Basically this is the exact lack of knowledge over the Greek history which the propaganda of fyrom uses, in order to create a huge confusion and chaos in people’s minds between the term ”Macedonians” and ”Greeks.”
This article will not proceed further in whether Macedonians were Greeks or not, because as it has already been mentioned and proved thousands of times from every valid historical ancient and modern source, that Macedonians were and are Greeks!
This article aims in giving a very plain but essential explanation related to the way the fyromians used the confusion and lack of historic details of foreign people, -even the lack of knowledge of the Greek language.- in the names of the Kingdoms of the Greek Cities and how Greeks were calling each other and continue to call until today, according to their heritage, descent and lineage.
Plain and simple for every foreign friend. Greece was divided in Greek City States, all of them under the definition of the Greek nation according to Herodotus «όμοαιμον, ομόγλωσσον, ομόθρησκον, ομότροπον» (omemon – same blood, omoglosson – same language, omothriskon – same religion, omotropon – same ways, behaviour.), but with any Greek City State maintaining it’s independent leadership and rulers, with their own alliances and their own civil wars in the Greek region.
From Homer up to Herodotus who also mentions that ” το Ελληνικόν γλώσση αιεί τη αυτή διαχράται ” (a general translation as ”the Greek language has always been spoken”) and in the pass of time, in this long Greek history, the Greeks were calling themselves with a variety of names. (Ex. Hellenes, Achaeans, Ionians, Grecians, etc. ) they also had their personal introduction beyond their father’s names, who preserves the tendency for a Greek to distinguish himself with pride for the City he comes from. This localism is something we continue to have as Greeks until today.
Ancient Greeks after all never had flags, but they had symbols:
Athenians had the owl:
Corinthians had the Pegasus:
So this is where we reach the word ”macedonian” and the fyromian’s trick. The two maps below shows the major Greek City States of antiquity and the third one, the modern Greek Provinces which maintained the same names and the same political map’s distinction.
Every Greek then and every Greek today, continue to introduce to each other with their family name and the place they live or the place they descend from.
When a Greek wanted back then or wants until today to introduce himself according to their birthplace and local heritage, mentions that he is for example Thessalian from the town of Trikala, or Volos, of that he is a Thracian from Alexandroupolis, or Kavala, or that he is a Cretan from Chania or Heraklion, or that he is Macedonian from Kilkis or Thessaloniki, or that he is a Peloponnesian from Sparta.
A very specific and simple introduction which of course foreigners ignore, as it is natural to ignore the Greek language and habits that the Greeks like any other nation, have with each other.
A very bright example of that is the words of Alexander:
The speech of Alexander I, when he was admitted to the Olympic games
“Men of Athens…Had I not greatly at heart the common welfare of Hellas I should not have come to tell you; but I am myself Hellene by descent, and I would not willingly see Hellas exchange freedom for slavery….
If you prosper in this war, forget not to do something for my freedom; consider the risk I have run, out of zeal for the Hellenic cause, to acquaint you with what Mardonius intends, and to save you from being surprised by the barbarians.
I am Alexander of Macedon.”
(Herodotus, The Histories, 9.45)
Really interesting isn’t it?
So the fyromian propaganda based an entire falsification in taking advantage of people’s lack of knowledge, in creating step by step the impression that the Macedonians were something ”different”, something ”distant” from the rest of the Greeks, who after all were not conquered from Phillip, but agreed in an alliance with him in uniting all the Greeks under his guidance, against Persia, after the battle of Chaeronia, which was not the first civil war from the many civil conflicts, the Greek Cities had between them.