Ο καιρός της Φλώρινας

Τετάρτη, 17 Νοεμβρίου 2010

Στεφανίτες Μακεδόνες στην Ολυμπία (22 νικητές- 33 νίκες). Macedonian Olympic winners

There are people who use the statements of some southern-greek politicians to prove that the Macedonians weren't a greek tribe. Although everyone knows that it is heighly improbable to find the truth in the words of a politician , it is interesting to see the shifty basis of such claims.

Each time that a Macedonian king was powerful enough to intefere in the southern-greek political "arena" , there were politicians that presented him as a barbarian. Two examples are:
1) The Athenian orator Demosthenes against Philip II. Demosthenes presented Philip as "the barbarian from Pella" , meanwhile , in the same time the panhellenist Isokrates was refering to him as "a Greek of Argive descend" (Phil.32 : Ἄργος μὲν γάρ ἐστι σοι πατρίς). Interestingly , meanwhile as we've seen Philip's both parents were of eponymous greek descent , Demosthenes' mother was a scythian slave.
2) When king Archelaus was invited to restore the oligarchics in the Thessalian city Larissa , the sophist Thrasymachus in his speech For the people of Larissa stated :
“Shall we become slaves to Archelaus, Greeks as we are, to a barbarian?”
«Ἀρχελάῳ δουλεύσομεν , Ἕλληνες ὄντες βαρβάρῳ ?»
The funny thing is that almost twenty years after this statement the Athenians invited the Macedonian king Amyntas III to vote in the Amphiktyonic council , a council where only greeks were allowed to partecipate.
And even funnier is the fact that both of the accused "barbarians" , Macedonian Kings Archelaus and Philip II have participated in the Olympic games , where only Greeks could participate ,as their ancester Alexander I and other Macedonians mentioned in the table below have done.

These are some of the examples that prove that the politician's statements shouldn't be considered ad verbum , at least not before examing the whole political scene.Or if you prefer , the accusation "barbarian" said from some political enemies of the macedonian kings has the same historical "weight" as John Wilkes Booth's famous exclamation "sic semper tyrannis !!"(Latin: "Thus always to tyrants") after shooting at Abraham Lincoln.


Except the politicians there were occasionaly other southern Greeks that sometimes were refering to the Macedonians ,Epeirotans and Aetolians as "barbarians". This tern shouldn't be translated as "non greeks" , but as uncivilized. Though these tribes were greek , as we said above , got urbanized and instructed in retard with respect to other greeks and so , in clasic period didn't participate in the Ideas and Customs of a greek city state and for that were critisized as "barbarians". The NGL Hammond's says in ,"The Macedonian State" , the greek historian Thukidides considered the Macedonians , Aetolians and Epeirotans as "barbarians" , meanwhile we've found epigraphical material written in greek from these regions dating at and before Thukydides time !!! Even interesting is the fact that Thukydides' father had a Thracian name (Oloros).
In the following example I provide such an example of the abuse of the term "barbarian" among Greeks:
However the ultimate proof of Greek tribes being called 'barbarians is coming from Athenaios Deipnosophistes where Stratonicus the harp-player was asked "πότερα Βοιωτοί βαρβαρώτεροι...ή Θετταλοί, Ηλείους έφησεν" meaning "who were the greatest Barbarians, the Boeotians or the Thessalians" and he replied "the Eleans".

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