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24.6.09

Macedonian names and makeDonski pseudo-linguistics: The case of the word Tshelnik - Tshelniku


Miltiades Elia Bolaris


June 18, 2009


Balkan Illusion - phantasia archaica:"

...it is very interesting to note that many of the authentic ancient Macedonian words, according to their etymology and pronunciation, have a striking resemblance to the appropriate words used in the modern Macedonian language (and other so called "Slav"[sic] languages). For instance, the word "tshelniku" which translated in English means foremost is a very interesting case. The British historian Hammond mentioned its etymology and said that the word "tshelniku" in the ancient Macedonian language had a meaning of "leader of a group". Hammond says that this word was translated into Greek only in the 14th century as "phylarchos"."From: "Similarities between ancient Macedonian and today's' Macedonian Culture (Linguistics and Onomastics)" by Aleksandar Donski, celebrity folk "historian" from FYROM.Tshelnik/Tzelnikos/Tζελνίκος/Tshelniku/TσέλιγκαςKaragiozis is the main cartoon character in the Greek shadow-theater. The name is Turkish, meaning the "black eyed one". Greeks took their shadow theater from the Turks who got it from the Persians and the Persians in turn got if from farther east, since it probably originated from China.

Karagiozis is an ingenuous urban Greek living in squalid conditions under the Turkish occupation, and he is always getting in trouble with the Ottoman authorities. Every time he is getting in trouble, he is getting beaten to a pulp by the notorious Veligekas, a policeman whose name betrays an Albanian Muslim, in the service of the Turkish Pasha. But then, as Deus ex machina in ancient drama, barba-Giorgis (uncle George) always shows up, and saves Karagiozis from Velingekas and the Pasha.Barba-Giorgis is Karagiozis' uncle. He is a Vlach (a mountaineer bilingual: Latin-Greek); he speaks in heavy dialect, he is rough, of mountainous stock, honest and straight, hard working (he always brings cheese and other dairy products to feed his nephew's impoverished urban family), and of superhuman strength. He is the funniest character in this shadow theater, and he is always ready to beat up every phony charlatan and hypocrite, including professors, politicians, lawyers, or representatives of state bureaucracy and Ottoman power. Barba-Giorgis is casually called by the others the "Vlachos" (the Vlach), or the "Tselingas".The definition of a Tselingas is that of a man who is the leader of a large sheep and goat herding enterprise, a master shepherd.Georgios Bambiniotes in the "Lexico tes Neas Hellenikes Glossas" (Dictionary of the Modern Greek Language, Kentro Lexikologias, second edition, Athens, 2002) defines Tselingas/Τσελιγκας as "the shepherd with many sheep, goats etc, the owner of a large herd, close to whom are employed many other smaller shepherds". Just below this lexical entry we find the word Tselingato/Τσελιγκάτο which Bambiniotes defines as "a developed animal herding enterprise which had, in times past, as its base a rich and powerful family with its own pastures and which included even various other dependent micro-shepherds,...etc".The origin and etymology of the word Tselingas, according to this Lexicon is Slavic: tshelnik "genarch of a family".Tselingas, therefore, according to one of the most authoritative Modern Greek language dictionaries is originally a Slavic word, derived as a loanword into Modern Greek from the Slavic "tshelnik", for genarch, leader of a family, a pater familias.Let us now follow what professor Donski has to tell us about Tselnik(u). We know of course that professor Donski's mission is to try to convince us that somehow there is an ethnic and linguistic continuation between the ancient Macedonians, whom he imagines to be "proto-Slavic", and the modern Slavo-makedonijans. Following the dictum of the regime in Skopje, he identifies the 1.3 million strong Bulgarian/Slavic speaking population living in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) as being the "ethnic" Macedonians. South of FYROM's border, 2.7 million Greek Macedonians beg to differ on the usage of this name, and indeed (adding insult to their injury) the attempted usurpation for exclusive usage of the name "Macedonian" by the Slavs of FYROM. After all, The Greeks of Macedonia have the language and name issues on their side: Every inscription found in Macedonia is in Greek, save for a few in Latin from the Roman era. All the names of