There are remnants of material culture from the Classical period throughout Macedonia. Interesting are the remnants of the
Hellenistic culture. . More significant towns' remains are those of:
Among the Classical Era artifacts there are such that date as back in the past as the VI century B.C. Examples are the stone reliefs found in Thessaloniki,
"A boy from Thessaloniki" and
"A Girl from Thessaloniki".
There is also a IV century B.C. relief from Kozani, depicting
a Macedonian family that wear a typical Macedonian costume. There are also remnants of the constituting elements of the Macedonian state of that time. One of them is, for example,
a coin of Alexander I Philhellen (498 - 454 B.C.). The epithet "Philhellen" at that time was attached only to the nonnatives in the Greek states, which is the best proof that the Macedonians were not of the Hellenistic origin.
Concerning the material culture of the classical Macedonians, of particular significance are the archeological sites of Trebenista
in the region of Ohrid, the aforementioned Syndos near Thessaloniki, and the royal graveyard in Kutlesh (Vergina).
All these artifacts contribute to the fact that the Classical Macedonians, as a separate nation, had their own language and culture, and that they differed from other nations and tribes by their clothes, traditions, and warfare strategy.
There are interesting remnants of the Classical Era in the territory of Macedonia that are related to the Macedonian state and its rulers, which reached its peak during the reign of Alexander III of Macedon, later named Alexander the Great.
The concept of Hellenism
See some of the Hellenistic remnants.
With Alexander III of Macedon's conquers in the East, the Macedonian and Greek (or Hellenic) cultures were spreaded among the enslaved nations of the subjugated territories. During that process, the Macedonian and Greek cultures were influencing the local culture, and the locals, on the other hand, influenced these two cultures to a certain extent. Thus, a mixture of Macedonian, Greek, and ancient Eastern cultures emerged. That new culture, as a contrast to the Greek or Hellenic, the dominant one, is called
The period in which the Hellenistic culture was thriving is called Hellenism, and the states in which that culture was developed Hellenistic states.
The Hellenistic period had started during the conquests of Alexander III of Macedon (the Great), and continued in countries established after his death until their fall under the Roman Empire, and its end is marked by the Arabian destruction of the city of Alexandria in 642 B.C.
Some of the remnants of the Macedonian Hellenistic culture are:
People who lived in Macedonia during the Classical period outlived their physical vanishing through the achievements of the material culture they left behind. Today we admire their creativeness and resourcefulness. Macedonia had a fortunate position, since it was in the immediate neighbourhood of the Aegean - Roman, i.e., Mediterranean civilization, thus gradually it became a part of it. Today it is quite difficult, almost impossible, to determine in percentages the ethnic picture of Macedonia during the Roman period. It is certain that the majority of the population during the Classical and Hellenistic periods consisted of Paionians and Macedonians. Less populated were those Macedonian regions where Penests and Brigs, and in the Hellenistic period Dardanians and Thracians, used to live. Moreover, there were also Oriental newcomers, particularly during the Roman period, and there are positive proofs that among them were Jews, then Samaritans, Goths, and many more settlers of various nationalities. The Roman legionaries - colonists were of various origins too: Spanish, Syrian, Northern African, Dalmatian, Italian. During the fall of the Classical period in Macedonia, all of these peoples were already assimilated in a homogenous ethnic structure known as Rumelians. Scared by the terrifying raids of Habarians and Slavs, many of the Rumelians will seek shelter in the megalopolises of Thessaloniki and Constantinople. Majority, however, retreated to the safety of the high mountains where they would survive during the following centuries, mainly pursuing cattle breeding as the main productive activity. Throughout the Middle Ages the Rumelians were known as Vlachs, people who lived hard life in the mountains cherishing deep in their mind the messages of the early Christian Church. It is that Christian feeling that will connect the Vlach ethnic element with the newly arrived Slavonic people who will acknowledge Christianity during the centuries to come.