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Macedonia between Greek, Bulgarian, Albanian, and Serbian national aspirations, 1870-1912.

During the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century Macedonia was one of the most disputed territories and an "apple of discord" on the Balkan Peninsula. All of Macedonia's neighbors and their national states set their territorial aspirations upon Macedonia as a way to solve their own national questions in this part of the Balkans. They based their claims on both ethno-linguistic and historic rights of their own nations. Historic-geographic Macedonia was the most important and, in fact, the crucial moot point in the Balkans, where Serbian, Albanian, Bulgarian, and Greek nationalism was interweaving and struggling against each other. (1) Particularly during the period from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the First World War within the framework of the territorial aspirations of the states and nations that emerged in the Balkans following the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire; the so-called "Macedonian Question" was in fact the most urgent, hot, and significant point of their disagreements and frictions. In other words, the territory of Macedonia was the "crossroad" where territorial claims and nationalism of east Balkan nations became interwoven and directed against each other. National aspirations and disagreements with regard to Macedonia were the crucial reasons for the final political split among the east Balkan states and nations and their participation on opposite sides during the Great War of 1914-18.

The main research topics addressed in this article are: (i) National ideas of the Serbs, Albanians, Bulgarians, and Greeks with regard to the territory of Macedonia and its inhabitants, (ii) Bulgarian Exarchate (1870), "San Stefano Bulgaria" (1878), and the "Macedonian Question," and (iii) The "Macedonian Question" from the Berlin Congress (1878) to the outbreak of the Balkan Wars (1912).

Problems with regard to the question of Macedonia in terms of Serbian, Albanian, Bulgarian, and Greek national aspirations and diplomatic activities are covered in this article from the time of the establishment of the Bulgarian Exarchate in 1870 (the name of the national Bulgarian autocephalous church) created by the highest authorities of the Ottoman Empire to the beginning of the Balkan Wars (1912).

Territory and People

The term Macedonia has had different understandings throughout history. During the time of Alexander the Great (Alexander III of Macedon, 356-323, reign 336-323 BC), the Kingdom of Macedonia was considered to be an area encompassing present-day territories of Vardar, Aegean and Pirin Macedonia, western Thrace, southern Serbia's province of Kosovo and Metohija, and parts of Albania and Epirus. According to Nicolaos K. Martis, in narrow geographical terms, ancient Macedonia occupied the lands of southern parts of present-day Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (without Skopje/Scupi) and northern Greece up to Mt. Olympus and just before the Maritza River. (2) The Romans used the term Macedonia for their province in the central Balkans which incorporated present-day Albania, and in early Byzantine times Macedonia was a separate theme, one of the Byzantine administrative provinces, but it was located in today's Thrace. Finally, when the Ottomans conquered the biggest portion of the Balkan Peninsula in the 14th century Thrace was generally known as Macedonia. However, in a broader geographical sense the term Macedonia refers mainly to the territory that extends from Mt. Shara and Skopje's Crna Gora on the northwest, through Osogovo and Mt. Rila on the north, to Mt. Rhodope on the northeast, to the Aegean Sea and the River Aliakmon (Bistritsa) on the south, and finally to beyond the Lakes of Prespa and Ochrida on the southwest. In this case the area of Macedonia covers a large portion of the east-central parts of the Balkan Peninsula including the valley of the Vardar (Axios) River, the Aegean littoral from the mouth of the Aliakmon River to the mouth of the Mesta River to the Aegean Sea, whole parts of the Ochrida and Prespa Lakes, and the city of Salonica/Thessaloniki as an administrative, economic, and cultural center of the area. (3)

Macedonia is associated with the names of Philip of Macedon and Alexander the Great (Alexander III of Macedon). However, Macedonia from 1371 to 1912 was a part of the Ottoman Empire without its own administrative-provincial name (pashalik or vilayet). Once a central part of the Ottoman Empire (in the 15th century), during the peak of the glory of Ottoman history (1521-1683) Macedonia was in fact located on the empire's periphery. However, with the decline of the Ottoman state in the 19th century the territory of Macedonia emerged again as one of the crucial and central parts of the Ottoman Empire. The political importance of Macedonia during the last years of Ottoman period, and the initial period of the Republic of Turkey can be understood because of two facts: (i) the center of the Young Turk revolution (1908) was located in this area in the city of Bitola/Monastir, and (ii) the father of the modern Turkish state--Mustafa Kemal Atatiirk--was born in the Macedonian capital, Thessaloniki (1881). (4) As a result of the national-political awakening of the Serbs (in 1804), Greeks (in 1821), and Bulgarians (in 1878) in the 19th century, they finally re-established their own national states at the expense of the Ottoman Empire. Nevertheless, irredentist claims by Serbs, Albanians, Greeks, and Bulgarians to the territories outside of their national states or Ottoman administrative-provincial borders (in the case of the Albanians) spawned a rivalry among them for the possession of geographical-historic Macedonia whole or in parts. By the late 19th century the competition between the Serbs, Greeks, Bulgarians, and Albanians for a dominance over the east-central portions of the Balkans based on ethnic and historic rights took central place in their national struggles. The "Macedonian Question" soon became the crucial standpoint of their national aspirations and multiethnic Macedonia turned out to be a territory of the "apple of discord." (5)

As with respect to the term and territory of Macedonia a similar confused situation exists regarding Macedonia's inhabitants. Ottoman ruled Macedonia had a mixed population where different ethnic groups, languages, and religions coexisted side by side even in the same villages and towns. It was a typical agricultural region with more than 80 percent of its population being peasants. It is estimated that in 1895 the area of geographic-historical Macedonia had a population of some 2,505,503. The figure increased to 2,911,700 by 1904. (6) According to Yugoslav historiography, around the year of 1900 in Vardar Macedonia there were some 908,904 inhabitants: 175,000 Turks, 88,000 Albanians, and the rest Christians. (7) It is known that not all Muslims in Macedonia were ethnolinguistic Turks. Many of them actually were ethnic Albanians who were living chiefly around the city of Skopje, along the marshes bordering the Albanian highlands, and across the plain around Bitola. Genuine ethnolinguistic Turks, interspersed with some Circassians and other Turkic groups (resettled from Central Asia in order to dilute the local Balkan Christian population) lived in the cities as well as along the river valleys. The Muslim population was augmented in the late 19th century by displaced coreligionists from the former Ottoman possessions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Bulgaria. This new population lived primarily in Muslim, but sometimes also in religiously mixed villages along the Rivers Vardar and Struma and in extreme southeastern Macedonia. The Macedonian Slavic population who adopted Islam lived in villages in the extreme eastern and western areas of Macedonia. The Orthodox Greeks were inhabitants of the major trading centers. In the course of the 19th century the majority of the Balkan merchants were the Greeks, who were also sailors, fishermen, and peasants. The Vlachs or Aromani lived mostly in the Pindus area and in several trading centers. Vlachs were linguistically as well as historically very tied to the Romanians. This fact actually gave a reason to the Romanians to claim parts of Macedonia. However, many of the Vlachs were quite Hellenised and often presented themselves as Greeks at least because of linguistic reason. (8) The Jews inhabited the urban areas, particularly the city of Thessaloniki/Salonica.

