|The town of Monastir, capital of the vilayet of Monsastir, lies just about half way between Bulgarian and Greek territory. North, the majority of Macedonians are Bulgar, south the majority are Hellenes. The villages meet, cross, and mix in the Monastir vilayet. The reason, therefore, we hear so much about disturbances at Monastir is not because the Turks there are more wicked than Turks elsewhere, but because there is a persistent feud between Greek and Bulgarian political religionists.
Monastir is an undistinguished, motley sort of town of some 60,000 nhabitants, 14,000 of them Greek, 10,000 of them Bulgarian, four or five thousand Albanian, two or three thousand Jew, and the rest Turk.
“Pictures From The Balkans” by John Foster Fraser (published in 1906), chapter 20.
|But who are the Macedonians? You will find Bulgarians and Turks who call themselves Macedonians, you find Greek Macedonians, there are Servian Macedonians, and it is possible to find Roumanian Macedonians. You will NOT, however, find a single Christian Macedonian who is not a Servian, a Bulgarian, a Greek, or a Roumanian. They all curse the Turk, and they love Macedonia. But it is Greek Macedonia, or Bulgarian Macedonia, and their eyes flame with passion, whilst their fingers seek the triggers of their guns|
“Pictures From The Balkans” by John Foster Fraser (published in 1906), PAGE 5
|They visited the Bulgarian villages, levied contributions, and stored arms, so that on an appointed day there might be a rising against the Turk, and Bulgarian Macedonians be liberated from their oppressors for ever. Naturally they were greeted as heroes;|
“Pictures From The Balkans” by John Foster Fraser (published in 1906), PAGE 8
|i have some hope that in years to come the inhabitants will think less of their Turkish, Bulgarian or Greek Origin and a great deal more with the fact that they are all Macedonians.|
“Pictures From The Balkans” by John Foster Fraser (published in 1906), PAGE 17
|There was petty persecution; Bulgarian Christians crossed from Macedonia into Bulgaria proper and told their tales of woe. Then followed raids by armed bands of Bulgarians into Turkey. In time associations were formed in Bulgaria and secret committees in Macedonia to aid the Bulgarian cause. In time came a congress and the formation of the ” High Committee,” having for its object the securing of political autonomy for Macedonia, and pledged, in order to secure it, to take any action ” which may be dictated by circumstances.” The consequence was that peaceful Bulgarians in Macedonia were forced into the revolutionary movement, compelled to secrete arms, made to contribute to the maintenance of the “bands,” and were put to death if they reported to the Turks, or were massacred by the Turks because they were revolutionaries. However oppressive the Turks had been, however zealous were good Bulgarians to save their fellow – countrymen and co- religionists in Macedonia from oppression, the revolutionary movement, as it is in Macedonia to-day, is the outcome of terror and murder.|
“Pictures From The Balkans” by John Foster Fraser (published in 1906), PAGE 179
|Basil II of Constantinople in 1014 decided to end once and for all a war that had already lasted forty years. To break the spirit of the hated Bulgarians, he blinded all but 150 of 15,000 prisoners. The “lucky” 150 were blinded in one eye only. Every 100 blind men were guided by a one-eyed leader back to the Bulgarian capital of Ohdrid, whose ruler, Samuel , had received word that his army was returning to him. Samuel hastened to meet his men and found himself staring at thousand of helpless blind men. The sight was fatal. Samuel suffered a stroke on the spot and died two days later. (Basil II received the surname Bulgaroktonos, meaning “slayer of Bulgarians”, )|
Isaac Asimov’s Book of Facts By Isaac Asimov, page 225
|They population of Uskioub, consisting of Arnouts, Jews, Armenians, Zinzars, Greeks, Bulgarians and Servians, amounts to upwards of twelve thousand|
“Travels in European Turkey, in 1850: Through Bosnia, Servia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Thrace,…” By Edmund Spencer, page 28, Published 1851
|As the day was drawing to a close, we descended into the vast plain of Bittoglia, where we had to ford several unimportant streams rushing onward to the sluggish waters of the karasu,..With the exception of a few Greeks and Zinzars, the congregation consisted of Bulgarians, EASILY DISTINGUISHED by their short, thick-set figures, honest open countenances, and the unvarying costume, we before described|
