Thursday, August 25, 2016


Macedonia's 'Indiana Jones' Won't Rest Until He Finds Alexander's Tomb

Macedonian archaeologist Pasko Kuzman
Macedonian archaeologist Pasko Kuzman
With his flowing white locks and extravagant manner, Macedonian archaeologist Pasko Kuzman has become something of a celebrity in his native country.

Aside from some notable finds in his native Ohrid region, as head of the Cultural Heritage Protection Office he has had a major role in the Macedonian government's controversial, if not provocative, use of ancient historical figures to adorn the capital, Skopje. He's also seen as the force behind the latest beautification effort: the multimillion-dollar project called Skopje 2014.

Most contentious is the massive bronze statue of Alexander the Great, erected in 2011. At the time, Greece objected strongly to the statue, branding it a "usurpation of Greek history."

This is just one of a series of disputes that began with the very name of the country itself, Republic of Macedonia, which Greece fears represents a claim on its northern province of Macedonia. Greece has blocked Macedonia's joining the European Union and NATO over the name issue.

But Kuzman, for one, won't be deterred. As he told Balkan Insight recently, despite expectations that he will soon retire as the head of the cultural protection office, he won't give up searching for Alexander's tomb, which he believes could be in the country.

"There are two theories: according to the first his tomb is in Egypt, but a mosque was built above the tomb so no one dared dig under the mosque and reveal the tomb.

"We opt for the second theory, that there is a grave in Egypt but that Alexander is not there because on the request of his mother, Olympia, the sarcophagi were replaced and one coffin was sent to Egypt, while the other traveled to Macedonia, where Alexander is buried.

"He was buried with all the honors, but in a secret location in southeast Macedonia at a cemetery which still exists," Kuzman continues, comparing the mystery of his grave with the mystery of the lost kingdom of Atlantis.

"I'm always behind him, closely following his footsteps! My passion since my student days is to find his grave. I am convinced that day will come," he insists.

PHOTO GALLERY: Skopje's Controversial Facelift
  • Soldiers unveil a statue of late Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski, who died in a plane crash in 2004.
  • A woman lights a candle at a statue of Mother Teresa (Agnes Gonxhe Bojaxhiu), who was born in Skopje in 1910.
  • An enormous statue of Alexander of Macedon (commonly known as Alexander the Great) has been erected in Skopje's main square.
  • The Strength, Glory and Victory statue at Skopje Fortress
  • A statue of the early Christian missionaries Cyril and Methodius, known as the "Apostles to the Slavs," outside the state university in Skopje
  • A crane lifts a 13-meter-high bronze statue of Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, onto a 15-meter-high pedestal in central Skopje.
  • Statues of the anti-Ottoman revolutionaries Gotse Delchev and Dame Gruev.
  • The Porta Macedonia triumphal arch in Skopje's Pella Square. Erected at a cost of 4.4 million euros, the 21-meter-high arch is dedicated to 20 years of Macedonian independence.
  • A monument in memory of soldiers and policemen killed in ethnic Albanian-Macedonian violence in 2001
  • Skopje's Archaeology Museum houses artifacts from Macedonia's ancient past.
  • A marble sculpture of Tzar Samoil, seen as one of Macedonia's founding fathers
  • The new Foreign Ministry building in Skopje

-- Dan Wisniewski
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
November 20, 2012 18:32
How do you cure your rearded peasant`s inferiority complexes??? First you drink a barrel or two of prepecenitsa-the local brand of turkish raki,then you eat all leftover food you can find in the garbage cans of your albanian neighbours,then you get kicked by a herd of mules in your fyrom head.then with a little help from your serb komintern kgb comrades you can start imagining things.Forget about Alexander the great,next thing they will find in Macedonia is the Arc of the covenants as God was also a fyrom macedonian and he ordrered the arc to be buried in Skopje.Lets hope it wont be in the albanian part of the great city!!!
In Response

by: Not just a name from: Canada
November 20, 2012 22:19
Thank goodness the world has "indiana jones" Kuzman to teach everyone about those ancient slavic "Macedonians:". Rather curious its apologists pretend not to notice their sudden identity quick change into "descendents of ancient Macedonians". No racism going on there.

