Paeonia and Paeonians

Paionia or Paeonia (Greek: Παιονία) was, in ancient geography, the land of the Paeonians (Ancient Greek Παίονες). In the time of Classical Greece, Paionia originally included the whole Axios River valley and the surrounding areas, in what is now the northern part of the Greek region of Macedonia, most of the FYROM, and a small part of western Bulgaria. It was located immediately north of ancient Macedon (roughly corresponding to the modern Greek region of Macedonia) and south of Dardania (Europe) (roughly corresponding to modern-day Kosovo). In the east were other Thracians and in the west the Illyrians.

They seem to have been of either Thracian, or to be of mixed Thraco-Illyrian origins. Linguistically Paionian language has been variously connected to his neighboring languages - Illyrian and Thracian; (and every possible Thraco-Illyrian mix in between). Several eastern Paionian tribes including the Agrianes, clearly fell within the Thracian sphere of influence. Yet according to the national legend (Herodotus v. 13), they were Teucrian colonists from Troy. Homer (Iliad, book II, line 848) speaks of Paionians from the Axios fighting on the side of the Trojans, but the Iliad does not mention whether the Paionians were kin to the Trojans. Homer gives the Paionian leader as a certain Pyraechmes (parentage unknown); but later on in the Iliad Homer mentions a second leader, named Asteropaeus, son of Pelagon.

Before the reign of Darius Hystaspes, they had made their way as far east as Perinthus in Thrace on the Propontis. At one time all Mygdonia, together with Crestonia, was subject to them. When Xerxes crossed Chalcidice on his way to Therma (later renamed Thessalonica) he is said to have marched through Paionian territory. They occupied the entire valley of the Axios (Vardar) as far inland as Stobi, the valleys to the east of it as far as the Strymon and the country round Astibus and the river of the same name, with the water of which they anointed their kings. Emathia, roughly the district between the Haliacmon and Axios, was once called Paionia; and Pieria and Pelagonia were inhabited by Paionians. In consequence of the growth of Macedonian power, and under pressure from their Thracian neighbors, their territory was considerably diminished, and in historical times was limited to the north of Macedonia from Illyria to the Strymon.

In early times, the chief town and seat of the Paionian kings was Bylazora (now Veles in FYROM) on the Axios; later the seat of the kings was moved to Stobi (now Pusto Gradsko). At some point thereafter, the Paionian princedoms colalesced into a kingdom centered in the central and upper reaches of the Vardar and Struma rivers. They joined with the Illyrians to infiltrated the northern most populated areas of the Hellenic state of Macedonia. The Illyrians, who had a culture of piracy would be cutoff from trade paths if movement through this land was blocked. They resisted the northward defense of the Macedonian territory unsuccessfully in an attempt to occupy the region. In 360-359 BC, southern Paionian tribes were launching raids into Macedon, (Diodorus XVI. 2.5) in support of an Illyrian invasion. The Royal House, Macedonias (of the Macedonians) was thrown into a state of uncertainty by the death of Perdiccas, but Philip II of Macedon (Philip Macedonias) assumed the throne, reformed the army (providing phalanxes), and proceeded to stop both the Illyrian invasion and the Paionian raids through the boundary of the "Macedonian Frontier" which was the northern perimeter which King Phillip intended to defend as an area of his domain. He followed his success in 358 BC with a campaign deep into the north, into Paionia itself. This reduced the Paionian kingdom (then ruled by Agis) to a semi-autonomous, subordinate status, which led to a process of gradual and formal Hellenization of the Paionians. This also united Hellenic peoples and clans that had not belonged to another Hellenic state within that region.

At the time of the Persian invasion, the Paionians on the lower Strymon had lost, while those in the north maintained, their territorial determination. The daughter of Audoleon, one of these kings, was the wife of Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, and Alexander the Great wished to bestow the hand of his sister Cynane upon Langarus, who had shown himself loyal to Philip II. Alexander the Great's mother was from the Hellenic state of Epirus and was an Epirot by blood. A genial dynasty also continued through the reigns of Paeonian kings.

The Paionians included several independent tribes, all later united under the rule of a single king. Little is known of their manners and customs. They adopted the cult of Dionysus, known amongst them as Dyalus or Dryalus, and Herodotus mentions that the Thracian and Paionian women offered sacrifice to Queen Artemis (probably Bendis). They worshipped the sun in the form of a small round disk fixed on the top of a pole. A passage in Athenaeus seems to indicate the affinity of their language with Mysian. They drank barley beer and various decoctions made from plants and herbs. The country was rich in gold and a bituminous kind of wood (or stone, which burst into a blaze when in contact with water) called tanrivoc (or tsarivos).

