i. A geographical region in the north of Greece; capital, Thessaloniki.
ii. Historical name misused to refer to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).
iii. Ancient territory now divided among Greece, Bulgaria and The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). Propaganda that began as early as the end of the 19th century with the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the formation of ethnic states, promoted the use of the name Macedonia by Greek, Turkish, Bulgarian, Serb and whatever other populaces to give them a coherent ethnic identity, in favor of each country. The collapse of communist Yugoslavia, sparked open controversy as Skopje (the capital of FYROM) made claims on the name "Macedonia" fot their state name and the Star of Vergina (ancient Macedonian symbol) for their flag.
To confront the misinformation supplied above:
1. Macedonians just like Arcadians, Aeolians, Dorians and all the other Greek "tribes" had the same main deities but worshiped their own gods as well. Deities were also introduced into Greek pantheons by Thracians, Frygians and other peoples.
2. Ooookay... Macedonians sat down to eat while other Greeks lied on their sides; on the other hand they were admitted in the Olympic Games that were strictly exclusive to Greek tribes.
3. Greek city-states were warring all the time, Athens vs Sparta being the most known war. Each City-State while growing in power and setting up colonies conflicted with one another. In fact, the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta (that ended with the defeat of Athens) was the reason the two strongest city-states declined in power and left room for a new force to appear.
4. The name Macedon (derived from the greek macednos: he who has long shanks, a tall person) should suffice. Alexander the Great, his father Fillipos, his mother Olympias (daughter of King Pyrros of Epirus) all have Greek names. Also he was educated by Aristotle. His horse's name was Bucephalas (bus --> bull + cephalas (kefali in modern greek) --> head). The new cities he founded all had greek names.
5. Macedonians were in fact hated by other Greeks just as Athenians were hated by other Greeks when they were at their peak (and "owned" almost all the Aegean Isles, not to mention some colonies in Sicily) just as any warring faction hates the other warring faction that has grown in power and away from their reach. When the Macedonians (again I point out that this could be Athenians, Spartans, Fokians and so on) forced the rest of Greece into submission, they fought a major battle against the Persians. The only City-State that wasn't a part of the Greek army was Sparta. So, after the defeat of the Persians, Alexander erected a monument with an inscription that translates roughly into: "go tell the spartans, stranger passing by, that here, obedient to their laws, we lie". This was an epigram By Simonedes Of Kea written in the Ionian dialect. Epigrams (you can look them up in wikipedia) were short inscriptions (literal meaning is "to write upon sthg") that often had an ironic twist. Get the irony in this one is rather obvious.
However, being dirt-poor, with a country in shambles, full of Albanian, Bulgarian and other minorities the FYROM government is feeding people lots of glorious history just because they have nothing else to feed them. This however has never been such a good idea. It has led to a rise in nationalism on both sides, absurd claims (unofficial, for the time being) of "occupied Macedonia" with a notion of the historical Macedonia (that spread in what is now three countries) in mind, and ludicrous claims that modern inhabitants of that bit of land descend straight for the lineage of Alexander the Great which is a blatant lie since claiming a 3000 year-old lineage in the Balkans is a bit far-fetched (since they were not an isolated populace that intermarried) not to mention that Slavic populaces descended in the Balkan peninsula around 600 A.D.
Q: I' ve been in the Peloponnese, Epirus, Crete, the Ionian, literally all over Greece but never Macedonia.
A: You should! It's really beautiful!
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