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                     Interview with Angelina Markus, Professor of Philosophy

 The Roots of the Word Begin in Macedonia


      The Macedonian language and Macedonian teachers reached and spread out from the bottom of the Balkans to Vladivostok in the far reaches of Russia . Why? The answer is simple: there too lived Macedonians. Putting it another way, why would our teachers go to such far away lands if not to be with the same people, of the same spirit, of the one and same culture? That’s why even today we understand each other be it the Serbians, Croatians, Bulgarians, Russians, Ukrainians, Czechs, Poles, Slovaks, etc.   

       Mrs. Markus you are a professor of philology yet you have written several books that delve deep into Macedonian ancient history…

       Markus: Philosophy itself permits that. Philosophy is knowledge, knowledge above the sciences of Aristotle’s time. Philosophy encompasses the study of the world in its fullest, the cosmos, nature, the universe of mankind and the processes of thinking. As a student of Philosophy I have wide knowledge in all these disciplines.  In the last 5 to 6 years I have written eleven books covering a wide perspective of subjects.

      When I delivered my books “Macedonian Ancient Medicine”, “Macedonian Ancient Theaters” and some others, to the director of the Veles theater, he asked me “Are these editions of the same book or are they different books?”  My answer was “All my books are connected and represent a continuation of the first to the eleventh book, all dedicated to Macedonia ’s history, Macedonia ’s kings, Macedonia ’s teaching, people, fighters, scientists, and everything that Macedonia gave to the world.”

      The books themselves find a way of widening the theme. For example, when I write about the kings, about Philip II, about Alexander the Macedonian, I can’t help but write about the philosophy of the time, of the Macedonian theaters, the arts, the architecture, sculptures, mosaics and all things which express what is Macedonian and needs to be told. That is what I do from book to book.

         During the Dionysian celebrations in 2003 in Skopje you publicly apologized to the Macedonian people and to your former students for your misleading teachings. How did you arrive at this reversal?

       Markus: A few years back, as I was reviewing some books and notes from fifty years ago I was seized by a strong realization that in the current history everything is erroneously written; in the encyclopedia, in formal papers, in almost everything where the name Macedonia appears. I realized that during my entire working life, with a teaching guide in my hands, generation after generation I have taught students that there was a Greek Culture, Greek theaters, Greek philosophy and so on, when all these were actually Macedonian.

       Do you reckon there is a need to do a complete revision of Macedonia ’s history from its beginning to today?

       Markus: Absolutely there is a need to do such a revision, but that is a painstaking and tedious process which cannot be done by a single person. Many of my former students stan d behind me on this and help me out as much as they can and by various means possible. We need to begin by rectifying all that has been erroneously written. Each individual must take corrective action and do as much as possible. Unfortunately, it is going to be difficult because this process is dominated by politics which prefer the status quo.

      I am not losing hope though and I know that all the greatness that has been created by Macedonians will one day come out from its camouflage. The masks will one day fall and the true face will be revealed.

       You have created a world and yet you still work on the same part where you started. What is with the Macedonian educational institutions? What is their attitude towards these themes which are erroneously presented in the world?

       Markus:  That which I do I do only for Macedonia . I don’t have an interest in politics, but I will tell you when I publish books and promote them not a single institution makes its presence to acknowledge my work. Yet this work is done to affirm our people and our nation.

     The institutions in Macedonia are a lost cause. They are inaccessible and closed in their shells like turtles. They are run by people whose only interest is to milk the State.

       Artifacts found in Macedonia speak of an enormous and wonderful ancient Macedonian civilization, yet institutions like MANU and the Macedonian Institute of National History have done nothing to embrace it. On the contrary, they are still working on the theory that somehow Macedonians are some kind of “Slavs”. Slavs who came to our lands from somewhere else?

