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Chapter 4. Archaic and Early Classical Macedonia

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Chapter Summary

The Homeric poems mention Pieria as a purely geographical point of reference and ignore the lands and populations beyond its northern boundaries, the remaining parts of historical Macedonia. Regular trade relationships existed between western Macedonia and Thessaly during the whole Bronze Age, and Mycenaean products widely spread through the whole area of future Macedonia, through mainland routes and also from the sea, via Chalcidice and the Thermaic gulf. In their digressions on archaic Macedonia, both Herodotus and Thucydides adopt a "migrationist" approach to the kingdom's origins and early expansion. The late sixth-century Macedonian expansion on the eastern bank of the Axios took advantage of the Persian arrangement of the whole area. In Alexander's complex system of Greek connections, Argos was regularly present, before and after the Persian wars. The second half of Alexander's reign was marked by the rise of the Athenian naval empire.

Keywords: Alexander's reign; archaic Macedonia; Athenian naval empire; early classical Macedonia; Persian wars; sixth-century Macedonian expansion

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