By Miltiades Elia Bolaris
Much has been written lately about the future name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Makedonija, to be settled with Greece.
The former Yugoslav province left the collapsing Yugoslav union, in 1991 and declared independence, taking on the misnomer of Република Македонија, transliterated as Republika Makedonija.
The Greeks, whose northernmost province is the historic Μακεδονία/Macedonia, home of Aristotle and Alexander the Great among other greats of world history and culture, demanded that their new neighbors must choose a different name, not Macedonia.
The former Yugoslav province, the Greeks argued, has no more than a small part (Pelagonia and part of Amphaxitis) of historic Macedonia proper in its land, mainly along its southern provinces.
Even accepting for a moment the Skopjan unhistorical definition of where Macedonia starts and ends, and wrongly for a moment assuming that all of FYROM’s land was part of Macedonia proper, FYROM still could not be called Macedonia.
Even under that definition, it only constitutes a small part of the whole area of Macedonia proper, about 30%.
The small part (FYROM, and essentially only its extreme south) of the total (geographic Macedonia) should never have been encouraged to usurp a name that characterizes the geographic whole: the historically defined Macedonia.
Yet this is precisely what G.W.Bush did the first day after his second election, to the utter disgust and disappointment of Greeks and friends of Macedonia proper worldwide. Following Dick Cheney’s twisted Machiavellian concept of what American “best interests” (call it Halliburton’s, now a tax-free, Dubai company) in the Balkans should be, George W recognized FYROM as Macedonia, giving away to it a name that belongs to a much larger geographic area, Historic Macedonia, of which the Greek province Makedonia is the largest part, Bulgaria’s Pirin Makedonija yet another, with FYROM being the middle sized one: The small part is seeking to grab for itself the name that characterizes the whole.
FYROM is NOT Macedonia, under any definition, geographic or historical, not in its entirety anyway. It only contains a small part of Macedonia proper. The vast majority of Macedonian land, under ANY DEFINITION, even Skopian, still lies in northern Greece and constitutes the Region of Makedonia/Μακεδονία/Macedonia.
Sharing is a concept that children in kindergarten easily grasp, since they are daily reminded that if they want to play with something that belongs to the whole class, they must share.
The “it’s MINE” and ONLY mine attitude on the name (which INEVITABLY carries with it claims to the historic heritage of Macedonia that predates the arrival of the Slavic population, and brings with it unacceptable irredentist claims on the northern province of Greece)[*1] is as counterproductive to the establishment of good communal relations when applied to preschoolers as it is to nations that wish to belong to the same side of the fence i.e. EU.
The use of the names “Macedonia” “Macedonian” to describe the former Yugoslav province, the majority Slavic ethnic group of FYROM, and their language, has created utter confusion to unsuspecting people world-wide.
People unfamiliar with ancient Greek history, the Balkans, their history and geography,
hear Macedonia and they miss-identify the name Macedonia with FYROM.
This transvestite situation is not something that the Greeks and especially the Greek Macedonians could, would or should accept for a long time.
This is an issue whose solution is overdue and needs to be resolved through honest negotiations.
Since 1995 an interim accord is in effect, by which the self proclaimed Republika Makedonija was temporarily named FYROM: the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, for all international purposes and agreements, including use of the name in the United Nations and other international fora like the Olympics, etc.
As years passed, instead of trying to reach a final agreement with Athens that would replace the interim, temporary accord, and replace the name FYROM with a new, internationally acceptable name, Skopje chose instead to put all its energy in promoting the acceptance of its so called “constitutional name”.
It also avoided any real negotiations on the issue, dynamiting any real compromise solution in this dispute.
While Athens was pushing for an “inter pares” solution, a name for use “by everyone”, Skopje put the breaks and counter-offered that the only compromise it was willing to accept was a dual naming, one name which would be for bilateral usage and acceptable to Greece, while everyone else should call them Macedonia.
This, obviously, is not a solution that the Greeks would ever accept.
As time went by, many countries began recognizing FYROM as Macedonia. Greeks felt that the interim agreement had been a diplomatic blunder, a trap into which they had unwittingly fallen, allowing a huge window of escape for Skopje to walk away and do as it pleased.
They saw that Skopje was winning the long term game, and they had no reason to compromise, since many countries had already recognized them as RoM.
A shift of the identification of the name Macedonia away from the historic Macedonia proper and towards the ex-Yugoslav state, was becoming a fact. Additionally, confusion set in among the less informed in the outside world about the ethnic identity of the ancient Macedonians and about the Hellenic identity of the three or more million Macedonians of the Greek province by the same name.
I, for one, have been asked countless times if I am a “Greek” or a “Macedonian”, to which in apparent aggravation I always have to answer:
“I am both”: a Macedonian Greek.
This is the same as if someone had to answer to such an idiotic question as:
“Are you a Californian or an American?”
Unfortunately, I am not the only one who feels this way, there are millions of us [*2].
To make things worse, ultra-nationalist propagandists from Skopje intensified their irredentist cries through the press and the internet, for a “United Makedonija / Обединета Македонија” a fictional entity that would include conquered parts of Greece, Bulgaria and even Albania[*3].
A quick search in the internet will bring out torrents of Greek-hate propaganda emanating from Skopje, propaganda that speaks of enslaved Slavic lands, Macedonian genocide and all sorts of horrific imaginary monstrosities, enough to create shock and sympathy to the unsuspecting casual reader who rarely has any knowledge of the issues involved.
Unfortunately, what seemed to be a big issue for the Greeks did not seem to matter in the least to everyone else.
The obvious reasoning among outsiders was: why should anyone deny some poor, land locked nation the right to call themselves whatever they wanted? If they are Macedonians, they should have the right to be called Macedonians.
I totally agree with this “IF” too:
IF their land is indeed Macedonia (indeed the ONLY Macedonia),
and IF they themselves are Macedonians (indeed the ONLY Macedonians),
then let them be called Macedonians.
The answer, unfortunately, is NO, to both counts.
The answer will be easily found once we go back in time and research what this land was called in the past. Were the people who now claim to be called “Macedonians” in the Former Yugoslav Republic, always called “Macedonians? Hardly so.
Many if not the majority, were until recently flesh and blood of another nation, the Bulgarians.
