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Albanian atempts to forge OUR ILLYRIAN HISTORY

May 17 2000 at 11:16 PM
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The Albanians in Yugoslavia in light of historical documents

The Albanians in Yugoslavia in light of historical documents
By Dr. S.S. Juka
edited in New York in 1984

Part: One | Two | Three | Footnotes


Part One

At present, nobody would think of considering the Slavs as the descendants of the Illyrians. Nonetheless, in the first half of the 19th century, when the nationalities problem - which before Napoleon was practically nonexistent - acquired a preeminent importance, the belief that the Illyrians were the ancestors of the Slavs was very strong.1 This conviction, which persisted in some circles until the turn of the century and even beyond, evoked at that time much fervor and exaltation. These feelings may be conveyed by a passage taken from Edmund Spencer's "Turkey, Russia, the Black Sea, and Circassia" (London, 1854):

How flattering must it have been to a people (i.e. the Slavs) so long the bondsmen of the Tatar and the Turk, the German and the Magyar, to be told in their own language (by the preachers of panslavism) and in their own journals, that they were the descendants of those illustrious Illyrians, who won by their valor the glorious epithet of the Slavon (men of renown)2 from the great Macedonian chief - the conqueror of the world. But all this was necessary - and much more that is fabulous and fanciful in their history - to inspirit, to awaken a pride of race among a people who had been long sunk in abject slavery ... (p.43).

In "Travels in European Turkey" (London, 1850): E. Spencer gives an account of the Illyrian Empire:

...The Illyrians founded an immense empire extending from Epirus ... to the Danube and the Black Sea and comprehending the whole of the maritime coast of Hungary to Venice and Triest, with Istria, Carnolia, Carinthia, Styria, and Friuli... History and tradition affords us many interesting details of the battles of the Illyrians with the ancient Greeks and the Romans... Napoleon was well versed in the history of these people when he flattered their national pride...(Vol. I, pp. 93-94)

* * *

As indicated by E. Spencer, the Illyrians fought, in fact, for a long time against the Romans, who eventually conquered the whole of Illyria in A.D. 9. Many Illyrian soldiers, who susbsequently served in the Roman army rose to high positions. Some became emperors and viceroys: Claudius II, Aurelian, Probus, Diocletian, Maximilian, Constantius, Valens, and Valentinian. Mention should also be made of Saint Jerome, one of the greatest scholars of his time. The Illyrians gave to Byzantium three of its greatest emperors: Constantine, who officially accepted Christianity; Justinius, who built Saint Sophia; and Justinianus, famous for his Code of Laws. The philologist Paul Kretschmer went so far as to maintain that the Illyrians actually founded Byzantium.

* * *

Proud of what they considered their heritage (see E. Spencer, Travels... I, p. 94), the South Slavs became eager to recreate ancient Illyria by forming a union among themselves. Napoleon, who following the Franco-Austrian War had formed the short-lived (1809-1814) Illyrian Provinces, inspired in them the idea of calling their state-to-be Illyria. This state was to comprehend Croatia, Slovenia, the Dalmatian coast with its hinterland Bosnia and Hercegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Thrace.

However, by the time the dream of the South Slavs came true, i.e., by the time two great Empires were overthrown and the South Slavic state was created on the ancient Illyrian soil, it was evident that the country could no longer be called Illyria. For, by that time, it had become obvious that the descendance of the Slavs from the Illyrians was but a myth. Irrefutable historical documents demonstrated clearly that the Slavs were latecomers in the region inhabited by them.

With the myth that had connected the Slavs with the Illyrians withered and died also the legend of the mighty huntress Illyria who had given birth to three sons: Tcheck, Leh, and Rouss (see E. Spencer, Travels... I, p.92). Yet the fact remains that the Illyrian myth had kindled among the South Slavs the national idea by inspiring in them self-confidence and pride.

* * *

Illyrism originated in Croatia. The Austro-Hungarians used to consider it as a movement inspired and supported by the Russians. The latter, however, often regarded its propagators as Austrian agents.3

Russia, who was planning to exercise her own influence in the Balkans was brought, at various occasions, into conflict with Austria. Owing to this fact, she could not fully accept Illyria as the dynamic symbol for the unification of the South Slavs. Instead, she found it more appropriate to make use of another term; she coined Great Serbia.4

Great Serbia was to comprise roughly the same territories as Illyria, but to these was to be added North Albania.

Russia's role in the formation of the Balkan states is paramount. It has been rightly remarked that without Russis's aid none of the Balkan nations would have probably achieved independence. Albania is the only nation to have stood desperately alone in her struggle for freedom.

When considering the problem of the Albanian borders, it is essential to be aware of the dominant role played quite early by the Russians relative to the Balkan nations. For it is a very common error to think that the unification of the South Slavs is an idea that emerged after World War I and that the Albanian borders would probably not have been quite what they presently are, had they been discussed with respect to Yugoslavia and not in regard to Serbia and Montenegro, as was the case.

* * *

In 1878, at the Congress of Berlin, the idea of Great Serbia, which goes as far back as the 18th century, served as a guideline relative to territorial claims, but it could not, of course, be disclosed and openly discussed; it would have been premature. Indeed, even for the sake of the future unification, it was much more appropriate to be first concerned with the revindication of the South Slavs as single states and not as a group.

At the Congress, it was thus merely insisted that Serbia be aggrandized and that a seaport be given to Montenegro, which was very poor.

In fact, when the French savant Ami Boue visited Montenegro in 1836, he was struck by its poverty, claiming that it would be doomed to remain for a long time without resources because neither Turkey nor Austria would be willing to conquer rocks; adding, however, that Russia could have used her influence to induce Austria to ceding to Montenegro the seaport Cattaro which was of no great importance to herself.5

Yet, forty years later, at the Congress of Berlin, there was no question of allotting Cattaro (Kotor) to Montenegro. She was awarded, instead, Antebari (Tivar) and, a little later, Dulcigno (Ulqin), a harbor which from 877 to 1560 had been the see of a Catholic bishopric. It had practically never been under Slav rule. Moreover, its population was 95% Albanian.

But the Principality of Montenegro, which was made up of rocks, did not merely need a seaport; it also lacked pasture land. It was thus awarded Podgorica (recently Titograd), Shpuza, the rich valleys of Plava and Gusigne, Hoti, Gruda, and Triepshi, which were Albanian strongholds. As pointed out by Justin Godard, after the Treaty of Berlin, Montenegro's territory doubled (L'Albanie en 1921, Paris, 1922, p.9.). Montenegro, on account of her small size, was in an excellent position to extend her territory at Albania's expense and at the same time come closer to Serbia, i.e., toward achieving her goal of unification. As for Serbia, who was much pitied for her lack of access to the sea, she received, in compensation, Kursumlija, Leskovac, Vranja and Nis, a region whose population was mainly Albanian.

These important acquisitions made by Serbia and Montenegro were to be added later to the greater nation that tese single states were planing to form.

* * *

The Albanians became alarmed when the preliminary Peace Treaty of San Stefano had created a huge Bulgaria, which was to include territory nominally under Turkish rule, but inhabited by Albanians. Since 1330, when the Bulgarians lost their independence, there had been no noticeable uprising in the Balkan nation. In all probability, Bulgaria's independence would not have come about without Russia's assistance.

Although the Albanians did not have anybody to back their claims, they reacted very rapidly. In the fall of 1877, they formed a committee - Le Comite central pour la defense des droits de la nation albanaise - whose purpose was to denounce the states that were planning to expand their territory at Albania's expense.

The committee invited the neighboring countries to a peaceful coexistence, but added that it was determined to defend Albania's national rights.

Albania was at that time a domain of the Turkish Empire comprising four vilayets or provinces: Shkodra - which included the Dukagjini Plateau (Metohija), Monastir (presently Bitolja), Janina, and Shkup (Skopje), presently in Macedonia. This latter province was more readily called Kosova by the Turks in memory of the victory of a battle on the Plain of Kossovo, the "Campo dei Merli" of old Venetian maps. The capital of this province had at times been Pristina.6

* * *

Owing to the efforts of the committee headed by A. Frasheri,7 80 delegates representing all four provinces convened at the city of Prizren, in the Vilayet of Shkup (Kosova) in June 1878, three days prior to the opening of the Congress of Berlin, whose purpose was to reconsider the decision reached by San Stefano's preliminary Peace Treaty. The assembly of these delegates was henceforth called The League of Prizren. Its task was to defend Albania's rights.

Kosova became thus for the Albanians the center of their resistance and they have ever since regarded this territory as a symbol of their struggle for independence.

* * *

Various letters, telegrams, petitions, and memoranda signed by Albanians inhabiting all four provinces were dispatched to heads of state and ambassadors. Their reading reveals the exasperation and bitterness of the Albanians, who, judging by their messages, preferred to be annihilated rather than to be included in a Slav state.

Below are excerpts of a long memorandum; they convey some of the feelings experienced by the Albanians:

...To annex to Montenegro or to any other Slav state, countries inhabited ab antiquo by Albanians who differ essentially in their language, in their origin, in their customs, in their traditions, and in their religion, would be not only a crying injustice, but further an impolitic act, which cannot fail to cause complaints, discontent and sanguinary conflicts...

...notwithstanding their longing to escape the misfortunes which Turkish rule has inflicted on them for five centuries, the Albanians will never submit themselves to any Slav State which Russia may attempt to put forward; race, language, customs (...) national pride, everything, in a word, is opposed to such a state of things; and it is neither just nor prudent to free them from a yoke only to place them under another, which would in no way ameliorate their social position.8

Yet despite all the requests sent to heads of state by so many Albanians, Albania was not granted autonomy. Similar to Metternich who once claimed that Italy was merely a geographic expression, but that there was no Italian nation, Bismarck declared that "Albania is merely a geographic expression; there is no Albanian nation.9

* * *

Whereas Moslem Bosnia was assigned to Austria, Serbia (proclaimed an independent kingdom by the Congress) and Montenegro were allotted regions whose population was purely Albanian.

As soon as the Serbs occupied the ceded territories, the Albanians were asked to evacuate them. With respect to the Albanians inhabiting those areas, Mr. Gould, Consul of Great Britain in Belgrade, wrote to the Marquis of Salisbury, Secretary of the Foreign Office of Great Britain, on Nov. 26, 1878:

I hear that the Servian Government has behaved with great and unnecessary harshness, not to say cruelty, toward the Albanians in the recently ceded districts. If my information is correct, and I have every reason to believe it to be so, the peaceful and industrious inhabitants of over 100 Albanian villages in the Toplitza and Vranja Valley were ruthlessly driven forth from their homesteads by the Servians in the early part of this year. These wretched people have ever since been wandering about in a starving condition in the wild country beyond the Servian frontier. They have not been allowed to gather in their crops on their own lands, which were reaped by the Servian soldiery... I ... casually stated to his Excellency (Ristic) that these facts had come to my knowledge, and that should they be confirmed I felt certain Her Majesty's Government and the majority of the Great Powers would call the Servian Government to account, and insist upon strict justice being done to these unfortunate people, whose only crime was their belonging to an alien race and another creed...10

Yet the Serbs did not stop their harsh measures against the Albanians. Tens of thousands were brutally forced to evacuate these areas inhabited by them from time immemorial without receiving any compensation for their losses.

