Nationalists from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (F.Y.R.O.M) along with their diaspora cohorts constantly inundate internet forums and blogs with obscure references to "Macedonians" in historical texts with the implication that the authors of the texts were referring to 'ethnic Macedonians' akin to those who currently self describe as such.
Prior to the mid to late 19th century the descriptor "Macedonian" had no ethnic significance. It was a geographic descriptor used to describe inhabitants of the region regardless of their ethnicity. Unfortunately, in the minds of nationalists from F.Y.R.O.M and her diaspora, everyone from Alexander the Great to Gotse Delchev was an 'ethnic Macedonian'!
An example of a nationalist who scours historical texts for any references to "Macedonians" and then posts the reference in multiple internet forums as proof for a continuous and archaic "Macedonian" ethnos is an individual who posts under the pseudonym of "Jordan Piperkata". The following is taken from Mr. Piperkata's website where he has taken a quote by Thomas Gordon of out context in order to imply that an "ethnic Macedonian" was spotted during the early 19th century!
To begin with, is it not amusing that the same nationalists who claim that the "Macedonian" ethnicity has existed in continuity for dozen(s) of centuries while dominating the demographics of the region have to resort to posting references to footnotes found in obscure 19th century accounts to support their claim of a constant regional dominance?
A few points regarding this reference:
1. Thomas Gordon goes into great detail describing the races and population groups of European Turkey. Nowhere does he mention a "Macedonian" race or ethnicity. Why would Mr. Gordon, who documented his first hand observations of the region during the early 19th century, not describe what Mr. Piperkata and his compatriots would claim was one of the most significant ethnic groups in the region of European Turkey at the time?
2. Thomas Gordon categorized the revolutionary figures Diamantis, Gazzos and Kara Tassos as "Macedonians". These people were captains of the Armatoles that fought the Ottoman Turks and it is blatently obvious when one reads the extensive descriptions of the various conflicts they were involved in that these people were not "ethnic Macedonians". After all, would Mr. Piperkata et al. be so bold as to claim that individuals with names such as Diamantis, Gazzos and Tassos were 'ethnic Macedonians'?
3. Makedonski, the figure who Mr. Piperkata claims that Thomas Gordon presented as an "ethnic Macedonian", is referred to in other contemporary texts. Since Thomas Gordon does not elaborate on Makedonski's background I will now present an excerpt from a 19th century book called the "The Secret Societies of the European Revolution 1776-1876" by Thomas Frost written in 1876. On page 67 Frost makes Makedonski's background very clear:
From the available evidence taken from the Frost and Gordon books we can safely conclude:
1. Gordon used the term "Macedonian" as a Geographic descriptor. He used it to describe Greek revolutionary leaders such as Diamantis.
2. Makedonski was a Russian of Greek background from Macedonia as Frost tells us.
This is yet another example of a "Loch Ness monster style sighting" of a "Macedonian" in the historical literature that turns out NOT to be an 'ethnic Macedonian' once the subject is put into context and the relevant contemporary literature is examined. The likes of Mr. Piperkata will continue to post references to the most obscure passages in order to lend credence to their far fetched mythical historiography which claims that the "Macedonian" ethnos is centuries old and rooted in ancient Macedon of Alexander's era. If that was the case Mr. Piperkata would certainly not have to resort to posting obscure references to 19th century books' footnotes in order to substantiate his far fetched claims!