Macedonian names and makeDonski pseudo-linguistics: The case of the names Delius and Delus

Miltiades Elia Bolaris
June 19, 2009

Balkan Illusion – phantasia archaica:

“…it is very interesting to note that many of the authentic ancient Macedonian words, according to their etymology and pronunciation, have a striking resemblance to the appropriate words used in the modern Macedonian language (and other so called “Slav”[sic] languages)”…”Del(us). The verb “dela” (to work) exists in the so called “Old Slavic language”[sic], as well as in several present day “Slavic languages”[sic]. The name “Dele” is present in todays’ Macedonian onomasticon”. From: “Similarities between ancient Macedonian and today’s’ Macedonian Culture (Linguistics and Onomastics)” by Aleksandar Donski, celebrity “historian” and propagandist from FYROM.

Delus and Delios /Δηλιος

The Homeric Hymns are celebratory poems that were recited and sung in religious ceremonies by priests and bards of ancient Greece. Each of them celebrated the epiphany of a particular God or Goddess and his or her attributes. Most of them were written in the Archaic age of Greek history, between the ninth and the fifth century BC. Their language and meter (dactylic hexameter) are in the traditional epic style and dialect of Homer´s Iliad and Odyssey. The ancient Greeks, the historian Thucydides among them, believed that they were actually composed by Homer himself. One of these, Homeric Hymn #3, was written in praise of Phoebos Apollo, the Delios / Δήλιος, the God born οn the Cycladic island of Delos / Δηλος. Here are a few lines of this Hymn:

Εἲς Ἀπόλλωνα Δήλιον

To Apollon Delios

μνήσομαι οὐδὲ λάθωμαι Ἀπόλλωνος ἑκάτοιο,

ὅντε θεοὶ κατὰ δῶμα Διὸς τρομέουσιν ἰόντα…

I ‘ll remember and shall not let out of my mind Apollo the far shooting,

whom the Gods going about the house of Zeus are terrified of…

χαίρει δέ τε πότνια Λητώ,

οὕνεκα τοξοφόρον καὶ καρτερὸν υἱὸν ἔτικτε.

χαῖρε, μάκαιρ’ ὦ Λητοῖ, ἐπεὶ τέκες ἀγλαὰ τέκνα,

Ἀπόλλωνά τ’ ἄνακτα καὶ Ἄρτεμιν ἰοχέαιραν,

τὴν μὲν ἐν Ὀρτυγίῃ, τὸν δὲ κραναῇ ἐνὶ Δήλῳ…

and joy comes to lady Leto

for she gave birth to a mighty son and an archer.

Rejoice, oh blessed Leto, for you gave birth to glorious children,

Apollo the lord and Artemis the arrow happy;

her in Ortygia, and him in rocky Delos…

Ομηρικος Υμνος #3 / Homeric Hymn #3

Apollo was the God of prophecy, of oracles and medicinal healing (he was called Alexikakos/from: “αλεξ/alex”+”κακός/kakos” = defender against evil) protector of children and protector from plagues. He was the patron God of the arts, of music and poetry and for these artistic attributes he was called Apollon Mousegetes/Ἀπόλλων Μουσαγέτης (Leader of the Mousai). Apollon was one of the most popular Gods of the Greek pantheon with innumerable temples throughout the Greek world. The most important sanctuaries were the oracle at Delphoi and the sacred island of Delos. Delos, according to Greek mythology, was the birthplace of the twin Gods Artemis and Apollo. Their mother Leto, having become pregnant by Zeus, was banished and was being chased by Hera, Zeus’ jealous wife. Poseidon directed her to Delos, a new island that suddenly “appeared” out of the sea, and where she was able to give birth.

The small Aegean island of Delos has been inhabited since the third millennium BC. Delos became a religious center of great importance to the Ionians, early on (1000 BC). Its name is etymologically derived from the verb deloo/δηλόω, to appear, to declare, to manifest. It was named so because it “manifested” itself, it became “visible” to Leto (but not to Hera) [Arist. Fr.488, EM264.22]. Delos/Δήλος is the “manifest” island, the “visible” one. Even in Modern Greece when someone goes to the police, the tax authorities or to the municipality to declare something, what he is signing is called a delosis/δήλωσις, a declaration. When something is obvious to the naked eye, modern Greeks say it is prodelos/πρόδηλος or prodelon/πρόδηλον, too apparent, using the same word Plato would have used, and in fact he did:

“περὶ δ´ αὖ μέθας τυραννεύσασα, τὸν κεκτημένον ταύτῃ ἄγουσα, δῆλον/delon οὗ τεύξεται προσρήματος·καὶ τἆλλα δὴ τὰ τούτων ἀδελφὰ καὶ ἀδελφῶν ἐπιθυμιῶν ὀνόματα τῆς ἀεὶ δυναστευούσης ᾗ προσήκει καλεῖσθαι πρόδηλον/prodelon.”

