Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

Monday, December 29, 2008

Anthony D.Smith: the "ethnie model” and the Slav-speaking Greeks of Macedonia

Anthony D. Smith is one of most important worldwide contemporary scholars of ethnology, nationalim similar of Hobsbawm, Gellner and Anderson. He is Editor-in-Chief of the scholarly journal Nations and Nationalism (Cambridge University Press) and is the author of many books on the subject including his "classic" The Ethnic origins of Nations. He is a former student of the lnown philosopher and anthropologist Ernest Gellner, but did not share his view of nationalism in the long run. He created an approach of nationalism he called ethnosymbolism, which is a synthesis of modernist and traditional views on the subject.

According to Smith a
nation-state can be defined as “a state claming to be a nation”, while a nation, can be defined as “a named population sharing an historic territory, common myths and historical memories, a mass public culture, a common economy and common legal rights and duties for its members”. An ethnie is in turn defined as ”a named population sharing a collective proper name, a presumed common ancestry, shared historical memories, one or more differencing elements of common culture, an association with a specific ‘homeland’ and a sense of solidarity for significant sectors of the population”.

From the above you can realize that Smith theory fix in our argument that
modern Greeks are the descendants of all the peoples who have adopted and retained that language and that civilization from classical times to the present. I am not claim that genetic purity is an ideal for the Greek people and the others racist thinks. Even genetist Sforza put two others factors except the clusters and these are the language and the history. Modern Greek nation is not an entirely modern formation, for it is based on much older cultural groups (ethnies). Greek ethnies (like Arvanites, Vlachs, Ionians, Pontians, Slavophones Macedonians ,etc.) present "permanent cultural attributes" such as memory, value, myths and symbolisms. Greek ethnies present a common cultural origin descending from ancient Greece and Byzantium. Thus, as Smith points out, "the challenge for scholars is to represent more accurately and convincingly the relationship of ethnic, cultural (Greek) past to modern (Greek) nation".(I add the "Greek")

Let’s see what Smith said as about the Greek ethnies and the modern Greek national identity….

But his genetic and physical inference from cases of ethnic durability cannot account for the considerable variability, wide range and frequent absorptions and dissolutions of instances of ethnic affiliation, and the fact that many ethnies have undergone large-scale changes of culture and, in some cases, of demography. This is the case even in such a culturally long-lived example as the Greeks, where undoubted evidence of massive rupture of demographic continuity by the influx of Albanians and Slavs on the Greek mainland from the sixth to eighth centuries AD and of considerable, though not complete, culture change after the conversion to Orthodoxy, call into question the continuity and influence of a common ancient Greek biological and genetic inheritance on modern Greeks.
[Nationalism and Modernism, 2003, page 150]

Greeks, Armenians, Jews, Persians, Chinese and Japanese could be cited as examples of ethnic continuity, since, despite massive cultural changes over the centuries, certain key identifying components—name, language, customs, religious community and territorial association—were broadly maintained and reproduced for millennia.
[Nationalism and Modernism, 2003, page 191]

The problem of ethnic survival seemed particularly important for later nationalisms: the ability to call on a rich and well documented ‘ethno-history’ was to prove a major cultural resource for nationalists, and myths of origins, ethnic election and sacred territories, as well as memories of heroes and golden ages, were crucial to the formulation of a many-stranded ethno-history. All this points to the importance of social memory; as the example of the relationship between modern and ancient Greeks shows, ethnies are constituted, not by lines of physical descent, but by the sense of continuity, shared memory and collective destiny, i.e. by lines of cultural affinity embodied in myths, memories, symbols and values retained by a given cultural unit of population.
[Nationalism and Modernism, 2003, page 192]

This is not to deny for one moment cither the enormous cultural changes undergone by the Greeks despite a surviving sense of common ethnicity or the cultural influence of surrounding peoplesand civilizations over two thousand years. At the same time in terms of script and language, certain values, a particular environment and its nostalgia, continuous social interactions, and a sense of religious and cultural difference, even exclusion, a sense of Greek identity and common sentiments of ethnicity can be said to have persisted beneath the many social and political changes of the last two thousand years.
[National Identity, 1991, pages 29-30]

Macedonian cultural group or " ethnie" of the modern Greek nation are the Slav-speaking Greeks or “Grecomans” as identified in the 19th century by the Bulgarians as a derogatory term to define these Greeks. Bulgarians used at the past this term in those who remained firm to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and to Hellenism.
It is interesting to note that in 1883, despite the growth of the Bulgarian national and ecclessiastical movement, the situation in terms of ecclesiastical affiliation in the northern “border” bishoprics of the contested central zone presented the following picture Bishopric of Ohrid and Prespa, patriarchist families 3030, exarchist 6003, Bishopric of Pelagonia (Monastir), patriarchist 6459, exarchist 4988, Bishopric of Moglena (Florina), patriarchist 2433, exarchist 699. The majority of these patriarchists were Vlachophone and Slavophone “Grecomans”.

Today Slavmacedonists of the FYROM replaced the Bulgarians and call the billinguals Greeks with this derogatory term. Through their partiotic sentiments and their devotion to Greek traditions and Greek culture, the Slav-speaking Greeks of Macedonia express their vigorous determination to be Greeks.

Concluded this article , Anthony D. Smith is the perfect modern answer in those that deny the Greek continuity of the Greek nation thought centuries and specially the Slav-speaking Greeks of Macedonia.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Mihajlo Apostolski, a Slav Macedonian with Bulgarian Nationality

Mihajlo Apostolski, born as Mihail Apostolov, (Bulgarian: Михаил Апостолов, Михаjло Апостолски) (8 November 1901 in Štip, Ottoman Empire (now Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia)-7 August 1987 in Dojran, SFR Yugoslavia (now Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) was a Communist general, politician and historian in Yugoslavia. Between World War I and World War II he entered in an Officer's school in Kingdom of Yugoslavia and became a major. During the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia in April, 1941, he was captured and interned in a POW camp near Milan by German troops. Shortly after his father made a request to the Bulgarian Minister of Defense, where he wrote, his son was "Bulgarian by origin", his parents too, and he himself was wounded, as a volunteer in the Bulgarian Army during the First World War that Apostolov have to be liberated. The request was granted soon.[1][2][3][4]

the requestsent by the father of Mihail Apostolov from Novo Selo ( district of Shtip)to the Minister of War of the Bulgarian Kingdom. He requests that his sonbe liberated from an Italian POW camp and emphasizes the sincere Bulgarianfeelings of the family.[5]

After his liberation, Apostolov changed his name to Mihajlo Apostolski, entered the Macedonian National Liberation Army (led by Communists) and became a partisan leader in the National Liberation War of Macedonia against Axis-allied Bulgaria. After the Second World War Apostolski became one of the military leaders of new SFRY and since 1967 to 1983 he became President of the Macedonian Academy for Science and Art in Yugoslav Macedonia . In 1995 the Military Academy in the new Republic of Macedonia was named "Mihajlo Apostolski".[5]

Mihajlo Apostolski is  a similar  case of the Greek "Akronauplia" when  twenty-seven high-ranking communistic cadres were released by the Gernlans in June 1941 from the Akronauplia prison camp, where they were under detention by the Greek authorities. They owed their release to the intervention of the Bulgarian embassy in Athens. They too declared Bulgarian nationality, although a few like Andrcas Tzimas or Samariniotis who later played a key role in political developments, were not Slav Macedonian. Most of them came from the districts of Kastoria and Florina, and included some of the protagonists in the events to be described below:

Lazaros Adamopoulos or Danios of Oinoi (Kastoria)
Lazaros Zisiadis or Trpovski of Dendrochori (Kastoria),
Zisis Kallimanis of Kalochori (Kastoria),
Theodoros Euthynuadis of Kastoria,
Anastasios Karatzas of Dendrochori,
Zisis Delios or Batzios of Kalochori,
Kyriakos Pylnis of Xynon Neron (Flonna),
Lanipros Moschos of Dendrochori,
L:lnipros Roukas of Ieropig (Kastoria),
Dianlantis Tsistinas or
Dalis of Kastoria, Andreas Tsipas of Agios I'nnteleimon (Florina)
and Lazaros Bozinis of Aposkepos (Kastoria)

More informations fo the "Akronauplia" in the book of John Koliopoulos with the title "Plundered Loyalities". 