Around 1900 in Salonica alone there were approximately 80,000 Jews, making them the dominant community of the city. In addition to Salonica, they could be found also in Macedonia's towns of Bitola/Monastir, Shtip, Kostur, etc. (9) The Gypsies constituted a small minority in the 19th century in Macedonia and lived largely on the outskirts of the cities and towns (especially Skopje) because Ottoman law forbade them from living in urban settlements. They were living in fact on the periphery of society and were in general tolerated by all.

Christian Orthodox Slavic-speaking population constituted the majority of Macedonia's population. They were primarily illiterate peasants and lived in most parts of geographic-historic Macedonia, either in completely Slavic or in mixed ethnic and religious communities. A proper national identity of Orthodox Slavic speakers of Macedonia became the main reason for national struggles between Serbs, Bulgarians, and Greeks. Along with the question of the historical heritage of the ancient Macedonian Kingdom, the national identity of Orthodox Slavic-speaking population in Macedonia, from the mid 19th century became a crucial source and basis for territorial aspirations with respect to Macedonia by Serbs, Bulgarians, and Greeks. At the turn of the 20th century the Slavs who populated the fringe areas of Macedonia, along the Ottoman border with Serbia and scattered villages in western Macedonia as far south as Struga, Ochrida (Ohrid), and Bitola claimed to be Serbs. In 1834 Serbian philologist Vuk Stefanovic-Karadzic, for example, heard from some merchants that around Debar and Kicevo in Macedonia there were 300 Serbian villages, but the language of those people was a "Slavic language. (10) Vuk set up a thesis in 1834 that the boundaries of the Serbian population in Albania and Macedonia (in Arnautska and Macedonia), (11) were still not known, and, additionally, that in the southeastern regions of Macedonia the boundaries between Serbian and Bulgarian language are not exactly defined. However, in reality, many Christian Orthodox Slavs who lived in Macedonia near the border with Bulgaria tended to identify themselves as ethnolinguistic Bulgarians. (12) Some of them who inhabited the Greek frontier with the Ottoman Empire considered themselves to be Greek. We have to emphasize that a religious affiliation for many inhabitants of Macedonia became in fact a real basis of their ethnic identity (for instance, Muslims can't be Greeks, Serbs, or Bulgarians).

Foreign diplomats, travelers, and scholars who visited or lived in Macedonia during the 19th century and in the early 20th century usually designated the Slavic-speaking population of Macedonia as a Bulgarian one. (13) Sami-bey Frasheri, an Albanian geographer, referred to the Slavs of Macedonia as Bulgarians, as did various Bulgarian scholars and travelers. He at the same time, in his famous book, Albania: What She Has Been, What She Is, What She Shall Be? (original in German, 1899), bitterly protested against the identification of Albanian Muslims, either in Macedonia or Albania, Kosovo and Metohija, as Turks and the Albanian Christian Orthodox population as the Roums. He also resented Greek attempts to Hellenize and thus separate the Albanian Orthodox population from the rest of the Albanians and Albania in order for Greece to annex Toskeria (Southern Albania). (14) However, the Serbs, like M. J. Andonovic and Tihomir Dordevic, considered them to be originally Serbs, while the Greeks like Cleanthes Nicolaides called them Greeks. (15) There were also a few people who shared the opinion that Macedonia's Slavs were from a national-identity point of view an "amorphous mass of people"--neither Bulgarian nor Greek nor Serbian. (16)

The ethnolinguistic and ethnic minority situation in Ottoman Macedonia was one of the most complex within the whole region of the Balkan Peninsula. Macedonia was the last Balkan region to be liberated from Ottoman authority and to be incorporated into Balkan successor states after the Ottomans lost almost all their European/Balkan territorial possessions at the beginning of the 20th century (1912-13). Finally, according to the censuses of Ottoman citizens (17) done during the realm of the Grand sultan and caliph Abdul Hamid II (1876-1909), there was an equal number of Muslim and Christian population in Macedonia as evidenced in the next table:
Table 1. Macedonian Population, 1882-1906

 1882 1895 1904 1906

Muslims 1,083,130 1,137,315 1,508,507 1,145,849
Greeks (Orthodox) 534,396 603,249 307,000 623,197
Bulgarians 704,574 692,742 796,479 626,715
Greek Catholics 2,311 3,315 No data 2,928
Vlachs (Orthodox) No data No data 99,000 26,042
Serbs (Orthodox) No data No data 100,717 No data
Jews and others 151,730 68,432 99,997 30,594
Total 2,476,141 2,505,503 2,911,700 2,455,325

The Ottoman census of 1906 regarding the main part of Macedonia provides an exaggerated number for the Muslim population including and ethno-linguistic (Muslim) Albanians, but it can be useful to estimate the relative number of Greeks, Serbs, and Bulgarians, reckoned on the religious basis but not on the linguistic one:
Table 2. Macedonian Christian Population in 1906

Orthodox Greeks 648,962
Orthodox Bulgarians 557,734
Orthodox Serbs 167,601

According to Elisabeth Barker, 50 percent of the estimated number of "Orthodox Greeks" were in fact ethnic Slavs but who lived under the jurisdiction of the Greek Patriarchate in Constantinople. Nevertheless, the dominance of Bulgarians over Serbs is clearly visible. (18)

We have to stress that from the time of the Ottoman authority there are no reliable statistics with regard to Macedonia's population. Substantial changes in numbers of Macedonia's inhabitants were caused by the Balkan Wars 1912-13. According to the British Foreign Office's (London) papers and documents (including and reports from Macedonia) from 1918 it can be concluded that just before the First Balkan War started (October 1912) the estimated numbers of Macedonia's populations were the following:
Table 3. Macedonia's Total Population in Autumn of 1912

Slavs 1,150,000
Turks 400,000
Greeks 300,000
Vlachs 200,000
Albanians 120,000
Jews 100,000
Gypsies 10,000

Among all nations living in Macedonia (and the Balkans) only the Albanians held to the claim of being autochthonous people in this region, however scientifically wrong and politicized. (19) The southern Albanian tribes--the Tosks--are believed to be the lineal descendants of the ancient region of Epirus. However, their northern compatriots--the Ghegs--wrongly claimed to be descendants of the ancient Illyrians who in fact were probably the Slavic Serbs and the only aboriginal Balkan inhabitants. (20)

Macedonia and the National Aspirations of the Greeks, Bulgarians, Albanians, and Serbs

National aspirations towards the territory of geographic-historic Macedonia and Macedonia's inhabitants by the Serbs, Albanians, Bulgarians, and Greeks from 1878 to 1912 were based on two crucial rights: historic and ethnic ones. All of them claimed that from a historical point of view Macedonia in whole, or some of her regions, had been parts of their own national states in the past--in the Middle Ages before the Ottoman occupation of the Balkans. They also declared that from an ethnic point of view the inhabitants of Macedonia were actually their ethnic and cultural compatriots who spoke a special dialect of their own national language. Finally, all of Macedonia's neighbors were constantly pretending to prove and convince the great European powers that their historical and ethnolinguistic rights were deeper, stronger, and more justifiable in comparison to the same rights claimed by the others. (21)

The Greek Case

The Greeks were the strongest legitimists (in other words, having the strongest legitimate claims) upon the territory and peoples of Macedonia. The Bulgarians asserted that the Macedonians were Slavs speaking a west-Bulgarian dialect and for that reason they were ethnic Bulgarians. However, Greek propaganda was more developed at the beginning of the agitation. Actually, Greek propaganda went into abstractions because it operated with the term "Hellenism." (22) The Greek thesis was that during the time of Alexander the Great Macedonia already belonged to the Hellenistic cultural-linguistic sphere of influence. (23) The reason why Hellenism was chosen instead of the Greek basis is understandable since we know that in classical times the Greeks, like Demosthenes (384-322 BC), considered the Macedonians as barbarians and not as Greeks. In addition, the Greeks of antiquity had only a few isolated colonies on the Macedonian coast. Aristotle (384-322 BC) became a crucial connection link between Greekdom and Hellenism, as the chosen form of propaganda--a philosopher who won the Kingdom of Macedonia for Hellenism when he gave lessons to Philip's son, Alexander (later "the Great"). The Greek theory in dealing with the period of Philip of Macedon and Alexander the Great included both of them into Greekdom as a consequence of two historical facts: (i) the royal family of Macedon perceived itself as Greek in culture, and (ii) the Macedonian nobility was from intellectual and cultural points of view completely Hellenized. In short, the matter of spiritual life was taken into consideration as a crucial point of determination of Greek nationhood.

