Albanian Ethnogenesis and Kosovo-Metochia

Hits: 1025

Kosovo, April 1944: Germans are making lists of (Muslim) Albanian volunteers for newly created SS Skanderbeg Division

The topic to be addressed in this text is the basic misconception on the question of the Balkan Albanian ethnogenesis and national identity that was framed by extremely geo-politically coloured German-based “Illyrian” theory of the Albanian ethnic and cultural origin. This (quasi)theory, unfortunately, has very deep and negative regional political-security consequences. The implementation of the “Illyrian” theory of the Albanian ethnogenesis was accepted firstly by the Rilindja, (the Renaissance) – the Albanian nationalistic and chauvinistic political movement in 1878–1913 for the sake to create the ethnically pure Greater Albania as a national state of all Balkan Albanians composed by self-interpreted all ethnographic and (quasi)historical “Albanian” territories at the expense of historical truth, justice as well as the Slavic and the Greek national interest.

The Balkan countries today

The so-called “Illyrian” theory of the ethnic origin of the Albanians (created by the German and the Austrian scholars) became purposely the most popular theory of the Albanian nation’s derivation among the majority of Albanian scholars, politicians, and intellectuals. The crucial and concluding point of this theory (in fact, it is actually a non-provable hypothesis) is that the Albanians are an authentic nation (ethnolinguistic group) of the Balkans, the oldest, aboriginal and autochthonous one in this part of Europe. As a result, the Albanians’ South Slavic neighbours (the Serbs-Montenegrins, and Macedonian Slavs) in contrast to the “indigenous” Albanians are just “newcomers” to the Balkans (who arrived at this peninsula “only” at the turn of the 7th century AD). Therefore, their ethnicity and nationality are much more recent than that of the Albanians. Subsequently, “historical rights” of the Balkan (quasi)autochthonous Albanian population on certain disputed Balkan territories (primarily between the Albanians and the South Slavs but also and between the Albanians and the Greeks) are stronger, more justifiable and historically more deeply rooted than the “historical rights” of the Serbs-Montenegrins or Macedonian Slavs. For that reason, it is expected that a “democratic” West will support the “justifiable” Albanian imperialistic territorial claims framed by the nationalistic idea of a united Greater Albania.

Nevertheless, shortly, according to the theory of the Illyrian-Albanian (quasi)ethnolinguistic continuity, the Albanians are descendants of the ancient Balkan population – the Illyrians. The national name of the Albanians has to come from the name of one Illyrian tribe – the Albanoi. Furthermore, the tribal name, Albanoi, was the designation applied to the entire number of the Illyrian tribes around the Ionian Sea.

The Illyrian tribes prior to the Roman conquest of the Balkans

However, the proponents of the Illyrian theory of the Albanian ethnographic origin built their scientifically unproved hypothesis mostly on the pure speculation that the modern Albanian language is directly descended from the ancient Illyrian one as well as that both of them belong to the same Indo-European language-group. Nevertheless, this claim is extremely disputed by contemporary linguistic science. The fact is that the Albanian language as a spoken language of the inhabitants of present-day Albania was not mentioned in any historical source until 1285 when it is for the first time recorded under this name in the manuscripts from Dubrovnik in which the language was referred to as lingua albanesesca. The name for the land – Albanon (the territory on which the Albanian language speakers live) is derived from the name of the language. This term for Albania, according to the supporters of this theory, appears in several 13th-century Latin dictionaries, as well as in some of the Byzantine historical sources. The medieval sources referred to the region between Mache river on the north and Schumbe river on the south (both in present-day Albania) as Arbanon (or Arber) but without any connection with the Albanian ethnic name. The Serbs who were living there before the Albanians occupied this territory coming from Sicily in the year of 1043 called this region as Raban. According to the 2nd century Greek geographer Ptolemy, this territory was settled by the Albanoi tribe which was of the Illyrian origin. However, the name of the Balkan Albania and subsequently of the ethnic Albanians is not derived from Albanoi or Arbanon but rather from the town-name of Albanopolis or Albanum (White Town or Belgrade).

