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Macedonia Basic Facts - History

Macedonia Basic Facts - History

Population 2002..............................................................................2,054,800
GDP per capita 2002 (Purchasing Power Parity, US$)................5,000
GDP 2002 (Purchasing Power Parity, US$ billions)........................10


Average annual growth 1991-97
Population (%) ....... .7
Labor force (%) ....... 1.1

Total Area...................................................................1,068,298 sq. mi.
Urban population (% of total population) ............................... 61
Life expectancy at birth (years)..................................................... 72
Infant mortality (per 1,000 live births)........................................16

Illiteracy (% of population age 15+) ............................................. 4

Maps of Macedonia

North Macedonia covers an area of 25,713 sq. km in Southeast Europe.

As observed on the physical map of the country above, Macedonia is an elevated plateau of large, rolling hills and deep valleys, completely dissected and surrounded by mountains like the Sar Mountains, Osogovski Mountains, Malesevski Mountains, Nidze Mountains and others.

The Dinaric Alps extend down into the country, and the highest point is in the Korab Mountain range, at 9,066 ft (2,764m). The yellow upright triangle marks the position of the highest peak on the map above.

Although a landlocked country, Macedonia is home to 1,100 considerably sized water sources. Major lakes include Ohrid, Prespa (both shared with Albania) and Doiran. Lake Ohrid is the deepest lake in the Balkans (935 ft.), and is regarded as the oldest in the world.

As shown on the map, the Vardar River divides the country, flowing on through Greece, and is a major river for Macedonia. Other rivers of note include the Bregalnica and Crna.

At 50 m above sea level, the Vardar River has the lowest point in the country.


Eastern Orthodoxy Edit

Eastern Orthodoxy has had a long history in North Macedonia, and remains the majority religion. In 1019 the Archbishopric of Ohrid was established. In 1767 on order of the Sultan, the Archbishopric was abolished by the Turkish authorities and annexed to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries there was an effort to reinstate the Archbishopric of Ohrid. The Macedonian Orthodox Church gained autonomy from the Serbian Orthodox Church in 1959 and declared the restoration of the Archbishopric of Ohrid. On July 19, 1967, the Macedonian Orthodox Church declared autocephaly from the Serbian Orthodox Church. Most Macedonians belong to the Orthodox faith. In 2001 the Church had about 1,350,000 adherents in North Macedonia. [3] The Serbian Orthodox Church operates among the Serbians in North Macedonia's North. The number of adherents corresponds with the number of Serbs at 36,000.

Catholicism Edit

The Macedonian Catholic Church was established in 1918. It is a Byzantine Rite sui juris particular church in full communion with Pope and the rest of the Catholic Church, alongside the Eastern Catholic Churches and uses Macedonian in the liturgy. The exarchate was dissolved in 1924. In 2001 the Holy See re-established the Byzantine Catholic Apostolic Exarchate of Macedonia. Currently, members of the Macedonian Catholic Church number about 11,266. [4]

Protestantism Edit

There are a number of Protestants in North Macedonia. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, American missionaries converted villages in the Strumica-Petrich region to Methodism, a faith still practiced. There is also a small community of Macedonian Baptists which has existed since 1928. [5]

Islam has had a significant influence in North Macedonia since the Ottoman invasions in the 14th and 15th centuries. Many Turks settled in the region of Macedonia and introduced aspects of Islamic culture. Most Albanians and some ethnic Macedonians converted to Islam. These Macedonian Muslims or Torbeši generally retained their Macedonian culture and customs while many were assimilated as Turks. [6] By the 19th Century most of the cities were primarily populated by Muslims. [6] The Šarena Džamija in Tetovo is a legacy of the country's Ottoman past. In 2002, Muslims form approximately 33.33% of the nation's total population. There has been no census since 2002 which means that most of the data collected from then on have been from non-governmental sources and so may have varying credibility.