The next step in formulation of Greek claims over Macedonia was to link Hellenism, which actually had an Athenian cultural background, with the Byzantine Empire (330-1453)--a medieval universal empire proclaimed by Greek historians to be a Greek national state in the Middle Ages. Regardless of the fact that during ten centuries of Byzantine history Macedonia was ruled not exclusively by Constantinople but also by foreigners such as Serbian and Bulgarian kings and emperors and even by Frankish (Latin) kings (during some periods of the Latin Empire, 1204-61). However, according to Greek propaganda, the only legitimate overlord of Macedonia was Byzantium, and Byzantium had been claimed as a Greek national state as its official language was Greek and its cultural life was based on Hellenism. (24) A whole period of Byzantine history was always considered as part of Greek national history. A chief propagator of Hellenistic culture during the Byzantine period and even later became the Greek Orthodox Church (with a headquarters in Constantinople). This institution Hellenized and de facto civilized the people under its own administrative jurisdiction and influence such as some of the Macedonian Slavs, Albanians from Western Macedonia, Southern Albania, and Northern Epirus, and Vlachs who became in the course of time "Hellenized" Greeks. The Greek Orthodox Church actually became a principal link between ancient and medieval Greek history and culture in which Hellenism was a most significant and remarkable "national" point. While the first Turkish sultans destroyed the Byzantine Empire and its administrative and social system (after 1453) they gladly tolerated the Greek Orthodox Church (25) until 1821 and the start of the "Greek Revolution and War of Independence."

A center of the Greek Patriarchate was a Phanar, a "Greek" quarter in Constantinople/Istanbul, where a new Greek aristocracy emerged. The socalled "Phanariots" (Phanar's Greeks) were always chosen to govern Moldavia and Wallachia from the beginning of the 18th century until 1821, (26) and they had the position of "dragomans" of the Sublime Porte and Ottoman fleet. (27) A higher ecclesiastical clergy in Macedonia, particularly in the central part of this region, were Phanariot-Greeks who in fact conducted the affairs of the Orthodox Church in the area as Macedonia exclusively belonged to the Greek Orthodox Church in Constantinople until 1870. They finally extinguished the Serbian Patriarchate of Pec (in Turkish Ipek--a town in Metohija) in 1766 and the Bulgarian Patriarchate of Ochrida in 1767 and completely replaced the higher Orthodox clergy with Phanariot-Greek speaking priests. Subsequently, from 1766/1767 until 1870 the Greek language was the language of the church within the entire territory of historic-geographic Macedonia. However, even before 1766/1767 many of the most significant hierarchical posts in the Orthodox Church in Macedonia and the Eastern Balkans had been given to the Greeks, and their power was unquestioned by the Sublime Porte until the early decades of the 19th century when the "Greek Revolution and War of Independence" (1821-29) took place and caused the Ottoman central authority to suspect the loyalty of their Phanariot-Greek civil servants. Nevertheless, during the main period of Ottoman rule Macedonia and her Christian believers (28) were placed under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction and control by the Phanariot-Greeks and their Patriarchate in Constantinople (until 1870). When the Slavic (Serbian and Bulgarian) church organizations disappeared from Macedonia "everywhere the Greek Bishops, as intolerant as they were corrupt, crushed out the national consciousness, the language, and the intellectual life of their Slav flocks." (29) Under the Phanariot's control of church affairs the official church language became the Greek one, i.e., a language in which church services were held. Slavic letters were forbidden, and even Slavic libraries in the old monasteries were burned by the Greek bishops. As a result, the process of Hellenization in Macedonia which was continuing and at the same time became the most significant argument for the Greek claims to Macedonia, her culture, and people. (30) The Greeks also claimed that the Eastern Christian (Orthodox) Church was a Greek one and for three centuries in fact they monopolized the culture of the Eastern Balkans. All in all, the Greek ecclesiastical hierarchy, supported by Greek national propaganda, claimed that all Macedonia's Orthodox populations were Greek because the Orthodox believers in Macedonia belonged to the Greek Patriarchate in Constantinople.

The framework of Greek nationalism and "rights" to Macedonia was finally shaped when Greek intellectuals adopted Giuseppe Mazzini's ("Soul of Italy," 1805-72) idealistic concept of nationalism that claims that nationality is a spiritual but not an ethnological fact. Accordingly, all Macedonian populations who used the Greek language, at least for scientific or cultural purposes, and who were under Greek cultural influence, belonged intellectually-spiritually to Greekdom. (31) In other words, all of Macedonia's Hellenized population was claimed as Greek. Thus, in Greek eyes Hellenism played a crucial cultural role in the Balkans. Generally, the Greek "Megali Idea," a concept of the re-creation of the Byzantine Empire as "Megala Hellada," claimed Macedonia as part of Greekdom on the basis of history (historical rights) as well as on the basis of culture (spiritual life and language), in one word on the basis of Hellenism. (32)

A definition of the territory of Macedonia for Greek propaganda meant in a majority of cases two Ottoman vilayets: Vilayet of Salonika (Salonica/ Thessaloniki) and Vilajet of Monastir (Bitolj/Bitola). The latter included purely Albanian districts of Elbasan and Koritza (Korce), where many Christians, although they attended Greek Orthodox schools, were actually ethnic Albanians. However, the modern Greek vision of Macedonia excludes the Vilayet of Skopje because only few Greek families lived there. With the exception of Albanian- and Serb-language speakers in the west of the vilayet, it was entirely populated by Macedonia's Slavs whose language was most similar to Bulgarian. (33)

The Bulgarian Case

Bulgarian propaganda and claims upon Macedonia had two aspects and levels of requirements. The first was historical, in other words, one of state rights over Macedonia, while the second one was an ethnolinguistic one that viewed the Slavic people of Macedonia as ethnolinguistic Bulgarians who had been speaking "western" (i.e., Macedonian) dialect of Bulgarian language.

