Perception of the self and the other: The case of Macedon*
By Miltiades Hatzopoulos, VII International Symposion on Ancient Macedonia, 2002.
In my communication to the last Ancient Macedonia symposium on the character of the ancestral tongue of the Macedonians I cautioned that I did not pretend to solve the controverted question of the “nationality” of the ancient Macedonians, not only because language is, at best, only one of the several elements which contribute to the formation of group identity, but also –and mainly– because such a debate presupposed a previous response to the question of the nature of “nationality” in ancient Greece, provided of course that this question is well formulated and admits an effective answer.In the ensuing years “ethnic” studies, as they are now called, have enjoyed, especially on the other side of the Atlantic, a wild success comparable only to that of that other New World invention, “gender” studies. Among recent publications on this subject the collective volume Ancient Perceptions of Greek Ethnicity (Cambridge, Mass. and London 2001) edited by Irad Malkin stands out for its scholarly quality. Several of the included contributions and especially the “Introduction” and “Greek Ambiguities: Between ‘Ancient Hellas’ and ‘Barbarian Epirus’” by Irad Malkin himself and “Contested Ethnicities: Perceptions of Macedonia within Evolving Definitions of Greek Ethnicity” by Jonathan Hall, go a long way towards satisfying the condition I had laid down, to wit that the nature of Greek “nationality” be previously explored. Although a certain conformism of most contributors in their unreserved adoption of the “politically correct” antiessentialist view, which reduces group identities to mere inventions constructed on pure discourse, needs to be watered down, the result is impressive, and Jonathan Hall’s paper in particular sets the parameters within which the question of the ancient Macedonian identity, which interests us here, can be approached.
Hall challenges the view that Macedonia was marginal or peripheral in respect to a Greek centre or core, for the simple reason that such a Greek hard core never existed, since “‘Greekness’ is constituted by the totality of multifocal, situationally bound, and self-conscious negotiations of identity not only between poleis and ethne but also within them”, and because a view such as this “assumes a transhistorically static definition of Greekness”. As he argues at greater length in his monograph, in the fifth century, mainly as a consequence of the Persian Wars, the definition of Greek identity evolved from an “aggregative” noninclusive conception based on fictitious descent from the eponymous Hellen and expressed in forged genealogies (which may leave outside not only Macedonians and Magnetes, but also other goups such as Arcadians or Aitolians) into an “oppositional” one, turned against out-groups, relegating thus (fictitious) community of blood to the same level –if not to an inferior one (vide infra)– as linguistic, religious and cultural criteria. (In this perspective there is not much sense in opposing a putative compact, homogeneous and immutable “Greekness” to the contested identities of groups such as the Aitolians, Locrians, Acarnanians, Thesprotians, Molossians, Chaones, Atintanes, Parauaioi, Orestai, Macedonians).
Hall proceeds to a penetrating analysis of the shifting definitions of Greekness in Herodotus, Thucydides and Isocrates, our main sources for the evolution of the concept in the Classical period. Of Thucydides in particular he writes that, contrary to Herodotus, he did not view Greeks and barbarians “as mutually exclusive categories” but as “opposite poles of a single, linear continuum.” Thus, the inhabitants of north-western Greece “are ‘barbarian’ not in the sense that their cultures, customs, or behavior are in direct, diametrical opposition to Greek norms but rather in the sense that their seemingly more primitive way of life makes them Hellènes manqués.”
Finally, not only he but also I. Malkin in his introduction and Rosalind Thomas in her contribution “Ethnicity, Genealogy, and Hellenism in Herodotus”, which contains a section on the Macedonians, stress the importance of religion, or rather of cults (“common shrines of the gods and sacrifices”).
J. Hall in his conclusions confirms my doubts about the possibility of answering the question concerning the “nationality” of the ancient Macedonians. “To ask whether the Macedonians ‘really were’ Greek or not in antiquity“, he writes, “is ultimately a redundant question given the shifting semantics of Greekness between the sixth and fourth centuries B.C. What cannot be denied, however, is that the cultural commodification of Hellenic identity that emerged in the fourth century might have remained a provincial artifact, confined to the Balkan peninsula, had it not been for the Macedonians”.
This finely balanced verdict is all the more praiseworthy in that it does not hesitate explicitly or implicitly to contradict authoritative views current in the American academic establishment, or even to modify opinions previously expressed by the author himself. Moreover, it was partly attained through sheer reasoning and intuition, as crucial evidence was not accessible to him.
Epigraphic data of capital linguistic interest which have become available only after the Center of Hellenic Studies Colloquium of 1997 and important recent monographs and articles which seem not to have been accessible in the United States, if known, would have provided additional arguments and prevented some minor inaccuracies. It is worth noting, however, that although Hall fully shares Malkin’s view on the overriding importance of religion and in particular of common shrines and sacrifices, he does not exploit the unique evidence of the theorodokoi catalogues, which precisely list the Greek states visited by the theoroi, the sacred envoys, of the panhellenic sanctuaries and invited to participate through official delegations in sacrifices and contests celebrated in those sanctuaries.
It has long been established that the theoroi of the Panhellenic sanctuaries, did not visit mere urban centres, whatever their importance, but only states, be they of the polis or of the ethnos variety, for their mission consisted in announcing (ἐπαγγελία) the sacred truce and the oncoming contests to the state authorities.
Since only Hellenes participated in the Panhellenic sacrifices and contests, it is obvious that the theoroi visited only communities which considered themselves and were considered by the others as Greek. Starting with one of the oldest catalogues, that of Epidauros, dating from 360, and continuing with those of Nemea, Argos, and Delphi, the Macedonian kingdom is never absent from their surviving North Aegean sections. At such an early date in the fourth century as that of the first one it cannot be claimed that the Macedonian presence was the result of the kingdom’s political and military might. Nor can it be said that the invitation concerned only the “Greek” royal family, for, as we have already stressed, it was addressed not to individuals but to states.
One might object the “post-Philippian“ date of the Nemea, Argos and Delphi lists. It is true that none of the three is earlier than the last quarter of the fourth century, but even the most recent one, the late third century great list of the theorodokoi of Delphi, following a long established tradition, includes, with very few and obvious exceptions, only the coastal, ἀρχαιόθεν ἑλληνίδες cities of Asia. Still for the sake of argument, we can start by considering only the list of Epidauros, which dates back to around 360, years before it could be argued that Macedonia by its meteoric rise had imposed itself on the terrorised personnel of the panhellenic sanctuaries.
