Documents of the Continued Existence of Macedonia and the Macedonian Nation for a period of over 2500 years
What follows are documents that speak of the continued existence of Macedonia and of the Macedonian nation through the last 25 centuries. Macedonia is clearly distinguished from Greece (Hellas), Thrace, Illyria, Bulgaria, Serbia, and the Macedonians are likewise distinguished as distinct nation from the Greeks, Thracians, Illyrians, Bulgarians, Serbs, Albanians, as nation which continued to exist and survive trough the centuries (makedonika.org).
500 B.C. - 500 A.D.
Macedonia and the Macedonians as distinct nation in the works of the ancient Greek, Roman, and Jewish historians, as well in the works of the modern German, French, English, American historians.
From the "Miracles of St. Demetrius of Salonika, I ": "...For if one was to imagine them in a heap, not only the Macedonians gathered in Salonika... Certainly he who inspired the Macedonians with courage..." Mirac. I, 13, p.1285-14; 1313
From the Chronographia of Theophanes the Confessor "That year Constantine plundered the Sclavinii throughout Macedonia and subjugated the rest." Theoph., I, p.430, 21-22.
From the Chronographia Tripertita by Anastasius Bibliothecarius: "In the eighteenth year of his reign, Constantine enslaved the Sclavinii of Macedonia and he subjugated the rest." A. B., p.282, 20-21.
From Strabonos Epithomatus: "And now, in that way almost all of Epirus, Hellada, the Peloponnese and Macedonia have also been settled by the Skiti-Slavs." C. Muller, Geographi graeci minores, Paris 1882, p.574.
From the letter of Michael II to the honorable Ludwig: "Thomas...having gathered our barges and dromon, had the opportunity to arrive in (some) parts of Thrace and Macedonia." Mansi, Michaelis Belbi et Theophilii....Florentinae, 1759
From On the Capture of Salonika by John Cametinae: "...I introduce you to the same, the great and the first city of the Macedonians..." J.K. Begunov, Kozma Prezviter v slavjanskih literaturah, Sofia 1976, p. 297
First half of 10th C.
From On the Themes by Constantine Porphyrogenitus: "... So from a kingdom Macedonia turned into a province and now it has reached the position of a theme and strategy." C. Porfirogenito, De thematibus, Citta del Vaticano, 1952.
From the History of Leo the Deacon: "...since they robbed the region of the Macedonians mercilessly, destroying all adults.". Leonis Diaconi Historiae, Paris 1864, p. 311.
From the Annals of Bari: "...he had already written to Sicily from where the unfortunate Macedonians, Paulicians and Calbrians arrived." G.H. Pertz, Annales Barenses, Monumenta Germaniae historica, Scriptores V, p.53.
From the Chronicle of John Zonaras: "The Uzians...invaded Macedonia and plundered it, and reached Hellada". Ioannis Zonorae Epitomae historiarum, Vol. VIII, Ed. Th. Buttner-Wobst, Bonnae 1897, p.678.
From the History of Necephorus Vryenius: "...for the Scythians were carrying out sudden attacks in Thrace and Macedonia." Nicephori Bryenii commentarii, Ed. A. Meicke, Bonnae 1836, p.100, 102.
From De expeditione Yerosolymitana by Radulfo Cadonis: "...Beomund Guiscard sailed across the Adriatic and occupied Macedonia." Tancredi in expeditione Yerosolymitana ....Paris, 1854, p.499.
From the letter of Theophylactes of Ohrid to Gregorius Camaterus: "...do not retain such a man in the narrow regions of our Macedonia...". Theophylacti, col. 496, B-C.
Beginning of 12th Century
From the Byzantine satire Timarion: "The day of Saint Demetrius in (Salonika) is as great a festival as the Panathinei in Athens or Panionii in Miletus; it is a grand Macedonian celebration in which not only the Macedonian people gather, but people of all sorts and from all directions: Greeks from different regions of Hellada, the Mizian tribes...". Vizantiiski Vremenik, Moscow VI 1953, p. 367.
"Woe, woe, the city of Salonika is captured, I say, the metropolis of the Macedonians." Ephraimi Chronologici caesares; Ed. J.P. Migne - PG 143 , Paris 1891, p.198.
Beginning of 13th C.
From the synod records of the Ohrid Archibishopric: "Ioannis Ierakar by birth Macedonian". J. Pitra, Analacta sacra et classica specilegio Solesmensi parta, t. VI Juris ecclesiastici graecorum selecta paralipomena. Parissis et Romae 1891, col. 315.
Ser was one a large city, but the Bulgarian Ivan had demolished when besieging it and other Macedonian cities. Georgii Acropolitae Opera, Recensuit A. Haisenberg vol. I, Lipsiae 1903, p.74-75, 77
...that king's alliance is certain and unanswering, just as long as he can settle near to Macedonia. While he was spending his time on these (matters), the protostrator Theodore Sinadinus, once freed from the West, arrived in Byzantium. He governed Prilep, the neighbouring regions and the lower Macedonian towns. Ioan Cantacuzeni Historiarum libri IV, Ed. J.P.Migne - PG Paris 1866, p.94
At the battle of Apros in 1305 there were five syntaxeis, differentiated by ethnicity: the Alans and Tourkopouloi in the van, followed by the Macedonians, the Anatolians, the Vlach infantry and the Thelematarioi. The Late Byzantine Army. Mark C. Bartusis 1992. p.256
...I beleive you know that Strimon...is the largest of all those that biscet Thrace and Macedonia... Nicephore Gregoras, Correspondence. Paris 1927, p.30-50.
