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Thrasymachus
On Behalf of the Lariasaeans

"Shell we being Greeks, be slaves to Archelaus, a barbarian?"

This line the Greek Thrasymachus attributed to the Macedonian king Archelaus who occupied Greek land with his Macedonian army. Since the ancient Greeks stereotyped and called all non-Greeks barbarian, it is clear that Thrasymachus does not consider neither the Macedonian king nor his nation to be Greek, but foreigners to the ancient Greek world. The modern Greeks, however, would like to claim the ancient Macedonians as Greek. Here is what Professor Borza (a Macedonian specialist and expert on the ethnicity of the Macedonians) had written on that matter:

The modern Greek writer Daskalakis (Hellenism, 234) contended that Thrasymachus was not referring to barbarians in a usual sense. The passage, he argued, should be taken "in its rhetorical slant of a difference between advanced and backwards Greeks in an intellectual sense." This is strained and unconvincing. [Eugene Borza. In the Shadow of Olympus. p.165]

Borza can not be more right. The Greeks clearly called all non-Greeks barbarians. Based on the Daskalakis's logic, are we now supposed to think that the Persians (which the Greeks also called barbarians) are some kind of backward Greeks in an intellectual sense? The Thracians too? However, we do not see the modern Greek authors claim that. The lesson is clear: Daskalakis's argument can not be true and it only proves to what extend the modern Greek writers would go to make the Macedonians Greek and even rewrite the feelings of the ancient Greeks during that process.

 

 

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