the ancient Macedonians were Greek and intelligible to modern Greeks. Here comes professor Aleksandar Donski/Александар Донски and pulls a rabbit out of his hat: an ancient Macedonian word, he insists, which the Greeks themselves accept as being a loanword from Slavic. Professor Donski speaking:"For instance, the word "tshelniku" which translated in English means foremost is a very interesting case. The British historian Hammond mentioned its etymology and said that the word "tshelniku" in the ancient Macedonian language had a meaning of "leader of a group". Hammond says that this word was translated into Greek only in the 14th century as "phylarchos"." our note: phylarchos/φύλαρχος means "leader of the tribe" in Greek].Having read Nicholas Hammond's book "The Macedonian State - The origins, Institutions and History", I beg to strongly differ with the statement and assessment above, but I prefer to come back to it later. Let us for now continue with Aleksandar Donski:"The word "tshelnik" with completely identical etymology and pronunciation has been registered in the so called "old Slavic language" in Macedonia as early as 11th century! Proof of this is the entry of Byzantine chronicle writer Kekavmen where he described the events surrounding the anti-Byzantine uprising of Petar Deljan in 11th century. He said that in the language of the rebels "the strategist is called tshelnik"!) It is known that Kekavmen was fluent in the "language of the Slavs" in Macedonia therefore he could translate the Greek word "strategist" as "tshelnik" (the strategist was a high military rank in Byzantine). It is even more interesting that the word "tshelnik" with identical etymology and pronunciation is being used in today's Macedonian language and in other "Slav" languages, as well!"I happen to have read Kekavmenos' Strategikon/Στρατηγηκόν, in the Greek original (Kεκαυμένος/Kekavmenos, Στρατηγικόν/Strategikon, (Kanakis Publishers, Athens, 1996, third edition, second in the series: Keimena Byzantines Historiographias-2, therefore all the references in this paper are from this edition), and I do have some serious issues with what professor Donski is saying here. Let us remember for now the issues of location (we are told this is in Macedonia, which is not true), the people involved (Petar Deljan and his "anti-Byzantine" rebels whom A.Donski skillfully fails to describe: I think we know why) and finally the language (it is inferred by A.Donski that is is [Slavic]"Macedonian"). We will come back to these three issues once we read the original text. But there is only one thing I would like to mention, before we proceed further, and it is that somehow professor Donski is deriving that the Byzantine army general Κεκαυμένος/Kekavmenos was "fluent in the language of the Slavs", insinuating probably that he was also a fellow Makedonski. Katakalon Kekavmenos/Κατακαλών Κεκαυμένος as his full name was, was of Armenian and also of Greek and Georgian descent. His mother was the daughter of Demetrios Polemarchios/Δημήτριος Πολεμάρχιος. His father, named Krikor Kichatzi, was the son of an Armenian noble, originally a Toparches=area commander of his own fiefdom, a feudal lord, in Armenia. He was originally, as Kekavmenos tells us, "an enemy of Romania" (the Byzantine empire) but later came to be in the service of Byzantium as a Byzantine Patrician and General of Larisa (by Larisa they meant Thessaly) and Thessalonike (by which they meant the whole of what is accepted as historic Macedonia). Kekavmenos' great grandfather was Smbat Kichatzi, an Armenian Patrician. There is nowhere a mention of Kekavmenos speaking Slavic or any other language besides Greek, the language in which his Strategikon is written though we can possibly also assumed that he may have spoken Armenian too, but he never mentions it. We offer the podium again to Aleksandar Donski to continue:"This can not be a coincidence, especially considering the fact that there could be hundreds of thousands[sic] etymological meanings that a single word can represent, and in this instance there is an identical etymological meaning for a word that has also an identical pronunciation. The remark that the middle age Macedonians simply borrowed[sic] this word from the language of ancient Macedonians and used it in 11th century is not valid. Assuming that it is so, becomes impossible to explain the fact that this word is present in the contemporary Croatian literary language. Have they inherited this word from the ancient Macedonians as well? It is the same with the contemporary