“and again, if the desire for drink becomes the tyrant and leads him who possesses it toward drink, we know what he is called; and it is quite clear what fitting names of the same sort will be given when any desire akin to these acquires the rule. The reason for what I have said hitherto is pretty clear by this time, but everything is plainer when spoken than when unspoken;”

Plato, Phaedrus, 238b / Πλἀτωνος, Φαίδρος, 238β.

The Athenians took possession of Delos in mid-6th century BC. A Pythian decree emanating from the oracle at Delphi (a competing religious center) ordered the Athenians to purify the island by removing all the graves and to forbid all deaths and births on the island.

After the defeat of the invading Persians and Medes in the Persian wars, by 478 BC, the Athenians organized the Delian League. This was a defensive organization against further incursions by the Persians. It was headquartered at Delos. Under the leadership of Pericles the great Athenian statesman, the funds of the Delian League were transferred in 454 BC to the Acropolis in Athens, helping finance the building activity of Classical Athens, including such buildings as Erechtheion, the Propylaea and the Parthenon.

During the late Hellenistic and Roman times, Delos saw its most prosperous times having been declared a free port that became the financial center of the Mediterranean and a great slave market place where up to10,000 slaves could be sold daily. Wealthy foreigners from as far as Rome, Syria, and Egypt lived in this cosmopolitan port, in complete tolerance of each other’s religious beliefs, and each group built its various shrines.

Delos was destroyed in 88 BC by the Greco-Persian king of Pontus Mithridates the Great-Eupator, who attacked and sacked the unfortified sacred island. Delos never fully recovered and it was eventually deserted. It is now a designated UNESCO World Heritage site and its extensive archaeological site is visited by admirers of the ancient Greek culture from around the world.

For September 1st, 2007, Alexander Onassis Public Benefit Foundation, had organized to present a major cultural event of music and ballet on the sacred island of Delos. It was to feature the Filarmonica della Scala and soloists of the Teatro alla Scala ballet from Milano. The event was to open with Igor Stravinsky’s “Apollo Musagète”, choreographed by George Balanchine, with the Italian dancer Roberto Bolle in the leading role. The second half of the event was to feature Gustav Mahler’s Sinfonia n. 1. The Filarmonica della Scala would be directed by Daniele Gatti. The event was appropriately named “Delios Apollon / Δήλιος Ἀπόλλων”. Due to the wild fires that ravaged Greece late that summer, Delios Apollon’s opening on the island of Delos was postponed and it eventually opened on September 3rd of 2007 at the Odeion of Herodes Atticus, by the Acropolis, in Athens (the ΔΗΛΙΟΣ ΑΠΟΛΛΩΝ/DELIOS APOLLON poster in the beginning of this article is from this event).

Being so popular a deity, it is not surprising that many Greeks took names that were derivatives of Apollon’s name:

Apellaios/Ἀπελλαίος, Apollodemos/Ἀπολλόδημος, Apollodotos/Ἀπολλόδοτος, Apollodora/Ἀπολλοδώρα, Apollocrates/Ἀπολλοκράτης, Apollophanes/Ἀπολλοφάνης, Apollonia/Ἀπολλωνία, ApollonidesἈπολλωνίδης, Apollonios/ Ἀπολλώνιος, Apollonis/Ἀπολλωνίς, and numerous others.

We also find “Apollonian”-related names like Pytheias/Πυθείας, Pytheides/Πυθείδης, Pytheios/Πύθειος, Pytheie/Πυθείη, and also: Delphias/Δελφιὰς, Delphis/Δελφίς, Delphikos/Δελφικος, Delphinia/Δελφινία etc.

Apollon and Artemis, having being born on the hill Cynthos/Κύνθος of Delos island, were both called Cyntians, Apollon Cynthios/Ἀπόλλων Κύνθιος and Artemis Cynthia/Ἀρτεμις Κυνθία. Centuries later, Cynthia became a popular name in the English word in its own right.

But since Artemis and Apollon were ofthey Del were also called the Delians: Delia Artemis/Δηλία Ἀρτεμις and Delios Apollon/Δήλιος Ἀπόλλων. The name Delios/Δήλιος was used as a common Greek name and a eponym throughout the Greek world.

As expected the name appears first of all in Delos. In the base of a statue we read:

IG XI,4 1211, Delos (IG XI and ID)

Ἀγόραλος Σαρπηδόνος Δήλιος ἐποίησεν.

