Wednesday, 17 June 2009

New MASSIVE reaction from the American and the European academia

The American and European academia reacted massively this time by sending a letter to the president of the United States of America, Barack Obama, for the Macedonian issue, supporting Greece.

Look how many professors sign the letter, it's really impressive. More information or to sign in

The Honorable Barack Obama
President, United States of America
White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,
NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama,

We, the undersigned scholars of Graeco-Roman antiquity, respectfully request that you intervene to clean up some of the historical debris left in southeast Europe by the previous U.S. administration. On November 4, 2004, two days after the re-election of President George W. Bush, his administration unilaterally recognized the "Republic of Macedonia." This action not only abrogated geographic and historic fact, but it also has unleashed a dangerous epidemic of historical revisionism, of which the most obvious symptom is the misappropriation by the government in Skopje of the most famous of Macedonians, Alexander the Great.

We believe that this silliness has gone too far, and that the U.S.A. has no business in supporting the subversion of history. Let us review facts. (The documentation for these facts can be found attached and at: land in question, with its modern capital at Skopje, was called Paionia in antiquity. Mts. Barnous and Orbelos (which form today the northern limits of Greece) provide a natural barrier that separated, and separates, Macedonia from its northern neighbor. The only real connection is along the Axios/Vardar River and even this valley "does not form a line of communication because it is divided by gorges."

While it is true that the Paionians were subdued by Philip II, father of Alexander, in 358 B.C. they were not Macedonians and did not live in Macedonia. Likewise, for example, the Egyptians, who were subdued by Alexander, may have been ruled by Macedonians, including the famous Cleopatra, but they were never Macedonians themselves, and Egypt was never called Macedonia. Rather, Macedonia and Macedonian Greeks have been located for at least 2,500 years just where the modern Greek province of Macedonia is. Exactly this same relationship is true for Attica and Athenian Greeks, Argos and Argive Greeks, Corinth and Corinthian Greeks, etc.

We do not understand how the modern inhabitants of ancient Paionia, who speak Slavic - a language introduced into the Balkans about a millennium after the death of Alexander - can claim him as their national hero. Alexander the Great was thoroughly and indisputably Greek. His great-great-great grandfather, Alexander I, competed in the Olympic Games where participation was limited to Greeks. Even before Alexander I, the Macedonians traced their ancestry to Argos, and many of their kings used the head of Herakles - the quintessential Greek hero - on their coins. Euripides - who died and was buried in Macedonia- wrote his play Archelaos in honor of the great-uncle of Alexander, and in Greek. While in Macedonia, Euripides also wrote the Bacchai, again in Greek. Presumably the Macedonian audience could understand what he wrote and what they heard.

Alexander's father, Philip, won several equestrian victories at Olympia and Delphi, the two most Hellenic of all the sanctuaries in ancient Greece where non-Greeks were not allowed to compete. Even more significantly, Philip was appointed to conduct the Pythian Games at Delphi in 346 B.C. In other words, Alexander the Great's father and his ancestors were thoroughly Greek. Greek was the language used by Demosthenes and his delegation from Athens when they paid visits to Philip, also in 346 B.C. Another northern Greek, Aristotle, went off to study for nearly 20 years in the Academy of Plato. Aristotle subsequently returned to Macedonia and became the tutor of Alexander III. They used Greek in their classroom which can still be seen near Naoussa in Macedonia. Alexander carried with him throughout his conquests Aristotle's edition of Homer's Iliad.

Alexander also spread Greek language and culture throughout his empire, founding cities and establishing centers of learning. Hence inscriptions concerning such typical Greek institutions as the gymnasium are found as far away as Afghanistan. They are all written in Greek. The questions follow: Why was Greek the lingua franca all over Alexander's empire if he was a "Macedonian"? Why was the New Testament, for example, written in Greek?

The answers are clear: Alexander the Great was Greek, not Slavic, and Slavs and their language were nowhere near Alexander or his homeland until 1000 years later. This brings us back to the geographic area known in antiquity as Paionia. Why would the people who live there now call themselves Macedonians and their land Macedonia? Why would they abduct a completely Greek figure and make him their national hero? The ancient Paionians may or may not have been Greek, but they certainly became Greekish, and they were never Slavs.

They were also not Macedonians. Ancient Paionia was a part of the Macedonian Empire. So were Ionia and Syria and Palestine and Egypt and Mesopotamia and Babylonia and Bactria and many more. They may thus have become "Macedonian" temporarily, but none was ever "Macedonia". The theft of Philip and Alexander by a land that was never Macedonia cannot be justified. The traditions of ancient Paionia could be adopted by the current residents of that geographical area with considerable justification.