Apostolski case is a historical fact that the Slavic population of the FYROM has changed its national identity four times during the 20th century, wavering from Bulgarian to Serbian to Bulgarian to "Macedonian," the insistence of Skopje not to give up its "Macedonian" identity feeds increasingly Athens' suspicions that Skopje's end goal is the eventual claim of all Macedonian territories (Greece, Bulgaria, and Albania). For more than 18 years Skopje has done all possible to maintain its "Macedonian" identity and increasingly forces the issue through speeches or deeds of its governments, blaming Greece for all the ills of the FYROM society, as if it is a spoiled child in a tantrum.

[1]- Dimitre Minchev (Military Publishing House, Sofia, 2002) Bulgarian Camagne Committees in Macedonia - 1941, Shtip, July 23, 1941, Document № 41. 
[2]-Македонизмът и съпротивата на Македония срещу него Коста Църнушанов, Унив. изд. "Св. Климент Охридски", София, 1992, стр. 179 
[3]-A request from Mite Apostolov Matovski, father of Mihail Apostolski. 
[4]-Bulgarian Central Military Archives (CMA), fund 20, list 4, file 25. 

New URL for the "Ancient and Medieval Macedonian History"

New  URL  for the "Ancient and Medieval Macedonian History"  blog

Ι apology for the inconvenience.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Investigation in USA regarding the organization “United Macedonian Diaspora”


According to well-placed sources such as the Greek American News Agency in New York, an investigation has been launched against the organization “United Macedonian Diaspora”(UMD), regarding misconduct on finances.

More specifically, the District of Columbia general attorney is investigating, since September 2008, the reports made by an American citizen in relation to UMD’s operations. The president of the organization that represents the interests of the communities of people originating from present day FYROM, Mr. Metto Koloski is accused by statements made to the attorney as working in parallel for the Turkish lobby in Washington through a local consultancy.

Moreover, the UMD is accused that despite the fact that it is a not-for-profit organization, it conducts lobby activities and other activities that are against the local laws and regulations. The situation is still at flux and various sources within the Greek-American community are expecting developments to occur within the first months of 2009.

For a more detailed as about the news, you can read and in Greek only at the Greek News relative article.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The "Macedonian Question", part 3

by Maria Nystazopoulou - Pelekidou
Translated by Ilias Kyzirakos
continue from here

The evidence of the sources and the findings of historical research: 2. Middle Ages
The 6th-7th c. A.D. were crucial for this region; at this time the Slavs settled in the Balkan Peninsula changing the national physiognomy of its northern part which became gradually detached from the Byzantine empire. However, in the more southern regions the Slavs were not able to alter the ethnological composition of the Greek regions, despite the permament settlement of Slav groups in the Greek territory. In fact, in the late 6th and early 7th c. A.D., some Slavic groups moved towards the southern areas and settled in the Greek territories, where they formed Slavic enclaves - named "Sklavinies" by Byzantine sources - especially in west Macedonia and Thessaly. Being cultivators and cattle breeders, they settled mainly on mountain slopes, less often in the plains and very rarely near the sea, as can be ascertained from toponymic material59.

But these Slavs did not settle in vacant areas, as has been contended; they came across an indigenous Greek population, who, due to attacks and upheavals, had gathered mainly in city centres. Slav settlers soon came into contact, with that Greek element, much superior culturally and politically, developed relations with them and were strongly influenced by them60.

Prudent and realistic policies by the Byzantine emperors also contributed decisively to the integration of Slav settlers into the Byzantine system, thereby assimilating and hellenising them. To this end, they used various means depending on the circumstances; military, whenever they had to put down a revolt or reinstate imperial authority or put under their control a rebellious Slavic group. Or frequently peaceful: administrative and ecclesiastic, demographic and economic. Sources mention military expeditions by Byzantine emperors against the Slavs in the Greek area, which started from the mid-7th c. Initially, these expeditions were carried out in Northern Greece and resulted in the gradual reestablishment of Byzantine authority.

Military operations, though, were not the only means of subjugating the new settlers. A basic policy of the Byzantine administration was a demographic measure, the forcible transfer of populations. By transferring Slavic populations to Asia Minor, the Byzantine empire achieved two things: on one hand the Slavic element in the Hellenic area was arithmetically weakened, and on the other hand assimilation was facilitated, since Slavs who were transferred to Asia Minor found themselves amidst a flourishing and numerous Greek population. But this demographic measure was even applied vice-versa, that is, Greek populations from Asia Minor were transplanted into Slavic populations ("epi tas Sklabinias") in order to reinforce the Greek element in these areas. Thus we learn, for example, that emperor Nicephorus (802-811) established in the northern Greek area populations which he transferred from all administrative districts ("ek pantos thematos") of Asia Minor61.

Furthermore a new adminstrative organization of themata (i.e. administrative districts with a general at the head) that was generally put into practice during this critical period, reinforced imperial rule and made control of Slavic groups more effective. Between 680 and 685 the "thema of Thrace" was established and in in 695 for the first time the "thema of Hellas" is mentioned. In the 9th c. reorganization was further reinforced by a division into smaller administrative units - a general tendency of the era: the "Thema of Macedonia" with Andrianople as capital (mentioned for the first time in 802); the "thema of Strymon" and the "thema of Thessaloniki" were established at that time.
We find out, therefore, that the Byzantine state followed a realistic and consistent policy in order to cope with the problem of Slav settlers, a policy that led to the control and integration of Slavic races by the empire. In this way the Byzantine state contributed decisively to their assimilation by the indigenous population and to their Hellenization.

The almost total lack of remnants of Slavic civilization (burial customs, dwellings, techniques and types of ceramics)62 testifies to this assimilation, which of course, could never have been achieved without the presence of an indigenous Greek population.

In the work of assimilation an essential role was also played by the Church, which had, by then, been reorganized and administratively reinforced in order that Slav settlers could be integrated into it. Thus, by the end of 7th c. at the VIth Synod (680/681) and at the Synod in Dome (692) five dioceses are mentioned in Macedonia: those of Thessaloniki, Philippi, Amphipolis, Edessa and Stobi. The number is significant, especially when compared to other areas of the empire, and it must be stressed that the seats of these dioceses are found at vital points in the area. Thus, the establishment of Amphipolis's diocese at the mouth if the Strymon was apparently aimed at reinforcing the Byzantine presence towards Strymonite Slavs and the reestablishment of Stobi's diocese in NW Macedonia, at supporting - in cooperation with the diocese of Edessa - the policy of Byzantium towards Slavs Drogoubites and maybe even at achieving their eventual Christianisation63.

The Christianising of Slavs in Hellenic territory took place gradually in different localities even before the official Christianising of the Slavic world outside the Byzantine Empire by Cyril and Methodius.

Regarding the work of Constantin-Cyril and Methodius, the two Thessalonian brothers, the whole argument of Skopje does not stand up to the slightest scrutiny. There is such an extensive bibliography64about the two Apostles of the Slavs, their work and their ethnic origin, that any repetition is uprefluous. However I must emphasize that the two brothers were-eminent representatives of the Byzantine spirit, of the Greek and Christian civilization which had been reborn after the Iconoclast period65. They had an extraordinary Greek education and were polyglots. Undoubtedly, they expressed Byzantine policy and they were fully conscious that they were Greeks66. They had undertaken other missions to the Arabs and the Khazars too apart from that to the Slavic world. Nowadays, even foreign scientists of Slavic descent consider them to be Greek.67.

As for the language, on which the Slavic alphabet was based and in which the two brothers preached Christianity, it could certainly not be a "Macedonian" dialect, that is a Slavic dialect of Macedonia. It is noteworthy that the Bulgarians maintain that the two apostles taught the new religion in Bulgarian68. Apart from the fact that at that time Slavic "daughter" languages had not yet evolved far enough to form the basis for a new written language69, the basic fact that Cyril and Methodius worked in distant Moravia should be stressed. Experienced missionaries as they were, they could not have used a dialect foreign to the Moravians, but a language comprehensible to the people of Moravia otherwise they would not have been so well received, made soon an impact or had the success that they had in their work: they taught the new religion in the Old Slavic mother language, which at that time was common among all Slavs, and for this reason their work spread very rapidly throughout the Slavic world. The first translations of the Holy Scriptures and of legal texts etc. from Greek into the Slavic language were made in this Old Slavic mother language and not in "Macedonian" or another dialect.

