The language of the ancient Macedonians

The most important Greek dialects of Greek Peninsula

and Asia Minor around 500 e.g..

The language of the ancient Macedonians

Dimitri E.. Evangelides

The Greek language, according to the newest scientific opinions((a)), formed in Greece, after the arrival of Proto-Greek, who although assimilated and disappeared gradually their previously established peoples (= Proellines), but influenced culturally and cultural. The Proellines speaking their own languages ​​and therefore clearly influenced the shaping of Greek language. Result of this process((b)) was the first single proto-Greek decay into three dialects between 2200/2100 e.g.. and 1900 e.g.. i.e.. the final installation of Proto-Greeks in a relatively narrow band that included current Epirus and part of N. (D). Illyridos, Western Macedonia and B. (A). part of Thessaly (see. Charter), until the start of the movement of these gender, mainly in southern regions.((c))

Initial proto-Greek equality facilities

The dialects they were:

1. A very archaic form of subsequent Ionic-Attica dialectal

2. One also archaic form of so-called West / northwest / continental dialectal (this arose later Dorian Laconia, Crete etc., the dialect of Elis, the Aitoliki, the Neo-Achaean, and dialects of the three major racial groups of Epirus - Thesprotians, Molossos, Chaonia) and

3. The so-called Central Dialect, which is then cleaved in wind (referred to as proto-Wind) and the Arcadian (the subsequent Arkadi-Cypriot).

Completing the picture mention that around 1600 e.g.. a aiolofonon Achaean portion emigrated from Thessaly TO (= Achaia Fthiotis) BA Peloponnese. There, their dialect was showing novelties and is influenced by Arcadian (later Arkadi Cypriot) dialect of central Peloponnese (wherein around 1900 e.g.. They had migrated and settled the Arkadofonoi, coming from the area of ​​today's Western Macedonia). So finally reached our known, the signs with Linear B, dialect of the Mycenaean kingdoms, which was previously reported as Achaean (It should not be confused with the aforementioned Neo-Achaean, a Doric dialect), while today has prevailed in general to call Mycenaean. With the collapse of the Mycenaean world, Mycenaean dialect gradually ceased to be used to permanently disappear around 1150 e.g.. End, the intersection of wind and western elements Dialectology, encountered the Thessaly and the Boeotian dialect.

So what was the linguistic relationship of the ancient Macedonian speech in relation to the above dialects of the Greek language;

Before we look at the answers to this question it should be recalled that the investigations and studies on the Macedonian showed excellent progress over the past thirty years, thus we can now refer to linguistic raw material, from which we can reach specific scientific conclusions.

Scientific however discussions began virtually from the early 19th century with the publication in Leipzig, Germany on a short study by Phi. G.. Stourts titled "On the dialect of the free Macedonian»((d)), aimed to present the views and research on the position of Macedonian as a dialect of the Greek language and mainly by issuing the 1825 of the project (C). O. Myller «About the residence, the origin and the oldest history of the Macedonian people»((e)). Unfortunately the discussion of scientific soon turned to politics and became an endless series of confrontations for the Greek character or not this language.((f))

As observed: «…For several decades there has been intense controversy about the inclusion or non-Macedonian in Greek dialects. The problem was partly due to the inadequacy of the material, early inscriptions mainly, but in exoepistimonikous agents, since the very beginning the controversy was closely dependent on the political and historical developments in the southern Balkans in the 19th and 20th century – even to this day – and territorial claims of the peoples who inhabited the area…».((g))

therefore attempting to answer the question we posed above about the relationship of ancient Macedonian dialect with other Greek dialects, We must clarify that in the past, but until relatively recently, It was difficult a simple and clear answer for lack or even the scarcity of linguistic material, allowing a variety of cases and opinions. These we can classify them into four groups, depending on the position that support:

1. The earliest position accept the view that Macedonian was a mixed language, relative of Illyrian (The position of said G. O. Müller, and Slavs mainly scientists then, as the G. Kazaroff, M. Rostovtzeff, M. Budimir, H. Baric etc.) or Thracian (supported even today by Bulgarian D. Tzanoff).

2. Another position, supported by leading scientists, accepted the Macedonian as independent Indo-European language, akin to the Greek (V. Pisani, I. Russian, G. Mihailov, P. Chantraine, I. bashful, C. D. Buck, E. Schwyzer, Vlad. georgiev, W. W. Tarn and the prominent French linguist Olivier Masson at the beginning of his career).

