Skopje had a Predominately Greek Population During the 13th Century

After Skoplje’s conquest by Theodore of Epiros, it was constituted as a theme with a Greek bishop (Dem. Chom. no. XIV, col. 63; no. CXXXI, col. 536. Akrpolites, ed. Heisenberg, 78, Zlatarski, III, 435). But in 1230 it passed into the Bulgarian Empire of John Asen, his son Kaliman, and its appointed governor was the PanSebastos sebastos Pribo (or Primpos) . In 1246 it was briefly incorporated in the Empire of Nicaea, before being taken over by Constantin Tich of Bulgaria.

By the end of the century it had become a Serbian city. But for all these vicissitudes some Greek families retained their influence and prosperity in the area. This is clear from the text of the chrysobull granted by Stephen Milutin to the Monastery of St. George Gorgos near Skoplje in 1299 - 1300, where mention is made of Greek as well as Bulgarian pronoiars. Bulgarian and Greek family names who can be found are: Dragotas, Manotas, Ljutovoj (Litoboes), Ma(n)glavit(es) Akropolit(es) and others.

Addtionally, the Ethnographer Fraenkel mentions in his Demographic study of Skopje during Dusan’s reign:

Scholars fom pre- and post-war Yugoslavia, as well as European and American authors, concur that Skopje’s population under Dusan was Greek, although the origin of this populace is omitted from most of their discussions. One Theory (Deroko 1971:6) attributes the presence of Greeks in Skopje to Basil II’s colonization policy following the defeat of Tsar Samuel in 1081. Considering Skopje’s negligible importance to Byzantium and its limited develoment under Milutin and Stefan Decanski, it is at best arguable that a significant number of Greeks would have inhabited Skopje prior to Dusan’s reign. “

Among the Authors who assert that Skopje’s population was predominately Greek are Kostic (1922), Jirecek (1952), Temperley (1969), Deroko (1971), Obolensky (1971) and Vacalopoulos (1972)

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