Quotes on Macedonia and Macedonians
Alexander I of Macedon, king of Macedon from 498 BCE to 454 BCE:
Tell your king (Xerxes), who sent you, how his Greek viceroy of Macedonia has received you hospitably. (Herodotus, “Histories”, 5.20.4, Loeb)
Men of Athens... In truth I would not tell it to you if I did not care so much for all Greece; I myself am by ancient descent a Greek, and I would not willingly see Greece change her freedom for slavery. I tell you, then, that Mardonius and his army cannot get omens to his liking from the sacrifices. Otherwise you would have fought long before this. Now, however, it is his purpose to pay no heed to the sacrifices, and to attack at the first glimmer of dawn, for he fears, as I surmise that your numbers will become still greater. Therefore, I urge you to prepare, and if (as may be) Mardonius should delay and not attack, wait patiently where you are; for he has but a few days' provisions left. If, however, this war ends as you wish, then must you take thought how to save me too from slavery, who have done so desperate a deed as this for the sake of Greece in my desire to declare to you Mardonius' intent so that the barbarians may not attack you suddenly before you yet expect them. I who speak am Alexander the Macedonian. (From the speech of Alexander I of Macedon when he was admitted to the Olympic games, Herodotus, "Histories", 9.45)
Alexander the Great, king of Macedon, 356 BCE - 323 BCE:
Your ancestors came to Macedonia and the rest of Greece and did us great harm, though we had done them no prior injury. I have been appointed leader of the Greeks, and wanting to punish the Persians I have come to Asia, which I took from you... (Alexander's letter to Persian king Darius in response to a truce plea, as quoted in "Anabasis Alexandri" by Roman historian Arrian, Book II, 14, 4)
Holy shadows of the dead, I’m not to blame for your cruel and bitter fate, but the accursed rivalry which brought sister nations and brother people, to fight one another. I do not feel happy for this victory of mine. On the contrary, I would be glad, brothers, if I had all of you standing here next to me, since we are united by the same language, the same blood and the same visions. (Addressing the dead Greeks of the Battle of Chaeronea, as quoted in “Historiae Alexandri Magni”, 6.3.11, by Roman historian Quintus Curtius Rufus.)
If it were not my purpose to combine foreign things with things Greek, to traverse and civilize every continent, to search out the uttermost parts of land and sea, to push the bounds of Macedonia to the farthest Ocean, and to disseminate and shower the blessings of Greek justice and peace over every nation, I should not be content to sit quietly in the luxury of idle power, but I should emulate the frugality of Diogenes. But as things are, forgive me, Diogenes, that I imitate Heracles, and emulate Perseus, bands follow in the footsteps of Dionysus, the divine author and progenitor of my family, and desire that victorious Greeks should dance again in India and revive the memory of the Bacchic revels among the savage mountain tribes beyond the Caucasus. (Plutarch, "Moralia: On the Fortune of Alexander", I, 332a-b)
Youths of the Pellaians and of the Macedonians and of the Greek Amphictiony and of the Lakedaimonians and of the Corinthians… and of all the Greek peoples, join your fellow-soldiers and entrust yourselves to me, so that we can move against the barbarians and liberate ourselves from the Persian bondage, for as Greeks we should not be slaves to barbarians. (Pseudo-Kallisthenes, “Historia Alexandri Magni”, 1.15.1-4)
Now you fear punishment and beg for your lives, so I will let you free, if not for any other reason so that you can see the difference between a Greek king and a barbarian tyrant, so do not expect to suffer any harm from me. A king does not kill messengers. (Pseudo-Kallisthenes, “Historia Alexandri Magni”, 1.37.9-13)
There are Greek troops, to be sure, in Persian service — but how different is their cause from ours! They will be fighting for pay — and not much of at that; we, on the contrary, shall fight for Greece, and our hearts will be in it. (Addressing his troops prior to the Battle of Issus, as quoted in “Anabasis Alexandri” by Roman historian Arrian, Book II, 7)
Philip V, King of Macedon, 221 BC - 179 BC:
For on many occasions when I and the other Greeks sent embassies to you begging you to remove from your statutes the law empowering you to get booty from booty, you replied that you would rather remove Aetolia from Aetolia than that law (Polybius, “The Histories”, 18.4.8)
Aeschines, Greek statesman and one of the ten Attic orators, 389–314 BCE:
For at a congress of the Lacedaemonian allies and the other Greeks, in which Amyntas, the father of Philip, being entitled to a seat, was represented by a delegate whose vote was absolutely under his control, he joined the other Greeks in voting to help Athens to recover possession of Amphipolis. As proof of this I presented from the public records the resolution of the Greek congress and the names of those who voted. ("On the Embassy", 32)
Arrian, Roman historian and philosopher, 92-175 CE:
To Athens also he sent 300 suits of Persian armour to be hung up in the Acropolis as a votive offering to Athena, and ordered this inscription to be fixed over them, "Alexander, son of Philip and all the Greeks except the Lacedaemonians, present this offering from the spoils taken from the foreigners inhabiting Asia. (Anabasis Alexandri", I, 16, 7)
Diodorus Siculus, Greek historian, born at Agyrium in Sicily, c. 90 BC– c. 30 BCE:
Every seat in the theatre was taken when Philip appeared wearing a white cloak and by his express orders his bodyguard held away from him and followed only at a distance, since he wanted to show publicly that he was protected by the goodwill of all the Greeks, and had no need of a guard of spearmen. ("Library", 16.93.1)
Such was the end of Philip (II, king of Macedonia) ...He had ruled 24 years. He is known to fame as one who with but the slenderest resources to support his claim to a throne won for himself the greatest empire among the Greeks, while the growth of his position was not due so much to his prowess in arms as to his adroitness and cordiality in diplomacy. ("Library", 16.95.1-2)
Gaius Julius Caesar, Roman military and political leader, 100 or 102 BCE – 44 BCE:
Caesar judged that he must drop everything else and pursue Pompey where he had betaken himself after his flight, so that he should not be able to gather more forces and renew, and he advanced daily as far as he could go with the cavalry and ordered a legion to follow shorter stages. An edict had been published in Pompey's name that all the younger men in the province (Macedonia), both Greeks and Roman citizens, should assemble to take an oath. ("Civil War", 111.102.3)
Flavius Josephus, Jewish historian, 1st-century CE:
And when the book of Daniel was showed to him (Alexander the Great) wherein Daniel declared that one of the Greeks should destroy the empire of the Persians, he supposed that himself was the person intended. ("Antiquities of the Jews", Book 11.8.5)
Herodotus, Greek historian, 484 BC-ca. 425 BCE:
Now that these descendants of Perdiccas (Perdiccas I of Macedon, king of Macedonia from about 700 BCE to about 678 BCE) are Greeks, as they themselves say, I myself chance to know and will prove it in the later part of my history. ("Histories", 5.22.1)
Alexander (I of Macedon), however, proving himself to be an Argive, was judged to be a Greek. He accordingly competed in the furlong race and tied step for first place. ("Histories", 5.22.2)
From Argos (in Peloponnesus, Greece) fled to the Illyrians three brothers of the descendants of Temenus, Gauanes, Aeropus, and Perdiccas; and passing over from the Illyrians into the upper parts of Macedonia they came to the city of Lebaia. (“Histories”, 8.137-139)
Isocrates, Greek rhetorician and one of the ten Attic orators, 436–338 BCE:
Therefore, since the others are so lacking in spirit, I think it is opportune for you to head the war against the King; and, while it is only natural for the other descendants of Heracles, and for men who are under the bonds of their polities and laws, to cleave fondly to that state in which they happen to dwell, it is your privilege, as one who has been blessed with untrammelled freedom, to consider all Greece your fatherland, as did the founder of your race, and to be as ready to brave perils for her sake as for the things about which you are personally most concerned. ("To Philip", 5.127, Loeb)
Livy, Roman historian, 59 BCE – CE 17:
The Aitolians, the Akarnanians, the Macedonians, men of the same speech, are united or disunited by trivial causes that arise from time to time; with aliens, with barbarians, all Greeks wage and will wage eternal war; for they are enemies by the will of nature, which is eternal, and not from reasons that change from day to day... ("History of Rome", Book XXXI, 29.15)
Plutarch, Greek historian, 46 -127 CE:
Yet through Alexander (the Great) Bactria and the Caucasus learned to revere the gods of the Greeks... Alexander established more than seventy cities among savage tribes, and sowed all Asia with Greek magistracies ... Egypt would not have its Alexandria, nor Mesopotamia its Seleucia, nor Sogdiana its Prophthasia, nor India its Bucephalia, nor the Caucasus a Greek city, for by the founding of cities in these places savagery was extinguished and the worse element, gaining familiarity with the better, changed under its influence. ("Moralia: On the Fortune of Alexander", I, 328d, 329a Loeb)
And it is said that when he took his seat for the first time under the golden canopy on the royal throne, Demaratus the Corinthian, a well-meaning man and a friend of Alexander's, as he had been of Alexander's father, burst into tears, as old men will, and declared that those Greeks were deprived of great pleasure who had died before seeing Alexander seated on the throne of Dareius. ("Parallel Lives: Alexander", 37.7)
Polybius, Greek historian, 203–120 BCE:
In the presence of Zeus, Hera, and Apollo: in the presence of the Genius of Carthage, of Heracles, and Iolaus: in the presence of Ares, Triton, and Poseidon: in the presence of the gods who battle for us and the Sun, Moon, and Earth; in the presence of Rivers, Lakes, and Waters: in the presence of all the gods who possess Macedonia and the rest of Greece: in the presence of all the gods of the army who preside over this oath. ("Histories", VII, 9.2-3, Loeb)
How highly should we honour the Macedonians, who for the greater part of their lives never cease from fighting with the barbarians for the sake of the security of Greece? For who is not aware that Greece would have constantly stood in the greater danger, had we not been fenced by the Macedonians and the honourable ambition of their kings? ("Histories", IX, 35.2, Loeb)
Surely it would have been much more dignified and fairer to include Philip's achievements in the history of Greece than to include the history of Greece in that of Philip. (Statement on Theopompus, "Histories", VIII, 11.4, Loeb)
Quintus Curtius Rufus, Roman historian, 1st century CE:
Alexander called a meeting of his generals the next day. He told them that no city was more hateful to the Greeks than Persepolis, the capital of the old kings of Persia; the city from which troops without number had poured forth, from which first Darius and then Xerxes had waged an unholy war on Europe. To appease the spirits of their forefathers they should wipe it out, he said. (Alexander the Great Speaking to his own Macedonian Commanders, “Historiae Alexandri Magni”, 5.6.1)
Strabo, Greek historian, geographer and philosopher, 64 BCE – 24 CE:
There remain of Europe, first, Macedonia and the part of Thrace that are contiguous to it and extend as far as Byzantium; secondly, Greece; and thirdly, the Islands that are close by. Macedonia, of course, is a part of Greece, yet now, since I am following the nature and shape of the place geographically, I have decided to classify it apart from the rest of Greece and to join it with that part of Thrace... ("Geography", VII, Frg. 9, Loeb)
Three classes inhabited the city (Alexandria in Egypt): first the Egyptian or native stock of people, who were quick-tempered and not inclined to civil life; and secondly the mercenary class, who were severe and numerous and intractable...; and, third, the tribe of the Alexandrians, who also were not distinctly inclined to civil life, and for the same reasons, but still they were better than those others, for even though they were a mixed people, still they were Greeks by origin and mindful of the customs common to the Greeks. ("Geography", 17.1.12-13)
Academic quotes on ancient Macedonia and Macedonians
Ernst Badian, Austrian classical scholar:
Philip II, at least from the time of his victory over Phocis, Athens, and their allies in 346, prepared to proclaim himself the champion of a United Greece against the barbarians. (“Cambridge history of Iran”, p. 421)
Katheryn A. Bard, U.S. professor of archaeology:
The Macedonians were originally one of several Greek tribes living on the northern frontier of the Hellenic world. ("Encyclopaedia of the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt", p. 460, Routledge, 1999)
A.B. Bosworth, professor of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Western Australia:
It (Corinthian League) comprised states, which were each bound to Macedon by bilateral treaties; and it was perfectly natural that they should create a general alliance under the leadership of the Macedonian king, acting as the spiritual successors of the Hellenic (Greek) League of 480 BC. (“Conquest and Empire: The Reign of Alexander the Great", Cambridge University Press, Reissue Edition, March 1993)
George Cawkwell, Emeritus Fellow, University College, Oxford:
The Macedonians were Greeks. Their language was Greek, to judge by their personal names and by the names of the months of the calendar; Macedonian ambassadors could appear before the Athenian assembly without needing interpreters; in all Demosthenes' sneers about their civilization there is no hint that Macedonians spoke other than Greek. But it was a distinct dialect not readily intelligible to other Greeks; linguistically as geographically, Macedonia was remote from the main stream of Greek life. King Alexander 'the Philhellene' had been allowed to compete in the Olympic Games only after his claim to being Greek had been fortified by the claim that the Macedonian ruling house had originated in Argos in the Peloponnese, which really conceded that those who sneered at Macedonia as 'barbarian' were right. The sneers went on. The sophist Thrasymachus at the end of the fifth century referred even to king Archelaus as a 'barbarian.' Isocrates in the fourth no less than Demosthenes spoke of the Macedonians as 'barbarians.' The truth was that Macedon was as culturally backward as it was linguistically remote, and even the exact Thucydides classed it as 'barbarian.' Archelaus began to change all this and to make clear the Greekness of his country. It was under him that the city of Pella began to be not only the 'greatest city in Macedonia' but also a show-place which Greeks desired to visit, a centre of Greek culture. Archelaus was a generous patron of the arts and the leading literary figures of the age were happy to reside at his court. Euripides spent his last years in Macedon, and wrote there the Bacchae and the Archelaus. At Dium in the foothills of Mount Olympus a Macedonian Olympic Festival was instituted which included a drama competition. There must have been as appreciative audience. Under Archelaus, Macedon had ceased to be a cultural backwater. ("Philip of Macedon", Faber & Faber, London, 1978, p. 22)
Francois Chamoux, French historian:
Such a glorious ancestry was in the eyes of Greeks the hallmark of the Hellenic persona of the king of Macedon, who could, on the other hand, rely on fidelity of the people from which he had sprung. The Greek cities did not feel that they were allying with a barbarian, since for generations the Macedonian dynasty had been allowed, as Greeks, to take part in the Olympic Games. ("Hellenistic Civilization", Blackwell Publishing Professional, 2002, p.8, 9)
R. M. Cook, British archaeologist:
Macedonia and Epirus were the buffers of Greece in Europe. ("The Greeks until Alexander", 1962, p. 23)
John Crossland, British archaeologist:
Herodotus stated quite clearly that Perdiccas, the first recorded king of Macedonia, and his descendants were Greeks and there is no reason why we should not take the Father of History's word on this fundamental point. (“Macedonian Greece", p.16, W.W. Norton & Company, September 1982)
Victor Ehrenberg, German historian:
Alexander and the Macedonians carried Greek civilization into the East. It is, I believe, a historical fact that a command was issued by the king to the Greek states to worship him as a god; with this the monarchy took a new form, which went far beyond the Macedonian or Persian model, and which was destined to have immense importance in world history. How far Alexander deliberately tried to Hellenize the East remains uncertain; but the outcome certainly was that he opened up the world to a Greek. ("The Greek State", Methuen, July 2000, p.139)
Malcolm Errington, professor of ancient history at the Philipps-Universität in Marburg, Germany:
The Molossians were the strongest and, decisive for Macedonia, most easterly of the three most important Epirote tribes, which, like Macedonia but unlike the Thesprotians and the Chaonians, still retained their monarchy. They were Greeks, spoke a similar dialect to that of Macedonia, suffered just as much from the depredations of the Illyrians and were in principle the natural partners of the Macedonian king who wished to tackle the Illyrian problem at its roots. ("A History of Macedonia", University of California Press, February 1993)
That the Macedonians and their kings did in fact speak a dialect of Greek and bore Greek names may be regarded nowadays as certain. (“A History of Macedonia", University of California Press, February 1993)
Ancient allegations that the Macedonians were non-Greek all had their origin in Athens at the time of the struggle with Philip II. ("A History of Macedonia", University of California Press, 1993)
Robin Lane Fox, English academic and historian:
The Macedonian kings, who maintained that their Greek ancestry traced back to Zeus, had long given homes and patronage to Greece's most distinguished artists. (“Alexander the Great", p.48)
To his ancestors (to a Persian's ancestors) Macedonians were only known as 'Yona takabara', the 'Greeks who wear shields on their heads', an allusion to their broad-brimmed hats. (“Alexander the Great", p.104)
David Noel Freedman, American archaeologist:
The first Greek-speaking people in the southern Balkan Peninsula arrived in Macedonia, Thessaly, and Epirus sometime after 2600 B.C. and developed, probably due to the extreme mountainous nature of the country, their several different dialects. ("The Anchor Bible Dictionary", Doubleday, 1992, p. 1093)
Richard A. Gabriel, U.S. historian:
Philip II of Macedonia, father of Alexander the Great, unifier of Greece, author of Greece’s first federal constitution, founder of the first territorial state with a centralized administrative structure in Europe, forger of the first Western national army, the first great general of the Greek imperial age, and dreamer of great dreams, was one of the greatest captains in the history of the West. ("Great Captains of Antiquity", p. 84)
Peter Green, British classical scholar:
Macedonia as a whole was tended to remain in isolation from the rest of the Greeks... ("Alexander the Great", p. 20)
Nicholas Hammond, British scholar of Ancient Greece:
All in all, the language of the Macedonians was a distinct and particular form of Greek, resistant to outside influences and conservative in pronunciation. It remained so until the fourth century when it was almost totally submerged by the flood tide of standardized Greek. ("A History of Macedonia" Vol. ii, 550-336 BC)
Philip was born a Greek of the most aristocratic, indeed of divine, descent... Philip was both a Greek and a Macedonian, even as Demosthenes was a Greek and an Athenian...The Macedonians over whom Philip was to rule were an outlying family member of the Greek-speaking peoples. ("Philip of Macedon" Duckworth Publishing, February 1998)
Vilho Harle, Finish professor of International Relations:
The idea of the city-state was first challenged by the ideal of pan-Hellenic unity supported by some writers and orators, among which the Athenian Isocrates became a leading proponent with his Panegyrics of 380 suggesting a Greek holy war against Persia. However, only the rise of Macedonia made the realization of pan-Hellenic unity possible. ("Ideas of Social Order in the Ancient World", 1998)
Otto Hoffmann, German linguist:
Whoever does not consider the Macedonians as Greeks must also conclude that by the 6th and 5th centuries BC the Macedonians had completely given up the original names of their nation - without any need to do so - and taken Greek names in order to demonstrate their admiration for Greek civilisation. I think it not worth the trouble to demolish such a notion; for any hypothesis of historical linguists which is put forward without taking into account the actual life of a people, is condemned as it were out of its own mouth. ("Die Makedonen, Ihre Sprache und Ihr Volkstum", Göttingen)
The names of the genuine Macedonians and those born of Macedonian parents, especially the names of the elitic class and nobles, in their formation and phonology are purely Greek. (“Die Makedonen, Ihre Sprache und Ihr Volkstum", Göttingen)
David George Hogarth, English archaeologist and scholar:
The king (of Macedon) was chief in the first instance of a race of plain-dwellers, who held themselves to be, like him, of Hellenic (Greek) stock. (“Philip and Alexander of Macedon”, p.8)
From Alexander I, who rode to the Athenian pickets the night before Plataea and proclaimed himself to the generals their friend and a Greek, down to Amyntas, father of Philip, who joined forces with Lacedaemon in 382, the kings of Macedon bid for Greek support by being more Hellenic (Greek) than the Hellenes (Greeks)... ("Philip and Alexander of Macedon", pp.9-10)
David H. Levinson:
It should be noted that there is no connection between the Macedonians of the time of Alexander the Great who were related to other Hellenic tribes and the Macedonians of today, who are of Slavic Origin and related to the Bulgarians. ("Encyclopedia of World Cultures", 1991)
John Pentland Mahaffy, Irish classicist and scholar:
...for with Alexander, the stage of Greek influence spread across the world. (“Alexander's Empire", p. 8)
Olivier Masson, French linguist:
For a long while Macedonian onomastics, which we know relatively well thanks to history, literary authors, and epigraphy, has played a considerable role in the discussion. In our view the Greek character of most names is obvious and it is difficult to think of a Hellenization due to wholesale borrowing. ‘Ptolemaios’ is attested as early as Homer, ‘Ale3avdros’ occurs next to Mycenaean feminine a-re-ka-sa-da-ra- ('Alexandra'), ‘Laagos’, then ‘Lagos’, matches the Cyprian 'Lawagos', etc. The small minority of names which do not look Greek, like ‘Arridaios’ or ‘Sabattaras’, may be due to a substratum or adstratum influences (as elsewhere in Greece). Macedonian may then be seen as a Greek dialect, characterized by its marginal position and by local pronunciations (like ‘Berenika’ for ‘Ferenika’, etc.). Yet in contrast with earlier views which made of it an Aeolic dialect (O.Hoffmann compared Thessalian) we must by now think of a link with North-West Greek (Locrian, Aetolian, Phocidian, Epirote). This view is supported by the recent discovery at Pella of a curse tablet (4th cent. BC) which may well be the first 'Macedonian' text attested (provisional publication by E.Voutyras; cf. the Bulletin Epigraphique in Rev.Et.Grec.1994, no.413); the text includes an adverb ‘opoka’ which is not Thessalian. We must wait for new discoveries, but we may tentatively conclude that Macedonian is a dialect related to North-West Greek. ("Oxford Classical Dictionary:Macedonian Language", 1996)
Robert Morkot, British historian:
Certainly the Thracians and the Illyrians were non-Greek speakers, but in the northwest, the peoples of Molossis (Epirot province), Orestis and Lynkestis spoke West Greek. It is also accepted that the Macedonians spoke a dialect of Greek and although they absorbed other groups into their territory, they were essentially Greeks. ("The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Greece", Penguin Publishing USA, January 1997)
Sarah B. Pomeroy, Stanley M. Burstein, Walter Donlan , Jennifer Tolbert Roberts:
For their part, the fifth-century Macedonian kings used their newfound wealth to pursue their twin goals of winning recognition for themselves as Greeks and Hellenizing the life of the royal court. ("Ancient Greece. A Political, Social, and Cultural History", Oxford University Press, USA, 1998)
Michael M. Sage, American historian:
Little is known of the Macedonian army before the reign of Philip II. Certainly, the area which the earlier Macedonian kings drew their recruits was limited only to lowland Macedonia. The only effective arm appears to have been cavalry. These horsemen, generally acknowledged as the best in Greece, were drawn from the local nobility [...] The only really effective infantry in this period appears to have been drawn from southern Greeks settled within Macedonia's borders who fought as hoplites. ("Warfare in Ancient Greece", Routledge, pp.163-164)
Ulrich Wilcken, German historian:
When we take into account the political conditions, religion and morals of the Macedonians, our conviction is strengthened that they were a Greek race and akin to the Dorians. Having stayed behind in the extreme north, they were unable to participate in the progressive civilization of the tribes which went further south... ("Alexander the Great", p. 22)
Nigel Guy Wilson, British historian:
The latest archaeological findings have confirmed that Macedonia took it’s name from a tribe of tall, Greek-speaking people, the Makednoi. ("Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece", Routledge, 2009)
W. J. Woodhouse, Australian historian:
This was Macedonia in the strict sense, the land where settled immigrants of Greek stock later to be called Macedonians. ("The tutorial history of Greece, to 323 B.C.: from the earliest times to the death of Demosthenes", p.216, University Tutorial Press)
Michael Wood, English historian:
Long long ago, before the days of Islam, Sikander e Aazem came to India. The Two Horned one whom you British people call Alexander the Great. He conquered the world, and was a very great man, brave and dauntless and generous to his followers. When he left to go back to Greece, some of his men did not wish to go back with him but preferred to stay here. Their leader was a general called Shalakash (i.e.: Seleucus
). With some of his officers and men, he came to these valleys and they settled here and took local women, and here they stayed. We, the Kalash, the Black Kafir of the Hindu Kush, are the descendants of their children. Still some of our words are the same as theirs, our music and our dances, too; we worship the same gods. This is why we believe the Greeks are our first ancestors... (Statement made by a Kalash named Kazi Khushnawaz, "In the footsteps of Alexander the Great", p.8.