Middle 14th C.
...Stefan became king of the Tribals. After he had set off from the region of the Ionian Sea, he razed Epidamnus to the ground, went into Macedonia and made Skopje the capital... The king left the city of Skopje, taking with him men experienced in battle and a strong army and subordinated to his rule the places in the vicinity of Kastoria. Then having moved camp, he subjugated all of Macedonia, except for Terma... Laonici Chalcocondiae Historiarum. Ed. J. P. Migne - PG t.CLIX (Paris, 1866) col. 36, B-37, C.
(Code of) the honorable and Christ-loving Macedonian Tsar Stefan, Serbian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Dalmation, Arbanasian, Hungarian Wallachian and indipendent ruler of many other regions and lands... Lj. Stojanovic, Stari srpski zapisi i natpisi. Knj. III, Beograd 1905, p. 41 (nbr.4949).
Middle of the 14th C.
A Slav inscription from the church of St. George at Upper Kozjak in which a man called Bratan signs himself as being from Macedonia. Z. Rosolkovska-Nikolovska, Crkvata Sv. Georgi vo Goren Kozjak vo svetlinata na novite ispituvanja - Zbornik "Kiril Solunski", Kn. I, Skopje, MANU 1970, p. 222.
I remember the great subordination under which the Turk holds the emperor in Constantinople and all the Greeks, Macedonians and Bulgarians....As I said earlier, there are many Christians who are forced to serve the Turk, such as Greeks, Bulgarians, Macedonians, Albanians, Esclavinians, Rasians and Serbians... Bertrand de la Brocuiere, Putovanje preko mora, Beograd 1950, p.134-135, 140-141.
13th Century - 15th Century
Byzantine historians of the Palaiologan period (13th Century - 15th Century) rarely make any distinction more specific then "Thrace" and "Macedonia". Thus we read of the "Thracians" and "Macedonians", the "Thracian and Macedonian armies", the "army" or "forces from Thrace and Macedonia"… For these historians the border between the two areas was the Nestos River or Kavalla. To the west was Macedonia to the east was Thrace. The Late Byzantine Army. Mark C. Bartusis 1992. p.65
When the enemy forces are battered, no one doubts that the whole of Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Epirus, Thessaly, Greece or Attica and the Peloponnese will return to the faithful....Inspired by this example the Thessalians, the Greeks, the Poloponnesians, the Epirans and the Macedonians will all rebel and will win ... Jovan Radonic, Gjurac Kastriot Skenderbeg i Arbanija u XV veku - Spomenik XCV (1942), p. 128-129.
August 8th, 1470.
The Sultan stopped and spent the night ...in afield that represented the Macedonian border...The River Vardar is nearby, which flows through Macedonia...of which some are Greeks, others Macedonians, Wallachs and even Italians, as well as other nations....Greeks and Macedonians live there... Gio Mario degli Angiolelo, A. Matkovski i P. Angelkova, Nekolku kratki patopisi za Makedonija, Glasnik na INI, VXI/1 (1972), p. 246-247.
...It is located in Thessaly, which borders on Macedonia, where the plague has reduced much of the population... Nbljudeni na mnozhestvo redki i zabelezhitelni neshta, videni v Grcija, Azija, Judea, Egipet, Arabia i drugi chuzhdi strani ot Pierre Belon d'Man, Sofia 1953, p.132-133; Frenski patepisi za Balkanite, XV-XVIII v. Sofia 1975, p. 95-98.
...called Jakov; I laboured for much time and many years for this work (in order to contribute) to the holy books. I came out of Macedonia, my fatherland, and I entered.... Lj. Stojanovich, Stari srpski zapisi i natpisi I, p. 203-204.
German ruler Rudolph II to the Pope: ..the deliverer of this letter, don Petar Crnovic...born in Salonika and the other parts of Macedonia... A. Theiner, Vitera monumenta Slavorum meridionalium illustrantia. II. Zagrabiae 1875, p. 70.
Gavril, Archbishop of Ohrid to Archduke Ferdinand of Habsburg: ...the Turk, who from day to day has pursued and blackmailed us and our ancestors ....in the whole of Macedonia, Greece and the nearby countries...then among our countries we have Bulgaria, Serbia, Macedonia, Oltenia... Landesregierungsarchive - Innsbruck, VI 50.
Project by Alexander Komulovic to expel the Ottomans from the Balkans ...In other parts of Epirus and Macedonia almost all are Christians of the Greek ritual... Biblioth. Barberiana cod. mnc. LVIII, 33, - Starine (Zagreb), Knj. XIV (1882), p. 86-87.
August 11th, 1607
The Duke of Savoy, Charles Emmanuel I, sends his own man of trust to Macedonia. ...who had arrived from Albania and Macedonia... V. Makrusev, Istoriski spomenici Juznih Slovena i okolnih naroda, Beograd 1882, p. 297-299.
April 6-24, 1618
(Senato Secreta. 337. Macedonia) ...The nobility of Macedon do not wish to have anything to do with the king of Spain... Calendar of State Papers and Manuscripts relating to English Affairs existing in the Archives and Collections of Venice and other libraries in Northern Italy, London 1864, Vol XV, p. 201-202.
