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 references 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 posted an excerpt from Baron De Tott's 18th century memoirs where De Tott mentioned "Macedonians". Mr. Piperkata presents this as evidence of the existence of a "Macedonian ethnicity" during the 1700's.
Knowing that the "Macedonian" ethno/national identity is a mid to late 19th century construct I had a strong sense that Mr. Piperkata probably omitted passages from De Tott that put the excerpts containing references to "Macedonians" into context. After all, Mr. Piperkata has a history of misrepresenting quotes on the internet. I found the reference that Mr. Piperkata posted and as a result I was able to read the context of the excerpt he posted on his blog and in the forums of the nationalist website maknews.com.
It turns out that Mr. Piperkata omitted the last paragraphs from the last page of De Tott's excerpts that elaborate on the identity of the Macedonians Baron De Tott described.
I will provide the complete context of the excerpt where Baron De Tott described an altercation between some Turks and his Macedonian Workers. De Tott was managing the construction of a castle and he had 1500 Macedonian workers to assist him. De Tott described an occasion when he gave his workers (the Macedonians) a day off from work. During the off day an altercation occurred between a Turk and a Macedonian and as a result their respective compatriots got involved. Several men were killed and De Tott thought that he needed to do something to prevent further conflict between the two sides. The last page of the excerpt described how Baron De Tott tried to obtain security for his workers from the Vesir. It is in the last paragraph that Mr. Piperkata omitted that De Tott described his Macedonian workers as GREEK!
Here is the whole context. Make sure to pay special attention to the last page and the last paragraph that was omitted by Mr. Piperkata:
As the last paragraph states, after the altercation between the Macedonians and the Turks, Baron De Tott tried to get indemnity (protection or security) for the GREEKS from the Visir. If he did not consider the Macedonians to be GREEKS why would he make this statement?
To bolster the position that Baron De Tott considered the Macedonians he described in his memoirs to be Greeks I will now present some excerpts from an early 19th century encyclopaedia that cited the specific passages presented above from De Tott's memoirs:
Notice that the entry for "Macedonians" includes an instruction to see "Greeks".
From De Tott's memoirs and from the supporting evidence found in an early 19th century encyclopaedia citing De Tott it is obvious that De Tott considered the Macedonians described in his memoirs to be Greeks. It is unfortunate that nationalists from F.Y.R.O.M and her diaspora selectively misrepresent passages from historical texts in order to bolster their far fetched mythical historiography which implies that a "Macedonian" ethnicity has existed in continuity for centuries.