Vergina Star
Home Page
Themis Web Site


1."The Macedonian people and their kings were of Greek stock, as their traditions and the scanty remains of their language combine to testify."

[John Bagnell Bury, "A History of Greece to the Death of Alexander the Great", 2nd ed. (1913)]


2. "That the Macedonians and their kings did in fact speak a dialect of Greek and bore Greek names may be regarded nowadays as certain."

[Malcom Errington, "A History of Macedonia"]


3. "Ancient allegations that the Macedonians were non-Greek all had their origin in Athens at the time of the struggle with Philip II."

[Malcom Errington, "A History of Macedonia"]


4. "What language did these Macedones speak? The name itself is Greek in root and in ethnic termination. It probably means highlanders, and it is comparable to Greek tribal names..."

[N.G.L. Hammond, "The Macedonian State" (1989)]


5. "The toponyms of the Macedonian homeland are the most significant. Nearly all of them are Greek."

[N.G.L. Hammond, "The Macedonian State" (1989)]


6. "And yet if 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."

[Ulrich Wilcken, "Alexander the Great", (1967)]


7. "Nowadays historians generally agree that the Macedonians form part of the Greek ethnos; hence they also shared in the common religious and cultural features of the Hellenic world."

[M.Oppermann, "Oxford Classical Dictionary", 3rd ed. (1996), p.905]


8. "Hesiod first mentioned 'Makedon', the eponym of the people and the country, as a son of Zeus, a grandson of Deukalion, and so a first cousin of Aeolus, Dorus, and Xuthus; in other words he considered the 'Makedones' to be an outlying branch of the Greek-speaking tribes, with a distinctive dialect of their own, 'Macedonian'."

[N.G.L.Hammond, "Oxford Classical Dictionary", 3rd ed. (1996), pp.904,905]


9. "The Macedonians were located between the Thracians and the Greeks, inhabiting the fertile plains drained by the Vardar and Struma rivers. From antiquity to the present the question has been debated as to whether these early Macedonians were Greeks or barbarians. The Macedonian rulers claimed to be descendants of Heracles and therefore genuine Greeks, a claim which the orators of the Athenian assembly scoffed at and rejected. The debate has continued to the present day, enlivened by the conflicting claims of modern Balkan states to the Macedonian lands.
Recent philological and archaeological research indicates that the ancient Macedonians were in fact Greeks, whose civilization had not kept up with that of the tribes which had settled further to the south. Their language closely resembled the classical Greek from which it differed no more than one English dialect from another. Various non-Greek peoples apparently had come under the rule of the Macedonian nobles and kings, but these latter definitely were Greeks in language and outlook, and invited Greek men of learning to their courts."

[L.S. Stavrianos, The Balkans since 1453, (2000), p.18]


10. "All in all, the language of the Macedones was a distinct and particular form of Greek, resistant to outside influnces and conservative in pronunciation. It remained so until the fourth century when it was almost totally submerged by the flood tide of standardized Greek."

[Hammond and Griffith, "A History of Macedonia" Vol ii, 550-336 BC.]


11. "In general, however, the Macedonian Slavs differ somewhat both in appearance and character from their neighbours beyond the Bulgarian and Servian frontiers: the peculiar type which they present is probably due to a considerable admixture of Vlach, Hellenic, Albanian and Turkish blood, and to the influence of the surrounding races. Almost all independent authorities,however, agree that the bulk of the Slavonic population of Macedonia is Bulgarian. The principal indication is furnished by the language, which, though resembling Servian in some respects (e.g. the case-endings, which are occasionally retained), presents most of the characteristic features of Bulgarian."

[The 1911 Edition Encyclopedia, found online at:]


12. The racial situation in Macedonia: Greeks and Slavs

"Although in some areas [of 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 favorable circumstances they might even develop ther own particular Macedonian consciousness."

[Ferdinand Schevill, "A History of the Balkans", p.432]

13. "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 this country."

[FYROM's Ambassador to Canada, Gyordan Veselinov in an interview with the Ottawa Citizen, 24 February 1999]

14. "We are Slavs who came to this area in the sixth century... we are not descendants of the ancient Macedonians."