A letter from Pope Urban VIII to the Archbishop of Ohrid, Porphyrius Palaelogus To the respected brothers Porphyrius Paleologus, Patriarch of Justiniana Prima of Ohrid and the other subordinate archbishops, bishops of Bulgaria, Serbia, Albania and of the other side of Macedonia. A. Theiner, Vetera monumenta Slavorum II, (Zagrebiae 1875), p. 123.
Manifesto of the Austrian Emperor Leopold I to the Nations of the Balkans ...Therefier we kindly call all the people who live throughout Albania, Servia, Mysia, Bulgaria, Silistria, Illyria, Macedonia and Rashka... J. Radonjic and M. Kostic, Srpske privilegije od 1690 do 1792. SAN, Posebna izdanja CCXXV, Beograd 1954, p. 26-27.
April 26th, 1690
Letter of protection from Leopold I. ...This is to inform you that two Macedonians, Marko Kraida born in Kosana and Dimitri Georgi Popovic, born in Macedonian Salonika, have told us that the Macedonian people, with respect for our most righteous task, with devotion and zeal towards our service....we graciously accept them under our imperial and royal mercy and in any case and way the above mantioned Macedonian people, cordially recommending to each and all of our willing commanders not to attack the Macedonian people....Issued in Vienna, April 26th, 1690. Representatives: defenders of the Macedonian people.... J. Radonic, Prilozi za istoriju Srba u Ungarskoj u XVI, XVII and XVIII veku. Knj. I, Matice srpske, nbr 25 and 26, Novi Sad 1908, p. 52-53.
The French treveller and writer Paul Luca on Macedonia ...and hour after midnight for Kavalla, which is six miles away and once was a large Macedonian city by the sea coast. We should note that almost all the villages in Macedonia are full of Christians and there are few Turks. A. Matkovski and P. Angelakova, Patuvanjata na francuskiot petepisec Pol Luka niz Makedonija od 1704 do 1714-Istorija v/2 (1969). p. 101.
End of 18th C.
Reports by the French Consul in Salonika, Felix de Beaujour, about Macedonia. The pashalik of Salonika includes the whole of Lower Macedonia and covers 700 sq. miles....it must be noted that here I am only speaking about the most populated part of Macedonia; since Upper Macedonia and Epirus are less populated....In Macedonia, as in Poland, the peasants die from hunger, while the masters live in abundance of gold... Felix de Beaujour, Voyage militaire dans l'Empire Othoman, I, Paris 1829, p. 127-128. n.1; p.130, 132.
Macedonians pertecipate in the Romanian uprising ...At that time there was a man they called Sludzar Todor who urged all the foreigners (mostly Macedonians) to rebel against the boyar... Marko K. Cepenkov, Makedonsko narodno tvoreshtvo, Kn. X, Skopje 1972, p.308
...I learnt the Slav alphabet from my father Makedonski, who calls himself so because we are Macedonians, and not Greeks.... Georgija Makedonski, Bogosluzhbena kniga "Opshti minej" - vo crkvata vo s. Radibush, Kriva Palanka, posledna nepagirana stranica.
Bulgarian Comments on the language of J.H. Dzinot ...May the inhabitants of Skopje and those who speak similarly forgive me, but they do not understand our language and cannot speak either... "Bolgarski", Tsarigradski Vestnik, nbr. 55 (6.X.1851, p. 19).
Education in Veles ....Archbishop Antim declared to his peers that all peoples have been enlightened by the Greeks and so it is necessary that Greek should be taught in the schools of Veles, and not Macedonian, since the children alrady know their own language from their home... J. N. Iz Velesa u Makedoniji: Srbski Dnevnik, nbr. 44 (1858) (according to Branislav Vraneshevic, Vojvodinska javnost, p. 320-321).
A note from the priest Demetrius: In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, I, priest Demetrius, was born in the village of Ogut, in the Kriva Palanka region. and held the services in my native village, when in the year of our Lord 1848, the champions of the town of Kriva Palanka employed me as a priest against the will of His Grace, the Greek priest Kir Gavrail. Mr. Mikhail Makedonski interceded most in favor of my appointment, because I'm a Macedonian by birth and hold the services in the Slav language. Such was the Fate of my fatherland Macedonia, to suffer from the Greeks, so that they will not give us peace even today, although everyone knows that Macedonia is an older state then their kingdom. We had our own Slav educators, Cyril and Methodius, who left us our Slav alphabet. They were Macedonians born in Salonika, the glorious capital of Macedonia. Our Greek bishop does not admit this, so we do not want him to be our priest, but we want to have our own arch-priest, a Slav, for time everlasting. Amen. Zapis vo knigata Zitie Svetih vo Krivopalaneckata crkva. Pretposledna nepagirana strana.
January 28, 1867
To the Editor of "Makedonija" newspaper: ...The Greeks and the greacomans have met the newspaper with sorrow, since they always tried to hellenize the Macedonians, destroying also the Archibishopric of Ohrid -The Spark of Our Future. Yet, however hard they have tried to stop us from making progress, they could not entirely uproot the feelings of the Macedonians that they are Macedonians. T.I. Kusev, Makedonija, Istanbul, Nbr. I (1/28/1867)
March 25, 1870
...lets us consider those of the present Macedonians who blinded by concealed glow of Hellenic wisdom, accept that they should scorn and revoke their own nationality...the time seems opportune for me to exclaim:Ah, how far away the time really is when Hellas, as everybody calls her today, was subjected to Macedonian authority... Stefan Zahariev, Chitalishte, Istanbul, I/7, 1871, p.214-216.