Jews had been present when the region now called the Republic of North Macedonia was under Roman rule in the second century AD. The population was decimated by the Crusades, but rose again following the immigration of Sephardic Jews under the Ottoman Empire. In the Second World War, North Macedonia was occupied by Bulgaria, an Axis power, and the Jews were sent to concentration camps. [7] As in the rest of the Balkans, the Holocaust and immigration to Israel means that North Macedonia now has a much smaller Jewish community, numbering roughly 200. It is mainly based in the capital, Skopje, and has no functioning synagogue. [8]

The laws of North Macedonia prohibit religious discrimination and provide for equal rights for all citizens regardless religious belief, and people generally have the freedom to practice their religion without disruption. Religious organizations have complained about unfair treatment by the government around questions of building permits and property restitutions. There have been incidences of vandalism and theft against religious buildings. [9]

Macedonia Basic Facts - History

Macedonia, officially the Republic of Macedonia is located in the Balkan Peninsular and was previously part of Yugoslavia until they gained independence in 1991. It is a spectacular landlocked country that has an abundance of mountains, lakes, national parks and ancient towns with Ottoman and European architecture. Macedonia has a captivating past and complex national essence, where much of the country has yet to be explored and is a perfect destination for travellers looking to get off the beaten track of the typical European ventures.

Here are 15 facts about Macedonia.

1.Ohrid Lake is the oldest and one of the deepest lakes in Europe. It is estimated to be around 4 million years old and has 200 endemic species that haven’t been found at any other place in the world. It was also declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1979

2.Macedonia’s capital city, Skopje has a population of just under 700,00 people. Macedonia’s total population is just over 2,000,000

3.Mother Theresa of Calcutta was born in Skopje

4.Macedonia is the only country that got independence from Yugoslavia without shedding any blood. It remained totally at peace during the Yugoslav war in the early 1990s

5.It has more mountains and mountain peaks than any other country in the world. Macedonia has around 34 mountain peaks and most peaks have never been visited by people

6.The Cyrillic alphabet, official in Macedonia, is based on the alphabet developed by two Macedonian brothers in the 9 th century. It was taught by their disciples at a monastery in Ohrid, and from there it spread across the eastern Slavic world

7.Macedonia was the first country in the world to have full access to a wireless broadband connection in 2006, after being part of a high-tech project.

8.The country is old! The ancient kingdom of Macedon dates back to 808BC and Skopje is said be around 7,000 years old

9.It has its own language – Macedonian – which is spoken by around 2 million people, made up of the majority of the population of the country, plus a number of people in the neighbouring countries

10.The official name of Macedonia in the UN is the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, or FYROM. The is because of the long dispute the country has with Greece regarding their history as the former Kingdom of Macedonia. Their government however, has persuaded around 135 countries to recognise it as the Republic of Macedonia

11.It has its own currency, Macedonian Denar. Its effort to join the EU and also adopt the euro as its currency is dependent on sorting its naming issue with Greece

12.Alexander the Great, who was king of the former Kingdom of Macedonia, was the first world-size conqueror who extended his empire across Greece and Persia, to India and Egypt. During this time, the Kingdom of Macedonia was the most powerful state in the world however, after his death, the empire fell apart

13.Thanks to being part of the Ottoman Empire from the 14 th century, there are a number of notable mosques, including the multi-coloured Painted Mosque, built in 1495 and said to be one of the most magnificent examples of Islamic architecture in the world

14.It’s a land-locked country, bordered by Kosovo, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Albania

15.Kokino is one of the world’s oldest observatories, as recognised by NASA and dating back to the 19 th century BC

So, you’re interested in visiting Macedonia? New for 2018, Travel Talk is offering tours to the Balkans, which range from 4-days to 23-days. You can find out more about these tours here.

25 remarkable things you did not know about North Macedonia

Lake Ohrid, Macedonia's sole Unesco World Heritage site Credit: Fotolia/AP

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N orth Macedonia qualified for the European Championships - the country's first time making it this far in a major tournment in history. The team lost 3-1 to Austria in their first match 2-1 to Ukraine in their second game and will play against the Netherlands on June 21. To mark the occasion, here are 25 things you did not know about the Balkan country.

1. That’s 'North Macedonia' to you

The country has had some controversy around its name, with Greece also laying claim to the title of Macedonia for one of its northern regions, much of which fell within the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon. The dispute was a hot potato, which is why Macedonia was officially known as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – or FYROM for short. All this has been resolved now with the addition of 'North' to the country's name.

2. It’s high

There are more than 50 lakes and 34 mountains higher than 2,000 metres. It has the fifth highest average elevation of any country in Europe (741m), behind Andorra (highest), Switzerland, Austria and Turkey.

