Timeline of the History of Macedonia
is located in the center of the Southern Balkans, north of ancient
Hellas (Greece), east of Illyria, and west of Thrace. The name
"Macedonia" is the oldest surviving name of a country on
the continent of Europe. The ancient Macedonians were a distinct
nation, ethnically, linguistically, and culturally different from
their neighbors. Their origins are in the ancient Brygian (Phrygian)
substratum that occupied the whole of Macedonian territory and in
Indo-European superstratum, which settled here at the end of the 2nd
evidence shows that old European civilization flourished in
Macedonia between 7000 and 3500 BC.
establishes the ancient Macedonian kingdom and is the first known
Macedonian king (808-778 BC). Alexander
I "Philhellene" (498-454 BC) expend the kingdom and fight
as Persian ally in the Greek-Persian wars.
Alexander’s son Perdiccas II (453 - 413 BC) instigates a
conflict between Athens and Sparta which turns into a 27 year long
Peloponnesian War resulting in a near exhaustion of almost every
Greek city-state. Archelaus
(413-399 BC) turns Macedonia into an economic power and reorganizes
the Macedonian army.
BC] Philip II
(359-336 BC) raises Macedonia into the greatest European Power after
subduing all of Macedonia's neighbors - Illyrians, Thracians, and
Greeks. The Battle of
Chaeronea where the Macedonians defeat the Greeks on August 2, 338
BC, marks an end of Greek history and the beginning of the
Macedonian Era. The ancient Greek writer Theopompus declares Philip
“the greatest man that Europe had ever given.”
son Alexander III the
Great (356-323 BC)
carries the Macedonian armies into Asia and conquers the Persian
Empire. Macedonia becomes the world’s largest Empire stretching
from Europe, to North Africa and India.
death of Alexander the Great plunges the Macedonian nation into a
civil war as the leading Macedonian generals fight over the rule of
the Empire. By 300
BC, the Macedonian Empire is carved up between the dynasties of
Alexander’s generals Antigonus I (Macedonia and Greece), Ptolemy I
(Egypt), and Seleucus I (Asia).
Antigonus II Gonatas (276-239), the grandson of Antigonus I,
Macedonia achieves a stable rule and strengthens its occupation of
Greece. His grandson Philip V (222-179 BC) clashes with Rome that
begun expanding eastward. The two "Macedonian Wars" against the Romans end up
in defeat of Philip V’s armies. Macedonia loses the whole of
Greece and is reduced to its original borders. In the third
"Macedonian War", Rome defeats the Macedonian army under
the last Macedonian king, Philip's son Perseus (179-168 BC). Perseus
dies prisoner in Italy, a rebellion against the Roman rule fails,
and by 146 Macedonia is a Roman province.
Rome conquers the Seleucid
Macedonian kingdom in Asia
under its last king Antiochus XII.
The Roman victory over Cleopatra VII puts an end to the last of the Macedonian
descendants in Egypt,
and with it to the last remains of the Macedonian Empire.
“And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a
Macedonian man, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia,
and help us" (Bible, Acts 16:9).
Apostle Paul and his epistles preach Christianity for the
first time on European soil, in the Macedonian towns Philippi,
Thessalonica, and Beroea. The
first European to convert to Christianity is a Macedonian girl by
the name of Lydia.
The Roman Empire
splits into Western and Eastern.
Macedonia falls to the Eastern (Byzantine), a multi-national
empire stretching over three continents at its height.
Byzantine Emperors are Romans but in time, people of Macedonian,
Syrian, Armenian, Phrygian (Amorian), and other ethnic backgrounds
Slavs overrun Macedonia, Greece, Illyria, and Thrace and mix into
the Macedonians, Greeks, Illyrians, and Thracians.
Two Macedonians, brothers Cyril and Methodius from Salonica, the ‘great
and the first city of the Macedonians’ as described
by Byzantine historians, create the first Slavonic alphabet and
promote Christianity among the Slavic peoples. Cyril and
Methodius’ disciples Clement and Naum of Ohrid spread the
Christianity in the Slavonic language and establish the first
Slavonic University, the Ohrid Literary School.
Basil I the
Macedonian (867-886) is the first Macedonian to become a Byzantine
emperor, founder of the Macedonian dynasty.
reaches its zenith in a period known as the ‘Golden Age’, while
ruled by the Macedonian Dynasty from 867 to 1025.
half 10th century]
The Bogomil teaching appears in Macedonia and grows into a
large-scale popular movement that spreads through the Balkans and
the weakening of the Byzantine Empire, the Macedonian Slavs rebel
against Bulgarian authority and under Tsar Samuel create a strong
Macedonian Slav medieval kingdom with its center at Ohrid. Samuel
expanded his kingdom conquering parts of Greece, Epirus, Bulgaria,
Albania, Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro and Dalmacia, but is defeated by
the Byzantine emperor Basil II the Macedonian in 1014. By 1018 his
empire is retaken by Byzantium.
