The Ancient And The Modern Macedonians History Essay

The modern Macedonians portion the same name with a people of antiquity who were coevalss of the ancient Greeks and Thracians. The ancient Macedonians had a land and one of their swayers became world-famous, Alexander the Great ( 356 – 323 b.c.e. ) . The nostalgic memory of AlexanderA?s celebrity has been revived by Macedonian patriots of our clip who claim descent of their people from the celebrated “ ascendant ” and besides the amusement concern draws on allusions to Alexander. Booklets about Macedonian history have been produced that can non defy the enticement of associating the antediluvian with the modern people, evidently incognizant that they “ lay the Macedonians unfastened to the ridicule of those who would deny their nationhood ” ( Fernandez-Armesto 1994: 224 ) . There is no connexion between the antediluvian Macedonians and the Slavs who came to the country in the 6th century c.e. when the Macedonian land no longer existed and the Macedonians who had impressed the ancient universe had already assimilated into adjacent civilizations. It is merely the name of the historical landscape, Macedonia, what links the antediluvian and the modern people.

Of the 2 million Macedonians in Southeast Europe some 1.3 million inhabit the Republic of Macedonia where they account for two tierces of the population. The 2nd largest cultural group in Macedonia are Albanians, totaling c. 0.5 million, matching to 25 per cent of the population. Some 0.7 million Macedonians unrecorded outside Macedonia. Macedonian minorities are found in neighbouring states, in the northwesterly portion of Greece ( c. 0.12 million ) , in Bulgaria and Albania and besides overseas, in North America and Australia. The exact figure of cultural Macedonians in abroad states is non known because, in the official statistics, the beginning of immigrants is normally given harmonizing to the province which they left and that was the former Yugoslavia until 1991. The construct “ Yugoslav ” referred to citizenship, and a “ Yugoslav people ” ne’er existed.

Macedonian is a South Slavonic linguistic communication and most closely attached to Bulgarian. Medieval Macedonian became the medium of Christian literature in the nineth century. In the early stage of Slavic literacy texts were written in the Glagolitic book. In the late 10th century, the Cyrillic alphabet was introduced and finally became more popular, replacing Glagolitic in the 12th century. Literacy bloomed during the presence of Climent ( d. 916 ) , the prima figure of cultural life, at Ohrid. Of the extant texts in Old Church Slavonic more than 15 are attributed to Climent as writer. He translated Grecian texts into Slavic and wrote discourses, supplications and anthem. After ClimentA?s decease his adherents continued his work. In add-on to the original literature in Slavic there is the majority of translated texts which have been collected in mediaeval Codexs ( i.e. Codex Zographensis, Codex Assemanianus, Euchologium Sinaiticum, Psalterium Sinaiticum ) .

During the times of Turkish colonial regulation, Macedonian was merely on occasion used for composing. Religious literature was produced in the Serbian assortment of Church Slavonic which, in the 18th century, was replaced in favour of Russian Church Slavonic. Modern Macedonian has been used since the early 19th century, periodically at first but more systematically since the 1870s. The rules of modern written Macedonian are outlined in a book written by K.P. Misirkov, “ Za makedonskite raboti ” ( A?About Macedonian affairsA? ) , in which the writer “ stressed that the Macedonian literary linguistic communication was necessary for the really being and farther development of the Macedonian state ” ( Koneski 1980: 61 ) . The first edition was published in 1903 but most transcripts of the book were destroyed right after its visual aspect. The 2nd edition appeared in Skopje in 1946 and became widespread. The norms of standard Macedonian were established in connexion with the acknowledgment of Macedonian as a national linguistic communication in Yugoslavia in 1944, and these criterions have been valid since.

In prehistoric culture, Macedonia formed portion of the trade web that was developed by the early agricultural communities of Southeast Europe. Those Old European colonists were a pre-Indo-European population to whom neither the ancient nor the modern Macedonians are related. The lone connexion which the modern Macedonians can set up with the Old Europeans is through the attitude they take vis-a-vis their rich cultural heritage which has been brought to visible radiation in archeological diggings. The most seeable marker of the Old European civilisation are the plants of ocular art in which the early colonies abound. Many little sculptures of female figures have been found, some picturing pregnant adult females, whose map is explained as showing certain beliefs of the antediluvian, “ conveyance wants for birthrate, easy birth without losingss for the mother-to-be, and raising regeneration for the Mother-Earth ” ( Kolistrkoska Nasteva 2005: 13 f. ) . The statuettes were produced over a long span of clip, from the 7th to the 3rd millenary b.c.e.

