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Macedonia was an ancient Greek kingdom in the northern Greek Peninsula [1] and later the dominant state of Hellenistic Greece[2], populated by Greek-speaking people with a Greek ethnic and cultural identity.[3] The ancient kingdom came to an end when it was occupied by the Romans in 146 BCE and then absorbed into the Orthodox Byzantine Empire when the Roman Empire split in 285 CE, while the Slavs invaded the Balkans in the 6th century AD. The Byzantine Greek dynasties fought off relentless invasions by different ethnicities but were finally invaded by the Ottoman Turks. After the Greek Revolution against the Turks, the Kingdom of Greece as well as Serbia tried to lay claim to the area known as Macedonia. After World War I, the area known as Macedonia got divided between these two countries and Bulgaria. Nowadays, the modern region of Macedonia is divided into three different countries, Greece (Greek Macedonia, which corresponds to ancient Macedonia), the Republic of Macedonia (which corresponds to ancient Paeonia) and a little part to Bulgaria (Pirin).


On ancient Macedonian history[edit]

Ancient Sources[edit]


  • Afterwards they added races for chariots and pairs of foals, and for single foals with rider. It is said that the victors proclaimed were: for the chariot and pair, Belistiche, a woman from the seaboard of Macedonia; for the ridden race, Tlepolemus of Lycia. Tlepolemus, they say, won at the hundred and thirty-first Festival, and Belistiche at the third before this.
  • The Phocians were deprived of their share in the Delphic sanctuary and in the Greek assembly, and their votes were given by the Amphictyons to the Macedonians.
  • They say that Amphictyon himself summoned to the common assembly the following tribes of the Greek people:--Ionians, Dolopes, Thessalians, Aenianians, Magnesians, Malians, Phthiotians, Dorians, Phocians, Locrians who border on Phocis, living at the bottom of Mount Cnemis. But when the Phocians seized the sanctuary, and the war came to an end nine years afterwards, there came a change in the Amphictyonic League. The Macedonians managed to enter it, while the Phocian nation and a section of the Dorians, namely the Lacedaemonians, lost their membership, the Phocians because of their rash crime, the Lacedaemonians as a penalty for allying themselves with the Phocians.
  • 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...
    • Strabo, "Geography", VII, Frg. 9, Loeb.
  • The Aegean sea washes Greece on two sides: first, the side that faces towards the east and stretches from Sunium, towards the north as far as the Thermaean Gulf and Thessaloniceia, a Macedonian city...; and secondly, the side that faces towards the south, I mean the Macedonian country, extending from Thessaloniceia as far as the Strymon.
    • Strabo, "Geography", 7.7.4-5.
  • Three classes inhabited the city (Alexandria in Egypt): first the Aegyptian 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.
    • Strabo, "Geography", 17.1.12-13.
  • What is now called Macedonia was in earlier times called Emathia. And it took its present name from Macedon, one of its early chieftains. And there was also a city emathia close to the sea. Now a part of this country was taken and held by certain of the Epeirotes and the Illyrians, but most of it by the Bottiaei and the Thracians. The Bottiaei came from Crete originally, so it is said, along with Botton as chieftain. As for the Thracians, the Pieres inhabited Pieria and the region about Olympus; the Paeones, the region on both sides of the Axius River, which on that account is called Amphaxitis; the Edoni and Bisaltae, the rest of the country as far as the Strymon. Of these two peoples the latter are called Bisaltae alone, whereas a part of the Edoni are called Mygdones, a part Edones, and a part Sithones. But of all these tribes the Argeadae, as they are called, established themselves as masters, and also the Chalcidians of Euboea; for the Chalcidians of Euboea also came over to the country of the Sithones and jointly peopled about thirty cities in it, although later on the majority of them were ejected and came together into one city, Olynthus; and they were named the Thracian Chalcidians.
    • Strabo, "Geography", book 7, Fragm 11.
  • At the present time both the Acarnanians and the Aetolians, like many of the other tribes, have been exhausted and reduced to impotence by their continual wars. However, for a very long time the Aetolians, together with the Acarnanians, stood firm, not only against the Macedonians and the other Greeks, but also finally against the Romans, when fighting for autonomy.


  • He also buried the Persian commanders and the Greek mercenaries who were killed fighting on the side of the enemy. But as many of them as he took prisoners he bound in fetters and sent them away to Macedonia to till the soil, because, though they were Greeks, they were fighting against Greece on behalf of the foreigners in opposition to the decrees which the Greeks had made in their federal council. 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".
  • Our enemies are Medes and Persians, men who for centuries have lived soft and luxurious lives; we of Macedon for generations past have been trained in the hard school of danger and war. Above all, we are free men, and they are slaves. 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. As for our foreign troops - Thracians, Paeonians, Illyrians, Agrianes - they are the best and stoutest soldiers in Europe, and they will find as their opponents the slackest and softest of the tribes of Asia. And what, finally, of the two men in supreme command? You have Alexander, they - Darius!
    • Alexander addressing his troops prior to the battle of Issus. Arrian, "Anabasis Alexandri", II, 7.
  • Your ancestors came to Macedonia and the rest of Hellas 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. Arrian, "Anabasis Alexandri", II, 14, 4.
  • He (King Philip) wanted as many Greeks as possible to take part in the festivities in honour of the gods, and so planned brilliant musical contests and lavish banquets for his friends and guests. Out of all Greece he summoned his personal guest-friends and ordered the members of his court to bring along as many as they could of their acquaintances from abroad.
  • Every seat in the theater 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.
  • 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 Hellenes (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.
  • Now that these descendants of Perdiccas are Greeks, as they themselves say, I myself chance to know and will prove it in the later part of my history.
  • 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.
  • The following took part in the war: from the Peloponnese, the Lacedaemonians provided sixteen ships; the Corinthians the same number as at Artemisium; the Sicyonians furnished fifteen ships, the Epidaurians ten, the Troezenians five, the Hermioneans three. All of these except the Hermioneans are Dorian and Macedonian and had last come from Erineus and Pindus and the Dryopian region. The Hermioneans are Dryopians, driven out of the country now called Doris by Herakles and the Malians.
  • Men of Athens... In truth I would not tell it to you if I did not care so much for all Hellas (Greece); I myself am by ancient descent a Greek, and I would not willingly see Hellas 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 Hellas 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.
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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, band 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.
  • What spectator... would not exclaim... that through Fortune the foreign host was prevailing beyond its deserts, but through Virtue the Hellenes were holding out beyond their ability? And if the ones (i.e., the enemy) gains the upper hand, this will be the work of Fortune or of some jealous deity or of divine retribution; but if the others (i.e., the Greeks) prevail, it will be Virtue and daring, friendship and fidelity, that will win the guerdon of victory? These were, in fact, the only support that Alexander had with him at this time, since Forune had put a barrier between him and the rest of his forces and equipment, fleets, horse, and camp. Finally, the Macedonians routed the barbarians, and, when they had fallen, pulled down their city on their heads.
  • 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.
    • Polybius, "Histories", VII, 9.2-3, 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.
    • Polybius, (Statement on Theopompus), "Histories", VIII, 11.4, Loeb.
  • How highly should we honor 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 honorable ambition of their kings?
  • Then your rivals in the struggle for supremacy and renown were the Achaeans and Macedonians, peoples of your own race, and Philip was their commander.
  • For in their anxiety to get the better of Philip and humiliate the Macedonians, they have without knowing it invoked such a cloud from the west as may, perhaps, at first only cast its shadow on Macedonia, but in time will be the cause of great evil to all Greece.
    • Polybius, "Histories", IX, 37.10, Loeb.
  • 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.
    • Alexander the Great addressing the dead Greeks of the battle of Chaeronia. Curtius Rufus, "Historia".
  • The country on the sea coast, now called Macedonia, was first acquired by Alexander (I), the father of Perdiccas, and his ancestors, originally Temenids from Argos.
    • Thucydides, " The Peloponnesian War", London, 2.99.3, J. M. Dent, New York, E. P. Dutton, 1910.
  • Now Alexander [the Great], when he had taken Gaza, made haste to go up to Jerusalem [...] And when the Book of Daniel was showed him wherein Daniel declared that one of the Greeks should destroy the empire of the Persians, he supposed that himself was the person intended." [The Bible verses showed Alexander might be Daniel 7:6; 8:3-8, 20-22; 11:3. Some or all of them are plain predictions of his conquests and successors.].
    • Flavius Josephus, "Antiquities of the Jews" (Book 11, Chapter 8, Paragraphs 4&5).
  • The Macedonians were ashamed that so renowned a city had been destroyed by their king in a drunken revel; therefore the act was taken as earnest, and they forced themselves to believe that it was right that it should be wiped out in exactly that manner.
    • Cleitarchus, FGrHist. 137, F. 11 (= Athenaeus 13. 576d-e) [Cited in "Persepolis", English Wikipedia]

Military commanders[edit]

  • 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.