“Travels in European Turkey, in 1850: Through Bosnia, Servia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Thrace,…” By Edmund Spencer, page 46, Published 1851
|Those of the vilayets of Adrianople and Macedonia , where, at the recent census, two-thirds of the inhabitants were found to be Bulgarians|
“The Balkan Peninsula” by E. Laveleye, 1887, Page 251
|The unfortunate Armenians are at the present time most piteously oppressed and pillaged by the Kurds, the Circassians, and more especially by Turkish functionaries. ‘Their condition is very similar to that of the Bulgarians in Macedonia|
“The Balkan Peninsula” by E. Laveleye, 1887, Page 305
|But having lived now with the Montenegrins, the Serbs, and the Bulgarian ‘Macedonians,’ I clung to the idea that somehow or other I must get right into Albanian territories|
“The Burden of the Balkans” By M. Edith Durham 1863-1944, page 207
|Vatatzes was now quick to perceive the high tide in his efforts and decided to sail with the current. He ventured north to take Melnik, and continued northeastward to capture Stenimachus, Tzapaena and other places in the upper valley of the Maritsa, which became the boundary between Bulgaria and the Nicene empire, all without a struggle, “as though he was taking over an inheritance from his father”. He pushed on into the far northwest, taking Velbuzd (Kustendil) on the upper strymon; moved south taking skopje and trip in teh vardar region; then through Veles, Prilep and Pelagonia in the plains of Monastir; and eastward again to the Vardar where he took Prosek. It was a triumphant progress from beginning to end, but the end was not yet. In less than three months Vatatzes had overrun all Sourthwestern Bulgaria.|
The Papacy and the Levant, 1204-1571 By Kenneth Meyer Setton, page 62
|Theodore Ducas began his spectacular reign over Epirus by an attack upon the Bulgarians (1216) from whom he seized the important towns of Ochrida and Prilep, extending his northeastern border to the plains of Monastir|
The Papacy and the Levant, 1204-1571 By Kenneth Meyer Setton, page 43
|In Monastir also, the majority of the inhabitants is Bulgarian, and Bulgarian is the language in the market|
“We, the Macedonians”, by Constantine Stephanove
|and Uskub, the great majority of the population is Slavic, … the middle ages until 1913 called themselves and were called by their neighbors Bulgarians|
The Journal of International Relations By george h. blakeslee
|Si la Bulgarie, après beaucoup d’hésitations et non sans regret, a fait le grand sacrifice d’abandonner Uskub, dont la population est bulgare|
Documents diplomatiques français (1871-1914). By France. Commission de publication des documents relatifs aux origines de la guerre de 1914
Translation: If Bulgaria, after many hesitations and not without regret, did the great sacrifice and give up Uskub, whose population is Bulgarian
|The writer who has frequently visited Monastir, can add his to mony to these pronouncements. The population of Monastir is Turkish, Bulgarian and Vlach|
“The Quarterly Review” Published 1872, J. Murray
“In the house where the power resided, a BULGARIAN flag was put“: A wire of the Serbian cunsul in Bitola to the Moinister of the Foreign
Affairs of Serbia, 13 August 1903.
(Quote after Ilindenski Sbornik, 1903 – 1953, Skopje 1953, p. 40.)
|Tagepost 15 August 1903:
“The Bitola pashalik has been took over by general common
movement. Krushevo has saluted the BULGARIAN banner and
wants temporary to proclaim a republic”.
|Istambul, August 15, 1903:
The political situation in Macedonia continues to grow worse each week.[…]
The real foundation for all the trouble is the desire of the BULGARIAN
population for freedom from Turkish rule, and were the powers to say to Bulgaria what they have already said to Turkey, “that under no conditions
would she be permitted to take one foot on additional soil”, the trouble
would be speedily ended , but this they will not do, and consequently the
twentieth century crusade against the Turks is likely to go on, as no power,
not excepting Germany, is to brave public opinion openly taking sides with
the Turks against the Christians”.
|September 19, 1903:
“The Bulgarian government is in most delicate position…. and unless the
powers should intervene Bulgaria will be forced openly to embrace the
Macedonian cause. … I am quite of the opinion that the people in Bulgaria
will revolt against the government unless something be done…” writes the
American ambassador at the Porte, Leishman
John G. Leishman, US Ambassador to the Sublime Porte (serving 1900 – 1908)
to John Hay, American Secretary of State.Source: U.S. Deaprtment of State.
