Elements of The So Called ‘Greek Myths’

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Letter to the Editor

I found your article Response to “More Talks on Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Name Issue” quite interesting for a short summary of personal self-interest, you mention propaganda to be halted yet you firmly establish your own propaganda with limited historical perspective. Nor do you support or respect the Ancient writers of the time.

You mention several enlightening yet confusing points, such as;

Macedonia was a Greek kingdom, yet ancient historians in two languages (Latin and Greek) undoubtedly prove otherwise, in fact just by glancing and not going depth in the ancient sources it’s almost impossible to come to a different conclusion.

You mention that Macedonia was a Greek state, nowhere in any ancient sources is Macedon referred to or known by the Greeks themselves as a Greek state. Are you thus suggesting that the Ancient Greeks were that incompetent?

You mention that after Alexander’s death the fate of Greece was sealed, Greece’s fate was already sealed by the Macedonians and Macedonians fate was then sealed by the Romans who were convinced by the Greeks to help end Macedon’s rule over the Greek states some 130 years after Alexander’s death.

Plutarch: Life of Flamininus

“After this Titus had a meeting with Philip (who seemed disposed to make terms), and proffered him peace and friendship on the condition that he allowed the Greeks to be independent and withdraw his garrisons from their cities; but this proffer Philip would not accept. Then at last it became clear even to the partisans of Philip that the Romans were coming to wage war, not upon the Greeks, but upon the Macedonians on behalf of the Greeks.”

Further;

You mention that Slavs came to the Balkans in the 6th century; you should also know that that is based on a theory, with no firm genealogical, archaeological and linguistic support. On the contrary there is genealogical, archaeological and linguistic support to prove otherwise.

If the present-day culture came from a 6th century Slavic invasion of Macedonia from beyond the Carpathian Mountains, why is it so easy to trace so many old songs, stories and customs (from recent centuries) back to the ancient Macedonian sources, while no one seems to be able to produce old stories and songs with obvious links to the former life of the Macedonian Slavs in their former homeland, on the other side of the Carpathian Mountains?

Here are but a few examples of customs etc, which still exists today in the thousands of Macedonian villages, as they did over 2000 years ago;

Breaking a loaf of bread during wedding ceremonies

Bestowing a ring on the heir before ones death

Cutting hair in moments of sorrow

Men sitting separate from women during festivals

Men’s waistbands from folk apparel as a symbol of manhood

Customs for calling rain

Belief in the magical power of the snakes

In one folk song about Alexander the Great recorded in the 19th century mosquitoes were identified as the reason for Alexander’s death, even though it has been scientifically proven that mosquitoes carry the malaria disease only in the 20th century.

Also, if the Slavs were so backward and uncivilized, why it is that half of Europe became to be dominated and occupied by the so called Slavs in such a short amount of time.

Roman historians such as Plinius, Tacitus and Procopius mention related tribes of Veneti, Eneti, Sclavini and Anti living as far south as the Dnieper and as far north as the Vistula River in the first and second centuries AD. The Veneti are also mentioned in the writings of a number of ancient authors such as Strabo, Pomponius, Mella, and Cassius Dio which place this people in various regions in more ancient times all across Eastern Europe and as far south as Asia Minor. Quintus Curtius Rufus mentioned the Veneti as part of Alexander the Great’s army in the 4th century BC. Herodotus in the 5th century BC mentioned a people of the Balkans he calls the Eneti. And an even older source, the Iliad of Homer, mentioned the Veneti as allies of Troy, pushing their possible existence in the Balkans as far back as the 8th century BC.

Linguists such as Anthony Ambrozic have also begun to solve mysteries concerning inscriptions from all over the ancient world that defied analysis using Latin or Greek, when they used Slavic as the basis for translation. Ambrozic, for example, renders a more convincing translation of the 4th century BC bronze plate found in the vicinity of Padua, Italy in the 1970’s known as the Tavola de Este inscription, and he achieves similar results with the Dura-Europos inscriptions from a city of the ancient Macedonian Empire located in present-day Syria by using Slavic root words as his basis for translation.

Ancient sources and historians of today refer to the Ancient Macedonian language and customs similar to that of the Thracians and Illyrians, yet ironically the same areas in which all dwelt in ancient times today possess similar yet different customs and languages. Strange, also that genetically the people who refer to themselves as Serbians Bulgarians and Macedonians are almost genetically identical yet are genetically less related to those beyond the Carpathian Mountains.

Frequency of Haplogroup R1a ranges from 63.39% by the Sorbs, 56.4% in Poland and54% in Ukraine, to 15.2% in Macedonia, 14.7% in Bulgaria and 12.1% in Herzegovina.

Further interesting points

Macedon had its own propaganda division the first of its kind. Why would you establish such a division if you don’t intend to use it?

Also;

Ancient Greek is extremely hard to learn for today “Greeks”. Why?

There isn’t a logical continuity, on the evolution of the language that died out. Ancient “Greek” language had several infinitives; in Modern, the infinitive of verbs has been replaced by a periphrastic subjunctive. Ancient had a complex participial system; Modern has a simpler one.

There are 2 modern theories, one is that there was once Greco-Armenian that later split into Greek and Armenian respectively, the other is that the languages of the Balkans all fell into one group including Thracian, Phrygian, proto-Armenian and proto-Greek before each group migrated South and East with the exception of Thracians. It’s believed that today Greek and Armenian Languages are related to each other! The personal names found in the contemporary Greek literary and epigraphic texts suggest that the language of the Scythians and the Sarmatians (who spoke a dialect of Scythian according to Hist. 4.117 Herodotus) belonged to the Northeast Iranian branch.

Example: “Re” is the Greek (Yassou re Tikanis re) is equivalent of Eastern Armenian “Ara” or “Apeh”. “Parea” means “good company”, “Para” in Russian means “a couple, friend”. In Armenian “Barev” or “Parev” mean “Good day! = greating”

Etymologists and linguists believe that New “Greek” Language is not naturally developed, but is mostly an artificial language. No other language in Europe has this handicap, only New Greek Language and Esperanto! There are dramatic changes in grammar compared to Old Greek (especially the classical one) for example: the loss of the Dative Case, the Optative Mood, the Infinitive, the Dual Number, and the most important of all, the Participles. The lost of Infinitive and the lost of Participle has no explanation because the Mood of the Verbs is hardly changed during the time. Where are the famous compound words (of classical Greek) with 3 or more words and multiple meaning in new “Greek” language? The language of New “Greek” Testament (which has more stresses, accents and breathings) is totally different from Modern Greek!

These are essential things that make the difference. The evolution of the language is undergone certain rules, and if these rules are broken that means that we are talking about a different language. Language developed as part of rhythmic chants used by work crews in early human communities. People would chant to generate a rhythm for often laborious work, and this chanting kind of co-evolved both music and language. Different chants lead to different meanings, which lead to language, and the evolution of an independent natural language is not just a matter of few centuries! Any society as sophisticated as even tribal groups have laws with leaders that do everything from invent them to interpret them and pass judgment on them. The articles, possessions, tools and art uncovered point to organization and the conveyance of ideas. This cannot be accomplished without language.

The outcome is that today in “Greece” there are many variations in speech; of course not to the point of people not understanding each other, but still there is divergence in the Greek spoken tongue.

Presently, the speech in various areas of Greece differs from each other and sometimes an untrained ear might have difficulty understanding the local speech.

Pontic ( was formed in Anatolia and other Asian countries), Marioupolitan (close to Pontic, spoken by remaining communities of the Black Sea), Palladarian (mix of modern “Greek” with Aeolic and Doric elements) etc are very good examples of the mix of different dialects that have nothing to do with the continuity of the Classical Koine language, let alone the Ancient one!!

