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-   -   Origins of Albanian language and ethnos (http://www.macedoniantruth.org/forum/showthread.php?t=2012)

Risto the Great 11-20-2013 05:24 PM

Actually, it is the Croatians who have spoken of links with the Illyrians in the past. Whatever.

George S. 11-20-2013 08:46 PM

I think you're right both Serbian & Croatian can claim to be from Illyrian stock.This was discussed in one of the mto threads.

Toska 11-21-2013 05:08 AM

the Illyrian Movement started in the 15th and was killed off just before yugoslavia, they wanted to call Yugoslavia Illyria in actual fact and in 1816 the Kingdom of Illyria was formed which was Croatia,Slovenia and bit of Austria

[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illyrian_movement[/url]
[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Illyria_%281816%E2%80%9349%29[/url]

so the Croats have long forgotten about Illyria and dont think they are interested in it, but its lately stirring up issues because the shiptari are doing a Greece and trying to claim the Illyrian heirs but the cros where calling themselves Illyrians and speaking Illirski centuries before the shiptari

George S. 11-21-2013 01:22 PM

yeah it's amazing how quiet it is for croats.Whilst Albanians are ready to take it all.

Soldier of Macedon 12-03-2013 04:56 AM

[QUOTE=Risto the Great;147151]I would love to know why the northern Balkans was considered the origin.[/QUOTE]
It really depends on how one would interpret the Balkans. A narrow definition may limit its northern boundary to the Danube river, however, a broader definition would also include Romania - which reaches as far as the Carpathian mountains. The reason why the northern Balkans has been suggested as their place of origin is because Albanian and Romanian share a number of specific words that are uncommon in other languages. This appears to indicate a certain period in history where the two were living intertwined, quite possibly with another element from where they obtained this apparent substratum. An important point to highlight is that this substratum doesn't connect either language to Illyrian or Thracian. The fact is, the origin of this substratum is unknown as of yet, it could just as easily be that it came from some prominent or obscure 'barbarian' tribe that lingered north of the Danube. But ironically, it is not what can be proved, but rather what can't be proved, which is mainly used by certain linguists and scholars to try to erroneously demonstrate that Albanian and Romanian are the sole heirs of the Illyrian and Thracian languages.

In the below link are several suggested cognates with the Dacian language, which was spoken in what is now Romania. Dacian is closely related to Thracian and has been proposed by some as the source of the substratum words common in both Romanian and Albanian. As can be seen from the list of words in the link, most of the words have cognates in Baltic languages instead.

[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_reconstructed_Dacian_words[/url]

Carlin 03-21-2016 07:05 PM

The Khurramites were settled in today's Albania.

Source: "Byzantium and Its Army", By Warren Treadgold.
Excerpt from [U]page 32[/U]:

"By 839 Theophilus roused himself to lead an army against the [B]Khurramites[/B], who promptly submitted. They agreed to let their company be divided into fifteen parts, which were incorporated into fifteen different themes and other districts. The fifteen units that received [B]Khurramites[/B] included two new themes, [B]Dyrrhachium in today's Albania[/B] and the Climata in the Crimea..."

Khurramites
[url]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khurramites[/url]

Dyrrhachium (theme)
[url]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyrrhachium_%28theme%29[/url]

The Theme of Dyrrhachium (Greek: θέμα Δυρραχίου) was a Byzantine military-civilian province (theme) located in modern Albania, covering the Adriatic coast of the country. It was established in the early 9th century and named after its capital, Dyrrhachium (modern Durrës).

Carlin 03-29-2016 08:49 AM

[U]The Kruja-Komani culture [/U]
Most scholars currently do not see the Kruja-Komani culture as an "indigenous Illyrian" culture and they certainly do not see it as an "early Albanian" culture.