"This (US) 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" - US State Department Dec, 1944 (Foreign Relations Vol. VIII Washington D.C. Circular Airgram - 868.014/26)

"We are Slavs who came to this area in the sixth century ... We are not descendants of the ancient Macedonians" - Kiro Gligorov, FYROM's first President
In Response

by: gandeto from: USA
November 21, 2012 13:31
Your post reeks with hate; the only complex visible/shown here is your own. Every line bristles with envy and resentment for the success of others. Too bad there is nothing you can do. Live with it.
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
November 21, 2012 23:14
Thank you for the diagnosis dr.Gandeto,you spared me a visit to my psychoanalyst...thanx for the insights, hard feelings...all we need is love love love...only thing a hater like me cannot understand is whose success I hate,,,And,Not just a name ,this was USA`s stand some 70 years ago when ther was not NATO-whats the stand of USA today-seems to be that of mr.gandeto-finally what happened to mr.Gligorov when he said those words you quote???

by: tom from: L.A
November 20, 2012 22:08
well for 1 alexander was greek macedonian and not slavic macedonian and i understand why greece wants those people to change the name of their little another statue is there and its mother terresa and shes albanian and not slavic macedonian so what is the history of this slavic tribe ?
In Response

by: brathaHasooon from: u.s.
November 24, 2012 05:25
the whole region has been conquered and reconquered so many times in history that even a modern day turk/albenian/macedonian can claim ancient greek heritage just as much a modern greek...grow up read a damn history book why did alexander have to prove his greekness? how did the greek view macedonians in ancient times? the ottoman macedonians lived with more right than greek macedonians do today. they are forced to speak greek and say their liturgy in greek...macedonia is being treated by the greeks like the vatican treated the orthodox church its a shame to see it come to this as a bosnian slav :(
In Response

by: Not just a name from: Canada
November 25, 2012 02:44

Your point is ridiculous. If FYROM natioanlists felt they were Macedonians why wouldn't they want to speak Greek... the language on their own claimed ancestors?

I suggest you "grow up" and read a "damn history book" to found out what the so-called "ethnic Macedonians" used to call themselves before lecturing.

"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"

"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."

"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." - US Anthropologist Loring Danforth, "The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World", Princeton Univ Press, December 1995

by: Dimitri from Athens from: Athens, GR
November 20, 2012 23:47
"He was buried with all the honors, but in a secret location in southeast Macedonia at a cemetery which still exists", Kuzman continues, ... "I'm always behind him,...
How much serious can one be when defying any facts and ancient sources, he/she claims for the opposite!

Alexander the Great was buried in Egypt and never reached in Macedonia.
All of the above statements by Mr. Kuzman, are made with one purpose: to brainwash further the unfortunate people of FYROM.
This is pure charlatanism!

by: Hank from: Macedonia, Greece
November 21, 2012 01:49
How can a country like FYROM (a slavic/Bulgarian nation that speak Bulgarian) claim to be Macedonians since the Ancient Macedonians spoke Greek and have always claimed to be Greek.. This is so crazy, FYROM must be drunk..
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
November 21, 2012 10:54
Hank, the govt of Macedonia/FYROM apparently just promotes this discussion in order to (a) consolidate the "national unity" of the country and try to prevent another outbreak of interethnic violence between the Macedonia's/FYROM's Slavs and Albanians; and (b) to distract the attention of the population from the economic problems that most Balkan countries are stuck in.
BY THE WAY, talking about the economic problems: What is new in Greece? Which way do you see the country heading? How long will the people of Greece be taking the German Diktat and the German neo-colonial policies?
In Response

by: Dimitri from Athens from: Athens, GR
November 22, 2012 05:34
The issue here is not about the Greek crisis dear Eugenio but about charlatanism in FYROM that is presented as History in order to retain of irridentism against neighbouring countries like Greece.
This is pure propaganda and brainwashing of the people of FYROM and a cause of their problems they have with Greece and now with emerging similar problems with Bulgaria.
All the best!
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
November 23, 2012 15:14
Dear Dimitri, of course, you are right when you say that "this is pure propaganda and brainwashing of the people of FYROM", but, strictly speaking: who gives a damn about this name "issue"? Just like no one.
But how about you tell us a bit more about the way that the people in GREECE feel about the genocidal policies of Frau Merkel: after all, even if FYROM decides to call itself Bretagne, Extremadura or Gudjarat, no one will even notice, but the current situation in GREECE is going to affect us all! Please give some details!
In Response

by: Dimitri from Athens from: Athens, GR
November 25, 2012 09:16

…who gives a damn about this name "issue"?

Apparently not the Germans or the Indonesians; none of their business!
This matter affects Greece only; so Greece DOES!
Plato at his “Cratylus says: “The name is the most important as it describes the substance of the subject”
The name issue and history usurpation are the excuses for the territorial claims this little country has against Greece and some of their other neighbours.
Bulgaria has started also to have concerns over the Bulgarian history usurpation by the FYROM historians.
If FYROM calls itself Extremadura or Gudjarat, yes, no one will even notice, but if FYROM calls itself Bretagne I assure you this won’t pass unnoticed!
If the current situation in GREECE is going to affect you all, then leave this irrelevant article, visit a relative financial one and post your comments there!

