jump to navigation

UN heralds FYROM talks October 23, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Politics.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
comments closed

First bilateral meeting set for November 1 in NYC despite current deadlock

The United Nations envoy charged with mediating in a dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) over the latter’s official name yesterday heralded the launch of a new round of bilateral talks to solve the 15-year-old spat.

The talks, which will start at the Ambassadorial level but may be continued by Foreign Ministers, are scheduled to begin on November 1 in New York. UN envoy Matthew Nimetz said he looked forward to “more intense discussion that will lead to a mutually satisfactory solution.”

Athens is disheartened by Skopje’s increasingly intransigent stance, as was evident in stern comments made by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis over the weekend. But Foreign Ministry spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos was careful yesterday to strike a positive note ahead of fresh talks. “Greece is participating, and will continue to participate, essentially and productively in negotiations on the name issue,” he said.

A comment by Skopje’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Zoran Petrov, published in a FYROM newspaper, has caused irritation. “Next year we are joining NATO and it is likely that an EU accession date will be set… so if some people want to keep complaining about the same thing for the next two millenia, that’s their problem,” Petrov is quoted as saying. Petrov also insisted on the right of Greece’s Slav-Macedonian minority to “pursue the legitimate struggle for their legal rights.”

US Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried has called on Skopje to “work fairly and constructively with Greece for a solution before the NATO summit,” due in April 2008. The UN’s envoy, Nimetz, retained a neutral stance, noting, “Both sides have shown a real desire to reach a settlement.”

In a bid to make up for the poor impression he made with his recent disparaging comments regarding the ancient Greek warrior Alexander the Great, Nimetz said he “took back” earlier remarks and “emphasized the permanent influence and deep significance of Alexander the Great on world history.” Nimetz’s original comments had been in reaction to Greece’s objection to Skopje naming its airport after Alexander the Great.

Alexander the Great > the Greek Macedonian King and Hero October 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Culture History Mythology.
Tags: , , , ,
comments closed

Greek Macedonian King and Military Commander, born July 20, 356 B.C., died June 10, 323 B.C.

alexander_the_great.jpg  “There is nothing impossible to him who will try.”

At age 16, Alexander became a regent when his father, Philip, the King of Macedon, was commanding his army in war. Alexander inherited the throne of Macedon and Greece at age 20. Beginning with no money and a small army, he conquered much of the known world and accumulated one of the world’s largest treasuries. He captured the Persian Empire, which stretched across Asia Minor, the Middle East, Mesopotamia, Egypt and modern-day Iran. After pushing all the way to India, he finally turned back, his men tired and his Empire starting to weaken.

From an early age, Alexander showed great potential. He learned politics and warfare from his father; philosophy, ethics, politics and healing from Aristotle; and the importance of an ascetic lifestyle from Leonidis. Alexander became a brilliant ruler and formidable military leader beloved by his soldiers.

Alexander and Aristotle experienced a falling-out over the issue of foreigners. Like many other people at the time, Aristotle considered most foreigners barbarians. Alexander hoped to incorporate outsiders into his Empire. His progressive method of appointing foreigners to army posts and encouraging native troops to marry foreigners helped create stability in his Kingdom. Citizens welcomed Alexander as a liberator when he conquered Egypt in 332 B.C.

While Alexander married women and conceived children with them, he also had male sex partners, including a eunuch named Bagaos. Alexander and his closest friend Hephaestion spent considerable time together; scholars assume that their love was sexual. Although homosexuality was common in Greece, same-sex relationships occurred mostly between men and slaves or men and younger boys who were not yet citizens. Love between two males of similar age and social class was stigmatized, and may have jeopardized Alexander’s and Hephaestion’s status had its true nature been public.

After halting his conquests and returning from the Punjab to Babylon, Alexander died at age 32. He never lost a battle, created a colossal Empire, was revered by his army and controlled one of the world’s largest treasuries.

Greece to create Alexander the Great Museum September 28, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Archaeology Greece, Arts Museums, Culture History Mythology.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
comments closed

Greece will dedicate a Museum to Alexander the Great in the northern town of Pella, his birthplace and the seat of the Macedonian Kingdom that ruled an Empire from Europe to India, officials said Friday.

pella_museum.jpg  Expected to be ready by late 2008, the new Museum will contain mosaics, weapons, jewellery and other finds from a 20-year excavation of the Pella archaeological site, an official at the Culture Ministry’s Museums Department said. “The finds, mainly from temples, show how these people lived … we even found a curse which shows that the Macedonians spoke Doric, an ancient Greek dialect, from the 5th century BC,” the official said. “This is very important, also in political terms,” she said.

In recent years, Greece has faced a challenge from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) over the spiritual rights to Alexander’s heritage and has been at pains to stress that the ancient Macedonians were Greek. But the tiny Balkan nation, which became independent after the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, has staked a claim as it lies on what was once part of ancient Macedonia.

Greece has refused to recognise its neighbour under its constitutional name of Macedonia because that is also the name of the northern Greek province of Macedonia. Athens has threatened to block Skopje’s bid to join the European Union and NATO until it changes its name, and efforts by the UN to resolve the 15-year dispute have so far proved fruitless. Skopje last year infuriated Athens by officially renaming its capital’s main airport after Alexander the Great.

alexander_the_great.jpgBorn in Pella in 356 BC, Alexander conquered the Persian Empire and much of the world known to ancient Greeks before dying in Babylon in 323 BC. His conquests were followed by a three-century period of Greek political and cultural dominance in Egypt and the Middle East known as the Hellenistic Age. The Alexander-themed collection will replace an older Museum in Pella.