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Konstantinos Tsioulkas

2019-12-27 06:13:03

Konstantinos Tsioulkas (1845 - 1915) was a Greek educator and writer from Western Macedonia.


  • 1 Biography
  • 2 Contributions to the bilingualism of the Macedonians
  • 3 References
  • 4 Sources
  • 5 External links


Tsioulkas was born in 1845 in Gorenchi (now Koresos), Kastoria. Most of the inhabitants of the village had a Slavic first language, but Tsioulkas spoke Greek as his first language.[1] After his graduation from the main school of his village he continued his studies with a scholarship in the Educational Association of Kastoria in the Gymnasium of Kasoria and then he taught in the "Greek school" of his birthplace. He opposed the attempts of the Exarchists to hold the Divine Liturgy in Bulgarian[2] and in 1871 he succeeded together with others to drive Konstantinos Darzilovites, who, according to Tsioulkas, was the first to teach the Slavic speakers that they were Bulgarians, off Gorenchi, just before a Bulgarian school was founded.[3] In 1875 he was sent with a scholarship from Bellios a bequest in Athens, where he studied in the Philosophic School of the National University. In 1879 he went to Monastiri (Bitola), where he became the first gymnasiarch of the Greek gymnasium for a decade, until 1889, when he was fired because of the events relating to Pichion.[2]

Contributions to the bilingualism of the Macedonians

The first edition of the Contributions of Tsioulkas (Athens: Petrakos, 1907).

In 1907 he published in Athens a 350-page work of his Contributions to the bilingualism of the Macedonians by comparing the Slavic-seeming Macedonian language with the Greek one ("Συμβολαί εις την διγλωσσίαν των Μακεδόνων εκ συγκρίσεως της σλαυοφανούς μακεδονικής γλώσσης προς την ελληνικήν"),[4] in order to fight against the Bulgarian and pan-Slavist propaganda in the region of Macedonia. Tsioulkas, who claimed not to speak any Slavic language, tried by distorting historical linguistics to prove that the language of the Slavic speakers in Ottoman Macedonia wasn't Bulgarian, but an Ancient Greek dialect.[5] Tsioulkas didn't focus on phonology, syntax, or morphology, for which he only devoted 11 pages in total,[6] but mainly on the vocabulary, where it is easy to find words with common, Indo-European, etymology with Greek, in order to show that the basic elements of the Macedonian vocabulary weren't Slavic, but originated from Greek.[7] To prove that the language of the Slavophones was closer to Ancient Greek than Modern Greek, he composed a list of homeric words and compared how many of them survive in the "people's" language, meaning demotic, (650) and how many in the "Slavic-seeming Macedonian" (1260).[6] The conclusion, for Tsioulkas, was that the "Slavic-seeming Macedonian [language] was a sister of the Greek [language]" and the "Macedonian people" was native and descended from the Ancient Macedonians.[8]

This anti-scientific book was the most important in a series of pseudo-linguistic publications that appeared in Greece from the beginning to the middle of the 20th century, whose writers without knowing the dialects they were writing about maintained that the "mixed" or "Slavic-seeming" dialects of the Slavophones weren't Slavic.[9] No Greek linguist supported Tsioulkas' theory,[10] but the book was republished in 1991, during the Macedonia naming dispute, without negative commentary, but with a commendatory exordium of the former minister Nikolaos Martis.[7] The book is still in circulation today[citation needed] and references to it continue to appear online, resulting in Tsioulkas having unwittingly contributed to the idea that modern Macedonians are descended from Ancient Macedonians and are their true inheritors.[11]


  1. ^ Mackridge 2011, p. 2
  2. ^ a b Δραγάτη 2010, p. 69
  3. ^ Mackridge 2011, pp. 2–3
  4. ^ Τσιούλκας 1907
  5. ^ Mackridge 2011, p. 4, Ioannidou 1999, p. 56
  6. ^ a b Mackridge 2011, p. 5
  7. ^ a b Mackridge 2009, p. 255
  8. ^ Mackridge 2011, p. 4
  9. ^ Ioannidou 1999, pp. 56–7
  10. ^ Mackridge 2011, p. 6
  11. ^ Mackridge 2011, pp. 6–7


  • Δραγάτη, Βάια Ε. (2010). Οι Μακεδόνες στο Ελληνικό Βασίλειο, στα μέσα του 19ου αιώνα (PDF) (Postgraduate thesis). Thessaloniki: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki - Faculty of Philosophy - School of History and Archaeology. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
  • Ioannidou, Alexandra (1999). "Questions on the Slavic Dialects of Greek Macedonia". In Grünberg, Karsten; Pothoff, Wilfried (eds.). Ars philologica: Festschrift für Baldur Panzer zum 65. Geburtstag. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.
  • Mackridge, Peter (2009). Language and National Identity in Greece 1776-1976. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Mackridge, Peter (2011). "The Hellenicity of the linguistic Other in Greece". Myths of the other in the Balkans.
  • Τσιούλκας, Κωνσταντίνος (1907). Συμβολαί εις την διγλωσσίαν των Μακεδόνων εκ συγκρίσεως της σλαυοφανούς μακεδονικής γλώσσης προς την ελληνικήν. Athens: Print Shop Π. Α. Πετράκου. Retrieved 5 August 2012.

External links

  • Webpage of the Institute of Neohellenic Studies-Pandektes, Τσιούλκας Κωνσταντίνος