28 Kasım 2015 Cumartesi

Who are the modern Greeks?

"Of this Homer affords the best evidence; for he, although he lived long after the Trojan War, nowhere uses this name collectively, but confines it to the followers of Achilles from Phthiotis, who were the original Hellenes; when speaking of the entire host he calls them Danaans, or Argives, or Achaeans. Neither is there any mention of Barbarians in his poems, clearly because there were as yet no Hellenes opposed to them by a common distinctive name. Thus the several Hellenic tribes (and I mean by the term Hellenes those who, while forming separate communities, had a common language, and were afterwards called by a common name), owing to their weakness and isolation, were never united in any great enterprise before the Trojan War. And they only made the expedition against Troy after they had gained considerable experience of the sea." - Thucydides

"in 1843, while working in the Ministry of Justice, Paparrigopoulos published his first survey, About the emigration of Slav tribes in Peloponnese, contradicting with robust arguments, Fallmerayer's opinion that modern Greeks are of Slav descent, having no racial relation with the ancient Greeks."

Constantine Paparrigopoulos (1815-1891), History of the Greek Nation, Volume I,
Fallmerayer, Jakob Philipp, 1790-1861.
On the epoikiseos Slavic Certain breeds Peloponnesus. / Under K. Paparrigopoulou.
Περί της εποικήσεως Σλαβικών τινών φυλών εις την Πελοπόννησον. / Υπό Κ. Παπαρρηγοπούλου./link

The Hellenistic period runs, as usually defined, from the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC to the Battle of Actium by which Roman superiority over the Greek world was finally established on 2nd September  31 BC. The period is defined by the world conquest of Alexander the Great, and the consequences of the division of his empire upon his death. The name 'Hellenistic' derives from the German term for the period, coined by J.G.Droysen in the 1830's in his Geschichte des Hellenismus (First edition, Hamburg 1836-1843). For Droysen, who had previously written a seminal study of Alexander the Great, the period of Hellenismus, was characterised by the Hellenisation of the world that Alexander had conquered. This world had largely been encompassed by the Achaemenid Persian Empire, but had comprised many different cultures in Asia Minor, the Near East, Egypt, Mesopotamia, İran and beyond.(the Changing Pattern of Achaemenid Persian Royal Coinage)

But while this picture of the asertion of Greek cultural domination over the barbarian east appealed to the historians and antiquarians of the 19th century, it is not a picture that many modern scholars would endorse. For a generation or more, Greek historians have been paying attention to the work of their collegues on the documentary and archaeological evidence for regions such as Egypt, the Levant and Mesopotamia, and coming to regard the so-called Hellenistic period as one of negotiation between stable indigenous culutres and institutions and a new ruling elite. It is clear that while the successor kingdoms to Alexander's empire may have had Greek or Macedonian rulers and courts, their administrations, legal systems, religious life and languages to a considerable degree continued in or were adapted from their pre-conquest form. For one of the characteristics of the Hellenistic period is the relative dearth of literary accounts of the institions of the new monarchies.

So documents, whether written on stone, clay tablets or papyrus, are one of the major evidentiary bases. These documents have huge potential, of course, for the reconstruction of aspects of the economic regions from which they derive. But the picture they produce is regional, and cannot necessarily lead us to a holistic view of the economy of a given political entity (kingdom). Moreover they are documents. As such they can tell us much about behaviour, but not neccessarily a great deal about intent or theory. Among the literary absences from the Hellenistic period is any surviving treatise concerning the monetary policies of the various states that arose at this time. This, of course, is a major obstacle when it comes to analysis of financial innovation.

Documents and theoretical treatises aside, the other major source at our disposal is the coinage. Coinage is not itself new in the Hellenistic period; it had, as we have seen, come into being in the late 7th century BC in western Asia Minor, and it spread throughout the Greek and non-Greek peoples bordering, the Mediterranean over the next two-and-half centuries.

