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GStojanov 03-02-2012 08:32 AM

New book: The Macedonians: Their Past and Present
Very interesting book. Don't miss it:


Bij 03-02-2012 07:45 PM

lol @ UMDs amazon store and at $70? Seriously!

and for those that do not support UMD, you can purchase the book at any of the retailers in the below link:

Niko777 03-02-2012 07:56 PM

Does anyone have more info on the author?

Bij 03-02-2012 07:58 PM

from amazon:

Ernest N. Damianopoulos has spent more than 50 years in academia and research. He has taught at several universities, including Colgate University and Indiana University Southeast, and spent a year as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Iowa. He has published more than 40 papers and articles in internationally recognized journals, including the Journal of Neuroscience, Journal of Neuroscience Methods, Behavioral Brain Research, and Psychological Review. The Macedonians is the result of special research and his interest in the question of Macedonian identity, stemming from the years he lived in Aegean Macedonia.

Niko777 04-20-2012 12:37 PM

I just got hold of this book, can't wait to read it

George S. 04-20-2012 06:05 PM

Managed to find this guys:Angus & robertson is selling it for $150 bucks what a ripp off.
Meet the Author
Ernest N. Damianopoulos has spent more than 50 years in academia and research. He has taught at several universities, including Colgate University and Indiana University Southeast, and spent a year as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Iowa. He has published more than 40 papers and articles in internationally recognized journals, including the Journal of Neuroscience, Journal of Neuroscience Methods, Behavioral Brain Research, and Psychological Review. The Macedonians is the result of special research and his interest in the question of Macedonian identity, stemming from the years he lived in Aegean Macedonia.

Table of Contents
Summary Overview: Some Historical Facts on the Ground * Statement of the Problem and Basic Questions * The Methodology of Ethnicity Research * Historical/Political Manifestations of the Macedonian Ethnic Identity
• Cognitive Self-Descriptor Evidence for a Macedonian Ethnicity
• Sociocultural Characterization of the Macedonian Ethnic Identity
• Components of the Macedonian Ethnic Identity: Genetic DNA Evidence
• Who the Macedonians Are: An Across Domain, Evidence-Based Answer
• Problems in Development of the Macedonian Ethnic Identity
• A General Ethnicity Model
• Appendix I: Reference to Macedonians in Lord Byron’s Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage
• Appendix II: Plates
• Appendix III: Survey/Questionnaire: Who the Macedonians Are

t Damianopoulos

October 10th, 2005

The central issue in writing about Macedonia is a simple one: Who are the Macedonians? This issue appears to be simple in that all one needs to do is to ask, according to current political science and anthropological methods of interview and self-report.That it is not, is, in a major way, the reason why it has not been resolved (Glenny, 1996) despite numerous efforts (Danforth, 1991,1995; Poulton, 1995; Shea, 1997). Tragically, it was this issue about the Macedonians at the dawn of the 20th century that was so simplistically handled which led to idea that there is no unique and separate Macedonian identity at all. The unfortunate consequence of this assessment was that for the outside world Macedonia would become a region instead of a new Balkan nation waiting to emerge. According to the best lights of the day, there were no Macedonians; and, therefore, there was no Macedonia as a nation waiting to break-off from the deteriorating Ottoman (‘sick man of Europe”) Empire as had the neighboring states, of Serbia (1815), Greece 1821) and Bulgaria (1878). In contrast, even a lowly Albania to the west at about the same period did manage World Power recognition and did emerge as a nation at the end of W. War I. Why not the Macedonians? They had already gone through a failed bloody revolt in the summer of 1903 and had carried-on an insurgency that continued sporadically until 1912. Moreover, unlike Albania and some of the other Balkan countries, the Macedonians had a glorious past. Surprisingly for this early date and in recognition of this past, Gladstone had declared for them, “Macedonia for the Macedonians.” Lord Byron had recognized them as well in his long poem “Childe Harold’s Pilgramage” Why then were the Macedonians set aside as a nation struggling for autonomy and independence from Ottoman rule and were never to receive outside assistance as did the new nations of Serbia, Greece, and Bulgaria? Worst of all, why did the international community accept the partition of Macedonia by her Balkan neighbors, Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece, in the absence of a plebiscite or any input from native Macedonians during the Post W. War I peace conferences in Paris? What were the peculiar characteristic features that led to such an overwhelming international denial and failure to assist at the birth of a new Balkan nation?

The assessment that there are no Macedonians was initially made by unsophisticated non-professionals as well as by more sophisticated professionals, by travelers, archeologists and humanitarians who had come to Macedonia in the early part of the 20th century to look into this unknown region of the Balkans and then report back home to their country and government. This was a particularly critical moment for the Macedonians as they were just awakening and the newly minted intellectual elite had first to consider the business of organizing a national struggle for autonomy and liberation from the Ottomans under conditions of utmost secrecy and security from the Turks, rival outside groups, sponsored by outside states, aiming to annex Macedonian territories and even, as one might expect in such a struggle, from their own town and village people. Critically for the outcome of the struggle, they could not establish who they were, ethnically, either for the outside powers or for themselves. They had just awakened from a long slumber under the 500 year Ottoman rule. They, were intellectually in no position to understand either the importance nor the complexity of the issue and the role it was to play in the arena of international World Power politics.

