>The Dispute Between Greece and Macedonia

>The Herald Sun has an interesting article on the dispute between Greece and Macedonia concerning the claims of the heritage of Alexander the Great:

GREECE heaped scorn overnight on plans by Macedonia to erect a gigantic equestrian statue of Alexander the Great, the famed warrior-king of antiquity that both countries claim as their own.
“From the information we have, the size, height and cost of this statue are inversely proportional to seriousness and historic truth,” Greek foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos said.

The 22-metre statue of the ancient king of Macedon is to be placed on the main square of Macedonia’s capital Skopje at an estimated cost of €4.5 million ($8.08 million), local authorities said.

Greece currently has a 6.15-metre statue of Alexander adorning the waterfront of its northern city Thessaloniki.

It also has plans to erect another statue in Iraq, on the site of one of Alexander’s victories over the Persians at the Battle of Gaugamela in 331 BCE.

Born in Pella, modern-day Greece, Alexander conquered the Persian Empire and much of the world known to ancient Greeks before dying in Babylon in 323 BC at the age of just 32.

In recent years, Greece has faced a challenge from the former Yugoslav republic 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 its own claim as it lies on what was once part of ancient Macedonia.

Greece has also refused to recognise its neighbour under its constitutional name of Macedonia because that is also the name of the northern Greek province of Macedonia.

United Nations-led negotiations on the issue have proved fruitless ever since, and Athens has used its veto to prevent Macedonia becoming a member of NATO.

The reason I am publishing this new report is because I became indirectly involved in the controversy between Greece and Macedonia when I published an article on the goddess Vesta.

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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