Two major uprisings erupt against Byzantine rule in Macedonia, one
led by Samuel's grandson Petar Deljan (1040), the other by Gjorgji
the rebellions, and the short-lived Serbian and Bulgarian
occupations in the 13th and 14th centuries,
Macedonia remained Byzantine territory until the Ottoman Turks
conquer it in 1389.
Mariovo-Prilep Rebellion is the first recorded significant
Macedonian resistance movement against the Turkish occupation.
Uprising follows in northern Macedonia.
The leader Karposh is captured and executed on the Stone
Bridge in Skopje.
pressure from the Greek Patriarch in Istanbul, the Turks abolish the
Ohrid Archbishopric, which had been keeping alive the spiritual soul
of the Macedonians since the times of Tsar Samuel.
Negus Uprising erupts, an insurrection of the Macedonians for
liberation in southern Macedonia.
Greece (1828), Serbia (1830), and Bulgaria (1878) gain independence
from Turkish rule and display territorial aspirations on Macedonian
territory. The so-called "Macedonian Question" appears.
The Greeks, Bulgarians, and Serbs
compete in their quest to occupy Macedonia and in the same time put
obstacles to Macedonian independence.
Razlovtzi Uprising in eastern Macedonia against Turkish rule heralds
the Macedonian national liberation struggle.
rebel again in
eastern Macedonia against the Turkish occupation with the Krersna
Macedonian freedom fighters adopt a
constitution known as the Rules of the Macedonian Uprising
Committee. The uprising sets strong influence on the growth
of Macedonian national awareness.
Theodosius of Skopje begins a campaign for an independent Macedonian
Orthodox Church and restoration of the
Ohrid Archbishopric, which had been abolished in 1767. The
Bulgarians effectively destroy the idea.
The Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (VMRO) is founded
in Salonica. Under the slogan "Macedonia for the
Macedonians", its objectives are national freedom and
establishment of independent Macedonian state.
Georgi (Gotse) Delchev becomes its leader.
Macedonian revolutionaries "Gemidzii" carry out series of
attacks on number of buildings in Salonica in order to draw the
attention of the European public towards the plight of the
Macedonian people. On
August 2, 1903 VMRO
launches the Ilinden Uprising against the Turks and declares
Macedonian independence. The revolutionaries liberate the town of
Krushevo and establish a Republic with a government. The uprising is
brutally crushed by the Turks.
Krushevo is burned to the ground and more then 150 Macedonian
villages destroyed. In
this same year Krste Misirkov from Pella (Postol), the founder of
the modern Macedonian literary language and orthography, publishes
his "On Macedonian Matters", in which he projects the
principles for standardization of the Macedonian literary language.
The Young Turk revolution shutters the Ottoman Empire. The
Macedonian revolutionary organization, through Jane Sandanski and
the newly formed National Federal Party, actively takes part in the
Young Turk movement for achieving autonomy for Macedonia.
Serbia, and Bulgaria join forces, and with the help of 100,000
Macedonians defeat the Turkish army in Macedonia. Macedonia is
denied independence and the Treaty of Bucharest (August 1913)
partitions the country between Greece, Serbia, and Bulgaria.
Greece takes the biggest, southern half of Macedonia (Aegean
Macedonia) and renames it to "Northern Greece”. The Greek
army burns to the ground the town Kukush, the birthplace of the
Macedonian leader Georgi (Goce) Delcev. Bulgaria annexed the Pirin
region and abolished the Macedonian name, and Serbia took over the
Vardar region and renamed it to "Southern Serbia".
1914, World War I erupts. Bulgaria sides with the Central powers and
by 1915 occupies the Serbian held part of Macedonia (Vardar). The
defeat of the Central powers and the end of World War I in 1918 saw
the partition of 1913 reconfirmed and Macedonia is left divided.
the Paris Peace conference the demands of the Macedonians for
independent and united Macedonia are ignored. The
Treaty of Versailles sanctions the partition of Macedonia. Vardar
Macedonia is re-incorporated with the rest of Serbia and into the
new Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, later renamed
Manifesto, resolution of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia on the
right of the Macedonian people to self-determination. Greece prints
out the primer
"Abecedar" in the Macedonian language for the needs of the
Macedonian children in Aegean Macedonia but it withdrawn before it
reaches the schools.
(United) is founded in Vienna under the leadership of Dimitar Vlahov.
Its main objective is to free Macedonia within its geographical and
economical borders and create an independent political unit that
will become an equal member for future Balkan Federation.
Macedonian National Movement MANAPO is established in the Vardar
part of Macedonia.
