Greek Evidence on the Authenticity of the Macedonians
The Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Greece had good diplomatic and neighborly relations in the past, although certain Greek people regarded the Macedonian state a thorn in their flesh and occasionally some extreme blabbermouth could be heard uttering epithets like the State of Skopje or the Skopje Cancer. However, ever since the Republic of Macedonia requested international recognition, Greece has been flooded with an unprecedented powerful campaign, in which, regretfully; science has also been involved. Scientists with a nationalistic inclination have been engaged and politicians with extreme nationalistic views have been competing in displaying their 'unique' patriotism and at the same time casting aspersions on the country which they have chosen to call Skopje or the Republic invented by the Comintern. There are even some who demand that guns should be turned towards and used against 'the little state' - as they mockingly call the Republic of Macedonia. Their aim is to prove that the name of Macedonia is an exclusive Greek property, that there has never existed a Macedonian nation, that the recognition of Macedonia will destabilize the Balkans, etc.
The purpose of this article, therefore, is to try and show the world community the absurdity of the Greek campaign against our country, bringing to light at least a fragment of the historical truth about Macedonia and the Macedonians, both those living in the Republic of Macedonia and those in Greece.
As a start let us look at the name of Macedonia. Modern Greece constantly turns to ancient Greek mythology to justify their theory. According to one source, the land was named Macedonia after Macedon, the son of Zeus and Thia; a second version claims that the name was derived from Macedon, one of the ten sons of the god Aeolus; a third version says that Macedon was the son of someone called Likaon, and according to a fourth one, Macedon was the son of the Egyptian god Osiris. Which of these four versions can we trust? Ulrich Wilken, a German historian, states that the Greek adherence to old myths is an attempt to justify their present views, i.e. lacking proofs of the Greek thesis, they resort to mythology, legends and tradition.
Furthermore, since the Greek people do not really believe in the mythical origin of the name of Macedonia, a new explanation is being forced; namely that the root of the name, mak- is of Doric origin and means 'long' or 'tall' and its derivatives, Makednos or Makedanos, mean 'tall people'. These interpretation have been attributed to Herodotus, the Father of History, as Greek scholars cal him. The aim here is to link the Macedonian with the Dorian people, the latter being claimed to be one of the Macedonian tribes. However, when it comes to proving the Doric origin of the Macedonians, or vice versa, Herodotus has no arguments to offer and therefore turns to traditions. This view is also supported by Prof D. Pantermalis, an archeologist, who wrote the following in the Greek newspaper Neos kosmos of 14th November 1988, published in Melbourne, Australia: "We have mentioned earlier a tradition which claims the Dorians to have been descended from the Makedons or Makednos. Herodotus must have come by this information either through evidence he himself had collected in some of the Doric towns or through the story of an ancient epic by Aegimius..."
Furthermore, Prof. D. Pantermalis also gave an interview published in Neos kosmos of 28th February 1991. Asked why foreign scholars were reserved over the question, the archeologist answered: "There are certain matters which require further clarification, and unfortunately certain interpretations in the past well as today have been wrongly based on such unclarified matters. Thus, for example, ancient texts often speak about the Macedonians and the Greeks, as two separate nations and we ought to differentiate between them. I would also add a more recent example: we speak of the Greeks and the Cypriots." Needless to say, this is only a superficial example, since, when we speak a Macedonian we do not mean a Greek from Macedonia, but one descended from Macedonia by origin and by nationality.
The Greek historian, D. Kanatsulis, disagrees with the interpretations given by Prof. Pantermalis. In his History of Macedonia until Constantine the Great published in Salonica in 1964, on page 67 D. Kanatsulis writes that the Dorian and the Macedonian were two different peoples, although both appear on territory of Macedonia at almost the same time. On page 12 of this publication we read: "On the descent of the Illyrians and some other peoples in the 12th and 11th centuries BC, the Dorians were forced to move further south and majority of them settled on the Pelloponnesos whereas the Macedonians stayed in Western Macedonia."
D. Kanatsulis emphasizes that the Macedonians had a strong feeling of constituting a separate ethnic group not only during the time of the independent Macedonian state, but also during the Roman era. "The Macedonians," he says, were primarily citizens of the state and only after that members of the municipality where they were born or where they lived. Thus, in the official documents in which all names were entered, the personal name was followed by the nationality - Macedonian, and then came the birthplace or the place of residence, for example: a Macedonian from Aegea, a Macedonian from Edessa, etc." (page 82).
