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, region, Europe
Macedonia (măsˌədōˈnēə), region, SE Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula, divided among the countries of Greece, Bulgaria, and North Macedonia.

Land and People

Corresponding roughly with ancient Macedon, it extends from the Aegean Sea northward between Epirus in the west and Thrace in the east and includes the Vardar, Struma, and Mesta (in Greece, the Axiós, Strimón, and Néstos) river valleys. The region is predominately mountainous, encompassing parts of the Pindus and Rhodope mts. Tobacco is the main crop; grains and cotton are also grown, and sheep and goats are raised. The mining of iron, copper, lead, and chromite is important.

Greek, or Aegean, Macedonia (c.13,000 sq mi/33,670 sq km) includes the Khalkidhikí (Chalcidice) peninsula, the site of Thessaloníki (Salonica), a major industrial and shipping center. As a result of population movements after World War I, Greek Macedonia has a largely homogeneous Greek population. Bulgarian, or Pirin, Macedonia is largely coextensive with the Blagoevgrad (formerly Gorna Dzhumaya) province of Bulgaria (c.2,500 sq mi/6,475 sq km) and is largely populated by Macedonians. The inhabitants of Republic of North Macedonia are largely Macedonian, but there is a sizable Albanian minority (see North Macedonia).


Early History through Ottoman Rule

Like neighboring Thrace and Epirus, Macedonia has been, since the early Middle Ages, a meeting place of nations, a fact that has contributed in large measure to its complex and turbulent history. Macedonians first appear historically about 700 B.C. By about 400 B.C., they had adopted the Greek language and had begun to build a kingdom (Macedon) that was greatly enlarged by the conquests of Philip II (359–336 B.C.) and Alexander the Great (336–323 B.C.). In the 2d cent. B.C., Macedonia became a Roman province.

With the division (A.D. 395) of the Roman Empire, Macedonia came under Byzantine rule. Devastated by the Goths and Huns, it was settled (6th cent.) by the Slavs, who quickly made most of Macedonia a Slavic land. However, it continued under intermittent Byzantine domination until the 9th cent., when most of Macedonia was wrested from the Byzantine Empire by Bulgaria. Emperor Basil II recovered it (1014–18) for Byzantium, but after the temporary breakup (1204) of the Byzantine Empire during the Fourth Crusade, Macedonia was bitterly contested among the Latin Empire of Constantinople, the Bulgars under Ivan II, the despots of Epirus, and the emperors of Nicaea. It again became part of the Byzantine Empire, which was restored in 1261, but in the 14th cent. Stephen Dušan of Serbia conquered all Macedonia except for present-day Thessaloníki.

The fall of the Serbian empire in the late 14th cent. brought Macedonia under the rule of the Ottoman Turks, which lasted for five centuries. In the 19th cent. the national revival in the Balkans began; national and religious antagonism flared, and conflict was heightened by the Ottoman policy of playing one group against the other. Meanwhile the Ottoman Empire lost control over the major sections of Greece, Serbia, and Bulgaria, each of which claimed Macedonia on historical or ethnical grounds. In the Treaty of San Stefano (1878), which terminated the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78, Bulgaria was awarded the lion's share of Macedonia. However, the settlement was nullified by the European powers in the same year (see Berlin, Congress of), and Macedonia was left under direct Ottoman control.

Modern History

A secret terrorist organization working for Macedonian independence sprang up in the late 19th cent. and soon wielded great power. The komitadjis, as the terrorist bands were called, were generally supported by Bulgaria, which gained a major share of Macedonia in the first of the Balkan Wars (1912–13). Greece and Serbia turned against Bulgaria in the Second Balkan War, and the Treaty of Bucharest (1913) left Bulgaria only a small share of Macedonia, the rest of which was divided roughly along the present lines. Thousands of Macedonians fled to Bulgaria.

In World War I the Salonica (present-day Thessaloníki) campaigns took place in Macedonia. After the war Macedonia became a hotbed of agitation and terrorism, directed largely from Bulgaria. The population exchange among Greece, Turkey, and Bulgaria after 1923 resulted in the replacement by Greek refugees from Asia Minor of most of the Slavic and Turkish elements in Greek Macedonia. Charging that the Greek minority in Bulgarian Macedonia was being mistreated, Greece in 1925 invaded Bulgaria. The League of Nations, however, forced a cession of hostilities and awarded (1926) a decision favorable to Bulgaria.

Bulgarian relations with Yugoslavia (before 1929 the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes) remained strained over the Macedonian question. Frontier incidents were frequent, as were Yugoslav charges against Bulgaria for fostering the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO), a nationalist group that used violence, in Yugoslavia. Macedonian agitation against Serbian rule culminated (1934) in the assassination of King Alexander of Yugoslavia by a Macedonian nationalist at Marseilles.

In World War II all Macedonia was occupied (1941–44) by Bulgaria, which sided with the Axis against Yugoslavia and Greece. The Bulgarian armistice treaty of 1944 restored the prewar boundaries, which were confirmed in the peace treaty of 1947. The Yugoslav constitution of 1946 made Yugoslav Macedonia an autonomous unit in a federal state, and the Macedonian people were recognized as a separate nationality.