John Bettenson

Melbourne, Australia

PS. There is further information below

Greek Sources on Macedonia

Furthermore, since the Greek people do not really believe in the mythical origin of the name of Macedonia, a new explanation is being forced; namely that the root of the name, mak- is of Doric origin and means ‘long’ or ‘tall’ and its derivatives, Makednos or Makedanos, mean ‘tall people’. These interpretations have been attributed to Herodotus, the Father of History, as Greek scholars call him. The aim here is to link the Macedonian with the Dorian people, the latter being claimed to be one of the Macedonian tribes. However, when it comes to proving the Doric origin of the Macedonians, or vice versa, Herodotus has no arguments to offer and therefore turns to traditions. This view is also supported by Prof D. Pantermalis, an archeologist, who wrote the following in the Greek newspaper Neos kosmos of 14th November 1988, published in Melbourne, Australia: “We have mentioned earlier a tradition which claims the Dorians to have been descended from the Makedons or Makednos. Herodotus must have come by this information either through evidence he himself had collected in some of the Doric towns or through the story of an ancient epic by Aegimius…”

Furthermore, Prof. D. Pantermalis also gave an interview published in Neos kosmos of 28th February 1991. Asked why foreign scholars were reserved over the question, the archeologist answered: “There are certain matters which require further clarification, and unfortunately certain interpretations in the past well as today have been wrongly based on such unclarified matters. Thus, for example, ancient texts often speak about the Macedonians and the Greeks, as two separate nations and we ought to differentiate between them. I would also add a more recent example: we speak of the Greeks and the Cypriots.” Needless to say, this is only a superficial example, since, when we speak a Macedonian we do not mean a Greek from Macedonia, but one descended from Macedonia by origin and by nationality.

The Greek historian, D. Kanatsulis, disagrees with the interpretations given by Prof. Pantermalis. In his History of Macedonia until Constantine the Great published in Salonica in 1964, on page 67 D. Kanatsulis writes that the Dorian and the Macedonian were two different peoples, although both appear on territory of Macedonia at almost the same time. On page 12 of this publication we read: “On the descent of the Illyrians and some other peoples in the 12th and 11th centuries BC, the Dorians were forced to move further south and majority of them settled on the Pelloponnesos whereas the Macedonians stayed in Western Macedonia.”

D. Kanatsulis emphasizes that the Macedonians had a strong feeling of constituting a separate ethnic group not only during the time of the independent Macedonian state, but also during the Roman era. “The Macedonians,” he says, were primarily citizens of the state and only after those members of the municipality where they were born or where they lived. Thus, in the official documents in which all names were entered, the personal name was followed by the nationality – Macedonian, and then came the birthplace or the place of residence, for example: a Macedonian from Aegea, a Macedonian from Edessa, etc.” (page 82).

Similarly ancient Macedonian historians and writers, though writing in the common language (a blend of ancient Greek and the local Macedonian when signing their names always added that they were Macedonian language); as, for example: Chrisogonis from Edessa, a Macedonian; Adaios the Macedonian; Antipatris the Macedonian. (Prof Photis Petsas: A Journey in Northern Greece, Elinikos voras, February 1976). Not one of them wrote that he was a Hellene.

The Modern Greek scholar, Karagatsis, makes his contribution to the clarification of the question whether the ancient Macedonians were Greek or not. The master work of this respected author, History of the Greek People, 1952, raised a great commotion in the camp of the nationalistically oriented intellectuals of Greece. Karagatsis, however, disregarded the burden of tradition and mythology and claimed that reality was different (p. 314). “It is the King of the Macedonians,” he says, “who is the hegemon of the Greeks. The Congress is summoned by the hegemon, but is never chaired by him, because the hegemon is not Greek.” (p. 340).

Many circles in Greece turned against Karagatsis. Thus Stefanos Hrisos, a critic, states the following in his article in the Salonica newspaper Makedonia: “I believe that it is a moral obligation of every Greek, particularly those in Northern Greece, to raise his voice and demand that this book by Karagatsis should not leave the boundaries of Greece or be translated into other languages, and, if possible, be withdrawn from the shops. We might have expected such bad language from our neighbors but never from a Greek writer…”

Ana Panaiotou, for example, in the article ‘The Language of Captions in Macedonia’, says that “the Macedonians communicated among themselves in the Koine (common) language; the use of the Macedonian dialect was shrinking and became limited to conversations within a family or within small tribal circles.

The last extant records on the Macedonian dialect,” Panaiotou continues, “date from the first century BC” This author also informs us that the oldest facts on the Macedonian language date from the fifth century BC With the arrival of Alexander the Great that language stopped being the means of communication. “People used this language,” Panaiotou says, “at moments of anger or great excitement and when only Macedonians were present” (p. 187). To support her statement, Ana Panaiotou turns to Plutarch, who claims that while killing Cleitus, at a moment of great distress, Alexander the Great “cried out in the Macedonian language” (Plutarch, Vii parallili, chapter ‘Alexander the Great’ – eighth installment in the periodical Ilios, 20th March 1954).

Ana Panaiotou also draws attention to the example of Eumenes, an officer in Alexander’s army. He himself was not Macedonian, but once, after an illness, when walking among his Macedonian soldiers, he greeted them in the Macedonian language. She also mentions that Queen Cleopatra had lessons in Macedonian. In the same collected edition, Prof. J. Kaleris says that “the Macedonian language was often used with the purpose of winning the trust of the Macedonian people.” In the periodical Mesiniaka, J. Kordatos, a historian and sociologist, undeniably declares that the ancient Macedonians spoke a language different from Greek.

Despite the frequent conquests first by Byzantium, then by the Bulgar and the Serb Kingdoms and finally by the Ottoman Empire, the name Macedonian persisted in use. Thus the European traveler Bertrand de la Brokier wrote in 1432 that the Macedonian people were the predominant population of Macedonia, differentiating them from the Greeks, the Bulgars and the Serbs (Jordan Ivanov; Bqlgarite v Makedonia, Sofia 1917, pp. 109-110). Similarly, the Venetian marine officer, Angiolello, who traveled via Macedonia on his way to Constantinople, regarded the Macedonians as different from the Greek people. In his diary Angiolello wrote: “On 14th August, the Great Master dropped anchor off the coast of Mount Athos, a mountain on which there are many monasteries and Christian monks, some of them Greek, others Macedonian or Vlach.” He, then, goes on to say: “Both Greek and Macedonian people live there…”

Joannis Kordatos has written the following: “Bulgaria and Greece, as well as Serbia, sent soldiers to Macedonia in order to change the national affinity of the local population…”

“A large percentage of the farmers in Macedonia,” Kordatos continues, “spoke a Slavonic dialect, using a lot of Greek and Turkish words; however, the essence of the dialect was Slavonic. The Slavo-Macedonian dialect was the dominant language in many areas in Macedonia.

The wide masses of Macedonia,” says Kordatos, “were oppressed not only by the pashas, beys and agas, but also by the local rich people and the Greek high church officials. Therefore, the majority of the Slavophone Macedonians decided to rise against the Turkish tyranny and the injustice of the Metropolitans, and in an autonomous and independent Macedonia to build political and national equality…” (loannis Kordatos, Istoria tis neas Ellados, vol.5, Athens 1955, pp. 41A2).