  • 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.
  • Argos is the land of your fathers.
  • 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 untrammeled freedom, to consider all Hellas (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.
  • … all men will be grateful to you: the Hellenes (Greeks) for your kindness to them and the rest of the nations, if by your hands they are delivered from barbaric despotism and are brought under the protection of Hellas.


  • And she conceived and bore to Zeus, who delights in the thunderbolt, two sons, Magnes and Macedon, rejoicing in horses, who dwell round about Pieria and Olympus.
    • Hesiod, "Catalogues of Women and Eoiae", 3, Loeb, H.G. Evelyn-White.


  • (16:9) And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. [...] (17:1) Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: (17:2) And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, [...] (17:4) And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few. [...] (17:10) And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. (17:11) These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. (17:12) Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.
    • New Testament (Holy Bible KJV), Acts of the Apostles 16:9; 17:1-2, 4, 10-12.

Modern Sources[edit]


  • Greek epigraphic monuments created before definitive Roman domination of our area are to be found in modest quantity.
    • Vera Bitrakova Grozdanova, ethnic Macedonian archaeologist, "Hellenistic Monuments in S.R.Macedonia", Skopje, 1987, p. 130.
  • Macedonia and Epirus were the buffers of Greece in Europe...
    • R. M. Cook, British archaeologist, "The Greeks until Alexander", 1962, p. 23.
  • At the end of the Early Iron Age kings still reigned in Argos, Messenia, Epirus and Macedonia, and at Sparta there was the curious system of two co-regnant kings. But most Greek states were governed by aristocracies with annual magistrates of limited functions and a permanent council, whether hereditary or chosen...
    • R. M. Cook, British archaeologist, "The Greeks until Alexander", 1962, p. 65.
  • 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.
    • John Crossland, British archaeologist and Diana Constance, "Macedonian Greece", p. 16, W.W. Norton & Company (September 1982).
  • Tradition held the other element to be Hellenic, and no one in the fourth century seriously questioned its belief.
  • 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 stock.
  • 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 than the Hellenes[...] Archelaus patronized Athenian poets and Athenian drama and commissioned Euripides to dramatize the deeds of his Argive ancesto[...] "Macedonia" therefore, throughout historical times until the accession of Philip the Second, presents the spectacle of a nation that was no nation, but a group of discordant units, without community of race, religion, speech or sentiment, resultant from half-accomplished conquest and weak as the several sticks of the faggot in the fable.
  • We are not to be amazed that in the archaeological material of Pelagonia we have a rarely great wealth of reflections of all pronounced cultural events in the relations between middle-Danubian and Graeco-Aegean world [...] In a such great chronological distance in the life of ancient Pelagonia two stages are visible: development and existence in the frames of Hellenic culture and later the Roman one.
    • Ivan Mikulčić, ethnic Croatian archaeologist, "Pelagonija", Skopje, 1966, p. 2, p. 4.
  • The star of Vergina applies to the 3rd Century BC northern Greece - a very different situation, not related to the 21st Century AD. I think it's modern politics, and we're witnessing the use of an archaeological symbol for history that it's really not related to.
    • Bajana Mojsov, ethnic Macedonian archaeologist, "BBC News (2004), When archaeology gets bent, BBC World Service, 2004, The World Today programme", Accessed 12 October 2006.
  • Here we notice that in acts the term "Hellenes" (or "Greeks") is used with noteworthy propriety: the people of Thessalonica, of Berea, of Ephesus, of Iconium. and of Syrian Antioch are spoken of as Hellenes. Those were all cities which had no claim to be Roman, except in the general way of being parts of the Roman provinces Macedonia, Galatia, and Syria. They were counted Greek cities, and reckoned themselves as such.
  • With the end of Iron Age III, i.e. with the total Hellenisation of material culture, the prehistory of Macedonia ends.
    • Vojislav Sanev, ethnic Macedonian archaeologist, "Prehistory of S.R. Macedonia", Skopje 1977, p. 13.


  • Soon after Athens had reached the height of its glory under Pericles in the Fifth Century, B. C., and had started on its decline, the rise of Macedon under Philip carried Greek influence into new regions. The glory of Athens had been based upon sea power, but the conquests of Macedon were the work of land armies— Philip invented the invincible phalanx. Upon Philip's death his son, Alexander the Great, set forth to conquer the whole of the then known world, and as that world in his day lay to the east, his marches were in that direction. In a few years he had overrun the fertile plains and opulent cities of Asia Minor, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Persia, and had carried his conquests to the gates of Delhi. In all the cities in the intervening countries he left large garrisons of Greek soldiers. In many of these countries he founded flourishing new cities. In every place his soldiers were followed by large colonies of Greek civilians. The result was that the whole of western Asia, and of what we call the Near East, including Asia Minor Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Babylonia, Mesopotamia, Persia, and northwestern India, was saturated with the Greek influence and with Greek colonies.
    • Henry Morgenthau, "I was sent to Athens", Doubleday, Doran & Company, inc (1929).
  • The imagination of these conquered peoples was dazzled by the introduction of Greek art, literature, philosophy, and public works. Though the successors of Alexander were unable to maintain the political control of the lands he conquered, and though successive waves of Roman, Arabian, and Tartar conquests swept over these lands in succeeding centuries, none of the later conquerors has been able wholly to eradicate the influence of Greek culture, nor to exterminate that element of population which was of Greek blood.
    • Henry Morgenthau, "I was sent to Athens", Doubleday, Doran & Company, inc (1929).