Bulgarian claims of "historical rights" to the area of Macedonia, that also included Albanian populated Western Macedonia, can be traced to 864 when the territory of Macedonia was given to the Bulgarian khan/prince Boris I (852-89) as a gift for his acceptance of Christianity from Constantinople. Macedonia was later put under the jurisdiction of the independent Bulgarian Orthodox Church. However, the Bulgarian theory was going deeper into the past than it was the case with the year 864. Namely, Bulgarian claims to Macedonia, according to "historical rights," are also based on some very disputable information given by Byzantine historians with regard to the Slavic attacks on the Balkan Peninsula (the 6th century), their settlement in the Balkans (the 6th century), or settlement of the Proto-Bulgars Maurus and Kouber in the Bitola plain (the 7th century). In other words, Slavic tribes invading and settling Macedonia in the 6th century are seen exclusively as Bulgarian regardless of the fact that the Byzantine sources did not mention ethnic nationality or nationalities of these tribes. In addition, according to Bulgarian scholars, it is important to note that taxes were being paid to "Bulgarian" (i.e., Scythian) people by some inhabitants on the plain of Salonica (the 9th-10th centuries). (34) We have to remark that dealing with this historical source, however, Bulgarian scholars unjustifiably appropriated ancient Scythians as "Bulgarians." Further, Bulgarian historiography claims both (i) that the cultural mission in Macedonia of Kliment, Nahum, and Angelarius was "Bulgarian" and (ii) that the famous Literary School in Ochrida from the early Middle Ages had belonged to the "Bulgarian" national and cultural inheritance. These two claims are based only on the fact that these three pupils of the "Slavic apostles" (the Greeks Cyril and Methodius) were sent to Macedonia by Bulgarian ruler Boris I. In addition, one of the most important monasteries in Macedonia, in Ochrida, was claimed to be a national Bulgarian one since the monastery and church were built in the town of Ochrida on the orders of the Bulgarian prince Boris I (the 10th century). (35) It is extremely important to note that at the turn of the 20th century a wider hinterland of Ochrida (Ohrid) was settled by a significant number of ethnic Albanians and that this area was considered by Albanian nationalists since the time of the First League of Prizren (1878) as exclusively Albanian national land and as a part of Greater (united) Albania. As a result, both the Bulgarians and Albanians, as well as Serbian and Greek nationalists, claimed the area of Ochrida as their own national territory that had to be incorporated into a national state of their own.

The Bulgarian theory on Macedonia's national identity overwhelmingly accepted and stressed the fact that Macedonia was inside the borders of a Bulgarian state enlarged by the first Bulgarian Emperor, Simeon (893-927). Within a framework of Bulgarian claims with regard to the question of Macedonia's identity during the Middle Ages, the cases of Emperor Samuilo and Ivan Vladislav are the most subject to dispute. According to Bulgarian historiography, "Samuilo's Uprising", 976-1014, was a Bulgarian national rebellion. (36) The theory is founded on the fact that these two emperors were noblemen of Bulgarian origin. (37) Moreover, their state was considered by Bulgarian scholars as the last Bulgarian independent state after the conquest of the main part of Bulgaria by Byzantium in 971. A newly established Byzantine Archbishopric of Ochrida in 1018, by Byzantine Emperor Basil II ("Killer of Bulgarians", 976-1025), is also considered as the Bulgarian national church and called by Bulgarian nationalists the Archbishopric of Bulgaria. (38) It is a fact that among Bulgarian nationalists and nationalistic propaganda on Macedonia the Archbishopric of Ochrida was always understood as Bulgarian and its Archbishop as the Archbishop of Bulgaria. However, the cases of two "Bulgarian" uprisings against the Byzantine authorities in the 11th century under the leadership of Peter Delyan (1040-41) and Georgi Voyteh (1072) are also very problematic with regard to Bulgarian claims upon Macedonia and her Slavic inhabitants. (39)

Bulgarian territorial-national aspirations upon Macedonia in modern times basically have been derived from two historical events relating to 19th century Bulgarian history: the establishment of the Bulgarian Exarchate in 1870 by the Ottoman sultan, and the creation of the Great Bulgaria in 1878 according to the "St. Stefano Peace Treaty" by the Russian authorities.

One of the most considerable goals of the Bulgarian struggle for liberation from Ottoman rule was to gain independence for the national church from the Greek Patriarchate of Constantinople. In fact, the movement for the creation of the Bulgarian independent Church was enormously strengthened by the resentment caused by the sultan's abolition of the Patriarchate of Ochrida, which covered the dioceses of Macedonia and Western Bulgaria. The Patriarchate or Archbishopric of Ochrida was always understood by Bulgarian political authorities as the Bulgarian national church. Nevertheless, both the establishment of the (Ottoman) Bulgarian Exarchate and creation of (Russian) Greater Bulgaria directly affected Greek, Serbian, and Albanian national aspirations, plans, and struggles for united national states of their own.

The Bulgarian struggle for an independent national church was achieved when the Ottoman sultan issued a special firman (sultan's decree) on March 11th, 1870. By this firman, the Bulgarian independent Exarchate was created, which included Eastern Bulgaria, Dobrudja, Pirot, and Nis in the west, and one Macedonian diocese (Veles). With regard to Bulgarian aspirations towards Macedonia as well as in general with regard to Bulgarian demands concerning the creation of Greater Bulgaria on the Balkan Peninsula, the creation of the Bulgarian Exarchate exerted a tremendous impact on the national ideology of the Bulgarian people who initiated strong propaganda followed by political actions intended to put all of historical-geographic Macedonia under the jurisdiction of the Exarchate. According to this propaganda and later political action, the total area of Macedonia was seen as a part of a united Bulgarian national church--Exarchate. Actually, the creation of the Bulgarian Exarchate had a basic impact on Bulgarian nationalistic propaganda on the area of Macedonia, but at the same time it inspired severe disputes between Bulgarian, Albanian, Serbian, and Greek national claims over the same area of Macedonia.

The founding of the Bulgarian Exarchate by the Ottoman authorities in 1870, and Russian diplomatic attempts to establish a Greater Bulgaria in March 1878, gave the strongest impetus to Bulgarian politicians to create in the future a united national Bulgarian state based on ethnic and historical rights of the Bulgarian people. The Russian-Ottoman War of 1877-78, ended after the Russian spectacular military successes against the Ottoman army on the Balkan battlefield with the signing of the "St. Stefano Peace Treaty" on February 19th/March 3rd, 1878. The crucial point of this treaty was the establishment of an independent Bulgarian state which was designed by St. Petersburg as a Russian client-state on the Balkan Peninsula. According to this Russian great Bulgarian project, the whole of Macedonia was included into St. Stefano Bulgaria. The borders of this Bulgaria were drawn on the southwest beyond Debar, Ochrida, Kastoria, Korcha with entrance to the Aegean Sea, but without Salonica. The whole course of the Vardar River was to be included into the Bulgarian state and in such a way so that the Bulgarian nationalistic dreams regarding Macedonia based on both historical and ethnolinguistic rights would be realized.

We can conclude that the Russian attempt to incorporate Macedonia into St. Stefano Bulgaria and the establishment of the Bulgarian Exarchate were crucial and most influential historical events with respect to future Bulgarian nationalistic aspirations regarding Macedonia.