Dimitrios Soros, chief Greek school inspector in the Salonica area in 1906, which contains the names of the villages in this area where Macedonian was the predominant language. Outside the walls of Salonica the population speaks a Slavo-Macedonian language, the ‘so-called Bulgarian dialect’.” Using the term ‘so-called Bulgarian dialect’, the inspector undoubtedly points out that this language is distinct from Bulgarian, though people accepted the term without giving its meaning a second thought.

In his longer article ‘The Epopee from 1912 to 1913’, the Greek academician Spiros Melas expresses his astonishment that the Macedonian population did not extend a welcome to the Greek army when it marched through Macedonia, pretending to be ‘the liberator’ during the Balkan Wars. The ‘poor’ people had anticipated the kind of liberty planned for them.

the Greek expert economist A. Aegidis states: “At the time when Greek sovereignty was established over Macedonia, it was estimated that 57, 4% of its population were ‘foreign elements’ and that the Greeks constituted 42.6% of the inhabitants, which is probably exaggerated because in the survey of 1912, for obvious reasons, many inhabitants of Macedonia were entered as Greeks, even though they did not hold themselves as such… It should not be forgotten,” Aegidis continues, “that the minority that ‘weighed the heaviest on the ethnologic scales of Macedonia’ was the Slavophone population.” (A. Aegidis, I Ellas horis prosfiges, Athens 1930, pp. 168-169).

Pressed by the League of Nations and obliged by the Sevres Treaty of 1920, the Greek government allowed the publication of a Primer for the Macedonian children in Greece. The Primer was reviewed by Nikolaos Zarifis, a Greek Balkanologist, as follows: “Here is a primer for the Slavophones, which has been carefully and conscientiously written by the specialists Papazahariou, Sayaktsis and Lazarou. Despite the difficulties encountered during its preparation, this useful manual has a considerable scientific value… What we have before us,” N. Zarifis says, “is a primer entitled Abecedar, meant for use in the schools that are to be opened in Greek Macedonia and Western Thrace for the needs of the Slavophone population. This primer will be used to teach the children of the Slavophones in Greece. It was written in the Macedonian dialect [underlined by the author] and printed in the Latin alphabet,” (Article by Nikolaos Zarifis in the newspaper Elleutheron vima, of 19th October 1925).

Vasilios Vizas, People’s Deputy from Kozani, wrote the following in the newspaper Eparhiaki foni published in Kajlari on 16th November 1930:

“It has been 18 years since the liberation of Macedonia. In this period we have had many governments from various parties, but we have not seen a systematic state policy with respect to the national question, so extremely important for the Psychological and linguistic assimilation of those who speak a foreign dialect, particularly the Slavophone inhabitants of Macedonia… In the ‘foreign language’ areas nothing has really changed with respect to the language since the liberation of Macedonia. These areas have remained faithful to their dialect and to customs alien to the Greek. I even dare say that the people of certain Macedonian areas have reinforced their earlier national feeling instead of losing it…”

What Deputy Vasilios Vizas demanded of the Parliament was put into practice by the dictator Ioannis Metaxas, Greek Prime Minister from 1936 to 1941, in whose period about 6,000 Macedonians, together with the communists, were fined, harassed or sent to the islands simply because they spoke the Macedonian language. This genocide of the Macedonian people in Greece was condemned even by some right-wingers, such as Sotirios Kodzhamanis, General D. Zafiropoulos and the journalist Polis Ioannidis. On one occasion, S. Kodzhamanis wrote: “Swearing at old men and women in the street or dragging them through police stations solely because they do not speak Greek can be done only in an unjust regime, which transfers the responsibility for the current situation from the history and the state to innocent individuals.” (Sotirios Kodzhamanis, National questions, Salonica 1954, p.40).

Speaking in favor of the demands of the Macedonian people in Greece, the leader of the parliamentary group of the Communist Party, Stelios Sklavenas, declared at the Parliamentary sitting of 25th April 1936: “Another problem which the Government keeps ignoring in its declarations is the question of giving the minorities in Greece rights equal to those of the native Greek population. This refers in the first place to the Macedonian people. Anyone who has traveled through Macedonia must have felt the specific pressure exerted on the Macedonians. They have been strictly forbidden to have their own schools, speak their own language or practice their own customs. As a result, the people are getting organized and ready to fight for their rights, in which we can’t but support them. The winning countries in the Great War and the League of Nations sanctioned the right for the self-determination of oppressed nations. And we also grant this right to the Macedonian people…

The former leader of the Left Liberals in Greece, Ioannis Sofianopoulos. As early as 1927, when the Greek Parliament debated minority rights in the country; this man of virtue anticipated future events.

“By what means can we tame the spirits and eradicate the hatred?” he wonders and then adds: “There are three essential elements. a real protection of the minorities, which would forbid any forced emigration, education of the new generation in schools, and good traffic connections with all Balkan countries… Everybody should understand,” Sofianopoulos concludes, “that we cannot endlessly change the family name suffixes -opoulos into -opovich, then into -opov, or in the reverse direction, and that the mind should be free and the will of the individual fully respected.” (Ioannis Sofianopoulos, Pos ida tin Valkaniki, Athens 1927, p.204). Translated by Mirka Mishich

Macedonia and the Macedonians through out the centuries

586 A.D.

From the “Miracles of St. Demetrius of Salonika, I “: “…For if one was to imagine them in a heap, not only the Macedonians gathered in Salonika… Certainly he who inspired the Macedonians with courage…” Mirac. I, 13, p.1285-14; 1313

986

From the History of Leo the Deacon: “…since they robbed the region of the Macedonians mercilessly, destroying all adults.” Leonis Diaconi Historiae, Paris 1864, p. 311.

1064

From the Chronicle of John Zonaras: “The Uzians…invaded Macedonia and plundered it, and reached Hellada”. Ioannis Zonorae Epitomae historiarum, Vol. VIII, Ed. Th. Buttner-Wobst, Bonnae 1897, p.678.

1106

From the letter of Theophylactes of Ohrid to Gregorius Camaterus: “…do not retain such a man in the narrow regions of our Macedonia…” Theophylacti, col. 496, B-C.

1185

“Woe, woe, the city of Salonika is captured, I say, the metropolis of the Macedonians.” Ephraimi Chronologici caesares; Ed. J.P. Migne – PG 143, Paris 1891, p.198.

12th Century

From the Byzantine satire Timarion: “The day of Saint Demetrius in (Salonika) is as great a festival as the Panathinei in Athens or Panionii in Miletus; it is a grand Macedonian celebration in which not only the Macedonian people gather, but people of all sorts and from all directions: Greeks from different regions of Hellada, the Mizian tribes…”. Vizantiiski Vremenik, Moscow VI 1953, p. 367.

1305

At the battle of Apros in 1305 there were five syntaxeis, differentiated by ethnicity: the Alans and Tourkopouloi in the van, followed by the Macedonians, the Anatolians, the Vlach infantry and the Thelematarioi. The Late Byzantine Army. Mark C. Bartusis 1992. p.256

1349

The honorable and Christ-loving Macedonian Tsar Stefan, Serbian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Dalmation, Arbanasian, Hungarian Wallachian and independent ruler of many other regions and lands… Lj. Stojanovic, Stari srpski zapisi i natpisi. Knj. III, Beograd 1905, p. 41 (nbr.4949).

15th C.

I remember the great subordination under which the Turk holds the emperor in Constantinople and all the Greeks, Macedonians and Bulgarians….As I said earlier, there are many Christians who are forced to serve the Turk, such as Greeks, Bulgarians, Macedonians, Albanians, Esclavinians, Rasians and Serbians… Bertrand de la Brocuiere, Putovanje preko mora, Beograd 1950, p.134-135, 140-141.