Serbian and Bulgarian literary languages where this word is also present with the same pronunciation and etymology."In other words, we are told that this word, tshelnik or tshelniku, appears in modern Croatian, Serbian and Bulgarian, (he fails to mention Polish and other Slavic languages, for good reason, we will start wondering how they got it...) and the question for him is how do these south Slavic nations came to acquire this word, if they did not borrowed it from the Slavic Makedonci who in turn "did not borrow it" from the ancient Macedonians? If it sounds too confusing, it's because it is:We are assured that the ones he calls "the Middle Ages Macedonians" did not "simply borrow" the word "tshelnik" from the ancient Macedonians, yet, somehow the modern Makedonci today have it and in their dialect tshelnik now means "foremost". Moreover they managed to pass it on to the Croats and Serbs, who in fact retained the original meaning.I suggest that we should analyze this for a moment, because it is getting a bit too confusing. Let us consider the example of Renascence Italians. Can we say that the Renascence Italians "simply borrowed" a word from Latin? True, Italian is not considered the same language as Latin after a certain point, but in essence it is a direct descendant of ancient Latin, therefore someone could arguably call it "modern Latin" (the same is true for French, Spanish etc). After all, we call Medieval Latin "Latin", yet it is not the same as the Latin spoken by Cicero. Someone can easily argue that all Romance languages are in some convincing sense dialects of modern Latin, and still be correct: The same holds true for Greek. Modern Greek is considered the direct descendant of medieval Greek, which was derived from Coene, and that from Attic, Homeric etc. There is an unbroken chain, in both Greek and Latin, despite the names we give to the language. Greek is still Greek whethere you call it Greek, Hellenika, Romaiika, Achaika, etc. The notion, therefore, of Italian as a language "simply borrowing" words like "popolo" and senate from Latin, and of modern Greek "simply borrowing" words such as "demos" from ancient Greek is absurd. My point is simple: by making this linguistic Freudian slip, professor Donski is revealing his subliminal discomfort about the pseudo-makedonist Big Lie: the imagined yet non-existent connection that he is trying to establish between the language of the Greek-speaking ancient Macedonians and the Slavic language now spoken in the Former Yugoslav Republic of "Macedonia". Let us follow his words again: "The remark that the middle age Macedonians simply borrowed this word from the language of ancient Macedonians and used it in 11th century is not valid. Assuming that it is so, becomes impossible to explain the fact that this word is present in the contemporary Croatian literary language. Have they inherited this word from the ancient Macedonians as well? It is the same with the contemporary Serbian and Bulgarian literary languages where this word is also present with the same pronunciation and etymology."The way out of this dilemma is very simple. We need to look at all the possibilities. If or the world "tshelnik" is indeed Slavic as the Greeks readily admit, then Logically there are only three options:A.The historically absurd and scientifically unprovable possibility that the Ancient Macedonians spoke indeed a proto-Slavic language, in which case tshelnik would be a normal word, which they passed on or shared with the other Slavs.B. The historically absurd and astronomically statistically very remote possibility that the Ancient Macedonians had acquired through some captured Slav slave a Slavic word, fully a thousand years before the Slabs ever appeared in history. Even in this, statistically virtually impossible case, all we will prove will be that the Macedonians had at least one loan word from a distant Slavic culture, which, weighted against the thousands upon thousands of Greek language inscriptions found daily in Macedonia will prove nothing to reverse our understanding of their essentially Greek language and culture. In the same way, the fact that they had a word like parasanga, clearly a Persian word, does not prove that the Macedonians or the other Greeks were Persians. Likewise, the fact that the modern Slavomakedonski language has several thousands of Greek loanwords does not make it Greek, it is still a Slavic language.C. The language of the ancient Macedonians was not and could never have been proto-Slavic, and the Macedonians never