Ian Worthington, English historian and archaeologist:
... not much need to be said about the Greekness of ancient Macedonia: it is undeniable. ("Philip II of Macedonia", Yale University Press, 2008)
Academic and miscellaneous quotes on modern Macedonia and Macedonians, in chronological order
Stefan Verkovich, Bosnian folklorist:
If someone today should ask the Macedonian Slav "what are you?" he would be immediately be told: "I am Bulgarian" and would call his language "Bulgarian". ("Folk Songs of the Macedonian Bulgarian", Vol. 1, 1860)
Kuzman Shapkarev, Bulgarian folklorist, ethnographer and scientist:
But even stranger is the name "Macedonians", which was imposed on us only 10 to 15 years ago by outsiders and not as something by our own intellectuals... Yet the people in (Slavic) Macedonia know nothing of that ancient name, reintroduced today with a cunning aim on the one hand and a stupid one on the other. They know the older word: ‘Bugari’, although mispronounced: they have even adopted it as peculiarly theirs, inapplicable to other Bulgarians. You can find more about this in the introduction to the booklets I am sending you. They call their own Macedono-Bulgarian dialect the ‘Bugarski language’, while the rest of the Bulgarian dialects they refer to as the "Shopski language". (In a letter to Prof. Marin Drinov of May 25, 1888, Makedonski pregled, IX, 2, 1934, p. 55; the original letter is kept in the Marin Drinov Museum in Sofia, and it is available for examination and study)
Stoyan Novakovich, Serbian diplomat:
Since the Bulgarian idea, as it is well known to all, is deeply rooted in (geographical) Macedonia, I think it is almost impossible to shake it completely by opposing it merely with the Serbian idea. This idea, we fear, would be incapable, as opposition pure and simple, of suppressing the Bulgarian idea. That is why the Serbian idea will need an ally that could stand in direct opposition to the Bulgarianism and would contain in it the elements which could attract the people and their feelings and thus sever them from Bulgarianism. This ally I see in the Macedonism or to a certain extent in our nursing the Macedonian dialect and Macedonian separatism. (Novakovich's dispatch to the Serbian Minister of Education in 1888)
Krste Misirkov, Slav-Macedonian philologist and publicist:
Some will ask why I speak of breaking away from the Bulgarians when in the past we have even called ourselves Bulgarians and when it is generally accepted that unification creates strength, and not separation.("On the Macedonian Matters", Sofia 1903)
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?("On the Macedonian Matters", Sofia 1903)
We are more Bulgarian than those in Bulgaria. ("On the Macedonian Matters", Sofia 1903)
We speak a Bulgarian language and we believed with Bulgaria is our strong power. ("On the Macedonian Matters", Sofia 1903)
Edith Durham, British writer, artist and traveller:
I have even met people who believe there is a special race which they call 'Macedonian', whose 'cause' they wish to aid. The truth is, that in a district which has no official frontiers, and never has had any stable ones, there are people of six races, who, as we have seen, all have causes to be considered [...] I shall speak only of the part I have stayed in- the districts of Lakes Ochrida and Prespa. Here there are Greeks, Slavs, Albanians, and Vlahs. Of Turks, except officials and such of the army as may be quartered on the spot, there are few. The Albanians, I believe, are all Moslem. Should there be any Christians they would be officially classed as Greeks. A large part of the land near Lake Prespa is owned by Moslem Albanians as "chiftliks" (farms). ("The Burden of the Balkans", 1905, p. 76)
Ferdinand Schevill, American professor of history:
Although in some areas (of geographical Macedonia) the various groups were all inextricably intermingled, it is pertinent to point out that in other sections a given race decidedly predominated. In the southern districts, for instance, and more particularly along the coast, the Greeks, a city people given to trade, had the upper hand, while to the north of them the Slavs, peasants for the most part working the soil, held sway. These Slavs may properly be considered as a special “Macedonian” group, but since they were closely related to both Bulgars and Serbs and had, moreover, in the past been usually incorporated in either the Bulgar or Serb state, they inevitably became the object of both Bulgar and Serb aspirations and an apple of discord between these rival nationalities. As an oppressed people on an exceedingly primitive level, the Macedonian Slavs had as late as the congress of Berlin exhibited no perceptible national consciousness of their own. It was therefore impossible to foretell in what direction they would lean when their awakening came; in fact, so indeterminate was the situation that under favourable circumstances they might even develop their own particular Macedonian consciousness. ("History of the Balkans": From the Earliest Times to the Present Day, 1922, reprint 1991)
Henry Morgenthau, American politician, ambassador to the Ottoman Empire during the First World War:
The Greek War of Independence, which came to a successful conclusion in 1832, affected less than one half of the Greeks in the Turkish Empire. It did not bring freedom to the Greeks of Macedonia and Thrace, of Crete and the Aegean Islands, nor to the more than two million Greeks in Asia Minor and Constantinople […] When the Turks and the Bulgarians left, Macedonia remained a purely Greek region. ("I was sent to Athens", Doubleday, Doran & Company, 1929)
TIME Magazine, December 4, 1944:
For three weeks the Partisan National Liberation Committee had been busy creating, on paper, the new Yugoslavia. Twice Tito had flown to Moscow, conferred with Stalin and the Peoples' Commissar for Foreign Affairs Vlacheslav M. Molotov [...] The new power at once began to expand. Yugoslav Macedonians insisted that Yugoslavia's new Macedonian district should include not only Bulgarian Macedonia but also Greek Macedonia.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Kimon Georgiev, whose country is controlled by the Red Army and Communist-dominated Partisan bands: "I can definitely state Bulgaria will create no difficulties." But Greek Macedonia is the richest of all Greek provinces and includes the big Aegean port of Salonika.
United States Department of State, Foreign Relations Vol. VIII, Circular Airgram (868.014), 26 Dec. 1944:
The Secretary of State to Certain Diplomatic and Consular Officers
The following is for your information and general guidance, but not for any positive action at this time.