3. And old

Without being drawn on where Greece begins and North Macedonia ends, the ancient kingdom of Macedon dates back to 808BC and was ruled mostly by the founding dynasty of the Argeads, though modern-day North Macedonia most closely relates to the ancient kingdom of Paeonia, north of the kingdom of Macedonia. Skopje, the capital, is said to be seven thousand years old.

4. So old in fact, that.

There are said to be parts of the cross on which Jesus was crucified in the foundations of three monasteries in the country – St Bogodorica Prechista in Kichevo and St Jovan Bigorski and St Georgij Pobedonosec in Debar. Across the country there are nearly 1,000 churches and monasteries, while the city of Ohrid was once notable for having 365 churches, one for each day of the year. It has been accordingly nicknamed the Jerusalem of the Balkans.

5. But it has just one Unesco site

Ohrid is the country’s only Unesco World Heritage site. The city and its lake (Lake Ohrid) are counted as both cultural and natural inclusions, one of only 28 sites around the world to be marked as both.

6. NASA is a fan

Kokino, to the north of the country, is one of the world’s oldest observatories, as recognised by NASA and dating back to the 19 th century BC. It is inscribed on a Unesco “tentative” list of protection.

7. It has a saintly daughter.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta, recently made a saint by Pope Francis, was born in Skopje in 1910, though she was Albanian by ethnicity at the time of her birth. Today, there is both a statue of her and museum dedicated to her life.

8. . and a great son

Alexander the Great, the once-king of the Kingdom of Macedonia was the world’s first conqueror, who extended an empire across Greece and Persia to India and Egypt. On an awkward note, his legacy is also claimed by Greece, which is why…

9. This giant statue is slightly mysterious

The hugely controversial statue in Skopje's central square is officially named 'Warrior on a Horse' though most observers believe it is meant to depict Alexander the Great. Whatever it is called, it is monumental at 28 metres (92-foot) high, weighing 30 tons and costing an estimated €9.4 million. And it is hard not to feel its size is disproportionate.

10. It has its own St Tropez

“Trpejca, a small sleepy town on the banks of Lake Ohrid, is known as the St Tropez of Macedonia,” writes Telegraph Travel’s Adrian Bridge, who visited two years ago. “God knows why, but it is very pretty.”

11. And prides itself on its peacocks

At the southern tip of Lake Ohrid, the St Naum Monastery visited by Adrian on his trip, which dates back to 910AD, also had the unexpected bonus of a pride of peacocks roaming the grounds.

12. It has a country within

“The village of Vevčani high in the hills to the north of Lake Ohrid is famous for its springs, its appeal to artists - and for the fact that briefly following the break-up of Yugoslavia it declared itself the independent Republic of Vevčani,” writes Adrian. “The village - population 2,500 - still likes to think of itself as a separate entity, with its own passports and currency. And if you drink enough Vevčani wine, you can become an honorary citizen.”

13. Macedonia Two Flags

That’s what the other European states call it in the playground. The country’s current flag has been in use since 1995 and displays a golden yellow sun with eight rays extending to the edges, but in 1992-1995 a smaller sun occupied only the centre of the fabric. It will be of little surprise to learn that the flag change came about due to the usage of a symbol, the Vergina Sun, that annoyed the Greeks, as they claimed it was historically Greek.

14. It kept the peace

FYR Macedonia was one of the only countries during the break-up of Yugoslavia to remain at peace throughout.

15. No need for a visa

British passport holders do not need a visa to visit (for up to three months). The Foreign Office says that most visits to the country are trouble-free.

16. Its capital has been shaken up

Capital Skopje has been hit by at least two devastating earthquakes in its history, the most recent of which was in 1963. The magnitude 6.1 quake destroyed 80 per cent of the city and killed more than 1,070 people.

17. It boasts cave behemoths

Cave Peshna is said to have one of the biggest entries in the Balkan region and resemble Helm's Deep from Lord of the Rings.

Interesting Aristotle Facts: 21-25

21. In 323 BCE Alexander the Great died suddenly, the government that was pro-Macedonian was overthrown. There was anti-Macedonia sentiment all around Athens and Aristotle was afraid that he would be prosecuted. So, he ran off to Chalcis on Euboea island. He stayed there until he died.

