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Old 06-05-2009, 06:13 PM   #1
Risto the Great
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Default Greek common descent.

I found an interesting analysis of a common statement by our southern neighbours:

This is the comment - The word ''Greek'' is not much a term of birth as of mentality,and is applied to a common culture rather than a common descent....Isocrates.

Here is a breakdown of the term by a person calling himself "Phallanx" on the all empires forum @ http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=3900&PN=2

Quote:
First of all, this is from Isocrates' Panegyrikos, which was actually an attempt to unite the cities of Hellas against Persia, clearly showing throughout the speech, his pride of Athens' past (since at that time Sparta lead Hellas at that time.
We must also keep in mind, that this is a speech directed only to the Atheneans

If he was attempting to claim something like this, why would he previously say :
"for we did not become dwellers in this land by driving others out of it, nor by finding it uninhabited, nor by coming together here a motley horde composed of many races; but we are of a lineage so noble and so pure that throughout our history we have continued in possession of the very land which gave us birth, since we are sprung from its very soil and are able to address our city by the very names which we apply to our nearest kin."
( Panegyrikos 24)

Why speak of noble and pure lineage if he was to accept anyone as a Helline just a couple of lines down only based on intelect and culture???

Now to the text in question.
What he said:

"And so far has our city distanced the rest of mankind in thought and in speech that her pupils have become the teachers of the rest of the world; and she has brought it about that the name Hellenes suggests no longer a race but an intelligence, and that the title Hellenes is applied to those who share our culture OR to those who share a common blood.
(Panegyrikos 50)

Why is the name Hellines a synonym to intelligence??
Because they are the teachers of the entire world, so when someone mentions Hellinas, he is describing knowledge/inntelect and not blood. Now compare that to the idea that anyone was accepted as a part of the Hellinic race.
What do you see??? Two totally different things.
It would also be interesting if anyone could provide a quote that clearly says we accept anyone, since this one does nothing of the kind.

As the renowned German historian Ulrich Wilcken tells us.
"Isocrates by saying this does not include in to the Hellinic race the Hellinized barbarians, because for him the barbarians and especially the Persians, continued to be the natural enemies of Hellas.
What Isocrates means is that he considers the real Hellines to be only those that have the Attik culture."
Ulrich Wilcken "Ancient Greek History"

When reading his speech we find that throughout the whole speech he talks about Hellas being one unified community, both racial and cultural that is tortured by civil wars among the city states, while accross them stand the Persians, their agelong enemies.
The solution he gives is one, that they stop all disputes and that the HELLINES unite and start a campaigne against the BARBARIANS.

As seen in the beginning of the speech:
"I have come before you to give my counsels on the war against the barbarians and on concord among ourselves."
(Panegyrikos 3)

Just a couple more quotes that prove that Isocrates never was the 'internationalist' some would like to believe but the exact opposite.

"For we have reason to reproach the Lacedaemonians for this also, that in the interest of their own city they compel their neighbors to live in serfdom, but for the common advantage of their allies they refuse to bring about a similar condition, although it lies in their power to make up their quarrel with us and reduce all the barbarians to a state of subjection to the whole of Hellas."

Some more:
"Of my own countrymen also I have a similar tale to tell. For towards all other peoples with whom they have been at war, they forget their past enmities the moment they have concluded peace, but toward the Asiatics they feel no gratitude even when they receive favors from them; so eternal is the wrath which they cherish against the barbarians .Our fathers, again, condemned many to death for the crime of Medism, and in their public assemblies even at the present day, before transacting any other business, they invoke curses on any citizen who proposes to send an embassy to negotiate peace with the Persians; and the Eumolpidae and the Ceryces, in the celebration of the mysteries, on account of their hatred of the Persians warn all other barbarians, as if they were murderers, to keep away from the sacred rites."
(Panegyrikos 157)

And

"So ingrained in our nature is our hostility to them that even in the matter of our stories we linger most fondly over those which tell of the Trojan and the Persian wars, because through them we learn of our enemies' misfortunes; and you will find that our warfare against the barbarians has inspired our hymns, while that against the Hellenes has brought forth our dirges; and that the former are sung at our festivals, while we recall the latter on occasions of sorrow."

Read the speech you'll actually be quite suprised.
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Old 06-06-2009, 02:35 AM   #2
makedonin
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You did not have to look much, just read my signature

It is a kick in the guts. It negates the whole Hellenic Genos crap.

Applying it to the Ancient Macedonians, it means, they might have been anything, and wanted an Oxford Title, say PhD

PS. this is just more in the line whit what I said above:

Quote:
"Isocrates by saying this does not include in to the Hellinic race the Hellinized barbarians, because for him the barbarians and especially the Persians, continued to be the natural enemies of Hellas.
What Isocrates means is that he considers the real Hellines to be only those that have the Attik culture."
Ulrich Wilcken "Ancient Greek History"

The Macedonians were Regarded as Barbarians i.e. aliens and uneducated. Thus, they Adopted Attic Culture and Language, at least the Royal class, and became nobles and educated.

I am open for another interpretation though.
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Last edited by makedonin; 06-06-2009 at 02:44 AM.
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