July 14, 2009

CJ on Ancient/Modern Macedonia

This article in the upcoming Classical Journal has some interesting arguments against the group of Classicists who wrote to Obama about [what is probably better left as] ancient history in the Balkans: Whose Is Macedonia? Whose Is Alexander? Key point: Yes, the Skopjeans are not all Macedonian but the French are not all Franks either. On the other hand, one might quickly add: There's no prior competition for the name of France. Who's right? I dunno. I just think it's interesting to see scholars debating activism, whatever their reasonings.

I briefly wondered if there were any ways to compare this debate with early 20th century zionism, but then my brain deflated, which was probably for the best. Funny story though - one time in a taxicab in Tirana I saw the ancient eight point star of Alexander on their government building and said (innocently, but out loud) "Oh, look, the star of Macedonia." To which our friend and guide interjected firmly, "No. Not Macedonia. Albania." At least, my two American friends who had been there before thought it was hysterical. ;-)


kirev said...

What's wrong with calling us Macedonians? On all the referendums we self-declare ourselves as Macedonians (not Skopjeans, Ohridians, Bitolans etc.) Everywhere in the world. As early as 1850 or so in the United States Ellis Islands' papers.
Greece invaded Ottoman empire in 1913. Before that their King asked for independent Macedonian state on the Balkans. After the invasion they referred to it as "occupied territories" first. Then it was "New Greece", then "Northern Greece", since 1989 it became "Macedonia and Thrace"...
Not Skopjeans. Proud Macedonians. As 7 billion people have the right to self-declare themselves, also 2 million Macedonians have that right.
If you read the CJ text you will become aware of the same.
BTW, the sun of Kutlesh has 16 points. And it is discovered in 1979 in alleged tomb of Phillip. But, Macedonia had the sun on our Coat of arms since 1944.

Bill Heroman said...

Kirev, I respect your country and your right to feel the way you do about its name. I may not take a strong position on the debate about its legality as such, but the article I linked to is very supportive is it not?

I was trying to avoid ambiguity for my less informed readers and also be diplomatic to your opponents by calling you Skopjeans. My apologies if that offended you. Thanks very much for the input and I will leave it here for all to see.

I do hope you Macedonians and the Northern Greek Macedonians can work something out peacefully eventually. The hostility can't be good for anyone's health.

God's Blessings on you, Kirev.

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