The Indo-Europeans who came to the Balkan part from the Eurasiatic steppe brought a civilization with them that was different from that of the agriculturists. The Indo-Europeans overformed the civilization of the autochthonal population but there were points of the Old European civilization that continued and were absorbed by the fledglings. Certain forms of clayware and manners of their ornamentation were transmitted into subsequently periods. Some imposts have even persisted up to the present. This is true for the popular wheel-dance which is called oro in Macedonian. The oro is a local Macedonian version of the South Slavic kolo the beginnings of which go back to the prehistoric age. The Macedonians who were the first Indo-Europeans in the part recorded by that name in ancient Grecian beginnings developed their civilization in close contact with the Greeks and Thracians. Alexander the Great spoke the ancient Macedonian linguistic communication but the linguistic communication in which he was educated by his instructor, Aristotle ( 384 – 322 b.c.e. ) was ancient Greek. Later coevalss of cultural Macedonians bit by bit assimilated to Greek and Hellenic civilization.

The South Slavs who migrated to Macedonia during the 6th and 7th c.e. settled as neighbours of the Greeks, and their colonies extended to the locality of Thessaloniki ( Salonica ) on the Aegean seashore. The Slavs attacked the town in intervals which challenged the Byzantines to repress the heathens in the countryside. An of import route, the Via Egnatia, passed through Macedonia and Byzantium made attempts to procure the part in several military runs. Byzantine business of the country with Slavic colonies was a factor of political control. The other factor of importance was the influence that Byzantine civilization took on the Slavs via the channel of Christianization. Toward the terminal of the nineth century most of the Slavs of Macedonia had adopted the Christian religion.

Since the 8th century the Slavs of Macedonia and their posterities were ruled by foreign powers. At times, their lands were occupied by the Byzantine Empire, at other times by Bulgaria and, in the 14th century, besides by Serbia. Under king Stefan Dusan ( — – & gt ; Serbs ) the capital of the land of Serbia was Skopje ( in Macedonia ) . Despite foreign regulation Macedonia became place to a rich medieval Christian civilization, with cloistered life and literacy in the local linguistic communication. The most august figure of early Christian community life among the Slavs is Konstantinos who subsequently changed his name to Kyrillos ( Cyril ) . His female parent was Macedonian and he grew up in Thessaloniki. The linguistic communication that was spoken by the Slavs around the metropolis was used by Cyril, the “ Slavic Apostle ” who did missional work in Moravia ( — – & gt ; Czechs ) , for his interlingual renditions of spiritual Grecian texts. The foundation of Old Church Slavonic is anchored in the South Slavic linguistic communication of Macedonia. Two adherents of Cyril, Climent and Naum, arrived in Ohrid ( located on the shore of the Ohrid Lake in western Macedonia ) , in 886, and the local monastery developed into a centre of mediaeval Christian civilization.

At the beginning of the 11th century Macedonia came under direct Byzantine regulation and the South Slavic tradition of Christian literature lost its former energy although texts in Old Macedonian were still produced. Grecian came to rule public life and besides ecclesiastical personal businesss. Ohrid remained a cultural centre albeit under Grecian backing. From 1037 onwards, the bishops of Ohrid were Greeks. The autumn of Constantinople in 1453 marked the terminal of Byzantium and the beginning of Turkish regulation. Macedonia – like many other parts of Southeast Europe – became a settlement of the Ottoman Empire. The Slavic population of Macedonia maintained their Christian religion, and Islam could non root like in Bosnia. Today, merely some 40,000 Macedonians are Muslims and, being Slavs, their self-awareness as Muslims is distinguishable from the self-identification of their Albanian Muslim neighbours ( — – & gt ; Albanians ) .

