Alexander the Great
Alexander III of Macedon, commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king of the Ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty. He was born in Pella in 356 BC and succeeded his father Philip II to the throne at the age of twenty and he was undefeated in battle and is widely considered one of historys most successful military commanders. During his youth, Alexander was tutored by Aristotle until the age of 16, after Philips assassination in 336 BC, he succeeded his father to the throne and inherited a strong kingdom and an experienced army. Alexander was awarded the generalship of Greece and used this authority to launch his fathers Panhellenic project to lead the Greeks in the conquest of Persia, in 334 BC, he invaded the Achaemenid Empire and began a series of campaigns that lasted ten years. Following the conquest of Anatolia, Alexander broke the power of Persia in a series of battles, most notably the battles of Issus. He subsequently overthrew Persian King Darius III and conquered the Achaemenid Empire in its entirety, at that point, his empire stretched from the Adriatic Sea to the Indus River.
He sought to reach the ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea and invaded India in 326 BC and he eventually turned back at the demand of his homesick troops. Alexander died in Babylon in 323 BC, the city that he planned to establish as his capital, without executing a series of planned campaigns that would have begun with an invasion of Arabia. In the years following his death, a series of civil wars tore his empire apart, resulting in the establishment of several states ruled by the Diadochi, Alexanders surviving generals, Alexanders legacy includes the cultural diffusion which his conquests engendered, such as Greco-Buddhism. He founded some twenty cities that bore his name, most notably Alexandria in Egypt, Alexander became legendary as a classical hero in the mold of Achilles, and he features prominently in the history and mythic traditions of both Greek and non-Greek cultures. He became the measure against which military leaders compared themselves, and he is often ranked among the most influential people in human history.
He was the son of the king of Macedon, Philip II, and his wife, Olympias. Although Philip had seven or eight wives, Olympias was his wife for some time. Several legends surround Alexanders birth and childhood, sometime after the wedding, Philip is said to have seen himself, in a dream, securing his wifes womb with a seal engraved with a lions image. Plutarch offered a variety of interpretations of dreams, that Olympias was pregnant before her marriage, indicated by the sealing of her womb. On the day Alexander was born, Philip was preparing a siege on the city of Potidea on the peninsula of Chalcidice. That same day, Philip received news that his general Parmenion had defeated the combined Illyrian and Paeonian armies, and it was said that on this day, the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, burnt down. This led Hegesias of Magnesia to say that it had burnt down because Artemis was away, such legends may have emerged when Alexander was king, and possibly at his own instigation, to show that he was superhuman and destined for greatness from conception
The Macedonians were an ancient tribe that lived on the alluvial plain around the rivers Haliacmon and lower Axios in the northeastern part of mainland Greece. They spoke a dialect of Greek, although the lingua franca of the region was at first Attic. Aside from the monarchy, the core of Macedonian society was its nobility, similar to the aristocracy of neighboring Thessaly, their wealth was largely built on herding horses and cattle. Although composed of clans, the kingdom of Macedonia, established around the 8th century BC, is mostly associated with the Argead dynasty. The dynasty was founded by Perdiccas I, descendant of the legendary Temenus of Argos, while the region of Macedon perhaps derived its name from Makedon. Traditionally ruled by independent families, the Macedonians seem to have accepted Argead rule by the time of Alexander I, under Philip II, the Macedonians are credited with numerous military innovations, which enlarged their territory and increased their control over other areas extending into Thrace.
There is debate over the classification of the native Macedonian language as a dialect of the Greek language or as its own subdivision of the Hellenic languages. With the scant amount of evidence, the extent to which the native Macedonian tongue may have been influenced by the Phrygian, Thracian. The ancient Macedonians participated in the production and fostering of Classical, in terms of visual arts, they produced frescoes, mosaics and decorative metalwork. The performing arts of music and Greek theatrical dramas were highly appreciated, the kingdom attracted the presence of renowned philosophers, such as Aristotle, while native Macedonians contributed to the field of ancient Greek literature, especially Greek historiography. Their sport and leisure activities included hunting, foot races, and chariot races, the expansion of the Macedonian kingdom has been described as a three-stage process. Macedonia led a military force against their primary objective—the conquest of Persia—which they achieved with remarkable ease.