But the extension of the geographic term "Macedonia" to cover southern Yugoslavia cannot. Even in the late 19th century, this misuse implied unhealthy territorial aspirations. The same motivation is to be seen in school maps that show the pseudo-greater Macedonia, stretching from Skopje to Mt. Olympus and labeled in Slavic. The same map and its claims are in calendars, bumper stickers, bank notes, etc., that have been circulating in the new state ever since it declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.

Why would a poor land-locked new state attempt such historical nonsense? Why would it brazenly mock and provoke its neighbor? However one might like to characterize such behavior, it is clearly not a force for historical accuracy, nor for stability in the Balkans. It is sad that the United States of America has abetted and encouraged such behavior.

We call upon you, Mr. President, to help - in whatever ways you deem appropriate - the government in Skopje to understand that it cannot build a national identity at the expense of historic truth. Our common international society cannot survive when history is ignored, much less when history is fabricated.

Harry C. Avery, Professor of Classics, University of Pittsburgh (USA) Dr. Dirk Backendorf. Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur Mainz (Germany) Elizabeth C. Banks, Associate Professor of Classics (ret.), University of Kansas (USA) Luigi Beschi, professore emerito di Archeologia Classica, Universitΰ di Firenze (Italy) Josine H. Blok, professor of Ancient History and Classical Civilization, Utrecht University (The Netherlands) Alan Boegehold, Emeritus Professor of Classics, Brown University (USA) Efrosyni Boutsikas, Lecturer of Classical Archaeology, University of Kent (UK) Keith Bradley, Eli J. and Helen Shaheen Professor of Classics, Concurrent Professor of History, University of Notre Dame (USA) Stanley M. Burstein, Professor Emeritus, California State University, Los Angeles (USA) Francis Cairns, Professor of Classical Languages, The Florida State University (USA) John McK. Camp II, Agora Excavations and Professor of Archaeology, ASCSA, Athens (Greece) Paul Cartledge, A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture, University of Cambridge (UK) Paavo Castrιn, Professor of Classical Philology Emeritus, University of Helsinki (Finland) William Cavanagh, Professor of Aegean Prehistory, University of Nottingham (UK) Angelos Chaniotis, Professor, Senior Research Fellow, All Souls College, Oxford (UK) Paul Christesen, Professor of Ancient Greek History, Dartmouth College (USA) Ada Cohen, Associate Professor of Art History, Dartmouth College (USA) Randall M. Colaizzi, Lecturer in Classical Studies, University of Massachusetts-Boston (USA) Kathleen M. Coleman, Professor of Latin, Harvard University (USA) Michael B. Cosmopoulos, Ph.D., Professor and Endowed Chair in Greek Archaeology, University of Missouri-St. Louis (USA) Kevin F. Daly, Assistant Professor of Classics, Bucknell University (USA) Wolfgang Decker, Professor emeritus of sport history, Deutsche Sporthochschule, Kφln (Germany) Luc Deitz, Ausserplanmδssiger Professor of Mediaeval and Renaissance Latin, University of Trier (Germany), and Curator of manuscripts and rare books, National Library of Luxembourg (Luxembourg) Michael Dewar, Professor of Classics, University of Toronto (Canada) John D. Dillery, Associate Professor of Classics, University of Virginia (USA) Sheila Dillon, Associate Professor, Depts. of Art, Art History & Visual Studies and Classical Studies, Duke University (USA) Douglas Domingo-Forastι, Professor of Classics, California State University, Long Beach (USA) Pierre Ducrey, professeur honoraire, Universitι de Lausanne (Switzerland) Roger Dunkle, Professor of Classics Emeritus, Brooklyn College, City University of New York (USA) Michael M. Eisman, Associate Professor Ancient History and Classical Archaeology, Department of History, Temple University (USA) Mostafa El-Abbadi, Professor Emeritus, University of Alexandria (Egypt) R. Malcolm Errington, Professor fόr Alte Geschichte (Emeritus) Philipps-Universitδt, Marburg (Germany) Panagiotis Faklaris, Assistant Professor of Classical Archaeology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece)Denis Feeney, Giger Professor of Latin, Princeton University (USA) Elizabeth A. Fisher, Professor of Classics and Art History, Randolph-Macon College (USA) Nick Fisher, Professor of Ancient History, Cardiff University (UK) R. Leon Fitts, Asbury J Clarke Professor of Classical Studies, Emeritus, FSA, Scot., Dickinson