Similarly ancient Macedonian historians and writers, though writing in the common language (a blend of ancient Greek and the local Macedonian when signing their names always added that they were Macedonian language); as, for example: Chrisogonis from Edessa, a Macedonian; Adaios the Macedonian; Antipatris the Macedonian. (Prof Photis Petsas: A Journey in Northern Greece, Elinikos voras, February 1976). Not one of them wrote that he was a Hellene.
Now, back to the name of Macedonia. Looking at Ilios, a Greek encyclopedia periodical, on page 801 we find the chapter entitled 'The History of Macedonia'. Its third Paragraph begins with the words: "The Macedonians or Macedons inhabited this territory and called it Macedonia...," which confirms that before the arrival of the Macedonians the territory had had other names (Imatia, Aeordea, Almopia and perhaps others) and that the Macedonian newcomers named it Macedonia. Another archeologist, Prof Photis Petsas, gives even a more detailed account: "Macedonia was so named after the Macedonian People in the year 700 BC, who used to inhabit the territory to the west of the Vermion Mountain…What interests us today;" says Prof Petsas, "is that the Macedonians gave their own name to the land, calling it Macedonia, and expanded it in the south to Mount Olympus, in the west to the Pindus Mountain, in the east to the river Nestos (the Mesta) and to the Erigon in the north." (Prof Photis Petsas: Macedonia and the Macedonians..., Elinikos voras, 12th February 1978).
The ancient Greek man of letters, Isocrates, claims that there were no grounds for the identification of Ancient Macedonia with Ancient Greece, nor the Ancient Macedonians with the Ancient Greeks. In his book Filip (pp l07-108), Isocrates places Macedonia outside the boundaries of Greece and considers the Macedonians non~Greek tribesmen. Both ancient and contemporary geographers and historians, such as Eforos, Pseudoskilaks, Dionisios Kalifondas, Dikearhos, Athineos and others, state that the northern boundaries of Greece begin at the Amvrakis Bay in the west and go to the Peneos River in the east (Makedonia, an anthology, Athens, 1982, p.50). In this connection, the modern Greek scholar J. Kaleris writes: "In the middle of the 5th century BC, the name Macedonia was given to the land spreading from Lake Lychnida in the west, the Strymon River in the east and to the Erigon and Vardar Rivers in the north (The Language of the Macedonians, an anthology, Athens, 1992). According to historians and geographers mentioned above, the territories north of a line Amvrakis Bay to the River Peneos were inhabited by the Macedonian people (same Anthology, p. 122). The ancient geographer, Ptolemy, gives an even more precise description of the boundaries of Macedonia, saying that in the north they reached the Sar (Skardos) Mountains, in the north-east the Pirin (Orbilos) Mountains and in the south the Peneos River.
If these are the recognized boundaries of Macedonia, how could the encompassed by the Mountains of Kajmakcalan, Kozuf, Belasica and Sar be denied the name Macedonia, even though, under the Treaty of Bucharest, a part of Macedonia was allotted to Greece? Referring to this problem, the Honorary President of the Communist Party of Greece, Harilaos Florianis, says in an interview: "Are we trying to say that 39% of the geographical territory of Macedonia is 'Skopje'? Isn't that, in fact, a section of the territory of Macedonia?" (Rizospastis, 2nd September, 1992).
Certain Greek scholars lacking a critical eye and disregarding historical arguments, consider the ancient Macedonians as Greeks and their language a Greek dialect. However, anyone looking at the facts with an open mind will realize that this is far from being true. Authentic evidence shows that the ancient Greeks regarded the Macedonian people as barbarians and Macedonia a barbaric land. This is also what the two coryphaei of Greek history, Thucydides and Demosthenes thought of ancient Macedonians. As a matter of fact, the ancient Greeks considered all non-Greek people barbarian and their land barbaric. Thus in his third Philippic, Demosthenes states: "… Ay, and you know this also, that the wrongs which the Greeks suffered from the Lacedaemonians or from us, they suffered at all events at the hands of true-born sons of Greece, and they might have been regarded as the acts of a legitimate son, born to great possessions, who should be guilty of some fault or error in the management of his estate: so far he would deserve blame and reproach, yet it could not be said that it was not one of the blood, not the lawful heir who was acting thus. But if some slave or superstitious bastard had wasted and squandered what he had no right to, heavens! How much more monstrous and exasperating all would have called it! Yet they have no such qualms about Philip and his present conduct, though he is not only no Greek, nor related to the Greeks, but not even a barbarian from any place that can be named with honor, but a pestilent knave from Macedonia, whence it was never yet possible to buy a decent slave ..." (Demosthene Crationes, IX, p.26, and Istorija diplomatije, vol.1, p.49).