[FYROM'S President Mr. Kiro Gligorov, Foreign Information Service Daily Report, Eastern Europe, February 26, 1992, p. 35.]


15. "We are Macedonians but we are Slav Macedonians. That's who we are! We have no connection to Alexander the Greek and his Macedonia. The ancient Macedonians no longer exist, they had disappeared from history long time ago. Our ancestors came here in the 5th and 6th century (AD)."

[FYROM'S President Mr. Kiro Gligorov, Toronto Star newspaper, March 15, 1992]


16. "We do not claim to be descendants of Alexander the Great." "We are Slavs and we speak a Slav language."

[FYROM'S Ambassador in Washington, Mrs. Ljubica Acevshka, 22 January 1999]


17. "It should be remembered, to begin with, that there is no Macedonian race, as a distinct type. Macedonians may belong to any of the races of Eastern Europe or Western Asia, as, indeed, they do. A Macedonian Bulgar is just the same as a Bulgar of Bulgaria proper, the old principality, that in October, 1908, at Tirnova, was proclaimed independent of Turkey. He looks the same, talks the same, and very largely, thinks the same way. In short, he is of the same stock. There is no difference, whatsoever, between the two branches of the race, except that the Macedonian Bulgars, as a result of their position under the Turkish government, have less culture and education than their northern brethren."

[Arthur Douglas Howden Smith, "Fighting the Turk in the Balkans: An American's Adventures with the Macedonian Revolutionists", 1908, p. 4-5]


18. "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...

"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."

[Mr. Edward O'Hara of the British Parliament]

19. "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."

[Elisabeth Barker, "Macedonia, its place in Balkan power politics",
(originally published in 1950 by the Royal Institute of International Affairs), p.10]

20."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 Skoplje region, in the north west, have ever shown much tendency to regard themselves as Serbs. The feeling of being Macedonians, and nothig but Macedonians, seems to be a sentiment of fairly recent growth, and even today is not very deep-rooted."

[Elisabeth Barker, "Macedonia, its place in Balkan power politics",
(originally published in 1950 by the Royal Institute of International Affairs), p.10]

21."May the heroic Serb people at last find the necessary moral force--and they have it, it dwells within them--to recognize spontaneously what has long and unanimously been recognized by history, science, and the national sentiment of the Macedonian population itself, which sees in the Bulgarians its brothers in language and blood, and which has fought hand in hand with them for religion, life, and liberty."

[N.S. Derzhavin, "Bulgaro-Serb Relations and the Macedonian Question", (1918)]

22. "Cultural autonomy must be granted to Pirin Macedonia within the framework of Bulgaria. Tito has shown himself more flexible than you - possibly because he lives in a multiethnic state and has had to give equal rights to the various peoples. Autonomy will be the first step towards the unification of Macedonia, but in view of the present situation there should be no hurry on this matter. Otherwise, in the eyes of the Macedonian people the whole mission of achieving Macedonian autonomy will remain with Tito and you will get the criticism. You seem to be afraid of Kimon Georgiev, you have involved yourselves too much with him and do not want to give autonomy to Pirin Macedonia. That a Macedonian consciousness has not yet developed among the population is of no account. No such consciousness existed in Byelorussia either when we proclaimed it a Soviet Republic. However, later it was shown that a Byelorussian people did in fact exist."

[Stalin to Bulgarian Delegation (G. Dimitrov, V. Korarov, T. Kostov) on 7 June 1946]

23."The Department has noted with considerable apprehension increasing propaganda rumors and semi-official statements in favor 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 Macedonian "national consciousness" to be unjustified demagoguery representing no ethnic nor political reality, and sees in its present revival a possible cloak for aggressive intentions against Greece"."

[The Secretary of State, Edward Stettinius, to Certain Diplomatic and Consular Officers, U.S. State Department, Foreign Relations Vol. VIII, Circular Airgram (868.014 / 26 Dec. 1944)]



Copyright © 2003 HEC All Rights Reserved (server HEC1)