Colllege (USA) John M. Fossey FRSC, FSA, Emeritus Professor of Art History (and Archaeology), McGill Univertsity, Montreal, and Curator of Archaeology, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Canada) Robin Lane Fox, University Reader in Ancient History, New College, Oxford (UK) Rainer Friedrich, Professor of Classics Emeritus, Dalhousie University, Halifax, N.S. (Canada) Heide Froning, Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of Marburg (Germany) Peter Funke, Professor of Ancient History, University of Muenster (Germany) Traianos Gagos, Professor of Greek and Papyrology, University of Michigan (USA) Robert Garland, Roy D. and Margaret B. Wooster Professor of the Classics, Colgate University, Hamilton NY (USA) Douglas E. Gerber, Professor Emeritus of Classical Studies, University of Western Ontario (Canada) Hans R. Goette, Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of Giessen (Germany); German Archaeological Institute, Berlin (Germany) Sander M. Goldberg, Professor of Classics, UCLA (USA) Erich S. Gruen, Gladys Rehard Wood Professor of History and Classics, Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley (USA) Christian Habicht, Professor of Ancient History, Emeritus, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (USA) Donald C. Haggis, Nicholas A. Cassas Term Professor of Greek Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA) Judith P. Hallett, Professor of Classics, University of Maryland, College Park, MD (USA) Prof. Paul B. Harvey, Jr. Head, Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, The Pennsylvania State University (USA) Eleni Hasaki, Associate Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of Arizona (USA) Miltiades B. Hatzopoulos, Director, Research Centre for Greek and Roman Antiquity, National Research Foundation, Athens (Greece) Wolf-Dieter Heilmeyer, Prof. Dr., Freie Universitδt Berlin und Antikensammlung der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin (Germany) Steven W. Hirsch, Associate Professor of Classics and History, Tufts University (USA) Karl-J. Hφlkeskamp, Professor of Ancient History, University of Cologne (Germany) Frank L. Holt, Professor of Ancient History, University of Houston (USA) Dan Hooley, Professor of Classics, University of Missouri (USA) Meredith C. Hoppin, Gagliardi Professor of Classical Languages, Williams College, Williamstown, MA (USA) Caroline M. Houser, Professor of Art History Emerita, Smith College (USA) and Affiliated Professor, University of Washington (USA) Georgia Kafka, Visiting Professor of Modern Greek Language, Literature and History, University of New Brunswick (Canada) Anthony Kaldellis, Professor of Greek and Latin, The Ohio State University (USA) Andromache Karanika, Assistant Professor of Classics, University of California, Irvine (USA) Robert A. Kaster, Professor of Classics and Kennedy Foundation Professor of Latin, Princeton University (USA) Vassiliki Kekela, Adjunct Professor of Greek Studies, Classics Department, Hunter College, City University of New York (USA) Dietmar Kienast, Professor Emeritus of Ancient History, University of Duesseldorf (Germany) Karl Kilinski II, University Distinguished Teaching Professor, Southern Methodist University (USA) Dr. Florian Knauss, associate director, Staatliche Antikensammlungen und Glyptothek Muenchen (Germany) Denis Knoepfler, Professor of Greek Epigraphy and History, Collθge de France (Paris) Ortwin Knorr, Associate Professor of Classics, Willamette University (USA) Robert B. Koehl, Professor of Archaeology, Department of Classical and Oriental Studies Hunter College, City University of New York (USA) Georgia Kokkorou-Alevras, Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of Athens (Greece) Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Classical Studies, Brandeis University (USA) Eric J. Kondratieff, Assistant Professor of Classics and Ancient History, Department of Greek & Roman Classics, Temple UniversityHaritini Kotsidu, Apl. Prof. Dr. fόr Klassische Archδologie, Goethe-Universitδt, Frankfurt/M. (Germany) Lambrini Koutoussaki, Dr., Lecturer of Classical Archaeology, University of Zόrich (Switzerland) David Kovacs, Hugh H. Obear Professor of Classics, University of Virginia (USA) Peter Krentz, W. R. Grey Professor of Classics and History, Davidson College (USA) Friedrich Krinzinger, Professor of Classical Archaeology Emeritus, University of Vienna (Austria) Michael Kumpf, Professor of Classics, Valparaiso University (USA) Donald G. Kyle, Professor of History, University of Texas at Arlington (USA) Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Helmut Kyrieleis, former president of the German Archaeological Institute, Berlin (Germany) Gerald V. Lalonde, Benedict Professor of Classics, Grinnell College (USA) Steven Lattimore, Professor Emeritus of Classics, University of California, Los Angeles (USA) Francis M. Lazarus, President, University of Dallas (USA) Mary R. Lefkowitz, Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities, Emerita, Wellesley College (USA) Iphigeneia Leventi, Assistant Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of Thessaly (Greece) Daniel B. Levine, Professor of Classical Studies, University of Arkansas (USA) Christina Leypold, Dr. phil., Archaeological Institute, University of Zurich (Switzerland) Vayos Liapis, Associate Professor of Greek, Centre d'Ιtudes Classiques & Dιpartement de Philosophie, Universitι de Montrιal (Canada) Hugh Lloyd-Jones, Professor of Greek Emeritus, University of Oxford (UK) Yannis Lolos, Assistant Professor, History, Archaeology, and Anthropology, University of Thessaly (Greece) Stanley Lombardo, Professor of Classics, University of Kansas, USA Anthony Long, Professor of Classics and Irving G. Stone Professor of Literature, University of California, Berkeley (USA) Julia Lougovaya, Assistant Professor, Department of Classics, Columbia University (USA) A.D. Macro, Hobart Professor of Classical Languages emeritus, Trinity College (USA) John Magee, Professor, Department of Classics, Director, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto (Canada) Dr. Christofilis Maggidis, Associate Professor of Archaeology, Dickinson College (USA) Jeannette Marchand, Assistant Professor of Classics, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio (USA) Richard P. Martin, Antony and Isabelle Raubitschek Professor in Classics, Stanford UniversityMaria Mavroudi, Professor of Byzantine History, University of California, Berkeley (USA) Alexander Mazarakis Ainian, Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of Thessaly (Greece) James R. McCredie, Sherman Fairchild Professor emeritus; Director, Excavations in Samothrace Institute of Fine Arts, New York University (USA) James C. McKeown, Professor of Classics, University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA) Robert A. Mechikoff, Professor and Life Member of the International Society of Olympic Historians, San Diego State University (USA) Andreas Mehl, Professor of Ancient History, Universitaet Halle-Wittenberg (Germany) Harald Mielsch, Professor of Classical Archeology, University of Bonn (Germany) Stephen G. Miller, Professor of Classical Archaeology Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley (USA) Phillip Mitsis, A.S. Onassis Professor of Classics and Philosophy, New York University (USA) Peter Franz Mittag, Professor fόr Alte Geschichte, Universitδt zu Kφln (Germany) David Gordon Mitten, James Loeb Professor of Classical Art and Archaeology, Harvard University (USA) Margaret S. Mook, Associate Professor of Classical Studies, Iowa State University (USA) Anatole Mori, Associate Professor of Classical Studies, University of Missouri- Columbia (USA) Jennifer Sheridan Moss, Associate Professor, Wayne State University (USA) Ioannis Mylonopoulos, Assistant Professor of Greek Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University, New York (USA). Richard Neudecker, PD of Classical Archaeology, Deutsches Archδologisches Institut Rom (Italy) James M.L. Newhard, Associate Professor of Classics, College of Charleston (USA) Carole E. Newlands, Professor of Classics, University of Wisconsin, Madison (USA) John Maxwell O'Brien, Professor of History, Queens College, City University of New York (USA) James J. O'Hara, Paddison Professor of Latin, The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (USA) Martin Ostwald, Professor of Classics (ret.), Swarthmore College and Professor of Classical Studies (ret.), University of Pennsylvania (USA) Olga Palagia, Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of Athens (Greece) Vassiliki Panoussi, Associate Professor of Classical Studies, The College of William and Mary (USA) Maria C. Pantelia, Professor of Classics, University of California, Irvine (USA) Pantos A.Pantos, Adjunct Faculty, Department of History, Archaeology and Social Anthropology, University of Thessaly (Greece) Anthony J. Papalas, Professor of Ancient History, East Carolina University (USA) Nassos Papalexandrou, Associate Professor, The University of Texas at Austin (USA) Polyvia Parara, Visiting Assistant Professor of Greek Language and Civilization, Department