Sunday, July 29, 2012

Catholic Encyclopedia on Macedonia


"...In 1083 Euthymius, Greek Patriarch of Jerusalem, was commissioned by Alexius I Commenus to negotiate peace at Thessalonica with Tancred of Sicily, who had conquered a portion of Epirus and Macedonia and threatened to take possession of the rest. In August, 1185, Guillaume d'Hauterive, King of Sicily, besieged Thessalonica by sea with a fleet of 200 ships and by land with an army of 80,000 men; the city was captured, and all resistance from the Greeks punished with death..."

"...Alexander assisted at the Council of Nicaea in 325, at Tyre in 335, and at the consecration of the Holy Sepulchre in the same year. At the end of the same century Acholius baptized Theodosius the Great. Le Quien has compiled a list of 74 Greek titulars of this city, some of whom do not belong to it..."


"...It would seem that Paul stayed in the city some time thereafter, for, according to the reading of Codex Bezæ (fifth century), and the Vulgate and Coptic Versions (Acts 17:4), he converted a large number not only of proselytes (ton te sebomenon) but of Gentile Greeks (kai Hellenon)...

"...Be this as it may, the signal success of Paul's apostolate among Jews, proselytes, and Hellenes together with the conversion of "not a few noble ladies" (Acts 17:4), aroused the Jews to a fury of envy; they gathered together a mob of idlers from the agora and set the whole city in tumult; they beset the home of Jason, found the Apostle away, dragged his host to the tribunal of the politarchs and charged him with harbouring traitors, men who set Jesus up as king in place of Cæsar. That night the brethren made good the escape of their teacher to Berea..."


"...(2) The Greeks also form two groups, the so-called Orthodox and the Melchites. The Orthodox, separated from Rome, are divided into two factions which differ in language and origin, and live in enmity: on one side, the Hellenophones, many of whom are natives of the Greek kingdom; on the other, the Arabophones, subject to the Khedive or natives of Syria; all these have a patriarch of Greek tongue and race whose official residence is in the town, near the church of St. Sabas. The Melchites, united to Rome, are natives of Egypt and Syria; they are under the Patriarch of Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and all the East, but, as the prelate resides at Damascus, they are governed by a bishop who is vicar of the patriarchate..."


"...Of the enormous number of people since Alexander who spoke Greek and called themselves Greeks the great majority were children of Hellenized barbarians... Alexander (336-23 B.C.) upset these limits altogether. Himself a Hellenized Macedonian, descended from people whom the old Greeks certainly considered barbarians (though Macedonians seem to have been akin to the Aeolians), his empire spread the Greek ideal and language throughout Asia and Egypt..."

Ancient Macedonians were not Hellenized barbarians, and there is no evidence that ancient Macedonians called themselves as barbarians, Hellenized barbarians or Hellenized Macedonians. They were called barbarians (with cultural meaning, not ethnic) by some Classical Greeks (Demosthenes etc.), but they were called themselves as Greeks (see Alexander's correspondence with Porus). The educated classes, of course knew better, and they could understand that their dialect was a Greek dialect, but not the Macedonian herdsmen, who could hardly communicate in the Attic Greek of the Athenians (they had a much easier time with the Doric of the Spartans, and of course they spoke the same dialect as the Northwest Greek speaking Epirotes and Aetolians).

Eugene Borza and NGL Hammond, great scientists on History of ancient Macedonia, accept the assertion that the Macedonians come from the same Proto-Hellenic stock of Indo-Europeans that made the southern Greeks. (see "Athenians, Macedonians, and the Origins of Macedonian Royal House" by E. Borza).

"...But here, too, Hellas gradually absorbed her conquerors. At least from the time of Justinian I (527-65) the Eastern Empire, in spite of its Roman name, must be counted a Greek State. The Byzantine period (roughly from 527 to 1453) is the direct continuation of the older Greek civilization. It is true that Byzantine civilization was influenced from other sides (from Rome and Asia Minor, for instance); but this would apply to the old Greek ideals too, on which Egypt, Persia, and Asia had their influence..."

The Catholic Encyclopedia accepts that Byzantine Empire was successor of ancient Greek civilizations, and predecessor of modern Greek nation, which in fact is true.

"...The real danger to the ideal of Greater Greece covering all the Balkans was not, is not now, the Turk, who remains always only an unpleasant incident in the history of these lands; it is the presence of other Christian races, Slavs, who dispute the Greek ideal with their languages and national feeling. Were it not for these Slavs we could count Greece as having absorbed Macedonia and Thrace by the time of Alexander, and as covering nearly all the Balkans to the Danube ever since. But the Bulgar, the Serb, the Wallachian--and Albanian too--are there with their languages and nations to oppose the "Great Idea" of which every Greek dreams..."

Conclusion: According to Catholic Encyclopedia main opponents of Megali Idea (Greater Greece) were non-Greek people in the Balkan: Slavs (Bulgarians and Serbs), Vlachs and Albanians. There are not listed "ethnic-Macedonians" which in fact there were no people, who were called as "ethnic-Macedonians". The predecessors of modern Slavomacedonians, who identified themselves as "ethnic-Macedonians", were declared themselves as ethnic-Bulgarians at the time of Ottoman regime in the Balkan.

"...In the partitions of the Roman Empire neither Graecia nor Hellas appears. The Peloponnesus and the land up to Thessaly formed the Province of Achaia, then came Thessalia and Epirus, then Macedonia and Thracia..."

The author of this article explains the partition of ancient Greek regions on provinces in Roman Empire. Among them and Macedonia is referred.

"...The Slav invasions of the empire began under Anastasius I (491-518) in 493; various Slav tribes and the non-Aryan Bulgars (who soon adopted a Slav language and became practically Slavs too) pressed southward into Thrace, Macedonia, Thessaly, even Achaia, in increasing numbers, throughout the whole period of the empire at Constantinople; so that always, and still in our own time, they form a rival influence to the Greeks throughout these lands. The old sees of these seven more or less Greek provinces are, according to Lequien: (1) Province of Macedonia (II, 27-102), metropolis Thessalonica, with suffragan sees of Philippi, Berrhoea, Dium (Dion), Stobi (Stoboi), Parthicopolis, Doberus, Cassandria, Edessa, Pydna or Citrum, Heraclea Sintica, Amphipolis, Lemnos (the island), Thassus, Serra, Bargala, Theorium, Campania or Castrium, Poliana, Pogoiana, Zichnae, Drygobitzia, Melanias, Drama, Ardamerium, Rhendina, Deabolis, Hierissus, Lycostomium and Servia..."

"...In the Patriarchate of Constantinople the Bulgars have made a formal schism since 1872. They have an exarch at Constantinople, and his exarchist bishops dispute the jurisdiction of the Greek (patriarchist) hierarchy all over Macedonia. There are now exarchist bishops at Ochrida, Uskub, Monastir, Nevrokop, Veles, Strumitza, Debra. In all the other dioceses, save five, they have priests and churches. This is the greatest schism..."

Source: New Advent: Catholic Encyclopedia - 1917


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