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Subjectivity and biases (so called antic tribes)

Home » General Questions & Answers » Subjectivity and biases (so called antic tribes)

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Post from iGENEA to 20.01.2010 07:01:19

Dear Rum,

the problem with the Dorians is, that we cant find their genetic traces within Macedonians and Hellens. Of course the Dorians became part of these tribes, but at the moment we cant tell which ancient Macedonian oder ancient Greek profiles are Dorian.

You are correct, there could be significant differences between regions within one Nation.

It is all a question of the data available.
We can not predict what ancient Macedonians and Hellens are considered to be in 20 years. Of course they wont change into something different but maybe Hellens can be split up into several tribes and then the question will not be Macedoian or Hellnic but which of much more tribes someones ancestors bleonged.

Roman C. Scholz

Post from Rum to 19.01.2010 23:01:52

Dear Kiril,

first of all my best wishes for you yesterday's name day (at least that was here in Greece). Some answers:

1. I agree about Dorians. It seems that they were not a big invasion of a strange indo-european tribe that brought iron and exterminated all the rest bringing the Dark Ages as said the first hypothesis'. More and more it seems that they were living in NW modern Greece (i.e. Epirus and Macedonia) before going down to Greece and were already Greek. In any case, this does not change anything of what you say... Heraklides as they called themselves (together with Ancient Macedonians, i.e. descenants of Hercules).
2. About the Fin King: Actually the first dynasty was Bavarian and the second one from Denmark. As far as I understand it seems that you imply that Alexander Phillip etc. were Dorians that conquered real Macedonians imposing their language (i.e. Greek) onto them. That could be truth but I have found no such a claim.
3. About Borza, I have not studied him. I have studied Herodotus, Thukydides, Arianne etc. In any case from what I saw he does not disagree with what I say in something. I don't want to copy paste his quotes, you might be sad. Have you read him?!
4. Btw I guess that we are less than 25y.o. hardly less than 30. This has nothing to do with you mental capabilities (believe me) this has to do with the evolution of ROMian propaganda the last years (am I correct)?

Sometimes I cannot really understand on what you disagree with me and why you think I am so "dangerous". Dangerous for ideas maybe, but not for people...

Post from Rum to 19.01.2010 23:01:32

Dear Mr. Scholz,

thank you for you answer, we say the same thing: since you decided that Hellens and Antic Macedonians should be treated as distinct Antic tribes you should consider Dorians an older tribe that was split between Hellenes and Antic Macedonians.
Of course you cannot explain the procedure, I guess there were many parametres you consider, what I say is just that the most important seems to me that was the modern ethnogenesis which is irrelevant. In case you did the same choice for Spartans or Athenians you would find out that Athenians or Spartans were distinct from Hellenes. And this is the same for today: modern Greek Macedonians for example should be distinct from the rest of the Greeks if you decide so (since most of them come from Minor Asia), Macedonians of Skopjie are distinct from Albanians of Macedonia or even northern Macedonians etc. That's all... I thing we agree...

Post from iGENEA to 19.01.2010 08:01:29

Dear Rum,

i get your point. But i dont think that we found Dorians. Ancient Makedonians and Dorians are not the same, of course they are related, but they exited at a different time.
That means that what we call Hellens also contains Dorians - therefore we cant call our ancient Makedonians Dorians.
Of course i cant explain the whole procedure including all informations here, but maybe in the future we will be able do distinguish Dorians and other tribes that are older than the tribes we distinguish now.

Dear Kiril,

the Dorian invasion was not a big invasion, correct. There may have been a movement since about 900 BC, but the end of Mycenaean Greece in 1200-1100 BC probably had other reasons.

Roman C. Scholz

Post from Kiril to 19.01.2010 05:01:48


Your other theory about a Macedonian King claiming Greek ancestry, there is a lot more to this story which you have conveniently left out. But that aside your logic here is that one ancient king claimed Greek ancestry therefore all ancient Macedonians were of Greek ancestry. WOW!!!

Lets look at this from a modern perspective. If we look at the British royal family of today, we see that they are of mainly German ancestry. According to your theory all Brits are German. WOW!!!

And now lets go back about 180 years. A certain Finish prince was appointed as the first king of the modern Hellenic Republic of Greece. WOW WE!!!

