A large country lying north of Greece proper, bounded south by Thessaly and Epirus, east by Thrace and the Aegean sea, west by the Adriatic Sea and Illyria, and north by Dardania and Moesia. Its principal rivers were the Strymon and Axius. Its most celebrated mountains were Olympus and Athos: the former renowned in heathen mythology as the residence of the gods, lying on the confines of Thessaly, and principally within the state; the latter being at the extremity of a promontory which juts out into the Aegean sea, and noted in modern times as the seat of several monasteries, in which are many manuscripts supposed to be valuable. This region is believed to have been peopled by Kittim, Genesis 10:4; but little is known of its early history. The Macedonian Empire is traced back some four hundred years before the Famous Philip, under whom, and especially under his son Alexander the Great, it reached the summit of its power. Alexander, B. C. 336-323, at the head of Macedonians and Greeks united, conquered a large part of western and southern Asia.
This power was foretold by Daniel, Daniel 8:3-8, under the symbol of a goat with one horn; and it is worthy of note that ancient Macedonian coins still exist, bearing that national symbol. After the death of Alexander, the power of the Macedonians declined, and they were at length conquered by the Romans under Paulus Emilius, B. C. 168, who divided their country into four districts. The Romans afterwards divided the whole of Greece and Macedonia into two great provinces, which they called Macedonia and Achaia, B. C. 142, Romans 15:26 2 Corinthians 9:2. See GREECE.
In the New Testament the name is probably to be taken in this latter sense. Of the cities of Macedonia proper, there are mentioned in the New Testament, Amphipolis, Apollonia, Berea, Neapolis, Philippi, and Thessalonica. This country early received the gospel, A. D. 55, Paul having been summoned to labor there by a supernatural vision, Acts 16:9 20:1. Its fertile soil is now languishing under the Turkish sway.