had such a Slavic word as "Tshelnik", which means that Croatians, Bulgarians and Serbs brought this word into the Balkans sometime after the 6th to 8th cAD without any intervention from the Slavomakedonci. All we need to do now is prove that one of the three is correct and the dilema is solved.At the same time, and completely unaware that he slipped on his own banana peel, professor Donski rides along, galloping away from logic and history, and cluelessly attempts to deduct and identify linguistic rules and "characteristics", as he calls them, of the ancient Macedonian language (as only his fertile imagination can beget). We join him in the parade, window shopping at Skopje's pseudo-linguistic bazaar:"It is highly likely that through analysis of the word "tshelniku" some other characteristics of the ancient Macedonian language could be identified, considering the fact that in the contemporary Macedonian language this word is deducted from the noun "tshelo" - forehead. As mentioned previously, the non-Greek words were recorded by the ancient Greeks on as-heard basis without analysing the form of the word. Due to the fact the word "tshelniku" had been recorded inclusive of the vowel "u" at the end, it is anticipated that "tshelniku" was recorded by the ancient Greeks in its vocative form. The vocative form of the noun "tshelnik" in the contemporary Macedonian language is precisely "tshelniku". Is it maybe that the Greeks used to hear the word "tshelniku" every time a Macedonian addressed the leader, therefore recorded this word without realising that they were recording its vocative form?""..this word is deducted from the noun "tshelo" – forehead." Sadly, this is just about the only sentence that makes sense and is factually correct out of the nonsense we have been subjected to by the dedicated (to his nationalistic cause, though not to science) professor above. I will explain, and a good place to start will be Kekavmenos' Strategikon/Στρατηγικόν. Strategikon/Στρατηγικόν/"On Strategy" was not history. It was a treatise, a type of military manual, with advice on military, administrative and even personal issues. We are reading from the chapter 31, titled: "Oι κίνδυνοι από τήν απεριμνησία τού στρατηγού"/The dangers from the carelessness of a general:"Δημητριάς πόλις εστί τής Ελλάδος παρά θάλασσαν, από τε τής θαλάσσης καί τών κύκλωθεν βαλτών εξησφαλισμένη. Ής εγκρατής γέγονεν ο Δελιάνος. τοπάρχης δέ ήν ούτος Βουλγάρων. Εγκρατής δέ αυτής γεγονός ούτος απέστειλεν εν αυτή στρατιώτην αρχαίον καί έμπειρον εις τά πολέμια (ο γάρ στρατηγός τή τών Βουλγάρων διαλέκτω τζελνίκος[tzelnikos] λέγεται) Λυτοβόην τόν Διαβολίτην, δούς αυτώ καί λαόν εις φυλακήν τού κάστρου."Demetrias is a city in Greece next to the sea, and it is secured both by the sea and by the swamps surrounding it. Delianos captured it; he was a toparch (= an area leader) of the Bulgarians. Once the city became his he sent in it an old soldier and experienced in the war issues (the general in the dialect of the Bulgarians is called a tzelnikos) Lytoboes the Diabolites, having given him army to guard the castle.Kekavmenos is speaking of a city in central Greece-Thessaly/Θεσσαλία, called Demetrias (modern Volos/Βόλος). It is not in northern Greece-Macedonia, and for sure nowhere close to Yugoslav FYROMakedonija. Incidentally, the area now called Former Yugoslav Republic of Makedonija in the 11th century was part of the "Boulgarikon" (where Bulgarians live) Thema, one of the administrative provinces of the Byzantine empire, whose name is revealing of what the Byzantine Greeks thought of the ethnicity of the inhabitants of FYROM at that time. Kekavmenos tells us that Deljan/Дељан (in the Greek text: Delianos/Δελιάνος) is a toparches Boulgaron/τοπάρχης Βουλγάρων = a toparch, an area leader, of the Bulgarians. What Kekavmenos tells us about Deljan, is corroborated by the writing on the photograph at the beginning of this article. This photograph is from the manuscript of the "Synopsis of Histories"(Σύνοψις Ἱστοριῶν) known also as Codex Græcus Matritensis Ioannis Skyllitzes, written in Cicily during the late 11th century AD by Ioannes Skylitzes/Ἰωάννης Σκυλίτζης and is now in the Biblioteca Nacional de España, in Madrid. The inscription in Greek, above, is clear: "βασιλέα τε αυτόν"Βουλγαρίας αναγόρευσις, Πέτρος Βουλγαρίας ὀ Δελιάνο/and king of the Bulgarians they acclaimed him, Petros Boulgarias Delianο". The language Kekavmenos mentions is τή τών Βουλγάρων διαλέκτω/te ton Boulgaron dialekto = in the dialect of the Bulgarians: the Bulgarian dialect.
