Eugene N. Borza

Eugene N. Borza was professor of ancient history at Pennsylvania State University and is considered one of the foremost experts on ancient Macedon.

SourcedEdit

  • Movie critics have complained that the movie lacks coherent vision. The fault may not be Stone's. We know what [Alexander] did, and it continues to astonish us, but we don't know how or why he did it...Stone suggests some noble purpose for Alexander's mad, bloody tromp across Asia. He and his historical consultant shared a need to give meaning to a meaningless conquest.
  • Our understanding of the Macedonians' emergence into history is confounded by two events: the establishment of the Macedonians as an identifiable ethnic group, and the foundation of their ruling house. The "highlanders" or "Makedones" of the mountainous regions of western Macedonia are derived from northwest Greek stock; they were akin both to those who at an earlier time may have migrated south to become the historical "Dorians", and to other Pindus tribes who were the ancestors of the Epirotes or Molossians. That is, we may suggest that northwest Greece provided a pool of Indo-European speakers of Proto-Greek from which were drawn the tribes who later were known by different names as they established their regional identities in separate parts of the country... First, the matter of the Hellenic origins of the Macedonians: Nicholas Hammond's general conclusion (though not the details of his arguments) that the origin of the Macedonians lies in the pool of proto-Greek speakers who migrated out of the Pindus mountains during the Iron Age, is acceptable.
    • "Makedonika", Regina Books, Claremont CA
  • Modern Slavs, both Bulgarians and Macedonians, cannot establish a link with antiquity, as the Slavs entered the Balkans centuries after the demise of the ancient Macedonian kingdom. Only the most radical Slavic factions—mostly émigrés in the United States, Canada, and Australia—even attempt to establish a connection to antiquity [...] The twentieth-century development of a Macedonian ethnicity, and its recent evolution into independent statehood following the collapse of the Yugoslav state in 1991, has followed a rocky road. In order to survive the vicissitudes of Balkan history and politics, the Macedonians, who have had no history, need one. They reside in a territory once part of a famous ancient kingdom, which has borne the Macedonian name as a region ever since and was called ”Macedonia” for nearly half a century as part of Yugoslavia. And they speak a language now recognized by most linguists outside Bulgaria, Serbia, and Greece as a south Slavic language separate from Slovenian, Serbo-Croatian, and Bulgarian. Their own so-called Macedonian ethnicity had evolved for more than a century, and thus it seemed natural and appropriate for them to call the new nation “Macedonia” and to attempt to provide some cultural references to bolster ethnic survival..
    • "Macedonia Redux", in "The Eye Expanded: life and the arts in Greco-Roman Antiquity", ed. Frances B Tichener & Richard F. Moorton, University of California Press, 1999
  • It is difficult to know whether an independent Macedonian state would have come into existence had Tito not recognised and supported the development of Macedonian ethnicity as oart of his ethnically organised Yugoslavia. He did this as a counter to Bulgaria, which for centuries had a historical claim on the area as far west as Lake Ohrid and the present border of Albania.
    • The Eye Expanded By Frances B. Titchener, Richard F. Moorton
  • The Macedonians are a newly emergent people in search of a past to help legitimize their precarious present as they attempt to establish their singular identity in a Slavic world dominated historically by Serbs and Bulgarians. One need understand only a single geopolitical fact: As one measures conflicting Serb and Bulgarian claims over the past nine centuries, they intersect in Macedonia. Macedonia is where the historical Serb thrust to the south and the historical thrust to the west meet. This is not to say that present Serb and Bulgarian ambitions, where the past has precedence over the present and future.
    • The Eye Expanded By Frances B. Titchener, Richard F. Moorton

In the Shadow of Olympus: The Emergence of Macedon (1990)Edit

Princeton University Press

  • Only recently have we begun to clarify these muddy waters by revealing the Demosthenean corpus for what it is: oratory designed to sway public opinion and thereby to formulate public policy. That elusive creature, Truth, is everywhere subordinate to Rhetoric; Demosthenes' pronouncements are no more the true history of the period than are the public statements of politicians in any age.
    • pp. 5-6
  • There is no doubt that this tradition of a superimposed Greek house was widely believed by the Macedonians[...] There was a persistent, well attested tradition in antiquity that told of a group of Greeks from Argos -descendants of Temenus, kinsman of Heracles- who came to Macedonia and established their rule over the Makedones, unifying them and providing a royal house.
    • p. 80
  • There is no reason to deny the Macedonians' own traditions about their early kings and the migration of the Macedones[..] The basic story as provided by Herodotus and Thucydides, minus the interpolation of the Temenid connections, undoubtedly reflects the Macedonians' own traditions about their early history.
    • p. 84
  • Both Herodotus and Thycidides describe the Macedonians as foreigners, a distinct people lying outside the frontiers of the Greek-city states.
    • p. 92
  • Who were the Macedonians? As an ethnic question it is the best avoided, since the mainly modern political overtones tend to obscure the fact that it really is not a very important issue. That they may or may not have been Greek in whole or in a part--while an interesting anthropological sidelight--is really not crucial to our understanding of their history. They made their mark not as a tribe of Greeks or other Balkan peoples, but as Macedonians. This was understood by foreign protagonists from the time of Darius and Xerxes to the age of Roman generals.
    • p. 97
  • Their daughter, who would be the half-sister of Alexander the Great and, later the wife of Cassander, was appropriately named Thessalonike, to commemorate Philip's victory in Thessaly. In 315 Cassander founded at or near the site of ancient Therme the great city that still bears her name.
    • p.220
  • Here we have seen that their early history is still largely an open question. They may have had Greek origins: Whatever process produced the Greek-speakers (of that is how one defines "Greek") who lived south of Olympus may have also produced the Makedones who wandered out of the western mountains to establish a home and a kingdom in Pieria.
    • pp. 277-278

External linksEdit

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Last modified on 17 December 2013, at 09:42