Greek Australian Advisory Council and the falsification of Ancient Macedonian history Part 13

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Fri Nov 28 13:26:19 UTC 2008

Greek Australian Advisory Council and the falsification of Ancient
Macedonian history Part 13
Risto Stefov

November 27, 2008

This is a response to the Australian Macedonian Advisory Council
(which in fact is Greek masquerading as Macedonian) in regards to the
article entitled "Risto Stefov and the falsification of Ancient
Macedonian history" published on October 29, 2008 at this link: My reply to you is
"Two can play that game!" I too can provide you with just as many
arguments that the Ancient Macedonians WERE NOT Greek. BUT!

It is irrelevant, at least to me, if Modern Greeks claim that the
Ancient Macedonians were Greeks or not, what is relevant here is that
the Modern Greeks are not related to the Ancient Greeks or to the
Ancient Macedonians. They call themselves "Greeks" but have nothing to
do with the ancient Greeks or Ancient Macedonians because underneath
their modern artificial Greek veneer is nothing more than Albanians,
Vlachs, Turks and Macedonians, the same variety of Balkanites that
exists throughout the entire southern Balkans. But, if they insist on
accusing me of falsifying Ancient Macedonian history, then here is my


On the alleged "Greek-ness" of the ancient Macedonians

1) Why was the Lamian war called the Hellenic war? And who, indeed,
were these Hellenes fighting against?

2) Didn't the Greek states actively fight on Darius' side against Macedonia?

3) Didn't the Greek states actively fight on the side of Rome against

"In a speech delivered at Sparta in 210 BC the Aetolian Claeneas,
appealing for Spartan collaboration in the Roman alliance against
Macedonia, is said by Polybius (ix, 28, ) to have opened with the
truism: 'Men of Sparta, I am quite certain that nobody would venture
to deny that the slavery of Greece owes its origin to the kings of
Macedonia'.....He goes on to describe in detail the outrages which
Philip, Alexander and their third-century successors have inflicted on
the Greek cities." p.92-3 from "The Hellenistic World" by F.W.

Keep in mind: Macedonia was not a member of the Hellenic League.
Greece was conquered territory, it was a "land won by the Macedonian
spear", and not united by Philip II.

Greece remained a conquered territory for a century after Philip and Alexander.

Any assertion that the Greek city-states sought and fought on the same
side as the Macedonians is groundless.

"Relationship with Macedonia was as loaded a question in the third and
second centuries BC as it had been in the fourth. The Macedonian
policy of controlling Greece was up against the Greek passion for
freedom and autonomy". p. 92 from "The Hellenistic World" by F.W.

"The war ended in disaster for the Greeks, and in 261 BC Athens had to
surrender. Areus of Sparta was killed fighting near Corinth, and for
about ten years Antigonus' control of Greece was unchallenged". p. 95
from "The Hellenistic World" by F.W. Walbank.

If the Ancient Macedonians and the Ancient Greeks were the same people
(supposedly all Greek) then one has to reconcile the fact that the
Roman senate and T. Quintius were incorrect in their statements:
"...having defeated King Philip and the Macedonians, leave the
following peoples free, without garrison and subject to no tribute and
governed by their countries' laws - the Corinthians, Phocians,
Locrians, Euboeans, Phtiotic, Achaeans, Magnesians, Thessalians, and
Perrhaebians (Polybius, xviii, 46,5) p.98 from "The Hellenistic World"
by F.W. Walbank.

Rome was the "protector of Greek freedom" while she was engaged in a
war with Macedonia.


Scholars, based on long and painstaking work and encompassing varied
disciplines have, to a certain extent, arrived at an acceptable
consensus regarding the ancients. You will be able to read the latest
interpretations of history by the most prominent scholars and
revisionists of the twentieth century. Here we make a deliberate
effort to distance ourselves from scholars and literature emanating
from the Balkans -- in order to avoid the trappings of politics and

The main concern of this study will be the "Macedonian language"


The language used by the ancient Macedonians has been deliberately
politicized by Greece. It is, therefore, imperative, given the
complexity of the situation, to carefully address the two structural
underpinnings on which this issue (un)comfortably rests:

(A) The political aspect of the problem, and (B) The technical aspect
of the problem.


The political aspect of the problem can be assessed trough the
following observations/questions:

(1) Why are modern-day Greeks obliged to deny the existence of a
separate Macedonian language?

(2) What is the driving force behind such an act?

(3) What degree of association can one assign between language and ethnicity.


Here, we need to elaborate and examine their assertions that:

(1)"There was no Macedonian language."

(2) "Ancient Macedonian spoke Greek, and therefore they were Greeks."


(1) By denying that the ancient Macedonians spoke a separate
[non-Greek] language, modern Greeks can: (1) declare that the ancient
Macedonians were Greek speakers, and simplistically conclude that (2)
they must also have been ethnically Greek.

(2) The driving force behind such desperate reasoning is Greece's fear
of losing the newly-acquired "province of Macedonia." If Greece fails
to establish that the ancient Macedonians were Greek speakers, or
ethnically Greek, then the part of Macedonia which is independent (the
Republic of Macedonia) may place a claim on its lost territory and
abused population.