The partisans of the Illyrian (quasi)theory of the Albanian origin speak in support of the school of thought on the origin and evolution of the Illyrians, which claims that the ancient Illyrians did not migrate to the Balkans. Instead, they were an autochthonous people in this part of Europe and even one of the oldest settlers in Europe. It has been suggested that the Albanians, as the direct ethnic, political and cultural offspring of the ancient Illyrians, are the original and indigenous inhabitants of the Balkans, even more, aboriginal than the ancient Greeks since the ancient Greeks migrated to the Balkans in two great migration waves: first, around 2000 BC, and secondly (Dorians), around 1200 BC. Clearly, Albanian “historical” rights had to be much stronger, justifiable and historically deeper based in comparison to the Serbian-Montenegrin, Greek or Macedonian Slavs’ and Bulgarian rights with respect to several Balkan territories of doubtful authenticity. In other words, the Albanians are seen as the “hosts” while their all neighbors are the “guests” in the Balkan Peninsula. American medievalist John V. A. Fine simplified the crucial point of the (quasi)theory of the Illyrian-Albanian ethnical-cultural-political continuity, writing that:

“…if the Illyrians were the ancestors of the Albanians, then the Albanians, as original inhabitants, have some historical right to that region and possibly rights to other regions which had been settled by Illyrians. And their Illyrian ancestry has been very important in Albanian nation-building myths” [Fine J., The Early Medieval Balkans, Ann Arbor, 1994, 10].

The Illyrian soldiers: A reconstruction

The pivotal aspect (from a historical-political point of view) of the Illyrian (quasi)theory is the claim that the Illyrian-Albanian tribes withdrew from the vast areas of the Balkans settling in the Balkan coastal towns and in the mountains of present-day Albania, Epirus, Macedonia and Montenegro during the alleged Slavic invasion and occupation of the Balkans in the 6th and 7th centuries. However, according to this (quasi)theory, Kosovo-Metochia was the only fertile lowlands in the entire Balkan Peninsula, which were somehow not abandoned by the Romanized Illyrians-Albanians. As a result, the Albanians of the (quasi)Illyrian ethnic origin were and are considered as an autochthonous population of Kosovo-Metochia (in fact, Ancient Serbia) while the Slavonic Serbs-Montenegrins were looked upon as newcomers and occupiers in the region of Kosovo-Metochia. Shortly, the Illyrian-Albanian (quasi)historical and ethnic rights to Kosovo-Metochia – the land claimed by both the Albanians and their Serb-Montenegrin neighbors – had to be some 15 centuries older than the Slavonic Serbian-Montenegrin historical and ethnic claims to the same territories, according to the (quasi)theory of the Illyrian-Albanian ethnogenesis.

The ancient Caucasus Albania: An original homeland of present-day Balkan Albanians

This (quasi)theory emphasizes that in present-day North Albania an extensive settlement of old inhabitants emerged after the occupation of the Balkans by the more powerful South Slavonic tribes. There is particular emphasis on this part of the Illyrian (quasi)theory during the Balkan Wars of 1912–1913 as a way of refuting Serbia’s claims on the territory of the North Albania – a territory populated by the Serbs before 1043 when the Albanians became a Balkan people. Furthermore, it is claimed that the Illyrian-Albanian population from the lowland of Kosovo-Metochia began to come under the Slavonic political-cultural influence, while the Illyrian-Albanian mountainous tribes from the Albanian highlands, who had fewer contacts with the Slavs, succeeded in maintaining their social system and cultural inheritance without alteration. The defenders of this (quasi)theory claim that the Byzantine province of Theme Dyrrhachium (which was established around 809 and covered entire present-day Albania’s territory, part of the North Epirus, the West Macedonia and the main part of the Montenegrin littoral with the area of Scodra lake) was inhabited by the Albanians who “caused the region to develop a special (Albanian) character”. Charles I of Naples  (1227–1285) established his own feudal domain under the name of the Regnum Albanai, which is tendentiously considered in the Albanian historiography as the first Albanian national state, located on the territory of the Byzantine Theme Dyrrhachium. Its capital became the city of Dyrrhachium (Durazo in the Italian, Durës in the Albanian or Drač in the Serbian).

