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TrueMacedonian 09-30-2009 08:59 PM

Origins of Albanian language and ethnos
 
In light of current flag burnings in and around Macedonia I think it would be appropriate to expose the common myths of Albanians.

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[B]Albanian identities: myth and history[/B] By Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers, Bernd Jürgen Fischer

Soldier of Macedon 10-01-2009 12:00 AM

Funny stuff, but not suprising.

TrueMacedonian 10-02-2009 10:46 PM

I didn't bother underlining anything in this text. All of it is damaging to the Albanian myth of Illyrian descent.

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Soldier of Macedon 10-03-2009 12:53 AM

From the below thread:
[url]http://www.macedoniantruth.org/forum/showthread.php?t=963&highlight=wilkes&page=2[/url]

John Wilkes - The Illyrians, 1992.
[QUOTE]The [B]first detailed account of the ancient Illyrians[/B] appeared in the Albanesische Studien of [B][U][COLOR="Red"]J.G von Hahn, published at Jena in 1854[/COLOR][/U][/B], [B]in which the author advanced the proposition that modern Albanians were descended from ancient Illyrians[/B].[/QUOTE]

And something from our member Napoleon on the same thread, further to the creator of the Illyro-Albanian myth:
[QUOTE="Napoleon"]Its ironic that J.G von Hahn (Johann Georg von Hahn) was an Austrian diplomat at the time of making his proposition that the Albanians were descended from the ancient Illyrians. This is significant because at that time the Croatians and Slovenians were going through a period of national awakening which entailed demanding autonomy within the Austro-Hungarian empire. The movement was known as the Illyrian Movement.

The Austrian response was simple, while Austrian scholars were busy proposing that the Albanians were descended from the ancient Illyrians (which became official Austrian state policy) they also began propagating the theory that the Croatians and Slovenians were just merely nomadic 'Slavs', the product of a 6th century migration and therefore they didn't really 'own' the lands they came to settle anyway. The Austrian officials backed up this policy by making all reference to the word 'Illyria' or 'Illyrians' a death penalty offence in Slovenia and Croatia.[/QUOTE]

I would like to see how many examples there are of Albanians claiming to be Illyrians, or people claiming Albanians to be Illyrians, prior to 1854. Perhaps some of our Albanian members who periodically visit the forum can answer this for us.

TrueMacedonian 10-09-2009 01:32 PM

The Skanderbeg Myth
 
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page 41
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Risto the Great 10-09-2009 04:14 PM

That is a thought provoking piece of text from a 19th century nationalism perspective. Ethnic/linguistic boundaries blurred, assimilation, conceptual ambiguity. The reality is that all modern nations created out of the Balkan pool had varying degrees of these issues.

And if we extend this further to the rest of Europe, I am positive many other nations are still suffering from this un-natural state. The Albanians deserve their modern existence like everyone else, but they are heading down the Greek path of delusion to their detriment. Nobody aside from Nazi Germany and Uncle Woodrow (maybe cousin Clinton) has had much of a soft spot for the Albanians.

TrueMacedonian 10-09-2009 06:53 PM

I agree with you Risto. And this is where Macedonia stands apart from the rest of her neighbors. No Westerner came into Macedonia with a little book of classics written in Germany and translated to either English or French and told the population that they were descendents of the ancient Macedonians.
No Westerner influenced Pulevski's writings as far as I know.
And the population held on to a religious identity - be it Christian, Jew, or Muslim - the longest. Today Macedonia's neighbors actually think that just because modern nationalism came late into Macedonia that the Macedonians do not exist or that early dibs on land and people were ok. No. This wasn't a game of speed or a game of whos dick is bigger than whos. The overall majority enjoyed the one common identity that for centuries they have held on to and it shows in how many Monasteries are strewn all over Macedonia. And that is a Christian identity.
Albanians do have a right to their identity. And they have every right to respect the ancient Illyrians that once inhabited that land. However it's just not possible,plausible, or feasible that these are the direct descendents of the ancient Illyrians who's language (remind you of someone already) has survived millenias.

TrueMacedonian 10-09-2009 10:02 PM

This is taken from a footnote I found relevant to this topic.

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Between morality and the law: corruption, anthropology and comparative society By Italo Pardo page 82.

Astrit 10-09-2009 11:54 PM

[QUOTE=TrueMacedonian;24629]
Albanians do have a right to their identity. And they have every right to respect the ancient Illyrians that once inhabited that land. However it's just not possible,plausible, or feasible that these are the direct descendents of the ancient Illyrians who's language (remind you of someone already) has survived millenias.[/QUOTE]

Who's descendants are the Albanians? I am interested in finding out your point of view.

Risto the Great 10-10-2009 01:18 AM

Astrit, do you believe Ghegs and Tosks descended from the same people?

Astrit 10-10-2009 02:07 AM

[QUOTE=Risto the Great;24647]Astrit, do you believe Ghegs and Tosks descended from the same people?[/QUOTE]


Yes, without a doubt but they have evolved in different ways.
Nevertheless they have mare similarities than differences.

Risto the Great 10-10-2009 02:54 AM

What do you feel caused them to evolve differently?

Astrit 10-10-2009 03:21 AM

[QUOTE=Risto the Great;24649]What do you feel caused them to evolve differently?[/QUOTE]

I will name a few among many reasons


Ghegs(Northerners) were predominately Catholic and supported Rome while Tosks(Southerners) were predominantly Orthodox and felt closer to the Eastern Roman Empire favoring Constantinople.


Southerners lost their tribal society earlier than Northern Albanians.


South and central Albania was exposed to more of the outside world because of the coastline, warmer climate.... While the north was more isolated due to it's harsh mountains. Which led to Ghegs becoming herders while Tosks became farmers, merchants...


When Albanians were conquered by the Ottomans it complicated the situation even further. Most Ghegs became Sunni Muslims, while several tribes fled in isolated mountain areas where they continued practicing Catholicism. The majority Tosks remained Orthodox those that did converted to Islam did not choose to become Sunni but rather Bektashi's which most other Muslims would likely consider infidels because of their Christian in this case specifically Orthodox and pagan influence.