Tension over Macedonia continued in the early postwar years. During the Greek civil war there was much conflict between Greece and Yugoslavia over Macedonia, and the breach between Yugoslavia and Bulgaria after 1948 helped to make the Macedonian question explosive. However, with the settlement of the civil war and with the easing of Yugoslav-Bulgarian relations after 1962, tension over Macedonia was reduced. In 1990, Yugoslav Macedonia elected its first non-Communist government and the following year the Republic of Macedonia was born. Greek refusal to recognize the new nation's use of the name Macedonia ultimately led to an agreement between the two nations in 2018 that resulted (2019) in the renaming of Macedonia as North Macedonia.


See H. N. Brailsford, Macedonia: Its Races and Their Future (1971); H. Lydall, Yugoslavia in Crisis 1989).


, country, Europe
Macedonia, former name (1991–2019) of North Macedonia.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a historical region in the central part of the Balkan Peninsula. The concept of its geographical boundaries varied with time. The ideas of the historical regions of Macedonia as they existed during the 19th century have been accepted as the basis for general historical surveys.

The territory of Macedonia has been inhabited since the Neolithic period. The first historically known population consisted of Illyrian and Thracian tribes. In the fifth century B.C. a state arose on the territory of Macedonia (the Kingdom of Macedonia). In the sixth and seventh centuries A.D., Macedonia was settled by Slavic tribes. Available data make it possible to regard these tribes, ethnically and linguistically, as belonging to a single group with several tribes that settled on the territory of presentday Bulgaria. The Slavs gradually assimilated the local population and created tribal principalities. In the seventh century Byzantium partially subjugated the Slavs of Macedonia. In 670-75 the proto-Bulgar horde of Khan Kuver (Kuber) invaded Macedonia and settled in the area of Bitola. In the second quarter of the ninth century most of Macedonia became part of the First Bulgarian Kingdom.

In the ninth and tenth centuries feudal relations took shape in Macedonia, and Christianity became widespread as a result of the activity of the disciples of the Slavic educators Cyril and Methodius (Kliment, Naum, and others). In the tenth century a widespread antifeudal movement in the form of a heresy known as Bogomilism arose in Macedonia. With the formation of the Western Bulgarian Kingdom in the 970’s, Macedonia was the nucleus of its territory.

In 1018, Macedonia was conquered by Byzantium. In 1230 the territory of Macedonia became a part of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. In the mid-14th century Macedonia was conquered by the Sorbian king Stefan Dusan. The migrations of various ethnic communities (Bulgars, Greeks, Vlachs, Albanians, Serbs, Pechenegs, Ghuz, Armenians, Jews, and others) associated with frequent wars and with the campaigns of the Crusaders and other medieval conquerors created an extremely complex ethnic milieu in Macedonia. In the last quarter of the 14th century Macedonia was seized by the Ottoman Empire. Under Turkish domination there was a further increase in the variegated nature of Macedonia’s ethnic composition. There was an increased influx of Albanians. Many cities were settled primarily by Turks, and purely Muslim villages sprang up.

Oppression by the Turkish feudal lords and the forcible introduction of Islam in Macedonia provoked antifeudal and anti-Ottoman movements, such as the struggle of the haiduks and the Klephts. Mass emigration from Macedonia also took place. The struggle against Turkish domination intensified in the late 18th century, when elements of capitalism emerged and the process of national revival of the Macedonian peoples under Ottoman domination began. The intensified liberation struggle of the Greeks associated with the Greek War of Independence of 1821-29 also encompassed the Greek population in Macedonia. A liberation movement directed against the Ottoman yoke and against the policy of Hellenization being carried out by the Greek patriarchate of Constantinople also developed among the Slavic population of Macedonia. The movement developed mostly within the mainstream of the Bulgarian national revival—for example, the activity of the educators R. Zinzifov and the brothers D. and K. Miladinov. However, the Macedonian lands remained somewhat remote from the center of consolidation of the forming Bulgarian nation because of the socioeconomic backwardness of the Macedonian lands, the slowness of development of capitalist elements, and ethnic diversity. The eastern Bulgarian dialects became the basis for the Bulgarian literary language. Nevertheless, many Bulgarian educators from Macedonia advocated the incorporation in the Bulgarian literary language and culture of the dialectal uniqueness and specific quality of the Bulgarians in Macedonia. In the 1860’s textbooks were written in Macedonia using local dialects (K. Sapkarev and P. Zografski). In contrast, during the 1870’s the idea of creating an independent Macedonian literary language arose among certain members of the intelligentsia (G. Pulevski). However, a separate literary language did not take shape in Macedonia.