Agorallos son of Sarpedon, a Delian (Delios) made it.

On another inscription from Delos, we read the names of people from Salamis, Knidos, Delos and Athens:

ID 2612

Delos (IG XI and ID)

— — ου Σαλαμίνιος

— — κ̣λείδου Δήλιος / Delios

— — μ̣άχου Κνίδιος

— — Νικ]ά̣νορος

— — — — Ξενοκλείδου Δήλιος/Delios

— — Διον]υ̣σίου Ἀθηναῖος

oy Salaminian

— — kleidou Delios

— — machou Knidios

— — son of Nik]anor

— — — — Son of Xenokleides Delios

— — son of Dion]ysios Athenaios

Once again from Delos:

ID 2598, Delos (IG XI and ID)

Ἀνδρέας Πειραιεύς,

Ἀντίγονος Δήλιος,/Delios

Μιλτιάδης Μαραθώνιος,

Andreas Peiraieus

Antigonos Delios

Miltiades Marathonios

A note should be made here concerning Greek names. Greeks had a first name but not a last name in the way modern Greeks and others do today. A person had his proper name and then there were three more names that could be attached to distinguish him from other people of the same name. The most usual was the patronym, the father’s name, which was enough to distinguish them in their neighborhood, clan or city.

We have Pericles Xanthipou/Περικλής Ξανθίππου/Pericles son of Xanthippos, or Alexandros Philippou / Αλέξανδρος Φιλίππου / Alexandros son of Philippos.

When a person’s fame surpassed the narrow confines of his city or area, he was also named after the city or the area they were from. Marsyas Pellaios/Μαρσύας Πελλαίος/ Marsyas of Pella or Pittakos Mytilinaios/Πιττακός Μυτιλιναίος/Pittalos of Mytiline. Occasionally a person would be given the name of the city or area they lived in for a long time, as in the example of the healer and founder of modern medicine Hippocrates of Cos, who was also named “Thessalos” because he lived the last years of his life in Thessaly.

Persons of great parentage could also be identified by the clan or family name they descended from. The Larissan aristocrats of the Aleuas/Αλευάς clan were collectively named Aleuadai/Αλευάδαι, and a powerful aristocratic clan in Athens was the Alcmaionidai/Αλκμαιονίδαι. Homer’s Mycenaean Menelaos/Μενέλαος and Agamemnon/Αγαμέμνων were both Atreidai/ Ατρείδαι, descending from the clan of king Atreus / Ατρεύς.

We will use as our example the name of the famous king of Macedonia, Philip II /Φίλιππος Β’, to highlight the different examples of Greek onomastics. Philip in the sources is alternatively mentioned as:

Philippos Amyntou/Φίλιππος Αμύντου/Philippos son of Amyntas and Philippos ho Makedon/Φίλιππος o Μακεδών/ Philippos the Macedonian.

Additionally, Philippos/Φίλιππος, Alexandros/Αλέξανδρος, Perdicas/Περδίκας, Amyntas/Αμύντας, and all other Macedonian kings before Cassandros/Κάσσανδρος/Cassander were all collectively known as belonging to the Royal family of the Argeiadai/ Αργειάδαι, indicating their clan’s common descent from the city of Argos. Alternatively they were also known as Temenidai, from the Argive prince Temenos/Τέμενος who established the Argaead/Temenid Macedonian dynasty. Because of this, Philip was additionally known also as:

Philippos Temenides/Φίλιππος Τεμενίδης or Philippos Argaeades/Φίλιππος Αργειάδης.

Since I mentioned Philippos ho Makedon, I must clarify here that when the Greeks called someone a Sicilian, a Theban, a Macedonian or an Ionian what they indicated was the place of his birth, the place of his long time residence or his tribal affiliation.

In the 21st century, when some history revisionists from FYROM says “Aleksandar Makedonski”/”Александар Македонски”, what they they paint in their nationalistic-tainted fantasy is an imaginary “Aleksandar/Александар” who speaks in a Bulgarian-Slavic idiom, he considers the (ancient Thraco-Dardanian but later Serbo-Albanian) city of Skopje/Скопје as much a “Macedonian” city as Pella or Amphipolis. This Aleksandar Makedonski calls his sister Solun /Солунь/Солун, not Thessalonike/Θεσσαλονίκη and he hates Greeks with a burning Slavo-makedonski passion worthy of all the lost Balkan wars.