More contemporary causes of the rift would be communism. Most communist officials including the head of the party Enver were Tosks. It is no secret that they favored southerners while oppressing the north more so than any other area. Gheg culture suffered during communism while it's Tosk counterpart flourished. More money was poured building the infrastructure of cities in south and central Albania then the north.


From the 1990's onward Tosks favor the successor to the Communist party the Socialist Party PS, while Ghegs generally lean toward the Democratic Party or PD. There is still to the lesser extent some rivalry but we are still united by our Albanian identity above all else.

TrueMacedonian 10-10-2009 03:39 PM

[QUOTE=Astrit;24645]Who's descendants are the Albanians? I am interested in finding out your point of view.[/QUOTE]

Who wouldn't be the ancestors of todays Albanian is the real question that should be asked. Slavs, Turks, Vlachs, Arabs, etc. And it very well may be possible that alot of your descendents are from the Caucauses. If I ask Tito for his time machine maybe we can find out together.

Soldier of Macedon 10-10-2009 07:36 PM

[QUOTE]I would like to see [B]how many examples there are of Albanians claiming to be Illyrians, or people claiming Albanians to be Illyrians, prior to 1854[/B]. Perhaps some of our Albanian members who periodically visit the forum can answer this for us.[/QUOTE]
Astrit, can you answer this question?

TrueMacedonian 10-10-2009 08:24 PM

[url]http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2001-10-24-lubonja-en.html[/url]

Fatos Lubonja
Re-Inventing Skenderbeg
Albanian nationalism and Nato neo-colonialism

Skenderbeg as a national hero of Albania is just one sign of "history-making" in Albania and Serbia. Fatos Lubonja writes on how the creation of national myths and memories over the centuries has provided the seedbed for the conflicts in the Balkans, but that such memories can also show the way to an open society and provide hope for the future.
In the centre of Tirana stands a monument to the Albanian national hero. At the centre of the Albanian collective awareness, this man was the son of an Albanian prince; he was taken away by the Ottomans as a child, and brought up and trained by them to become a powerful Ottoman general. However, according to the myth as it is always retold, he did not forget his origins and when he grew up he turned against the Turks and liberated his fatherland, fighting in 1443 for her freedom for 25 years until his death.

Skenderbeg represents a climax in Albanian historical memory just as the Serbs consider the battle of Kosova in 1389 in which Prince Milos killed the Turkish Sultan, one of the most important myths in the Serbian collective awareness.

[B]Despite centuries of repetition, both these myths increasingly "forget" two historical truths, that the mother of Skenderbeg (Vojsava) was a Slav, and that Albanians also fought alongside the Serbs against the Ottomans at the Battle of Kosova under the flag of Christianity.[/B]

After six centuries, this historical "oversight" has also produced its own anti-climax: Albanians and Serbs are now killing each other, and hate each other as never before in their history, convinced not only that they are fighting for the sake of the injustices perpetrated against them, but that they are settling the accounts of their forebears.

[B]History Shorn of Myths[/B]
Writing in the 19th century about nationalism, Engels made a distinction between "historical" and "non-historical" peoples. According to him, the first, among whom he counts the larger states of western and central Europe, have been able to construct viable states. The second, among whom Engels counts the southern Slavs (without even mentioning the Albanians), lack the necessary ability and energy. Hence, in Engels' view, these nonhistorical peoples were to be banished from the stage of history in order to facilitate the development of the historical peoples. This reflects one of the concepts of Hegel, who wrote that annexation is a crime against which one has a right to revolt only if the annexed people equally represents as large, fertile, and viable an IDEA as the IDEA personified by the occupier. There are nations which represent no IDEA and have lost their reason for existence; these nations are doomed ultimately to disappear.
Yet since that time, history has shown that the nations which, according to Engels, were to disappear as peoples "without a history" have survived.

During this time, some of these nations have liberated themselves and have made their own history (to a greater or lesser extent, earlier or later in time). It appears that "history-making" has been the main factor in forming these nations. However, the Serbs and the Albanians have pursued different paths of forming nations, and these different paths have created a widening gulf between the Serbs and the Albanians both split from the body of the Ottoman Empire about a century ago. Yet Albanian nationalism began later than Serbian nationalism. At the beginning of the 19th century, when Greeks began to aspire for political freedom, nationalism was seen as the harbinger of a movement of mankind toward a better and fairer world. These views impelled Byron to fight for Greek independence. A similar movement had taken place in Serbia; guerrilla wars and uprisings by Serbs brought them limited autonomy in 1815. Meanwhile, the Albanian nationalist movement was as yet unborn. [B]The largely Islamicised Albanians still felt themselves to be a part of the Ottoman Empire, which secured high offices and privileges for their leaders.[/B]

It is very important to realise that Albanian nationalism took root later, and in a different historical context. It appeared at the close of the Russian-Turkish war (1878) and subsequently in the course of the Ottoman Empire's rapid decay, in response to the need to preserve Albanian territories from the Slavs and Greeks. [B]Note the contrast: on the one hand, the nationalism of Albania's neighbours began as part of the need to achieve liberation from Ottoman rule by those with a shared Christian religious identity; on the other hand, Albanian nationalism, at this time largely Muslim, started first in response to the need to be free from the dangers posed by the Albanians' neighbours, who were Christians. Turkish support was an important factor in this. However, those who are today known as the leaders of the Albanian national rebirth, who conceived the spirit of romantic nationalism, have felt the need for separation from Turkey, and began to appeal to history and legends evoking the pre-Ottoman period.[/B] It was in this way that they came across and retrieved the national hero of Skenderbeg, who had fought against the Turks. This dualism in Albanian history is reflected in the very name of this hero. He has two names, and it is hard for Albanians to say which is the most important: Gjergj Kastrioti, which is his Christian name, or Skenderbeg, which is his Turkish title.