The ties (primarily the economic ties) between Macedonia, which remained under Turkish domination, and the newly formed principality of Bulgaria weakened after the Berlin Congress of 1878. In the 1890’s a mass national and antifeudal movement developed in Macedonia and in the adjacent vilayet of Adrianople (Edirne), which was also a part of the Ottoman Empire. The bourgeois-monarchical governments of Bulgaria, Serbia, and Greece strove to use the liberation movement for their own expansionist purposes, but this policy carried with it the danger of the fragmentation of Macedonia. In 1896 the revolutionary-democratic left wing of the Internal Macedonia-Edirne Revolutionary Organization (IMRO), founded in 1893 and led by Gotse Delchev (Goce Del6ev), put forth the slogan “Macedonia for the Macedonians”; in the realization of this slogan it saw a way to unite all the nationalities of Macedonia in a general struggle for political independence and social justice. Under this slogan a national liberation uprising broke out in Macedonia in 1903, during which the “Krusevo Republic” was proclaimed, and a provisional revolutionary government was formed under the leadership of N. Karev (the leader of the Macedonian Social Democratic League in Sofia, which was associated with the Bulgarian Workers’ Social Democratic Party).

At the turn of the 20th century the Macedonian revolutionary liberation movement, which developed in a continuous and acute struggle with the part of the bourgeois circles of Macedonia that was associated with Bulgarian, Greek, and Sorbian nationalists, facilitated the dissemination in democratic circles of the Macedonian population (primarily the Bulgarians) of ideas concerning the specificity of political interests, as well as prospects for the development of Macedonia. Under these circumstances the idea of creating a Macedonian literary language arose and was manifested in the activity of K. Misirkov in the early 20th century. The new awareness of a unique political community, which was reinforced, subsequently also led to a gradual maturing of the cultural community.

With the growing acuteness of the struggle among the European powers (particularly Germany and Austria-Hungary) for the Balkan Peninsula at the beginning of the 20th century, Macedonia became a center of international conflicts. The struggle for Macedonia among the Balkan nations themselves also became more acute. As a result of the Balkan Wars of 1912-13, the entire historical region of Macedonia was divided up among Serbia (Vardar Macedonia), Greece (Aegean Macedonia), and Bulgaria (Pirin Macedonia).


Istoriia lugoslavii, vols. 1-2. Moscow, 1963.
Istoriia Bolgarii, vols. 1-2. Moscow, 1954-55.
Istoriia Vizantii, vols. 1-3. Moscow, 1967.
Istoriia diplomatii, 2nd ed., vol. 2. Moscow, 1963.
Istorija naroda Jugoslavije, vols. 1-2. Belgrade, 1953-60.
Istoriia na Bulgariia, vols. 1-2. Sofia, 1961-62.
Istorija no makedonskiot narod, books 1-2. Skopje, 1969.
Makedoniia i makedontsy v proshlomLa Macedoine et les macedoniens dans le passe. Skopje, 1970.
Vacalopulos, A. E. History of Macedonia, 1354-1833. [Thessaloniki] 1973.



(Makedonija), Socialist Republic of Macedonia (SRM; Socijalistička Republika Makedonija), a republic in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY), located in the southeastern part of the country, in the Vardar River basin. Area, 25,700 sq km; population, 1.7 million (1971). According to the 1971 census there were 1,142,000 Macedonians in the republic; Albanians, Turks, Serbs, Croats, Montenegrins, and Bulgarians also live there. The natural population increase is twice as high as the average for the SFRY as a whole. As of 1971, about one-half of the population was urban. Major cities include the capital, Skopje (Skoplje), and Bitola, Prilep, Kumanovo, and Tetovo. Administratively, Macedonia is divided into communes.

Natural features. A large part of Macedonia consists of uplands (with elevations of up to 2,764 m in the Korab Range on the Albanian border), with flat, peneplained summits and steep, deeply dissected slopes. The uplands are composed of crystalline shales, dolomites, and limestones; karst has developed in places. The mountains are separated by tectonic depressions, occupied by lakes (Ohrid and Prespa, the largest in Yugoslavia) or river valleys (primarily in the Vardar River basin). Earthquakes are frequent; in 1963 the city of Skopje was devastated. The country has deposits of magnetite (near Damjan), iron ore (near Kičevo), and lead-zinc ores (in the Kratovo-Zletovo Ore Region).

The climate is Mediterranean. Summers are hot and dry; winters are mild and rainy. The valleys are cultivated. The slopes are covered with mixed forests and shrubs up to an elevation of 2,000 m and by steppe meadows at higher elevations.

Historical survey. The SRM was created on the territory of Vardar Macedonia (see [historical region]), which in 1918, as part of Serbia, was included in the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (since 1929, Yugoslavia). Vardar Macedonia was one of the most backward regions of the Yugoslav kingdom. Agriculture, which employed about three-quarters of the population, had a low level of development. Industrial production was insignificant and the working class extremely small; as of 1938, there were only seven industrial workers per thousand inhabitants. The principal branches of industry were food-processing, tobacco, and mining of nonferrous metals. There was a predominance of small-scale, primarily cottage industries.

