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Wiki Article about Macedonia, the Northern Province of Greece


  • Macedonia (Greece)

    For other uses, see Macedonia (disambiguation).

    Coordinates: 4045N 2254E / 40.750N 22.900EMacedonia ( i/msdoni/; Greek: ,Makedona [maceonia]) is a geographic and historicalregion of Greece in the southern Balkans. Macedoniais the largest and second most populous Greek region,dominated by mountains in the interior and the port citiesof Thessaloniki (or Salonika) and Kavala on its south-ern coastline. Macedonia is part of Northern Greece, to-gether with Thrace and sometimes Thessaly and Epirus.It incorporates most of the territories of ancientMacedon, a kingdom ruled by the Argeads whose mostcelebrated members were Alexander the Great and hisfather Philip II. The name Macedonia was later ap-plied to identify various administrative areas in the Ro-man/Byzantine Empire with widely diering borders (seeMacedonia (region) for details).Even before the establishment of the modern Greek statein 1830, it was identied as a Greek province, albeit with-out clearly dened geographical borders[7][8][9][10][11] Bythe mid 19th century, the name was becoming consoli-dated informally, dening more of a distinct geographi-cal, rather than political, region in the southern Balkans.At the end of the Ottoman Empire most of the regionknown as Rumelia (from Ottoman Turkish: Rume-li, Land of the Romans) was divided by the Treaty ofBucharest of 1913, following the Ottoman defeat in theBalkan Wars of 191213. Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria eachtook control of portions of the Macedonian region, withGreece obtaining the largest portion; a small section wentto Albania. The region was an administrative subdivisionof Greece until the administrative reform of 1987, whenthe region was divided into the regions of West Mace-donia and Central Macedonia and part of the region ofEast Macedonia and Thrace, the latter containing also thewhole of the region of Thrace.[12] Central Macedonia isthe most popular tourist destination in Greece with morethan 3.6million tourists in 2009 (18% of the total numberof tourists who visited Greece that year).

    1 History

    1.1 Prehistory

    For more details on this topic, see Macedonia (region),'History'.

    Macedonia lies at the crossroads of human developmentbetween the Aegean and the Balkans. The earliest signsof human habitation date back to the palaeolithic period,notably with the Petralona cave in which was found theoldest European humanoid, Archanthropus europaeus pe-traloniensis. In the Late Neolithic period (c. 4500 to3500 BC), trade took place from quite distant regions,indicate rapid socio-economic changes. One of the mostimportant changes was the start of copper working.

    1.2 Ancient History

    For more details on this topic, see Macedonia (ancientkingdom).

    According to Herodotus, the history of Macedonia

    The golden larnax and the golden grave crown of Phillip II,Vergina.

    began with the Makednoi tribe, among the rst to usethe name, migrating to the region from Histiaeotis in the


  • 2 1 HISTORY

    The expansion of ancient Macedonian kingdom up to the deathof Phillip II.

    Statue of Alexander the Great in Thessaloniki, capital of the re-gion of Macedonia.

    south. There they lived near Thracian tribes such as theBryges who would later leave Macedonia for Asia Mi-nor and become known as Phrygians. Macedonia wasnamed after the Makednoi. Accounts of other toponymssuch as Emathia are attested to have been in use be-fore that. A branch of the Macedonians may have in-vaded Southern Greece towards the end of the secondmillennium B.C. Upon reaching the Peloponnese the in-vaders were renamed Dorians, triggering the accounts

    of the Dorian invasion. For centuries the Macedoniantribes were organized in independent kingdoms, in whatis now Central Macedonia, and their role in internalHellenic politics was minimal, even before the rise ofAthens. The Macedonians may have belonged to the Do-rian branch of Greeks, while there were many Ioniansin the coastal regions. The rest of the region was in-habited by various Thracian and Illyrian tribes as wellas mostly coastal colonies of other Greek states such asAmphipolis, Olynthos, Potidea, Stageira and many oth-ers, and to the north another tribe dwelt, called the Paeo-nians. During the late 6th and early 5th century BC, theregion came under Persian rule until the destruction ofXerxes at Plataea. During the PeloponnesianWar, Mace-donia became the theatre of many military actions by thePeloponnesian League and the Athenians, and saw incur-sions of Thracians and Illyrians, as attested by Thucidy-des. Many Macedonian cities were allied to the Spar-tans (both the Spartans and the Macedonians were Do-rian, while the Athenians were Ionian), but Athens main-tained the colony of Amphipolis under her control formany years. The kingdom of Macedon, was reorganisedby Philip II and achieved the union of Greek states byforming the League of Corinth. After his assassination,his son Alexander succeeded to the throne of Macedonand carrying the title of Hegemon of League of Corinthstarted his long campaign towards the east.