This is how Krste Misirkov, the Apostle of Makedonism, speaking of the separation of the Macedonian Bulgarians from the other Bulgarians, and their wish to become a separate nation called “Macedonian” put it, in 1903:
“Many people will want to know what sort of national separatism we are concerned with; they will ask if we are not thinking of creating a new Macedonian nation. Such a thing would be artificial and short-lived. And, anyway, what sort of new Macedonian nation can this be when we and our fathers and grandfathers and great-grandfathers have always been called Bulgarians?”
Krste Misirkov, “On Macedonian Matters”, 1903, Sofia.
With his thoughts in mind, let us now start going back in time:
FYROM, before 1991, but after 1964:
It was in name a Republic, but for all practical purposes a province of Yugoslavia.
It was called the Социјалистичка Република Македонија/Socijalistička Republika Makedonija/Socialist Republic of Macedonija.
Before 1964 but after 1945 it was called
Narodna Republika Makedonija/People´s Republic of Makedonija.
Before 1945 but after 1944 it was called
Демокрачка/Македонија/Demokačka Makedonija/Democratic Makedonija.
This covers pretty much the post-WWII, so called “Macedonian” phase of this area.
Before 1944 but after 1941 it was part of Bulgaria, but the westernmost-northwestern parts of what is now Albanian speaking part of FYROM during the war years become part of Albania, itself an Italian protectorate at the time.
Even the Local communist party cadre left the CP of Yugoslavia to join the CP of Bulgaria.
Tito’s partisans appeared later on, Nazi Germany started losing the war, and Bulgaria’s star waned.[*4]
Vardarska banovina/Вардарска бановина/The Vardar province, of Yugoslavia, named after the main river crossing it: Axios/Vardar. Vardarska besides FYROM, included portions that today belong to Kosovo and Serbia proper. [*5]
Before 1929 but after 1912-13 it was called Јужна Србија/Južna Srbija/Southern Serbia.
It had been won by Serbian arms, liberated from the Ottoman empire during the first Balkan war and secured during the second Balkan war.
During WWI it was temporarily captured by Austro-Hungarian and Bulgarian troops, to be liberated at the end of the war and returned to Serbia. [*6]
Before 1913 but after 1912, while most of it belonged to Serbia, smaller parts on its eastern frontier belonged temporarily to Bulgaria.
Before 1912, but after 1864, the land that is now FYROM was part of the Ottoman Empire.
It did not have a unified name, or geographic identity.
It was not considered an integral geographic-administrative unit. The northern and northeastern parts of what is now FYROM belonged to the Sanjaks/prefectures of the Kosova Vilayeti, the Kosovo province.
sküp/Uskub, now Skopje/Скопје/Shkup/Σκόπια/Skopia, the town that seeks to be called “the capital of Macedonia” was NEVER in its history part of geographic Macedonia.
In the ancient times it was founded and established as a Dardanian city, and it belonged to Dardania and Mysia during the Roman and most of the Byzantine eras.
Later, during the Ottoman times, it was the capital of the Üsküp/Uskub Sanjak and indeed it was the capital of the whole Kosova Vilayeti (Приштина/Priština, today’s “capital” of the NATO protectorate of Kosovo, was at the time still a sleepy, Serbian-majority town).
Solun will be the capital of United Macedonia” [*7]
Before 1912, but after 1864, the southern part of what is now FYROM was part of two different entities.
The southwest part belonged to the Manastir Vilayeti, in the historic Pelagonia/Πελαγονία, part of historic Macedonia (this part was and is indeed, part of Macedonia).
The provincial capital of the Manastir Vilayet was the city of Monasteri/Μοναστήρι, now named Bitola/Битола.
The southeastern part of what is now FYROM belonged to the Selanik Vilayeti, whose capital was Thessalonike/Θεσσαλονίκη, the true capital, since its foundation, 2300-plus years ago, by Kasandros/Κάσσανδρος, of historic Macedonia.
Thessaloniki, which had been captured by the Ottomans in 1434, became a Greek city once again in 1912. [*8]
Before 1864 all of the land of what is now called FYROM was part of the Rumeli Eyaleti.
Rumeli is the land of the Rum.
Rum in Turkish means Byzantine Roman, a medieval or Ottoman-era Greek.
Before 1864 all of the land of what is now called FYROM belonged to the Rumeli Eyaleti, the Eyalet of Greece.[*9]
Before the mid-1300’s and their incorporation into the Ottoman Empire, the land of FYROM was part of the the Serbian Empire, and before that part of the Byzantine Empire.
From the 14th century going back towards the 11th century control of this land was alternating between the hands of the Serbian Empire, the Bulgarian Empire, and the Byzantine Empire.
The Byzantines considered this land to be part of the Thema Boulgarias/Θέμα Βουλγαρίας/Thema of Bulgaria. A Thema/Θέμα was an administrative province, in Byzantium. Capital of the Byzantine Province of Bulgaria/Thema Boulgarias was the city of Skoupoi/Σκούποι, today’s Skopje, the capital of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Makedonija.
Tsar Samuil´s capital of Bulgaria was the town of Prilep/Прилеп/Prilapos/Πρίλαπος.
This capital of medieval Bulgaria is located in what is now western FYROM.
The Skopjan propagandists try to portray Samuil as a “Makedonski” Tsar but the historic truth is that Samuil considered himself to be a Bulgarian, and the people under his rule were at the time Bulgarians and Greeks. Nowhere do we hear about any elusive “Ethnic Macedonians” among his subjects.
During Samuil’s rule the area around Skopje, the northern part of today’s FYROM was called South Raska/Raška/Рашка/Ρασκία.
Let us make a side note here, on Samuil.
Czar Samuil himself was most probably part Armenian by descent, and the son of a Byzantine noble and administrative official.
He was, along with his brothers called a Cometopoulos, the little Comes, the Count.
He had a classic Greek education and spoke perfect Greek, as good as any Byzantine noble, yet this makes absolutely no difference on how we should view him. He was a Bulgarian King, working for the interests of the Bulgarian nation.[*11]
There are pseudeponymous propagandists in the service of Skopian pseudo-history whose intellectual capacity at this moment I would not want to doubt. What I will doubt is their honesty.
For how else can anyone find excuse for such intellectual garbage as the ones they produce. Their defense of pseudo-Macedonism’s BIG LIE limits their writings to innovative mythology dressed up as history, propped up by a simplistic “cut and paste” routine of assorted and out of context quotations. Lately, one of them was either unable to comprehend or simply refused to accept the fact that language is only an “indication on the ethnicity” of a people. I will have to repeat what I said in a previous article:
“Finally, we have the strongest indication on the ethnicity of the Ancient Macedonians, in their Greek language.” [*12]
In other words, language may be the “strongest one”, and it is in many cases the sine qua non, but it is still only an “indication”[*13] of someone’s ethnicity.