Macedonian Literary Society is founded in Sofia by outstanding
Fifth Nationwide Conference of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia
passes a resolution on the equality and self-determination of the
War II erupts and Bulgaria as fascist ally of Hitler’s Germany occupies
almost all of Macedonia (both Vardar and Aegean) and collaborates
with the Nazis for the departure of the Jews of Salonica to
concentration camps. On October 11, 1941, the Macedonians launch a
war for liberation of Macedonia from the Bulgarian occupation.
The anti-fascist sentiment lends support for the growing communist
movement and the Communist Party of Macedonia is established. The
first unit of the Army of Macedonia is founded and government bodies
(national liberation councils) are formed over the whole territory
of Macedonia. The Headquarters of the National Liberation Army (NOV)
publishes a manifesto of the goals of the war for liberation.
August 2, 1944, 2282
years after the Battle of Chaeronea and on the 41st
anniversary of the Ilinden uprising, the Anti-Fascist Assembly of
the National Liberation of Macedonia (ASNOM) proclaims a Macedonian
state. Representatives from all parts of Macedonia gather for the
occasion and decide on the constitution of a modern Macedonian state
as member of the new Yugoslav federation. The ASNOM presidium is
formed with Metodia Andonov Chento as its first President.
government of the People's Republic of Macedonia is founded (April
Lazar Kolisevski as its President.
constitution of the People's Republic of Macedonia is adopted.
Start of university education in Macedonian (Faculty of
under the leadership of Geogi Dimitrov officially recognizes the
existence of the Macedonian nation and the right of the Pirin part
of Macedonia to be attached to the People’s Republic of Macedonia.
The majority of the population in the Pirin part of Macedonia
declares itself as Macedonian in a free census.
Greek Civil War (1946-1949) that followed World War II, the
Macedonians of Aegean Macedonia fight on the side of the Greek
Communist Party (KKE) as it promised them their rights after the
war. About half of the
35,000 soldiers of DAG are Macedonians.
On the liberated territory in Aegean Macedonia 87 Macedonian
schools are opened, newspapers in Macedonian are published, and
cultural and artistic associations created. But after few years of
KKE's success, the communists lose the war, and the Macedonians are
once again stripped of their human rights.
Aegean Macedonian children, known as 'child refugees', are separated
from their families and settled in eastern Europe and Soviet Union
in an attempt to save them from the terror that followed. Thousands
of Macedonians lost their lives and great numbers of the Macedonian
villages are burned to the ground.
In the Bulgarian census of 1956, the majority of the population of
Pirin Macedonia again declares itself as Macedonian.
Since then Bulgaria
under nationalist Todor Zhivkov reverts its decision of recognizing
the Macedonian nation and
once again forbids free expression of Macedonian nationality and
Ohrid Archbishopric, abolished in 1767 by the Ottoman Turks under
Greek pressure, is restored.
Academy of Arts and Sciences is founded. The autocephaly of the Macedonian Orthodox Church is
Greek paper "Elefteros Tipos" announces that
Prime-Minister Papandreu in the talks with Yugoslav presidency
member Stane Dolanc has agreed to recognize the Macedonian language
as one of the official languages in Yugoslavia.
Greek Prime-Minister Papandreu and the Foreign Affairs' Karolos
Papulias, agree to recognize the Macedonian language in Greece. The
banker’s affair "Koskotas" brings down the PASOK
government, and the documents were never signed.
United Macedonian Organization - Ilinden (OMO Ilinden) is founded in
Pirin Macedonia, demanding cultural and national autonomy for the
Macedonians in the Pirin part of Macedonia.
Yugoslavia disintegrates as Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia declare
independence. On a
referendum on September 8 the Macedonians proclaim independence. Kiro
Gligorov is elected first president of independent Macedonia. New
constitution is adopted, declaring the Republic of Macedonia a
sovereign, independent, civil, and democratic state, and recognizing
complete equality of the Macedonians and the ethnic minorities in
is admitted to the United Nations.
that Macedonia might put forward a historical, cultural, and
linguistic, claim over Aegean Macedonia, Greece insists that the
there is no Macedonian nation and that the Macedonians have no right
to use the name "Macedonia".
Greece imposes a trade embargo on Macedonia because of the
Macedonian refusal to rename the country, nation, and language, and
change the Constitution Article 47 that specifies "the Republic
of Macedonia cares for the statue and rights of those persons
belonging to the Macedonian people in neighboring countries”.
At the same time, Greece withdrew from the Greek - Macedonian
talks, monitored by the UN as a mediator, and blocked any acceptance
of Macedonia in the international institutions by using its power to
veto new members.
Macedonia becomes a member of the Council of Europe.
Human Rights Watch condemns Greece for the oppression of its large
ethnic Macedonian minority, which Greece denies it exists. Both
Amnesty International and the European Parliament also urge Greece
to recognize the existence of the Macedonian language and stop the
oppression of the ethnic Macedonians on the Macedonian territory it
appropriated in 1913.