Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Macedonia - Professor Μillers Letter to "Archaeology" Magazine

January 22, 2009
Editor, Archaeology Magazine
36-36 33 rd Street
Long Island City, NY 11106

Dear Sir,

I opened the January/February issue of Archaeology today and eagerly turned to
“A Letter from Macedonia” only to discover that it was actually a letter from ancient
Paionia – the land north of Mt. Barmous and Mt. Orbelos. Livy’s account of the
creation of the Roman province of Macedonia (45.29.7 and 12) makes clear that the
Paionians lived north of those mountains (which form today the geographically natural
northern limits of Greece) and south of the Dardanians who were in today’s Kosovo.
Strabo (7. frag 4) is even more succinct in saying that Paionia was north of Macedonia
and the only connection from one to the other was (and is today) through the narrow
gorge of the Axios (or Vardar) River. In other words, the land which is described by
Matthew Brunwasser in his “Owning Alexander” was Paionia in antiquity.

While it is true that those people were subdued by Philip II, father of Alexander, in 359
B.C. (Diodorus Siculus 16.4.2), they were never Macedonians and never lived in
Macedonia. Indeed, Demosthenes (Olynthian 1.23) tells us that they were “enslaved”
by the Macedonian Philip and clearly, therefore, not Macedonians. Isokrates (5.23)
makes the same point. Likewise, for example, the Egyptians who were subdued by
Alexander may have been ruled by Macedonians, including the famous Cleopatra, but
they were never Macedonians themselves, and Egypt was never called Macedonia (and
so far as I can tell does not seek that name today).
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