B. Mussolini’s and from September 1943 A. Hitler’s Greater Albania during the WWII: The icon of all Greater Albania’s projects after 1945

In essence, an official Albanian (quasi)theory of the Albanian ethnogenesis is heavily politicized and directed to the creation of a Greater Albania which will include among other „Albanian“ lands and South Serbia’s province of Kosovo-Metochia – a cradle of the Serbian nation called by the Serbs as Ancient Serbia.

 

Prof. Dr Vladislav B. Sotirović

www.global-politics.eu/sotirovic

sotirovic@global-politics.eu

© Vladislav B. Sotirović 2018

 


Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.

Kosovo-Metochia today: Decoration of the capital

READ MORE!
Israeli Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon on Kosovo in March 1999
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest. Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement! Donate to Support Us We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
READ MORE
Establishment Struggles to Maintain Anti-Russian Narrative as the Ice Starts to Crack Under Them
As I have noted before in Strategic Culture Foundation, the infant Trump Administration is engaged in a life and death struggle with the Deep State, the mainstream media (MSM), all of the Democrats in Congress, and a lot of the Republicans too. One issue lies at the heart of the struggle: the determination of Trump’s enemies not to allow any sort of warming of ties between Washington and Moscow. Day after day the MSM run story after story alleging, with no evidence whatsoever, that Trump is a puppet of Vladimir Putin, who stole our election to put Trump in the White House. ...
READ MORE
Syrian Rebels Get Arms from Kosovo and Bosnia
The DEBKA website, close to Israeli military intelligence, knows well all the behind the curtain details of regional politics. A few days ago it reported about basically new turns of the way the events unfold in Syria. According to it, the Syrian extremists received a load of heavy weapons for the first time since the war started. The senders are the groups from Kosovo and the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina linked to Al Qaeda. The package includes Kornet and Fagot anti-tank systems delivered by the Soviet Union to former Yugoslavia in the past. The weapons ended up in the ...
READ MORE
United States War Crimes
Human Rights Day, December 10, 2016, we bring to the attention of our readers an important article published in 2002 on the record of US war crimes. The issue of War Crimes emerged after World War I at the Versailles Conference, but it was not until the end of World War II that a more comprehensive definition of what constitutes war crimes was developed. First among new international conventions addressing war crimes was the 1950 Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal. Its fundamental premise was that the conduct of war in violation of international treaties was a crime against peace. Ill treatment ...
READ MORE
Who are the Jews? Judaism vs Zionism
Real Semites are the Palestinians. Current Zionists Israelis genetically are not the Semites.They are the real anti Semitic people. Please world stop those anti Semitic warmongers Israeli Zionists!Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.SaveSaveSaveSave
READ MORE
“Islamic State Déjà Vu”
Author’s note: The following article focussing on the jihadist terrorist insurgency in Macedonia was first published by antiwar.com in July 2001, barely two months before the September 11, 2001 attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon.Known and documented, since the Soviet-Afghan war, recruiting Mujahedin (“holy warriors”) to fight covert wars on Washington’s behest had become an integral part of US foreign policy. A report of the US Congress had revealed how the US administration – under advice from the National Security Council headed by Anthony Lake – had “helped turn Bosnia into a militant Islamic base” leading to the recruitment ...
READ MORE
“Responsibility To Protect” (R2P) was not Valid in Kosovo and isn’t Valid in Ukraine
The same arguments used to justify a western ‘humanitarian intervention’ in Kosovo in 1999 could be used to support a Russian intervention in Ukraine. This article originally appeared at Irrussianality Yesterday, I gave a talk on ‘The Folly of Military Intervention’ at McGill University. Afterwards, one of the students asked me a question about parallels between the wars in Kosovo in 1999 and Ukraine in 2014/15. As I answered, I found myself thinking about the scale of the humanitarian crises in both cases and what this means for supporters of so-called ‘humanitarian intervention’. In 1999, NATO aircraft bombed Yugoslavia for three months. The aim, ...