The Servian government confiscated all property owned by the Albanians despite the articles 35 and 39 of the "Berlin Negotiations" stipulating that the Albanians living in the regions ceded to Serbia would have the same civil rights as the Serbs.

As to the number of the Albanians inhabiting those territories, various statistics and extant documents give contradictory figures. According to a note of the administrative divisions dating from 1873, the district of the Sandjak of Nis had about 100 000 Albanians. As regards the number of refugees, the figures given by Prof. J. Cvijic for those who settled in Kosova is 30 000, that furnished by English documents, 100 000. According to Turkish sources, the number of the Albanians who were forced to leave the region amounted to 300 000.

On June 3, 1978, Rilindja (p.7), published a letter addressed by these miserable people (who were deprived of all means and many of whom were sick) to the European Powers requesting that at least a commission be set up to look into their serious problem.11

Leaving these helpless refugees to their sad fate, the Serbs colonized the region with astounding rapidity. Referring to the colonization of the area by the Serbs, V. Cubrilovic stated in his "Memorandum" (about which more will be told later) that "Toplica and Kosanica, once Albanian regions of ill-repute, gave Serbia the finest regiment in the wars of 1912-1918".

* * *

Since these territories forcibly annexed to Serbia belonged nominally to Turkey, the Albanians could not oppose a marked resistance on account of the fact that they did not have a state of their own and, consequently, were not provided with an organized army. However, realizing that after the disintegration of the Turkish Empire, which was imminent, land that had been theirs would remain under Slav domination, they felt very bitter. They were thus quickly organized and armed by the League and despite every difficulty defended heroically the districts that had been adjudged to Montenegro. As a result, the latter failed to take them by force. These territories were to be ceded by the Great Powers to Montenegro in 1913.

As for Ulqin (Dulcigno), it was quickly occupied by Albanian troops (which the League had managed to organize in the meantime) as soon as the Turks evacuated it. The resistance of these troops in that city was so fierce, that the Great Powers had to send seventeen war vessels in order to compel the Albanians to yield, giving them a delay of three days. Paying no heed to this naval threat, the Albanians resisted for more than two months. The Turks dispatched, then, their own troops numbering eight battalions. As a result, the Albanians found themselves encircled on all sides. After a desperate battle, they surrendered to the Turks, who, after taking possession of Ulqin, handed it over to the Montenegrins in June 1880.

In regard to Ulqin, M.E. Durham wrote: "The naval demonstration was instigated by Gladstone. Dulcigno remains a monument of diplomatic blunder...it is a constant reminder to the Albanians that they may expect no justice from Europe, and it has enhanced their hatred for the Slav". (High Albania, London, 1909, p.9).

Owing to the passionate and tenacious resistance of the Albanians, the battle of Ulqin received much attention in Europe and elsewhere. Some of the numerous reports published in French newspapers as well as in the New York Times in 1880 are interesting to read. Below are merely two passages picked at random:

...There are said to be 8 400 Mohammedans and 4 000 Catholic Albanians in the district with a sprinkling of Slavs and Gypsies. These people are not on the friendliest terms with their Montenegrin neighbors, but they hate the Turks quite as much...The Albanian League declares ... that the territory of Albania is sacred... (NYT, Sept. 13,4:3).

Dulcigno12 humorously described...

... That sweetly named town, as is well known, belongs to Albania, which in turn belongs to Turkey. The Great Powers of Europe, after a pleasant consultation in Berlin, in Prince Bismarck's back parlor, decided that it should be a good thing if Montenegro, an independent principality which from lack of seaport has hitherto been compelled to restrict itself to brigandage instead of piracy, were to have a convenient seaport like Dulcigno... (NYT, Sept, 4:5).13

* * *

The Catholics resented their annexation to Montenegro just as much as did the Moslems, if not more. The loss of Ulqin inspired the Franciscan Father Ndue Shllaku to address the population of that town in terms the reading of which still moves Albanians to tears.

The other fights with Montenegro were sung by Father Gjergj Fishta, a Franciscan, in his Epic The Lute of the Highlanders, one of the great masterpieces of Albanian literature. In this strong and moving work, Fishta shows the Albanian Catholics side by side with their Moslem brothers in their fight against the Montenegrins.14

Yet the admirable contribution of the Catholics to the national cause was completely ignored by the West, as had been the numerous petitions sent to the Powers by Catholic tribes, who begged not to be annexed to Montenegro.

The Albanians, who had reacted in a most courageous and dignified way were to find out that their heroic fights for the national cause were described as a resistance of Moslem fanatics to Christianity and to Christian civilization and that the League of Prizren was presented as being supported by the Turks. For propaganda purposes, Slav Orthodoxy, chauvinistically national in character, was equated with Christianity and its universal values.15

Whether the Albanians had any premonition that the decisions of the Berlin Congress would constitute for them only the beginning of a series of other iniquities and humiliations, is hard to say. The admirable activity they displayed in the years that followed, suggest that they kept believing in human justice.16

* * *

To be sure, there were, among foreigners, individuals who considered the plight of the Albanians in an objective way and who tried to assist them. Thus Lord Goschen, British Ambassador to Constantinople, wrote to Earl Granville, Secretary of the Foreign Office of Great Britain, on July 26, 1880:

... I venture to submit to your Lordship, as I have done before, that the Albanian excitement cannot be passed over as a mere maneuver conducted by the Turks in order to mislead Europe, and evade its will. Nor can it be denied that the Albanian movement is perfectly natural. As ancient and distinct a race, as any by whom they are surrounded, they have seen the nationality of these neighboring races taken under the protection of various European Powers, and gratified in their aspirations for a more independent existence. They have seen the Bulgarians completely emancipated... They have seen the ardent desire of Europe to liberate territory inhabited by Greeks from Turkish rule. They have seen the Slavs in Montenegro protected by the great Slav Empire of the North with enthusiastic pertinence. They see the Eastern question being solved on the principle of nationality and the Balkan Peninsula being gradually divided, as it were, among various races on that principle. Meanwhile, they see that they themselves do not receive similar treatment. Their nationality is ignored, and territory inhabited by Albanians is handed over in the north to the Montenegrins, to satisfy Montenegro, the protege of Russia, and in the south to Greece, the protege of England and France. Exchanges of territory are proposed, other difficulties arise, but it is still at the expense of the Albanians, and the Albanians are handed over to Slavs and Greeks without reference to the principle of nationality. (Public Record Office, London, F.O. 424/100 pp.31-34).

This is but a brief passage of a long letter which shows Lord Goschen's admirable insight relating to the Albanian question and hence to the Balkan problem. In this letter Lord Goschen points out that the Turks were using, in regard to Albanians, "cajolery" and "every other means but the promise of independence" because, as he remarks, "if the Turks lose Albania, they lose their cause in Europe". Lord Goschen adds that on account of this fact and since the Albanians are very eager to detach themselves from Turkey, it would be a blunder on the part of the Western Powers to overlook the Albanian nationality. In his opinion, a large Albania would "facilitate the future settlement of the Eastern question in Europe". Lord Goschen feels sorry that Kirby Green, Consul of Great Britain in Shkoder, failed to understand the Albanian problem. Above all, he is indignant as to a ruthless plan worked out by Captain Sale who proposed to tell the Albanians that if they rebelled against the decisions of the Great Powers, "their villages would be uprooted and they would incur a further penalty in the contraction of their boundary". Lord Goschen is convinced that the Albanians do not deserve such treatment "because, after all, in their attitude of resistance, and in their deep-rooted objection to a portion of their countrymen being handed over to an alien rule, they are simply acting on the same principle of nationality as have formed the basis of the recent treatment of the Eastern question".

Referring to Captain Sale's memorandum relative to the plan already mentioned, Lord Goschen remarks in the same letter:

...as the memorandum contained the suggestion that a British agent should be employed to influence the Albanians by fear as to the private and not only the political consequences of resistance, and as this memorandum will remain on record amongst the Archives of the Embassy, I have thought it my duty to record my strong protest against the plan it contains.

Similar to Lord Goschen, others were equally disturbed by the iniquities to which the Albanians were subjected, but their efforts to assist them were thwarted. With respect to Kosova's population, Lord Fitzmaurice (British representative on the Eastern Rumelian Commission created by the Treaty of Berlin to work out an agreement with the Porte) wrote to Earl Grey:

The extension of the Albanian population in the north-easterly direction toward Prishtina and Vranja is especially marked, and is fully acknowledged even upon maps such as that of Kiepert, generally regarded as unduly favorable to the Slav element, and that published by Messrs. Stanford in the interest of the claims of the Greek Christian population... the recent Albanian movement has a more vigorous hold on this eastern district than perhaps upon any other ... The vilayet of Kosovo with the exception of a Serb district extending eastward from Mitrovitza, may be said to be Albanian. (May 26, 1880).17

The iniquities committed in regard to the Albanians are occasionally acknowledged even by Slavs. Thus N. Todorov writes:

The Albanian people who had also risen in armed struggle, were denied the right to self-determination and were abandoned to their fate against the vast human and material resources of the Ottoman Empire, as well as the encroachments of their neighboring Balkan states". (Todorov, The 0Russo-Turkish war of 1877-1878 and the Liberation of Bulgaria", East-European Quarterly, 1980, Vol. 14, No. 1, p.15).

* * *

The Great Powers eventually left the Balkans in the hands of Austria and Russia. The influence of the latter, however, grew stronger as time went by.

In regard to Kosova, Russia sent priests to Serbian monasteries situated in the region exalting, together with the Orthodox faith, heroes and deeds pertaining to Serbian legends.18 They opened schools which were hotbeds of Slav propaganda. Clearly, her purpose was to colonize the province where the Serbs were but an insignificant minority.

