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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Were the Macedonians Greek?

 Ancient Greece: Political, Social, and Cultural History, vo poglavjeto "Macedonian Society and Kinship":

" Were the Macedonians Greek? The question is the most contentious in Macedonian historiography. In contemporary Balkan politics, conflicting claims to the territory of ancient Macedonia have made the question of the "greekness" of the ancient Macedonians a burning issue. Modern nationalists may be confident of their answers, but contemporary ideology has little relevance to antiquity.

...Language alone, however, does not determine ethnic identity. Equally important are shared culture, tradition, and values, and it is clear that in antiquity neither Macedonians nor Greeks viewed the Macedonains to be GreekGreeks viewed Macedonains as barbarians like their Thracian and Illyrian neighbors. An exception was made only for the members of the rulling Argead house, who claim to be descendants of imigrants from Argos. 

Although Macedonian kings encouraged the Hellenization of the Macedonian nobility, Macedonian and Greek culture had little in common. While most people in Greece lived by agriculture, cities were the core of what was most distincive in Greek civilization. Before the reign of Philip II, however, city life was limited to a few Greek colonies on the coast of the Gulf of Therma. The few large settlements in the interior of Macedon, such as Aegae and Pella, were dynastic centers with limite civic institutions. Most Macedonians were farmers or semi-nomadic pastoralists living in scattered villages and owning allegience to local Macedonian aristocrats.

Other differences divided the two cultures as well such as the poligamy of the Macedonian kings, the Macedonians' love of unmixed wine, and their aristocrats' preference for tumulus burials instead of simple cermation or internment. Indeed the lifestyle of the Macedonian nobility had more in common with that of Homeric heroes than with that of Classical Greeks. War and hunting was central to the life of the Macedonian noble. ..."

(Sarah B. Pomeroy, at. al., "Ancient Greece, Political, Social, and Cultural History," Second Edition, New York and Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008)