In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
November 26, 2012 19:56
You are saying: "visit a relative financial one and post your comments there!" Oh, Dimitri, you can be sure that I have probably read hundreds of thousands "relevant financial" articles on the Euro-crisis over the last 4 years, but, see, the thing is: those articles tend to present the current situation from the point of view of the BANKSTERS: And what I (and many others!) would be interested in getting to know is the POINT OF VIEW OF THE GREEK PEOPLE - so, where should I get this point of view from, if not from you, as long as you live in GREECE?
But, never mind, I see that you are just too obsessed with the name of FYROM, so, it's like if the Third World War was to start tomorrow - you would still be talking about how bad those FYROM guys are, because they stole your name. Correct, Dimitri :-))??
Stay cool and continue fighting FYROM :-))!
Cheers from Vienna!
In Response

by: Not just a name from: Canada
November 27, 2012 02:43
Trying to distill the issues to just name is incredibly unfair Eugenio. Greece does not object to Athens or Macedonia USA or countless other places that use Greek names.. because the people in those Greek named places don't trying to claim to be THE Macedonians and THE Athenians while drawing up huge sections of our country as occupied. How would you feel if the government of neighbouring state was encouraging its citizens to see your country as occupied and trying to erase your identity. Would you tolerate it?

by: William from: Chicago
November 21, 2012 12:15
The guy is totally delusional. One day he'll search the Moon for the remnants of the so-called Macedonian nation. No wonder the world is laughing with his people and their government.

by: Kiril from: Earth
November 22, 2012 00:39
For all those Hellenic Warriors that propagate half-truths, fabrications or just blatant lies the truth may be hard to swallow, but you must face reality and stop living your lies. Andrew Rossos manages to debunk one of these lies in just 2 paragraphs and that lie is the Modern Greek myth that Tito invented us in 1945, a lie shovelled in heaps to an adoring Greek flock (bah, bah, vre) by their less than honest politicians.
Excerpt from the book “The British Foreign Office 1918-1941” by Andrew Rossos. Pay particular attention to the bit about 500,000 Asia Minor refugees, they and their descendants now make up the overwhelming majority of Greece’s 2.5 million so called “real Macedonians”. Read and weep “real Macedonians”;
- Oliver C. Harvey of the Foreign Office, who visited both Vardar and Aegean Macedonia, reinforced Gallop's views. Indeed, in his "Notes" on the fact-finding mission he left no doubt about the existence of a distinct Macedonian consciousness and identity. In connection with Vardar Macedonia he reported that "The Slavophone population of Serb Macedonia definitely regard themselves as distinct from the Serbs. If asked their nationality they say they are 'Macedonians,' and they speak the Macedonian dialect. Nor do they identify themselves with the Bulgars, although the latter seem undoubtedly to be regarded as nearer relatives than the Serbs."[57] As far as Aegean Macedonia was concerned, Harvey noted that in its eastern and central part "the Slavophone population had 'voluntarily' emigrated and their place had been taken by 500,000 Greek refugees" from Asia Minor. "'Voluntary' emigration," he observed, "is a euphemism; incoming Greeks were planted on the Slavophone villagers to such an extent that life was made unbearable for them and they were forced to emigrate." Such upheaval did not take place in its western part and large numbers of Slavophones remained there, in the area around and south of Florina (Lerin). "These of course constitute the much advertised "Serb minority," he continued. "But they are no more Serb than the Macedonians of Serbia-they speak Macedonian, and call themselves Macedonians and sentimentally look to Bulgaria rather than to Serbia."

- Through this internal debate, the Foreign Office appeared to have reached a virtual consensus that the Macedonian Slavs were neither Serbs, nor Bulgarians nor Greeks, a de facto acknowledgment that they comprised a separate southern Slav national group. But they were not given official recognition as a distinct nationality or nation; as I have already shown, the Foreign Office hoped to see the Macedonian problem disappear by their eventual assimilation into the three nations that ruled over them. In the meantime, during the second half of the 1920s and until its dissolution in 1934, the IMRO intensified its activities in Bulgaria and armed incursions into Vardar Macedonia, thereby reminding London of the Macedonian national question.
In Response

by: Dimitri from Athens from: Athens, GR
November 22, 2012 22:04
Read and weep? Lol! You’d better say read and laugh!

So this is the conclusion out of these two Rossos’ paragraphs?
That the “Macedonian Slavs were neither Serbs, nor Bulgarians nor Greeks”!
Can’t be more shallow and a naïve conclusion!

First of all a few about Mr. Rossos:
From Wikipedia:
"Rossos was born Diko Roshovski in Vambel village, Kastoria prefecture, Greece … Rosos is adherent of the views espoused by the national historiography of the Republic of Macedonia".
So Rossos is a “Macedonian” and a mouthpiece of the FYROM propaganda!
Wow! Very objective in deed!

