Origins of the Albanians

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Balkan countries with substantial Albanian population
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The origin of the Albanians has been for some time a matter of dispute among historians. Most historians conclude that the Albanians are descendants of populations of the prehistoric Balkans, such as the Illyrians, Dacians or Thracians.[1] Little is known about these peoples, and they blended into one another in Thraco-Illyrian and Daco-Thracian contact zones even in antiquity.

The Albanians first appear in the historical record in Byzantine sources of the late 11th century. At this point, they were already fully Christianized. Very little evidence of pre-Christian Albanian culture survives, although Albanian mythology and folklore are of Paleo-Balkanic origin and almost all of their elements are pagan,[2] in particular showing Greek influence.[3]

The Albanian language forms a separate branch of Indo-European, first attested in the 15th century, apparently based on the wider Paleo-Balkans group of antiquity.

Studies in genetic anthropology show that the Albanians share the same ancestry as most other European peoples.[4]

Place of origin

The Albanian language is attested in a written form only in the 15th century AD, when the Albanian ethnos was already formed. In the absence of prior data on the language, scholars have used the Latin and Slav loans into Albanian for identifying its location of origin.[5]

The place where the Albanian language was formed is uncertain, but analysis has suggested that it was in a mountainous region, rather than in a plain or seacoast. While the words for plants and animals characteristic of mountainous regions are entirely original, the names for fish and for agricultural activities are generally assumed to have been borrowed from other languages. The Slav loans in Albanian suggest that contacts between two populations took place when Albanian dwelt in forests 600–900 metres above sea level.[6] The overwhelming number of mountaineering and shepherding vocabulary, coupled with the extensive influence of Latin makes it likely that the Albanians originated north of the Jireček Line, further north and inland than the current borders of Albania suggest.

It has long been recognized that there are two treatments of Latin loans in Albanian, of Old Dalmatian type and Romanian type, but that would point out to two geographic layers, coastal Adriatic and inner Balkan region.[7] Some scholars believe that the Latin influence over Albanian is of Eastern Romance origin, rather than of Dalmatian origin, which would exclude Dalmatia as a place of origin.[1] Adding to this the several hundred words in Romanian that are cognate only with Albanian cognates (see Eastern Romance substratum), these scholars assume that Romanians and Albanians lived in close proximity at one time.[1] The areas where this might have happened is the Morava valley in eastern Serbia.[1]

Another argument in favor of a northern origin for the Albanian language is the relatively small number of words of Greek origin, mostly from Doric dialect,[8] even though Southern Illyria neighbored the Classical Greek civilization and there was a number of Greek colonies along the Illyrian coastline.

Those scholars who maintain the Illyrian origin of Albanians maintain that the indigenous Illyrian tribes dwelling in South Illyria went up in mountains when Slavs occupied the lowlands.[9][10] while another version of this hypothesis maintains that the Albanians are the descendants of Illyrian tribes located between Dalmatia and Danube, which spilled south.[11]

The scholars who support a Dacian origin of Albanians maintain that between third and sixth centuries AD Albanians moved from Moesian area to south,[12] while those scholars who maintain a Thracian origin hypothesize that the proto-Albanians are to be located in Thracian territory in the area between Niš, Skopje, Sofia and Albania[13] or from the Rhodope and Balkan mountains, where they moved to Albania before the arrival of the Slavs.[14]

Primary sources

Ancient & early medieval references to people of unknown ethnicity

Main article: Albania (name)
  • In the 2nd century BC, the History of the World written by Polybius, mentions a location named Arbon[15] or Arbo[16] (Greek: Άρβωνα)[17] that was perhaps an island[18] in Liburnia or another location within Illyria. Stephanus of Byzantium centuries later, cites Polybius, saying it was a city in Illyria and gives an ethnic name (see below) for its inhabitants. Most likely it is a Croatian island of Rab.
  • In the 2nd century AD, Ptolemy, the geographer and astronomer from Alexandria, drafted a map that shows the city of Albanopolis (located Northeast of Durrës). Ptolemy also mentions the Illyrian tribe named Albanoi,[19] who lived around this city.
  • In the 6th century AD, Stephanus of Byzantium in his important geographical dictionary entitled Ethnica (Εθνικά)[20] mentions a city in Illyria called Arbon (Greek: Αρβών), with its inhabitants called Arbonios (Greek: Αρβώνιος) and Arbonites (Greek: Αρβωνίτης). He cites Polybius[20] (he does so many[21][22] times in ethnica) and does not claim that such city or people existed during his time.