To sum up, we observe that during the Middle Ages Slavs settled in Macedonia, as well as in other Greek regions, but they did not alter the ethnic physiognomy of the region. The "Tactics" of Leon VI the Wise, in the beginning of the 10th c., report characteristically: "My late father and emperor Basil had persuaded the Slavic tribes to change their ancient customs, and hellenised them, and subjected them following the roman system, liberated them from their leaders, honoured them by the baptism and trained them to fight against people at war with the Romans (= the Byzantines)"70. As Paul Lemerle writes, "Byzantium christianized, civilized and assimilated these Slavs, making them Greeks. And this is one of the most impressive victories of the Greek genius"71.

It should also be noted that at the time when the Medieval Serbian State was flourishing (mid-13th - mid-14th c.) and especially at the time of Stefan Dusan (1331-1354), the Serbs expanded their domination into Macedonia and in particular into Northern Greek territory. However, no source mentions that the conquered population was Slavic: the Serbian expansion is mentioned in contemporary sources, as a conquest of Greek regions. The Serbian domination was characterized as "illegal and tyrranical" and considered to be alian domination72.

It is also remarkable that a few years later, during the first siege of Thessaloniki by the Turks (1383-1387), King Manuel Palaeologus, in his speech "Admonition to the people of Thessaloniki", urges the inhabitants to fight to death, fot this is what their historical tradition decrees: "because we are Romans (= Byzantines, Greeks) and our country is the one of Philip and Alexander". This means that he, as well as the inhabitants, were conscious of the historical continuity of Hellenism and of their Greek origin which had its roots in ancient times73

The evidence of the sources and the findings of historical research: 3. Turkish Domination

The historians of Skopje commit a grave historical error, as I have already noted, when they present the ethnic composition and the demographic situation of Macedonia as being static and unchanging. This becomes even more evident at the time of the Turkish domination, which lasted almost 500 years, during which major reclassifications and population74 movements took place. I will refer to them very briefly.

Immediately after the conquest of Macedonia, towards the end of the 14th c. A.D., Turkish groups, mainly great landowners, farmers and stock-breeders, settled in Macedonia, where they were attracted by the fertile plains75.

At the same time, however, we observe a flight of Greek inhabitants from Macedonia, in two directions. The first wave moved towards the Greek regions which were still free or under Frankish domination, towards Italy and generally to the West. Among them, were many eponymous Macedonian scholars, such as Theodoros Gazis, Andronikos Kallistos, and others, who worked towards the dissemination of Greek literature76. A second wave headed for the mountainous and secluded parts of the interior, where, far from the control of the conqueror, they would be able to survive. This second wave was larger and more important; thus it caused real uprooting of Christian populations. That is why, according to Ottoman documents, the Muslim population outnumbers the Christian in many towns during the first centuries of the Turkish domination. These Greek fugitives inhabited certain villages in Western Macedonia and Chalkidike, where large wooded areas, far from arterial roads, offered a natural refuge. This flight to the interior of the country was of enormous ethnic importance, because it prevented migration, ensured the purity of the Greek people and favoured the growth of the Greek population during the first and most difficult centuries of slavery. Certain of the villages, which were inhabited at the time, such as Siatista, Naousa and Kozani, succeeded in developing into important centres77.

However, from the end of the 16th c. a reverse movement started - a phenomenon which appeared in other regions og Greece as well, for example in Epirus78 - and which lasted throughout the 17th c. Thus, we have a migration of Greek populations from their remote havens towards several old or new centres of trade79. This migration was parallel to the development of trade, the decline of the Ottoman empire and the general development of Hellenism.

In the 17th c. the general economic and cultural prosperity brought about a second migration of Greeks, this time northwards. Many Macedonians settled in Serbia, Bulgaria and in the Danubian Principalities, as well as in Austria and Hungary, where they formed powerful and flourishing Greek communities and greatly contributed to the development of commerce and the bourgeois class. Especially in the Balkans, the Greeks formed an "inter-Balkan bourgeois class"80, which contributed not only to the economic development of these areas, but also to the dissemination of Greek culture81. Due to these movements the role of the Macedonians of the diaspora was significant: Almost one and a half million Greeks from Macedonia emigrated to the northern Balkan peninsula and to Central Europe. This number alone is sufficient to refute the assertation of Skopje that the population of Macedonia was not Greek. In their new country these emigrant Macedonians became upholders of Greek cultural heritage; simultaneously, through their own economic development, they contributed substantially to the progress of their homeland from which they had never been cut off82.

While many Greeks headed northwards in search of better living conditions, Slavs of the Balkans, mainly Bulgarians, went in the opposite direction southwards. The natural routes of this migration were the valley of Strymon and Nestos rivers and the narrow passes through the mountains. These Slavs were initially seasonal workers, craftsmen and farmers, who were attracted by the potential for economic development and the comparatively better living conditions in the Greek regions, where they finally settled83. This stream of Slavs increased in the 19th c., after the Greek War of Independence of 1821, because the Ottoman empire, in its effort to prevent Macedonia and the other still enslaved Greek regions from uniting with the free Greek State, favoured and, in some cases, incited the settlement of Slav populations, so as to alter the ethnic composition, that is, the Greek character of Macedonia. These Slavs were, as we have already mentioned, mainly Bulgarians who were gradually mixed with the small number of Serbs84. According to the Serbian historical geographer J. Cvijic85, this mixture created an "amorphous mass" which retained few traces of Serbian traditions, and generally lacked a national consciousness: J. Cvijic states this at a time of intense nationalism (1907, 1918). However, this "amorphous mass" had begun acquiring Bulgarian consciousness by the end of the Turkish domination. For this reason, when the population exchanges took place, they declared that they were Bulgarians and preferred to be united with the defeated Bulgaria and not with the then victorious and developing Yugoslavia86. It is noteworthy that according to the Treaty of Neuilly (November 14/27, 1919) 92,000 Bulgarians emigrated emigrated from Greece (Macedonia and Thrace) to Bulgaria (in addition to some thousands who left Macedonia during the period 1912-1918), while 50,000 Greeks came from Bulgaria to Greece87.

From the above, it becomes obvious that during the Turkish domination great mobility and demographic realignment took place. The demographic situation was not stable and immutable during this long period of slavery. The example of Monastir (Bitola) is characteristic; up to the mid-17th c. this town was inhabited by Bulgarians. However, during the 18th c., and especially after the destruction of Moschopolis (1769), many Greeks took refuge there. This influx of Greek populations, mainly from the area of Florina, continued until much later as the Bulgarian population gradually declined the ethnic composition of the town was radically altered. Monastir became a Greek centre, whose brilliance spread to the surrounding towns and villages, where there were Greek communitied (as in Megarovo, Tirnovo, Kroussovo and elsewhere)88.

Apart from the Greeks and the Turks who inhabited Macedonia, of course there were also Slav or Slav-speaking populations, Vlachs, that is Vlach-speaking Greeks, and Jews. These Slavic populations spoke a dialect which resulted from the mixture of Slav settlers in different areas and had many elements in common with the two Slavic languages Serbian and Bulgarian, Bulgarian being the most prevalent. It should also be noted, however, that many of these Slav-speaking inhabitants undoubtedly had Greek consciousness; they fought for the freedom of Greece and participated with the Greeks in the Macedonian struggle89.

The existence of other ethnic elements is also natural in a remote area such as Macedonia at a time when there were neither ethnic borders, not ethnic clashes. On the contrary, their common resistance against the conqueror as well as their common religion and faith united Greeks and Slavs. Thus, despite the existence of other ethnic groups the Greek population was the dominant element in Macedonia and a separate Macedonian (Slav) nationality never existed90. Such a nationality is beyond historical reality. This is confirmed by the following facts: 1) Travellers who visited Macedonia during the Turkish domination referred to the inhabitants as Greeks, Jews, Bulgarians or Serbs and never as a separate nation, Macedonian91. 2) The whole culture and artistic production of the area was purely Greek and greatly influenced SE Europe during the years of the Turkish domination. The brilliance of this civilization would not have been possible, of course, without the existence of a powerful Greek element, which upheld this intellectual tradition. The power and activities of the Church alone - which were undoubtedly great - would not have been sufficient to explain this brilliance, unless they had been supported by a powerful and large Greek population. 3) The role and the activities of the Macedonians of the diaspora are indisputable evidence of their Greek origin. The communities, which they formed in the Balkans and in Eastern Europe, were centres of Greek culture. Since that time the presence and activities of the Greeks have been preserved in the place-names of Austria and Hungary up to the present day. 4) Thehistorical folksong, a product of spontaneous popular creativity, also confirms that the Macedonian land was Greek and its inhabitants Greeks92. 5) The argument by the historians of Skopje that, for various historical reasons, the Slav "Macedonians" lost their ethnic consciousness as well as their historical memory during the Turkish domination, cannot be seriously upheld: Peoples do not lose their historical memory. Under the same circumstances, the Serbes retained both their historical memory and their ethnic consciousness, because they constituted a separate nationality with historical traditions an a historical past. For the same reasons, the Bulgarians, despite their intellectual silence in the first centuries of slavery and the total lack of Bulgarian schools, did not lose their national identity.