How much of this is historical accuracy and how much of it is acute hysteria is obvious only to people who never lived in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and its predecessor, Tito’s ethnic pet child, the Socialist Republic of Macedonia (Socijalistička Republika Makedonija Социјалистичка Република Македонија), and were never subjected to the ethnic doctrines of the pseudo-Makedonist school of historical falsification as practiced in Skopje since 1944.

The precedence of such a Procrustean historic-geographic travesty in the Balkan neighborhood already exists: some modern Turks, a nation whose original and ancestors came from the Mongolian steppes of east-central Asia more than two thousand years after Homer wrote his epics, shamelessly claim Homer/Όμηρος, the epic poet of Iliad and Odyssey, as being a proud Anatolian Turk. Homer was in truth Omer, a similar sounding Muslim name, they claim. This kind of outlandish claims, therefore, are not shocking or unheard of in that part of the world. Greeks are casually used by these hostile encroachments and claims on their rich cultural heritage by now, though they still shake their head in disbelief and laugh them off!

Unfortunately, when someone claims your culture they mean to claim more than that. When someone claims to have the property rights on the document of your house, they do not simply mean the piece of paper: they mean the land and the walls indicated in that piece of paper. When the inhabitants of ancient Paionia and Dardania, where FYROM is now claim to be Macedonians, the obvious conclusion is that they will next start screaming that you trespass on “their” Macedonian land.

Let us now return to our epigraphic documentation.

In Pella/Πέλλα, the ancient capital of Macedonia we find the name:

SEG 24:546

Macedonia:Bottiaia: Pella

Μάκαρτο̣ς Δήλιος

Makartos Delios

In the Macedonian island of Thasos / Θάσος we find another person named Delios:

IG XII,8 437

Northern Aegean (IG XII,8) : Thasos

Φίλιππος Φιλοκλέο̣[ς]


Philippos son of Philokles


Further south, in the central Greek island of Euboea, next to the Boeotian mainland, we read an inscription:

IG XII,9 29

Euboia (IG XII,9)





From the Greek city of Bouthrotos / Βουθρωτός, in north Epeiros, across from Corfu, in what is now southern Albania we locate this partial inscription:

I.Bouthrotos 67

Epeiros, Illyria, and Dalmatia

ος ἁμέραι κδʹ, ἀφίεντι ἐλευθέραν καὶ ἀνατίθεντι ἱερὰν τῶι Ἀσκλαπιῶι

ἀνέφαπτον Φιλουμέναν Πύρρος Δήλιος καὶ ὁ [ὑὸ]ς Ἄλκιμος· μάρτυρες [— — — —]

— —]ε̣νος, Καλλικράτης Φιλώτα, Φιλώτας Καλλικράτεος, Βοΐσκος Φαλακρίωνος,

os 24 days, being liberated and dedicated to the temple of Asclepios

the untouched Philoumena, Pyrrhos Delios and his son Alkimos, witnesses

being…[— —]enos, Kallikrates son of Philon, Philotas

son of Kalikrates, Boiskos son of Phalakrion,

In Eastern Anatolia, in Cappadocia, in modern eastern Turkey, north of Iraq, a Greek inscription reads:

Tit.Coman.Capp. 5,39, Cappadocia

Δειλιος [Ἀθ]-

η̣ναιδι Δε[ιλιου]

Deilios son of Ath-

enaidis Delios

From Bithyneia, which also lies in what is now Turkey, we find another inscription:

IK Klaudiu polis 120, Bithynia Δήλιος ζῶν

ἑαυτῷ καὶ Delios while still alive for himself and

Another partial inscription, this one from Athens mentions a man whose father was called Delios:

IG II² 1641b, Attica

— τέμενος ἀνεμίσθωσαν —

—λ̣ης Νικήνορος Δήλιος α—

—της δεκαετίας Θέολλ[ος —

— the shrine’s lease they renewed —

— les son of Nikenor Delios a —

— of the decade Theollos —

Probably the most famous man called Delios was a certain Ionian Greek, Delios the Ephesian/Δήλιος ὁ Ἐφέσιος/Delios from Ephesos. Part of his life he lived in Athens and he was an intellectual companion of Plato (ἑταῖρος Πλάτωνος). He was sent by the Greeks of Asia to Alexander (πεμφθεὶς πρὸς Ἀλέξανδρον ὑπὸ τῶν ἐν Ἀσίᾳ κατοικούντων Ἑλλήνων) the Great. This was probably at the Hellenic League council of Corinth in 336 BC, where Alexander was proclaimed Hegemon/Ἠγεμών =supreme Leader and Archistrategos/Ἀρχιστράτηγος=Marshall General of all the Greeks, just before he set on his Panhellenic campaign against the Persian empire. Delios was sent by the Asiatic Greeks as their ambassador and promoter of their policies, to “burningly” (διακαύσας) encourage (παροξύνας) Alexander to campaign against the barbarians (καὶ μάλιστα διακαύσας καὶ παροξύνας ἅψασθαι τοῦ πρὸς τοὺς βαρβάρους πολέμου) [Plutarch Moralia ,Against Colotes -1126 / Πλουτάρχου Ἠθικὰ, Πρός Κολότην – 1126].