Greek historiography and exceptionalism

Almost every account of the Greek Revolution, 'Liberation Struggle', or War of Independence, ends by emphasizing not what was achieved by the treaties of 1830 and 1832 but rather the unsatisfactory, provisional nature of the settlement. From the Greek point of view, ever since the early 1830s, the Great Powers had effectively taken away with one hand what they had granted with the other. This was most evident in the decision, in 1832, to restrict the territory of the new Greek state within frontiers that excluded the majority of the nation, and in the notorious client status to which nominally independent Greece would often be reduced in practice, throughout the nineteeth century and wll into the twentieth.

But these are problems that have afflicted small or relatively weak states at all periods of history down to the present, and have unjustly deflected attention from the de jure status as a newly created independent polity that Greece was the first in post-Napoleonic Europe to attain.

A more fundamental distortion derives paradoxically from the very success of the Greek national project. Even before the revolution of 1821, from perhaps as early as the 1790s, the proponents of Greek independence had stablished a powerful and pervasive rhetoric: the present-day inhabitants of the land that had once been known as Hellas were the children (paides) of the Greeks of old (Hellenes); to set them free would be an act not of radical innovation, as in fact it was, but rather the restoration of an ancient and universally beneficial status quo, the very one, indeed, that had bequethed to post-Renaissance Europe everything that its educated elites now valued and enjoyed.

This was the distinctive contribution of the Romantic movement, in the arts and in radical politics, both to the emerging ideology of nationalism and specifically to the cause of Greek emancipation. The argument was expressed in its most extreme form by the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, in the preface to his verse drama Hellas, written in immediate response to the outbreak of the revolution in Greece:

"The apathy of the rulers of the civilised world to the astonishing circumstance of the descendants of that nation to which they owe their civilisation, rising as it were from the ashes of their ruin, is something perfectly inexplicable to a mere spectator [...] We are all Greeks. Our laws, our literature, our religion, our arts have their root in Greece [...] The modern Greek is the descendant of those glorious beings whom the imagination almost refuses to figure to itself as belonging to our kind, and he inherits much of their sensibility, their rapidity of conception, their enthusiasm, and their courage." (Shelley 1943)

Shelley, of course, was writing from a political position as radical as it was possible to espouse at the time, and his acquaintance with Greeks or the politics of their revolution was slight; but even among conservatives, one should not, perhaps, underestimate the subliminal power of this type of appeal during the decades of 'Restoration', when political elites all over Europe were intent on reviving the semblance of a status quo, perceived as superior, that had been irrevocably upset by the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars.

It is certainly noteworthy that the signatories to the 1830 Protocol were the conservative governments of the Duke of Wellington, Tsar Nicholas I, and Charles X of France; although two of these would have been swept away by the time of the later version in 1832, and replaced by more liberal administrations that might have been expected to favour the radical aspects of the Greek cause, the changes to the terms of the treaty between 1830 and 1832 do not reflect that shift. Modern Greece came into being, sanctioned, however grudgingly, by the Great Powers of a Europe still dominated by Metternich and allies of the stamp of Wellington. No wonder, therefore, that neither the Greeks themselves nor their reluctant European backers had any reason after 1830, to advertise the radical nature of what had been achieved still less to present it as a precedent that might be followed by other would-be nations.

It would suit conservatives (of whom there were not a few in influential places in Greece by the mid-nineteenth century, as Socrates Petmezas demonstrates in chapter 9), as well as radicals, to pretend that Greece was a special case, uniquely ancient and therefore like no other.

Within a year of the outbreak of the Revolution, in January 1822, at almost the same time as Shelley's Hellas was published in England, the first Provisional Constitution for the embryo state would adopt for its citizens the ancient name of 'Hellenes'; this is how they have been known officially in Greek ever since, while the terms of self-designation in common use up till then, Romios and Graikos, would be consigned over time, in the one case to a popular, unofficial egister, and in the other to oblivion by the early twentieth century. As with the name of the citizens, so with the name of the new state.

This is why Greece, from that time on, uniquely among the nations and states of the world has in certain contexts had to be distinguished by the addition of the prefix 'Modern'. The process that had brought the independent state into being was routinely referred to in Greek as palingenesia (rebirth or regeneration); other terms, such as 'revival', and even 'resurrection', were canvassed during the 1820s as Marios Hatzopoulos documents in chapter 6.