READ MORE
“Humanitarian Intervention” and the „New World Order“: A Violation of the International Law
The Concept & The Origin Of The TermThe term „humanitarian intervention“ is the American political neologism (newly coined word) to morally cover a new format of  Washington's global imperialism at the time of the post-Cold War's „New World Order“ in which the USA feel very comfortable to play a role of a global policeman. Theoretically, according to the Western conception of „humanitarian intervention“, one or more states (the USA and the NATO) have a moral (quasi) obligation and/or right to intervene into the internal affairs of other state, if this state (according to the self-evaluation by Washington) does not respect ...
READ MORE
The Declining of Yugoslavia (1967‒1981)
In the last years of the Cold War (1949−1989), the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (the SFRY) was the largest, most developed and ethnoculturally diverse country in the Balkan peninsula (South-East Europe).It was a non-aligned federation comprised of six republics: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia. In addition to these six republics, two separate territories of Kosovo-Metochia and Vojvodina held the status of autonomous provinces within the Republic of Serbia. Undoubtedly, ex-Yugoslavia was a mix of ethnic groups and religions, with Orthodox Christianity, Roman Catholicism, and Islam being three main religions in the country.[i]Coinciding with the collapse of Communism ...
READ MORE
Airstrikes and Hypocrisy
On December 22 last year the government of Syria regained control of the city of Aleppo that had been occupied by brutal rebel forces since 2012. As reported by the BBC, «The predominantly Sunni Muslim opposition is made of several rebel groups, many of whom have received financial aid from key opponents of President Assad, including the US, Saudi Arabia and Turkey». Following defeat of the US-supported insurgents, «Under a deal brokered by Turkey and Russia, convoys of buses and cars have shuttled thousands of civilians and fighters out of Aleppo's last rebel-held pocket toward opposition areas outside the city», and peace was restored, much to the ...
READ MORE
The US: The Century of Lost Wars
Introduction Despite having the biggest military budget in the world, five times larger than the next six countries, the largest number of military bases – over 180 – in the world and the most expensive military industrial complex, the US has failed to win a single war in the 21st century. In this paper we will enumerate the wars and proceed to analyze why, despite the powerful material basis for wars, it has led to failures. The Lost Wars The US has been engaged in multiple wars and coups since the beginning of the 21st century.  These include Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Palestine, Venezuela and ...
READ MORE
Why the Rise of Fascism is Again the Issue
The recent 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz was a reminder of the great crime of fascism, whose Nazis iconography is embedded in our consciousness. Fascism is preserved as history, as flickering footage of goose-stepping blackshirts, their criminality terrible and clear. Yet in the same liberal societies, whose war-making elites urge us never to forget, the accelerating danger of a modern kind of fascism is suppressed; for it is their fascism. “To initiate a war of aggression…,” said the Nuremberg Tribunal judges in 1946, “is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other ...
READ MORE
Russia’s Message to the Mushroom
A NATO warmonger President of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaite (her surname means a mushroom in the English) is observing Russia's "aggressors" and "cannibals" Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest. Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement! Donate to Support Us We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
READ MORE
The Problem is America: The Malignant Cultural Hegemony
What is wrong with the American people? After several years of horrific policy toward the waking world, democracy’s standard bearers seem to be drowning in a lake of selfishness. Distracted, apathetic, or simply dumbed and numbed by unrelenting propaganda, the most admired society on Earth has turned to a wriggling mush of diverging ideals. I fear that American have become what we ultimately deplored, just another despicable cultural hegemony. Here’s a short brief on the matter. A recent article by James Carden at The Nation prompted me to discuss this unsavory truth today. The title of the piece, “Trump’s Syria Policy: ...
