Re: Greek Makedonia

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Posted by Mike on January 15, 2001 at 05:49:18:

In Reply to: Re: Greek Makedonia posted by Plutonas on January 12, 2001 at 21:06:46:

No, this is not Clintonesque nitpicking, but it depends on what you mean by "is"? What does it mean to say that a
people "are" Greek, English, Peruvian etc. etc.? In my mind the only sensible answer is ethnic origin. It is true
that at some point the Macedonians took to following Greek culture (language, religion etc.), but this does not
necessarily infer Greek ethnicity. Just a little example to demonstrate this point: in Zambia English is used as
official language, and many laws, education, the civil service, the military etc. are basically British in origin, but
who would argue that therefore the natives of Zambia are English? There are many such examples throughout

Any truly reputable history book would tell us that we cannot know whether Macedonians were or were not
Greek (or are or always will be, for that matter). Because there are insufficient historic facts we cannot answer
the question of the Macedonian ethnicity. Remember that ancient historians are not always to be trusted on
these delicate yet loaded issues: it was generally accepted by Greeks in ancient times that the Persians must
once have originated from the Greek hero Perseus! The great irony, of course, is that as now various nations
are bending over backwards to claim Macedonia and its history as their own, when Macedonia really mattered
it was quite the opposite. During the great period of the the Macedonian kings, culminating in the reigns of Philip
II and Alexander the Great, Greek contemporaries did not consider Macedonia as truly Greek, and
Macedonians were viewed as barbarians (i.e. foreigners) pretending not quite convincingly to be Greek, as they
were speaking with strange accents and drinking their wine without water.

Thanks Angela for starting this potentially interesting thread. Anyway, apart from this, my view is that we
should decouple history from the petty politics of today. I for one would be interested in follow-ups.

: Ok, well, you are indeed correct about a Macedonia being in northern Greece. Most (but not all) of the ancient Macedonian kingdom was within these borders. The people, the Macedonians, spoke Greek, worshipped the Greek (Olympian) gods, wrote in Greek, and took part in the Olympics. Philip II and his son Alexander the Great were rulers of Macedonia. I'm sure you know how Alexander the Great conquered and united Greece? Another one of his feats were spreading Greek culture, or Hellenising, the east (from Greece to India).

: The issue whether or not if Macedonia is Greek or not is not even a question really. Any reputable history book you read will tell you that it is deffinently. Although there is a country called the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (or just Rep. of Macedonia) these people have nothing to do with ancient Macedonia since they are racially Slavs and speak a Bulgarian dialect. Although some of these people (especially the diaspora Slavmacedonians) may say they are ancient Macedonians, in reality they are not (as even their own repoublic officials have said!).

: If I did not answer your questions then please take a look over these sites which will aid you further:

: : hi, i was wondering if anyone could explain to me the full story of Macedonia, and the issue whether or not it is greek. i know there is a region in greee called macedonia, and i don't think that this is what it is all about. could someone please explain this. thanks a lot!

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