Si tacuisses, Dora…

In a reply to an initiative by Macedonian Foreign Minister Milososki, his Greek counterpart Dora Bakoyannis dismissed the idea of a joint commission of historians. Media quote the following:

The history of the ancient world had been already written and documented for centuries through painstaking scientific researches by world renowned historians and archaeologists. A bilateral commission cannot re-write history…

Ah, Dora, si tacuisses… Let us look at what you have to say:

History has been written and should therefore rest. This would mean that hundreds of faculties of history around the world should be closed right now, because everything about antiquity has been said and done. Great idea. Why not abolish the profession of historian and for that matter that of archaeologist as well, since probably everything of any value to mankind has already been found, classified and interpreted? Why not start an initiative of the OSCE presidency in this direction and see how intellectuals worldwide will react? Ah, Dora…

A bilateral commission cannot re-write history. Why not? Because history is owned by nations? Or is it because the official version of historic events as portrayed in the historiography of the countries involved would risk revision, and thus break some of the national taboos? Dora, you should be reminded that your own country – not your government, of course, but nevertheless – has already done the same with Turkey. Dora, you should look beyond your small, Greek world. Germany has had these kind of commissions with both Poland and France and their work has sustainably changed the way history is looked at in all these countries and in Europe. Needless to say that these are ongoing processes, just as history is an ongoing process.

History is the story of its authors, Dora. Those who make history and those who write it down. It is a narration, in which the narrator is just as much a participant as the subjects of the narration. Here was your chance to make history. Here was your chance to interfere directly. Here was your chance to have some of the national myths in both countries questioned by serious experts. Well, you blew it, Dora. Which is understandable. Your party is under pressure, and short term gain seems to be more important to today’s politicians, who fear nothing more than vision. At least here you are no different from your Macedonian colleagues.

I am curious how history will judge this letter of yours, once the unavoidable will have happened – normal relationships between Greece and Macedonia. We shall see. Well not us anymore. Because, remember, Dora, history is a process, a long process…

Vision! Ah, go away…

  1. The Ancient Greek word ἱστορία, historía, means “inquiry, knowledge acquired by investigation”.
    I say, Dora, back to the old school books..

  2. Thessalonikeus said:

    Greece cannot and should not discuss with representatives and leaders of a fascist regime like that of FYROM-Povardarje! A fascist regime and a pseudodemocracy ala turca! History is a very serious science to be left in the hands and in the minds of fascists!!!! Period!

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