So pervasive, and so effective, did the strategy of invoking ancient history in the Greek cause prove that early as 1830, the only means the Austrian historian Jacob Philipp Fallmerayer could light upon, in order to overturn the hegemony of what he saw as an excessive Philhellenism in his adpoted country of Bavaria, was to expose the historical errors on which it was based.  But Fallmerayer was already a prisoner of the rhetoric that he set out to debunk: it need not have mattered, in Munich in the 1830s, or in Athens in the 1850s, whether or not the racial and cultural line of ancient Hellas had been swept away successively by Romans, Slavs, and Albanians, as Fallermayer sought to prove. But the fact is that it did matter.

Slowly at first, but with devastating and long-lasting impact, Greek intellectuals fought back. No one seems to have thought, in the mid-nineteenth century, of abandoning a calim that could be said to have served its purpose in securing national statehood for Greece against all the odds, and might even have been deemed expendable, once its historical foundations had come under scrutiny and been shown to be vulnerable. On the contrary, the rise of historicism at the mid-century provided the impetus for a subtle shift of ground: the ruptures exposed by Fallmerayer would become precisely the ligatures holding together a construction as new and as daring as it purported to be ancient: the History of the Hellenic Nation.

In the monumental work with this title, published by the historian Konstantinos Paparrigopoulos between 1860 and 1874, as well as in the writings of the antiquary from Corfu, Spyridon Zambelios, during the previous decade, the revivalist rhetoric of the 1820s and 1830s came to be replaced by a rhetoric of continuity, which still holds sway today, and indeed was vividly paraded before the world's TV audiences in the opening ceremony for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. Trumping Fallmerayer, Paparrigopoulos projected the term 'Hellenic nation', first formulated in the 1780s, back through almost three thousand years of continuous historical evolution. From the 1860s until at least the 1980s, few within Greece would challenge this basis for defining Greek identity, while those who did so abroad were liable to be branded, along with Fallmerayer, as 'mis-Hellenes', or 'Greek-haters'.

Greek historiography for over a hundred years was therefore trapped within the terms of a discourse that had evolved very rapidly from about 1790 to the 1860s and then stood still. Greek historians had no interest in reminding domestic or foreign readers that the nation state in which they took a justified pride had been the first to be recognized in Europe - in 1830. The stakes had been set infinitely higher by a national rhetoric that traced the continuous history of the Greek nation back to the first Olympiad in 776 BCE (and subsequently, with the discovery of the civilizations of the Greek Bronze Age, from the 1870s onwards, much further back still).

9) Dimitrios Katartzis, in a series of texts written between 1783 and 1791, seems to have been the first to use the Greek term 'ethnos' in the sense that writers of the Enlightenment, such as Rousseau, used 'nation' in French. Particularly revealing for the emergence of Greek nationalist terminology is the following: "I admit that at the present time, we [Greeks] are not a nation such as to form a state, but are rather subject to another that is stronger. [...] [But] we do constitute a nation to the extent that we are bound together by our exxlesiastical authorities [...] (Katartzis 1970 and Politis 1998)
page 5 ,

The Making of Modern Greece: book
Nationalism, Romanticism, and the Uses of the Past (1797-1896)
Professor David Ricks,Professor Roderick

* * * * * *

Let's look from the Macedonian side

Modern Greeks are direct descendents of the Ancient Greeks”
(The greatest victims of Greek lies are the Greeks themselves)

How can a region in the Balkans where modern Greece is located today, which has been open to a multitude of invasions, conquests and settlements, remain homogeneous and untouched for two thousand seven hundred years? Ironically, as the Greeks claim, how can modern Macedonia, a region neighbouring modern Greece be so heterogeneous that it has completely lost its original identity? These are questions that every Greek should be asking! Ever since Philip II of Macedonia conquered the ancient City States at the conclusion of the battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC, the region south of Olympus has been without borders and open to all kinds of invasions and barbarian settlements.

How can one call a people of 2,300 years ago “Ancient Greeks” since the word “Greek” was not coined until after the Roman conquests, approximately 600 years after the establishment of the City States and approximately 150 years after they were conquered by the Macedonians? 