Among the first to consider this critical issue of identity and the most influential was the archaeologist Arthur J. Evans, who had already uncovered the Minoan palace at Knossos (Crete); but, importantly, had traveled throughout Macedonia. Next came H. N. Brailsford in the aftermath of the failed ‘Ilinden’ revolt of 1903 to bring to Macedonian victims of widespread Turkish atrocities humanitarian aid. These self-made experts were all in agreement that there was no unique and separate Macedonian identity on the singular basis of language/dialect spoken which at the time served as a well-established marker for ethnic identity. Earlier, this languistic criterion had worked well for the Serbian, Greek, Bulgarian and Albanian identities. However, in these first assessments, no thought was given to the possibility that, in the special case of Macedonia, language might perhaps be a mistaken indicator as is English in the British isles (i.e., for Scotland, Ireland and Wales). Since linguistic and historical continuity were the two pillars for achieving nationhood for Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria – leaving aside their own considerable efforts of constant struggle, sacrifice and wide-spread devastation – what had happened in Macedonia? Where was the difference?

Linguistically, the majority population, as observed by outside “experts,” spoke a Slav oriented dialect northward from the latitude of Salonica all the way to the Serbian and Bulgarian frontiers. In a southwestern direction, a small belt extending to the Epirus border spoke Greek as well as those in a southeasterly direction in the Chalkidike peninsula. Pockets of minority populations bordering on Epirus and Albania spoke an Albanian and/or Latin (Vlach) dialects. Interspersed throughout, were the Gypsies and the ruling Turks with their large country estates mostly dwelling in towns, enjoying, by now, the fruits of many centuries of occupation and rule over Macedonia. Thus, the first pillar to nationhood, a distinctive language, was nowhere. However, what was lost sight of in this multilingual Macedonian landscape was that the vast majority population spoke the same Slav-oriented dialect, called “Macedonian,” (an intermediate between the Bulgarian and Serbian languages) with linguistic features suggesting a linguistic adaptation to Slav (Bulgarian and Serbian) Empire rule just prior to the conquest by the Ottoman Empire. This, nonetheless, was never considered as a possible explanation for the Slav dialect in Macedonia. What was assumed in instead, was a large scale population displacement by incoming Slavs in the 7th and 8th centuries as the underlying basis and , thus, the break with the ancient Macedonians. Obviously then, one simple specific answer to what went wrong for the Macedonians, was that they could show no linguistic continuity with the ancient Macedonians as their language was Slav-oriented with no relation to the ancient Macedonian (or to the “koine” Greek of the Hellenistic and Byzantine Empire eras). As to the second pillar, the Macedonians could point to no modern pivotal events in their history as could the Serbians with their heroic epic battle at Kosovo Pole against the conquering Turks in 1354; or, in the case of the Bulgarians, their historical remembrance of migration from the Russian steppes into Bulgaria under their first ruler King Asparuch I or in the case of the Greeks, to a classical past. They had no history, no public memory of a Slav incursion into Macedonia and certainly, no mythology as to origin. Thus, for the outside world, in the absence a unique language and history, the Macedonians appeared to have no legitimacy in their national struggle for autonomy independence as they were seen, not as Macedonians, but as Bulgarians, Old Serbs or Bulgarophone/Slavophone Greeks to be legitimately claimed by the surrounding “mother” countries of Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria. The World Powers went along this mistaken path as their common interest centered on maintaining geopolitical balance regarding the Dardenelles (i.e., keeping Turkey in Europe; keeping the status-quo in Macedonia). The native struggle for autonomy and independence was relegated to a benign neglect with some international imposed palliatives about reforms within Turkish rule. The Great Powers, in one way or another, eventually did acquiesce to the Balkan power partition of Macedonia in 1913 and went on to support their own client states and helped them achieve a portion of Macedonia in the post W. War I peace conferences. What should never be ignored (but it has been ignored) is that alongside these developments, there was a national counter-struggle. The internal Macedonian political/military struggle toward autonomy and independence lasted through two World Wars, W War I and II, and continued for almost an entire century, as an opposing force against this overwhelmingly repressive international political and military strangle-hold before Macedonia could achieve even a modicum of international recognition. Nationhood and independence came late, after almost a century, in 1991 and only for the Vardar region of Macedonia (formerly of Yugoslavia). Portions of Macedonia remained still in Greece and Bulgaria. Internal voices for unification were held down in a futile hoped-for outside recognition that was not forthcoming. The European Community as well as the United States, even after a century-long struggle, hesitated in recognizing the new Balkan nation in deference to the European membership of Greece and its loyalty as a NATO ally. As a consequence, the world became well-versed in the Greek media version of events for the past history of Macedonia and wide currency was given in the media to their objections to the use of the name Macedonia as a proper name for their nation state (see Shea, 1997). Unfortunately, at this critical period, there was little to prepare the Macedonians for the intensified Greek as well international challenges to their identity when they attained their independence as a member state from the former Yugoslav Federated Republic in1991 having been from 1944-1991indocrinated by a prevailing south Slav culture. Indocrination into a south Slav culture relegated them to the status of Slav interlopers into Macedonia. After more than a decade there are, presently, no widely accepted answers to the basic question of their identity and the important question of their possible link to the ancient Macedonians.