The Department has noted with considerable apprehension increasing propaganda rumours and semi-official statements in favour of an autonomous Macedonia, emanating principally from Bulgaria, but also from Yugoslav Partisan and other sources, with the implication that Greek territory would be included in the projected state. This Government considers talk of Macedonian "nation", Macedonian "Fatherland", or Macedonia "national consciousness" to be unjustified demagoguery representing no ethnic or political reality, and sees in its present revival a possible cloak for aggressive intentions against Greece.
The approved policy of this Government is to oppose any revival of the Macedonian issue as related to Greece. The Greek section of Macedonia is largely inhabited by Greeks, and the Greek people are almost unanimously opposed to the creation of a Macedonian state. Allegations of serious Greek participation in any such agitation can be assumed to be false. This Government would regard as responsible any Government or group of Governments tolerating or encouraging menacing or aggressive acts of "Macedonian Forces" against Greece.
The Department would appreciate any information pertinent to this subject which may come to your attention.
Department of State
The New York Times, July 10, 1946:
Though once the heart of the empire of Alexander the Great, (Macedonia) has been for centuries a geographical expression rather than a political entity, and is today inhabited by an inextricable medley of people, among whom the Serbs, now Yugoslavs, are certainly the least numerous. But a "Federal Macedonia" has been projected as an integral part of Tito's plan for a federated Balkans [...] taking Greek Macedonia for an outlet to the Aegean Sea through Salonica.
The New York Times, July 16, 1946:
During the occupation [...] a combined effort was made to wrest Macedonia from Greece [...] an effort that allegedly continues, although in altered form [...] The main conspirational activity in Macedonia today appears to be directed from Skopje.
The New York Times, July 26, 1946:
The possible creation of a Macedonian free state within Greece to amalgamate with Marshal Tito's Federated Macedonia State, with is capital in Skopje [...] would fulfil the Slavic objectives of re-uniting the...province of Macedonia under Slavic rule, giving access of the sea to Bulgaria and Yugoslavia.
The New York Times, August 19, 1946:
According to most reliable information, a secret meeting was held yesterday at Comi in southern Bulgaria [...] to draw up plans for a general rising in Greek Macedonia, with the ultimate object of incorporating that region with Salonica in an autonomous Macedonia under Yugoslav hegemony.
Vittore Pisani, Italian linguist:
The (modern) Macedonian language is actually an artefact produced for primarily political reasons. ("Il Macedonico, Paideia, Rivista Letteraria di informazione bibliografica", vol. 12, p. 250, 1957)
Friedrich Scholz, German linguist:
Macedonian national conscience and from that conscientious promotion of Macedonian as a written language, first appears just in the beginning of our century and is strengthened particularly during in the years between the two world wars. ("Slavische Etymologie", 1966)
Stephen E. Palmer, Robert R. King:
The treatment of "Macedonian" history has the same primary goal as the creation of the "Macedonian" language: to de-Bulgarize the Macedonians and create a separate national consciousness." ("Yugoslav Communism and the Macedonian Question", Archon Books, 1971, p.159)
Elizabeth Barker, English diplomat:
It is the national identity of these Slav Macedonians that has been the most violently contested aspect of the whole Macedonian dispute, and is still being contested today. There is no doubt that they are southern Slavs; they have a language, or a group of varying dialects, that is grammatically akin to Bulgarian but phonetically in some respects akin to Serbian, and which has certain quite distinctive features of its own... ...In regard to their own national feelings, all that can safely be said is that during the last eighty years many more Slav ‘Macedonians’ seem to have considered themselves Bulgarian, or closely linked to Bulgaria, than have considered themselves Serbian, or closely linked to Serbia (or Yugoslavia). Only the people of the Skopje region, in the North West, have ever shown much tendency to regard themselves as Serbs. The feeling of being ‘Macedonians’, and nothing but ‘Macedonians’, seems to be a sentiment of fairly recent growth, and even today is not very deep-rooted. ("Macedonia, Its Place in Balkan Power Politics", London, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, 1950, pp19-20, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1980, p.10)
Henry Kissinger, American diplomat:
Jurnalist: What is your opinion for the problem which Greece has to accept the name Macedonia which the Scopje Government is trying to implement?
Henry Kissinger: Look, I believe that Greece is right to object and I agree with Athens. The reason is that I know history which is not the case with most of the others including most of the Government and Administration in Washington. The strength of the Greek case is that of the history which I must say that Athens have not used so far with success. (Management Centre Europe, Paris, 19 June 1992)
Thomas Niles, American diplomat:
For "Macedonia" to be recognized as an independent state, it would be necessary to change its name [...] It is historically proven that the Yugoslavian Democracy of Macedonia was created by Stalin, Tito and Dimitrov, aiming at the stealthy removal of a large part of Northern Greece. This Democracy was used during the period 1944-1949 in order to destabilise Greece. (Statement on the 23rd June 1992 to the SubCommittee of US Congress, Eleutherotypia newspaper, 24 June 1992)
The Times Guide to the Peoples of Europe:
Macedonian rock groups may claim Alexander the Great as a forefather of their nation but even the recent scholarly histories of the Macedonians spanning three millennia are spurious and only lay the Macedonians open to the ridicule of those who would deny their nationhood; the Macedonian regional name is ancient but contemporary Macedonians are among the newest nations in Europe. (The Times Guide to the Peoples of Europe, Times Books, Jan. 1994, p. 223-224)
Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics:
Macedonian can be called a Bulgarian dialect, as structurally it is most similar to Bulgarian. ("Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics", 1994)
Loring Danforth, American professor of anthropology:
Greek fears that use of the name Macedonia by Slavs will inevitably lead to the assertion of irredentist claims to territory in Greek Macedonia are heightened by fairly recent historical events. During World War II Bulgaria occupied portions of northern Greece, while one of the specific goals of the founders of the People's Republic of Macedonia in 1944 was "the unification of the entire Macedonian nation," to be achieved by "the liberation of the other two segments" of Macedonia. (“How can a woman give birth to one Greek and one Macedonian?” Melbourne, Australia, 1991-92)
The history of the construction of a Macedonian national identity does not begin with Alexander the Great in the fourth century B.C. or with Saints Cyril and Methodius in the ninth century A.D. as Macedonian nationalist historians often claim. (“The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World”, Princeton Univ. Press, December 1995, p.56)
Finally, Krste Misirkov, who had clearly developed a strong sense of his own personal national identity as a Macedonian and who outspokenly and unambiguously called for Macedonian linguistic and national separatism, acknowledged that a ‘Macedonian’ national identity was a relatively recent historical development. ("The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World”, Princeton Univ. Press, December 1995, p.63)
The political and military leaders of the Slavs of Macedonia at the turn of the century seem not to have heard Misirkov's call for a separate Macedonian national identity; they continued to identify themselves in a national sense as Bulgarians rather than Macedonians. (“The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World”, Princeton Univ. Press, December 1995, p.64)
Whether a Macedonian nation existed at the time or not, it is perfectly clear that the communist party of Yugoslavia had important political reasons foe declaring that one did exist and for fostering its development through a concerted process of nation building, employing all the means at the disposal of the Yugoslav state. (“The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World”, Princeton Univ. Press, December 1995, p.66)
Edward O'Hara, British politician:
Attention may have been deflected from the danger in that area by the nature of the dispute between Macedonia (FYROM) and Greece, which is seen as being ostensibly over a name, although it amounts to more than that. A name is important as it gives an area an identity. I shall not indulge in a lecture on the ancient identity of the Macedonians and on Philip II of Macedon and Alexander the Great, but the Greeks were historically correct in the campaign that they launched in the early days of the dispute. Understandably, detached outsiders say, "But that is ancient history, isn't it?" Nor shall I engage in a lecture on the falsification of the history of Slavo-Macedonia since 1944, although that, too, has much hard factual content. I simply remind the House that Tito's renaming of Vardar Banovina as the Republic of Macedonia in 1944 was a political statement. More than that, it was a territorial claim. It laid claim to territory in Greece and in Bulgaria. Notably, the objective was the warm water port of Salonika on the Aegean.
