Katsoyan’s Weblog

Another Prominent Scientist on the Macedonian Issue.

Posted by katsoyan on Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Prof. Fox from Oxford University…


Clearly all people have the right to a national identity and defiitely the issue has to be solved, however people from FYROM instead of showing will to work on that, they keep provoking by building huge statues of Alexander the Great and by insisting on being something that they are not.

They know that their demands are absurd and usupported historically. I dont see how they expect this to come to an end.

It’s a shame because both countries lose a lot from this dispute.


45 Responses to “Another Prominent Scientist on the Macedonian Issue.”

  1. tolisfoto said

    “Skopians” otherwise “fyromians” is a artificial nation, a mixture of albanians, bulgarians, gypsies and some serbs. Nobody in this country can understand a phrase in ancient greek language even in the hellentstic language of the new testament.

  2. Fotios said

    I completely agree. On the other hand “Greece” is a also an artificial nation and a mix of all of the aforementioned people, with a heavier mix from the middle east and north Africa – thus the darker skin color. Just 200 years ago most of those now calling themselves “Greeks” also did not speak any Greek and the most important city of the real Greeks, Athens, only had a population of 4,000 mainly Albanian speaking people (Arvanites) who were herding sheep in Acropolis. It is this unrealistic self-image of modern Greeks that has done the most damage to this very young nation that is now teetering on the verge of complete economic collapse and global long term notoriety.

  3. katsoyan said

    Thank you Fotios for fostering us once again with your objective presentation of history. Probably you started to fancy conspiracies yourself at this age.
    So, according to you, the hellenic-speaking were only few; Albanians (Arvanites) did the revolution and the dirty job and when they liberated themselves, they decided to give a name to the new free country that never existed (Greece) and like all people who respect themselves, they went to “Stratigakis” of that time to take up Greek, because it was not “chic” to speak Arvanitika…
    I guess you see yourself that there is a missing link, right? I am not saying that there were not other nations among the rebelians; all I am saying is that even the “arvanitika” speaking population (like Kolokotronis, bouboulina etc) were hellenic speaking too and had clearly a hellenic id. The fact itself that they were feeling as hellenes (and there are damn lot of evidences about that), suggests that the nation and its history was not born just before/during, or a bit after the revolution.

    Ta sevi mou

  4. Fotios said

    This stuff is only clear to you Athanasios. “Stratigakis”? What is “Stratigakis”? To any objective observer it is indeed a mystery how modern Greeks can call themselves Greek without firmly implanting their tongues on their cheeks, There’s simply no evidence, historic, empirical or other that suggests so. Beyond anything else though, there is nothing distinctly Greek in the culture, beliefs and way of life of the present inhabitants of this land, while there’s a lot that is Turkish, Slav Balkan, Middle Eastern and in general very non-Greek or what the real Greek would call “barbarian”, There’s not even a basic respect for law whereas the 300 died to the last following it to the letter. Τοις κείνων ρήμασι α-πειθόμενοι…

  5. katsoyan said

    Fotie, life is full of mystery. However, I have numerous reasons not to believe that turkish-, albanian-, romanian- whatsoever speaking populations accepted to use hellenic as their official language instead of their own without any particular reason.

    I cannot imagine Chechens, Georgians and Kazaks to make a revolution against Russia, win, make a free country and call their new state Republic of Ukraine. If you can imagine that, then you have indeed a point and many reasons to support your opinion.

  6. Fotios said

    I am sure you’ve noticed it also but inevitably all your arguments contra my position involve the purported common or similar language shared by Ancient and Modern Greeks. This is hardly surprising of course as it is pretty much the only common thing between the two populations. Yet, you have to recognize, that language alone is pretty weak as a factor in establishing strong ethnic and cultural ties. It is like claiming that Americans, Canadians, Australians and even the Scottish are English just because they speak English. Similarly, and this should show you that your purported impossibility of a certain ethnic population changing its language in a few generations is not an impossibility at all, the children of ethnic Albanians that immigrated to Greece just 10 to 20 years ago are already shunning their paternal language and preferring the use of Greek.