The West knew little at that time about the Balkan states. In fact, the ignorance was such that some missionaries who went to Macedonia to support the Bulgarian cause confessed that formerly they had been ignorant of the fact that there were Bulgarians in the Peninsula; they had thought that only Greeks lived there. Practically nothing was known, of course, relative to the Albanians; those unfamiliar with the question could be told anything. Thus, when two Russian consuls in Kosova and Monastir were killed by Albanians (who acted in self-defense), these acts were described as being committed by 'Moslem fanatics'. The two propaganda agents were presented as martyrs; their funerals were grandiose. Since Christianity was equated with civilization and Islam with backwardness, the Christians were regarded as the allies of the Great Powers. Thus the Catholic Albanians who are animated by patriotic feelings were ignored by design. The Albanians were depicted merely as backward Moslems and as allies of the Turks.

* * *

Many books and articles were published by the South Slavs for the purpose of showing the ferocity of the Albanians, their backwardness, their despicable behavior, their lack of discipline, etc. Vladan Djordjevic, former Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Serbia, went even so far as to claim that until "as late as the 19th century", there had been Albanians with tail in their rear! Djordjevic even referred the reader to J.G. Von Hahn's scholarly work, Albanesische Studien, where, he asserted, he had found the information.19

The purpose of all these writings was, of course, to draw a picture that gives to the non-specialist a very poor idea of the Albanians so that these, by dint of being despised by others may, in their innermost soul, start to despise themselves.20

* * *

To be sure, there are established scholars - be they geographers, historians, anthropologists, or serious travelers and explorers - who have expressed opinions of a very different kind: H.N. Brailsford went even so far as to maintain that "from Byron's day downward it would be hard to find a Western European who has learned to know the Albanians without admiring them" (The New Republic, March 1, 1919). In fact those who had nice words on behalf of the Albanians were so numerous that the Serb S. Protic (Balkanicus) considered the tendency to praise the Albanians as highly ethical individuals and to describe them as "unusually gifted", to have become a fashion.21 The fact remains, however, that the latter writings were not accessible to many. The influential French daily Le Temps, published merely articles favoring the Slavs and Greeks, for France was then Russia's ally.22

Unknown or misunderstood by the outside world, the Albanians had to fight, under the most difficult conditions, both their neighbors and the Turks without being supported by any great power.

* * *

In order to achieve national unity with a delimited territory, the League had requested the Porte, in July 1878, to turn Albania into one vilayet. The request had not been granted. As a consequence, the Albanians, under their gallant leader Isa Boletini, a native of Kosova, openly took a stand against the Turks. All their activities were centered in the Kosova region, which became the cradle of their national struggle and thus acquired a special meaning for them.23

In 1912, when the Albanians seized Shkup (Skopje) and were about to enter Monastir (Bitolja), the Turks called a truce and granted them autonomy uniting the vilayets of Shkodra, Janina, Kosova, and part of Monastir. As a result of this Albanian victory, the government of the chauvinistic Young Turks Party was overthrown. The weakness of Turkey became thus evident.

The Albanians had administered a heavy blow to the Turks and rightly hoped for approval and sympathy, for, as Lord Goschen had rightly pointed out back in 1880, if the Turks lost Albania, they would lose their cause in Europe. Instead, the Albanian victory triggered the Balkan wars, the purpose of which was the annexation of Albanian-inhabited territories that were under Turkish rule.

At that time, Montenegro had been free from Ottoman rule for over forty years; Serbia and Greece for over eighty. These states, being independent, had their regular armies. When attacked on all sides (by the Greeks, the Montenegrins, and, of course, by the Serbs, who entered Kosova), the Albanians, aware of the great danger, hastened to raise their flag and declared their neutrality.

* * *

The atrocities perpetrated by the Serbo-Montenegrins during the Balkan wars on the Albanian population were acknowledged by the Serbian socialist Dimitrije Tucovic (1881-1914) in his book Srbija i Albanija (published in 1946):

The bourgeois clamored for a merciless extermination and the army executed the orders. The Albanian villages, from which the people had made a timely flight, were burned down. There were at the same time barbaric crematoria in which hundreds of women and children were burned alive...24

Brutalities committed by the Serbo-Montenegrins are also described in the Carnegie report. They may be best summed up in two short paragraphs taken from Mary Edith Durham's Twenty Years of Balkan Tangle (1920):

No Turks ever treated Armenians worse than did the two Serb peoples treat the Albanians in the name of the Holy Orthodox Church (p.235).25

As for the Balkan Slav and his vaunted Christianity, it seems to me all civilization should rise and restrain him from further brutality (p.238).26

It should be reiterated that the unbelievable massacres were in no way committed as a result of a struggle between Christians and Moslems, as it was at that time believed by Gladstone and stressed in his speeches.27 They were solely motivated by the desire to decimate the Albanian race. Not only Kosova was coveted, but all of North Albania.

During World War I, Albania's neutrality was not respected and mass massacres continued.

At the turn of the century, the reports of the Ohio journalist J.A.Mac Cahan concerning the Bulgarian uprising, had shocked the West; as known, Russia used these accounts as a pretext to march against the Turks. By contrast, the Albanian cause did not benefit from the Carnegie report, nor by the frequent and moving declarations of philanthropists and journalists who, like M.E. Durham, were eyewitnesses to mass massacres of women and children, simply because it was not in the interest of the Great Powers to take Albania's defense.28

* * *

The well-known Swiss geographer H. Hauser, rightly pointed out that the principle of nationality, like all other principles, cannot be applied in a strict and equitable manner given the fact that most places constitute, with respect to the population inhabiting them, a mosaic.29

This mosaic of nationalities was particularly striking in the Balkans. Here, more than anywhere else, there was need for what H. Hauser suggested, namely: good will, compromise, and a fair system of guaranties. It is an undeniable fact that relative to Albania no appeal was ever made to compromises and good will; and no system of guarantees was ever applied to her. The expediency of her neighbors prevailed. No matter what the problem at stake Albania was always the loser.

In 1878, Lord Goschen and Lord Fitzmaurice had been in favor of a large Albania comprising the Albanian-inhabited territories of the four vilayets.30 But, at the Congress of Berlin it was decided -as already pointed out - that territories indisputably Albanian be handed over to Montenegro and to Serbia. Places connected with Albanian history and national pride, like Janina, Arta, Preveza, were allotted to the Greeks, who within a relatively short period of time were to exterminate the overwhelming Albanian population inhabiting them. No system of guarantees was applied. Albanians, numbering hundreds of thousands were to be forcibly sent to Turkey.

The manner in which Albanian territories were ceded to neighboring states clearly indicates how arbitrary decisions that make history may be. And one cannot but agree with Mircea Eliade (The Myth of the Eternal Return), who, with respect to the theory that valorizes historical events, to which the 19th century attached so much importance, pertinently remarked that such a theory could have been established only by thinkers who know nothing about injustices and miseries caused by history.

Also, in 1913, those in charge of assigning to Albania her borders gave no consideration to the very problem of her survival. The fertile pasture lands, the regions rich in minerals and other resources, where nearly two-thirds of the Albanian population lived, remained outside the borders assigned to her.31 As Lord Fitzsimmons rightly remarked, "Albania was to start her career as a state mutilated from her birth". Indeed, as a nation humiliated in her pride, she had no place among her sister nations. She was doomed to poverty, bitterness, and complete isolation.

In regard to Kosova, a territory where Albanians displayed their most important activities for the independence of their nation and a region which, as some scholars contend, is the cradle of the Albanian people, the principles of ethnicity and self determination were not observed. Nor had they been taken into account when districts indisputably Albanian had been allotted to Montenegro and Serbia by the Treaty of Berlin. At that time, the principle of history had been ignored as well.

* * *

When, following World War I, the Dalmatian question was discussed, the fact that the West Adriatic coast had previously belonged to the Venetians, Austrians, Hungarians, and - in parts - to the Turks, and that, moreover, Slav colonization of the Coast was a relatively recent event in history (for, although the Slavs had settled in some parts of the Coast already in the 7th century, colonization was still going on as late as the beginning of the 20th century),32 did not have an adverse effect relating to the claims of the South Slavs. According to M.R. Vesnic, ...except for historical arguments... no present day consideration would authorize Italy to spell out such pretentions. Economically, geographically, and from the point of view of morale, these shores are inseparable from the hinterland which is Yugoslavia.33

Thus, disregarding historical considerations, Yugoslavia was allotted territories that were vast beyond her wildest dreams: to her devolved the beautiful Dalmatian Coast, where the Slavs had not ruled before, except for brief periods of time (a claim contested by the Hungarians) on some portions of it; to her was ceded Macedonia where the Serb population was insignificant and to which the Serbs had no claims before 1885;34 to her was allotted the Vojvodina (Banat) where a certain number of Serbs had been hospitably allowed to settle in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. The newly created state of Yugoslavia also retained territories which, regardless of the principles of ethnicity and self-determination had been previously granted to Serbia and Montenegro by the Treaty of Berlin and forcibly annexed by them.

* * *

Yet when the Albanian borders were delimited in London in 1913, problems pertaining to economy, geography, ethnicity, morale - in short, to all those important factors to which so much attention was to be accorded after World War I with respect to Yugoslavia - were not taken into account. The problem of Albania's survival as an independent state was thus completely ignored by those in charge of tracing her frontier.

Relating to Kosova, history - that very factor which in regard to the Dalmatian Coast was not to be considered weighty - eventually acquired such decisive import as to make it seemingly compelling for the Great Powers to disregard completely the principles of ethnicity and self-determination.

With respect to the principle of history, the term Stara Srbija (Old Serbia), employed by the Slavs to designate "Kossovo", proved very effective.

* * *

Faust, when translating the New Testament into his mother tongue, rendered with "action" the meaning of "logos", thus writing: "at the beginning was action".35 As prototype of modern man, Faust did not believe in the fascination and power of the word, as traditional doctrines do. Since then, however, sociologists and anthropologists, especially Frazer, have pointed out the magic that not merely traditional doctrines, but also the so-called primitive peoples attach to certain words and names, the use they make of them in myths, and how these myths affect them. In his turn, Freud has rightly remarked that the primitive mind is contained in all of us. We are impressed by words. Indeed, the suggestive power emanating from some particular words and names that affect our unconscious, especially when used in myths, surpasses action. More exactly, words may become dynamic symbols; they automatically generate action owing to the very magic contained in them.

In fact, Old Serbia acquired for the Serbs a magic power similar to that contained in Illyria.

a. It was asserted that Stara Srbija was the cradle of the Nemanjis, the Serbian kings. Special emphasis, in this regard, was laid on the Glorious Empire of Stefan Dusan.

b. Of foremost importance was considered the Battle of 1389 against the Turks on the Field of Kosova. It was somehow implied in various writings that Czar Dusan's Empire was sacrificed on that battle which was said to have been fought by the Serbs alone to protect Europe.

c. The Serbs who wanted to prove that the Albanian-inhabited region had formerly been ethnically Serb, underscored and proclaimed widely what it became known as the Serbian Exodus or the Emigration of the Serbs to Hungary. It was stressed that the Serbs, as a result of the Austro-Turkish wars of 1690 and 1735, had been obliged to evacuate the region and emigrate to Hungary under the leadership of their bishop, Arsenije III Crnojevic. And that, subsequently, the land, once vacant, had been colonized by the ferocious Albanians assisted by the Turks. The Albanians inhabiting Kosova were thus considered as recent settlers who had no right to be there.

