May 22, 2009

Macedonia Evidence initiative

A very worthwhile effort. From the About section of the website:

Classical Scholars from around the world, well known for their expertise in the history of Greece are presenting, examining, and discussing the historical evidence.

The first few scholars were motivated by the article in the Archaeology magazine, and the letter Stephen G. Miller, Ph.D sent in response, which Archaeology did not publish.

Since then, the list of scholars that have examined the evidence has been growing and 222 scholars have undersigned the letter to President Barak Obama.

If you want to contribute to the discussion, please contact us at: SavingAlexander@macedonia-evidence.org.

The text of the letter:

Dear President Obama,

We, the undersigned scholars of Graeco-Roman antiquity, respectfully request that you intervene to clean up some of the historical debris left in southeast Europe by the previous U.S. administration.

On November 4, 2004, two days after the re-election of President George W. Bush, his administration unilaterally recognized the “Republic of Macedonia.” This action not only abrogated geographic and historic fact, but it also has unleashed a dangerous epidemic of historical revisionism, of which the most obvious symptom is the misappropriation by the government in Skopje of the most famous of Macedonians, Alexander the Great.

We believe that this silliness has gone too far, and that the U.S.A. has no business in supporting the subversion of history. Let us review facts. (The documentation for these facts [here in boldface] can be found attached and at: http://macedonia-evidence.org/documentation.html)

The land in question, with its modern capital at Skopje, was called Paionia in antiquity. Mts. Barnous and Orbelos (which form today the northern limits of Greece) provide a natural barrier that separated, and separates, Macedonia from its northern neighbor. The only real connection is along the Axios/Vardar River and even this valley “does not form a line of communication because it is divided by gorges.”

While it is true that the Paionians were subdued by Philip II, father of Alexander, in 358 B.C. they were not Macedonians and did not live in Macedonia. Likewise, for example, the Egyptians, who were subdued by Alexander, may have been ruled by Macedonians, including the famous Cleopatra, but they were never Macedonians themselves, and Egypt was never called Macedonia.

Rather, Macedonia and Macedonian Greeks have been located for at least 2,500 years just where the modern Greek province of Macedonia is. Exactly this same relationship is true for Attica and Athenian Greeks, Argos and Argive Greeks, Corinth and Corinthian Greeks, etc.

We do not understand how the modern inhabitants of ancient Paionia, who speak Slavic – a language introduced into the Balkans about a millennium after the death of Alexander – can claim him as their national hero. Alexander the Great was thoroughly and indisputably Greek. His great-great-great grandfather, Alexander I, competed in the Olympic Games where participation was limited to Greeks.

Even before Alexander I, the Macedonians traced their ancestry to Argos, and many of their kings used the head of Herakles - the quintessential Greek hero - on their coins.

Euripides – who died and was buried in Macedonia– wrote his play Archelaos in honor of the great-uncle of Alexander, and in Greek. While in Macedonia, Euripides also wrote the Bacchai, again in Greek. Presumably the Macedonian audience could understand what he wrote and what they heard.

Alexander’s father, Philip, won several equestrian victories at Olympia and Delphi, the two most Hellenic of all the sanctuaries in ancient Greece where non-Greeks were not allowed to compete. Even more significantly, Philip was appointed to conduct the Pythian Games at Delphi in 346 B.C. In other words, Alexander the Great’s father and his ancestors were thoroughly Greek. Greek was the language used by Demosthenes and his delegation from Athens when they paid visits to Philip, also in 346 B.C. Another northern Greek, Aristotle, went off to study for nearly 20 years in the Academy of Plato. Aristotle subsequently returned to Macedonia and became the tutor of Alexander III. They used Greek in their classroom which can still be seen near Naoussa in Macedonia.

Alexander carried with him throughout his conquests Aristotle’s edition of Homer’s Iliad. Alexander also spread Greek language and culture throughout his empire, founding cities and establishing centers of learning. Hence inscriptions concerning such typical Greek institutions as the gymnasium are found as far away as Afghanistan. They are all written in Greek.