Further evidence that the Macedonians were not Hellenes can be of the Manifesto of Polyperchon, regent to the Macedonian throne and envoy to the Greek city-states in the year 319 BC, where we read: "Our ancestors [meaning the Macedonians - author's note) were always kind to the Hellenes and intend to continue their good ways and give proof of our goodwill towards the Greek people." (Istorija diplomatije, p. 53, reference taken from Diodorus Siculus Bibliotheka historika, XVIII, p. 55).
The modern Greek scholar, Karagatsis, makes his contribution to the clarification of the question whether the ancient Macedonians were Greek or not. The master work of this respected author, History of the Greek People, 1952, raised a great commotion in the camp of the nationalistically oriented intellec-tuals of Greece. Karagatsis, however, disregarded the burden of tradition and mythology and claimed that reality was different (p. 314). "It is the King of the Macedonians," he says, "that is the hegemon of the Greeks. The Congress is summoned by the hegemon, but is never chaired by him, because the hegemon is not Greek." (p. 340).
Many circles in Greece turned against Karagatsis. Thus Stefanos Hrisos, a critic, states the following in his article in the Salonica newspaper Makedonia: "I believe that it is a moral obligation of every Greek, particularly those in Northern Greece, to raise his voice and demand that this book by Karagatsis should not leave the boundaries of Greece or be translated into other languages, and, if possible, be withdrawn from the shops. We might have expected such bad language from our neighbors but never from a Greek writer..."
Last year, during the heavy Greek-wide campaign against the international recognition of the Republic of Macedonia, a collection entitled The Language of the Macedonians was published, which comprised contributions by distinguished university professors, the purpose of which was to boost the Greek thesis that the ancient Macedonians were Greek people and spoke the Greek language. However, even in such a publication one finds concessions that the Macedonians in fact spoke a language different from the Greek.
Ana Panaiotou, for example, in the article 'The Language of Captions in Macedonia', says that "the Macedonians communicated among themselves in the Koine (common) language; the use of the Macedonian dialect was shrinking and became limited to conversations within a family or within small tribal circles. The last extant records on the Macedonian dialect," Panaiotou continues, "date from the first century BC" This author also informs us that the oldest facts on the Macedonian language date from the fifth century BC With the arrival of Alexander the Great that language stopped being the means of communication. "People used this language," Panaiotou says, "at moments of anger or great excitement and when only Macedonians were present" (p. 187). To support her statement, Ana Panaiotou turns to Plutarch, who claims that while killing Cleitus, at a moment of great distress, Alexander the Great "cried out in the Macedonian language" (Plutarch, Vii parallili, chapter 'Alexander the Great' - eighth installment in the periodical Ilios, 20th March 1954).
Ana Panaiotou also draws attention to the example of Eumenes, an officer in Alexander's army. He himself was not Macedonian, but once, after an illness, when walking among his Macedonian soldiers, he greeted them in the Macedo-nian language. She also mentions that Queen Cleopatra had lessons in Macedo-nian. In the same collected edition, Pro£ J. Kaleris says that "the Macedonian language was often used with the purpose of winning the trust of the Macedonian people." In the periodical Mesiniaka, J. Kordatos, a historian and sociolog-ist, undeniably declares that the ancient Macedonians spoke a language different from Greek.