On the eve of World War II (1939-45), more than one-half of Macedonian enterprises had not more than 25 workers each, and only one-fifth had more than 50 each. About two-thirds of the inhabitants over the age of ten were illiterate. The Sorbian bourgeoisie, which held the dominant position in the Yugoslav kingdom, pursued a policy of national oppression in Vardar Macedonia. The very name “Macedonia” was stricken from the official lexicon, and enforced Sorbianization was carried out. Such socioeconomic and political oppression provoked resistance. The resistance to the Great Sorbian yoke facilitated the emergence of a Macedonian national community. Macedonian cultural societies and clubs were created, and the Macedonian literary language took shape. The process of laying the foundation of a Macedonian national literature was facilitated by the efforts of progressive social forces, communists, and the progressive intelligentsia. The Macedonian nation continued its process of formation.

In April 1941, as the result of fascist aggression and the occupation of Yugoslavia by countries of the Hitlerite bloc, most of Vardar Macedonia was occupied by monarchical-fascist Bulgaria; the remaining regions, by fascist Italy. In the summer and fall of 1941 the Yugoslav peoples, under the direction of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, rose up in an armed struggle against the invaders. The armed liberation struggle began in Vardar Macedonia on Oct. 11, 1941 (a date celebrated every year as the Day of the Popular Uprising in Macedonia), and became part of the general Yugoslav popular liberation movement.

In 1943 there were established in Vardar Macedonia liberated partisan territories where revolutionary power was held by national liberation committees. In November 1943 the Second Session of the Antifascist National-liberation Council of Yugoslavia adopted a resolution providing for the creation of the new Yugoslavia as a democratic federation of peoples (including Macedonians) with equal rights. On Aug. 2, 1944, at its first session, the Antifascist National-liberation Council of Macedonia was constituted as the supreme body of power in Macedonia, which became part of democratic, federal Yugoslavia.

In November 1944, after the Soviet Army entered the Balkans, Macedonia was finally liberated from the fascist occupation forces by units of the National Liberation Army of Yugoslavia that were operating there together with troops of the government of the Fatherland Front of Bulgaria. In April 1945 the first people’s government of Macedonia was formed. In November 1945 the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia (FPRY) was proclaimed; the People’s Republic of Macedonia (PRM) was one of the six people’s republics that made up the FPRY. The status and sovereign rights of the PRM as a full member of the federation were confirmed by the constitutions of the FPRY (January 1946) and the PRM (December 1946). According to the constitutions of Yugoslavia and Macedonia adopted in April 1963, Macedonia became a socialist republic within the SFRY.

Under the leadership of the Communist Party in Macedonia, as throughout Yugoslavia, profound revolutionary changes were carried out. As a result of the agrarian reform (1945), large-scale private ownership of land was abolished, and lands were distributed to more than 18,000 families of landless and land-starved peasants. Considerable tracts of land became public property. The bourgeoisie was expropriated, and industry was nationalized, as were commerce, banks, and transportation; the public sector became predominant in these areas. Yugoslavia entered upon the path of building socialism, in which the most important tasks in Macedonia were industrialization and overcoming of economic and cultural backwardness. During industrialization, dozens of new industrial enterprises were built and provided with modern equipment. New branches of industry were established (ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy, machine building, and the chemical industry), and mining was expanded. The textile industry was actually created completely anew. In 1975 industrial production had grown by a factor of about 45 in comparison with 1939. Working-class cadres were formed in the republic, and during the years of building socialism the number of industrial workers increased by a factor of about 12 (as of 1975). In the agriculture of the SRM, as in that of the SFRY as a whole (in contrast to industry), socialist relations have still not become predominant.

A new stage in the formation and development of the Macedonian nation under conditions of the building of socialism began after the victory of the revolution. In the process of building socialism, illiteracy was eliminated, a system of education in the national language was established, the workers gained access to the achievements of science and culture, a new, people’s intelligentsia was created, and a Macedonian national socialist culture was formed (see below: Cultural development and public health, Literature, Architecture and art, Music, and Theater). The Macedonian literary language took shape and became one of the official languages of the SFRY. (In 1945 an alphabet and orthography were established.) Engineering and technical workers, teachers, physicians, agronomists, and other specialists were trained.

Along with the development of the Macedonian national culture, the culture of the other nationalities living in the SRM was also developed (for example, that of the Albanians and Turks). The rights of all nationalities have been established in the constitution of the SRM. The most important factors in social development are the social and political activity of the workers of the SRM, as well as the activities of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia and the League of Communists of Macedonia as its component part.

L. IA. GIBIANSKII [section updated]

Economy. In the building of socialism, with the aid of the entire federation, Macedonia was transformed from a backward, agrarian region into a republic with a significant proportion of industry. In 1971 almost one-third of its national income was derived from industry, and agriculture accounted for about one-quarter. At the same time, about 45 percent of the economically active population was working in agriculture and only 15 percent in industry.