3. The majority, however, scientists and especially linguists advocated and supported that Macedonian was another Greek dialect (The view expounded by F.. G.. Stourts mentioned above, and the "patriarch" of Greek Linguistics C.. Manos (1848-1941), the late Professor of Linguistics at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Nick. Andrioti, and the N. Kalleris, A. Fick, Otto Hoffmann, F. Solmsen, V. Lesny, F. Geyer, N. G. L. Hammond, A. Toynbee, Ch. Edson and Olivier Masson in mature years).

4. End, We must mention the existence of a previously small portion scientists, who fulfilled a cautious attitude, citing the existence of certain ambiguities and inadequacy of linguistic material was the available time, thus find it impossible to formulating an informed position [Mainly, French linguist Antoine Meillet (1866–1936) and Italoevraios historian Arnaldo Momigliano(1908–1987)] (the).

But even ancient sources were, not only extremely sparse on the issue of the language of the Macedonians, but rather exacerbated the confusion. As aptly and clearly explained this situation:

“…The ancient writers mentioned rather rarely in the very language of the Macedonians. Summing Up (see. last Panayiotou 1992-Kapetanopoulos 1995) we could group the relevant evidence as follows:

(a). For the character of the Macedonian dialect: During the Tito Livio Macedonians, Aitolous and Akarnanes speak the same dialect – similar finding does Strabo for dialect Ipeirots and Macedonians. As we all know, idioms above all equality are in northwestern dialectic group. The testimonials are now confirmed by the dialectical inscriptions and in turn combined with indirect evidence of the sources for the affinity Dorians and Macedonians: by Herodotus (1.56) identifies Dorians and Macedonians – himself (5.20, 5.22, 8.137, 8.138), as Thucydides (2.99.3) and other later sources familiar myth that connects the royal house of Timenidon with Argos and Hercules, information indirectly confirmed by archaeological findings eg. the cataplasm published by Tiberius (1989) […] contrast, genealogical myths of Hesiod and Ellanikou connect the Macedonians with the Aeolian, but so far no major elements reinforcing this tradition.

(b). For the gradual marginalization of the Macedonian dialect: Already in the army of M. Alexander, an interactive set of different origins, the Macedonians expressed in common – dialect used only between Macedonians or in moments of intense emotion. H younger chronologically testimony dialect is the middle of the 1st century BC. and refers to retreat even before this period the Ptolemaic court. The testimony of the sources confirmed by the inscriptions.

(c). For the Macedonian dialect and common: H common spread through the Macedonian conquest and prevailed, without stopping, thanks to the Hellenistic kingdoms. So connected later in the consciousness of some Atticists very closely with the Macedonians, to the extent that the term makedonizein to acquire some of them the meaning 'speak the common’ (e.g.. Athenian, "Deipnosophistai» 3.121f-122a) – for this reason also caused their ironic comments. As evidence of this also the importance of makedonizein can confront Atticists passages, where the same type characterized by hand as "Macedonian" and from one another as a type of "tacky" using the "ignorant" or "younger"…”.((I))

We have already noted that in the last thirty years, the situation changed radically thanks to the Academy of Sciences publications Berlin epigraphic material from the Thessaloniki region (1972) and northern Macedonia (1999), and the Greek-Roman Antiquity Center (K.E.R.A.) from Upper Macedonia (1985) and the region of Veria (1998). Moreover the KERA published three collections of major names from the areas of Veria, of Edessa and expatriate Macedonians.

He clarifies and Professor AUTH. John M. loafer in an excellent article titled "The language of the ancient Macedonians • New data from Pella»((j)):

«For a long time the language of the people speaking Macedonians was discussed and different approaches. By some researchers even, BORZA the American professor and his students, it was considered that all the Greek inscriptions found in the great Touba Vergina belong to relatives of kings, since the royal tombs are. Their language say it is natural that the Greek after themselves scholars argue that the royal family and the higher class only had Hellenized. But this is the case; Obviously this argument would have been forfeited if we were Greek texts belonging to ordinary people and are dated before the time of Alexander the Great and the common Greek, say before the middle of the 4th century. e.g..