22. Aristotle held the belief that universe was eternal. He said that there was no beginning to this universe and there was no end as well.

23. He said that things can change over time. However, the overall conditions will never change.

24. He was very interested in zoology and carefully studied animals. He classified the animals into two groups – red-blooded-animals and not-red-blooded-animals. In today’s context it corresponds to vertebrates and invertebrates.

25. Aristotle was also fascinated by marine biology. He even dissected marine animals and studied the anatomical features of those animals. The observations he made about marine life were significantly accurate.

Political Life

Government. Macedonia is a parliamentary democracy. Macedonia's unicameral assembly of one-hundred twenty seats is called the Sobranje. The executive branch consists of the President (elected by popular vote) and the Council of Ministers (elected by the majority vote of all the deputies in the Sobranje).

Leadership and Political Officials. Political parties tend to follow ethnic lines and draw their leaders from educated elites. The main exceptions are parties led by former communists, which tend to be multiethnic. Personal connections are an important aspect of political life.

Social Problems and Control. The revision of the legal system after the communist period is not complete. Police brutality can take on ethnic overtones. Albanians are significantly underrepresented in the upper ranks of the security structure. The lack of independence of the judiciary from the political system is a perceived problem. Informal social control involves the family, gossip, saving face, and the threat of vengeance. Violent crime is rare.

Military Activity. The army is small and has outdated equipment, although it is in the process of modernizing, especially since 1999. Macedonia's security has been guaranteed by international troops since January 1993. The most important military activity is protecting the country's borders.


The story of Alexander is told in terms of oracles, myths, and legends, including his taming of the wild horse Bucephalus, and Alexander's pragmatic approach to severing the Gordian Knot.

Alexander was and still is compared with Achilles, the Greek hero of the Trojan War. Both men chose a life that guaranteed immortal fame even at the cost of an early death. Unlike Achilles, who was subordinate to the great king Agamemnon, it was Alexander who was in charge, and it was his personality that kept his army on the march while holding together domains that were very diverse geographically and culturally.

Macedonia [NAVE]


4. Macedonia a Roman Province

A country lying to the North of Greece, afterward enlarged and formed into a Roman province it is to the latter that the term always refers when used in the New Testament.

I. The Macedonian People and Land.

Ethnologists differ about the origin of the Macedonian race and the degree of its affinity to the Hellenes. But we find a well-marked tradition in ancient times that the race comprised a Hellenic element and a non-Hellenic, though Aryan, element, closely akin to the Phrygian and other Thracian stocks. The dominant race, the Macedonians in the narrower sense of the term, including the royal family, which was acknowledged to be Greek and traced its descent through the Temenids of Argos back to Heracles (Herodotus v.22), settled in the fertile plains about the lower Haliacmon (Karasu or Vistritza) and Axius (Vardar), to the North and Northwest of the Thermaic Gulf. Their capital, which was originally at Edessa or Aegae (Vodhena), was afterward transferred to Pella by Philip II. The other and older element--the Lyncestians, Orestians, Pelagonians and other tribes--were pushed back northward and westward into the highlands, where they struggled for generations to maintain their independence and weakened the Macedonian state by constant risings and by making common cause with the wild hordes of Illyrians and Thracians, with whom we find the Macedonian kings in frequent conflict. In order to maintain their position they entered into a good understanding from time to time with the states of Greece or acknowledged temporarily Persian suzerainty, and thus gradually extended the sphere of their power.

Herodotus (viii.137-39) traces the royal line from Perdiccas I through Argaeus, Philip I, Aeropus, Alcetas and Amyntas I to Alexander I, who was king at the time of the Persian invasions of Greece. He and his son and grandson, Perdiccas II and Archelaus, did much to consolidate Macedonian power, but the death of Archelaus (399 BC) was followed by 40 years of disunion and weakness.