With Alexanders conquest of the Achaemenid Empire, Macedonians colonized territories as far east as Central Asia, the Macedonians continued to rule much of Hellenistic Greece, forming alliances with Greek leagues such as the Cretan League and Epirote League. In the aftermath of the Third Macedonian War, the Romans abolished the Macedonian monarchy under Perseus of Macedon, a brief revival of the monarchy by the pretender Andriscus led to the Fourth Macedonian War, after which Rome established the Roman province of Macedonia and subjugated the Macedonians. In Greek mythology, Makedon is the hero of Macedonia and is mentioned in Hesiods Catalogue of Women. The first historical attestation of the Macedonians occurs in the works of Herodotus during the mid-5th century BC, the Macedonians are absent in Homers Catalogue of Ships and the term Macedonia itself appears late. The Iliad states that upon leaving Mount Olympus, Hera journeyed via Pieria and Emathia before reaching Athos and this is re-iterated by Strabo in his Geography.
Nevertheless, archaeological evidence indicates that Mycenaean contact with or penetration into the Macedonian interior possibly started from the early 14th century BC, in their new Pierian home north of Olympus, the Macedonian tribes mingled with the proto-Dorians
Slavic speakers of Greek Macedonia
The language called Slavic in the context of Greece is generally called Macedonian or Macedonian Slavic otherwise. Some members have formed their own emigrant communities in neighbouring countries, members of this group have had a number of conflicting ethnic identifications. However, those who remain in Greece now mainly identify themselves as ethnic Greeks, the Macedonian region of Greece has a Greek majority which includes descendants of the Pontic Greeks, but it is ethnically diverse. They speak East South Slavic dialects that can be classified as either Macedonian or Bulgarian. A crucial element of controversy is the very name Macedonian. Some Slavic speakers in Greek Macedonia will use the term Macedonians or Slavomacedonians, people of Greek persuasion are sometimes called by the pejorative term Grecomans by the other side. Slavic-speakers or Slavophones is used as a term for people across the different ethnic orientations. The Slavs took advantage of the left by the nomadic tribes. Aided by the Avars and the Bulgars, the Slavic tribes started in the 6th century a gradual invasion into the Byzantine lands.
They invaded Macedonia and reached as far south as Thessaly and the Peloponnese, settling in isolated regions that were called by the Byzantines Sclavinias, at the beginning of the 9th century, the Slavic Bulgarian Empire conquered Northern Byzantine lands, including most of Macedonia. Those regions remained under Bulgarian rule for two centuries, until the conquest of Bulgaria by the Byzantine Emperor of the Macedonian dynasty Basil II in 1018. In 1338, the area of Macedonia was conquered by the Serbian Empire. Nevertheless, most of the Slavic-speakers had not formed a national identity in modern sense and were identified through their religious affiliations. Some Slavic-speakers converted to Islam and this conversion appears to have been a gradual and voluntary process. Economic and social gain was an incentive to become a Muslim, muslims enjoyed some legal privileges. In the Bulgarian Archbishopric of Ohrid the Slavonic liturgy was preserved on the lower levels until its abolition in 1767 and this led to the first literary work in vernacular modern Bulgarian, History of Slav-Bulgarians in 1762.
Its author was a Macedonia-born monk Paisius of Hilendar, who wrote it in the Bulgarian Orthodox Zograf Monastery, nevertheless, it took almost a century for the Bulgarian idea to regain ascendancy in the region. Paisius was the first ardent call for an awakening and urged his compatriots to throw off the subjugation to the Greek language
Ancient Greek includes the forms of Greek used in ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BC to the 6th century AD. It is often divided into the Archaic period, Classical period. It is antedated in the second millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek, the language of the Hellenistic phase is known as Koine. Koine is regarded as a historical stage of its own, although in its earliest form it closely resembled Attic Greek. Prior to the Koine period, Greek of the classic and earlier periods included several regional dialects, Ancient Greek was the language of Homer and of fifth-century Athenian historians and philosophers. It has contributed many words to English vocabulary and has been a subject of study in educational institutions of the Western world since the Renaissance. This article primarily contains information about the Epic and Classical phases of the language, Ancient Greek was a pluricentric language, divided into many dialects. The main dialect groups are Attic and Ionic, Arcadocypriot, some dialects are found in standardized literary forms used in literature, while others are attested only in inscriptions.
