|Vardar (Вардар), Axios (Αξιός)|
Vardar in Veles
|Origin||Vrutok, near Gostivar|
|Mouth||Aegean Sea, near Thessaloniki
|Basin countries||Republic of Macedonia, Greece|
The Vardar or Axios (Macedonian: Вардар (help·info); Greek: Αξιός Axiós or Βαρδάρης Vardárīs) is the longest and major river in the Republic of Macedonia and also a major river of Greece. It is 388 km (241 mi) long, and drains an area of around 25,000 km2 (9,653 sq mi). The maximum depth of the river is 4 m (13 ft).
The river rises at Vrutok, a few kilometers north of Gostivar in the Republic of Macedonia. It passes through Gostivar, Skopje and into Veles, crosses the Greek border near Gevgelija, Polykastro and Axioupoli ("town on the Axiós"), before emptying into the Aegean Sea in Central Macedonia west of Thessaloniki in northern Greece.
The Vardar basin includes two-thirds of the territory of the Republic of Macedonia. The area is sometimes called "Vardar Macedonia" after the river, to distinguish it from Greek Macedonia and Blagoevgrad Province, also known as "Pirin Macedonia," in Bulgaria.
The valley comprises fertile lands in Polog, and Thessaloniki prefectures and Gevgelija and other parts. The river is surrounded by mountains elsewhere. The superhighways Greek National Road 1 in Greece and M1 and E75 run within the valley along the river's entire length to near Skopje.
The river has been very famous in the Ottoman Empire and modern-day Turkey and was inspiration for many folk songs, most famous of which is the song Vardar Ovasi.
The river is depicted on the coat of arms of Skopje, which in turn is incorporated in the city's flag.
The Vardaris or Vardarec is a powerful prevailing northerly ravine wind which blows across the river valley in Greek Macedonia as well as in the Republic of Macedonia. At first it descends along the "canal" of the Vardar valley, usually as a breeze. When it encounters the high mountains that separate Greece from the Republic of Macedonia, it descends the other side, gathering a tremendous momentum and bringing cold conditions to the city of Thessaloniki and the Axios delta. Somewhat similar to the mistral wind of France, it occurs when atmospheric pressure over eastern Europe is higher than over the Aegean Sea, as is often the case in winter.
- The most accepted theory on the origin of the name Vardar derives Bardários from Thracian, from PIE *(s)wordo-wori- 'black water' (cf. German schwarz 'black', Latin suāsum 'dirt', Ossetian xuaræn 'color', Persian xvāl 'lampblack', Old Irish sorb 'stain, dirt'). This can be considered a translation or similar meaning of Axios, itself Thracian for 'not-shining' from PIE *n.-sk(e)i (cf. Avestan axšaēna 'dark-coloured'), and found in another name at the mouth of the Danube, Axíopa "dark water", renamed in Slavic Crna voda 'black water'. The name Bardários (Βαρδάριος) was sometimes used by the Ancient Greeks in the 3rd Century BCE; the same name was widely used during the Byzantine era.
The etymology of the word is unclear, although the Vardar river, in fact, has Lepenac as a major tributary. The word is also an adverb meaning "consecutively" or "actively" and may be related to its synonym varda(whose dictionary definition also includes "freely" or "unimpeded") and the verb vardoj/me vardue, which means "to work (extensively)." The words may ultimately derive from the Indo-European root *werǵ-, which is also the source of the English word "to work.
Recently Thracian origin of the word was correctly challenged with historical and linguistic arguments. Origin of the name Vardar is associated as a time of arrival of the Bulgars (Bulgarians of Khan Kuber in the 7th century or earlier Kutriguri at the end of the fifth century) replaced the Greek name, which rejects the Thracian origin of the name. Simultaneously, it has been found that the ancient Bulgarians speak the language of the Pamir-Iranian group similar to ancient Bactrian and modern Ossetian, Talish and Mundzhan. The meaning and translation of the name "Var Dar" of the Pamiro-Iranian languages and old Bulgarian is quite clear - "Great River". This name is associated with the names of rivers in Central Asia - the area from which the ancient Bulgarians lived, as major rivers "Syr Darya" and "Amu Darya", and the smaller "Cheb Dar", "Shah Dara" and "Ku Dara"."
- Its Greek name Axios (Αξιός) is mentioned by Homer (Il. 21.141, Il. 2.849) as the home of the Paeonians, allies of Troy.
||Constructs such as ibid., loc. cit. and idem are discouraged by Wikipedia's style guide for footnotes, as they are easily broken. Please improve this article by replacing them with named references (quick guide), or an abbreviated title. (January 2013)|
- Official portal of the city of Skopje: City symbols. – Retrieved on 13 May 2009.
- Orel, Vladimir. A Handbook of Germanic Etymology. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2003: 392.
- Mallory, J.P. and D.Q. Adams. Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture. London: Fitzroy and Dearborn, 1997: 147
- Mallory, J.P. and D.Q. Adams. Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture. London: Fitzroy and Dearborn, 1997, p. 146
- Katičic', Radoslav. Ancient Languages of the Balkans. Paris: Mouton, 1976: 149
- Axios, Georg Autenrieth, A Homeric Dictionary, at Perseus
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vardar.|
- Proceedings of the 1st Axios Catchment Consortium Meeting by the European Commission - DG Research.
- PIM "Ivan Milutinović", Belgrade, Serbia; Morava - Vardar (Axios) Navigation Route (About 1,200 km shorter route (three days shorter time of navigation) from Belgrade to Port of Thessaloniki than across Danube, Black Sea and Aegean Sea. Electric power production, improvement of water quality and regulation of flooding wave.)
- Morava - Vardar (Axios) Navigation Route map
- Hydropower and navigation system "Morava" (Concepts of regulation of rivers Great Morava and South Morava for navigation and hydropower production.)