Under the Treaty of Bucharest (1913) Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia
partitioned Macedonia and distributed it (and its indigenous
population) amongst themselves. Serbia has relinquished control over
the Macedonian territory it acquired. This is an acknowledgement that
Macedonia is not "Southern Serbia" and that the partition of Macedonia
was not legal to begin with. Similarly, Macedonia is not "Northern
Greece." In a broader sense, Greece anticipates that the hands of
justice may someday reach for her and demand the return of the
"stolen" booty.

(3) This is an issue of enormous importance to modern-day Greeks who
are indoctrinated to believe that use of language equals ethnicity.
Furthermore, most Greeks today equate their ethnic identity with the
nation state. As a consequence, the use of a common language would
denote a common nationality. However, the concept of a separate
ethnicity within the nation state is completely lost upon them.


The technical aspect of the problem requires a much deeper analysis.
To better understand the Greek-revisionist claim, and to be able to
properly address the issue, we require clarification of the ambiguous
Greek position.

(1) Does the Greek claim about Macedonia suggest that ancient
Macedonians were Greek because they sometimes 'used' the ancient Greek

(2) Is it being claimed that the ancient Macedonian language was Greek
in both: written and spoken form?

(3) Do the modern citizens of Greece really believe that language is
the primary identifying aspect, or component in discerning one's

(4) Was the language that the Ancient Macedonians spoke, in fact,
Greek, or perhaps, a Greek dialect?

Before we tackle these questions, I would like to make some
comparative observation of analogous situations where the instrument
of communication, the spoken/written language of a given
population/community or a country, does not by itself identify the
ethnic/national character of the users in general.

First and foremost one must keep in mind that the language used by
people does not by itself identify their ethnicity. We communicate in
English, and we all come from different ethnic backgrounds. South
American countries use the Spanish language, (Brazil excluded), and
yet, not everyone is Spanish. History is replete with examples where
people speak the same language yet identify themselves as ethnically

Professor Ernst Badian from Harvard University writes: "The idea that
a nation is essentially defined by a language and that, conversely a
common language means a common Nationhood - which is patently untrue
for the greater part of human history and to a large extent even
today". ("Studies in the History of Art Vol. 10: Macedonia and Greece
in late classical and early Hellenistic Times".)

The implicit assumption is that ethnicity is determined and/or
identified through a common language. This pattern of thinking
continues further through the implication that ancient Macedonians
spoke Greek, and therefore, they were Greeks. Consequently, everything
that has been identified as "Macedonian"- is Greek, including, most
importantly, the name itself.

Fourth century silver coins from the Persian province of 'Yehud'
imitate "Greek issues for trading with the Greeks." There had already
been Greek influence in Judea as early as the fifth century B.C., and
many Jews especially the wealthy ones from the towns of Seleucia and
Gadara, were prepared to accept a measure of Hellenism. Even in Judea
"Greek was rapidly becoming the language of government and big
business." Furthermore, the pro-Hasmonean books I and II Maccabees,
though totally pro Jewish, were written in Greek. Jews in Alexandria
used the Greek language extensively; "On the Kings of Judea" was
written in Greek by a certain Demetrius.

Thracian silver coins and vessels from the fifth century B.C. bear
Greek inscriptions, and yet, the Greek archeologists have never
claimed this people as Greek. Late eighteenth century nobility in
Russia and Germany used the French language as a mode of
communication. Were they proclaiming their French nationality?
Therefore, we must ask ourselves: Where do we draw the line? With what
precision and certainty, do we ascribe Greek ethnic character to the
Ancient Macedonians when we are confronted with such overwhelming
analogous evidence?

Let us peruse the available literary evidence and see what those who
know more than us have to say:

Eugene Borza: "The lesson is clear: the use of the Greek language as a
form of written expression does not by itself identify the ethnicity
of a culture". ("In the Shadow of Olympus -The Emergence of Macedon",
p. 94.)

On p. 89 from the same source we find Borza discussing the arrival of
the Macedonian tribes in the Balkans.

"As the Macedonians settled the region following the expulsion of
existing peoples, they probably introduced their own customs and
language(s); there is no evidence that they adapted any existing
language, even though they were now in contact with neighboring
populations who spoke a variety of Greek and non-Greek tongues."

It is proper, and even compelling, to expect that the arriving
Macedonians already had an existing oral language.

Ulrich Wilcken in his book 'Alexander the Great' notes on p. 22:
"Linguistic science has at its disposal a very limited quantity of
Macedonian words"

"The main evidence for Macedonian existing as a separate language
comes from a handful of late sources describing events in the train of
Alexander the Great where the Macedonian tongue is specifically
mentioned". ("In the Shadow of Olympus", p.92.) "The evidence suggests
that Macedonian was distinct from the ordinary Attic Greek used as the
language of the court and of diplomacy".  No matter how hard Modern
Greeks try to prove otherwise, there is always more than one side to
their story!

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