Department 4

Political, cultural and educational activities of the Macedonian intellectuals during the pre-Ilinden period

In the revival and national liberation process of the Macedonian people during the 19th and 20th century, a special part holds the struggle of the Macedonian people for religious and educational empowerment. The activities of the Macedonian teachers, textbook writers, the fighters for reinstatement of the Ohrid Archbishopric (that was revoked in 1767) gave a special mark to the overall struggle for Macedonian freedom, self-acclamation and differentiation in the revival of the Balkan people whose spoken language for most of them was Slavic. A particularly important fact is that the Macedonian revivalists were the vanguard, some of them were even directly involved, of the organized Macedonian revolutionary movement sustained in the Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (since 1896 as SMRO, and since 1905 as IMRO).

In the revivalist and educational activities an exceptionally huge enthusiasm, effort and search for the national roots staged Dimitar and Konstantin Miladinov, Jordan Hadzi Konstantinov-Dzinot, Kiril Pejcinovikj, Grigor Prlichev, Teodosij Sinaetski, Partenij Zografski, Kuzman Shapkarev, Konstantin Petkovikj, Rajko Zhinzifov, Marko Cepenkov and many others. In addition to that, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century the numerous Macedonian intellectuals living abroad their homeland Macedonia organized several emigrant cultural and educational undertakings which played a significant role in creating an independent Macedonian identity, language and self-awareness. From those Macedonian intellectuals a special place hold: Krste Misirkov, Dimitrija Chupovski, Damjan Gruev, Petar Pop Arsov, Nikola Naumov, Hristo Pop Kocev, Petar Pop Arsov, George Balaschev, Kosta Shahov, Eftim Sprostranov, Ivan Hadzi Nikolov and others.



The Miladinov Brothers were leaders of the Macedonian revival movement of the late 1850s and beginning of the 1860s

A Macedonian revivalist, a writer, translator, a national protégé and fighter against Hellenism, the leader and educator of an entire generation of Macedonian revivalists including Konstantin Miladinov, Grigor Prlichev, Rajko Zhinzifov, Partenije Zografski, Kuzman Shapkarev, Gjorgija Pulevski and others. He was a popular promoter of the Macedonian language in schools and the Church Slavonic language in liturgies. He was a collector of folk literature and author of “The Miladinov Brothers Almanac” which is considered the most significant work from the Macedonian revival period.
He was a Macedonian revivalist and founder of the new Macedonian poetry, editor and publisher of “The Miladinov Brothers Almanac”, a writer, teacher and a translator. He graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy in Athens, the Department of Greek philology, and then he studied Slavic Philology at the Moscow University (and he did not complete his studies). He has written a number of verses of which the highest artistic value has the poem “Longing for the South”. He wrote all his poems in the dialect of Struga.
He is one of the most prominent poets in the Macedonian literature of the XIX century. He was a teacher and a pan-Slavist, a national protector against the Greek propaganda, a translator and journalist, polemicist and autobiographer. In 1850 he enrolled at the Medical School of Athens, and in order to continue his studies at the Medical School in Athens, in 1860 he took part in the poetry competition in Athens where he won the prize for the best poetry work with the poem “Serdarot (the Protector)” (in Greek: “O Armatolos”). He was awarded a laurel wreath, with cash and with the name “the second Homer”; however, by refusing to give up his Slavic origin in favor of the Greek propaganda in Macedonia, the Greek side terminated his bestowed studies in Berlin or Oxford. After returning to Macedonia, his fight was directed against Bishop Meletius who was an agent of the Greek propaganda in Ohrid. His life was characterized by the struggle against the Greek propaganda in Macedonia for he was persecuted and imprisoned several times. His works include the poem “Serdarot (The Protector)”, the poem “Skender Beg”, the Autobiography etc.


He was a Macedonian teacher, linguist and scholar, a codifier of the Macedonian literary language and orthography, a debater and writer, historian and defender of the Macedonian national identity, a fierce opponent of the foreign propaganda in Macedonia and an analyst of the overall settings in Macedonia; he graduated at the Faculty of Philology in St. Petersburg with his diploma thesis: “On the issue of nationality and the reasons for popularity of the Macedonian king Marko”, and in 1905 he published “Vardar”, that was the first scientific, literary and political magazine written in Macedonian. He was a participant and one of the founders of the Secret Macedonian-Adrianople Group in St. Petersburg and the Macedonian Scientific Literature Society “St. Clement”. Misirkov advocated for recognition of the Macedonian Slavs, raising the Macedonian language to the level of a literary language, reinstatement of the Ohrid Archbishopric and for attaining full autonomy within the Ottoman Empire. His most important articles are: “Macedonia and the Slavhood”, “Self-determination of the Macedonians”, "The Fight for Autonomy", “Our Faith”, “Macedonian Culture”, “Macedonian Nationalism” and his most important work “On Macedonian Matters” (Mazedonische Zustände) which also included codification of the Macedonian literary language.

НАИМ ФРАШЕРИ (1846-1900)

NAIM FRASHERI (1846-1900)

Together with his brother Sami Frasheri, he is the founder of the modern Albanian alphabet.