The questions follow: Why was Greek the lingua franca all over Alexander’s empire if he was a “Macedonian”? Why was the New Testament, for example, written in Greek?

The answers are clear: Alexander the Great was Greek, not Slavic, and Slavs and their language were nowhere near Alexander or his homeland until 1000 years later. This brings us back to the geographic area known in antiquity as Paionia. Why would the people who live there now call themselves Macedonians and their land Macedonia? Why would they abduct a completely Greek figure and make him their national hero?

The ancient Paionians may or may not have been Greek, but they certainly became Greekish, and they were never Slavs. They were also not Macedonians. Ancient Paionia was a part of the Macedonian Empire. So were Ionia and Syria and Palestine and Egypt and Mesopotamia and Babylonia and Bactria and many more. They may thus have become “Macedonian” temporarily, but none was ever “Macedonia”. The theft of Philip and Alexander by a land that was never Macedonia cannot be justified.

The traditions of ancient Paionia could be adopted by the current residents of that geographical area with considerable justification. But the extension of the geographic term “Macedonia” to cover southern Yugoslavia cannot. Even in the late 19th century, this misuse implied unhealthy territorial aspirations.

The same motivation is to be seen in school maps that show the pseudo-greater Macedonia, stretching from Skopje to Mt. Olympus and labeled in Slavic. The same map and its claims are in calendars, bumper stickers, bank notes, etc., that have been circulating in the new state ever since it declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Why would a poor land-locked new state attempt such historical nonsense? Why would it brazenly mock and provoke its neighbor?

However one might like to characterize such behavior, it is clearly not a force for historical accuracy, nor for stability in the Balkans. It is sad that the United States of America has abetted and encouraged such behavior.

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 Frequently Asked Questions are worth reading too.

33 comments:

vasa said...

An exemplar arogance of those who think they are always right. Look at the names of the states in west Africa (Mali, Ghana, ...) none ever impeached their names. Every country has its right to choose its name. (But still i appreciate and admire this blog)

Stepi said...

Yes, and another example, North and South America, where people speak english and spanish mostly - some of them claim that they are native. How can they...
And names of states, like Iowa - who they think they are? I will write a letter to Obama to consider changing half of United States names.
Sorry, Dienekes, this is great blog, I read it for years now and thinks like this I usually skip, but couldn't skip this one.

Dienekes said...

Yes, and another example, North and South America, where people speak english and spanish mostly - some of them claim that they are native. How can they...I don't care if the inhabitants of FYROM claim to be native; for all I know, they are -genetically- more native than Slavic. So, they should go right ahead and call themselves Slavo-Paionians, and leave the name of Macedonia alone, as they are not native to Macedonia.

Stepi said...

I was actually commenting text from letter:
The questions follow: Why was Greek the lingua franca all over Alexander’s empire if he was a “Macedonian”? Why was the New Testament, for example, written in Greek?
and also
...
The answers are clear: Alexander the Great was Greek, not Slavic, and Slavs and their language were nowhere near Alexander or his homeland until 1000 years later.
I just wouldn't like to comment those who connect FYROM (or just ROM) with Alexander's Macedonia and his nationality.
But this letter actually does the same thing with Greek history and language – both are one of world most influential. My personal name has greek origin, my town’s has greek origin, my region’s name has (probably) greek origin, my country's name has (probably) persian origin - and I don’t consider myself being greek or persian. History is interesting to study and learn from it, but in this case there is nothing to learn.
People who live in FYROM were born as Macedonians, they did not invent it. The name is greek, no doubt, and their nationality is only 150 years old (or even less) and is not connected to ancient Macedonia.
Behind all that mess is simply bad politics (more or less by both sides), and it has nothing to do with ancient history, it is just history being abused.

Major Tom said...

The definition of nationality has two different points of view. The first one is the name with which a people calls itself, the second is which is defined by the others.
Now the inhabitants of the ancient Peonia ( recent Vardaska Banovina), can call them Macedonians or Vikings, but others people will laugh at them.

