The Legacy of Alexander the Great

The Story:

Macedonia, part of the former People’s Republic of Yugoslavia, wants to join the European Union and NATO. To do so, it may have to change its name, a name it shares with a Greek province and with an ancient Kingdom, which was the launching point for the Empire of Alexander the Great.

The Background:

In 1993, when the new state of Macedonia joined the United Nations, it did so under the somewhat awkward name, “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.” This is naturally shortened in usage to “Macedonia.”

This has some Greeks worked up, because it is the Greek province of the same name that more closely corresponds in geography to the ancient Kingdom that gave the world Alexander, whose conquests extended as far as India.

The Thing to Know: 

The Prime Minister of the former Yugoslav republic, Zoran Zaev, said recently that it would be willing to modify its name. It may, for example, become “Northern Macedonia.”

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