The early cemetery Agora Pella gave us the most important findings. Since the end of the 5th century. e.g.. comes the headstone Xanthos. About an impoverished child. To make the small column was reused in a piece of marble. The inscription on the column writes: XANTHOS / Demetrios / Y AND AMA / CODE SON. Of particular interest here Mother Amades. This name seems to come from the root am- they Homeric AMA-oh verb (arch. = mow) and the Macedonian suffix -dika, remember the broad s name. Observe the normal formation of the Macedonian arriving at a place the. Recent findings even from our Vergina gave three times the name of Philip's mother as Eurydice and not Eurydice. So, while examples of a few years ago were scarce today are growing daily with the discoveries of archaeologists. I remind you two finds from the cemetery of Pella, plucked from the soil recently. This golden leaves with the identity of the dead. In a sheet recorded Igisiska name, instead of Igisiski, the verb lead. I also mention that the dead was a little girl, so it -iski = Igisiski. In another recorded the name of hospitality. Another finding from the cemetery of the Market area belongs to a leaden plate inscribed, ένα katadesmo(k), as say the ancients. It is a major asset of the archaeological research conducted in Macedonia in recent years. This text, In my opinion, can decisively help in the understanding of the Macedonian dialect. As it is currently, unique interactive text Macedonian. The importance of further increases because it is relatively extensive text. This text is ready for publication, only appear, I'm sure that will widely discussed by experts linguists.

The plate was uncovered in a tomb of a humble person. The text presents relations with Attic in drafting. But differs from the Attic-Ionic group the following:

1. A and here there is the secondary, see. eg. Thetis, instead Thetimi, Fuck instead gimai, other anti another, deserted place deserted, bad rather bad.

2. The foreshortening of a and b is a not h, e.g.. When Allan Pasang instead of the other passes, widow instead widows etc..

3. General and other particularities helps us rank the text language in the group of NW Doric Greek course dialects. So that is the Macedonian and she meant when Alexander speaks to soldiers Macedonists…».

Unfortunately, old theories withdrawn difficult thus remains outdated "wisdom" still charged journals, university textbooks and projects, as aptly says Professor Milt. Hatzopoulos, indicating as examples (to avoid would say), the text of Professor P. Krosslant (R. A. Crossland), in the third volume - Part 1, the famous and very reliable otherwise "Ancient History" of the University of Cambridge in Macedonian(l) and the booklet Amerikanoroumanou Professor Eugene Borza(m).

also a typical example and dialektologikoi maps circulating in foreign (but unfortunately in Greek) literature and that restrict Greek dialects in a small segment of Greek space (southern mainland Greece, the islands and the coast of Asia Minor), and show the area of ​​Macedonia, and Epirus, inhabited by speakers of non-Greek dialects!

Robert Morkot, ed. 1996. The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Greece.

“Penguin Books”, p. 23. 04-01.htm

(Cambridge Ancient History Vol. III part 1)

But why were these doubts and controversies about the position of the Macedonian dialect;

As Professor M. explains. Hatzopoulos(n):

«…One reason - perhaps the most important - for such resistance to assimilation of new data and the insistence on outdated theories until even the last years, is the way in which, the 19th century, the scientific debate on the Macedonian dialect and Greek non-character focused on sporadic appearance in Macedonian words and proper names - which otherwise seemed completely Greek - loudly closed pacts [voiced stops] ((b), (d), (c)) instead of the corresponding first CSCE, aichon closed pacts [originally “aspirate” unvoiced stops] (f, (I), x,), expected in other Greek dialects, eg Valakros and Verena rather bald and Ferenika…».

And it continues:

«[…] Since the mid 80s of last century the acceleration of archaeological research in Macedonia and activities of KERA "Macedonia" Program resulted in the presentation of numerous scientific papers and between them by leading linguists (Claude Brixhe, Anna Panayiotou, O. Masson, L. Dubois, Miltiades B.. Hatzopoulos) they used the newer data, which were collected, allowing to go beyond the Gordian knot, who, from the 19th century captured all the discussions surrounding the language of the ancient Macedonians, i.e.. on whether or not it was Greek. So it is no exaggeration to say that from now on the barrier that prevented the identification of the language they spoke, Philip and Alexander the Great was eliminated: The ancient Macedonian was a real and genuine Greek dialect. On this issue, all linguists and scholars actively engaged in this issue now had the same view. But it is equally true that they do not agree on everything.

Two questions still raise serious disagreements:

(a)) How explain the sporadic presence in Macedonian words and names of the notes b, (d), c instead of the corresponding phonemes f, (I), x other Greek dialects;

(b)) What is the dialectical position within the Macedonian Greek;

The first question was investigated several times in recent years, but with different conclusions by Claude Brixhe and Anna Panayotou on one side and O. Masson, L. Dubois and myself on the other.