The Albanian Case

Historically, Albanian national requirements to include parts of Macedonia into a united national state, or a single Albanian province within the Ottoman Empire, date from the time of the so-called First League of Prizren. A basic requirement of the First League of Prizren, or Albanian League, which existed from 1878 to 1881, and which at the same time became the main political program for subsequent generations of Albanian political-national workers and ideologists, was that the four vilayets of Bitola, Ioanina, Scodra, and Kosovo (with Metohija) were to compose a single united "Albanian vilayet," or a greater Albania within the borders of the Ottoman Empire. The League's statute called "Kararname" ("The Book of Decisions") defined the borders of Albanian national pretensions that included significant (western) parts of geographic and historic Macedonia. (40) However, the ethnolinguistic situation in these four vilayets, according to German scholar Schanderl, was as it is shown in the table (i.e., Albanians did not have an absolute majority):
Table 4. Population of Ioanina, Bitola, Kosovo, and Scutari Vilayets
from 1877 to 1908 (in percentage):

Albanians 44%
Macedonian Slavs 19.2%
Serbs 11.4%
Greeks 9.2%
Vlachs 6.5%
Turks Osmanli 9.3%
Jews, Armenians and Gypsies 0.4%

The same author claims (41) that Macedonian confessional situation was as follows:
Table 5. Confessional Distribution in Ottoman Vilayets of Ioanina,
Kosovo, Scutari, and Bitola, 1877-1908 (in percentage):

Orthodox 27.8%
Muslims 52.8%
Roman Catholics 15.0%

At the same time, Schandler claims that 77 percent of Albanian Muslims out of the total Albanian population were in these four Ottoman vilayets. (42) Three of them--Scodra, Ioanina, and Bitola--were created in 1865 while the fourth, Kosovo, subsequently. Each of these four vilayets had a large population of non-Albanian nationalities. For instance, according to Peter Kukulj, in 1871 the Serbs were even in the majority in Kosovo and Metohija (63.6 percent) in comparison to Albanian minority (32.2 percent). (43) In addition, since the majority of the Albanian population was Muslim, the central Ottoman authorities regarded them as Ottomans.

An extension of Albanian territorial pretensions with respect to Ancient (Old) Serbia and Macedonia in the territories where the Albanian population was not in the majority, was one of the crucial sources for friction and struggle between Albanian political organizations on the one hand and two Serbian independent states, Montenegro and Serbia, on the other. According to the programs of both Albanian leagues, that is of Prizren and Ipek (Pec), a new Albanian either autonomous province within the Ottoman Empire or ultimately independent state had to consist of four principalities: (i) Southern Albania with Epirus and the city of Ioanina, (ii) Northern and Central Albania with the areas around Scodra (Scutari), Tirana (Tirane), and Elbasan, (iii) Macedonia with the cities of Debar, Skopje, Gostivar, Prilep, Veles, Bitola, and Ohrid, and (iv) Ancient Serbia (Kosovo and Metohija, Raska/Sandzak, and Vardar Macedonia) with the cities/towns of Prizren, Gnjilane, Pec, Dakovica, Mitrovica, Pristina, Kumanovo, Novi Pazar, and Sjenica. (44) The decisions of the international community (i.e., "Great Powers") concerning Balkan affairs contributed as well to the interethnic frictions between the Albanians and their neighbors at the turn of the 20th century. Both of the international treaties of 1878, San Stefano and Berlin, handed over certain lands populated by the Albanians at that time to the other states. According to Albanian historiography, the inability of the Ottoman government to protect the interests of the Albanians of whom 70 percent were of Muslim faith and mainly loyal Ottoman subjects, (45) compelled the Albanians from Kosovo and Metohija, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Epirus, to organize themselves for national defense and to require the status of autonomous administration of a Albanian province within a total ethnolinguistic space of Albanians. The Albanian feudal aristocracy opposed the sultan's (Abdiilmecid, 1839-61) program of reforms--Tanzimat (meaning "reorganization"), as did the Bosnian-Herzegovinian nobles of Muslim faith. (46) Both of them resented officials sent to their provinces from Istanbul preferring to be governed by their own administrations composed of local Muslim feudal lords--begs. Albanians and Bosnian-Herzegovinian Muslims as well did not support military reforms based on general recruitment for the purpose of creating a modern and more effective Ottoman army. The Albanians wished to retain traditional procedures of recruitment and to be led into battle by their own military leaders. Finally, when the Albanian national-political leadership proclaimed on November 28th, 1912 an independent state of Albania in the city of Valona they required that the international community recognize the borders of new Albania according to the programes of both Albanian Prizren and Pec leagues.

The Serbian Case

Serbian claims upon the destiny of Macedonia and her inhabitants were radically different in comparison to the Bulgarian case because Serbian demands were mainly based on "historical rights," but not and/or ethnolinguistic ones. Serbian political propaganda did not insist as much upon "ethnic rights" to Macedonia, while at the same time its "historical rights" were based exclusively on medieval Serbian history when the Serbian state reached a climax of its glory during a short period known as the time of the Serbian Empire (from 1349 to 1371). (47)

Serbian neglect of their "ethnic rights" to the biggest part of Macedonia was based primarily on scientific research done and works published by a leading Serbian 19th century philologist, Vuk Stefanovic Karadzic, (1787-1864) who followed the main idea and principal of ethnic identity-language. (48) The fact was that differences between literary Serbian and Bulgarian were not considerable, but they were very definite. The Macedonian dialect (speech) actually is neither one nor the other; "but in certain structural features it agrees rather with Bulgarian than with Serbian." (49) Obviously the language of the Macedonian Slavs was more similar to Bulgarian than to Serbian, a fact which was stressed by large numbers of travelers, merchants, diplomats, scientists, etc., passing throughout Macedonia at the turn of the 20th century and left in their memoirs or other observations referring to the land and inhabitants of Macedonia.

If we speak about Serbian "historical rights" to Macedonia we have to stress first one fact in regard to Serbian practical political propaganda activities. Namely, Serbia's practical political interest in Macedonia was much later than that of Bulgaria. Up to the time of the Austro-Hungarian occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in July 1878 the ambitions of the Serbian state and its foreign policy were directed primarily toward these two Ottoman provinces, but not toward Macedonia for the very reason that it was an accepted fact by Belgrade that the majority of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian population was Serbian in both ethnic origin and language regardless of any confessional division (Orthodox, Catholics, and Muslims). However, after the Treaty of Berlin in 1878 (July 13th) Belgrade realized that Bosnia and Herzegovina had been for the time being excluded from the plan of creating a single Serbian national state. (50) For that reason, Belgrade wished to repair its national failure from the years of the Great Eastern Crisis, 1875-78, but it was late concerning Macedonia as: Bulgarians had already created their national church (from 1870); the majority of Macedonian Slavs had already adhered to the Bulgarian Exarchate and thus became Bulgarized; and Bulgarian schools were firmly established and thoroughly popular on the soil of Macedonia.

Finally, Serbia had suffered a disastrous military defeat at the Slivnica River in Western Bulgaria in 1885 at the hands of the Bulgarians, (51) and her prestige in the Balkans was recovered only in 1913 after the Balkan Wars (1912-13). All in all, Serbia's both official propaganda and secret national work were mainly directed to the areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina (according to "ethnic" rights) before 1878, but after the Congress of Berlin Serbia had a chance to enlarge its territory only towards the south (according to "historic" rights) by annexation of Macedonia or (according to both "ethnic" and "historic" rights) by absorption of Kosovo and Metohija, but surely not any further toward the west (Bosnia and Herzegovina).