Do you know what this means Rum? Yes, you are a Fin buddy. Now I understand why the modern Greek flag is based on the Finland flag.

Thanks Rum, I see the world differently now.

Post from Kiril to 19.01.2010 04:01:02


If I read you correctly, in essence your latest theory suggests a better term for Antic Macedonians would be Dorian's. Is this correct???

If this is correct, then you may want to read the thoughts of probably the world's foremost specialist in Ancient Macedonian studies, Mr. Eugene Borza. In brief they are as follows;

[1] On the so called Dorian invasion: The theory of the Dorian invasion (based on Hdt. 9.26, followed by Thuc. I.12) is largely an invention of nineteenth-century historography, and is otherwise unsupported by either archeological or linguistic evidence."
[2] "The Dorians are invisible archeologically."
[3] "There is no archeological record of the Dorian movements, and the mythic arguments are largely conjectural, based on folk traditions about the Dorian home originally having been in northwest Greece.
[4] "The explanation for the connection between the Dorians and the Macedonians may be more ingenious than convincing, resting uncomfortably on myth and conjecture."

You put down others as nationalists; I think you are the biggest and most dangerous type of nationalist on this forum. You know, the friendly "I am understanding" type!

Just to finish, I am astounded to read that you are now claiming that the Thracians were an ancient Greek tribe aswell. Is there now end to modern Greek mythology?

Post from Rum to 18.01.2010 20:01:27

Thank you Mr. Scholz,

I agree with you. I am sure you did not want to cause any confusions etc. anyway the disputes and the problems emerge with nationalists, for me there is no real dispute or problem.

But let me make some comments:

\"How these people name their nation would have no influence on the results because we have to look at the data of genetic research only.\"

\"Modern nations or borders have no influence on this research.\"

Your second statement is half-truth. I understand that you want to believe this, but but nationalism is very strong and affects researchers through biases etc. What I try to imply is if we had the full-truth and not the half truth in your 2nd statement, the correct name should be Dorians, i.e. that modern Macedonians have a strongest Dorian substratum that the rest of the Greeks (which is very logical in my opinion). But naming this substratum \"Macedonian\" and not \"Dorian\" is an outcome of nationalistic bias, since we know from history, from the claims of the Ancient Macedonians etc. that they were Dorians. In case there was an independent Spartan nation today, you probably would like to find if there is a distinction between them and the rest of the Greeks and you would talk about \"Antic Spartans\" and the same goes for every Dorian colonie. Between 900 BC and 900 AD (well at least from 900 BC to the unification of the Hellenic world) we have clear statements about the tribal differentiations of the Hellenes: nobody spoke about a separate Macedonian tribe, the tribe (genetically speaking) was the Dorians. Thus, this contradicts with your statements. If there was no modern ROM or FYROM the logical would be to search for a distinct Dorian or Slavic tribe, since the Ancient Macedonians themselves never claimed to be a distinc tribe, i.e. tribally or genetically speaking the tribe of the Ancient Macedonians is Dorian.

So, I don\'t challenge your genetical research and results (as some Greeks may do) I just have an objection concerning the naming of the tribes (on which you seem to agree by actually saying that the naming of the Antic Tribes is in a way subjective).

Post from iGENEA to 18.01.2010 12:01:36

Dear Rum,

you have to keep in mind, that the ancient tribes we know from different periods of history can not all be genetically differentiated in exact the same way the are differentiated politically or culturally.

That means, that the political and cultural borders are often not exactly the same as the genetic borders.

1. Dorians, Ionians, Aeolians and Pelasgians are ancient tribes of that area. But when we talk of these tribes, we refer to an earlier period before or at the beginnig of classical antiquity. The genetically different ancient tribes iGenea namend refer to tha time fomr 900 BC to 900 AD (some are older, some are younger).

When we look at results of genetic research we can not search for special tribes and have special expections; we have to look only at the pure data without considering history because that would influence the research in a wrong way.

We can only distinguish tribes when we find different profiles in special areas.
When such differences are found we take a deeper look and consider which tribes that have been.

We were not (yet) able to distinguish the older tribes you mentionend. The reason for that could be, that these tribes mixed up in Greece and that we dont have enough data from any period that could help us to distinguish between them.

That is why these tribes do not show up.