Moreover, the Macedonians, in their struggle for freedom, fought hard and made great sacrifices so as to be united with the free Greek State93. At no time did they want to be united with a Slav state, i.e. Serbia, which had also won its freedom after a hard struggle. The various claims which were expressed by the revolutionary Committees at the end of the 19th c., were propagated by foreign centres and did not express the will of the majority of the inhabitants of Macedonia.
In addition, during the Macedonian Struggle (1904-1908) the participation of the indigenous population was widespread; not only teachers, clergy and intellectual leaders generally, but also merchants, craftsmen and farmers contributed substantially and supported the armed fight. The struggle of the Greek armed forces would have been impossible without this participation by the people

To sum up, we see that although Slavic populations settled on Greek territory during the Middle Ages and the period of Turkish occupation they were not able to break the historical continuity of Hellenism. The early Slavs who settled in Greece, mainly during the 7th century, were finally assimilated by the indigenous population and most of them were hellinised. And during the period of Turkish occupation (mainly the 17th century) the Greeks remained the predominant national and cultural element despite the settlement of Serbs and mostly Bulgarians on Macedonian land. Moreover it must be emphasized that during the same period the Greeks created significant colonies in neighbouring Balkan countries. As already stated, this mixing of national elements in the Balkans was due to lack of national borders during the Turkish occupation.

However, apart from the historical dimension of the problem and indisputable historical evidence of Hellenism, in this area, it is essential in order to confront the propaganda of Skopje properly, to take into account the current national composition of both Greek Macedonia and the Republic of Skopje. Such an examination totally confirms the Greek position as to the Greek status of Macedonian, because whatever mixing of national elements existed until World War I this was reduced to a minimum by the exchange of populations.

In fact, with this exchange of populations (the withdrawal of Bulgarians and the return of Greeks from Bulgaria under the Treaty of Neuilly 1919, the withdrawal of Turks and the settlement of more than 600,000 Greeks from Asia Minor under the Treaty of Lausanne 1923) the Greek element in Macedonia was significantly strengthened while at the same time the foreign national element was decisively reduced. The great predominance of Hellenism over a greatly reduced Slavic population can be ascertained from statistics published by the League of Nations in 1926. Greeks numbered 1,341,000 (88.8%), Bulgarians 77,000 (5.1%), various other nationalities (mainly Jews) 91,000 (6.0%) and Turks 2,000 (0.1%)95. As foreign specialist researchers96 also confirm, Greece - and of course Macedonia too - has today the greatest national homogeneity in the Balkans. In constrast, in the Republic of Skopje there is no national homogeneity. More than 600,000 Albanians (who, indeed, have recently founded an "autonomous democracy" with the name "Illyrida"), 150,000 Turks and 100,000 Gypsies, as well as Greeks and Greek-Vlachs and, of course, Bulgarians and Serbs live there ,even though the regime has tried, directly or indirectly, to compel nationals particularly of Greek, Serb or Bulgarian origin to declare themselves "Macedonian" and not to refer to their real national origin if they want troublefree lives and careers for themselves and their children. Of course, a very small percentage of Serbs, Bulgarians and even Greeks appear in their censuses to make their falsification of this statistical data appear genuine.

It is therefore clear that the appropriation of the name Macedonia by Skopje, on which they have based all their propaganda and even their national existence, does not even correspond to their own false national identity since their artificially created state does not have any national homogeneity. This appropriation of the name goes against every principle of justice and conceals other expediencies which directly insult Hellenism as shows the unchanging nature of their continuous propaganda97.


59. For slavic toponyms, see the basic work by M. Vasmer, Die Slaven in Griechenland, Berlin 1941, pp. 176-229 (about MAcedonia). For remarks and reservations made on this work, see G. Georgakas, Byz. Zeitschrift 41 (1941), pp. 351-381 and 42 (1942), pp. 76-90. Also, the very important work of D.A. Zakythinos, Οι Σλάβοι εν Ελλάδι. Συμβολαί εις τήν Ιστορίαν τού Μεσαιωνικού Ελληνισμού , (= The Slavs in Greece. Contributions to the History of the Medieval Hellenism), Athens 1945, mainly pp. 67-86. See, also, recently: Fr. Brunet, "Sur l' hellenisation des toponymes slaves en Macedoine byzantine", Travaux et Memoires 9 (1985), pp. 235-265. From a statistical search I attempted, based on M. Vasmer's register, it appears in all Greece there are 2123 Slavic macrotoponyms (i.e. toponyms that represent inhabited places) and of these, 730 are found in Macedonia; the number is indeed very small in a total of many thousands of greek toponyms.
60. S.g. Saint Demetrius' Miracles for the second half of the 7th c.: P. Lemerle, Les plus anciens recueils des Miracles de Saint Demetrius. I. Le text (Paris, 1979), p.214, ll. 11-13, II. Le Commentaire(Paris, 1981), p. 135 et sq.
61. See Maria Nystazopoulou - Pelekidou, "Les Slaves dans l' Empire Byzantin", The 17th International Byzantine Congress. Major Papers (Washington D.C., August 3-8, 1986) New York 1986, pp. 345-367, with the bibliography and the quotation of the sources; for the policy of Byzantium, see p. 355.
62. The main characteristics of the material culture of the Slavs during the first period of their settlement in the Balkan Peninsula are: a) the burning of the dead, b) hand-made ceramics with certain shapes and decorations, and c) half-underground hut for dwelling. However, except for two rare exceptions (15 urns containing the ashes of the dead in Olympia and some vases in Argos), no indisputably Slavic objects have been found on Greek soil. No traces of the typically Slav dwelling have been found either -only a mention in the miracles of Saint Demetrius, see P. Lemerle, Les plus anciens recueils des Miracles de Saint Demetrius, vol. I, p. 220 ll. 26 and 29 and p. 229 1. 13. For the archeological finds in general, see Vl. Popovic, "Les temoins archeologiques des invasions avaroslaves dans l' Illyricum byzantin",Melanges d' Archeologie et d' Histoire de l' Ecole Francaise de Rome 87 (1975), pp. 445-504 and especially p. 457. For the Slavic dwelling, see Vl. Popovic, "Note sur l' habitat paleoslave", in P. Lemerle, Miracles, op. cit., vol. II, pp. 235-241. Cf. Maria Nystazopoyloy - Pelekidoy, Οι Βαλκανικοί λαοί κατά τούς Μέσους Χρόνους [= The Balkan Peoples during the Middle Ages] (Ioannina, 1986), pp. 34-36 and 81 sq. with the bibliography. For attributing to Slavs certain ceramic shells found in Argos and their chronology to 585, see: P. Aupert, "Ceramique Slave a Argos (585 ap.J.C.) "Etudes Argiennes (BCH Suppl. 6) (Paris, 1980), pp. 372-394 and P.A. Yannopoulos, "La penetration slave en Argolide", In the same, pp. 323-371. See, also, critique and reservations by F. Malingoudis, Σλάβοι στη Μεσαιωνική Ελλάδα (= Slavs in Medieval Greece), Thessaloniki 1988, pp. 16 sq.
63. See M. Pelekidou, Les Slaves dans L'Empire byzantin, op. cit., pp. 356-357.
64. See the Cyril - Methodius bibliography of only 25 years (1940-1964), which was compiled by Henriette Ozanne, Κυρίλλω καί Μεθοδίω Τόμος Εόρτιος επί τή χιλιοστή καί εκατοστή ετηρίδι [= Cyril and Methodius, Volume in Celebration of the one thousand and one hundredth Anniversary], vol. II (Thessaloniki, 1968), pp. 322-346.
65. For this first renaissance in Byzantium, see the basic work of P. Lemerle, Le Premier Humanisme Byzantin (Paris, 1971), especially chapters V-VII.
66. Contantine - Cyril appears in the Slavic texts to be conscious of belonging to Byzantine society and of his Greek descent: in his dialogue with the Mohammedans he points out that "εξ ημών προήλθον πάσαι αι επιστήμαι" [= all sciences originated from us] and of course he means the Byzantine and Greek culture. During the Khazar Mission, when the Kagan of the Khazars asked him what present he wanted from him, Constantine answered: "Δός μοι όσους Έλληνας αιχμαλώτους έχεις ενταύθα. Ούτοι αξίζουσι δι' εμέ περισσότερον οιουδήποτε δώρου" [= Give me as many Greek captives as you have here. For me they are worth more than any other present]: see "Βίος Κωνσταντίνου", ελλ. έκδ. Ιω. Αναστασίου, Επιστ. Επετ. Θεολογ. Σχολής Πανεπ. Θεσσαλονίκης 12 (1968) [= "Constantine's Life", Greek edition by I. Anastasiou, Scientific Year-book of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Thessaloniki 12 (1968)], pp. 126 and 138.
67. The nationality of the Apostles of the Slaves has been treated thoroughly with a quatation from the sources by Prof. Ant.-Aem. Tahiaos, "Η εθνικότης Κυρίλλου καί Μεθοδίου κατά τάς σλαβικάς ιστορικάς πηγάς και μαρτυρίας", Κυρίλλω καί Μεθοδίω Τόμος Εόρτιος [= "The nationality of Cyril and Methodius according to the Slavic historical sources and evidences", Cyril and Methodius, Festive Volume], vol. II, pp. 83-132. See also D.A. Zakythinos, "Κωνσταντίνος ο Φιλόσοφος καί η διαμόρφωσις τών σλαβικών γλωσσών", Πρακτικά τής Ακαδημίας Αθηνών 45, 1970 [="Constantine the Philosopher and the Formation of the Slavic languages", Proceedings of the Academy of Athens 45 (1970)], pp. 59-77. Cf. I. Karayannopoulos, "Τό ιστορικόν πλαίσιον τού έργου τών αποστόλων τών Σλάβων", Κυρίλλω καί Μεθοδίω Τόμος Εόρτιος [="The Historical Framework of the Work of the Apostles of the Slavs", Cyril and Methodius, Festive Volume], vol. I, pp. 139-151.
68. See my remarks on the report of the Bulgarian historians Vasilka Tapkova - Zaimova and Simeon Damjanov, "Les territoires bulgares - foyer des civilasations antiques et nouvelles", Actes du XVe Congres International des Sciences Historiques, Bucarest 1980 Bucarest 1982, vol. IV/1, pp. 109-110.
69. As the Slavist A. Vaillant observes in his Manuel du vieux-slave, I. Grammaire (Paris, 1948), pp. 11 and 13, Old Slavic was the common language of all the Slavs until the 9th-10th c. After the fragmentation and the expansion of the Slavic world, the local dialects had already begun to form in the 7th-8th c., however the Old Slavic mother - language continued to be used and comprehensible to all the Slavs. The separate Slavic languages were formed very late, only in the 11th century.
70. Patrologia Graeca, vol. 107, col. 969.
71. P. Lemerle, "La Chronique improprement dite de Monemvasie: le commentaire historique et legendaire", Revue des Etudes Byzantines 21 (1963), p. 49. Cf. M. Palakidou, Les Slaves dans l' Empire Byzantin, op. cit., pp. 359-361.
72. See Ap. Vacalopoulos, History of Macedonia, p. 11 sq., with the bibliography.
73. See B. Laourdas, Ο "Συμβουλευτικός πρός τούς Θεσσαλονικείς" τού Μανουήλ Κομνηνού [= Manuel Komnenos' speech "Admonition to the people of Thessaloniki"], Makedonika 3 (1953-55), p. 297, 21-22; Cf. also p. 291, 1.

