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Serbian Book 1871: Indigenous Macedonians are the oldest Slavs


Interesting facts can be found about Slavs in a Serbian geography book from 1871, in a section talking about the southeastern peninsula. We can briefly summarize from this work, that:

  • Macedonians are the oldest “Slavs” in the region, possibly even in Europe.
  • Bulgarians and Serbs are newcomers to the Balkans compared to the indigenous Macedonians.

These are the findings of the author Jovan Dragašević, who wrote the geography book for middle school use. In the chapter “Jugositocni Ostrov” (Southeastern Island) we find the statements regarding the Macedonians. But first, let’s briefly introduce the author:

About the author Dragašević

Jovan Dragašević (Požarevac, February 4, 1836 – Niš, July 1, 1915) was a Serbian military geographer, historian and writer. He was Deputy Chief of General Staff in 1877. He was a professor at the Military Academy and the Great School in Belgrade and an honorary member of the Serbian Royal Academy.

Excerpts from the work:

front page (main picture above): “Geography for Universities”, by Dragašević. Reviewed and approved by the School Commission – Belgrade 1871.

Page 114:

…native to these countries in ancient times were some Slavs whose (folk) names we do not know … these are the modern Macedonians.

Page 127:

Slavs include: Serbs, Croats, Macedonians, Bulgarians and Russians.

There are about 3,620,000 Serbs, 500,000 Croats, 1,300,000 Macedonians, etc…

Continue on page 127, the beginning of the marked passage:

…Macedonians are the oldest Slavs in these Illyrian lands, possibly even in Europe. …

Page 128:

…Bulgarians are newcomers to this peninsula (compared to the native Macedonians), as are the Serbs…

Source: Geografija na Srednje Shkole, Jovan Dragašević, Belgrad 1871

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