If you were to say “the ancient Canadians living on their lands 2,000 years ago” you would be ridiculed and told “there were no ancient Canadians” and the people to whom you are referring who had once lived on the lands of present Canada had nothing to do with the Canadians of today! Yet, everyday you hear the word “ancient Greeks” and you don’t bat an eye! Why is that?  It is also well known that the ancient City States were never united politically and never established themselves as a single state. In fact they existed politically independent from one another and fought each other for economic dominance of the region.

The name “Greece” was imposed on the modern Greek Kingdom by the Great Powers Britain, France and Russia. Modern Greeks call themselves Hellenes (Ellines) and their state Hellas (Ellas), a name borrowed from the past which neither describes the elements of a nation or those of an ethnicity. By using the name “Greek” to refer to both the ancient and modern people, the Greek state falsely implies descent for the modern Greeks from the ancients. By using the name “Greece” to refer to both the ancient and modern states, the Greek State is falsely implying; 

(1) continuity between the ancient City States and modern Greece, and

(2) that there was some sort of political unity between the ancient City States themselves where one did not exist.

In reality the words “Greece” and “Greek” were popularized by modern 19th century writers. There are no ancient maps or references with the words “Greece”. The Romans may have made some references to the ancient people living in Sicily as “Grecos” but they referred to the region south of Olympus as Achaia. During the Ottoman era the people living south of Olympus called themselves Romeos (Romans). Greece is a newly created state which never existed before the 19th century. The Kingdom of Greece, occupying the region of Morea, present day Peloponnesus, was created for the first time in 1829. Between 1829 and 1912 the Greeks enlarged their territory to present day Greece, by conquering Epirus, Thessaly and 51% of Macedonia.

At its inception Greece started out with a small population of less than one million people, most of whom were Albanians, Slavs and Vlahs with a small minority of other ethnicities. By the time Greece conquered Epirus and Thessaly, its population grew to three times its original size. In 1907 it registered a population of 2,600,000. After it conquered Macedonia and exchanged populations with Turkey, its population tripled. In 1928 Greece registered 6,200,000 people. 1,100,000 of them were Christians, refugees from Asia Minor.

After the Treaty of Lausanne in July 1923, and after the population exchanges with Turkey, Greece declared itself homogenous consisting of 100% pure Greeks with a very small Muslim but ethnically Greek population. It is estimated that after Macedonia was conquered, occupied and had some of its population evicted, more than one million Macedonians still remained and were included among the Greeks.

According to Greece however, there were no non-Greeks left in Macedonia after its population exchanges. Also, according to Greece, the ancient Macedonians were extinct, killed off by the Slavs around the 6th century AD during the so-called Slav invasions. So the question that begs to be asked here is, “What ethnicity were these million or so people who remained in Macedonia and became part of Greece?” Many Greeks would argue that they were Bulgarians! If that were the case, then how can the modern Greeks claim purity and homogeneity if at least 16% of its population in 1928 was non-Greek?

What about its Vlah, Slav, Albanian and Turkish elements? Clearly they are not Greeks, let alone being direct descendents of the so called “ancient Greeks”.  Even this small argument shows that there is something “fishy” about these Greek claims. For over a century and a half, Greek State institutions, organizations and individuals have been making unproven and unfounded allegations that the modern Greeks are direct descendents of the ancients. To this day they have shown no evidence to prove their claims. In fact the opposite is true. There is ample evidence that proves that this particular modern Greek claim is an outright BIG Greek lie.

This exact issue was tackled by Historian John Shea [1]. Among other things, Shea proves that even the ancient people were not homogeneous.  

“It has been estimated that in classical times the number of slaves in Attica was roughly equal to the number of free inhabitants, or around 100,000. In Sparta there was an even greater proportion of slaves, and most of them, the helots, were Messenians. While the slaves of Athens were a wide racial mix and therefore less likely to unite on the basis of a common language, these Messenian helots of Sparta all spoke Greek, and had a kind of group self-consciousness. Thus they presented ‘special problems of security for their Spartan masters, whose numbers were constantly on the decline.’ Changes in the ethnic composition of Greek city-states are illustrated by the comments about the case of Piso. Piso, who had been the recipient of an unhelpful decision by a vote of the Athenian city assembly, ‘made a violent speech in which he said that the latter-day Athenians had no right to identify themselves with the great Athenians of the days of Pericles, Demosthenes, Aeschylus, and Plato. The ancient Athenians had been extirpated by repeated wars and massacres and these were mere mongrels, degenerates, and the descendants of slaves. He said that any Roman who flattered them as if they were the legitimate heirs of those ancient heroes was lowering the dignity of the Roman name.’ Such historical ideas make it clear that even two thousand years ago the notion of ethnic purity amongst the so called Greeks was difficult to sustain. The ethnic mix continued over the next two thousand years. As Nicol has observed, ‘The ancient Greeks were, after all, of very mixed ancestry; and there can be no doubt that the Byzantine Greeks, both before and after the Slav occupation, were even more heterogenous’.” [2] 