With the exception of the Carian Miletos, whose Persian army resisted Alexander, all other Asiatic Greek cities opened their gates to him as their liberator. How did Alexander reward these cities for their “burning” encouragement and acceptance of his Panhellenic plans? He absolved all of the Asiatic Greeks from taxation. Only the Ephesians had to continue paying the taxes which they had paid hitherto to the Persian king. But now Alexander had these funds turned over and paid to the temple of Artemis/Αρτεμις which was considered by the Greeks to be one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. Alexander financed its rebuilding.

The Ionians in gratitude responded by proclaiming Alexander a living God:

Inscription for new statue of Theos Alexandros; 2/3; found

at Bargylia: LW 490; OGIS 3;

IIasos 620

Bargylia 13




ἡ πόλις


To God


the city


Incidentally, while the destruction of the Central Greek city of Thebes is used by Skopje revisionists as “proof” that Macedonians were not Greeks (for how would they hate their own kind so much, goes their arguments, as to destroy such a historic Greek city) the fact is that whether Greek or Barbarian, anyone resisting Alexander had to pay with total submission. At any rate, the Macedonian king Cassander/Κάσσανδρος a few years later rebuilt Thebes, because it was in the best interests of his state at the moment. Political considerations can not and should not be used as proof of ethnic identification. The fact that the Yankees put Atlanta to the torch does not make the Yankees any less American than the rebel confederates. And the fact that during the Spanish Civil War Generalissimo Franco invited Hitler to bomb and destroy the Republican-held Spanish town of Guernica, does not make the Falanguists any less Spaniards (let us not even forget that Franco’s side, the “nationalist” fascists made extensive use of Muslim Moroccan troops against their Spanish “brothers”, all in defense of the Spanish fatherland and the Catholic church!). Politics are one thing, ethnic identification is another. Finally, if Alexander was not Greek for having destroyed Thebes, then how much more Greek was he, for having been deified and worshiped as a living God by the grateful Ionian Greeks for liberating them from the Persian yoke?

We move on now and we take a look at a few more instances of documentation of the name Delos, starting with a Roman era Latin Inscription. This incsription was found in the Dardanian city of Scupi in Moesia Superior. It is now the modern city of Skopje/Скопје, in Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Its modern inhabitants (of Albanian, Serbian and Bulgarian-descent) claim and honestly believe that their city is indeed capital of a “Macedonia”.

Let us read the inscription:

Regions : Upper Danube : Moesia Superior IMS VI 143

Moesia Sup. (SE) — Scupi (Skopje): Gorno Solnje — late 1st c. AD

Posís Mes-

tylu f(ilius) Fl(avia)

Delus Mu-

cati f(ilia) dom(o)


ịp̣ṣạ Ḍẹḷụṣ

— — — —]


Mestylus, son, Flavia

Delus daughter of


from Albanopolis

Delus herself

We know that this was the tomb of a man called Posis and a lady named Delus, daughter of Mucatis. Flavia was her Latin name, and that means that she was from a family of Roman citizens. For our purposes we will leave Flavia out of our concern, since this is clearly a Latin name.

The other names mentioned are: Mestylus, Posis, Mucatis and Delus. Two of these names are for sure not Greek. Posis is borderline: it might be either Greek or a Thracian cognate of the Greek potis/the lord (the name Poseidon is derived from it, as does despotis/δεσπότης/despot and Despoina/Δέσποινα). We also are also tempted to consider as Greek the name Delus, because of its phonetic similarity to Delos/Δήλος and Delios/Δήλιος, but we have to investigate this further. A possibility exists that it was indeed the Latinized version of Delos, the name of the island. This tombstone was found in Scupi, so it is not impossible. There were hardly any Macedonians up there in the land of the mortal enemies of Macedonia, the Dardanians/Δαρδάνιοι, but then, many things were changed by the Roman times, when all the Balkan peninsula became part of the Roman empire. In reality, most of the epigraphy found at the city of Skopje/ancient Scupi is predominantly Latin rather than Greek, while in Macedonia, further south the exactly opposite is the case: only a fraction of the inscriptions are in Latin, all the epigraphy in Macedonia is Greek. The only shade of doubt is the fact that it is the name of a female, which in both Greek and Latin would be Delia/Δηλία.