74. See fully documented Ap. Vacalopoulos, History of Macedonia; for the movements of populations and the composition of every town, village and distrivt, see especially chapters IV, V and VII.
75. Ibid, pp. 7 and 49 sq. The descendants of these Turkish populations returned to Turkey by virtue of the exchange of the populations in 1923.
76. Ibid., p. 99 sq.
77. Ibid., p. 100 sq.
78. Cf. M. Nystazopoulou - Pelekidou, Η Ήπειρος στά χρόνια τής Τουρκοκρατίας καί η εθνική αναγέννηση [=Epirus during the Turkish domination and the national revival] (Ioannina, 1982), p. 11.
79. Cf. Ap. Vacalopoulos, op. cit., p. 139 sq.
80. N. Svoronos, Επισκόπηση τής Νεοελληνικής Ιστορίας [=A Survey of Modern Greek History] (Athens, 1976), pp. 58-59.
81. For the economic and intellectual activities of the Greeks ans especially of the Macedonians of the diaspora, See Ap. Vacalopoulos, History of Macedonia, pp. 349-394.
82. Ibid.
83. Ibid., p. 145 sq.
84. Ibid., p. 245.
85. J. Cvijic, La peninsule balkanique. Geographie humaine (Paris, 1918), p. 313. Idem, Remarques sur l'ethnographie de la Macedoine, p. 5 sq.
86. Cf. Ap. Vacalopoulos, History of Macedonia, p. 7.
87. Se St. Nestor, "Greek Macedonia and the Convention of Neuilly", Balkan Studies 3 (1962), pp. 169-184; St. Ladas, The Exchange of Minorities. Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey, New York 1932. Cf. also Sp. Loukatos, "Πολιτειογραφικά Θεσσαλονίκης, νομού καί πόλης, στά μέσα τής δεκαετίας τού 1910", Πρακτικά Συμποσίου Η Θεσσαλονίκη μετά τό 1912 [= The Demography of Thessaloniki, the prefecture and city, in the middle of the decade 1900-1910", Proceedings of the Symposium, Thessaloniki after 1912] (Thessaloniki, 1986), especially pp. 111-112 and note 22, with significant data illustrating the strength of the Greek population of that area in 1916, i.e. before the exchange of populations.
88. See Ap. Vacalopoulos, History of Macedonia, pp. 444-453; cf. also p.642.
89. See the list of the Slav-speaking Macedonians, who participated in the Macedonian Struggle: M. Papacontantinou, Macedonia after the Macedonian Struggle, op. cit., p. 71 sq.
90. It is noteworthy that, when contemporary historians attempt to rewrite the History of the "Macedonians" as a separate nationality, they feel contrained to refer to events from Bulgarian or Serbian History that are only geographically retaled to Macedonia: see, for example, M. de Vos, Histoire de la Yougoslavie, p. 67.
91. See above, note 34.
92. Cf., for example, Ap. Vacalopoulos, History of Macedonia, pp. 103, 257, 296, 474, 596 et al., with the bibliography.
93. Cf. Ev. Kofos, Η Επανάστασις τής Μακεδονίας κατά τό 1878 [= The Revolution of Macedonia in 1878] (Thessaloniki, 1969). St. Papadopoulos, Οι Επαναστάσεις τού 1854 καί 1878 στή Μακεδονία[= The Revolutions of 1854 and 1878 in Macedonia], publications of the Society for Macedonian Studies, No 22 (Thessaloniki, 1970).
94. See the bibliography mentioned above note 4. See also Ο Μακεδονικός Αγώνας. Συμπόσιο, 28 Οκτ.-2 Νοεμ. 1984 [= The Macedonian Struggle. Symposium]. Publications of the Institute for Balkan Studies, No 211- Museum of Macedonian Struggle. (Thessaloniki 1987). K. Vacalopoulos, Ο Μακεδονικός Αγώνας, 1904-1908. Η ένοπλη φάση [= The Macedonian Struggle, 1904-1908. The armed Phase], (Thessaloniki 1987). See also M. Papakonstantinou, Η Μακεδονία μετά τόν Μακεδονικό Αγώνα [= Macedonia after the Macedonian Struggle], (Athens 1992), pp. 91-93, where a rich bibliography. K. Vacalopoulos, Ιστορία τού Βόρειου Ελληνισμού. Μακεδονία (= History of the Northern Hellenism. Macedonia), Thessaloniki 1991.
95. The League of Nations also provides figures from tan earlier Turkish cencus, dating from before the Turks departure. This cencus raises the percentage of Greeks to 42.6%, of Muslims (Turks mainly and Albanians) to 39.4% and of Slavs (Serbs and Bulfarians) to 9.9%; see League of Nations: Greek Refugee Settlement, Annex, Geneva 1926. It must be noted that this cencus does not only refer to the Greek Macedonia of today, but also to Southern Yugoslavia, since it contains the vilayet of Monastir, and to districts of today's Bulgaria, viz. to more northern areas, where the Slavic element was proportionately higher.
96. See A. Blanc, Geographie des Balkans, "Que sais - je?" No 154 (Paris, 1965), pp. 44 and 48.
97. From recent declarations and comments made by officials in Skopje which contain clear expansionist aims and messages of "enslaved brothers" I confine myself to noting only the case of the extreme nationalist party, VMRO (Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organisation) which very characteristically bears the same name as the known Bulgarian organisation of the end of the 19th century. In the Manifesto of this party, which came first party in the Parliamentary elections of November, 1990, it is stated that its aim is "the intellectual, political and economic union of the divided Macedonian Peopleand state within the framework of the future union of the Balkans and a United Europe", and that "elements of the Macedonian nation which live under occupational rule in Greece, Bulgaria and Albania do not form an ethnic minority but just occupied and enslaved parts of the Macedonian Nation". I also note that the appropriation of Greek history continues since they even use on their flag the emblem of the ancient Macedonian kings, the sun of Vergina...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The "Macedonian Question", part 2

by Maria Nystazopoulou - Pelekidou
Translated by Ilias Kyzirakos
continue from here

The evidence of the sources and the findings of historical research

Before I attempt to demonstrate which is the historical reality based on the evidence of the sources, I would like to emphasize that the position of Skopje is based on two extremely serious methodological errors.