The economy of the SRM has developed at a faster rate than the economies of the other republics of Yugoslavia; however, Macedonia still remains one of the least developed regions of the SFRY. Industry is dominated by light industry, primarily textiles (one-fifth of the national income contributed by the industry of the SRM), food processing, and tobacco. The output of these branches is of countrywide importance; the SRM provides one-fifth of the total output of the SFRY’s cotton thread, one-half of its tobacco, one-quarter of the cigarettes, and one-sixth of the canned vegetables. The principal centers of textile production are Tetovo (the Teteks Woolens Combine), §lip (the Makedonka Cotton-textile Combine), and Titov Veles (the Non£a Kamisova Silk-fabric Combine). The principal center of the tobacco industry is Prilep. The food-processing industry is widespread, but it is centered in Skopje, Bitola, Prilep, and Kumanovo. Production of leather footwear has developed (in Skopje and Kumanovo), as has the wood-products industry, based on local forests (the Crn Bor Lumber Combine in Prilep and the pulp and paper plant in Kočani).

The mining industry occupies an important place in the economy of Macedonia. The Zletovo-Sasa deposit provides about one-fifth of the total Yugoslav yield of lead and zinc ore. The mining of chrome ore near Skopje, Tetovo, and Kumanovo is of countrywide importance. Ores of other nonferrous metals, iron ore, and manganese are also mined. Metallurgy (particularly nonferrous metallurgy), and the chemical industry have developed on this basis. Among the enterprises of these sectors are the metallurgical complex in Skopje (with an annual capacity of 1 million tons of cast iron), one of the largest in the SFRY, as well as the Naum Naumovski-Borcče Chemical Plant in Skopje, a plant for producing welded pipes and steel sections near Kumanovo, a lead and zinc plant in Titov Veles, an electrochemical enterprise in Jegunovce, and a plant manufacturing semifinished aluminum products and structural components in Skopje.

The SRM provides a significant part of the total Yugoslav production of certain polymers (including all the dodecyl benzene and polyacrylonitrile fiber and more than half of the polyvinyl acetate). Certain types of machine tools, industrial equipment and instruments, electrical instruments, farm machinery, and motor-vehicle parts are also produced. The largest enterprises include the Tito Metalworking Plant and the October 11 Motor-vehicle Body Plant, both in Skopje, and a refrigerator plant in Bitola. Production of building materials (cement, marble, and structural and household ceramics), refractory materials, glass, and porcelain is also significant.

Electric power is produced at hydroelectric power plants (1971 production, 1.2 billion kilowatt-hours). Hydroelectric power systems have been built (for example, Mavrovo on the Gorni Drim River).

In agriculture, the process of mechanization is under way (there were 3,600 tractors in 1971), and reclaimed lands are being used. From 1960 through 1971 agricultural production in the public sector increased by a factor of almost 3, whereas in the private sector during the same period it grew by only one-third. The public sector includes agricultural estates, combines, and agroindustrial complexes, as well as various types of cooperatives. It includes about one-quarter of the cultivated area of the SRM and most of the farm machinery; it accounts for more than 35 percent of the social product of agriculture and more than 44 percent of commercial agricultural purchases. Privately owned peasant farms include three-quarters of the cultivated area and most of the livestock. A maximum landownership of 10 hectares has been established, and limits have been imposed on the hiring of labor.

Crops grown in Macedonia include grains (wheat, corn, and rice) and industrial crops (tobacco and cotton). Truck farming, horticulture, and viticulture are also well developed. The SRM produces all the rice and cotton grown in Yugoslavia, more than one-half of the tobacco, pepper, and table grapes, more than one-third of the tomatoes, and more than one-fifth of the apples. About one-fourth of the total sheep population of the country is concentrated in Macedonia (the SRM provides more than one-third of the total Yugoslav output of wool, and in meat production it ranks second among the republics, behind Serbia). Poultry farming has been extensively developed. There is lumbering in the mountainous regions and fishing on the large lakes (Ohrid, Prespa, and Doiran). Tourism is important.

L. A. AVDEICHEV and L. IA. GIBIANSKII [section updated]

Cultural development and public health. In 1939, about two-thirds of the inhabitants of Macedonia over the age of ten were illiterate. In 1971 the proportion had been reduced to 18 percent, and most illiteracy was among persons over the age of 35. The main type of school is the eight-year school. During the 1970-71 academic year, eight-year schools had an enrollment of more than 260,000 pupils. Complete secondary education is provided by Gymnasiums (enrollment during the 1970-71 academic year, more than 20,000). There are also schools for training skilled workers; agricultural, technical, and other specialized schools; and schools for adult education (enrollment during the 1970-71 academic year, more than 42,000). Higher education has developed considerably. In Skopje in 1939 there was only a division of the department of philosophy of the University of Belgrade (enrollment, about 120). During the 1971-72 academic year the nine departments of the University of Skopje (founded 1949), as well as 11 other higher educational institutions in the SRM, had an enrollment of more than 32,000.

There are a number of scholarly institutions and societies (institutes of national history, folklore, economics, hydrobiology, and geology; societies of physicists, mathematicians, and geographers). The Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts was established in 1967.