  7. katsoyan said

    Fotie, good morning. Where have you ever seen me saying that ancient Hellenes and modern Greeks are the same nation? Obsiously, in a 2000 years distance, in this specific area and with the various empires, kingdoms, nomads etc that have passed through, there has been a lot of mixing. This mixing took place not only for Hellenes, but also for Turks, Albanians, Slavs etc. I don’t see why someone should keep discussing this. That hasn’t been the point. The point is probably that like Italians are considered the “successors” of the Latins, Hellenes are considered the successors of the ancient Hellenes. For the language, their geographic location etc. I have never heard anybody talking about “direct blood lines” say, between Aristoteles and Papandreou.
    The point of this post was the global recognition and acceptance of scholars of the highest level that the arguments of FYROMians that ancient Macedonians were not Hellenes are totally crap.
    And I add another video here for information: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQL45bVtsZk&feature=related

    • Fotios said

      Good morning Athanasie.

      So, if there are no direct bloodlines and no cultural ties, why calling ourselves Greek is any better than the people of FYROM calling themselves Macedonians?

      Also the analogy with the Italians is not a very good one because they did indeed continue their history on an unbroken line with some of the brightest and biggest achievements not being in their Ancient Roman days but just 600 to 150 years ago during Renaissance, Enlightenment and the industrial revolution (things that the “Greeks” completely missed out on).

      Furthermore, they always called themselves Romans and subjects of the Holy Roman Empire while we switched from Roman to Greek, quite arbitrarily.

      Why keep talking about it? Hypocrisy needs to be pointed out.

  8. katsoyan said

    I don’t agree with you Fotie, but I will say one thing.

    In my opinion you fail to “insert” in your modus pensandi/scrivendi the fact that we (me and I guess you too) are Hellenes. In many languages they call us Greeks while some other call us Ionians (Yunan). A nation that has been speaking hellenic, has always existed (During Roman Empire, Ottoman empire and so on). If in your opinion the fact that we had the unfortunate fate to undergo the ottoman empire for some centuries and as you say miss out renaissance, enlightment etc, should make us lose our nationality etc, I completely disagree. And I don’t consider it hypocritical. You probably have read Fotie that some people died for the survival of this language; Turkish had banned it in several areas of the Ottoman empire and there are many Hellenes who still today remember their grandmothers/grandfathers etc sing turkish songs, yet their identity and nationality have always been the hellenic, regardless of whether this was good or bad.

    This is also the reason why some people in the south of Italy still call themselves “Greeks”, although they are Italian nationals.

  9. Fotios said

    oh well – it’s obvious this is an emotional issue for you so I won’t continue.

  10. katsoyan said

    no it is not Fotie. All I am asking you is to try to be as objective as possible by taking into consideration all parameters that made the various historic periods different from today. Plus, your common sense. Don’t talk about mysteries. Just answer for you the aforementioned question. That is, how come all these nations (dominating obviously the rebels, according to your opinion) after they “won”, they donated everything to a (according to you again) barely existing nation? I want an objective answer, that follows our common sense and has no conspiracies, whatsoever…

  11. tolisfoto said

    some “modern” historians support that the term “nation” is a political term and describes the political status after french revolution. Some of them made a tv-series on skai tv channel about the greek revolution. It seems that they don’t know that the today meaning of the term has his roots in the greek revolution. After the greek revolution the term ‘nation” had ethnic and cultural meaning more than political.
    Fotios questioned the existence of the greek nation while the meaning of the term “nation” originates in greek revolution!!

  12. tolisfoto said

    This text was written in 1797. Is this arvanitika language?


    • Fotios said

      Ha, exactly my point. This is indeed written in the Greek language – however, notice that the revolutionaries are not even once referred to as “Greek”. Indeed they are referred to as a number of other ethnicities, among them “Roman”. So, basically, you should read that poem VERY carefully and learn from it.

