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Old 09-26-2010, 06:14 AM   #18
George S.
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Default Are Greeks for Real?

Are Greeks for Real?

By Risto Stefov

[email protected]

September 26, 2010

Despite the numerous articles I have written expressing my understanding of the Modern Greeks, there are Greeks out there, defying logic and common sense, who still believe or pretend to believe that they are descendents of the so-called “ancient Greeks”! How do I know this? They send me e-mails to let me know and say they want to “educate” me about their glorious heritage. Unfortunately their attempts to “educate” me don’t end there; some Greeks cannot pass up the opportunity to take a jab, to grind some salt, to let me know how “Slavic” I am and how I have nothing to do with being Macedonian!

I have two choices here, I can ignore the e-mails and say nothing or I can take the offensive and respond to these Greeks with facts not on questions about my identity but on the questions about theirs. I say to them there is no such thing as pure Greeks, descendents of the ancient Greeks, there are only mongrel Greeks, another Balkan people, just like the rest of the Balkan people. This is not because “I say so” myself but because it is a proven fact. It is outright ignorant to believe that you are pure Greeks descended from a people that went extinct two millenniums ago in a country that thinks it is ethnically homogeneous. Not only is this “not right” but you make it very easy to prove it wrong!

By your own Greek admission you claim that only pure Greeks live in Greece and among those Greeks you include the Macedonians and other people that your state acquired by force of arms during the 1912, 1913 Balkan Wars. At the same time you claim that the Macedonians north of the Greek border are “Slavs”, Albanians, Vlachs, Roma, etc.; a totally different people than the Greeks!

Do you not realize that the Greek border that divides today’s Greece from the Republic of Macedonia was arbitrarily placed there in 1913? Do you not realize that there was no border between Macedonia and Greece since Philip II demolished the Ancient City States at the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC? No border for 2,251 years. I would say that’s a long time wouldn’t you?

Do you also not realize that the entire borderless Balkan region was invaded and occupied by various conquerors and settlers since 338 BC? This includes the Romans, Eastern Romans, Ottomans, etc., to name a few. Do you not think that these people left their mark in Greece as they have in other regions in the Balkans?

Do you not realize that a “Greek State” never existed before 1829? The ancient City States were conquered by Philip II and were never united into a single “Greek” nation until the creation of the Greek Kingdom in 1832 and this was done artificially by the Philhellenes. Do you not realize that ethnically, the people that make up Greece today are no different than the people that make up the rest of the southern Balkans? No borders for 2,251 years, remember?

If you think “Slavs”, Albanians, Vlachs, Turks and Roma live in the Republic of Macedonia, what makes you think that these same people don’t live in Greece? Are we expected to believe that only pure Greeks, descendents of the ancient Greeks live in Greece, a region that existed for 2,251 years borderless, because you say so? Where is your proof? How can you even consider such a ridiculous claim?

Aside from using “common sense” to disprove your claim that you are “Greeks”, descendents of the so-called “ancient Greeks” let us have a look at what others, or what you Greeks call “unbiased sources” have to say;

In the book “Athens and Southern Greece” by Dana Facaros and Linda Theodorou, on page 129 we read “…- much of Attica is mountainous, ‘a fleshless skeleton’ as Plato called it. The mountains do what they can to keep Greater Athens from becoming greater, although developers inch a bit further up the slopes every year. It is hard to believe now, but under the Turks Attica was so sparsely populated that Albanians were transplanted here wholesale to till the land and fish the seas; in many villages you can still hear the old men chanting Albanian.”

Albanians in Athens, they can hardly be “pure” Greeks, descendents of the ancient Greeks!

In the same book “Athens and Southern Greece” by Dana Facaros and Linda Theodorou, on page 175 speaking about Angistri (Hook Island) near Aegina we read “Most of the inhabitants are descendents from Albanian refugees and still keep up some Albanian customs.”

In the book “Balkan Background” by Bernard Newman, on page 263 we read “…the Orthodox Albanians are more fervently pro-Greek than the Greeks themselves. At the same time however, there over 100,000 people of Albanian stock in Greece proper…”

“In its short course as a Republic Greece had only three presidents – Coundouriotis, Zaimis and Pangalos. All three were of Albanian stock.”

Albanians were Greek Presidents? For God’s sake even your presidents were not “pure” Greeks, descendents of the ancient Greeks!

In the book “Turkey in Europe” by Sir Charles Elliot, on page 299 we read “It must be confessed that, though in the beginning of this century the Greeks showed more energy than any other Christian race, those who now remain in Turkey (except the islanders) are not remarkable for physical vigour or military capacity. This is, no doubt, partly due to the fact that the people who revolted against Mahmud were largely Hellenized Vlachs and Albanians, who under the modern system, would not be regarded as Greeks.”

