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POSTCARD Queen Olympias – The mother

New post coming up.

Queen Olympias of Macedon. The famous mother and queen that gave us the gift of Alexander the Great. She is fascinating!

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A Post Card – Alexander the Great

A POST CARD 

“Nothing is impossible to him who will try.” Alexander the Great

                                                                                                           

 

 

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Aegead dynasty, Alexander the Great, Hercules, Macedonian Empire, Zeus

From Hercules to Alexander: Argead dynasty & the Legend of Macedonia

 An exhibit about my favorite ancestor Alexander II of Macedon or, Alexander the Great (356-321 BC) as he is generally known,  ended recently in Oxford England. This exhibition was about the ancient Macedonian royal lineage of Alexander the Great (pictured left) and presented evidence that his family and kingdom were firmly rooted in the culture and civilization of Ancient Greece. The tittle of this exhibition was: “From Hercules to Alexander: the legend of Macedonia” and it featured exhibits from the Aigai Museum in Northern Greece. According to Greek archaeologists who worked on the recent digs at the Palace in Aigai, a series of finds prove that “Alexander the Great did not just spring out of nowhere to take over the entire world. He was a scion of the Argead dynasty  that ruled the Macedonian Kingdom for three and a half centuries and who were descendants of Hercules and Zeus.” According to the narrative of the exhibition in Oxford, the genealogical tree of the ancient Macedonian kings claimed to be stemming from Zeus and Hercules and reaching to Alexander’s son, Alexander IV.

The Argead dynasty is an Ancient Greek royal house. They were the ruling dynasty of Macedon Greece from about 810 to 310 BC. Their tradition, as described in ancient Greek historiography, traced their origins to Argos (hence the name Argeads and the Argead dynasty), in southern Greece.

Map of Argean migration route from Argos, Peloponnese, to Macedonia northern Greece.

Initially the Argeads (and because I am Macedonian, at this point, I will start referring them my great ancestors), they were just the rulers of their homonymous tribe, but, by the time of King Philip II (382-336 BC), which I wrote at a previous post, the Argeads had expanded their reign further to include under the rule of Macedon all Upper Macedonian states. 

The family’s most celebrated members were Philip the II (pictured left) of Macedon and Alexander the Great, under whose leadership, the kingdom of Macedon gradually gained predominance throughout Greece, defeated the Achaemenid (Persian) Empire, and expanded as far as Egypt and India. The Argeads claimed descent from Temenids of Argos, in Peloponnese, whose legendary ancestor was Temenus, the great-great-grandson of Heracles. In the excavations of the royal Palace at Aegae the “tholos” room (believed to be the throne room) was discovered with an inscription relating to this belief. This is testified by historian Herodotus,  in The Histories, where he mentions that three brothers of the

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lineage of Temenus (named Gauanes, Aeropus and Perdiccas) fled from  Argos to Macedonia, where after several moves, they ended in a part near mount Bermio (close to my birthplace which I find this fascinating) and gradually they formed the Macedonian kingdom. According to historian Thucydides, in the History of the Peloponnesian War, he is also stating that the Argeads were originally Temenids from Argos, who descended from the highlands to Lower Macedonia, expelled the Pieriens from Pieria, and acquired in Paionia a narrow strip along the river Axios extending to Pella and the sea.

So who were the Argeads before they occupied Argos and the Peloponnese? They were the Dorians — around 1,200 BC they migrated from the North, North-Eastern mountainous region of Greece, Ancient Macedonia and Epirus and returned to the earlier Mycenaea in the Peloponnese “as the return of the sons of Hercules.” This group of  Dorians, with Temenus as their leader (who was the descendant of Hercules, a demi-god whose father was zeus), invaded and destroyed the Myceneans. According to various myths and legends, the founder of the Dorians was  Dorus, son of Hellen — patriarch of the Hellenes. The Dorian invaders were known for the use of  iron weapons where the tribes (Mycenaeans) that lived in the Peloponnese fought with stones — they had no chance winning against the superior weapons of the Dorians. And why did the “sons of Hercules” returned or invaded the Mycenaeans in the Peloponnese? According to legend, Hercules performed a heroic act by restoring King Tyndareus, King of Sparta, to his throne and king Tyndareus gave him a part of his kingdom as a gratitude gift. Hercules asked for the gift to be safeguarded until it was claimed by his descendants, which of course were Temenus and the Dorians, and this explains the “Dorian Invasion” of the Peloponnese and the Mycenaeans.  Eventually, the Argeads  that settled in Argos, moved up North again to Macedonia and created the Macedonian kingdom.

More about Philip II, Alexander the Great, and much more about  Macedonia coming up–as these are my GREAT ancestors and my GREAT birthplace,  and I am fascinated by the discoveries, as I condider myself to be extreemely priviledged and lucky to be associated with such history..

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Alexander the Great Exhibit, Louvre Museum, Macedonian Kingdom, Paris, Phillip of Macedon

Alexander the Great of Macedon at “Le Louvre”

“I am not interested in the descendance of the citizens or their racial origins. I classify them using one criterion: their virtue. For me every virtuous foreigner is a Greek and every evil Greek worse than a Barbarian.”    Alexander the Great – King of Macedon (356 – 323 BC)

  

We all know the power of words. Alexander the Great used them.    Crossing the Hellespont with his army in 334 BC Alexander threw his spear from his ship to the coast and it stuck in the Asian ground. He stepped onto the shore, pulled his weapon from the soil and declared that the whole of Asia would be won by the spear.

