Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

If Macedonian language is greek why greeks called Macedonia "Barbarian"- people who don't spek greek

7 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    This is a fascinating question - and so are the answers I have read so far. I can't hope to provide a difinitive answer - but will share my point of view related to my contact with this area.

    I'm not going to take sides but offer an opinion from an 'outsider'. I am British and used to work in Northern Central Greece in the 1980s. I often visited small towns such as Florina near the border between Northern Greece (Greek Macedonia) and (what was then the Yugoslav Republic of) Macedonia.

    In Florina a good proportion of the population spoke the Slav language, Macedonian, as their first language. However, this obvious fact was rigorously denied by the Greek authorities. Indeed, in the recent past, whole villages had been forced to sign documents rejecting this obvious fact.

    English speaking people are fond of quoting the line from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. 'What's in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.'

    Linguists sometimes refer to the opposite point of view to that of Shakespeare as 'word magic' - i.e. the belief that the name you attach to something has an effect on what it is.

    Word magic is still a powerful force in many parts of the world today - and this is a good example. The Greek governement used to insist on calling the language spoken in Florina by so many people 'a dialect of Greek' - when it was obviously exactly the same as the language spoken twenty miles away in Yugoslav Macedonia. On the other hand, Greek newspapers etc. can refer to 'the real' Macedonia (as opposed to the 'fake' one?!) over their border.

    It seems the biggest hurdle to mutual understanding is the recognition that calling Macedonian as spoken in Florina 'Greek' does not make it Greek. And calling (FYROM) Macedonia 'fake' will not somehow change it or make it disappear.

    Of course there is historical politics involved here. When the Ottoman empire disintegrated in the early 20th century, 'Greece' was defined as an area where most people spoke Greek (these people were also all assumed - often wrongly - to be orthodox Christians rather than Muslims.) Perhaps there is - or was recently - a feeling in the Greek Government that admitting that an area within Greece speaks Macedonian will be the first step on the path to losing that area to another neighbouring state?

  • 1 decade ago

    Zdrasti Vasko!

    Someone before me answered if the other Greek nations were calling Macedonians barbarians!

    Thus, I will proceed in another issue! Really, do you prefer to be called barbarian than Greek?

    If this is the case, then you are a barbarian, or brainwashed, as it has happened since 1948!

    In the 80's, when I was and passing through south Yugoslavia, called Vardaska, before 1948, the programs of the radio stations were in Greek! How come and now people do not speak the language? Common dear brat! See the future, learn from the past, see the Truth into her eyes! Why spend time, efforts, strength, why hate instead of love, why sacrifice lives for some crazy ones who want to govern regardless of the benefit of the people? Even is Macedonians were no Greeks and I was Macedonian, in the present circumstances, I would declare Greek, to ease my life, prepare an easier and better life for my children! Look around you! For centuries enemies of Greece are becoming friends because the other way is not proper for anyone! See at the USA: since they do not discriminate, all people residing there and around are progressing! Here, we are fighting for no reason!

    If Macedonians were no Greeks, how come and the royal Macedonian family was descendants of Hercules, from Argos, etc.? How come and they participated in the Olympics? How come and the only writing found was Greek, before and after Alexandre? How come and all the names are Greek? Wake up for your benefit! For me, Greece does not like me, since I am attacking the government whenever I feel they are making mistakes and they do often! But why would you and our brothers in your country suffer for the benefit of the few who govern your country and the world leaders who keep our peninsula always in trouble?

    Enjoy! We have one life to live, don't spend it carelessly!

  • Evi
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    there is a huge misunderstanding here! there is no macedonia or macedonian language. there is skopje and skopjian language or whatever! this small country that today is FYROM (former yugoslavian republic of macedonia) was always called skopje and now they changed it into FYROM which is of course totally wrong because these people have nothing to do with greece and macedonia (the capital of macedonia is thessaloniki and it is a greek district). about barbarians now..this is what ancient greeks called the outsiders..the foreigners because they could listen the sound bar bar all the time when listening to their languages. the word barbarian came later by rephrasing that ancient perception. greeks dont call anybody anything by the way!