The Greeks fought a bloody civil war on that issue between 1945 and 1949, when we were celebrating the peace that was commemorated as recently as yesterday. Clause 49 of the constitution of the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia enshrines that claim and subsequent propaganda, especially by a political faction, the VMRO, has kept the claim alive ever since. (House of Commons Hansard Debates for 9 May 1995, Column 601)
President Kiro Gligorov may argue that he cannot control the publications of political parties, but I believe that the adoption of the sunburst emblem of Vergina, recently discovered in Greek Macedonia on the coffin of Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, is a wilful act of authorisation of that claim. If hon. Members wish to empathise with the strength of feeling about that emblem, it is as though the thistle were stolen from the Scots and adopted by another country. It is an emblem, but it stirs up passions. President Gligorov has mounted an impressive propaganda campaign about that, which has deflected attention from some of the more substantial issues in that earlier dispute and, in great measure, has succeeded in casting the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in the guise of the little victim of the big bully, Greece...
Greece has no territorial dispute with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. It is almost unique in the Balkans in having no such territorial claims on any of its neighbours. Greece has demonstrated its desire to have policies of support and co-operation with its neighbours in that part of the world by its breakthrough in its relationship with Albania, on which both Governments deserve congratulations because thereby another potential flashpoint to the south of the Balkans was damped down. Greece is physically located in the Balkans. It wants nothing more than to achieve a similar relationship with the former Yugoslav republic, but it needs support to do so.
It is no wonder that, in matters of politics in the Balkans, Greece feels misunderstood. It cannot understand why, after it stood alone with the United Kingdom against the forces of fascism between 28 October 1940--Ohi day, as it is still called--and 27 April 1941, when Athens finally fell, its former allies now appear to be taking the part of forces against which it stood, especially when, after the second world war, it endured those further four years of civil war to hold the line against the communist advance to the Aegean. That was done for the United States and for the United Kingdom especially--the world powers of the time--and those Governments objected, in 1944, to Tito's change of the name of Vardar Banovina. (House of Commons Hansard Debates for 9 May 1995, Column 602)
The New Yorker, January 23, 1995:
(FYROM) was a province of Yugoslavia once known as Vardar Banovina; it was renamed the ‘Republic of Macedonia’ in 1945 by Marshal Tito. Its populace was varied, the largest portion being Slavs, whose ancestors had arrived in the region nearly a thousand years after the most famous Macedonians of all, Phillip II and his son, Alexander the Great. However, Tito -coveting the large Greek region of Macedonia- encouraged the irredentist idea of all Macedonians sharing a distinct ethnic identity. He then supported the Communist-led Democratic Army in the Greek Civil War, a brutal conflict that tore the country from 1946 to 1949. Greece's fears were reawakened in 1991, when the fragment of Yugoslavia declared its independence as the nation of Macedonia; its newly elected President, Kiro Gligorov, was one of Tito's Communist bosses, and had helped propagate the idea of a separate ethnic identity for Macedonians. Gligorov says that his Macedonia has no territorial ambitions, but the Greeks have not been comforted. In 1992 and 1993, Gligorov's government issued new school textbooks that showed "geographical ethnic boundaries" encompassing the whole of Greek Macedonia; the country's flag carries the symbol of the empire of Alexander the Great; and a preamble to its 1991 Constitution pledges to protect Macedonians everywhere. The Greeks do not pretend that the Lilliputian Macedonia, with its two million people, poses any threat to them at the moment, but history has taught them to take the long view. In a scenario that some Greeks project, for example, Macedonians might some day attempt a hostile incursion, in concert with their fellow-Slavs in Bulgaria, which occupied part of Greece during the Second World War.
T.J. Winnifrith, British academic:
Macedonia (FYROM) was also an attempt at a multicultural society. Here the fragments are just about holding together, although the cement that binds them is an unreliable mixture of propaganda and myth. The 'Macedonian' language has been created, some rather misty history involving Tsar Samuel, probably a Bulgarian, and Alexander the Great, almost certainly a Greek, has been invented, and the name Macedonia has been adopted. Do we destroy these myths or live with them? Apparently these 'radical Slavic factions' decided to live with their myths and lies for the constant amusement of the rest of the world!" ("Shattered Eagles, Balkan Fragments", Duckworth, 1995)
Dennis P. Hupchick, American professor of history:
The Macedonian nationalists quite simply stole all of Bulgarian historical argument concerning Macedonia, substituting Macedonian for Bulgarian ethnic tags in the story. ("Conflict and Chaos in Eastern Europe", Palgrave Macmillan, 1995, p.142)
The obviously plagiarized historical argument of the Macedonian nationalists for a separate Macedonian ethnicity could be supported only by linguistic reality, and that worked against them until the 1940s. Until a modern Macedonian literary language was mandated by the socialist-led partisan movement from Macedonia in 1944, most outside observers and linguists agreed with the Bulgarians in considering the vernacular spoken by the Macedonian Slavs as a western dialect of Bulgarian. ("Conflict and Chaos in Eastern Europe", Palgrave Macmillan, 1995, p.143)
Eugene N. Borza, American historian, has written multiple works on ancient Macedon and is regarded an expert on the overall subject:
Modern Slavs, both Bulgarians and Macedonians, cannot establish a link with antiquity, as the Slavs entered the Balkans centuries after the demise of the ancient Macedonian kingdom. Only the most radical Slavic factions—mostly émigrés in the United States, Canada, and Australia—even attempt to establish a connection to antiquity [...] The twentieth-century development of a Macedonian ethnicity, and its recent evolution into independent statehood following the collapse of the Yugoslav state in 1991, has followed a rocky road. In order to survive the vicissitudes of Balkan history and politics, the Macedonians, who have had no history, need one. They reside in a territory once part of a famous ancient kingdom, which has borne the Macedonian name as a region ever since and was called ”Macedonia” for nearly half a century as part of Yugoslavia. And they speak a language now recognized by most linguists outside Bulgaria, Serbia, and Greece as a south Slavic language separate from Slovenian, Serbo-Croatian, and Bulgarian. Their own so-called Macedonian ethnicity had evolved for more than a century, and thus it seemed natural and appropriate for them to call the new nation “Macedonia” and to attempt to provide some cultural references to bolster ethnic survival. ("Macedonia Redux", in "The Eye Expanded: life and the arts in Greco-Roman Antiquity", ed. Frances B Tichener & Richard F. Moorton, University of California Press, 1999)
Thomas Gerard Gallagher, British professor:
Where an overarching identity existed among Slavs in Macedonia, it was a Bulgarian one until at least the 1860s. The cultural impetus for a separated "Macedonian identity" would only emerge later... (Outcast Europe, page 47, Routledge, 2001)
Richard Clogg, British historian:
But, despite the widespread deprivation, the appeal of communism was to be critically impeded by the Comintern's insistence (between 1924 and 1935) that the Greek party should support the idea of a separate Macedonian state, the creation of which would have entailed the detachment of a large area of Northern Greece. (“A Concise History of Greece”, p92, Cambridge, 2002)
Robert D. Kaplan, American journalist:
Experts agree that the Slavic language he (Delchev) spoke - and the one spoken here now – is closer to Bulgarian than to Serbian. But on account of Titos break with Stalin, the Yugoslav government, encouraged by the Serbs, promoted a separate ethnic and linguistic identity for "Macedonian", in order to sever any emotional link between the local population and the one next door in Bulgaria. ("Balkan Ghosts", p.60)
Stefan Nikolov, Bulgarian diplomat:
Every ethnic Macedonian who does not claim Albanian or Serbian origin has the right to declare a Bulgarian origin. This is an individual act in accordance with the historical reality of our common ethnic origin. (Agency for Bulgarians Abroad of the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry in Sofia, AFP report, Sunday 13 August 2006)
Michael David Rann, Australian politician:
For many years, since the decade of the '90s, we have been making efforts so that the name Republic of Macedonia is not recognized, because no nation should steal the history and symbols of another nation […] For all of us who love History, and know History, Macedonia is as Greek as the Acropolis. (Eleftherotypia newspaper, May 05, 2007)
United States Senate:
Expressing the sense of the Senate that the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) should stop the utilization of materials that violate provisions of the United Nations-brokered... (Introduced in Senate)
SRES 300 IS
S. RES. 300 Expressing the sense of the Senate that the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) should stop the utilization of materials that violate provisions of the United Nations-brokered Interim Agreement between FYROM and Greece regarding `hostile activities or propaganda' and should work with the United Nations and Greece to achieve longstanding United States and United Nations policy goals of finding a mutually-acceptable official name for FYROM.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
August 3, 2007 Mr. MENENDEZ (for himself, Ms. SNOWE, and Mr. OBAMA) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations
Expressing the sense of the Senate that the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) should stop the utilization of materials that violate provisions of the United Nations-brokered Interim Agreement between FYROM and Greece regarding `hostile activities or propaganda' and should work with the United Nations and Greece to achieve longstanding United States and United Nations policy goals of finding a mutually-acceptable official name for FYROM.