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Alexander the Great, Macedonian Kingdom, Paris-France, Louvre Museum, are magical words in my bilingual dictionary — they light me up and elevate me to the highest state of euphoria — and they are all included in this announcement:  Alexander the Great, my favorite Greek God ( he is a Greek God as far as I am concerned , the God of eternal glory and immortality), is visiting Paris! Nothing will get me to Paris faster than that —  not even Chanel, Lanvin, Dior or any other names – not even Alaxander McQueen, another one of my favorite Alexanders – anyway, I saw him recently at the Met in New York city.

Yes! Alexander the Great goes to Paris next October for a unique exhibition! And not just any place in Paris but at “Le Louvre”, the country’s most famous museum and one of the best museums on the planet!

Image of the Louvre Museum – Paris, France

 A major exhibition entitled “In the Kingdom of Alexander the Great – Ancient Macedonia” will be hosted at the famous museum from October 2011 until January 2012.

Image  Map of Alexander the Great’s Kingdom of Macedonia

In 323 BC Alexander the Great, king of Macedonia, ruled a dominion that stretched from the Balkans to the Himalayas and from Egypt to the Caspian Sea. The most brilliant and most charismatic leader — I  don’t think in my humble Macedonian opinion anyone was able to surpass him since —  he had led a small Greek army on the campaign of over 20,000 miles to conquer the mighty Persian Empire. Originally from Iran, the Persians held sway over a domain which also included all of what are now Turkey, Israel and Egypt. It had taken him twelve years and he was only thirty-two. Alexander the Great  was at that time the undisputed master of the world. 

The curator of the department of Greek and Roman antiquities of the Louvre Mrs. Sophie Deschamp has travelled to all Macedonian cities in Northern Greece in order to select the 668 objects which are going to travel to Paris. “The French know that Alexander was Greek, but not Macedonian. Things are a little confused. They don’t know that Macedonia, the birthplace of Alexander the Great is part of Greece. The exhibition will be a great opportunity for all the visitors of the Louvre to learn about Alexander the Great, the origin and the timelessness of his myth” said Mrs. Deschamp.

The exhibits will include architectural portions of the Palace of Vergina, remnants from the grave of Phillip II, and other Macedonian graves, and significant findings from other regions. The French museum is considering this exhibit to be one of major importance. It will allocate its largest periodical exhibition halls measuring a total of 1,200 square meters.

Thanks to this exhibition I will be reunited with my beautiful ancestor and I will reconnect with Macedonia — my divine motherland! I love the French for giving me this opportunity. I am going back home! Home is where Ancient Macedonia and Alexander is, and this time home is Paris!

Alexander finally gets to go West. He is  conquering Paris and the hearts of the French. The glory of the Ancient Macedonian Kingdom continues 2,300 plus years later.

The City of lights will shine brighter than ever with Alexander’s visit. His intention was to visit earlier, back in the days when  he was conquering the world, but, his untimely death prevented it. Better late than  never Alexander!

 

Image of the Louvre with Alexander the Great — promoting the upcoming exhihition (top left)

For more information about the new charity I am in the process of creating please read post dated 9/19/2011: FROM ARISTOTELE TO ALEXANDER – A NEW CHARITY IS BORN.  If you would like to participate, please contact me here.

I will be back soon…

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Ancient Macedonia – Alexander the Great (continued )

 

 

 

 

” Macedonia my divine motherland” SG

Occupying the bigger part of Northern Greece, Macedonia  first appears on the historical scene as a geographical-political superpower in the 7th century BC,  (around 810 BC) when it

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extended from the upper waters of the Haliakmon river and mount Olympus to the river Strymon. At this time the Greek tribe of the Macedones called the Argeads (of Dorian decent) who have migrated from the south  (Argos) and whose home was in Orestis, began to expand, driving out the Thracians and contending with the Illyrians, and gradually settling in the region called “Lower Macedonia or, Macedonia by the Sea”.

This time is the official begining of the Argead or Macedonian Empire — more about the origins of the Argeads to be posted very soom..

Image. Map of Ancient Macedonia.

The country was self-sufficient in products to meet basic needs (timber, cereals, game, fish, livestock, minerals) and soon became the exclusive supplier of other Greek states less blessed by nature, though at the same time it came to be the target of expansionist schemes dictated largely by economic interests.  A particularly “introspective” land, with conservative customs (still existing today, if I can say based on my personal experience of my upbringing by my Macedonian parents) and way of life and social structure and political organization of markedly archaic character, speaking a distinctive form of the Doric dialect, Macedonia took over the reigns of the Greek spirit in the 4th century BC when the city-state was entering on its decline, revealing admirable adaptability in the face of the demands of the present and the achievements of the past, and ingenuity and boldness when confronted with the problems of the future. The country was quickly transformed into a performer of new roles, opening up new roads towards the epoch of the Hellenism of the three continents.

This is about when  Alexanders’ father, King Philip II of Macedon   (359 BC) succeeded as the ruler of the Macedonian Empire.

…more about Phillip and Alexander coming up…

Note: Please see future post dated 10-09-11: From Hercules to Alexander  – for more information about the Argead Dynasty and the legent of Ancient Macedonia.

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