On the subject of dialectical relations within the Macedonian Greek, apart from the above mentioned scientists, the N. G. L. Hammond and E. Voutiras also made an important contribution. As long, however, dealt, gradually I became convinced that the above two questions are closely linked or rather, that research on dialectal affinities of the Macedonian dialect can provide satisfactory explanations for this question specificity of symphonic system (of this controversial particularity of its consonantal system). […]

So the search for the symphonic system of Macedonian led to the question of Dialectology affinities of this speech which was closely connected. it was normal, The basic disagreement on the Greek or non-Greek character of Macedonian, put aside to a secondary position the question of its mounting within Greek dialects. However not completely neglected. Already, ° F. G. fall, supported by Herodotus, identified the Macedonian as a Doric dialect, while Otto Abel was precise and placed between the northern Doric dialects. Suppose Strabo and Plutarch have provided the necessary arguments to insist that Macedonians did not differ from mainland dialect.

The fundamental work of Otto Hoffmann was what decisively introduced the Wind dimension to the discussion, widely be accepted nowadays (Daskalakis, Toynbee, Goukowsky). The location for the Doric-north-west dimension made a strong restoration thanks to the prestige of J. N. Kalleris followed by G.. Mpampiniotis, the Olivier Masson and other scientists with more chiseled views (A. Tsopanakis, A. I. Thavoris, M. B. Sakellariou and Cl. bridge). Finally the N. G. L. Hammond took the most clear terms, arguing for the parallel existence of two Macedonian dialects: An Upper Macedonia closely associated with the North-Western dialects and another in Lower Macedonia lineage to Thessaly. But a new element, the publication of a comprehensive dialectology text from Macedonia, created a new situation. This text came from the discovery of a cataplasm (see. NB. k) from the first half of the 4th century BC. which was discovered in a tomb at Pella ... "(o).

The Pella curse tablet

(Archaeological Museum of Pella)

Dimensions: 30 cm X 6 cm


[Thetis]And our Dionysofontos the end and gamon Recording and Allan Tan Pasang Rd-

[naik]sciences and widow and virgin, indeed Thetimas, And parkattithemai Makronas and
[per] daimosi • Crick and I NO dielexaimi and anagnoiin palein anoroxasa,
[toque] Fuck Dionysofonta, erst they were not • non gar Lavos Allan woman but the AWU,
[AWU d]E synkatagirasai Dionysofonti and midemian Allan. Iketis ymo(n) construed-
[am • Phil;]if lamented, profiles demons[the](j), dapina gar
IME friends everything and void • Other
[ID]Emin a store such as non ginitai the[Y]the wrong and bad Thetis apolitai.
[—-]AL[—-]YNM..ESPLIN emos, AWU not [(e)]Y[(d)]aimona and blessed genestai
[—–] THE[.].[—-].[..]..E.E.EO[ ]A.[.]E..MEGE[—]

1. [For the Thetis]us and Dionysofonta ceremony and wedding write the curse, and for (marriage) all other Rd-

2. [naik]s, widows and virgins (with him), but especially for Thetis and assign (this curse) in Makrona and

3. [the] demons. And that only when unearth and unwrap and reread (these words)

4. [then] (only can) marry the Dionysofon and not before. And may not marry another woman, only me

5. and may I grow old with Dionysofonta and any other. Your Iketides am:

6. show compassion to [Kiss;], favorite demons, humbly (I beg you) I left with all my favorite

7. But please keep (this written) for me as not these events so lost Thetis badly

8. and give me bliss and beatitude.

We should note that many "well-wishers" were quick to reduce the enormous importance of this discovery for linguistic research, with arguments ranging from a simple skepticism to non-cases. The professor Milt. Hatzopoulos It is apostomotikos this issue:

"... In my opinion the presence (language) types such dielexaimi, IME, anoroxasa, dapina, which is expected in Macedonian, but completely foreign to North-western dialects, confirmation is decisive for the local origin of the author of the text and allows us to reject the unlikely case that the text was probably the work of a Epirot resident who lived in Pella ... '.(p)
Controversial according

We return to the notorious question of the existence of the Macedonian loudly closed pacts [voiced stops] ((b), (d), (c)) instead of the corresponding first CSCE, aichon closed pacts [originally “aspirate” unvoiced stops] (f, (I), x), existing in other Greek dialects.

