Origins of Albanian language and ethnos

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  • Carlin

    1903 US FRONT PAGE STORY: "Albanian bands descended upon town of Okhrida [Ohrid] situated on east banks of lake of that name, captured it & proceeded to put to the sword all the Christians. There was a terrible slaughter, the people defending themselves as best they could"

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  • Carlin

    "1939 UK Foreign Office report on Albania is a fascinating document. It lists the prominent people, one of whom is Albanianised/assimilated "Kutzo-Vlach" (Aromanian) Dimitri Beratti..."

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  • Carlin
    Sorin Paliga about the origins of Albanians (2014):

    One more detail, hopefully relevant: the Albanians are also the heirs of those Sclaveni of the 6th century, as proved by ethnonym shqipe 'Albanian, shqip (adj.), see a more detailed discussion in Paliga and Teodor 2009: 80-84. To add here the brief discussion in the etymological dictionary of Albanian by Vladimir Orel (1998). Other research in the field also proves what we wrote in Paliga and Teodor 2009, but also earlier: Alb. Shqipe, Shqiptar etc. also reflects a late, post-classical form sclavus, a variant *skljab being reconstructable for Albanian. Orel (1998: 434) assumes that shqipe would be a calque after the Slavic parallel slověne ‗Slavs as derived from slovo ‗word, in Albanian shqipoj ‗to speak clearly = to speak in our language Shqipe, Shqiptar. Thus put, the whole issue has no sense. It is not the first and last time when speakers of a given language associate ‗speaking in their own language with the idea ‗to speak clearly, i.e. ‗to speak in a language we can understand. That was the motivation of the parallel slověne slovo, also magyar ‗Hungarian magyarz(ni) ‗to speak clearly (= to speak in our langue), shqipe ‗Albanian shqipoj ‗to speak clearly etc. Therefore, the parallel shqipe shqipoj cannot be based on a calque, this is difficult to reconstruct at a popular level in those times or later; this is an internal, logical derivation based on the obvious and frequently attested reality ‗ours speak a language we can understand versus ‗the others, who speak a language we cannot understand = they are dumb (cf. Slavic něm- ‗dumb used for referring to the němьcь, lit. ‗the dumb ones) or speak with a stutter (cf. Greek barbaros, lit. ‗those who stutter) etc. Such extralinguistic realities make part of a correct interpretation of the facts, too.

    The Albanians are, therefore, another ‗Sclavenic group, but we cannot be very far from reality of Thracian origin, most probably of Carpian origin, as I. I. Russu brilliantly suggested as early as 1982. Unfortunately, it was difficult to have a serious debate of his hypothesis in those days1 . They moved NEXT TO the Slavs proprie dictu, but not melting into their groups. This proves that the FIRST Slavic move occurred indeed from north to south following the courses of Siret and Prut rivers, then crossing the Danube. Perhaps the Proto-Albanians preceded the Slavic movement, this explaining why they settled in the remotest location, beyond the extremity of the southwest Slavs. They were also Sclaveni, post-classical colloquial form sclavi > Romanian șchiau, șchei, Albanian shqipe. For the Byzantines, they were Sclaveni, Sklavenoi, the new enemies coming from the north. We may be sure that, at the beginning at least, the Byzantines made no linguistic difference between the Proto-Albanians and the rest of the Sclaveni, they were all foreign enemies. disregarding the language they spoke.

    In the preface of his work, Orel (1998: X) assumes that the Albanian homeland may be located in Dacia Ripensis, specifically the Beskydy, Polish Bieszczady mountains. The Proto‑ Albanians had, beyond any doubt, a more northern origin, and we cannot hesitate to assume a homeland beyond the Danube. It is yet impossible to accept the area suggested by Orel, as there is no archaeological proof or any other reasonable proof, of any kind, allowing to accept the Beskydy as the Proto-Albanian homeland. The obvious similarities between Romanian and Albanian, but also the differences, show that there must have been a vicinity, which must have been, precisely, the Moldavian plain and the East Carpathians, with intrusions in the Transylvanian plateau after the Roman withdrawal in 274. This location does indeed make sense, and is supported by all the documents regarding the ‗Carpian issue after the Roman conquest of Dacia in 105-106.