As of 1971, 80 newspapers (total circulation, 21,736,000) and 53 journals (total circulation, 705,000) were published in the SRM; 668 book and pamphlet titles, with a total printing of 3,634,000, were also published. The central press organ of the SRM is the daily newspaper Nova Makedonija, founded in October 1944 and published in Skopje (organ of the Socialist Alliance of the Working People of Macedonia).

A radio station in Skopje has been broadcasting in Macedonian since December 1944. Regular television broadcasts began in the SRM in 1964.

In 1971 the SRM had 16 clinics and general hospitals; 28 other inpatient facilities, with 9,000 beds (and about 500 physicians); more than 1,000 polyclinics, outpatient clinics, dispensaries, consultation offices, and medical stations (with more than 600 physicians and more than 400 stomatologists and dentists). The SRM has a number of health resorts and tourist centers.


Literature. The work of the outstanding communist writer Kočo Racin (1908-43), the author of the first book of poems in Macedonian (White Dawns, 1939), was of great importance for the formation of Macedonian national literature; essential roles during the 1930’s were also played by K. Nedelkovski and other literary figures, whose work was closely linked with revolutionary and popular patriotic traditions. The assertion of realistic tendencies in drama was facilitated by the work of V. Iljoski, A. Panov, and R. Krle. Contemporary Macedonian literature has developed through assimilation of the ideological and artistic wealth of the world’s progressive literature, including Soviet literature.

The standards of the modern Macedonian literary language took shape during the 20 years after the war. Macedonian literary journals, such as Nov den, Sovremenost, and Mlada literatura, began publication. Creative organizations came into being; among them were the Union of Macedonian Writers (1946) and the Society of Macedonian Language and Literature (1954). In the immediate postwar years, genres of poetry were predominant (the works of S. Janevski, B. Koneski, A. Sopov, L. Karovski, and G. Todorovski); poetry was characterized by the enthusiasm of great civic spirit, reflecting the joy of victory over fascism and the beginning of creative labor. Interesting quests in both content and artistic form marked the literary debuts of A. Popovski and R. Pavlovski. Modernistic tendencies, which were reflected in the poetry of Z. Jovanovik, V. Uroševik, and B. Guzel, became influential in the early 1950’s. A revolutionary-romantic and realistic depiction of the past war and postwar reality marked the short-story genre (J. Boskovski, G. Abadziev, and Ž. Cingo).

The novella and novel—new genres for Macedonian literature—emerged in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Diverse in their treatment of problems, they reflected the national liberation struggle against fascism, the changes after the establishment of the people’s power (the works of S. Janevski, the originator of the Macedonian novel; the novels of J. Leov, S. Popov, and S. Drakul). The work of a number of prose writers was marked by evolution from realism to an existentialist-surrealistic poetics and to a complex mode of narration. Drama developed primarily within the realistic traditions (V. Iljoski, K. Casule, and T. Arsovski). As a whole, Macedonian literature of that period was characterized by a struggle among various ideological, aesthetic, and artistic trends. Macedonian literary criticism and literary scholarship have been represented by D. Mitrev, M. Gurčnov, B. Koneski, H. Polenakovic, and M. Hadzi Vasilev.

The literature of the Turkish and other minorities living in the Socialist Republic of Macedonia has also developed.


Architecture and art. From the late 19th century through the first third of the 20th, the construction of cities in the SRM was mainly random and lacking in any definite plan. Under the people’s power the extensive modernization and construction of cities has proceeded according to general plans; industrial installations have been built, and the appearance of the village is changing. After the 1963 earthquake in Skopje, the central part of the city was restored according to the plan of the Japanese architect K. Tange (the House of Trade Unions, architect, S. Brezovski; the Historical Archives, architect, G. Konstantinovski; the Macedonian Folk Theater, architect, M. Krstonosic), and industrial methods were used in the construction of residential areas. Among the most important structures of the 1960’s were the group of monuments to those who fell in the struggle against fascism in Prilep (architect, B. Bogdanovik) and the airport building in Petrovec (architects, D. Dimitrov and T. Dimitrov).

The prerequisites for the development of contemporary art in the SRM were created to a large degree in the 1920’s and 1930’s by a group of painters (L. Licenoski and N. Martinoski) who worked in a uniquely original ornamental manner, producing landscapes and scenes from the people’s life, portraits and still lifes, as well as by the first professional sculptors (D. Todorovski and P. Hadzi Boskov). The realistic trend (the painters D. Protuger and P. Mazev; the sculptor B. Mitričevski) has been predominant in the art of the SRM. In the art of the generation of the 1960’s, its traditions have been combined with quests for new modes of expression (the painters G. Cemerski and S. Semov, the graphic artist D. Perdinkov, and the sculptor S. Manevski).

