Macedonians were Greeks

Historical truth on the ancient Macedonians

"We call upon you, Mr. President, to help - in whatever ways you deem appropriate - the government in Skopje to understand that it cannot build a national identity at the expense of historic truth. Our common international society cannot survive when history is ignored, much less when history is fabricated."


The number of modern scholars whose opinions are that ancient Macedonians were Greeks is overwhelming. Below are excerpts of some texts from the academia. We’ve only included a small amount in order not to tire the reader.

George Cawkwell, Emeritus Fellow, University College, Oxford:
“The Macedonians were Greeks.”
(“Philip of Macedon”, Faber & Faber, London, p. 22)

Francois Chamoux, French historian:
“Such a glorious ancestry was in the eyes of Greeks the hallmark of the Greek persona of the king of Macedon, who could, on the other hand, rely on fidelity of the people from which he had sprung. The Greek cities did not feel that they were allying with a barbarian, since for generations the Macedonian dynasty had been allowed, as Greeks, to take part in the Olympic Games.”
(“Hellenistic Civilization”, Blackwell Publishing Professional, 2002, p.8, 9)

Peter Green, British classical scholar:
“Macedonia as a whole was tended to remain in isolation from the rest of the Greeks…”
(“Alexander the Great”, p. 20)

N.G.L. Hammond, British scholar and expert on Macedon:
“As Members of the Greek race and speakers of the Greek language, the ancient Macedonians shared the ability to create political forms.”
“Greece and Macedon were akin in blood and culture”
“All in all, the language of the Macedonians was a distinct and particular form of Greek, resistant to outside influences and conservative in pronunciation. It remained so until the fourth century when it was almost totally submerged by the flood tide of standardized Greek.”
(“A History of Macedonia” Vol. ii, 550-336 BC)

Nicholas Hammond, British scholar and expert on Macedon :
Philip was born a Greek of the most aristocratic, indeed of divine, descent… Philip was both a Greek and a Macedonian, even as Demosthenes was a Greek and an Athenian…”
(“Philip of Macedon” Duckworth Publishing, February 1998)

Otto Hoffmann, German linguist:
“Whoever does not consider the Macedonians as Greeks must also conclude that by the 6th and 5th centuries BC the Macedonians had completely given up the original names of their nation – without any need to do so – and taken Greek names in order to demonstrate their admiration for Greek civilisation. I think it not worth the trouble to demolish such a notion; for any hypothesis of historical linguists which is put forward without taking into account the actual life of a people, is condemned as it were out of its own mouth.”
(“Die Makedonen, Ihre Sprache und Ihr Volkstum”, Göttingen)

Vilho Harle, Finnish academic:
“The idea of the city-state was first challenged by the ideal of pan-Hellenic unity supported by some writers and orators, among which the Athenian Isocrates became a leading proponent with his Panegyrics of 380 suggesting a Greek holy war against Persia. However, only the rise of Macedonia made the realization of pan-Hellenic unity possible.”
(“Ideas of Social Order in the Ancient World”, 1998)

Donald P. Ryan, U.S. archaeologist:
“During the next 13 years, Alexander, or “Alexander the Great” as he is regularly referred to, conquered an immense area that comprised the largest empire in ancient times. Persia was added to Greece as was Asia Minor, Syria/Palestine, and lands extending all the way to the Indus River. Everywhere the conquering Greeks went, they instilled their Greek culture in a process that we might call “Hellenization”. Greek religion, thought, and science were passed along, most importantly, the Greek language was instituted as the official means of communication.”
(“The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Ancient Egypt”)

“Philip II of Macedon was anxious to pacify and unify Greeks at any cost. “
(Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece, Routledge, 2006)

Richard A. Gabriel, U.S. historian:
“Philip II of Macedonia (382-336 B.C.E.), father of Alexander the Great, unifier of Greece, author of Greece’s first federal constitution, founder of the first territorial state with a centralized administrative structure in Europe, forger of the first Western national army, the first great general of the Greek imperial age, and dreamer of great dreams, was one of the greatest captains in the history of the West. “
(“Great Captains of Antiquity”, p. 84)

“Ancient allegations that the Macedonians were non-Greek all had their origin in Athens at the time of the struggle with Philip II.”
“Macedonian horsemen together with those  of their Thessalian neighbours were later regarded as the best in GREECE” 
(Malcom Errington ,”A History of Macedonia”, ,Philipps-Universitat in Marburg, Germany, University of California Press, 1993)

