Alexander the Great’s Statue: a Macedonian Icon, a Greek Hero


When I was a little girl, I’ve known Alexander the Great, from being a Prince to being an empire conqueror. Thus he is an  important person in World History. Besides the fact that I’ve read Iliad when I was 9 or 10 years old, I have also noted down specifically the ancient Greek myths and their heroes where it inspired me to read more about other European mythologies. I loved war stories of the gods and goddesses and fell-in-love with their love stories at the same time. I also lamented on their tragedies. I later read that Shakespeare had based most of his theatrical pieces through ancient stories, specifically that of Greece, as well as Rome. Alot of the heroes mentioned seemed to be mythical. Such stories may start from a traveller who sat foot in other cities outside Greece, then when he returned to mainland Greece he carried with him a vast knowledge of the different cultures of those cities. Inspired by other culture’s myth, the traveller would foretell a similar story; modifying the characters so Greeks could relate to it. So many mythical heroes were born by then. Such hero is Achilles, where Alexander the Great has been impersonated.  But Alexander the Great is not a mythical character. He is a real man. Born from King Philip II, a King of ancient Macedonia in Pella. He’s been taught by Aristotle (Aristotelos) and as King in the age of 20, he is considered one of the great conquerors of all times.

The picture above:
Here stands the statue of that Great Prince and King, the pride of the Macedonians. It is in Thessaloniki City, along Thermaikos Gulf. This statue had seen sunrise and sundown, just like Alexander himself had seen while he was still alive in the vast land of Macedonia.

I would like to clarify that I say here “Macedonia” is not thesame as FYROM, the current country called “Republic of Macedonia.”  Macedonia is originally a name for the land of the Macedonians, an ancient Greek race. Their kingdom is found in Pella, Northern Greece. I believe that many are still not familiar with the origins of the Greek race. That’s because during ancient times, they are divided into different areas or tribes which we can call in modern language as “States or Prefecture”.  In Peloponnese area, the Spartans practice the political system of oligarchy.  In the area of Athens, you have the Athenians, who practice democracy, and in the Macedonia area, the Macedonians have the system of monarchy. All at once, the people from these different states spoke thesame language. These people call themselves as children of “Hellas”, the ancient name of Greece.

So if you say that Alexander the Great is not “Greek” because he is Macedonian, then you are contradicting the many evidence that testify that ancient Greek is spoken even by the Spartans,  the Athenians and as well as Macedonians. The evidence are all found in tombs, temples, and other ruins around Greece as well as to the lands that have been conquered during ancient times.

I went to Virgina during my first year in Greece and there I found the tumulus where the Royal family of Alexander were buried. Untouched by looters, King Philip’s grave was freshly excavated by a Greek archaeologist, Manolis Andronikos, in 1976. During that time of my visit, I was learning Greek letters and I could read, although I do not understand the descriptions written on the tombs. But the letters engraved on the tombs where no different from the tombs found in other parts of Greece. My husband also told me that each person’s name has a meaning. So when you say Alexander, Alexandros in Greek language, it means “one who can defend other men.” Also Philip, Filipos in Greek  means “a man that loves/likes  horses.” Macedonia also means something. The same ancient Greek word is used until now to call the race of the Macedonians, “Makedhonia.” It came from the ancient word, “Makednos“, meaning “a tall man”.

Ancient Macedonians also speak Ancient Greek: Readings Here

But despite of the hard evidence that Alexander the Great (and the rest of the Macedonians) is Greek, there are still those who oppose and try to persuade historians that  he is of Slavic race. I’ll give a good example. United States is consists of many regions or “States.” A person living in New York is a New Yorker and someone from California, is a Californian. Each State also has their own state law and they speak and write the same form of American English. Aren’t they all call Americans?

There are other statues of Alexander the Great from around the world. But if you want to see the one in Greece, come to Thessaloniki City. Basically, in Northern Greece, his statues are everywhere. Each city states has similar features of Alexander. If you want to see more of Ancient Macedonia, one can also visit the Archaeological Museum for free during Winter to Spring season on Sundays. But for regular visitation, there is an entrance fee: for non-EU and EU citizens. Senior citizens and students get a huge discount so don’t forget to bring an ID. The staff are very friendly and accommodating. Please ask first if you can take photos. Some of them don’t allow; some do but without using a flash. I think it also depends on which artifact section you are. They speak English so don’t hesitate to ask if you have a question or inquiry. There are activity leaflets around; they’re good memory test.

I’ve to end this entry by saying that if there is a hard evidence that can compete to the number of present evidences available that Alexander is a Slav (Republic of Macedonia aka FYROM race is from), I will no doubt accept it. But for now, let’s stay on facts and not believe on bad historians’ beliefs and baseless evidence of  “assumptions” because they are having an identity crisis.

Ta leme,
Nessy

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One thought on “Alexander the Great’s Statue: a Macedonian Icon, a Greek Hero

  1. Pingback: A King’s Tomb in Virgina | A Second of Life in Greece

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