13th Century – 15th Century

Byzantine historians of the Palaiologan period (13th Century – 15th Century) rarely make any distinction more specific then “Thrace” and “Macedonia”. Thus we read of the “Thracians” and “Macedonians”, the “Thracian and Macedonian armies”, the “army” or “forces from Thrace and Macedonia”… For these historians the border between the two areas was the Nestos River or Kavalla. To the west was Macedonia to the east was Thrace. The Late Byzantine Army. Mark C. Bartusis 1992. p.65

1461-1462

When the enemy forces are battered, no one doubts that the whole of Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Epirus, Thessaly, Greece or Attica and the Peloponnese will return to the faithful….Inspired by this example the Thessalians, the Greeks, the Poloponnesians, the Epirans and the Macedonians will all rebel and will win … Jovan Radonic, Gjurac Kastriot Skenderbeg i Arbanija u XV veku – Spomenik XCV (1942), p. 128-129.

August 8th, 1470.

The Sultan stopped and spent the night …in afield that represented the Macedonian border…The River Vardar is nearby, which flows through Macedonia…of which some are Greeks, others Macedonians, Wallachs and even Italians, as well as other nations….Greeks and Macedonians live there… Gio Mario degli Angiolelo, A. Matkovski i P. Angelkova, Nekolku kratki patopisi za Makedonija, Glasnik na INI, VXI/1 (1972), p. 246-247.

1566

…called Jakov; I laboured for much time and many years for this work (in order to contribute) to the holy books. I came out of Macedonia, my fatherland, and I entered…. Lj. Stojanovich, Stari srpski zapisi i natpisi I, p. 203-204.

1589

Gavril, Archbishop of Ohrid to Archduke Ferdinand of Habsburg: …the Turk, who from day to day has pursued and blackmailed us and our ancestors ….in the whole of Macedonia, Greece and the nearby countries…then among our countries we have Bulgaria, Serbia, Macedonia, Oltenia… Landesregierungsarchive – Innsbruck, VI 50.

April 6-24, 1618

(Senato Secreta. 337. Macedonia) …The nobility of Macedon do not wish to have anything to do with the king of Spain… Calendar of State Papers and Manuscripts relating to English Affairs existing in the Archives and Collections of Venice and other libraries in Northern Italy, London 1864, Vol XV, p. 201-202.

1624

A letter from Pope Urban VIII to the Archbishop of Ohrid, Porphyrius Palaelogus To the respected brothers Porphyrius Paleologus, Patriarch of Justiniana Prima of Ohrid and the other subordinate archbishops, bishops of Bulgaria, Serbia, Albania and of the other side of Macedonia. A. Theiner, Vetera monumenta Slavorum II, (Zagrebiae 1875), p. 123.

April 26th, 1690

Letter of protection from Leopold I. …This is to inform you that two Macedonians, Marko Kraida born in Kosana and Dimitri Georgi Popovic, born in Macedonian Salonika, have told us that the Macedonian people, with respect for our most righteous task, with devotion and zeal towards our service….we graciously accept them under our imperial and royal mercy and in any case and way the above mentioned Macedonian people, cordially recommending to each and all of our willing commanders not to attack the Macedonian people….Issued in Vienna, April 26th, 1690. Representatives: defenders of the Macedonian people…. J. Radonic, Prilozi za istoriju Srba u Ungarskoj u XVI, XVII and XVIII veku. Knj. I, Matice srpske, nbr 25 and 26, Novi Sad 1908, p. 52-53.

1851

Bulgarian Comments on the language of J.H. Dzinot …May the inhabitants of Skopje and those who speak similarly forgive me, but they do not understand our language and cannot speak either… “Bolgarski”, Tsarigradski Vestnik, nbr. 55 (6.X.1851, p. 19).

1858

Education in Veles ….Archbishop Antim declared to his peers that all peoples have been enlightened by the Greeks and so it is necessary that Greek should be taught in the schools of Veles, and not Macedonian, since the children already know their own language from their home… J. N. Iz Velesa u Makedoniji: Srbski Dnevnik, nbr. 44 (1858) (according to Branislav Vraneshevic, Vojvodinska javnost, p. 320-321).

1865

A note from the priest Demetrius: In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, I, priest Demetrius, was born in the village of Ogut, in the Kriva Palanka region. And held the services in my native village, when in the year of our Lord 1848, the champions of the town of Kriva Palanka employed me as a priest against the will of His Grace, the Greek priest Kir Gavrail. Mr. Mikhail Makedonski interceded most in favor of my appointment, because I’m a Macedonian by birth and hold the services in the Slav language. Such was the Fate of my fatherland Macedonia, to suffer from the Greeks, so that they will not give us peace even today, although everyone knows that Macedonia is an older state then their kingdom. We had our own Slav educators, Cyril and Methodius, who left us our Slav alphabet. They were Macedonians born in Salonika, the glorious capital of Macedonia. Our Greek bishop does not admit this, so we do not want him to be our priest, but we want to have our own arch-priest, a Slav, for time everlasting. Amen. Zapis vo knigata Zitie Svetih vo Krivopalaneckata crkva. Pretposledna nepagirana strana.

January 28, 1867

To the Editor of “Makedonija” newspaper: …The Greeks and the greacomans have met the newspaper with sorrow, since they always tried to hellenize the Macedonians, destroying also the Archibishopric of Ohrid -The Spark of Our Future. Yet, however hard they have tried to stop us from making progress, they could not entirely uproot the feelings of the Macedonians that they are Macedonians. T.I. Kusev, Makedonija, Istanbul, Nbr. I (1/28/1867)

March 25, 1870

…lets us consider those of the present Macedonians who blinded by concealed glow of Hellenic wisdom, accept that they should scorn and revoke their own nationality…the time seems opportune for me to exclaim:Ah, how far away the time really is when Hellas, as everybody calls her today, was subjected to Macedonian authority… Stefan Zahariev, Chitalishte, Istanbul, I/7, 1871, p.214-216.

November 30, 1870

…A teacher named Mr. Shapkarevic…has come to visit me…the same day the books you had sent me…arrived. But as soon as he saw them he said that they should not be taught in the Macedonian schools, since they were in the Bulgarian dialect; and that we should take his books which are in the Macedonian dialect… Pravo of 10/30/1870 (according to B. Koneski, Kon Makedonskata prerodba, p.68).

February 1874

A letter from P.R. Slaveykov to the Bulgarian Exarch: Your Grace, I arrived in Salonika on the evening of the 14th of last month (January 1874). I immediately went to meet all the important local people and some others from the other Macedonian towns. My aim was to gather information as son as possible on what was to be necessary for the success of the mission with which you had entrusted me. I first met Father Averkij Zografski, and the following day Father Petar Dimitrov as well, the local president of the community. I may inform you, Your Grace that the wind from here, from Salonika, blows and scatters to all sides. These two clergyman, to my mind, are the leaders of the movement for the restoration of the Archbishopric of Ohrid, although one should not neglect Ohrid and to certain extent Bitola, Veles and Skopje either. The Uniate movement here is not without roots, as they think in Constantinople, especially His Grace, Count Ignatiev. During the time I have been in Macedonia I have ascertained the same we had formerly known and written three years ago. Now, as then or twenty years ago, we are dealing with the Macedonian question. In talks with few Macedonian “patriots” I have understood that this movement, which had been only bare words till a few years ago, is now clear and precise thought – “The Macedonians are not Bulgarians” and they persistently strive, regardless of the price, to obtain a separate church of their own.