The historical hatred of the Serbs for the Albanians is rooted in the latter's links to the Turks. For Serbs, Albanians conquered their lands by means of Turkish expansion. Albanian hatred for the Serbs is linked to the fact that after the Russo-Turkish war and later - after the Balkan wars (1912) - the better organised and more powerfully allied Slavs of the south ("Yugoslavs"), took the land where Albanians had lived for centuries. According to their own myths, Albanians claim themselves descendants of the Illyrians who lived in the north of Greece since the times of antiquity; hence, in their view, Albanians had inhabited this land for centuries prior to the Serbs. Kosova is the biggest part of that land.
Why Have There Been Recurrent Ethnic Cleansings of Albanians?
Contending Albanian and Serbian nationalisms have been territorially hungry for a long time. Since 1878 and throughout the twentieth century, Albanian nationalism has been fed by a desire to defend inhabited territories and aspirations for a union of separated lands. Meanwhile Serbian nationalism, which never really regarded the consolidation of their own nation state as complete, has been nourished by a recurrent yearning to ethnically cleanse their own territories inhabited by the Albanians as well as a ravenous racism towards Albanians. Throughout these conflicts, Serbs have almost always been in the position of the strongest and of the aggressor while Albanians were typically victims who often tried unsuccessfully to defend themselves. These territorial longings became more and more complex as each group gradually became more regionally dispersed (especially the Serbs).

The first ethnic cleansing of the Albanians happened in 1878 (after the Russo-Turkish war) when Serbs had their independent state and took a part of the Ottoman Empire inhabited by Albanians. "The more Albanians you kick out of our land the more patriotic you are" was the slogan of their king Obrenovic at that time. It was successful. More than 100,000 Albanians were removed at that time from the surroundings of the city of Nish to other parts of the Ottoman Empire.[1]

The second ethnic cleansing dates from the year 1913 just after the Balkan wars, when the Serbs took Kosova and that part of the Ottoman Empire which is now Macedonia. This second wave of cleansing was stopped by the explosion of the First World War.

In the 1920's, agricultural reform gave the Serbs another pretext to expel more Albanians by claiming that the land was given to them unjustly by the Turks.

In the 1930's, Serbia made an agreement with Turkey to accept Albanians. During this time many Albanians left for Turkey.

In 1937, a Serbian academic named Vaso Çubrilovic, presented a memorandum to the Serbian fascist prime minister Stojadinovic entitled For the Ethnic Cleansing of the Albanians. It's a long document with several chapters. After one chapter on the history, a second describes the Serbian need for more vital space, only to be followed by chapters that portray how the Albanians had to be removed and were; then, how the colonisation of this area with Serbs had to be organised.[2] The project never materialised because one year later the troubles of the Second World War began. (During Tito's time Çubrilloviç became first a Serbian then Yugoslavian academic and member of the Yugoslavian Communist League).

During the Second world war, Albanians thought that their moment of revenge had finally arrived, when the Italians and then the Germans created a "greater Albania". The Kosova Albanians even created a military division named "Skenderbeg" which fought alongside with the Germans (against Serbs). But this moment would be short-lived.

Even during Tito's time in the 1950's, when an effort to disarm the population was made, many Kosova Albanians found it easier to go to Turkey (as permitted by the pre-war treaty), than to relinquish their weapons or remain undefended.

Nevertheless, generally speaking, we can say that communism somehow stopped the ethnic cleansing of Albanians from Kosova. In order to remain at the centre of power in a multiethnic Yugoslavia with careening ethnic tensions, Tito was forced to juggle ethnic balances with the internationalism of the communist ideology. That's why he gave autonomy to Kosova in 1974. Another factor that helped the Albanians to survive ethnic cleansing has been their demographic explosion, which Serbs have always regarded as very threatening.
The disintegration of Yugoslavia
It has often been simplistically remarked that fifty years of communism were like a long sound sleep which froze the memory of a people, who, after waking up, found themselves back in the pre-communist period. But the memory of the communist period is much more complex, like history itself. A half century of communism in Tito's Yugoslavia revealed that different ethnic groups can live together without hate. This is only a part of that history, yet it is precisely that aspect which manipulators of history want us to forget. Another part of that history disclosed a strong nationalist substratum under the communist ideology; this substratum started to appear more and more with the failure of communism as an economic system and as a hope for a better future. Even worse, the communist regime did not allow the development of some of the key elements of civil society, such as the pluralism of parties and values as well as the acceptance of diversity. Thus, new struggles for power (which in the Balkans means the manipulation of crowds without individuals) were based on nothing other than a nationalist substratum.

If there was a crucial moment for the outbreak of evil, that was the year 1989, when Milosevic, realising the end of the magic power of communist symbols as instruments of power, turned to nationalist symbols, promising the Serbs that he would repair all the injustices done to them during Tito's time. That promise was made in Kosova Polje during the six hundredth anniversary of the lost battle against the Turks. The first concrete action to emerge from his promise was the removal of the autonomy of Kosova. This event marks the beginning of the disintegration of Yugoslavia. There were prophets who, at that time, predicted that the process of disintegration would come full circle to return to where it started, in Kosova.

In the Yugoslavia of that time a crack began to deepen and widen - a crack that had remained invisible and silent under the ice and iron of the Cold War and the communist principles of internationalism. That was the stress fracture caused by the crushing opposition between the principle of self determination on the one hand and that of unchangeable borders on the other hand. One ideal way for resolving such powerfully opposing forces was shown by the experience of Western Europe. But the problem was: Are the people of the Balkans mature enough to follow that example or not? The disintegration of Yugoslavia showed that they were not. The solution of that widening split in Yugoslavia offered three models: the clean separation, like the separation of Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia; the imposition of connivance by the international community like in Bosnia and, what the Serbs had applied till the beginning of the war in Kosova, the domination of the strongest over the weakest combined with gradual ethnic cleansing. During that period, the Albanians of Kosova fooled themselves. By comparing themselves to Slovenia which had achieved independence with only 1 million inhabitants, these Albanians naively pretended that because they were two million in number, they had twice as much of a right to live separately from the Serbs than those in Slovenia. To this fantasy, the Albanians of Kosova even added the argument that they should be independent because they were quite different from the Slavs; indeed, they maintained, they were not members of the Slavic family of peoples (such as Serbians, Croatians, Slovenes, Russians, Ukrainians, Bulgarians, Belo-Russians, Czechs, Poles, etc.); indeed, they would reassure themselves, Albanians spoke quite a different language and had a different religion. Or again, these Albanians of Kosova would remind themselves, they started their movement for independence as a peaceful movement. Their leader, Rugova, in keeping with the times, was increasingly referred to as the Gandhi of Kosova.