The Epidaurian list, in its surviving sections, on a first stele, starting from Megara moves through Attica and Boeotia to Thessaly, Macedonia, Chalkidike and Thrace. On a second stele are listed the theorodokoi of Corinth, Delphi, Ozolian Lokris, Aitolia, Akarnania, Sicily and southern Italy. Of particular interest are the Macedonian (including Chalkidike) and Epirotic sections. In the first, after Thessalian Homolion, one reads the names of the theorodokoi of Pydna, Methone, Macedonia, Aineia, Dikaia, Poteidaia, Kalindoia, Olynthos, Apollonia, Arethousa, Arkilos, Amphipolis, Berga, Tragila, Stagira, Akanthos, Stolos, Aphytis, Skiona and Menda.
Fortunately we possess a contemporary document describing the same region, the work of Pseudo-Skylax. He describes the Macedonians as an ethnos after the Peneios, mentions the Thermaic Gulf, and lists Herakleion as the first city of Macedonia, then Dion, Pydna a Greek city, Methone a Greek city, the river Haliakmon, Aloros a city, the river Lydias, Pella a city and a palace in it and a waterway up the Lydias to it, the river Axios, the river Echedoros, Therme a city, Aineia a Greek city, Cape Pallene, and after an enumeration of the cities of Chalkidike, Arethousa a Greek city, Lake Bolbe, Apollonia a Greek city, and “many other cities of Macedonia in the interior”.
As U. Kahrstedt was the first to understand, the distinction between “Greek cities” and “Macedonian cities” or simple “cities” is not ethnological but political. Independent cities are qualified as Greek, while the cities remaining within the Macedonian kingdom have to content themselves with the simple qualification of “cities”.
The list of the theorodokoi of Epidauros confirms the nature of this distinction, for in the section west of the head of the Thermaic Gulf it enumerates only three states: Pydna, Methone and Macedonia. Thus the first, although a city originally Macedonian, is called a “Greek city”, just like the originally Eretrian colony of Methone, because at the time they were both independent from the kingdom and members of the Second Athenian League, while the equally Macedonian Herakleion, Dion, Aloros and Pella were simply styled as “cities”. The Epidaurian theorodokoi visited only “Macedonia”, that is to say the capital of the state, presumably Pella or Aigeai, not because this was the only Greek city of the kingdom and even less because they intended to invite the king only –the invitation, as we have seen, was extended to communities not to persons–, but because there was the seat of the authorities to whom the epangelia had to be made, as at that time, before the reforms of Philip II, the several Macedonian cities did not possess sufficient political latitude to qualify as autonomous cities and to be eligible to participate as such in panhellenic festivals.
Similarly the section Epirus lists the states of Pandosia, Kassopa, Thesprotoi, Poionos, Korkyra, Chaonia, Artichia, Molossoi, Ambrakia, Argos (of Amphilochia). Of these the Elean colony of Pandosia and the Corinthian colonies of Korkyra and Ambrakia represent the southern Greek element, while Kassopa, the Thesprotoi, the Molossoi, Chaonia and Argos the “native” Epirote one. (Nothing is known of Poionos and Artichia). The important point is that colonial cities, Epirote cities and Epirote ethne, republican and monarchical alike, are considered equally Greek and invited to the great panhellenic sacrifices at Epidauros.
The same picture emerges from the slightly later lists of Argos and Nemea and from the late third century list of Delphi, the main difference being that after Philip II’s reforms the several Macedonian cities take the place of the central Macedonian authorities, while Epirus wavers between a single centralised and several civic representations.
A piece of evidence which until very recently had gone unnoticed is the actual presence of Macedonians and Epirotes in the panhellenic sanctuaries, which is first attested in the Archaic period, but increases dramatically in the second half of the fourth century. Alexander I was neither the first nor the only Macedonian active at a panhellenic sanctuary in the fifth century. He had been preceded at Delphi by Macedonians from Pieria, and both his fifth century successors Perdikkas II and Archelaos participated in panhellenic festivals at Olympia, Delphi or Argos.
It is in this context that we can properly understand some other facts that have puzzled modern historians, such as the participation of Macedonian envoys in the panhellenic conference held at Sparta in 371 or the inclusion of the Macedonian ethnos –and not just king Philip– in the Delphic Amphictiony. Under these conditions Demosthenes’ outrage at the presence of Philip II and his Macedonians at Delphi loses much of its candour and credibility. As J. Hall rightly observes, the rhetorical contrast between Greeks and Macedonians in the age of Alexander, by which some American scholars set much store, “has military-political rather than ethnic connotations”. A case in point is the list of Alexander the Great’s trierarchs in Arrian’s Indica, which E. N. Borza, labouring to demonstrate the un-Hellenic character of the ancient Macedonians, adduced inter alia in an article in honour of E. Badian.
“The men appointed by Alexander to command the Hydaspes River”, he writes, “are named according to their ethnicity: ‘these were the Macedonians altogether: as for the Greeks ....’ (houtoi men hoi sympantes Makedones, Hellenon de...). Arrian concludes by mentioning the appointment of a single Persian, thus preserving the distinction among Macedonians, Greeks, and others, as mentioned elsewhere (2.17.4 and 7.30.2-3). I regard the men...de usage as significant”.
The list of the trierarchs is admittedly an interesting document and the μὲν.....δὲ... usage is indeed significant, provided they are accurately reported and correctly analysed. In reality, to the μὲν of the Macedonians are opposed not one but two δὲ (Οὗτοι μὲν οἱ ξύμπαντες Μακεδόνες. Ἑλλήνων δὲ.....Κυπρίων δὲ....), followed by the single Persian (ἦν δὲ δὴ καὶ Πέρσης...). Thus Arrian, or rather his source, distinguishes (if we leave aside the odd Persian), between three groups: the Macedonians, the Greeks and the Cypriots. The next point which arises concerns the exact nature of this distinction. Borza has no doubt that it relates to the “ethnicity” of these men. He explains that he uses this term “to describe a cultural identity that is near the meaning of nationality, but without the necessity of membership in a political organism...” and proposes to use as criteria “language, contemporary perceptions, historical perceptions, and cultural institutions”.
