Macedonians were well known in the ancient world. Not only because some very famous people were of Macedonian origin, but also because as a people they made important contributions in the development of civilization.
We may well ask ourselves, who were they? What was their ethnic origin? Although, according to some theories they were of Greek origin, we know that the ancient Greeks considered Macedonians as "barbarians" that is, non-Greek. We also know from the writings of the Greek historian, Arrian, that there was "a racial rivalry" between the Greeks and the Macedonians.
There are many indications that the ancient Macedonians were of Venetic origin (the term "Slavic" came into use much later), and there is evidence in favor of this position. I will try to elucidate important details concerning this unresolved historical problem.
For the sake of clarity, the materials will be arranged under several
The Historical Evidence We can see from several ancient documentary sources that Macedonians and Hellenes were two different peoples. Some Greek, as well as Roman historians, have explored this view, and have left evidence collected from earlier periods, clearly showing that ancient Macedonians were of Venetic origin.
The Linguistic Evidence Although the surviving vocabulary of the ancient Macedonians is relatively small, it gives a good indication in favor of our thesis; which is, that the modern Macedonian language is at least in part the continuation of the language spoken by Alexander the Great and his contemporaries. I will offer a number of concrete examples.
The Onomastic Evidence There is considerable heritage from the area of burial customs and archaeological remains. They contain many examples of sameness or similarity between the ancient and modern Macedonian, and other Slavic languages. There are also some narrative, oral testimonies pointing in the same direction.
Page Created: October 27, 2001
Page Updated: October 27, 2001
ęCopyright 2001 Gary L. Gorsha