Skopje historically had never been Macedonian

skopje - fyrom

Typical residents of modern Skopje (FYROM) : two Albanians and a cop.

– Ancient Scupi (modern Skopje), initially a Paeonian settlement, was founded in early antiquity near Axios (Vardar). It became the Capital of ancient Dardania, hence it was not part of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon.

Dardanians were racially, a totally unrelated people to Ancient Macedonians and belonged probably to the Illyrian Group [1] . They could be described as natural Enemies of ancient Macedonians since their relation is characterised by continuous Dardanian incursions in Macedonian territories and wars against Macedonians.

Philip II defeated the Dardanian king Bardyllis and won the whole country up to the Lychnidos lake which long remained the frontier between Macedon and the Illyrian Lands.

– In the aftermath of Roman Conquest of the Dardanian Skupi, it is worth noting that the town was included in the Roman Province of Moesia Superior. Later when a new province was extracted based on the people who inhabited it, namely Dardania, Scupi became its administrative center. In the Roman Period, Skupi (Skopje) was not Part of Macedonia either.

– During Byzantine era, much of the Early Medieval period, the town was contested between the Byzantines and the Bulgarian Empire. From 972 to 992 it was the capital of the First Bulgarian Empire. After that, it was a capital of Byzantine administrative region (katepanat) Bulgaria after the fall the First Bulgarian Empire in 1018.

– After Scupi’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. Akropolites, ed. Heisenberg, 78, Zlatarski, III, 435).

 Much later, in the middle of 13th century, 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. Again during these centuries, Skupi mostly was a Bulgarian capital with no relation to Macedonians and Macedonia.

– The Expansion of the Serbian Empire found Skupi on Serbian hands. Under the last Serbian Emperors of the Nemanja Dynasty, particularly Stephan Duros III Dusan (1331-1355), Skupi served as the capital the Serbian State.

– During Ottoman era Skopje was captured by the Ottoman Pasha Yigit (1392). The city, which took the name Uskub by the Ottomans, was subjected to a systematic settlement of Turkic people after the conquest.[..]As the Turkish historian, Mehmet Inbasi [2], notes : “It is, however, obvious that Ottoman conquests were made to settle there, which were not just temporary adventurous or marauding movements.”

– The Muslim colonization, fully analysed in Anatolian Elements and Identification among Skopje’s inhabitants during 15th and 16th century, consisted of Turks and Turkic people arriving from Asia Minor and Anatolia. The intense Albanian colonisation started from the end of the 18th century throughout the first half of the 19th century and from that time to a lesser degree to the end of Ottoman rule.

The estimated population of Uskub (Skopje) between 1455 and 1569 was:

skopjepopulation Anatolian Elements and Identification among Skopjes inhabitants during 15th and 16th century


A table with numbers making explicit the population of Skopje during 19th cent.

skopje19thcent Anatolian Elements and Identification among Skopjes inhabitants during 15th and 16th century


– Its indicative that Uskub (Skopje) for centuries was an ordinary Turkish city.The vast majority of Skopje’s inhabitants were predominantly Ottoman Muslims who identified themselves, mainly as Vardarians, Albanians, Turkomans, Karamanlis, Kurds but never as Macedonians.

Map - Skopje out of Macedonia

During the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, the Slavs of the city of Uskub identified themselves and were identified by others simply as Bulgarians, speaking a Bulgarian dialect. [3]

The literary sources are explicit about the Bulgarian character of the city’s Slavic element. (See related article Population of Skopje Through History – Contemporary Sources.)

From all the sources, we are becoming receivers of the same message. Historically, Skopje has nothing Macedonian on it. FYROM is a newly-emerged country which permanently exports problems, historical falsification and instability to its neighboring countries. FYROM’s Slavs should stick to their Slavic/Bulgarian History and leave the Macedonian history to its rightful owners – the Greeks.

[1] Strabo considers Dardanians as Illyrian people, while a large amount of modern scholars place them in the Thracian-Mysic Balkan Group.

[2] Mehmet Inbasi, “The city of Skopje and its demographic structure in the 19th century”

[3]  George h. Blakeslee, “The Journal of International Relations”

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