       Markus: The theory of the Slavs coming to the Balkans is just a theory, a fabrication. In fact the world is starting to laugh at this whole Slav notion. The fact is the Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Russians, etc., are starting to come to the realization that “the Slav culture” has its roots in Macedonia which extend from Macedonia all the way to Siberia . Today people are beginning to recognize that their written letters, their Church, their frescoes, their singing, etc. have roots in Macedonia . Why? The answer is simple: there too lived Macedonians. Why else would Macedonian teachers go to such far away places if not to teach people who were of the same spirit and of the same culture? That is why even today we under stan d each other be it the Serbians, Croatians, Bulgarians, Russians, Ukrainians, Czechs, Poles and others. The Macedonian language and Macedonian teachers reached out and spread from the bottom of the Balkans to Vladivostok in the far reaches of Russia . 

      When you speak of Macedonia in the past, to which time period and to what place do you refer?

       Markus: When there is talk about Macedonia ’s past, before anything I think of the Macedonian Kings Philip and Alexander, the apostles, churches and the educators. Some today say that all that is Bulgarian. What Bulgarian? Not the Bulgarians not even the others around us existed at the time. There was only one civilization in existence and that was Macedonian.

     Macedonia has a long past which begins from the Neolithic period, from the Great Mother. There is evidence of a Neolithic home, of inscriptions, of writing and of symbols that go back to some six to seven thousand years before our era, and maybe further perhaps from the petroglyphs and the rock art. Petroglyphs for example are nowhere in the world as prolific as they are in Macedonia . Macedonia is the center of the world for Rock Art or as some call it, the bellybutton of the world.

      Macedonian kingdoms blossomed throughout history from the Neolithic period to the great kings and their kingdoms and to the Byzantine period during which Justinian, Samoil, Marko Krale and others upheld the Macedonian traditions and safeguarded Macedonian symbols like the sunburst, the helmet, the shields, the arms, and the spirit of creation. During every period Macedonians held high positions in royalty, in education, in art, etc. Sadly, remnants and artifacts left behind by those creative Macedonians are leaving Macedonia and filling foreign museums.

      Just as we speak I am writing about the Macedonian coins. A while back I wrote something interesting which caught the attention of many including  Petre Bashevski. I wrote “If there is a museum in the world which has an older coin than the Macedonian coins, please let me know.”  But to this day there is no response because there are no older coins than the Macedonian coins and that is why I believe the root of the world starts in Macedonia .

     Obviously Macedonian artifacts are being lifted from the ground yet the State up until now has not taken measures to prevent it…

      Markus: Yes, as I said Macedonian artifacts are enriching foreign museums.  The State has not undertaken measures to prevent illegal excavations, but there are decent people who are interested in preserving our Macedonian heritage and are reporting findings. For example, a journalist from Bitola has found Perseus’s boat in Rome . Perseus was the last Macedonian King before Macedonia ’s fall to Rome . Perseus, and his entire family, was captured by the Romans in 16 8 BC and taken away as a slave.

      I have come across a book where I read that in the Roman plunder of Macedonia , among other things, included 1,600 golden crowns which were taken. The loot was paraded through Rome to show it off, to show how much they had gained by the destruction of Macedonia and the enslavement of the Macedonian King Perseus. In the same parade they tied the Macedonian King to a yoke to show that he now was a slave and dragged through the public streets to further humiliate him.

      A while ago in Tsrnobuk about five kilometers from Bitola , Perseida, Perseus’s city was found. This city was built by Perseus’s father King Philip V. A celebration in the last King’s honour is planned, to which I am invited.

      I also want to mention that I collaborate with the director of the Kratovo museum who one day brought me five hundred photographs taken from the nearby unearthed observatory. The site is about twenty kilometers long and includes a theater, a rotunda, a place of worship of the Macedonian gods and a variety of interesting artifacts.  There are also findings of ancient living places in the center of Bitola , Prilep and other cities. Macedonians are now becoming aware of this and are starting to uncover their great and miraculous history.

By Liljana Ristova

Translated from Macedonian to English and edited by Risto Stefov


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