Macedonia as described in Historic Encyclopedias

Brockhaus 1809-1811, Brockhaus 1837-1841, Nordisk Familje-Bok 1876-1899, Meyer 1885-1892, Meyer 1902-1909, Nordisk Familje-Bok 1904-1926

Brockhaus Conversations-Lexikon 1809-1811, Article : Macedonien (excerpts)
Macedonia. ... Among the present inhabitants of Macedonia two large peoples, the Vlachs and Albanians, form a large part. Noteworthy in this country is Mount Athos, now Monte Santo, with 22 Greek monasteries, 500 chapels, hermitages and cells, and 4,000 religious, uncontestedly the most famous monument of the Greek church in Europe.
source in German, posted by Zeno

Brockhaus Conversations-Lexikon 1837-1841, Article : Macedonien (excerpts)
Macedonia. A country of great importance for the later history of ancient Greece, presently part of the Ottoman Empire, part of the Eyalets of Rumili and Jezair, of European Turkey. ... Following the fall of the Roman Empire peoples entering from the north and east became masters of the country, until in the 15th century it was lastingly integrated into the Ottoman Empire.
source in German, posted by Zeno

Nordisk Familje-Bok 1876-1899, Article : Macedonien (1886)
Macedonien. .. The climate is rather severe. Snow falls in the winter in considerable quantity, and the waters are often covered by ice. But the soil is excellent, and in most parts harvests are large. The forest-covered mountains provide rich grasing, therefore livestock keeping of all kind in all periods of history has been Macedonia's main source of wealth. In the past good access to bullion metals has been found, famous were especially the gold mines on he Pangaios, from which the Macedonian kings derived a great part of their wealth. ... On the occasion of the partition of the Roman Empire in 395 A.D. Macedonia was allocated to the Eastern Roman or Byzantinian Empire, after the fall of which in 1453 it came to the Turks, and for the most part it corresponds with the Vilayet Saloniki, of the capital by the same name *the former Thessalonike); the northwestern part of it is counted as belonging to the Vilayet Monastir. The old name Macedonia, although it lacks official importance, is often used to describe the ancient landscape.
source in Swedish, posted by Project Runeberg

Meyers Konversations-Lexikon 1885-1892, Article : Kreta
Makedonien. ... On the occasion of the partition of the Romanm Empire, Macedonia was alocated to the Eastern Roman Empire, and after the fall of the latter it came under Turkish rule. The Greek population of Macedonia, numerous in the coastal region, twice rose in insurrections against pressing Turkish rule in 1769 and especially in 1821-1822, both of which were suppressed with hard hand by the Turks. he Serbs and Bulgarians in Macedonia only recently underwent national awakening, and the Bulgarians, following the liberation of their brethren in 1878, undertook an insurrection, without success.
See : ... Flathe, Geschichte Makedoniens (Leipzig 1832-34, 2 vols.) ...