…Thoughts of the restoration of the Archbishop of Ohrid at the moment are most prevalent here, in Salonika. Here the schemes are being devised and here the hotheads are gathering. These thoughts of course are not based upon mature foundation, especially since Midhat-Pasha has been dismissed from Salonika. But they are gradually spreading to northern Macedonia, although they are not very clear. Some say one thing to the people and others say another. There is danger, if steps are not taken from some authoritative place, of creating a general ideal. Then the consequences would be much more serious. The best thing would be if His Grace, Count Ignatiev, were to visit Macedonia, because the population feels a secret hope that only Russia could help them.

Tomorrow, with Gos’s help, I intend to meet some of the elders from the local community. I shall try to convince them of the groundlessness of their aspirations for a separate Church when they already have one in the form of the Exarchate. Certainly the most difficult question will be that of the appointment of bishops of Macedonian origin and especially that of the cheirotonia of Father Hariton. I kiss Your Grace’s right hand.

Salonika, February 1874. You’re obedient P.R. Slaveykov

Another letter from P.R. Slaveykov: You’re Grace,

…The causes of such a situation in the whole of Macedonia are very obvious. The Macedonian eparchies and towns I have already mentioned are extremely embittered by the serious position of the Church and the people in which they find themselves. The spreading of the idea of restoration of the Archbishopric of Ohrid upon a Uniate basis is also helped by the French and Austrian consuls, who promise full protection before the Turkish authorities and persecution of the Constantinople Patriarchate. The Greeks themselves indirectly help the spreading of the Union in Macedonia, expecting the Exarchate to become weak because of the Union and thus finding allies in the liquidation of the Catholic propaganda in Macedonia. I have concluded this from the talks I had with the Greek consul in Salonika. He was not in the least worried at the danger of the spread of the Union in Macedonia. On the contrary, Greece is seeking support for its economic and national activity in Macedonia. According to the opinion of the Greek consul, the part of the people who will not accept the Union, disillusioned with the Exarchate, will remain under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate.

In the talks I had it was not by chance that the agents and adherents of the Union mentioned that the “Macedonian question” could only be settled through the Union. In order to make full use of the discontent and bitterness of the people against the Exarchate, they strengthen their accusation against the Exarchate. They speak about the Macedonian question upon a religious basis, but at the same time stir up the old separatist trends among the Macedonians – to create a new ethnic region through the Union – in the spirit of Midhat-Pasha’s schemes. As the Roman Catholic agents worked out a cultural and national program for the Union in 1860 for the liberation of the Bulgarian people from the Patriarchate, they now also appear with a specific program for the spiritual and national liberation of the Macedonian eparchies through the Union. The Macedonian activists already widely use the expression the Macedonian movement in their language of communication, by which one should understand independent national and church liberation. I must emphasize strongly, Your Excellency, that this is a factor of an important political character – separatism is being spread starting from a religious basis towards a broader national one.

After the talks I had with Father Petar Dimov I felt that he has slowly retired from being drawn into the Union. Today he has officially renounced the Union and sent a letter to You expressing his loyalty to the Exarchate. I also talked to Father Averkij. He told me that he would also withdraw from the movement if appointments for the Exarchate bishops were issued by the autumn. My attitude towards these two Church dignitaries was moderate and friendly, because any repressive measures could stir up spirits.

…. Your spiritual child P.R. Slaveykov S. Dimevski, Dve pisma na P. R. Slaveykov za makedonizmot. – Razgledi XIV, 5(1972), p.561-566

July 1919

Bulgarian Nikola Pushkarov on “The Economic Wealth of Macedonia and its Neighbors” All the neighbors of Macedonia wish her well. Each of them tries through all means to convince the Macedonians of its significance as a savior. When the population of Macedonia doubts the sincerity of the unwanted liberators, they even prove to it the opposite by the sword. And each of the neighbors denies the other the right to be a liberator. The neighbors waged wars in this dispute; they had been fighting among themselves for years to the right of Macedonia’s liberators. They exhausted the three neighboring peoples and almost exterminated the Macedonian people. The wars ended, because the peoples realized that the liberation of Macedonia had turned into enormous increase of the capital of the false patriots at the expanse of the peoples ‘ blood and sweat. Today the exhausted peoples, exasperated by the terrible patriotic deeds of the false patriots, demand payment for the lies, for the terrible lies which threw them into terrible rows. But the false patriots of the neighbors do not despair; they have created special agencies of mercenaries responsible for proving by excusable and inexcusable means how the Macedonians most closely belong to the “homeland” of their patrons. They have called the population of this unfortunate land either “Bulgarophone Greeks”, or “Macedonians Slavo-Serbs, or “brothers beyond Mount Rila.”… …It is the wealth of Macedonia which makes the false patriots of her neighbors mad with “patriotism”. Makes them burn with desire to cut off as large as possible a portion of Macedonia for themselves to “liberate” it, i.e. to deprive the Macedonians of the chance of governing themselves. But you must keep your land, Macedonians, from the false good wishes of those individuals. They will bring you a new slavery, harsher then the former. Your land is entirely capable of an independent existence. …Unite around the banner of the autonomy of your homeland, because it is the only banner which you will not be persecuted for not being a Greek, Serb or Bulgarian, but simply Macedonian. Bjoletin br. 8 (19.VII.1919) pp.7-8

April 6, 1878

in Salonika To the Right Honorable Austen Henry Layard “…Russian agents are busy in the country, and even here, trying to get petitions that the whole of Macedonia be included in Bulgaria… They tell the people: If you remain out, your state (and you see what it is) will be worse then it was before, while if you attach yourselves to us and our cause, you will get all the benefits accruing to a large and powerful Kingdom, under Russian protection… I remain… Edward B. Barker British Museum, London, Dmss Layard Papers, Vol. LXXXIX Addd. 39.019, 186-187.

1878

From the record of the Imperial Russian secret archives on the arrangement and government of the Balkan regions. …Count Shuvalev demands that all the necessary measures for pacification of Macedonia be undertaken. For its purpose, it would be desirable to send competent agents there, and to proclaim to the Macedonians on behalf of the Governor, the Emperor, that His Highness is concerned about their fate, as much as for the other Slavs, and they will be granted the same freedom as that of the Bulgarians, now already liberated…. Dokumenti iz sekretnite arhivi na Ruskoto pravitelstvo. Sofia 1893, p.11-12.

1878

The rules of the Macedonian Rebel Committee of the Kresna Uprising It is well known to all of us that this ill-fated country of ours, Macedonia, owing to the egoistic aims of the Great Powers, was again left to Turkey after the Congress of Berlin. As a result of that, in certain regions of our fatherland many scenes full of blood, known to all of us, took place….We rebelled as advocates of freedom. With the blood we shed all over Macedonian fields and forests, we serve freedom, as the Macedonian army of Alexander of Macedon did, with our slogan “Freedom or Death!” The aim of the Uprising in Macedonia 1.The uprising in Macedonia…should be extended all over Macedonia. 2. Those people from Macedonia who feel themselves to be Macedonians and love the freedom of their fatherland are taking part in the uprising. From the private archives of Cyril, Patriarch of Bulgaria, Arch. of Act 2341, AE 50, pp. 30-61. The Residence of the monastery of Dragolevci, Sofia, P.R. Bulgaria.

June 8, 1879

Georgi Pulevski to Despot Badzovic: …The Bulgarians here are playing tricks with us and are turning the water to their mill alongside divine Nathaniel, who is a Macedonian, but rather inclined towards the Bulgarians… Arhiv Srbije (Beograd) Fond: Ministarstvo prosvete, P. nbr. 981/8.VI.1879; Razgledi XIV/10 (1972), p. 1132.

