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And why don't the Vardarians just accept Vardar as their official name? They have nothing whatsoever in common with Alexander's Macedonia. Why should Greece accept this imposter of a name, backed by a flag which belongs to the heritage of Alexander the Great... who had nothing whatsoever to do with the Vardarians?
by vladimir on Fri Mar 20th, 2009 at 03:12:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think the Greeks are that bizarre at all.
http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0321/p01s01-wogn.html
By Robert Marquand, The Christian Science Monitor, March 20, 2009 edition

2,300 years later, 'Alexander-mania' grips Macedonia

...

SKOPJE, Macedonia - As part of a stunning new homegrown ideology of history and identity based on Alexander the Great, this capital city's main square may soon boast a huge new statue of the ancient conqueror. Two years ago, the national airport was renamed after Alexander, infuriating Greece. In January, despite a recent Greek nixing of Macedonia's NATO bid over the airport name, the ruling nationalists here changed the name of its main roadway to Alexander of Macedon Highway. In Macedonia, it is becoming all Alexander the Great, all the time. Ahead of Sunday's presidential elections, the ruling party's Alexander ideology is seen as fantastic, even by Balkan standards.

In an intense media campaign, locals are told that ethnic Macedonians are the proud direct descendants of Alexander, and thus a people responsible for spawning the white race of planet Earth, from the Caucasus "to the seas off Japan," according to a public service spot on national TV.

...

For years, Greek demands were seen as cock-eyed and petty in diplomatic circles. Yet Macedonia has been losing sympathy as it roars out heritage claims on Alexander.

...

A poll last month showed that 97 percent of ethnic Macedonians favored staying out of the EU if it meant compromising on the name.

...

Indee, Macedonia's bold claim to be the taproot of Western civilization is daily media fare. Last summer, the government flew in members of Pakistan's Hunza tribe, considered lost descendants of Alexander, to tour the country. Startled and pleased Hunza were greeted at Alexander airport with flowers and treated like long lost cousins as they disported across the nation, cameras in tow.

Even "God" has gotten involved. A nine-minute TV ad starts with a petition from Macedonia to the heavens: "Our neighbors distributed thousands of books across the world, containing false history and portraying a wrong picture about Macedonia. ... Only you know our pain." The Almighty then responds: "From you, Macedonians, descendants of Macedon, I conceived the white race. All that stretches to the seas off Japan is conceived from your genes." Sinisa-Jakov Marusic, a columnist for Balkan Insight, cheekily observed, "So there you have it! What better proof than God himself?"

...

Alexander is considered one of the greatest military leaders of all time. Born in the Greek city of Pella in 356 BC, his conquests extended to most of his known world by the time of his death at age 32. He opened up Greek civilization from the Mediterranean to India, and is regarded as the first to link Europe, Asia, and Africa.

"Alexander was the captain general of all the Hellenes. He spoke Greek. He went to war on behalf of the Hellenes. No one in the ancient, medieval, or modern world has disputed this," says Michael Wood, a historian and British filmmaker who has produced a work on Alexander and has another in the making.

"The Macedonian state claim has no basis in history; it is a state-sponsored myth. I tell my Macedonian and Greek friends to ignore it," Mr. Wood adds.

...


by vladimir on Sat Mar 21st, 2009 at 03:09:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is a pretty amazing article. I've seen the gov't film run on television, and I wonder--despite the fact that the Greeks inflamed the issue a decade ago--if the political culture now north of the border is just too harrowing.
by Upstate NY on Sat Mar 21st, 2009 at 09:18:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's some more Alexander-related nuttiness for you.
by Gag Halfrunt on Sun Mar 29th, 2009 at 08:53:29 AM EST
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