Ruins of the cities of Stoba, Skupi, and Heracleum, which existed until the fourth to sixth centuries, are preserved in Macedonia. The nature of medieval architecture was determined by the influence of Byzantine architecture. Secular architecture before the Turkish conquest is represented by the remains of the cyclopean walls of Skopje (A.D. 535), the castle of King Samuil (early 11th century), and the fortress in Strumica (11th century). An early type of church architecture is the three-aisle basilica with a dome and choir stalls (the Basilica of St. Sofia in Ohrid, c. 1037-50). A type of domed cruciform cathedral with one dome (the Church of Sts. Michael and Gabriel in Lesnovo, 1341) or five domes (the Church of St. Panteleimon in Nerezi, 1164) became common in the 12th to 14th centuries. Beginning in the late 13th century the facades of structures were frequently decorated with rich stone and brick patterns. During the Turkish domination in the cities (Skopje, Bitola, §tip, and others), domed mosques, minarets, inns, baths, and tower-shaped residential units were built. Picturesque ensembles of monasteries (for example, that of Jovan Bigorski, 1743), as well as various examples of folk architecture (houses with rooms situated symmetrically around a vestibule, and a courtyard separated from the street), date to the 18th and 19th centuries.

Medieval fine art in the SRM is represented by many groups of frescoes, which occupy an important place in the history of Eastern European painting of the 11th to 14th centuries and reveal traits of a local originality. Important landmarks in the art of the middle Byzantine period are represented by the fresco cycles in the St. Sofia Cathedral in Ohrid (mid-11th century) and the Church of St. Panteleimon in Nerezi (1164). Over the course of a century and a half the ceremonial, abstract quality of the figures was replaced by a greater degree of emotion, and the linear manner was softened. The frescoes of the masters Mihajlo and Eutihije in the Churches of St. Kliment in Ohrid (after 1295) and St. George in Staro Nagoričane (1317-18), which are distinguished by diversity of subject matter and an abundance of realistic details (sometimes taken from everyday life), are associated with the final flowering of Byzantine art. Crude expressiveness of figures and great originality of manner are characteristic of the fresco cycles in the Churches of Sts. Michael and Gabriel in Lesnovo (c. 1349) and the Church of the Virgin in Matejče (C. 1355).

During the Turkish domination, the development of art in Macedonia was retarded. Beginning in the second half of the 18th century, painting experienced the influence of the artistic centers of the West and Russia (the Frčkoski family, late 18th to 20th century; G. Zografski and D. Andonov, late 19th and first half of the 20th centuries).

Wood carving of the 12th to 14th centuries was of a clearly folkloric nature; from the 17th to 19th centuries, realistic figures of animals and people were worked into plant ornamentation. The school of Debar was renowned for its carving on iconostases (a combination of Greek and Venetian influences, showing elements of baroque and rococo).

Wood carving and other historically formed branches of decorative and applied art (silver chasing, embroidery, and carpetmaking) have developed in the SRM as folk crafts.

N. A. KISELEV and V. N. BELOUSOV (architecture of the late 19th and 20th centuries)

Music. At the turn of the 20th century the prerequisites for the development of a secular musical culture appeared in the SRM. Cultural and educational societies originated and played a notable role in the emergence of a national musical art (the first such society was founded in Veles in 1894). A wind ensemble (1895) and the Vardar Singing Society (1907) were established in Skopje. The career of the first professional musician, A. Badev (a student of N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov and M. A. Balakirev), began in the first decade of the 20th century. In 1928 the music teacher S. Arsik organized the first Macedonian music school in Skopje; the Mokranjac Music School was founded there in 1934 and a string quartet in 1937. Dating from the 1930’s is the work of the professional composers S. Gaidov and £. Firfov. At the end of the 1930’s active concert work and propaganda for Macedonian music was carried on by the following group of performers and composers: P. Bogdanov-Kočko, I. Džuvalekovski, T. Skalovski, and I. Kastro. Works by Macedonian composers were published for the first time. During the National Liberation War (1941-45), mass patriotic songs and vocal works were composed.

Macedonian composers of the 1960’s and early 1970’s include T. Prokopiev, B. Ivanovski, V. Nikolovski, and T. Prosev, who work in the genres of opera and ballet, as well as symphonic, chamber, vocal, instrumental, and choral music. Skopje has a philharmonic society (founded 1944), the State Opera of the Macedonian Folk Theater (founded 1947), and a secondary music school and subdepartment of music (opened 1953) in the Pedagogical Institute. A choral group (founded 1945) and a string quartet (founded 1946) perform on radio. A composers’ union has been organized.


Theater. In 1901, V. Cernodrinski founded the Care and Consolation Theatrical Troupe, whose repertoire was agitational and patriotic in nature. In 1903 it performed with success in Belgrade and other cities of Serbia. The first permanent Sorbian people’s theater was opened in Skopje in 1913; its director until 1915 was B. Nusic (in 1914 the theater building burned down, but the troupe continued to work). During the 1927-28 season, in a reconstructed building, the theater presented the first professional performance in Macedonian—V. Iljoski’s play The Fugitive Girl (Lenka From Kumanovo). Attempts were made to establish permanent professional theaters in Bitola and Štip. Many amateur workers’ and student theatrical groups with progressive repertoires grew up in the 1920’s and 1930’s. During the National Liberation War (1941-45), theatrical brigades and agitation groups operated in the partisan detachments.