With the accession of Philip II, son of Amyntas II, in 359 BC, Macedonia came under the rule of a man powerful alike in body and in mind, an able general and an astute diplomatist, one, moreover, who started out with a clear perception of the end at which he must aim, the creation of a great national army and a nation-state, and worked consistently and untiringly throughout his reign of 23 years to gain that object. He welded the Macedonian tribes into a single nation, won by force and fraud the important positions of Amphipolis, Pydna, Potidaea, Olynthus, Abdera and Maronea, and secured a plentiful supply of gold by founding Philippi on the site of Crenides. Gradually extending his rule over barbarians and Greeks alike, he finally, after the battle of Chaeronea (338 BC), secured his recognition by the Greeks themselves as captain-general of the Hellenic states and leader of a Greco-Macedonian crusade against Persia. On the eve of this projected eastern expedition, however, he was assassinated by order of his dishonored wife Olympias (336 BC), whose son, Alexander the Great, succeeded to the throne. After securing his hold on Thrace, Illyria and Greece, Alexander turned eastward and, in a series of brilliant campaigns, overthrew the Persian empire. The battle of the Granicus (334 BC) was followed by the submission or subjugation of most of Asia Minor. By the battle of Issus (333), in which Darius himself was defeated, Alexander's way was opened to Phoenicia and Egypt Darius' second defeat, at Arbela (331), sealed the fate of the Persian power. Babylon, Susa, Persepolis and Ecbatana were taken in turn, and Alexander then pressed eastward through Hyrcania, Aria, Arachosia, Bactria and Sogdiana to India, which he conquered as far as the Hyphasis (Sutlej): thence he returned through Gedrosia, Carmania and Persis to Babylon, to make preparations for the conquest of Arabia. A sketch of his career is given in 1 Macc 1:1-7, where he is spoken of as "Alexander the Macedonian, the son of Philip, who came out of the land of Chittim" (1:1): his invasion of Persia is also referred to in 1 Macc 6:2, where he is described as "the Macedonian king, who reigned first among the Greeks," i.e. the first who united in a single empire all the Greek states, except those which lay to the West of the Adriatic. It is the conception of the Macedonian power as the deadly foe of Persia which is responsible for the description of Haman in Additions to Esther 16:10 as a Macedonian, "an alien in truth from the Persian blood," and for the attribution to him of a plot to transfer the Persian empire to the Macedonians (verse 14), and this same thought appears in the Septuagint's rendering of the Hebrew Agagite (`aghaghi) in Est 9:24 as Macedonian (Makedon).

Alexander died in June 323 BC, and his empire fell a prey to the rivalries of his chief generals (1 Macc 1:9) after a period of struggle and chaos, three powerful kingdoms were formed, taking their names from Macedonia, Syria and Egypt. Even in Syria, however, Macedonian influences remained strong, and we find Macedonian troops in the service of the Seleucid monarchs (2 Macc 8:20). In 215 King Philip V, son of Demetrius II and successor of Antigonus Doson (229-220 BC), formed an alliance with Hannibal, who had defeated the Roman forces at Lake Trasimene (217) and at Cannae (216), and set about trying to recover Illyria. After some years of desultory and indecisive warfare, peace was concluded in 205, Philip binding himself to abstain from attacking the Roman possessions on the East of the Adriatic. The Second Macedonian War, caused by a combined attack of Antiochus III of Syria and Philip of Macedon on Egypt, broke out in 200 and ended 3 years later in the crushing defeat of Philip's forces by T. Quinctius Flamininus at Cynoscephalae in Thessaly (compare 1 Macc 8:5). By the treaty which followed this battle, Philip surrendered his conquests in Greece, Illyria, Thrace, Asia Minor and the Aegean, gave up his fleet, reduced his army to 5,000 men, and undertook to declare no war and conclude no alliance without Roman consent.

In 179 Philip was succeeded by his son Perseus, who at once renewed the Roman alliance, but set to work to consolidate and extend his power. In 172 war again broke out, and after several Roman reverses the consul Lucius Aemilius Paulus decisively defeated the Macedonians at Pydna in 168 BC (compare 1 Macc 8:5, where Perseus is called "king of Chittim "). The kingship was abolished and Perseus was banished to Italy. The Macedonians were declared free and autonomous their land was divided into four regions, with their capitals at Amphipolis, Thessalonica, Pella and Pelagonia respectively, and each of them was governed by its own council commercium and connubium were forbidden between them and the gold and silver mines were closed. A tribute was to be paid annually to the Roman treasury, amounting to half the land tax hitherto exacted by the Macedonian kings.