    1.3 Roman periodSee also: Macedonian Wars and Macedonia (Romanprovince)Macedonia remained an important and powerful king-

    Archaeological site of Pella, capital of ancient Macedonia.

    dom until the Battle of Pydna (June 22, 168 BC), inwhich the Roman general Aemilius Paulus defeated KingPerseus of Macedon, ending the reign of the Antigoniddynasty over Macedonia. For a brief period a Macedo-nian republic called the Koinon of the Macedonianswas established. It was divided into four administrativedistricts. That period ended in 148 BC, when Macedo-nia was fully annexed by the Romans.[13] The northern

  • 1.4 Medieval history 3

    View of the archaeological site of Philippi.

    boundary at that time ended at Lake Ohrid and Bylazora,a Paeonian city near the modern city of Veles. Strabo,writing in the rst century AD places the border ofMace-donia on that part at Lychnidos,[14] Byzantine Achrisand presently Ochrid. Therefore ancient Macedonia didnot signicantly extend beyond its current borders (inGreece). This is stressed by 370 academics in their letterto US president Barack Obama.[15] To the east, Mace-donia ended according to Strabo at the river Strymon, al-though hementions that other writers placedMacedoniasborder with Thrace at the river Nestos,[16] which is alsothe present geographical boundary between the two ad-ministrative districts of Greece.Subsequently the provinces of Epirus and Thessaly as wellas other regions to the north were incorporated into a newProvincia Macedonia, but in 297 AD under a Diocletianreform many of these regions were removed and two newprovinces were created: Macedonia Prima and Macedo-nia Salutaris (from 479-482 AD Macedonia Secunda).Macedonia Prima coincided approximately with Strabosdenition of Macedonia and with the modern adminis-trative district of Greece[13] and had Thessalonica as itscapital, while Macedonia Secunda had the Paeonian cityof Stobi (near Gradsko) as its capital. This subdivision ismentioned in Hierocles Synecdemon (527-528) and re-mained through the reign of emperor Justinian.

    The medieval Castle of Platamon, Pieria.

    The Slavic, Avar, Bulgarian and Magyar invasions in

    the 6-7th centuries devastated both provinces [17] withonly parts of Macedonia Prima in the coastal areas andnearer Thrace remaining in Byzantine hands, while mostof the hinterland was disputed between the Byzantiumand Bulgaria. The Macedonian regions under Byzantinecontrol passed under the tourma of Macedonia to theprovince of Thrace.A new system of administration came into place in 789-802 AD, following the Byzantine empires recovery fromthese invasions. The new system was based on adminis-trative divisions called Themata. The region of Macedo-nia Prima (the territory of modern Greek administrativedistrict of Macedonia) was divided between the Themaof Thessalonica and the Thema of Strymon, so that onlythe region of the area from Nestos eastwards continuedto carry the name Macedonia, referred to as the Themaof Macedonia or the Thema of Macedonia in Thrace.The Thema of Macedonia in Thrace had its capital inAdrianople.[18][19][20]

    1.4 Medieval historySee also: Strymon (theme), Thessalonica (theme) andKingdom of ThessalonicaFamiliarity with the Slavic element in the area led two

    Saints Cyril and Methodius.

    brothers from Thessaloniki, Saints Cyril and Method-ius, to be chosen to convert the Slavs to Christianity.Following the campaigns of Basil II, all of Macedoniareturned to the Byzantine state. Following the FourthCrusade 12031204, a short-lived Crusader realm, the

  • 4 1 HISTORY

    Kingdom of Thessalonica, was established in the region.It was subdued by the co-founder of the Greek Despotateof Epirus, Theodore Komnenos Doukas in 1224, whenGreek Macedonia and the city of Thessalonica were atthe heart of the short-lived Empire of Thessalonica. Re-turning to the restored Byzantine Empire shortly there-after, GreekMacedonia remained in Byzantine hands un-til the 1340s, when all of Macedonia (except Thessa-loniki, and possibly Veria) was conquered by the Ser-bian ruler Stefan Duan.[21] Divided between Serbia andBulgaria after Duans death, the region fell quickly to theadvancing Ottomans, with Thessaloniki alone holding outuntil 1387. After a brief Byzantine interval in 14031430(during the last seven years of which the city was handedover to the Venetians), Thessalonica and its immediatesurrounding area returned to the Ottomans.[22]

    Metrophanes Kritopoulos; theologian, monk and Patriarch ofAlexandria who was born in Veria[23] in 1589.

    The capture of Thessalonica threw the Greek world intoconsternation, being regarded as the prelude to the fall ofConstantinople itself. The memory of the event has sur-vived through folk traditions containing fact and myths.Apostolos Vacal


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