Many writers investigated the origin of the Macedonians in their own way and have, as a result, arrived at different conclusions, often in conflict with one another.' This subject is of vital significance to us, Macedonians, for we want to know whether or not our ancestors were Greek. Much more so, because aligned with it, is another question of equal importance, namely, whether Greece has any inheritance rights upon Macedonia, or whether, in the absence of such historical or ethnological rights, Macedonia can be considered a property without an owner where anybody can stake his claim.

The Greek origin of the Macedonians or rather the homogeneity of the Greeks and the Macedonians are proven by the history of the settlement of the Indo- Europeans in Europe, particularly the South Group, i. e. the Thracians, the Greeks and the Illyrians, in the Balkan Peninsula.


The Thracians, having arrived first, occupied the eastern part of the peninsula and Macedonia. The Greeks probably came after the Thracians, about 2500 B. C., making their way through the valleys of Axios, the Morava (Margos) and the mountainous passes of Illyria. They stopped at the Western part of the Balkan pleninsula and Macedonia, which was seized from the Thracians. This land has been their station and was Arian-Greek for many centuries before Southern Greece became Greek. Further movements to the south were obstructed by the chain of the Kambounian mountains and Olympus. It was then that they built in Amphaxitis' and further south, the cities of Eidomene, Europus, Atalante, Gortynia, Ichnae, Dion.

About five centuries later the Thracians regained Central Macedonia as a result of which some Greek tribes, such as the Ionians and Achaeans occupying the afore- mentioned cities,, were forced to submit but retained the names of their native towns, while others moved south- ward and built new cities by the same names in various parts, especially in Arcadia, where, according to Strabo only Achaeans settled (Gortys-Gortynia, Europus, Eidomene, Atalante). Others, such as the Penestae of northern Macedonia who spoke an archaic dialect, settled in Thessaly, having left behind them the name of the old country Penestia in its original seat.


In the 13th century B. C. the Illyrians penetrated the westernmost parts of the Balkan peninsula. They occupied Penestia and the territory up to the Genousos River, as shown by the folklore, before, during and after Strabo, up to this very day. According to an ancient tradition, the town of Pylon, near lake Lychnitis (Achris or Ochrida), formed the meeting point of the boundaries of Macedonia and Illyria. This territory has also been known under the name of Dassaretia, and constituted the outermost limit of Macedonia and Epirus ("Finis Macedonia et Epiri", Itiner.Hierosol.) at least during the Greco-Roman period.' The Illyrian incursion and pressure forced out many Eordian's from the plain of the Eordian River ( (Devole) who settled in another plain near the lake of the ancient Arnissa (Ostrovo) in Western Macedonia. This territory was known thereafter as Eordia or Eordaea (in an old inscription discovered in Epidaurus another form of the name is given: Euordia) which was derived from the Eordians.


The latter in turn pushed out the Macedonian tribe of the Dorians (whom Kretchmer identifies with the Douriopes of Macedonia) and forced them to leave the country around the mountains of Olympus and Pindus (Herodotus, Pindar, Strabo) and settled in the land to the south of the Kambounian mountains as well as to the south of the Isthmus of Corinth. They (the Dorians) were followed by other tribes of the so-called north- western type and were scattered all over Greece, except Arcadia. From such new settlers certain localities derived and retained up to this day their historical names, i. e. Boeotia, Phocis Acarnania, Thessaly, etc. The Boeotians themselves must have come down from the western Macedonian mountain Boion, from which their name is derived. But they were not alien to the extension of the Boion mountain further south, that is Pindus, from which Pindar's name is derived.


Those who remained in Macedonia settled in small villages and, divided according to areas in independent Kingdoms, were engaged in constant warfare with their neighbors, the Illyrians, whom they kept in check. Between 700-500 B. C. the dynasty of Orestis (the territory sow covered by Kastoria and Korytsa) appeared and established the central Macedonian throne in Aegae (Vergina) of Emathia after subduing the local kings of the other Macedonian territories of Pelagonia (Monastir), Lyngus (Florina), Douriopia (Krousovo-Perlepes), Elimia (Kozane- Grevena), Tymphaea (Konitsa), Eordia (Ptolemais), Pieria ( Katerini-Litochoron ) and Bottiaea (Giannitsa- Pella).

The town of Aegae (in Central Macedonia) was the seat of the King of the entire Macledonia who ruled over the already subdued small kingdoms. These, according to Thucydides, "were allies and subjects, but also had kings of their own". That is, to put it in another way, they were federative units, having approximately the same relation with the central government as the small states of Germany had with the King of Prussia before the first World War (1914-18).