  13. katsoyan said

    Foti once again, in my opinion you are wrong. Clearly, Rigas tries with this poem to achieve the revolution in the whole Balkan Peninsula (quotes Savva and Danube). He suggests that altogether (Albanians, Bulgarians, blacks and whites, Armenians etc) should with a common effort revolt. Apparently, someone can say that in his poem, he implies that all the aforementioned “nations” live in the same area [I repeat that he is not referring geographically just to what is today Greece – see again quotation about the rivers], however it is clear that he talks about a “Patrida”, he names “Ellada” [which according to you was an “invention” after the revolution] and last, but not least, HE WRITES IT IN THE HELLENIC language”.

    • Fotios said

      It’s all good Athanasie; as long as you don’t lay any special claims on the ancient Greeks and arbitrarily become the arbiter on all subjects related to them, including the right of other nations to also name themselves after the historically accurate name of the geographic regions they presently occupy.

      • katsoyan said

        Fotie, personally I don’t claim anything. Who claims is a country bordering with Greece.

        However, It’s about time you also start being coherent dude. You say that these people have the right to the name of the region where they live. OK. What about if other people live in the same area*. Clearly all should be called with the same name, right? Like in Cossovo. The Serbs and albanians of Cossovo, right?
        However, In our case, not only they don’t accept it (Slavomacedonians), but they claim that they are the only Macedonians (something that we do as well), they talk about occupied places that need to be liberated (see again the banknote) and their level of nonsense is such high that they believe the ancient Manedonians were not a “Hellenic tribe”; maybe they will soon tell us that they were the first Slavs that reached this place…

        Talking about geographical regions, why don’t you make a research to see if their region was called Paeonia and if even in the classical Greece, the biggest part of the “original” Macedonia is todays Greece.

      • Fotios said

        This is a lost case Athanasie. FYROM will be formally named Macedonia very soon. If there was a chance for the Greeks to have internationally recognized claim in that historic name it was lost a long time ago because people like you rejected names like “Northern Macedonia” and “Slavic Macedonia”. Like they say, if you want too much you may end up getting nothing.

  14. katsoyan said

    Will not change any of your opinions, however if you want to call yourself objective, watch these two videos.

  15. tolisfoto said

    Fotios, do you know a nation-state that existed before the greek revolution?

    Read this excerpt from an article wrote Mark Mozower:

    Χθες, όλος ο κόσμος παρακολουθούσε την Ελλάδα καθώς το κοινοβούλιό της ψήφισε ένα διχαστικό πακέτο μέτρων λιτότητας το οποίο θα μπορούσε να έχει κρίσιμες επιπτώσεις στο παγκόσμιο οικονομικό σύστημα. Ισως προκαλεί έκπληξη που αυτή η μικρή άκρη της χερσονήσου των Βαλκανίων συγκεντρώνει τόση προσοχή. Σκεφτόμαστε συνήθως την Ελλάδα ως την πατρίδα του Πλάτωνα και του Περικλή, με την πραγματική της σημασία να βρίσκεται βαθιά στην αρχαιότητα. Αλλά δεν είναι η πρώτη φορά που για να κατανοήσεις το μέλλον της Ευρώπης χρειάζεται να στραφείς μακριά από τις μεγάλες δυνάμεις στο κέντρο της ηπείρου και να κοιτάξεις προσεκτικά όσα συμβαίνουν στην Αθήνα. Τα τελευταία 200 χρόνια η Ελλάδα ήταν στην πρώτη γραμμή της εξέλιξης της Ευρώπης.