And there you have it! 

The modern Greeks are not only NOT direct descendents of the ancients, but their Greekness is a myth, a modern 19th century creation. 

“The Greek nation-state was a product of western political intervention-'the fatal idea' as Arnold Toynbee once called it, of exclusive western nationalism impinging upon the multi-national traditions of the eastern world. By extension, therefore, at any rate in theory, it was a child of the Renaissance and of western rationalism...” 

Pelasgians is the name generally given by ancient writers to the peoples before the Hellenes. According to both Heredotus and Thucydided, Pelasgians formed the largest element of the early population of Greece and the Aegean, and most of them were gradually assimilated by the Hellenes. Heredotus saw this transformation as following the invasion by Danaos (the Egyptian) which he took to be around the middle of the second millennium BC. Heredotus stated that the Eygptian Danaids taught the Pelasgians (not the Hellenes) the worship of the gods. The idea that the Pelasgians were the native population, converted to something more "Greek" by the invading Egyptians, also occurs  in the plays of Aischylos and Euripides, written around the same time as Heredotus Histories.

The Ionians were one of the two great tribes of Greece, the other being the Dorians. In classical times the Ionians lived in a band across the Aegean from Attica to "Ionia on the Anatolian shore...Heredotus linked the Pelasgians to the Ionians".

Tiberius Claudius wrote about the movements of some Greek tribes into the Balkan peninsula:

"Among these Celts, if the word is to have any significance (are included) even the Achaen Greeks, who had established themselves for some time in the Upper Danube Valley before pushing southward into Greece. Yes, the Greeks are comparative newcomers to Greece. They displaced the native Pelasgians...This happened not long before the Trojan War; the Dorian Greeks came still later - eighty years after Trojan War. Other Celts of the same race invaded France and Italy at about the same time."

With regard tp what is now called the Dorian İnvasion, Bernal notes that in ancient times this was much more frequently called "the return of the Heraklids." The dorians came from the northwestern fringes of Greece, which had been less affected by the Middle Eastern culture of the Mycenaean palaces which they destroyed. Their use of the name Heraklids was a claim not only to divine descent from Herakles, but also to Egyptian and Phoenician royal ancestors. This is not simply a modern theory. Ancient sources show that the descendants of these conquerors, the Dorian kings of classical and Hellenistic times, believed themselves to be descended from Egyptian and Phoenicians.
"Macedonia and Greece"
the book

 “Greece is an ethnically homogeneous nation”
(To this day there are some Greeks who believe in the myth that they are an ethnically pure race)

To Macedonians it is irrelevant what Greeks believe in as long as they don’t interfere in Macedonian affairs. Unfortunately Greece’s selfportrayal as an “ethnically homogeneous State” is not only interfering with Macedonians, it is downright hostile to them.  “Greeks' contemporary self-image is built upon a series of myths. The myth of continuity. The myth of the racial and cultural superiority of our ancestors (and, thanks to continuity, our own). The myth of being special The myth of racial and religious purity. The myth of the genius of the Greek race.

The existence of these myths provokes certain predictable reactions. Thus, my typical compatriot while proud to be Greek (95 percent, according to polls) will abuse and censure his countrymen at the slightest provocation. And this, naturally, because they fail to live up to the expectations and the demands created by the myths.” (Nikos Dimou) [5] Greece, over the years, has taken extraordinary measures to erase what is real in favour of something artificially manufactured. 