Blinded by their fanaticism, the Greek nationalists categorically deny the Macedonians of today the right to bear that name; instead, they suggest names like Dardanians, Sclavins and the like. when the ancient Macedonian people arrived on the Balkan Peninsula, according to accepted sources, they retained their old name. This, however, was not the case with the modern Macedonians; when they settled in Macedonia in the 5th and 6th centuries AD, they still bore their tribal names - Sagudats, Rinhins, Smolyans, Brsyaks, etc. Gradually and spontaneously, these tribes took on the name of the region they had inhabited or, perhaps, of the people living there, who began to become assimilated with the newcomer Slavs, Pechenese, Kumans and others. Many Byzantine chronicle writers, such as Georgios Monahos, Leon the Dean, Ivan the Geometrician, Ana Comnena and Georgios Kedrinos mention the Macedo-nian Slavs. Even Emperor Constantine himself writes about the Macedonian people (Makedones); Leon the Dean refers to them as ta ton Makedonon; Nikiforos Vrionos speaks of one Vasilios Kurtina as the anir Makedon; Ana Comnena says that someone called Tornik is a Makedon, etc. (Stjepan Antoljak, Samoilovata drzava, Skopje, 1969, pp 78-80).
Despite the frequent conquests first by Byzantium, then by the Bulgar and the Serb Kingdoms and finally by the Ottoman Empire, the name Macedonian persisted in use. Thus the European traveler Bertrand de la Brokier wrote in 1432 that the Macedonian people were the predominant population of Macedo-nia, differentiating them from the Greeks, the Bulgars and the Serbs (Jordan Ivanov; Bqlgarite v Makedonia, Sofia 1917, pp. 109-110). Similarly, the Venetian marine officer, Angiolello, who traveled via Macedonia on his way to Constan-tinople, regarded the Macedonians as different from the Greek people. In his diary Angiolello wrote: "On 14th August, the Great Master dropped anchor off the coast of Mount Athos, a mountain on which there are many monasteries and Christian monks, some of them Greek, others Macedonian or Vlach." He, then, goes on to say: "Both Greek and Macedonian people live there..." (K Merdzhios, Mnimia makedonikis istorias). Furthermore, the Regulations and the Constitution of the Razlog and the Kresna Uprisings in 1876 and 1878, as well as the documents of the interim government of Macedonia of 1880, clearly define the nationality of the Macedonian people. Terms like Macedonian Uprising, Macedonian army, Macedonian people leave no doubt as to the national denomi-nation of the Macedonian people.
Greece manifested territorial aspirations towards Macedonia soon after it became an independent state. Various societies, such as the Association for the Promotion of Greek Literacy and, later, the armed gangs operating in Macedonia and fighting the so-called Macedonian war, had a sole purpose of converting the Macedonian population into Greek and if reeducation did not produce the expected results, they resorted to using arms. In this connection, Joannis Kordatos has written the following: "Bulgaria and Greece, as well as Serbia, sent soldiers to Macedonia in order to change the national affinity of the local population..."
"A large percentage of the farmers in Macedonia," Kordatos continues, "spoke a Slavonic dialect, using a lot of Greek and Turkish words; however, the essence of the dialect was Slavonic. The Slavo-Macedonian dialect was the dominant language in many areas in Macedonia. In a survey which Blunt, the British consul in Salonica, conducted in 1888 and printed in the following year in the English Blue Book, we find that the Greeks constituted the majority in the coastal belt, in Ber, Lagadin, Ser and Zihnen. But the inland areas of Macedonia were inhabited by Slavophones..."
"The wide masses of Macedonia," says Kordatos, "were oppressed not only by the pashas, beys and agas, but also by the local rich people and the Greek high church officials. Therefore, the majority of the Slavophone Macedonians decided to rise against the Turkish tyranny and the injustice of the Metropolitans, and in an autonomous and independent Macedonia to build political and national equality..." (loannis Kordatos, Istoria tis neas Ellados, vol.5, Athens 1955, pp. 41A2).
Two other Greeks, whose patriotism cannot be doubted, give evidence of how widely this Slavonic dialect (as Kordatos calls the Macedonian language) was spoken.
The highly respectable periodical Makedonika, the publication of the Society of Macedonian Studies in Salonica, in volume 3 of 1976, pp. 114-145, carries the report of Dimitrios Soros, chief Greek school inspector in the Salonica area in 1906, which contains the names of the villages in this area where Macedonian was the predominant language. Outside the walls of Salonica the population speaks a Slavo-Macedonian language, the 'so-called Bulgarian dia-lect'." Using the term 'so-called Bulgarian dialect', the inspector undoubtedly points out that this language is distinct from Bulgarian, though people accepted the term without giving its meaning a second thought.
