«Λεωνίδης Φιλώτου Μακεδών» : (Ονόματα και ιστορική συνείδηση των Μακεδόνων της Πτολεμαϊκής Αιγύπτου)

Part of : Μακεδονικά ; Vol.28, No.1992, pages 120-130

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120-130
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«Leonidis, son of Philotas, Macedonian» : (Names and historical consciousness of Macedonians attested in Ptolemaic Egypt)
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The presence of Macedonians in Egypt can be easily detected through the preserved papyri and gives the impression that their numbers remain about the same until the 1st C B.C. There are approximately 270 Macedonians attested in Egypt, most of them belonging to the 4th and 3rd centuries. The presence of Macedonians is, of course, related with the use of the term Μακεδών. To those who bore it, that epithet meant a close connection to the King of Egypt (also a Macedonian) and the land where their ancestors came from. The Macedonians of the later generations, who were born in Egypt, were using that epithet with a feeling of pride. It had nothing to do with a rather technical term (as Launey suggested), meaning those who belonged to a special squadron and were fighting in the Macedonian manner.The proper names of the Macedonians attested in Egypt can be divided in various categories such as i) names reminding the Macedonian Royal House (e.g. Αμύντας, Περίτας), ii) names of mythical persons and heroes (e.g. Αχιλλεύς, Μενέλαος, Πέλοψ), iii) names of important historical figures or generals of Alexander the Great (e.g. Νικίας, Αυσίας, Λεοννά- τος, Παρμενίων). It is also remarkable that, the epithet Μακεδών itself, is used in many cases as a proper name.In my opinion, the use of these particular names is not coincindental. It reveals that these persons had received a classical education, therefore knew the Greek mythology and history. The most characteristic case is that of Λεωνίδης Φιλώτου Μακεδών (a «friend» of King Ptolemy II, who bove a name of one of the most important figures in Greek history together with a typical «Macedonian» name and the epithet Μακεδών), which allows us to suppose that the distinction between Greeks and Macedonians no longer existed—at least in Egypt. This was natural, in a country where a strong national contrast existed between the native Egyptians and the conquerors of their land and Hellenism had to be united.
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