1. Location, borders, type and sizeEdit
Macedonia is an important area in the Balkan Peninsula and it is located in the southern half of its middle portion. It is situated between the areas: Thrace, Bulgaria, Old-Serbia, Albania and Thessaly, and so it is sharply confronted with the main nations of the Peninsula; so it has a great importance even from the old times that continues to the very present day.
It is impossible to give precise borders of the area of Macedonia, since it is not limited with some strict geographic features, nor is it administratively separated by the other areas. Only in the ethnographic sense Macedonia has somewhat defined borders, since the Bulgarian tribe is settled in the entire country, and rarely exits its limits. The areas to the north, west and south of Macedonia have predominantly other population. To determine its borders we will follow mainly the general perception of the population and the determination given by the most skilled recent travelers.
The local Bulgarians and Kucovlachs who live in the area of Macedonia call themselves Macedonians, and the surrounding nations also call them so. Turks and Arnauts from Macedonia do not call themselves Macedonians, but when asked where they are from, they respond: from Macedonia. Arnauts from the north and north west limits of the area, who also call their country Anautluk, and Greeks who live in the southern areas, do not call themselves Macedonians, hence the borders in these areas according to the peoples’ perception are not clearly defined.
The eastern border of Macedonia is determined mainly with the eastern border of the Solun vilaet. It starts from the estuary of the river Mesta and follows its flow north until it passes the village Buk, where the southern Macedonian border crosses the river Mesta and enters Thrace. North from Buk starts the Rodopian Pomak area Chech, which is between Thrace and Macedonia and the border in this area cannot be clearly determined. To the north of Chech Macedonian eastern border represents the Rodopian mountain range, starting from the peak Krushovo and following the ridge up to Rila. Here the colossal peak Mussala stands in the border between the three Bulgarian areas of the Peninsula: Bulgaria, Thrace and Macedonia.
From Musala starts Macedonia's northern border, which moves from Rila and Osogovo to the top Paterica and is at the same time boundary between the Principality of Bulgaria and Turkey. In older time Kjustendil valley, together with the basin of Struma was considered part of Macedonia. In the ecclesiastical sense Kjustendilsk valley was connected with Macedonia, for the kazas of Stip, Kocani and Malesh were parts of Kjustendils diocese.
The Peak Paterica is in the middle between the Principality of Bulgaria, Turkey and Serbia. Since it borders Macedonia to the west, following continued ridge plateau between the river basins of Vardar and Bulgarian Morava, until the mountain Skopska Crna Gora and then follow the ridgeline to the Kachanik ravine.
In older times as a part of Macedonia was considered and the area around the lower flow of the river Bulgarian Morava with the towns of Giljani and Vranje. Now Vranje, after it became part of the Serbian Kingdom, is not considered part of Macedonian any more, while Giljani ecclesiastically and administratively was incorporated into Prizren, and also does not count for Macedonian place, although ethnographically it is part of the Skopje region, hence it is part of Macedonia.
Beyond Kacanik is the high Shar mountain dividing Macedonia from Old Serbia, ending at the Crn Drim River, north of the town of Debar. Around the valley of Crn Drim and its tributary Radica lies Debarca region, inhabited by Bulgarians and Albanians. We believe it is part of Macedonia, and also the local Bulgarian population, which is the majority considers it to be part of Macedonia.