    Paliga is a supporter of the northern Balkan (Balkan-Carpathian, Transdanubian) theory of the origin of Albanians. Contrary to Orel's hypotheses about the Beskids, but on the verge of his thoughts, Paliga sees the primordial area of the proto-Albanian language in the Moldavian plain, beyond the eastern Carpathians; they entered Erdely/Transylvania during the Roman withdrawal in 274 AD. Their origin is specifically related to the Carps.

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  • Carlin
    1929, Serbian author Glisha Elezovic on the Islamic Stories on the Arabic origin: Albanians, Lazians, Abazgians and Circassians.

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  • Amphipolis
    These are the "Gallic" (more correctly) Galatian people and where the (Eastern) Galatia was.

    I had found an essay having ALL references to Albanian in chronological order (including even women with the name Albania), but (I'm sorry) I can't locate it anymore. It was clear that all early references to Albania (starting from classical antiquity and all the way to Suida which is 1100 AD) refered to this "Albania" of Asia.

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  • Carlin
    Originally posted by Amphipolis View Post
    By the way the Suda refers to these people
    Could you please elaborate?

    In another Suda version it refers to Albanians as an Italian people. I don't know if "this error" was due to a copying error or if it was intentional?

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  • Carlin
    Albanian language parallels with the Balto-Slavic languages

    Gustav Mayer was the first and, after him, all other scholars, who compared the Albanian language with the Balto-Slavic, came to the conclusion that the Albanian language is the brother of Lithuanian. So, as an example, Norbert Jokl, known as an undoubted friend of the Albanian people. He says that the Albanian language has strong similarities with the Balto-Slavic languages, as well as with the Hungarian-Finnish languages.

    In the field of vocabulary, Albanian Shaban Demiraj cites many words, to which we attach many words from ALBANIAN ETYMOLOGICAL DICTIONARY, just enough to get an idea of ​​this similarity:

    Albanian Lithuanian

    acar arus

    ajk alkti

    amull mulve

    ar ra (Latvian)

    bal balas, bls (lat.)

    balt baltas

    bli blindis

    boj bgti

    bot buts

    bredh brend

    brez briaun

    buj bund

    buz bude

    cerm sarma (lat.)

    cit kietas

    ars skrti

    jerr sliri

    dak dvekti

    dang danga (lat.)

    dash dausos

    dell gysla

    derdh dardeti

    dik dykas

    djal dels (lat.)

    djeg deg

    dra dradzi (lat.)

    dranga drangan

    dre draudiu, druvas (lat.)

    dreg drginti

    duaj dona

    dhemb embi

    end indas

    err aur

    esh eys

    et alkti

    fishkem pkas

    flak leki

    flakt plokčias

    flet leki

    fryj sprugstu

    galamsh, lamsh lemesis (lat.)

    gardh gardas

    gdhij diena

    ger gauras

    grdhij grendiu

    grshas giri

    gledh glodus

    gobell gaubti

    grah giri

    grave griov, grava (lat.)

    grer, gremz uruo

    grell gurklys

    grih griej

    grij geri

    grim geri

    grun rnis

    gryk griva

    guall galv

    gur giri

    gjaj labas

    gjak sakai

    gjalm i-selpineti

    gjasht galas

    gjer josti

    gjuh galsas

    gjysm jumis (lat.)

    hale skal

    harr skiri

    hime skiemuo

    hip kpti

    humb skumb

    hurdh verdu

    hyj ateivis

    iki eiki

    imt isas

    jarg ars

    jerm erms (lat.)

    josh jaudinti

    ju jus

    kabisht kabeti

    kalesh laiska

    karm kerp

    karp karpa

    kep kapi

    ketr kuokas

    kpurdh kpur

    krtyl tulas

    krrab ker

    ksen kenki

    kshtall stalas

    koll kosulys

    korr kas

    kreh grebti

    krimb krmis

    krip kraups

    kungull kunkulas

    kulpr klpa

    llnjs slienas

    llurb laure

    llup lpti, lupt (lat.)

    la, l last (lat.)

    lag liuga

    land lenta

    lap lapas

    lat lopeta

    leh loju

    lej leisti

    ler laure

    lesh laikas

    lpush lapas

    lig (i) lig

    lil leilas

    lind leisti

    ling linge

    lop luops (lat.)

    loqe liauk

    lumak lub

    lus lugoti, lndzu (lat.)

    lyp liepi

    maj mala (lat.)

    mal mal

    mat matuju

    meh, mef mat (lat.)

    mllenj melns (lat.)