November 30, 1870
...A teacher named Mr. Shapkarevic...has come to visit me...the same day the books you had sent me...arrived. But as soon as he saw them he said that they should not be taught in the Macedonian schools, since they were in the Bulgarian dialect; and that we should take his books which are in the Macedonian dialect... Pravo of 10/30/1870 (according to B. Koneski, Kon Makedonskata prerodba, p.68).
A letter from P.R. Slaveykov to the Bulgarian Exarch: Your Grace, I arrived in Salonika on the evening of the 14th of last month (January 1874). I immediately went to meet all the important local people and some others from the other Macedonian towns. My aim was to gather information as son as possible on what was to be necessary for the succes of the mission with which you had entrusted me. I first met Father Averkij Zografski, and the following day Father Petar Dimitrov as well, the local president of the community. I may inform you, Your Grace, that the wind from here, from Salonika, blows and scatters to all sides. These two clergyman, to my mind, are the leaders of the movement fot the restoration of the Archbishopric of Ohrid, although one should not neglect Ohrid and to certain extent Bitola, Veles and Skopje either. The Uniate movement here is not without roots, as they think in Constantinople, especially His Grace, Count Ignatiev. During the time I have been in Macedonia I have ascertained the same we had formerly known and written three years ago. Now, as then or twenty years ago, we are dealing with the Macedonian question. In talks with few Macedonian "patriots" I have understood that this movement, which had been only bare words till a few years ago, is now clear and precise thought - "The Macedonians are not Bulgarians" and they persistenly strive, regardless of the price, to obtain a separate church of their own.
They also have the support in their separatism of smoe high clergyman in Constantinople, especially His Grace Nathaniel Ohridski, Panariot Plovdivski, and Archimandrite Hariton Karpuzov. I have understood this month from reliable sources that there are letters which arrive every day from Constantinople to the Salonika community, and are then sent to the other communities in the provinces. The letters are written in this spirit. One such letter, which the Salonika community sent to the community of Voden, calls upon the inhabitants of Voden to break off all their relations with theExarchate until the Macedonian Church question is settled, because "now is the moment". Mr. Kuzman Shapkarev from Ohrid, who is well known to us, has done a great deal to spread the idea of the restoration of the Archbishopric of Ohrid; he consatnly travels between Kukish and Ohrid and v.v., but at whose expanse, I do not know. Mr. Dimitar Makedonski, "the Macedonian textbook writer", is no less active, reciving salary as a teacher from the Exarchate and from local Lazarists.
Owing to such unreasonable sermons by the Macedonian patriots that the church question has been settled only in favor of the Bulgarians, there is discontent among the people towrds the eparchies of th4 Danube and Adrianople vilayets as well as envy because of the earlier awakening of the Bulgarians. One can especially feel a great resistance against the East Bulgarian variant in literature. A general impression is that the local people think that the Macedonians have been done a great harm with the settlement of the church question in favor of the Danubian and Thracian Bulgarians. This discontent has already grown into distrust of the Exarchate and its higher echalons. and there is an attitude formed that the local Macedonian dialect should be declared a literary language and a Macedonian hiearchy established.
Great attention, Your Grace, should be paid to His Grace Nathaniel, who promised the local people taht as soon as he comes to his eparchy he will take steps for the restoration of the Archbishopric of Ohrid. He seems to be connected with the Macedonian craftsman in Constantinople, among whom he spreads the news about the agreement with the Patriarchate. For their own part they inform their own people in Macedonia about this. It causes great discontent here. Consequently, separatism has its roots in the secret circle of Constantinople. If you press them there, the commotion wil calm down here. Silence the trumpet, there won't be any echo!
The question of Father Nil is a highly delicate one, because he has barricaded himself in Kukush and does not want to return. His ambition seems to have made him to this. He stuffed his head with the thought of becoming the Archbishop of Ohrid ar at least Metropolitan of Salonika. As an Exarchate delegate he spreads the news about the agreement with the Patriarchate as the " most informed person". He decribes the Exarchate to the people as indifferent and passive in saving the Macedonian population from Greek spiritual slavery. Father Nil, who proved to be completely immature, seems to be a hireling of the highest Turkish vilayet authorities. However, his disobidiance to his headquarters began at the moment when he was summoned to return to Constantinople. Instead of obeying orders, he remained waiting there. His disobidiance also comes as a result of the suggestions that have been arriving from Constatinople. He maintains constant relations with Bishop Panaret and Nathaniel especially with the latter, who has suggested he stay in Macedonia until he gets an appointment for Ohrid and arrives in Macedonia. I think that Father Nil should be cast out of Macedonia at any cost and sent to Constatinople, because he is dangerous here. He already acts under the protection of the local Lazarists and the French consul.
Thoughts of the restoration of the Archbishop of Ohrid at the moment are most prevalent here, in Salonika. Here the schemes are being devised and here the hotheads are gathering. These thoughts of course are not based upon mature foundation, especially since Midhat-Pasha has been dismissed from Salonika. But they are gradually spreading to northern Macedonia, although they are not very clear. Some say one thing to the people and others say another. There is danger, if steps are not taken from spme authoritative place, of creating a genral ideal. Then the consequences would be much more serious. The best thing would be if His Grace, Count Ignatiev, were to visit Macedonia, because the population feels a secret hope thet only Russia could help them.