    Στη δεκαετία του 1820, στη διάρκεια του αγώνα για την ανεξαρτησία από την οθωμανική αυτοκρατορία, η Ελλάδα έγινε ένα πρώιμο σύμβολο δραπέτευσης από τη φυλακή της αυτοκρατορίας. Για τους φιλέλληνες, η παλιγγενεσία της αποτελούσε τον πιο ευγενή αγώνα. “Στο μεγάλο πρωινό του κόσμου”, έγραψε ο Σέλεϊ στο ποιημά του “Ελλάς”, “το μεγαλείο της Ελευθερίας τινάχθηκε και έλαμψε! ” Η νίκη θα σήμαινε τον θρίαμβο της ελευθερίας όχι μόνο επί των Τούρκων αλλά και επί όλων των δυναστών που κρατούσαν υπόδουλους τόσο πολλούς ευρωπαίους. Γερμανοί, Ιταλοί, Πολωνοί και Αμερικανοί έτρεξαν να πολεμήσουν υπό την γαλανόλευκη σημαία της Ελλάδας για χάρη της δημοκρατίας. Και μέσα σε μια δεκαετία, η χώρα κέρδισε την ελευθερία της.

  16. katsoyan said

    @Tolis: The French 🙂

    @Fotios: Personally I was never asked and never rejected the term “Slavomacedonia”. Exactly for some of the reasons that you cite. However won or lost this case may be, in my opinion, no matter if the whole planet “Recognises” them, the important think is that the official Greek state never, ever makes the error to recognise them as Rep. of Mac. I have seen countries born and die, borders change etc. We grew up with two germanies hating each other.Only if we ourselves betray our history, their “recognition” will have a value. And they know that damn well. And that’s why they want to achieve it as fast as possible and they have lost temper and create ridiculous statues etc. They know that they may not last long as a country. With this big percent of Albanian-speaking population seeking unification with Albania, I am not sure what will happen there.

    Εστιν ουν Ελλάς και η Μακεδονία. Στράβων.

  17. tolisfoto said

    the terms romans, graikoi and hellenes coexisted in the period before greek revolution.. with the term “romans” having more religious meaning..
    the term hellenes prevailed after the greek revolution…
    today a very few fundamentalists-medievalists insist on using the term romans..


  18. tolisfoto said

    from wikipedia:

    Ethnic nationalism is a form of nationalism wherein the “nation” is defined in terms of ethnicity. Whatever specific ethnicity is involved, ethnic nationalism always includes some element of descent from previous generations and the implied claim of ethnic essentialism, i.e. the understanding of ethnicity as an essence that remains unchanged over time.
    The central theme of ethnic nationalists is that “..nations are defined by a shared heritage, which usually includes a common language, a common faith, and a common ethnic ancestry.”[1] It also includes ideas of a culture shared between members of the group, and with their ancestors, and usually a shared language; however it is different from purely cultural definitions of “the nation” (which allow people to become members of a nation by cultural assimilation) and a purely linguistic definitions (which see “the nation” as all speakers of a specific language). Herodotus is the first who stated the main characteristics of ethnicity, with his famous account of what defines Greek identity, where he lists kinship (Greek: ὅμαιμον – homaimon, “of the same blood”[2]), language (Greek: ὁμόγλωσσον – homoglōsson, “speaking the same language”[3]), cults and customs (Greek: ὁμότροπον – homotropon, “of the same habits or life”).


    • Fotios said

      Tolis, perhaps you should consider stopping posting this stuff cause they are not helping your friend’s case at all.

      • tolisfoto said

        Fotios perhaps you should considering studying some history books even those written by your favorite historians..

      • Fotios said

        I understand the bitterness Athanasie. It’s tough being “Greek” these days, and it’s gonna get tougher. By the way, we both got out of JRC just in time to escape the anti-Greek shit-storm. Difference between me and you: I knew that it was coming. There’s more nasty surprises down the road for you my friend, and if you don’t wake up and smell the coffee you’ll find even more of what you believe and stand for (or pretend to anyway) becoming the joke of the world and then you’ll be part of that joke. Perhaps you already are, together with Samaras and the Holy virgin of course. I Panagia mazi sou agori mou. Aeras sta pania sou nautaki mou…

  19. katsoyan said

    Thanks Fotios for your concerns. Honestly, I don’t understand what makes you say that I have no idea of what the situation is/was/will be. I don’t know what your experiences are, but I will tell you mine. Yes there is a lot anti-Greek shit and I feel it every day [Btw, I am still abroad – I see you type from Athens, is that true?]. However, in personal level, I was still NEVER treated in a shitty way, because the Greek economy/state/country is in troubles. And, anyway, should the fact that there is a lot of anti-greek behavior around me, make me anti-greek too?
    For me the answer is no. Instead, is an extra motivation to demonstrate that the stereotypes are wrong. Till now, I think I am doing well.

