Title "Affections of a Greek Hero: Pavlos Melas and Heroic Representations in Greece". In Balkan Identities: Nation and Memory, edited by Maria Todorova, 197-232
Author Karakasidou, Anastasia
Publisher London: Hurst
Annotation An intriguing anthropological inquiry of the discrepancies between national historiographic master narratives and oral histories. Through a quasi criminologist investigation of the circumstances around the death of Pavlos Melas – the most charismatic and celebrated Greek ‘Macedonian fighter’ (makedonomahos) – Karakasidou challenges the selectivity of national history that makes possible the canonization of national heroes. She presents eight oral versions of the causes for Melas’ death most of which are omitted or intentionally neglected by the mainstream historiography eager to keep the purity of its ultimate ‘truths’. Karakasidou’s attempt to ‘open a space that allows for alternative interpretations’ that diverge from the mainstream is quite insightful. However, this excellent study of the mechanisms of construction of national pantheon, and especially of a ‘Greek Macedonian’ one, is not exempted from certain historical oversights: for instance, by the time ‘Melas came of age’ (i.e. around 1890) Thessaly was a part of the Greek state contrary to the author’s belief (p. 201); the ‘Yugoslav Macedonians’ claimed independent nation-statehood in 1991 and not in 1992 (p. 204) etc. (also relevant to sub-fields 4, 12, 15)

See also Brown’s contribution in the same collective volume.

Author of Annotation Tchavdar Marinov
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