Once you consider the combination of three, four, five “indications” then you have a PROOF[*14]. I am unnecessarily repeating myself here but this is for the sake of those whose glava is too thick to flawlessly process this concept.
To make this easier for them, we will offer an example from their own backyard, and we are not speaking of Florida here.
An obvious example is in FYROM, where both the Slavic Torbesi Muslims and the Orthodox Slavomacedonians speak the same dialect of Bulgarian, yet the first group identifies themselves as Turks, though they are obviously of Slavic descent and language, while the second have a Slavomacedonian identity.
Interestingly, neither group identifies with Bulgaria, though, as we will see, both at some point in their history did.
For anyone who has any doubts left about the identity of the ancient Macedonians all they need to do is go and read what the 350 professors of the Classics from the best Universities world-wide have written in their open letter to Obama [*15] about why FYROM does not have any valid historical claims to the name Macedonia and it should not be allowed to usurp it through gross violation of Geography and History and then we pretty much get the point: the ancient Macedonians were as Slavic as the Romans were Arabic, and the current inhabitants of the land of ancient Paionia, in FYROM, are as related to the ancient Macedonians as modern Libyans to the ancient Romans or the modern Turks to the ancient Hittites: all being ethno-historical and linguistic oxymora.
At the end of the day, we must understand that: “it is identity that counts, not language not blood, not anything else.” [again:*12].
The Slavic speaking Muslim Torbesi and the Slavomacedonians of FYROM are both Bulgarians by blood and language, yet they are not Bulgarians in identity.
How more clear do we need to make it?
Coming back to the early 11th century, when we speak of the medieval Bulgarians of Czar Samuil, language and identity matched, as it did with the ancient Macedonians, who spoke Greek and were conscious of their Hellenic identity.
Czar Samuil’s Bulgarians spoke Bulgarian, and Samuil, himself a Bulrgarian, proclaimed himself to be king of the “Bulgars and the Romans” i.e. Byzantine Greeks.
This does not stop the official propaganda from Skopje to declare Samuil a Makedonski Tsar.
It is mind boggling that Samuil never mentioned the “ethnic Macedonians” in his kingdom, and chose to be king of only Greeks and Bulgarians, while being surrounded by the eslussive Makedonci, in the middle of FYROM, where his capital stood!
“Emperor of the Serbs, Greeks, Bulgarians, and Albanians.”
Nobody mentions any “ethnic Macedonians”, not before the late 19th early 20th century anyway. It is not that they did not exist as persons, or as a linguistic group.
They did, and their identification was primarily with the extended family, the zadruga, and their religion, Orthodox Christianity. At the time, they still did not exist as a nation, as a group that clearly identifies its own internally similarities, and externally acknowledges its differences with the rest of the world. The ones who had reqched an ethnic identity, identified themselves as Bulgarians, Serbs, unidentified Slavs, Romaioi/Byzantines, Patriarchal Romioi/Greeks or simply Orthodox Christians.
“…our national self-awareness had been only half aroused; nobody had bothered particularly with the question of our nationality. We did indeed call ourselves “Bulgarians” and “Christians” in the national sense; but why this was so, and whether it really had to be so, we did not very much care to ask.”
Krste Misirkov, “On Macedonian Matters”, National separatism – the soil on which it has grown and will continue to grow in the future, 1903
The father of Slavo-Macedonian identity himself, Krste Misirkov was until his death torn by the duality of his own identity as a Bulgarian and as a Slavomacedonian:
“Here my Macedonian patriotism overcomes my Bulgarian patriotism. The Macedonians are necessary to Macedonia; it is only with the Macedonians that Macedonia can belong to the Macedonians, never without them…
You may say that a Bulgarian cannot reason like this. Yes, but a Macedonian can and should reason like this.”
Krste Misirkov, Macedonian Nationalism, 1925.
The Bulgarian and Slavomacedonian languages are essentially different dialects of the same tongue, the same language in different dialectical form.
After all, there are several dialects within FYROM and within Bulgaria.
Are all and each one of them to be considered a separate Language? If it is so, that is fine by me. this is an issue between the Slavomacedonians and the Bulgarians, not for the rest of the world and for sure not for the Greeks to get involved in.
As long as they do not call it “Macedonian” language, which can produce an unintended and historically wrong connection with the Greek language of the Ancient Macedonians, that is fine by Greeks.
The same linguists who declare Slavomacedonian (with or without the proper “Slavo-” in front) to be a separate language and not one related to, and almost identical to Bulgarian, if these linguists would go to Greece or Italy they will have to declare at least 15 different Hellenic languages in Greece alone, and the same number of Roman languages in Italy. But in Greece, we consider Cretan and Macedonian, Pontian and Cypriot, Cycladic and Ionian or even Tsakonian, all dialects of Greek, not separate languages, irrespective of mutual comprehension.
The same holds true with Bulgarians dialects in Bulgaria, Albanian (Tosk-Gheg) dialects in Albania, and further up in Serbia, Croatia, and so on.
But “The linguistic criteria are not only insufficient to denote ethnic nuances in the Balkans; they can also be misleading.” [again:*12]
This is especially true in the shifting ethnic sands of ex Yugoslavia, where Serbs of Serbia and Serbs of Montenegro vote to become two different nations, for example, Serbs, Croats and Serbocroatian-speaking Muslims of Bosnia adamantly refuse to identify with each other as being of the same nation, despite speaking essentially the same language, and the essentially Bulgarian-speaking people of FYROM refuse to identify themselves as Bulgarian.
This separate Slavomacedonian identity did not come about automatically, but it was fermented over years, coming into view during the first part of the 20th century, in the minds of some intellectuals. Let us hear again the most famous of them, Krste Misirkov describe it:
“Those who were treated as Bulgarians (or considered themselves Bulgarian), who founded and supported the Macedonian revolutionary movement, deserve credit for achieving separatism…
On account of their education they held a middle position between the Bulgarians and the Serbs; this means that by tradition they considered themselves Bulgarian although in their hearts they had ceased to be Bulgarians and felt themselves to be Macedonian.
On account of their education they held a middle position between the Bulgarians and the Serbs; this means that by tradition they considered themselves Bulgarian although in their hearts they had ceased to be Bulgarians and felt themselves to be Macedonian.”
