Why Macedonia and the Macedonians had Never been Greek?
1. The ancient Macedonians were a distinct nation, separate from their neighbors, the ancient Greeks, Illyrians, and Thracians. The ancient Greek and Roman historians tell us that the Macedonians spoke a separate Macedonian language and had their own customs, culture, and traditions. Archeological discoveries confirm that the material culture of the Macedonians also defer greatly from all their neighbors, and it is by far more superior in artistry (gold, paintings, weapons, mosaics) then anything found in contemporary Greece, Illyria, and Thrace. The texts of the ancient writers distinguish the Macedonians from the ancient Greeks, just like they distinguish the Romans and the Carthaginians. Yet, like the other non-Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Illyrians, and Thracians, the Macedonian high society also used the Greek language along with Macedonian. Greek was spoken by the nobility of many different ancient nations, just like French was spoken in the 19th century (at the German and Russian courts for example). Unfortunately there are only about 150 glosses that have survived of the ancient Macedonian language (most of them with no relation whatsoever with ancient Greek), and like ancient Carthaginian, Illyrian, and Thracian, it can not be reconstructed. There is no doubt nevertheless that the Illyrains, Thracians, and Macedonians were non-Greeks, or in the words of the ancient Greeks "barbarians" which literally means people who spoke other non-Greek languages.
2. Macedonia became a world power when the Macedonian king Philip II conquered Thrace, greater part of Illyria, and the whole of Greece (except Sparta). At the battle of Chaeronea in 338, the Macedonian army destroyed the united Greek army, and put an end to Greek freedom and ancient Greek history. To secure the Macedonian conquest, Macedonian garrisons were established in the Greek cities, just like they were established in Thrace and Illyria.
3. Alexander the Great (336-323 BC), Philip II's son took the Macedonian armies even further and conquered the Persian Empire, making Macedonia the largest and most powerful nation in the world for centuries to come. In his army next to the Macedonians, he utilized also troops from the Balkan nations that his father Philip II conquered - Greeks, Illyrians, and Thracians. The Greeks in the Macedonian army however were commanded by Macedonians, their contribution in the conquest was insignificant and miniscule, and modern historiography calls them nothing but Macedonian "hostages" who would ensure a good behavior of their friends and families back in Greece (Peter Green, Urlich Wilcken, Ernst Badian, Eugene Borza, A.B. Bosworth). Aware that the Greeks despised the Macedonians, Alexander left massive Macedonian occupation troops in their country before heading for the conquest of Persia, although he knew that he would need as many as possible Macedonians for the dangerous campaign ahead. He however rid himself of the Greeks in his army the first chance he got, after burning the Persian capital Persepolis, and learning that the last Greek state Sparta was defeated by the Macedonian troops he left to watch rebellious Greece.
4. Despite all, the Greeks never stopped fighting the Macedonians. While Alexander was conquering Persia with his 25-30,000 Macedonians, more then 50,000 Greeks actually fought on the side of the Persians against the Macedonians (Curtius). The Macedonians slaughtered 18,000 of them in the first battle and sent 2,000 to forced labor in Macedonia (Arrian). After Alexander died the Macedonian general Pithon massacred 23,000 more in a single battle when the Greeks revolted in Bactria (Diodorus). In Greece, when the news of Alexander the Great's death became known, the Greeks united once again and threw out the Macedonians out of their country in the Lamian War (Diodorus). But the Macedonian army returned with massive reinforcements, defeated the Greeks both on land and sea, and re-occupied Greece, putting a bloody end of the Lamian War (Diodorus).
5. The Greeks nevertheless continued raising rebellion after rebellion against the Macedonians to free Greece from the foreign occupation. All successors of Alexander the Great fought them, and the Macedonian king Antigonus II Gonatas fought three Greek uprising who unified against the "barbarous Macedonians" (Diodorus, Plutarch, Justin). Finally in 197 BC, the Macedonian king Philip V was defeated by the joint force of Romans and Greeks, and Macedonia lost Greece after almost 150 years of occupation. When the Romans proclaimed that Greece is free, such an enormous burst of enthusiasm exploded among the Greeks that the Roman general who made the announcement was almost killed by the mass of people that flocked to shake his hand and congratulate him for diving the Macedonians out (Livy, Polybius).
6. After the defeat of the Macedonian king Perseus in 168 BC, and the end of the Macedonian rebellion in 148 BC, Macedonia, Greece, and Carthage became part of the Roman Empire. In 395 AD with the split of the Roman Empire, Macedonia and Greece became part of the East Roman (or Byzantine) Empire.