  • 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.
  • Our understanding of the Macedonians' emergence into history is confounded by two events: the establishment of the Macedonians as an identifiable ethnic group, and the foundation of their ruling house. The "highlanders" or "Makedones" of the mountainous regions of western Macedonia are derived from northwest Greek stock; they were akin both to those who at an earlier time may have migrated south to become the historical "Dorians", and to other Pindus tribes who were the ancestors of the Epirotes or Molossians. That is, we may suggest that northwest Greece provided a pool of Indo-European speakers of Proto-Greek from which were drawn the tribes who later were known by different names as they established their regional identities in separate parts of the country... First, the matter of the Hellenic origins of the Macedonians: Nicholas Hammond's general conclusion (though not the details of his arguments) that the origin of the Macedonians lies in the pool of proto-Greek speakers who migrated out of the Pindus mountains during the Iron Age, is acceptable.
  • Only recently have we begun to clarify these muddy waters by revealing the Demosthenean corpus for what it is: oratory designed to sway public opinion and thereby to formulate public policy. That elusive creature, Truth, is everywhere subordinate to Rhetoric; Demosthenes' pronouncements are no more the true history of the period than are the public statements of politicians in any age.
    • Eugene N. Borza, "In The Shadow of Olympus", pp. 5-6, Princeton University Press.
  • There is no doubt that this tradition of a superimposed Greek house was widely believed by the Macedonians [...] There was a persistent, well attested tradition in antiquity that told of a group of Greeks from Argos -descendants of Temenus, kinsman of Heracles- who came to Macedonia and established their rule over the Makedones, unifying them and providing a royal house.
    • Eugene N. Borza, "In The Shadow of Olympus", p. 80, Princeton University Press.
  • "There is no reason to deny the Macedonians' own traditions about their early kings and the migration of the Macedones[..] The basic story as provided by Herodotus and Thucydides, minus the interpolation of the Temenid connections, undoubtedly reflects the Macedonians' own traditions about their early history.
    • Eugene N. Borza, "In The Shadow of Olympus", p. 84, Princeton University Press.
  • Their daughter, who would be the half-sister of Alexander the Great and, later the wife of Cassander, was appropriately named Thessalonike, to commemorate Philip's victory in Thessaly. In 315 Cassander founded at or near the site of ancient Therme the great city that still bears her name.
    • Eugene N. Borza, "In The Shadow of Olympus", p. 220, Princeton University Press.
  • Alexander ruled the world as his father had ruled Macedon, concentrating power in his own hands and office to his Companions. In nationality the Companions remained overwhelmingly Hellenic.
    • A.B. Bosworth, professor of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Western Australia, "Conquest and Empire: The Reign of Alexander the Great", Cambridge University Press, Reissue Edition, March 1993.
  • 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 League of 480 BC.
    • A.B. Bosworth, professor of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Western Australia, "Conquest and Empire: The Reign of Alexander the Great", Cambridge University Press, Reissue Edition, March 1993.
  • The prime example of a change in status is the case of Aspendus in Pamphylia. The degree of hellenism there has been questioned in recent years, but Alexander certainly regarded the city as Greek, There seems to have been no doubt about the Aeolic origins of the harbariscd population of Side (cf. Air. 1.26.4). The Aspendians, who at least used a dialect, which was recognizably Greek, were granted citizen rights at Argos in the latter part of the fourth century, as kinsmen and (probably) colonists, and the people of Cilician Soli who also claimed Argive origins were given privileged access to the assembly. They were certainly regarded as Hellenic communities and Alexander will have treated them as such, as he did the people of Mallus, whose Argive origins inspired his generosity (Arr. 11.5.9)[...] Alexander himself seems to have made little distinction in his last years between Greeks of Europe or Asia, or even between Greeks and Barbarians.
    • A.B. Bosworth, professor of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Western Australia, "Conquest and Empire: The Reign of Alexander the Great", Cambridge University Press, Reissue Edition, March 1993.
  • Macedonian kings were proud of their Greek blood, and it was only jaundiced opponents like Demosthenes the Athenian who ventured to call them "barbarians." They claimed descent from Hêrakles through the Dorian Kings of Argos, and they learned the tales of Troy and of Odysseus, and the songs of the Greek lyric poets, as they learned their letters. Fifty years before Alexander was born, a King of Macedon had been proud to give a home to the aged "modernist" playwright, Euripides, eighty years old and sick and tired of a democracy which had led Athens into defeat and revolution, and whose philistines accused Euripides of preaching atheism and immorality…
    • A. R. Burn, "Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Empire", Macmillan, 1948, p. 4.
  • Macedonia (or Macedon) was an ancient, somewhat backward kingdom in northern Greece. Its emergence as a Hellenic (Greek) power was due to a resourceful king, Philip II (359-336), whose career has been unjustly overshadowed by the deeds of his son, Alexander the Great.
    • Mortimer Chambers, Professor of History at the University of California at Los Angeles, "The Western Experience", p. 79, Mortimer Chambers et al, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2nd edition, 1997.
  • 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, where they won prizes[...]In Greece proper nevertheless, there remained a number of people like Demosthenes, who had in no way renounce their hatred of Macedon. They did not lack the means to take action: the new king of Persia, Darius III Codomannus, whose reign started in 336, anxious to war off the threat of a Macedonian invasion, liberally distributed among the Greeks funds that were to buy consciences and cover the expenses of war against Alexander.
    • Francois Chamoux, French historian, "Hellenistic Civilization", Blackwell Publishing Professional, 2002, p. 8, 9’’
  • To a certain extent the Macedonian monarchy had already been a unifying element in Greek history, even before the conquests of Alexander.
  • We have for the first time a standard of Macedonian royal burial by which to judge other rich tombs. We have much new information on the military equipment of the era. We have a whole new chapter in the history of Greek tomb paintings, a fragmentary field but one which throws unique and contemporary light on the whole lost achievement of Greek free painting.
  • The king of the Macedonians was now a member of the Synhedrion, whose decrees had to be expressly ratified by the individual states. These Hellenistic Leagues, directed by Macedon, rounded off a process of which the general unity is unmistakable, quite apart from all that was conditioned by the time and the special circumstances of each case.
  • For the Greeks of the third century B.C., it is true, the Hellenistic world was only an extension of the earlier Greek world; that in itself is perhaps sufficient justification for including the present discussions under the one general title. There is more to add. It was Greeks who most strongly determined the general spirit and the cultural form of the Hellenistic age. It was the Greek spirit which, nourished and merged in the stream of Greek evolution, took over the local influences.
  • 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.
  • Ancient allegations that the Macedonians were non-Greeks all had their origin in Athens at the time of the struggle with Philip II. Then as now, political struggle created the prejudice. The orator Aeschines once even found it necessary, in order to counteract the prejudice vigorously fomented by his opponents, to defend Philip on this issue and describe him at a meeting of the Athenian Popular Assembly as being 'Entirely Greek'. Demosthenes' allegations were lent on appearance of credibility by the fact, apparent to every observer, that the life-style of the Macedonians, being determined by specific geographical and historical conditions, was different from that of a Greek city-state. This alien way of life was, however, common to western Greeks of Epiros, Akarnania and Aitolia, as well as to the Macedonians, and their fundamental Greek nationality was never doubted. Only as a consequence of the political disagreement with Macedonia was the issue raised at all.
    • Malcolm Errington, "A History of Macedonia", University of California Press, February 1993.
  • 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.
    • Malcolm Errington, "A History of Macedonia", University of California Press, February 1993.
  • …demonstrate that not even the forces of nature could thwart the advance of the Great King. The most northerly Greek state, the Kingdom of Macedon, had already submitted to Xerxes' envoys: Thessaly did not resist either.
    • Colin McEvedy, "The New Penguin Atlas of Ancient History: Revised Edition", p. 62.
  • 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.
  • But Alexander was stressing his link with Achilles... Achilles was also a stirring Greek hero, useful for a Macedonian king whose Greek ancestry did not stop Greeks from calling him a barbarian.
  • No man, and only one hero, had been called invincible before him, and then only by a poet, but the hero was Heracles, ancestor of the Macedonian kings.
  • 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.
  • As for the hired Greeks in Persian service, thousands of the dead were to be buried, but the prisoners were bound in fetters and sent to hard labour in Macedonia, because they had fought as Greeks against Greeks, on behalf of barbarians, contrary to the common decrees of the Greek allies.
  • Alexander son of Philip and the Greeks, except the Spartans..., as Sparta did not consider it to be her fathers' practice to follow, but to lead.
  • In spirit, Alexander made a gesture to the Lydians' sensitivities, though his Greek crusade owed them nothing as they were not Greeks.
  • Alexander was not the first Greek to be honoured as a god for political favour...
  • Macedonia as a whole was tended to remain in isolation from the rest of the Greeks...
  • ...for the first time he (Phillip) started to understand how Macedonia's outdated institutions of feudalism an aristocratic monarchy so despised by the rest of Greece.
  • The men of Lower Macedonia worshipped Greek gods; the royal family claimed descent from Heracles. ….The Molossian dynasty of Epirus, on the marches of Orestis and Elimiotis, claimed descent from Achilles, through his grandson Pyrrhus - a fact destined to have immeasurable influence on the young Alexander, whose mother Olympias was of Molossian stock...
    • Peter Green, "Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C.: A Historical Biography".
  • In particular with the grim struggle for the succession still fresh in their minds, they urged - very reasonably - that before leaving Macedonia he should marry and beget an heir. However, the king rejected this motion out of hand, a decision which was to cause untold bloodshed and political chaos after his death. It would be shameful, he told them, for the captain - general of the Hellenes, with Philip's invincible army at his command, to idle his time away on matrimonial dalliance...
    • Peter Green, "Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C.: A Historical Biography".
  • In less than four years he had transformed Macedonia from a backward and primitive kingdom to one of the most powerful states in the Greek world.
    • Peter Green, "Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C.: A Historical Biography".
  • That the origin of this new population should be the supposed Dorian of northwest Greece seemed to be confirmed by the early appearance of cist graves at Kalbaki in Epeiros, Kozani, Vergina and Khaukhitsa in Makedonia.
    • Jonathan M. Hall, Professor of Ancient Greek History at the University of Chicago, "Ethnic Identity in Greek Antiquity", Cambridge University Press, 1998.
  • At the end of the bronze age a residue of Greek tribes stayed behind in Southern Macedonia [...] one of these, the "Makedones" occupied Aegae and expanded into the coastal plain of lower Macedonia which became the Kingdom of Macedon; their descendants were the Macedonians proper of the classical period and they worshipped Greek gods. The other Greek tribes became intermingled in upper Macedonia with Illyrians, Paeonians and Thracians[...] in the early 5th century the royal house of Macedon, the Temenidae was recognized as Greek by the Presidents of the Olympic Games. Their verdict was and is decisive. It is certain that the Kings considered themselves to be of Greek descent from Heracles son of Zeus. "Macedonian" was a strong dialect of very early Greek which was not intelligible to contemporary Greeks.
  • 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.
  • As subjects of the king the Upper Macedonians were henceforth on the same footing as the original Macedonians, in that they could qualify for service in the King's Forces and thereby obtain the elite citizenship. At one bound the territory, the population and wealth of the kingdom were doubled. Moreover since the great majority of the new subjects were speakers of the West Greek dialect, the enlarged army was Greek-speaking throughout.
  • The terms for the Phocians were mild by Greek Standards (one Greek state proposed the execution of all the men) disarmament, division into village-settlements, payment of all indemnity to Apollo and expulsion from the Amphictiony. In their place the Macedonians were elected members. The two votes of Phocis on the council were transferred to the Macedonian state.
  • The Balkan situation was far from secure, with the Odrysians and Scythians only recently defeated and with the Triballi still defiant. Yet Philip was confident of success in the interest of the Greek-speaking world and of Macedonia in particular.
  • What Clearhos saw there was the familiar features of his Greek world far to the west: a Macedonian palace, Rhodian porticoes, coan funerary monuments, Athenian propylaea, Delian houses, Megarian bowls, Corinthin tiles, and Mediterranean amphorae. Traditionally Greek but cosmopolitan and eclectic this city provided a fitting home for the easternmost copy of the Delphic maxims.
    • Frank L. Holt, "Thundering Zeus: The Making of Hellenistic Bactria", p. 44.
  • King Philip of the northern Greek kingdom of Macedon perfected this system, and his son, Alexander the Great, used it to conquer Greece and the Persian Empire.
    • Archer Jones, American historian, "The Art of War in Western World" (University of Illinois Press, 2000), p. 21.
  • ...for with Alexander the stage of Greek influence spread across the world.
  • Hadrian... also founded a temple of `Zeus Panhellenios', and established Panhellenic games and an annual Panhellenic assembly of deputies from all the cities of Greece and all those outside which could prove their foundation from Greece;... The importance attached to Hadrian's institution is best illustrated by an early third-century inscription from Thessalonica honouring a local magnate, T.Aelius Geminius Macedo [Makedon] , who had not only held magistracies and provided timber for a basilica in his own city, and been Imperial `curator' of Apollonia, but had been archon of the Panhellenic congress in Athens, priest of the deified Hadrian and president of the eighteenth Panhellenic Games (199/200); the inscription mentions proudly that he was the first `archon' of the Panhellenic Congress from the city of Thessalonica. That was one side of the picture, the development of Greek civilization and the conscious celebration of its unity and prosperity. In the native populations of the East it produced mixed feelings, nowhere better exemplified than the conversation of three Rabbis of the second century,...
    • Fergus Millar, "The Roman Empire and its Neighbours," 2nd ed. (London: Duckworth, 1981), pp.205-206.
  • 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.
    • Sarah B. Pomeroy, Stanley M. Burstein, Walter Donlan , Jennifer Tolbert Roberts, "Ancient Greece. A Political, Social, and Cultural History", Oxford University Press, USA, 1998, p. 376.
  • In its marginal status it [Macedonia] bore some resemblance to the less urbanized areas of Greece such as Achaea and Aetolia. It resembled them as well in the fact that it preserved earlier and less sophisticated political structures and like them it suffered from internal disunity. Both the land and its population had the potential under favorable conditions of developing a state whose power far exceeded other Greek powers[...] It [Macedonia] was a strategically important centre of routes leading northwards out of Greece towards the Danube.
    • Michael M. Sage, American historian, "Warfare in Ancient Greece", Routledge. p. 162.
  • 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.
    • Michael M. Sage, American historian, "Warfare in Ancient Greece", Routledge, pp.163-164.
  • Philip first cut the ground from under it by uniting the nation in his Corinthian League[...]In this manner Philip united all Greeks (with the single exception of Sparta) into a League of states, and so for the first time in history created a Greek unified state.
  • 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...
  • 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 (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...
    • Michael Wood, (Statement made by a Kalash named Kazi Khushnawaz, "Footsteps of Alexander the Great", p. 8).
      • (i.e.: Seleucus was one of the Generals of Alexander the Great. He was born in 358 or 354 BC in the town of Europos, Macedonia and died in August/September 281 BC near Lysimathia, Thrace.)
  • This was Macedonia in the strict sense, the land where settled immigrants of Greek stock later to be called Macedonians.
    • W. J. Woodhouse, Australian historian, "The tutorial history of Greece, to 323 B.C. : from the earliest times to the death of Demosthenes", p. 216, University Tutorial Press, 1904, (reprinted 1944).
  • When Athens falls, when spreading of Greeks beyond the area of Greece starts, as many know, after the conquests of Alexander of Macedonia, new Greek states are established and Egypt becomes the main centre of Greek civilization, with the centre in Alexandria. Greeks winning over Asia, that is the main idea of Alexander.
    • Nikolaj Pavlovič Grincer, professor at the Institute of Eastern Cultures and Antiquity (IVKA), Moscow, Lecture “Literature and politics in European antiquity", 2014
  • "From a historical point of view the term Macedonia had no clear ethnic meaning (it is because of thousands of years of mixing of various tribes and peoples), although it is clear that in ancient times Macedonia was considered a Greek state and Macedonians [were] Greeks living in Macedonia".
    • Slavenko Terzić, "Stara Srbija: Drama of a European Civilization", Moscow 2015, p. 38