We will investigate all the names: Mucatis or Mukatis is clearly a Thracian name. Ivan Duridanov, the Bulgarian Thracologist tells us that:

“The Thracian word muka-s ´clan, generation´ is also present in a number of two-component names : Mukaboris, Mukabur, Mukaburis – ´man (son) of the clan´.: Muka-kakaes, Muka-tralis, Muka-zeras, Muka-kenthos, Muka-poris, Muka-zenis. The elimination of the second component led to other Thracian names: Mukas, Mukos, Muka (Muca), Mokas, Moca, Mokkas, Mokkos, Mokkus. Also Mukazeis, Mukases, Mucasis, Mukasos, Mukala(s), Muccala, Mucalus.” and he adds the names: “Mokasokos – ´girl (daughter) of the clan´. Mukaboris, Mukabur, Mukaburis – ´man (son) of the clan´.”

Ezikyt na Trakite (The Language of the Thracians) by Ivan Duridanov., Sofia, 1976

Mestylus, despite its Latinized ending is also a Thracian name, and there is a toponymium surviving in the name of the village of Meste/Mέστη, in the province of Thrace in Greece, not far from modern Komotine/Κομοτινη.

Delus, as we mentioned earlier, at first sight seems like the Latinized version of the name of the sacred island of Apollon, Delos: Delus in Latin. But we also need to be open to the possibility that since it was found in Moesia Superior, in the land of the Dardanians, this should lead us to suspect that it is probably a local Thracian or Illyrian name, especially being the name of a female which does not correspond grammatically to Greek and Latin.

We will open a parenthesis here: Who were the Dardanioi? They were an ancient Balkan tribe whom the Geographer Strabo considered to be Illyrians, enemies of and not in the least related to the Macedonians:

τοῦτο δὲ καὶ τοῖς ἄλλοις ἔθνεσι τοῖς ταύτῃ συνέβη· οἱ γὰρ πλεῖστον δυνάμενοι πρότερον τελέως ἐταπεινώθησαν καὶ ἐξέλιπον͵ Γαλατῶν μὲν Βοῖοι καὶ Σκορδίσται͵ Ἰλλυριῶν δὲ Αὐταριᾶται καὶ Ἀρδιαῖοι καὶ Δαρδάνιοι͵ Θρᾳκῶν δὲ Τριβαλλοί͵ ὑπ΄ ἀλλήλων μὲν ἐξ ἀρχῆς͵ ὕστερον δ΄ ὑπὸ Μακεδόνων καὶ Ρωμαίων ἐκπολεμούμενοι.

Στράβων Γεωγραφία 7.5.6

7.5.6 ……And this is what befell the rest of the peoples in that part of the world; for those who were most powerful in earlier times were utterly humbled or were obliterated, as, for example, among the Galatae the Boii and the Scordistae, and among the Illyrians the Autariatae, Ardiaei, and Dardanii, and among the Thracians the Triballi; that is, they were reduced in warfare by one another at first and then later by the Macedonians and the Romans.

Strabo, Geography 7.5.6

Where exactly is Dardania? Strabo continues:

τῆς Δαρδανικῆς͵ ἣ συνάπτει τοῖς Μακεδονικοῖς ἔθνεσι καὶ τοῖς Παιονικοῖς πρὸς μεσημβρίαν

Στράβων Γεωγραφία 7.5.7

the Dardanian country, which borders on the Macedonian and the Paeonian tribes on the south,

Strabo, Geography 7.5.7

Looking at a historic map of the Balkans during the Roman times, we can see where Dardania, Paeonia and Macedonia are located. We immediately notice that Scupi is in Dardania which in turn is part of what the Romans called Moesia Superior. That area is now Kossovo and northern FYROM. Dardania is north of Paeonia (now central and SE FYROM), east of the rest of Illyria (now in Albania and Montenegro, for its southern part) and west of Thrace (now, and for that part, Bulgarian). The city of Scupi was the main city of Dardania.

Paeonia/Παιονία was just south of Dardania, and if we follow the Axios/Ἀξιός river, starting from south and going north, we find the cities of Idomene/Ἰδομένη, Antigoneia/Ἀντιγόνεια, Stobi/Στόβοι and Bylazora/Βυλαζώρα. Stobi and Bylazora were the most famous and largest of the Paeonian cities. Beyond them, we cross into Dardania and we reach its capital, ScupiΣκούποι, now Skopje/Скопје.