Tomorrow, with Gos's help, I intend to meet some of the elders from the local community. I shall try to convince them of the groundlessnes of their aspirations for a separarte Church when they already have one in the form of the Exarchate. Certainly the most difficult question will be that of the appointment of bishops of Macedonian origin and especially that of the cheirotonia of Father Hariton. I kiss Your Grace's right hand.
Salonika, Fabruary 1874. Your obedient P.R. Slaveykov
Another letter from P.R. Slaveykov: Your Grace,
I sent you a letter via a trustworthy man two days ago, in which I briefly described to you the situation in Salonika and Macedonia in connection with the unreasonable movement for the restoration of the Archbishopric of Ohrid in union with the Roman Catholic Church. After the meeting with some of the local elders I have understood that there were everywhere wide discussions for a broader plan, namely, to create a Uniate Church in Macedonia.
According to reliable sources, only the cheirotonia of Father Hariton is awaited before action will be taken. Until the blessing of the Pope for the proclamation of the Uniate Archbishopric of Ohrid arrives, the bishops with their eparchies will be constituent apart of the Uniate Church with their seat in Adrianople. Then Father Nathaniel will be appointed Archbishop of Ohrid and the following appointments will be made in the eparchies: Father Panaret for the Pelagonia eparchy, Brother Kozma Prechistenski for the Debar eparchy, Father Nil Izvorov for the Salonika eparchy and Father Dorotej for the Skopje eparchy. The other eparchies, for which there are no candidates proposed, will temporarily be governed by the neighboring archpriests. Father Nil will be Bishop of Salonika, Kukush and Voden. Father Hariton, after his ordination, will also become bishop of the Serez and Melnik eparchies. Father Dionisij, as an archimandrite, will temporarily govern the Strumica eparchy.
I have personal impression, Your Grace, that nobody here is asking for a real union with the Roman Catholic Church. It is simply a means of restoration of the Archbishopric of Ohrid. Catholic circles also feel this and therefore have no great confidence in the people with whom they are negotiating. So I do not think it is too late to actin order to overcome the discontent, which later could be subdued. The Uniate movement is more dangerous in the places where formerly there was a Union because of similar reasons. Kukush comes in the first place, followed by Dojran with sympathy from Strumica, Maleshevo and Voden. The Salonika, Serez, Melnik and Drama villages lag behind them. There is not any powerful stirring of the Uniate propaganda indeed, but where there is smoke there must be fire. The appointment of Bishop Nil is expected for the fire to blaze forth. The Poljanin eparchy will immediately turn into a Union and the Strumica and Voden eparchies will join in, as well as a huge number of villages in Salonika, Drama, Serres and other eparchies. The other Macedonian eparchies will certainly be shattered, too, first the Veles eparchy and then the Skopje one. The Veles eparchy is also dissatisfied with its bishop, Damaskin, while at the same time the citizens of Veles, aroused by a craving for power, believe that they should govern Macedonia in religious matters.
The causes of such a situation in the whole of Macedonia are very obvious. The Macedonian eparchies and towns I have already mentioned are extremely embittered by the serious position of the Church and the people in which they find themselves. The spreading of the idea of restoration of the Archbishopric of Ohrid upon an Uniate basis is also helped by the French and Austrian consuls, who promise full protection before the Turkish authorities and persecution of the Constantinople Patriarchate. The Greeks themselves indirectly help the spreading of the Union in Macedonia, expecting the Exarchate to become weak because of the Union and thus finding allies in the liquidation of the Catholic propaganda in Macedonia. I have concluded this from the talks I had with the Greek consul in Salonika. He was not in the least worried at the danger of the spread of the Union in Macedonia. On the contrary, Greece is seeking support for its economic and national activity in Macedonia. According to the opinion of the Greek consul, the part of the people who will not accept the Union, disillusioned with the Exarchate, will remain under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate.
In the talks I had it was not by chance that the agents and adherents of the Union mentioned that the "Macedonian question" could only be settled through the Union. In order to make full use of the discontent and bitterness of the people against the Exarchate, they strengthen their accusation against the Exarchate. They speak about the Macedonian question upon a religious basis, but at the same time stir up the old separatist trends among the Macedonians - to create a new ethnic region through the Union - in the spirit of Midhat-Pasha's schemes. As the Roman Catholic agents worked out a cultural and national program for the Union in 1860 for the liberation of the Bulgarian people from the Patriarchate, they now also appear with a specific program for the spiritual and national liberation of the Macedonian eparchies through the Union. The Macedonian activists already widely use the expression the Macedonian movement in their language of communication, by which one should understand independent national and church liberation. I must emphasize strongly, Your Excellency, that this is a factor of an important political character - separatism is being spread starting from a religious basis towards a broader national one.
After the talks I had with Father Petar Dimov I felt that he has slowly retired from being drawn into the Union. Today he has officially renounced the Union and sent a letter to You expressing his loyalty to the Exarchate. I also talked to Father Averkij. He told me that he would also withdraw from the movement if appointments for the Exarchate bishops were issued by the autumn. My attitude towards these two Church dignitaries was moderate and friendly, because any repressive measures could stir up spirits.