Meanwhile, the growth of the Serb repression created a new and more frustrated generation. Most young Kosova Albanians had no chance to be well educated so that they might support a peaceful movement respecting new Western myths like those of human rights, etc. Especially after the Dayton Accords of 1995, during which the Kosova issue was taken completely off the agenda, the Albanians of Kosova became convinced that their issue would be considered by the international community only if they would start fighting with arms for their cause. It goes without saying that the Albanians started their rebellion knowing their military inferiority, but having in mind that the main protagonists of the division of borders in the Balkans: those who made the Congress of Berlin in 1878 and that of London in 1913 today have another relationship with each other and another vision for the world. These Albanians of Kosova were convinced that the powers that be would not let the Serbs carry out their ongoing ethnic cleansing. They were right, at least partially.
Controversy of the war
In Kosova there have been simultaneously two wars and three protagonists: the protagonists were the western world, the Serbs and the Albanians. The two wars were: a nationalist war between the Serbs and the Albanians and the war of the western world against the Serbs in the name of human rights and multi-ethnicity. In fact, the Serbs and Albanians have been and still are in an anachronistic situation towards modernity. The mainstream of their politics, based on ethnic nationalism, goes against the actual western mainstream which supports peace rather than war, democracy rather than dictatorship, multi-ethnicity rather than ethnic nationalism and integration rather than separatism. This mismatch between the times and the spirits of the peoples who live in them was especially evident even in the old medieval castle of Rambouillet during the failed negotiations in February 1999. The Albanian and Serb representatives remained in separate halls while the three negotiators, the American Hill, the Austrian Petrish and the Russian Majorski were running from one's team hall to the other in order to convince them to sign the agreement. The failure of Rambouillet through the signature of only Albanian representatives was essentially an expression of the conflict between these two spirits of time.

Despite interpretations which claimed that the declared goals of the war of Nato against Serbia were not its true goals and despite the fact that the Albanians were forced to sign that agreement because they needed western help, Serbs bear great responsibility for opposing the aspirations of humanity for more peace, integration and human rights. It is true that neither Serbs nor Albanians were fighting for multi-ethnicity in Kosova. "Non-historical peoples" fight for different myths. As has been the case several times in this century, these myths and their battles change the history of the so-called "historical peoples." Yet now is the time when Albanians have the opportunity to embrace the better myths of universal human rights than the earlier myths of nationalism and communism.

To paraphrase the Prussian Karl von Clausewitz's definition of war as "a continuation of politics by other means," bombardments were the continuity by military means of what the West tried to realise peacefully in Rambouillet.

Now there exists an especially intractable situation. Historical events have created a horrible memory for these so-called nonhistorical peoples. Albanians and Serbs are forced to live together at a time when they hate each other more than ever in their history. There is no sign that Serbs feel guilty for the atrocities they committed towards Albanians. On their side, Albanians have never been less ready to forgive the Serbs. The west has to impose its civilisation through its army. It's a new form of colonialism that has its good and bad sides.[3] We are being called to a wider and deeper history, but exactly what will come next is very unpredictable. Perhaps some future Albanian savant will rediscover Skenderbeg's shifting allegiances (like his father's conversion from Orthodoxy to Catholicism) as prototypically Western and worthy of emulation; hence Skenderbeg can be retrieved as a champion of a multiethnic Albania/Kosova! Anything is possible, but don't hold your breath; one of the essential things the recent conflict has taught us is that we nonhistorical peoples have historical memories and myths, not just changeable allegiances and preferences. But therein also lies our hope. Today Albania remains a fascinating illustration of the kind of existential questions about the necessity and harm which myths bring to the creation of a community and its transition toward a civil society‹a society in which some of the most important values are the acceptance of diversity, a critical spirit, and consciousness that to err is an essential part of being human.[4]



[1] The city of Nis is in current day eastern Serbia.
[2] Vaso Cubrilovic was one of the Bosnians who participated in the plot to kill the Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The language of "vital space" echoes wartime Nazi language of Lebensraum ("living space") used as a pretext for expansion and aggression. According to Judah, in 1937 Cubrivolic invoked the examples of German expulsions of Jews and forced population movements by Russians; during and after the war, Cubrivolic again suggested (then to communist authorities) that Albanians (and others) be expelled from Yugoslavia. See Tim Judah, (Yale, 1997), 149-150.
[3] The author clarified that he favors a presence of the west, in the name of the myths of human rights, as long as it is a "wise presence". He has further developed these themes in an article entitled
[4] This concluding sentence paraphrases a similar claim in another essay by the author on the role of the national-communist myths in Albania entitled,

Soldier of Macedon 10-11-2009 01:20 AM

The TV show with terrorist Thaci being lectured by the Albanians of Albania.

[url]http://www.macedoniantruth.org/forum/showthread.php?p=24666#post24666[/url]

Soldier of Macedon 10-11-2009 01:27 AM

Astrit, I put it to you, that Thracian has much more to do with Balto-Slavic languages than Albanian. In fact, of that I am most certain, anybody that has taken a look at a Thracian lexicon can clearly see this.

The fact that people look to Illyrians on the one hand, Thracians on the other, Pelasgians on the other, and so forth, demonstrates the weakness in all of those theories. As little of Illyrian has survived barring a few words and names, it is not possible to definitively determine a non-relation between it and Thracian, for all we know, they may have been large dialectal groups of the same mother tongue. Some words certainly seem to indicate as such, while others still, clearly show more relation to Balto-Slavic than Albanian.

How can the Illyrians use a word like 'Osseria(tes)' for a lake (Macedonian: Ezero, Russian: Ozero), yet Albanians only have 'Liqen' (Italian: Lago)?