The fog and mist that surrounds the modern Macedonians from the late 19th century to the present has similarly hung over the ancient Macedonians. Who were they? What was their ethnic identity? Surprisingly, even now more than two thousand years later, this has become a current cutting edge issue occupying both classical Greek scholars as well as historians of ancient Greece (e.g. Badian, Borza, Green, Hammond, Cartledge, 2004.) While the documentation on the ancient Macedonians is all secondary as the original historical sources have been lost (mainly the memoirs of Ptolemy and Aristovoulos), the sources available to us now are based on six Greek and Roman writers writing centuries after Alexander’s death relying on diverse but conflicting original sources (hence the modern search for Alexander). In the meantime, the accumulated historical wealth of material on the military exploits of the ancient Macedonians and Alexander’s generalship has completely overshadowed real creditable evidence as to who the ancient Macedonians were, ethnically, especially their language. While there is even a rich sociocultural lode regarding their customs and practices, their style of life their kings and royal family, the ancient Macedonians themselves left very few clues as to their ethnic identity and/or language. Their separate language and their absence from the surviving lists of Olympic champions (Badian, 1991) are the two pivotal markers pointing to a separate ethnic identity from the ancient Greeks. While, this last point needs to be underscored as being a critical starting point in the modern search for the Macedonian identity, in one respect, however, the modern and ancient Macedonians are alike. No one can say with any degree of assurance who they were then (e.g., Badian) or who they are now (e.g., Poulton, Shea). Only modern Greek and Bulgarian historians seem to have formulated settled answers to such questions.

The ancient Macedonians led by Alexander the Great conquered the known world of their time during the 4th century BC, beginning with Asia Minor, extending all the way to India including Egypt in Africa. Although culturally almost indistinguishable from the ancient Greeks, nonetheless, these military conquests by the Macedonians broke-up the sociopolitical barriers between the Greek City State and “barbarian” worlds to usher-in a new 'Hellenistic' era of universality based on the common Greek language ("koine") of the Hellenistic Empires of Alexander's successors. The release of huge treasures of stored gold in the capitals of the Persian Empire led to an explosive growth in commerce and economic development throughout the successor Hellenistic Empires. Recent renewed interest in these achievements has emphasized the uniqueness of the Macedonian character that facilitated this explosive increase in global economic interaction and to the modest level of mutual acceptance and recognition among the races and nations that followed at this early historical period (Bonnard 1961: 148; Borza 1990; Hammond 1991; Green, 1995).

If it can be successfully argued that the ancient Macedonians were unique and had an identity apart from that of the Greeks in the Greek City States, as recent scholarship seems to emphasize, then the basis for the current Greek claim that "to be Macedonian is to be Greek' (President Caramanlis addressing questions about the Macedonian identity) falls apart to allow for an inquiry into the possibility of a unitary modern Macedonian ethnic identity possibly linked to that of the ancient Macedonians of the classical period but apart from the modern Greek, Serbian or Bulgarian identities. Newer treatments have taken important steps in this novel and divergent historical/anthropological direction (e.g., Danforth 1991, 1995; Poulton 1995; Rossos 1991; 1994,1997; Shea 1997). Accordingly and alongside this new trend, the aim of the present work is to provide an answer to the perennial question of "who the Macedonians are;" through employment of a convergent methodology in which evidence sourced from multiple domains is integrated and focused on the single question of ‘who the Macedonians are.’ Keeping within the available evidence, the end result, a unitary non-Slav Macedonian identity linked to the ancient Macedonians based on critical surviving sociocultural evidence reaches only the level of a theory or, minimally, a hypothesis as there are many alternative interpretations of the numerous salient sociocultural sources of evidence as well as of the co-existing disputed historical accounts of Macedonia's recent and distant past, not to mention the subjective nature of interview self-reports (i.e., their questionable validity) on which anthropologists seem to rely on as evidence. As a theory/hypothesis, nonetheless, it does integrate the disparate evidence from the different domains into a single unifying conception. If nothing else, it recommends itself as the preferred interpretation on the basis of the well-recognized scientific principle of simplicity.

