A Complicated Relationship: The Transhumant Pastoralists of Macedonia and the Greek State, 1913–1936


  • George L. Vlachos European University Institute, Italy


This article explores the at times uneasy relationship that developed between the transhumant shepherds of southern Macedonia and the Greek authorities. In an effort to modernize and commodify Macedonian agriculture, the agronomists of the Greek state that were stationed in southern Macedonia opted for the sedentarization of those semi-nomadic populations. Apart from being only a matter of economic or environmental well-being, however, the restriction of the transhumant pastoralists may have been part of a scheme that sought the national homogenization of the province, as a considerable number of them exhibited ambiguous national allegiances.

Author Biography

George L. Vlachos, European University Institute, Italy

George L. Vlachos holds a PhD in History from the European University Institute. His research attempts to bring together two disciplines: nationalist studies and environmental history. The result was his PhD thesis, which focused on the interplay between nationalism, agricultural intensification, and environmental engineering in the notoriously ambiguous province of southern Macedonia from 1913 to 1940.

Sarakatsanoi Tseligkes, one of the major subgroups of the nomadic shepherds of southern Macedonia and Thrace.