If we take the Axios river (now called Vardar in FYROM, and still called Axios when it flows in Greece) going south, we move into Macedonia, the historic Macedonia. I distinguish these from the places which the Macedonians possessed at some point or another. Paeonia, for example, is not Macedonia, though starting from the late fifth century down to the Roman conquest it was part of the kingdom of Macedonia, but it still had its own nominal kings who were vassals of the Macedonian kings at Pella. Paeonia is not the same as the Macedonian heartland itself.

While to us these might be simply names on an ancient map, the ancient people were very aware of these borders, which were cultural and linguistic as much as ethnic, irrespective of who controlled them politically at any time.

Skopje today claims the title of “capital of Macedonia”. Let us read what the official website portal of Grad Skopje/the City of Skopje has to tell us about the ancient geography and history of Scupi:

“Actual evidence and records of the Skopje region date from the IV century B.C. According to some scholars, the Paions initially settled the town. In the III century BC, Skopje and the surrounding area was invaded by the Dardans. It is believed that these people lived off primitive land cultivation and cattle breeding. Today, science has a relatively vague idea about the Dardanian art. However, the expansion of ancient Macedonia during the time of Philip II of Macedonia and Alexander III of Macedonia throughout the then known world certainly had positive influence on Dardania, which is confirmed by the tomb plate found on the Skopje fortress.”

Let us follow here what we just read: First it was the Paionians, in the 4th century BC. Then the Dardanians came in the 3rd century, and finally, Macedonia’s expansion during Philip II and Alexander III in the 4th century BC, one century BEFORE the appearance of the Dardanians, “had positive influence on Dardania”! It is such a hard thing being a history falsifier and being consistent at the same time…

Then we hear that the city that today claims to be the “capital of Macedonia”, “Scupi assumed a special role in the Roman Empire. Being a part of the Roman prefecture Illyricum, Scupi was latinized, especially through the colonization of Roman veterans from the VII legion.” We read correctly, and it is in fact accurate that: Scupi “was part of the Roman prefecture Illyricum”. And during Constantine’s time: “From the Moesia Superior, a new province was extracted, Dardania, with Scupi as the administrative center.” Further down in the same website we read that in 518AD “…in the “Chronicle” of Marcellinus Comes – he wrote that an earthquake struck Dardania, destroying “24 castels”, among which the episcopal see, Scupi.” Again, we are in Dardania, not in Macedonia, and in Dardania, several years later “the death of emperor Justinianus I was soon followed by the unstoppable migration of the Slavic tribes to the Balkan Peninsula, who settled there forever. The town of Scupi is believed to have been settled by a tribe called the Berziti (Brsjaks), who gave the contemporary name to this town – Skopje.”

One then wonders, why do the grandchildren of the Slavic speaking Brsjak tribes feel so ashamed of their progenitors and refuse to call their country Brsjakia or at least Dardania, and insist on being identified with the Greek speaking Macedonians and want to call it Macedonia?

A well meaning outsider could naively point out that in the map of “Greater Macedonia” that the modern Dardanians/Brsjaks produce ( ), Skopje is shown as a city in “Macedonia”, which must mean that by the Ottoman times Skopje must have been in Macedonia, if not the historic, ancient one, then in Ottoman Macedonia. A look at a map of the Ottoman province of Kosovo ( ) will convince him that the northern half of today’s Yugoslav “Macedonia” was part of Kossovo, during the Ottoman empire, and only a small part of it in the south, was considered “Macedonia” even by the Turks. What was the capital of Kossovo Vilayet? You guessed it: Uskub/Skopje!

So, if not Dardania, or Brsjakja, instead of demanding a compromise with the Greeks on a name such as “Northern Macedonia”, then maybe should someone suggest that they consider the name “South Kossovo”? I am only throwing an idea here.

Let us return to the original inhabitants of Scupi: the Dardanians may or may not have been related to the Trojan Dardanians from whom the straights of Dardanelles got their name. The Greeks thought that they were related but had fallen into barbarism after some of them moved into their new home in the central Balkans. Strabo thought well of them for their musical talents, but not much else, unfortunately:

ἄγριοι δ΄ ὄντες οἱ Δαρδάνιοι τελέως͵ ὥσθ΄ ὑπὸ ταῖς κοπρίαις ὀρύξαντες σπήλαια ἐνταῦθα διαίτας ποι εῖσθαι͵ μουσικῆς δ΄ ὅμως ἐπεμελήθησαν ἀεὶ χρώμενοι καὶ αὐλοῖς καὶ τοῖς ἐντατοῖς ὀργάνοις. οὗτοι μὲν οὖν ἐν τῇ μεσογαίᾳ· μνησθησόμεθα δ΄ αὐτῶν καὶ ὕστερον.