As I recently wrote in a different context, the case of the Macedonians is bound to remain paradoxical as long as it is viewed by itself. I then had in mind the parallel case of Epirus, which was geographically excluded from Greece and whose inhabitants from the time of Thucydides to that of Strabo were qualified as barbarians, even from the linguistic point of view, although they undoubtedly spoke a Greek dialect that we have no difficulty in understanding, enjoyed Greek institutions and shared, as we have seen, the same shrines and sacrifices and participated in the same panhellenic events as the other Greeks. In their case, the reason for the occasional and paradoxical denial of their Hellenism is probably to be sought in the absence before the Hellenistic period of urban centres deserving the name and status of poleis.The Cypriot case, however, is equally instructive.
An overview of the evidence concerning Cyprus, which I reserve for fuller treatment elsewhere, would lead us to the conclusion that, whatever the physical appearence of ancient Cypriots, it did not cast any doubts on the Hellenic origin of the kingdoms of the island, on the Greek character of the local dialect or on the Hellenic nature of the gods venerated there with the only –and obvious– exceptions of the Phoenician city of Kition and of the “autochthonous” one of Amathous.
The Cypriot syllabic script was indeed an obstacle to written communication, but from the middle of the fourth century the use of the Greek alphabet spreads across the island. For oral communication the Cypriot dialect probably sounded exotic –then as now– to some –but not all– Greek speakers from the Aegean area. But then many Greeks were aware of the existence of other Greeks with uncouth tongues. Did Thucydides not write that the Eurytanians “speak a most incomprehensible tongue” and has it not been said of the Eleans that they are “speakers of a barbarous tongue”? Nonetheless, at least as far as practical policies are concerned, the Greekness of neither of them was ever contested. Sacred prostitution assuredly shocked more than one Greek. But it was in no way a Cypriot monopoly. The Epizephyrian Locrians, for instance, reputedly followed the same practice. The Cypriot kingships, whatever their exact origin and nature, were for most city-state Greeks an anomaly. But monarchies had survived in Cyrenaica and the northern fringes of the Greek world or had reappeared in Sicily. Thus, no single criterion can satisfactorily explain the exclusion of the Cypriots from the Greek community in the list of Alexander the Great’s trierarchs, but not from participation in panhellenic sacrifices and contests, as the theorodokoi lists attest. For, whatever the conditions in earlier periods, it seems that by the last quarter of the fourth century most Greeks and apparently all foreigners recognised the Cypriots as Greeks.
The unsatisfactory results of our inquiry oblige us to question the validity of the premisses on which it was based, to wit that Alexander’s trierarchs “are named according to their ethnicity”, as Borza thought. An obvious anomaly should have made us suspicious. The list of the Macedonian trierarchs comprises at least two persons whose impeccable Greek “ethnicity” the American historian would readily recognise: Nearchos son of Androtimos and Laomedon son of Larichos hailing respectively from the Cretan city of Lato and the Lesbian city of Mytilene. Borza makes no mention of this difficulty in his comment on the list, but attempts to deal with the first case in a note referring to a different context, hesitating between casting doubts on the reliability of the listand on that of Nearchos’ origin. In fact, just as the presence of the “forgotten” category of the Cypriots contradicts the alleged binary opposition between Greeks on the one hand and Macedonians on the other, discrepancies such as the above belie the supposed “ethnic” character of the list and cannot be explained, unless the latter reflects “nationality”, “Staatsangehörigkeit”, rather than “ethnicity”. Borza, who sets great store by the case of Eumenes’ handicap as an “ethnic” Greek, despite his long years in Macedonian service, could not convincingly argue that Nearchos and Laomedon and thousands of other Greeks from beyond Olympus ceased to be “ethnic” Greeks -- whatever that may mean -- when they settled in Macedonia.
The explanation of the presence of Nearchos and Laomedon in the Macedonian list is obvious: contrary to Eumenes, when they moved to Macedonia, they did not simply settle in the country, but became citizens of Amphipolis and ipso facto also of the Macedonian Commonwealth.
It is thus more than clear that the trierarchs are not “named according to ethnicity”. The classification is determined by political criteria. All citizens of Macedonian civic units are classified as Macedonians, whatever their origin. Who then are the Greeks? Medios son of Oxythemis from Larissa, Eumenes son of Hieronymos from Kardia, Kritoboulos son of Platon from Kos, Thoas son of Menodoros and Maiandros son Mandrogenes from Magnesia, Andron son of Kabeles from Teos. Now, the home cities of these trierarchs share a common feature: they were all members of the Hellenic League (of which Macedon itself was no part), Larissa and Kardia from the time of Philip II, Kos and Magnesia and Teos since 332. On the other hand the kingdoms of Cyprus, which joined Alexander at the siege of Tyre, never adhered to the League officially styled as “the Hellenes”.