J said...

What about Bulgaria? The people is Slav, they speak a Slavic language very close to Russian, but they call themselves Bulgarian, a Turkish tribe from Central Asia. No one is protesting.

What about Hungaria? They are genetically Europeans, but speak a complex Asiatic language and believe they are a steppe tribe.

You, Dienekes, from all people, should be aware that gnerally there is little conexion between what people calls themselves and what - genetically - they are.

Charles Iliya Krempeaux said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charles Iliya Krempeaux said...

@J, you said..
"What about Hungaria? They are genetically Europeans, but speak a complex Asiatic language and believe they are a steppe tribe. "

Well, the Hungarians are mostly (but not completely) European according to this paper...

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/119002738/abstractThere seems to be non-negligible amounts non-European ancestry. Some of it looks like Iranian ancestry. Some of it looks like Turkish. Etc. (Read the paper for more details. It's open access.)

Mons said...

It is unethical to pursue political agenda through scientists (the professors only discredit themselves with signing it). There are rules on scientist conduct in the media.
I myself am Macedonian as my grandfather grandfather was. We are a unique Balkan tribe, not just by language, but by culture and genes. That will never change because our ancesters made our culture both narrative and impermeable. That will say we will never stop telling our songs and stories to our kids and raise them as Macedonians, regardless of all the name tags that bloggers and politicians tend to use.
That narrative knowledge is finding its way out and that is it. For example there are more then seventeen thousand Macedonian songs in the ethnological archives in Skopje. Most of them were collected more then fifty years ago by people who were older then 50. Alexander the Macedonian (Aleksandar Makedonski) is one of the heros in some of these songs. There are even songs about the cause of Alexander's death. The claim on the name Macedonia and Macedonians is not undocumented and the ethnological proof is not the only one.

Dienekes said...

You, Dienekes, from all people, should be aware that gnerally there is little conexion between what people calls themselves and what - genetically - they are.
A people is not just a gene pool, but a combination of a gene pool, a culture, a homeland. The ancient Macedonians had a gene pool, a Greek culture, and lived in Greek Macedonia. I don't really know how much the Slavs of FYROM are descended from the Macedonians, or, the Paionians, or the Slavs who brought their language, but they certainly do not speak Greek, nor do they live in Macedonia. Their claim of being Macedonians has no basis.

As for Magyars and Bulgarians, these names are used because in medieval times these were polyglot and polyethnic kingdoms by those names. The names are a legacy of the founders of the states.

Dienekes said...

Alexander the Macedonian (Aleksandar Makedonski) is one of the heros in some of these songs. There are stories about Alexander in Afghanistan, that doesn't make them Macedonians.

Mons said...

Yes, the ethnological proof is only a part. The common archeological knowledge shows that there was no ancient Macedonian culture beyond what are today the Greek provinces of Macedonia (plus in the cities in the south of Republic of Macedonia like Ohrid, Bitola and Gevgelija). In 2007 the excavations on the Skopje's fortress placed the ancient settlement over Skopje inside the ancient Macedonian cultural influence on great scientific surprise. The excavation were done together with Albanian archelogists who hoped to find a Dardanian settlement, so everything was very carefuly examined and confirmed. This discovery might change the borders of the ancient Macedonia to Skopje valley. It is a new discovery.
Here is a link to the excavations:
http://www.skopskokale.com.mk/en/researh207.php
There are many parts of the puzzle as I wrote.

alex said...

stepi makes some interesting points..
god damn tito for planting the seed

alex said...

(NEW MACEDONIANS)
The former President of The FYROM, also known as their founding father, Kiro Gligorov said: “We are Slavs who came to this area in the sixth century ... we are not descendants of the ancient Macedonians" (Foreign Information Service Daily Report, Eastern Europe, February 26, 1992, p. 35).
all new age macedonians should concede to, and take a leaf out of kiro gligorovs declerations which are correct.
why is it so insulting to be considered slavic? you should embrace your heritage..

Mons said...

