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   A country in Europe, north of Greece, said to have been originally named Emathia. Its boundaries before the time of Philip, the father of Alexander, were, on the south, Olympus and the Cambunian Mountains, which separated it from Thessaly and Epirus; on the east, the river Strymon, which separated it from Thrace; and on the north and west, Illyria and Paeonia. Macedonia was greatly enlarged by the conquests of Philip. He added to his kingdom Paeonia on the north; a part of Thrace on the east as far as the river Nestus, which Thracian district was usually called Macedonia Adiecta; the peninsula Chalcidice on the south; and on the west a part of Illyria as far as Lake Lychnitis. On the conquest of the country by the Romans, B.C. 168, Macedonia was divided into four districts, independent of one another; but the whole country was formed into a Roman province after the conquest of the Achaeans in 146.
    Macedonia may be described as a large plain, surrounded on three sides by lofty mountains. Through this plain, however, run many smaller ranges of mountains, between which are wide and fertile valleys, extending from the coast far into the interior. The chief mountains were Scordus, or Scardus, on the northwest frontier, towards Illyria and Dardania; further east Orbelus and Scomius, which separated it from Moesia; and Rhodope, which extended from Scomius in a southeasterly direction, forming the boundary between Macedonia and Thrace. On the southern frontier were the Cambunii Montes and Olympus. The chief rivers were in the direction of east to west-- the Nestus, the Strymon, the Axius, the largest of all, the Ludias or Lydias, and the Haliacmon. The chief cities were Aegae and Pella, the capitals, and Pydna, Potidaea, Olynthus, Amphipolis, and Philippi. The great bulk of the inhabitants of Macedonia consisted of Thracian and Illyrian tribes. At an early period some Greek tribes settled in the southern part of the country. They are said to have come from Argos, and to have been led by the three sons of Temenus, the Heraclid. Perdiccas, the youngest of the three, was looked upon as the founder of the Macedonian monarchy. A later tradition, however, regarded Caranus, who was also a Heraclid from Argos, as the founder of the monarchy. These Greek settlers intermarried with the original inhabitants of the country. The dialect which they spoke was akin to the Doric, but it contained many barbarous words and forms; and the Macedonians accordingly were never regarded by the other after the Roman Conquest. Greeks as genuine Hellenes. Moreover, it was only in the south of Macedonia that the Greek language was spoken.
    Very little is known of the history of Macedonia till the reign of Amyntas I., who was a contemporary of Darius Hystaspis; but from that time their history is more or less intimately connected with that of Greece, till at length Philip, the father of Alexander the Great, became the virtual master of the whole of Greece. The conquests of Alexander extended the Macedonian supremacy over a great part of Asia; and the Macedonian kings continued to exercise their sovereignty over Greece till the conquest of Perseus by the Romans, in B.C. 168, brought the Macedonian monarchy to a close.

This text is cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks



  Region of northern Greece (also called Macedonia) between Thessalia south, Thracia north and east, Epirus and Illyria west.
  The kingdom of Macedon that existed in historical times traced its origins to the city of Argos, the native city of its first king, Perdiccas I, who reigned there in the VIIth century B. C. and founded a dynasty that reached its peak with Alexander the Great in the later part of the IVth century B. C. Perdiccas was supposed to descend from Heracles through Temenus, the legendary conqueror of Peloponnese and king of Argos. Macedon was made up of the gathering of several tribes under the leadership of a single king who kept his authority with the help of his army, and its borders didn't change much during the two centuries until the times of Philip and Alexander the Great.
  One of Perdiccas' successors, Amyntas I established good relations with the Athens of Pisistratus, but, under his reign, Macedon was subjected to Persia. Amyntas' son, Alexander I, fought in the army of Xerxes with a Macedonian contingent during the Persian wars. Yet, he managed to secretly help the Greeks against the Persians, earning the surname “Philhellen”, that is, “friend of the Greeks”. As a result, he obtained for Macedon the freedom from Persian dominion after the victory of the Greeks.
  Around 450, Alexander was succeeded by his son Perdiccas II. During his reign, Macedon switched sides several times between Athens and Sparta. The Athenians sent their troops first against Macedon, but soon accepted a truce with Perdiccas to concentrate on rebellious Potidaea. According to Thucydides (Histories, I, 56-66) these events played a key role in leading to the Peloponnesian War a couple of years later. In 424, Perdiccas, hoping for help against his own Thracian ennemies, sided with the Spartans when they sent in Thracia, under the orders of Brasidas, the expedition which led to the take over of Amphipolis. This put him in open war with Athens. Yet, soon disappointed by the insufficient help he received from Brasidas in his own enterprises, the following year, he again switched alliances and renewed with Athens. But, when, after the battle of Mantinea in 418, Argos signed a peace treaty with Sparta, Perdiccas, who traced his origins to Argos, was on their side, though, by 414, he seemed to be again fighting on the side of the Athenians. When he died the following year, he was succeeded by his son Archelaus.
  With Archelaus, who remained more faithful to the alliance with Athens, the court of Pella became a brilliant place which attracted many talented artists. Yet, his death around 400 was followed by forty years of troubles and power struggles until Philip reached the throne in 359, leading to the eventual dominion of Macedon over the rest of Greece and a huge empire conquered by his son Alexander the Great, and the beginning of what is known as the “Hellenistic” period.

Bernard Suzanne (page last updated 1998), ed.
This extract is cited July 2003 from the Plato and his dialogues URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks.

Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)

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