  • ...Certain proto-populations occupying distinct areas of the Balkans could be distinguished on the territories of the cultural groups: in western part of the Balkans the proto-Illyrians, in the east the proto Thracians, in the south the Hellenes (i.e: Greeks), in the northern part of the Balkans the proto Daco-Mysians and in the southwest of the Central Balkans the proto Bryges.
    • "Arheologija" magazine, No 1, Skopje 1995, "Bryges on the central Balkans in the 2nd and 1st millennium b.c." (summary).
  • The latest archaeological findings have confirmed that Macedonia took its name from a tribe of tall, Greek-speaking people, the Makednoi (ma(e)kos = length). They shared the same religious beliefs as the rest of the Hellenic world but up until the Classical period remained outside the cultural and political development of the southern city states[...] Yet "vulgar" Macedonians were not unanimously accepted by "refined" southern Greeks, especially by Athenians, as brethren. Occasionally they were classified as "barbarians". This was not due to some latent but still distinguishable Thracian and Paeonian cultural influences or to local linguistic peculiarities. To a certain extent Athenian reluctance could be attributed to the Macedonian’s rough manners, their monarchic government, and their delayed appearance on the scene. But the main source of antipathy was more than a century of conflict over eastern Macedonia, Thrace, the Chalcidice colonies, and, of course, the final victorious military involvement of Macedonia in southern affairs from 350 B.C. onwards which signaled the end of the Classical period.
    • "Encyclopaedia of Greece and Hellenic Tradition", Volume 2, Edited by Graham Speake, Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 2000, pg 972.
  • During the early archaic period at the Macedonian territory, the Dorian tribal groups came across over the Pindos mountain,to the area of today's North-Western Greece and parts of the southern Republic of Macedonia. They established several early principalities partially by chasing away the local Paeonian tribes. Those tribal groups were the ancient Macedonians.
    • "Macedonian Heritage" magazine, No 1, july 1996, p. 5.
  • Persian rule in Egypt was not to survive long, but its overthrow was not the work of Egyptians. In 336 BC a Greek army, led by Alexander III (Alexander the Great) king of Macedonia invaded the Persian empire[...] It would be easy to see in this, the formal establishment of Greek rule in Egypt, the logical culmination of three centuries of Greek influence and patronage. But, except in so far as the earlier involvement of Greeks in Egyptian affairs prepared the Egyptians psychologically to accept Greek rule.
    • "The Cambridge History of Africa" edited by J. D. Fage, pp. 105-106.
  • By Demosthenes the interval was spent rallying Greek opinion against 'The barbarian', as he unjustly and inaccurately called the Macedonian (the near-Greekness of whose culture is now revealed in a clearer light by such archaeological finds as the painted frescoes at Vergina, uncovered in 1977). That Demosthenes propagandist and political efforts almost succeeded is shown by the closeness of Philips' final victory on the field at Chaeronea.
    • "The Oxford Illustrated History of Greece and the Hellenistic World" edited by John Boardman, Jasper Griffin, Oswyn Murray, p. 148.
  • In 350 BCE Philip of Macedonia united Greece under Macedonian rule. His son Alexander, surnamed the Great, in turn conquered the entire Persian empire uniting Greece with the Ancient Near east.
    • Steven Bayme, "Understanding Jewish History: Text and Commentaries", Ktav Publishing House (July 1997), p. 50.
  • The city-states of ancient Greece established colonies in almost every part of of their known world. Later Alexander of Macedonia through his conquests spread hellenic culture both east to Asia and south to Egypt. One of the lesser-known legacies of Alexander's excursions is the Greeks who stayed in northern India, ruling there for twenty generations.
    • Benjamin J. Broome, Professor of Communication, "Exploring the Greek Mosaic: A Guide to Intercultural Communication in Greece", p. 27.
  • The Macedonians were of Greek stock, as their traditions and remains of their language prove.
    • Thomas Kelly Cheyne, "Encyclopaedia biblica;: A critical dictionary of the literary; political and religious history, the archaeology, geography, and natural history of the Bible".
  • 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 (436338) 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 panHellenic unity possible.
    • Vilho Harle, Professor of International Relations at University of Lapland in Finland, "Ideas of Social Order in the Ancient World", p. 24.
  • Although the Macedonians, whose territory occupied the area around present-day Thessaloniki in northern Greece, considered themselves part of the Greek cultural sphere, many Greeks regarded them with contempt. In the eyes of the Greeks, the Macedonians were a mere offshoot of the original stock. They spoke a Greek dialect, to be sure, but they were led by a backward monarchy and their nobles.
    • Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries, Dutch author, researcher and clinical professor of leadership development, "Are Leaders born or Are they made?: The case of Alexander the Great", Karnac Books (June 2004).
  • Philip, on campaign in Thrace, got the news along with two other messages. His general, Parmenion, had soundly defeated the Illyrians in the west; and his racehorse had won at the Olympic Games. The right of Olympic entry was a prized inheritance of the kings of Macedon. The Games were only open to Greeks; and Macedonians were not recognized in the south as the offshoots of the original stock, which in fact they were. They were regarded as semi-barbarous (the actual term 'barbarian' was reserved for Persians) and the royal house had just scraped in on the strength of a remote Argive ancestry. For Philip, to whom acceptance in the Greek world was a lifelong dream, this news may have been the most welcome item of the three...
    • Mary Renault, English writer, "The Nature of Alexander", p. 28-29.
  • The wedding plans were resplendent. High ranking guests and state envoys were invited from all over Greece, as befitted Philip's of pan Hellenic war leader. Festival games in honour of the twelve Olympian gods were to be dedicated at a ceremony in the theatre at Aegae, near modern Edessa, the ancient capital...
  • The Greek leaders perceived the sudden resurgence of Persian power in the region as a new and significant challenge to their interests. To gain support for an activist policy, some attempted to redefine the nature of the Greek-Persian conflict from one of straightforward geopolitics to the more emotional issue of pan-Hellenism. For such proponents of a continuation of the struggle the issue was no longer merely the matter of the defense of the Greek city-states. The Persian challenge was now characterized as a conflict of principle, of Hellenic culture and civilization against Asiatic barbarism in an unrelenting struggle for survival. They advocated a crusade to be carried out by a unified Greek nation that was to include all that partook of Greek civilization. However, the traditional leadership of Athens and the other prominent city-states, exhausted by the long external and internal wars, were unable to mobilize the support necessary for an effective response to the Persian challenge. Nonetheless, the pan-Hellenic crusade was soon to be undertaken, but not by Athens. It was Macedonia that was to impose its own leadership on Greece and undertake the renewed struggle against Persia in the name of the Hellenes.
    • Martin Sicker, political scientist, "The Pre-Islamic Middle East", p. 99, Praeger Publishers (April 30, 2000).
  • After successfully annexing Thessaly and Thrace, Philip was widely acknowledged as the natural leader of a Hellenic alliance. The venerable Isocrates saw Philip as the man that Greece needed to deal with a chronic demographic problem that menaced its future. He argued that Greece was plagued by overpopulation, which produced large numbers of men suitable for military service who wandered about, without loyalty to any city, selling their services to anyone who could pay for them and thereby posing a constant menace to the stability of the country. What was needed, he suggested, was a new country that might be colonized by Greece's surplus population. This new land would have to be conquered from Persia, and Philip of Macedon, who was already successfully challenging the Persians in a contest for control of the European shores of the Hellespont, was clearly the only one who might be able to annex all Anatolia to the Hellenic world.
    • Martin Sicker, political scientist, "The Pre-Islamic Middle East", p. 100, Praeger Publishers (April 30, 2000).
  • Philip had no illusions about the stability of the Common Peace, given the turbulent history of the Greek city-states, their competitiveness, and their general reluctance to sacrifice their freedom of action even for the common good. Moreover, he was a Macedonian, from the backwater of the Greek world [...] A Persian offer of 300 talents was privately accepted by Demosthenes, who employed it for purposes compatible with mutual Athenian-Persian interests in thwarting Macedonian ascendancy.
    • Martin Sicker, political scientist, "The Pre-Islamic Middle East", p. 102, Praeger Publishers (April 30, 2000).
  • Paeonians, a people who during the first millennium BC inhabited the border area between the three great Paleobalkanic peoples - Illyrians, Thracians and Hellenes. (i.e:Greeks)
    • Fanica Veljanovska, FYROMian anthropologist, "An Attempt at Anthropological Definition of the Paeonians", Skopje, 1994.
  • Alexander the Great: A Macedonian king (336-323), son of Philip II, the greatest conqueror of the antiquity, a pupil of Aristotle. Completed the conquest of Hellas. (From) 334 lead a campaign against Persia. Conquered Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt, has reached India. Died in Babylon. Extraordinarily brave. He ranks among the greatest military leaders of the world. Representative of the methodical and devastating tactics. Within the realm of tactics, he used synergy by horsemen and infantry. His military genius was based also on the great erudition. He spread Hellenic culture in the East. About him and his deeds, there is a large body of literature. Stories about him reached in medieval times also the Serbian culture (cf. Aleksandrida).
    • Enciklopedija Prosveta, Vol. 1, Beograd, 1968, p. 32
  • Philip V (220-178 BCE), carried a struggle against Romans trying to halt their penetration into Balkans, but he was defeated in the battle of Cynoscephalae, after which he was forced to renounce all Greek lands, with the exception of Macedonia; he obliged to the difficult conditions of peace (surrender of the fleet, paying of taxes etc) which meant the beginning of Roman conquest of Macedonia.
    • Enciklopedija Prosveta, "Filip V", Vol. 2, Beograd, 1968, p. 869