A closer look at other passages collected and adduced by Borza as supposedly revelatory of the –“ethnic” that is to say, according to him (vide supra), of the cultural– distinction between Greeks and Macedonians betrays similar difficulties and discrepancies. As M. B. Sakellariou has aptly stressed, the contrast and occasionally the antagonism between Greeks and Macedonians in the age of Philip and Alexander, of which the American historian makes so much, was political and had to a certain extent social causes. In fact the Macedonians satisfied the criteria of Greekness put forward by the Athenians in their celebrated answer to the Spartan envoys, as it is reported by Herodotus. Nevertheless, it is equally true that their Hellenic quality was recurrently disputed, especially when political animosities created a suitable political environment. For the opposition was political and doubly so, between polis-states and an ethnos-state, as well as between regimes which ideally were democratic and a reputedly tyrannic monarchy. Thus, even for pro-Macedonians wanting to dispel legitimate fears that the Macedonian kings might extend their monarchical regime to the Greek cities, it was important to dissociate as much as possible the Temenid kingdom from the world of the polis-states. This was the reason why Isokrates, eager to reassure his readers that a Macedonian hegemony was not dangerous for their liberties, insisted that, just as Philip’s ancestors, knowing that the Greeks could not suffer monarchical regimes, rather than enslave their fellow citizens, preferred to leave Greece altogether and rule over a different (οὐχ ὁμοφύλου γένους) people, so Philip himself would not dream of imposing his rule on the Greeks, but would content himself with reigning over the Macedonians. In this often-cited passage the Athenian orator masterfully exploits the implicit correspondence between the geographical term ἑλληνικὸς τόπος and the ethnic Ἕλλην, from which it derives, in order to enforce in the mind of his readers the un-Hellenic character of οἱ ἄλλοι, the subjects of the Macedonian kings, since for most writers of the Classical and Hellenistic periods Hellas did not extend geographically beyond the Ambracian Gulf and the river Peneios. It is not excluded that the Macedonian king himself shared the Athenian orator’s concern, and that, heeding his advice, he preferred to keep his kingdom completely apart from the Hellenic League. It should then not come as a surprise that the modern scholars who have best understood the Macedonian paradox are the nineteenth and early twentieth century Germans, who were aware of the particular position of Prussia vis-à-vis the rest of Germany, initially outside the borders of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation and, even after the abolition of the latter, an entity whose citizens were to be reckoned separately from the other Germans. Did not Jakob Salomon Bartholdy write in such terms to his brother-in-law Abraham Mendelssohn on 6 February 1817: “Als ich hier (in Neapel) kam, fand ich viele deutsche und preussische Künstler von entschiedenen Anlagen und Talenten”, and can one not still in 1990 publish a book under the title Preussen und Deutschland gegenüber dem Novemberaufstand 1830-1831? Does not the reluctance of the South German states to submit to Prussia, and at the same time the Prussian king’s desire to maintain direct and exclusive hold on his own kingdom, for which reason William I styled himself “Deutscher Kaiser, König von Preussen” rather than “Kaiser der Deutschen“ in 1871, ring Isocratic echoes?
Badian, “Greeks” = E. Badian, “Greeks and Macedonians” in Beryl Bar-Sharrar – E. N. Borza (ed.), Macedonia and Greece in Late Classical and Early Hellenistic Times (Washington D.C. 1982) 33-51.
Borza, “Archelaos” = E. N. Borza, “The Philhellenism of Archelaos”, Ancient Macedonia V (Thessalonike 1993) 237-44 (= Makedonika 124-33).
Borza, “Greeks” = E. N. Borza, “Greeks and Macedonians in the Age of Alexander: The Source Traditions”, in R. W. Wallace – E. M. Harris (eds.), Transitions to Empire. Essays in Greco-Roman History, 360-146 B.C. in Honor of E. Badian (Norman, Okla.-London 1996) 122-39.
Daskalakis, Hellenism = Ap. Daskalakis, The Hellenism of the Ancient Macedonians (Thessalonike 1965).
Hall, “Ethnicities” = J. Hall, “Contested Ethnicities: Perceptions of Macedonia within Evolving Greek Identity”, in I. Malkin, (ed.), Ancient Perceptions of Greek Ethnicity (Cambridge, Mass.-London 2001) 159-86.
Hall, “Language”, = J. Hall, “The Role of Language in Greek Ethnicities”, ProcCamPhilSoc 41 (1995) 83-100.
Hatzopoulos, “Epigraphie” = M. B. Hatzopoulos, “Epigraphie et philologie: récentes découvertes épigraphiques et gloses macédoniennes d'Hesychius”, CRAI 1998, 1189-1218.
Hatzopoulos, “Herodotos” = M. B. Hatzopoulos, “Herodotos (VIII 137-138), the Manumissions from Leukopetra, and the Topography of the Middle Haliakmon Valley”, The World of Herodotus (forthcoming).
Hatzopoulos, “Macédonien” = M. B. Hatzopoulos, “Le macédonien: nouvelles données et théories nouvelles”, Ancient Macedonia VI (Thessalonike 1999) 225-39.
Hatzopoulos, Institutions = M. B. Hatzopoulos, Macedonian Institutions under the Kings: A Historical and Epigraphic Study (= «ΜΕΛΕΤΗΜΑΤΑ» 22; Athens 1996).
Malkin, “Ambiguities” = I. Malkin, “Greek Ambiguities: Between 'Ancient Hellas' and 'Barbarian Epirus'”, in I. Malkin (ed.), Ancient Perceptions of Greek Ethnicity (Cambridge, Mass.-London 2001) 187-212.
Malkin, “Introduction” = I. Malkin, “Introduction”, in I. Malkin (ed.), Ancient Perceptions of Greek Ethnicity (Cambridge, Mass.-London 2001) 1-28.
Mari, Olimpo = Manuela Mari, Al di là dell'Olimpo: Macedoni e grandi santuari della Grecia dell'età arcaica al primo ellenismo («ΜΕΛΕΤΗΜΑΤΑ» 34; Athens 2002).
Perlman, City = Paula Perlman, City and Sanctuary in Ancient Greece: The Theorodokia in the Peloponnese (Göttingen 2000).
Thomas, “Ethnicity” = Rosalind Thomas, “Ethnicity, Genealogy, and Hellenism in Herodotus”, in I. Malkin (ed.), Ancient Perceptions of Greek Ethnicity (Cambridge, Mass.-London 2001) 213-33.
* Abbreviations are listed at the end of this paper. Christine Sourvinou-Inwood’s important paper “Greek Perceptions of Ethnicity and the Ethnicity of the Macedonians”, Identità e prassi nel Mediterraneo greco (Milano 2002), which the author had the kindness to send me, came to my knowledge too late for inclusion in the present discussion.
.Hatzopoulos, “ Macédonien ” 225: « La présente communication ne prétend nullement résoudre la question tant controversée de la “nationalité “ des anciens Macédoniens. Un tel débat présuppose une réponse à la question préalable de la nature de la “ nationalité “ dans le monde grec, à supposer qu’une telle question soit bien posée et qu’elle comporte effectivement une réponse. Quoi qu’il en soit, il est hors de doute que la langue n’est au mieux qu’un des éléments qui concourent au sentiment d’appartenance d’ un groupe... ».
. Cf. F.W. Walbank, “Hellenes and Achaeans: ‘Greek Nationality’ Revisited”, Further Studies in the Ancient Greek Polis (Historia Einzelschriften 138; Stuttgart 2000) 18. F. W. Walbank, in 1951, still named his relevant article, without any inverted commas, “The Problem of Greek Nationality”, Phoenix 5 (1951) 41-60 (= Selected Papers [Cambridge 1985] 1-19). Is it merely coincidental that the word “ethnicity” is untranslatable –except as a calque– in languages such as French or Greek?
