Alexandria's founded by Alexander

Alexandria's founded by Alexander the Great (by year BC): 334 Alexandria in Troia (Turkey) - 333 Alexandria at Issus/Alexandrette (Iskenderun, Turkey) - 332 Alexandria of Caria/by the Latmos (Alinda, Turkey) - 331 Alexandria Mygdoniae - 331 Alexandria (Egypt) - 330 Alexandria in Areia (Herat, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria of the Prophthasia/in Dragiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Caucasus (Begram, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria of the Paropanisades (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria Eschate or Ultima (Khodjend, Tajikistan) - 329 Alexandria on the Oxus (Ai-Khanoum OR Termez, Afghanistan) - 328 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene / Alexandria on the Indus (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Origin of the Macedonian star was Thracian?

Recent excavations at Apollonia Pontica, modern Sozopol (Bulgaria) on the Black Sea has revealed a leaden bucranium with an eight-ray star, which possibly served as model for the well-known Macedonian star.

[Picture from Novinite, National Historical Museum]

A bucranium is a special kind of amulet in the shape of an ox-skull known as early as the 5th century BC in Greece and the above-mentioned amulet-bucranium entirely fits the picture. Yet the sun symbol with its eight rays placed on the forehead of the ox is peculiar simply because it is so terribly close to the star used on the coat of arms and on the flag of Macedonia.

It seems that the sun symbol was used in Greek art long before the Macedonians adopted it. Pictures exist of hoplites bearing 16- and 8-pointed sun symbols on their shields and armor as early as the 6th century BC; coins from Corfu, for instance, bore a sun with the same number of rays in the 5th century BC. Both variants were also frequently represented under Macedonian rule in the 4th century BC as we know from the tomb of Philip II of Macedonia at Vergina where it is enhancing the lid of the larnax. Yet other examples of suns with 12 rays have been found also. And recently the fragment of a shield carrying the inscription “King Demetrius” (apparently referring to Demetrius Poliorketes (300-285 BC) was put up for sale by Christies’; this shield features 24 sunrays in its center, a quite unusual number.

The so-called "Vergina-Sun" and the modern flag of the Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) shows a sun with 16 rays.

Is the number of sun-rays really important? Maybe not but the fact that this bucranium with its starry sun has been found in Bulgaria seems to kindle a fight over its legitimacy and from what I read in the article published by Novinite, the present Director of the National Historical Museum, wants the municipality of Sozopol to sue FYROM for using the star that should be Bulgarian property. What will they come up with next!

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