And what about his birthplace Vambel?
Wikipedia again:
"Vambel was a small village in Greece, Krystallopigi, community…. Its population in the beginning of the 20th century was Bulgarian,[3][4] but after the Balkan Wars and the First World War most of it took refuge in Bulgaria".

So the people there were BULGARIANS and with the exchange population agreements between Greece and Bulgaria they all left for Bulgaria!
All? Not quite; some families would have been left back. Rossos family would have been one of them for sure! In 1948 after trapped in the Greek Civil War, they left for Yugoslavia, while others had left for Canada.
Very interesting again, don’t you think?

And now here is a more profound and more reasonable approach to the matter.
Please allow me to check the important points one by one:

“Pay particular attention to the bit about 500,000 Asia Minor refugees, they and their descendants now make up the overwhelming majority of Greece’s 2.5 million so called “real Macedonians”
Hard to believe that 500.000 people can proliferate to 2.500.00 in 90 years and after a world war (2nd), a Civil War, two military rebellions and a dictatorship (Metaxas)!
The true is that apart from these 600.000 people (and not 500.000) there were also many Greeks who lived in the area prior to the arrival of the Asia Minor refugees.
These Greeks no matter what their language was (they were Slavophones, Vlach-Speaking and many others who were speaking Greek) were all Greeks and identified themselves as such.
Yet apart from the Bulgarians who left for Bulgaria (some 450.000) there were also the Greek refugees from Bulgaria who were around 400.000 and came to Greece and many of them settled in Macedonia and the Greek Thrace.
Some 150 - 200.000 Greeks arrived from the area of today’s FYROM from 1920 up to now and most of them were settled in Northern Greece too.
This means that the todays 2.500.000 Greeks of Macedonia come from not only from the refugees of Asia Minor, as a naïve would claim, but also from the rest Greek populations as per above.

"… The Slavophone population of Serb Macedonia definitely regard themselves as distinct from the Serbs”.
Sure; they were Bulgarians!

“… If asked their nationality they say they are 'Macedonians,' and they speak the Macedonian dialect”.
Due to the fear of the Serbs, they were afraid to confess they were Bulgarians.

“Nor do they identify themselves with the Bulgars …”
Of course they don’t! I have already said why…

“…although the latter seem undoubtedly to be regarded as nearer relatives than the Serbs."
For sure Bulgarians were considered nearer relatives than the Serbs! You’d better say brothers!

“As far as Aegean Macedonia was concerned, Harvey noted that in its eastern and central part "the Slavophone population had 'voluntarily' emigrated and their place had been taken by 500,000 Greek refugees" from Asia Minor”.
'Voluntarily', within the spirit of the exchange population agreement between Greece and Bulgaria.
Also the Greeks of Bulgaria did 'voluntarily' emigrate from Bulgaria to Greece.
To note here that those who left were most from those of the Slavophones who considered themselves as Bulgarians. the Slavophones who were feeling Greeks never left the area.

Can one answer btw, why all these people who left Greece, head for Bulgaria and not for the south of Yugoslavia since they were “Macedonians” and not Bulgarians?
Why the so called “Macedonians of Vambel (Rossos birthplace) left for Bulgaria and they did not chose to go e.g. to Bitola instead?

Thanks for reading.
In Response

by: Not just a name from: Canada
November 22, 2012 22:19
Andrew Rossos is a FYROM ultra nationalist who was born in Greece.. No third party historian on earth claims ancient Macedonians were Slavic. They would be ridiculed by their academic peers. All Skopians have going for them is any Greek hating foreigners that bought into the crocodile tears of your propagandist original claims you weren't related to ancient Macedonians.

The second your propagandists start claiming to be related to ancient Macedonians, both you... and any of your Greek-hating bigot apologists that continued to stay silent as you attempt to erase our Greek identity.... lost every last shred of moral and intellectual credibility.

Those that support FYROM are effectively now playing the role of those that stayed silent when the Nazis tried eradicate Jews using similar racial arguments as FYROM nationalist use to deconstruct Greeks into nothingness. FYROM ultra nationalists are evil ethnic cleansers.

by: norman from: arizona
November 22, 2012 20:18
The Greeks use the same lame "arguments" time after time. Macedonia and Macedonians have existed since antiquity. And in fact, a large Macedonian minority lives in Greece. Greece refuses to grant these ethnic Macedonians ethnic rights. Same goes for Bulgaria.
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
November 23, 2012 13:06
What ethnic rights should be given to people of a certain province,Norman???-do you have any special rights as Arizonians-or what are the ethnic rights of americans-in particular???
In Response

by: Dimitri from Athens from: Athens GR
November 23, 2012 15:18
“Macedonia and Macedonians have existed since antiquity”.
Ups! Something’s missing here!
“Macedonia and Macedonians have existed as Greeks, since antiquity” is the complete and proper statement!

