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Why the Macedonians and Bulgarians are Two Separate Nations?


1.   The roots of the Macedonians are in ancient Macedonia in Europe since 8th century BC, while the roots of the Bulgarians are in the Turko-Morgilic Bulgars who came into Europe from Asia in the 7th century AD.  While the Bulgars are intruders in the Balkans, the Macedonians had preserved their name through the centuries and evidence shows that they have always associated themselves with the ancient Macedonians.


2.   When the Macedonian king Alexander the Great (336-323 BC) conquered Asia, he too conquered ancient Bulgaria. In the writings of the ancient historian Pseudo-Calisthenes there is a list of the nations that the Macedonians conquered, and the Bulgars who then lived in Asia are on that list along with the Greeks, Egyptians, Persians, and the other conquered nations.


3.   When Rome conquered the Balkans, Macedonia and its eastern neighbor Thrace became part of the Roman Empire. In the late 4th century AD with the split of the Roman Empire, Macedonia and Thrace became part of the East Roman (or Byzantine) Empire.


4.  In the 6th century the Slavs invaded the Balkans including Macedonia and Thrace and settled among the ancient Macedonians and Thracians. 


5.   In the 7th century the Turko-Mongolic Bulgars for a very first time entered Europe from their original Asian home, invaded Thrace, and subdued the Thracians and Slavs living there.  Since this moment the mix between the Bulgar intruders, Thracians, and Slavs will result in the formation of the modern Bulgarian nation.


6.  The Bulgars also attacked Macedonia, Epirus, Serbia, conquered parts of these lands, and held them for some time but never permanently. Official modern Bulgarian historiography claims that the Bulgar conquest of parts of Macedonia transformed the Macedonians and the Slavs living there into Bulgarians. The claim is quite ridiculous and easily dismissed for the following main reasons:

a)  There is NO recorded settlement of Bulgars in Macedonia as there is recorded the settlement of the Slavs among the Macedonians, or as is recorded the settlement of Bulgars among the Thracians and Slavs in Thrace.

b) The Bulgar intrusion into Macedonia was nothing but a temporary conquest by a foreign army.  Because it was a temporary conquest it is impossible to imagine that the Macedonians suddenly "evolved" into Bulgarians.  The case applies to Serbia as well - the Bulgarian armies also temporary conquered that country but we know that the Serbians did not turn into Bulgarians either.  Likewise the conquest of Russia of the Caucasus countries did not turn these people into Russians despite both of centuries of occupation and Russian settlements among the natives.

c)  The Romans held Macedonia for more then 12 centuries and yet the Macedonians continued to be mentioned as nation in Byzantine sources, both before and after the Bulgarian conquest.  Thus, since the Romans did not turn the Macedonians into Romans after 12 centuries it is more then impossible that the Bulgarians could have turned them into Bulgarians after holding parts of that land over a insignificant period of time.

7.  Modern Bulgarian historiography also claims that the apostle brothers St. Cyril and Methodius from the 10th century, who came from the largest Macedonian city Salonica were Bulgarians. However, this is also impossible for a simple fact that Salonica was never taken by the Bulgarians. The city obviously kept its original Macedonian population since Byzantine records of those times call it "the largest city of the Macedonians". Thus, Cyril and Methodius could not be anything else but Macedonians.  Cyril and Methodius' father was an important Macedonian in Salonica.  It is simply impossible that he or his sons even looked like the typical Turko-Mongolic Bulgarians from the 11th century.

8.   Modern Bulgarian historiography denies that the modern Macedonians are descendents of the ancient Macedonians, but ironically it recognizes that the modern Bulgarians are descendents of the ancient Thracians.  Right away they contradict themselves since it is impossible to imagine that the Thracians existed in the 7th century when the Bulgars settled among them, while the ancient Macedonians somehow disappeared a century earlier when the Slavs settled Macedonia. The fact that the Macedonians and Slavs are mentioned as living side by side in Macedonia for centuries by the Byzantine historians, is proof that the Macedonians did not mysteriously cease to exist. It also proves that the modern Bulgarian historians are attempting to falsify the history of the Macedonian nation to their likes, although unsuccessfully.

9.   Ottoman Turks entered Europe in the 14th century with the help of the Turko-Mongolic Bulgars conquered the Balkan countries, including Macedonia and Thrace.

10.  After centuries of ruthless oppression, the Balkan peoples lost a clear ethnic identification.  The Greeks called themselves Romanoi, the Bulgarians called themselves Serbs, Greeks and Bulgars, while in Macedonian are recorded Christians, Bulgarians, Slavs, but also Macedonians. Russian, French, Austrian, German, English sources mention the existence of Macedonians among their neighbors Serbians, Greeks, and Bulgarians since the 15th century onward.  Furthermore written records show that Macedonians claimed a lineage from Alexander the Great and the ancient Macedonians.

11.  In the 19th century when nationalism swept the Balkans and the Greek and Bulgarians strove to develop their own Greek and Bulgarian nationality, so did the Macedonians strove to develop their own Macedonian nationality and consciousness. More and more cases are reported where the Macedonians claimed a distinct nationality as direct descendents of the ancient Macedonians and Alexander the Great.  The Macedonian rebellions against the Turks in the 19th century, the deeds of the Macedonian intellectuals, and the Macedonian folk and literature have brought up this strong national awakening.