These important issues which played a paramount role in the delimitation of the Albanian borders shall be discussed in PartII.


Part Two

That the imagination is, indeed, impressed and excited by certain names, is suggested by the fact that in 1912-1913, only Serbian theories were taken into consideration.

The recent finds in the domain of linguistics, archeology and history have shown that these theories, as they were formulated in the 19th century were based on myths. But myths, on account of their suggestive power, do not die easily. Some of them may prove extremely tenacious. Such had been, for example, the myth mentioned before, connecting the South Slavs with the Illyrians.

* * *

It had been clearly indicated by J.E. Thunmann, back in 1774, that the Albanians alone could possibly be considered as the descendants of the Illyrians. Their origin had been suggested even before (in a letter) by the philosopher Leibniz.

Aside from pointing out historical data, Thunmann also remarked that certain Illyrian names are still used by Albanians: Dasios = Dash; Dida = Dede; Bardhylis = Bardhe, etc. A. Boue, who from 1836 to 1838 journeyed across the Balkans accompanied by various experts, subscribed to Thunmann's theory. J.G. von Hahn exposed the same view in his learned work Albanesische Studien (Jena, 1853) basing his research on ethnography, history and linguistics.36

* * *

That the Albanians have been living in the coastal areas since ancient times is evidenced by the fact that the Albanian language is greatly influenced by Latin; not merely Balkan Latin, but also Latin in its archaic form, missing not only in Rumanian, but sometimes even in other Romance languages. Latin also affects the vocabulary dealing with the intellectual and spiritual domain. Scholars have explained this influence through long-lasting relations between the Romans and the ancestors of the Albanians. Had the latter not been living since ancient times on the Adriatic coast, these relations would not have been possible.37

On the other hand, some Greek words in Albanian show the sound pattern of ancient Greek, an indication that the words were transmitted in an ancient epoch and that the Albanians must have been living in the vicinity of Greece for the past 3 000 years.

As regards Slavonic, from which the Albanians, like the Rumanians, borrowed many words, it has in no way affected the structure of their language, an indication that the borrowing must have taken place at a date when the Albanian language was already formed. Moreover, its influence is dialectical and concerns vocabulary dealing with material things rather than with spiritual matters. In Albanian, the terminology of the church, both Catholic and Orthodox, is not Slavonic, but overwhelmingly Latin with some Greek.38

Yet the ancestors of the Albanians did not merely inhabit the coastal areas. As attested also by the Halstatt culture, the domain of the Illyrians was vast; it extended to the east and to the north. Some words, still used in a few Swiss dialects, denote an Illyrian origin. Thus, for example, in the Berner Oberland, the cow is still called lobe as in Albanian. Noteworthy also are the Illyrian finds on the left bank of Lake Neuchatel, connected with a culture known as La Tene culture (500 B.C. to 1 A.D.) and the recent discoveries in Zurich ascribed to a much older civilization.

However, North Illyria was sparsely populated. The North Illyrian tribes eventually mixed with Celts and other invaders and little by little lost their identity. Only Southern Illyria, more densely peopled, survived. Appian, who wrote in the second century AD, maintained, citing the Greeks, that Illyria at that time stretched from the Adriatic Sea to the Danube. This included the important province Dardania, i.e., the region of Shkup (Skopje), Nis and Pristina. Ancient authors (Pliny) used to call the Southern Illyrians "Illyrii proprie dicti". They were divided into tribes, some of which managed to form small kingdoms. With its capital Scodra (Shkodra, Scutari) and its main seaport Ulqin, Illyria constituted, in the 3rd century B.C., a powerful federal state.

Fanula Papazoglu, professor of ancient history at the University of Belgrade, who has written extensively on the Illyrians (see among others, Les origines et la destinee de l'Etat illyrien - Illyrii proprie dicti, in Historia, Wiesbaden, 14, 1965, Heft 2), has also devoted a long chapter to the Dardanians in her work The Central Balkan Tribes in Pre-Roman Times...(Engl. Transl. from the Serbo-Croatian, Amsterdam, Hakkert, 1978, 664 p.). In this latter work she indicates that

Not one of the peoples with whom we have to deal in this book has such a claim to the epithet "Balkan" as the Dardanians... because they appear as the most stable and the most conservative ethnic element in the area where everything was exposed to constant change, and also because they, with their roots in the distant prehomeric age, and living in the frontiers of the Illyrian and the Thracian worlds retained their individuality and, alone among the peoples of that region succeeded in maintaining themselves as an ethnic unity even when they were militarily and politically subjected by the Roman arms...and when at the end of the ancient world, the Balkans were involved in far-reaching ethnic perturbations, the Dardanians, of all the Central Balkan tribes, played the greatest part in the genesis of the new peoples who took the place of the old (p.131).

After pointing out that the Dardanians had founded Troy, that Dardanelles is a name derived from them, that Dardanians were also encountered in Italy, Prof. Papazoglu adds that when the Dardanians reappear in our sources as a historically documented people in the central part of the Balkans, they are related to the Illyrians. Illyrian elements have also been noted among the Dardanians in Asia Minor. This all increases the probability of the theory that the Illyrians belonged to the oldest Indo-European element in the Balkan Peninsula (see pp.131-134).

The Albanian scholar, Zef Mirdita, of the University of Pristina, who, like his colleague of the University of Belgrade, has devoted much time to the study of the Dardanians, has also arrived at the same conclusions (see among others, Studime Dardane, Prishtine, 1980).39

The Dardanians resisted the Roman invasions as much as did the rest of the Illyrians and after the Roman conquest were not annihilated or absorbed as were not annihilated or absorbed the Illyrians of the coastal areas (See Mirdita, "A propos de la romanisation des Dardaniens" St.Alb., 1972 II pp. 287-298).40

* * *

The extent of the territory inhabited by the Illyro-Albanians at the time of the arrival of the Slavs is suggested by place name. The well known Albanian linguist, E. Cabej, has remarked in "Die aelteren Wohnsitze der Albaner auf der Balkanhalbinsel im Lichte der Sprache und Ortsnamen" (Atti e memorie del VII Congresso internationale di scienze onomastiche, Firenze-Pisa 1961 I, pp.246-251) and in various other articles that names of small localities change in the course of years (thus many place names in present-day Albania, in Kosova and elsewhere in the Balkans are Slav),41 but not so those of cities, mountains and rivers:42 Various toponyms prove that at least since Roman times the Albanians have between living as well on the Adriatic and Ionian coasts as in the Western Macedonia - Kosova region, formerly called Dardania, for many geographical names, be they of Illyrian, Ancient Greek, or Roman origin - were transmitted with changes characteristic of Albanian phonetic rules. Such names are, for example, Nish (Naissos), Shkupi (Scupi), Oher,Ochrid (Oricium = Lychnos), Drisht (Drivastum), Shar (Scardus), Shkodra (Scodra), Mati (Amatia), Buna (Barbena), Ulqin (Ulcinium), Lesh (Lissus), Tcham (Thyamis), Ishm (Ismus), Durres (Durachium), Drin (Drillion), Zara (Zadar), Triest (Tregest), Tomor (Tomarus), Shtip (Astibos), Shtiponje (Stoponion).

* * *

J. Cvijic described the Albanians as "the most expansive race in the Balkans", and G. Jaksic compared the expansion of the Albanians to a "devastating river". G. Stadtmueller contended that originally they were confined to the Mati area and to the mountains of the north.43 Yet the Albanian scholars maintain that in the light of the data cited above it becomes evident that far from expanding the territory of their ancestors, the Albanians have constantly been restricted to smaller areas.

* * *

However, until very recently, there had been no archeological finds to invest the assumption of the Illyro-Albanian continuity with firm and concrete support.

Before World War II, there were in Albania very few archeological discoveries connected with the Illyrians. Leon Rey, head of the French archeological mission in Albania, expressed doubts as to the possibility of finding any vestiges linked to prehelenic times. Prehistoric objects, numerous in Macedonia, were at that time completely lacking in Albania (L. Rey, "Lettre d'Albanie", Revue internationale des Etudes Bakaniques, 1937, 301-304). In L. Rey's time, among 25 excavation sites, only two were Illyrian and the finds - insignificant ones - were related merely to the Iron age (1 000-450 B.C.).

Things have changed since then. At the present time there are over 200 excavation sites connected with the Illyrians. In the past 25 years, archeology has acquired in Albania considerable significance. Various meetings have taken place in Tirana and much has been published on the subject by Albanian and foreign scholars.

Among the numerous publications, one may mention:

a) Les Illyriens et la genese des Albanais, Tirana 1972.

b) Actes du Congres des Etudes Illyrienns (two volumes), 1974.

- a) and b) contain the acts of the two important meetings held in Tirana in 1969 and 1972 which were attended by a considerable number of Albanian and foreign scholars).

c) Iliria (in Albanian, with abstracts in French), first volume published in 1971; Vol 10, 1980. Vol. 2, entirely in French, is devoted to Illyrian cities.

d) Two Albanian academic journals, Studia Albanica, and Studime Historike (see especially 1972, nos 2,3,4) also contain articles dealing with the Illyrians and the Albanian genesis.44

* * *

Tumuli from the Iron Age were found in Mat (north Albania), Dropull (south Albania), Vajze (southeast Albania) and other localities. The archeological finds of these places chow links with the Illyrian necropolia of Glasinac in Bosnia and of Trebniste in Macedonia. This culture, known in archeological literature as Glasinac Culture, is encountered in a region stretching from Epirus to the Drin (Drina) and Morava, comprising Montenegro, Kosova and Bosnia.

* * *

Other discoveries made are connected with a more ancient epoch, the Bronze Age. On account of the unifying elements between the Bronze Age and the Iron Age, Albanian archeologists have concluded that the Illyrians as an indigenous population and that their ethos was formed during the Neolithic or Bronze Age - i.e., prior to 1 000 B.C. - and not during the Iron Age as it had been formerly assumed.

Noteworthy is the fact that inventory objects pertaining to the Bronze Age (around 1 500 B.C.), such as the double axe, etc., leave no doubts as to relations between Illyria and Crete, thus confirming what had previously been asserted by F. Nopcza and M.E. Durham by reason of ethnographical data. As regards archeological inventory, the unifying traits linking the Bronze Age to the Iron Age were also noticed relative to finds outside the borders of present-day Albania: at Zocavi near Prijedor, Ptuj. The Yugoslav scholars Josip Korosec, Frane Stare and Alojz Benac, when studying these finds, concluded - prior to the Albanian archeologists - that since there is no cultural interruption between the two layers representing the two different epochs, it becomes evident that one has to deal with one and the same ethnos (see A. Stipcevic, op. cit., pp.17-18).