  20. katsoyan said

    Turning into something else (in your case, american?) may be the easy solution. I could easily pretend that I feel Italian, English, Norwegian, whatsoever, however I just can’t. I am Greek, the category of Ellinaras, I am proud of being so, and, I repeat, in these difficult moments, the only think left for us is to keep the faith that something good can come, if we, individually, and as a nation change towards the right direction. Easy and safe criticism doesn’t help much.

    • Fotios said

      So, Athanasie, some notes follow, I think important:
      1. On Greek stereotypes: a stereotypical Greek is a person that claims to be the descendant of ancient Greeks and expects that this mere claim should somehow reflect on his value as an individual while further expecting that such reflection is obvious to all around him. Notice how modern Greeks don’t need others to impose stereotypes on them, they do it on their own to themselves.
      2. In all enlightened countries, like the US of A, Greeks are just people like all others. The fact that you are Greek or Nepalese does not translate to anything specific when it comes to your individual. You can be an idiot or a genius whether you’re Greek or German.
      3. On the other hand, when you go to backwaters like Greece and Italy, where you’re from is supreme in determining your value as individual.
      4. There’s nothing more anti-Greek than being a “proud Greek” simply because of feats not of your own age or immediate experience. This is cheating. In fact the whole modern Greek nation is in many ways a big scam. On the other hand being a proud-American makes a lot of sense because you’re being proud of what is in the making with you part of it.
      5. You are completely wrong when you think that your personal success, whatever that may be, somehow translates to value for Greekdom as a whole. It only does so for idiots who want to ascribe certain values to all individuals of a certain nation just because of the values of certain individuals who happen to be part of that nation. If what you did was in Greece and you did it together with a lot of other Greeks and it was indeed good and grand and great and only possible in Greece because of how the majority of Greeks do things today, then you could be proud of being Greek. But it is not the case so time for a reality check.

      • katsoyan said

        I let the humanity criticise your phrase “On the other hand being a proud-American makes a lot of sense because you’re being proud of what is in the making with you part of it.”

        For the other points, I just ask you to show me when exactly I wrote/implied that “my personal success, whatever that may be, somehow translates to value for Greekdom as a whole”…

        I quote myself:
        “I am proud of being Ellinaras” – This is nowhere near to what you understood…

        “Instead, is an extra motivation to demonstrate that the stereotypes are wrong. Till now, I think I am doing well”
        This again is far from what you just typed. Doing well in demonstrating that the stereotypes are wrong means “I am successful”??Anyway, YES, today, Globally, everyday life is full of stereotypes against Greeks. In a recent interview, I was asked if I pay taxes all these years that I am abroad. Ofcourse this was supposed to bea joke, yet politically incorrect and definitely it constitutes a stereotype.

  21. Fotios said

    Yeah, I think it is better to let “humanity” judge our writings. By humanity, I take it you mean you, me, Tolis and the odd “proud Greek” stumbling on this page? I am happy with that. But if you really want to know what humanity thinks of America, ask yourself: when there is a threat to democracy and freedom what is the single country in this world, with all its failings and imperfections, that most people will turn to and genuinely hope for protection and a solution? There’s only one my friend: US of A. The hope in our hearts no matter where we were born. The country of all, the country for all. The lone star in a dark sky of centuries of political and social failure. USA!!! I love you because I chose you with my heart and mind and you accepted me for who I truly am.