March 23, 1881

Manifesto of the Provisional Government of Macedonia: …our dear Macedonia, our dear homeland is calling upon you: you who are my faithful children, you who are descendants of Aristotle and Alexander the Great, you in whose veins Macedonian blood flows, do not let me die, but help me!… President Vasil Chomo, Secretary Nikola Trajkov in Kjustendil Centralnii Gosudartsvenii Arhiv Okjabarskii revoljucii i socialtieskoga stroitelstva SSSR, Moskva – Fond Gr.Ignatieva No.730 – opis No. 1, ed.hr.79; Lj. lape, Odbrani tekstovi za istorijata na makedonskio narod, II del, Skopje 1976, p.256-258.

May 9, 1888

Salonika. Temko Popov to Despot Badzovic …I shall try to write to you, as far as possible, in our language, replacing the words I don’t know with Bulgarian ones. What else can I do, Despot? While our language could one dictate to the other Slav languages, it has now remained the poorest of all, and like a beggar, it serves either Bulgarian or Serbian….Let us no lie to ourselves, Despot, the national spirit in Macedonia has reached such a stage today that even if Jesus Christ had come to the Earth, he would not have been able to persuade the Macedonian that he was a Bulgarian or a Serb, excepting those Macedonians in whom Bulgarian propaganda has already taken root. In order to convince yourself of this, you must have Bulgarianism in view. Bulgarian propaganda has now been working for 20 years in Macedonia, in the blindest of times – when Hellenism, coming from and entirely alien nation, started to take root in the Macedonian heart; but the Macedonians, seeing a ray of Slavism, rejected everything as if eyeless, without paying attention to the difference. It was sufficient for them to have broken with Hellenism. But what is to be done now i.e. after twenty years of Bulgarian striving, indoctrination and unsparing pecuniary sacrifices? My dear Despot, everybody does what is natural, but unexpected for the Bulgarians, that is, now every Macedonian admits he is not a Bulgarian and declares loudly his nation, even though he may still use Bulgarian means, not having his own, of course. … Your friend T. Popov Narodna Biblioteka, Belgrade – fond – Jovan Hadzi Vasiljevic II 413/III May 9 1988.

1890

A request by the citizens of Ohrid for the restoration of the Archbishopric of Ohrid To His Holiness, the Great Patriarch, Constantinople, We, loyal subjects to His Majesty, the Emperor Sultan Abdul Hamid II, for a long time did not have freedom for our Church, and since 1872 have become an even more misled flock, for we came under the Bulgarian Exarchate, deceived by Bulgarian propaganda. Thus we became schismatics, as well. …Apart from the fact that Bulgarians deceived and beguiled us, they also reject our language, change our holy customs and alter our character, too. We cannot tolerate it any more and we do not want our children to curse us and the graves of our forefathers… (signatures of 120 citizens of Ohrid) DA DSIP – Beograd – PPO, F.7, d.6, p.br. 962, 1890.

August 20, 1892

Serbian Consul in Bitola, Dimitrije Bodi, to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vladan Djordjevic, in Belgrade. I have to inform you, dear Sir, that some intellectualist movement among the local teachers has recently appeared in the town of Kostur, which insists upon rejection of Greek and Bulgarian propaganda, and the introduction of the Macedonian dialect as the language of teaching in the schools. This initiative has in fact been started….If you are interested in these matters, Sir, please answer me with a ciphered telegram. DA – DSIP. P odd.I red 278 (1892).

August 26, 1892

Serbian Consul in Bitola, Dimitrije Bodi, to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vladan Djordjevic, in Belgrade. ….I have heard from my own people that the local community at its meeting of 22nd Auguts this year, decided that the teaching in the new 1892/1893 school year should be done in the Macedonian dialect. The town teachers were given the task of working a program for the language teaching and a provisional grammar of the Macedonian dialect…. DA – DSIP. P odd.I red 278 (1892).

1890

Karl Hron: “The Nationality of the Macedonian Slavs”: …From my own studies of the Serbo-Bulgarian dispute I came to the conviction that the Macedonians are an individual nation, both by their history and their language; thus, they are neither Serbs nor Bulgarians… Karl Hron, Das Volksthum der Slaven Macedonians, Wien 1890, S. 4-5, 15-17, 20, 22,26

1896

Paul Argyriades (A French socialist born in Macedonia): …Present day Macedonia is one of the European provinces of the Turkish Empire. It borders on the south with Epirus, Thessaly and the Mediterranean, on the east with Thrace and the Mediterranean, on the north with Mount Hemus, Bulgaria and Serbia and with Albania on the west….Macedonia, as the homeland of the two greatest personalities of the Ancient World – Aristotle and Alexander the Great, who conquered the world. should it anew conquer its independence and its autonomy?…And if an autonomous Macedonian administration were to be introduced in this land in ten years only, it would be the earthly paradise of the world…The small states – the Greek, Bulgaria and Serbian ones -argue for the acquisition of Macedonia, using all kinds of proofs – chauvinist and historical – invented in support of their interests, while no one seems to realize that if the historical truth were to be respected, Macedonia should rather have the right to possess all those countries, which would like to devour it, since once it governed and ruled them itself….The Macedonians do not want the kind of caresses which may strangle them. They want to remain Macedonians without any other epithet, guarding for themselves their beautiful Macedonia… Almanach de la Question Sociale. Illustre’. (Paris), Pour 1896, pp. 240-244.

1897

From “Maleshevski Balkan” journal: At Least Do Not Hinder Us There is hardly any harsher situation then that of the Macedonian cause. Aroused by sympathy, feelings and tradition to maintain always the closest links with its direct neighbors, the Bulgarians, Serbs, and others, today it surprises us most mercilessly and makes us repent. Nobody, undoubtedly nobody, would deny the justification of our hopes in the Bulgarians and the Serbs, as people who stand closest to us, as people with the same past as ours, etc … From “Maleshevski Balkan”, Sofia, I, 16, 1 (1897).

1897

William Gladstone …Next to the Ottoman Govt. nothing can be more deplorable and blameworthy then jealousies between Greek and Slav, and plans by the States already existing for appropriating other territory. Why not Macedonia for Macedonians, as well as Bulgaria for Bulgarians and Servia for Servians. And if they are small and weak, let them bind themselves together for defence, so that they may not be devoured by others, either great or small, which would probably be the effect of their quarreling among themselves. The Times (London), 6th January 1897, p.12

1898

Petar Mandzukov to Kostadin Kirkov …Perhaps our slavery would not have been so difficult if various kinds of propaganda had not interfered in our affairs, which under the name of “brothers” and “benefactors” divide brothers from brothers and make the Turks commit the worst of crimes. Those “brothers” of ours do everything possible to prevent the unity of our freedom-loving forces. And what has been the result of such propaganda? Even the true sons of our country, those whoa re really not afraid to sacrifice their lives at the altar of our Fatherland, often wrongly think that the liberation of Macedonia could not be conceived without the interference of this or that state. They go over to the side of this or that people and forget their own people. Instead of uniting their forces in favor of their own people and striving in unison to liberate it from bondage, they cannot agree whom they should serve. We know, Kostadin, that our fatherland differs by its population from one Bulgaria, Greece or Serbia, which are homogenous countries. There are various nationalities and religions in our country. There are Macedonians, Greeks, Wallachians, Turks, Jews, Albanians, and even a few Armenians. and let us not forget the Gypsies…. CDIA (Sofia), f.70, on., AE70-74; – Razgledi, X/7 (1968), p.847-851