“Greek-ness” or “Hellenism”, as the Greeks like to call it, is a 19th century invention modeled after a culture and a race of people that ceased to exist more than two millennia ago. Greece has destroyed the real cultures, traditions and languages of its indigenous people living on its soil in favour of this artificial creation it calls Hellenism. Worse, today Greece not only denies the existence of its non-Greek roots but it insists that no indigenous races such as Albanians, Macedonians, Vlahs, Turks, Roma, etc. ever existed in Greece. Greece has not only forsaken its indigenous cultures but is consistently punishing all those who want to return to them. 

The so-called “Greek Nationality” (Ethos) was artificially created during the 19th century by the Great Powers in order to break up the Ottoman Empire and to stop the expansion of Pan Slavism. Britain’s fear of Russia entering Mediterranean waters and contaminating its “backyard garden” motivated British officials to do whatever was necessary to stop the “Slav proliferation”. After Greece was created it needed people “Greeks” to maintain and enlarge itself. These people came from the territories it occupied during its period of expansion. One need only ask, “How come there are Macedonians, Albanians, Vlahs, Turks, Roma, etc. living in the Republic of Macedonia and none of these ethnicities live in Greek occupied Macedonia?” 

It is well known that these ethnicities existed in all of Macedonia during Ottoman rule before geographic/ethnographic Macedonia was occupied and partitioned in 1912/1913. In fact there are Greek statistics compiled prior to 1912 that attest to these facts. Yet in 1928 Greece declared itself “ethnically pure” with only “pure Greeks” living in Greece. Naturally the burning question is “what happened to the other ethnicities that lived in Macedonia after it was occupied by Greece in 1912?” Did they simply vanish? Of course they did not! They were Hellenized! They were “made” into Greeks!

In her infatuation with the glory of her “false” past, Greece became ashamed of her “real self” and buried her true present. Greece did not want a bunch of ignorant Slavs, Albanians, Vlahs, Turks, Roma, etc. for citizens. It preferred the “mythical” types like Pericles, Leonidas and Temistocles or descendants thereof. This was all done with encouragement from her benefactors, the Great Powers. In fact, outside of some Greeks who have been labeled traitors [5], no one questioned Greece’s motives for doing this.

Macedonians have no problem with Greeks calling themselves whatever they want as long as they do not interfere in their affairs. Macedonians would like to be known for who and what they really are, Macedonians. The crux of the problem unfortunately is that while the Greeks continue to believe in their mythical past, they interfere with reality. Falsely believing that they are all Greeks, descendants from an ancient people, they refuse to acknowledge the reality that Macedonians do exist and live on their territory. Further, to prevent the discovery of their falsehood, they even interfere in the affairs of the Republic of Macedonia, an independent and Sovereign State.

The proof that Greece is neither “homogeneous” nor has continuity from the ancient past is not difficult to explain. Just take a look at Greece’s population makeup from 1829 to 1928 and in it you will find Albanians, Vlahs, Turks, Macedonians and Roma. 

Period........................................ Activity....................................................... Number of People

1829........... Greece created for the first time (mostly Arvanites) Less then.............. 1,000,000

1830 – 1911.................... Epirus and Thessaly Annexed (Vlahs and Albanians)............ 1,600,000

1912 – 1913........... 51% of ethnographic Macedonia Annexed (Macedonians).................. 2,500,000

1920 – 1928...................... Importation of Christian Turks from Asia Minor (Turkey)................... 1,100,000

In 1928 Greece registered 6,200,000 people after which it declared itself homogenous consisting of 100% pure Greeks with a very small Muslim but ethnically Greek population. In the 1920’s Greece imported 1.1 million Christian Turks from Asia Minor, claiming that they were descendants of the “Ancient Greeks”. At the time, not one of them spoke Greek or identified with the Greeks. How could they have? A “Greek Nation” never existed before 1829!  

Modern Greeks, along with their Roman-derived benefactors, have not only falsified “ancient history”, they have robbed other civilizations of their contribution to the world. Clearly the contributions of say the Phoenician and Egyptian civilizations, which were far superior civilizations to that of ancient Athens, are totally ignored and long forgotten. Worse, their contributions have now been expropriated (stolen) by the Greeks and claimed to be Greek. 