(quoted as above, from К.П.Мисирков, За Македонцките Работи, София, Печатница на “Либералний Клубъ”, 1903)
For good or for bad, life is more complicated than what nationalist simpletons would wish it to be. Language is a huge part of someone’s identification, but not the only one.
Unfortunately, the modern torchbearers of Krste Misirkov’s case possess neither the strength of his intellectual clarity nor for sure any of his honesty about his own tormented dual identity.
Their attempts to usurp the name Macedonia, led them to attempts to incorporate the ancient Greek history of Macedonia into their ethnic mythology.
The are stuck and sinking in the intellectual copros of their own creation.
Continuing with the shifting linguistic and identity quick sands of FYROM now, we return to Tsar Samuil, whom Skopje has baptized a “Makedonski”.
Who was Samuil’s nemesis?
Basil II, better known in history as Βασίλειος Β’ ὀ Βουλγαροκτόνος / Basil II, Boulgaroktonos, i.e. the Boulgar Slayer.
According to the Skopjan pseudomakedonist mythology that masquarades as “history”, Basileios II of Byzantium was also a proud Makedonski and his Byzantine dynasty was an “ethnic Macedonian” dynasty: http://www.historyofmacedonia.org/RomanMacedonia/macedonianemperors.html .
The Byzantine Emperor Basil II belonged to the Macedonian Dynasty, whose progenitor, Basil I, was from the city of Andrianoupolis, in the Makedonikon Thema, hence the “Macedonian” prosonym. The city of Andrianoupolis is modern Edirne now in Turkey, a few hours drive west of Constantinople/Istanbul.
Historic Macedonia during later Byzantine times was covered by the Thema Thessalonikes and the Thema Strymonos.
The Makedonikon Thema of the Byzantines was where is now modern south-central Bulgaria. There was absolutely no connection between the Byzantine Macedonian Dynasty of Byzantium and the Medieval Bulgarians of FYROM, in other words. For the record, Basil himself, the originator of the Macedonian Dynasty, was probably partly Armenian by family descent, but he was acting as an emperor of and in the interests of Byzantium, which was considered by their neighbors to be a Greek empire.
The good people at http://www.soros.org.mk, a George Soros financed and run website in the service of Balkan pseudo-history seem to disagree with this, and they tell us that we have it all wrong:
“In the almost semi-centennial reign of czar Samuil and his successors in Macedonia (969 – 1018), the medieval state developed into a strong feudal state on the Balkans with a centre(sic) on the island Achilles (Mala Prespa) and Ohrid. Samoil ruled the territory of Macedonia (except the city of Salonica), a large part of Bulgaria and parts of Greece, Rashka (Serbia), Bosnia, Duklja (Montenegro), and Dalmacia.
At the end of the 10th century Samoil was crowned by the Roman church. In his reign, the Macedonian church was raised to a rank of archbishopric and afterward into patriarchite(sic). The process of formation of the Macedonian nation was terminated in the second half of the 10th century within the frames of the Macedonian state. Following the result of the establishment of the Macedonian regular army and a centralized machinery of government, the separate Macedonian Slavic tribes were united and a nation was founded. “
( http://www.soros.org.mk/archive/G02/A02/aar0201.htm ).
Ah, yes…and then the good Hobbits appeared from outer space, piloting a bright red spaceship with the yellow “Makedonsko” Sun freshly painted on its side, and Czar Aleksandar Makedonski (Alexander the Great in his Yugoslavic incarnation) came out of the spaceship, riding on a golden chariot pulled by two ferocious Makedonci lions, just like this one:
Tsar Aleksandar demanded that Tsar Samuil stops being the enemy of Basil II the Bulgar Slayer, so that the two medieval “Makedonci” Czars will never fight against each other again
(like a Bulgar Czar and a Byzantine Basileus-Autocrator would).
Then Thessaloniki became the capital of Обединета Македонија/Obedineta Makedonija/United (Slavo)-Makedonija.
Christos Stefou became president of the Etaireia Makedonikon Spoudon/Association for Macedonian Studies of Thessaloniki and Josif Grezlovski became the Dean of the Aristoteleian University of Thessaloniki.
Thessaloniki was of course renamed Solun.
Then they woke up.
The Soros foundation – supplied dreaming session was over.
(The next sequel of this Makedonoide saga will be coming in the next edition of mythological interpretation of history, at www.soros.org.mk)
Can anyone call this history?
Where did our Soros-financed friends find the documentation for the “establishment of the Macedonian regular army and a centralized machinery of government, the separate Macedonian Slavic tribes were united and a nation was founded”? What are the Soros boys talking about, or -as the current American expression goes- what were they smoking?
Under what stones were the “Makedonci” of the later Middle ages hiding that no inscription or historical document mentions them?
This whole falsification game sounds like predating Tito’s Slavomacedonian ethnogenesis by a little more than one thousand years! Show me the proof!
Speaking of stones, and what can be found under them, in 1956, during the demolished of an old mosque in Monastiri/Bitola/Битола, an inscription was discovered, written in medieval Slavic script, coming to haunt the pseudo-Makedonskis from their medieval Bulgarian past. It is the now famous “Bitola Inscription” of Tsar Ivan Vladislav of Bulgaria, a nephew of Tsar Samuil:
“In year 6523 (1015) since the creation of the world, this fortress, built and made by Ivan, Tsar of Bulgaria, was renewed with the help and the prayers of Our Most Holy Lady and through the intercession of her twelve supreme Apostles.
The fortress was built as a haven and for the salvation of the lives of the Bulgarians.
The work on the fortress of Bitola commenced on the twentieth day of October and ended on the…
This Tsar was Bulgarian by birth, grandson of the pious Nikola and Ripsimia, son of Aaron, who was brother of Samuil, Tsar of Bulgaria, the two who routed the Greek army of Emperor Basil II at Stipone where gold was taken …and in…this Tsar was defeated by Emperor Basil in 6522 (1014) since the creation of the world in Klyutch and died at the end of the summer.”
At one stroke, from this thousand year old marble inscription we know:
A. Who Samuil was: a Bulgarian.
B. Who were the people he cared to defend with this castle: the Bulgarians, and
C. Who was Basil and his Army: the Greeks.
But we did not need the Stone inscription from Bitola/Monastir to learn this. The Byzantine historian Michael Psellus/Μιχαήλ Ψελλός was very clear as to who was who:
“The people of Bulgaria, after many vicissitudes of fortune and after frequent battles in the past, had become subjects of the Roman Empire. That prince of emperors, the famous Basil, had deliberately attacked their country and destroyed their power. For some time the Bulgarians, being completely exhausted after pitting their strength against the might of the Romans, resigned themselves to defeat, but later they reverted to the old arrogance.”