Whereas, on April 8, 1993, the United Nations General Assembly admitted as a member the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), under the name the `Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia';
Whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 817 (1993) states that the dispute over the name must be resolved to maintain peaceful relations between Greece and FYROM;
Whereas, on September 13, 1995, Greece and FYROM signed a United Nations-brokered Interim Accord that, among other things, commits them to not `support claims to any part of the territory of the other party or claims for a change of their existing frontiers';
Whereas a pre-eminent goal of the United Nations Interim Accord was to stop FYROM from utilizing, since its admittance to the United Nations in 1993, what the Accord calls `propaganda', including in school textbooks;
Whereas a television report in recent years showed students in a state-run school in FYROM still being taught that parts of Greece, including Greek Macedonia, are rightfully part of FYROM;
Whereas some textbooks, including the Military Academy textbook published in 2004 by the Military Academy `General Mihailo Apostolski' in the FYROM capital city, contain maps showing that a `Greater Macedonia' extends many miles south into Greece to Mount Olympus and miles east to Mount Pirin in Bulgaria;
Whereas, in direct contradiction of the spirit of the United Nations Interim Accord's section `A', entitled `Friendly Relations and Confidence Building Measures', which attempts to eliminate challenges regarding `historic and cultural patrimony', the Government of FYROM recently renamed the capital city's international airport `Alexander the Great Airport';
Whereas the aforementioned acts constitute a breach of FYROM's international obligations deriving from the spirit of the United Nations Interim Accord, which provide that FYROM should abstain from any form of `propaganda' against Greece's historical or cultural heritage;
Whereas such acts are not compatible with Article 10 of the United Nations Interim Accord, which calls for `improving understanding and good neighbourly relations', as well as with European standards and values endorsed by European Union member-states; and
Whereas this information, like that exposed in the media report and elsewhere, being used contrary to the United Nations Interim Accord instills hostility and a rationale for irredentism in portions of the population of FYROM toward Greece and the history of Greece: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate
(1) urges the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to observe its obligations under Article 7 of the 1995 United Nations-brokered Interim Accord, which directs the parties to `promptly take effective measures to prohibit hostile activities or propaganda by state-controlled agencies and to discourage acts by private entities likely to incite violence, hatred or hostility' and review the contents of textbooks, maps, and teaching aids to ensure that such tools are stating accurate information; and
(2) urges FYROM to work with Greece within the framework of the United Nations process to achieve longstanding United States and United Nations policy goals by reaching a mutually-acceptable official name for FYROM.
(The Senate of the United States, Mr. Menendez (for himself, Ms. Snowe, and Mr. Obama), August 3, 2007)
Quotes from officials of the FYROM
Kiro Gligorov, first president of the FYROM:
We are Slavs who came to this area in the sixth century ... we are not descendants of the ancient Macedonians. (Foreign Information Service Daily Report, Eastern Europe, February 26, 1992, p. 35)
We are Macedonians but we are Slav Macedonians. That's who we are! We have no connection to Alexander the Greek and his Macedonia… Our ancestors came here in the 5th and 6th century (AD). (Toronto Star, March 15, 1992)
Ljubica Acevska, diplomat of the FYROM:
We do not claim to be descendants of Alexander the Great... Greece is Macedonia’s second largest trading partner, and its number one investor. Instead of opting for war, we have chosen the mediation of the United Nations, with talks on the ambassadorial level under Mr. Vance and Mr. Nemitz [...] We are Slavs and we speak a Slav language. (On 22 January 1999, in a speech on the present situation in the Balkans)
Gyordan Veselinov, diplomat of the FYROM:
We are not related to the northern Greeks who produced leaders like Philip and Alexander the Great. We are a Slav people and our language is closely related to Bulgarian… There is some confusion about the identity of the people of my country. (Ottawa Citizen, 24 February 1999)
Slobodan Casule, politician of the FYROM:
We belong to the same Slav people. (To the Foreign Minister of Bulgaria, Solomon Pasi, Utrinski Vesnik newspaper, December 29, 2001)
Denko Maleski, politician of the FYROM:
The lack of capability by Macedonists in condition of democracy, also contributes to the vision of their opponents. The creation of the Macedonian nation, for almost half of a century, was done in a condition of single-party dictatorship. In those times, there was no difference between science and ideology, so the Macedonian historiography, unopposed by anybody, comfortably performed a selection of the historic material from which the Macedonian identity was created. There is nothing atypical here for the process of the creation of any modern nation, except when falsification from the type of substitution of the word “Bulgarian” with the word “Macedonian” were made. In a case which that was not possible, the persons from history were proclaimed for Bulgarian agents who crossed into some imaginary pure Macedonian space.
But when we had to encourage the moderate Greek political variant and move into a direction of reconciliation among peoples, our nationalism was modelled according to the Greek one. The direct descendants of Alexander the Great raised the fallen flag on which the constitutional name of the Republic of Macedonia was written and led the people in the final confrontation with the Hellenes (Greeks), the direct descendants of Greek gods. This warlike attitude of the "winners" which was a consequence of the fear of politician from heavy and unpopular compromises had its price. In those years, we lost our capability for strategic dialog. With Greeks? No, with ourselves. Since then, namely, we reach towards some fictional ethnic purity which we seek in the depths of the history and we are angry at those which dare to call us Slavs and our language and culture Slavic!? We are angry when they name us what we -if we have to define ourselves in such categories- are, showing that we are people full with complexes which are ashamed for ourselves. We lost our capability for reasonable judgment, someone shall say, because the past of the Balkans teaches us that to be wise among fools is foolish. Maybe. Maybe the British historians are right when they say that in history one can find confirmation for every modern thesis, so, we could say, also for the one that we are descendants of the Ancient Macedonians… (Utrinski Vesnik newspaper, October 16, 2006)
The idea that Alexander the Great belong to us, was at the mind of some outsider political groups only! These groups were insignificant the first years of our independence but the big problem is that the old Balkan Nations have been learned to legitimate themselves through their history. In Balkans, if you want to be recognised as a Nation, you need to have history of 3000 years old. So since you made us to invent a history, we invent it! [...] You forced us to the arms of the extreme nationalists who today claim that we are direct descendents of Alexander the Great! (In an interview for Greek TV channel Mega, November 2006)
Ljubčo Georgievski, former Prime Minister and Vice President of the FYROM:
Why are we ashamed and flee from the truth that whole positive Macedonian revolutionary tradition comes exactly from exarchist part of Macedonian people? We shall not say a new truth if we mention the fact that everyone, Gotse Delchev, Dame Gruev, Gjorche Petrov, Pere Toshev - must I list and count all of them - were teachers of the Bulgarian Exarchate in Macedonia. (In his book "С лице към истината" - "Facing the truth", 2007)
What’s in a name?