“And in fact, a large Macedonian minority lives in Greece”.
Sure! Only that “Rainbow”, their political party, that participated freely in several Greek elections received no more than a humble number of 2.000 votes! (two thousand votes!)

On the contrary there are one hundred thousand Greeks in FYROM who suffer under the hardest oppression!
Please look at your backyard prior to talking!

by: Jonathan from: Ottawa
November 23, 2012 14:05
Whether Greek or Macedonian, neither have a claim to Alexander. The region has changed so much in the past 2000 years or so that both groups are barely related to the people from Alexander's time.
The reality of this article is that Kuzman is just another minor archaeologist who wants his name up in lights, every country has at least one.
In Response

by: Dimitri from Athens from: Athens GR
November 23, 2012 21:27
To clarify first of all dear Jonathan, that Macedonians are as Greeks, as the Thessalians, the Cretans, or the Epirotes are.
So Macedonians are Greeks.
If one is not a Greek, he cannot be a Macedonians either for the same reason that a person cannot claim that he/she is Athenian but not a Greek!
Or you can’t be a Texan or a New Yorker and yet to claim that you have not a US nationality.

Since we clarified this issue, we could come to the second point of the posting with regards to the relation between the ancient and modern people of the area.

Ancient Macedonians were indisputably Greeks.
The descendants of these Greek people are present in the area through all the millennia up to our days.
We can find them being emperors of the Byzantine Empire (Macedonian Dynasty). Proof to this is the fact that they fought against the Slavs and the Bulgarians.
Or how reasonable can be the fact that an emperor of the Byzantine Empire, like the Basil II, (958 –1025), to be a Slav and yet to fight against his own people?
Again at later times the inspired Serb leader Stefan Dusan occupied a big part of the Balkan Peninsula (with most of Northern Greece included) and proclaimed himself Emperor in 1345 at the Macedonian city of Serres and was solemnly crowned in the city of Skopje on April 16, 1346 as "Emperor and autocrat of Serbs and Greeks"
If Greeks had been a dodo bird from the area why should he name himself Emperor of Serbs and Greeks (and not of Bulgarians for instance)?
Also Evliya Celebi, 1611 – 1682) an Ottoman traveler who visited the region speaks in his writings about the people of Macedonia and states Greeks, Bulgarians Albanians etc. (not Macedonians however…).
Of interest is that he mentions also that he had met in the area GREEKS WHO WERE NOT SPEAKING GREEK!
The Hilmi Pasha several censuses (1900-1912) also state Greek populations in the area (no Macedonians of course)

CONCLUSION: The ancient Macedonians (that were Greeks as you use to say) were never extinct but existed through all the periods of modern history! Their descendants are the north Greeks proud of their heritage!

Now does pedigree make continuity so important for the existence of an Ethnicity?
My personal view to the matter is simply a “no”!
Most of the inhabitants of the Turkish coasts come from Islamized Greek populations; however they do not feel Greek at all today!
On the contrary they feel to be proud Turks.

In other words what is more important is not my descendancy but my acceptance of the heritage. Since I accept this heritage, then despite the fact that I am born biologically a German, a Chinese or a Maltese, I am definitely a Greek!
Or maybe I come straight through from Pericles the Athenian but since I accept the Turkish heritage, then I am definitely a Turk!
All the best.
In Response

by: Jonathan from: Ottawa
November 24, 2012 17:01
You people do not seem to understand the concepts of regional and ethnic identification. The region of Macedonia and being a Macedonian are two different things. Basil I was from the Byzantine Thema(province) of Macedonia, which was most of the southern Balkans including the modern country of Greece.
I am very much agreeing that modern Macedonia's are not directly descended from Alexander's people. At the same time for a Greek to say they are is equally rubbish.
In Response

by: Not just a name f from: cANADA
November 24, 2012 00:12

That's just a lame excuse to hide your bigotry for referencing the former Yugoslavians as "Macedonians". (after Greeks warned they would try this)

Plenty of 3rd party accredited historians (including in the US) consider ancient Macedonian clearly part of Greek history. Anyone that supports FYROM is essentially involved in a subtle attempt to ethnically erase Greeks.
In Response

by: Jonathan from: Ottawa
November 24, 2012 16:49
@Not just a name f.

The Greeks of Ancient times and the current Greeks are different, to say they are the same is completely ignoring a variety of historical factors. Macedonia is a part of Greek History, I am not denying this, the same could be said that Rome is a part of Italian history, it does not mean that all Italians are directly desended from the Romans.
In Response

by: Not just a name from: Canadna
November 24, 2012 22:49

thanks for your incredibly patronizing comment that Greeks are different than "ancient Greeeks. I would poiint out you are "different" than your own mother.

