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Macedonians mentioned in Mauro Orbini’s “The Kingdom of the Slavs”, 1601!


Title page of Mauro Orbini’s book from 1601.

“This Privilege, as we have said, was found after so many centuries in Constantinople by certain Julio Baldasar, a royal secretary. So, the name that is mentioned here – Slavs, Apian from Alexandria in “Iliricum”, calls these Agrians well-known and famous, and that is exactly what the word “Slavs” or “Slovenes” means.

The town of Agria situated in Dakia was founded (according to Bonfinio in the 1st book of 1 Dec.) by these Agrians who lived (according to Stephan the Byzantine) in the areas between the mountains Emos and Rodopies, near Macedonia. Macedonia however, was continually colonized by the Slavic nation and new-comers from Tyre, even though some thought that the Macedonians belonged to the society of the Greeks. To oppose them, I bring the opinion of Stephan the Byzantine about Alexander the Macedonian, who very clearly differs the language of the Macedonians from the language of the Greeks.

From this it can be clearly seen that Macedonian speech couldn’t be understood by all participants of Alexander’s army, because a great part of it consisted of Greeks. And truly, when Alexander told to Philota, the son of Parmenion, who wanted to expound his personal matter to the crowds: “The Macedonians oh, Philota, will condemn you; therefore I ask you, will you address them on your maternal language”, and Philota refused to do so, because he would not be understood by all. Then Alexander stated that Philota hated his maternal language.


So, if Macedonians were Greeks, why would Philota refuse to speak Greek in front of the Greeks? And even more, having in mind that he did not have more appropriate language than the Greek, supposedly if Macedonians were Greeks. Because (as Plinius says it, book VII, chapter 57) the passive willingness of the people was the first reason for the usage of the Ionian literacy. So, the maternal language of the Macedonians, which differs from the one we think was the general language of the whole army of Alexander, clearly shows that the Macedonians do not belong to the Greeks; as it is known, out of the ancient unity of the language, the unity of the nationality is confirmed as well. According to it, when distinguishing the languages at Nembrot, none of the authors confirmed anything opposite; The Greeks through their language do not draw near to the Macedonians; and we have shown enough, based upon the mere difference between the languages, that the Macedonians are not Greeks; then based upon the words of Phillip of Bergamo, we must admit that the Macedonians from all times, up until nowadays have got a Slavic language. Well, what would you think about Tukidid, who by joining Byzantium and Pula, a large part of Trakia and Mezia, and the whole Iliricum, all of these countries calls Macedonia? It would be the same as if he had said: I reckon that Trakia, Mezia and Iliricum must not be separated from the Macedonians. Therefore, I don’t doubt that the Trakians, Mezians and Ilircs are bound together with Macedonians. A witness to that is the title of Alexander the Macedonian presenting him as the King of the Macedonians and Greeks. Much stronger witnesses are the basic differences in the customs and lifestyle between the Macedonians and Greeks allowing me to be easily convinced that there are different traditions and customs even among people of the same kindred. That is why, according to the telling of K. Kurtius, when Diosip of Athens had to fight chest to chest against Horata the Macedonian, there were some Greeks among Alexander’s soldiers who supported Diosip; but if Macedonians had been Greeks, why didn’t the Greeks give the same treatment to Horata the Macedonian, as they supported Diosip only because he was a Greek? Therefore, if sometimes mostly among the Barbarians, there is a saying that Alexander was Greek, it’s because they were most familiar with the Greeks, because of their past wars against the nations of East; therefore they considered all nations on West to be Greeks; something similar is happening nowadays, when Greeks together with Turks and all other nations from East consider all catholic nations to be Franks.

Jeremiah Ruso in “The Chronicles of Moscovia” clearly states that the Russians, meaning the Moscowians had the same language as the ancient Macedonians; and King Phillip, the father of Alexander the Macedonian was born among them, who (as Plutarch in “The life of Alexander”, Yustin in VIIIth book and Sabelik in the III book of “Eneida”, and others tell us) submitted the strongest towns in Greece under his laws, enslaved Greece (who until then had freedom) and through his glorious deeds reached the greatness of the most famous kings. His son Alexander the Macedonian expanded through the boundaries of the earth (according to the First book of Macabians, chapter 1), took the treasures of many people, even making the earth numb. After Alexander’s death, Macedonians governed all nations in the world as well as the Egyptians for 276 years” says Mauro Orbini.

From the book “The Kingdom of the Slavs” by Mauro Orbini, published in 1601, in Pezaro, page 168 – 171.

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