In relation to the presenting of famous personalities with Macedonian origin, in this issue we\'ll mention something about the members of the Macedonian dynasty that ruled wit Byzantine from 9th till the 11th century. A certain number of historians think that the members of the Macedonian dynasty in Byzantine were actually descendents of the ancient Macedonians. Among those historians is the author of these lines. To set down arguments in favour of his we should add certain additional explanations.
In the 8th century, on the territory of today\'s Trachea and in part of South Eastern Macedonia, Byzantine formed a thema (an administrative area), which it called "Macedonia". It is fi gured that this thema was named so because of the fact it was populated with a certain number of de¬scendents of ancient Macedonians. Later from their ranks the members of the Macedonian dynasty in Byzantine came from. This dynasty began with the emperor Basil the 1st of Macedonia (867-886), and ended in 1081. As an illustration of their Macedonian origin we will quote the Encarta Encyclopedia (quote from the work,title Basil I), where in relation to the origin of Basil the 1st we can read:

"Basil the 1st (812-886), a Byzantine Emperor (867-886) and founder of the Macedonian dynasty. He is born in Ma¬cedonia and originated from a peasant family (...)"•
In the famous "Compton Encyclopaedia" in relation to the founding of the Macedonian dynasty in Byzantine we can read:
"With the coronation of Basil the 1st the Macedonian in 867 the lengthy dy¬nasty of Macedonian emperors was es¬tablished" (Compton\'s Encyclopedia Online v3.0 © 1998 The Learning Com¬pany, Inc.).
In the Catholic Encyclopedia (1908) it is written that the members of this dynasty were from Armenia, but that they were of Macedonian ethnic origin.
("The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume III", Copyright © 1908 by Robert Appleton Company, Online Edition Copyright © 1999 by Kevin Knight Nihil Obstat, November 1, 1908. Remy Lafort, S.T.D)


The most famous emperor of this dynasty was the emperor Basil the 2nd the Macedonian - the enemy of the medieval Macedonian emperor Samuel! Little is taught about these ethnic Macedonians in today\'s historiography from the aspect of their connection with the ancient Macedonian gene. Even the most famous representative of this dynasty, Basil the 2nd the Macedonian, in our historiography (probably rightly so), was taught strictly in a negative context as a "destroyer" of Samuel\'s Empire. After he conquered Samuel\'s Empire, it can be said that Basil the 2nd behaved towards the Macedonian population correctly.

For example, he left certain privileges to the clergy of the Ohrid archdiocese, and even in his time the monk Jovan from Debar was selected. Some of Samuel\'s dignitaries held their status, although they fought against Basil the 2nd. For the inadequate interest for the studying of these ethnic Macedonians in our historiography a contributing factor is the fact that they lived outside of the territory of ethnic Macedonia and ruled with another country (Byzantine). Actually it is the same case as with the Ptolemy, Macedonians who in their time ruled Egypt, as well as with the case of the Macedonian Seleucids, who ruled with the Eastern Mediterranean. We have the same situa¬tion with the reign of the Macedonian dynasty in Byzantine.


That these emperors have not forgotten their Macedonian ethnic origin a number of facts have shown. First, here is the name of their dynasty which is called "Macedonian".
Further more, in their time, in the Byzantine army an active role was played by the Macedonian phalange. It is known that the Byzantine emperor Constantine (brother and heir of Basil the 2nd the Macedonian) fought excellently with the long spire, as the Byzantine historian Michael Psel writes (1.14).
The Croatian historian D-r. Stjepan Antoljak ("Medieval Macedonia", Skopje,1985, page 212), calling upon the Byzantine historian Skilica, writes:
In the Byzantine army the Macedonian phalange was incorporated, as Skilica writes, in 1071 it participated in the pillaging of Samuel\'s capital Prespa".
So the Macedonian phalange within the composition of the Byzantine army fought against their own brothers- heirs of the Macedonian medieval empire, known trough history as Samuel\'s Empire.

There are other data from the time of Basil the 2nd, in which the Macedonians are mentioned as soldiers in his army. Some of them fought in southern Italy, in the then thema Langobardia. For one of these Macedonians it is known that he was from Stip! He was called Lav and was a high ranking commander of the Macedonian and Trachean units in the composition of the Byzantine army. D-r Stjepan Antoljak (quote work, page 206), in relation to this he writes:
"... then he was mentioned as a military commander of of the Macedonians and Tracheans the patrician Lav, who they called Stipion i.e. "Stipjanec".
This commander is also mentioned by Cons¬tantine Pfrofi rogenit".

The member of the Macedonian dynasty in Byzantine kept most of their tra¬ditional markings from their ancient Macedonian ancestors. It is known that the main markings of the ancient Mace¬donian emperors were: the colour of purple on there robes, sceptre and diadem. We have the same condition with the Byzantine emperors from the Macedonian dynasty! The poet Ivan Kiriotes, called Geometres, who was archbishop of Metilena in the 10th century, in his songs he sang about the events surrounding the rule of Basil the 2nd the Macedonian, and in one of them he clearly mentions (quote): "the royal sceptres and diadems, as well as purple robes", which the Byzantine emperors of the Macedonian dynasty wore, exactly as their ancestors did - the famous ancient Macedonians emperors ( Joannis Geometrae, J.P. Migne, PG 106, 919; quote according to D-r. Stjepan Antoljak, "The Medieval Macedonia", Skopje, 1985, page 242).

The Byzantine historian Michael Psel (1,31) describes the purple colour of the robes which Basil the 2nd wore.
Then even the saying "born in purple" existed, which referred to the emperors of the Macedonian dynasty.
Psel gives an interesting fact (3,8), in which he writes that the Byzantine emperor Roman the 3rd (1028-1034) of the Macedonian dynasty, wanted to imitate the great rulers, among which he mentions Alexander the Great of Macedonia.
Psel writes that this Byzantine emperor too, also dressed in purple robes (3,15), the same as ancient Macedonian emperors did.