Overview: The ancient Macedonian culture reigned from about 808 B.C. – 323 B.C. It was famous for the spread of Greek culture, what came to be known as the Hellenistic World. This kingdom was located north of Thessaly. During its peak, it spread from Thessaly to Egypt as far as Asia. This wouldn’t have been done without its most famous icon: Alexander the Great. Alexander, son of Phillip II, took over his dad’s plans and expanded his lands. The rule of his kingdom was short lived,, though it is what we now know as ancient Macedonia.
Reflection:From doing these
projects over ancient Macedonia over these past months, I have learned a lot of
the culture. The culture really began to flourish around 800 B.C. though there
has been some archaeological evidence of an even earlier period of Macedonia. It’s
most famous icons were Alexander the Great and his dad, King Philip II. Philip
II reigned from 359 BC to 336 BC. In this time, he conquered the surrounding
lands, and the capital, Pella, also flourished under him. While he was
preparing his plans to conquer Persia, he had been assassinated. Afterwards,
Alexander took over. He reigned from 336 BC to 323 BC. In this time, he took
over more lands, from where his dad left off to places like Egypt and Asia.
This empire declined around 323 B.C, when Alexander the Great died. After his
death, his vast empire was split up, thus declining the power of his former
kingdom. Though his kingdom was short lived, he did manage to spread a lot of
the Hellenistic, or Greek, culture throughout the places he had conquered. This
included literature religion, philosophy, and art. In ancient Macedonia, they
followed the same 12 Olympian Gods as the Greeks did: Zeus, Poseidon, Hades,
Hestia, Hera, Ares, Athena, Apollo, Aphrodite, Hermes, Artemis, and Hephaestus.
The fact that Greek philosophy spread during this time as well isn’t surprising
due to the fact that Alexander the Great was taught by none other than the
Greek philosopher Aristotle. Also, while doing this project, plus the
postcards, I noticed that the architecture and art of Greece and Macedonia were
both very similar. They had details that were all alike, for example the colors
they used (blue and white) or how faces were constructed on sculptures. The pictures I chose for this project has five different categories. These categories are famous/iconic people, previous capitals known from the culture’s ancient times, it’s religion, art and postcards. The two people I chose for the famous/iconic people were King Philip II and Alexander the Great. When one is to think of the ancient Macedonian kingdom, the first people they usually think are one of these people. They helped the kingdom expand to what it was known for. One of the first pictures I picked was a map of the ancient kingdom. It shows the spread of Alexander the Great’s conquest while he reigned. If it wasn’t for them, ancient Macedonia’s history wouldn’t be the same. Next I choose pictures of previous capitals. Two similar pictures of Pella are shown here. I haven’t been to Greece yet, so I really liked these pictures and how they almost reminded me of Pompeii, which made me want to visit almost more. Another picture is of Edessa, which appears to be a small simple town. It was rumored before that the ancient Macedonians used to say the path was a “stepping stone of God to the heavens.” Next is the Greek Olympian Gods, which was the main form of worship. I included this because a lot of people know that during the empire’s expansion, Alexander spread a lot of Greek culture, but this shows how much he really did try spreading the culture since they were the same exact gods. Next are mosaics, which was a really common form of art. Famous mosaics I included was the Deer Hunt and The Lion Hunt. The last thing is my postcards from a previous project, which include Pella, a famous mosaic of Alexander the Great in war, the artifact of Philip II’s golden breastplate, and a drawing of an animal fight event happening, featuring Alexander and an Indian King.
From doing this project, I realized that Macedonia really did try to expand Greek culture. A lot of the images I saw while researching had a very clear Greek vibe to it. These things for example would be the religion or the buildings and art. Many times, I have been given a charm that is a supposed good luck symbol from Greece that is usually various colors of blue. Seeing pictures of Pella or the way mosaics were formed reminded me of those charms. I thought it was interesting being able to relate things that are sold in typical modern touristy shops to all sorts of various aspects of a culture from over 2,000 years ago. I’ve also learned a better understanding of exactly how the kingdom came to rise and decline: all done basically right before and right after Alexander’s time on the throne. In a way, I wish I could have experienced my culture. If I was to do so, I would want it to be near Pella. I’ve come across Pella a lot while doing this particular project, though I have never been to Greece, let alone Pella. If I did experience this ancient culture, I’d want it to go there because I think the architecture of buildings and mosaics would look lovely. Then if I do eventually go to Greece while I’m still in Europe, maybe I’d be able to compare and contrast how the two places are now and then. I feel like I have also learned a lot about the ancient Greek culture since the ancient Macedonian culture was so largely influenced by the Greeks. Overall, I think I had learned a lot about the culture from doing this project, i.e. significant symbols or styles of how they build or made things, and it makes me want to visit the place that so greatly influenced this one culture.