1900

A. Brutus (A. Drandar): Concerning a movement in Macedonia A considerable section of the European press does not cease to inform us of the immense sufferings undergone by the Christian population of Macedonia….It was the sad fate of that population that made us publish this booklet, based upon our experience and personal observations I had acquired impartially, as a foreigner, during my stay in Macedonia of several years…If one takes a retrospective view of the history of Macedonia to the most ancient of times, one remains amazed by the great role this small country, this classical country par excellence, played in the world….The Macedonian, born in a land to which nature was so favorable, has always longed for heroic feats and aspired to great deeds…Even the glorious cradle of Ancient Hellenism is subjected to the Macedonian kings…We find Macedonians on the Byzantine throne at the time when this empire was at its peak. Following the course of history, we see how the star of Macedonia shone with the same intensity. It plays the chief role in the revival of the Slav people. Thus, the two brothers exalted to apostles, Cyril and Methodius, objects of general admiration for the Slav world, are Macedonians, and owing to the very existence of these two apostles, this small land becomes the cradle of the Slav people to whom it gives its religion and art…The inhabitants of Macedonia do not want to be annexed either to Bulgaria or Serbia, or Greece; they want, they want so strongly, to live a human life in an autonomous country. Their slogan is: Macedonia to the Macedonians. A. Brutus, A Propos d’un Mouvement en Macedonie, Bruxelles 1900, pp.12-13, 15, 56.

1901

A.V. Amfiteatrov: The Land of Discord Each Slav should and is obliged to feel sympathy for Macedonian freedom. But Macedonian freedom cannot be achieved with their own, Macedonian means. The land is too small and weak to fight against the power of Constantinople, which only has to give a sign and tens of thousands of soldiers will attack the Rumalian vilayets and strangle them like mice before Europe could compose itself, even before Europe could know it. Hence, Macedonia cannot be freed with its own forces. Only an evil enemy, an unconscious enemy of Slavism could desire an armed movement in Macedonia now when the land is totally unprepared for an uprising, in circumstances of tied hands of the whole Europe, of Serbo-Bulgarian clashes, of huge preparations of the Turks against the slightest possibilities of movement. Cvetan Stanoevski, Kako ja vidoa Makedonija, Skopje 1978, pp.189-190,193-194.

1902

Nikola Karev to Goce Delchev …Let us not expect freedom either from the Greeks or the Bulgarians; it is we, the Macedonians, who should fight for our Macedonia ourselves… Neobjaveno pismo, Nova Makedonija, (Skopje), XXIV, nbr.7744 (May 5 1968), p.8

September 5, 1913

Dimitrija Chupovski: What did Bulgaria represent for Macedonia The Bucharest Conference of the Balkan states completely destroyed Article 23 of the Berlin Congress which stipulated the introduction of reforms in Macedonia as a self-governing province of Turkey. At the time this stipulation gave wings to the hopes of the Macedonians for the possibility of creating an autonomous Macedonia and proved to be a counter-balance to the stipulations of the Treaty of San Stefano, which defaced Macedonia by its inclusion within the boundaries of Greater Bulgaria. However, regardless of the stipulations of the Berlin Congress, the Treaty of San Stefano constantly instigated the Bulgarians to actions for creating a Greater Bulgaria at the expanse of Macedonia and they continually spent millions of rubles for agitation in Macedonia by opening their own, purely Bulgarian, schools and churches. As a result of this, Bulgaria began regarding itself as the only future liberator of Macedonia, comparing its role in the cause of the liberation of Macedonia with the role of Russia in the liberating Russo-Turksih War. We, however, cannot agree at all with such a comparison….Russia was Bulgaria’s liberator, and accordingly, to compare its role with the role of Bulgaria in the present war is, at the very least, absurd and ridiculous for our contemporaries, before whose eyes this tragicomedy was being acted. The role of Bulgaria as regards to Macedonia was from the very beginning criminal; it was first to violate…the article of the Berlin Treaty which bound Turkey to introduce reforms in Macedonia. Moreover, carrying out unbearable, extremely chauvinist, propaganda among the Macedonians through its Constantinople Patriarchate, Bulgaria was the first to cause rivalry and the introduction of similar propaganda by the Greeks and the Serbs, thus instilling discord among the Macedonians. During the whole 30 years of its existence as a state, Bulgaria has carried out anti-Macedonian policy. Flattering and attracting the Macedonians to its side. at the same time it persecuted them with ferocity and hatred and strove to destroy in them any idea of an autonomous Macedonia; while doing so, the Bulgarians did not shrink from using any means. Thus, in 1888, the Bulgarian Government destroyed the ‘Macedonian Literary Society’ under the presidency of Georgi Pulevski….Two years later, in that same Sofia, the Bulgarian Government closed the evening schools, specially opened for the emigrant Macedonian craftsman, and the heads of those schools. Macedonian patriots – Damjan Gruev, Delchev, Petre Pop Arsov and many others – were expelled from Bulgaria. In addition, let us consider just those persecutions to which the so-called Internal Macedonian Organization was exposed, working on the spiritual revival of Macedonia and its political liberation. Its members were persecuted both by the Bulgarian government and the Exarchate, the local instrument of those governments. In order to paralyze the successes resulting from the activity of the Internal Macedonian Organization, the Bulgarian government formed with Macedonian emigrant a requisite counter-Macedonian organization (made of the dregs(?) of society), known under the name of the Supreme Macedonian-Adrianople Committee, the task of which was to trumpet to the whole world that Macedonia is a purely Bulgarian country. Who does not know the shameful role of this Committee shown through its activity on the partition of Macedonia as a whole and of the Macedonian intelligentsia in particular? Guided by the Bulgarian government through its teachers and generals of the type of Mihajlovski and Conchev, this Committee acted against the Macedonian liberation movement and worked with all means on the annexation of Macedonia to Bulgaria. Still more criminal was the role of Bulgaria in this shameful ‘liberation’ war. Did not Bulgaria hold long negotiations concerning the division of Macedonia with its present occupiers? Did it not, according to the treaty of 29th February 1912 with the Serbs, give to them the whole western section of Macedonia and thus violate its integrity? Did not Bulgaria, which attracted Greece, too, to the Serbo-Bulgarian alliance, start to divide Macedonia? Could it not know that the Greeks might join the alliance only because they had in mind the acquisition of the southern section of Macedonia? Is not Bulgaria to be blamed for the partition of Macedonia, hiding the real aim of the war from the representatives of the Macedonian people, which it had to reckon with. On the contrary, starting the war, it declared to the Macedonians that it was fighting against Turkey alongside the allies for their liberation. Allowing the Macedonians to organize themselves into military units, Bulgaria committed a hundredfold crime, because it did not allow them to fight against Turkey in their native land, but directed them to Thrace, towards the shore of the Sea of Marmara, under the walls of Adrianople and the trenches of Chataldzha, which weren’t needed, except for a bunch of Bulgarian glory-hunters; and the happened at the same time when the allied Bulgarians, Serbs and Greeks were conquering Macedonia. How can we explain this criminal act of the Bulgarians towards the Macedonians, if not by the fear that those same Macedonians with arms in their hands would defend their homeland equally from any encroachments upon its independence? But in fact Bulgaria thus ruined not only Macedonia but also all its future. Shedding now crocodile tears for the lost Macedonia, did Bulgaria at the proper time make any attempt to preserve the indivisibility of Macedonia, which it likes to call its younger sister? How can some Bulgarian patriots claim that Bulgaria was in respect to Macedonia that biblical mother which appeared before Solomon’s court? Would not a mother worthy of setting an example rather prefer to renounce her own son in only he could thus remain intact? However, as we all know, Bulgaria was the first to agree to the partition of Macedonia. Why has not Bulgaria up to this moment acted like a real “native mother” with her unselfishness, with motherly generosity towards Macedonia, with a project for its autonomy? This is exactly the attitude of Bulgaria which could have ensured the integrity and indivisibility of Macedonia, peace among the Balkan peoples and would have preserved the dignity of the “native mother” herself – Bulgaria. What hindered it, having included the item about the autonomy of Macedonia in the treaty, from raising at the proper time the question about the realization of that item? Nobody hinder it at all, but it did not make any attempts itself to raise this question. It did not make this attempt after the end of the first half of the war, when it realized that its allies of yesterday, the Serbs and the Greeks, having occupied Macedonia, would not like to leave it. And instead of submitting a project for autonomy, it decided to go to war, in order to gain as great as possible a section of Macedonia for itself. Even following the defeat, when the question was posed not for Macedonia but for Bulgaria itself – I am referring here to the Conference of Bucharest, where Bulgaria was “generously” offered an eighth or tenth part of Macedonia – here, too, it preferred to take that part, and did not follow the example of the biblical mother, renouncing its share of the child. I repeat, the following of this, there are some people again who compare the present position of Bulgaria to the position of Russia in the liberating Russo-Turksih War, with a desire in this way to represent it in the role of the same unselfish liberator as Russia was with regard to Bulgaria itself, refusing to see that the main reason for the misfortunes of Macedonia were precisely the Bulgaria aspiration towards this long tortured land. Dimitrija Chupovski, Makednoskii Golos, pp. 130-133