.... Your spiritual child P.R. Slaveykov S. Dimevski, Dve pisma na P. R. Slaveykov za makedonizmot. - Razgledi XIV, 5(1972), p.561-566
April 6, 1878
in Salonika To the Right Honorable Austen Henry Layard "...Russian agents are busy in the country, and even here, trying to get petitions that the whole of Macedonia be included in Bulgaria... They tell the people: If you remain out, your state (and you see what it is) will be worse then it was before, while if you attach yourselves to us and our cause, you will get all the benefits accruing to a large and powerful Kingdom, under Russian protection... I remain... Edward B. Barker British Museum, London, Dmss Layard Papers, Vol. LXXXIX Addd. 39.019, 186-187.
From the record of the Imperial Russian secret archives on the arrangement and government of the Balkan regions. ...Count Shuvalev demands that all the necessary measures for pacification of Macedonia be undertaken. For its purpose, it would be desirable to send competent agents there, and to proclaim to the Macedonians on behalf of the Governor, the Emperor, that His Highness is concerned about their fate, as much as for the other Slavs, and they will be granted the same freedom as that of the Bulgarians, now already liberated.... Dokumenti iz sekretnite arhivi na Ruskoto pravitelstvo. Sofia 1893, p.11-12.
The rules of the Macedonian Rebel Commitee of the Kresna Uprising It is well known to all of us that this ill-fated country of ours, Macedonia, owing to the egoistic aims of the Great Powers, was gain left to Turkey after the Congress of Berlin. As a result of that, in certain regions of our fatherland many scenes full full of blood, known to all of us, took place....We rebelled as advocates of freedom. With the blood we shed all over Macedonian fields and forests, we serve freedom, as the Macedonian army of Alexander of Macedon did, with our slogan "Freedom or Death!" The aim of the Uprising in Macedonia 1.The uprising in Macedonia...should be extended all over Macedonia. 2. Those people from Macedonia who feel themselves to be Macedonians and love the freedom of their fatherland are taking part in the uprising. From the private archives of Cyril, Patriarch of Bulgaria, Arch. of Act 2341, AE 50, pp. 30-61. The Residence of the monastery of Dragolevci, Sofia, P.R. Bulgaria.
June 8, 1879
Georgi Pulevski to Despot Badzovic: ...The Bulgarians here are playing tricks with us and are turning the water to their mill alongside divine Nathaniel, who is a Macedonian, but rather inclined towards the Bulgarians... Arhiv Srbije (Beograd) Fond: Ministarstvo prosvete, P. nbr. 981/8.VI.1879; Razgledi XIV/10 (1972), p. 1132.
March 23, 1881
Manifesto of the Provisional Government of Macedonia: ...our dear Macedonia, our dear homeland is calling upon you: you who are my faithful children, you who are descendants of Aristotle and Alexandar the Great, you in whose veins Macedonian blood flows, do not let me die, but help me!... President Vasil Chomo, Secretary Nikola Trajkov in Kjustendil Centralnii Gosudartsvenii Arhiv Okjabarskii revoljucii i socialtieskoga stroitelstva SSSR, Moskva - Fond Gr.Ignatieva No.730 - opis No. 1, ed.hr.79; Lj. lape, Odbrani tekstovi za istorijata na makedonskio narod, II del, Skopje 1976, p.256-258.
May 9, 1888
Salonika. Temko Popov to Despot Badzovic ...I shall try to write to you, as far as possible, in our language, replacing the words I don't know with Bulgarian ones. What else can I do, Despot? While our language could one dictate to the other Slav languages, it has now remained the poorest of all, and like a begger, it serves either Bulgarian or Serbian....Let us no lie to ourselves, Despot, tha national spirit in Macedonia has reached such a stage today that even if Jesus Christ had come to the Earth, he would not have been able to persuade the Macedonian that he was a Bulgarian or a Serb, excepting those Macedonians in whom Bulgarian propaganda has already taken root. In order to convince yourself of this, you must have Bulgarianism in view. Bulgarian propaganda has now been working for 20 years in Macedonia, in the blindest of times - when Hellenism, coming from and entirely alien nation, started to take root in the Macedonian heart; but the Macedonians, seeing a ray of Slavism, rejected everything as if eyeless, without paying attention to the difference. It was sufficient for them to have broken with Hellenism. But what is to be done now i.e. after twenty years of Bulgarian striving, indoctrination and unsparing pecuniary sacrifaces? My dear Despot, everybody does what is natural, but unexpected for the Bulgarians, that is, now every Macedonian admits he is not a Bulgarian and declares loudly his nation, even though he may stilluse Bulgarian means, not having his own, of course. ... Your friend T. Popov Narodna Biblioteka, Belgrade - fond - Jovan Hadzi Vasiljevic II 413/III May 9 1988.
A request by the citizens of Ohrid for the restoration of the Archbishopric of Ohrid To His Holiness, the Great Patriarch, Constantinople, We, loyal subjects to His Majesty, the Emperor Sultan Abdul Hamid II, for a long time did not have freedom for our Church, and since 1872 have become an even more misled flock, for we came under the Bulgarian Exarchate, deceived by Bulgarian propaganda. Thus we became schismatics, as well. ...Apart from the fact that Bulgarians deceived and beguiled us, they also reject our language, change our holy customs and alter our character, too. We cannot tolerate it any more and we do not want our children to curse us and the graves of our forefathers... (signatures of 120 citizens of Ohrid) DA DSIP - Beograd - PPO, F.7, d.6, p.br. 962, 1890.