of Classics, Georgetown University (USA) Richard W. Parker, Associate Professor of Classics, Brock University (Canada) Robert Parker, Wykeham Professor of Ancient History, New College, Oxford (UK) Anastasia-Erasmia Peponi, Associate Professor of Classics, Stanford University (USA) Jacques Perreault, Professor of Greek archaeology, Universitι de Montrιal, Quιbec (Canada) Yanis Pikoulas, Associate Professor of Ancient Greek History, University of Thessaly (Greece) John Pollini, Professor of Classical Art & Archaeology, University of Southern California (USA) David Potter, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Greek and Latin. The University of Michigan (USA) Robert L. Pounder, Professor Emeritus of Classics, Vassar College (USA) Nikolaos Poulopoulos, Assistant Professor in History and Chair in Modern Greek Studies, McGill University (Canada) William H. Race, George L. Paddison Professor of Classics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA) John T. Ramsey, Professor of Classics, University of Illinois at Chicago (USA) Karl Reber, Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of Lausanne (Switzerland) Rush Rehm, Professor of Classics and Drama, Stanford University (USA) Werner Riess, Associate Professor of Classics, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA) Robert H. Rivkin, Ancient Studies Department, University of Maryland Baltimore County (USA) Barbara Saylor Rodgers, Professor of Classics, The University of Vermont (USA) Robert H. Rodgers. Lyman-Roberts Professor of Classical Languages and Literature, University of Vermont (USA) Nathan Rosenstein, Professor of Ancient History, The Ohio State University (USA) John C. Rouman, Professor Emeritus of Classics, University of New Hampshire, (USA) Dr. James Roy, Reader in Greek History (retired), University of Nottingham (UK) Steven H. Rutledge, Associate Professor of Classics, Department of Classics, University of Maryland, College Park (USA) Christina A. Salowey, Associate Professor of Classics, Hollins University (USA) Guy D. R. Sanders, Resident Director of Corinth Excavations, The American School of Classical Studies at Athens (Greece) Theodore Scaltsas, Professor of Ancient Greek Philosophy, University of Edinburgh (UK) Thomas F. Scanlon, Professor of Classics, University of California, Riverside (USA) Bernhard Schmaltz, Prof. Dr. Archδologisches Institut der CAU, Kiel (Germany) Rolf M. Schneider, Professor of Classical Archaeology, Ludwig-Maximilians- Universitδt Mόnchen (Germany) Peter Scholz, Professor of Ancient History and Culture, University of Stuttgart (Germany) Christof Schuler, director, Commission for Ancient History and Epigraphy of the German Archaeological Institute, Munich (Germany) Paul D. Scotton, Assoociate Professor Classical Archaeology and Classics, California State University Long Beach (USA) Danuta Shanzer, Professor of Classics and Medieval Studies, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America (USA) James P. Sickinger, Associate Professor of Classics, Florida State University (USA) Marilyn B. Skinner (Professor of Classics, (University of Arizona (USA) Niall W. Slater, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Latin and Greek, Emory University (USA) Peter M. Smith, Associate Professor of Classics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA) Dr. Philip J. Smith, Research Associate in Classical Studies, McGill University (Canada) Susan Kirkpatrick Smith Assistant Professor of Anthropology Kennesaw State University (USA) Antony Snodgrass, Professor Emeritus of Classical Archaeology, University of Cambridge (UK) Theodosia Stefanidou-Tiveriou, Professor of Classical Archaeology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece). Andrew Stewart, Nicholas C. Petris Professor of Greek Studies, University of California, Berkeley (USA) Oliver Stoll, Univ.-Prof. Dr., Alte Geschichte/ Ancient History,Universitδt Passau (Germany) Richard Stoneman, Honorary Fellow, University of Exeter (England) Ronald Stroud, Klio Distinguished Professor of Classical Languages and Literature Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley (USA) Sarah Culpepper Stroup, Associate Professor of Classics, University of Washington (USA) Nancy Sultan, Professor and Director, Greek & Roman Studies, Illinois Wesleyan University (USA) David W. Tandy, Professor of Classics, University of Tennessee (USA) James Tatum, Aaron Lawrence Professor of Classics, Dartmouth College Martha C. Taylor, Associate Professor of Classics, Loyola College in Maryland Petros Themelis, Professor Emeritus of Classical Archaeology, Athens (Greece) Eberhard Thomas, Priv.