In the search for an answer to the identity question, it is well to look into the current world perspective on Macedonia as well that of the surrounding Balkan countries that partitioned Macedonia in 1912/13. Unfortunately, the current prevailing world view of Macedonia is that of a geographical Balkan region populated by a diverse number of internally contesting and contending ethnic groups who in one way or another have embroiled their Balkan neighbors into rivalry, conflict and war for almost the entire 20th century (Hammond 1991: 1-10; Poulton 1995). The emergence of an independent Macedonian state in 1991 in the aftermath of the failed Yugoslav state and the assertion of a Macedonian ethnicity, albeit a slav-Macedonian ethnicity, has exacerbated the conflicting claims and counterclaims as to just who the Macedonians are, especially by the partitionist neighbors Bulgaria, Greece who, overtly or covertly, oppose its existence as an independent entity. The dispute with Greece over the legitimacy of the name, ‘Republic of Macedonia,’ (recently accepted by the USA but not by the UN or the European Community) continues unsettled with a little chance for a solution as the Macedonians are willing to accept the loss of their territories but not their name.

Recent historical accounts have characterized Macedonia’s turbulent past as the source and basis for the term ‘Balkanization’ and as ‘History's Cauldron’, (Kaplan 1991: 92-104). In this same vein, James Pettifer (1992: 475-483) writes: "all Balkan territorial disputes have their mythologies: that of the Macedonian question is that of the most bloody, complex and intractable of all, in a small peninsula already well burdened" (p. 475). The intractability of the perennially unsolved Macedonian question as to who they are, of Macedonia as a region, and its recent disputed emergence as an independent state can be rightly attributed, however, to the existence of overlapping and conflicting official histories all based on the hugely mistaken underlying assumption as to indicators of ethnicity which tragically for the Macedonians were confined to one, namely, language and linguistic dialect (e.g, Evans 1903; Brailsford 1906/1971; Vacalopoulos 1973; Poulton 1995). This misplaced use of language as an indicator of ethnicity in this one special case in the Balkans at the turn of the 20th century is the basis for the present widely accepted alternatives as to who the Macedonians are; accordingly, they are, 'Slavophone Greeks, 'Bulgarian Slavs', 'South Serbs' or ' Slav-Macedonians' depending on the origin and point of view of the writer and country represented. Such conflicted labeling of the linguistic subgroups in Macedonia at the outset of the 20th century when the Macedonians were just emerging from a dark age period of Ottoman Turkish occupation to become aware of who they were, other than being Christians, served to mislead the world into thinking that, ethnically speaking, there are no Macedonians at all, but only Greeks, Albanians, Vlachs, Bulgarians, Slavs, Gypsies, Turks, etc (e.g., Evans, as cited in Anastasoff 1945: 35-37; Brailsford, 1906/1971). No attempts were made to look at other sociocultural indicators of ethnicity which would clearly point to another direction. Even present day Macedonian writers of the currently established Macedonian Republic refer to themselves as Slav-Macedonians when they write with precision (Chorovich, 1990; Stardelov, et al., 1993. It never occurred to them or to Arthur J. Evans, among others, that Macedonia might be a parallel example to that of Scotland where English is spoken but all other sociocultural indicators point to another direction; that is, to a non-English ethnicity in the case of Scotland, or, to a non-Slav ethnicity in the case of Macedonia.

Buttressing these alternative conceptions above of the Macedonian identity are the four official histories of Macedonia, all stemming from highly politicized, and selectively biased interpretations of a partial sampling of past events. Given a core conception as to who the Macedonians are, historical events are then interpreted accordingly and organized so as to fit the chosen core conception. Thus, recurrent vicious circles prevail in historical accounts of Macedonia's recent past and are on-going at present as the official histories are used to buttress a chosen core conception of the Macedonian identity although the same conception has already been used in the very selection and interpretation of the supportive historical evidence. This process characterizes the entire 20th century Balkan historical accounts of Macedonia even those of the Macedonian Republic and is, currently, still operative. Karakasidou (1994, p. 35) has cited Greek historians as being "profane advocates" on issues of national interest when they should instead function as "objective scholars" Such a comment applies to other Balkan scholars as well and by implication suggests an underlying vicious circle that leads to such unscholarly behavior. Thus, there is then an official Greek history of Macedonia, a Bulgarian, a Yugoslav/Macedonian as well as a Serbian version. Each of these historiographic traditions, as suggested, includes a definitive conception of the Macedonian identity as a central organizing concept of the relevant historical sources of evidence. Particular assumptions about the Macedonian identity are adhered to with an uncompromising tenacity accompanied by an equal measure of contempt for alternative conceptions (see Karakasidou 1993: 1-28; 1994: 35-61). Conflicting versions are recognized, but are seen as deliberate “falsifications” (Martis 1983); or, more neutrally, as reflecting a historical process of “ethnogenesis and mutation”(Kofos 1989: 229-267).