In the book “Greece Old and New”, edited by Tom Winnifrith and Penelope Murray, there is an article written by Nicholas Hammond which on page 39 reads “The migrations of Albanians is the best attested and in many ways the most instructive in Greece. I first met Albanians in 1930… We had difficulty staying because they were rather suspicious of us, but we stayed with a man who talked Greek in his main language, although he talked to his wife in Albanian.

The ancestors of these people probably came to Epidaurus in the fourteenth or fifteenth century [AD], but they are still talking Albanian as their mother tongue in 1930.”

This is Hammond, your favourite historian saying these things. How can that even be possible?

Hammond, on page 40, went on to say “Albanian was the language they talked among themselves, but they also could talk Greek. This was their second language although they lived in Greece.

The problem I hope to deal with is how did the Albanians get from this remote part of the Kurvelesh down to all parts of the Greek peninsula, and indeed the Islands…”

What? More Albanians living all over Greece? How can that be in homogeneous Greece where only pure Greeks, descendents of the ancient Greeks, live?

Then on page 44, Hammond goes on to say “This was done at the Isthmus of Corinth in about 1338 [AD]. A group of 10,000 Albanians with their families appeared there, and asked if they could be admitted to the Peloponnese. They were accepted by Theodore who was the principle ruler of the Peloponnese, and took them on condition that they would be his soldiers and that they would cultivate the lands he gave them. So they were brought into the Peloponnese and used in that way. Again the Venetians invited them into Euboea and the Catalans invited them into Attica. They came in and settled. That was in the late fourteenth and early fifteenth century [AD], and the descendents of these people were still talking Albanian when I was in Greece in the 1930s.”

On page 45, Hammond continues “They [the Turks] used the Albanians from then on as mercenaries and as settlers of areas which were derelict. So the Albanian incursions in Greece continued under the Turkish system and went on right on into the eighteenth century. It was coupled with a migration of Albanians by sea in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries [AD] to Italy. They also went from the Albanian coast and from Epirus right around the tail of the Peloponnes on to Samos and Cos and Rhodes, where considerable Albanian communities were established. Other Albanians spread, with the help of the Turks, into Hydra and Spetsae and Andros. There are Albanians proved to be excellent seamen, and in the Greek War of Independence, they, above all, drove the Turks out. The most famous to us perhaps are Byron’s Suliotes, who were entirely Albanian. The village called Paleokhori-Botsaris takes its name from the great hero of the resistance of the 1820’s, Botsaris. His village was close to Suli in Epirus. The heroes of the naval war were the seamen of Spetsae and Hydra who were themselves Albanians.”

For God’s sake Hammond, are there no pure Greeks, descendents of the Ancient Greeks in Greece? What are you trying to say?

The above texts written by Hammond I dedicate to those Greeks who “insist” that I read Hammond to “properly educate” myself. I am sure they meant for me to read Hammond’s work on the Ancient Macedonians when they made this suggestion but you know how I am, I took their advice literally and read all of Hammonds works so that I could get “properly educated”! I have the “Greeks” to thank for that and TrueMacedonian for pointing me to these texts!

So, even after what Hammond said about the Modern Greeks, should I still be “busting my head” to explain that “Greeks do not exist”? That they are a figment of the 18th and 19th century Philhellene imagination? The more the Greeks stubbornly “insist” that they are pure Greeks, descendents of the ancient Greeks, the more they expose their lies and deceit!

I know many of you Greeks were taught to believe the myth that you are pure Greeks, descendents of the ancient Greeks. But before you tell me “who I am” you should first find out who you are! Before you tell me “to educate myself” shouldn’t you first “educate” yourselves, especially about your own identity?

Before I end this article, I would like to present you with one more text from the book “The Making of Eastern Europe From the Earliest Times to 1815”, by David Turnock. On page 292 we read “Who were the traders who kept the Ottoman Empire in touch with the wider world?

It was overwhelmingly ‘Greek’ a label that covers not only ethnic Greeks but Hellenized Orthodox people such as Armenians, Bulgarians, Macedonians and Vlachs as well. Even Serbs who initially resisted any identification with Greek culture were being converted at the turn of the century…”

So again, one needs to ask “What exactly is Greek?”! Well you can be sure of one thing, and that is, that “Greek” is not an “ethnic identity”.

Macedonians, is it worth “giving up” our country’s name to please these fake people who themselves don’t know who or what they are? And why are we negotiating our God given historical name with people who don’t even have a real identity!
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