READ MORE
One Dead McCain, 2.5 Million Dead Iraqis
The grossest thing in American society is the reactionary sentimentality that fill our gossip infected hearts with a chemical reaction every time one of our supposed war heroes moves on to a more peaceful place. The carefully rehearsed statements from useless political figures numb our minds as all those who are sane must collectively wonder what on earth has a fusty bag of bones like John McCain ever done for us? Donald Trump was once new to the political scene and was still capable of burning bridges that were worth burning. It was Mr. Trump’s finest moment when he said ...
READ MORE
Kiev Euromaidan: Participants in 2014 Ukrainian Coup Confess
The overthrow of the democratically elected President of Ukraine in February 2014 was one of the most important geostrategic occurrences during the past century, because it led to the breakaway from Ukraine of the two regions — Crimea and Donbass — that had been the most opposed to the overthrow, and that had voted over 75% for the President who had been overthrown. And those two breakaways from Ukraine were then presented in the U.S.-allied “The West” as having resulted from ‘Russian aggression’, which then became punished, first by economic sanctions against Russia, and then by massive NATO military buildups ...
READ MORE
The USA Bombing List: The Democracy World Tour
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
READ MORE
“Greater Israel”: The Zionist Plan for the Middle East
This article was published on Global Research April 29, 2013.Global Research Editor’s Note:The following document pertaining to the formation of “Greater Israel” constitutes the cornerstone of powerful Zionist factions within the current Netanyahu government (which has recently been re-elected), the Likud party, as well as within the Israeli military and intelligence establishment.  The election was fought by Netanyahu on a political platform which denies Palestinian statehood.  According to the founding father of Zionism Theodore Herzl, “the area of the Jewish State stretches: “From the Brook of Egypt to the Euphrates.”  According to Rabbi Fischmann,  “The Promised Land extends from the River of Egypt ...
READ MORE
Trolling Russia
The edifice of the post-1991 world order is collapsing right before our eyes. President Putin’s decision to give a miss to the Auschwitz pilgrimage, right after his absence in Paris at Charlie festival, gave it the last shove. It was good clean fun to troll Russia, as long as she stayed the course. Not anymore. Russia broke the rules.Until now, Russia, like a country bumpkin in Eton, tried to belong. It attended the gathering of the grandees where it was shunned, paid its dues to European bodies that condemned it, patiently suffered ceaseless hectoring of the great powers and irritating baiting of the East European small-timers alike. But something broke there. The lad does ...
READ MORE
The participants of Munich Conference, 1938. From left to right: Neville Chamberlain, Eduard Daladier, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini
On February 2nd, 1943, the 6th German Army, under the command of Field Marshall Von Paulus, and elements of the 4th Panzer Army, surrendered to the Red Army at Stalingrad. This stunning victory is considered the turning point in the war in Europe, heralding the defeat of fascist Germany.That defeat came on May 2ndth 1945, when the German forces in Berlin, the capital of the Third Reich, surrendered to the forces of the Red Army that had captured the city. On May 9th the official act of surrender of the German government and military forces took place in Berlin when ...
READ MORE
Israeli Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon on Kosovo in March 1999
Establishment Struggles to Maintain Anti-Russian Narrative as the Ice Starts to Crack Under Them
Syrian Rebels Get Arms from Kosovo and Bosnia
United States War Crimes
Who are the Jews? Judaism vs Zionism
“Islamic State Déjà Vu”
“Responsibility To Protect” (R2P) was not Valid in Kosovo and isn’t Valid in Ukraine
“Humanitarian Intervention” and the „New World Order“: A Violation of the International Law
The Declining of Yugoslavia (1967‒1981)
Airstrikes and Hypocrisy
The US: The Century of Lost Wars
Why the Rise of Fascism is Again the Issue
Russia’s Message to the Mushroom
The Problem is America: The Malignant Cultural Hegemony
One Dead McCain, 2.5 Million Dead Iraqis
Kiev Euromaidan: Participants in 2014 Ukrainian Coup Confess
The USA Bombing List: The Democracy World Tour
“Greater Israel”: The Zionist Plan for the Middle East
Trolling Russia
May 9th: Russian Victory, NATO Defeat

Leave a Reply