David George Hogarth, English archaeologist and scholar:
“From Alexander I, who rode to the Athenian pickets the night before Plataea and proclaimed himself to the generals their friend and a Greek, down to Amyntas, father of Philip, who joined forces with Lacedaemon in 382, the kings of Macedon bid for Greek support by being more Greek than the Greeks.”
“Macedonia was inhabited by sturdy gentry and peasantry all composed of the same racial elements as the Greeks.”
(“Philip and Alexander of Macedon”, pp.9-10)

Robert Morkot, British historian:
“In the northwest, the peoples of Molossis (Epirus province), Orestis and Lynkestis spoke West Greek. It is also accepted that the Macedonians spoke a dialect of Greek and although they absorbed other groups into their territory, they were essentially Greeks.”
(“The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Greece”, Penguin Publishing USA, January 1997)

Sarah B. Pomeroy, Stanley M. Burstein, Walter Donlan , Jennifer Tolbert Roberts:
“For their part, the fifth-century Macedonian kings used their newfound wealth to pursue their twin goals of winning recognition for themselves as Greeks and Hellenizing the life of the royal court.”
(“Ancient Greece. A Political, Social, and Cultural History”, Oxford University Press, USA, 1998)

Ulrich Wilcken, German historian:
“When we take into account the political conditions, religion and morals of the Macedonians, our conviction is strengthened that they were a Greek race and akin to the Dorians. Having stayed behind in the extreme north, they were unable to participate in the progressive civilization of the tribes which went further south.”
(“Alexander the Great”, p. 22)

W. J. Woodhouse, Australian historian:
“This was Macedonia in the strict sense, the land where settled immigrants of Greek stock later to be called Macedonians.”
(“The tutorial history of Greece, to 323 B.C.: from the earliest times to the death of Demosthenes”, p.216, University Tutorial Press)

“The latest archaeological findings have confirmed that Macedonia took it’s name from a tribe of tall, Greek-speaking people, the Makednoi…”
(Nigel Guy Wilson, Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece, 2009)

“The Macedonians were originally one of several Greek tribes living on the northern frontier of the Hellenic world”.
(Katheryn A. Bard, U.S. professor of archaeology, “Encyclopaedia of the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt”, p. 460, 1999)

Eugene Borza, Emeritus Professor of Greek, Penn State University:
Ancient Macedonians are of north-western Greek stock”.
“Origin of the Macedonians lies in the pool of proto Greek speakers who migrated out of the Pindus mountains.”
“Ancient Macedonians originated from the same population pool as other Greek peoples.”

Richard Stoneman, Honorary Professor of Greek, Exeter University:
“The ancient Macedonians were racially Greek.”
“In favour of the Greek identity of the Macedonians is what we know of their language: the place-names, names of the months and many of the personal names, especially royal names, which are Greek in roots and form. This suggests that they did not merely use Greek as a lingua franca, but spoke it as natives (though with  a local accent which turned Philip into Bilip, for example)”

Dr Stephen Batchelor, Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History:
“Macedonia was – and still is – a territory of northern Greece. The Ancient Macedonians were of Greek origin and spoke a broader rougher dialect of Greek.”
(‘The Ancient Greeks for Dummies’)

Professor Donald Kagan, Yale University, USA:
“We know the ancient Macedonians were fundamentally Greeks. That is to say they were Greek speakers and ethnically they were Greeks.”
(Yale University Courses, Lecture 24, Introduction to Ancient Greek History: Twilight of the Polis and the rise of Macedon: Philip, Demosthenes and the Fall of the Polis, 2007)

Ian Worthington, English historian and archaeologist:
“Not much need to be said about the Greekness of ancient Macedonia: it is undeniable.”
(“Philip II of Macedon”, Yale University, 2008)

Robin Lane Fox, Historian, Oxford University, UK:
Macedonia is a Greek speaking Kingdom in northern Greece, populated by people using Greek names, Greek months of the year, worshipping Greek gods. Those who live in Skopje (FYROM) and say that that is Macedonia, are as ignorant and outrageous as if someone was to say Oxford University was in Belarus and Oxford was in Minsk!”

Bury & Meiggs (1985) “A History of Greece”, page 415
The Macedonian people and their kings were of Greek stock, as  their traditions and the scanty remains of their   language combine to testify.”

H. Bengston  (1988) “A History of Greece: from the beginnings  to the Byzantine era”, page 186.
They [Macedonians] should be included in the group of North-West Greek  tribes

Jonathan M. Hall (1998) “Ethnic identity in Greek antiquity” Cambridge University Press: 
“That the origin of this new population should be the supposed
Dorian of northwest Greece seemed to be confirmed by the early appearance of cist graves at Kalbaki in Epeiros, Kozani, Vergina and Khaukhitsa  in Makedonia.”