    mrsh mirti

    mit mietas

    mjedhr medis

    mjegull migl

    mjekr smakras

    mjel meliu

    modhull malis

    mot metas

    motr mote

    murg margas

    nat nakts

    ndes dkyti

    ndulkem tekli

    ndjek tek

    ngrij gliej

    ngrydh gruiu

    ngrys krauju

    ngul klti

    ngus kauti

    ngjis gliej

    pell pti

    pelq pelce (lat.)

    pjalm pelenai

    pjerdh prdiu

    plak pilkas

    plas plats

    plish pl(i)us

    plogsht plokčias

    purth purvas

    qas keči

    qek kaceti (lat.)

    qers krkt (lat.)

    qet laitas

    qeth kaisti

    qipi kaupos

    qos kliaudyti

    qyl kula

    rjep repti

    rys rauti

    ryej raund

    rrag sroga

    rrek reik

    rrime varmas

    rroj roju

    rryp verpti

    sam uo

    sr sausas

    sqaq kekos

    sut kos

    sy ak

    shkas sksti

    shosh sijoju

    shkas skantu

    shkrab skrebeti

    shkul keli

    shkund skut

    shorr seij

    shpih peiki

    shtag stega (lat.)

    shtalbr stulbas

    shtang stengiu

    shteg staiga (lat.)

    shtoj stoju

    shtroh straja (lat.)

    tan, tr tvinti, tvanas

    tall tyl

    ter tauras

    tesh tayti

    trash tras

    trys truni

    thaj sausas

    thek ak

    thirr irvas

    thjerm irmas

    thnegl angis

    ujk vilkas

    vang, vng vngis

    vdes rek

    verz varle

    vesh ausis

    vilas su-valyti

    vjehrr uras

    vjel valyti

    vjerr veri

    vjesht su-valyti

    von vojus

    zorr arna

    zot viepats

    zverk veri

    zvjerdh veri

    The cited lexical concordances are apparently not the only ones.

    At first glance, some Lithuanian words do not seem to have anything to do with Albanian words. As an example, we mention rrag - sroga, fryj - sprugstu and zot - viepats. But, if we compare the Lithuanian equivalent with the proto-Albanian form *srauga - sroga, *sprugnja - sprugstu and *w(i)tpati - viepats, we will see that we are dealing with the same words.

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  • Amphipolis
    By the way the Suda refers to these people

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  • Dove
    Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716), who literally said: "That the Illyrian s (= Slavs) and Celts borrowed their linguistic elements to the (modern) Albanian language..."
    Hi Carlin, I cannot make sense of "borrowed to", will you please clarify this for me? i.e. Who or what is doing the borrowing?

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  • Carlin
    From the 10th century - Suidae Lexicon testifies:

    Αλβανοι: ονομα εθνους Γαλατων. τουτων φασι την γην ευδαιμονα και καρπους ενενκειν ουσαν αγαθην, οινον ἡδυν και πολυν εχουσαν.

    Albanians: the name of Gallic people. They say that the land of this people is rich and good for agriculture, as well as that it brings sweet wine in large quantities.


    Wikipedia article:

    PS - The existence of Celtic words, isoglosses, in the Albanian language was first stated by the scholar Vincenc Dorsa, who relied on Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716), who literally said: "That the Illyrians (= Slavs) and Celts borrowed their linguistic elements to the (modern) Albanian language..."
    Last edited by Carlin; 10-13-2020, 02:32 PM.

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  • Risto the Great
    Interesting indeed.
    And the last image is quite significant in my opinion. At footnote 19, the desire to keep the daughters as Christians is a clear message about keeping the true identity alive. Becoming Muslim was purely business for the men, but the real identity was preserved in the women. Fascinating.

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  • Carlin
    Fascinating - Albanians of Montenegrin origin

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  • Carlin
    viii.11.2. Albanians

    The lack of close linguistic relationship of Albanian with Illyrian, the lack of Proto-Albanian toponymy in Illyria, and the absence of indigenous sea-faring terminology in the reconstructed language (borrowing corresponding words from Romance or Greek) make it likely that Albanians were unrelated to the ancient Illyrians. It has been proposed that they came from further north, with the settling of Proto-Albanians believed to be in Dacia Ripensis and farther north, in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains and the Beskidy/Bieszczady (possibly a toponym of Albanian origin), with the migration to Illyria via the eastern slopes of the Balkans taking place before (but not much earlier than) their contact with Romance speakers and the end of the Proto-Albanian period (Orel 1998).