Serbian claims on the territory of Macedonia based on "historical rights" (i.e., the state rights) were grounded on several historical facts coming from a national medieval history as well as Bulgarian historical claims. For the first time in Serbian history a large part of Macedonia was included within the state borders of medieval Serbia in 1382 when the Serbian king Milutin (1382-21) occupied and annexed a northern portion of geographic-historic Macedonia and proclaimed the city of Skopje as the new capital of Serbia. This military acquisition, the largest one in Serbian history at the time, was approved by the Byzantine emperor in 1299 when king Milutin married the Byzantine princess Simonida, a marriage which brought him the annexed portion of Macedonia as dowry. The period of the realm of the Serbian emperor Stefan Dusan (1331-55) was most important in dealing with the "historical rights" of Serbian nationalistic propaganda and work on Macedonia. Namely, this ruler conquered a large portion of the Byzantine Empire from 1345 to 1348 and established the largest Serbian state in history, which extended from the Sava and Danube Rivers to the Gulf of Corinth and from the Drina River to the Mesta River. At that time the whole of Macedonia was within the borders of the Serbian state (present day Vardar Macedonia, Pirin Macedonia, and Aegean Macedonia). The capital of the state continued to be the city of Skopje where three significant political events occurred with reference to Serbian medieval history. Namely, in Skopje in 1346 the Serbian Patriarchate was proclaimed, the Serbian ruler was crowned emperor, and the most important Serbian law-codex (Dusanov zakonik) was proclaimed. (52) These facts were crucial ones for future Serbian nationalistic propaganda: Skopje was the capital of the glorious Serbian Empire where the ruler was crowned as emperor and where the supreme state law-codex was proclaimed. Moreover, the most extreme Serbian nationalistic wishes and intentions were based on recovering the medieval Serbian empire in which Macedonia would be the geographic, political, and cultural center. The extent of such aspirations was exemplified in Belgrade in 1873 with the printing of a historical-ethnological map of all Serbian territories, drawn by Milos Milojevic, in which Macedonia was appropriated to Serbdom. Moreover, the map was followed by united coats of arms of all Serbian lands consisting of 24 heraldic symbols, each one representing one Serbian historic-ethnolinguistic territory in the Balkans. Among these united coats of arms of all Serbia there were heraldic symbols of Albania and Macedonia, as well. Actually, all Yugoslav lands and peoples were presented as Serbian ones. (53) The same ideological principle of combining of historical and ethnolinguistic rights was applied by Serbian historian, ethnologist, and geographer, Vladimir Karic, (54) in his famous book Serbia: Description of the Land and People, published in Belgrade in 1887. In this book he presented an ethnolinguistic map of Serbdom which included continental Istria, all of Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, more than half of Vojvodina, Serbia within the borders after the Congress of Berlin in 1878, and a major part of Montenegro, half of Kosovo and Metohija, and more than half of the Vardar Macedonia as the lands populated exclusively by the ethnic Serbs. However, outermost western part of Macedonia, easternmost Montenegro, southeast Raska/Sandzak, westernmost Metohija, easternmost Albania, and westernmost Kosovo were ethnicly mixed areas inhabited by both Serbs and Albanians. (55) While the cities and lands around Ulcinj and Scodra/Skadar/Scutari were ethnicly mixed, the city of Ohrid (Ochrida) was populated only by Serbs. Present-day Greek (Aegean) Macedonia and the Vidin region in northwest Bulgaria were, according to the author, ethnicly mixed territories, too. (56) In sum, Karic understood all of Stokavian speaking population in the Balkans to be ethnolinguistic Serbs, but differently from Vuk Stefanovic Karadzic and Ilija Garasanin, Vladimir Karic included the main portion of Vardar Macedonia into Serbian ethnolinguistic space. Karic was surely right to claim that 90 percent of citizens of the Kingdom of Serbia were ethnic Serbs. He also claimed, based on historical sources, that in the distinct past all Slavs--Czechs, Bulgarians, Russians, Poles, Slovaks, and Lusatian Serbs (Croats were not considered as a separate ethnicity)--were called Serbs by ancient historians, i.e., that all modern Slavic nations are only Serbian tribes. Finally, he concluded that 1/13 of all Slavs of his day were Serbs while only 1/4 (23.6 percent) of all Serbs (7,256,000 including all Croats, Bosnian-Herzegovinian Muslims, and Slavs from Montenegro) were living in the independent Kingdom of Serbia. (57) He pointed out that what concerned Albanians in Serbia was that only a few "Arnauts" lived in the region of Toplica without their own villages but living mixed in with the Serbs. They had come to this region (including Kosovo and Metohija) only in the 18th century after one part of the Serbs emigrated from Toplica, Kosovo and Metohija into the Habsburg Monarchy. (58) In addition, according to the author, there were 30,000 Serbs living in Albania proper, "westward from the River of Black Drim," and 200,000 of them in western Bulgaria. (59)

The area of Macedonia within Serbian national/nationalistic claims based on "historical rights" was understood and woven into the term, "Ancient (Old) Serbia" (Stara Srbija) together with Kosovo and Metohija and Raska/Sandzak. In fact, originally under the term of "Ancient Serbia," Kosovo and Metohija were understood as the core of the medieval Serbian state with the capital of Prizren and with the headquarters of the Serbian medieval church in Pec (Ipek). In every Serbian plan concerning the national revival and re-establishment of a Serbian state the historical basis of "Ancient Serbia" was always taken into consideration. However, from the mid 19th century it was understood that the term "Ancient Serbia" included the area of Vardar Macedonia as a part of the Serbian medieval state whose re-establishment was the highest demand of Serbian nationalists and their propaganda.

In the Serbian case, the basis of the national struggle for the establishment of a united national state on either historic or ethnic rights, or both, was laid down by Ilija Garasanin, Serbia's minister of the interior who wrote "Nacertanije" (Draft) in 1844 which was actually at the beginning the secret plan of Serbian foreign policy in the future. Regardless of the fact that the term Macedonia purposely was not mentioned in this work, (60) Serbian nationalists and designers of national foreign policy understood that it is very possible to conclude that Macedonia was also taken into consideration by Garasanin. At least, they interpreted this work as the message to later generations of Serbian policymakers that the Serbs should continue the process of creating a great Serbian united national state, the process which started in the Middle Ages and became temporarily interrupted by the Turks after the Kosovo Battle in 1389.


The so-called "Macedonian Question" has been one of the most difficult questions in the Balkans for the last 150 years. The small, landlocked territory of Macedonia in the southern Balkans has been contested by all its four neighbors--Serbs, Greeks, Bulgarians, and Albanians during and since the demise of the Ottoman Empire up to today.

The "Macedonian Question" (or better to say the "Question of Macedonia") came on the European agenda when the Russian Empire successfully pressured the Ottoman government in Istanbul (Constantinople) into allowing the creation and functioning of a separate and independent (autocephalous) Bulgarian Exarchate (i.e., national Bulgarian Orthodox Church) with authority extending over the biggest part of the Ottoman geographic province of Macedonia. This political decision very quickly involved the Bulgarian state in a direct clash both with Greece and Serbia along with Albanian nationalists. However, this was not the real aim designed by St. Petersburg in 1870 and 1878 as what Russia wanted was only to extend her own political-economic influence in the Eastern Balkans through both the Orthodox Church and support of the oppressed or newly liberated Balkan Slav nations. Nevertheless, Russian political favoring of Bulgaria naturally started a bitter rivalry between Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia, and Albanians for a national dominance in Macedonia--a rivalry which directed East Balkan nations to the clash between each other during the Second Balkan War in 1913.