In the Greek version (Gounaris 1996: 409-426; Martis 1983; Kofos 1983; Kofos 1989: 229-267; Vakalopoulos 1991), the core assumption is that 'Macedonia is Greece' since all archaeological and historical documents of the ancient Macedonians point to a people who initially were on the periphery of the splendidly creative Greek cultural explosion during the classical Greek period but who subsequently were recognized as being of Hellenic ancestry as indicated by their official acceptance and entry into the Olympic games1. There is not now and there never was a separate Macedonian ethnicity - contrary to Roman and Slav historical traditions. Therefore, only the Greek-speaking Macedonians are Macedonian and there is no Macedonia outside of Greece. Slav-speaking Macedonians of the Macedonian Republic are pseudo-Macedonians who presently seek to usurp the ancient name, "Macedonia.” These Macedonians, in reality, are descendants of Slav hordes that came into the Balkan peninsula from the 7th - 8th centuries2 Furthermore, during the 500 year Ottoman Empire occupation, Macedonia became simply a nominal geographical region populated by Greeks, Albanians, Bulgarians, Gypsies and Turks as a consequence of movement of the many subject ethnic groups within the Ottoman occupied Balkans. Nonetheless, through post-World War I population exchanges, most non-Hellenic ethnic groups left Greek-Macedonia, so that only the Macedonia that is now in Greece truly constitutes Macedonia. The so-called Macedonian Republic just north of the Greek frontier is simply a troublesome pseudo-state that should, instead, be called “Skopia.”3 Moreover, although there is presently a Slav-Macedonian identity, ethnically the Slav-Macedonians are really “Bulgarians” as the Slav-Macedonian language/dialect is a west Bulgarian dialect (Andriotis 1991: 19-37). Here in this version, one witnesses the phenomenon of shrinking borders as the Macedonian border for Macedonia as a region, according to the Greek version above, lies not to the north in the Skopia region, as is generally recognized, but on the northern Greek frontier.

1 Alexander I and Philip II are the only two instances of Macedonian participation in the Olympics. The surviving lists of Olympian lists have no Macedonian champions

2 The same evidence of a Slav horde incursion for a Slav ethnicity of the Macedonians has also been used to conclude that modern Greeks might instead be of a Slav ethnicity as the Slav horde excursion reached as far down south as southern Greece (Falmerayer, 1922; Shea, 1997).

3 Vigorous efforts to impose this view on the world (especially, the name "Skopia") by Hellenic Republic political initiatives from 1991 - 1997 failed completely ( Shea, 1997).

As the language inscriptions found in tombs and other types of archaeological excavations invariably are all in the Greek language and, as Greek scholars tend to emphasize, are virtually identical to the Attic Greek of Classical Athens, they enthusiastically conclude that here finally is the objective evidence that shows the ancient Macedonians were of Greek ethnicity (e.g., Andronikos, 1984). As pointed out by Borza (1990), however, the problem that such scholarship overlooks is the distinct lack of a dialect difference. In short, how could the Macedonians 300 miles north of Athens show Attic Greek inscriptions unless Greek had been adopted as an official language of communication and as a language of sophistication in the Macedonian Royal Court. Language differences existed even within 100 miles from Athens; and, this is not surprising given the mountainous terrain and other geographic features contributing to local isolation. To then find no dialect differences so far north from Athens implies that this was not the native language of the local population. There was, therefore, another unwritten language; and, Greek language use was of an official nature. There are independent but indirect sources of evidence to support the assumption of a native Macedonian language (Badian, 1991)

Surprisingly, the Bulgarian version (Bozhinov and Panayotov 1978: 5-14) for the most part agrees with the Greek version, especially on the claim for a Bulgarian ethnicity of the slav-speaking Macedonians. It differs only on the line of demarcation of Macedonia. Instead of being far to the north of Salonica, it is in fact much closer to Mt. Olympus; i.e., closer to the Greek-speaking portion just south from Salonica to Mt. Olympus. With respect to shrinking borders, the Bulgarian claim is even more extreme than that of the Greek version, since in this version, not only there is no Macedonian ethnicity as such, but there is no Macedonia at all; only an extended Bulgaria. Not surprisingly, the portion of Macedonia that lies in Bulgaria is simply called the Pyrin region of West Bulgaria and the name Macedonia disappears completely.

The Bulgarian claims to Macedonia are largely based on the several early and late middle-age Bulgarian Empire occupations of Macedonia and on the unimplemented Treaty of San Stefano which concluded the Bulgarian War of independence from the Ottoman Turkish Empire in 1878 when the Bulgarians were assisted by the Russian Army in the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-1878 (Rossos, 1991. After participating in two disastrous wars aimed at regaining Macedonia based on these suppositions (World War I and World War II), Bulgaria today professes no territorial claims on Macedonia but does retain a claim to the Macedonian population of the Macedonian Republic (as well as those in Greece as being ethnic Bulgarians) and to the Slav-Macedonian language as being a West-Bulgarian dialect. Importantly, it also claims ownership of the modern Macedonian historical heritage and of the leaders of the turn of the century native (IMRO) Macedonian movement to liberate Macedonia from the Turks. Thus, between Greece and Bulgaria, the Macedonian heritage, ancient and modern, has been spoken for and contemporary Macedonians may wonder (or seethe in anger) at what is left for them to claim as their own. Unlike the Greek example, however, Bulgaria quickly recognized the Macedonian Republic in 1991 and presently maintains friendly political and economic relations. Nonetheless, intense sociocultural conflicts exist but are confined to historical claims and counterclaims about medieval and modern day periods with no apparent conflicting political overflow (Poulton, 1995; Shea, 1997).