Where are the pre-1854 Albanian Illyrians?

makedonin 10-11-2009 06:15 AM

Some interesting stuff from [URL="http://agema-makedonin.blogspot.com/2008/01/albanian-racism-towards-neighbours-is.html"]Prof. Dr. Kaplan Resuli-Burovich [/URL].

Soldier of Macedon 10-13-2009 03:20 AM

Origins of Albanian language and ethnos
 
Evliya Celebi was a 17th century Turkish traveller during the Ottoman period who wrote about his experiences in the empire. There are a number of obvious discrepancies in his works concerning european history and placename etymology, he also overlooks local identities in favour of former powers subdued by the Ottomans; failing to make reference to Macedonians, Vlachs and other groups (at least in the chapters I am intending to cite) and instead speaks of Macedonia as being placed near Constantinople. Europe, or non-Ottoman Europe is called Firengistan, while the citation of a Bosnian language in Kosovo goes against his name for the language of the Serbs, which is Latin.

Despite these inaccuracies, however, his recorded travels still provide a useful source for Ottoman society, and, the Albanians, whom he refers to as the 'Arnavud'. Celebi had developed a great respect for the Albanians after spending much time with them in their dwellings, learning of their people, history, customs and language. Given his attention to detail to this particular group as opposed to others in the Balkans, he can consequently be regarded as one of the first chroniclers of the modern Albanians. The information he provides, be it fact or myth, largely derives from what was told to him by the Albanians themselves.

Celebi states that the first ancestors of the Albanians were Arabs who arrived in Epirus during the 7th century. After the rise of Islam the Quraysh spread out into the Caucasus regions and Celebi states that these migrant Quraysh tribes formed the ancestral lineage of the Circassian, Lazkha and Abkhaz peoples. A segment of this group broke away and is said to have sought refuge with the king of Spain. On page 191, Celebi states the following:
[QUOTE]When the blessed Omar conquered Jerusalem, Jabal could not remain any longer in that place, so they boarded ships and took [B]refuge with the king of Spain. Jabal-i Alhama was given the mountains of Dukat, Progonat and Frengis in the Albanian regions of Avlona and Delvina to live in, which were then under Spanish rule.[/B] These lands were previously uninhabited and, within a short period of time, he settled them and, mingling with the Franks, [B]they created the Albanian language from a mixture of Frankish and Arabic[/B]. The place they originally inhabited, and where they still reside after many generations, is now called the mountain of Quryelesh, since they are descended from the Quraysh tribe of Arabs. [B][U]Accordingly, the Albanian people boast that they are descended from the Quraysh, the companions of the Prophet.[/U][/B] Although Jabal-i Alhama died as a Muslim and was buried at this site according to his last will and testament, his descendants intermarried with the treacherous Franks and became Frankish and bookless themselves..........The Albanians claim that their ancestor Jabal-i Alhama was a companion of the Prophet and died a Muslim. [B][U]In short, Jabal-i Alhama of the Quraysh tribe is the ancestor of the Albanian[/U][/B]..........[/QUOTE]
His explanation on how the Albanian language came about and developed is most interesting given that the said language does not belong to any other group in Europe, has a huge number of loanwords, and has several characteristics that do not appear to be European. When referring to the surrounds of Lake Skadar on page 41, Celebi states:
[QUOTE]They all speak Arnaud, which is [B]like no other tongue[/B]. In origin, the Arnaudi were one of the Arab tribes of Quraysh in Mecca. That is why there are some Arabic words still in use among them. When these Arnaud tribesmen emerged from the mountains of Skadar and Vlora, [B][U]they mingled with the Italians and Franks, and so, during the Caliphate of Omar, produced a language between Arabic and Frankish[/U][/B].[/QUOTE]


If the Albanians are descended from Jabal-i Alhama who lived during the Caliphate of Omar (634 - 644), they would not have arrived in present-day Albania during his lifetime, nor even in Spain, which fell under Muslim rule in the 8th century. Their arrival into the Balkans may have taken place at a later date, as Muslims conquered Sicily in the 9th and 10th centuries. There is also a source (Michael Attaliates?) that apparently wrote of a people called 'Arbanitai' who were transplanted as mercenaries from Sicily to Albania by a rebel military commander called George Maniakos in 1042.

However it took place, the story and legend of Jabal-i Alhama must have been popular among Albanians, as he was even said to be buried outside the city of Elbasan. On page 189 Celebi writes:
[QUOTE]All the Albanians visit the grave, [B]claiming him as their ancestor[/B]. [/QUOTE]
On page 65, Celebi states the following:
[QUOTE]Jabal-i Alhama subsequently died as a Muslim in the city of Elbasan. In the Tuhfa history, there is extensive information on this Arab tribe. [B][U]This clan of Quraysh actually do look like Arabs[/U][/B]........[/QUOTE]

One of the most significant points concerning Celebi's works about the Albanians is the complete absence of George Kastriot Skenderbeg, despite the extensive visits and interaction.


**Source: Robert Dankoff, Robert Elsie; Evliya Celebi in Albania and adjacent regions (Kosovo, Montenegro, Ohrid).

Soldier of Macedon 10-13-2009 05:44 AM

Here's a website that makes reference to Celebi and the Albanians.

[url]http://www.albanianliterature.net/oral_lit3/OL3-11.html[/url]
[QUOTE]Travelling through southern Albania in 1670, Ottoman traveller Evliya Chelebi (1611-1684) recounts the apocryphal legend of the Arab sheikh Jabal-i Alhama, who fled to the mountains of [B]Kurvelesh in Albania[/B] and died in Elbasan. According to Evliya, he is the father of the Albanian people.[/QUOTE]

Bratot 10-13-2009 06:19 AM

[QUOTE]The place they originally inhabited, and where they still reside after many generations, is now called [B][U]the mountain of Quryelesh,[/U][/B] since they are descended from the Quraysh tribe of Arabs[/QUOTE]

Quryelesh = Kurvelesh
[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurvelesh[/url]

Coincidence?