. Cf. the rich bibliography in J. Hall, Ethnic Identity in Greek Antiquity, Cambridge 1997; in I. Malkin, The Returns of Odysseus: Colonization and Ethnicity, Berkeley, Cal. 1998; and at the end of each contribution in the collective volume I. Malkin (ed.), Ancient Perceptions of Greek Ethnicity, Cambridge Mass.-London 2001. Among the numerous recent works, besides those already cited, I would also mention the following: Cinzia Bearzot, “La Grecia di Pausania. Geografia e cultura nella definizione del concetto di Ἑλλάς”, in Marta Sordi (ed.), Geografia e storiografia nel mondo classico, Milan 1988, 90-112; Edith Hall, Inventing the Barbarian: Greek Self-Definition through Tragedy, Oxford 1989; Catherine Morgan, “Ethnicity and Early Greek States: Historical and Material Perspectives”, PCPhS 37 (1991)131-63; E. N. Borza, “Ethnicity and Cultural Policy at Alexander’s Court”, AncW 22 (1991) 21-25 (= Makedonika, Claremont Cal. 1995, 149-58); Marta Sordi (ed.), Autocoscienza e rappresentazione dei popoli nell’antichità, Milan 1992; P. Cartledge, The Greeks: A Portrait of Self and Others, Oxford-New York 1993; Catherine Morgan, “The Origins of Panhellenism”, in Nanno Marinatos – R. Hägg (eds.), Greek Sanctuaries, London-New York 1993, 18-44; A. Giovannini, “Greek Cities and Greek Commonwealth”, in A. Bulloch, E. S. Gruen, A. A. Long, A. Stuart (eds.), Images and Ideology: Self-Definition in the Hellenistic World, Berkeley-Los Angeles-London 1993, 265-86; J. Hall, “The Role of Language in Greek Ethnicities”, PCPhS 41 (1995) 83-100; F. Cassola, “Chi erano i Greci?”, in S. Settis (ed.), I Greci: Storia, cultura, arte, società, 2.1, Turin 1996, 5-23; D. Asheri, “Identità greche, identità greca“, in the same work 2.2, Turin 1997, 5-26.
. And attracts the ironic scepticism of the editor (p. 1): "The tone of the current writings about ethnicity, any ethnicity, reflects a ubiquitous antiessentialism. Things have no essence, no "core". Ethnicity? There is no such thing, as such, and the key words for discussing it are now "invention" and "construction"". (He might have added "discourse").
. Hall, “Ethnicities” 166.
. Hall, Identity 40-51; cf. id., “Language” 91-96.
. As, for instance, E. N. Borza systematically does for the Macedonians. Cf. In the Shadow of Olympus: The Emergence of Macedon, Princeton, N.J. 19922, 94-97; 258; 268-72; 275-82; id., Before Alexander: Constructing Early Macedonia. Publications of the Associations of Ancient Historians 6, Claremont Cal. 1999, 32-34.
. Hall, “Ethnicities” 169-72.
. Hall, “Ethnicities” 179, n. 92; Malkin, “Introduction” 6; Thomas, “Ethnicity” 215 and 219.
. Cf. Herod. 8.144.2: αὖτις δὲ τὸ ἑλληνικόν, ἐὸν ὅμαιμόν τε καὶ ὁμόγλωσσον, καὶ θεῶν ἱδρύματά τε κοινὰ καὶ θυσίαι ἤθεά τε ὁμότροπα...
. Hall, “Ethnicities” 172.
. Hall, “Ethnicities” 173, n. 8.
. Cf. Hall, “Ethnicities” 171.
. Cf. E. Badian, “Greeks and Macedonians”, in Beryl Bar-Sharrar – E. N. Borza (eds.), Macedonia and Greece in Late Classical and Early Hellenistic Times, Washington D.C. 1982, 33-51; id., “Herodotus on Alexander I of Macedon: A Study in some Subtle Silences”, in S. Hornblower (ed.), Greek Historiography, Oxford 1994, 35-51; E. N. Borza, In the Shadow of Olympus. The Emergence of Macedon, Princeton, N.J. 19901; 19922; id., “Ethnicity and Cultural Policy at Alexander’s Court”, AncW 22 (1991) 21-25 (= Makedonika 149-58); id., “The Philhellenism of Archelaos”, Ancient Macedonia V, Thessalonike 1993, 237-44 (= Makedonika 124-33); id., “Greeks and Macedonians in the Age of Alexander: The Source Traditions”, in R. W. Wallace – E. M. Harris (eds.), Transitions to Empire. Essays in Greco-Roman History, 360-146 B.C., in Honor of E. Badian, Norman, Okla.-London 1996, 122-39; id., “La Macedonia di Filippo e i coflitti con le ‘poleis’”, in S. Setis (ed.), I Greci. Storia, Cultura, Arte, Società 2.3, Turin 1998, 21-46; id., “Macedonia Redux”, in Frances B. Titchener – R. F. Moorton Jr. (eds.), The Eye Expanded: Life and the Arts in Greco-Roman Antiquity, Berkeley-Los Angeles-London 1999, 249-66, and particularly 263, n. 17; P. Green, Alexander to Actium: The Historical Evolution of the Hellenistic Age, Berkeley-Los Angeles 1990, 3-5; Sarah B. Pomeroy, S. M. Burstein et al., Ancient Greece: A Political, Social, and Cultural History, New York-Oxford 1999, 373-75, etc.
. Cf. Hall, Identity 63-65.