Στράβων Γεωγραφία 7.5.7

the Dardanians are being so utterly wild that they dig caves beneath their dung piles and live in there, but they care for music, always making use of musical instruments, both flutes and stringed instruments. However, these people live in the interior, and I shall mention them again later.

Strabo, Geography 7.5.7

Anyone who has visited the ancient sites of Macedonia, in Pella, Aegai, Thessaloniki, Dion, Philippoi or Amphipolis, to name a few, and has seen the magnificence of their palaces, royal tombs, theaters and temples can attest that this is not how the Macedonians lived. Any visitor to the museums in the aforementioned sites or cities will know that the sophistication of the Macedonians exclude them from any relation to the dunk-caves-dwelling Dardanians.

Closing our Dardanian parenthesis, we remind ourselves that although Delus sounds like the Greek name Delos: Delus in Latin, we must consider the possibility that it was a local name. Was there such a name among illyrians or Thracians of Dardania, in Moesia Superior?

The British historian John Wilkes in his well documented book about “The Illyrians”, tells us that such a Thracian name was indeed common in these lands:

“…The Thracian names include: Auluporis, Auluzon, Bithus (three examples), Celsus (two examples), Celsinus, Cocaius, Daizo, Delus, Dida, Dinentilla , Dizas, Dizo (two examples) …”

J. Wilkes The Illyrians, 1992, page 86

Delus was probably quite a common Thracian name among the Dardanians, since a second inscription was found in Scupi / Skopje, with the name Delus showing up in the same tombstone inscription along with another Thracian name, that appears on J. Wilkes’ Thracian name list among Dardanians: the name Bithus.

Moesia Superior, IMS VI 99

Moesia Sup. (SE) — Scupi (Skopje): Sindjelić

LXX h(ic) s(itus) e(st).

Delus coiux {coniunx}

et Bitus {²⁶Bithus} f(ilius) Cesu-

nis{Cesonis} heres bene merit(o)

f(aciendum) c(uraverunt).

70 here lies

Delus, married

to Bitus (Bithus). Their son Cesu-

nis {Cesonis} a well deserving heir

had this tombstone done

Delus, the name found on the Roman inscriptions in Skopje, was the name of a Thracian female, quite common, apparently, among Thracian speaking Dardanians of Scupi, the major city of Roman-era Dardania.

It is obvious that the Thracian female name Delus has no connection to the Greek name Delios/Δήλιος, which is a masculine name connected with the worship of Apollon, (or Delia, associated with Artemis) derived from the name of the sacred island of Delos/Δήλος. Delios/Δήλιος is a name attested throughout the Greek world, from Macedonia (Pella and Thassos) and Athens, to the Aegean islands and from Cappadocia to the Ionian coast.

The name Dele, which professor Donski claims “is present in todays’ [Slavo]Macedonian onomasticon”, has no connection with antiquity whatsoever. It is obviously derived from the Turkish word “deli” meaning “crazy”. In all the Balkan countries that have been through the centuries-old Turkish occupation we find “deli-for-crazy” derived names. In Greece there are names like Deles/Crazy, Deliyiannis/Crazyjohn, Deligiorgis/Crazygeorge, etc. In Bulgaria we find Deliov/Crazyson (son of the crazy man), in Serbia and Bosnia Delinovic/Crazyson (son of the crazy man), Delimirkovic/Crazymirko’s son, etc. In Fyrom you can find the name Deliovski/Crazyson(son of the crazy man), Deliivanovski/Crazyjohnson, Delidimitrovski/Crazydimitri’s son, etc. In the Albanian,Turkish and Slavic Muslim minorities of the former Yugoslav republic of Makedonija we also encounter deli-for-crazy-derived names such as Delihusein/Crazyhusein, Deliahmet/Crazyahmet, etc.

There is therefore absolutely zero connection between these fairly modern (post Ottoman occupation) names and the ancient (Roman era) Thracian Delus which was used, as shown above, in ancient Dardania, or the ancient Greek Delios, that was used, among other places, in ancient Macedonia.

Attempting such a claim which is a long leap away from history or linguistics, is unquestionably not a simple honest mistake: not for a self proclaimed professor of History, anyway, even (and especially!) in the Balkans. It is rather a clear indication that our dear professor is actively engaged in History falsification, creating pseudo-makedonist myths utterly disconnected from reality; myths in the service of ethnic propaganda for the “Makedonist” establishment and the political regime of Skopje that draws its power from the use of such pseudo-history and pseudo-linguistics.

The first victim of propaganda, as they say, is Truth. Aleksandar Donski, it seems, has long ago severed his ties with the later.

Source: California Chronicle

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