A consciousness of national individuality evolved easy among the Macedonians. In the late 19th century, a Macedonian national motion demanded statehood in a federation of South Slavs, together with Serbs and Bulgarians. An ill-organized insurgency, in 1903, of the dwellers of Bitola and Strandiza against Turkish colonial regulation was crushed with the aid of military personnels of Albanian Muslims. The dream of Macedonian patriots to establish an undivided Macedonian province did non come true even when the Turks had to abandon their settlements in Southeast Europe as a consequence of the First Balkan War ( 1912 ) . Macedonia was divided after the Second Balkan War ( 1913 ) : Aegean Macedonia ( some 50 per cent of the whole part ) became Grecian district, Vardar Macedonia ( some 40 per cent ) was annexed by Serbia and Pirin Macedonia ( some 10 per cent ) was left with Bulgaria.

The Macedonians were non acknowledged as an independent state by any of the provinces that governed different parts of Macedonia. When the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was founded in 1918 and Vardar Macedonia became portion of it the population of the part was identified as Serbian by the Serb-dominated authorities. In the 1920s and 1930s, Serbian governments launched a run to absorb the dwellers of Macedonia into Serbian civilization and linguistic communication and Serbian colonists were transferred to Macedonian communities. During the old ages of World War II ( 1941-44 ) the Macedonians became the victims of the German-Bulgarian confederation. The German residents of Yugoslavia and Greece ceded Vardar ( and Aegean ) Macedonia to the Bulgarians who made attempts to eliminate any local national sentiment and do Macedonian civilization Bulgarian. After the war, the Macedonians experienced contradictory tendencies of political relations. Vardar Macedonia was raised to the position of a democracy within the Yugoslav province under Tito and the Macedonians were recognized as a state by the Communist government. On the other side of the boundary line, in Aegean Macedonia, the Grecian authorities practiced a policy of Hellenicization of its Macedonian citizens.

Thingss changed with the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia, and Macedonia declared its independency in 1991. Macedonian became official linguistic communication of the new democracy. The fact that, for old ages, the Albanians in the northern portion of the state were denied to utilize their native linguistic communication in public life caused considerable bitterness among the Albanian minority. During the war in Kosovo ( 1999 ) the Albanians of Macedonia sympathized with their families on the other side of the boundary line. In the early old ages of the twentyfirst century the unsolved position of the Albanians in Macedonia brought about a political crisis for the Macedonian province. There was a motion of hawkish Albanian insurrectionists who engaged in battles with the Macedonian constabulary and ground forces. The drawn-out difference was eventually settled in 2004/05. The Macedonian authorities recognized Albanian as official linguistic communication in the Albanian communities and allowed the usage of Albanian at Tetovo University ( one of the three universities of the state ) . In add-on, an understanding was reached about the political representation of the Albanian minority in the parliament in Skopje.

The “ Macedonian inquiry ” is still a political issue for some of the neighbours of the Macedonians. Harmonizing to the official point of view of the Grecian authorities a Macedonian state does non be. Since Greece has a voice in EU decision-making, EU member provinces are obliged to utilize the name “ Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia ” in official paperss. The official Greek position is that the Macedonians on Grecian district are “ Slavophone Greeks ” with no connexion – motivated by national sentiments – to the Macedonians on the other side of the boundary line. The Bulgarians deny the being of an independent Macedonian national linguistic communication which they claim is a idiom of Bulgarian. Since Macedonia is eager to get down dialogues for rank in the EU the Macedonian issue will stay on the political docket.

Harald Haarmann

Further Reading

Fernandez-Armesto, Felipe ( ed. ) . The Times Guide to the Peoples of Europe. London: Timess Books, 1994 ( Macedonians: pp. 222-225 ) .

Friedman, Victor A. “ Macedonia. ” In Contact Linguistics, vol. 2, explosive detection systems. Hans Goebl et al. , 1442-1451. Berlin & A ; New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1997.

Kolistrkoska Nasteva, Irena ( ed. ) . Prehistoric Macedonian Ladies. Skoplje: Museum of Macedonia, 2005.

Koneski, Blaze. “ Macedonian. ” In The Slavic Literary Languages, eds. Alexander M. Schenker and Edward Stankiewicz, 53-63.New Haven: Slavica Publishers, 1980.