-Doz. Dr.,Archδologisches Institut der Universitδt zu Kφln (Germany) Michalis Tiverios, Professor of Classical Archaeology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece) Michael K. Toumazou, Professor of Classics, Davidson College (USA) Stephen V. Tracy, Professor of Greek and Latin Emeritus, Ohio State University (USA) Prof. Dr. Erich Trapp, Austrian Academy of Sciences/Vienna resp. University of Bonn (Germany) Stephen M. Trzaskoma, Associate Professor of Classics, University of New Hampshire (USA) Vasiliki Tsamakda, Professor of Christian Archaeology and Byzantine History of Art, University of Mainz (Germany) Christopher Tuplin, Professor of Ancient History, University of Liverpool (UK) Gretchen Umholtz, Lecturer, Classics and Art History, University of Massachusetts, Boston (USA)Panos Valavanis, Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of Athens (Greece) Athanassios Vergados, Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics, Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, PAChristina Vester, Assistant Professor of Classics, University of Waterloo (Canada) Emmanuel Voutiras, Professor of Classical Archaeology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece) Speros Vryonis, Jr., Alexander S. Onassis Professor (Emeritus) of Hellenic Civilization and Culture, New York University (USA) Michael B. Walbank, Professor Emeritus of Greek, Latin & Ancient History, The University of Calgary (Canada) Bonna D. Wescoat, Associate Professor, Art History and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, Emory University (USA) E. Hector Williams, Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of British Columbia (Canada) Roger J. A. Wilson, Professor of the Archaeology of the Roman Empire, and Director, Centre for the Study of Ancient Sicily, University of British Columbia, Vancouver (Canada) Engelbert Winter, Professor for Ancient History, University of Mόnster (Germany) Timothy F. Winters, Ph.D. Alumni Assn. Distinguished Professor of Classics, Austin Peay State University (USA) Ian Worthington, Frederick A. Middlebush Professor of History, University of Missouri-Columbia (USA) Michael Zahrnt, Professor fόr Alte Geschichte, Universitδt zu Kφln (Germany) Paul Zanker, Professor Emeritus of Classical Studies, University of Munich (Germany) 201 signatures as of May 18th 2009. For the growing list of scholars, please go to the Addenda. - cc: J. Biden, Vice President, USA H. Clinton, Secretary of State USA P. Gordon, Asst. Secretary-designate, European and Eurasian Affairs H.L Berman, Chair, House Committee on Foreign Affairs I. Ros-Lehtinen, Ranking Member, House Committee on Foreign Affairs J. Kerry, Chair, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations R.G. Lugar, Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations R. Menendez, United States Senator from New Jersey.- Addenda 12 Scholars added on May 19th 2009: Mariana Anagnostopoulos, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, California State University, Fresno (USA) John P. Anton, Distinguished Professor of Greek Philosophy and Culture University of South Florida (USA) Effie F. Athanassopoulos, Associate Professor (Anthropology and Classics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (USA) Leonidas Bargeliotes, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, University of Athens, President of the Olympic Center for Philosophy and Culture (Greece) Joseph W. Day, Professor of Classics, Wabash College (USA) Christos C. Evangeliou, Professor of Ancient Hellenic Philosophy, Towson University, Maryland, Honorary President of International Association for Greek Philosophy (USA) Eleni Kalokairinou, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Secretary of the Olympic Center of Philosophy and Culture (Cyprus) Lilian Karali, Professor of Prehistoric and Environmental Archaeology, University of Athens (Greece) Anna Marmodoro, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford (UK) Marion Meyer, Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of Vienna(Austria) Jessica L. Nitschke, Assistant Professor of Classics, Georgetown University (USA) David C.Young, Professor of Classics Emeritus, University of Florida (USA)3 Scholars added on May 20th 2009:Maria Ypsilanti, Assistant Professor of Ancient Greek Literature, University of Cyprus Christos Panayides, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Nicosia, (Cyprus) Anagnostis P. Agelarakis, Professor of Anthropology, Adelphi University (USA)