In this issue, As we mentioned before, there are two views about the origin of the phenomenon. The first view is supported primarily by Professor Anna Panayiotou:

"... Certain ancient (by Plutarch and after) and Byzantine sources indicate that the Macedonians «stained» B instead of F. (and once D instead of I.) in anthroponymia, in devotional epithets, months of the Macedonian calendar and Macedonian "language" – grammarians and lexicographers maintain that anthroponymio Kiss ([phvla]) e.g.. corresponded to the Macedonian Villa [bvla] (or since the end of the classical period [vvla] according to some researchers, κυρίως Babiniotis 1992). Ayti the difference was considered by most linguists and scholars as absolutely essential, separated not Macedonian from all Greek dialects – Mycenaean Greek including -, because it implies different development pacts in the phonological system of the Macedonian: i.e., according to this theory, the Indo-European sonorous CSCE * bh, *dh, *gh have Trap in Greek in aicha CSCE [ph th kh] (F graphics, Θ, X respectively) having lost their loudness, while the Macedonian Trap are respectively [b d g] (B charts, (D), C respectively), ie have lost their shagginess. According to other scholars, the difference reflects developments within the Greek (apokleistopoiisi), position rather difficult to reconcile with the newest data from the dialect texts (see. last Brixhe & Panayotou 1994, 211 and 216-218, Panagiotou 1997, 202). Perhaps it is more economical to assume that the names that have this feature is language remains one sex who lived in the area and which assimilated linguistically by the Macedonians, it is clear that as early as the 5th century BC. the only traces of this language had been limited to a field eminently conservative, nomenclature. Already in the 4th century BC, when the writing is beginning to spread in Macedonia, in the linguistic sense of Macedonians these names were, without distinction apparently, part of the Macedonian linguistic material and tradition…». (q)

The sex which says Professor A.. Panagiotou are Phrygians, thus accepting the influence of a Phrygian coating (adstratum) the formation of the Macedonian, obviously influenced by the positions of the colleague, French linguist Claude Brixhe, Professor at the University of Nancy, which has carried out considerable research and studies in (dead centuries) Phrygian language.

The professor Milt. Hatzopoulos not, however, accept this assumption and argues that the existence of resonant closed consonants b, (c), d of Macedonian due to the influence of neighboring dialects of Perraivos and Thessaly. It supports a strong argument and persuasion:

"... If we take into account the geographical distribution of types with sonorous closed according to Thessaly, we observe that they are concentrated in the northern part of the region, mainly in Pelasgiotis and Perraivos, with the largest concentration in the second. But in Macedonia these guys are unevenly distributed. They found in considerable numbers and variety - offering testimony to the original vitality of the phenomenon - in three cities or regions: in Vergina, Veria and Pieria. But all of these are located in the distant south-eastern part of Macedonia, in direct contact with the Perraivos. I think this just our geographic distribution provides the solution of the problem. So we are dealing with a phonetic peculiarity of Greek dialect, spoken on both sides of Olympus and is undoubtedly due to a substrate or coating, likely, but not necessarily, Phrygian.

If any doubt remained in relation to the Greek origin of the phenomenon, will dissolve the names of two people: Kevalinos and Vettalos.

It is generally accepted that the first comes from the Indo-European root * ghebh(e)l-. If according to the "Phrygian" case, loss of sonority of "CSCE" did not take place before the anomoiosi of exhaled, the type which should form the Greek dialect of Macedonia should be Gevalinos rather Kevalinos, which is the result of early loss of sonority of "CSCE" after their anomoiosis. The Claude Brixhe and Anna Panayotou, fully realizing the problem, evade accepting (that the phenomenon is due to) "Outdated dialektismo" (“faux dialectisme”).

From the other, the name Vettalos, It is obviously the type of Macedonian national Thettalos, used as a persons name, with possible transfer of bluefin tuna. We also know that the contrast between Atticus Thettalos and Boeoticos Fettalos, It requires an initial * gwhe-.

Given that on one hand the Phrygian, unlike the Greek, the Indo-European lip-palate(*)(labiovelars, i.e.. consonants * kw, *gw, *gwh. Nb. WEU) They lost their palate notes not keep any trace of it, the type which should inherit the Greek dialect of Macedonia, according to the "Phrygian" case, should show an initial * gen-, (i.e.. Gettalos. Nb. WEU), which clearly is not the case.