On ancient Macedonian language[edit]

Modern Sources[edit]


  • 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.


  • Here we have seen that their early history is still largely an open question. They may have had Greek origins: Whatever process produced the Greek-speakers (of that is how one defines "Greek") who lived south of Olympus may have also produced the Makedones who wandered out of the western mountains to establish a home and a kingdom in Pieria.
    • Eugene N. Borza, "In The Shadow of Olympus", pp. 277-278, Princeton University Press.
  • 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).
  • That the Macedonians and their kings did in fact speak a dialect of Greek and bore Greek names may be regarded nowadays as certain.
    • Malcolm Errington, "A History of Macedonia", University of California Press, February 1993.
  • He was still in a world of Greek gods and sacrifices, of Greek plays and Greek language, though the natives might speak Greek with a northern accent which hardened 'ch' into 'g','th' into 'd' and pronounced King Philip as Bilip.
  • Cleopatra VII would have described herself as a Greek. Whatever the racial ingredients of her Macedonian ancestors, her language, like theirs (though they had spoken a dialect), was Greek and so was her whole education and culture.
    • Michael Grant, "From Alexander to Cleopatra: The Hellenistic World", Scribner Paper Fiction.
  • That the Macedonians were of Greek stock seems certain. The claim made by the Argead dynasty to be of Argive descent may be no more than a generally accepted myth, but Macedonian proper names, such as Ptolemaios or Philippos, are good Greek names, and the names of the Macedonian months, although differed from those of Athens or Sparta, were also Greek. The language spoken by the Macedonians, which Greeks of the classical period found unintelligible, appears to have been a primitive northwest Greek dialect, much influenced by the languages of the neighboring barbarians.
    • J.R. Hamilton, Australian historian, "Alexander the Great", Hutchinson, London, 1973.
  • 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".
  • All in all, the language of the Macedones 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.
  • There were two parts of the Greek-speaking world at this time which did not suffer from revolution and did not seek to impose rule over the city states. In Epirus there were three clusters of tribal states, called Molossia, Thesprotia and Chaonia[...]the other part of the Greek-speaking world extended from Pelagonia in the north to Macedonia in the south. It was occupied by several tribal states, which were constantly at war against Illyrians, Paeonians and Thracians.
  • Macedonians had their own language related to Greek, but the members that dominated Macedonian society routinely learned to speak Greek because they thought of themselves and indeed all Macedonians as Greek by blood.
    • Thomas R. Martin, "Ancient Greece: From Prehistoric to Hellenistic Times", Yale University Press, p. 188.
  • 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.
    • Robert Morkot, British historian, "The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Greece", Penguin Publishing USA, January 1997.
  • ...despite ancient and modern controversies it seems clear that the Macedonians as a whole were Greek-speakers. While the elite naturally communicated with other elites in standard, probably Attic, the ordinary Macedonians appear to have spoken a dialect of Greek, albeit with load-words from Illyrian and thracian which gave ammunition to their denigrators[...] if proof needed of the sophistication of Macedonia at this time, one may bring forward the fragments of the earliest surviving Greek literary papyrus, a carbonized book-roll found in a tomb-group of c. 340-320 at Derveni near Thessaloniki. It preserves parts of a philosophical text on Presocratic and Orphic cosmology composed around 400, and surely had a religious significance for the man in whose funeral pyre it was placed. The Derveni roll provides evidence for a high level of culture among the aristocracy.
    • Graham Shipley, English historian, " The Greek World After Alexander", Routledge, p. 111.