11th-13th century references to Albanians

  • The Arbanasi people are recorded as being 'half-believers' (non-Orthodox Christians) and speaking their own language in the Fragment of Origins of Nations between 1000-1018 by an anonymous author in a Bulgarian text of the 11th century.[23]
  • In History written in 1079-1080, Byzantine historian Michael Attaliates referred to the Albanoi as having taken part in a revolt against Constantinople in 1043 and to the Arbanitai as subjects of the duke of Dyrrachium. It is disputed, however, whether the "Albanoi" of the events of 1043 refers to Albanians in an ethnic sense or whether "Albanoi" is a reference to Normans from Sicily under an archaic name (there was also tribe of Italy by the name of "Albanoi").[24] However a later reference to Albanians from the same Attaliates, regarding the participation of Albanians in a rebellion in 1078, is undisputed.[25]
  • Arbanitai of Arbanon are recorded in an account by Anna Comnena of the troubles in that region during the reign of her father Alexius I Comnenus (1081–1118) by the Normans.[26]
  • The earliest Serbian source mentioning "Albania" (Ar'banas') is a charter by Stefan Nemanja, dated 1198, which lists the region of Pilot (Pulatum) among the parts Nemanja conquered from Albania (ѡд Арьбанась Пилоть, "de Albania Pulatum").[27]
  • In the 12th to 13th centuries, Byzantine writers use the words Arbanon (Greek: Άρβανον) for a principality in the region of Kruja.
  • 1285 in Dubrovnik (Ragusa) a document states: "Audivi unam vocem clamantem in monte in lingua albanesca" (I heard a voice crying in the mountains in the Albanian language).[28]

Albanian endonym "Shqiptar"

Main article: Shqiptar

There are various theories of the origin of the word shqiptar:

  • A theory by Ludwig Thallóczy, Milan Šufflay and Konstantin Jireček, which is today considered obsolete, derived the name from a Drivastine family name recorded in varying forms during the 14th century: Schepuder (1368), Scapuder (1370), Schipudar, Schibudar (1372), Schipudar (1383, 1392), Schapudar (1402), etc.
  • Gustav Meyer derived Shqiptar from the Albanian verbs shqipoj (to speak clearly) and shqiptoj (to speak out, pronounce), which are in turn derived from the Latin verb excipere, denoting brethren who speak the Albanian language, similar to the ethno-linguistic dichotomies Sloven-Nemac and Deutsch-Wälsch.[29] This theory is also sustained by Robert Elsie.[30]
  • The most accredited theory, at least among Albanians, is that of Maximilian Lambertz who derived the word from the Albanian noun shqype or shqiponjë (eagle), which, according to Albanian folk etymology, denoted a bird totem dating from the times of Skanderbeg, as displayed on the Albanian flag.[31]

First attestation of the Albanian language

The first document in the Albanian language (as spoken in the region around Mat) was recorded in 1462 by Paulus Angelus (whose name was later Albanized to Pal Engjëll), the archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Durazzo (modern Durrës).[32]

Paleo-Balkanic predecessors

While Albanian (shqip) ethnogenesis clearly postdates the Roman era,[33] an element of continuity from the pre-Roman provincial population is widely held plausible, on linguistic and archaeological grounds.

The three chief candidates considered by historians are Illyrian, Dacian, or Thracian, though there were other non-Greek groups in the ancient Balkans, including Paionians (who lived north of Macedon) and Agrianians. The Illyrian language and the Thracian language are often considered to have been on different Indo-European branches. Not much is left of the old Illyrian, Dacian or Thracian tongues, making it difficult to match Albanian with them.