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Finally, the foreign word he mentions to describe the Bulgarian general Lytoboes is τζελνίκος/tzelnikos = the general, τή τών Βουλγάρων διαλέκτω/te ton Boulgaron dialekto = in the dialect of the Bulgarians.Should we remember what professor Donski had told us? Here it is again:"The word "tshelnik" with completely identical etymology and pronunciation has been registered in the so called "old Slavic language" [Kekavmenos says: Bulgarian] in Macedonia [Kekavmenos mentions events in a city in Thessaly, captured by the Bulgarian Deljan/Delianos] as early as 11th century! Proof of this is the entry of Byzantine chronicle writer Kekavmen where he described the events surrounding the anti-Byzantine uprising of Petar Deljan in 11th century. He said that in the language of the rebels [Kekavmenos is specifically mentioning the "dialect of the Bulgarians"] "the strategist is called tshelnik"!" [Kekavmenos actually says τζελνίκος/tzelnikos, not tschelnik or tshelniku, but it is undoubtedly the same word].If Kekavmenos mentions τζελνίκος/tzelnikos and not tshelniku, then what about all the nonsense we heard earlier about: "...Due to the fact the word "tshelniku" had been recorded inclusive of the vowel "u" at the end, it is anticipated that "tshelniku" was recorded by the ancient Greeks in its vocative form. The vocative form of the noun "tshelnik" in the contemporary Macedonian language is precisely "tshelniku". Is it maybe that the Greeks used to hear the word "tshelniku" every time a Macedonian addressed the leader, therefore recorded this word without realizing that they were recording its vocative form?"what he talking about? We have established up to now that this word was spelled by kekavmenos as: τζελνίκος/tzelnikos, which in the 11th century was considered by the Byzantine Greeks to be a Bulgarian word that means "the general". We have also established that the derivative of this word was used until recently in Modern Greek as a loan word from the Slavic and it was attested as tselingas/τσέλιγκας meaning the leader of a tselingato/τσελιγκάτο, a large size sheep and goat herding and shepherding enterprise.There is an easy test to prove that tshelnik/τζελνίκος/tzelnikos/tselingas/τσέλιγκας is not originally a Greek word, by opening our ancient Greek Lexicon, the Liddel and Scott: Not only are tseligkas/τσέλιγκας or tzelnikos/τζελνίκος nowhere to be found in it, but in fact there is not one single ancient Greek word that starts with a "ts" or "tz" sound in a dictionary of more than 2100 pages of Greek words! In modern Greek the "ts" sound exists, but even in modern Greek, only nine and a half out of more than two thousand pages of the George Babiniotes dictionary of the modern Greek language start with the ts- sound. As a rule of thumb, we can say that any word in modern Greek that starts in other languages with a sound like: ts, tz, tsch, tsh, ç, ţ, ch, tch, č, Ц, Ч, etc, is written in Greek with ts-/τσ- or tz-/τζ-, and is always a foreign loan word, borrowed from Italian, French, Slavic, Turkish, English and other modern languages. I am sure there must be some few exceptions but the rule stands for the vast majority of them. Greek and Slavic phonetics do not always agree. Greek typically has an alternation of consonants and vowels, while Slavic languages, like Germanic ones, have less usage for vowels and more complicated consonant groupings. The first time I ever tried to pronounce a word from the Russian language, a language I love and I am still trying to practice, my tongue twisted to an impossible corner: Zdrasvuitse!...and that was just the "Hello!".It becomes apparent that Tshelnik is most definitely not a Greek word and it does not sound as one nor does it have its own etymology from Greek. Once Greeks took it as a loanword, they tried to Hellenize it by altering its Slavic phonetics to the more agreeable τζελνίκος/tzelnikos and later to tselingas/τσέλιγκας but its Slavic origin is unmistakable.Why then, is N.G.L.Hammond, an eminent Cambridge University Historian of ancient Macedonia, who has lived himself in Greece, telling us that the ancient Macedonians were using the word "tselniku" in their language?We repeat what we read in professor Donski:"...it is very interesting to note that many of the authentic ancient Macedonian words, according to their etymology and pronunciation, have a striking resemblance to the appropriate words used in the modern Macedonian language (and other so called "Slav"[sic] languages). For instance, the word "tshelniku" which translated in English means foremost is a very interesting case. The British historian Hammond mentioned its etymology and said that the word "tshelniku" in the ancient Macedonian language had a meaning of "leader of a group". Hammond says that this word was translated into Greek only in the 14th century as "phylarchos"."If Hammond