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Saturday, 27 February 2016

Macedonia

HISTORY

Prior to the fourth century BC, Macedonia was a small kingdom in northern Greece, outside the area dominated by the great city-states of Athens, Sparta and Thebes.

The reign of Philip II (359–336 BC) saw the rise of Macedonia, when the kingdom rose to control the entire Greek world. With the innovative Macedonian army, Philip defeated Athens and Thebes in the decisive Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC and subdued them, while keeping Sparta in check.

Macedonia 336 BC Marsyas (French original); Kordas (Spanish translation) derivative work: MinisterForBadTimes Wikipedia Commons

In 356 BC Philip II's horse won an event at the Olympics. He had a special silver coin minted to commemorate this feat.

Phillip's son Alexander the Great conquered the remainder of the region, and incorporated it in his empire, reaching as far north as Scupi.

The Macedonians developed the catapult as a siege engine for the armies of Philip II and Alexander the Great.

The Romans established the Province of Macedonia in 146 BC, after the Roman general Quintus Caecilius Metellus defeated Andriscus of Macedon, the last self-styled King of the ancient kingdom of Macedonia.

All of the central Balkans including Macedona were conquered by the Ottoman Empire in the 14th century and remained under its domination for five centuries.

After the Second World War, it became a state called Socialist Republic of Macedonia in the southern part of Yugoslavia. When that country broke up in 1991, Macedonia became independent.

Macedonia officially celebrates September 8, 1991 as Independence Day with regard to the referendum endorsing independence from Yugoslavia.


FUN FACTS

Macedonia is a mountainous country with sixteen mountains higher than 2000 meters above sea level.

There are more than 50 large lakes and 1,100 large sources of water in total.

Macedonia was ranked as the fourth "best reformatory state" out of 178 countries by the World Bank in 2009.

Macedonia is famous for its rich Šopska salad *see below), an appetizer and side dish which accompanies almost every meal,


Eastern Orthodoxy is the majority faith of the Republic of Macedonia making up 64.7% of the population, the vast majority of which belong to the Macedonian Orthodox Church.

The majority of the population speak Macedonian, which is closely related to and mutually intelligible with Standard Bulgarian. Albanian is also spoken by the Albanian minority (15%) living in the country.

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