1) Florin Curta in his book "Southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages,500-1250" (Cambridge University Press,2006)writes:

page 103:
[...] with the so-called "Komani culture". Long viewed as the archaeological remains of the "first Albanians," the relatively numerous cemeteries of this group of finds point to a different interpretation. First, most of them are in the hinterland of Dyrrachium (present-day Durrës), a city that certainly remained in Byzantine hands throughout the entire period. Second, finds similar to those from burial assemblages turned up in at least two forts (Kruje and Sarda/Shurdhah) that were undoubtedly occupied at the time and controlled from Dyrrachium by the archontes of the city.

pages 104-6:
A number of grave goods found on the sites in Albania and the neighboring countries strongly suggest close contacts with Byzantium, possibly even the presence of speakers of Greek: belt buckles common for the Mediterranean area, both East and West; earrings with perforated pendants showing peacocks on either side of a tree; disc -and cross- brooches; finger-rings with dedicatory inscriptions in Greek. More over, two hoards of Byzantine drinking and washing silver vessels with Greek inscriptions, gold church candlesticks, and silver belt fittings were found in the vicinity of Dyrrachium, at Vrap and Erseke. Like burial assemblages in Istria, those of Albania are often, if not always, associated with stone-lined graves, sometimes with several internment phases and multiple skeletons. This may be, and was indeed interpreted as, an indication that each individual grave may have been used for several members of the same kin group, in itself an indication that the soldiers in the garrisons of forts in northern Albania lived there permanently together with their families. That this was indeed a population of soldiers is shown not only by the relatively large numbers of associated weapons, but also by the relatively large number of cemeteries, especially in Macedonia, located on or close to the main west-east artery across the Balkans, the Via Egnatia. Although this road was long believed to have been completely abandoned during the early Middle Ages, there is evidence that its central segment between Ohrid and Edessa/Vodena was repaired at some point during the eighth century. This is precisely the region with some of the most important cemeteries of the so-called "Komani culture" (Sv. Erazmo, Radolišta, Krušarski Rid, Goren Koyjak, and Viničani). The same is true for the segment of the Via Egnatia running close to the present-day Bulgarian-Greek border in southern Thrace, where a number of cemeteries have been found showing striking parallels with burial assemblages in Macedonia and Albania.

On the other hand, a significant number of artifacts from both female and male burials -dress accessories, weapons, and belt findings- have good analogies in Late Avar graves, as well as in assemblages from the steppes north of the Black Sea. Much like in contemporary Hungary, the mortuary assemblages in Albania display a sharp gender and status differentiation, often expressed through a great wealth of grave goods. Late Avar belt strap ends and mounts are the direct analogies for the belt fittings founds in Vrap and Erseke, which seem to have been the source of inspiration for a wide variety of belt ornaments in Hungary and the neighboring regions. An eight-century source known as the Life of St. Pancratius may give some substance to the Avar connection revealed by these archaeological parallels.

The apocryphal Life of the first bishop of Taormina was written around 700, shortly after the introduction of the thematic organization to Sicily (709/10). [...] Pancratius' mission of conversion is thus set against the background of the first Arab attacks on Sicily, in the late seventh or early eighth centuries. One of Pancratius' converts was a local warlord named Bonifatius. Portrayed as the commander of the Sicilian troops, Bonifatius is said to have led several campaigns against barbarians abroad. At one time, he is described as organizing a seaborne expedition into the regions of Dyrrachium and Athens. Upon returning to Sicily, he was confronted by St. Pancratius, who claimed that his prisoners looked like Christians. Bonifatius assured him they were Avars [...] Through the intermediary of a translator, the prisoners declared that they worshipped fire, water, and their own swords. [...] It is therefore possible to see "Avars" in the population burying their dead in the cemeteries of the so-called "Komani culture" of Albania.

[...] Just how "Avars" could reach the central or western regions of the Balkans is shown in an episode of the second book of the Miracles of St. Demetrius. In c. 680/1, a conflict broke between the qagan of the Avars and a group of rebels led by a Bulgar named Kouber. The rebels were descendants of a group of captives brought to the Avar heartland from the Balkan raids of the early seventh century and settled in the environs of the former city of Sirmium. As a consequence, those following Kouber in rebellion called themselves Sermesianoi.

Curta then continues with the story of the arrival of the Bulgars and Sermesiani in Pelagonia, led by Kouber and Mauros.

[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kouber[/url] [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mauros[/url]

To them we must add the name of the village Vlasi Sremljane ("Vlachs from Sirmium/Srem") near Đakovica that appears in a 14th century Serbian document.

[url]https://www.google.com/search?q=vlasi+sremljane&btnG=Cerca+nei+libri&tbm=bks&tbo=1&hl=it#hl=it&q=din+secolul+al+XIV-lea+a+vlahilor+%E2%80%9Esirmieni%22(Vlasi+Sremljane)%2C+&tbm=bks&undefined=undefined[/url]

So Florin Curta's assessment of the so-called "Kruje-Komani" culture is this:
1) It was populated by soldiers who were ultimately controlled by Byzantine Dyrrachium.
2) They belonged to a larger system of soldiers that were settled along Via Egnatia.
3) The archaeological evidence of the "Kruje-Komani" culture shows an archaeological connection with the Avar world (and there are philological testimonies of the arrival in Albania and Pelagonia of migrants from the Avar world), whose upper echelons enjoyed Byzantine artefacts and possibly had even mastered the Greek language.


