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Aug 31, 2010

Macedonia (Greece)

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Macedonia Greek: Μακεδονία, is a geographical and historical region of Greece in southeastern Europe. Macedonia is the largest and second most populous Greek region. The region and that of Thrace are often together referred to informally as northern Greece.
Macedonia lies at the crossroads of human development between the Aegean and the Balkans. The earliest signs of human habitation date back to the palaeolithic period. In the Late Neolithic period (c. 4500 to 3500 BC), trade took place from quite distant regions, indicate rapid socio-economic changes. One of the most important changes was the start of copper working.
According to Herodotus, the history of Macedonia began with the Makednoi tribe, among the first to use the name, migrating to the region from Histiaeotis in the south. There they lived near non-Greek tribes such as the Bryges that would later leave Macedonia for Asia Minor and become known as Phrygians. Macedonia was named after the Makednoi. Accounts of other toponyms such as Emathia are attested to have been in use before that. A branch of Macedonians invaded Southern Greece, where, upon reaching Peloponnese were renamed to Dorians triggering the accounts of the Dorian invasion. For centuries the Macedonian tribes were organized in independent kingdoms, in what is now Central Macedonia, and their role in Greek politics was minimal. The rest of the region was inhabited by various Thracian and Illyrian tribes as well as mostly coastal colonies of other Greek states such as Amphipolis, Olynthos, Potidea, Stageira and many others. During the late 6th and early 5th century BC, the region came under Persian rule until the destruction of Xerxes at Plataea. In the next century, Macedonia became the theatre of many military actions by the Lacedaemonians and the Athenians and saw incursions of Thracians and Illyrians, as attested by Thucidydes. The kingdom of Macedon, was reorganised by Philip II and achieved Greek hegemony during his years. This is where the Greek history of the remainder of today's Greek Region of Macedonia. After his assassination, his son Alexander succeeded to the throne of Macedon and, retaining the office of "General of Greece", he became one of the best known persona this land ever gave birth to. Macedonia remained an important and powerful kingdom until it was annexed by the Romans in 148 BC. The region remained under Roman rule for centuries and went under various administrative names.

There are a number of theories for the etymology of the name Macedonia:

1.According to Herodotus, both the Dorians and Macedonians descended from the Makednoi tribe. The name of the latter two probably derives from the Doric noun μᾶκος, mākos (Attic and modern Greek μάκρος, mákros and μῆκος, mēkos), meaning "length", and the adjective μακεδνός, makednós, meaning "tall, taper", since both the Macedonians (Makedónes) and their Makednoi tribal ancestors were regarded as tall people. The adjective is used by Homer in Odyssey (7.105f), to describe a tall poplar tree, and by Aristophanes in his comedy the Birds, to describe a wall built around their imaginary city.
2.The district of Macedonia took its name from the Macedonian people, who in turn owe their name to Macedon, who according to Hesiod was the son of Zeus and Thyia, Deucalion's daughter. Hesiod makes Magnes and Macedon brothers, cousins of Graecus, sons of Zeus and grandchildren of Deucalion, the progenitor of all Greeks