Michael Psellus – Chronographia, Book Four , Michael IV, 39.
Then further down:
“Delianus…proceeded to trace his descent from the famous Samuel and his brother Aaron, who had ruled the whole nation as kings a short time before. He did not claim to be the legitimate heir of these kings, but he either invented or proved that he was a collateral relation. He readily convinced the people with his story, and they raised him on the shield. He was proclaimed king. From that moment Bulgarian designs became manifest, for they seceded openly.”
Michael Psellus–Chronographia, Book Four , Michael IV, 40.
In the Slavic rendition of the Manases Chronicle we read:
“This King Vasileios crashed Samouil, Char of Bulgars, twice and conquered Bidynio and Pliska, and the Great Preslava and the Small one, and many other cities [..]“
Source: Die Slavische Manasses-Chronik. Ach der Ausgabe von oan Bogdan. Muncen, Wilhelm Fink Verlag 1966, page 115.
Now, this is precisely the reason why we cannot take our friends from Skopje too seriously. This is the reason why the ultra-nationalist propagandists from FYROM (like for instance the one whose pseudonym rhymes with Pinocchio’s Geppetto or the other whose pseudonym rhymes with Aleksandar Makedonski as well as their pseudo-scientific counterparts in the various institutes dedicated to history falsification in Skopje) do not get any grain of respect from Greeks (or Bulgarians, or anyone who has read more than two books on the subject of Macedonia that were not printed in Skopje, for that matter). Their desperate attempt to promote historical fiction and ethno-mythology as legitimate history is seen by others for what it truly is: laughable pseudo-academic travesty, perfect inspiration for late-hour tv
Moving backwards on our reverse chrono-geography, we see that FYROM from the mid 10th cAD going back to the mid 7th c.AD has no specific identification.
It is mentioned by the Byzantines as an area of various self governed Sklaviniai/Σκλαβηνίαι, paying taxes to and governed by the Byzantine empire, except for the occasional Bulgarian insurrection.
Before the arrival of the Slavs into the Balkans, and after the early to mid 4th century AD, the southern part of FYROM was considered to be part of Macedonia II/Μακεδονία Β΄/Macedonia Secunda or Macedonia Salutaris, while the northern part belonged to the province of Dardania, with its capital Scupoi/Σκούποι, now Skopje.
Before the mid 4th cAD and after 146BC, the land of FYROM belonged to two separate geographic entities. The northern part of what is now FYROM belonged to the province of Upper Mysia, with its capital Raitiaria Mysilor/Ῥαιτιαρία Μυσῶν, now by the modern town of Knjaževac/Књажевац of Serbia. Scupoi was a provincial Roman colonia/colony of Latin speaking Roman colonists, mostly veteran soldiers, in Dardania of Upper Mysia.
The area south of Stybera and Stoboi belonged administratively to Provincia Macedoniae/Ἐπαρχία Μακεδονίας the Roman province of Macedonia, with its capital in Thessalonica.
Before 146BC and after 168BC. Macedonia had been divided into four separate semi-independent geographic entities.
The northern part of Macedonia corresponded with the southernmost part of FYROM, then part of Paionia/Paeonia and Greek speaking Pelagonia/Πελαγωνία. The northernmost part of what is now FYROM was considered to be part of Thracian and Ilyrian speaking Dardania.
Before 168 BC and after the end of the 3rd cBC the northernmost part of what is now FYROM was part of Dardania, the middle section was Paeonia/Paionia/Παιονία, and the southernmost lands were part of Macedonia. Paeonia was now a subject province of the Macedonian state.
Before the end of the 3rd cBC and after the middle of the 4th cBC, corresponding to the rule of king Philip II of Macedonia, the northernmost part of what is now FYROM was part of Dardania, the middle section was Paionia, and the southernmost was part of Macedonia. The kingdom of Paionia was independent but closely allied to the state of Macedonia.
Before the end of the 4rth cBC and going back to the middle of the 12h cBC, the whole area of what is now FYROM was inhabited by various Paionian tribes, and the south-westernmost part, then (and still now) called Pelagonia/Πελαγωνία was inhabited by Greek speaking populations. The northernmost areas were inhabited by Thracians.
Based on its History, FYROM is not an easy place to name. There was always a dichotomy between its northern and southern parts, which were rarely if ever part of the same administrative unit, even when they both belonged in the same empire. Whether it was split in antiquity between Thracians, Macedonian Greeks and Paionians, or in Roman times under the Greek-speaking Macedonians, in the south and the Latin-speaking Romanized Dardanians by Scupi to the north, or in the middle ages as part of the Greek-speaking Byzantines, the Serbs of Stephan Dušan, the Bulgarians of Czar Samuil or the Turkish-speaking Ottomans, this land has never had a homogeneous population or a common, uniting history.
The only time it came close to being a homogeneous place was during the later years of the Roman empire, and the early years of Byzantium, when the Paionians had been completely Hellenized in language and the Dardanians had been completely Latinized, while both were Christianized. Once the Slavs came, the place that is now FYROM became a linguistic and ethnic mix again. Later on, by the mid-11th cAD the Albanians appear from the Carpathians, and still later, by the 14th century the Asiatic Turks make their mark. FYROM is now a completely multinational enclave, the most multinational enclave of the Balkans, and calling it by the national name of one of its elasticities does not even make sense. If long term stability is what everyone is shedding hot tears about, then a more neutral name needs to be chosen.
Some circles in Greece, Dora Bakoyanni, the current foreign minister among others, and in equally worrisome fashion, Andreas Loverdos[*16], Dora’s apparent replacement after the upcoming elections in Greece, are either unable or unwilling to read the future ramifications of an idiotic diplomatic blunder, such as considering the acceptance of a geographically-based name, with some sort of “Macedonia” thrown into the mix; something like Upper or Northern or (in Slavic translation) Gorna Makedonija.
The fact that part of the Greek political establishment is ready to commit such an abomination to History, is incomprehensible, especially in view of the thunderous support the Greek case received from the Academia worldwide. But then, it seems that many politicians are ready to do all kinds of compromises on their way to the lush green valleys of Soroslandia. I wonder: Don’t they see the “unhealthy territorial aspirations” “implied” in “this misuse” of the name Macedonia, even with the “Upper” or “Northern” epithet?