Alexandru Madgearu gives his own assessment of the "Kruje-Komani" culture along with those of the Serbian Archaeologist Vladislav Popović Albanian archaeologist Etleva Nallbani and the British archaeologist William Bowden in pages 148-149 of his book "the Wars of the Balkan Peninsula: their medieval origins" (Scarecrow,2008):

As concerns the Komani-Kruje culture, the situation is more complicated than Albanian historians believe. Serbian archaeologist Vladislav Popović supposed that this culture was created by a Roman and urban population, which cannot be identified with the Proto-Albanians. According to him, this culture belonged to the Roman population living along the Via Egnatia. This area remained until the seventh century-eighth centuries under a strong Byzantine influence. The area of this culture is nearly the same as that where Latin was spoken in antiquity (defined on the basis of inscriptions). The region was Romanized. On the other hand, in the same area many present place-names of Latin origin of known. It is therefore possible that the Komani-Kruje culture was the archaeological expression of a Roman, not Proto-Albanian, population.

This theory was of course rejected by the official Albanian archaeologists, but their arguments are not convincing. They cannot explain the large amount of Byzantine and Christian objects in the environment of this culture. A pastoral population like the Albanians was not able to create a culture of Byzantine urban fashion. The assertion that Albanians developed an urban civilization in the early Middle Ages and that they peopled the late Roman fortified settlements is fanciful.
In 2002, the young Albanian archaeologist Etleva Nallbani received from the Sorbonne her PhD for a dissertation entitled "La civilization de Komani de l'antiquitè tardive au haut Moyen Age: etude du mobilier mètallique" (not yet published). The main ideas were summarized in two short studies (one of them published in a Croatian scientific journal). She has abandoned the traditional theory put forward by Albanian archaeology, that the Komani-Kruje culture is Proto-Albanian. Instead, she emphasizes the integration in the Byzantine civilization and the urban roots of this civilization. This new approach is shared by British archaeologist William Bowden, who concludes that the archaeological evidence does not support a single ethnic identification.

So the above scholars have all rejected the connection of the Kruja-Komani culture with the "Proto-Albanians", because of the urban characteristics that the culture displays which cannot have been produced by the pastoralist early Albanians.

William Bowden's assessment of the Kruja-Komani culture and his critique of the Albanian nationalist interpretation is a whole chapter in this book, where he concludes that the "Kruja-Komani" culture is not "indigenous", but has all the trademarks of immigration from further north, and that of course, it cannot be connected with the early Albanians:

[url]http://books.google.it/books?id=HAmc0fBGoxUC&pg=PA59&dq=william+bowden+komani+culture&hl=it&sa=X&ei=YfOmUr3BEK_AygPk0IGADQ&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=william%20bowden%20komani%20culture&f=false[/url]

I am simply providing note 10 in page 60, where he speaks of possible [B]archaeological malpractice [/B]by the Albanian nationalists during the communist period.

[B]"There is some suggestion, that material recovered from the cemeteries that was perceived as "Slavic" was deliberately suppressed during the communist period, although the extent to which this occurred is impossible to quantify (E. Nallbani pers. comm.)"[/B]

Link:
[url]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Koman_culture[/url]

Carlin 06-16-2016 02:55 PM

The name "Arberesh" -

[URL=http://s1074.photobucket.com/user/Carlin177/media/NasseTitle_zpset5plz5o.png.html][IMG]http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w416/Carlin177/NasseTitle_zpset5plz5o.png[/IMG][/URL]

[URL=http://s1074.photobucket.com/user/Carlin177/media/Nasse43Arberesh_zpspr4cklai.png.html][IMG]http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w416/Carlin177/Nasse43Arberesh_zpspr4cklai.png[/IMG][/URL]

tchaiku 01-07-2017 08:20 AM

[QUOTE=Carlin;117823]3) [I]Albanians, just like the Mardaites, were initially non-Orthodox Christians.
[/I]

I've read some of the posts above regarding the Albanian language and I think it's ultimately futile to argue one way or the other in terms of origins, because not much can be inferred in such a way. Most languages, through contact with other cultures, undergo various changes over the centuries so they end up with borrowings, etc... Albanian is and remains a separate language.