source in German, posted by Retro-Bibliothek

Meyers Konversations-Lexikon 1902-1909, Article : Mazedonien
Mazedonien (lat. Macedonia), landscape in northern Greece with borders which have changed much over time; at the time of its largest extent after Philipp II. it roughly included the lower valleys of the rivers Strymon (Struma), Axios (Vardar) and Haliakmon (Vistritza). The first two, running parallel to each other, are only separated by chains of hills or low mountains (Kerkine and Dysoron, now Kurscha Balkan), but surrounded by high mountains. In the east the Pangäon (Bunar Dagh) and the Orbelos (now Perim Dagh), in the north the Skomios (Vitosh) and the Skardos (Schar Dagh), in the west the Boion Mountains (Grammos) separate these river systems from Thrace, Illyria and Epirus. The mighty Olympos and the lower Cambunian mountains separate it from Thessaly. As larger rivers are to be mentioned the Erigon (today Tzerna), a tributary of the Axios on its right, the Haliakmon, between the latter and the Axios the short, but water-rich Lugias (Moglenitiko), the Echedoros (Galliko), and the Angites, a tributary of the Strymon. A separate area is formed by the region Eordäa (see there), the basin of Lake Ostrovo, in all directions surrounded by mountains, toward the east by the Bormios (1800 m, now the Doxa), to the north by the Bora (2517 m, now the Nidsche), toward west and south by he Peristeri chain which rises up to 2068 m. A consistently narrow valley which only in its lower extension widenes to a plain is traversed by the Strymon. The upper sections of these river valleys are located so high (860 m) that the climate is rough, taken into regard this being 40 to 41 degrees northern latitude. The forests here consisting of oaks, beeches and spruces are to be classified as of northern character. These mountain areas are well-suited for livestock breeding, and they contain deposits of metal ores of all kind, especially gold and silver (there have been rich mines in the Pangaion, near Philippi and in the Dysoron, the location of which now is unknown). The number of beautiful lakes is large; in part we do not know their old names. Known are those of the Begorritis (Sarik Göl, south of Ostrovo), Bolbe (Beschik Göl, east of Saloniki), Kerkinitis (Tachyno Göl, traversed by the Strymon) and Prasias (Butkovo Lake). Of separate regions and their cities are to be mentioned : Paionia on the middle Axios and Strymon, with the capital Stobi, Pelagonia, to its west, on the upper Erigon, with Stubera, Lynkestis on the middle Erigon with Heraclea Lynkestis (now Bitolia), Orestis on the upper Haliakmon, with Keletron, Elimiotis on the middle Haliakmon, Eordäa northwest of the latter, Pieria on the northern foot of the Olympos, with the cities Dion, Pydna and Methone, Emathia, the western section of the coastal plain, with Beroia (now Veria), Kition, Ägä or Edessa (now Vodena), southeast of it Bottiäa, the coastal lain, with Pella, the later residence; to the north of it Almopia on the upper Ludias (now Moglena, see there), on both sides of the lower Axios Amphaxitis; Mygdonia north of Chalkidike, with Thessalonike (Salonica), to the east of the latter on the lower Strymon Bisaltia, to the north of it Krestonia. On he lower Strymon the large Thracian cities Heraclea Sintike and Siris (Serres) were located, in Edonia in the Pangaion Mountains Amphipolis (now Marmara) and Philippi (now Filibedschik). Only late Chalkidike Peninsula was added to Macedonia.
Lately it has become customary to again apply the name Macedonia in the definition of antiquity, i.e. for the present Vilayet Salonica and the south of Vilayet Monastir. Usually Macedonia describes the river systems of Mesta, Vardar and Struma, or the Vilayets Kosovo, Monastir and Salonica. This area, 96,000 square km with 3 million inhabitants, is the actual battleground of the conflict of nationalities on the Balkan peninsula, because the population also split by faith, is a mixture of a number of peoples, among which the Bulgarians, Serbs and Greeks confront each other. The only secure thing to say is that the Slavic population element, without a doubt, is dominating, while in coastal areas the Greeks live in a cohesive cluster. Between them Ottoman Turks are scattered in larger and smaller pockets, while Albanians inhabit the western regions. Peucker divides the population by nationality and religion as follows : 550,000 Muslim Turks, 240,000 Orthodox Greeks, 1,215,000 Orthodox and 140,000 Muslim Slavs (Bulgarians and Serbs), 10,000 Catholic, 12,000 Orthodox and 615,000 Muslim Albanians, 93,000 Orthodox Vlachs, 63,000 Jews, 38,000 Muslim Gypsies, 24,000 Orthodox Turks, Muslim Vlachs, Muslim Greeks and aliens.
History ... When the Roman Empire was partitioned in 395, Macedonia was allocated to the Easern Roman Empire, and after the fall of the latter it fell to the Turks. Against the oppressive rule of the latter, the Greek population, numerous in the coastal region, rose in rebellion in 1769 and again in 1821-1822, which was harshly suppressed by the Turks on both occasions. Since the Bulgarians have become nationally aware and achieved a state of their own, from the north they attempt to liberate Macedonia.