And why not Paeonia? This is the name the 350 professors of Classics who wrote the “Letter to Obama” suggested, if the place had to have a name that corresponded to its ancient position:
“The traditions of ancient Paionia could be adopted by the current residents of that geographical area with considerable justification. But the extension of the geographic term “Macedonia” to cover southern Yugoslavia cannot. Even in the late 19th century, this misuse implied unhealthy territorial aspirations.”
Someone could counterclaim: but the modern people of FYROM are not Paionians. Some are Slavic, some are Albanian, others are Turkic, Serb, Greek, Bulgarian, Gypsie, etc. True, but (except for the Greeks among them) they are not Macedonians either, and the name Paionia, save for a small provincial prefecture of Kilkis, in Greece, is pretty much available. Moreover, Paionia was for many centuries the name of the majority of that land, save for its northernmost, Dardanian areas. It is a name, in other words, historically accurate for the majority of the land of FYROM and available, a name that gives a connection to pre-Slavic and pre-Albanian antiquity.
Dardania is another name that is currently available on the block, although the Kosovar Albanians are already working towards usurping it as their own, the way the FYROMian Albanians are working towards usurping the name of Illyria as theirs. “Illirida” in fact is already up for sale:
But if the Greeks are being asked to share the name of Macedonia, and accept Northern Macedonia as a name for FYROM, why not counter offering them Southern Dardania? The Kosovar Albanians might not mind sharing, and the Serbs would gladly agree, I am sure. They were all part of the same Kosova Vilayeti less than 100 years ago, after all. If we were to work in that direction, then why not Lower Kosovo? Skopje was the Ottoman capital of the Kosova vilayeti.
What a better way to include the KLA drug dealing thugs who revolted against Skopje from their base in Tetovo in 2001, and make them true partners in this new state. They are already respected parliamentarians anyway, and the governing VMRO-DPMNE Party gets its cut from the Albanian Mafia controlled drug trade. Gruevski’s own brother was not too long ago arrested in relation to a huge drug shipment by some overzealous and politically naive policemen who were not in the inner circle of things but was promptly released by the docile courts soon after.
Finally, what about Western Bulgaria?
We already know that Tsar Samuil would have approved of it, though he would have probably asked that FYROM be called Bulgaria and would have demanded that today’s Bulgaria change its name to maybe…Eastern Bulgaria, or (to rhyme with “Aegean Macedonia”) maybe ask the Eastern Bulgarians to call their country “Euxinian” or “Chernomoran/Black Sea” Bulgaria. That would have been interesting. Sort of like Russians and Belorussians, Great Russians (Russians) and Little Russians (Ukrainians). This last one is not a bad example in fact. The original Russians, the descendants of the Kievan Rus, now refuse to be called Russians and prefer to be called Ukranians instead. The Slavomacedonians were Bulgarians too, for most of their history, but now do not want to be associated with modern Bulgaria.
Instead of Greeks fighting with the “not-original” (I am trying desperately to avoid the word “fake”) “Macedonians” about the name Macedonia, it would be interesting to see two different but (both) true (as in: “not fake”) Bulgarian by history nations fight it out as to who would be North or South, East or West, Great or Little Bulgaria. I am just throwing an idea here.
Maybe one should be spelled Blgarija, to be closer to the actual Slavic pronunciation. Best of all, there is a real cookie to be had in this solution: BOTH can then claim Samuil/Самуил/Σαμουήλ the Czar as their own! Sort of the shared legacy of Taras Bulba between Little Russians (Ukranians) and Great Russians (Russians)
Yes, I know, by the 21st century, and having gone through a century of Yugoslavic drifting away from their previous identity, most of the modern inhabitants of FYROM are not any longer Bulgarians in identity. For all practical purposes they constitute a different ethnos, despite the language affinity to Bulgarian. After all, and as we explained earlier, the Germans and the Austrians speak German yet they consider themselves different nations. The South Africans, Australians, Canadians, British, Irish and Americans are all examples of people who speak the same language but are not of the same ethnic identity. Mexicans and Argentinians, Chileans, Colombians and Venezuelans, to name a few, all started with grandparents as Spaniards from Spain, yet they now consider themselves people of different nations.
Their neighbors have no problem what the people from FYROM/Skopje call themselves, as long as they do not try to make Macedonian Greeks look like we are from another planet. They do not want to be Serbs? That is fine by us.
They suffered too much by the Bulgarians in WWII and do not want to be identified as Bulgars? That is fine also.
The Slavic speaking populations of Greek Macedonia preferred to be identifying as Slavomacedonians/Σλαυομακεδόνες, which is a name the Greeks can easily accept for the residents of FYROM, although FYROM, as we can easily show for most of its land and for most of its history was not considered to be part of Macedonia. The name Slavomacedonian has several merits to it, and the most important is that it is a real name and it is an ethnically descriptive name.
The people in question are definately Slavic and at least some of them live in lands that used to be part of historic Macedonia (especially around Pelagonia, northern Amphaxitis and the area of the ancient Astraion/Ἀστραίον, now Strumnitsa/Струмица. The name Slavomacedonian can also be used as the name of the country and the language, if it is to be considered a language (versus dialect of Bulgarian, for example). Most Greeks would have no problem with that name. It has been offered in the name negotiations but it has been refused.
Not only do they demand to be called “Macedonians” and make clownish and un-historic claims of imaginary descent from the Ancient Greek Macedonians, but they go as far as to call the Greeks, who as an ethnic group have lived in historic Macedonia since before the dawn of history, “intruders”. Intruders who have conquered sacred Makedonski lands that need to be “liberated”, as soon as time becomes opportune:
Unfortunately for the pseudoMacedonians, the name Macedonia as such is already taken, and it historically describes Macedonia proper, the land of Alexander, Philip and Aristotle, to which most of FYROM has no historic connections. At the worst case scenario, it can be considered, geographically, a partialy shared name. In that case it has to be specified as to which part it is, and its people have to be identified accordingly, and specifically, not just claim the name of the whole, Macedonia, and hope that the others, who live in historic Macedonia will eventually get tired and accept it.
The so called “ethnic Macedonian” ethnicity was never to be found before the end of WWII anywhere, except in the minds of a few intellectuals.