Walter M. Ellis (1994) “Ptolemy of Egypt”, Page X
“I fear that I have not been wholly consistent in my use of the term “Macedonian”. For the record, let me state that I believe Macedonians, ancient and modern, are Greeks”

Alan Fildes , “Alexander the Great, son of the gods”, page 12:
“Although the Macedonians spoke a Greek dialect, worshiped Greek gods and traced their nation’s origins from Olympian gods, their customs and northern Doric accent were markedly different from those of the people of the rest of Greece, who saw the Macedonia as a largely insignificant, backward monarchy”

Archaeological Institute of America (1948):
The Macedonians were Greeks in contradistinction to Barbarians, but they lived on the periphery of the Greek world, far removed in space and spirit from the rest of Greeks.”

Benjamin I. Wheeler, “Alexander the Great: The Merging of East and West in Universal History”:
“That the Macedonians were Greek by race there can be no longer any doubt. They were the northernmost fragments of the race left stranded behind the barriers”.

J.R. Hamilton, “Alexander the Great”: “That the Macedonians were of Greek stock seems certain”.

Joseph M. Bryant, “Moral codes and social structure in ancient Greece”:
The Macedonians were of Greek stock, though for centuries they had remained outside the mainstream of Hellenic civilization”.

N. Jayapalan, “Comprehensive study of Aristotle”:
“This was Macedonia in the strict sense the land where settled those immigrants of Greek stock afterwards called Macedonians”.


“But even stranger is the name “Macedonians”, which was imposed on us only 10 to 15 years ago by outsiders and not as something by our own intellectuals… Yet the people in Macedonia know nothing of that ancient name, reintroduced today with a cunning aim on the one hand and a stupid one on the other. They know the older word: “Bugari“, although mispronounced: they have even adopted it as peculiarly theirs, inapplicable to other Bulgarians.”
(Kuzman Shapkarev, in a letter to Prof. Marin Drinov of May 25, 1888 (Makedonski pregled, IX, 2, 1934, p. 55; the original letter is kept in the Marin Drinov Museum in Sofia, and it is available for examination and study)

“I have even met people who believe there is a special race which they call ‘Macedonian’, whose ’cause’ they wish to aid. The truth is, that in a district which has no official frontiers, and never has had any stable ones, there are people of six races, who, as we have seen, all have causes to be considered. I shall speak only of the part I have stayed in- the districts of Lakes Ochrida and Prespa. Here there are Greeks, Slavs, Albanians, and Vlachs. Of Turks, except officials and such of the army as may be quartered on the spot, there are few. The Albanians, I believe, are all Moslem. Should there be any Christians they would be officially classed as Greeks.”
(Edith Durham, “The Burden of the Balkans”, 1905, p. 76)

“The chief peculiarity of the [modern] Macedonians is that there are none. Macedonia is a geographical expression. Tucked in between Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria and the Turkish province of Albania, Macedonia contains a number of races living in perfect want of harmony with one another: Bulgarians, Serbs, Greeks, Albanians, Jews, Turks.”
(Everybody’s Magazine, Harvard Library, Issue July, 1903)

Krste Misirkov, philologist and publicist, one of the founders of the “Macedonian” nation:
“We are more Bulgarian than those in Bulgaria.”
“We speak a Bulgarian language”.
“And, anyway, what sort of new Macedonian nation can this be when we and our fathers and grandfathers and great-grandfathers have always been called Bulgarians?”
(“За Македонцките Работи” – “On the Macedonian Matters”, Sofia 1903)

The ethnic Macedonians and the Macedonian language are a result of a Comintern conspiracy.”
(Venko Markovski, Yugoslavian writer, poet and Communist politician (who in 1945 participated in the Commission for the Creation of the Macedonian Alphabet) in an interview for Bulgarian National Television on 31/12/1987. Mitewa, Yulia [2001], “ИДЕЯТА ЗА ЕЗИКА В МАКЕДОНСКИЯ ЛИТЕРАТУРЕН КРЪЖОК — ЕСТЕТИЧЕСКИ И ИДЕОЛОГИЧЕСКИ АСПЕКТИ”, Veliko Tarnovo: Litera)

“The (modern) Macedonian language is actually an artifact produced for primarily political reasons.”
(Vittore Pisani, Italian linguist, “Il Macedonico, Paideia, Rivista Letteraria di informazione bibliografica”, vol. 12, p. 250)