These agitations which aimed at Bulgarian rule over Serbs and Greeks, behind which was the Macedonian Committee (Komitadschi), which around 1900 was headed by a certain Boris Sarafow in Sofia; it not onlay caused long, lasting unrest in Macedonia, but repeatedly resulted in international complications of a serious degree. So in February and July 1900 Romania had justification for complaints about two cases of murder committed by the aforementioned committee. On the other hand, the same government, which since 1878 strove to legally free the Kutzovlachs who live peacefully in Macedonia and Epirus from Grecification in school and church, and which herefore was regarded with suspicion in Greece, approached the committe in a striking manner, until in 1905 their relations were perturbed. The official response of Bulgaria, which resulted in the replacement of Sarafow by General Zontschew, had the opposite effect, when in August 1902 the Second Macedonian Congress was formed under Sarafow. The excesses of these hotheads caused such concern abroad, that at the end of December a diplomatic mission of Count Lamsdorff to Sofia became necessary, on which in February 1903 followed the dissolution of both Macedonian committees. Of a different opinion, according to Professor Kazazis, were many Greeks who believed that the Viennese news about chaotic conditions in Macedonia were spread with the intention to take the administration of Macedonia out of the hands of the Porte; therefore the Greek nationality in Macedonia should regard Turkey as their prime ally in her struggle against the Slavic nationality threatening to take over. This view was shared by the Greek government (cabinet Rhalli), and repeatedly expressed. Nonetheless, the views of the two powers most interested in Balkan affairs, Austria-Hungary and Russia, that reforms (collection of tithes, gendarmerie) finally were to be implemented, prevailed in the fall of 1903, as the atrocities committed by the committee no longer were tolerable. The Mürzsteg Punctations of October 1st 1903 foresaw support for the oppressed population, aid for the repatriation of refugees, reconstruction of destroyed villages etc. In order to execute this program, the attempts of the orte to maintain order in Macedonia were supported by effective conrol and support. After lengthy negotiations both powers, opn Nov. 25th an agreement was signed by both Christian powers on one, Turkey on the other side, on the formation of a gendarmerie headed by two civil agents, an Austrian and a Russian, and Austrian, Russian and Italian officers which was to help implement the reform policies of Hussein Hilmi Pasha. Continued atrocities commited by Bulgarian gangs caused the formation of Greek and Serbian militias, who protected heir brethren in faith. This conflict is related to the traditional animosity between the Greek Orthodox patriarchate, to which the diocese of Üsküb in western Macedonia is subordinate, and the schismatic Bulgarian Exarchate which tends toward supporting terrorism. The anarchy caused by continued struggles could not be ended by the international gendarmerie corps, under the command of Italian division general de Giorgios, which had been strengthened by English and French officers,, but weakened by jealousies among the participating powers. The official red book of the "Inner Organization" of the Bulgarian Macedonians (not identical with Zontschew's organization) of Nov. 1904 lists for 1898 to July 1903 (the so-called period of preparation) 1346 skirmishes between 4262 insurgents and 74,000 Turkish soldiers, in which 512 insurgents were killed. During the organised rebellion (July-December 1903) 26,478 men were under arms, 994 fell in skirmishes; during this short period of time, also 4694 men, women and children lost their lives. Despite this, all prposals made by the powers with the aim of a powerful international effort to restore order in the unruly Vilayet were rejected by the Porte, even bloodbaths as the one committed by a Greek militia on April 7th 1905 near Zagoritscham did not cause it to change its view, while it increased the desire of Bulgaria to interfere, a Bulgaria which otherwise proclaimed to strictly superwise her borders. So Turkish indolence and maladministration on one side, the hatred between Greeks, Serbs, Bulgarians, the recently emancipated Kutzovlachs (from the ecumenic patriarchate, 1905), and even the Albanians, prevent the return of peace. To the energetic pressure by the powers the Porte in October responded by categorically rejecting any further extension of the financial control beyond Dec. 8th 1905 as an interference in he sovereign rights of the Sultan. So Austria and Russia, in cooperation with Italy, Britain, France and Germany, on Nov. 15th delivered a collective note to the Porte demanding the establishment of an international financial commission for the Macedonian vilayets. When this was rejected, the powers decided on a naval demonstration; each power (except for Germany, which had no ships available) provided 2-3 vessels, which under the command of Austrian admiral von Ripper moved to the waters outside of Mytilene Nov. 26th. On December 5th their main goal was accomplished; the Porte accepted all major points of the note. On Dec. 18th he fleet left Mytilene, on Dec. 23rd the first convention of the international financial commission took place in Salonica.
See : ... Flathe, Geschichte Makedoniens, 2 vols. Leipzig 1832-1834, ..., von der Goltz, Ein Ausflug nach Makedonien, Berlin 1894, Berard, La Macedoine, Paris 1897, Mantegazza, Macedonia, Milano 1903, Ilitscheff, Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte von Mazedonien, Leipzig 1899, Gopcevic, Mazedonien und Altserbien, Wien 1889, Östreich, Makedonien, in "Geographische Zeitschrift" Leipzig 1904, Nicolaides, Die geschichtliche Entwicklung der mazedonischen Frage, Berlin 1899, and Die neueste Phase der macedonischen Frage (Berlin 1903). A Petrovic, Macedonien und die Lösung seines Problems (Serbian perspective, Berlin 1904), Routier, Macedoine et les puissances, Paris 1904, Berard, Pro Macedonia, Paris 1904, Kasasis (Kazazis), L'hellenisme et la Macedoine, Athens 1904, G. Verdene, la verite sur la question macedonienne (including documents issued by Halil Rifaat Pasha, Leipzig 1905), Balkan question by various writers, ed. by L. Villari, London 1905, Gelzer, Geistliches und weltliches aus dem türkisch- griechischen Orient, Leipzig 1900, Peucker, Karte von Makedonien, Altserbien und Albanien, 1:864,000, Wien 1903.