The Slavic speaking people of FYROM were forced to become identified as “Makedonci” once Tito took over Yugoslavia. If there was even a genocide commited in Macedonia, that was perpetrated by the Yugoslav state against the adherents to Serbism, Hellenism and especially Bulgarism among the grandparents of the modern “Makedonci” of FYROM, thousands of whom were executed, imprisoned and forced to renounce their previous identity.
The only Macedonians pre WWII were the Slavomacedonians/Σλαυομακεδόνες/славомакедонски of Northern Greece and southern FYROM. They identified themselves as Slavomacedonians which is a correct name, ethno-culturally and geographically. Most Greeks would have no problem with that definition being extended to the rest of the Slavic speaking population of FYROM, since it is describing the geographical term Macedonian with a cultural-linguistic one, to create an ethnonym that is both practical and historically correct. The fact that our friends in Skopje adamantly refuse to accept it and insist on just “Makedonski” simply betrays their deleterious irredentism, simple and clear, and the rest are lame excuses.
The claim of the FYROMians that it is supposedly their “Human Right” to take on and keep for themselves the name “Macedonian”, as a name to describe their ethnicity, language and country, is politically unreasonable, historically unfounded and it creates a counter force in the “Human Right” of the the millions of Macedonias of Greece who have every conceivable historical and political right to be called and be identified as Macedonians.
As far as sheer numbers, are to be taken into account, the Greek Macedonians are twice as many as the Slavomacedonians/Σλαυομακεδόνες/Славомакедонци of FYROM, and the minority cannot be given the “Human right” to run away with and trample over the Human rights of the majority.
( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nREncZ7FeM&feature=channel_page )
While the people of Northern Paionia, Lower Dardania, South Rashka, Western Bulgaria, Povardarje, Vardarska Banovina, South Serbia or Southern Kosovo, demand the copyright on the name Macedonia and ask to be recognized as Macedonians, indeed directly related to the legacy (through clownish fabrication and falsification of History) of the ancient Greek Macedonians, nobody gave them the right to take away the Macedonian identity from the Macedonians of Northern Greece. Their Human right to their own identity is as valid as anyone else’s and the Macedonian Greeks are VERY uncooperative and VERY unwilling to undergo cultural castration and shed their own historically valid Macedonian identity, just because Tito made his own miscalculations back in the 40’s creating this mess.
The psudoMacedonian circus needs to end at some point, and the clowns and circus fire-throwers need to retire and stop playing with matches. These are the Balkans, after all: fanatical imbeciles and delusional ultra-nationalists should not be allowed to run around with matches in the middle of “Europe’s power keg”.
Finally, we do not want to hear that the Macedonian Greeks, the Makedones/Μακεδόνες are simply “Greeks who live in Macedonia”, while our Serb-Bulgarian-Slavomacedonian-speaking friends from Northern Paionia, Lower Dardania, South Rashka, Western Bulgaria, Povardarje, Vardarska Banovina, South Serbia or Southern Kosovo are “ethnic Macedonians”…because we can easily return the argument right back and say (with Tsar Samuil and Tsar Stefan Dušan being our witnesses) that they are simply “Ex-Serbs and ex-Bulgarians who live in a small part of historic Macedonia”,
while the majority of them reside in what should more properly be named Northern Paionia, Lower Dardania, South Rashka, Western Bulgaria, Southern Vardarska Banovina, South Serbia Povardarje, or Southern Kosovo.
If southern Kosovo, though historically and geographically not far off the track, is not too appealing, the name South Slavia, to describe a country inhabited primarily by Slavic speaking populations, is by now, as I checked, unclaimed and available for takers. How do you translate Southslavia in Slavic?…Југославија/Jugoslavija!
Славомакедонија/Σλαυομακεδονία/Slavomacedonia or (as it was suggested in 1992, considering the multi-ethnic nature of the place) a multiculturally more proper name like “Central Balkan Republic”, do not sound too bad, after all.
a. The name Republic of Macedonia/Republika Makedonija will have to change. The part cannot pretend for ever to be the whole. The Macedonian Greeks will not for ever sit idly while their northern neighbors continue on a daily basis to insult their Macedonian identity.
b. The solution to the name will have to be either descriptive of the true ethnicity of the Slavic majority of what is now called FYROM, or a more general name that will be inclusive of all the ethnic groups that comprise the multi-national puzzle that is FYROM.
c. The proposed Geographic description as a name to replace FYROM is, to say the least, a half baked solution which does not solve the issue of the deleterious Skopian irredentism. Even a child can understand that a “North Macedonian” is still, in the eyes of the uninitiated, a “Macedonian”, pure and simple. A “North Macedonian” will then be viewd by outsiders as a “Macedonian” who happens to live in “Northern Macedonia”, and like a North Korean will demand a unification of “North” and “South” Macedonia! The slogan of United Makedonija will acquire a seemingly even stronger (although very fake!) argument! The recent (Sept. 5, 2009) article on Nova Makedonija daily of Skopje, about Obedinita Makedonija/Обединета Македонија/United Macedonia, right next to the article promoting Andreas Loverdos’ uncalled for capitulation on this issue, is an eye opener! The blood-dripping Greek flag decorating the article is very indicative of the medieval and hate-filled Nazi mentality of the political elite in Skopje.[*17]
d. A comprehensive solution to the problem will inevitably have to include the name of the nation and the language, as a part and parcel of the naming of the country. The name (for international usage) cannot remain “Macedonians” for the nation and “Macedonian” for the language. This confusion is, after all, what has brought forward all the ludicrous antico-Makedonski fanfare, with the statues of Alexander the Great, and articles about Proto-Slavic ancient Macedonians and pseudo-linguistic fantacies about an imaginary connection between ancient Greek Macedonian language and the modern (essentially Bulgarian) dialect of Slavomacedonian.
Call it Jugomakedonci, Slavomakedonci, Bulgaromakedonci, Gornomakedonci, or whatever else they choose, but it has to be something that the Macedonians from Greece will accept, and in plain English that means that it cannot be simply “Makedonci/Macedonians” and “Makedonski/Macedonian”.
e. The solution needs to be final and for ever. A bad agreement is worse than no agreement. No agreement means that we continue searching for a good agreement, but a bad agreement creates false hopes, disappointment, frustration and, worse of all, bad
precedents…and who needs more of that in the Balkans!
1] UNITED MACEDONIA-Skopje-Solun-Blagoevgrad. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjW167Qc2FU
2] I am an Indigenous Macedonian I am Greek. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nmr_Wbg0QG4&feature=channel
3] Remember Greece!!!United Macedonia in 2013!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U69rsyQ1RMQ&feature=related
4] Skopje, kingdom of Bulgaria – Соединувањето ја прави силата! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPaOP1EiG8k&feature=related
5] Constitution of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, Belgrade, September 3, 1931.