12.  Having open appetite to Macedonian land, Bulgaria did everything to suppress the development of the Macedonian national awakening and many Macedonians who fought against the Turks and sought refuge ended up in Bulgarian prisons, or were betrayed and surrendered to the Turks.  Such examples were Alexander of Ohrid, father Theodosie of Skopje who attempted to form an independent Macedonian church, Gotse Delchev, Jane Sandanski, Gjorche Petrov, and countless others. 

13.  That the Bulgarians tried everything to falsify the history of the Macedonians we find proof in the recent discovery of a stone inscription which supposedly states that the Macedonians of the 10th century and Czar Samoil were Bulgarians.  However, the stone was examined by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in Sofia and its director himself declared that the inscription was a 19th century Bulgarian fabrication.  Thus we have obtained a clear proof that the Bulgarians have been falsifying the history of the Macedonians for more then a century.  If Tsar Samoil was indeed a "Bulgarian", there would have been no need to use falsifications in order to show that.  It is obvious that the falsifiers were aware that that neither Samoil nor the Macedonians were Bulgarian and with that in mind they created the forgery. Needless to say, modern historiography calls the Bulgarian claims that Samoil was a Bulgarian - absurd.

14.  Yet the Bulgarians also contradict themselves in their claim that the Macedonians were "Bulgarians". There are Bulgarian historians like Draganov and Slaveykov, who even since the 19th century recorded that the Macedonians were not Bulgarians but a distinct nation with its own language, culture, and ethnicity.

15.  In 1913 Bulgaria, and her allies Serbia and Greece, with the help of more then 100,000 Macedonians who fought along these three armies, drove the Turks out of Macedonia.  But Macedonia did not gain its freedom. Instead, the Balkan countries partitioned Macedonia among themselves and Bulgaria occupied 13% of the whole territory, called Pirin Macedonia.

16.  Just like Greece did in Aegean Macedonia, Bulgaria begun an open assimilatory politics against the Macedonians, and proclaimed that the Macedonians of Pirin are "Bulgarians".  Any opposition was brutally suppressed.

17.  After helping the Turks to occupy the Balkans in the 14th century, the Bulgarians again sided with the dark side in World War II (1941-1945).  As fascist allies of Hitler, the Bulgarian armies occupied the previously occupied Greek and Serbian parts of Macedonia. 

18.  But the Macedonians defeated the Bulgarian fascist troops and after the war, the government of Bulgaria on August 9, 1946 officially recognized the Macedonian nation and the right of the Pirin part of Macedonia to be attached to the People’s Republic of Macedonia.

19.  The Macedonians in Bulgaria exist as separate nationality on all Bulgarian censuses after the end of World War II. The demography data from 1946 revealed that the majority of the population in the Pirin part of Macedonia declared itself as Macedonian in a free census. A period of cultural autonomy and affirmation of the Macedonian national and cultural values had begun. The Macedonian literary language and the national history have been introduced into the educational process. Almost 32,000 pupils were included into the teaching of Macedonian.  In 1947 in Gorna Djumaja (Blagoevgrad nowadays) the first Macedonian bookstore and reading room were opened, as well as the Regional Macedonian National Theater. Newspapers in Macedonian such as "Pirinsko delo", "Nova Makedonija", "Mlad Borec" etc. were also published.  Literary circles and cultural and artistic associations were founded contributing to the spreading of the Macedonian culture.  In the Bulgarian census of 1956, the majority of the population of Pirin again declared itself Macedonian.

20.  However, since 1956 Bulgaria has altered her attitude, negating again the existence of the Macedonian nation and forbidding the free expression of Macedonian nationality and language. The idea was enforced and as result, in the census of 1965, the number of Macedonians suddenly dropped to only 8,750 and in the district of Blagoevgrad which previously had the highest percentage of Macedonians, it was "mysteriously" less than 1%.

21.  Like Greece, Bulgaria stands accused by the international human rights organizations Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International for denying the Macedonians of Pirin their basic human rights to identify themselves as Macedonians.  Nevertheless it is recognized that the Macedonians exist in Bulgaria with their own national consciousness and consist a sizable minority. They organize themselves despite the pressures and intimidation of the Bulgarian police, and continue to peacefully demand their rights which the Bulgarians stripped them off since their army took over Pirin Macedonia in 1913. In 1989 the United Macedonian Organization - Ilinden (OMO Ilinden) was formed, demanding cultural and national autonomy for the Macedonians in Pirin.

22.  The Bulgarians and the Macedonians also defer in physical appearance.  The typical Mongolic features among the modern Bulgarians are absent among the Macedonians. The ancient Bulgar personal names still common today among the modern Bulgarians are absent among the Macedonians.  The Bulgarian and Macedonian folklore and music are much different and none of the Bulgarian khans or other rulers have ever been celebrated among the Macedonians.  In contrast stories about the Macedonian kings Alexander the Great and Philip II, and the Macedonian Slav Czar Samoil dominate the Macedonian folklore, music, and dance.

23.  Finally, the fact that the Bulgarians have kept their ancient Asiatic name, and the Macedonians have kept their ancient European name speaks clearly that they are aware of the fact they are two different nations with two different ethnic roots.


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