  • Before the times of the national unity installed by the Macedonians around the middle of the 4th century BC, Greece was composed of many regions or city states[...] That they [Dorians] were related to the North-West Dialects (of Phocis, Locris, Aetolia, Acarnania and Epirus) was not perceived clearly by the ancients.
    • Sylvain Auroux, French linguist, "History of the Language Sciences: I. Approaches to Gender II. Manifestations", p. 439.
  • The nucleus of the Macedonian vocabulary consists of words which have exact correspondence in Greek. The importance of these words and the archaic phonological character of Macedonian lead to the conclusion that these are not borrowings but inherited words: this fact is confirmed by the genetic unity of Macedonian and Greek. Moreover, the numerous lexical and phonological isoglosses in Macedonian and the different Greek dialects confirm the supposition of genetic unity.
    • Vladimir Ivanov Georgiev, Bulgarian linguist, "Introduction to the History of the Indo-European Languages", Sofia 1981, p. 169.
  • 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 civilization. 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.
    • Otto Hoffmann, German linguist, "Die Makedonen, Ihre Sprache und Ihr Volkstum", Göttingen, 1906.
  • And now after supervising the ancient Macedonian linguistic thesaurus we are posting the decisive question, if what is adding to the Macedonian language its character, are the hellenic or the barbarian elements of it, the response can not be of any doubts. From the 39 "languages" that according to Gustav Mayer their form was "completely alien" has been proven after this research of mine, that 10 of them are clearly Hellenic, with 4 more possibly dialectical forms of common hellenic words, so from the entire collection are remaining only 15 words appearing to be justifiable or at least suspected of anti-hellenic origins. Adding to those 15, few others which with regards their vocals could be hellenic, without till now being confirmed as such, then their number, in comparison to the number of pure hellenic ones in the Macedonian language, is so small that the general hellenic character of the Macedonian linguistic treasure can not be doubted.
    • Otto Hoffmann, German linguist, "Die Makedonen, Ihre Sprache und Ihr Volkstum", Göttingen, 1906.
  • The names of the genuine Macedonians and those born of Macedonian parents, especially the names of the elit class and nobles, in their formation and phonology are purely Greek.
    • Otto Hoffmann, German linguist, "Die Makedonen, Ihre Sprache und Ihr Volkstum", Göttingen, 1906.
  • 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.
    • Olivier Masson, French linguist, "Oxford Classical Dictionary:Macedonian Language", 1996.
  • The problem of the nationality of the Macedonians has been studied a great deal. Otto Hoffman with linguistics as his starting point solved it correctly and decisively when he accepted that the Macedonians were Greeks.
    • F. Munzer, German linguist, "Die Politische Vernichtung des Griechentums", Leipzig 1925, p. 4.
  • The Ancient Macedonian language:

The ancient language of the Macedonian kingdom in N. Greece and modern Macedonia during the later 1st millennium BC. Survived until the early 1st millennium AD. Not to be confused with the modern Macedonian language, which is a close relative of the Slavic Bulgarian.


  • The evidence for the language of the Macedonians has been reviewed and discussed by Kalleris and Hammond, Griffith, and many others, all contending that it was a dialect of Greek. The increasing volume of surviving public and private inscriptions makes it quite clear that there was no written language but Greek. There may be room for argument over spoken forms, or at least over local survivals of earlier occupancy, but it is hard to imagine what kind of authority might sustain that. There is no evidence for a different "Macedonian" language that cannot be as easily explained in terms of dialect or accent.
    • "Cambridge Ancient Histories", Cambridge Univ. Press, 1998.
  • As a Macedonian [Philip] was looked down upon by the more refined Athenians, but they shared the same Hellenistic culture. How deep this went is evident in aesthetically the least spectacular, but politically the most explosive, of the finds in Vergina. In the Great Tumulus above Philip's tombs, which was raised by the invading Galatians in 274 BC, the archaeologists found fragments of no fewer than seventy-five funeral monuments, or “stelai”. The names on these were entirely Greek, save two, which appeared to be Hellenized versions of Thracian and Phoenician names. The implication is that Philip's Macedonia was thoroughly Hellenized, an outpost of classical Greek culture...
    • Robert Fox, journalist and a writer on defence issues, "The Inner Sea: The Mediterranean and its People", Sinclair- Stevenson, London 1991 (p 229-230).

On medieval Macedonian history[edit]

Medieval Sources[edit]

Roman Emperors[edit]

  • That much I can say, without endless talking and without becoming tiresome, that she [Eusebia] is of a family line that is pure Greek, from the purest of Greeks, and her city is the metropolis of Macedonia.
    • Julian, "Praise For The Empress Eusebia", p. 147'

Modern Sources[edit]


  • It was the Byzantine Empire, which was to realize Alexander's idea - Macedonian Panhellenism -in face of an Asia in revolt, and realize it for the Greeks.
  • The province of Thessalonica (Saloniki) had, together with Greece, been awarded to the warlike Marquis Boniface of Montferrat with the royal title. It comprised the greater part of ancient Macedonia and Boniface carried his victorious arms into Greece, where he everywhere divided the conquered territories among his knights; but having perished in a skirmish with the Bulgarians, in 1207, his kingdom was invaded by the Greek despot, Theodore of Epirus who was received with open arms by the Greeks, and crowned emperor at Thessalonica in 1222.
    • Adolphus Louis Koeppen, Danish historian, "The World in the Middle Ages: An Historical Geography, with Accounts of the Origin", Appleton, p. 409.
  • It would appear that Nemanjić (dynasty), in spite the fact that from the conquered cities in Macedonia it has exiled their open opponents and replaced it with its own men, nevertheless left in it the bigger part of the local Greek population.
    • Doklestić Ljubiša, "Kroz historiju Makedonije", Školska Knjiga, Zagreb, 1964, p. 48

On modern Macedonian history[edit]

On the Republic of Macedonia’s History[edit]


  • Journalist: What is your opinion for the problem which Greece has to accept the name Macedonia which the Scopje Government (FYROM) 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.

  • 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.
    • Stefan Nikolov, (Bulgarian diplomat - Agency for Bulgarians Abroad of the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry in Sofia), AFP report, Sunday 13 August 2006.
  • 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.
    • Thomas Niles, US Ambassador, statement on the 23rd June 1992 to the SubCommittee of US Congress, Eleutherotypia newspaper, June 24, 1992.
  • Since the Bulgarian idea, as it is well known to all, is deeply rooted in 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 itself 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.
    • Stoyan Novakovich, Serbian diplomat, Novakovich's dispatch to the Serbian Minister of Education in 1888.
  • We are not related to the northern Greeks who produced leaders like Philip and Alexander the Great. We are Slavs and our language is closely related to Bulgarian. There is some confusion about our identity.
  • 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.
    • Ljubica Achevska, FYROM Ambassador to the US, reply to a question about the ethnic origin of the people of FYROM, January 22, 1999.
  • "Unfortunately, in many countries, and I regret to say, also in this country [FYR of Macedonia], I see leaders who see politics as a short term game for enrichment of themselves and of their own party, causing conflict in the country, instead of working to resolve conflicts. I think this is a recipe for a destruction of the state".
    • Paul D. Wohlers, U.S. Ambassador to FYR of Macedonia, September 13 2014, PlusInfo news portal.