The truth is that it was the communist party that for the first time recognized Macedonians long before Tito was head of it and it was due to the number of Macedonians lobbying in the party. The communist movement heavily influenced the wing of the Macedonian revolutionary organization and in large numbers they joined the communist party. Feel free to read about the Macedonian revolutionary movement and you will see the evolution and that the Macedonian state didnt came accidentially. The term "Macedonia for Macedonians" came from an English politician in the end of the XIX century who was probably well acquainted with the situation.
The usual Greek references always include quotes by Kiro Gligorov. The assumption is that in that time Kiro Gligorov received a bribe to say even more, since Mitsotakis said in the interview in that time that the "old fox" (Kiro Gligorov) tricked them. I want to say that Balkan politicans or newspapers are not reliable sources.
If you see the facts, Macedonians exist in the censuses of every Balkan state except Greece. If Greece organizes a census by ethnicity they will be there as well, since there is a political party of the ethnic Macedonians. The trick is that the people (only in Bulgaria and Greece, the rest of the world is quite aware) must acknowledge the statistical facts and not do not stubbornly grab to the Bulgarian saying "Tazi dupka ne e dupka" (That hole is not a hole).

Dienekes said...

If you see the facts, Macedonians exist in the censuses of every Balkan state except Greece.If we call FYROM Slavs "Macedonians", then what are we going to call Greek Macedonians? Why should Slavic inhabitants of Paionia usurp for themselves the name of "Macedonians" at the expense of the Greek inhabitants of Macedonia?

Greek inhabitants of Macedonia speak Greek (just as the ancient Macedonians did), and live in the land of ancient Macedonians. So, if anyone is related to the ancient Macedonians, it is certainly them, and not the Slavs of Paionia who have -unfortunately- co-opted the illustrious ancient Macedonian heritage with which they have no real link.

Bram said...

Whatever happened to the unique Greek Macedonian dialect the Macedonians of ancient Greece spoke? Did it completely die out?

There are still a few people speaking Pontian Greek in Greece and in the diaspora, as well as some very old Turks of Greek Muslim origins in Turkey. And there are remnants of some other unique Greek dialects currently spoken in Greece that have their origins in ancient Greece, but did the Macedonian Greek of Alexander go extinct?

I'm just curious, whatever happened to this unique form of Greek doesn't justify some Slavs calling themselves "Macedonians".

Dienekes said...

The Macedonian dialect was already used side by side with Attic before Alexander's time, and eventually died out as it was not a literary language. Modern Greek dialects are descended from the Hellenistic koine. Some of them, such as the extinct Tzakonian, or Pontic preserved ancient dialectal variation (Doric and Ionic respectively), but none of them are really descended from an ancient dialect independently of koine.

Ponto said...

I have always hated the Balkans and its peoples.

Thanks for strengthening this hatred.

I can see another war coming on. The last one in the Balkans did not do enough damage. Too bad.

candida said...

Dienekes,

don't worry about those "Slavonic" people. They are incapable of making a contribution. All they can do is stealing. They can steal everything, your car (German phrase: Take a vacation in Poland, your car is already there), your country (Poland occupies Eastern Germany not because the Poles conquered it but it was given by the West, just check the place names), your identity or history by claiming you are "Slavic"... Even Russia wasn't found by Slavs but by the Norsemen. Look to Russia, the upper class is almost always from St.Petersburg...

Some even pathetically make the Scandinavians and Germans "Slavic", claiming the haplogroups I and R1a.... Pff.... Never heard of historical German eastern colonisation or Viking raids...


Like Ponto, I have always hated the Balkans, but especially all Slavic people regardless of their country. Just ignore those so-called fake Macedonians.

onur said...

Candida, most Slavs are away from important ports of Europe. This has made them less capable of capitalism and more inclined to central governments. In fact, central/southern Germans and Austrians were no different from Slavs in these respects historically, and they would remain that way if it wasn't for the Western powers, who delivered them from the clutches of communism after the WWII.

candida said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Urselius said...