In his longer article 'The Epopee from 1912 to 1913', the Greek academician Spiros Melas expresses his astonishment that the Macedonian population did not extend a welcome to the Greek army when it marched through Macedonia, pretending to be 'the liberator' during the Balkan Wars. The 'poor' people had anticipated the kind of liberty planned for them. This is how S. Melas describes the reception the army met with: "Occasionally, all of a sudden a village woman would step out and start swearing in her own difficult Macedonian language..."
"Then," Melas goes on, "our soldiers would surround her and offering her money would demand bread, wine, brandy or oil. But what we invariably got in return was a stereotype word like the one the first Slavophone villager, his head bent down, whom we had met outside the village of Negus, had addressed to us. All the way to the outskirts of Salonica and further on, to the town of Lerin, wherever we went we heard the same melancholic answer to all our demands: No, we don't have any!" (Spiros Melas, 'The Epopee from 1912 to 1913', published in installments in the newspaper Acropolis in 1952).
Similar descriptions can be found in the book The War between Greece and Turkey and the Macedonian Expedition by Stratos Ktenaveas. On pages 145-148 we read: "The farmers from around Salonica locked up their doors. Holding their money in their hands, the soldiers kept asking for bread, salt, flour and onions. 'No' was the answer. It sounded like a slogan - 'No, there's nothing here'."
"In vain," continues Ktenaveas, "did the soldiers of all branches visit the houses all day long; all doors were locked up and the women answered from behind them: 'We don't have anything'!"
These poor farmers still remembered the atrocities the Greek armed gangs (the andarti) had committed in Zelenic, Lerin, Zagoricani and Kostur, atrocities which made even the infamous Turkish police force shiver.
Speaking about the composition of the population in the Aegean part of Macedonia prior to its Greek annexation, the Greek expert economist A. Aegidis states: "At the time when Greek sovereignty was established over Macedonia, it was estimated that 57,4% of its population were 'foreign elements' and that the Greeks constituted 42.6% of the inhabitants, which is probably exaggerated because in the survey of 1912, for obvious reasons, many inhabitants of Macedonia were entered as Greeks, even though they did not hold themselves as such... It should not be forgotten," Aegidis continues, "that the minority that 'weighed the heaviest on the ethnologic scales of Macedonia' was the Slavophone population." (A. Aegidis, I Ellas horis prosfIges, Athens 1930, pp. 168-169).
At the Balkan conference in Athens in 1928, in the presence of repre-sentatives from all the Balkan countries, the Greek Prime Minister, Fleutherios Venizelos, was asked by a Bulgarian journalist about the situation of the Slavonic minority in Greece. His answer sounded like mockery: "If that population demands schools in their own language, I'll be the first in Greece to see to it that they get them." Similarly, when asked about the rights of the Macedonian minority in Greece, Andreadis, the Greek delegate in the League of Nations, answered: "The Slavonic minority in Greece will be given all rights the moment they ask for them." How insincere the Prime Minister and the Greek diplomat were can be seen in the case of the Abecedar (Primer).
Pressed by the League of Nations and obliged by the Sevres Treaty of 1920, the Greek government allowed the publication of a Primer for the Macedonian children in Greece. The Primer was reviewed by Nikolaos Zarifis, a Greek Balkanologist, as follows: "Here is a primer for the Slavophones, which has been carefully and conscientiously written by the specialists Papazahariou, Sayaktsis and Lazarou. Despite the difficulties encountered during its preparation, this useful manual has a considerable scientific value... What we have before us," N. Zarifis says, "is a primer entitled Abecedar, meant for use in the schools that are to be opened in Greek Macedonia and Western Thrace for the needs of the Slavophone population. This primer will be used to teach the children of the Slavophones in Greece. It was written in the Macedonian dialect [underlined by the author] and printed in the Latin alphabet," (Article by Nikolaos Zarifis in the newspaper Elleutheron vima, of 19th October 1925).
Immediately after its publication, the primer was sent to the western part of Aegean Macedonia. However, it never got into the hands of the people it had been intended for. And it was the police units of F. Venizelos and no one else that saw to that. In the period between the two Wars, the Greek governments implemented a double policy towards the Macedonian people in Greece. On the one hand, pressed by the League of Nations, Greece showed a readiness to recognize the minority rights of the Macedonians, and on the other, through terror and psychological pressure on the Macedonian people, they intended to force them to emigrate from the country. The bloody event in the village of Trlis near Ser in 1929, which was also investigated by the Carnegie Commission, was not an isolated case of terror. In addition, constant attempts were made to assimilate and denationalize the Macedonian population. Leaders in this cam-paign were the newspapers Eleutheros logos (see the issue of 2nd January 1927), Emborikj (see the issue of 25th December 1928), Makedonia and Akropolis. The Parliament also frequently pronounced themselves in favor of psychological and linguistic assimilation of the Macedonian people.