. See C. Brixhe, “ Un ‘nouveau’ champ de la dialectologie grecque : le macédonien ”, ΚΑΤΑ ΔΙΑΛΕΚΤΟΝ. Atti del III Colloquio Internazionale di Dialettologia Greca, A.I.O.N. 19 (1997) 41-71; Sophia Moschonisioti, A. Ph. Christides, Theodora Glaraki, «Κατάδεσμος ἀπὸ τὴν Ἀρέθουσα», in A. Ph. Christides – D. Jordan (eds.), Γλῶσσα καὶ μαγεία. Κείμενα ἀπὸ τὴν ἀρχαιότητα, Athens 1997, 193-98; E. Voutiras, ΔΙΟΝΥΣΟΦΩΝΤΟΣ ΓΑΜΟΙ: Marital Life and Magic in Fourth Century Pella, Amsterdam 1998; M. B. Hatzopoulos, “ Epigraphie et philologie : récentes découvertes épigraphiques et gloses macédoniennes d’Hésychius ”; CRAI 1998, 1189-1218; id., “ Le Macédonien : nouvelles donnnées et théories nouvelles ”, Ancient Macedonia V, Thessalonike 1999, 225-39 ; id., “ ‘L’histoire par les noms’ in Macedonia ”, in Greek Personal Names: Their Value as Evidence, ProcBritAcad 104 (2ooo) 99-117; id., “ La position dialectal du macédonien à la lumière des découvertes épigraphiques récentes ”, Die alte griechischen Dialekte, ihr Wesen und Werden (forthcoming); id., “ Herodotos (VIII. 137-138), the Manumissions from Leukopetra, and the Topography of the Middle Haliakmom Valley ”,The Word of Herodotus (forthcoming).
. This is the case of much of the fundamental archaeological and epigraphic scholarly production published in Greece, such as the fourteen volumes of Tὸ ἀρχαιολογικὸ ἔργο στὴ Μακεδονία καὶ Θράκη, 1-14 (1987-2000) series, the volumes of the Ἐπιγραφὲς Μακεδονίαςseries and the seventeen volumes of the ΜΕΛΕΤΗΜΑΤΑ series devoted to Macedonia, some of which have a direct bearing on the present subject.
. For instance, the epigraphic discoveries mentioned in the previous notes have greatly reduced the importance of glosses and have rendered redundant much of the relevant discussion. In particular, dreptos (p. 162) is a ghost (see Anna Panayotou, «Γλωσσικὲς παρατηρήσεις σὲ μακεδονικὲς ἐπιγραφές», Ancient Macedonia IV, Thessalonike 1986, 417). Strabo 7.7.8 (p. 163) does not say that Macedonians, Epirotes and Illyrians shared some dialectal commonalities. In fact he says two different things: 1) that some extend the term Macedonia to the whole country (west of Upper Macedonia) as far as Corcyra, because the inhabitants of this area (to wit the Epirotes opposite Corcyra and not the Illyrians, who lived farther north, beyond the Ceraunian mountains), use similar hairstyles, dress and dialect (cf. R. Baladié, Strabon, Géographie. Livre VII, Paris 1989, 228, n. 4 ad locum; 2) some of the Epirotes inhabiting this area are bilingual (presumably they spoke Greek as well as Illyrian). Epigraphic evidence accumulating over the years has rendered Tarn’s list of divinities and its discussion (p. 164) irrelevant. Thaulos, Gyga, Zeirene, Xandos, Bedu, Arantides, Sauadai, Sabazius never occur in epigraphic documents; Totoës, attested once in Roman times, is an imported Egyptian deity (cf. H. Seyrig, “ Tithoës, Totoës et le Sphinx panthée ”, Annales du Service des Antiquités d'Egypte 35 (1935) 197-202; Ch. Picard, “ La sphinge tricéphale, dite 'panthée', d'Amphipolis et la démonologie égypto-alexandrine ”, CRAI 1957, 35-46; id., “ La sphinge tricéphale dite 'panthé', d'Amphipolis et la démonologie égypto-alexandrine ”, Mon.Piot 50 (1958) 49-84; Gazoria is a local epithet from the name of the eastern Macedonian city of Gazoros (cf. M.B. Hatzopoulos, “ Artémis Agrotéra, Gazoreitis et Bloureitis: une déesse thrace en Macédoine ”, Festschrift Ivan Marazov [forthcoming]). Judging from dedicatory inscriptions, the most popular gods of the Macedonians were Zeus, Herakles, Asklepios, Dionysos and a feminine deity variously appearing as Demeter, the Mother of the Gods, Artemis, Pasikrata, Ennodia etc. Catherine Trümpy’s excellent monograph, Untersuchungen zu den altgriechischen Monatsnamen und Monatsfolgen (Heidelberg 1997) 262-65, has made obsolete previous discussions of the Macedonian calendar. For the months Peritios, Dystros and Hyperberetaios in particular, cf. Hatzopoulos, “ Macédonien “ 237-39 ; id., “ Epigraphie ” 1202-1204. Klodones and Mimallones (p. 176, n. 54) have nothing to do with Thrace; see M. B. Hatzopoulos, Cultes et rites de passage en Macédoine («ΜΕΛΕΤΗΜΑΤΑ» 19; Athens 1994) 73-85. On the political system of the Molossi (p. 166), cf. the divergent view of J. K. Davies, “A Wholly Non-Aristotelian Universe: The Molossians as Ethnos, State, and Monarchy”, in R. Brock-St. Hodkinson (eds), Alternatives to Athens: Varieties of Political Organization and Community in Ancient Greece, Oxford 2000, 258: «...so far from being un-Greek, as supercilious southerners thought, their world shows clear signs of similarity to that of the communities of southern Aegean and proto-urban Greece in the archaic period». Concerning the Aiolian ancestry of the Macedonians in Hellanicus’ version, as opposed to the Dorian one of the royal dynasty (p. 169), it is not impossible that this Lesbian historian’s invention may have stemmed from the contrast between the Upper Macedonian origin of the Argeads and the north-Thessalian one of the Lower Macedonian commoners; cf. Hatzopoulos, “Herodotos”.
. Hall, “Ethnicities” 72, n. 92.
. Malkin, “Introduction” 5-6.
. See now Paula Perlman, City and Sanctuary in Ancient Greece. The Theodorokia in the Peloponnese, Göttingen 2000. For the Delphic catalogues, awaiting for the new edition by J. Ouhlen, Les Théarodoques de Delphes (doctoral dissertation, Université de Paris X, 1992), see A. Plassart, “ Inscriptions de Delphes. La liste des théarodoques ”, BCH 45 (1921) 1-85. Its date in the late third century, first proposed by G. Daux, “ Liste delphique de théarodoques ”; REG 62 (1949) 12-27, has been confirmed by a series of new discoveries; cf. Ph. Gauthier, Nouvelles inscriptions de Sardes II, Geneva 1989, 149-50 ; M. B. Hatzopoulos, “ Un prêtre d’Amphipolis dans la grande liste des théarodoques de Delphes ”, BCH 115 (1991) 345-47 ; D. Knoepfler, “ Le temple de Métrôon de Sardes et ses inscriptions ”; Museum Helveticum 50 (1993) 26-43.