Following the repulse of the Persians, King Alexander I, occupied the entire territory between the rivers Axios and Strymon, with the exception of the coastline. Philip II, father of Alexander the Great, extended his dominion eastward to the shores of Euxine. He imposed his political influence even beyond Kaemus (the Balkan Mountains) as far as the Danube River, after having traversed all the land beyond the river Axios from the south to north as well as from east to west: that is from Scythia Minor (Dobrudja),where, according to Atheneus, he married Meda or Medope, the daughter of Kothela, King of Odessa (Varna).

Along the coastline of the Aegean, the Propontis and the Euxinus already existed colonies founded by Greeks from Southern Greece since the 8th century B. C. But Philip founded other colonies inland of which we know only Philippi, Kabyle and Philippopolis. These were the bases for a methodical intercourse with, and hellenization of the Thracians in the interior. '4' But Philip's colonies must have been many more, for Philippopolis alone in the center of Thrace, without any other support (that is, a series of similar colonies), would not have been able to remain Greek in character together with her suburbs up to the recent exchanges of populations.'5'

In the nearby tombs jewels of genuine Greek workmanship were discovered testifying to the presence not merely of transient merchants, but of Greek colonists as well, who penetrated and settled in the interior as an extension of the Greek colonies founded along the coastline in the 8th century B. C. and afterwards.


It was through the presence of such settlers that the taste and pursuit of works of classical Greek art has already been imparted in the 5th century B. C., which coincides with the beginning of coinage in the Greek colonies along the coastline. The presence of such abundant works of Greek art in the interior can not be explained only by the existence of the Greek coastal colonies. Similar colonies also existed along the coast of Dacia, but the interior did not assume a Greek character by the presence of any such Greek works in large numbers. There is, from this point of view, a similarity between northern Thrace and the peninsula of Taurus. This peninsula, however, has been almost purely Greek with Iphigenia in Tauris and Prometheus in Caucasus. All in all, the Greek nation has, at least from the time: of Philip, been the master not only of the coastline, but of the interior of Thrace as well. With the exception of the Romans and the Turks, no other Balkan people has seized the coast, but only occasionally and in such a manner as travelers are accommodated for s night in hotels.(6)


Throughout this period and until the days of the Byzantine Empire, no other people has ever invaded Macedonia to displace the Arian-Greeks. Nor have Greek colonists come from Southern Greece. Had they tried to, they would have been unable to fill up a vast land, such as Western Macedonia. Poor and thin-soiled, it was not suitable for colonization. Besides, in Southern Greece, which was cut up into city-states, no Power could have been found strong enough, to conceive the idea, and have the necessary means, in order to colonize the whole of the interior of a distant country, which would have meant the displacement of the native population. In such case it would have been necessary to determine the racial character of the population and explain its presence there, had it not been originally Greek.

Legends, such as those about immigration of Kings and other settlers from Southern Greece to Macedonia (Temenides, Bacchiadae, Kadmeians) were invented by the Greeks precisely to explain the Greek character of the Macedonians. All this is due to the fact that the ancient Greeks could not understand this in any other way, since they did not know their own origin and the route their ancestors followed in coming into Macedonia and Greece.


This being the case, the inhabitants of Macedonia are descendants of the old Arian (Greek) settlers. Prehistorical data are very clear on this point. Since the dawn of history, the names of the people and the places in 'Macledonia are Greek (Karanos, Perdiccas, Amyntas, Aeropus, Alcetas, Kleitos, Emathia, Eidomene, Haliacmon, Echedorus, Dion, etc). In addition, there is a tradition that the Greek dialect of the Macedonians preserved, and rightly so, the old peculiarities of the Homeric times, retaining the nominative cases of the first declension without "s", as is the case with the Thessalian and the Boeotian dialects, such as ippota, mhtieta, nepheligereta, olympionica, etc. This very thing is also denoted by the name Ptolemaios (Homeric Ptolemos), while the southerners were saying later polemos-Polemon. It is not improper to mention here that the bodyguards of the kings of Macedonia were called "etairoi" of the King, that is, fellow-warriors and companions, as in the time of Homer.

Thus, the Macedonian dialect was preserved in an undeveloped and archaic state, as was the case with their entire civilization, but it was Greek. It follows, therefore, that the people, too, were rude and backward, but they were Greeks, appearing as such during the time of Philip and Alexander and even later, when the light of civilization was shining on in their own land. The Greeks moved to Peloponnesus from what is called "Sterea Hellas" Central or Middle Greece. The latter, however, was not wholly evacuated as a result of this southward movement, The same holds true as to Thessaly, whose population or rather a part of it, moved to Middle Greece. Another example: Greeks from all over Greece had left their original hometowns and settled in colonies outside Greece. The latter, however, has never been evacuated altogether by its Greek inhabitants. Thus Macedonia, too, sent out her surplus population without ceasing to be a country of Greeks.'7'