Considerable prehistoric agglomerations dating from the Eneolithic Age (1 600 B.C.) were also unearthed in various locations. Albania may now compare with any other European country considered rich in prehistoric finds.

* * *

Of special interest is the inventory connected with a more recent age, namely, the early medieval epoch for which historical data are wanting. Noteworthy, relating to this epoch, is the necropolis of Kalaja Dalmaces in north Albania.

Although more finds have been made recently at this locality, the necropolis was discovered at the end of the 19th century and much had been written about it at that time and later by well-known foreign archeologists: S. Reinach, Th. Ippen, P. Traeger, F.Nopcza, L.M. Ugolini, L. Rey, D. Mustilli and also by A. Degrand, French consul in Scutari, who discovered it. For the history of this necropolis see especially Hena Spahiu, "Gjetje te vjetra nga varezza mesjetare e Kalase se Dalmaces", (Ancient finds from the medieval necropolis of Kalaja e Dalmaces") Iliria I, Tirana, 1971, pp. 227-260; and S. Anamali, "De la civilisation hautemedievale albanaise", Les Illyriens et la genese des Albanais, pp. 184-187.

The finds - most of which are at the Museum St. Germain-en-Laye - were formerly attributed to the Illyrians. Yet archeologists connected them with the Illyrian culture of the Iron Age. At the present time, however, there is incontrovertible evidence that the inventory objects belong to an epoch that stretches from the 6th century to the 8th century A.D.

Similar finds, linked to the same epoch, were made recently in Shurdha, near Shkoder, Bukel (Mirdita), Kruje, Lesh and, not too long ago, also in south Albania. This culture, known in archeological literature as Koman culture (from a village near Kalaja e Dalmaces), shows striking ties with the ancient Illyrian civilization. Despite the differences inherent to each epoch, one can easily recognize the unifying traits: funerary rites, orientation of graves, building methods, etc. They indicate that the Koman culture is the continuation of the ancient Illyrian civilization and not a culture introduced by recent settlers. In certain areas, such as Tren and Maliq, different layers show a continuity stretching from the Neolithic to the medieval epoch.

Despite ethnological and archeological data suggesting that the Illyrian ethnos was formed on Albanian soil prior to the Iron Age, it might perhaps still be premature to maintain a categorical stand as to problems relating to such a distant past. Therefore, Prof. Cabej without opposing the assertion expressed by Albanian archeologists, kept a cautious attitude in its regard. He argued, however, that the Illyro-Albanian continuity from the Classical period to the Middle Ages, both in present-day Albania and in Dardania, is indubitable.45

* * *

Although in Kosova there have been no systematic excavations similar to those undertaken in Albania in the past twenty five years, the archeological material that is available leads to the conclusion that the ethnos of Kosova's inhabitants belonged to the Illyrian family. Burial tumuli, characteristic of the Illyrian culture, unearthed in Albania at various localities were also found in Kosova (near Pristina and in Lastica near Gjilan); in the district of Kukes which has territorial links with Kosova; in the Dukagjini Plateau (Metohija), in Mjele (near Virpazar), Montenegro, and in the region of Ochrida.

The cultural heritage in Kosova shows the same unity of materials and building methods as in present-day Albania. These finds, which denote an advanced urban culture, also indicate the extent of the territory occupied by the Albanians at the time when the Slavs began to settle in the Balkans; they corroborate the claim made by Cabey on linguistic grounds.

* * *

As reported by Constantine Porphyrogenitus (Emp. from 913-919), the Slavs Started to come to the Balkans from the Ural and the Caspian Sea during the reign of Emperor Heraclius (610-641). They were often led by nomadic Turks.46 The region, called at that time Illyria, was inhabited by the aborigine population, the Illyrians, the ancestors of the Albanians.

It is generally admitted that the Slavs settled in the Danube area along the Dalmatian coast, and in Greece. But the question as to the exact territories occupied by them has not been elucidated as yet. From various sources - historical as well as linguistic - the conclusion may, however, be drawn that if the greatest part of the vast Illyrian territories was by the end of the 9th century already colonized by the Slavs, some areas were spared. These were Dardania, New Epirus, the southern part of Prevalitania and North Epirus.47 These territories correspond exactly to the region which before the Treaty of Berlin were inhabited by Albanians.

The Slavs emerge as a strong population in the 10th century. But these Slavs are Bulgarians, not Serbs. It is they who in the 11th century named Belgrade48 the city that at present is Serbia's capital. The Slav toponyms that replaced the Illyrian and the Roman toponyms are also in many areas Bulgarian and not Serb.

It is now time to discuss the three issues mentioned in Part I:

* * *

a) Practically nothing was known about the Serbs before 1136 when Tihomir, who was merely a shepherd, became Grand Zupan.

In the 12th century, according to a contemporary chronicler, W. of Tyre, the Serbs were "an uncultured and undisciplined people inhabiting the mountains and the forests" and who "sometimes ...

quit their mountains and forests... to ravage the surrounding countries", (cited by W. Miller, Essays on the Latin Orient, 1921, p. 446).

The Serbs began to gain strength in the 13th century when Stefan Simon Nemanjic - previously Zupan - started using, in 1217, the title of king.49 At that time the Serbs had already taken much land from the Albanians. In 1217, they conquered Peja (Pec) which was to become in 1346 the see of the Serbian Patriarch. The greater part of Kosova, however, was not yet in their power.50 It was afterward that they got hold of it little by little. But the Serbian kingdom, within the short span of its existence was not marked by fixity. Its precarious stability is indicated by a striking array of capitals: Raska, Pristina, Belgrade, Krusevac, Smederevo, Belgrade again, Prizren, Banjska, Shkup (Skopje), Prilep, Smederovo, Krusevac again, Kragujevac.51 The names of these short-lived capitals suggest that the Serbs invaded and conquered, but then retreated and lost, because of some kind of opposition that they found. In this regard, it is interesting to note an observation made by V. Cubrilovic in his rather inhumane memorandum:52 "The Albanians are the only people during the last millennium that managed not only to resist the nucleus of our state, but also to harm us". This remark indicates that the Serbs were opposed by the aboriginal population.

When Stefan Dusan was killed in 1355, the Serbian Empire included not merely Kosova; it encompassed practically all of present Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, and part of Hungary. Yet the Empire had no fixity and lasted merely nine years. It had been built up with the help of mercenaries and it disintegrated immediately after Dusan's death because of the heterogeneous elements of which it was composed: Vlachs, Greeks, Albanians, etc.

* * *

Considering the fact that in the 12th century the Serbs were regarded as an uncultured and undisciplined people, that they began to gain strength in the 13th century; that their kingdom lasted a little over 100 years, and Czar Dusan's Empire merely nine, it is reasonable to assume that during this very short span of time the aboriginal population could not have been annihilated no matter how difficult the living conditions might have been for them.

As for Kosova - which is incorrectly designated as the cradle of the Nemanjic, for the Serbian nucleus did not start in Kosova, but in Raska, i.e., north of the site of present-day Novipasar53 - the very names of the capitals of that short-lived Serbian state suggest that Kosova was not even abidingly its center. That state, as pointed out by many historians, does not seem to have had any permanence or center.

Neither was Stefan Dusan's Empire lost to the Turks. When the Battle of Kosova took place, Serbia was insignificant and divided among various petty lords. Lazar Hrebljanovic, to whose share had fallen the Kosova Plain was merely a Knez, i.e., a prince or a simple count.54 His capital was Krusevac.

* * *

b) Some nations show restraint, shyness, or reluctance when it comes to exalting historical events and national heroes. India, for example, a country where thousands of myths originated, has refrained from underscoring the deeds of her national heroes.55 Conversely, it has become the characteristic of the Serb nation - as various scholars have observed - to glorify personages and events associated with nationalists pride. For imaginative, sentimental, or other reasons which shall not be examined here, the Serbs have created nationalistic myths as India has created religious ones.56 In so doing, however, they have insisted to the extreme upon the rights of their own nation which clash with those of other nations.

True, for instance, the Battle of Kosova, so greatly exalted by the Serbo-Montenegrins since Karadzic's time, was an important and sad event for the Slavs. However, when viewed objectively, one must concede that this battle, as specialist have not failed to remark - was not fought by the Serbs alone, but by a coalition of Balkan nations: Bulgarians, Greeks, Vlachs, and Albanians57 (including 10 000 Croats). As a consequence, these nations should be imparted the merit due to them. Various sources suggest that the most numerous troops were the Albanian and that they were placed in the front rows.57 Besides, the victory of the Turks in that battle is said to have been occasioned by the treason of Lazar Brankovic, Knez Lazar's son-in-law, who deserted to the Turks at the critical point of the battle with a large number of Serbs.58

The important role of myths becomes evident when one thinks that the Battle of Nikopolis on the Danube, where the army of Sigismond of Hungary fought in 1395 against Beyazit, was just as decisive as that of Kosova, and perhaps as important, according to some scholars, as the very capture of Constantinople by the Turks. Yet we are heedless of its importance because of lack of myths. The Turkish victory on this battle is also due to the Serb troops fighting on the Turkish side, Beyazid being married to the sister of Stefan Lazarevic.59

As to the hero of Kosova Battle, widely sung by the Serbs in the 19th century, most people will perhaps show surprise at learning that in all likelihood he was Albanian. His name, which was not recorded in Serbian church documents - perhaps for the simple reason that he might have been Catholic, perhaps also for other motives - became known to us thanks to a casual traveler and through Turkish documents: originally Copal - which is Albanian - it was Serbized, as were at that time other Albanian names, thus becoming Kopilic. In the 18th century, Kopil, Kopilic, underwent another modification and at present is merely known as Obilic.60

* * *

c) The Serbs did not merely make, by way of myths, the most of Stefan Dusan's short lived Empire as well as of the Kosova Battle. Their purpose was also to prove that prior to the Turkish occupation, state and nationality coincided and that the Albanians in Kosova were but an adventitious population having colonized the region as a result of the Austro-Turkish Wars when the Serbs had to seek refuge in Hungary in order to safeguard their dignity.

Thus it was, and still is, repeatedly underscored that the Serbs who emigrated to Hungary were chiefly from the areas bordering on present-day

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Albanians are remotly Ilyrian(at the most)........