Vladislav B. Sotirovic

Mykolas Romeris University

* This article is written as a part of the COST Action IS0803: "Remaking Eastern Borders in Europe: A Network Exploring Social, Moral, and Material Relocations of Europe's Eastern Peripheries." The research on the topic and writing the text are financed by the COST Action.

(1) "Nationalism is a political principle according to which political unity (i.e., state) should be overlapped with national unity (i.e., nation)," Ernest Gellner Nations et nationalisme, (Paris: Editions Payot, 1989), 13.

(2) N. K. Martis, The Falsification of Macedonian History, (Athens: Euroekdotiki, 1984), 41.

(3) M. MacDermott Freedom or Death: The Life of Gotse Delchev (London: Journeyman Press, 1978). It is clear that a significant portion of Albanian-claimed ethnic space of present-day west FYR Macedonia is in fact historical part of geographic Macedonia.

(4) About this period of Ottoman/Turkish history see: J. von Hammer, Historija Turskog/Osmanskog/Carstva, vol. 3, (Zagreb: Ognjen Prica, 1979), 500-68. The (constitutional) revolution of July 1908 was the result of the military actions of the Ottoman officers belonged to the Unionist movement of the Third (Macedonian) and Second (Thracian) Army (J. E. Ziircher, Turkey: A Modern History, (London: I. B. Tauris and Co Ltd, 1994), 97.

(5) The "Macedonian Question" was composed by three sub-questions: (i) What territory constituted Macedonia? (ii) To which state or states it should belong? and (iii) What was a national affiliation of the peoples from Macedonia? (D. M. Perry, The Politics of Terror: The Macedonian Liberation Movements 1893-1903, (Durham: Duke University Press, 1988), 2; F. Adanir, Die Makedonische Frage: Ihre Entstehung und Entwicklung bis 1908, (Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1979).

(6) S. J. Shaw and E. K. Shaw, History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey, vol. 2, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976-77), 208.

(7) I. Bozic, S. Cirkovic, M. Ekmecic, V. Dedijer, Istorija Jugoslavije, (Belgrade: Prosveta, 1973), 289.

(8) According to Hugh Poulton, "Studies in the 1930s recorded 3000 to 4000 Vlahs in Bitola, 2000 to 3000 in Skopje, and 1500 in Krusevo which was predominantly Vlah at the time" (H. Poulton, The Balkans: Minorities and States in Conflict, (London: Minority Rights Pubs, 1994), 96.

(9) S. Mezan, "Evrestvoto v Makedonia," Makedonski pregled 6 (1930): 78.

(10) V. Stojancevic, "Jedna neispnjena zelja Vukova," Kovcezic 12 (1974): 74-77.

(11) Vuk understood under the term "Arnautska" and Kosovo and Metohija.

(12) Bulgarian collection of documents on the ethnolinguistic identity of Macedonian Slavs is presented in Macedonia: Documents and Material, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Institute of History, Bulgarian Language Institute, ed., (Sofia: Bulgarian Academy of Science Press, 1978).

(13) A. H. Smith, Fighting the Turk in the Balkans: An American's Adventures with the Macedonian Revolutionists, (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1908), 3; L. Grogan, The Life of J. D. Bouchier, (London, 1926), 117, and others.

(14) S. B. Frascheri, Was war Albanien, was ist es, was wird es werden? (Vienna, 1913), 29-30.

(15) Sami-bey Frasheri, Dictionnaire universelle d'histoire et geographe, I-IV, 1889-98; M. J. Andonovic, Makedonski cu Sloveni Srbi (Belgrade, 1913); T. Georgewitch, Macedonia, (London: G. Allen and Unwin, 1918).

(16) J. Cvijic, Remarks on the Ethnography of the Macedonian Slavs, (London: Horace Cox, 1906); K. Hron, Das Volkslum der Slawen Makedoniens, 1890 (reprint Skopje, 1966).

(17) We have to stress that the Ottoman statistics of populations in Ottoman provinces or in general of the Ottoman Empire are of dubious validity and could only provide some basic indicators of the ethnic composition on the territory.

(18) J. Pettifer, The New Macedonian Question, (New York: Palgrave, 2001), 6.

(19) According to several reliable Byzantine and other medieval sources, Balkan Albanians came to Europe--island of Sicily--from the Caucasus' Albania in the 9th century. In the year of 1043 they emigrated from Sicily to present-day central Albania (e.g., M. Ataliota, Corpus Scriptorum Historiae Byzantinae, [Bonn: Weber, 1853], 18). This fact is recognized and by Albanian historians Stefang Polio and Arben Puto (S. Polio and A. Puto, The History of Albania, [London: Routledge and Kegan, 1981], 37).

(20) I. J. Deretic, P. D. Antic, and M. C. Jaroevic, Izmisljeno doseljavanje Srba, (Belgrade: Sardonija, 2009).

(21) Probably, the best example of this "fight of rights" is the Bulgarian-Serbian case from 1913 when both sides sent to Paris separate ethnographical maps of Macedonia done by respected academicians. The Bulgarian point of view was presented by Vasil Kanchov's map (all Macedonia's Slavs are ethnic Bulgarians) while the Serbian point was represented by Jovan Cvijic's map (Macedonia's Slavs are composed by "Serbo-Croats", Bulgarians, and "Slavs of Macedonia"). Both maps are printed as appendices in: International Commission to Inquire into the Causes and Conduct of the Balkan Wars, The Other Balkan Wars: 1914 Carnegie Endowment Report of the International Commission to Inquire into the Causes and Conduct of the Balkan Wars/introduction with reflections on the present conflict by George F. Kennan, (Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1993).

(22) H. N. Brailsford, Macedonia: Its Races and Their Future, (New York: Arno Press and The New York Times, 1971), 194.

(23) See, for instance, the book The Falsification of Macedonian History, (Athens: Ikaros, 1984), written by Nicolaos K. Martis, especially 20-53.

(24) The fact is that although the Latin West recognized the Byzantine claim to the ancient Roman legacy for several centuries, after Roman-Catholic Pope Leo III (795-816) crowned Charles the Great, king of the Franks, as the "Roman Emperor" on December 25th, 800, an act which eventually led to the formation of the Holy Roman Empire (962-1806), the Latin West started to favor the Franks and began to refer to Byzantium or the "Eastern Roman Empire" largely as the Empire of the Greeks (Imperium Graecorum), Royal Historical Society, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society: Sixth Series. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), 75. However, Byzantium was overwhelmingly multinational with ethnic Greeks as a minority.

(25) L. S. Stavrianos, The Balkans since 1453, (New York: Rinehart and Company, Inc., 1958), 59-62.

(26) W. K. Treptow ed., A History of Romania, (Iasi: The Center for Romanian Studies, The Romanian Cultural Foundation, 1996), 203-11.

(27) V. Popovic, Istocno pitanje, (Belgrade: Izdavacka knjizarnica Gece Kona), 1928 see chapter "UnutrpaSnje propadanje Turcke i budenje Xriscana krajem XVI i pocetkom XVII veka," 61-67; G. Castellan, History of the Balkans from Mohammed the Conqueror to Stalin, (New York: Columbia University Press, 1992), 145-55, 248-63.

