The "Macedonian Question"

The evidence of the sources and the findings of historical research

Before I attempt to demonstrate which is the historical reality based on the evidence of the sources, I would like to emphasize that the position of Skopje is based on two extremely serious methodological errors.

The first one concerns the terms Macedonia and Macedonians, which the historians of Skopje use in a national sense, even though these terms are strictly geographical, just like the term Epirot or Peloponnesian33. In the works published in Skopje and mainly in the "History of the Macedonian Nation" they skilfully use the term Slav-Macedonians and sometimes simply Macedonians, to create confusion and finally have the terms Macedonia-Macedonians accepted as denoting a separate nation. However, as we have already mentioned, these terms have never acquired any national meaning either in the past or in recent years. In the sources, travellers' descriptions, diplomatic documents, censuses of the Ottoman empire34 etc., the term Macedonian always denoted the inhabitants of Macedonia - primarily the Greek inhabitants - because the Bulgarian inhabitants of Macedonia were usually called "Bulgaro-Macedonians", that is Bulgarians of Macedonia, so that they could be distinguished from the Bulgarians of Bulgaria and of the Bulgarian Principality. Besides, the fact that the terms Bulgaro-Macedonians and Slavo-Macedonians are used, while "Helleno-Macedonians" isn't, presupposes and at the same times proves that Macedonia is Greek, because the term intrinsically conveys the Greek origin of the inhabitans of this region.

The second methodological error refers to the extension in place and time of a specific and locally limited national group. That is, starting with Yugoslav "Macedonia", the population of which is considered Slavic in its majority, the historians of Skopje extend this given ethnic composition throughout all Macedonia and its centuries of history, as if it were a stable unchanging element, unaffected by the extremely important historical events which took place in this sensitive area of the Balkan Peninsula.

Attention must also be drawn to the fact that during certain periods of History (the Hellenistic Age, Turkish domination etc.) the historians of Skopje are compelled to accept, up to a point, the hellenization of the region - hellenization which of course presupposes the existence of a powerful Greek element -, and during the subsequent period this Hellenic or hellenized population seems to disappear or be reduced to a minumum and the non-Greek "Macedonians" predominate anew.

It should also be noted that the geographical and historical boundaries of Macedonia do not coincide with the boundaries of Macedonia as the historians of Skopje define it. Macedonia, the "Major Macedonia" - as Prof. Ap. Vacalopoulos calls it - extends beyond the borders of present day Greek Macedonia:

Southward: to the Chasia Mountains, the Kambounia Mountains, Mount Olympus and the Aegean Sea,
Westward: to the Pindus Mountains,
Eastward: to the Nestos River, and
Northward: to Orchid-Strumnitsa-Melenikon35.

Needless to say, in the long history of the region, the administrative boundaries were not always the same, or immovable: they expanded or contracted, according to the historical data of every period. However, it should be noted that northward Macedonia never went beyond the line of Orchid, Bebuna mountains36, Strumnitsa-Nevrokop (see map No 1). Therefore, the modern Socialist Republic of "Macedonia" included only a small part of Macedonia: the region of Skopje did not belong to Macedonia but to the old Serbia, as the Serb historical geographer J. Cvijic37 observed at the beginning of the century. (1907). The use of the geographical term "Macedonia" for the more northern regions is thus contrary to historical reality. These geographical boundaries show that about 70% of Macedonia is today part of Greece and only a small part is located in Southern Yugoslavia and in SW Bulgaria38.

After pointing out these basic factors I shall attempt to present, very briefly, the evidence od the sources and the findings of historical research.


Cover Page - Preface - Introduction - I. The question and the position of Skopje -
II. Sources and findings of research: 1. Antiquity - 2. Middle Ages - 3. Turkish Domination
Notes: 1-5 - 6-32 - 33-38 - 39-58 - 59-73 - 74-95 --- Maps: 1 - 2 - 3