There are several historical forms, homeric Greek is a literary form of Archaic Greek used in the epic poems, the Iliad and Odyssey, and in poems by other authors. Homeric Greek had significant differences in grammar and pronunciation from Classical Attic, the origins, early form and development of the Hellenic language family are not well understood because of a lack of contemporaneous evidence. Several theories exist about what Hellenic dialect groups may have existed between the divergence of early Greek-like speech from the common Proto-Indo-European language and the Classical period and they have the same general outline, but differ in some of the detail. The invasion would not be Dorian unless the invaders had some relationship to the historical Dorians. The invasion is known to have displaced population to the Attic-Ionic regions, the Greeks of this period believed there were three major divisions of all Greek people—Dorians and Ionians, each with their own defining and distinctive dialects.
Often non-west is called East Greek, Arcadocypriot apparently descended more closely from the Mycenaean Greek of the Bronze Age. Boeotian had come under a strong Northwest Greek influence, and can in some respects be considered a transitional dialect, thessalian likewise had come under Northwest Greek influence, though to a lesser degree. Most of the dialect sub-groups listed above had further subdivisions, generally equivalent to a city-state and its surrounding territory, Doric notably had several intermediate divisions as well, into Island Doric, Southern Peloponnesus Doric, and Northern Peloponnesus Doric. The Lesbian dialect was Aeolic Greek and this dialect slowly replaced most of the older dialects, although Doric dialect has survived in the Tsakonian language, which is spoken in the region of modern Sparta. Doric has passed down its aorist terminations into most verbs of Demotic Greek, by about the 6th century AD, the Koine had slowly metamorphosized into Medieval Greek
Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, historically known as Hellas, is a country in southeastern Europe, with a population of approximately 11 million as of 2015. Athens is the capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, situated on the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, the Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the northeast. Greece consists of nine regions, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Crete. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km in length, featuring a vast number of islands, eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as polis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea.
Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming a part of the Roman Empire and its successor. The Greek Orthodox Church shaped modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World, falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence. Greeces rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, among the most in Europe, Greece is a democratic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, and a very high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001. Greeces unique cultural heritage, large industry, prominent shipping sector. It is the largest economy in the Balkans, where it is an important regional investor, the names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages and cultures.
The earliest evidence of the presence of human ancestors in the southern Balkans, dated to 270,000 BC, is to be found in the Petralona cave, all three stages of the stone age are represented in Greece, for example in the Franchthi Cave. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries and these civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, and the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek. The Mycenaeans gradually absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC and this ushered in a period known as the Greek Dark Ages, from which written records are absent. The end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to 776 BC, the Iliad and the Odyssey, the foundational texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC. With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, in 508 BC, Cleisthenes instituted the worlds first democratic system of government in Athens
Philip II of Macedon
Philip II of Macedon was the king of the Ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon from 359 BC until his assassination in 336 BC. He was a member of the Argead dynasty of Macedonian kings, the son of King Amyntas III. However, his assassination led to the succession of his son Alexander. Philip was the youngest son of the king Amyntas III and Eurydice I, in his youth, Philip was held as a hostage in Thebes, which was the leading city of Greece. In 364 BC, Philip returned to Macedon, the deaths of Philips elder brothers, King Alexander II and Perdiccas III, allowed him to take the throne in 359 BC. Originally appointed regent for his infant nephew Amyntas IV, who was the son of Perdiccas III, Philips military skills and expansionist vision of Macedonian greatness brought him early success. He first had to remedy a predicament which had greatly worsened by the defeat against the Illyrians in which King Perdiccas himself had died. Using diplomacy, Philip pushed back the Paionians and Thracians promising tributes, momentarily free from his opponents, he concentrated on strengthening his internal position and, above all, his army.
Philip had married Audata, great-granddaughter of the Illyrian king of Dardania, this did not prevent him from marching against the Illyrians in 358 and crushing them in a ferocious battle in which some 7,000 Illyrians died. By this move, Philip established his authority inland as far as Lake Ohrid, the Athenians had been unable to conquer Amphipolis, which commanded the gold mines of Mount Pangaion. So Philip reached an agreement with Athens to lease the city to them after its conquest, after conquering Amphipolis, Philip kept both cities. As Athens had declared war against him, he allied Macedon with the Chalkidian League of Olynthus and he subsequently conquered Potidaea, this time keeping his word and ceding it to the League in 356. In 357 BC, Philip married the Epirote princess Olympias, who was the daughter of the king of the Molossians, Alexander was born in 356, the same year as Philips racehorse won at the Olympic Games. During 356 BC, Philip conquered the town of Crenides and changed its name to Philippi and he established a powerful garrison there to control its mines, which yielded much of the gold he used for his campaigns.
