History of the Republic of Macedonia

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In antiquity, most of the territory that is now the Republic of Macedonia was included in the kingdom of Paeonia, which was populated by the Paeonians, a people of Thracian origins,[1] but also parts of ancient Illyria[2][3] and Dardania,[4] inhabited by various Illyrian peoples,[5][6] and Lyncestis and Pelagonia populated by Molossian[7] tribes. None of these had fixed boundaries; they were sometimes subject to the Kings of Macedon, and sometimes broke away. In 336 BC Philip II of Macedon conquered Upper Macedonia, including its northern part and southern Paeonia, which both now lie within the Republic of Macedonia.[8] Philip's son Alexander the Great conquered the remainder of the region, reaching as far north as the Danube, and incorporated it in his empire. The Romans included most of the Republic in their Province of Macedonia, but the northernmost parts lay in Moesia; by the time of Diocletian, they had been subdivided, and the Republic was split between Macedonia Salutaris and Moesia prima.[9]

Medieval period

At this period the area divided from the Jireček Line was populated from people of Thraco-Roman or Illyro-Roman origins, as well from Hellenized citizens of the Byzantine Empire and Byzantine Greeks. The ancient languages of the local Thraco-Illyrian people had already gone extinct before the arrival of the Slavs, and their cultural influence was highly reduced due to the repeated barbaric invasions on the Balkans during the early Middle Ages, accompanied by persistent hellenization, romanisation and later slavicisation. South Slavic tribes settled in the territory of the present-day Republic of Macedonia in the 6th century. The Slavic settlements were referred to by Byzantine Greek historians as "Sklavines". The Sklavines participated in several assaults against the Byzantine Empire - alone or aided by Bulgars or Avars. Around 680 AD the Bulgar group, led by khan Kuber (who belonged to the same clan as the Danubian Bulgarian khan Asparukh), settled in the Pelagonian plain, and launched campaigns to the region of Thessaloniki.

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