(28) It is no matter what their native language or ethnic background are: all of them are classified by the Ottoman authorities as the "Greeks" since the Ottomans divided their subjects according to the confession (milet system).

(29) Brailsford, 196.

(30) See, for instance, Haus-Hof-und Staatsarchiv, Politishes Archiv, Vienna, "Circular letter in Greek language, addressed by Greek Archbiship Philaretos to the priests and the population of Vakouphokhoria, Koritsa", September 20th, 1892, 14/21, Albanien 13/18.

(31) Using this model of spiritual-cultural nationdom the Italians claimed after the Italian unification in 1861 all Italian-speaking population of Istria, Dalmatia, and Adriatic islands as "Italians" including and their Italian-language written culture as "Italian."

(32) See more about "Megali Idea" in 3rd chapter under the headline "Nation Building, the 'Great Idea,' and National Schism 1831-1922" in R. Clogg, A Concise History of Greece, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 47-99.

(33) This is mainly a result of activities of Bulgarian church and school authorities on systematic Bulgarization of Macedonia and her people through well-coordinated policies of the Bulgarian church (Exarchate), education system, and finally different economic privileges extended to the local population of Macedonia from 1870 to 1912.

(34) "Information from Procopius Ceasarienses about a Slav attack on the Balkan Peninsula, in the region of NiS and Thessalonica," 19, "Information from John of Ephesus on the settlement of Slavs in the Balkan Peninsula," 20, "Information about the miracle of St Demetrius of Thessalonica and the settlement of the Proto-Bulgars Maurus and Kouber in the Bitola plain," 21, "Information from the Byzantine writer Ioannes Cameniata about some settlements on the plain of Thessalonica paying taxes to the Bulgarian people," 22, in Bulgarian Academy of Science, Macedonia: Documents and Material, (Sofia: Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1978).

(35) Ibid, "Excerpt from the Second Life of Nahum Concerning the Arrival of the Disciples of Cyril and Methodius in the Bulgarian lands, and the Big Monastery and Church Built by Nahum in Ohrid on the Orders of the Bulgarian Tsar Boris," 22; Bulgarian Academy of Science, Information Bulgaria: A Short Encyclopedia of the People's Republic of Bulgaria, (Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1985), 153.

(36) V. Zlatarski, Istorija na balgarskata darzava prez Srednite vekove. Vol. 1 Parvo balgarsko carstvo, Pt. 2 Ot slavjanizacijata na darzavata do padaneto na Parvoto carstvo (852-1018), 2 ed. (Sofia: Nauka i izkustvo, 1971; P. Petrov, Obrazuvane i ukrepvane na zapadnata Balgarska darzava, Godisnik na Sofijskija universitet (FIF) 53:2 (1959), 135-90.

(37) "Information by the Byzantine writer Cecaumenus about the Bulgarians in Macedonia and about the Bulgarian tsars Samuil and Ivan Vladislav," Macedonia: Documents and Material, (Sofia: Bulgarian Academy of Science, 1978), 27.

(38) "Charters Granted by the Byzantine Emperor Basil II to the Bulgarian Church After his Conquest of Bulgaria," Macedonia: Documents and Material, (Sofia: Bulgarian Academy of Science, 1978), 30.

(39) "The Byzantine Historian Scylitzes Describes the Uprising of the Bulgarians Under the Leadership of Peter Delyan," 49, "The Byzantine historian Scylitzes Describes the Uprising of the Bulgarians Under the Leadership of Georgi Voyteh in 1072," 53, Macedonia: Documents and Material, (Sofia: Bulgarian Academy of Science, 1978).

(40) P. Bartl, Albanii: Od srednjeg veka do danas, (Belgrade: CLIO, 2001), 94-97.

(41) Schanderl provides the so-called "average census," which means a single average numbers for different categories of population.

(42) H-D. Schanderl, Die Albanienpolitik Osterreich Ungarns und Italiens 1877-1908, (Wiesbaden: 1971), 9-10.

(43) P. Kukulj, Das Fiirstentum Serbien und Turkisch Serbien: Eine militar-geographische Skizze, (Vienna, 1871).

(44) B. Stuli, Albansko pitanje 1878-82, (Zagreb: JAZU, 1959), 321-23; H. Hofbauer, Eksperiment Kosovo: Povratak kolonijalizma, (Belgrade: Albatros plus, 2009), 40-43.

(45) The sultan Abdul Hamid II (1876-1909) had very high opinion about a loyalty of Muslim Albanians. For that reason, the sultan's personal bodyguard was made primarily by Muslim Albanians.

(46) V. Popovic, Istocno pitanje, (Belgrade: Izdavacka knjizarnica Gece Kona, 1928), 146-49.

(47) See M. Stevanovic, DuSanovo carstvo, (Belgrade: Knjiga-komerc, 2001).

(48) V. Stefanovic Karadic, "Srbi svi i svuda," Kovcezic za istoriju, jezik, i obicaje Srba sva tri zakona, vol. 1 (Vienna, 1849); B. V. Sotirovic, Lingvisticki model definisanja srpske nacije Vuka Stefanovica Karadzica i projekat Ilije Garasanina o stvaranju lingvisticki odredene drzave Srba, (Vilnius: Vilniaus universiteto leidykla, 2006).

(49) Brailsford, 101.

(50) About the project see R. LjuSic, Knjiga o Nacertaniju, (Belgrade: BIGZ, 1993).

(51) About the Serbian-Bulgarian War of 1885-86 see, for instance, S. Jovanovic, Srpskobugarski rat: Rasprava iz diplomatske istorije, (Belgrade, 1901), and M. Milovanovic, Plovdivskiprevram i srpsko-bugarski rat, vol. 24, (Belgrade: Delo, 1902) 5-21.

(52) M. Jovic and K. Radie, Srpske zemlje i vladari, (KruSevac: DruStvo za negovanje istorijskix i umetnickix vrednosti, 1990), 68-80.

(53) M. Milojevic, Istorisko-etnografsko-geografska mapa Srba i Srpskix (jugoslavenskix) zemalja u Turskoj i Austriji, (Belgrade: Kosta Atanaskov, 1873).

(54) About Kane's work see, J. Cvijic, Vladimir Karic, i njegov geografski i nacionalni rad, (Belgrade, 1929).

(55) V. Karic, Srbija: Opis zemlje, naroda, i drzave, (Belgrade: Kraljevsko-srpska drzavna stamparija, 1887), colored map "Karta rasprostranjenja Srba", 240-41.

(56) Ibid, 240-41.

(57) Ibid, 91-92, 242-3.

(58) Ibid, 96.

(59) Ibid, 243.

(60) It is a wrong interpretation by many of both Yugoslav and Serbian historians that Ilija GaraSanin in his Nacertanije included Macedonia into a united Serbian national state. Macedonia was excluded from this project because Garasanin accepted Vuk Stefanovic Karadzic's model of linguistic national determination of the Serbs and other South Slavs. According to this model, only Stokavian speakers were the Serbs. However, Karadzic could not prove that majority of Macedonia's population were the Stokavians (B. V. Sotirovic, Lingvisticki model definisanja srpske nacije Vuka Stefanovica Karadzica i projekat Ilije Garasanina o stvaranju lingvisticki odredene drzave Srba, (Vilnius: Vilniaus universiteto leidykla, 2006).
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Author:Sotirovic, Vladislav B.
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Date:Jan 1, 2009
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