The Serbian version is essentially the same as the Bulgarian version but the ethnicity claim on the Macedonians is that they are ‘Old Serbs’ who during the period of intermittent Bulgarian hegemony from the 9th - 14th centuries may have intermarried with Bulgarians. Nonetheless, the Slavs of Macedonia were an important component of the Medieval Serbian empire of Kral Stephen Dushan just before the Ottoman occupation and therefore, rightfully, the Macedonians should return back into the Serbian fold (Jovanovic 1941 as cited in Rossos 1994: 369-394). At least in the Serbian version there is no claim on the modern or ancient Macedonian heritage; thus, there is a lesser number of claims and counterclaims to the historical past. Generally there was, apparently, little conflict with Serbia as the Yugoslav Army pulled out peacefully from Macedonia following separation from the Yugoslav state between 1991 and 1992.

The Macedonian/Yugoslav Republic version (Chorovich 1990: 5-18; Ivanovski 1992: 56-59; Poliansky 1972; Stardelov, Grozdanev and Ristoski 1993) dates back to the formation of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia in 1944 based upon Marshall Tito's acceptance and recognition of a separate Slav Macedonian ethnicity. A well-known slavicist from Harvard University, Horace G. Lunt, in 1951 helped with the final codification of the grammar of the Macedonian language and has since argued successfully at international scholarly levels that it is a separate language from the closely related Serbo-Croatian and Bulgarian languages (Lunt 1952; 1959; 1986: 729-734). This development established the all-important linguistic basis for a claim to a separate Slav-Macedonian identity (see Bracewell 1991: 143-144) as well as a claim to the modern Macedonian historical heritage (which is being disputed by both Greek and Bulgarian scholars).

In this version of modern Macedonian history, the central organizing concept is that the Macedonian identity developed from an inferred fusion of the original Macedonian population with the allegedly incoming Slavs in the 7th and 8th centuries AD. Energetic efforts were made to historically document this inferred ethnic fusion, creating a new national myth of origin (see Kitromilides, 1989) for the dominant Slavophone Macedonian population of the Vardar Macedonia state. In this version, the historical beginning of the modern slav-speaking Macedonians is invariably linked to the Slav Emperor Samuil who held sway over both Medieval Macedonia and Bulgaria and thus created the first Slav-Macedonian state (Chorovich, 1990). Most historians, however, reject this claim and consider Samuil as a Bulgarian emperor of an early Middle-Age Bulgarian Empire (circa 1014) which included Macedonia. Exaggerated claims regarding the Slav-Macedonian dialect as being the language of slav translations of the bible which presently constitutes the Church Slavonic language common to all Slav Eastern Orthodox countries are similarly challenged by experts in the field especially by Bulgarian scholars (Lunt, 1986;1988).

Following the separation from the Yugoslav state in1991, the emphasis, however, briefly refocused on the ancient Macedonian ancestry with an uncompromising tenacity in total disregard of the widely accepted Greek hegemony over Macedonia's distant past (which is presently being challenged by modern writers - see Bonnard, 1961; Borza,1990; Hammond,1991). The adoption of the 16-ray burst-sun emblem of the Royal Macedonian tombs at Vergina as the national flag of the Macedonian Republic (which has now been abandoned in favor a 12-ray emblem) exacerbated existing conflicts with Greece to a fever pitch. Recent agreements between the two countries have a forced a retreat from

such extremist claims and counterclaims; and at present, economic and commercial interchange is now reaching normal levels. Understandably, a policy of "friendship with distance" is currently practiced by the Macedonian state relative to Greece and other Balkan states. As there are no metatheoretical rules for choosing among the disparate and conflicting Balkan historical accounts, especially on the issue of the Macedonian identity, there is a need for a paradigm shift in the search for the Macedonian identity. That is there is need for a shift in scholarship toward non-historical methods.

The cognitive scaffolding which provides a novel approach to solving the problem of the Macedonian ethnic identity begins with an understanding of the meaning of the terms ‘race’, ‘nationality’ and ‘ethnicity’ in ordinary language. Following this analysis and differentiation of ‘ethnicity’ from other related concepts, a basic theoretical vocabulary was developed in in connection with a general ethnicity model to provide a means of identifying the appropriate categories of evidence relevant to questions of ethnic identity. Related terms such as race and nationality are usually defined by an appeal to physical and biological markers for race and, in the case of nationality, by standard documentation such as passports, certificates of citizenship, identification cards, etc. Ethnic identity, however, involves a greater complexity due to lack of standardization in our understanding of the concept of ethnicity and its logical functions in ordinary language, as well as, the relevant domains of evidence these logical functions pertain to.

