Saturday, May 24, 2008

FYROMacedonian Amalgamation Theory

Perceptions on the question of who the FYROMacedonians are now - or to put it in a different way, what the historical, cultural, linguistic, and ethnic characteristics are defining Macedonianism of the Hellenic Macedonians versus all the other inhabitants of historic Macedonia - are inevitably complicated. While the clash between Hellenism and Bulgarism over who was entitled to Philip and Alexander Macedonia has been laid to rest since the Treaty of Bucharest (signed in 1913), questions and doubts on the Macedonian problem and whether there exists a separate Macedonian ethnicity abound among government officials, academics, politicians, NGOs, diplomats, and especially anthropologists.

In this link you can read some views as about the FYROmacedonian Ethnogenesis

Who are these ethnic FYROMacedonians?
What was the system that brainwash these new and fragile nation ?

Historical facts and archaeological findings in Macedonia, Egypt, and Asia revealed no connection between the ancient Macedonians and the Slavs and Bulgarians of Tito’s new republic, Slavic organizations around the world, especially in Australia and Canada, promulgated the so-called amalgamation theory to establish such a connection. The theory attracted a few followers abroad, especially among Slavs in the United States, Canada, and Australia.

According to this theory, during the Middle Ages the Slavs annihilated many local people in Macedonia and absorbed the remainder. From the blend of the Slavic element and the indigenous descendants of ancient Macedonians a new “Macedonian” nation emerged related to ancient Macedonians.

Therefore, a FYROMacedonian, according to this concept, is a “completely modern product” of racial amalgamation between the Slavs of the Middle Ages and a mixture of ancient Macedonians and other inhabitants of ancient Macedonia

Vlasidis (2003, pp. 346-47) reported recently that this theory is part of the regular curriculum in FYROM’S schools today. According to the theory, despite contacts with Greeks, Romans, and other people, the ancient Macedonians remained ethnically unchanged till the Slavs descended to the Balkans.

First, the Slavs and Macedonians coexisted, but eventually they were amalgamated, producing the present “Macedonian nation” by the 10th century A.D. This theory does not agree with Marxist Dusan Taskofski’s theory that the “Macedonian” people appeared during the period of capitalism’s explosion, about the 19th century. Both theories purposely overlook a critical point:
Why did the Macedonians wait one thousand years to be amalgamated with the Slavs? The Greeks were always there, speaking the same language.

To support this theory, FYROMacedonians history revisionists speak about “local people” (not Greek Macedonians) being annihilated by Slavs, thus propelling the notion again that the Macedonians were not Greeks. If we temporarily accept that this assunptionis correct, who were the local people of Macedonia at the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 12th century who fought valiantly for Hellenism against Bulgarism, winning the Macedonian Struggle? What were the thousands of Greek-speakers and slavophones with Hellenic consciousness (Grecomans) who helped defeat and chase the Bulgarian bands out of Macedonia from 1904 to 1908

What are the Greek-speakers in Macedonia today (not those who migrated from Asia Minor) whose forefathers lived in Macedonia for centuries, surviving the harsh Ottoman occupation?

History showed that the Greek Macedonian people with strong genetic and ethnic constitution and deep Hellenic convictions were unlikely subjects to be amalgamated with Slavs or any other invaders. The Greek-speaking Macedonians with their long Hellenic history, deep-rooted traditions, stubborn attachment to Hellenism, and indomitable spirit were unlikely candidates to support the obsessed eugenics of the amalgamation theory and the model of weak people being absorbed by the “strong” Slavic people.

This amalgamation theory is based on serious historical and technical errors.

With all the new findings, especially in Vergina of Greek Macedonia, exhibited at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki and in Vergina, the Skopje historians have no grounds to support their theory. On the basis of old and new findings, Greek and foreign historians insist that the ancient Macedonians were Greek or Helleinizing.

Under the influence of the new common language, the koine, the ancient Macedonians were amalgamated with the rest of the Hellenes and modern Greeks were produced . To this important challenge we must also add the familiar fact that Alexander the Great died in 323 B.C., and the Slavs migrated to the Balkan peninsula around A.D. 650, almost one thousand years later.

If we accept the historically unaccepted view that the Macedonians were not Greeks, as the FYROMacedonians historians claim, then the ancient Macedonians, whatever ethnicity they were, had better chances, a common language, and a thousand-year span to blend with other Greeks and Romans than wait all those long years for the new Slav-speaking “suitors” from the north.

It is useless for FYROMacedonains historians to attempt to prove differences between ancient Macedonians and the other Greeks. Even if they existed, such differences disappeared in the thousand years before the Slavs arrived in the Balkans

There is also insurmountable difficulty in ascertaining the validity of the ancient Macedonian-Slav amalgamation model because the emotional justification provided by its proponents is unconvincing. Given the seri seriousness of this dispute and the unsustainable assertions by the theory’s proponents, two important questions must be answered convincingly if there is a slim chance for this theory to be considered seriously.

Why had the Slavs not considered themselves “Macedonians” for seventy-five years (1870-1944)?
Why during all these years did they consider themselves Bulgarians, fighting to incorporate Macedonia into Bulgaria?

The answers given by FYROMacedonians historians are rife with obvious shortcomings:
they insist that the people, being illiterate during the early years of the Macedonian controversy, did not know what their ethnicity was, an unconvincing explanation, especially because the founders of the Internal Odrin-Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMORO) in 1893, a Bulgarian group, were not illiterate. Damien Grueff was a schoolmaster and Tatarcheff a doctor . Skopje’s superficial answer to the second question is that the Macedonian Slavs affiliated themselves with Bulgaria because of its activist policy and dynamic handling of the Macedonian Question. Eventually, they eradicated the Bulgarian sentiments and became Macedonians !
Other serious problems with this theory remain.

For example, an important methodological error is the extension in place and time of a locally restricted group of people, i.e., Slavomacedonians, and how difficult it is to extrapolate from a relatively small area (People’s Republic of Macedonia) the entire historic Macedonia through the centuries, formulating population genetics theories without those being affected by historic events, localities, and types of people involved.

Interestingly, the FYROMacedonians historians admit the prevalence of Hellenism in certain areas of Macedonia at certain times but they do not account for what subsequently happened to the Hellenic population.

George Papavizas, Claiming Macedonia, 2004

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