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May 18 2000, 4:10 PM 

I dont know how they can be so stupid. The only people descended from the Illyrians are the Serbs. Obviously the modern Serbs speak the slavic Serbian language, but it is now thourght that the ancient Illyrians spoke a Greek dialect(as did the Pannonions and Thracians.Spartacos the slave rebel against Rome was a Thracian, and although he could not read or write, the Latin historians describe him as Greek speaking. The Albanians are a bastard people, and the purest Illyrians are certainly in Montenegro and Serbia.

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To Marios

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May 19 2000, 1:54 PM 

I can assure you they ( Albanians ) are not that stupid as we would like to think.To them being of Illyrian origin has a clear
political meaning.In simple, they have convinced themseles that
since they are of Illyrian origin that they have every wright
to expell 'Slavs' ( Whether Macedonian Slavs in Western Macedonia
or Serbs in Kosovo ) since the regions belonged to Illyrians.

I dissagree that Serbs and Montenegrins are the only people desendent from Illyrians but are the most numerious group
of Illyrian descendent people.Majority of Croatians are also
of Illyrian origin as are majority of Bosnian Muslims and Macedonian Slavs.
Many Albanians are partly of Illyrian origin but it is easily noticeble that they are also of nonBalkan origin ( with Mongol and some also with Germanic influence ) and my bet is that they have something to do with Turkic tribes that invated Anatolia.
Illyrians and Trakians were Hellenic speaking and very closely related to each other as well as to ancinet Macedonians.
Albanians are Turkic intruders and the purest Illyrians are Montenegrins and over 2/3 of all the Balkan Serbs who are of Montenegrin direct or indirect origin.

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I agree............

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May 19 2000, 4:21 PM 

The ancient Illrians and Thracians were most certainly very similar, and both Neo-Danubian, as were the ancient Macedonians, but the Macedonians ofcourse has mixtures of Aelion Greek blood from Thessaly. I did forget to mention other Jugoslav countries like Croatia and Bosnia who have Strong Illrian roots. Again I agree that the Albanians have some Illrian roots, but their Turcic-Mongol blood inpurifies that. Epiros was the first Hellenic state to succumb to Rome(even before Illyria), this must be where their alpine blood is from.
I think its disgusting how Albanians believe they are Illrian in order to expell slavs from their northern borders; very simple to the Macedonia issue, where FYROM has no claim to Agean Makedonia.

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To Marios

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May 19 2000, 6:12 PM 

Illyrians and Trakians were not of 'Neodanubian' racial type
but of 'Dynaric' type ( most likely very simular to todays Montenegrins ).
Neodanubian type is Baltic subtype while Baltic group is a part of a wider Nordic race.
Dinaric is a Mediterenian subtype.
The very name 'Neodanubian' say that this type is relatively new ( Latin Neo )to the Danube river region and thus that it come from another direction ( its origin is Baltic region ).

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Turkic tribes.....

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May 19 2000, 11:59 PM 

All I know is that most Albanians (like almost all of the Balkans) were Orthodox Christians before the Turks came (now only 20% of Albanians are Orthodox while 70% is Muslim and another 10%- in the North- is Catholic). After the Turks took over the region that converted many Albanians into Mohammadans (Muslims). That is when they Albano-Turk (or Turko-Albanian) was formed. Since they DID have a common religion it is quite possibly they mixes with the Turks. But, there WAS a revolution against the Ottomans by the Albanians so ties weren't always top-notch is my guess.

They (Turks and Albanians) went together to rape Hellenic women to the north.

I have read that the Albanians (hundreds of years ago) were described as a proud and truthful people. A people that would bring dishonour upon themselves if they even lies....

Obviously that has changed (the numerous crimes, rape, hostage situations, etc. they commit proves this has changes....and let's not forget Kosovo).

But perhaps this description was said for the Illyrians? Not sure...cannot remember.

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Sorry Zetaman..........my mistake

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May 20 2000, 4:43 AM 


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An honest Albanian....phaa

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May 20 2000, 4:50 AM 

Apart from northern Cyprus, Albania is the most lawless country in Europe. Theres no real government, the country is run by gangsters. The only European country with a worse economy of FYROM! Albania couldnt even support the influx of Kosovars, their own people....more were refused at the border then who entered Bosnia. Not to mention the incredible drug problem. I think its somthing like 75% of drugs entering Holland are from Albania. I dont know why HELLAS dosnt just go in their and liberate Epiros, and take FYROM while their at it!

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Actually Albania is superior in military and economy to Fyrom

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May 20 2000, 8:53 PM 

The Fyromians like to believe it is the other way around....but the numbers speak for themselves.

Did you know that NATO is de-militarizing Fyrom? Can you believe this! There is NO reason they should be doing this....but they are. Even though Fyrom has made pleas to get an automatic membership to NATO (so they can have protection against the Albanians) NATO has done the opposite.

Also notable is that Albania will be given $100 million in a span of about 10 years to just get a better military. Turkey is the supplier of the money. So much for Fyrom's "close ties" with Turkey!

The truth is only we can do something to help Fyrom (no other country is willing to). The end of Fyrom may be closer than we think.

Which isn't a good thing considering most Fyromians (NOT diaspora ones) do not believe they are related to the Ancient Macedonians.

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dont be shamed by your name slavs

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October 17 2001, 4:32 PM 

The name illyria is similar to todays albanian name yll(star) like the first legendary king of illyria Hyllus.The name of the great king of illyrian tribe of dardania was Bardhyll(white star) if you look in an english-albanian dictionary you will se both the words bardh(white) and yll(star).
name of dardnia is similar like albanian word for peer(dardhe) the town Krushevac somewhere in south shkavellia(serbia) is a translation from original Dardhania.

Slavs tont be a shame by your name

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January 11 2002, 4:32 PM 

Wow, zetaman and others - I'll like to read those interesting history books you get your information from. Looks like the serb and geek governments have done a great job of bastardizing history. serbs are descendants of slavs who came from asia, geeks are fudge packers and by all normal historical accounts albanians are the direct descendants of the Illyrians. Montenegrins are Illyrians who were weak enough to be slaviced

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The Millosevic within every serb

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January 17 2002, 11:40 PM 

It seems that Slobodan Millosevic has strong rootes in you and your conpatriots Zetaman. You are one of those many idiots in Serbia that believe what they have been tought form many years although the truth is proven to be undeniably different to Millosevician theories. Is no point to present you or argue with you in a civilised manner by presenting different kinds of studies mostly by Western European schoolars because of course you will refer to your own slavic sources that are the only ones with very few exeptions to argue and support your point of view. Millosevic has deeply implanted in you the seeds of hatred for all that is not slav and particularely Albanians. But these arguments do not hold water anymore so you'd better come up with something convincing before the "old lady Europe" finds out with what kind of "monster" is so willing "to go to bed" with. Ah one more thing. Consider yourself lucky that you weren't dealing with the Albanians from Albania in Kosova although our Kosovan brothers did as proud with what they could.

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Are Shiptars Illyrians ? Lets see !

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January 21 2002, 1:26 AM 

Lets analyze first Illyrian Messapians in S.Italy.


Group Single

Geography Messapic tribes of Yapigi and Yapodi lived in south-eastern Italy (modern Apulia).


Messapic was spoken by Illyrian tribes who crossed the Adriatic and settled in Italy, from the 8th to the 1st century BC, until Rome conquered this territory and Latin colonists assimilated aboriginal languages.

Though Messapic was originally an Illyrian dialect, it possessed several peculiar features.

Phonetics Messapic phonetics includes the transition of Indo-European a, e, o to e, a - the same way as in Illyrian.

Diphthongs were all preserved: ai, au, eu, oi, ei, as well as sonant vowels l, r, m, n and a lot of Indo-European consonants.

Morphology Messapic used 5 cases (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative and instrumental).

Several case forms show similarity to Italic: dative plural -bos, instrumental plural -bis. Some forms of perfect, aorist and optative mood were discovered.

The studies of Messapic are complicated due to the lack of lexical data - too many personal names and little morphological material.

Writing Messapic alphabet

Close Contacts Illyrian; of Italic languages, Messapic had much in common with Oscan, later Latin.



klohi zis thotoria marta pido vastei basta
veinan aran in daranthoa vasti staboos
xohedonas daxtassi vaanetos inthi trigonoxo
a staboos xohetthihi dazimaihi beiliihi
inthi rexxorixoa kazareihi xohetthihi toeihithi
dazohonnihi inthi vastima daxtas kratheheihi
inthi ardannoa poxxonnihi a imarnaihi.




Messapic language

Messapic was discovered in South-Eastern Italy, where about 350 inscriptions written in one of Italic alphabets were found. First it was considered an Italic tongue, but later close connection of it to Illyrian was discovered, and nowadays another opinion prevails - Messapic was an Illyrian dialect. Nevertheless, it contains some significant differences from Balkan Illyrian, though it is surely a later offspring of this mother tongue.

Messapic was spoken by Illyrian tribes (Yapodes, Yapiges etc.) from the 8th to the 1st century BC, until Rome conquered this territory and Latin colonists assimilated aboriginal languages. Messapic phonetics includes the transition of Indo-European a, e, o to e, a. Diphthongs were all preserved: ai, au, eu, oi, ei, as well as sonant vowels l, r, m, n and many Indo-European consonants.

Messapic used 5 cases (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative and instrumental), some forms of perfect, aorist and optative mood were discovered. The studies of Messapic are complicated due to lack of lexical data - too many personal names and little morphological material.



Those who are ready to swear that Illyrians were ONE people, should have a look at the Messapic inscriptions, in Puglia. The Messapes were an Illyrian tribe, who had migrated to that area to escape from the Turkish invasion (certainly not, but they moved to the Italic peninsula somewhere between VII and V century B.C., though I have no exact reference at the moment).

These inscriptions, being totally alien to Albanian, show that the Illyrian question is extremely complicated, and that it isn't likely to be resolved, unless fundamental epigraphic discoveries are made.



Today there are no serious linguists who still believe in the Illyrian hypothesis (Sergent, 1995: 103). Contemporary works (Radulescu, 1984, 1987, 1994; Katicic, 1966: 145-168) have established beyond doubt the origin of the Albanian language. It belongs to a Daco-Mysian group that came out of the Balto-Balkanic branch of the Indo-European language (Sergent, 1995: 88). Illyrian is related only indirectly to Albanian and was most probably closer to Messapian (spoken in southwestern Italy). Illyrian, proto-Albanian, and Messapian are three languages that may have the same origin (Radulescu, 1994: 335-339). The Thracian, Dardanian, and Phrygian languages were also related (Sergent, 1995: 97).