The first one concerns the terms Macedonia and Macedonians, which the historians of Skopje use in a national sense, even though these terms are strictly geographical, just like the term Epirot or Peloponnesian33. In the works published in Skopje and mainly in the "History of the Macedonian Nation" they skilfully use the term Slav-Macedonians and sometimes simply Macedonians, to create confusion and finally have the terms Macedonia-Macedonians accepted as denoting a separate nation. However, as we have already mentioned, these terms have never acquired any national meaning either in the past or in recent years. In the sources, travellers' descriptions, diplomatic documents, censuses of the Ottoman empire34 etc., the term Macedonian always denoted the inhabitants of Macedonia - primarily the Greek inhabitants - because the Bulgarian inhabitants of Macedonia were usually called "Bulgaro-Macedonians", that is Bulgarians of Macedonia, so that they could be distinguished from the Bulgarians of Bulgaria and of the Bulgarian Principality. Besides, the fact that the terms Bulgaro-Macedonians and Slavo-Macedonians are used, while "Helleno-Macedonians" isn't, presupposes and at the same times proves that Macedonia is Greek, because the term intrinsically conveys the Greek origin of the inhabitans of this region.

The second methodological error refers to the extension in place and time of a specific and locally limited national group. That is, starting with Yugoslav "Macedonia", the population of which is considered Slavic in its majority, the historians of Skopje extend this given ethnic composition throughout all Macedonia and its centuries of history, as if it were a stable unchanging element, unaffected by the extremely important historical events which took place in this sensitive area of the Balkan Peninsula.

Attention must also be drawn to the fact that during certain periods of History (the Hellenistic Age, Turkish domination etc.) the historians of Skopje are compelled to accept, up to a point, the hellenization of the region - hellenization which of course presupposes the existence of a powerful Greek element -, and during the subsequent period this Hellenic or hellenized population seems to disappear or be reduced to a minumum and the non-Greek "Macedonians" predominate anew.

It should also be noted that the geographical and historical boundaries of Macedonia do not coincide with the boundaries of Macedonia as the historians of Skopje define it. Macedonia, the "Major Macedonia" - as Prof. Ap. Vacalopoulos calls it - extends beyond the borders of present day Greek Macedonia:

Southward: to the Chasia Mountains, the Kambounia Mountains, Mount Olympus and the Aegean Sea,
Westward: to the Pindus Mountains,
Eastward: to the Nestos River, and
Northward: to Orchid-Strumnitsa-Melenikon

Needless to say, in the long history of the region, the administrative boundaries were not always the same, or immovable: they expanded or contracted, according to the historical data of every period. However, it should be noted that northward Macedonia never went beyond the line of Orchid, Bebuna mountains36, Strumnitsa-Nevrokop (see map No 1). Therefore, the modern Socialist Republic of "Macedonia" included only a small part of Macedonia: the region of Skopje did not belong to Macedonia but to the old Serbia, as the Serb historical geographer J. Cvijic37 observed at the beginning of the century. (1907). The use of the geographical term "Macedonia" for the more northern regions is thus contrary to historical reality. These geographical boundaries show that about 70% of Macedonia is today part of Greece and only a small part is located in Southern Yugoslavia and in SW Bulgaria38.

After pointing out these basic factors I shall attempt to present, very briefly, the evidence od the sources and the findings of historical research.

The evidence of the sources and the findings of historical research:

1. Antiquity

The Ancient Macedonians were undoubtedly a Greek tribe; either a north-western tribe related to the Dorians and Epirots, or an Aeolic one related to the Aeolians of Thessaly (before the north-western tribe of the Thessalians settled there), as scholars tend to accept today. Nowadays it is not seriously doubted that they were Greeks39, although some opposing views have been expressed by certain modern historians and linguists because the evidence of ancient writers has not been interpreted correctly and the relatively limited linguistic material preserved has not been evaluated correctly40.

The Ancient Macedonians initially settled in NW Macedonia. Later they expanded into the fertile valley of Haliakmon river, where, after having driven back or subjugated the Illyrian and Thracian tribes, they established the Macedonian state. During this time the regions of NW Macedonia remained independent hegemonies. Later on, the kingdom of Macedonia expanded up to the Strymon river. Their relative isolation for centuries, in the country that bears their name, greatly contributed to their developing autonomous unity, both social and political, without being greatly influenced by other Greeks and, therefore, without the cultural development of the southern regions41.

Ancient sources affirm that the ancient Macedonians were Greeks, and the linguistic conclusions, which are based on the study of the Macedonian dialect, also attest to this.

Among the ancient historians, Herodotus is the first who refers to the Macedonians whom he considers, without any hesitation, Greeks: " Έλληνας δέ είναι τούτους τούς από Περίκκεω γεγονότας, κατά περ αυτοί λέγουσι, αυτός τε ούτω τυγχάνω επιστάμενος καί δή καί εν τοίσι όπισθεν λόγοισι αποδείξω..." [= But that the descendants of Perdiccas are, in fact, Greeks (as they themselves say), I happen to know; and I will, moreover, prove that they are Greeks in the latter part of my history]. (V, 22,1). The same historian presents the king of Macedonians Alexander I (ca. 495-450/440 B.C.), a dominant figure of Macedonian history during the 5th c. B.C., saying at the time of the Persian wars: "αυτός τε γάρ Έλλην γένος ειμί τωρχαίον, και αντ΄ ελευθέρης δεδουλωνένην ουκ άν εθέλοιμι οράν τήν Ελλάδα" [= I am myself a Greek of ancient stock, and I would not with my good will see Greece enslaved rather than free]. (IX, 45,1-2)42. Succeeding generations called Alexander I, and only him among all kings of Macedonia, "Philhellene", and they did so for a specific reason: he effectively assisted the "Greek" alliance of Corinth against the Persians43.

Thucydides44, and later Arrian45, Polybious46, Titus Livius47 and others also confirm, directly or indirectly, that the Macedonians were Greeks. In ancient times, the nationality of the Macedonians was never an issue, precisely because they were Greeks. The historians of Skopje have greatly exploited the fact that Demosthenes calls Philip a "barbarian", and regard this as proof of his non-Greek origin. However, the word "barbarian" meant at that time not only the foreigner, i.e., the person who spoke a different language, but also the person who was uncivilized48. The Athenian Demosthenes considered the king of Macedonia to be culturally inferior. Moreover, we should not forget the fanaticism and Attic nationalism of the orator who was fighting against Philip in the belief that Philip would subjugate the rest of Greece, as well as his own city-state; Demosthenes believed that as a consequence Athens would not be able to play a leading role in the new political scheme which the Macedonians would impose, since this scheme would be quite foreign to the then prevailing of the city-state49.