    The diversity of haplogroups among modern Albanians reflect their complex ethnogenesis (Peričić et al. 2005; Battaglia et al. 2008): An origin of the Albanoid homeland close to the north-west Pontic region during the Iron Age, before their expansion and subsequent Y-DNA bottlenecks, is supported by the prevalent E1b1b1a1b1-L618 lineages (ca. 24–44%)—mainly V13+ (formed ca. 6100 BC, TMRCA ca. 2800 BC)—a haplogroup found previously in Neolithic Hungary and among Scythians of the north-west Pontic area, with a likely origin in early European farmers; and by hg. R1b1a1b2-M269 (ca. 18–20%), mainly R1b1a1b1b3a1a1c-Y10789 with Z2705+ (formed ca. 700 BC, TMRCA ca. AD 550), a subclade of R1b1a1b1b-Z2103. Their close contact with other Palaeo-Balkan groups, probably through mixture with local peoples of the Balkan and Adriatic regions after their migration from the Carpathians, possibly as early as the 7th century BC (Witczak 2016), is to be inferred from the presence (ca. 15–17%) of J2b2a1-L283 lineages (formed ca. 7700 BC, TMRCA ca. 3400 BC), proper of Balkan populations; but also possibly from hg. R1b1a1b2-PF7562 (ca. 5%)[31], an early offshoot of R1b1a1b2-M269, associated directly or indirectly to the Yamna expansion to the west (see vi.1. Disintegrating Indo-Europeans).

    A lot of speculation in the second paragraph, especially around the following (i.e. 'probably', 'possibly'):

    "Their close contact with other Palaeo-Balkan groups, probably through mixture with local peoples of the Balkan and Adriatic regions after their migration from the Carpathians, possibly as early as the 7th century BC (Witczak 2016)"

    PS: Beskidy/Bieszczady toponym

    "Hypothesized to be derived from Latin *pastica, from pastus,[1] but unlikely because of unsolved phonetic difficulties. More likely from *bjershk, a derivative of bie (“to fall”) (see pjeshk < *pjershk < Latin persica). The term could be the source or related to the oronym Beskidy mountains.[2] Orel also claims it to be from Proto-Albanian *beškā, contradicting his derivation from Latin pastus.[3]"
    Last edited by Carlin; 08-04-2020, 08:35 PM.

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  • Carlin


    Mardaite soldiers were a significant factor in Byzantine-Arab relations in the border areas in the east of the Empire during the 7th century. Centuries later - in the late ninth and first half of the tenth century - they represented an important part of the Roman naval forces in Asia Minor and the Balkans; sources mention them as sailors in the theme of Kivireot and in the western themes of the Peloponnese, Nicopolis and Kefalonia.

    Their relocation from the eastern border is a consequence of the treaty of Emperor Justinian II with the Arabs; historians, however, did not provide an answer to the question of when colonization was carried out in the three mentioned topics in the west. It is unlikely that the Mardaites moved to the west at the end of the 7th century - when an agreement was made between Caliph Abimelech and Emperor Justinian II - because Constantinople did not have firm rule in the Peloponnese and Epirus at that time. It is hard to believe, then, that at that time, in parallel with the colonization of Mardait into the Kivireot theme, some of them were moved to the Balkans. The rule of Byzantium in the Peloponnese was established a whole century after the conclusion of the mentioned agreement, more precisely after Stavraki's campaign in 783. Therefore, the time of the settlement of the Mardait garrison in the southern Balkans should be sought in the interval between 783 and 877/878. year, when the Peloponnesian Mardaites first appear. Consequently, it can be concluded that the Mardait colonists came to the Balkans, not from Syria and Lebanon, but from Ataleia in the Kivireot theme, where they lived from the end of the 7th century, forming part of a special military-administrative unit headed by Katepan. Although there are no original data that explicitly speak about the colonization of Mardaites in the Peloponnese, some sources, such as the Monemvasia Chronicle, provide information on colonization measures that could be indirectly linked to the Mardaite migration.