Two and a half millennia later Greeks continue to expropriate (steal) other people’s ideas and inventions and shamelessly call them their own! I have already mentioned the atom and geometry, but Greek coffee? Clearly everyone knows “Greek coffee” is actually Turkish coffee. 

Api (Mother, Apa/Aba/Ana/Ene)- Scythian-Turk Goddess
According to Herodot "wife of Hercules was snake-leg!"
Hercules is also the mirror of Sumerian Bilgemiş (Gilgamesh), thus, not Greek!

“The Ancient ‘Greek gods’ were Greek”
(Some modern Greeks believe that those who spoke Greek and believed in the Greek gods were actually Greek)

We often read in books, see movies and hear stories about the so called mythical “Greek gods” but have we ever stopped to think what makes these deities Greek? Are they “Greek” because they originated where modern Greece is today? Are they “Greek” in a national sense? Are they Greek because the Ancients that lived in the region where modern Greece is today wrote about them? How are they “Greek”?

The word “Greek” before the word “gods” implies that there is a relationship between “Greek” and “gods” which means that in some way these gods belong to Greece or the “Greeks”. Since these “gods” are not associated with other Mediterranean people such as the Macedonians, Paeonians, Illyrians, Thracians, Pelasgians, Phrygians, Lydians, Carians, Lycians, Paphlagonians, Cappadocians, Cilicians, Picidians, Pamphylians and others, in a similar manner, who also celebrated and believed in them, then one is led to believe that these gods must be exclusively connected to Greece and the “Greeks” The question is how?

Among several sources we consulted, Microsoft’s Encarta encyclopedia under the heading “Greek Mythology” had an explanation but this explanation did not enforce the idea that the so called “Greek gods” were actually “Greek”. According to Encarta, mythology in written form appeared for the first time in the literary works of Hesiod and Homer around the eighth century BC. Homer, as we know, produced the famous works the “Iliad” and “Odyssey” and Hesiod produced the poems “Theogony”. 

Both authors in their respective works talk about the various tales and legends associated with ancient deities. Hesiod, however, according to Encarta, takes a step further and introduces a larger number of myths that include deities that are not mentioned by Homer. Hesiod, in “Theogony”, who talks about the creation of the world, the birth of the gods as well as their adventures, NEVER ONCE mentions “Greek” or any other name derived from this word!

Similarly, Homer in his works the “Iliad” and the “Odyssey”, considered to be reliable sources for the so-called “Greek Mythology” and the “Greek gods”, NEVER ONCE mentions the word “Greek” or any other name derived from this word!

So again, how are these so-called “Greek gods” “Greek”? Perhaps the authors who wrote about them were from the region where modern Greece is today? According to Carlos Parada, an internationally recognized researcher and expert on mythology, the following authors have contributed to the socalled “Greek mythology”

Author ....................%Contribution Lived in / Ethnicity
Apolodorus........................ 19 Alexandria / Unknown *
Paucsanias......................................... 12 Lydia / Lydian
Hyginus....................... 12 Rome / Unknown (Spanish?)
Homer................................... 8 Asia Minor? / Unknown
Ovid..................................................... 6 Rome / Roman
Nonnus.............................................. 5 Egypt / Egyptian
Hesiod.................................... 4.6 Boeotia / Boeotian **
Diodorus Siculus...............................4.4 Sicily / Sicilian
Virgil......................................... 4 Mantua Italy / Roman
Quintus Smynaeus...................................................... 3.3
Statius................................................ 2.6 Rome / Roman
Antonius Liberalis................................. 2 Rome / Roman
Valerius Flaccus.................................... 2 Rome / Roman
Apollonius Rhodius............... 1.8 Alexandria ? Unknown
Dionysius of Halicarnassus............. 1.5 Caria / Unknown
Euripides..................................... 1.5 Attica / Athenian **
Plutarch.................................... 1.3 Boeotia / Boeotian **
Herodotus................................................ 1 Caria / Carian
Pindarus (Pindar).............................. 1 Thebes / Boeotian
Parhenius of Nicaea........................................................ 1
Aeschylus..................................................................... 0.5
Aristophanes................................................................ 0.4
Caimachus.................................................................... 0.4
Cicero........................................................................... 0.3

* Highest probability - Macedonian
** From Ancient City States south of Mount Olympus where Modern Greece is located today.

