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Sourced[ edit ] At the end of the bronze age a residue of Greek tribes stayed behind in Southern Macedonia[...
The other Greek tribes became intermingled in upper Macedonia with Illyrians, Paeonians and Thracians[... Their verdict was and is decisive. It is certain that the Kings considered themselves to be of Greek descent from Heracles son of Zeus.
The name itself is Greek in root and in ethnic termination. The genealogy of eponymous ancestors which Hesiod recorded […] has a bearing on the question of Greek speech.
First, Hesiod made Macedon a brother of Magnes; as we know from inscriptions that the Magnetes spoke the Aeolic dialect of the Greek language, we have a predisposition to suppose that the Macedones spoke the Aeolic dialect. Hesiod would not have recorded this relationship, unless he had believed, probably in the seventh century, that the Macedones were a Greek speaking people.
The next evidence comes from Persia. There were Greeks in Greek city-states here and there in the province, but they were of various origins and not distinguished by a common hat. However, the Macedonians wore a distinctive hat, the kausia.
We conclude that the Persians believed the Macedonians to be speakers of Greek. Hesiod, Persia, and Hellanicus had no motive for making a false statement about the language of the Macedonians, who were then an obscure and not a powerful people.
Their independent testimonies should be accepted as conclusive. Nearly all of them are Greek. It remained so until the fourth century when it was almost totally submerged by the flood tide of standardized Greek. The Macedonians over whom Philip was to rule were an outlying family member of the Greek-speaking peoples. At one bound the territory, the population and wealth of the kingdom were doubled. Moreover since the great majority of the new subjects were speakers of the West Greek dialect, the enlarged army was Greek-speaking throughout.
For he was conversant with the histories of Herodotus and Thucydides. Caranus was inserted as a forerunner of Perdiccas in Macedonia only at the turn of the fifth century: Thus the dogmatic statement of Plutarch, that Caranus was the forerunner, should have been qualified, if he had been writing scientific history.
But because the statement conveyed a belief which Alexander certainly held in his lifetime it was justified in the eyes of a biographer and in the eyes of those who were more concerned with biographical background than with historical facts. In Epirus there were three clusters of tribal states, called Molossia, Thesprotia and Chaonia[...
It was occupied by several tribal states, which were constantly at war against Illyrians, Paeonians and Thracians. In their place the Macedonians were elected members. The two votes of Phocis on the council were transferred to the Macedonian state. Yet Philip was confident of success in the interest of the Greek-speaking world and of Macedonia in particular. It seems not to have been so in antiquity.
As we have seen, Hesiod made Magnes and Macedon first cousins of the Hellenes, and he therefore regarded them as speakers of a dialect or dialects of the Greek language.
That he was correct in the case of the Magnetes has been proved by the discovery of early inscriptions in an Aeolic dialect in their area of eastern Thessaly. Then, late in the fifth century a Greek historian, Hellanicus, who visited the court of Macedonia, made the father of Macedon not Zeus but Aeolus, a thing which he could not have done unless he knew that the Macedonians were speaking an Aeolic dialect of Greek.
A remarkable confirmation of their Greek speech comes from the Persians, who occupied Macedonia as part of their conquests in Europe c. In the second half of the fifth century Thucydides regarded the semi-nomadic, armed northerners of Epirus and western Macedonia as "barbarians", and he called them such in his history of events in 429 and 423.
The word was understood by some scholars to mean "non-Greek-speakers" rather than "savages. This discovery proved beyond dispute that one of Thucydides "barbarian" tribes" of Epirus, the Molossians, was speaking Greek at the time of which he was writing.
Demosthenes too called the Macedonians "barbarians" in the 340s. That this was merely a term of abuse has been proved recently by the discovery at Aegae Vergina of seventy-four Greek names and one Thracian name on funerary headstones inscribed in Greek letters.