Is a rose by any other name still a rose? What if we started calling the "rose" an "onion"? If you had both next to each other, could you point to each and call each an onion? Would one be a real onion and the other a fake onion? Would both smell the same, look the same, and have the same texture, colour, and all other qualities? If you asked someone for an onion what would he give you? Would your sweetheart appreciate the dozen onions that you sent her for Valentine's Day?
Now, what happens if one area of our world started calling itself with the same name as a neighbouring area? What if this area also took the identity and history of its neighbours? What if this first area becomes a country? Can it now decide to call itself with the same name as its neighbour and the rest of the world recognizes it so? The Massachusetts Bay Colony consisted of the area of the northern New England states and also encompassed part of what today is the Canadian province of Quebec. Throughout the years, many Quebec inhabitants have migrated from Quebec to the New England states. If Quebec broke away from Canada and became an independent country, would it be suitable to change its name to "New England"? Would it bother anyone if this "New England" hoisted a new flag with New Hampshire's Old Man of the Mountain in the middle of it, printed new currency picturing Bunker Hill on it, redrew their maps such that their territory is shown going all the way down to Boston and beyond, and revised their history books to indicate the colonial New England history as their own. Maybe we can call this new country "New New England" and we can rename the North-eastern part of the United States "Old New England". Will that make it clear to everybody?
We read the above hypothetical situation and think that it is so ridiculous that it could never happen... Except, that is exactly what is happening today right before our eyes between the FYROM, former Yugoslavia's southern republic, and Macedonia, one of Greece's northern regions (the largest and second most populous), with the first attempting to use - and actually to monopolize(!!!)- not just Macedonia’s name, but also Macedonia’s history and culture.
The constitutional name of the country "Republic of Macedonia" and the short name "Macedonia" when referring to the country, is considered offensive by most Greeks, especially inhabitants of the Greek province of Macedonia. The Greek government officially uses the term Slavomacedonian to describe both the language and a member of the ethnic group, and the United Nations' provisional reference for the country (the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) by the main international organisations, including the United Nations. The official reasons for this, as described by the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, are:
The choice of the name Macedonia by FYROM directly raises the issue of usurpation of the cultural heritage of a neighbouring country. The name constitutes the basis for staking an exclusive rights claim over the entire geographical area of Macedonia. More specifically, to call only the Slavo-Macedonians Macedonians monopolizes the name for the Slavo-Macedonians and creates semiological confusion, whilst violating the human rights and the right to self-determination of Greek Macedonians. The use of the name by FYROM alone may also create problems in the trade area, and subsequently become a potential springboard for distorting reality, and a basis for activities far removed from the standards set by the European Union and more specifically the clause on good neighbourly relations. The best example of this is to be seen in the content of school textbooks in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
1. The dogma of “Pan-Slavism” and the attempt to reach the Aegean Sea, bypassing the Dardanelles, as formulated by Russia in 1870, enforced directly on the region of Macedonia by Bulgaria around 1900 and indirectly by Tito’s Yugoslavia after 1945, is taking a new form of expression nowadays.
2. The inhabitants of FYROM are not descendants of the Macedonians of the classical ages (a well known part of the Greek race) but are mostly Slavs and Albanians. As admirers of a glorious past and assuming they are happy to disdain the local ancient race of the “Dardans”, they can at most call themselves “New Macedonians”.
3. They live in an area a small part of which constituted the northern (or upper) section of the geographical region – or administrative region during the Byzantine and Ottoman eras – historically known as Macedonia, which in its entirety included today’s established and EU-recognised Greek Regions of Central Macedonia, West Macedonia and East Macedonia. Thus their land may justly claim the geographical definition of “Upper Macedonia”, if not “Vardarska”, a name used for a long time before Tito.
4. Many Slavo-Macedonians of FYROM, who in fact speak a dialect of Bulgarian, have already obtained Bulgarian passports, an indication of their national affinity.
5. The intrinsic instability of FYROM is not due to the absence of recognition by Greece but a) to its effort to achieve artificial coherence as a state through aggressive nationalistic visions and b) to Albanian separatism, which is externally incited and controlled.
6. If the inhabitants of FYROM do not deserve the humiliation of changing their name, neither do the inhabitants of Greece deserve the worse humiliation of accepting the insult of the donation of their historic name to usurpers and, even worse, of coexisting within the Alliance with a co-member with the official aggressive propaganda of FYROM (“liberation of Thessaloniki from the Greek occupation” or similar rubbish).
Security is an internationally important issue that emerged after “9/11”. That shocking event proved that it is better to prevent than repair. The current issue of the alleged “Republic of Macedonia” sooner or later will take its old form, i.e., the Slavs will demand to have access to the Aegean Sea through a virtual “Macedonian” nation. The issue may well take a subsequent form of security disturbances inside N. Greece. In order to avert such disturbances, or any external pressures to rearrange boundaries or for regional reorganization, in a Machiavellian situation of “CRISIS GENERATION AND MANAGEMENT”, Greece has to take now a firm position and insist that the only acceptable solution for the naming of FYROM is either an ethnological characterization of “New Macedonia” or a geographical characterization of “North or Upper Macedonia”. This is the correct policy of the Greek Government today, in contrast to that towards Tito in the ‘40s. Such a policy will lead to the diffusion of both ideologies destabilizing the Balkans, i.e. that of a “Great Macedonia” and that of a “Great Albania”. The aforementioned pressures may originate from various directions as long as this issue remains open and exploitable by various parties according to their incidental interests and endeavors. As far as the international community is concerned, a large majority, saturated since 1946 by the systematic propaganda of Tito’s “historians” and “fraud map” designers, are either bored by our delayed complaints or are cunningly joining the “diversive harassment” against us, orchestrated now by our eastern neighbor.
Any form of destabilization of FYROM will automatically create transient regional chaos, exploitable by Albanian expansionism to a degree beyond that permissible (or controllable) by their protectors. This is a development which may effectively diffuse the issue of the virtual “Macedonian nation” and expose Albanian expansionism internationally. Nevertheless, the international community must indeed assist in averting that destabilization. But not at the cost of upsetting the present or future stability of Greece. The modeling of long term international evolution is not as simple as computers may suggest, while it is historically proven fact:
a) that a nation or a state, greater or smaller, like any living organism, with an inherent organizational-administrative-economic weakness or racial degeneration (of educational-health-demographic nature), will sooner or later feel the fatal disruptive influence of any minor factor and
b) that “Hubris” of any form is governed by godly laws that regulate the evolution of all systems. Let us remain persistent, firm, moderate and most of all “healthy”!!!
"Pardon? A Conflict for a Name"? (An analysis by Demetrius Andreas Floudas, Senior Associate of Hughes Hall, Cambridge)
- ^ UN provisional reference used by the UN, EU and NATO, UN Resolutions #817 of April 7 and #845 of June 18 of 1993
- ^ "United Nations". Admission of the State whose application is contained in document A/47/876-S/25147 to membership in the United Nations. Retrieved July 17, 2006.
- ^ Hellenic Republic, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia [FYROM] — The Name Issue.
- ^ Professor Christoforos Koutitas, International Hellenic University