  • Ovid was lax in his geography, not least over Paeonia (in fact roughly coextensive with the present Slav republic of Macedonia).
    • (Ovid [Author], Peter Green [Translator], “The Poems of Exile”, University of California Press, 2005, p.319
  • Besides the former kingdom of Macedon, the Roman region included the territories of Paeonia, where the contemporary FYR Macedonia rests.
    • Ridvan Peshkopia, “Conditioning Democratization”, Anthem Press, 2015, p.189
  • Having just conquered Paeonia (roughly where the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is today).
    • Timothy Howe, Jeanne Reames, “Macedonian Legacies: Studies in Ancient Macedonian History and Culture in Honor of Eugene N. Borza”, Regina Books, 2008, p.239
  • 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.
  • ...and Uskub, the great majority of the population is Slavic, [...] the middle ages until 1913 called themselves and were called by their neighbors Bulgarians.
  • 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.
    • Eugene N. Borza, "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.
  • Macedonia 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..."
    • T.J. Winnifrith, "Shattered Eagles, Balkan Fragments", Duckworth,1995..
  • The Macedonian nationalists quite simply stole all of Bulgarian historical argument concerning Macedonia, substituting Macedonian for Bulgarian ethnic tags in the story. Thus Kuber formed a Macedonian tribal alliance in the late seventh century; Kliment and Naum were Macedonians and not Bulgarians; the medieval archbishop-patriarchate of Ohrid, which Kliment led, was a Macedonian, not a Bulgarian independent church, as shown by the persistence of Glagolitic letters in the region in the face of the Cyrillic that were spawned in Bulgaria; and the renowned Samuil led a great Macedonian, rather than a western Bulgarian, state against Byzantium (giving Slav Macedonia its apex in the historical sun).
    • Dennis P. Hupchick, "Conflict and Chaos in Eastern Europe", Palgrave Macmillan, 1995..
  • 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.
    • Dennis P. Hupchick, "Conflict and Chaos in Eastern Europe", Palgrave Macmillan, 1995.


  • 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.
    • Loring Danforth, "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.
    • Loring Danforth, "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.
    • Loring Danforth, "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 for 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.
    • Loring Danforth, "The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World", Princeton Univ Press, (December 1995), p. 66.
  • 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).
  • 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.
    • Krste Misirkov, "On Macedonian Matters", Macedonian Review Editions 1974, (Sofia 1903).
  • We are Bulgarians, more Bulgarians than the Bulgarians in Bulgaria themselves.
    • Krste Misirkov, "On Macedonian Matters", Macedonian Review Editions 1974, (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?.
    • Krste Misirkov, "On Macedonian Matters", Macedonian Review Editions 1974, (Sofia 1903).
  • As a Bulgarian, I would willingly return to Bulgaria, if there is a need of a scientific research of the fate of the Bulgarian lands, especially in Macedonia.
    • Krste Misirkov, "Diary 5 July to 30 August 1913", Sofia-Skopje, 2008, Published by State Agency "Archives" of the Republic of Bulgaria & State Archive of the Republic of Macedonia, p. 168.
  • In Macedonia there are Greeks, Bulgarians and Turks.
    • Petko Karavelov, former Prime Minister of Bulgaria, in the Greek newspaper "Empros", in the paper of 19th December of 1897..
  • 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 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".
    • Kuzman Shapkarev, 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)
  • While the Greek government is sleeping and uses proclamations as cure for the situation, Hellenism runs down the greatest danger in Macedonia because except Bulgarians, there were added more impudent enemies, Serbs. Like we learn from our Vienna's letter, thousands of Serb peasants in Skopje, rebelled against the Greek Metropolitan bishop, surrounded the Greek school, raided the church, burned the Greek books and raised the Serb flag, instigated without doubt by Serb and Pan-slavist komitates and commiting all these shames while one newspaper of St. Petersburg wrote according to yesterday's letter that "Macedonian question" will be solved between Serbs and Bulgarians.
    • EMPROS Newspaper, Monday 25th November, 1896, article "Mutiny in Macedonia".
  • [...]But the Bulgarians, from the palace down to the meanest hut, have always been animated by that racial and national idea. The annexation of Eastern Roumelia in 1885 was a great step in the direction of its realization. And it was to carry that programme to completion that Bulgaria made war against Turkey in 1912. Her primary object was the liberation of the Bulgarians in Macedonia and their incorporation in a Great Bulgaria. And the Treaty of Partition with Servia seemed, in the event of victory over Turkey, to afford a guarantee of the accomplishment of her long-cherished purpose. It was a strange irony of fate that while as a result of the geographical situation of the belligerents Bulgaria, at the close of the war with Turkey, found herself in actual occupation of all European Turkey from the Black Sea up to the River Struma and beyond,--that is, all Thrace to Chataldja as well as Eastern Macedonia--her allies (Bulgaria's) were in possession of the bulk of Macedonia, including the entire triangle she had planned to inject between the frontiers of New Servia and New Greece!
  • 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 Greek Macedonia.
    • TIME Magazine, December 4, 1944.
  • 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 10, 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 16, 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 fulfill 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, July 26, 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.
    • THE NEW YORK TIMES, August 19, 1946.
  • 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 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 Macedonia "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 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

    • U.S STATE DEPARTMENT Foreign Relations Vol. VIII Washington D.C. Circular Airgram (868.014/26 Dec. 1944).
  • [...]well, the news that Bulgarian Hitar Petar would get a Macedonian passport is somehow more realistic. The former Minister of Macedonia(FYROM) got a Bulgarian passport, so why not Bulgarian Hitar Petar get a Macedonian one?
    It means that he will have two Bulgarian passports.
  • [...]but about Alexander the Great, the Macedonians(FYROM) are right. He was a total Macedonian. They called him "Sashe Velikiot". Sashe Velikiot was a famous Macedonian ruler from VMRO who expanded Macedonia up to India! Even, Macedonian Brothers, write because now I will tell you one unique fact from your "Macedonian" history! When he went to India, Sashe Velikiot was not alone. He took with him the Saint Brothers of the Macedonian Alphabet- Cyrrill and Methodius, who taught the Indian elephants to speak in a Macedonian Language. Now, some people in Macedonia will say: "There aren't any speaking elephants"… ..well there is not also a "Macedonian" language. ...when it appears, the Indian elephants will learn it right away.
  • On November 4, 2004, two days after the re-election of President George W. Bush, his administration unilaterally recognized the “Republic of Macedonia”. This action not only abrogated geographic and historic fact, but it also has unleashed a dangerous epidemic of historical revisionism, of which the most obvious symptom is the misappropriation by the government in Skopje of the most famous of Macedonians, Alexander the Great [...] We do not understand how the modern inhabitants of ancient Paionia (FYROM), who speak Slavic – a language introduced into the Balkans about a millennium after the death of Alexander – can claim him as their national hero. Alexander the Great was thoroughly and indisputably Greek. His great-great-great grandfather, Alexander I, competed in the Olympic Games where participation was limited to Greeks [...] We call upon you, Mr. President, to help - in whatever ways you deem appropriate - the government in Skopje to understand that it cannot build a national identity at the expense of historic truth. Our common international society cannot survive when history is ignored, much less when history is fabricated.
  • A Slavic-speaking people, todays ethnic Macedonians, are descendants of Slavs who settled in the Balkans during the seventh century AD.
    • Karen Dawisha, Bruce Parrott, "Politics, Power and the Struggle for Democracy in South-East Europe (Democratization and Authoritarianism in Post-Communist Societies)", Cambridge University Press, 1997.
  • Despite the efforts of the post-1945 Macedonian historiography to represent Delchev as a Macedonian separatist rather than a Bulgarian nationalist, Delchev himself has stated: "...We are Bulgarians and and all suffer from one common disease [e.g., the Ottoman rule]" and "Our task is not to shed the blood of Bulgarians, of those who belong to the same people that we serve".
    • Victor Roudometof, American professor of sociology; "Collective memory, national identity, and ethnic conflict: Greece, Bulgaria, and the Macedonian question", Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002, ISBN 0275976483, p. 79.
  • The "Macedonian issue" pertains to the asserted original Bulgarian identity of Macedonians living in what is now the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).
    • Cas Mudde, “Racist Extremism in Central & Eastern Europe”, Routledge, 2005, p.21