The fact remains we identify with ancient Greeks,. Unlike the FYROM natioanlsits (or Italians) our language is Greek in more than just name. While evoloved (i.e. we would no more speak in ancient Greek dialects than a modern english speaker would speak in Chaucer English) from a written persepctive a modern Greek speaker can easily recognize the language on 2500 year old ancient Macedonian artifacts as his own.

Then of course massive amounts of our modern culture is dirived from ancient Greeks. While I would agree there is no such thing as pure ethnicl races to try and put our two ethnic narratives at par is absurd. I suggest you dig deeper into Greek history before offering your opinions. Its not Greeks jumping from 2200 BC to the present.
In Response

by: Jonathan from: Ottawa
November 25, 2012 14:01
Frankly the entire debate is stupid. The average Greek or Macedonian does not care about whether they are connected with the people around the time of Alexander the Great. They go to school, work, try and have a family. I think both governments need to take their heads out of their behinds and focus on other things, like the rubbish economies of both countries.

Also it is mildly comical to note that the main point of this article isnt so much the Macedonian identity debate... but the theories of one wacky archaeologist, as I said in my original post... every country has one.
In Response

by: Not just a name f from: Canada
November 25, 2012 16:37

You have no idea what you are talking about. The average Greek (including Macedonian ones who's identity you "generously" give to a neighbours NON-Macedonians) do care about the name. This is precisely why there is a dispute.

In addition you "forget" to mention the rampent irrdentism FYROM nationalists promote against Greeks (claiming large sections of Greece as "occupied" by abusing the name).Since when did threatening someone else's borders become a "human rights")

People have ethnic identities whether you agree or not Johnathan. From the standpoint of Greeks those that collude with Fyrom ultra nationalists are morally complicit in their attempts to ethnically erase the Greek people. Evil.
In Response

by: Not just a name from: Canada
November 24, 2012 00:13
"Those who live in Skopje and say that that is Macedon and Alexander's homeland are as ignorant and outrageous as if someone was to say that Oxford University was really in Belarus and Oxford was Minsk" - Robin Lane Fox of Oxford University
In Response

by: Not just a name from: Canada
November 24, 2012 22:58

"You people" fail to understand your personal pet theories on Greek identity are not the same as academics. There are a wide range of views on Greek identity (and ethnic identity in general). You trying to casually delete our identity on your pseudo-scientific racial arguments amounts to the same sort of racial propaganda of Nazi eugencists.

"Greeks, Armenians, Jews, Persians, Chinese and Japanese could be cited as examples of ethnic continuity, since, despite massive cultural changes over the centuries, certain key identifying components—name, language, customs, religious community and territorial association—were broadly maintained and reproduced for millennia" - Nationalism and Modernism: A Critical Survey of Recent Theories of Nations - Nationalism and Modernism, page 191, Anthony David Smith, Routledge, 1998

by: Darren from: Canada
November 24, 2012 03:21
Read this:

It seems A the G wasn't Greek either. Macedonians were a distinct people,and perhaps the current inhabitants of Macedonia carry their genes, after all: don't confound race with language. Hence, let them call themselves Macedonian (and let them return to Greece if they wish).
In Response

by: Dimitri from Athens from: Athens, GR
November 24, 2012 18:06
Who says this? N.S. Gill?
wow! big deal!

The fact that Alexander 1st was allowed to enter the Olympics is enough to confirm his Greek nationality.
The Committee responsible for checking the Greek identity of the competitors was well experienced in similar matters so was not so easy for Alexander 1st or anyone else fool them.
The Alexander’s excuse about the Argead origin, was simply childish but this was at hand at that time and was used without any second thought.
The Olympic Committee accepted him not because of his silly excuse regarding the Argead origin but because they knew that Macedonians were Greeks.
Regarding Olympias, the Epirote mother of Alexander the Great:
The controversy whether the people of Epirus were Greeks or not has finished long ago since the time of the findings of the Dodona Oracle that prove that the people of the area were speaking and writing in Greek.
Besides this, Olympias father, King Arybbas of Epirus had participated and was a winner in two of the Panhellenic Games; the Olympic and the Pythian ones.
As it is known only Greeks were allowed to participate in these Panhellenic Games and this makes a solid proof about the Greek identity of the Epirotes.
So Alex the Great was a born Greek.
All the best!
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
November 24, 2012 20:42
Dear Dmitri,the macedonian dynasty in the Byzantine empire consisted of resettled armenians-it consists of 9 emperors of armenian origin and the greeks were just a part of that empire,nor were they its inheritors-the greek state was foundedin the 19thC. AD,and the retarded peasant`s psylology of the greek malakas is demonstrated in the constant wars between its feudal towns.And if Alexander was greek,why did he had to conquer the greek tribes first on the start of his conquest of the world? It is evident the greeks still havent lost their tribal mentality and they never will judging by the lies you post here!!!
In Response