  22. katsoyan said

    there u go Fotios…:-) http://www.on-news.gr/2011/11/h-post-facebook.html

    • Fotios said

      So, what’s wrong from not allowing the place to become “Greece”?

      • katsoyan said

        nothing. It’s just that probably we perceive in a different way the word “democracy”.

        Furthermore, is the second time that you compare US of A with Greece. Apparently, there is not much difference between these two places [if we bear in mind that reasonable people don’t compare different things…]

        Finally, you commented my phrase “let the humanity criticise your phrase”. Your argument was that nobody reads me. Now, may I see your links where “most people” rely on the US of A for freedom and democracy? Did you set your poll in Tienanmen square, in New Delhi or in Brasil? Maybe you consider people only the ones who share the same opinions with you, cause if you were considering all humans, you wouldn’t have said something so wrong…

  23. Fotios said

    Absolutely right on perceptions of democracy – for instance I don’t believe that what we’ve had in Greece over the past 30 years was (or is today) democracy. I am almost certain you disagree.

    Don’t take it personally man – yeah, I was joking a bit because your “humanity” comment was a bit too ominous and out of place I thought – but nothing serious. My comment was pure heartfelt, educated speculation my friend – no polls behind it. On the other hand, I know better than the two of us (and probably 90% of your blog visitors) as I’ve actually lived there for years. Go live in America long term if you can Athanasios – it will be good for you. You will love the country too. There’s no way to hate a country that all it does is accept and welcome you.

  24. katsoyan said

    Fotie, I don’t disagree with any of your statements. Not even with the first one about democracy in Greece. This however doesn’t mean that you are right about democracy in the states. As I have said in an earlier comment, I have been abroad for years and still am. I never faced any kind of troubles and I am pretty sure that I would cope easily with the USA life style. Honestly, I consider the american people I have met till now the nicest persons, very hardworking and open but I have met only scientists or tourists who can afford a trip to Europe. I am aware that there is a lot of poverty and I have heard that there is a lot of intolerance and bad manipulation of public opinions. I believe that there are also nicest places to live at, like Switzerland, Netherlands, Scandinavia. I respect your opinion about the states, but you shouldn’t close your eyes to what US of A does all over the world.

  25. Fotios said

    Dear Athanasie,

    This is an imperfect world of imperfect people and certainly imperfect governments. No doubt about it, the US has had a significant share in validating this proposition. But, I think my point versus yours can be better grasped if one looks at the alternatives for global dominance. For instance, I think it is quite educational if one takes a look at say the 5 biggest economies of the world after the US:

    1. People’s Republic of China: The world’s first communistic capitalist system. An oxymoronic State of injustice, inequality, crushed human rights and poverty.
    2 Japan: just 60 years ago the head of the state was “the Emperor” who was also the head priest of Shinto. The word “democracy” was added to their dictionaries as recent as the 1950s.
    3 India: the country of crushing poverty for 50% of its population (with much of the rest still dirt poor) and strong social divisions into castes with much of the educated high class supporting the caste system.
    4 Germany: just 60 years ago most of the population believed they are the members of a superior race. Many still believe it today.
    5 Russia: Putin rides a Harley. Need I say more? (Not that there isn’t a LOT more to say)

    I’d say, if you pray to God, better add a line that begs America remains strong and dominant in this world. I don’t think you or most of the world, whether bitching and moaning about US policies or not, would like what could take its place.

  26. katsoyan said

    Fotie interesting points. I am not so interested in the global dominance things so I will pass. I was not referring to international relationships and external policies etc.

  27. katsoyan said

    However, Fotios, how sensible is it to compare a country’s behaviour in 2010 with another country’s behaviour 70 years ago?

  28. Fotios said

    Actually, I am comparing them all both 70 years ago and today and then projecting into the present certain potentialities based on the recent history of each country.

  29. katsoyan said

    OK. As said I am not an expert, so I cannot comment on these socio-political discussions much

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