2,300 Years Later, 'Alexander-mania' Grips Macedonia

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SKOPJE,
Macedonia – As part of a stunning new homegrown ideology
of history and identity based on Alexander the Great, this capital
city’s main square may soon boast a huge new statue of the ancient
conqueror.

Two years ago,
the national airport was renamed after Alexander, infuriating Greece.

In January,
despite a recent Greek nixing of Macedonia’s NATO bid over the airport
name, the ruling nationalists here changed the name of its main
roadway to Alexander of Macedon Highway.

In Macedonia,
it is becoming all Alexander the Great, all the time. Ahead of Sunday’s
presidential elections, the ruling party’s Alexander ideology is
seen as fantastic, even by Balkan standards.

In an intense
media campaign, locals are told that ethnic Macedonians are the
proud direct descendants of Alexander, and thus a people responsible
for spawning the white race of planet Earth, from the Caucasus "to
the seas off Japan," according to a public service spot on
national TV.

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the rest of the article

March
24, 2009

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