7. Slavs invaded the whole of Balkans in the 6th century, including Macedonia and the whole of Greece, all the way down to the Peloponnesus. Byzantine historians clearly mentioned that the Macedonians did not disappear with the Slavic invasion but continued to exist. In the 10th century Salonica is described as the "largest city of the Macedonians" and to subdue the independent Slavic tribes in the Peloponnesus in Greece, the Byzantine emperors who were Macedonians, belonging to the Macedonian Dynasty, had to sent "Macedonians and Thracians" against them. Thus the Macedonians and Slavs have been living side by side ever since the 6th century. Over period of centuries these Slavic people mixed into the Macedonians in Macedonia, and with the Greeks in Greece, and laid the foundations for the modern Macedonian and Greek nations. Historical records continue to mention the Macedonians until the fall of the Byzantine Empire. It must be stressed that there is NO record of invasion of Greeks into Macedonia.
8. Turkey conquered the Balkans in the 14th century including Greece and Macedonia. With the help of the western powers, the Greeks freed themselves in the 1820's, but the Macedonians failed to gain freedom with their rebellions in 1870's and in 1903.
9. Independent European and Balkan statistics (except exaggerated Greek sources) from the late 19th and early 20th century show that the Greeks were a small minority of only 10%, living in the most southern parts of Macedonia, bordering Greece.
10. In 1913 Greece and her allies Serbia and Bulgaria, with the help of more then 100,000 Macedonians who fought along these three armies, drove the Turks out of Macedonia, but Macedonia did not gain its freedom. Instead, the Balkan countries partitioned Macedonia among themselves and Greece occupied the largest part, 51% of the whole territory, called Aegean Macedonia.
11. Even Greeks sources, including the king of Greece himself in 1912, confirm that when the Greek armies occupied Aegean Macedonia the overwhelming majority of the population were NOT Greeks, confirming the fact that the Greeks never lived in Macedonia since the most ancient times (Nikolaides, Spiros Melas Epopee).
12. But since 1913 Greece begun its assimilatory policies against the Macedonians, changing their family names to Greek names, renaming the cities, rivers, and mountains with Greek names, and forbidding the speaking of the Macedonian language.
13. In the mid 1920's Greeks from Asia Minor begun migrating into Aegean Macedonia for a first time ever, and soon the Macedonians found themselves among strangers in their native land, who most vigorously attacked everything that represents the Macedonian nationality and consciousness. In the 1930's the Macedonians were forced to drink castor oil for speaking Macedonian and had to pay financial penalty for every spoken word of Macedonian.
14. In 1991 the Republic of Macedonia, located north of Aegean Macedonia in Greece, became an independent country. The Republic of Macedonia was the part of Macedonia that Serbia occupied with the partition of 1913. In 1945 the Macedonians of the Republic drove away the fascist Albanian, Bulgarian, and German occupation forces and voted to join new federal Yugoslavia because it respected the Macedonian nationality. With the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the early 1990-1, the Macedonians voted independence in a referendum.
15. Afraid that now one part of Macedonia is independent, the Greeks launched a world-wide propaganda against the Macedonians claiming that "Macedonia has been Greek for 4000 years" (sometimes they say 3000 years, 2500, etc. It varies.). Ironically, despite the fact that the ancient Macedonians committed a real genocide against the ancient Greeks, the ancestors of today's Greeks, despite the fact the Macedonians in Greece are oppressed by them, and despite the fact that the Greeks moved in Aegean Macedonia as majority only 75 years ago.
16. While the Greeks only recently begun to launch the amazing claim that they are descendents of the ancient Macedonians (the people who murdered their own ancestors), it should be stressed that at least since the 18th century (DeTott) and including the 19th and 20th century, there are written records which show that the Macedonians claimed direct descendent from the ancient Macedonians in their struggle to free Macedonia from the Turks. That is centuries before Greece took Aegean Macedonia with its army and launched its propaganda.
17. Today, as we enter the 21st century, the Macedonians of Greece continue to be harassed and discriminated by the Greek government, 87 years since Greece took over Aegean Macedonia. The Macedonian language is still not recognized, the Macedonian nationality is still denied, and the Macedonians are still forced to have Greek family names, because having a Macedonian name Greece considers illegal. Human Rights Watch (Denying Ethnic Identity - Macedonians of Greece), Amnesty International, and the European Community have the Greek oppression of the Macedonians well documented, found Greece guilty, and demanded that it recognize the Macedonian language and nation and end its oppression. Despite of it, the Macedonians continue to exist in Greece as majority in the northern half of Aegean Macedonia and as minority in the southern half, and peacefully continue to demand their human rights. Will Greece ever became a democracy?
18. The Greeks and the Macedonians also greatly defer in physical appearance. The Greeks have typically darker tan then the Macedonians who are fair skinned. Historian Arthur Waigell have stated that the same difference in complexion existed between the ancient Greeks and Macedonians, and the ancient Greek historian Plutarch wrote that Alexander the Great had a fair complexion, criticizing a certain Greek sculptor who had given him a darker tan. The fact that both the Greeks and Macedonians have kept their ancient names is proof that both have been aware of, and preserved their lineage since most ancient times. And finally the latest scientific genetic research conducted by the University in Madrid, Spain concluded that the Macedonians are direct descendents of the ancient Macedonians, while the Greeks are unrelated to European origins and to the "older" Mediterranean substratum to which Macedonians belong to.
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