4. Macedonia a Roman Province:

But this compromise between freedom and subjection could not be of long duration, and after the revolt of Andriscus, the pseudo-Philip, was quelled (148 BC), Macedonia was constituted a Roman province and enlarged by the addition of parts of Illyria, Epirus, the Ionian islands and Thessaly. Each year a governor was dispatched from Rome with supreme military and judicial powers the partition fell into abeyance and communication within the province was improved by the construction of the Via Egnatia from Dyrrhachium to Thessalonica, whence it was afterward continued eastward to the Nestus and the Hellespont. In 146 the Acheans, who had declared war on Rome, were crushed by Q. Caecilius Metellus and L. Mummius, Corinth was sacked and destroyed, the Achean league was dissolved, and Greece, under the name of Achea, was made a province and placed under the control of the governor of Macedonia. In 27 BC, when the administration of the provinces was divided between Augustus and the Senate, Macedonia and Achea fell to the share of the latter (Strabo, p. 840 Dio Cassius liii.12) and were governed separately by ex-praetors sent out annually with the title of proconsul. In 15 AD, however, senatorial mismanagement had brought the provinces to the verge of ruin, and they were transferred to Tiberius (Tacitus, Annals, i.76), who united them under the government of a legatus Augusti pro praetore until, in 44 AD, Claudius restored them to the Senate (Suetonius, Claudius 25 Dio Cassius lx .24). It is owing to this close historical and geographical connection that we find Macedonia and Achia frequently mentioned together in the New Testament, Macedonia being always placed first (Acts 19:21 Rom 15:26 2 Cor 9:2 1 Thess 1:7,8).

Diocletian (284-305 AD) detached from Macedonia Thessaly and the Illyrian coast lands and formed them into two provinces, the latter under the name of Epirus Nova. Toward the end of the 4th century what remained of Macedonia was broken up into two provinces, Macedonia prima and Macedonia secunda or salutaris, and when in 395 the Roman world was divided into the western and eastern empires, Macedonia was included in the latter. During the next few years it was overrun and plundered by the Goths under Alaric, and later, in the latter half of the 6th century, immense numbers of Slavonians settled there. In the 10th century a large part of it was under Bulgarian rule, and afterward colonies of various Asiatic tribes were settled there by the Byzantine emperors. In 1204 it became a Latin kingdom under Boniface, marquis of Monferrat, but 20 years later Theodore, the Greek despot of Epirus, founded a Greek empire of Thessalonica. During the 2nd half of the 14th century the greater part of it was part of the Servian dominions, but in 1430 Thessalonica fell before the Ottoman Turks, and from that time down to the year 1913 Macedonia has formed part of the Turkish empire. Its history thus accounts for the very mixed character of its population, which consists chiefly of Turks, Albanians, Greeks and Bulgarians, but has in it a considerable element of Jews, Gypsies, Vlachs, Servians and other races.

In the narrative of Paul's journeys as given us in Acts 13 through 28 and in the Pauline Epistles, Macedonia plays a prominent part. The apostle's relations with the churches of Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea will be found discussed under those several headings here we will merely recount in outline his visits to the province.

On his 2nd missionary journey Paul came to Troas, and from there sailed with Silas, Timothy and Luke to Neapolis, the nearest Macedonian seaport, in obedience to the vision of a Macedonian (whom Ramsay identifies with Luke: see under the word "Philippi") urging him to cross to Macedonia and preach the gospel there (Acts 16:9). From Neapolis he journeyed inland to Philippi, which is described as "a city of Macedonia, the first of the district" (Acts 16:12). Thence Paul and his two companions (for Luke appears to have remained in Philippi for the next 5 years) traveled along the Ignatian road, passing through Amphipolis and Apollonia, to Thessalonica, which, though a "free city," and therefore technically exempt from the jurisdiction of the Roman governor, was practically the provincial capital. Driven thence by the hostility of the Jews, the evangelists preached in Berea, where Silas and Timothy remained for a short time after a renewed outbreak of Jewish animosity had forced Paul to leave Macedonia for the neighboring province of Achaia (Acts 17:14). Although he sent a message to his companions to join him with all speed at Athens (Acts 17:15), yet so great was his anxiety for the welfare of the newly founded Macedonian churches that he sent Timothy back to Thessalonica almost immediately (1 Thess 3:1,2), and perhaps Silas to some other part of Macedonia, nor did they again join him until after he had settled for some time in Corinth (Acts 18:5 1 Thess 3:6). The rapid extension of the Christian faith in Macedonia at this time may be judged from the phrases used by Paul in his 1st Epistle to the Thessalonians, the earliest of his extant letters, written during this visit to Corinth. He there speaks of the Thessalonian converts as being an example "to all that believe in Macedonia and in Achaia" (1 Thess 1:7), and he commends their love "toward all the brethren that are in all Macedonia" (1 Thess 4:10). Still more striking are the words, "From you hath sounded forth the word of the Lord, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your faith to God-ward is gone forth" (1 Thess 1:8).