    The author of the mentioned chronicle talks about the immigration of, among others, Thracians, Armenians and certain Kafirs to the area of ​​the Peloponnesian theme in the time of Emperor Nichifor I. Peter Charanis believes that the mysterious Kafirs were, in fact, inhabitants of the Kivireot theme, assuming that writing about these events, he had before him information about the settlers, whereby those from the subject of Kivireot in the template are listed in abbreviated form as Kiviri (Κιβυρρ / Κοιβαιρ), which the chronicler mistranslated as Kafiri. Bearing in mind that in the quoted section of the Monemvasia Chronicle, the infidels are listed on a par with the Thracians, who were inhabitants of the Thracian theme, as well as the Armenians, probably members of the Armenian theme, Haranis's interpretation seems to be correct. In that case, it is about the topic of Kivireot. Among the Kivireots who were relocated at that time, there could certainly have been Atalean Mardaites. Therefore, it can be assumed that it was Emperor Nichifor I who was responsible for the relocation of the Mardaites of Asia Minor to the Balkans. Their settlement could have aimed at strengthening Byzantine rule and overpowering the Slavic ethnic element, at a time when a new theme was being formed in the Peloponnese. The mentioned emperor, by the way, undertook extensive colonizing measures throughout the Empire. On the other hand, the settlement in the remaining two topics in the west - Nikopol and Kefalonia - was carried out somewhat later than in the Peloponnese, since the first mention of Nikopol and Kefalonian Mardaites is related to events in the first half of the 10th century. Their relocation was realized as part of the strengthening of the Byzantine positions in the Ionian Sea after the battles with the Arabs in that area around 880. The Mardaite migration in Epirus probably took place in parallel with the formation of the Nikopol theme, in order to strengthen its recruiting potential. Western-themed Mardaites functioned in units under the leadership of the Turmarch. In each of the three mentioned themes in the Balkans, there was one Mardaite prison, similar to the model of Persian ethnic prisons that were distributed in themes throughout the Empire during the 9th century. Similar to their military-administrative structure, other ethnic prisons stationed in various Roman themes functioned, such as the prisons of the Goths, Bulgarians or Evidits.
    Last edited by Carlin; 07-31-2020, 05:42 PM.

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  • Carlin
    Mr. Reginald Wyon wrote in the Blackwoods Magazine in April, 1903:
    "As to the people themselves, spoken collectively as Albanians or sometimes as Arnauts, the idea gained thereby of a united nation is quite erroneous. They must first be divided into three, according to the three religions, namely, Mohammedands, Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christians. These three religious factions constitute three entirely different peoples, each animated by fanatical hatred of the other; and they can be subdivided into clans and factions ad lib. As each clan can be reckoned as a miniature autocratic kingdom, ready at any moment to go to war with its next door neighbor, the anarchy existing all over Albania can be faintly imagined."

    And Mr. Caillard wrote in The Fortnightly Review, of April, 1885:
    "In spite of their close blood-relationship, they are bitterly hostile towards one another. The Ghuegs look down upon and despise the Tosks, who, in their turn, view the Ghuegs with jealousy and dislike. It is acknowledged unreservedly by both that they cannot live together. They are continually quarreling, and often civil wars result."

    Dr. E. J. Dillon wrote in the Contemporary of April, 1903:
    "Each tribe hates the other with religious rancour, although the line of cleavage does not always run parallel with religious tenets."

    And again, Mr. Wyon wrote in the Blackwoods in April, 1913, "Roman Catholic Albania:"
    "The numerous clans live absolutely independent of each other, some in blood-feud, where they shoot each other at sight whenever they meet. Sometimes the slaughter is great: at others, they are content with half a dozen killed on each side."

    Who, then, created the Albanian kingdom? We take from the Literary Digest of May 6, 1915, the following quotation translated for the Digest from the publication L'Italie published in Rome. Peter Kakaviqui, secretary of the marshalship at the court of Wied wrote:
    "Albania being, in fact, the creation of the Triple Alliance, it is on the lot of the Austro-Hungarian and German armies that its future political existence depends. Not only the head of the State, but every Albanian citizen, without distinction of religion, should feel compelled to fight on their side, in recognition of the liberators of Albania."

    Mr. Wyon wrote in April, 1913, in the Blackwoods Magazine:
    "It is to be remembered that a ceaseless agitation is in progress, chiefly on the part of Austria (through the priests) and of Italy (by means of the schools) to gain influence."

    And again, in the same publication Mr. Wyon wrote:
    "The time will come when at least two of the Great Powers will have to seriously consider the Albanian problem, who are both vitally interested in its solution."

    In the Literary Digest of February 21, 1914, we read:
    "Austria-Hungary and Italy may regard the new kingdom as a chess-board for playing their game of rivalry in the Adriatic."
    Last edited by Carlin; 07-26-2020, 02:02 PM.

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