After the liberation of Yugoslavia from the fascist occupation forces (1945) the People’s Theater in Skopje was renamed the Macedonian People’s Theater. The theater has drama, ballet, and opera troupes. The first production by the drama troupe was Platon Krechet by A. E. Korneichuk. The repertoire includes plays by Yugoslav dramatists (B. Nusic, M. Krleza, V. Iljoski, and R. Krle), as well as works by contemporary Macedonian authors (K. Casule and T. Arsovski), foreign classics (Shakespeare, Schiller, Corneille, Chekhov, and Gorky), and contemporary foreign plays (Brecht and F. Garcia Lorca). Among the members of the troupe are T. Nikolovski, P. Prličko, K. Stojanov, I. Dzuvalekovski, M. Boskova, D. Puckova, and I. Milčin. The artistic directors (D. Kostarov, M. Milčin, and B. Stavrev) have relied on the Stanislavsky method in their creative efforts. One of the leading Macedonian theatrical scholars is J. Boskovski. Representatives from the other republics of Yugoslavia have also participated in the work of the theater.



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Official name: Republic of Macedonia

Capital city: Skopje

Internet country code: .mk

Flag description: A yellow sun with eight broadening rays extending to the edges of the red field

Geographical description: Southeastern Europe, north of Greece

Total area: 9,928 sq. mi. (25,713 sq. km.)

Climate: Warm, dry summers and autumns; relatively cold winters with heavy snowfall

Nationality: noun: Macedonian(s); adjective: Macedonian

Population: 2,055,915 (July 2007 CIA est.)

Ethnic groups: Macedonian 64.2%, Albanian 25.2%, Turk­ish 3.9%, Roma 2.7%, Serb 1.8%, other 2.2%

Languages spoken: Macedonian 66.5%, Albanian 25.1%, Turkish 3.5%, Roma 1.9%, Serbian 1.2%, other 1.8%

Religions: Eastern Orthodox 64.7%, Muslim 33.3%, other Christian 0.37%, other and unspecified 1.63%

Legal Holidays:

Day of the Macedonian RevolutionOct 23
Independence DaySep 8
May DayMay 1
New Year's DayJan 1
Republic DayAug 2
St. Kliment OhridskiDec 8
Sts. Cyril and Methodius DayMay 24
Uprising Against Facism DayOct 11
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.


1. a country in SE Europe, comprising the NW half of ancient Macedon: it became part of the kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (subsequently Yugoslavia) in 1913; it declared independence in 1992, but Greece objected to the use of the historical name Macedonia; in 1993 it was recognized by the UN under its current official name. Official language: Macedonian. Religion: Christian majority, Muslim, nonreligious, and Jewish minorities. Currency: denar. Capital: Skopje. Pop.: 2 066 000 (2004 est.). Area: 25 713 sq. km (10 028 sq. miles). Oficial name: Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)
2. an area of N Greece, comprising the regions of Macedonia Central, Macedonia West, and part of Macedonia East and Thrace
3. a district of SW Bulgaria, now occupied by Blagoevgrad province. Area: 6465 sq. km (2496 sq. miles)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The adjectival reference to the State, its official organs and other public entities as well as private entities and actors that are related to the State, are established by law, and enjoy financial support from State for activities abroad, should be: "of the Republic of North Macedonia" or "of North Macedonia".
NATO's Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg presided over Wednesday's ceremony a NATO's headquarters, where Macedonia was invited to join the pact.
On June 17 Greece and its northern neighbor signed a historic accord on renaming Macedonia, ending a long-standing dispute between the two countries.
"This is a brave, historic and necessary step for our peoples," Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said as he and his Macedonian counterpart, Zoran Zaev, watched their foreign ministers sign the agreement on Lake Prespa, where Greece borders Macedonia.
Greece has objected to Macedonia's name since Macedonia broke away from Yugoslavia in 1991.
--Our goal is to contribute to the greater inclusion of Macedonia in the European economy, as well as towards the transfer of best practices for sustainable development that Macedonia could implement, stressed John Bitove (Junior) co-founder of MK2025 and Canadian entrepreneur with Macedonian origin.
"Since independence, the UK has been a staunch supporter of Macedonia. You achieved EU candidate status under the UK's Presidency in 2005.
Government assistance to Macedonia focuses on facilitating Macedonia's continued development on the path toward full integration into the Euro-Atlantic community and assisting the Macedonian Government's efforts to sustain economic and democratic reforms to build stability and prosperity.
EC will outline its requirement for amedia culturea establishment in Macedonia in its incoming Autumn Report on the latest progress of Macedonia in its EU accession process.
Macedonia is symbolically important to Greece since it is the home of legendary heroes like King Philip II of Macedon and his illustrious son, Alexander the Great.
ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoy-lu is on an official visit to Macedonia starting from Thursday, meeting with top level Macedonian officials.