by: Dimitri from Athens from: Athens, GR
November 25, 2012 09:49
@ Camel Anaturk

You are right about the Macedonian dynasty; you are wrong for the rest!
“Errare humanun est”, so apologies for this part only.
Regarding the rest of my posting, these are valid and cannot be refuted, so my posting is still on strength.
Regarding the Byzantine Empire, it was for sure a multi-ethnic Empire like all empires; so this does not make an argument whether Greeks should consider themselves as its inheritors.
The fact that this Empire was becoming more and more Greek – by sixth century AD the Greek language officially substituted the Latin one – and especially for its last two centuries (1204 – 1453) it was really a Greek Empire.
This one, along with the other fact that only Greeks mourned its fall to the Ottomans, reveals clearly this Empire’s Greek identity.
With regards to Alexander.
Actually not only Alexander; the Athenians, the Spartans, the Thebans, the Macedonians and Epirotes finally with their King Pyrrus, tried to conquer the other Greeks.
Only Alexander did it (his father actually); so it is naïve the less for one to say that Alexander was not a Greek just because he conquered the rest of the Greek cities.

My lies? I guess you’d better be more moderate.
I admitted an error; the rest are valid however.
I think it’s your turn to show courage and admit your wrong positions to the above.
Thank you.

In Response

by: Not just a name from: Camel Anaturk
November 25, 2012 16:53
@Camel Anaturk

You are correct that the Roman state (that at times covered large land masses much bigger than Greece) was a multi-ethnic state. However you gloss over the context that it renamed Byzantine (a name never used by them) by a German speakers to differentiate itself from the other multi-ethnic roman state... the Holy Roman Empire. During the middle ages the other Romans claimed to be the real Romans wheres the other Romans were deemed too Greek to be the 'real' Roman.

Greeks have lived in Anatolia for millennia, especially along the Aegean coast. For a while, under Alexander, they dominated the land. And for all intents and purposes, the Byzantine Empire (the Eastern Roman Empire at the time) was Greek. When Mehmct 11 conquered Constantinople, he appointed a Greek monk to the orthodox Patriarch and allowed him to govern both the religious and secular affairs of the Greek community. The first Ottoman census, of 1477, counted half of Constantinople’s population as Greek, and four-hundred years later, even after the Greek War of Independence, it was still 21 percent Greek. - Lowenthal, David (1998). The heritage crusade and the spoils of history. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 245.

As for you ridiculous argument why did Alexander conquer other Greek states... why did the Athenians do do the same by attacking Melos? Why did the Spartans attack Athens during the Peloponnese wars? Were Athenians and Spartans not Greeks either for attacking other self-defined Greek states (just like ancient Macedonians were - see ancient Olympics where they self-identified as Hellenes)

And out of curiosity what is your alleged ethnic background and on what basis should anyone recognize your identity as "real"?
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
November 26, 2012 22:48
Dmitri,forget about Kuzman,the man is a joke,I`m talking about the nature of things-the Byzantine empire fell as a esult of its own internal infighting,in the end it was not an empire but just a formerly great city with a small piece of land attached to it.If you dont know Johnson,you can easily find out on the I-net,but if you are a greek you should know Kavafis` Waiting for the Barbarians and more recently Nikos Dimou`s On the Unhappiness of Being Greek-it was just recently released in english on the 12th of October and is worth a re-read.I`m not an expert on the issue but as far as I know 5 centuries after its demise many armenians identified themselves with the former empire and there are at least 2 armenian newspapers from that period called Puzantion which is Byzantia in armenian.Do you know how the barbarians came to the Balkan peninsula?They were hired as soldiers of fortune by a bulgarian king who fought against his own brother-the 2 brothers had divided Bulgaria into two kingdoms,and the `Christian` brother paid the mooselem infidels good money to beat his own brother for the throne.Same thing happenned in Russia,where the tatars took over.You couldnt expect the serbs.bulgars.or anybody else to mourn for the empire as they were rivals in constant wars between themselves.And forget about the former long gone glory-think about the present debts you have to pay to the nation who was totally ruined in the last world war-only to become top of the world again-and dont say I`m a fascist!!!
In Response

by: Name is not just a name from: Canada
November 24, 2012 23:13
"Darren" (i.e likely a FYROM nationalist posing as neutral) article omits any mention of ancient Macedonians SELF-IDENTIFYING as Greeks. Are the modern inhabitants of the region FYROM known as PAEONIA in antiquity (ancient Macedonia was located in Greece) planning on competing as self-identifying Greeks at the next Olympics... just like ancient Macedonians did for centuries? (at the time Olympics were a Greek only event) You are welcome to visit Greece to see the Macedonian names on ancient Oympic artifacts. Didn't notice any slavic names.