  • 1 decade ago

    A change occurred in the connotations of the word after the Greco-Persian Wars in the first half of the 5th century BC. Here a hasty coalition of Greeks defeated a vast empire. Indeed in the Greek of this period 'barbarian' is often used expressly to mean Persian. In the wake of this victory they began to see themselves as superior militarily and politically

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  • 1 decade ago

    Barba means bearded, non Greeks had beards, outside the confines of Ancient GREECE even related languages were considered foreign and spoken by bearded people, therefore Barbarian.

  • 1 decade ago

    Hello Vasko! You are completely wrong!

    Greeks never called Macedonia Barbarian!

    Only Demosthenes (a sworn enemy of Philip) in his speeches accused King Philip (and only King Philip) as a Barbarian.

    The word Barbarian was used as an insult among Greeks and it actually worked! Philip was greatly insulted because someone accused him as non Greek!

    Macedonia was an ancient Greek state and it still is a part of Greece! (no relation with Republic of Makedonija or Slav Macedonia)

    Ancients Macedonians were participating (as every other Greek) to the (Greeks only) Olympic games. They spoke Greek and their culture was of course Greek.! The most important evidence is the archaeological discoveries! The archaeological discoveries from real Macedonia are the strongest proof that ancient Macedonia was part of the ancient Greek world. All the inscriptions on monuments, coins and other artifacts have the Greek language on them. There are no ancient monuments with a different language. Furthermore there are a large number of discoveries in Asia in the route of Alexander the Great. All these monuments, discovered in Pakistan, Kuweit, India and many more countries, prove that Alexanders quest was Greek and that his goal was to spread the Greek civilization all over the world. ( Dont forget that Alexander spread the Greek language and culture to the Known world an build a gigantic Greek Empire.)

    His successors continued to spread Greek culture and language and they are responsible for Hellenistic Greek civilization!

    But what i am saying is also you countrys policy!! Here are some official statements from the authorities of Slav Macedonia (Makedonija or FYROM. The real Macedonia is in Greece)

    The first President of FYROM (Slav Macedonia), Kiro Gligorov said: “We are Slavs who came to this area in the sixth century ... we are not descendants of the ancient Macedonians" (Foreign Information Service Daily Report, Eastern Europe, February 26, 1992, p. 35). Also, Mr Gligorov declared: "We are Macedonians but we are Slav Macedonians. That's who we are! We have no connection to Alexander the Greek and his Macedonia… Our ancestors came here in the 5th and 6th century" (Toronto Star, March 15, 1992).

    On 22 January 1999, Ambassador of the FYROM to USA, Ljubica Achevska gave a speech on the present situation in the Balkans. In answering questions at the end of her speech Mrs. Acevshka said: "We do not claim to be descendants of Alexander the Great …

    In reply to another question about the ethnic origin of the people of FYROM, Ambassador Achevska stated that "we are Slavs and we speak a Slav language”.

    On 24 February 1999, in an interview with the Ottawa Citizen, Gyordan Veselinov, FYROM'S Ambassador to Canada, admitted, "We are not related to the northern Greeks who produced leaders like Philip and Alexander the Great. We are a Slav people and our language is closely related to Bulgarian." He also commented, “There is some confusion about the identity of the people of my country".

    Moreover, the Foreign Minister of the FYROM, Slobodan Casule, in an interview to Utrinski Vesnik of Skopje on December 29, 2001, said that he mentioned to the Foreign Minister of Bulgaria, Solomon Pasi, that they "belong to the same Slav people.”

    Is that enough?

    So Ancient Macedonia and real Macedonia in Greece were and still are Greek, and your country is Slavic!

    And you should be proud that you are Slav!

    There are no inferiors or superior nations. We are all the same!

  • 1 decade ago

    I think this is illustrated by the differences btw Spanish and Italian. Although, the languages may appear similar in speech and in writing, they are essentially different languages. This is also the case with Scandanivian languages e.g. Finnis/Swedish, which may sound/appear similar but are different languages.....In many languagues there are variations unique to the culture of the users......French/Creole etc....

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