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But the Bulgar, the Serb, the Wallachian--and Albanian too--are there with their languages and nations to oppose the "Great Idea " of which every Greek dreams.So, we must still count Greece as a scattered and relative element among others. But the power of the Greek language, Greek learning, Greek art is never exhausted; the magic of the old memories still works in every age; while political changes cause the rise and fall of other governments, Hellenism never ceases from its conquests. The original race gradually sinks in importance; the States have disappeared.
The great Roman Empire, having become too unwieldy, is divided, and Greece gradually swallows up the eastern half.
Of the enormous number of people since Alexander who spoke Greek and called themselves Greeks the great majority were children of Hellenized barbarians.
Moreover districts were inhabited by mixed populations. But here, too, Hellas gradually absorbed her conquerors.
The real danger to the ideal of Greater Greece covering all the Balkans was not, is not now, the Turk, who remains always only an unpleasant incident in the history of these lands; it is the presence of other Christian races, Slavs, who dispute the Greek ideal with their languages and national feeling.
Were it not for these Slavs we could count Greece as having absorbed Macedonia and Thrace by the time of Alexander, and as covering nearly all the Balkans to the Danube ever since.
Where a certain degree of Greek consciousness (shown most obviously in the use of the language) prevails, there we may call the people Greeks, more or less so according to the measure of their absorption by Hellas. Himself a Hellenized Macedonian, descended from people whom the old Greeks certainly considered barbarians (though Macedonians seem to have been akin to the Aeolians), his empire spread the Greek ideal and language throughout Asia and Egypt. C.) there was no longer any question of a Greek political nation. It is true that Byzantine civilization was influenced from other sides (from Rome and Asia Minor , for instance); but this would apply to the old Greek ideals too, on which Egypt, Persia, and Asia had their influence; it is the normal process of the development of any civilization to absorb foreign influences gradually, without breaking its own continuity.