source in German, posted by Zeno

Nordisk Familje-Bok 1904-1926, Article : Macedonien (1912)
Macedonien (Greek Makedonia, Latin Macedonia) ... Upon the partition of the Roman Empire (395 A.D.) Macedonia was allocated to the Eastern Roman Empire. In the continiuous conflicts of the Middle Ages between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Bulgarian and Serbian kingdoms the various landscapes which formed ancient Macedonia frequently changed owners, until in the later half of the 14th and the earlier half of the 15th century the country piece by piece was conquered by the Turks.
Macedonia under Turkish rule. After the Turkish conquest, Macedonia did not remain an administrative unit. The area which is summarily referred to by its historic name Macedonia, roughly compares to the present Vilayets Saloniki, Monastir (without is western part) and Kossovo (Vilayet Üsküb). The composition of the population within this area is rather confusing. Among the inhabitants, which are estimated between 2 and 3 million (estimates vary within a considerable range, in part due to different interpretations of the name Macedonia) are found, together with smaller population elements such as Gypsies and Jews, all peoplesof the Balkan peninsula being represented : Turks, Greeks, Bulgarians, Serbs, Romanians (Kutzo-Vlachs) and Albanians. It is impossible to even approximately give the strength of the various population elements, as ethnographic borders are very unclear and the demographic data provided by various authors change, in a fantastic way, depending on the nationality and political sympathies of the author. The Slavic peoples, which certainly dominate the country's interior, overall should form the majority, and among them the Bulgarians, while the Greeks inhabit the coastal stretches; the Romanians in numbers are the weakest (c. 100,000), the Turks are estimated at about 1/2 million. From an ethnological perspective, Macedonia thus does not form an entity, and the Macedonian question first arose in connexion with the new organization of the political relations on the Balkan peninsula, which was the consequence of the Russo-Turkish War in 1877-1878. The treaty of San Stefano 1878 allocated Macedonia without Salonica and the Chalkidike peninsula o ther newly constituted Principality of Bulgaria, but the Treaty of Berlin later that year returned it to Turkish rule. The acquisition of Macedonia since became a main part of the program of Bulgarian nationalism. The reforms concerning Macedonia's Christian inhabitants, as stated in paragraph 23 of the Treaty of Berlin, remained dead letters, and and the continued social and economic misery, made worse by the Turkish officials, estate owners and police, in Macedonia's west even by bands of Albanian robbers, became more difficult to bear as adjacent countries had achieved freedom, and produced a fertile environment for political agitation from these sides. Because of the composition of the population, the Macedonian popular movement got a double character; while it was directed against the Turks, it contained sharp divisions among the various Christian Balkan peoples. To the national divisuions came ecclesiastical ones between the faithful of the Greek Orthodox patriarchate, who long were the only representative of the Christians of the Balkan, and the Bulgarian Exarchate extablished in 1870 (see under Bulgaria p.562), but in this respect the Serbs and Romanians are also of importance, of whom the latter in 1905 succeeded in gaining the Sultan's recognition of a separate ecclesiastic organization in Macedonia. From the beginning the Bulgarians were most active in national agitation, but at first used relatively peaceful means - especially as long as Stambolov kept the revolutionary element under control (his murder 1895 was caused by this policy) - as did the other rivalling population elements; they established schools and Bulgarian dioceses in Macedonia (7 in the years 1891-1898). In the meantime both in Bulgaria and Macedonia agitation committees were established, which, partially in cooperation, partly in a strife against