The link between the Ancient Macedonians and any modern political group is very tenuous. The Ancient Macedonian kingdom disappeared when the Romans conquered it. It was never revived. In the early Middle Ages the whole of what was Ancient Macedonia, except the city of Thessalonica and probably the Chalcidice, was Slavicised. In the 8th century the emperor Constantine Copronymus is recorded as campaigning between Constantinople and Thessalonica "in the Sclavinias" ie. in the Slav-settled areas. Cyril and Methodius invented their Slavic alphabets for the the Slavic dialect spoken in the immediate vicinity of Thessalonica.

The only difference between the modern Greek-speaking Macedonians and the modern Slav-speaking Macedonians is that the coastal areas were re-Hellenised in speech in the period after ca. 800 and the inland areas were not.

This is a political and linguistic history, genes are not pinned onto languages, languages are cultural phenomena like art styles and religions. I would imagine that the majority of the people of both Macedonias are descendants of the Neolithic peoples settled in the region.

John said...

Urselius: Sadly you are a victim of the some of the problematic rewriting of history. Cyril and Methodious constructed the Slavic alphabet, Cyrilic, for the people of Moravia, which was around the current Slovak Republic, vacillating in size and center but never near Thessaloniki.

You also have a confused wikipediesquer idea of what Sclavinias was. This refereed not to a place or region but to the small Slav hamlets and villages in the hinterlands -- and not to any region. There was no tax structure and in the primary texts the Byzantines were attempting to create a tax mechanism for "Sclavinias" for the few decades in the 8th century. After the ninth century the Sclavinias in Thrace (between Constantinople and Thessaloniki were gone.


I think there is a conflation ion the comments here of the polity's per se use of the name, for which there are both legitimate and questionable motives; with a second issue: the polity's official as well as nationalist's promulgation of dubious historic claims.

On the use of the name, it is legitimate in the sense usage of regional names, that may also be the names of extincted or shifted populations, is done around the world.

If Poland or Turkey were to split into separate states one could see the rise of a Galacia in each with no cultural or genetic connection to Gauls.

On the other hand there is a two unique problem to Macedonia use of the name: 1. The presence of 30% to 40% Albanians for whom the naming of the state represents or may represent a repression, especially the association by the modern state of "Macedonian" with a Slav Christian identity. 2. The fact that in this case there is a recent history of the the nomination of the region representing a claim against the territory of Greece and Bulgaria. There is no question that there is official and non official propaganda which presses this claim. On cannot remove these claims from the context to ridicule Greece's position, which itself contains legitimate concerns about the future.

Also people are familiar with the population exchange between Greece and Turkey, but few know that the model of ethnic cleansing was established ten years before at the close of the Balkan wars in 1912 when hundreds of thousands of Greeks disenfranchised and evicted from Slavic territories and visa versa (eg. from 2700 years ago until 100 years ago, even the Bulgarian Black Sea coast was all Greek towns). This creates a problem in that if Slavic Macedonians or Bulgarian Slavs make claims on places in Greece, Greeks can make claims in former territories of Yugolavia and Bulgaria.

One then has the issue of the encroachment of the most recent iteration of the hundred year old "Macedonian question" into the classical history of the region and historicity. From the archeological evidence, as well as from the written history, it is clear that the ancient Macedonians were Helladic, likely a Dorian tribe, and utterly unrelated to the Slavic peoples now living in non Greek Macedonia.

The ancient Macedonians thought of themselves as Greek. The other Greeks thought of the Macedonians as Greek. The ancient Macedonian language was certainly a Hellenic language.

The ancient Macedonians were a Greek subgroup, so in that sense they are connected to modern Greeks and not anyone else. Genetically they are certainly merged into the modern Greek populace. There is no evidence suggesting otherwise.

Neutral said...