Diplomatic Despatches. Despatches from U.S. Ministers to Turkey, 1818 –
1906. National Archives Publications, M46, Roll 72, July 5 – October 29,
|The name ANTES suggest this people was intermixed with Iranians, and linguists point to a large number of Iranian loanwords in Slavic that were acquired very early. This would not be surpsising if the Slavs came from Ukraine because they would have had contact with both Iranian Scythians and Sarmatians. Indeed the Sarmatians were still to be found in Backa and the Banat near the Danybe at the time Slavs arrived there.|
The Early Medieval Balkans: a critical survey from the sixth to the late twelfth century By John Van Antwerp Fine, page 26
|Most of the Balkans were settled by Slavs of one of the two types. (excluding the smaller groups of Slavic Slovenes and Turkic Avars in the western Balkans). Each one of these two main Slavic groups was to be named for a second conquering group who appeared later in te Seventh century.The first of these two groups was the Bulgaro-Macedonians, whose Slavic component the Bulgarian historian Zlatarski derives from the Antes. They were conquered in the late seventh century by the Turkic Bulgars. The slavs eventually assimilated them, but the Bulgars’ name survived.|
The Early Medieval Balkans: a critical survey from the sixth to the late twelfth century By John Van Antwerp Fine, page 36
|Until the late nineteenth century both outside observers and those Bulgaro-Macedonians who had an ethnic consiousness believed that their group, which is NOW two seperate nationalities, comprised a SINGLE people, THE BULGARIANS. Thus the reader should IGNORE references to ethnic Macedonians in the Middle Ages which appear in some modern works. In the Middle Ages and into the nineteenth century, the term ‘Macedonian’ was used ENTIRELY in reference to a geographical region. Anyone who lived within its confines, regardless of nationality could be called a Macedonian.|
The Early Medieval Balkans: a critical survey from the sixth to the late twelfth century By John Van Antwerp Fine, Page 37
|It is the national identity of these Slav Macedonians that has been the most violently contested aspect of the whole Macedonian dispute, and is still being contested today. There is NO DOUBT that they are southern Slavs; they have a language, or a group of varying dialects, that is grammatically akin to Bulgarian but phonetically in some respects akin to Serbian, and which has certain quite distinctive features of its own.|
[Elisabeth Barker, “Macedonia, its place in Balkan power politics”,
(originally published in 1950 by the Royal Institute of International Affairs), p.10]
|In regard to their own national feelings, all that can SAFELY be said is that during the last eighty years many MORE Slav Macedonians seem to have considered themselves Bulgarian, or closely linked to Bulgaria, than have considered themselves Serbian, or closely linked to Serbia (or Yugoslavia). Only the people of the Skoplje region, in the north west, have ever shown much tendency to regard themselves as Serbs. The feeling of being Macedonians, and nothiNg but Macedonians, seems to be a sentiment of fairly recent growth, and even today is not very deep-rooted.|
[Elisabeth Barker, “Macedonia, its place in Balkan power politics”,
(originally published in 1950 by the Royal Institute of International Affairs), p.10]
|May the heroic Serb people at last find the necessary moral force–and they have it, it dwells within them–to recognize spontaneously what has long and unanimously been recognized by history, science, and the national sentiment of the Macedonian population itself, which sees in the Bulgarians ITS BROTHERS in language and blood, and which has fought hand in hand with them for religion, life, and liberty.|
[N.S. Derzhavin, “Bulgaro-Serb Relations and the Macedonian Question”, (1918)]
|You seem to be afraid of Kimon Georgiev, you have involved yourselves too much with him and do not want to give autonomy to Pirin Macedonia. That a Macedonian consciousness HAS NOT YET DEVELOPED AMONG THE POPULATION IS OF NO ACCOUNT. No such consciousness existed in Byelorussia either when we proclaimed it a Soviet Republic. However, later it was shown that a Byelorussian people did in fact exist.|
