Although Macedonia is a young state which became independent in 1991, its roots run deep in the history. The name "Macedonia" is in fact the oldest surviving name of a country in the continent of Europe. Archaeological evidence shows that old European civilization flourished in Macedonia between 7000 and 3500 BC. Macedonia is located in the center of the Southern Balkans, north of ancient Greece, east of Illyria, and west of Thrace. The ancient Macedonians were a distinct nation, ethnically, linguistically, and culturally different from their neighbors. The origins of the Macedonians are in the ancient Brygian substratum which occupied the whole of Macedonian territory and in Indo-European superstratum, which settled here at the end of the 2nd millennium.
The history of the ancient Macedonian kingdom begins with Caranus, who was the first known king (808-778 BC). The Macedonian dynasty Argeadae originated from Argos Orestikon, a city in located in south western Macedonia region of Orestis (App.,Syr., 63;Diod. ,VII, 15; G. Sync., I, 373). Alexander I "Philhellene" (498-454 BC) expended the kingdom and by the 5th century BC the Macedonians had forged a unified kingdom. Alexander was a Persian ally in the Greek-Persian wars. As Macedonia appears on the international scene, the first coins with the king's name on them are made. Around the year 460, Herodotus sojourns in Macedonia and gives an interpretatio macedonica of the Greek-Persian wars (Her.5.17-22, 9.44-45).
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