Linguists say ancient Thracians and Macedonians were not Hellenes. Only elites were Hellenized. They were linguistically and genetically closer to Slavs.
Prof . Mario Alinei writes:
"Thracians was the name that Herodotus gave to the Slavs, owing to the fact the Thracians were one of the most powerful and representative elites of Slavic speaking Eastern Europe"
From:
http://www.continuitas.com/interdisciplinary.pdf
The same applies to Macedonians. King Philip V of Macedonia was accused of barbaric descent by some Greeks. Kiro Gligorov doesn’t know what he is talking about.
Macedonians have right to the name of their country as Greeks have to Greece.

Eastern Germany was Slavic speaking until XVII century. All R1a1 there is Slavic. One can test it by seeing matches.

You are a Greek nationalist Dienekes and therefore you are do not accept certain facts.

Dienekes said...

Alinei's notion that Thracians were Slavs is as widely accepted as his idea that Paleolithic Europeans were Indo-European speakers, i.e., not at all.

As for the Macedonians, there is absolutely no evidence that they were close to Slavs in any way. The very name "Macedonians" which they used for themselves is Greek.

http://macedonia-evidence.org/macedonian-tongue.html

candida said...

Eastern Germany was Slavic speaking until XVII century. All R1a1 there is Slavic.

________

Please keep your bullshit out of this blog.

Eastern Germany was never Slavic speaking but there were small Wendish enclaves. Haven't you read some history btw?

http://dienekes.blogspot.com/2005/06/strong-differentiation-between-germans.html

And there is no evidence that Norwegians or Icelanders (carry a lot of R1a1, far more than Germans) has a Slavic admixture.

Hence, R1a isn't equal to Slavic.

wojciech said...

With reference to Candidas' comments, I have to point out that Eastern Germany ie between the Elbe and Oder/Neisse was historically Slavonic until conquered by the Germans - the Wends and Sorbs are the remnants of that population that have held onto their Slavonic culture. As for the lands east of the Oder/Neisse which were awarded to the post-war Soviet dominated Polish state as compensation for the loss of Eastern Poland to the USSR (as agreed by Germany under the Ribbentrop/Molotov Pact of 1939) and for the human and material losses resulting from the German invasion, they were largely lands lost to Prussia in the Partitions of Poland. They in large measure contained populations that were loyal to their Slavonic culture as in Silesia, Masuria and Kashubia in spite of enforced Gemanisation following their absorption into Prussia. The fact that the post-war communist Polish state expelled many German speaking residents was the result of the use of pre-war German minorities in Slavonic lands as a pretext for invasion and genocide. As a Pole whose grandmother had a German name while being a fervent Polish patriot, I wish that Poland was a multi-ethnic country, respecting the cultures of various minorities. Unfortunately, German policies and actions between 1933 and 1945 put paid to that.

candida said...

With reference to Candidas' comments, I have to point out that Eastern Germany ie between the Elbe and Oder/Neisse was historically Slavonic until conquered by the Germans
__________

What do you mean with "historically Slavonic"? Slavs came there after the Germanic tribes had moved towards the West and Southwest. Not so "historically slavic", IMO.

By the 12th century, Germans started settling in very large numbers. In most cases, they found new cities and chose to settle on inhabited land while sometimes Wendish populations were expelled and cities/villages were altered according to German town law.
Not in few cases, Germans were invited by locals, too.

We can't know the exact numbers but we definitely know that Germans significantly outnumbered Wends and two populations lived not together but separate (Germans mostly in the cities, Wends mostly in the outskirt villages). I've read stories about people who couldn't become a member of merchant's club because of his great grandmother who was Wendish.

"Historically X" is a very controversial term, in that sense.

I think, the after ww1 borders (not ww2!) were the correct ones , majority Polish and Catholic Upper Silesia and Posen (Poznan) to Poland and the rest to Germany.

candida said...

And in 1939, 31% of the Polish population was of non-Polish descent, today only 450.000. That approximately means 8 mil Germans were expelled from Pomerania, Silesia, Eastern and Western Prussia.

wojciech said...