From the other, type Vettalos, the guy whom the Macedonians pronounced with a strong initial consonant, It can be interpreted in a type of continental Wind dialects, in which, as we know, the 'CSCE' lip-palate followed by a / i / or / e / became simply sonorous labial. The Aeolian type Fettalos, behind the Vettalos, gives us a terminus post quem (latin. "Limit after which ', i.e.. the earliest time that can happen an event. Nb. WEU) the phenomenon of conversion into resounding pact (the voicing phenomenon). This is because if we take into account the spelling of Mycenaean signs, which still maintains a separate series of symbols lip-palate, it is necessary (= mandatory) be dated to the above phenomenon in a post-Mycenaean period, well after the removal of lip-palate, which means the end of the second millennium BC. the earliest and probably in the Greek world. Clearly in the case of formula Vettalos, an ad hoc (latin. thereupon, i.e.. constructed. Nb. WEU) assumption of "obsolescence dialektismou" (“faux dialectisme”) it is unacceptable, due to the late season time where someone hypothetical Macedonian patriot would be tempted to resort to such a form of language for national named Thessalians from time when he was replaced by the type of Attica 'common' Thettalos. Reprocessing of a type Vettalos, sounds supposedly more "Macedonian" (more “Macedonian-sounding”), Our returns on a scientific level knowledge had achieved the 19th century…». (r)


(*) The fthongologiko system of the original Proto-Indo-European (TIA) Language included a complex consonants system distinguished in Hailey (labials), dental (dental), gallery (velars), Lip-palate (lip-velars) etc.. The important category of TIA pacts were called closed (stops), which in turn are divided into aicha (unvoiced/voiceless stops), sonorous (voiced stops) and sonorous CSCE (voiced aspirates/aspirated stops). So we have the following classification:


Χειλικά p b bh

Dental t d dh

Υπερωϊκά k g gh

Χειλο-υπερωϊκά kw gw GWh

As Professor explains (C). Bambiniotis, in Proto-Greek (IP) language, Although the lips gave respective sounds Fr., (b), f, their sounds Dental t, (d), (I), their palate notes of Mr,(c),x. We observe that the sonorous CSCE TIA in IP became aicha CSCE. The lip-palatal sounds gradually disappeared and evolved in the respective chelating, dental or palatal, depending on the vowel that followed. For example, the resonant shaggy phoneme gwh converted into F if a follower or, in i follow if e or i and x if followed th. (s)


The Macedonian belonged to the West / Northwest / Continental ancient dialects as distinct dialect with its own peculiarities and idioms and was the vernacular of the majority of the inhabitants of the Macedonian Kingdom. But in certain areas of Lower Macedonia, especially those neighboring the Thessaly, residents spoke an archaic dialect wind, residue of the original equipment of Proto-Aeolians, and newer influences from neighboring tribes aiolofona, including Perevians, the Ainians, and Thessalians, with their mixed dialect aiolodoriki. By the end of the 6th century BC. about, It ceased to be used as a colloquial and survived only in place names, months and persons. The existence of these two dialectical forms resulted in the formation of different concepts in ancient writers and the wording of conflicting views showing the Macedonians sometimes as Dorians (e.g.. Herodotus) and sometimes as aiolofonous (e.g.. Hesiod, Hellanicus).

An accurate and extremely convincing historical explanation of this phenomenon has been formulated by Professor Milt. Hatzopoulos:

"... In the three brothers Temenid, the mythical founders of the Macedonian Kingdom according to Herodotus, since ancient times there was the suspicion that they had not come from the Peloponnesian Argos, but from Argos Orestikon Upper Macedonia, and therefore the Argeadians name was given not only to the royal dynasty, but throughout the clan followed three brothers in the adventure of the conquest of Lower Macedonia. Knowing that Orestes belonged to Molossiki group, It is easily understood how, the significant and very prestigious elite of the new Kingdom, imposed her own (North-west, NB. WEU) dialect, while the ancient Aeolian dialect - the existence of which had given rise to some ancient, but younger authors to consider aiolofonous Macedonians - downgraded to the status of a vernacular substrate (the old Aeolic dialect relegated to the status of a substratum patois), some characteristics of which […] They survived only in the form of minimum residue, generally marginalized, with the exception of certain names sites, personal names and names of months, which had been established by tradition…».(k)