On his 3rd missionary journey, the apostle paid two further visits to Macedonia. During the course of a long stay at Ephesus he laid plans for a 2nd journey through Macedonia and Achaia, and dispatched two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia to prepare for his visit (Acts 19:21,22). Some time later, after the uproar at Ephesus raised by Demetrius and his fellow-silversmiths (Acts 19:23-41), Paul himself set out for Macedonia (Acts 20:1). Of this visit Luke gives us a very summary account, telling us merely that Paul, "when he had gone through those parts, and had given them much exhortation, . came into Greece" (Acts 20:2) but from 2 Cor, written from Macedonia (probably from Philippi) during the course of this visit, we learn more of the apostle's movements and feelings. While at Ephesus, Paul had changed his plans. His intention at first had been to travel across the Aegean Sea to Corinth, to pay a visit from there to Macedonia and to return to Corinth, so as to sail direct to Syria (2 Cor 1:15,16). But by the time at which he wrote the 1st Epistle to the Corinthians, probably near the end of his stay at Ephesus, he had made up his mind to go to Corinth by way of Macedonia, as we have seen that he actually did (1 Cor 16:5,6). From 2 Cor 2:13 we learn that he traveled from Ephesus to Troas, where he expected to find Titus. Titus, however, did not yet arrive, and Paul, who "had no relief for (his) spirit," left Troas and sailed to Macedonia. Even here the same restlessness pursued him: "fightings without, fears within" oppressed him, till the presence of Titus brought some relief (2 Cor 7:5,6). The apostle was also cheered by "the grace of God which had been given in the churches of Macedonia" (2 Cor 8:1) in the midst of severe persecution, they bore their trials with abounding joy, and their deep poverty did not prevent them begging to be allowed to raise a contribution to send to the Christians in Jerusalem (Rom 15:26 2 Cor 8:2-4). Liberality was, indeed, from the very outset one of the characteristic virtues of the Macedonian churches. The Philippians had sent money to Paul on two occasions during his first visit to Thessalonica (Phil 4:16), and again when he had left Macedonia and was staying at Corinth (2 Cor 11:9 Phil 4:15). On the present occasion, however, the Corinthians seem to have taken the lead and to have prepared their bounty in the previous year, on account of which the apostle boasts of them to the Macedonian Christians (2 Cor 9:2). He suggests that on his approaching visit to Achaia he may be accompanied by some of these Macedonians (2 Cor 9:4), but whether this was actually the case we are not told.

The 3rd visit of Paul to Macedonia took place some 3 months later and was occasioned by a plot against his life laid by the Jews of Corinth, which led him to alter his plan of sailing from Cenchrea, the eastern seaport of Corinth, to Syria (2 Cor 1:16 Acts 20:3). He returned to Macedonia accompanied as far as Asia by 3 Macedonian Christians--Sopater, Aristarchus and Secundus--and by 4 from Asia Minor. Probably Paul took the familiar route by the Via Egnatia, and reached Philippi immediately before the days of unleavened bread his companions preceded him to Troas (Acts 20:5), while he himself remained at Philippi until after the Passover (Thursday, April 7, 57 AD, according to Ramsay's chronology), when he sailed from Neapolis together with Luke, and joined his friends in Troas (Acts 20:6).

