesus was regarded as a Thracian proper name in the Illyiad when contemplating the significance of Dodona to what colonial historians considered native populations and the reach of indigenous Southeastern European belief systems during the Ancient Period.



Two passages have traditionally been used to demonstrate the relationship between the indigenous populations of Southern Illyria and the region’s colonial or culturally diverged populations. The P37.2 genetic marker provides greater clarity as to the specific nature of this relationship and its significance to modern populations throughout the peninsula. Even the Hellenes, as the term can be specifically applied in a tribal sense, were speakers of an Illyrian language at one point in time, according to this historian.

“What language however the Pelasgians used to speak I am not able with certainty to say. But one must pronounce judging by those that still remain of the Pelasgians who dwelt in the city of Creston above the Tyrsenians, and who were once neighbors of the race now called Dorian, dwelling then in the land which is now called Thessaliotis, and also by those that remain of the Pelasgians that who settled at Plakia and Skylakē in the region of the Hellespont, who before that had been settlers with the Athenians, and of the natives of the various other towns which are really Pelasgian, though they have lost the name. If one must pronounce judging by these, the Pelasgians used to speak a Barbarian language. If, therefore, all the Pelasgian race was such as these, then the Attic race, being Pelasgian, at the same time changed and became Hellenic, unlearnt also its language. For the people of Creston do not speak the same language with any of those who dwell about them, nor yet do the people of Plakia, but they speak the same language as each other. By this it is proved that they still keep unchanged the form of language which they brought with them when they migrated to these places.”

“As for the Hellenic race, it has used ever the same language, as I clearly perceive, since it first took its rise; but since the time when it parted off feeble at first from the Pelasgian race, setting forth from a small beginning it has increased to a great number of ethnic groups, and chiefly because many Barbarian races have been added to it besides. Moreover, it is true, as I think, of the Pelasgian race also, that so far as it remained Barbarian it never made any great increase.”

The historical record demonstrates that the Hellenes and the Macedonians were both regarded as Pelasgian populations and that the Hellenes came to take on so many different populations, similar to New York or London, that their language eventually changed to reflect a diverse linguistic environment, having incorporated the elements of other cultures who came to redefine many of the cultural attributes that had once defined the Hellenes.

Herodotus also reported that the Hellenes had driven many Pelasgians into exile and gave accounts for a number of military engagements, demonstrating a pattern of ethnic conflicts and intolerance.



“Before the time of Hellene, son of Deucalion, ... the country went by the names of the different tribes, in particular of the Pelasgian. It was not until Hellene and his sons grew strong in Phthiotis, and were invited as allies into the other cities, that one by one they gradually acquired from the connection the name of Hellenes; though a long time elapsed before that name could fasten itself upon all.”

The Egyptian Danaids of Aeschylus' play The Suppliants may very well provide literary evidence for the actual migration of M35 and M172 defined populations into the region, but migratory waves could have occurred far earlier and later, when we consider such toponyms as Thebes and European (Minoan) colonies such as Avaris in Egypt, indicating economic activity between these two regions going back to at least 1,500 BC.

Beyond simply providing additional validation for previous mentions of the Pelasgians in relation to the Hellenes and other populations, these passages provide posterity with an explanation as to how this anthropologically observable change swept across the region.


Thucydides also reported that the Hellenic Athenians lived in other parts of the region of Attica before converging on Athens, which was already inhabited by Illyrian populations. Colonial animosity towards Illyrians is preserved in another of his passages that noted that a parcel of land below the Acropolis had been deemed "Pelasgian" and was regarded as having been cursed.

We see that linguistic divergence was not uniform in all areas and this divergence was centered around areas that existed like Islands amid a vast area that these transformative periods did not alter.


Researchers, such as George E. Bean during the 1960’s, have reported that at least 19 different mountains were named Olympus during the Ancient Period and, again, we find that the most revered mountain rose above the valleys and plains of Macedonia and Magnesia. In Arcadia, another region inhabited by Pelasgians we find another mountain of the same name. The lands of Phrygia, Pamphlagonia (Pov Lagonija) and Lycia all had sacred mountains dedicated to the Southern Illyrian pantheon. The island of Skyros, where we find another mountain that bares this name, was once referred to as Pelasgia.

Why did the Macedonians take this specific island over in 340 BC? Why would a Macedonian not want to enter a contest honoring the gods of his people? Why would a Macedonian claim to be a descendent of Heraklea? A possible explanation, of course, is that which requires no additional explanation.

Bratot 08-19-2009 09:26 PM

If you don't mind I will write an article in the next number of Macedonian Nation magazine on Macedonian language. It's worth the strong echo and I will give my best.

All credits to SOM and rest od the MT crew! Thank you guys.

Soldier of Macedon 08-23-2009 09:30 PM

Thanks Bratot. And why would we mind? The more articles and literature promoting the objective truth of Macedonian history the better.

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