In the meantime, his general Parmenion defeated the Illyrians again, in 355–354 he besieged Methone, the last city on the Thermaic Gulf controlled by Athens. During the siege, Philip was injured in his eye, despite the arrival of two Athenian fleets, the city fell in 354. Philip attacked Abdera and Maronea, on the Thracian coast, Philip was involved in the Third Sacred War which had begun in Greece in 356. In summer 353 he invaded Thessaly, defeating 7,000 Phocians under the brother of Onomarchus, the latter however defeated Philip in the two succeeding battles
Its translation into Arabic in the 9th century and Latin in 1406 was highly influential on the geographical knowledge and cartographic traditions of the medieval Caliphate and Renaissance Europe. Versions of Ptolemys work in antiquity were probably proper atlases with attached maps, no Greek manuscript of the Geography survives from earlier than the 13th century. In Europe, maps were sometimes made using the coordinates provided by the text. Later scribes and publishers could copy these new maps, as Athanasius did for the emperor Andronicus II Palaeologus, the three earliest surviving texts with maps are those from Constantinople based on Planudess work. The first Latin translation of texts was made in 1406 or 1407 by Jacobus Angelus in Florence, Italy. It is not thought that his edition had maps, although Manuel Chrysoloras had given Palla Strozzi a Greek copy of Planudess maps in Florence in 1397, the Geography consists of three sections, divided among 8 books. Book I is a treatise on cartography, describing the methods used to assemble, from Book II through the beginning of Book VII, a gazetteer provides longitude and latitude values for the world known to the ancient Romans.
The rest of Book VII provides details on three projections to be used for the construction of a map of the world, varying in complexity and fidelity, Book VIII constitutes an atlas of regional maps. The maps include a recapitulation of some of the values given earlier in the work, Maps based on scientific principles had been made in Europe since the time of Eratosthenes in the 3rd century BC. Ptolemy improved the treatment of map projections and he provided instructions on how to create his maps in the first section of the work. The gazetteer section of Ptolemys work provided latitude and longitude coördinates for all the places and his Prime Meridian ran through the Fortunate Isles, the westernmost land recorded, at around the position of El Hierro in the Canary Islands. The maps spanned 180 degrees of longitude from the Fortunate Isles in the Atlantic to China, Ptolemy was aware that Europe knew only about a quarter of the globe. Ptolemys work included a large and less detailed world map and separate.
As early as the 1420s, these maps were complemented by extra-Ptolemaic regional maps depicting. The original treatise by Marinus of Tyre that formed the basis of Ptolemys Geography has been completely lost, a world map based on Ptolemy was displayed in Augustodunum in late Roman times. Pappus, writing at Alexandria in the 4th century, produced a commentary on Ptolemys Geography, for instance, Grant Parker argues that it would be highly implausible for them to have constructed the Bay of Bengal as precisely as they did without the accounts of sailors. Muslim cartographers were using copies of Ptolemys Almagest and Geography by the 9th century, a 1037 copy of these are the earliest extant maps from Islamic lands. Nallino suggests that the work was not based on Ptolemy but on a world map
Kingdom of Thessalonica
The Kingdom of Thessalonica was a short-lived Crusader State founded after the Fourth Crusade over conquered Byzantine lands in Macedonia and Thessaly. After the fall of Constantinople to the crusaders in 1204, Boniface of Montferrat, the Venetians felt that Boniface was too closely tied to the Byzantine Empire, as his brother Conrad had married into the Byzantine royal family. The Venetians wanted an emperor whom they could more easily. Boniface reluctantly accepted this, and set out to conquer Thessalonica, at first he had to compete with Emperor Baldwin, who wanted the city. He went on to capture the city in 1204 and set up a kingdom there, subordinate to Baldwin, in 1204–05, Boniface was able to extend his rule south into Greece, advancing through Thessaly, Boeotia and Attica. Bonifaces rule lasted less than two years before he was ambushed by Tsar Kaloyan of Bulgaria and killed on September 4,1207, the kingdom passed to Bonifaces son Demetrius, who was still a baby, so actual power was held by various minor nobles of Lombard origin.