((a)) See. about: M. Garašanin: C.A.H. Too.. III part 1, SLE. 142 – Cambridge, 1982. J. P. Mallory: In Search of the INDO-EUROPEANS, SLE. 69 – London, 1991. M. Sakellariou: Greek Nation History, Tom. A pp. 364-365 - Athena, 1972. (A). – Phi. Chrestides (ed.): "History of the Greek language: From its beginnings to late antiquity " – Thessaloniki, 2001, and the most recent and katatopistikotato David W. Anthony: The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World σσ. 368-369- Princeton N. J. 2007

((b)) See. the effect of different linguistic substrates (substratum) and coatings (adstratum) the formation and development of languages ​​in the classical work of James M. Anderson: Structural Aspects of Language Change σσ. 89-95 – London, 1973

((c)) See. M. Sakellariou: IE. ibid. SLE. SS. 365-366

((d)) F. G. fall, Macedonian dialect liber, Leipzig, 1808

((e)) G. O. Müller, About the residence, the origin and the early history of the Macedonian people, Berlin, 1825

((f)) Miltiades Hatzopoulos: The speech of the ancient Macedonians, in the light of recent epigraphic discoveries – VI International Symposium on Ancient Macedonia, Thessaloniki, 1999

((g)) See. Anna Panayiotou: The position of the Macedonian – From the “History of the Greek language: From early to late antiquity” – EDS. A.-F. Christidis, SLE. 319-325. Thessaloniki, 2001 - Greek language centre & Institute Of Modern Greek Studies [Manolis Triantafyllides Foundation].

(the) See. Details of the above in Miltiades Hatzopoulos: The speech of the ancient Macedonians ό.π.

((I)) See. (A). Panagiotou: The position of the Macedonian ibid.

((j)) The whole is the Internet published version at:

(k) A common method in ancient Greece to achieve a purpose (low educational level and intellectual people) with magical acts and sentences were the cataplasm (= Magic ties). Curses or erotic invocations were written mainly in lead plates (cheap and durable material, although they have found plates of precious metals), which wrapped in a cylinder and pierced through and through with a nail (nailing). Then they threw cataplasm in graves or wells that come into direct contact with the spirits of the underworld.

(l) See. R. A. Crossland: “The Language of the Macedonians” σελίδες 843-847, στο Τhe Cambridge Ancient History – Vol. III, part 1 (2nd Edition 1982, Reprinted 1990).

(m) E. N. Stock Exchange: Before Alexander – Constructions of Early Macedonia (1999)

(n) See. Miltiades Hatzopoulos: The speech of the ancient Macedonians ό.π.

(o) See. M. Hatzopoulos: The speech ... ibid.

(p) See. M. Hatzopoulos: The speech ... ibid.

(q) See. Anna Panayiotou: The position of the Macedonian – “History of the Greek language: From early to late antiquity” ibid.

(r) See. M. Hatzopoulos: The speech ... ibid.

(s) See. (C). Mpampiniotis: "Brief Introduction to Indo-European Linguistics and History of Greek Language", SS. 65-66 - Athena 1977

(k) See. M. Hatzopoulos: The speech ... ibid.

First published in the third volume / issue of the magazine "New Hermes the Scholar" (September to December 2011)

The language of the ancient Macedonians

Dimitri E.. Evangelides

The Greek language, according to the newest scientific opinions((a)), formed in Greece, after the arrival of Proto-Greek, who although assimilated and disappeared gradually their previously established peoples (= Proellines), but influenced culturally and cultural. The Proellines speaking their own languages ​​and therefore clearly influenced the shaping of Greek language. Result of this process((b)) was the first single proto-Greek decay into three dialects between 2200/2100 e.g.. and 1900 e.g.. i.e.. the final installation of Proto-Greeks in a relatively narrow band that included current Epirus and part of N. (D). Illyridos, Western Macedonia and B. (A). part of Thessaly (see. Charter), until the start of the movement of these gender, mainly in southern regions.((c))


Initial proto-Greek equality facilities


The dialects they were:

  1. A very archaic form of subsequent Ionic-Attica dialectal
  2. One also archaic form of so-called West / northwest / continental dialectal (this arose later Dorian Laconia, Crete etc., the dialect of Elis, the Aitoliki, the Neo-Achaean, and dialects of the three major racial groups of Epirus - Thesprotians, Molossos, Chaonia) and
  3. The so-called Central Dialect, which is then cleaved in wind (referred to as proto-Wind) and the Arcadian (the subsequent Arkadi-Cypriot).

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