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Old 09-24-2014, 03:38 PM   #1
Philosopher
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Default Macedonians in Asiatic Literature

The thread on the etymology of the name Alexander has engendered new schools of thought on the Great General's name, but it has also brought interest on the distinction between Macedonians and Greeks in Asiatic literature.

Ancient Western history is generally limited to ancient Greek and Roman writers. And in the study of ancient Macedonia there is no exception. Cuneiform historical records, however, give us insight into history not found via traditional schools of thought.

Quote:
More intriguingly, the Diary makes it clear that Alexander did not send Macedonian envoys, but Greeks.
http://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/2004/2004-02-13.html

The above statement clearly distinguishes "Macedonians" from "Greeks", the logical inference is that Macedonians were not Greek. The testimony of the Babylonian historiographers is profoundly important, This would mean Alexander the Great was not Greek. One wonders if the cuneiform tablets record information pertaining to the language of the Macedonians.

I wonder how much of this kind of information exists and is buried. Maybe we can use this thread to add historic documents from non-Western sources to contribute to our existing pool of knowledge about the ancient Macedonians and their distinct ethnicity?
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Old 09-24-2014, 04:06 PM   #2
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This passage is in p. 298

https://ia701204.us.archive.org/1/it...cholarship.pdf

Makkadunu = Macedon
Makkadunaia = Macedonian

(p 309)


===

Last edited by Amphipolis; 09-24-2014 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 09-24-2014, 04:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amphipolis View Post
This passage is in p. 298

https://ia701204.us.archive.org/1/it...cholarship.pdf

Makkadunu = Macedon
Makkadunaia = Macedonian

(p 309)


===
Thank you.
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Old 09-24-2014, 04:52 PM   #4
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Here are some quotes:

Quote I

Quote:
Panic occurred because of the advance of the army of Alexander. This army must have been mentioned in the break. Macedonians are often referred to
as ‘Hanaeans,’ a western nomadic tribe and kingdom on the middle Euphrates in
the Middle Babylonian period (cf. Text 3).
pg 13

Quote II

Quote:
ha-ni-e is the name of a people and a kingdom (Hana) of the Old- and Middle-Babylonian periods situated on the middle Euphrates. It is also mentioned in the Agum-kakrime Inscription (Agum returns Marduk and Sarpanitum from the grasp of the Hanaeans, II : 1-11); Longman assumes this composition to be N eo-Assyrian and Han to be the literary equivalent of Hatti (Longman 1991: 86-7), but Podany takes it simply to be the Middle-Babylonian kingdom of Hana (Podany 1991-3; 2002). In the Hellenistic period the term is apparently a metaphor of Macedon, or by extension Greeks and Macedonians (cf. Briant 1994).7' At the beginning of line 7' traces of DINGIR
pg 20

Quote III

Quote:
The name Makkadunu (Macedon) occurs in two chronicles: ABC chron. 10:
8, “[The king (= Philip III )] returned to Macedon;” 10: 13, “Philip III was in Macedon [...];” ABC chron. 12, rev. 3: Seleucus marches to Macedon, “his
land.” The gentilicium “Macedonian” (Makkadunaia) is used for Seleucus I
pg 24

Quote IV

Quote:
9-13 In line 11 Grayson copied a part of ME and , but these signs do not exist (anymore). There is a break in the tablet here. The paragraph in question can only refer to Alexander and his Macedonian army. “The land of Han” is the ‘archaic’ or better ‘literary’ rendering of Macedon in late cuneiform texts (see comments on Text 3: 6'). Alexander is referred to as such in the Astronomical Diaries as “who is from the land of Han” (AD I : 191, no. -328 left edge). The only strange feature of the passage seems to be that Alexander is not mentioned in person (unless he was mentioned somewhere in the break!). I consider Geller’s theory that Alexander the Great was skipped (Geller 1990: 5-7), and that Antigonus was meant here, unlikely. Alexander was too important a figure to be left out. It is odd to assume that Arses and Bagoas were more important for Babylonia, than Alexander. The phrase may refer either to the battle of Issus (333), or to the Battle of Gaugamela (1 October 331 BC ), or to Alexander’s victory over
Darius in general.
pg 36

Quote V

Quote:
Other objections are, to my mind, the fact that “the overthrow of the
Hanaean army” ( V : 17) can, in the context of this section, only refer to the
Hanaean troops of V : 9, the troops of Alexander. Furthermore, the Babylonians
knew very well that Seleucus was himself a Macedonian and that Macedon was
“his land” (ABC chron. 13: rev. 3, cf. Briant 1994: 463-6). Thus the
introduction of Seleucus at this point necessitates a contrived interpretation of
the paragraph.
pg 46.

Quote VI

Quote:
Bosworth (1988: 168), who thought that the Chaldaeans advised the king to enter Babylon on the eastern side, which would have been nothing special, since Alexander was coming from the East. But Appian’s version (Bella Civilia II .153) is very clear: Alexander was advised not to look to the setting sun when entering Babylon. Perhaps the setting sun mentioned by Appian was even more ominous to Alexander than the Babylonian astrologers knew, because there is a possibility that the sun was the heraldic symbol of the Macedonian royal house. This cannot be proved, but there are two pieces of evidence that point in this direction. In the first place, we should note that Perdiccas, the legendary founder of the Argead dynasty, claimed a special relationship to the sun (Hdt. VIII .137). In the second place, the symbol variously known as the ‘star of Vergina’ or the ‘sun of Vergina,’ must really be a representation of the sun. A close and almost contemporary iconographic parallel is the coinage of Uranopolis on the Athos peninsula, a town that was founded (between 316 and 300 BC ) by Cassander’s younger brother Alexarchus, who called himself Helius (Mrkholm 1991: 60, fig. 75). Finally, it should be remembered that Alexander claimed to be the son of the Egyptian sun god Ra (pers.comm. Jona Lendering).
pg 50
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Old 09-25-2014, 09:28 PM   #5
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Any other sources out there? I wouldn't expect too many to exist, but I believe the ones that are available could tell a large story.

I'll look into this myself, maybe I could pull something out within Asiatic history during the period of Alexanders reign.
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