Here I can only summarize. When the Slavs came into the Balkans between the 5th and 7th centuries AD the interior of the peninsula was already occupied by Illyrian peoples, and the littoral by Messapian and Italic speakers. The Illyrians had been under the influence of either the Eastern or the Western Roman Empires, and in some regions were strongly Latinized, especially along the Adriatic and in its immediate Dinaric hinterland. Just as the germanic Anglo-Saxons had called the Romanized Celts Welsch and their land Wales or Cornwall, or the germanic tribes someday to be French had called them Walloon, or the Goths had called the Dacians Wallachian, so the Goths of the Balkans and following them the Slavs called these Illyrians and other Latinized populations Vlach.[3] They were pushed by the Slavs into the uplands where they subsisted as shepherds, or into fortified Adriatic towns like Dubrovnik or Split, and the term Vlach came to mean in the Serbian Middle Ages generically a shepherd, or a "Roman" (namely a townsman speaking Vulgar Latin). But the secular movement of Slavs into Illyrian lands did not simply push the Illyrians up or or out. There was much cyclical migration from the crest of the Dinarics to the Adriatic on one side and to the great river plains of the interior and much chaotic movement both by Illyrians and Slavs. The Illyrians, who by the Middle Ages were identified (rightly or wrongly) as Albanians, were not eliminated but changed by this cultural chafing and were substantially slavicized by those Slavs who had moved into the uplands to be shepherds, themselves coming to be called Vlachs. The Vlachs were a distinct social and economic class. In the mediaeval law code of the Emperor Stefan Dusan, agricultural Serbian serfs were forbidden to marry Vlachs, which means they sometimes did. In the tax records of the monastery of Decani in the 14th Century, Slavic Vlach and Albanian pastoral villages (katuni) are both differentiated from villages of Slavic agricultural serfs, artisans, and fishermen. The social organization of the Slavic Vlach villages was intermediate between that of the Slavic agricultural serfs and that of the Albanians.[4] Some of the now Slavic tribes of Montenegro are almost surely of Albanian ("Here writer makes a mistake since some of the North Albanian tribes are of Montenegrin origin and not vice versa"), thus of Illyrian origin. In much the same way, the Slavic populations flowed out onto the Peljesac peninsula north of Dubrovnik and thence into the Adriatic islands, slavicizing the Romanic inhabitants.



Po legendi, Vaso je imao još cetiri brata: Pipa, Ozra, Krasa i Ota. Od njih su nastala plemena Piperi i Ozrinici u Crnoj Gori i Krasnici i Hoti u Albaniji. A sam Vaso je, navodno, imao cetiri sina - Raja, Novaka, Mija i Ðura.

According to the legend, Vaso had four brothers: Pipo, Ozra, Kraso and Ota. From them were derived tribes of Piperi and Ozrinici in Montenegrou and Krasniqi i Hoti in North Albania.


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Are 'Yugoslavs' Slavs or Illyrians? Lets see!

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January 21 2002, 1:28 AM 

I L L Y R I A - ' L a n d o f t h e L y r a '

Illyrians and their history is in fact history of today's people of Dinaric region (Western Balkans) who are not of Slavic origin but of Illyrian.

Dinaric region contains continental Dalmatia, Dalmatian Zagora, Konavle, Lika, Kordun, Banija, Hercegovina, Bosnia, Montenegro, Rascia or Sandjak, Sumadija, Morava region, North Albania, Kosovo and Metohia and today's Republic of Macedonia.

In short Dinaric region is in almost the same location as the ancient Roman province of Dalmatia which was on of the two provinces of Illyricum while the other province was Panonia in the location of toady's Slavonia, Zagorje, Vojvodina and half of Hungary (west of River Danube) .

Province of Dalmatia covered area south of river Sava and Kupa, west of Great Morava then the border went trough Kosovo and south to river Drim in North Albania and the center was Skodra or today's Skadar.

Illyrians are descended of Hellenic Dorians who settled Illyria since before 2000 BC. Illyrians spoke Hellenic and after the coming of Romans Latin language become dominant in the western and coastal parts of Illyria.

Montenegro is the purest Illyrian racial zone while the purest Dorian racial zone is the tribe Sfakia which lives in the southwest part of the island Crete and are the descendants of Dorian invasion of Greece from around 1000 BC which came from the direction of Macedonia and Illyria.

In the book 'The races of Europe' ( written 1939 ) the great racial anthropologist Charleston Stevens Coon clearly compared Montenegrins to Sfakia.

Montenegrins in their speech have thousands of Hellenic words which are mainly connected to village and house.

Even the name for the national Montenegrin dance 'oro' comes from Hellenic 'horo' which means 'dance'.

Big number of the more important toponym's are of nonslavic origin (Hellenic or Latin origin).

It is worth mentioning that Latin speaking Illyrians spoke their own Dalmatian dialect.

All the mentioned Dinaric regions are culturally and racially more similar to Montenegrins than to Vojvodina, Zagorje, Slavonija or Central Albania.

Racial anthropology classifies people of the Dinaric region to be of Dinaric racial group which is a subgroup of Mediterranean race.

The real Slavs are classified as so called "Neodanubian" which is dominant in Ukraine, White Russia, Poland, West Russia and it exists in Panonia and Slovenia or north part of former Soc. Fed. Rep. of Yugoslavia.

Neodanubian group is a part of wider Baltic group which is part of Nordic race.

According to the already mentioned info it is obvious that Dinarics and Neodanubians are not even members of a same race and thus it easily eliminates the theory that Dinarics are Slavs. It also tells us as that the real Slavs colonized only Panonia and Slovenia and even there are not dominant but rather mixed.

Racial Distribution

In the same part of former Yu. that we find Nedanubians (5%) we also find another Mediterranean subgroup called "Noric" (10%) and which can be classified as lighter version of Dinarics. The name Noric is derived from the name of the ancient Roman province of Noricum (in today's Austria).

Dinaric type represents around 75% of the population of former Yu. which is the same percentage as Albania. Dinarics and Noric together compose 85% of the population.

On the Adriatic coast the dominant type is the so called "Western Mediterranean" type who are descendants of Roman colonist's and that of course means that they have no relation with Slavs either.

This racial type represents around 10% of the total population of Yugoslavia and its a second most numerous with Norics (10%) and ahead of Novodunabians or SLAVS (5%) .

It is interesting to mention that the Neodanubian type is more evident in Hungary (35%) and even Romania (20%) than it is in former Yugoslavia. The same type represents only 20% of Czechoslovakia where Dinarics are 25% and primarily in Moravia.

Dinaric type in different countries means different origin (according to racial anthropology and history the conclusion is that Illyrians, Trakians, Dakians, Skitians - Aryans and Sarmatians, Venets from N. Italy, Dorians, Macedonians, Acheans and Frigians were all of Dinaric race and thus related to each other) .

Venets from North Italy (who are of Illyrian origin) and Venets from Eastern Europe (Baltic race) are not of the same origin since they are not of the same race (they neither have same culture nor language) and outside of the name have no similarity (also the names appear at the different time frames ). Name is of Latin origin (Venetus -Blue in Latin ).

-In Hungary, Moravia, Former Yu. and Albania: Illyrian

-Romania: Dacian (who are Thracians)

-Bulgaria: Thracians

-Ukraine: Scythian or Sarmatian

-Greece: Dorian, Macedonian & Achaean

-Italy: mainly Venets or Veneti (NOT
to confuse with Wends)

D o r i a n s

Dorian Greeks settled in Illyria before 2000BC from direction of Macedonia.

Dorians called themselves "Makednos" what in ancient Hellenic meant 'tall, warlike highlander ' and Macedonia was named after them. Other Hellenic nations were Micenians,Ionians,Aeolians,Acheans,etc.

Acheans were the closest kin to Dorians and they were described by Homer in Iliad and Odisey.

Dorians were very tall and very warlike.

Ancient pictures of Dorian Spartans contained in them warriors with dark hair with reddish tone.

Also they had tribal order, blood feuds, and possessed 'lyra' . The region Illyria was named after lyra and first time the name Illyria was mentioned was in 4 - th century BC.

The ruler of Dorians represented both a spiritual leader and a military leader.

According to the legend Dorians got their name from one of the Helen's sons called Dorus.

Some of the Dorians attacked South Greece from the direction of Macedonia and Illyria in 12 and 11 cen.BC .

They took islands of Crete, Dodecanese and other Aegean islands also Lakonia, Argolis, and Korintos in the Peloponesos peninsula. Famous Sparta was a Doric settlement.

In the ancient Hellenic legend the Dorian invasion of Peloponesus happened around 1104 BC although now it is accepted by most historians that it accured rather in 12, 11cen. BC or even earlier. In the ancient legend the Dorian invasion was called 'return of Hercules' since according to the legend Dorians were looked at as descendants of Hercules (or Heraklidis as pronounced in Hellenic ).

I l l y r i a n s

Illyrians are descendants of earlier Dorians and first time are mentioned in recorded history in 4 cen.BC.

Modern history informs us that the earliest Illyrian ruler was called Hylus who lived around 12 cen.BC . His name is identical with the name of one of the major three Dorian tribes which invaded south Greece from the direction of Macedonia and Illyria in the same time frame (12,11cen.BC).

Ancient Macedonians considered Illyrians and Thracians as their close kin.

Roman sources from 2-nd cen.BC ( time of Illyrian-Roman wars ) call Queen Teuta's Illyria ( pronounced 'Tefta' and it is a old Hellenic name) a halfhellenic country because although Illyrians spoke Hellenic since their culture was a lot less advanced than that of Athens. In ancient times Hellenism represented not only speaking Hellenic language but advanced culture what was the primary reason prealexandian Macedonia was called barbarian by Athens although the language of ancient Macedonians was Hellenic.

Even the real name of the Roman emperor called Diokletian (born in Dalmatia) was Diokles (a pure Hellenic name) . Byzantine sources tell us that the only two languages spoken in Illyria were Latin (seashore and western part) and Hellenic (Eastern Illyria) while there is no mention of any separate Illyrian language.

In earlier Hellenic sources there is never a mention of a separate Illyrian language nor is there any historical remains of any such language that would lead us to conclude that Illyrian existed as a separate linguistic entity.

S l a v s

For me to be able to discredit the idea that Dinaric region people are of Slavic origin I have to state who the original Slavs were.

Original Slavs were of Baltic origin and lived in the region of today's Ukraine since before 1000 BC.

As of few centuries BC until 3-4 cen. AD these Balts were controlled and enslaved by Sarmatian and Skitians (both nations were related to original Persians and Aryans and all of them spoke Sanskrit or a language closely related to Sanskrit ) . All of mentioned nations were originally from the region between Ukraine and Caucasus and represent cousins to old Hellenic nations such as Trachians, Illyrians, Dorians, etc. whether racially or linguistically.

One of the closest relatives of Sanskrit language was ancient Hellenic.