The10-postulate general ethnicity model of the Appendix presents ethnicity as involving a theoretical vocabulary consisting of three basic concepts: ethnicity descriptors, ethnicity indicators and ethnicity ascriptors. These basic concepts are used to assign to categorize and place weight to the credibility/truth value of evidence sourced from a variety of appropriate domains; i.e., evidence from historical/political sources; sociocultural sources and anthropological interview and/or self reports. For example, if a group or members of a group state in a self-report within the context of a political survey or, equally, an anthropological survey in a reply to a question regarding their ethnic identity, that they are ‘Macedonian,’ such statements would function in the model as “ethnicity descriptors.” By themselves, such idiosyncratic (subjective) expressions are neither true nor false. They have no truth value. However, if a large percentage of a target group make similar statements, e.g., that they are ‘Macedonian,” then this evidence can now function as a basis for name recognition according to international practice (but also a basis for disputes as is the case with Greece objecting to the use of the name ‘Macedonia’ in the official name, ‘Republic of Macedonia’). In addition to this type of evidence, one can look into a target ethnic group’s historical fingerprints as to origin (“imagined communities”), interactions with other ethnic or national groups in wars in peace or in revolutionary insurgencies seeking to gain autonomy and independence including names of such organizations, etc. Collectively, such evidence would function in the model as “ethnicity indicators.” Historical claims and counterclaims would have a probabilistic truth value in accord with the authenticity of the evidence and comprehensiveness in terms of documentation. Finally, an ethnic group can be described by identification of its sociocultural features by which an ethnic group presents itself to the world; e.g., by its language. In the case of the Scotland, however, a Scot is characterized and identified, not by his heavily accented English, but by his tartan kilt; specifically, by the tartan pattern, by his bagpipes, by his unique sword dance [celebrating survival in the aftermath of a skirmish] and by the distinctive Scottish games. These sociocultural features function in the model as “ethnicity ascriptors” That is, they define the Scotsman to the world as to his ethnicity. Such sociocultural characteristics provide objective evidence as to the existence of a distinctive ethnic identity and associated descriptive statements based on sociocultural characterization can be regarded as true or false resting on, ahistorical, immediately accessible objective evidence.

Beyond these aspects, the basic vocabulary of the 10-postulate general ethnicity model provides a conceptual framework by which any ethnic identity can be described and documented. Furthermore, when the multiply-sourced converging evidence is brought together and evaluated, inconsistencies, contradictions and problems in development can be identified especially for an emergent ethnic identity as is the case with Macedonia.

The broad identification of the historical and political context presented above within which the question of the Macedonian identity originated will, in the text that follows, become expanded in subsequent specialized chapters. However, what is needed next is to present in detail the methodological approach to the basic issue of ‘who the Macedonians are and this is the task set for next chapter.


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Thrasymachus said...
I commend Mr Risto Stefov on his erudite approach to the identity issue, as well as his command of the English language in his wordy, albeit informative text. However, one must consider that the absolute lack of concrete linguistic evidence alluding to some distinct Macedonian tongue in antiquity raises many doubts regarding a non-Greek Macedonian ethnos. How can a proud people who conquered the rest of Greece have been so servile as to totally succumb to Attic Greek and Greek culture, as all engraved slabs of stone unearthed in the Macedonian region testify? Would there not have been at least one inscription of the Macedonian language written via the Greek Alphabet, which the Latins readily borrowed and even the long extinct Etruscans used in their necropolises? How can an alleged non-Greek Alexander set out to spread Hellenism with such fervour without so much as an inkling of "Macedonian" cultural admixture that would set him apart from the rest of Hellenism? Why even the Scots, whom Mr Stefov refers to as evidence have retained Gailic diction such as 'lass', 'bonnie', 'lad' and scores of other words which connects them to their ethno-linguistic past, as it is with the Irish. Only one with self-inflicted blindness would fail to realise that the Ancient Macedonians were a Greek people, such as the Spartans, the Thebans, etc. who spoke non other than a Greek dialect.
One can try to falsify the facts and even succeed in imposing revisionist history on the ignorant, peasantile masses (for fanaticism thrives amongst the ignorant as it is evident in all FYROMIAN blogs), but all physical evidence will forever discredit and humiliate Slavic "wannabes" in their case of regarding themselves as a distinct Macedonian nation that claims the legacy of Greek Philip and Greek Alexander as their own.

Niko777 04-20-2012 10:34 PM

If I find anything really interesting in the book I'll post it here

Momce Makedonce 01-22-2018 02:01 PM

So, after spending $100 dollars Australian I brought and finished reading this book (I know I`m crazy for spending that much on a book but I really wanted to read it).

