An essay about Macedonia

Macedonia was a Greek kingdom that sits on the northern end of Modern Day Greece and neighbors the Greek kingdoms of Thrace and Epirus.   They had one of the worst armies in Greece until Philip of Macedon reformed the army making it the strongest army in all of Greece. The most famous Macedonian is Alexander the Great and has given Macedonia a glorious legacy. In 1942, a collection of Slavs broke off from Yugoslavia and named themselves Macedonia and was ruled by a fascist named Tito. Tito wanted to gain more land on the Aegean so he named the country Macedonia and threatened Greece to give a part of the real Macedonia to them. He spread propaganda during his whole term as dictator and now today, that very same country is continuing to do the same thing, only this time under a man named Nikola Gruevski, the prime minister of Fyrom (Former Yugoslavic Republic of Macedonia). Greece and Fyrom are trying to come to a compromise on the name. This essay doesn’t go to one person, but an entire country to convince them that they have their history a bit mixed up.

Fyrom’s government is telling its people that the Macedonians used the Cyrillic Alphabet (Slavic Alphabet) and they are telling their citizens that the Ancient Macedonians had their own language. Well, it’s a proven fact from Herodotus and many other historians that the Macedonians spoke a dialect of Greek brought down from the Dorians. In fact, the name Alexander is Greek and Alexander is Latinized. Alexander’s real name is Alexandros which is derived from the words Alexo, to protect, and Andros, Man and the end result is protector of man. All Greek names have a meaning.

The Fyromian government says that Ancient Macedonians were never Greek but the Greek tribe called the Dorians were the tribe that originally formed Macedonian people and they also settled in Sparta and a few northern parts of Greece. When the Doric variant called the Macedni originally settled Macedonia, the land already had Thracians and Illyrians from the North West in it (Illyria is located in Modern Day Albania which also has no connection to Alexander, Olympias, Epirus, or Illyria). The Macedni, Thracians, and Illyrians intermarried and the Macedonians ceased to be fully Hellenized.  However, the Macedonians still participated in the Olympic Games and at the time only Greeks were allowed to attend. Philip II of Macedon ended up uniting Greece redeeming the Macedonians’ reputation and even led the Greek crusade against Persia (or at least was going to until he was murdered, then the task had to be done by Alexander). 

            Another thing Fyrom will tell you is that Demosthenes called Philip of Macedon a barbarian and said he wasn’t Greek. But, Demosthenes was an Athenian orator that was notorious for twisting facts and making people believe what he wanted them to believe. Philip wasn’t the only man he called a barbarian either. Plus barbarian in Greek doesn’t only mean “not Greek” it also is an insult to other Greeks.

            Also, Fyrom isn’t even in the Ancient region of Macedonia, they are actually in Paionia. Their country used to be called Vardarska and they sit right on the Vardar River. One citizen of their country was thrown into a mental asylum this past week because he translated his country’s propaganda into English and supported Greece’s claims on Macedonia. Does this alone not prove that Macedonia is Greek? If they were actually Macedonians they wouldn’t need to worry about things like that. Before they said the man they put in the asylum didn’t exist but he did. His name was Vasko Gligorov, and who knows what is going to happen to him now.

            No historian, ancient or modern like Robin Lane Fox, Plutarch, Arrian, Quintus Curtius Rufus, Diodorus of Sicily, JFC Fuller, and many other people have ever said that Macedonians were not Greek.  We know that Macedonians spoke Greek, believed in Greek gods, and participated in the Olympic Games and on top of that they had Greek architecture in their buildings. With the findings of the Palace of Philip II and Alexander the Great, we know that their architecture was Greek. We know that they called themselves Greek; Alexander even considered himself son of Zeus. There is no evidence to support that Macedonians had their own Gods and a completely different culture than Greece. All Greek states had their own twist on culture anyway but it all started from one central source and that is Hellenism. The Spartans have their warrior society, the Athenians have their Philosophy dominated society, and Thebes had taken their culture from everyone else.

            With these facts, we can clearly see that Macedonia was Greek. Is that enough? Well if not here’s some more. The names of the Macedonians were all Greek; In fact all of the names we associate with Greece are Latinized. Even the word Greece is Latin. The Greek word for their country is Hellas and they call themselves Hellenes. Macedonia’s true name is Makedonia and in Greek it means “Land of Tall Men” and it doesn’t mean anything in the self-proclaimed “Macedonian” language which is actually Bulgarian!  Philip’s real name is Philippos derived from the words Phil – Friend, and Ippos – Horse, the end result being Friend of Horses but Phil can also be translated to lover so when Greeks called Alexander’s friend Hephaistion Philalexandros they would be calling him either Friend of Alexander or Lover or Alexander. You can decide which one it is. The Macedonian name Amyntas is derived from the Greek word Amyntor which means Defend and the end result is Defender. So now we have all of our proof that Macedonia is Greek. There are no facts to support Fyrom’s claim to Macedonia and with this essay I hope you can see that. Thank you very much for your time and reading this essay! … Have I persuaded you yet?

By Nolan Gillies

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