. Cf. Hatzopoulos, Institutions 472-76. This has been admirably done now by Manuela Mari in her monograph Al di là dell’Olimpo: Macedoni e grandi santuari della Grecia dall'età arcaica al primo ellenismo («ΜΕΛΕΤΗΜΑΤΑ» 34; Athens 2002).
. See in particular L. Robert, “ Villes de Carie et d’Ionie dans la liste des théarodoques de Delphes ”, BCH 70 (1946) 510 (= OMS I 331); id., Documents d'Asie Mineure, Paris 1987, 292-95; cf. BullEpigr 1980, 297; cf. Perlman, City 32-33; ead., «Θεωροδοκοῦντες ἐν ταῖς πόλεσιν. Panhellenic Epangelia and Political Status», in M.H. Hansen, Sources for the Ancient Greek City-State, Copenhagen 1995, 113-47).
. This widely attested fact (cf. Herod. 5.22.1-2) has recently been commented upon by R. Parker, Cleomenes on the Acropolis, Oxford 1998, 10-11.
. See now also Christiane Sourvinou-Inwood, “Greek Perceptions of Ethnicity and the Ethnicity of the Macedonians”, Identintità e prassi storica nel Mediterraneo greco, Milano 2002, 190-92.
. L. Robert, “ Villes de Carie et d’Ionie dans la liste des théarodoques de Delphes ”, BCH 70 (1946) 515-16 (= OMS 336-37).
. IG V 1, 94-95; cf. Perlman, City 177-79; Ep. Cat. E. 1.
. Pseudo-Skylax 66.
. U. Kahrstedt, “Städte in Makedonien”, Hermes 81 (1953) 91-111.
. The relevant information in the literary sources (Thuc. 1.137.1 and Diod. 11.12.3) has been confirmed by recent epigraphic and other archaeological discoveries. Cf. M. Bessios, «Ἀνασκαφὴ στὸ βόρειο νεκροταφεῖο τῆς Πύδνας», Τὸ ἀρχαιολογκὸ ἔργο στὴ Μακεδονία καὶ Θράκη. 3, 1989, Thessalonike 1992, 155-63; J. B. Cuberna – D. Jordan, “Curse Tablets from Pydna”, (forthcoming).
. Cf. Hatzopoulos, Institutions I 473.
. From Argos we have a fragmentary list (P. Charneux, “ Liste argienne de Théarodoques ”, BCH 90  156-88; Perlman, City 100-104, Ep. Cat. A. 1) dating from c. 334-325/4 and preserving the names of the theorodokoi from north-western Greece, the Peloponnese, and western Asia Minor and the Aegean islands, and a fragmentary list preserving the amounts of contributions from Thessaly and Macedonia, probably related to the expenses of the sacred envoys, and dating from the end of the fourth century (IG IV 617; cf. Perlman, City 127-29).
. S. G. Miller, “The Theorodokoi of the Nemean Games”, Hesperia 57 (1988) 147-63; Perlman, City 236-39, Ep. Cat. N. 1. The fragmentary catalogue probably dates from c. 321-317 (Hatzopoulos, Institutions 474, n. 7) and preserves the names of the theorodokoi of Cyprus, Akarnania, the Ionian Islands, Macedonia, the Hellespont, Kyme, Eretria and Chios.
. Cf. Hatzopoulos, Institutions I 472-86.
. See the new monograph by Manuela Mari, (Olimpo 29-66). Imaginative scenarios about Archelaos’ and the other Macedonian kings’ exclusion from the panhellenic shrines and the creation of counter-Olympics at Dion (cf. Badian “Greeks” 35; Borza, “Archelaos” 129) not only are explicitly contradicted by the unique available literary source (Solinus 9.16), but are also implicitly refuted by epigraphic evidence such as the Epidauros list and the inscribed tripod from the great tomb of Vergina (M. Andronikos, Vergina: The Royal Tombs, Athens 1984, 165-66; see now Mari, Olimpo 35-36). From Epirus too, in the first half of the sixth century, the Molossian Alkon had been present at the Olympic Games along with other young Greek nobles (Herod. 6.127.4; cf. Cabanes, Les Illyriens 24; Malkin, “Ambiguities” 201.
. Aesch. 2.32; cf. Badian, “Greeks” 37 with n. 28; N. G. L. Hammond, “Literary Evidence for Macedonian Speech”, Historia 43 (1994) 134-35 (= Collected Studies IV 80-81).
. P. Marchetti, “ A propos des comptes de Delphes sous les archontats de Théon (324/3) et de Laphis (327/6) ”, BCH 101 (1977) 14, n. 37; N. G. L. Hammond, “Some Passages in Arrian Concerning Alexander”, CQ 30 (1980) 462-63; id., “Were Makedones Enrolled in the Amphictyonic Council in 346?”, Electronic Antiquity I/3 (1993). See now F. Lefèvre, L’Amphictionie pyléodelphique: histoire et institutions, Paris 1998, 94-101; Mari, Olimpo 71, n. 4.
. Dem., 19. 327.
. Hall, “Ethnicities” 173, n. 8.
. Cf. though Badian, “Greeks” 39-40 and 49, n. 50, who is much more cautious in his discussion of that particular passage.
. Borza, “Greeks” 125.
. Borza, “Greeks” 136, n. 2.
. M. B. Hatzopoulos, “Prefazione” in Mari, Olimpo 9-10.
. M. B. Hatzopoulos, “The Boundaries of Hellenism in Epirus during Antiquity”, in M. B. Sakellariou (ed.), Epirus, Athens 1997, 140-42.
. Hatzopoulos, Institutions I 473, n. 4.
. M. B. Hatzopoulos, Epirus, Macedonia, Cyprus and Other Controverted Cases of Greek Identity («ΜΕΛΕΤΗΜΑΤΑ»; forthcoming); cf. P. J. Stylianou, The Age of the Kingdoms. A Political History of Cyprus in the Archaic and Classical Periods («Μελέται καὶ Ὑπομνήματα» ΙΙ; Nicosia 1989) 492 -510 .