[Stalin to Bulgarian Delegation (G. Dimitrov, V. Korarov, T. Kostov) on 7 June 1946]
|It should be remembered, to begin with, that there is NO Macedonian race, as a distinct type. Macedonians may belong to any of the races of Eastern Europe or Western Asia, as, indeed, they do. A Macedonian Bulgar is just the same as a Bulgar of Bulgaria proper, the old principality, that in October, 1908, at Tirnova, was proclaimed independent of Turkey. He looks the same, talks the same, and very largely, thinks the same way. IN SHORT HE IS OF THE SAME STOCK. There is no difference, whatsoever, between the two branches of the race, except that the Macedonian Bulgars, as a result of their position under the Turkish government, have less culture and education than their northern brethren.|
[Arthur Douglas Howden Smith, “Fighting the Turk in the Balkans: An American’s Adventures with the Macedonian Revolutionists”, 1908, p. 4-5]
|In general, however, the Macedonian Slavs differ somewhat both in appearance and character from their neighbours beyond the Bulgarian and Servian frontiers: the peculiar type which they present is probably due to a considerable admixture of Vlach, Hellenic, Albanian and Turkish blood, and to the influence of the surrounding races. Almost all independent authorities,however, agree that the bulk of the Slavonic population of Macedonia IS BULGARIAN. The principal indication is furnished by the language, which, though resembling Servian in some respects (e.g. the case-endings, which are occasionally retained), presents most of the characteristic features of Bulgarian.|
[The 1911 Edition Encyclopedia, found online at: ]Bad title – LoveToKnow 1911
|Modern turkish histories present the idea that the macedonian question was the essential ingredient in understanding the volatile mix of problems that ultimately led to Balkan wars. Because the population of Macedonia was primarily Bulgarian, it was influenced heavily by the events of 1878. It is very likely that the establishment of the greater Bulgaria envisioned by the treaty of San Stefano, and which included much of Macedonia whetted the nationalistic appetites of a substantial portion of the Bulgarian population of Macedonia.|
“Defeat in Detail: The Ottoman Army in the Balkans, 1912-1913″ By Edward J. Erickson, page 39
|In Sofia, Bulgarians organized the Adrianople Region- MAcedonia Committee in 1890, and in Salonika, the internal Macedonian Revolutionary committee and Organization was formed in 1893.|
“Defeat in Detail: The Ottoman Army in the Balkans, 1912-1913″ By Edward J. Erickson, page 42
|In order to pave the way to the annexation of Rumelia, the task before the Bulgarian imperialists was twofold. In the first place they had to detach the Slav-speaking inhabitants from the Patriarcate, and attach them to the Exarchate. But that in itself would not have been enough, because of the local distribution of the different races. The Hellenes, as we should expect, occupy the whole of the sea coast in a nearly solid mass, which shades off in approaching the centre and north. The Slav element is equally solid in the north, and fades away to almost nothing on approaching the sea. The danger which the statesmen of Sofia had to fear was an equitable partition of the country on these lines between the two natioanalities, which would leave Bulgaria bigger indeed, but without the coveted coastline of the Aegean, and without that reversion to Contantinople which is the prime goal of Balkan ambitions. […]In order to justify the annexation of the entire territory between Bulgaria and the sea, therefore, it became necessary to create a FICTITIOUS country with a FICTITIOUS nationality. To return to the former illustration, we must imagine an independant Irish Republic desirous of adding the whole of Scottland to its dominion. It would be obliged, in the first place, to teach the Gaelic population that they were Irishmen, in order to enlist their support, and then to preach that Scotland was an invisible whole in order to establish a claim over the low lands.[b]The Bulgarian propagandists found what they required in the word “Macedonia” a name with no more definite significance than Wessex or Languedoc.