:)

TrueMacedonian 10-13-2009 04:25 PM

SoM thank you for posting this. I know plenty of Albanians that hate Celebi. They insist that he got it all wrong. Yet why would he lie about it? What gain would've come out of him lying about the Albanians past? Irregardless of the fact that he was bad at geography and poor on who the inhabitants of the Ottoman Empire were (Ottomans really had no true ethnic identifier for the Balkan peoples except for the term Rayah and Romoi) Celebi gets into some details about these peoples and their past that no other historian or chronicler of the time has ever done.
I've read somewhere of Arab pirates raiding the Balkan coast lines and settling in some de-populated areas. Could it be possible that these people may have settled in the Albanian coast and spread from there?

Pelister 10-13-2009 06:32 PM

I'm not sure if this little bit of info belongs in this thread as it is about Evliya and the Albanians, but here it is anyway.

Remember I told you about a Near Eastern word "Sippar" which in Arabic means "bird".

It is possible that the descendants of the present day Albanians were settled where they are today by the Byzantines.

P.253 "Empires of Islamin Rennaissance historical Thought" by Margaret Meserve

[quote] Nero had tried once or possibly twice to send a legion to the 'Caspian Gates' in an attempt to emulate the deeds of Alesander the Great. We know his goal was the Caucasus, and not the Iranian Caspian Gates, both because Pliny explains that the expedition was aimed at 'Hiberia' (Georgia) and because [B]Tactitus[/B], who describes the soldiers chosen for this campaign ended up loitering dangerously in Rome, [B][U]says that Nero had directed them against the Albani, a caucasion tribe[/U][/B]. [/quote]

Soldier of Macedon 10-13-2009 08:48 PM

[QUOTE="TrueMacedonian"]SoM thank you for posting this. I know plenty of Albanians that hate Celebi. [B][U]They insist that he got it all wrong[/U][/B].[/QUOTE]
They should consult their ancestors, Celebi largely relayed that what was told to him, [B][U]by the Albanians themselves[/U][/B]. No amount of whining can dispute that.

Not sure how much Arab there is in their lineage, possibly a combination of that, Persian and Caucasus elements, as common words between Romanian and Albanian indicate that the latter may have crossed by there during travels from east to west.

Astrit 10-14-2009 03:13 AM

Not only are Albanians Arabs but they are also descendants of Muhammad's tribe?

The above claim is so ridiculous I have trouble taking it seriously but I will answer some of these claims with some dignity.


[QUOTE=Soldier of Macedon;24749]


Celebi states that the first ancestors of the Albanians were Arabs who arrived in Epirus during the 7th century. [/QUOTE]


False: The Arabic haplogroup J1 is nearly non existent among Albanians. Which means Albanian could not possibly be Arabs or carry the same lineage.




[QUOTE]
These lands were previously uninhabited and, within a short period of time, he settled them and, mingling with the Franks, they created the Albanian language from a mixture of Frankish and Arabic.
[/QUOTE]

False: The Albanian language is not related to either Frankish or Arabic
By Frankish I assume he is not referring to the Germanic language but Western Romance. Either way both instances are wrong, you can count Germanic words in Albanian with one hand. The Albanian language was also influence by Eastern not Western Latin.


All known Arabic words in Albanian we borrowed from Turkish. They are loans which means the early Albanians could not have possibly spoken Arabic.




[QUOTE]There is also a source (Michael Attaliates?) that apparently wrote of a people called 'Arbanitai' who were transplanted as mercenaries from Sicily to Albania by a rebel military commander called George Maniakos in 1042.[/QUOTE]

False: The first Albanian settlers in Southern Italy the Arbereshe migrated during the late 15th century.




[QUOTE]This clan of Quraysh[/QUOTE]


False: The clan of Quraysh has no connection to the village of Kurvalesh.

The village name comes from the term Kurve which I am sure most of you know is a common slavic word, meanwhile Lesh means wool. There is a story of how village earned the name after a whore that sleeps with a local bey only to kill him when he falls asleep with some type of handmade woolen rope...

Daskalot 10-14-2009 03:46 AM

Thank you for your breakdown of the above mentioned information Astrit.
Could it be possible that there were some migration of Arabs into nowadays Albanian? Why would Celebi state a thing like that, was it because the Albanians at the time tried to impress on the Ottoman official and rise their own status in his eyes, when they claimed to be connected to Muhammed?

Astrit 10-14-2009 04:11 AM

[QUOTE=Daskalot;24794]Thank you for your breakdown of the above mentioned information Astrit.
Could it be possible that there were some migration of Arabs into nowadays Albanian? Why would Celebi state a thing like that, was it because the Albanians at the time tried to impress on the Ottoman official and rise their own status in his eyes, when they claimed to be connected to Muhammed?[/QUOTE]

Daskalot, linguistically and racially speaking any connection Albanians have to Arabs is slim at best. Prior to the Ottoman invasion there were no known mosques in what today is Albania.



I agree with you the Muslim peasants Celebi was speaking of in Albania likely claimed relation to Muhammad to elevate their status. For a Muslim there would be no greater honor then sharing ancestry with the prophet.

Soldier of Macedon 10-14-2009 04:30 AM

[QUOTE="Astrit"]Not only are Albanians Arabs but they are also descendants of Muhammad's tribe?

The above claim is so ridiculous I have trouble taking it seriously but I will answer some of these claims with some dignity.[/QUOTE]
Astrit, no grudges from me mate, it was not me but Celebi that spent alot of time with the Albanians. It was [U]your own ancestors[/U] who told Celebi about their history and origins. Are you calling [U]your own ancestors[/U] ridiculous? Answer in response to [U]your own ancestors[/U] with dignity, and adress them with your 'falses'.
[QUOTE]The Albanian language was also influence by Eastern not Western Latin.[/QUOTE]
The Albanian language has significant influences from Slavonic languages, Greek, east Latin, Italian and probably several others. The language interests me, I am actually in the process of creating a topic about it, I am sure you will visit it and pass on your comments, perhaps you can clear up any misconceptions.
[QUOTE]The first Albanian settlers in Southern Italy the Arbereshe migrated during the late 15th century[/QUOTE]
People settled from Albania to Southern Italy during the 15th century, I don't dispute that, but George Maniakos is reported to have transplanted people from Sicily to Albania in the 11th century. Literature in Albanian is recorded only from the 13th century, that in itself does not mean that your people weren't present in the region prior, however, I would like for you to clarify something if you can.