  • I have heard many, in a matter of fact not many but plenty educated people from Skopje, which out of somewhere believe that Alexander of Macedon was a Slav and that he is their progenitor. There are also people who believe in that but that is not a job for press conferences, but for universities, and if the universities don't help - then [it is a job] for physicians...
    • Vuk Drašković, Serbian writer and politician, stated in 1991 in Skopje (Nova Makedonija, 13-VII-1991)..
  • We belong to the same Slav people.
    • Slobodan Casule, (born 1945), Foreign Minister of FYROM, to the Foreign Minister of Bulgaria Solomon Pasi, in an interview to "Utrinski Vesnik" of Skopje on December 29,2001..
  • We are Slavs who came to this area in the sixth century (AD)... we are not descendants of the ancient Macedonians.
    • Kiro Gligorov, (first democraticaly elected president of FYROM, referring to the citizens of his country), Foreign Information Service Daily Report, Eastern Europe, February 26, 1992.
  • 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).
    • Kiro Gligorov, (first democratically elected president of FYROM, referring to the citizens of his country), Toronto Star, March 15, 1992.
  • The idea that Alexander the Great was something that belonged to our history was in the minds of some extremist 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 used to be legitimized through their history. In the Balkans, if you want to be recognized as a Nation, you need to have history 3000 years old. So since you made us invent a history, we invented it! (…) You forced us to the arms of the extreme nationalists who today claim that we are direct descendants of Alexander the Great!
    • Denko Maleski, first Minister of foreign affairs of FYROM (1991 to 1993) and ambassador to the United Nations from 1993 to 1997, in an interview to Greek TV channel Mega, November 2006.
  • 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.
    • former Prime Minister and Vice President of FYROM, Ljubčo Georgievski, 2007, in his book "С лице към истината" ("Facing the truth")..
  • For many years, since the decade of the '90s, we have been making efforts so that the name 'Republic of Macedonia' (FYROM) is not recognized, because no nation should steal the history and symbols of another nation.
    • Australian politician, Mike Rann, Eleftherotypia newspaper, May 05, 2007.
  • We are not stating by accident that Josip Broz Tito is Jesus Christ for Macedonia, a father and a mother for Macedonia. Because we have, in that time, after NOB [Serbian:Narodnooslobodilačka borba, "People's Liberation Struggle"], for the first time created a Macedonian alphabet, a Macedonian television, a Macedonian state, a language, a passport, an identity card, a university for the first time, a Macedonian academy for the first time. We, communists, have created the Macedonian Orthodox church.
    • Slobodan Ugrinovski (Слободан Угриновски), politician of the FYROM and the current leader of the left-wing political party Union of Tito's Left Forces, "Tito e Isus Hristos za Makedonija" ("Tito is Jesus Christ for Macedonia"), A1 TV, FYROM May 04 2009..
  • The artifacts that we may see tonight are part of the rich fund of the 19.000 specimens found this year, for yet another time fortify and confirm the identity of Macedonian history. They are undeniable proof for our heritage created through the millenniums. Respected present ones, it is indeed a great number of prominent domestic and foreign archaeologists and explorers, which on the basis on obtained knowledge about the material culture of the people which lived with centuries in these areas have called Macedonia "the magic land of archaeology". This epithet confirms itself on every foot of Macedonian soil upon which, with little fantasy, you may be part of the past of Heraclea, Stobi, Scupi, to feel yourself as descendants of Ancient Macedonia, of Rome, of Byzantine Empire.
    • Elizabeta Kančeska - Milevska (Елизабета Канческа - Милевска), Minister of Culture of FYROM (VMRO-DPMNE), an excerpt from her speech during the opening of the exhibition entitled "Archaeological Macedonia 2011" ("Археолошка Македонија 2011") held in Skopje, December 28 2011. (Note: the speech and museum exhibition are part of the "antiquisation policy".)
  • "liberal minds living within our side of the border, would certainly not feel ashamed of their own Slavic language, or the fact that their basic identity, just like the language, is Slavic, instead of establishing a variety of racist theories about antiquity and some super-humans from which we originate".
    • Denko Maleski, first Minister of foreign affairs of FYROM (1991 to 1993) and ambassador to the United Nations from 1993 to 1997, in an interview to Radio Free Europe, March 30 2013

On Macedonia (Greece) History[edit]


  • 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.
    • Henry Morgenthau, "I was sent to Athens", Doubleday, Doran & Company, inc (1929).
  • When the Turks and the Bulgarians left, Macedonia remained a purely Greek region.
    • Henry Morgenthau, "I was sent to Athens", Doubleday, Doran & Company, inc (1929).


  • The borders between Greece and Serbia were defined in 1913 on the basis of the advances of the armies of the two nations during the first Balkan war. The border between Greece and Bulgaria was defined at the Treaty of Bucharest. Since then, the borders of the three nations had remained the same. Macedonia, a region mostly of Greece since ancient times, was divided into three perhaps even four parts, with Greece keeping the largest portion of about 50%, then-Yugoslavia receiving about 35%, Bulgaria about 10% and a small percentage eventually ending in Albania. The Greek people on the portion of the Macedonia part in Greece have been there since time immemorial -- over more than forty centuries before the Slavs arrived. The language spoken in the Greek region since antiquity is Greek, whereas the language of the former-Yugoslavia portion is a Slavic dialect of Bulgarian (Marline Simons, The New York Times, February 3, 1992). As a matter of fact, the portion of Macedonia in then-Yugoslavia was part of the Eastern Branch of the Roman Empire. The people who ruled over Serbia spoke Greek. Constantinople was their headquarters. Their main trade was to the South and East...
    • Joseph C. Harsch, American journalist, "The Christian Science Monitor", January 29, 1992.
  • Journalist: Do you believe that the uprising in Macedonia will be suppressed soon? Stournaras: There is no uprising in Macedonia. Noone from the inhabitants has rebelled against the rulers of the region. There is an incursion of Bulgarian gunmen and other brigands and nothing more. Do you believe that these low-numbered Bulgarians will be able to conquer Macedonia or force the inhabitants to rebel? [...] In one clash in Panitze, outside of Serres, a few months ago where the notorious Delchev was murdered and 52 Bulgarians were arrested, only 2 Bulgarians managed to escape and the rest were killed. This of course has no meaning anymore, because through the fuss they managed to create, many believe now in Europe that Macedonian question is actually Bulgarian question.
    • Interview of Greek consul in Serres, Stournaras, in the Greek newspaper "Empros" in the paper of 21 August of 1903. (Stournaras was an eye-witness of Ilinden uprising and he is talking here about the uprising.).


  • For all of us who love History, and know History, Macedonia is as Greek as the Acropolis.
    • Mike Rann, Eleftherotypia newspaper, May 05, 2007.

On modern Macedonian language[edit]


  • The (modern) Macedonian language is actually an artifact produced for primarily political reasons.
    • Vittore Pisani (1899-1990), Italian linguist, "Il Macedonico, Paideia, Rivista Letteraria di informazione bibliografica", vol. 12, p. 250 (1957).
  • 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.
    • Friedrich Scholz, "Slavische Etymologie", 1966, p. 61.
  • Macedonian is Bulgarian typed on a Serbian type-writer.
    • Otto Kronsteiner, “Der Zerfall Jugoslawiens und die Zukunft der makedonischen Literatursprache: Der späte Fall von Glottotomie?”, Herausgeber Schriftenreihe Die slawischen Sprachen, Erscheinungsjahr 1992, Seiten 142-171.


  • Macedonian is similar to Bulgarian and is sometimes been regarded as a variety of that language.
    • "Encyclopedia of Bilingualism and Bilingual Education", Colin Baker, Sylvia Prys Jones, p. 415.
  • From a strictly linguistic point of view Macedonian can be called a Bulgarian dialect, as structurally it is most similar to Bulgarian.
    • "Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics", R.E.Asher, J.M.Y.Simpson (editors), 1994, vol.1, p. 429.
  • I call these songs Bulgarian and not Slavic, because 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".
    • Stefan Verkovich, Bosnian folklorist, "Folk Songs of the Macedonian Bulgarian", Vol. 1, 1860.
  • The ethnic Macedonians and the Macedonian language are a result of a Comintern conspiracy.
    • Venko Markovski, Yugoslavian writer, poet and Communist politician (who in 1945 participated in the Commission for the Creation of the Macedonian Alphabet) in an interview for Bulgarian National Television on 31/12/1987. Mitewa, Yulia (2001), "ИДЕЯТА ЗА ЕЗИКА В МАКЕДОНСКИЯ ЛИТЕРАТУРЕН КРЪЖОК — ЕСТЕТИЧЕСКИ И ИДЕОЛОГИЧЕСКИ АСПЕКТИ", Veliko Tarnovo: Litera.

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  • Simon Hornblower, "Greek Identity in the Archaic and Classical Periods" in Katerina Zacharia, Hellenisms, Ashgate Publishing, 2008, pp. 55–58.
  • M. M. Austin, "The Hellenistic World from Alexander to the Roman Conquest: a selection of ancient sources in translation", Cambridge University Press, 2006, pp. 3, .
  • Yale University, “Introduction to Ancient Greek History, Philip, Demosthenes and the Fall of the Polis”, 2007: "We know the ancient Macedonians were fundamentally Greeks. That is to say they were Greek speakers and ethnically they were Greeks."