We, Alexander I, by the Grace of God and the will of the people King of Yugoslavia, do hereby decree and promulgate the constitution of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, which reads as follows:
Art. 83. The Kingdom of Yugoslavia compromises Banovinas, viz.:
9. The Vardar Banovina, with headquarters at Skoplje
The Vardar Banovina is bounded on the north by the boundaries already indicated of the Zeta and Morava Banovinas, and on the east, south and west by the State frontiers with Bulgaria, Greece and Albania.
6] ALLIES HAD CUT OFF BULGARIA’S ARMIES; Uskub Entered by French After Dominating Heights Had Been Captured. CHAREVO SEIZED BY SERBS
7] ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4W4NLNVGn4&feature=channel_page ) The name Solun is a paraphrase of the name of Θεσσαλονίκη/Thessalonike, the Historic capital of Macedonia, named after the half sister of Alexander the Great. So much for the “Macedonians” who claim Alexander and his legacy: they cannot even pronounce the name of his sister, and refer to her city by its Serbian-Bulgarian name. Θεσσαλονίκη/Thessalonike is its Greek name. Yes, thank you, point well taken. It is also written in the bible: Θεσσαλονίκη in the original Coene Greek, and in its Latin transliteration: Thessalonica! When Paul the apostle sent his famous letters addressed to his Macedonian followers in Thessalonica he addressed them as “Thessalonians” (Acts, 1 & 2 Thessalonians), not “Solunskis” of Solun Grad. Thessalonike, by the way does not mean Victory over the Thessalians, but Victory Of the Thessalians. Philip II named his daughter to commemorate his ictory against the Phocean mercenaries, in which the Thessalians were his allies and he was their Hegemon. Of course you do not have to believe ancient authors when knowledge is only a Skopjan propaganda YouTube video away: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9ttn1vAOn0&feature=related.
8] OUTRAGES IN MACEDONIA; Frequent Murders by Order of Revolutionary Authorities. APPEAL BY GREEK COMMUNITY
9] We must remember that after the split of the Roman Empire, the western part fell to the Goths while the Eastern survived for another thousand years, as the Byzantine Empire. Constantine the Great established the ancient Greek city of Byzantium/Βυζάντιον as Nova Roma/Νέα Ρώμη/New Rome, also known as Constantinoupolis/Κωνσταντινούπολις/Constantinople, now known by its paraphrased Turkish name: Istanbul.
The Byzantines never called themselves Byzantines, this is a much later, French naming for that Empire that called itself Roman to its last day. The Byzantines were Christian Orthodox, spoke Greek and called themselves Romaioi/Ρωμαίοι./Romans. Modern Greeks still now identify themselves as Romioi/Ρωμιοί (singular Romios/Ρωμιός). The Turks have two names for the Greeks. Either Ionians/Yunan, and they call Greece Yunistan, the land of Ionia, or Romans/Rum, Rumluk. If you ask some one “Do you speak Greek?” in Turkish, you actually ask: “Do you speak Roman?/Rumca biliyor musunuz?”. Romiosyne/Ρωμιοσύνη in Greek, or Rumluk, in Turkish, means “the Greek nation” from Byzantium onwards.
Rumeli, therefore, in Turkish meant the land of the Romans, the land of the Byzantine Greeks.
10]THE LEGEND OF BASIL THE BULGAR-SLAYER (Cambridge University Press, 2003)
Paul Stephenson, Department of History, University of Wisconsin – Madison / Dumbarton Oaks
11]There is probably not a droplet of British blood in Queen Elizabeth’s veins, but this does not make any difference in her own identity and it does not characterize her subjects as anything but British. Both, Mehmet II/Mehmet Fatih, the conqueror of Constantinople, and Constantinos Palaiologos-Dragatses/Κωνσταντίνος Παλαιολόγος-Δραγάτσης, the last emperor of Byzantium who died fighting against the Turks defending the walls of Constantinople, were half Serbs by descent. Both were born to Serbian mothers. This does not make either of them “Serb”. One is a hero of the Turks and the other is a hero of the the Romaioi Byzantines, the Greeks.
12] “The arrest, disappearance and possibly murder of a critic of PM Nikola Gruevski in FYROM”, published on July 28. 2009 in the American Chronicle.
13]Ἠ γλὠσσα τών Μακεδόνων”, Γεωργιος Χατζηδάκης
14] Take for instance the fact that the ancient Macedonians were accepted as equals among other Greeks to participate in the “strictly limited to Greeks only” Panhellenic religious festivals, of Delphi, Olympia, Epidauros, Heraiona of Argos, etc, and you have another very strong indication. Take into consideration that herodorus insists that the Macedonians are Greek, as he himself was able to find out on his trip there, and that Alexandros A’ calls himself a Greek prince. Take the fact that Alexander wrote in his dedication of the Persian shields that he sent to the Parthenon in Athens “Αλέξανδρος Φιλίππου και οι Έλληνες, πλην Λακεδαιμονίων, από των βαρβάρων των την Ασίαν κατοικούντων” / “Alexandros Philippou kai oi Hellenes plen Lacedaimonion apo ton barbaron ton ten Asian katoikounton” / “Alexandros son of Philippos and the other Greeks, except the Spartans from the barbarians who inhabit Asia”, and you have a fourth indication. Take in consideration the fact that the language the Macedonians spread in Asia, Egypt and the Middle East was the Greek language, and not some Proto-Slavic Makedonski idiom that the clownish propaganda from Skopje wants us to believe it did (read: http://issuu.com/eismakedon/docs/boshevski_and_tendov_s_egyptian_illusions and http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/101463 ) and you have one more very strong indication. Take the fact that any uneducated farmer in Greek Macedonia can read and substantially understand the ancient marble inscriptions found in his fields, inscriptions written by the ancient Macedonians, while once you cross the frontier into FYROM only highly specialized University professors of the Classics can read them (except for the Greek-speaking bilingual populations still residing in FYROM); that is another indication of who the ancient Macedonians were, and who their modern Macedonian descendants are.
See also : The alleged differences between the Macedonians and the other ancient Greeks
May 05, 2009
15] Letter of 350 Academics and Professors of the Classics to Obama. Macedonian evidence: http://macedonia-evidence.org/obama-letter.html
Source: American Chronicle