On wikipedia I have seen this:
[QUOTE]Michael Attaliates, History 297 mentiones "Arbanitai" as parts of a mercenary army (c.1085); Anna Comnena, Alexiad VI:7/7 and XIII 5/1-2 mentions a region or town called Arbanon or Arbana, and "Arbanitai" as its inhabitants (1148). See also Vranousi (1970) and Ducellier (1968).[/QUOTE]
Then I have seen this:
[QUOTE]In the 2nd century BCE, [B][U]Polybius mentions the Arbanios, Arbanitai with their city Arbon[/U][/B]; in the 1st century CE, Pliny refers to Illyrian Olbonensis, and the 2nd century CE, [B]Ptolemy mentions an Illyrian tribe of the Albanoi[/B], settling in what is now Central Albania, with Albanopolis as their main city.[/QUOTE]
Can you please show me the quotes where Arbanitai are mentioned by Polybius and Albanoi are mentioned by Ptolemy? Given that these two sources are quoted extensively by today's Albanians, you should have no problem in being able to produce these.
[QUOTE]There is a story of how village earned the name after a whore that sleeps with a local bey only to kill him when he falls asleep with some type of handmade woolen rope...[/QUOTE]
Do you have a source that corroborates any of the above? I did a quick search and all I saw was some Albanian assumptions about a joke that emanated from Tirana and who could only agree on the first part of the word (kurve - whore).

Soldier of Macedon 10-14-2009 05:04 AM

Found this on wikipedia:
[QUOTE]The theory that Albanians were related to the Illyrians was proposed for the first time by a German historian in 1774.[/QUOTE]
The cited source is [I]Thunmann, Johannes E. "Untersuchungen uber die Geschichte der Oslichen Europaischen Volger". Teil, Leipzig, 1774.[/I]


Unfortunately there is no quote. Astrit, can you help? I have never heard of this person before.

Soldier of Macedon 10-14-2009 05:14 AM

[QUOTE]Albanian language forms its own branch of the Indo-European family and is not closely related to any other Indo-European languages. This complicates attempts to trace the origin of the Albanians further. A study published in Nature in 2003 tentatively put [B]Albanian in the Indo-Iranian branch[/B], but with a high degree of uncertainty.[/QUOTE]
Gray RD, Atkinson QD (2003) Language-tree divergence times support Anatolian theory of Indo-European origins. Nature 426:435-439.


It is uncertain, but it is possible.

makedonin 10-14-2009 05:43 AM

[QUOTE=Astrit;24799]
It is truly amazing how groups of people that are so similar genetically hold such long standing grudges between one another.
[/QUOTE]

It is sad, isn't it!?

But the grudges come from social and educational back grounds, and have nothing to do with genetics.

Brother kills his brother for money or ideology.

Astrit 10-14-2009 06:23 AM

[QUOTE=Soldier of Macedon;24801]Astrit, no grudges from me mate, it was not me but Celebi that spent alot of time with the Albanians. It was [U]your own ancestors[/U] who told Celebi about their history and origins. Are you calling [U]your own ancestors[/U] ridiculous? Answer in response to [U]your own ancestors[/U] with dignity, and adress them with your 'falses'.[/quote]

I was not referring to you specifically SOM, maybe Celebi could have gotten some facts straight by speaking to my ancestors in northern Albania.



[quote]People settled from Albania to Southern Italy during the 15th century, I don't dispute that, but George Maniakos is reported to have transplanted people from Sicily to Albania in the 11th century. Literature in Albanian is recorded only from the 13th century, that in itself does not mean that your people weren't present in the region prior, however, I would like for you to clarify something if you can.[/quote]

There is also no evidence of any Albanian settlements in southern Italy prior to the 15th century.


[QUOTE]
Do you have a source that corroborates any of the above? I did a quick search and all I saw was some Albanian assumptions about a joke that emanated from Tirana and who could only agree on the first part of the word (kurve - whore).[/QUOTE]

It is only a story I have heard from some elderly Albanians, whether it is true or not is insignificant because the etymology of Kurvalesh is clearly not of Arabic origin.


[QUOTE=Soldier of Macedon;24806]Gray RD, Atkinson QD (2003) Language-tree divergence times support Anatolian theory of Indo-European origins. Nature 426:435-439.


It is uncertain, but it is possible.[/QUOTE]

One of the main problems with the theory is that just as Arabic, the few Persian words are all loans....




The most supported theory on the origins of the Albanian language is the one proposed by master linguist Vladimir Georgiev, he argues that Albanian is not only undoubtedly Paleo-Balkanic in origin but it is a sub branch of the Thracian dialects.




[quote]Vladimir Georgiev (The Slavonic and East European Review 44, no. 103, 1960, pp. 285-297)

VIII. Albanians and Rumanians

It has been definitively proved that Albanian is descended from Daco-Mysian. Therefore the primitive home of Albanian is a Daco-Mysian region, probably Mysia Superior (Dardania, Dacia Mediterranea) or western Dacia. This fact enables us to explain the numerous typical agreements between Albanian and Rumanian.

Rumanian and Albanian took shape in the Daco-Mysian region;

Rumanian represents a completely Romanised Daco-Mysian and Albanian a semi-Romanised Daco-Mysian.[/quote]




According to this recent study Albanians have the second highest percentage of what is traditionally regarded as "Thracian DNA."


[quote]As we can notice in the latter alignment (fig. 4), the Thracian individuals have shown informative point mutations in 7 np, the Romanian, Greek and Albanian individuals in 8 np, the Italian individuals in 7 np and the Bulgarian individuals in only 5 np out of the 12 most informative nucleotide positions presented above.
As concerns the frequency of point mutations in the 12 nucleotide positions we have realized that the Italian individuals show the highest mutation frequency with 12.5 %, followed by the Thracian individuals with 8.3 %, the Albanian individuals with 7.5 %, the Romanian and Greek individuals with 6.25 % and the Bulgarian individuals with only 4.6 %.