Certain doubts have been expressed about the Greek character of the Ancient Macedonians' language, mainly because, up to now, no texts or even complete phrases written in the Macedonian dialect have been found. Today, however, after the comparative study of all known linguistic material, linguists, as well as historians, accept the Greek character of the Macedonian dialect50. The following elements prove that Macedonian is a dialect of the Greek Language:

The name of the Macedonians itself is Greek: the word μακεδνός [makednos] is already attested to in Homer (Odyssey, η 106: οία τε φύλλα μακεδνής αιγείροιο) [= like fluttering leaves of a tall poplar tree] and means "high, tall and slender". That is, this ethnic name is one of those which denoted the physical characteristics of a people. Also the proper names of the Ancient Macedonians51, the names of gods, months, etc., as well as most place-names are Greek, in Macedonian dialect, and bear no resemblance to Thracean-Illyrian names. If the Macedonians started being hellenized in the 5th c. B.C., as the historians of Skopje clain, how can it be explained that they retained proper names, as well as the names of the months and place-names in Macedonian dialect which are undisputedly Greek? How did the Macedonians of the 5th and 4th c. B.C. acquire these Greek dialectal names, which do not belong to the Attic dialect, if they did not inherit them via a tradition which had always been Greek?52

The same observations apply to lexical material. Relatively few words of the Macedonian dialect have been preserved: about 153 and they are recorded by Athenaeus and in the Lexicon of Hesychios, who drew them mainly from the work of the Macedonian lexicographer Amerias53. It should be noted that ancient lexicographers did not record all the words of a language or dialect, but only those that presented a certain peculiarity or difficulty in comprehension. For this reason foreign words and idioms are recorded, and thus the proportion of foreign words is not representative of the total vocabulary of the Macedonian dialect. Many of the words which have been treasured as Macedonian occur in all Greek dialects, but in the Macedonian dialect they had a specific meaning and they were recorded by the ancient lexicographers, for example the word υπασπιστής (adjutant). These words that were handed down as Macedonian do not bear any resemblance to the Thracian-Illyrian language. The Macedonian linguistic material (proper names, place-names and common nouns) testifies to the Greek character of the Macedonian dialect: The etymology of the words is Greek; the features and vowel changes are common in Greek; so are the inflections and endings. As for the few words which are recorded as Macedonian in the Lexicon of Hesyxhios and which are not considered by some to be Greek, it is most likely that they are loan-words, a phenomenon that is observed in all languages, and one which does not put their origin in doubt54.

The historians of Skopje use the quotation of Plutarch that Alexander ανεβόα μακεδονιστί καλών τούς υπασπιστάς [= called out in Macedonian speech a summons to his corps of guards] (Plutarch'sAlexander, 51,4), as proof that the languagewhich the Macedonian soldiers spoke was not Greek. But here the word μακεδονιστί means the local dialect, as the respective terms δωριστί, αττικιστί ιωνιστί etc.55 attest, and not a separate non-Greek language. In fact, Alexander and the Macedonians disseminated the Greek language throughout the world they conquered; Alexander gave an order that the inscriptions which were in a foreign language were to be explained in Greek, so that they would be comprehensible to his troops (τήν επιγραφήν αναγνούς εκέλευσεν ελληνικοίς υποχαράξαι γράμμασιν [= After reading the inscription, he ordered it to be repeated below in Greek letters]: Plutarch's Alexander, 69,2) and he also ordered that the troop of Persians "should learn the Greek language and be trained to use Macedonian weapons" (εκέλευε γράμματά τε ελληνικά μανθάνειν καί μακεδονικοίς όπλοις εντρέφεσθαι Plutarch's Alexander, 47,6)55a.

The fact that no written documents in Macedonian dialect have been preserved does not prove their non-Greek origin, as the historians of Skopje claim. Indeed, no dialectal inscriptions or even a phrase of a dialectal Macedonian text have been found. All the inscriptions found in Macedonia date after the 5th c. B.C., when the Macedonians used, at least in public life, the Attic dialect56. However, in other regions of Greece, undisputedly Greek, no preserved written documents of the 7th or even 6th c. B.C. have been found either. The cultural phenomenon of Athens cannot be regarded as a means of comparison with other regions, especially in order to draw conclusions concerning the national origin of their inhabitants.

It must be noted that the recent excavations at Vergina, in addition to other very important finds regarding the history of Macedonia, have brought to light, a series of inscribed grave stelai which can be dated with certainty to the second half of the 4th and the beginning of the 3rd c. B.C. These inscriptions as we know from the description of Prof. M. Andronikos present a very significant collection of common Macedonian names, male and female, numbering 75. All these names are Greek, such as Αλκέτας, ’λκιμος, Δρύκαλος, Ξενοκράτης, Πευκόλαος, Πιερίων - except for one (Αμάδοκος) which is Thracian - and many of them are characteristically Macedonian and unknown to Attica, attesting to their Macedonian origin. These names refute the theory that only the ruling class had become hellenized, because they do not belong to the royal family, or to the nobility, or to the ruling class: they are the names of ordinary citizens and many of them date back to the beginning of the 4th and the end of the 5th c. B.C. Therefore, as Prof. M. Andronikos points out, we have "epigraphic evidence... that at the end of the 5th c. B.C., the Macedonians who lived in the first capital of the Macedonian kingdom [in Aeges]... had Greek names"57.

Consequently, both the evidence of the sources and the study of the linguistic material, lead to the conclusion that the Ancient Macedonians were a Greek tribe. The theory that it was a non-Greek population, whose ruling class became hellinized, has no basis in fact. The people of Macedonia spoke Greek, a local Greek dialect and thus it was easy for them to adopt the Attic dialect. Even after the Roman conquest, the Greek language was still spoken in the region, despite foreign domination and the strong presence of Latin-speaking soldiers and other representatives of Rome. It is of primary importance that the inscriptions of Roman and early Byzantine times, which were found in Macedonia, are in Greek - except, of course, for the regions where there were Roman colonies, for example at Philippi58 -, while the inscriptions which were found in the more northern regions are in Latin. The Greek language was deeply rooted since it was the language of the Macedonian people, not only of the ruling class and the authorities.


33. It should be noted that during the Byzantine era these terms also had an administrative meaning. In the early Byzantine era the province of Macedonia, whose seat was Thessaloniki, belonged to the prefecture (praefecturea) of Illyricum and extended nearly to the geographical limits of "major" Macedonia: See Angeliki Konstantakopoulou, Ιστορική Γεωγραφία τής Μακεδονίας (4ος-6ος αι.) (= Historical Geography of Macedonia, 4th-6th c.) (Ioannina, 1984), pp. 19-26, with the older bobliography. In the Mid-Byzantine era, with the change of the administrative organization and the generalization of the administration by themata, the Thema of Macedonia, which is attested to for the first time in 802, was established and extended eastwards of the Nestos river into a large section of Thrace, i.e. it was not identified with the geographical boundaries of Macedonia. A little later the Them of Thessaloniki was established, which extended to Central and West Macedonia, and the them of Strymon in Eastern Macedonia.

34. See the edition by Hr. Andonov-Polianski, Britanski Dokumenti za Istorijata na Makedonskijot Narod [= British Documents regarding the History of Macedonian People], 1. 1797-1839 (Skopje, 1968), in which, despite the efforts to misinterpret names and events, the objective student should not be able to find even the slightest indication of the existence of the "Macednoian People in these documents of British consuls, agents or travellers. Only Greeks, Turks, Bulgarians, Serbs and Albanians are mentioned, as well as Macedonia as a geographical unity. Cf. the book review by A. Angelopoulos, Balkan Studies 9 (1968), pp. 559-561. For the consuls' reports of the 19th c., see Ev. Kofos, Macedonia, op. cit., p. 6 note 1. See also the Turkish cencus of 1906, where only muslims (Turks and Albanians), Bulgars and Greeks are mentioned: St. Yerasimos, "Balkans: frontieres d'aujourd'hui, d'hier et de demain?", Herodote 63/85 F (1991), p. 89.

35. See Ap. Vacalopoulos, History of Macedonia, 1354-1839 (Thessaloniki, 1969), p. 1.

36. Babuna mountain is the ancient Messapion.

37. J. Cvijic, Remarques sur l'ethnographie de la Macedoine2 (Paris, 1907), p. 6 note 1.

38. In some strange way, the false information that, during the division of Macedonia in 1913, Greece took 51.57% of the total Macedonian territory, Yugoslavia 38.32% and Bulgaria 10.11%, in other words that 48.33% in total of Macedonia is now situated in Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, goes on being repeated unchecked. However, these percentages are not correct because they correspond to the area of Greek Macedonia (34,603 km2), the total area of the current Republic of Skopje (25,713 km2) and Macedonia of Pirin (6,789 km2). They refer therefore to the state which was formed after the end of World War II, overlooking the fact that the Republic of Skopje, besides being a more recent creation, also contains Serbian territory: In fact only the southern part, that is, much less than half the total area is geographically and historically part of Macedonia (see Map 2). It should be noted that, in 1913, territory of the Ottoman Empire was returned to the three Balkan States including areas in their northern parts which were not Macedonian (see Map 3). Therefore the percentage of Macedonia which was returned to Greece is, in reality, much greater.

