Macedonians were Greeks

Historical truth on the ancient Macedonians

"Macedonia, of course, is a part of Greece"
Greek historian, geographer and philosopher (64 BC – 24 AD)

Ancient Macedonia was the northernmost territory of the mainland ancient Greek world. The definition of the region of Macedonia has changed several times throughout history. Prior to its expansion under Alexander the Great, the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedonia lay entirely within the central and western parts of the current Greek province of Macedonia.

  • Kingdom of Perdiccas I: Macedonian Kingdom of Emathia consisting of six provinces Emathia, Pieria, Bottiaea, Mygdonia, Eordaea and Almopia.
  • Kingdom of Alexander I: All the above provinces plus the eastern annexations Crestonia, Bisaltia and the western annexations Elimiotis, Orestis and Lynkestis.
  • Kingdom of Philip II: All the above provinces plus the appendages of Pelagonia and Macedonian Paeonia to the north, Sintike, Odomantis and Edonis to the east and the Chalkidike to the south.

The empire of Alexander the Great at the time of his death in 323 BC included territories from Greece all the way to the borders of India to the East and including Egypt to the south.

Following the death of Alexander the Great, the kingdoms of the successors (diadochi) c. 301 BC, after the Battle of Ipsus was as follows.

As the Romans were gaining power, the Kingdom of Macedonia (orange) under Philip V (r. 221 – 179 BC), with Macedonian dependent states (dark yellow), the Seleucid Empire (bright yellow), Roman protectorates (dark green), the Kingdom of Pergamon (light green), independent states (light purple), and possessions of the Ptolemaic Empire (violet purple) are shown below.

After the Roman-Macedonian wars ended, with Rome as the victor, the Romans split Greece into administrative regions.

Early Roman Macedonia (illustrated here encompassing Paeonia & south Illyria) and environs, from Droysens Historical Atlas, 1886.

Again the administrative region of Macedonia was redefined during the Roman empire. The late Roman Diocese of Macedonia is shown below, including the provinces of Macedonia Prima, Macedonia Secunda or Salutaris (periodically abolished), Thessalia, Epirus vetus, Epirus nova, Achaea, and Crete.

During the Byzantine empire, Macedonia came to be what is now Eastern Thrace. This is presented in the map below of Byzantine Greece c. 900, with the themes and major settlements.

The approximate widest extent of the thema of Macedonia, superimposed on modern borders is shown below.

Following the fall of the Byzantine empire in 1453, the Ottomans never had a vilayet called Macedonia. They had the Salonica Vilayet as shown below.

After the Greek revolution in 1821, the evolution of the territory of Greece is presented below. Macedonia was finally returned to the Greek world after the Balkan wars among Ottomans, Serbs, Bulgarians and Greeks, and the final treaty of Bucharest in 1913.

Defeated and resentful Bulgaria had a strong Communist party, led by important figures, such as Georgi Dimitrov who also served as secretary-general of the Comintern. Thus, the Comintern adopted Bulgaria’s revisionist views regarding the Macedonian Question, in an attempt to help the Communist party of that country expand its influence.

Comintern’s line in 1922-35 did not refer to the existence of a separate “Macedonian” nationality. Nevertheless, its proposal for the creation of a new state in this region would be used later by Yugoslav Communists to promote their own political agenda. Thus, Tito created the Socialist Republic of Macedonia which of course had no relation historically or culturally to the ancient Macedonia.

This however half a century later created a problem when in 1991 the Slavic SR of Macedonia became an independent country under the UN transitional yet official name FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic Of Macedonia). This created additional confusion, such as the map of Macedonia that appeared in the New York Times on February 4, 1993, illustrating the portrayal of the existence of two Macedonias!

Following the Prespes Agreement signed on 12 June 2018, FYROM became North Macedonia which of course lies mainly in the ancient Macedonian’s enemy territory of Paeonia. It is ironic to see that by their actions in trying to steal part of ancient Greek history as their own, these Slavs, who claim to be Macedonians, are still the enemy of Macedonia.

To put it in the words of 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)