[b]Computing the frequency of common point mutations of the present-day European population with the Thracian population has resulted that the Italian (7.9 %), the Albanian (6.3 %) and the Greek (5.8 %) have shown a bias of closer genetic kinship with the Thracian individuals than the Romanian and Bulgarian individuals (only 4.2%).[/b][/quote]


[url]http://www.scribd.com/doc/326027/PaleomtDNA-analysis-and-population-genetic-aspects-of-old-Thracian-populations-from-SouthEast-of-Romania[/url]

Soldier of Macedon 10-14-2009 06:49 AM

[QUOTE="Astrit"]I was not referring to you specifically SOM, maybe Celebi could have gotten some facts straight by speaking to my ancestors in northern Albania.[/QUOTE]
But the facts (and myths) he got were from your ancestors. He even records a list of words in your language, I can assure you that these words are Albanian and if you like I will post you the relevant pages. I find it hard to believe that Celebi would make up things on his own accord despite his intimate contact with the Albanians. Why was Kastriot not mentioned whatsoever?

What about Polybius and Ptolemy, can you show me the relevant quotes?

TrueMacedonian 10-14-2009 03:48 PM

The Germans really dug their hands in clay before any other westerner when it comes to certain peoples histories in the Balkans.

TrueMacedonian 10-14-2009 03:59 PM

[QUOTE]Daskalot, linguistically [B]and racially speaking any connection Albanians have to Arabs is slim at best.[/B] Prior to the Ottoman invasion there were no known mosques in what today is Albania.[/QUOTE]

Yeah ok. Do you know how many Christian Syrians there were prior the Ottoman invasions? Believe me it wouldn't be so hard to believe. Especially after the Ottomans conquered the Balkans.

Soldier of Macedon 10-14-2009 07:53 PM

[QUOTE]It has been [B][U]definitively proved[/U][/B] that Albanian is descended from Daco-Mysian. Therefore the primitive home of Albanian is a Daco-Mysian region, probably Mysia Superior (Dardania, Dacia Mediterranea) or western Dacia. This fact enables us to explain the numerous typical agreements between Albanian and Rumanian.[/QUOTE]
Proved where? By whom, Georgiev? Can you show me the evidence?

Would you like for me to show you an example of a glossary of Thracian words and their corresponding words in Balto-Slavic and Albanian, so we can see which is closer? The Thracian origin theory for the Albanians is one of the most absurd in my opinion.

If you can prove me wrong then please do, but snippets of some guy's opinion doesn't quite cut it for me. People cite Georgiev but not his study or what he based it on so we can see ourselves, people cite Polybius and Ptolemy but don't show the exact quotes so we can see where and how it was written.

Astrit, if you can provide the above sources it will assist you in proving your point, otherwise, everything is speculation at the moment. Since the 19th century many scholars have by default grouped the Albanian language with the ancient Balkan languages despite the lack of evidence, and ironically, it is exactly the same reason (lack of evidence) that they do this.

Astrit 10-14-2009 08:49 PM

[QUOTE=Soldier of Macedon;24870]Proved where? By whom, Georgiev? Can you show me the evidence?

Would you like for me to show you an example of a glossary of Thracian words and their corresponding words in Balto-Slavic and Albanian, so we can see which is closer? The Thracian origin theory for the Albanians is one of the most absurd in my opinion.

If you can prove me wrong then please do, but snippets of some guy's opinion doesn't quite cut it for me. People cite Georgiev but not his study or what he based it on so we can see ourselves, people cite Polybius and Ptolemy but don't show the exact quotes so we can see where and how it was written.

Astrit, if you can provide the above sources it will assist you in proving your point, otherwise, everything is speculation at the moment. Since the 19th century many scholars have by default grouped the Albanian language with the ancient Balkan languages despite the lack of evidence, and ironically, it is exactly the same reason (lack of evidence) that they do this.[/QUOTE]

Albanian retains many proto-IE features, linguist that have studied the language agree. Where exactly it fits in the IE puzzle is debated.

Georgiev was an expert in his field, his opinion carries more weight then mine or yours. The Thracian theory, which I can't say I agree with is the most accepted by scholars.

I have yet to read of a serious linguist that supports the Albanian-Caucasus theory...

Soldier of Macedon 10-14-2009 09:33 PM

I am yet to see any serious linguist or scholar support any theory with much conviction or corroboration, hence the reason why it is an interesting subject.

Astrit, I am not here to tell you who you are or who your people are, I am just exploring all avenues so I appreciate your mature involvement in this discussion.

Can you tell me what these proto-IE features are?

Do you think that Albanian as a language was crystalised or formed in the mountains? I think this is very plausable given the native words you guys have for such an environment. What troubles me is that huge amount of loanwords that are seemingly present in your language, do you think it is at all possible that Albanian may have been formed from two languages?

For example, could Albanian be an ancient Balkan language (or other language) which received an influx of Germanic, Slavic, etc loans, all of whom were groups that dwelt together (probably under an Albanian patriarchal society) in the mountains for centuries, before they descended to the plains?

Interested in your thoughts. Thanks.

Astrit 10-14-2009 10:48 PM

[QUOTE=Soldier of Macedon;24876]

Can you tell me what these proto-IE features are?[/quote]


Orel on the transition from Proto-IE to Proto-Albanian, I found it a very interesting piece:

[url]http://books.google.com/books?id=xvKH56aT5mEC&pg=PA42&lpg=PA42&dq=proto+ie+features+in+the+albanian+language&source=bl&ots=UeVOuCoG9Y&sig=n2aCspngXkcrXLoHLj51GaBjx0M&hl=en&ei=C5rWSsnoHZ_Ktgez4cH6Bg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CBUQ6AEwAzgK#v=onepage&q=&f=false[/url]


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