By Chris Philipou
The latest propaganda piece authored by “Alexandra Aleksovska” was published on the “American Chronicle” website: http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/104453
In the ‘article’ Aleksovska attempted to lambaste Prof. Stephen G. Miller over a letter that he wrote to President Obama. In the letter Prof. Miller outlined several historical innacuracies being perpetuated by The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (F.Y.R.O.M) in order to lay claim to the legacy of the Macedonian region, including Alexander the Great. By attacking Miller’s position with regards to F.Y.R.O.M’s state sponsored national historiography Aleksovska is effectually defending the notion that the Slavic population of F.Y.R.O.M is linked to Alexander the Great and the ancient Macedonians. Unfortuately for Aleksovska no credible and objective authority in the fields of Antrhopology, Sociology or Balkan History will lend any credence to a relationship between F.Y.R.O.M and ancient Macedonia. This is further bolstered by the fact that over 250 world class international Classical Scholars , to date, have signed Miller’s letter.
There are numerous points in Aleksovska’s American Chronicle piece that perplex me. To begin with, I find it astounding that nationalists from F.Y.R.O.M and her diaspora insist on citing Badian and Borza as being “friendly” to their “cause“. In this case “Aleksovska” asks why “the most respected” scholars of ancient Macedonia, Badian and Borza, haven’t signed Miller’s letter with the implication that Borza and Badian somehow support her nationalist historiography:
Where on the list are respected scholars like Eugene Borza, Ernst Badian or Peter Green, who have written the most respected books on Ancient Macedonia.
Evidently “Aleksovska” is not familiar with the published views of Badian and Borza. If she was familiar with their work she would know that much of what they have published is far more devastating to her cause than any statements in Prof. Miller’s letter. As a matter of fact Borza made a point of stating that modern “ethnic Macedonians” have no relationship to ancient Macedonia. It seems that the uneducated nationalists from F.Y.R.O.M and her diaspora cannot see beyond Badian’s and Borza’s views of 4th century BC Macedonia and have taken to blindly citing them ad infinitum in any situation that they think suits their cause.
These are some of the published positions of Badian and Borza. Perhaps Aleksovska should familiarize herself with their work instead of blindly promoting them as substantiators of her cause:
1. Borza claimed that the Royal house was regarded as Greek and regarded itself as Greek:
There is NO DOUBT that this tradition of a superimposed Greek house was WIDELY BELIEVED by the Macedonians.” In the Shadow of Olympus pg 80
There was a PERSISTENT, WELL ATTESTED tradition in antiquity that told of a group of Greeks from Argos-descendants of Temenus, kinsman of Heracles-who came to Macedonia and established their rule over the Makedones, unifying them and providing a royal house.” In the Shadow of Olympus – pg 80
There is NO reason to deny the Macedonians’ own traditions about their early kings and the migration of the Macedones.
[..] The basic story as provided by Herodotus and Thucydides, minus the interpoloation of the Temenid connections, UNDOUBTEDLY relfects the Macedonians’ own traditions about their early history. In the Shadow of Olumpus – pg 84
2. Badian concluded that the Macedonians were regarded as Northern Greeks by Roman times. If we are to use Badian as an ultimate authority, as “Aleksovska” suggests, then we must conclude that regardless of what the perceptions of the Macedonians were in the 4th century the Macedonians were regarded as Greeks by other Greeks by Roman times:
We have now become accustomed to regarding MACEDONIANS as northern GREEKS and, in extreme cases, to hearing Alexander’s conquests described as in essence GREEK CONQUESTS. The former CERTAINLY became TRUE, in Greek consciousness in the course of the Hellenistic age; the latter may be argued to be true`ex post facto’.” But it is an important question whether these assertions should properly be made in a fourth century B.C context. – Greeks and Macedonians (Studies in the History of Art)
Aleksovska should also acquaint herself with Borza’s positions regarding F.Y.R.O.M’s modern history before she implicitly associates Borza with her nationalist historiography. These are Borza’s published views on F.Y.R.O.M’s modern history and they are far more damaging to Aleksovska’s political agenda and nationalist historiography than Prof. Miller’s letter!
Note: Borza made no mention of a “Macedonian” ethnicity in his description of Macedonia’s pre 20th century demographics.
Note: Borza stated that the region of Macedonia was an ethnic quagmire. This is a far cry from the F.Y.R.O.M nationalist claim that “Macedonia” was populated in the vast majority by “ethnic Macedonians”.
Note: Borza claimed that only the most radical Slavic factions, mostly found in F.Y.R.O.M’s diaspora, make claims of a relationship to ancient Macedonia. Keep in mind that Borza wrote this article a few years before the Gruevski administration took power in F.Y.R.O.M. Even Borza, who is one of the favorite historians of F.Y.R.O.M nationalists, would classify Gruevski’s ideology as radical!
Note: Borza stated that the “Macedonians” are a new ethno/national group that have no history and as a result must construct one. Remember that this is Aleksovska’s recommended authority on Macedonian history!
Furthermore Aleksovska blatently lies to the reader by stating:
The ´elephant in the room´ in this argument has always been the fact that Modern Greece stole Macedonia from the Macedonians in 1913.
Perhaps Aleksovska can explain how land that formerly belonged to the Ottoman empire for several centuries was stolen from “the Macedonians” by Greece? The geographic region of Macedonia never belonged to a “Macedonian ethnicity”, never was a part of a “Macedonian” country and never was under the political control of a “Macedonian nation”. The region was incorporated into the Greek state as a result of the Balkan Wars in which Ottoman territory was won by Greece. Perhaps Aleksovska can explain where all the “ethnic Macedonians” were during this conflict and why the 1914 International Carnegie Commission
did not record any “ethnic Macedonian” population in their detailed report of the Wars.
Furthermore, geographic depictions of “Macedonia” have varied during past centuries and the geographic version of “Macedonia” that Aleksovska espouses was only established in the 19th century. This fact, along with the fact that the region of “Macedonia” never composed a country, is conceded by scholars from F.Y.R.O.M:
Aleksovska also made the absurd and unsubstantiated claim that there were no Greeks in Macedonia prior to the Balkan Wars.
Prior to this there was not a single part of Macedonia that was Greek – ever
This is a very amusing statement in light of the fact that the 1914 Carnegie Commission report on the Balkan wars described Greek populations and made no mention of “ethnic Macedonians“. This after the commission sent a team of investigators to the region to examine the conduct of the various combatants. How does Aleksovska propose that an international commission did not record any “ethnic Macedonians” in a region in which she would claim they formed the vast majority?
Want more of this? See these Posts:
Aleksovska’s False Claims
Stefov Vs Carnegie Commission
World History Atlas – Alexander’s Empire
The Identity of Macedonia
Albanians see no “Macedonian” will to solve name row
Tags: 1914 Carnegie Commission
, Alexander the Great
, american chronicle
, Ancient Macedonia
, Ernst Badian
, ethnic Macedonians
, eugene borza
, George Finlay
, shadow of Olympus
, stephen g. miller