Ancient Phalanx Enters Macedonia's Skopje

World | August 5, 2011, Friday // 17:51|  views

The soldier figures are now in Skopje, too. Photo by

Eight soldier figures, representing a part of Alexander the Great's phalanx, have arrived in Macedonia's capital Skopje, where they will be placed on the central square.

The bronze soldiers are "accompanied " by eight lions. All new sculptures will be a part of the grandious composition involving the statue of Alexander the Great himself, who has been imagined as the forefather of the Macedonian nation.

Alexander the Great's 13-meter-high statue was recently raised in Skopje, much to the annoyance of Greece, which says Macedonia is trying to hijack its history.

Macedonia is already at loggerheads with Athens over its name. Greece opposes the post-1991 constitutional name of its northern neighbor, citing historical and territorial concerns resulting from the ambiguity between it and the adjacent Greek region of Macedonia.

EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule has said that if Macedonia continues to take actions perceived by Greece as "provocations" and fails to make faster progress in its reforms, the country could lose its EU candidate status.

Since becoming an independent state in 1991, the ex-Yugoslav republic of Macedonia has had a number of protracted historical disputes with neighboring Bulgaria and Greece, in particular about the Macedonian or non-Macedonian nationality of a number of historical figures. Among them are Alexander the Great and Tsar Samuil (997-1014), whom Bulgarians recognize as their own

A 5-meter marble monument of Tsar Samuil, who was the greatest defender of the First Bulgarian Empire against Byzantium, was also erected in Skopje recently.

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Tags: greece, Bulgarian, Alexander the Great, Skopje, macedonia, phalanx, soldiers


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