From the table above, we can see that the vast majority of works about the so-called “Greek mythology” and the “Greek gods” were in fact written by NON-GREEKS or by authors of unknown origin/ethnicity. If the authors who wrote about them were not “Greek” then perhaps the legends of the so-called “Greek gods” originated somewhere in the lands of modern Greece. Unfortunately that is not true either. 

According to Herodotus, many of the elements of the so-called “Greek myths” associated with the “Greek gods” were borrowed from foreign religions, mainly from the Pelasgians who in turn borrowed them from the Egyptians. (There are some scientists today who believe the Pelasgians lived in the lower Balkans, including Macedonia and were the ancestors of some of the Slavs.) However let as not just take Herodotus’s word. Let’s examine the mythological deities themselves starting with the supreme god Zeus.

According to the Grolier Encyclopedia, Zeus is a celestial deity of Indo-European origin symbolically associated with the sky. Poseidon, the elder brother of Zeus, is also a deity of Indo European origin. Apollo, on the other hand, is an Asian deity from the Asian shaman cults, imported from Siberia. The following is a list of deities and major mythical figures commonly referred to as “Greek gods” and “Greek mythical figures” who are believed to be of “non-Greek” origin;

Deity/Major Figure Origin Source
Rhigmus Thracian Carlos Parada
Diomedes Thracian Carlos Parada
Phineus Thracian Carlos Parada
Tereus Thracian Carlos Parada
Rhesus Thracian Carlos Parada
Alcon Thracian Carlos Parada
Memnon Ethiopian Carlos Parada
Alcyoneus Ethiopian Quintus Smyrnaeus
Alexipus Ethiopian Quintus Smyrnaeus
Clydon Ethiopian Quintus Smyrnaeus
Laomedon Ethiopian Quintus Smyrnaeus
Mmeneclus Ethiopian Quintus Smyrnaeus
Nychius Ethiopian Quintus Smyrnaeus
Thalius Ethiopian Quintus Smyrnaeus
Andromeda Ethiopian Carlos Parada
Cepheus Phoenician Carlos Parada
Europa Phoenician Carlos Parada
Pelops Phrygian Carlos Parada
Agenor Egyptian Carlos Parada
Belus Egyptian Carlos Parada
Midus Phrygian Carlos Parada
Opis Phrygian Carlos Parada
Aura Phrygian Carlos Parada
Proteus Egyptian Carlos Parada
Egeria Italian Ovid
Hora Roman Ovid
Janus Roman Carlos Parada
Juturna Roman Carlos Parada
Penates Roman Carlos Parada
Tantalus Paphlagonia Carlos Parada
Orchamus Persia Carlos Parada
Pyramus Babylon Carlos Parada
Thisbe Babylon Carlos Parada
Dido Cartagenan Carlos Parada
Nicea Indian Carlos Parada
Phoenix Arabian Carlos Parada
Hypnos From the BlackSea regionCarlos Parada
Muses (9) Macedonian Carlos Parada
Dionysus Macedonian(Brygian)Grolier Encyclopedia

For details on the above, see Donski [3]. 

From the table above, we can see that a large number of deities and important mythical figures have purposely or unwittingly been misrepresented. Clearly they are not of “Greek origin” 

And finally, perhaps the so-called “Greek gods” were “Greek” because they were exclusively celebrated by the ancient people who lived south of Mount Olympus where modern Greece is today. That too, I am afraid is not true. The mythical gods, referred to as the “Greek gods”, were common to most ancient Mediterranean nations and cultures. They were as much universal to the ancient world as Christ and Christianity is universal to our modern world.

The Ancient “Greek gods” were not Greek at all! In fact, referring to them as “Greek gods” would be a myth in itself. It is more appropriate, truthful and precise to call them Mediterranean gods than it is to call them “Greek gods”. After all they were celebrated, revered and feared by many more nations and cultures north, east and west of Mount Olympus than they were south of Mount Olympus. And that is the truth.



read also 
Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization
by Martin Bernal

So, did they look also with  the Proto-Turkish history? :) 
Only who is working Turcology ;)
without the Turks you can not write the History.