said this, he either did not know what he was talking about, which we know cannot be true, or ancient Macedonian had at least one Slavic word, as we said earlier. But is that possible? The Slavs came into the Balkans fifteen hundred years after the Greek speaking Macedonians, so what is happening here? Unfortunately, there is a third option. Maybe Nicholas Hammond never actually said this, and maybe, I am simply suggesting...maybe our propagandist from Skopje is shamelessly lying through his teeth here, falsifying for the unsuspecting reader the meaning of N.G.L.Hammond's original text! I am saying, just maybe...so let us cross our fingers, hoping that we are wrong! We must investigate this...we need to find out!We read what professor Hammond wrote in his well researched book that Aleksandar Donski references in order to "prove" that the ancient Macedonians were using the obviously Slavic word tshelnik/čelnik/Челник. We are reading from:"The Macedonian State. The Origins, Institutions and History", by Nicholas G. L. Hammond, Clarendon Paperbacks, Oxford.Chapter I: The Land and the People.1. The Macedonians as transhumant pastoralists."Macedonia is the largest and most fertile area of modern Greece"...This is how N. Hammond starts his book. It is obvious that he does not consider the land of the Former Yugoslav Republic of "Makedonija", known in ancient times as Paeonia (and further to the north, by FYROM's capital, Skopje as Dardania), as part of the historic Macedonia. The area of Pelagonia/Πελαγονία by the modern city of Monastir/Bitola/Битола with its adjacent ancient Heracleia Lyncestis/Ηράκλεια Λυγκιστίς is the exception. At the end of page one of his first chapter, N.G.L.Hammond tells us that:"Conditions in Turkish times were probably very similar to those which obtained before the Macedonian State expanded in the reigns of Philip and Alexander (359-0323). Since flood control was unknown...", and " ...the floods had their value not only in enriching the pastures, but also in floating rafts of timber-logs to the sea. The raising of sheep was all-important. For milk was provided by the ewes for the making of yogurt, cheese and curds; meet came in the for of the young rams for feasting at Easter; and wool was used by the women to make homespun clothing, blankets, and rugs." Did he say Easter? Did we miss something? Is Hammond here suggesting that the ancient Macedonians whom we thought to be believers in Apollo, Zeus, Dionyssos and Heracles, among others, celebrated Easter? Were the Macedonians Christians several centuries before the appearance of Christ? Obviously not...Hammond knew his Macedonia, having lived, extensively traveled and walked all over in it for years, before, during and after WWII. What Nicholas Hammond is doing here is making comparisons between what he calls "conditions in Turkish times" and the similarity of life in Macedonia "before the Macedonian State expanded in the reigns of Philip and Alexander". In his narrative, Nicholas Hammond switches back and forth between ancient times and recently modern times in order to stress the similarities, so that we can understand through modern comparisons how Macedonia was in ancient times and how it developed. "Great herds of sheep (Samarina, for instance, had 80,000 head of sheep in 1850 and 40,000 in the 1930s) were maintained only by practicing transhumance, that is by transferring the flocks to and fro, from the low-lying winter pastures to the alpine pastures of the six summer months. Until recently, when special trucks came into use, the men led the sheep on the long march..."By now it has become very obvious to the reader what is that N.G.L.Hammond is trying to achieve, through this back and forth switching from ancient to modern and pre-modern times. We allow him to lead us through, and to continue his narrative. We go now to sub-chapter 2. "Settlement of the plains":"We consider next the nature of the society over which Perdiccas I obtained the rule. Among transhumant pastoralists the sense of family and the sense of community are both exceptionally strong. Man, woman, and child share the work, live together in very simple conditions, and migrate together twice annually. They depend daily on one another. They depend daily on one another. The man is head of the family, as shepherd, hunter, and warrior; the woman is under his authority, but she is more respected and more independent than in Greek peasant society. The head of the family and other senior members arrange marriages for the daughters, who are married off in order of seniority, and only after they do the sons begin to marry in order of seniority. The sense of community is inherent in the pastoral group (called a parea, meaning "company", by the Greek speaking pastoral Sarakatsani)."Parea is a modern Greek word. Though it is derived from para/παρά for near, it is not attested in ancient Greek. This should give