Toward the close of his 1st imprisonment at Rome Paul planned a fresh visit to Macedonia as soon as he should be released (Phil 1:26 2:24), and even before that he intended to send Timothy to visit the Philippian church and doubtless those of Berea and Thessalonica also. Whether Timothy actually went on this mission we cannot say that Paul himself went back to Macedonia once more we learn from 1 Tim 1:3, and we may infer a 5th visit from the reference to the apostle's stay at Troas, which in all probability belongs to a later occasion (2 Tim 4:13).

Of the churches of Macedonia in general, little need be said here. A striking fact is the prominence in them of women, which is probably due to the higher social position held by women in this province than in Asia Minor (Lightfoot, Philippians4, 55 ff). We find only two references to women in connection with Paul's previous missionary work the women proselytes of high social standing take a share in driving him from Pisidian Antioch (Acts 13:50), and Timothy's mother is mentioned as a Jewess who believed (Acts 16:1). But in Macedonia all is changed. To women the gospel was first preached at Philippi (Acts 16:13) a woman was the first convert and the hostess of the evangelists (Acts 16:14,15) a slave girl was restored to soundness of mind by the apostle (Acts 16:18), and long afterward Paul mentions two women as having "labored with (him) in the gospel" and as endangering the peace of the church by their rivalry (Phil 4:2,3). At Thessalonica a considerable number of women of the first rank appear among the earliest converts (Acts 17:4), while at Berea also the church included from the outset numerous Greek women of high position (Acts 17:12).

The bond uniting Paul and the Macedonian Christians seems to have been a peculiarly close and affectionate one. Their liberality and open-heartedness, their joyousness and patience in trial and persecution, their activity in spreading the Christian faith, their love of the brethren--these are a few of the characteristics which Paul specially commends in them (1 and 2 Thessalonians Philippians 2 Cor 8:1-8), while they also seem to have been much freer than the churches of Asia Minor from Judaizing tendencies and from the allurements of "philosophy and vain deceit."

We know the names of a few of the early members of the Macedonian churches--Sopater (Acts 20:4) or Sosipater (Rom 16:21: the identification is a probable, though not a certain, one) of Berea Aristarchus (Acts 19:29 20:4 27:2 Col 4:10 Philem 1:24), Jason (Acts 17:5-9 Rom 16:21?) and Secundus (Acts 20:4) of Thessalonica Clement (Phil 4:3), Epaphroditus (Phil 2:25 4:18), Euodia (Phil 4:2 this, not Euodias (the King James Version), is the true form), Syntyche (same place) , Lydia (Acts 16:14,40 a native of Thyatira), and possibly Luke (Ramsay, Paul the Traveler, 201 ff) of Philippi. Gaius is also mentioned as a Macedonian in Acts 19:29, but perhaps the reading of a few manuscripts Makedona is to be preferred to the Textus Receptus of the New Testament Makedonas in which case Aristarchus alone would be a Macedonian, and this Gaius would probably be identical with the Gaius of Derbe mentioned in Acts 20:4 as a companion of Paul (Ramsay, op. cit., 280). The later history of the Macedonian churches, together with lists of all their known bishops, will be found in Le Quien, Oriens Christianus, II, 1 ff III, 1089 ff 1045 f.

General: C. Nicolaides, Macedonien, Berlin, 1899 Berard, La Macedoine, Paris, 1897 "Odysseus," Turkey in Europe, London, 1900. Secular History: Hogarth, Philip and Alexander of Macedon, London, 1897, and the histories of the Hellenistic period by Holm, Niese, Droysen and Kaerst. Ethnography and Language: O. Hoffmann, Die Makedonen, ihre Sprache und ihr Volkstum, Gottingen, 1906. Topography and Antiquities: Heuzey and Daumet, Mission archeologique de Macedoine, Paris, 1876 Cousinery, Voyage dans la Macedoine, Paris, 1831 Clarke, Travels 4, VII, VIII, London, 1818 Leake, Travels in Northern Greece, III, London, 1835 Duchesne and Bayet, Memoire sur une mission en Macedoine et au Mont Athos, Paris, 1876 Hahn, Reise von Belgrad nach Saloniki, Vienna, 1861. Coins: Head, Historia Nummorum, 193 f British Museum Catalogue of Coins: Macedonia, etc., London, 1879. Inscriptions: CIG, numbers 1951-2010 CIL, III, 1 and III, Suppl. Dimitsas,`H . Athens, 1896.

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