These nobles, under the regent Oberto, began plotting to place William VI of Montferrat, Bonifaces elder son, on the throne, Henry marched against them in 1209 and forced their submission. As a result, Henrys brother Eustace became regent for Demetrius, taking advantage of this situation, Michael I of Epirus, a former ally of Boniface, attacked the kingdom in 1210, as did the Bulgarians. Henry of Flanders eventually defeated both, but after Michaels death in 1214, his brother and successor Theodore began anew the assault on the kingdom. In 1224, just as Demetrius had become old enough to power for himself, Theodore finally captured Thessalonica. I Monferrato e i Savoia nei secoli XII–XV, Torino Runciman, Steven, A history of the Crusades, Cambridge University Press Van Tricht, the Latin Renovatio of Byzantium, The Empire of Constantinople
Even by the standards of Greece, Veria is an old city, first mentioned in the writings of Thucydides in 432 BC, there is evidence that it was populated as early as 1000 BC. Veria was an important possession for Philip II of Macedon and for the Romans, apostle Paul famously preached in the city, and its inhabitants were among the first Christians in the Empire. Later, under the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, Veria was a center of Greek culture, today Veria is a commercial center of Central Macedonia, the capital of the regional unit of Imathia and the seat of a metropolitan bishop of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Church of Greece. The extensive archaeological site of Vergina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site containing the tomb of Philip II of Macedon, lies 12 km south-east of the city center of Veria. The city is reputed to have been named by its mythical creator Beres or from the daughter of the king of Berroia who was thought to be the son of Macedon, Veria surrendered to Rome in 168 BC.
During the Roman empire, Veria became a place of worship for the Romans, diocletian made the large and populous city one of two capitals of the Roman province of Macedonia. The Byzantine emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos promoted the local see to an archbishopric after 1261, berrhoea is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see. The city was held by the Bulgarian Empire at some point in the late 9th century. In the Escorial Taktikon of ca,975, the city is mentioned as the seat of a strategos, and it apparently was the capital of a theme in the 11th century. The city is not mentioned again until the late 12th century, after the Fourth Crusade, it briefly became part of Boniface of Montferrats Kingdom of Thessalonica, until the latter was conquered by the Despotate of Epirus in 1224. It changed hands again in 1246, being taken by the Emperor of Nicaea John III Doukas Vatatzes, the 14th century was tumultuous, captured by the Serbian ruler Stephen Dushan in 1343/4, it became part of his Serbian Empire.
It was recovered for Byzantium by John VI Kantakouzenos in 1350, with the disintegration of the Serbian Empire, it passed once more to Byzantium by ca. 1375, but was henceforth menaced by the power of the Ottoman Turks. The city changed several times over the next decades, until the final Turkish conquest around 1430. The Ottomans called Veria Karaferye, because of its characteristic morning mist during the winter seasons. Under Ottoman rule, Veria was the seat of a kaza within the Sanjak of Salonica, by 1885, evliya Çelebi reports that the city was peaceful, without walls or garrison, it had 4000 houses,16 Muslim quarters,15 Christian quarters, and 2 Jewish congregations. The city was a center of rice production. During World War II, Veria was under Nazi occupation between 1941 and 1944, the town asked Prokopis Kambitoglou to become the Mayor of Veria during the occupation
Claudius Ptolemy was a Greek writer, known as a mathematician, geographer and poet of a single epigram in the Greek Anthology. He lived in the city of Alexandria in the Roman province of Egypt, wrote in Koine Greek, beyond that, few reliable details of his life are known. His birthplace has been given as Ptolemais Hermiou in the Thebaid in a statement by the 14th-century astronomer Theodore Meliteniotes. This is a very late attestation and there is no reason to suppose that he ever lived elsewhere than Alexandria. Ptolemy wrote several treatises, three of which were of importance to Byzantine and European science. The first is the astronomical treatise now known as the Almagest, although it was entitled the Mathematical Treatise. The second is the Geography, which is a discussion of the geographic knowledge of the Greco-Roman world. The third is the treatise in which he attempted to adapt horoscopic astrology to the Aristotelian natural philosophy of his day. This is sometimes known as the Apotelesmatika but more known as the Tetrabiblos from the Greek meaning Four Books or by the Latin Quadripartitum.