us a hint, and the second hint is the Sarakatsani! Sarakatsani/Σαρακατσάνοι are of course not an ancient Greek tribe, they are modern Greek transhumant pastoralists, who, like the gauchos or Argentina or the cowboys of the American west are νος in the verge of extinction as a group, most of them having moved into urban centers. While most of them live by the Pindus range, they are also to be found in all the south Balkan countries, Albania, FYROM and Bulgaria, besides central and Northern Greece. But let us follow Nicholas Hammond as he unfolds his narrative, using modern examples to show how the ancient Macedonians may have developed from a pastoral mountainous group, a mountainous tribe into an organized state entity, different from the typical Greek city-state. We are still in the same paragraph, continuing where we left off, N.G.L.Hammond is still talking about the modern Greek Sarakatsanoi and their life cycle:"The group owns sheep, pastures, timber, and land in common. The group coheres for generation after generation, and in many cases its members marry only among themselves. They constitute a single tribe. They migrate annually to the same pastures, winter and summer, and they know no other way of life. They are united in defending their sheep against all dangers. They feel themselves to be totally distinct from the settled agricultural population. Yet they have to be flexible in dealing with it, because they have to hire winter pastures and obtain goodwill.The system of authority in family, group, and tribe is patriarchal. The men take power when they qualify as shepherds hunters, and warriors, and they elect from amongst themselves a head man called a tshelniku, a term translated by Cantacuzenus in 1334 as phylarchos, "ruler of a tribe". For a tribe and a pastoral group were often the same thing. The tshelniku, or "the chief shepherd", as he is also called, has very wide powers. He deals with monetary matters, sells marketable produce, and controls the cutting of timber on the communally owned land. We see in this system the seed of the constitutional; monarchy with its very wide powers, which was to be the mark of the Macedonian State."We are in the middle of page 6 of his book, and N.G.L.Hammond continues for another page of explaining us how the Sarakatsani and the Vlachs develop and become slowly urbanized etc, until towards the end of page 7, he tells us:"Returning to ancient times, we may see the Macedones and Magnetes of Hesiod's poem...etc"In other words, what Nicholas Hammond was doing all this time, was, as we stated earlier, simply giving his reader examples from modern and pre-modern life as he saw it and experienced it and as was described to him, of how life was for the Macedonian highlands and the pastoralist populations during the Ottoman years and the years before WWI and up to WWII. He narrated this to show the similarities between the life of the Sarakatsanoi and the Vlachs of mountainous Macedonia and the ancient Macedonians. When professor Hammond is speaking of men who "elect from amongst themselves a head man called a tshelniku, a term translated by Cantacuzenus in 1334 as phylarchos, "ruler of a tribe". For a tribe and a pastoral group were often the same thing. The tshelniku, or "the chief shepherd", as he is also called, has very wide powers.", he is NOT talking about the ancient Macedonians! He is very obviously speaking of the modern Sarakatsanoi!Let us now go back to what professor Aleksandar Donski was telling us:"The British historian Hammond mentioned its etymology and said that the word "tshelniku" in the ancient Macedonian language had a meaning of "leader of a group"..."Pseudes/ψευδής is a Greek word, an adjective, which means "false", "fake", ""lying, "fraudulent". It is directly derived from the noun pseudos/ψεύδος which means "a lie". Professor Aleksandar Donski has just given a new meaning to the term "pseudo-macedonian" by raising it to the second power! This is plainly embarrassing! On the other hand, the choices we all make are personal: if you do not want to be embarrassed when you are caught lying, then avoid lying or at the very least avoid publishing your lies; especially when you pretend to be teaching the youth of your country about their alleged ethnic roots and what and who they truly are...and then you openly deceive them with false stories and fake history! As Lincoln said, you can only deceive most of the people some of the time...the truth eventually comes out!Since it has been established that there is absolutely not even the remotest possibility for an ancient Macedonian connection to the Slavic word "tselnik", and we know that it only exists as a (now fading) loan word into Modern Greek, we need to come back to the true, Slavic roots of the word Tshelnik/Челник.Chelo/čelo/чело/čeló means forehead, in several of the Slavic languages. A curious derivative in the Russian