39. Cf. Ul. Wilcken, Alexandre le Grand, op. cit., p. 33: "It seems more and more certain that the Macedonians were a Greek tribe related to the Dorians. However, as they stayed high up in the distant north, they could not participate in the progress of civilization of the Greek people that migrated southward...". Also Herman Bengtson, Griechische Geschichte4, Muenchen 1969, p. 305, points out that "the majority of the new generation of historians but with the notable exception of Julius Kaerst (Geschichte des Hellenismus, 1/3, 1927, p. 154 sq.) agree, and rightly so, that the Macedonians were Greeks". See also K.J. Beloch, Griechische Geschichte2, IV/1, pp. 1-9.

40. For the Ancient Macedonians there is a most extensive bibliography. I confine myself to referring to the recent work of N.G.L. Hammond, The Macedonian State: Origins, Institutions and History(Oxford, 1989). See also Macedonia, 400 Years of Greek History and Civilization (published by "Ekdotike Athenon") (athens, 1991) and mainly pp. 46-63 which include the chapter "The Nationality of Macedonians" by M. Sakellariou.

41. H. Bengston, Griechische Geschichte, op. cit., p. 305, observes that generally the Macedonians were considered culturally inferior. Cf. also Ul. Wilcken, Alexandre le Grand, op. cit., p. 33.

42. See also Herodotus, I, 56, 2-3 and V, 20-22. (English translation by David Grene, the University of Chicago Press, Chicago-London 1987).

43. See commentary on Thucydides I, 57; commentary on Demosthenes, Olynthiac III, 130; Dion Chrysostom II, 33; Harpocration, in entry Alexander, Anecd. Graeca, 375, 20 Bekker. All the sources that mention the epithet "Philhellene" are subsequent and we cannot be certain that they derive from sources contemporary to Alexander I. The argument, however, that the epithet "Philhellene" confirms that Alexander I was not a Greek is not at all convincing and is contradicted by Alexander's own words, as they have been handed down to us by his contemporary Herodotus (see the above quotation IX, 45, 1-2).

44. Thucydides, II, 99, 3-6, who obviously uses Herodotus as a source, states that the kings of the Macedonians are Temenids from Argos, which means that he agrees that Macedonians were Greeks.

45. Cf. the well-known passage of Arrian, I, 16, 11, where it is stated that after the battle of Granicus, Alexander offered as a votive of thanks to Pallas Athena 300 Persian panoplies with the very eloquent inscription: Αλέξανδρος Φιλίππου καί οι Έλληνες πλήν Λακεδαιμονίων, από τών βαρβάρων τών τήν Ασίαν κατοικούντων [= Alexander, son of Philip, and the Greeks, except the Lacedaemonians, from the barbarian inhabitans in Asia], a characteristic inscription which attests that both Alexander and the Macedonian soldiers were Greeks, because the Macedonians were certainly included among the Greeks. Cf. also Arrian, I, 16, 10.

46. Polybius, XXVIII, 8, 9, preserves the following valuable information: in the deputation that Perseus, King of Macedonia, sent to the King of Illyria, in order to form an alliance with him against the Romans, a deputy of Illyrian descent also participated: διά τό τήν διάλεκτον ειδέναι τήν Ιλλυρίδα [= becasue he knew the Illyrian language], which means that the Macedoniasns did not know the Illyrian language, since in their conversations with the Illyrians they were compelled to use interpreters. See also IX, 37,7: πρός Αχαιούς καί Μακεδόνας ομοφύλους καό τ\;ν τούτων ηγεμόνα Φίλιππον [= To the Achaeans and the Macedonians Belonging to the same race, and to Philip, their leader]. Cf. also IV, 9 and VII, 9, 3.

47. Titus Livius, 31, 39, considers the Macedonians to speak the same language as the Aetolians andf the Acarnanians.

48. See Demosthenes, Against Meidias, 150. Cf. also all those that Thucydides characteristically mentions, I, 5-6, for the barbarian custom that the Greeks had in earlier times, and especially I, 6, 1: " ... καί ξυνήθη τήν διαίταν μεθ΄όπλων εποιήσαντο [οι Έλληνες] ώσπερ οι βάρβαροι, σημείον δ΄εστί ταύτα τής Ελλάδος έετι ούτω νεμόμενα τών ποτε καί ες ομοίων διαιτημάτων [= ... and this way of living, to always be armed, was a custom to them, just as it is a custom to the barbarians today. So the fact that in these areas of Greece they live in this way even today, is proof that once all the Greeks lived in the same way] and I, 6, 6: "πολλά δ΄ άν καί άλλα τις αποδείξειε τό παλαιόν Ελληνικόν ομοιότροπα τώ νύν βαρβαρικώ διαιτώμενον" [= and in many other ways one would be able to prove that the Greeks in the old times lived in the same way as the barbarians of today].

49. Cf. I. Kalleris, Les Anciens Macedoniens. Etude linguistique et historique, vol. I (Athens, 1954), p. 15.

50. About the language of the Ancient Macedonians and the related theories, see N. Andriotis, Η γλώσσα καί η ελληνικότητα τών Αρχαίων Μακεδόνων [= The language and the Greek Character of the Ancient Macedonians] (Thessaloniki, 1952). Ap. Daskalakis, Ο Ελληνισμός τής Αρχαίας Μακεδονίας. Καταγωγή καί γλώσσα τών Μακεδόνων [= The Hellenism of Ancient Macedonia. Descent and Language of the Macedonians] (Athens, 1960) (= L' Hellenisme de l' Ancienne Macedoine) (Thessaloniki, 1965). I. Kalleris, Les Ancient Macedoniens. Etude linguistique et historique, vols I-II (Athens, 1954-1975). Ant. Thavoris, Ιστορία τής Ελληνικής Γραφής [= The History of Greek Writing] (Ioannina, 1983), pp. 31-48, with the bibliography. Cf. P. Kretchmer, Einleitung in die Geschichte der Griechischen Sprache (Goettingen, 1896), p. 283 et sq. and p. 415, who expressed the view that the Macedonians were a mixture of Greek and Illyrian populations, a view that is not accepted by H. Bengston, op. cit., p. 305. See also recently Η γλώσσα τής Μακεδονίας (= The language of Macedonia), collective work ed. by G. Babiniotis (Athens, 1992).

51. The inscriptions found in Macedonia increased considerably the number and variety of Macedonian proper names.

52. Cf. Ant. Thavoris, The History of Greek Writing, pp. 44-45.

53. Ibid., pp. 35-36.

54. Cf. ibid, p. 37 et sq.

55. Cf. the characteristic quotation of Theocritus, Idylls, 15, 92, where the Syracusian women, of Corinthian descent, say: " ... Κορίνθιαι ειμές άνωθεν... Πελοποννασιστί λαλεύμες. Δωρίσδειν δ' έξεστι τοίς Δωριέεσσι " [= We are Corinthian women by extraction. What we talk's Peloponnesian. I suppose Dorians may speak Doric, mayn't they? (English translation by J. M. Edmonds, The Greek Bucolic Poets, ed. Loeb., pp. 188-189). Cf. Ant. Thavoris, The History of Greek Writing, pp. 34-35.

55a. English translation in the Loeb Classical Library ed. by E. Capps - T.E. Page - W.H.O. Rome, London 1919.

56. The introduction of the Attic dialect into wider use, beginning perhaps from official documents and the royal court, must be the result of an age-old process, which was completed in the time of Philip, and not the decision of a reformer King of Macedonia; it should be placed in the more general context of the prevalence, throughout the Greek world, of the Attic dialect, which evolved in the Hellenistic koine [= common dialect]. Consequently, that which happened, and the extent to which it hapenned in Macedonia, i.e. the substitution of the Macedonian dialect by the attic dialect, is not a phenomenon particularly Macedonian: throughout Greece, at a quicker or slower pace, the Attic koine replaced the local dialects.

57. See M. Andronikos, Vergina. The Royal Tombs and the Ancient City (Athens, 1991), pp. 83-84. It should also be noticed that the finds, which the recent excavations by Prof. D. Pantermalis at Dion as well as the excavations at Pella and elsewhere, have brought to light, significantly promote our knowledge of the history of ancient Macedonia.

58. See, for example, D. Samsaris, Ο εξελληνισμός τής Θράκης κατά τήν ελληνική καί ρωμαϊκή αρχαιότητα [= The Hellenization of Thrace during the Greek and Roman Antiquity] (Thessaloniki, 1980), mainly p. 311.

to be continued.....