The name Claudius is a Roman nomen, the fact that Ptolemy bore it indicates he lived under the Roman rule of Egypt with the privileges and political rights of Roman citizenship. It would have suited custom if the first of Ptolemys family to become a citizen took the nomen from a Roman called Claudius who was responsible for granting citizenship, if, as was common, this was the emperor, citizenship would have been granted between AD41 and 68. The astronomer would have had a praenomen, which remains unknown and it occurs once in Greek mythology, and is of Homeric form. All the kings after him, until Egypt became a Roman province in 30 BC, were Ptolemies, abu Mashar recorded a belief that a different member of this royal line composed the book on astrology and attributed it to Ptolemy. The correct answer is not known”, Ptolemy wrote in Greek and can be shown to have utilized Babylonian astronomical data. He was a Roman citizen, but most scholars conclude that Ptolemy was ethnically Greek and he was often known in Arabic sources as the Upper Egyptian, suggesting he may have had origins in southern Egypt.
Later Arabic astronomers and physicists referred to him by his name in Arabic, Ptolemys Almagest is the only surviving comprehensive ancient treatise on astronomy. Ptolemy presented his models in convenient tables, which could be used to compute the future or past position of the planets. The Almagest contains a catalogue, which is a version of a catalogue created by Hipparchus
History of the Jews in Thessaloniki
The history of the Jews of Thessaloniki, reaches back two thousand years. The city of Thessaloniki housed a major Jewish community, mostly Eastern Sephardim and it is the only known example of a city of this size in the Jewish diaspora that retained a Jewish majority for centuries. Sephardic Jews immigrated to the city following their expulsion from Spain by Christian rulers under the Alhambra Decree in 1492 and this community influenced the Sephardic world both culturally and economically, and the city was nicknamed la madre de Israel. The community experienced a golden age in the 16th century, when they developed a culture in the city. Like other groups in the Ottoman Empire, they continued to practice traditional culture during the time when western Europe was undergoing industrialization, after Greece achieved independence from the Ottoman Empire, it made Jews full citizens of the country in the 1920s. During World War II, the Germans occupied Greece in 1941, in 1943 they forced the Jews in Thessaloniki into a ghetto near the rail lines, and started deporting them to concentration camps and labor camps, where most of the 60,000 deported died.
This resulted in the near-extermination of the community, only 1200 Jews live in the city today. Paul of Tarsus First Epistle to the Thessalonians mentions Hellenized Jews in the city about 52 CE, in the upper part of the city, there is the suburb of Agios Pavlos, where it is believed Paul taught during his visit to the local Jews. However, researchers have not determined yet where the first Jews lived in the city, in 1170, Benjamin of Tudela reported that there were 500 Jews in Thessaloniki. In the following centuries, the native Romaniote community was joined by some Italian, a small Jewish population lived here during the Byzantine period, but it left virtually no trace in documents or archeological artifacts. In 1430, the start of Ottoman domination, the Jewish population was still small, the Ottomans used population transfers within the empire following military conquests to achieve goals of border security or repopulation, they called it Sürgün. Following the fall of Constantinople in 1453, an example of sürgün was the Ottomans forcing Jews from the Balkans and Anatolia to relocate there, at the time, few Jews were left in Salonika, none were recorded in the Ottoman census of 1478.
In 1492, the joint Catholic Monarchs of Spain Isabella I and Ferdinand II, many immigrated to Salonica, sometimes after a stop in Portugal or Italy. The Ottoman Empire granted protection to Jews as dhimmis and encouraged the newcomers to settle in its territories, according to the historians Rosamond McKitterick and Christopher Allmand, the Empires invitation to the expelled Jews was a demographic strategy to prevent ethnic Greeks from dominating the city. The first Sephardim came in 1492 from Majorca and they were repentant returnees to Judaism after earlier forced conversion to Catholicism. In 1493, Castilians and Sicilians joined them, in subsequent years, other Jews came from those lands and from Aragon, Naples and Provence. Later, in 1540 and 1560, Jews from Portugal sought refuge in Salonika in response to the persecution of the marranos. In addition to these Sephardim, a few Ashkenazim arrived from Austria and they were sometimes forcibly relocated under the Ottoman policy of sürgün, following the conquest of land by Suleiman the Magnificent beginning in 1526