language is the Russian word for petition: Человбитная/chelobitnaia. When, by the 16th century, the ruler of Russia had started to be called a Czar, any petition to his authority necessarily began with "So and so (name) beats with the forehead" (the ground in front of the Czar). A close derivative is čelni/челни which in in Serbocroatian can mean "front, head, foremost, front, headmost". Lastly, another derivative of Chelo/čelo/чело/čeló, the forehead, is the word Tshelnik/Челник/Čelnik. In the Polish language, celnik came to indicate the "customs officer" or the "tax collector". In Serbia it also meant the toparch, as in the case shown in: Codex 21, George's charter to St. Paul MonasteryOrder of the Serbian despot George (Djuradj) Brankovicca. 1430St Paul's MonasterySlavonic document,(1)Paper(?), 26.2 x 43.8 cmIn English translation(the original can be seen here: http://www.rodoslovlje.com/medieval_serbia/eng/manuscripts-gcharter.htm ):"The despot of the Serbs, George Brankovic, permits the 'noble great eparch (Čelnik) of my realm, Radic to make a gift to the monks of St Paul's Monastery. The gift consists in the transfer of the village of Gornya Peshtsanitsa in the district of Branitchevo, which had been part of the despot's patrimonial estate and was transferred to Radic by Brankovic himself. The despot now permits the village to be given to the monks of St Paul with all its territory and rights. As long as the despot and his children live, the gift shall be inalienable, and no-one shall have the right to revoke it...."Bibliography: Stojanovic 1890, p. 5. Novakovic 1912, pp. 531-2. For a correct reading of the seal, see Sindik 1978, p. 196Radic, who is mentioned in the codex above has passed into history as "the Great Čelnik", in this case translated as the "general-in-chief", first of the Serbian Despot Stefan Lazarevic and following Lazarevic's death, he became the Great Čelnik of Lazarevic's son in law and successor, Despot George Brankovic.(ref: Eastern Christianity, By Michael Angold, Cambridge University Press, page 162).Tshelnik/Челник/Čelnik in most South Slavic Languages (mostly in Croatia and Serbia) came to mean the "one who leads the others ahead", the "one who leads the (armed) men to the front": the "leader of the group". An Epilogue:Since professor Nicholas Hammond has been brought into this issue by professor Donski, and his writings have been used to prop up the ideas of the pseudo-makedonist propagandists, I think it is fair and appropriate to let N.G.L.Hammond speak for himself on what his thoughts were on the ethnic nature of the ancient Macedonians:"What language did these Macedones speak? The name itself is Greek in root and in ethnic termination. It probably means highlanders, and it is comparable to Greek tribal names such as `Orestai' and `Oreitai', meaning 'mountain-men'. A reputedly earlier variant, `Maketai', has the same root, which means `high', as in the Greek adjective makednos or the noun mekos. The genealogy of eponymous ancestors which Hesiod recorded […] has a bearing on the question of Greek speech. First, Hesiod made Macedon a brother of Magnes; as we know from inscriptions that the Magnetes spoke the Aeolic dialect of the Greek language, we have a predisposition to suppose that the Macedones spoke the Aeolic dialect. Secondly, Hesiod made Macedon and Magnes first cousins of Hellen's three sons - Dorus, Xouthus, and Aeolus-who were the founders of three dialects of Greek speech, namely Doric, Ionic, and Aeolic. Hesiod would not have recorded this relationship, unless he had believed, probably in the seventh century, that the Macedones were a Greek speaking people. The next evidence comes from Persia. At the turn of the sixth century the Persians described the tribute-paying peoples of their province in Europe, and one of them was the `yauna takabara', which meant `Greeks wearing the hat'. There were Greeks in Greek city-states here and there in the province, but they were of various origins and not distinguished by a common hat. However, the Macedonians wore a distinctive hat, the kausia. We conclude that the Persians believed the Macedonians to be speakers of Greek. Finally, in the latter part of the fifth century a Greek historian, Hellanicus, visited Macedonia and modified Hesiod's genealogy by making Macedon not a cousin, but a son of Aeolus, thus bringing Macedon and his descendants firmly into the Aeolic branch of the Greek-speaking family. Hesiod, Persia, and Hellanicus had no motive for making a false statement about the language of the Macedonians, who were then an obscure and not a powerful people. Their independent testimonies should be accepted as conclusive."N.G.L Hammond, "The Macedonian State, Origins, Institutions, and History", Oxford University Press, 1989, reprinted 2001, pages 12-13.


Miltiades Elia Bolaris

AMERICAN CHRONICLE

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