I found it quite interesting. Damionopoulos attempts to use historical documentation, cognitive self descriptor reports, sociocultural features and genetic DNA evidence to demonstrate Macedonians are a unique ethnic identity that is neither Slav nor Greek.

[SIZE="5"][B][SIZE="4"]Major points for each area of study:[/SIZE]
[SIZE="5"][B][SIZE="4"]Historical documentation [/SIZE]
[/SIZE][B][/B]He doesn’t believe that the Slavic migration theory occurred
[/B]He argues that Florin Curta`s 2001 research into the Slavic label and peoples with his book “The Making of the Slavs” proves that the Slavic migration theory never happened in Macedonia. For some reason he alludes to the belief that the other Slavic speaking Balkan nations such as Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia e.t.c as having Slavic ancestry, which I`m not too sure whether I believe or not. Importantly he views language as an ethnicity indicator to not be sufficient on its own in answering ethnicity based questions, whether it be with the Macedonians or any other ethnic group.

[B]He believes the modern Macedonian identity began to emerge after 1900
[/B]He basically states that the Macedonians had a “dark age” for a few hundred years after the Ottoman Empire took control of the Balkans, resulting in them forgetting their Macedonian identity and self-identifying under a number of other various labels such as “Christians”, “Peasants” and later “Bulagarian, “Greek” or “Serbian” mostly depending on Church and/or school attended. I`m not too sure for his reasoning with saying it begins around 1900. Even the previous book about the Macedonians that I read by Rossos says the re-emergence of Macedonianism or the Makedonisti was from around the 1860`s onward. This forum also has evidence to support this. Along with that I am pretty sure I have seen evidence to go against the idea that Macedonians didn’t identify as Macedonian in this supposed dark period.

[SIZE="5"][B][SIZE="4"]Cognitive Self Descriptor Reports[/SIZE]
[/SIZE]He believes that the Macedonians even in the VMRO period did not identify as being “ethnically” Macedonian[/B]
His view is that the Macedonians eventually started identifying as Macedonians again based on their land being known as Macedonia. Damionapoulos believes that in this period the Macedonian identity was a national/political identity but fell short of being an ethnicity as he states that many prominent Macedonians of this time identified as being ethnically Bulgarian. Once again I have seen evidence to go against this claim, many on this forum.

[SIZE="5"][B][SIZE="4"]Sociocultural Features[/SIZE]
[/SIZE]He believes that the Ancient Macedonians spoke a language that has been lost to history[/B]
He has a belief that Macedonians spoke their own unique language, with noble/ upper class also being able to speak Greek. However, he believes that this Ancient Macedonian language has been lost and that language on Macedonian territory changed to Slavic during the Middle Ages as a result of influence from the Bulgarian and Serbian Empires. Subsequently it is his belief that the modern Macedonians are missing a linguistic link with the Ancient Macedonians, which has been and still is the major difficulty in cementing modern Macedonian identity and its link to the Ancient Macedonians. He believes this a major reason (along with the supposed blurry ethnic identification) as to why Macedonians were not accepted as an independent ethnic group in the latter 19th and early 20th century, as well as beyond.

[B]He believes that sociocultural features offer the best evidence in regard to proving the Macedonian ethnicity[/B]
He points to sociocultural features other than language such as national dress, first and last names/ first and last name formulas, customs in the home and traditional dances as being the best justification and evidence for a link between the modern and ancient Macedonians and the continual existence of the Macedonian ethnicity from antiquity to the modern day.

[SIZE="5"][B][SIZE="4"]DNA Genetic Evidence[/SIZE]
[/SIZE]He believes that DNA Genetic evidence may one day provide the final piece of evidence of the existence of the Macedonian ethnicity[/B]
He believes that this field of study still has progress to make, however he admits his interest in the area (he is a scientist). He thinks that it can act as a final means of proving the Macedonian identity and modern Macedonians` relation to the Ancient Macedonians. He mentions and talks about the IGENEA and DNA Tribes studies.

So overall, he makes some controversial claims that possibly go against evidence that we have seen. However, he does believe that the modern Macedonians are related to the Ancient Macedonians and that we have every right to identify under that label.
The author`s story is quite an interesting one too. He states in the introduction of the book that he was born in the Lerin region of Macedonia and grew up there, before he moved with his family to the US at age 12. He basically self-identified as being Greek until the later part of his life when he started researching Macedonia and the Macedonians to a greater extent.
I`ve probably left some things out for the sake of making this short. Not sure if anyone else has read this book but I would love to hear your opinions about it if so.

Risto the Great 01-22-2018 02:36 PM

[QUOTE]that language on Macedonian territory changed to Slavic during the Middle Ages as a result of influence from the Bulgarian and Serbian Empires[/QUOTE]Yet it is well documented the original Bulgars did not speak the (slavic) language that the Macedonians spoke when the Bulgars (later) arrived in the region.

VMRO 01-22-2018 02:56 PM

I have the book if anybody wants it.

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