Caranus: The Mythical King Who Shaped the History of Macedonia

Εικονική απεικόνιση

Greek mythology is replete with stories referring to heroic figures and legends associated with the founding of various kingdoms and cities. One of these myths concerns Karanos, the mythical progenitor of the royal house of Macedonia, who takes flesh and blood through the various versions of the story.

It is the state of the kingdom of the Temenidaisi gaeis plutophoroio. Didosi gar Aegian Zeus. Otherwise, in haste Vottiidas to Polymelon. Where do you see a silver-haired, snow-white goat sleeping with favor, that man on the floor, may the gods bless you and build a city." (translation: "The noble Temenides reign in a fertile land, a gift of Zeus who holds the auspices. But hasten to the land of the Bottians, land of many flocks (multiple pastures), and where you see goats white as snow with glittering horns, sleeping deep, in the flat part of this earth sacrifice to the blessed gods, and found the city of your state.” - Diodorus the Sicilian,
Pre 500 BC Aigai Trihemiobol associated with the Karanos Oracle

Karanos stars in many myths, where his path is full of adventures and interesting events. One of the most widespread versions of the myth presents him as one of the sons of Temenos, who after the death of his father fights for his succession to the throne of Argos. Failing in this venture, he decides to look for a new country to rule. His Consecration of Delphi leads to the construction of the city "Aegea", which along the way develops into an important center of Macedonia.
Caranus' way is labeled by the blue colour

It is remarkable that Karanos is mentioned not only in mythology but also in history. There are many theories and versions that try to explain its real existence and its role in shaping the history of Macedonia. Based on these theories, Caranos was a real person, a historical king who lived and reigned in Macedonia from the 8th century BC. to the 7th century BC His role in the unification of the tribes and the development of his kingdom are central themes in these theories.

Another version of the myth presents Caranos as a hero who arrived in Imathia accompanied by Greeks, following an oracle that guided him to Macedonia. With the exception of the name, this version is consistent with the spirit of the myth and the role of Carano as the founder of a new city and possibly an entire kingdom.

The historian Justin is the author of the Compendium of Philippian Histories, which was compiled by Pompey Trogus. writes ""Post Alexandri Macedonis mortem, iuvenis natus ex Philippi rege filius Karanus, cum regnum eum fratribus suis partientibus inpetivisset, non cumulata vi pugnavit, sed, imperium amisso, regionem aliam petivit. Ad Delphos oraculi sui consulti responsa, ut novam sedem quaereret, dirigentibus, ad illius terrae partem venit, ubi greges pastorum erant in montibus, pacata denique terram ipsam appellavit Aegaeam, deinde et cives a regia domo suae stirpis Karanis."" Justin 7.1.7 -12
Translation : "After the death of Alexander the Great, the young Caranos, born of King Philip, when he attempted to seize the throne from his brothers, did not fight violently, but, having lost power, sought another kingdom. According to following the instructions of the prevailing vision, he arrived at a region where there were herds of shepherds in the mountains and, finally, he named the land itself Aegea, and after the inhabitants from the royal family of the Carans.

The real existence of Karanos has caused debates and conflicting opinions among historians and archaeologists. Despite this, the story and myth of Karanos remain an important part of Greek tradition, as they represent the power of will and determination to face challenges and create new communities.

Karan's influence on Macedonian history is undoubtedly significant, whether he is a mythical figure or a real historical king. His story is a source of inspiration and learning for people today as it highlights the importance of endurance, adventure and initiative in facing life's challenges.

As we explore the history and legend of Karan, we discover not only a mythical person or a historical king, but also a legend that connects the past to the present and teaches us important lessons about the human experience. Whether as a heroic figure of a myth or as a real person who shaped history, Karanos remains an important factor in understanding and highlighting the cultural heritage of Macedonia.