1918

Rudolph Archibald Reiss on the Macedonians I said I would rather call your Bulgarophones Macedonians. You call these people Bulgarophones, owing to their language which is similar to Bulgarian. But, is it Bulgarian, is the same language spoken in Sofia? No. Macedonian is just as similar to Serbian as it is to Bulgarian. I am not a linguist and I would not allow myself a personal judgment, but disinterested Balaknologist have asserted to me that Macedonian is more similar to Serbian than Bulgarian. It is possible that there are linguists who assert the opposite. But it is a fact that the Macedonia language is spoken neither in Sofia nor in Belgrade. It is an individual Slav language, just as we have the Romansch in Switzerland, spoken in Grisons, apart from Italian. To my mind, the Macedonian can be called neither Bulgarian nor Serb, but simply Macedonian. R.A. Reiss, Sur la situation des Macedonianes et des musulmans dans les nouvelles provinces grecques. Paris, 1918, pp.6-7.

January 4, 1919

Sister Augustine Bewicke on the Macedonian autonomy St. Paul’s Hospital, Salonika Dear Sir, Please excuse the liberty I take in writing you, it is because the final settlement in the Balkans is of vital interest to the Catholics in these countries. – I have been 33 years in this Mission, the Uniate Catholic Mission, which at the beginning of the Second Balkan War counted about 10,000 Catholics. The Treaty of Bucharest, which divided Macedonia without any regard to justice, was the cause of these poor people being dispersed on account of their Slav language, which was forbidden in Churches and schools. – The Bishop had his residence in Salonika, he has now been in exile more then 3 years, his priests are dispersed, his flock is indeed without pastors, nor do we have any hope of his return to any place under Greek or Serbian rule. – The Greeks will not admit the Slav language in Churches or schools; the inhabitants of Macedonia are in the great majority Slavs; they call themselves Macedonians, and what they desire and what we ardently desire for them is an autonomy under European control. – I whatever way Macedonia might be divided; the people would be always discontented, and would fight again as soon as possible. The only hope I can foresee is in strong autonomy, which neither Greeks nor Bulgars nor Serbs would dare attack; then the Macedonians, who are really intelligent and docile when they are well treated. would peacefully develop this beautiful fertile country… Surely Europe will not leave Macedonia under people whom the Macedonians hate, and whom they will continually fight… Public Record Office (London) – FO 608/44. Peace Conference (British delegation), 1919.

1995

The 80-page human rights violation report on Greece entitled “Denying Ethnic Identity – Macedonians of Greece” was published in May 1994. After visiting Aegean Macedonia, the part of Macedonia that Greece took in 1913 after the partition of the country, the Human Rights Watch/Helsinki concluded:

“Although ethnic Macedonians in northern Greece make up large minority with their own language and culture, their internationally recognized human rights and even their existence are vigorously denied by the Greek government. Free expression is restricted; several Macedonians have been persecuted and convicted for their peaceful expression of their views. Moreover, ethnic Macedonians are discriminated against by the government’s failure to permit the teaching of the Macedonian language. And ethnic Macedonians, particularly rights activists, are harassed by the government – followed and threatened by the security forces – and subjected to economic and social pressure resulting from this harassment. All of these actions have led to a marked climate of fear in which a large number of ethnic Macedonians are reluctant to assert their Macedonian identity or to express their views openly. Ultimately, the government is pursuing every avenue to deny the Macedonians of Greece their ethnic identity.”

Greek Gods

The word “Greek” before the word “gods” implies that there is a relationship between “Greek” and “gods” which wrongly means that in some way these gods belong to “Greece” or the “Greeks”. But since these “gods” are associated with other Mediterranean people such as the Macedonians, Paeonians, Illyrians, Thracians, Phrygians, Lydians, Carians, Lycians, Paphlagonians, Cappadocians, Cilicians, Picidians, Pamphylians and others, in a similar manner, who also celebrated and believed in them, then one is led to believe that these gods must not be exclusively connected to Ancient Greece and the “Greeks”!

The question is how?

Microsoft’s Encarta encyclopedia under the heading “Greek Mythology” had an explanation but this explanation did not enforce the idea that the so called “Greek gods” were actually “Greek”. According to Encarta, mythology in written form appeared for the first time in the literary works of Hesiod and Homer around the 8-th century BC. Homer, as we know, produced the famous works the “Iliad” and “Odyssey” and Hesiod produced the poems “Theogony”. Both authors in their respective works talk about the various tales and legends associated with ancient deities. Hesiod, however, according to Encarta, takes a step further and introduces a larger number of myths that include deities that are not mentioned by Homer. Hesiod, in “Theogony”, who talks about the creation of the world, the birth of the gods as well as their adventures, never once mentions “Greek” or any other name derived from this word!

Similarly, Homer in his works the “Iliad” and the “Odyssey”, considered to be reliable sources for the so called “Greek Mythology” and the “Greek gods”, never once mentions the word “Greek” or any other name derived from this word!

So again, how are these so called “Greek gods” “Greek”? Perhaps the authors who wrote about them were from the region where modern Greece is today?

We can see that the vast majority of works about the so-called “Greek mythology” and the “Greek gods” were in fact written by NON-GREEKS or by authors of unknown origin/ethnicity.

If the authors who wrote about them were not “Greek” then perhaps the legends of the so called “Greek gods” originated somewhere in the lands of modern Greece?

Unfortunately, that is not true either. According to Herodotus, many of the elements of the so called “Greek myths” associated with the “Greek gods” were borrowed from foreign religions, mainly from the Pelasgeans (who lived in the lower Balkans) who in turn borrowed them from the Egyptians, who borrowed from Sumerians, Babylonians etc.

Herodotus: “From what parents the gods are derived or whether they were in existence from all time, and what they are like in shape, the Greeks do not know till this day when I write these lines” (Book II, 53).

Clearly the Helens did not have a clue about the stories that they stole from Pelasgians. If the Greeks had no thorough understanding about these myths and legends, how could they claim them as their own?

John Bettenson

Melbourne, Australia