June 22, 1891
Skopje Theodosius, Metropolitan of Skopje, to Archimandrite Dionysius in Sofia. ...our Holy Exarchate headed by His Holiness Exarch Joseph I does everything possible to persuade the wretched Macedonian people that it has good intentions, that it cares for their present and future and that it wants to draw them out of the darkness of national unawareness and create holy Bulgarians of them. But I would not have to persuade you too long, my dearest brother in Christ, that our Holy Exarchate, with its religious and educational activity here, in Macedonia, in fact carries out a most miserable task, it deprives a people of its name and replaces it with another, it deprives them of their mother tongue and replaces it with another, alien one, in order to allow its government and its Bulgarian masters to extend their commerce to foreign territories, too. And what else would you call this, my dear brother, other then a new slavery, even more terrible then the Turkish one? The Turks take the property and the lives of the people, but do not encroach upon their spirit. They destroy the body but respect the soul. And our Holy Exarchate kills the latter, the perpetual... I have written this to you, so that you would not be amazed by my previous letter in which I stated my opinion that we clergyman, Macedonians in origin, should unite and urge our people to awaken, throw off foreign authority, throw off even the Patriarchate and the Exarchate, and spiritually unified under the wing of the Archbishopric of Ohrid, their only true Mother Church. Is it not high time to put an end to the national movements of a single people among which some recognize the Patriarchate, some the Exarchate and some even bow to Mohammed? Is it not high time to put an end to hatred between blood brothers? And how could this be achieved if not by the way of our national Church , by way of the Archbishopric of Ohrid? I shall be sincere, my dear brother in Christ, and shall openly declare to you: we, the Macedonians, to not suffer as much by the Turks, long live our Padishah, as by the Greeks, the Bulgarians and the Serbs, who have set upon us like vultures upon a carcass in this tortured land and want to split it up. ("And they parted Your garments, Jesus")..... ...Theodosius of Skopje Centralen D'rzhaven istoricheski archiv (Sofia) 176, op. 1. arh.ed. 595, l.5-42 - Razgledi, X/8 (1968), p.996-1000.
December 4, 1891
Theodosius, Metropolitan of Skopje, to Pope Leo XIII I, the undersigned Metropolitan of Skopje, Theodosius, by God's Mercy head of Skopje eparchy, am submitting this request both in my name and in the name of of the whole Orthodox flock of Macedonia, in which we are begging His Holiness to accept us under the wing of the Roman Catholic Church...Our desire springs from the historical right of the Orthodox Macedonian people to be freed from the jurisdiction of foreign Churches - the Bulgarian Exarchate and the Constantinople Patriarchate - ....The borders of the Archbishopric should conform to the present borders of Macedonia... Archivio della S. Congregazione de Propaganda Fide - Roma: Indice della Potenza - Marzo 1892-93, Somm.XV, f.132-141.
August 20, 1892
Serbian Consul in Bitola, Dimitrije Bodi, to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vladan Djordjevic, in Belgrade. I have to inform you, dear Sir, that some intellectualist movement among the local teachers has recently appeared in the town of Kostur, which insists upon rejection of Greek and Bulgarian propaganda, and the introduction of the Macedonian dialect as the language of teaching in the schools. This initiative has in fact been started....If you are interested in these matters, Sir, please answer me with a ciphered telegram. DA - DSIP. P odd.I red 278 (1892).
August 26, 1892
Serbian Consul in Bitola, Dimitrije Bodi, to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vladan Djordjevic, in Belgrade. ....I have heard from my own people that the local community at its meeting of 22nd Auguts this year, decided that the teaching in the new 1892/1893 school year should be done in the Macedonian dialect. The town teachers were given the task of working a program for the language teaching and a provisional grammar of the Macedonian dialect.... DA - DSIP. P odd.I red 278 (1892).
Karl Hron: "The Nationality of the Macedonian Slavs": ...From my own studies of the Serbo-Bulgarian dispute I came to the conviction that the Macedonians are an individual nation, both by their history and their language; thus, they are neither Serbs nor Bulgarians... Karl Hron, Das Volksthum der Slaven Makedoniens, Wien 1890, S. 4-5, 15-17, 20, 22,26
Paul Argyriades (A French socialist born in Macedonia): ...Present day Macedonia is one of the European provinces of the Turkish Empire. It borders on the south with Epirus, Thessaly and the Mediterranean, on the east with Thrace and the Mediterranean, on the north with Mount Hemus, Bulgaria and Serbia and with Albania on the west....Macedonia, as the homeland of the two greatest personalities of the Ancient World - Aristotle and Alexander the Great, who conquered the world. should it anew conquer its independence and its autonomy?...And if an autonomous Macedonian administration were to be introduced in this land in ten years only, it would be the earthly paradise of the world...The small states - the Greek, Bulgaria and Serbian ones -argue for the acquisition of Macedonia, using all kinds of proofs - chauvinist and historical - invented in support of their interests, while no one seems to realize that if the historical truth were to be respected, Macedonia should rather have the right to possess all those countries, which would like to devour it, since once it governed and ruled them itself....The Macedonians do not want the kind of caresses which may strangle them. They want to remain Macedonians without any other epithet, guarding for themselves their beautiful Macedonia... Almanach de la Question Sociale. Illustre'. (Paris), Pour 1896, pp. 240-244.