each other, used revolutionary means, combined he tactics of the old Balkan robbers wih modern anarchist methods of disruption. Their members formed armed bands (komitadjis) committet murder, assassinations by bombs, extortion of payment, local insurrection in Macedonia and planned raids into Macedonia from Bulgaria (the first executed by Major Boris Sarafov, president of the "Outer Committee", in 1895). They terrorized equally Turks and Christians of other ethnicity, and caused the emergence of similar movements and similar atrocities from other sides. From the fall of 1902 Macedonia was the battleground of a regular civil war, and the terrible repression by the Turks in 1903 threatened to escalate into a war between Turkey and Bulgaria. The anarchy finally caused the powers to interfere. Austria and Russia, who since 1897 were in an understanding concerning their Balkan policies, in 1902 began to exercise pressure and in October 1903 worked out a reform program (Mürzsteg Program), which Turkey after various resistance in the main elements had to accept. At the side of the 1902 appointed inspector general of the three Macedonian vilayets, Hilmi Pasha, one Russian and one Austrian "civil agent" were placed, the gendarmerie reorganized (established earlier that year, now strengthened by a number of foreign officers, among them one Swede), placed under a European general (first the Italian de Georgis 1904-1907) with the support of many officers from various powers. The financial disorder in 1905 caused a widening of the reform program; at the side of the two civil agents were placed 4 financial counselors sen by the other powers; Turkey's approval had to be forced by a naval demonstration of the powers (without the participation of Germany) at the end of the year. The violent acts conducted by the terrorists, however, continued unabated, and a bitter civil war was fought among the various ethnic groups as well as among the opposed organizations of the same nationality (so Sarafov in 1907 was murdered on behalf of a committee striving for Macedonia's autonomy). From various directions and with varios aims a reform project was suggested to end Macedonia's difficulties, first sketched on the occasion of a meeting of King Edwad of England and the Czar in Reval in June 1908. The implementation of the former was fiorestalled by the Young Turk Rebellion, which broke out in July that year among Turkish troops which just had been moved into Macedonia, probably to a certain exent triggered by the national humiliation caused by foreign interference in Macedonia's affairs. Following the victory of the revolution the powers left it to he new government to restore order on her own; the gendarmerie oficers were dismissed in 1908, the Macedonian financial commission dissolved in 1909 while it was burdened with new tasks concerning the entire Turkish Empire. Against unrest in Macedonia the new government took energetic measures, and in 1910 the civil population was disarmed, which caused a significant emigration wave to Bulgaria. However it proved impossible to completely root out revolutionary banditry, and the irreconciled animosities in Macedonia, not to the least among the rivalling Balkan powers, made Macedonia continually the most dangerous troublespot of southeastern Europe, and the Macedonian question one of Europe's most discussed political problems.
See ... Gopcevic, Macedonien und Altserbien (1889, Serb perspective), ... Naumann, Makedonien (1894), Berard, La Macedoine (1897), Oberhummer, Makedonien und die Makedonier (1898), Nicolaides, M. (1899, Greek perspective), Mach, Beiträge zur Etnographie der Balkanhalbinsel (Petermanns Mittheilungen, no year), Östreich, M. (Geografische Zeitschift 1904), ..., J. Crijic, .. Das Bandenwesen von M. (no year), good summaries in E. af Wirsen, Balkanfolken och stormakterna (1909), and in Bourchier's article M. in Encyclopedia Britannica (1911).

source in Swedish, posted by Project Runeberg


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First posted on March 28th 2009

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