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Oshchima, Aegean Macedonia

Oshchima, Aegean Macedonia


Greek propagandists are quick to note that the Balkans experienced a wave of migration from the Slavs in the 6th and 7th centuries. They insist that modern-day Macedonians are descendants of these Slavs and therefore, cannot claim Ancient Macedonia.

No nation is homogenous. Every part of the world experienced different migrations, settlements, etc. The Slavs integrated with the Ancient Macedonians resulting in today's Macedonian population.

  • "Over the past two thousand three hundred years or so, the Balkan peninsula has been invaded by hordes of newcomers, including Celts (third to first century B.C.), Germanic tribes ( third century A.D.), Slavs (fifth and sixth century A.D.), and Turks (fourteenth century A.D.). The original peoples were not wiped out, or pushed out of Macedonia or Greece by these new peoples. What happened for the most part was that after a time the new peoples merged with the existing peoples."

    "However, there is no evidence to suggest that the people of Macedonia are any less ethnically 'pure' and representative of the ancient peoples, than the Greeks." 1

If the Greek argument were true, then modern-day Greeks cannot claim descent from the ancient Greeks for the following reasons:

  1. The ancient Greek language and modern Greek are completely different languages and are mutually unintelligible.
  2. Greek territory was subject to a countless number of migrations, attacks, and forced assimilation dating back to 2000 B.C. Example - The classical Mycenean culture (who lived on Greek territory and are claimed as a Greek tribe) were completely wiped out by the Dorian invasions of 1200 B.C.
  3. Greece was never a unified country until 1832, nor did the ancient Greeks view themselves as being members of one nation. Ancient maps show Greek territory as divided in the following territories: Achaia, Epirus, Thessaly, Sparta, Athens, etc.

Yet modern-day Greeks continue to claim that their race is continuous dating back from 4000 B.C.

"Today's Macedonians know who they are. They trace their name to the empire of Alexander the Great in the fourth century B.C. They trace their ethnicity to the Slavs...and their faith to the Byzantine Empire that brought them into the Eastern Orthodox Church." 2

Greeks refuse to admit that the Slavs invasions had a profound effect on their ethnic makeup. They claim that the Slavs overran the Balkans (Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria, etc.) yet somehow managed to stay out of Greece. They make these claims despite the universal acceptance of scholars that the opposite indeed happened.

  • "The Slavs spread throughout Greece" 3

  • "...by about the eighth century A.D., Slavs were settled along the whole length of the Balkan peninsula right to the tip of the Peloponnese and were especially strong along the western coast. Pockets of Greek inhabitants remained along the east coast." 4

  • "The Byzantine emperor Constantine Porphyrgenitus openly says that the whole of Hellas had been Slavicized." 5

  • "Even today in the Peloponnese, one cannot go three miles in any direction without encountering a Slavonic place name" 6

Settlement of the Slavs - Summary

During the 6th and 7th centuries, a large number of Slavs moved from the area between the Baltic Sea, the Carpathians and the rivers Dnieper and Dniester to the left bank of the river Danube and into the Balkans. The Byzantine territories were attacked and eventually settled by Slavs, including Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, and even Greece. The original Bulgarians, who were an Asiatic people, were completely assimilated by the Slavic tribes and these Slavs became known as Bulgarians. Although today's Greeks will not admit it, their culture was heavily influenced by the Slavs. This is only logical as the entire region of the Balkans became the subject of a countless number of Slav attacks and settlement. Could Greece be the only country that was not affected? Unlikely.

In the case of the Macedonians, the Slavs integrated with the ancient Macedonians and their ethnicity became dominant. The existing Macedonians transmitted to them some of their own customs, including the Christian faith, culture, and name of their homeland, Macedonia.

An important event took place in 863 when the Macedonian missionaries, Sts. Cyril and Methody from Solun invented the first Slavonic alphabet (the Glagolitic). From this came the Cyrillic alphabet which today is used by virtually all Slavs.

The Macedonians made an incredible contribution to the cultural development of all Slavs, the creation of this alphabet. From this event came the transliteration of Church documents into Macedonian and other Slavic languages. The acceptance of the majority of Slavs into the Eastern Orthodox Church followed as the Macedonians spread Christianity. The achievements of all Slavs in literature, art, and culture began with the achievements of the Macedonians.

Reference

  1. The Real Macedonians, Dr. John Shea, as quoted in Panorama - Vol.2 No.1, Macedonian Cultural Society "ISKRA", Adelaide, 1996; p.100
  2. National Geographic, Volume 189, No. 3, March 1996; p.124
  3. "Greeks and Romans" in Greece Old and New, ed. by Tom Winnifrith and Penelope Murray, Macmillan, London, 1983
  4. Macedonia and Greece - The Struggle to Define a New Balkan Nation, John Shea, McFarland and Company Inc., North Carolina, 1997; p.86
  5. Ibid; p.86
  6. Macedonia and Its Relations With Greece, Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Skopje, 1993; p.14

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