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Macedonia (

i
/msdoni/; Greek: , Makedona [maceonia]) is a geographic
and historical region of Greece in the southern Balkans. Macedonia is the largest and second
most populous Greek region, dominated by mountains in the interior and the port cities of
Thessaloniki (or Salonika) and Kavala on its southern coastline. Macedonia is part of Northern
Greece, together with Thrace and sometimes Thessaly and Epirus.
It incorporates most of the territories of ancient Macedon, a kingdom ruled by the Argeads
whose most celebrated members were Alexander the Great and his father Philip II. The name
Macedonia was later applied to identify various administrative areas in the Roman and Byzantine
Empires with widely differing borders (see Macedonia (region) for details).
Even before the establishment of the modern Greek state in 1830, it was identified as a Greek
province, albeit without clearly defined geographical borders
[7][8][9][10][11]
By the mid 19th century,
the name was becoming consolidated informally, defining more of a distinct geographical, rather
than political, region in the southern Balkans. At the end of the Ottoman Empire most of the
region known as Rumelia (from Ottoman Turkish: Rumeli, "Land of the Romans") was divided
by the Treaty of Bucharest of 1913, following the Ottoman defeat in the Balkan Wars of 1912
13. Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria each took control of portions of the Macedonia (region), with
Greece obtaining the largest portion; a small section went to Albania. The region was an
administrative subdivision of Greece until the administrative reform of 1987, when the region
was divided into the regions of West Macedonia and Central Macedonia and part of the region of
East Macedonia and Thrace, the latter containing also the whole of the region of Thrace.
[12]

Central Macedonia is the most popular tourist destination in Greece with more than 3.6 million
tourists in 2009 (18% of the total number of tourists who visited Greece that year).
Contents
[hide]
1 History
o 1.1 Prehistory
o 1.2 Ancient History
o 1.3 Roman period
o 1.4 Medieval history
o 1.5 Ottoman Rule
o 1.6 Modern history
2 Etymology
3 Local government
4 Economy and transport
5 Culture
o 5.1 Macedonian cuisine
o 5.2 Macedonian music
6 Demographics
o 6.1 Macedonian dialect
o 6.2 Population of largest towns
o 6.3 Regional identity
o 6.4 Minority populations
6.4.1 Slavic-speakers
6.4.2 Aromanians
6.4.3 Megleno-Romanians
6.4.4 Arvanites
6.4.5 The Jews of Thessaloniki
6.4.6 Others
7 See also
o 7.1 Portals
8 References
o 8.1 Bibliography
o 8.2 Notes
9 External links
o 9.1 Official links
History[edit]
Prehistory[edit]
For more details on this topic, see Macedonia (region), 'History'|Macedonia (region)
History|Macedonia (region), 'History'.
Macedonia lies at the crossroads of human development between the Aegean and the Balkans.
The earliest signs of human habitation date back to the palaeolithic period, notably with the
Petralona cave in which was found the oldest European humanoid, Archanthropus europaeus
petraloniensis. In the Late Neolithic period (c. 4500 to 3500 BC), trade took place from quite
distant regions, indicate rapid socio-economic changes. One of the most important changes was
the start of copper working.
Ancient History[edit]
For more details on this topic, see Macedonia (ancient kingdom).

The golden larnax and the golden grave crown of Phillip II, Vergina.

The expansion of ancient Macedonian kingdom up to the death of Phillip II.

Statue of Alexander the Great in Thessaloniki, capital of the region of Macedonia.
According to Herodotus, the history of Macedonia began with the Makednoi tribe, among the
first to use the name, migrating to the region from Histiaeotis in the south. There they lived near
Thracian tribes such as the Bryges who would later leave Macedonia for Asia Minor and become
known as Phrygians. Macedonia was named after the Makednoi. Accounts of other toponyms
such as Emathia are attested to have been in use before that. A branch of the Macedonians may
have invaded Southern Greece towards the end of the second millennium B.C. Upon reaching the
Peloponnese the invaders were renamed Dorians, triggering the accounts of the Dorian invasion.
For centuries the Macedonian tribes were organized in independent kingdoms, in what is now
Central Macedonia, and their role in internal Hellenic politics was minimal, even before the rise
of Athens. The Macedonians may have belonged to the Dorian branch of Greeks, while there
were many Ionians in the coastal regions. The rest of the region was inhabited by various
Thracian and Illyrian tribes as well as mostly coastal colonies of other Greek states such as
Amphipolis, Olynthos, Potidea, Stageira and many others, and to the north another tribe dwelt,
called the Paeonians. During the late 6th and early 5th century BC, the region came under
Persian rule until the destruction of Xerxes at Plataea. During the Peloponnesian War,
Macedonia became the theatre of many military actions by the Peloponnesian League and the
Athenians, and saw incursions of Thracians and Illyrians, as attested by Thucidydes. Many
Macedonian cities were allied to the Spartans (both the Spartans and the Macedonians were
Dorian, while the Athenians were Ionian), but Athens maintained the colony of Amphipolis
under her control for many years. The kingdom of Macedon, was reorganised by Philip II and
achieved the union of Greek states by forming the League of Corinth. After his assassination, his
son Alexander succeeded to the throne of Macedon and, retaining the office of "General of
Greece", he became one of the best known persons to which this land ever gave birth.
Roman period[edit]
See also: Macedonian Wars and Macedonia (Roman province)

Archaeological site of Pella, capital of ancient Macedonia.

View of the archaeological site of Philippi.
Macedonia remained an important and powerful kingdom until the Battle of Pydna (June 22, 168
BC), in which the Roman general Aemilius Paulus defeated King Perseus of Macedon, ending
the reign of the Antigonid dynasty over Macedonia. For a brief period a Macedonian republic
called the Koinon of the Macedonians was established. It was divided into four administrative
districts. That period ended in 148 BC, when Macedonia was fully annexed by the Romans.
[13]

The northern boundary at that time ended at Lake Ohrid and Bylazora, a Paeonian city near the
modern city of Veles. Strabo, writing in the first century AD places the border of Macedonia on
that part at Lychnidos,
[14]
Byzantine Achris and presently Ochrid. Therefore ancient Macedonia
did not significantly extend beyond its current borders (in Greece). This is stressed by 370
academics in their letter to US president Barack Obama.
[15]
To the east, Macedonia ended
according to Strabo at the river Strymon, although he mentions that other writers placed
Macedonias border with Thrace at the river Nestos, which is also the present geographical
boundary between the two administrative districts of Greece.