“(FYRO)Macedonian can be called a Bulgarian dialect, as structurally it is most similar to Bulgarian.”
(Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics”, R.E.Asher, J.M.Y.Simpson, 1994, vol.1, p.429)

“The treatment of “Macedonian” history has the same primary goal as the creation of the “Macedonian” language: to de-Bulgarize the “Macedonians” and create a separate national consciousness.”
(Palmer & King, Yugoslav Communism and the Macedonian Question, Chapter 9 “The Encouragement of Macedonian Culture”, Archon Books, 1971)

The Macedonian nationalists quite simply stole all of Bulgarian historical argument concerning Macedonia, substituting Macedonian for Bulgarian ethnic tags in the story. “
(Dennis P. Hupchick, “Conflict and Chaos in Eastern Europe”, Palgrave Macmillan, 1995.)

“The obviously plagiarized historical argument of the Macedonian nationalists for a separate Macedonian ethnicity could be supported only by linguistic reality, and that worked against them until the 1940s.
Until a modern Macedonian literary language was mandated by the socialist-led partisan movement from Macedonia in 1944, most outside observers and linguists agreed with the Bulgarians in considering the vernacular spoken by the Macedonian Slavs as a western dialect of Bulgarian.”
(Dennis P. Hupchick, “Conflict and Chaos in Eastern Europe”, Palgrave Macmillan, 1995.)

T.J. Winnifrith, British academic:
” ‘Macedonia’ (FYROM) was also an attempt at a multicultural society. Here the fragments are just about holding together, although the cement that binds them is an unreliable mixture of propaganda and myth. The ‘Macedonian’ language has been created, some rather misty history involving Tsar Samuel, probably a Bulgarian, and Alexander the Great, almost certainly a Greek, has been invented, and the name Macedonia has been adopted.
Do we destroy these myths or live with them? Apparently these ‘radical Slavic factions’ decided to live with their myths and lies for the constant amusement for the rest of the world!
(“Shattered Eagles, Balkan Fragments”, Duckworth, 1995)

To conclude, Eugene N. Borza, American historian and expert on Macedon, explains the reason that Gandeto and other pro-FYROMians are trying to de-link ancient Macedonians and ancient Greeks so desperately:
Modern Slavs, both Bulgarians and “Macedonians” [FYROMians], cannot establish a link with antiquity, as the Slavs entered the Balkans centuries after the demise of the ancient Macedonian kingdom. Only the most radical Slavic factions—mostly émigrés in the United States, Canada, and Australia—even attempt to establish a connection to antiquity.
The twentieth-century development of a “Macedonian” ethnicity, and its recent evolution into independent statehood following the collapse of the Yugoslav state in 1991, has followed a rocky road. In order to survive the vicissitudes of Balkan history and politics, the “Macedonians”, who have had no history, need one. They reside in a territory once part of a famous ancient kingdom, which has borne the Macedonian name as a region ever since and was called “Macedonia” for nearly half a century as part of Yugoslavia. And they speak a language now recognized by most linguists outside Bulgaria, Serbia, and Greece as a south Slavic language separate from Slovenian, Serbo-Croatian, and Bulgarian.
Their own so-called “Macedonian” ethnicity had evolved for more than a century, and thus it seemed natural and appropriate for them to call the new nation “Macedonia” and to attempt to provide some cultural references to bolster ethnic survival.”
(“Macedonia Redux”, in “The Eye Expanded: life and the arts in Greco-Roman Antiquity”, ed. Frances B Tichener & Richard F. Moorton, University of California Press, 1999)

Rene Guerdan (1969), French Historian: “The Macedonians are and have always been Greeks, and the creation of a “Socialist Republic of Macedonia” with Skopje as capital is only a sad farce.”

David H. Levinson, “Encyclopaedia of World Cultures”, Page 239:
“It should be noted that there is no connection between the Macedonians of the time of Alexander the great who were related to other Hellenic tribes and the Macedonians of today, who are of Slavic Origin and related to the Bulgarians.”

 And to prove the above, a six-year long DNA research of the Balkan peoples conducted by Skopje Forensics Medicine Institute has showed remarkable resemblance among them.
“The analysis of the data has showed that residents of FYROM have the most similar DNA with Bulgarians and Serbs.”
(Forensic Science International: Genetics, Volume 5, Issue 4, Pages e108-e111, August 2011, Genetic data for 17 Y-chromosomal STR loci in Macedonians in the Republic of Macedonia, Zlatko Jakovski, Ksenija Nikolova, Renata Jankova-Ajanovska, Damir Marjanovic, Naris Pojskic, Biljana Janeska)