[/B] Unfortunately for themselves, the Greeks had been the first to make use of this name, with its classical associations, and to give it a wide extension to the north in interests of Hellenic expansion. As usual their exaggerated pretensions defeated themselves, and the Bulgars now hoist them with their own petard, by persuading Europe that Macedonia was a definite political entity, like Wales or Switzerland. [..]The Macedonia thus constituted has no more national identity or cohesion than India. But the Christians on the whole outnumber the Moslems by probably four to three, and if the European Powers could be wrought upon to ignore the Moslem element in the population, as is so constantly done by European writers, and erect “Macedonia” into an autonomous state like Eastern Rumelia, Bulgaria would have the fairest prospect of repeating her former coup. It was possibly with a view to some such result that Gladstone threw out the phrase “Macedonia for the Macedonians”, a phrase which, be it said with all respect, could *not* have been used by any man of impartiality and intelligence who possesed a first hand knowledge of the country. The Bulgarians were prompt to adopt it, for the use against the Turks, while keeping that of Macedonia for the bulgars for use against the Greeks. Within the last few years, however, they have felt encouraged to lay claim openly to the remaining vilayet of Rumelia; the committee which directs the Folk War from Sofia has taken the name of “Macedonia-Adrianople” and bands of Comitadjis have been actively at work in the valley of the Martiza. IT IS THEREFORE NO LONGER NECESSARY TO DEMONSTRATE THE MYTHICAL CHARACTER OF THE “MACEDONIAN” nationality in the eyes of every element in the Macedonian population.|
Allen Upward, The East End of Europe, London 1908, pp 25-27
|And so the “Bulgarophone” villagers are no longer willing to admit they speak Bulgarian. They have coined a NEW term of their own accord, and henceforth, until they have got rid of it, is to be known as “Macedonian“. My Athenian friends were delighted when I told them of this on my return. It should give even greater pleasure to those Bulgarian agents who are SO ANXIOUS TO SEE THE MACEDONIANS TAUGHT THEY ARE MACEDONIANS|
Allen Upward, The East End of Europe, London 1908, pp 205
|A letter from Dimiter Miladinov1 (in Ohrid) to Victor Grigorovich2 (in Vienna) about the search for Bulgarian folk songs and relics in MacedoniaFebruary 25th, 1846I have not received a single line since your departure. In the meantime my efforts concerning OUR Bulgarian language and the Bulgarian (folk) songs, in compliance with your recommendations are unsurpassed. I have not for one moment ceased to fulfill the pledge which I made to you, Sir, because the Bulgarians are spontaneously striving for the truth. But I hope you will excuse my delay up till now, which is due to the difficulty I had in selecting the best songs and also in my work on the grammar. I hope that, on another convenient occasion, after I have collected more songs and finished the grammar, I will be able to send them to you. Please write where and through whom it would be safe to send them to you (as you so ardently wish).We are completely convinced, by assurances of the villagers of Glavinitsa, that the stone inscriptions for which we have been looking will also be found. I will study them next spring. It would be wonderful and desirable if, with your assistance, we could ask the Government for the holy relics of Saint Clement of Ohrid, verified by the Great Church of Christ, as you yourself witnessed with your own eye, and requested on your own initiative. And the steps taken before the authorities here concerning the holy relics in question will do much to bring you praise and to confer benefit upon our newly-opened school.
I am writing you this letter on the instructions of the notables in Ohrid. Looking forward to an immediate reply in Greek through the same bearer, I greet you with the deepest esteem and respect.
Братя Миладинови, Преписка, София (The Miladinov Brothers, Correspondence), Sofia, 1964, p. 15; the original is in Greek.