And remind us again why the former Yugoslavians don't want to speak Greek... the language of the ancient macedonian Kingdom? Do Jews prefer Arabic as their mother tongue or Hebrew? Would would think as "proud" macedonians they would want to speak their own language no?

In addition he's omitted the fact that modern FYROM nationalists have nothing to do with ancient Macedonians. Their dirty little secret is most of them are direct descendents of early 20th century self-identifying ethnic Bulgarians. (thus their Slav names) Their language used to be widely considered a Bulgarian dialect until Yugoslav communists modified it and renamed it "Macedonian"

And what about the identity rights of Greek Macedonians? Don't our THE Macedonia... who can recognize the writing on ancient Macedonian artifacts as their own language... have identity rights?

It is you who is confounding ethnicity and language. You have not provided a shred of evidence the former self-identifying ethnic Bulgarians of FYROM are in an meaningful way related to ancient Macedonians. You just assert things (bigotry if you ask me)

In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
November 26, 2012 17:20
Name is not just a name-you`re 100% right.Name just a name-your facts are mostly right-the conclisions you draw-not so right...My indentity???-thanx for the police informer`s question-I am not a human,but just a virtual camel!!!Dmitry,many people mourned the demise of Byzantine-you were right it had become more and more greek till its end-the sore reality is it degraded itself and shrunk into a feudal city with some small patches of land attached to it-this is what I mean by a retarded peasant`s petty ego maniac mentality-this is what brought the empire down-not the invading barbarians.All of today`s professional patriots are waiting for their own barbarians,and all nationalist propaganda just shows how right was Samuel Johnson:`Nationalism,sir is the last refuge of the scoundrel !`Nationalism,indeed is a very very big business today.
In Response

by: Dimitri from Athens from: Athens, GR
November 26, 2012 20:45
@ Camel Anaturk
So far to my knowledge, only Greeks mourned the fall of the Byzantine Empire. This is evident in their literature and their historic narrative texts of the time.
This Empire was considered at the end by the Greeks and others as well as being their Empire. Other people however like the Serbs, the Bulgarians or the Armenians refer to the event of its fall to the Ottomans, simply as historic fact.
If you do have any proofs for the opposite kindly please do expand my knowledge.
I don’t know who the Samuel Johnson is, what he said about Nationalism and honestly I don’t really care about it.
What I know is that I am not any scoundrel and what I say is based on facts, on the contrary to some from the other side who try to make history out of the unreal.
Actually all of this case about the Byzantium is irrelevant to the subject that is the charlatanism as transformed into History in FYROM.
If one has to be identified as a scoundrel due to the lies and forgery of history then Mr. Kuzman is a champion of the kind.

In Response

by: Dimitri from Athens from: Athens, GR
November 27, 2012 11:54
@ Camel Anaturk

Maybe we have a different approach to the matter, as I know both the Kavafis’ poem and N. Dimou’s book to which I have read and mostly agree to it, however I consider them both irrelevant to the issue.

Regarding the rest of your posting:

“5 centuries after its demise many armenians identified themselves with the former empire…”
5 centuries after! The Greeks however did not expect for a whole 5 centuries after the fall, to identify themselves with this former empire!
So, only Greeks…

“Do you know how the barbarians came to the Balkan peninsula?They were hired as soldiers of fortune…”
Not quite! Goths, Vandals, or Slavs arrived as raiders (Slavs not so much; in some cases they entered Greece rather peacefully, yet they made some occasional looting in the areas they settled i.e. in Peloponnese).
Some barbarians were hired as mercenaries by the Byzantium (the Varangians), yet they are considered as the less responsible for the disintegration of the Empire. The main reason was Byzantine’s plots against each other to size the throne. Even without the barbarians, the result would have been exactly the same.
So not the mercenaries…

Surely I do not expect “the serbs, bulgars or anybody else to mourn for the empire”; so what is left? Just the Greeks!

“And forget about the former long gone glory…”
Honestly I try to forget but ridiculous history forgers like this P.K. do not allow me doing so.
Surely I want to forget but it’s more than enough for me to forget while other people, totally irrelevant to the case, do “remember” my past glory as theirs!
(What is of concern of course is the practical side of the case; actually the claims over Greece’s territory! culture and history forgery make the excuse for the support of these claims).

“…think about the present debts you have to pay to the nation who was totally ruined in the last world war…”
My present debts I have to pay to the formerly ruined nation are totally irrelevant to this issue.
Please stop mix the subjects; Greeks or the Bulgarians have their own respected histories to refer.
One cannot claim that neither Alex the Great was a Greek, nor Tsar Samuel was a Bulgarian but both of them were “Macedonians”; that’s the issue here!
And it’s simply ridiculous!

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