. Cf. G. Hill, History of Cyprus, vol. I, Cambridge 1949, 93-94.
. Cf. O. Masson, Les inscriptions chypriotes syllabiques, Paris 19832, 46-47.
. For instance, not to the Arcadians.
. Thuc. 3.94.5.
. Hesych. s.v. βαρβαρόφωνοι.
. Ath., Deipn. 12.516a.
. Cf. Perlman, City 115-16.
. The word “ethnicity”, as already mentioned, is practically untranslatable in languages such as Greek, German or French, except as a calque from Engish. Its success in the latter language, and in particular in American English, is probably due to the shift in meaning of the term “nation” in a country without a long national tradition, which, instead of the people, came to be used for the “state”, causing the need for the creation of a new term. For a Greek the existence of an ἔθνος or for a German the existence of a “nation” is clearly independant from that of a state apparatus.
. “Nearchos is mentioned among the notables, but Arrian (rather than Nearchos himself, Ind.18.4) classifies him among the Macedonians” (Borza, “Greeks” 137-38, n. 14).
. “While probably of Cretan origin...” (Borza, “Greeks” 138, n. 14, my italics). It is not a question of probability but of certainty based on both literary and epigraphical evidence (cf. H.Berve, Das Alexanderreich auf prosopographischer Grundlage I-II, Munich 1926, 269, no 544).
. Cf. Badian, “Greeks” 39-40 and 49, n. 48-50.
. N. G. L. Hammond – G. T. Griffith, A History of Macedonia, vol. II, Oxford 1979, 381.
. E. Badian, “Alexander and the Greeks of Asia”, Ancient Societies and Institutions. Studies Presented to Victor Ehrenberg, Oxford 1966, 37-96.
 M. B. Sakellariou, “The Inhabitants”, in M. B. Sakellariou (ed.), Macedonia, Athens 1983, 52; cf. Hall, “Ethnicities” 173, n. 8.
. Herod. 144.2.
. Given the obvious opportunism of the passage, it is vain to delve into the exact meaning of the term, which in Greek has meanings as varied as the word φῦλον, from which it is composed. In any case, it is noteworthy that it can be used to denote not necessarily another “race” or “nation”, but just another Greek population (cf. Thuc. 1.141, aptly adduced by Daskalakis, Hellenism 274, n. 56.).
. Isocr., Phil 107-108: ὁ δὲ τὸν μὲν τόπον τὸν ἑλληνικὸν ὅλως εἴασε, τὴν δ' ἐν Μακεδονίᾳ βασιλείαν κατασχεῖν ἐπεθύμησεν˙ ἠπίστατο γὰρ τοὺς μὲν Ἕλληνας οὐκ εἰθισμένους ὑπομένειν τὰς μοναρχίας˙ τοὺς δ'ἄλλους οὐ δυναμένους, ἄνευ τῆς τοιαύτης δυναστείας διοικεῖν τὸν βίον τὸν σφέτερον αὐτῶν ... μόνος γὰρ τῶν Ἑλλήνων, οὐχ ὁμοφύλου γένους ἀξιώσας ἄρχειν, μόνος καὶ διαφυγεῖν τοὺς κινδύνους τοὺς περὶ τὰς μοναρχίας γιγνομένους.
Cf. Daskalakis, Hellenism 249-56.
. Cf. Ephor. FGrHist 70 frg 143; Pseudo-Skylax 33; 65; 66; Dion. Calliph. 24 and 31-36.
. Nearly a century and a half later a Macedonian King, in a sarcastic repartee (Pol. 18.5. 7-9: "ποίας δὲ κελεύετέ με" φησὶν "ἐκχωρεῖν Ἑλλάδος καὶ πῶς ἀφορίζετε ταύτην; αὐτῶν γὰρ Αἰτωλῶν οὺκ εἰσὶν Ἕλληνες οἱ πλείους˙ τὸ γὰρ τῶν Ἀγραῶν ἔθνος καὶ τὸ τῶν Ἀποδωτῶν, ἔτι δὲ τῶν Ἀμφιλόχων, οὺκ ἔστιν Ἑλλάς ἢ τούτων μὲν παραχωρεῖτέ μοι;") exploited the same ambiguity in order to stress the absurdity of the proposed exclusion of Macedonia from Greece. Cf. le commentaire de P. Cabanes, “ Cité et ethnos dans la Grèce ancienne ”, Mélanges P. Lévêque II, Paris 1989,75: « Suivre cette voie qui conduit à l'exclusion de la Grèce d'une très grande région de la Grèce septentrionale, c'est aussi écarter de l'hellénisme aussi bien l'Olympe cher aux dieux du panthéon des Hellènes que le sanctuaire de Dodone, déjà visité au temps de l'Iliade, et le pays des morts arrosé par l'Archéron et le Cocyte réunis à proximité du Nekromanteion d'Ephyre de Thesprotie, où Ulysse vient à la rencontre du devin Tiresias, selon le récit de l'Odyssée ».
. Which proved to be a mistake, for it enabled anti-Macedonian politicians to construe a Hellenic identity from which Macedonia was excluded.
. See in particular, F. Geyer, Makedonien bis zur Thronbesteigung Philipps II, Munich and Berlin 1930, 32: „Nicht anders steht es mit dem Hinweis darauf, dass die Makedonen sich namentlich in der Zeit Alexanders des Grossen und der Diadochen als ein Volk für sich gefühlt hätten: Dieses Gefühl war lediglich ein Ausfluss nationalen Stolzes auf die unerhörten Leistungen, die ihnen die östliche Welt zu Füssen gelegt hatte, eine Wirkung des stolzen Bewussteins, auch den Griechen militärisch und politisch unendlich überlegen zu sein. Ganz ähnlich haben sich die Preussen zur Zeit Friedrichs des Grossen allen anderen Deutschen gegenüber als ein besonderes Volk gefühlt, haben sich mit Stolz als Preussen und nicht als Deutschen bekannt.”
Letter to President Obama
- On May 18th, 2009,
200 Classical Scholars from around the world, sent a letter to the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama.
- On June 22nd, 2009,
an update with 332 signatures was sent.
Since then, the list of cosigners has grown to 374, see Addenda.
- On May 18th, 2009,
Macedonian coin, stating in Greek: "ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ"
(in English: "ALEXANDER'S")