To return to point 3 and my initial post:

I always found it odd that Albanians appear in the Balkans as non-Orthodox Christians; I will attempt to explain why this poses a problem for those who adhere to the Illyrian hypothesis.

The regions of Albania and Epirus have traditionally been under the jurisdiction of the Constantinople church, and the Roman/Byzantine authorities regarded the inhabitants of these provinces as Orthodox Christians (regardless of what their ethnic background might be). I'm not aware that Western Christians/Catholics exerted any meaningful influence on these territories prior to the (roughly) 1000s but I might be mistaken. Anyway, it seems that no such influence can be found and it would appear plausible to conclude that Illyrians were Christianized (at some point) by Constantinople/Eastern church.

This is where the problem arises. If Illyrians became Orthodox Christians, how come the Albanians were not? If anything, a neutral observer would expect them to remain pagans but this is not the case. The Byzantines regarded them as "heretic" Christians and "half-believers", just like the Mardaites!

If we now trace the history of the settlement of Mardaites in these territories, starting with Epirus, the attitude of the Byzantine authorities starts to make more sense as Mardaites were either Monothelite or Monophysite Christians. These branches of Christianity originated in the Levant.

At best, the influence of the Roman Catholic church started only after 1082, when the Normans captured Durres. After the Normans, Venetians appear on the scene. It was the Roman Catholics who further popularized the term Albania, establishing Regnum Albanae.

[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Albania[/url]

It was only during these centuries that Latin Christianity was introduced in Albania, and many eventually converted.

Summary:
- Settlement of Mardaites in Epirus, Peloponnese, and other Roman/Byzantine territories by the 9th century. The official authorities regard them as "heretics". Note: no mention of "Albanians" in the Balkans as of yet.
- Expansion of Mardaites into adjacent territories. First appearance of Albanians in the 11th century. They appear as "heretics" or "half-believers" in various documents.
- Use of terms Mardaites/Albanians/Arber etc. for the same ethnic community. "Albanians" ultimately popularized by the Venetians. Conversion of Albanians and/or Mardaites to Latin Christianity.

PS: Demographic expansion and ethnic changes were quite common and frequent in the Balkans, even after the Slavic invasions. Re-settlements of entire peoples and tribes was conducted at will by despots and kings. The Byzantines were no different. If Albanians moving to the north and occupying present day Albania and other territories in such a short time period seems implausible, may I use Vojvodina as an example. After the Battle of Mohacs in 1526 the entire territory of Vojvodina was turned into a "desert". It was uninhabited and modern day historians estimate that 10000 people (tops) of various ethnicities lived in Vojvodina after 1526. Serbs, Hungarians, Germans and others started settling: the current population of Vojvodina is roughly 2 mil.[/QUOTE]


The Albanians first appear in the historical record in Byzantine sources of the 11th century. At this point, they are already fully Christianized. All Albanians [B]were Orthodox Christians[/B] until the middle of the 13th century when the Ghegs converted to Catholicism as a mean to resist the Slavs.[5][6][7]

Leften Stavros Stavrianos (January 2000). The Balkans Since 1453. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers. p. 498. ISBN 978-1-85065-551-0. Retrieved 17 July 2013. Religious differences also existed before the coming of the Turks. Originally, all Albanians had belonged to the Eastern Orthodox Church... Then the Ghegs in the North adopted in order to better resist the pressure of Orthodox Serbs.

Jump up ^ Hugh Chisholm (1910). Encyclopaedia britannica: a dictionary of arts, sciences, literature and general information. Encyclopaedia Britannica. p. 485. Retrieved 18 July 2013. The Roman Catholic Ghegs appear to liave abandoned the Eastern for the Western Church in the middle of the 13th century

Jump up ^ Ramet, Sabrina P. (1989). Religion and Nationalism in Soviet and East European Politics. Duke University Press. p. 381. ISBN 0-8223-0891-6. Prior to the Turkish conquest, the ghegs (the chief tribal group in northern Albania) had found in Roman Catholicism a means of resisting the Slavs, [B]and though Albanian Orthodoxy remained important among the tosks [/B](the chief tribal group in southern) :)