The Polish kingdom was founded in 966 in response to the settling of German colonists between the Elbe and Oder and consequent subjection of the native Wends.The Wendish rebellions of 983 and 1066 appealed for support from the Polish king but in the long term were unsucessful due to the use of Crusades supported by the Pope. Over 8 centuries German colonisation followed on Polish lands east of the Oder, including the peaceful settlement of German farmers and artisans interspersed with conquest and the creation of Prussia on conquesred Polish land, leading to the Polish Partitions.During this time German conquest was justified by preaching the inferiority of the Slavs and the right of the Germans to dominate and decimate them - culminating in the murder of 3 million non Jewish Poles from 1939 to 1945.

The expulsions of the Polish population of lands absorbed by the Germans during the war started in 1940 and went on to 1944, involving massacres and genocide. In view of this, it was inconceivable that the continued existence of German minorities in Poland could continue after 1945, which was regrettable in view of the long inclusion of people of German ancestry in Polish public life. For example (Polish) General Juliusz Rommel who led the defence of Warsaw in 1939 was a first cousin of (German) Field marshal Erwin Rommel. General August Fieldorf was a hero of the Polish Resistance, judicially murdered by the post-war Communist regime.

It is pointless to consider that the scale of loss of ethnically non Polish populations is an indicator of the scale of emigration and expulsions of Germans. The prewar Polish population included 3 million Jews, largely massacred by the Germans, and Lithuanian, Byelorussia, Ukrainian and Ruthenian minorities which were absorbed into the Soviet Union with the loss of the Eastern borderlands.

The scale of ethnic cleansing which swept over Eastern Europe after 1945 was a tragedy which means that the present Poland has lost the heritage of a multitude of cultures which it had possessed for centuries. However, as regards its' effect on the German population which from 1939 to 1945 had furnished a multitude of collaborators in the Holocaust of both Jews and Slavs - they had sown the whirlwind and reaped the storm.

candida said...

@wojciech

I highly respect your history knowledge but I think the point is still missed:

I was against the term "historically Slavic". Slavonic tribes settled in those territories after Germanic tribes had migrated to the W and SW.

European languages around 500:

http://info-poland.buffalo.edu/classroom/maps/europe00500lang.jpg

and 850:

http://info-poland.buffalo.edu/classroom/maps/europe0850lang.jpg

According to your logic, Anglo-Saxons in England occupy an historically Celtic country and yet Celts occupy an historically Pre-celtic country etc.. this doesn't make sense.

I personally don't think that the so called Ostsiedlung was that harsh and brutal, a large scale expansion rather than an invasion. Those territories were in most cases very sparsely populated or uninhabited and although Wends lived there, they never formed the majority. Majority Polish parts remained Polish, Germans there assimilated into Polish population (best examples could be Poznan (Posen) and Bromberg (Bydgoszcz).

But you are 100% right about the Prussian deportations and Nazi politics in Poland. The German exodus from Central/Eastern Europe was a result of that, I admit as a full blooded Prussian.

I apologize for this very long off-topic debate. Surely, it has nothing to do with Macedonia.

Joan said...

The creation and recreation of identities has been a part of modern recorded history. For example, Germanic Anglo-Saxons later became English; English and other Europeans were also to later become Americans, Canadians, and Australians. In the same vein just as ancient Macedonians were a Greek ethne, modern Macedonians are a regional identity made up of Greeks, Bulgarians, former Yugoslavs, Albanians, Turks, Vlachs and others who all equally share a region of the same toponym. In as far as there is a geographic identity comprised of a variety of regional people it makes sense that all have legitimate access to its toponym e.g. Greek-, Bulgarian-, and YugoSlav-Macedonians. The problem which FYROM has in constructing its historical narrative, is that it is doing so at the expense of its non-Slavic Macedonian neighbours. As long as a jingoistic government holds power in FYROM the dire need of leadership with foresight to put the record straight diminishes.
Whose history belongs to whom?
Yes, the territory of FYROM was once Paionia in antiquity but today it has the same toponym as the rest of the area. This does not mean, however, that anyone can claim exclusive rights to an ethnic identity which has a toponym as its identity for the region belongs all who share it.
The world does sleep but it also wakes up.