Daniel said...

It is true that many scholars have signed this letter. How many have read it through or reflected on the issue is another question.

I have followed the evolution of Professor Stephen Miller's letter to President Obama since March. While there is good reason to deplore any nation's appropriation of Alexander the Great for nationalistic purposes, the letter goes beyond that scholarly position to involve the author and co-signers on one side in an ongoing interstate dispute in the Balkans, and it seemed necessary to respond. I have done so:

with additional comments on Alun Salt's Archaeoastronomy website:

At this point in the discussion, let me repeat that the most important mail I’ve received in the past two weeks comes not from professors but victims, or better, grandchildren of victims who were killed or tortured on both sides, equally horribly, in the 1940-1949 period. These sad posts illustrate the long shelf life ot torture. The pain of a tortured relative is transmitted through generations and remains alive today, damaging all efforts at analysis and argumentation. Resolving the problems posed by this set of memories, deeply imbedded north and south of the border, strikes me as a major challenge for all parties. I would like to see the dispute resolved without further pain.

In addition to criticisms -- some of which I've used in revising -- I've received a batch of positive communications since posting my letter, most notably from fine scholars in our field who refused to sign Prof. Miller's letter, but also from some who work on modern Greek history. In many ways, the best antidote to this letter would be a subscription to the Journal of Modern Greek Studies, published by the Modern Greek Studies Association in the USA. The Journal has published a number of serious critiques by Greek, British and American scholars of the extreme nationalist policy Prof. Miller advocates.

Many of my friends have signed Professor Miller's letter. I've had very worthwhile correspondence with them about it, and would be glad to hear from any of you. Stephen Miller has served as Director of the American School and done substantial service for our field: although I disagree with him on this matter, I don't want to disparage that service or to personalize this dispute with other colleagues, either. But it seemed necessary to speak up.

I will say that one of the delights of preparing this material has been the opportunity to read the really fine scholarship on ethnicity and on the Macedonian question coming from Greek academics. They're doing excellent work, and I wish Professor Miller had taken more account of it.

Very truly yours,

Dan Tompkins
Temple University

Georgios said...

Dear dr Tompkins,

I googled you but I couldn't find much information about you, cause unfortunately(?) for you there was an American President with your name :)

So I suppose you are a professor, and I'll call you like that.

Since you don't offer any space for comments on your letter-reply to pr. Miller's letter, I will post here my comments to it, which are not so many by the way.

I will start anorthodoxically with the least important comment. You note at the beginning of your letter "in what follows, I follow the lead of 125 nations, including four of the five permanent UN Security Council members, and use “Macedonian” as the appropriate adjective for the Republic of Macedonia. Note that it was the usage of the Journal of Modern Greek Studies as early as 1996. Use of a “politically correct” term would have required, as Chase and Phillips put it, “laborious periphrasis.”"

I'm sorry, but I strongly disagree with that. You could just say "Slav Macedonians" which includes quite a short extra. Because:
1) What the majority says, is not always correct (you, as a scientist, should know that quite well).
2) You insult me, a (Greek) Macedonian.
3) You create confusion to me and every (Greek) Macedonian who calls himself "Macedonian" for the last 3000 years, while we read your letter.

A more important comment now. Pardon me, professor, but most of your letter comments unimportant and indifferent information. I was expecting that you would oppose to the big arguments that prof. Miller sets on the table. Instead you get stuck in small details and try to undermine the relibility of prof. Miller or doubt that he acts scientifically or even attack to the Greek governmets.

At the end of your letter though you manage to work on 2 important topics:

1) What are the geographic limits of Macedonia?

2) Do the people of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia(FYROM) really claim Greek territories (province of Macedonia) and if they do, are they really able to realise such threats?

On the first one: you just mention that since 1900s "it was widely accepted" that FYROM, or better say the geographic area of Paionia, was considered part of Macedonia. I'm sorry, but I don't care if Bulgarians considered Paionia the last 100 years part of Macedonia in order to appear as the majority people of Macedonia and lay claims on it. Because the previous 2900 years Macedonia simply didn't include Paionia. In the Byzantine Empire, the Macedonian theme was actually in Thrace(!!) and it didn't include any original Macedonian landpiece. And west(!) of it was the them of Bulgaria, which was pretty much what today is (surprise, surprise) FYROM.

Georgios said...

So the point is that we don't define the borders of the georgraphic region of Macedonia according to what some people considered for 100 years to serve their own interests, but what historically can be proved. And that goes back to the Ancient Kingdom of Macedonia the last Macedonian state ever existed. And that didn't include Paionia, as prof. Miller very correctly mentions, or the rest of what today FYROM is.

For the second point: I will agree with you that it seems that FYROM is no real threaten to Greek territories. BUT how can you be so naive professor? Did anyone ever achieved liberation or independency on his own? Bosnia, Kossovo or even the Greeks in 1821? Of course not. It is not always the "good fellow" America and Western Europe that go fight for them.

