Presenter: Emeritus Professor John Melville-Jones (Department of Classics and Ancient History, University of Western Australia)
The Macedonians established themselves in a small area NNE of Mt Olympos from about 1000 B.C. Onwards and over the centuries that followed drove out or absorbed the groups around them. Finally Philip II conquered Chalkidike, where some of the southern Greek states had established colonies, and expanded Macedonian territory eastwards, thus acquiring control over an area where gold could be found.
In this situation it seems that the original Macedonians became an upper class, while the remnants of the other groups in the area, unless they managed to elevate themselves through merit or marriage, may have been an underclass.
These boundaries continued to exist until the second century B.C., when after the Roman conquest the name of 'Macedonia' was applied to a much larger administrative area, and this name acquired a dual character, sometimes referring to an ethnic group, but more often to a geographical area, which was the case until the middle of the twentieth century.
Emeritus Professor John Melville-Jones received his first degree at Cambridge University, and after two years of school teaching became a lecturer in the Department of Classics and Ancient History at The University of Western Australia.
In addition to teaching Latin and Ancient Greek, he also developed units in Greek and Roman Art and Archaeology, which led to his taking groups of students to Greece and Italy to view the remains of antiquity. His research areas are in numismatics (where he has published two major books on ancient Greek coinage) and in Byzantine history (he was the president of the Australian Association for Byzantine Studies for eight years).
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In October 1916, the Ithacan migrants of Melbourne established the ITHACAN PHILANTHROPIC SOCIETY "The Ulysses", with an inaugural membership of some 153 members. This was in response to pleas for aid from their loved ones in Ithaca who were suffering deprivation during the First World War.
Over the years, however, the Society has been much more than just a philanthropic institution. It has been a constant in the lives of the early Ithacan migrants replacing the homeland which they had left.
The Society takes an active role in the cultural, social, educational and quality of life interests of the Ithacan Community. The Society, as part of its philanthropic role, also makes many monetary contributions to worthy causes, including those outside the immediate Ithacan community. The Society celebrated its 90th Anniversary in 2006.