Original Slavic language (Baltic ) was infused with a strong Sanskrit influence by 4 cen. AD and with this it acquired its 'Slavic' form while the majority of people still remained of Baltic race.

The very name Slav came from Hellenic word Sklavus (Slave) and Latin word Slavus (Slave). Slavs were traded as slaves in Crimea by Sarmatians, Scythians, Hazars, Goths, etc. and the buyers were Persians, Arabs, Latins and Byzantines and in their sources Slavs were described as racially identical with Germanics (logical since Baltic Lithuanians look Germanic ) .

Also the strongest two elements in Slavic are Baltic and Sanskrit.

The words Serb (Serboi) and Croat (Horuvatos) are of Sarmatian (Proto-Iranian) origin and represented Sarmatian tribes (Serboi were originally one of the tribes of Sarmatic Alans) which ruled over Baltic Slavs and by doing so have transferred their name upon them while the ruling class have remained to be Sarmatian.

Situation in preslavic Illyria

Even before the coming of Slavs Illyria was run down by Goths, Gepids, Huns, Avars, etc. and it represented a easy prey for Slavs warriors who although were less numerous than Illyrian population nevertheless were warriors while Illyria was weakened and under a Barbarian sword.

Slavic formations counted around 100,000 total when they entered Balkans (the biggest Barbarian formation were certainly Goths who numbered 200,000 - 300,000 when they entered Balkans and were front-runners to other Barbarians and the strongest Barbarian element which represents number one reason why western Roman empire collapsed ).

Widely accepted number for the Roman empire is around 60 million people (half of it in the eastern part of the empire ).

Byzantine Balkan part had 3-4 million people (Constantinople alone between 0.5m.-1.0 m. ) . Regions which are equivalent to today's Greece had around 1 million thus leaving between 1.5 to 2 million in Illyria (~ 0.7m. ) , Makedonia (~ 0.5m. ) , and Trakia (~ 0.6m).

Since Slavs, all together, numbered around 100.000 people it is logical to conclude that the reason they didn't leave a racial mark on Balkans is do to the fact that they were much less numerous comparing to the preslavic nations.

According to racial anthropology is is easily noticed that the Slavic racial element (called Neodanubian element) is only present in Panonia and Slovenia which also explains names such as Slovenia and Slavonia.

Panonia is a plain and as such was more harder to defend comparing to mountain regions such as Illyria (ancient province of Dalmatia ), Makedonia and Trakia which also had a lot more people living in them comparing to Panonia which was under frequent Barbarian attacks from nations that either lived in that vicinity or were passing trough.

Illyrians were forcefully slavonized (also Macedonia and Trakia ). Areas like Montenegro, Macedonia and Bulgaria have a strong Hellenic linquistic influence.

The biggest proof that Dorians, Illyrians and Dinaric people are one unit is in comparing the Dorian tribe Sfakia in SW Crete with Montenegrins, who are in so many ways are similar (stature, appearance, national custome, warlikeness, tribal order, vendettas ) .

The racial relation between Montenegrins and Sfakia was also mentioned in a book called 'Races of Europe' written by Coon in 1939 where he also writes about the racial connection between Slavs, Balts, and Germanics.



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I feel sorry

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December 9 2002, 5:48 PM 

I feel sorry that you croats and serbs are ashamed of your real backgrounds...

I feel sorry alot

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January 27 2003, 11:28 AM 

Let’s say Albanian are not the direct descendants of the Illyrians. If not they had to come from somewhere. Varies books of ancient History prove that Albanians were in the Balkans long before the Turks. Evidence for this is the huge amount of Albanian population, which left to Italy in fear of the Turks. This population still speaks Albanian and has the exact same traditions as the ones in Albania. This population moving to Italy is clearly stated in varies books of the time. This is an undeniable fact that Albanian lived in the Balkans long before the Turks invaded it. If we Albanians didn’t come with the Turks then when did they come? All the populations that moved to Europe have been mentioned in historical books but Albanians haven’t been mentioned in any book saying that they came to Europe. There is and can be only one explanation, they were there before everyone else. And as to the Illyrian problem in would say that there is huge evidence that the Albanian Language is the direct descendent of the language spoken by the Illyrian people. This is good enough evidence that Albanian descended from the Illyrians.

To tell you the truth I don’t give a damn if we descended from the Illyrians.
But to me it seems logical that we did and there seems to be good enough reasons to believe it. And it seems utterly not logical that Slavs did.

I don’t see good points being risen by the Slavs. Let’s have a good discussion about this.

Try to use logic; don’t just believe what your heart wants to believe

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Ramadan Zaskoci
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Albanian popular song. Dedicated the fighting between Albania and serbia 1912.

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April 13 2004, 2:17 AM 

Rapsodi popullor këtë ngjarje historike e përjetësojë përmes vargjeve si:
”Ka hi serbi n´at´Prizren,
/po i thot`Lumës:”Lirom ven!”
/-“Nuk jam mbreti,po jam Luma,
/t´mushi gjiksin plot me plumba!
”/Kur vikati Islam spahija:
/”Bini djem,se shkoi Shipnija!”
/-“Bini djem-thrret Ramadani
/-bini djem se shkoi vatani!
”/Gryka e Shejës po rredh gjak,
/po i thot Drinit:
”Ndihmom pak
/Ndihmom pak,n´dash me m´ndihmue,
/kllade t´mdhaja jam tuj çue”.
/Krajli i serbit ban:”Medet,
/m´faroi Luma askerin krejt!
/ma faroi askerin e ngrat
/burrat me pushk´`e grat me spatë”.
/-“Kadal ,krajl u mlofsh me morre,
/dymdhetmi t`metën pa vorre!”
/Djemt´e Lumës hiq s´kan dert,
/ka ni luftë bajn´vjet për vjet,
/luft´ me krajl e luft´ me mbret...//”
(...)-Hasi shpat e gur e kep
/vend për vend pushka kërset
/shkoj kukuja shpi për shpi
/I preu Hasi 3 mijë shkijë...”//-
“(...) Krejt Opoja u mlu n`zi
/Prej Prizrenit ter n´Dri
/Tre ditë luftë e tre ditë zi
/u vranë shkije përmi tre mijë.../”13

RAMADAN ZASKOCI One of the BRAVIEST Fighters Against the Serb Troops doing masacras on North ALbania.
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i think you are wrong that we are trying to forge history

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April 20 2004, 7:21 PM 

OK we albanians are Illyrians and we will always be... but most people even most of oksova consider ourselves as DARDANIANS which were illyrians... Illyrians are originaly ARYANS and aryans originated from caucusus. As known all over the world The first migrations from the steppes are the Illyrians which had a whiter skin than the other aryans which migrated to India, turkey taht became as persians present days Iraq iran and all those other countries..
Illyrians first settlement was by the adriatic sea and as usual their original city was their capital since it was their starting point and their head masters were there.. as is known in history books SHKODRA in albania was the capital... and how could u say that we are tryin to forge history when it is a fact that a lot of monuments and building and statues are left from illyrians in southern albania pretty much throughout albania.. even the kings and queens of illyria were albanian queen TEUTA.. albanian name i dont think there is a name in other neightbourin countries greek serbians mecadonians croatia have that name.. also KING BARDHYL same thing implies with that.. Also king AGRON... all powerful rules..
As a mmatter of fact almost all aryans through out europe originate from albanians... it is stated that thacians (i think i'm spelling it right) celts, italians, and germans, and also slavs originated from present day kosovo and albania...it is even stated in the books that Hitler wrote if you have read them that albania cannot be attacked or any can be killed because our ancestors come from that and we are purely white people.. which was the entention of Hitler to make the world full of white people.. if slavs were truly illyrians which were aryans (white people) then why would hitler kill so many of them...
If illyrians originated from croatia then why aren;t there many monuments of illyrians there but there are of dalmatia... dalmatians broke off from illyria since they did not like the rule.. but shkodra was the capital... greatest illyrian discoveries were in kosovo and albania... they are still standing and you can go and visit them.. SARANDA KRUJ SHKODRA DURRES even their roads are still there...

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one more thing

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April 20 2004, 8:28 PM 

i'm sorry i forgot ot mention some things... it is very interesting that people judge us as turks... we only converted to islam so we could not be killed becuase the serbians and our neighbourng countries refused to help us... Albanians purely and simply do not mix with other cultures at least we did not for a long time and probably we will not.. there were and still are 9 tribes in the great albania... and we still trace back to them.. we had marriages between tribes to create alliance which worked out very well myself i am a "THAQ" and my friends are "KRASNIQ" "GASH" "BERISHA" and there are uch more... as it is see by philosophers and people that study languages that the following languages are similar to each other and have the same origin.. ALBANIAN, ITALIAN, GERMAN, IRISH, and some other coutries which connects to my earlier post reply.. that albanians are aryans and illyrian are aryans which settled in the albanian populated area... we were destroyed by england because they wanted to give land to others.. albania was pretty much the purest illyrian place but with the separation of lands among the neighbour countries which not many but some illyrian and especially dardanian monuments were in.. PRISHTINA the city i was born are lots of dardanian monuments there... and kosova was given to serbian and serbians or slavs took the advantage to say "ooo these are ours.. and we have been here long before you have this land (Kosova) is a lnad given to us by god.." which it pretty much what is happening to palestenians... all that bull$hit told by israelites abraham made a covenant with god and that israel is his promised land.. and palestenians lived there longer than hebrews and all the sudden in 1947 they kicked out which is the same with kosovo.. serbians even tried to cut down our history books and closed down all high school and universities... which then ordered young albanians to go to other countries and to try to tell the truth.. and nthis is a fact.. THE WINNER ALWAYS TELLS THE STORY.. in a case like kosova serbians told the stories before the war...
back to the albaians being turks which is not true.. because if albanians were turks then how did we fight them... how did SULTAN MURAT get killed by a albanian.. yeah almost 6 million people betreyed the ottomans... man all have to read some more and get smarter.. you cannot learn history by only reading one source... first hear one from your country then hear the albanian version then go ahead and hear the studying teams with what they have discovered.. thats all...

e-mail me xxprishtinaliaxx@hotmail.com if you got any good arguments...

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(Login King_Gentius)

Re: Albanian atempts to forge OUR ILLYRIAN HISTORY

Score 5.0 (1 person)
November 25 2004, 7:40 PM 

The heart of the matter is this,

World encyclopedias say Albanians ARE Illyrians. Look www.encyclopedia.com, www.wikipedia.com, www.eb.com. Only Serbs yell and fight against this reality for political reasons (Kosovo). Show me a non-Serb encyclopedia saying that the serbs have been living in the balkans before the albanians, or that Serbs are Illyrian.

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