So of course I don't think that FYROM will start a was with Greece and conquer the province of Macedonia. But the fellow Americans would gladly raise an issue for them and Turkey, as a loyal ally of US, will gladly help. Haven't you noticed what happened in the Blakans the last 20 years? How could you miss such a thing...

On the question of weather they have such intentions, there is no doubt. I live abroad and I keep listening it from their expats or even from ather nationals that had a discussion with them.

Not to mention that I have a picture of the prime minister of FYROM, laying a garland on a momument where someone had sticked before a map of "Great Macedonia". A Greek prime minister would never do that.

Furthere more you accuse prof. Miller of ignoring some aspects (well you say more polite that he doesn't take them into consideration so much) but you, professor, totally ignore the Bulgarian position on the issue.

Bulgarians have exactly the same position as the Greeks: those people (the slavic residents of FYROM) have nothing to do with the Macedonians, but they are just Bulgarians who had the bad luck to be liberated from the Turks by the Serbians and not by the Bulgarians (who were too busy then running to Thessaloniki to manage to liberate the city before the Greeks do).

It is a miracle how Bulgarians, a nation that was until recently one of the biggest enemies of the Greeks seems to have exactly the same opinion on the issue! What a coincidence! But no, for the citizens of FYROM, everyone else around them (the wolves) lies, except their lovely government. (Excuse me for my irony).

Georgios said...

I disagree with your opinion that Greece doesn't respect the right of theses people to form an independent state. If it was so, Greece would already had splitted this country in two by military force and share it with Serbia as Milosevic proposed.

I think Greece is the biggest supporter of this country, because first of all, we have invested on them a lot (financially) and secondly Greece would prefer the current borders to a Great Albania and a Great Bulgaria on its north...

We cannot agree on them entering NATO until all issues are solved. It's enough pretending that another NATO member is an ally of ours whereas it's actually our only enemy(Turkey). We don't need another pseudo-ally in NATO. Or better say another internal problem in NATO.

And sorry, you said it on your own. If justice and historical truth don't work those day, then yes we'll do it in modern politics way and neal them down. So no EU either.

As for the touching reference to the granchildren of victims, please spare the shorrow, Greeks have suffered enough from the Turks (not to mention other nations that suffered from the Turks) and their genocides that nobody seems willing to recognise. Let's not open the Macedonian wonds again. I'm sure attrocities took place from both sides, but don't force me to bring into the conversation the attrocities of the Bulgarian komitatjis against the Greeks in Macedonia before 1912.

Finally, I would like to refer in that so-called "Macedonian minority" in Greece. I grew up in Western Macedonia, professor. The only place in Macedonia that there are some slavophones. And even in that province they are only establish in 1/4 of it, northwest mostly in the villages of the Prefecture of Florina.

None of them has a "Macedonian" ethnic identity, appart from some old uneducated grandpa's, who think that because the speak the same language with the Skopjeans, and they have the same folklore tradition (dances, music, dressing) with them, they are not Greeks, but "Macedonians".

In that sense Pontic Greeks are not Greeks, but "Pontic". Because they have similar folklore tradition as the Armenians and the Turks of Pontus. Also Thracian Greeks are not Greeks. They are "Thracians". Because they have the same folklore tradition as Bulgarians and Turks of Thracia. And so on.

This is a stupid approach. It's a pitty that the Yugoslavians couldn't set aside their small differences and form a nation, as Greeks did, and instead they let the US and the rest of the West baptise local differences and dialects as "nations" and split the big Yugoslavia with the great potential into small powerless and chanceless countries.

There is no suppression of anyone right now in Greece. The slavophones speak their language whenever they want, wherever they want (in public offices, in the army, etc etc) and I've seen some saying even on TV that they are "Macedonians" and not Greeks. So where is the suppression?

What those people who talk about "Macedonian minority" in Greece ask is stupid and irrational. There are more Greeks in Netherlands than Slavophones in Greece. But the Greeks of Netherlands never asked it to recognise them as a minority and fund their schools for the Greek children to learn Greek!!

If they want they are free to open a private school (maybe with fundings from FYROM) and teach their children this Bulgarian dialect they speak. No problem with that.

But talking about half a million "ethnic Macedonians" in Greece is stupid, since the Ouranio Toxo, the political party of that so-called "Macedonian Minority" has never got more than 7000 votes. Actually it only participated once in National Elections and it got less than 4000 votes. 1200 of them in the Prefecture of Florina and the rest normally spread in the rest of the country.

So where is this so called "Macedonian minority" of Greece? We're talking about 1200 people?