Vasilios Vizas, People's Deputy from Kozani, wrote the following in the newspaper Eparhiaki foni published in Kajlari on 16th November 1930:
"It has been 18 years since the liberation of Macedonia. In this period we have had many governmens from various parties, but we have not seen a systematic state policy with respect to the national question, so extremely important for the Psychological and linguistic assimilation of those who speak a foreign dialect, particularly the Slavophone inhabitants of Macedonia... In the 'foreign language' areas nothing has really changed with respect to the language since the liberation of Macedonia. These areas have remained faithful to their dialect and to customs alien to the Greek. I even dare say that the people of certain Macedonian areas have reinforced their earlier national feeling instead of losing it..."
What Deputy Vasilios Vizas demanded of the Parliament was put into practice by the dictator Ioannis Metaxas, Greek Prime Minister from 1936 to 1941, in whose period about 6,000 Macedonians, together with the communists, were fined, harassed or sent to the islands simply because they spoke the Macedonian language. This genocide of the Macedonian people in Greece was condemned even by some right-wingers, such as Sotirios Kodzhamanis, General D. Zafiropoulos and the journalist Polis Ioannidis. On one occasion, S. Kodzhamanis wrote: "Swearing at old men and women in the street or dragging them through police stations solely because they do not speak Greek can be done only in an unjust regime, which transfers the responsibility for the current situation from the history and the state to innocent individuals." (Sotirios Kodzhamanis, National questions, Salonica 1954, p.40).
In his longer article The Mystery of Goche, Polis Ioannidis wrote: "These people are stricken by poverty and they have been spurned since the moment they were born...
In the period between the two Wars the only hope the Macedonian people in Greece had for the preservation of their national identity and for the realization of their basic national rights as a minority came from the Greek Communist Party. Between 1924 and 1935, the latter supported the idea of self-determination of the Macedonian people in Greece as well as for the independence and unity of Macedonia and Thrace, which later changed into a demand for "national equality for the minorities within the Greek state".
Speaking in favor of the demands of the Macedonian people in Greece, the leader of the parliamentary group of the Communist Party, Stelios Sklavenas, declared at the Parliamentary sitting of 25th April 1936: "Another problem which the Government keeps ignoring in its declarations is the question of giving the minorities in Greece rights equal to those of the native Greek population. This refers in the first place to the Macedonian people. Anyone who has traveled through Macedonia must have felt the specific pressure exerted on the Macedo-nians. They have been strictly forbidden to have their own schools, speak their own language or practice their own customs. As a result, the people are getting organized and ready to fight for their rights, in which we can't but support them. The winning countries in the Great War and the League of Nations sanctioned the right for the self-determination of oppressed nations. And we also grant this right to the Macedonian people...
General Metaxas established his dictatorship on 4th August 1936. One of the first things he did was to retaliate against deputy Stelios Sklavenas for his speech in Parliament in support of the Macedonian cause, by sending him to the dungeons of Manyadakis, chief of the Security police, where he was virtually subjected to inquisition.
As a conclusion to what has so far been said about the Greek denial of the admission of the Republic of Macedonia into the international institutions, the Greek claim to the exclusive right to the name of Macedonia and their non-recognition of the Macedonian minority in Greece, we would like to draw the attention of the reader to the visionary ideas and words of the former leader of the Left Liberals in Greece, Ioannis Sofianopoulos. As early as 1927, when the Greek Parliament debated minority rights in the country; this man of virtue anticipated future events.
"By what means can we tame the spirits and eradicate the hatred?" he wonders and then adds: "There are three essential elements. a real protection of the minorities, which would forbid any forced emigration, education of the new generation in schools, and good traffic connections with all Balkancountries... Everybody should understand," Sofianopoulos concludes, "that we cannot endlesslychange the family name suffixes -opoulos into -opovich, then into -opov, or in the reverse direction, and that the mind should be free and the will of the individual fully respected." (Ioannis Sofianopoulos, Pos ida tin Valkaniki, Athens 1927, p.204).
Translated by Mirka Mishich