2. Modern nations or borders have no influence on this research.

3. We use all sources that are available for a special area and do not limit to ancient or modern DNA. But that does not mean, that the profile of modern nations is just taken and labeled ancient. Therefore not all modern Macedonians are ancient Macedonians but also Slavs, Illyrians and others.

4. Nice example

If that would happen, what would be the result of genetic research:

We would have "european" profiles all over Europe, also Cyprus. And a few chinese obviously non-european profiles at Cyprus. (Apart from chinese immigrants in other parts of Europe who we do not consider in this example).

If we would have data from 2000 AD (today) available in 5000 AD we probably could differ between german, spanish, greece and other nations that existed in 2000 AD. Because of the mixture we would have greek people (like all others) all over Europe.

If we would have all data, that is available today in 5000 AD we could even differ between the ancient tribes like we do today.
That would mean somebody who gets tested would recieve a result like Hellenic for the classical antiquity (900 BC - 900 AD) and Greek for 2000 AD.

Back to Cyprus:
Dependig on the data available (see above) we would have people from all european Nations from the time of 2000 AD on Cyprus (if the also mixed on this island) and a few Chinese people. How these people name their nation would have no influence on the results because we have to look at the data of genetic research only.

"Please explain us the procedure you identified the so called "antic tribes". These issues are very sensitive for us in Balkans and none seems to understand what happens here..."

It was not our intention to cause any confusion or heavy disputes. It just happend that the first analysis of the data that was available that time showed a bigger amount of ancient Macedonians in Macedonia than in Greece. That was absolutly not forseeable and we did not try to find a big number of Macedonians in Macedonia or something like that, as i said it just happened.

I want to remember to my first explanation: Genetic borders do never perfectly fit political borders. Genetic tribes therefore correlate but are not in perfect Correspondence with political tribes.

Because of that no one should draw any conclusions for modern political issues based on genetics.

Roman C. Scholz

Post from Rum to 15.01.2010 14:01:37

I have a general question regarding the way iGENEA identified the so called antic tribes. I will bring an example which is representative the Antic Macedonians.
As we know from history Antic Macedonians claimed to be Herackleides descenands of the Argead dynasty from the city of Argos (Peloponnese). This means they claimed to be Dorians. We also know that Spartans were Dorians (not the helotes who propably were pelasgians) and Athenians were Ionians. Moreover, there are certain maps that show the colonizations of the Greeks (i.e. where Ionians went, Dorians, Aeolians etc.).
What we see in iGenea, is some subjective so called "Antic tribes", i.e. Antic Macedonians and Hellenes. The questions are:
1. Seriously talking about Antic tribes, in this case Greek antic tribes, they should be at least a) Dorians, b) Ionians, c) Aeolians and why not d) Pelasgians, even e) Thracians etc.
2. We don't see this, what we see is Hellenes (as if they were a common antic tribe), Antic Macedonians(!) (as if they were not Dorians) etc. On what basis were this antic group defined? I guess that they were defined based on the later on ethno-genesis that took place (19th century and 20th century in the case of Slavomacedonians). I mean if today there was a Dorian national state iGENEA would also have "antic Dorians" etc. Am I correct?
2. On what bases were these "antic tribes" defined and tested? From Ancient DNA or from modern populations or both?
3. Let's suppose that EU moves toward a similar ethnogenetic procedure and modern Greeks, Spaniards, Germans etc. form a common European nation in... 5000 AD. And, moreover, let's suppose that in 4000 AD a chinese tribe (even very few in numbers) conquers Cyprus from EU and imposes a Chinese language to the conquered european population that gives them a distinct national consioussness from the European, they feel Chinese after that. In 5000 AD for several reasons they decide (the chinese speaking cypriots) that they are... Greek! And they claim that they are the only Greeks and that the Europeans have nothing to do with Greeks. In that case iGenea would talk about "European people" (like Hellenic people) in 2000 AD as antic tribe and of "Antic Greeks" (like Antic Macedonians) and would prove by DNA results that Europeans are not Greek (even if the whole Europe would speak Greek and adopted Greek maners and culture) but that the real Greeks are the chinese speaking Cypriots as they are the distinguished "Antic Greeks"? Is this the procedure iGENEA followed for Hellenic people and Macedonians?

Please explain us the procedure you identified the so called "antic tribes". These issues are very sensitive for us in Balkans and none seems to understand what happens here...

Thank you in advance!