May 20th, 2008, 6:59 am #1


If the Greek argument were true, then modern-day Greeks cannot claim descent from the ancient Greeks for the following reasons:

Greek territory was subject to a countless number of migrations, attacks, and forced assimilation dating back to 2000 B.C. Example - The classical Mycenean culture (who lived on Greek territory and are claimed as a Greek tribe) were completely wiped out by the Dorian invasions of 1200 B.C. also huge Slav invasions deep into the Balkans once again changing the mix. Not to mention Turkic and other Asia minor influences that have been very significant indeed.

Greece was never a unified country until 1832, nor did the ancient Greeks view themselves as being members of one nation. Ancient maps show Greek territory as divided in the following territories: Achaia, Epirus, Thessaly, Sparta, Athens, etc.

Yet modern-day Greeks continue to claim that their race is continuous dating back from 4000 B.C.

From the close of the 6th century the territory of Macedonia, like the other Byzantine dominions in the Balkans, was exposed to continual settlement by the trans-Danubian Slav tribes. From that time onwards the city of Salonica became an object of Slavonic and combined Slavonic and Avar sieges and attacks. As a result of large-scale and intensive Slav colonization, in the 30's of the 7th century the whole territory of Macedonia, with the exception of Salonica, was settled by Slavs. Influenced by its Slavonic surroundings even Salonica underwent considerable Slavonic influence so that in the 9th century, in the Life of St. Methodius. it is written that "all the citizens of Salonica speak a pure Slavonic". Thus, as was stated by the French Byzantine scholar P. Lemerle, "Macedonia in the 7th and 8th centuries was more Slavonic than Greek". According to G. Ostrogorsky. Macedonia was at this time lost to Byzantium "and found itself in the hands of the Slavs, consisting of a conglomeration of Sklavinii". These were the districts of distinct Slav tribes: the Dragoviti, Sagudati. Velegiziti. Strumjani. Smoljani, Rinhini, Berziti. etc.

As a result of the Slav colonization of Macedonia certain radical ethnic and socio-economic changes took place. The Slavonic ethnos became dominant. The native inhabitants, the Macedonians, had continued to exist and, after the extinction of the ancient Macedonian state in the 2nd century BC at the hands of the Romans, as writes F. Papazoglou "maintaining their ethnic characteristics, their language, their belief and customs' they were by the period of Slavonic colonization already perceptibly diluted". Those, however, who had remained in their native homesteads gradually became assimilated by particular Slavonic tribes, in the process transmitting to the Slavs certain of their own customs, the Christian faith, culture and also the name of their fatherland and their identity, Macedonia and Macedonians. This had the effect that the Byzantine authors of the 8th century called the Slavicised districts "the Sklavinii" in Macedonia.

In the course of the 7th century the Slav tribes which had settled in Macedonia were already attempting, through an association of larger tribal leagues, to take Salonica, which had remained as the single Byzantine base on the territory of Macedonia, and to create their own Slav state in Macedonia. The first such league was created in the second decade of the 7th century with Price Hacon at its head. Byzantium, however, succeeded in rendering it impossible for the associated Macedonian Slav tribes to capture Salonica. In the second half of the 7th century the Slavs in Macedonia once more came together in a larger tribal league led by Rex ("King") Prebond. But this tribal league was also dispersed by Byzantium when Prebond was captured by deceit and put to death in 674. After his death the Macedonian Sklavinii were exposed to continual attacks from the Byzantine army; and yet, in spite of this, they were not subdued. In the course of the 8th century the Macedonian Sklavinii developed into anti-state formations, administered by their princes (archonts) and "kings" (reges). During this period the Sklavinii had at their disposal their own hoplites (heavily-armed infantrymen).

However, a significant event in the history of Macedonia and the history of the Slavs in general took place in 863 when the distinguished Byzantine missionaries from Salonica, the brothers Sts. Cyril and Methodius and their disciples, set out for Moravia bearing with them the first books in a Slavonic language, written in the Glagolitic alphabet which they themselves had invented. It is of particular significance that this new form of writing was created on the basis of the phonetic principles of the Slavs in Macedonia (from the surroundings of Salonica) and that the first translations of the holy books were made into the language of the Slavs of Macedonian. This was the fourth language, in addition to Hebrew, Greek and Latin, which was officially recognized by the Christian church.

Greeks claim the Heritage of the Ancients because even though they are of mixed blood and have little to no family link to the peoples living in that region of 3000 years ago. You are now standing on the same earth as they did, have been Hellenised and therefore feel you have complete ownership of the ancient Greek heritage. Wrong!. You are Greeks, but not of the Ancient variety. You are their inheritors only!. Call yourselves “Greek”, but remember you are mostly a mixed breed, so it doesn’t pay to point the finger at others who have also inherited an ancient Heritage.