Carlin 01-07-2017 01:52 PM

[QUOTE=tchaiku;166367]The Albanians first appear in the historical record in Byzantine sources of the 11th century. At this point, they are already fully Christianized. All Albanians [B]were Orthodox Christians[/B] until the middle of the 13th century when the Ghegs converted to Catholicism as a mean to resist the Slavs.[5][6][7]

Leften Stavros Stavrianos (January 2000). The Balkans Since 1453. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers. p. 498. ISBN 978-1-85065-551-0. Retrieved 17 July 2013. Religious differences also existed before the coming of the Turks. Originally, all Albanians had belonged to the Eastern Orthodox Church... Then the Ghegs in the North adopted in order to better resist the pressure of Orthodox Serbs.

Jump up ^ Hugh Chisholm (1910). Encyclopaedia britannica: a dictionary of arts, sciences, literature and general information. Encyclopaedia Britannica. p. 485. Retrieved 18 July 2013. The Roman Catholic Ghegs appear to liave abandoned the Eastern for the Western Church in the middle of the 13th century

Jump up ^ Ramet, Sabrina P. (1989). Religion and Nationalism in Soviet and East European Politics. Duke University Press. p. 381. ISBN 0-8223-0891-6. Prior to the Turkish conquest, the ghegs (the chief tribal group in northern Albania) had found in Roman Catholicism a means of resisting the Slavs, [B]and though Albanian Orthodoxy remained important among the tosks [/B](the chief tribal group in southern) :)[/QUOTE]

Good day tchkaiku, and thanks for your reply. If all of what you wrote is correct and accurate, then how does one explain the following.

Copy and paste from Wikipedia:
[B]What is possibly the earliest written reference to the Albanians is that to be found in an old Bulgarian text compiled around the beginning of the [U]11th century[/U][/B]. It was discovered in a Serbian manuscript dated 1628 and was first published in 1934 by Radoslav Grujic. This fragment of a legend from the time of Tsar Samuel endeavours, in a catechismal 'question and answer' form, to explain the origins of peoples and languages. It divides the world into seventy-two languages and three religious categories: [B]Orthodox, [U]half-believers (i.e. non-Orthodox Christians)[/U] and non-believers[/B]. [B][U]The Albanians find their place among the nations of half-believers[/U][/B]. If the dating of Grujic is accepted, which is based primarily upon the contents of the text as a whole, [U]this would be the earliest written document referring to the Albanians as a people or language group[/U].

Quote:
[I]
It can be seen that there are various languages on earth. Of them, there are five Orthodox languages: Bulgarian, Greek, Syrian, Iberian (Georgian) and Russian. Three of these have Orthodox alphabets: Greek, Bulgarian and Iberian. There are [U]twelve languages of half-believers[/U]: Alamanians, Franks, Magyars (Hungarians), Indians, Jacobites, Armenians, Saxons, Lechs (Poles), [B]Arbanasi (Albanians)[/B], Croatians, Hizi, Germans.[/I]

[url]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albanians[/url]

This is exactly what I meant by my statement that: "[I]I always found it odd that Albanians appear in the Balkans as non-Orthodox Christians[/I]".

It is a rather interesting piece of [I]evidence[/I] and there may be a couple of possibilities here - but the curious thing is this:

1) This document/quote LUMPS TOGETHER all Albanians into One category of [U]half-believers (i.e. non-Orthodox Christians)[/U], at a time when - allegedly - there were many (most?) Albanians who were Orthodox Christians.

2) It is possible that this document was written and composed later than it is assumed - perhaps at a time after significant portions of Albanians became Roman Catholics. As a result, these half-believer Albanians could have been Catholics, just like in the quote we have Magyars, Germans and others who were Catholics. BUT, in the quote itself we have such nations/groups listed such as the Armenians, Indians, and Jacobites who are [U]non-Orthodox non-Catholic[/U] Christians. [U]The author of the text[/U] clearly put all non-Orthodox Christians into one group of half-believers.

As a result, we have no way of knowing or assuming that these half-believer Albanians were Catholics. We can't make that leap. But we know that the author lumped them into One category of half-believers, which means that they were not Orthodox Christians.

As a result of this, I later on (in further comments I already posted on this forum) made the [I]leap[/I] and connected these HALF-BELIEVER ARBANASI (ALBANIANS) with the medieval MARDAITES who were settled in large numbers in the Balkans, and who were originally HALF-BELIEVER Christians following either Miaphysitism or Monothelitism.


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