From "Maleshevski Balkan" journal: At Least Do Not Hinder Us There is hardly any harsher situation then that of the Macedonian cause. Aroused by sympathy, feelings and tradition to maintain always the closest links with its direct neighbors, the Bulgarians, Serbs, and others, today it surprises us most mercilessly and makes us repent. Nobody, undoubtedly nobody, would deny the justification of our hopes in the Bulgarians and the Serbs, as people who stand closest to us, as people with the same past as ours, etc. ... From "Maleshevski Balkan", Sofia, I, 16, 1 (1897).
William Gladstone ...Next to the Ottoman Govt. nothing can be more deplorable and blameworthy then jealousies between Greek and Slav, and plans by the States already existing for appropriating other territory. Why not Macedonia for Macedonians, as well as Bulgaria for Bulgarians and Servia for Servians. And if they are small and weak, let them bind themselves together for defence, so that they may not be devoured by others, either great and small, which would probably be the effect of their quarreling among themselves. The Times (London), 6th January 1897, p.12
Petar Mandzukov to Kostadin Kirkov ...Perhaps our slavery would not have been so difficult if various kinds of propaganda had not interfered in our affairs, which under the name of "brothers" and "benefactors" divide brothers from brothers and make the Turks commit the worst of crimes. Those "brothers" of ours do everything possible to prevent the unity of our freedom-loving forces. And what has been the result of such propaganda? Even the true sons of our country, those whoa re really not afraid to sacrifice their lives at the altar of our Fatherland, often wrongly think that the liberation of Macedonia could not be conceived without the interference of this or that state. They go over to the side of this or that people and forget their own people. Instead of uniting their forces in favor of their own people and striving in unison to liberate it from bondage, they cannot agree whom they should serve. We know, Kostadin, that our fatherland differs by its population from one Bulgaria, Greece or Serbia, which are homogenous countries. There are various nationalities and religions in our country. There are Macedonians, Greeks, Wallachians, Turks, Jews, Albanians, even a few Armenians. and let us not forget the Gypsies.... CDIA (Sofia), f.70, on., AE70-74; - Razgledi, X/7 (1968), p.847-851
A. Brutus (A. Drandar): Concerning a movement in Macedonia A considerable section of the European press does not cease to inform us of the immense sufferings undergone by the Christian population of Macedonia....It was the sad fate of that population that made us publish this booklet, based upon our experience and personal observations I had acquired impartially, as a foreigner, during my stay in Macedonia of several years...If one takes a retrospective view of the history of Macedonia to the most ancient of times, one remains amazed by the great role this small country, this classical country par excellance, played in the world....The Macedonian, born in a land to which nature was so favorable, has always longed for heroic feats and aspired to great deeds...Even the glorious cradle of Ancient Hellenism is subjected to the Macedonian kings...We find Macedonians on the Byzantine throne at the time when this empire was at its peak. Following the course of history, we see how the star of Macedonia shone with the same intensity. It plays the chief role in the revival of the Slav people. Thus, the two brothers exalted to apostles, Cyril and Methodius, objects of general admiration for the Slav world, are Macedonians, and owing to the very existence of these two apostles, this small land becomes the cradle of the Slav people to whom it gives its religion and art...The inhabitants of Macedonia do not want to be annexed either to Bulgaria or Serbia, or Greece; they want, they want so strongly, to live a human life in an autonomous country. Their slogan is: Macedonia to the Macedonians. A. Brutus, A Propos d'un Mouvement en Macedonie, Bruxelles 1900, pp.12-13, 15, 56.
A.V. Amfiteatrov: The Land of Discord Each Slav should and is obliged to feel sympathy for Macedonian freedom. But Macedonian freedom cannot be achieved with their own, Macedonian means. The land is too small and weak to fight against the power of Constantinople, which only has to give a sign and tens of thousands of soldiers will attack the Rumalian vilayets and strangle them like mice before Europe could compose itself, even before Europe could know it. Hence, Macedonia cannot be freed with its own forces. Only an evil enemy, an unconscious enemy of Slavism could desire an armed movement in Macedonia now when the land is totally unprepared for an uprising, in circumstances of tied hands of the whole Europe, of Serbo-Bulgarian clashes, of huge preparations of the Turks against the slightest possibilities of movement. Or a real fool. These were the exact words of one of the high-ranking persons deciding the fate of Balkan Slavism in a discussion with me concerning the Macedonian committees. Nobody in Europe, none of the Great Powers can actively intercede in favor of the Macedonians against the Turks at the present moment - except, perhaps, Austria. Bu the very name of Austria causes panic in the Macedonian Slav element, who will allow Austria to reign in Macedonia? For it would be the destruction of all ideas of pan-Slavism, it would be the end of the Eastern Question, it would be the decisive and last victory of the German world over the Slav world. Then, we the Russians, would only be humbly left to falling out of step with that state with the projected historical tasks, with the repudiation of racial ideals - a state similar to modern Italy or Spain, only in greater proportions. The young Slav states, adjacent to Macedonia, are too young and too poor to go into struggle for it. At the same time, these states are disintegrating both from the internal situation and external family hostilities. The Bulgarians and the Serbians cannot stand each other; each consider Macedonia as their lawful property. Neither the Bulgarians nor the Serbs have even the slightest desire to create Macedonia for Macedonia. Enthusiast for an autonomous Macedonia can only be found among the Macedonian natives. Neither the Serb nor the Bulgarian wants the autonomy of Macedonia. As far as the question of whether Macedonia should become Bulgarian or Serbian is concerned, every Bulgarian would tell you with utter sincerity: -It would be better that the Turks ruled there eterna
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