1 Dimiter Miladinov (1810-1862), born in Strouga, an eminent figure of the Bulgarian Revival and an active fighter for public education of the Bulgarians and for their spiritual and political awakening; he taught in Strouga, Ohrid, Koukoush and Prilep, where he introduced the Bulgarian language into the schools, where Greek had previously been the medium of instruction. Falsely accused by the Greek bishop of Ohrid, he was sent to prison in Constantinople where he died
II. The National Revival Period 1
|The origin of the Macedonian dispute the south-east half of Slav Macedonia where the population was most nearly Bulgarian|
The New Macedonian Question (St. Antony’s) by James Pettifer, page 12
|Where an overaching identity existed among Slavs in Macedonia, it was a Bulgarian one UNTIL at least the 1860s. The cultural impetus for a seperated Macedonian identity would only emerge LATER|
Outcast Europe BY Tom Gallagher, page 47
|..descendant of Samuil, collected an army and took the chief Bulgarian town, Skopje, and soon came to dominate Thrace, Epirus and Macedonia|
A Concise History of Bulgaria (Cambridge Concise Histories) by R. J. Crampton, page 23
|Among the Bulgarians of Prilep, after the ceremony in church is over, one of the brothers entertains his relatives..|
Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, Part 4 by James Hastings, page 79
|The Bulgarians fall into two divisions, the Black Bulgarians and the Gaugauz.–The latter came from the Dobrudzha between 1804 and 1812, the former are subdivided in
The Gaugauz speak Turkish and write in the Romanyo Alphabete
The Nationalities of Europe, Robert Gordon Latham ,1863, Colonists in Russia,page 360
|“The general estimate is that between forty and fifty United thousand Bulgars (from Bulgaria and Macedonia) have come to this country, including those in Canada. Their principal centre was here in Granite City, an outlying suburb of St. Louis, but during the last year the majority of the 10,000 who were here have migrated westward. At present there are less than a thousand here. About 10,000 are now working on the railroad lines in Montana, the two Dakotas, Iowa and Minnesota. The belief is they will return here in autumn, but my own impression is, there will never again be 10,000 of them in Granite City.
” Other important centres are Seattle, Butte, Montana, Chicago, Indianapolis and Steelton, Pennsylvania; but they are too shifting a people to make estimates of their numbers in those centres of any value.
“I hope you are not making any racial distinctions between Bulgars and Macedonians. I believe the Bulgars who have come from Macedonia are registered on Ellis Island as Macedonians, which is bound to be confusing and inaccurate, for Macedonians may include Greeks, Vlachs, and even Turks. The distinction between the Bulgars from Bulgaria and those from Macedonia is PURELY political. Many of those who are registered as Greeks are so in church affiliation only, being Slavic by race and tongue.
“The majority (I should say about 80 per cent) of the Bulgars in this country are from Macedonia, and nearly all are from one small districtin Monastir vilayet; Kostur, or Castoria.Their reasons for coming are fundamentally economic, but the immediate causes are the revolution of 1904, when half the people in Monastir were rendered homeless by the burning of their villages, and the continued persecution of the Greek Church since then, which closed Greece to them as a market for their labor. Not five per cent of the Bulgars in this country came before four years ago.
“Our Slavic Fellow Citizens” By Emily Greene Balch pp 274-275
|It is very interesting to compare together the different inhabitants of European Turkey, such as the Servians, the Bulgarians, the Wallachians, the Greeks, and the Albanians. The Servians and Bulgarians may be said to be nearly the same people, and appear to be more numerous than the Greeks;|
The Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal: exhibiting a view of the Progressive discoveries..” Published 1838
by A. and C. Black – Original from the New York Public Library – p.240
|The language of these various populations divides itself into two principal idioms: each of these into three where the difference is less. Of the Southern dialect are the Slovaks, the Serbs and Bulgarians; of the Northern, the Bohemians, Poles, and Russians.|
Vacation Tourists and Notes of Travel in 1860 By Francis Galton Published 1861 Macmillan and co. Original from the University of Michigan, page 108
|The Bulgarians in their turn wanted to exploit the dense presence of Slavonic-Speakers all over Macedonia to support their own irredentist aspirations in the region. A leading part in achieving their national goals was to be played by the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO) and the Bulgarian presence and influence throughout Macedonia, particularly in the controversial middle linguistic zone, was considerably strengthened by means of education and the Exarchal Church. This combination was regarded as the best counterweigtht to the Greek Patriarchal influence in the region, in an effort to offset the losses inflicted by the treaty of Berlin. The chief aim of the Bulgarian strategy was to awaken the notion of self-defence in the Bulgarian-speaking population of Macedonia and Thrace, which would urge them to demand and achieve a degree of political autonomy within the Ottoman empirel subsequently they could be annexed by Bulgaria.|
Mediterranean Politics By Richard Gillespie, page 88
“In 1878 at the time of San Stefano, the population of Macedonia was about one million. Greeks inhabited most ot he coasal districts, and there were many settlement of Vlachs, Serbs and Turks: but many of the Macedonian peasants of the interior classed themselves as Bulgars.
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