The women were famous for their industry. In this connection Herodotus (v. 12) tells the story that Darius, having seen at Sardis a beautiful Paionian woman carrying a pitcher on her head, leading a horse to drink, and spinning flax, all at the same time, inquired who she was. Having been informed that she was a Paionian, he sent instructions to Megabazus, commander in Thrace, to deport two tribes of the nation without delay to Asia. An inscription, discovered in 1877 at Olympia on the base of a statue, states that it was set up by the community of the Paionians in honor of their king and founder Dropion. Another king, whose name appears as Lyppeius on a fragment of an inscription found at Athens relating to a treaty of alliance is no doubt identical with the Lycceius or Lycpeius of Paionian coins (see B. V. Head, Historia numorum, 1887, p. 207).

In 280 BC the Gallic invaders under Brennus ravaged the land of the Paionians, who, being further hard pressed by the Dardani, had no alternative but to join the Macedonians. Despite their combined efforts, however, the Paionians and Macedonians were defeated. Paeonia consolidated again but in 217 BC the Macedonian king Philip V of Macedon (220-179 BC), the son of Demetrius II, succeeded in uniting and incorporating into his empire the separate regions of Dassaretia and Paionia. A mere 70 years later (in 146 BC), Roman legions conquered Macedon in turn. Paionia around the Axios formed the second and third districts respectively of the Roman province of Macedonia (Livy xiv. 29). Centuries later under Diocletian, Paionia and Pelagonia formed a province called Macedonia secunda or Macedonia Salutaris, belonging to the Praetorian prefecture of Illyricum. By AD 400, however, the Paionians had lost their identity, and the term Paeonia was rendered a mere geographic identifier.


Anonymous said...

Political expediance cannot ride roughshod over accredited prefixed academic reference-points. Example is FYRoM, where politicians rushed to incorporate minor Slavic country into Euro-Atlantic economic and security structures, without giving due care and attention to the corosive effects integration would have on Western worlds cultural-historical foundations.

Integrating FYRoM into the EU and NATO is not impossible, what is impossible, is integrating FYRoM’s national history into the Western worlds long-established mainstream historical narrative. FYRoM’s ethnogenesis story makes Macedonians Proto-Slavs…this is the problem!

Macedonians have always been a Centum Greek-speaking Hellenic-peoples…a regional historical people-group of ethnic-Greek stock. Keeping the Western worlds cultural-historical narrative intact is something that has a taken on an importance never before seen, or heard of, in light of the current threats that seek to alter it. Preserving the Western worlds historical cohesion is now top priority for the West.

History has taught us that Paeonia changes name according to the two ruling authorities contesting it’s jurisdiction. From since the settlement of the Slavic-tribes on Greco-Roman soil…Slavdom renames Paeonia to ‘Peoples Republic of Macedonia’ for the first time, in 1945. Before 1945, there was never a ‘Macedonia’ in the Slavic world. FYRoM attempts to rewrite history, but their version of it clashes and conflicts with the Western worlds long-established mainstream historical narrative.

Historians Philologists and Demographers know, FYRoM is not Macedonia and the peoples there are Slavic…[ized] now! Historically and geographically FYRoM was Paeonia in antiquity, Dardania north from Skopje. FYRoM had many names in the past, all of them recorded for posterity. The first recorded name was Paeonia.

It was the latin-Romans that renamed Paeonia to Macedonia II Salutaris. Later, the Greco-Romans renamed Paeonia to Theme-Bulgaria when they recaptured lost Byzantine lands from an invading Avaro-Hunnic, Slavo-Bulgar, tribal-conglomorate. Theme-Macedonia was physically relocated to Thrace. You know when a name is yours, when you take it with you, wherever you go. Example is Theme-Macedonia.

Paeonia stayed inside Byzantium, the empire of Constantinople, Imperium Romanum, Romania, until the coming of the Eastern-Asiatic, Oriental-Musulman Turk.

The Turk renamed Paeonia to Vilayet-Monastir and Vilayet-Kosovo, until the Balkan Wars, when Paeonia became a province of South-Serbia, within the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

1943, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia becomes Democratic Federal Yugoslavia. Paeonia becomes Vardar-Banovina when in 1945, Comrade Tito rename the place to ‘Peoples Republic of Macedonia’, then to ‘Socialist Peoples Republic of Macedonia’ a short while afterwards.

FYRoM can trace it’s geographical, regional-historical name back to Paeonia, in backwards compatible fashion…in perfect synchronicity with the long established mainstream historical record.

Knowing these things, these accredited prefixed academic reference-points…FYRoM cannot exist like ‘Republic of Macedonia’ without distinction.

The Slavs of FYRoM believe they are Macedonians, so they fight hard to have the Macedonian name assigned to them exclusively. They covet the Macedonian name for country-name, sovereign state-name, nationality, language and ethnicity, when it is known, those Identity-factors do not bode well for South-Slavs – FYRoM’s answer to this anomoly is to deny that they are Slavs in the first place.

If the Satem Slavic-speaking peoples of FYRoM are not Slavs, then what are they ? Paeonians [Slavicized] maybe! If they were authentic-Macedonians, they would be talking Centum-Greek…walking and talking Greek-style!

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