There is debate whether the Illyrian language was a centum or a satem language. It is also uncertain whether Illyrians spoke a homogeneous language or rather a collection of different but related languages that were wrongly considered the same language by ancient writers. Some of those tribes, along with their language, are no longer considered Illyrian.[34][35] The same is sometimes said of the Thracian language. For example, based on the toponyms and other lexical items, Thracian and Dacian were probably different but related languages.

In the early half of the 20th century, many scholars thought that Thracian and Illyrian were one language branch, but due to the lack of evidence, most linguists are skeptical and now reject this idea, and usually place them on different branches.

The origins debate is often politically charged, and to be conclusive more evidence is needed. Such evidence unfortunately may not be easily forthcoming because of a lack of sources. Scholars are beginning to move away from a single-origin scenario of Albanian ethnogenesis. The area of what is now Macedonia and Albania was a melting pot of Thracian, Illyrian and Greek cultures in ancient times.

Illyrian origin

The theory that Albanians were related to the Illyrians was proposed for the first time by the Swedish[36] historian Johann Erich Thunmann in 1774.[37] The scholars who advocate an Illyrian origin are numerous.[38][39][40][41] There are two variants of the theory: one is that the Albanians are the descendants of indigenous Illyrian tribes dwelling in what is now Albania.[42] The other is that the Albanians are the descendants of Illyrian tribes located north of the Jireček Line and probably north or northeast of Albania.[43]

Arguments for the Illyrian origin

The arguments for the Illyrian-Albanian connection have been as follows:[41][44]

  • The national name Albania is derived from Albanoi,[45][46][47] an Illyrian tribe mentioned by Ptolemy about 150 A.D.
  • From what is known from the old Balkan populations territories (Greeks, Illyrians, Thracians, Dacians), the Albanian language is spoken in the same region where Illyrian was spoken in ancient times.[48]
  • There is no evidence of any major migration into Albanian territory since the records of Illyrian occupation.[49]
  • Many of what remain as attested words to Illyrian have an Albanian explanation and also a number of Illyrian lexical items (toponyms, hydronyms, oronyms, anthroponyms, etc.) have been linked to Albanian.[50]
  • Words borrowed from Greek (e.g. Gk (NW) "device, instrument" mākhaná > *mokër "millstone" Gk (NW) drápanon > *drapër "sickle" etc.) date back before the Christian era[49] and are mostly of the Doric Greek dialect,[51] which means that the ancestors of the Albanians were in contact with the northwestern part of Ancient Greek civilization and probably borrowed words from Greek cities (Dyrrachium, Apollonia, etc.) in the Illyrian territory, colonies which belonged to the Doric division of Greek, or from contacts in the Epirus area.
  • Words borrowed from Latin (e.g. Latin aurum > ar "gold", gaudium > gaz "joy" etc.[52]) date back before the Christian era,[53][44] while the Illyrians on the territory of modern Albania were the first from the old Balkan populations to be conquered by Romans in 229–167 BC, the Thracians were conquered in 45 AD and the Dacians in 106 AD.
  • The ancient Illyrian place-names of the region have achieved their current form following Albanian phonetic rules e.g. Durrachion > Durrës (with the Albanian initial accent) Aulona > Vlonë~Vlorë (with rhotacism) Scodra > Shkodra etc.[44][49][51][54]
  • The characteristics of the Albanian dialects Tosk and Geg[55] in the treatment of the native and loanwords from other languages, have led to the conclusion that the dialectal split preceded the Slavic migration to the Balkans[56][57] which means that in that period (5th to 6th century AD) Albanians were occupying pretty much the same area around Shkumbin river[58] which straddled the Jirecek line.[44][59]

Arguments against Illyrian origin

The theory of an Illyrian origin of the Albanians is challenged on archaeological and linguistic grounds.[60]

  • Although the Illyrian tribe of the Albanoi and the place Albanopolis could be located near Krujë, nothing proves a relation of this tribe to the Albanians, whose name appears for the first time in the eleventh century in Byzantine sources[61]
  • According to linguist Vladimir I. Georgiev, the theory of an Illyrian origin for the Albanians is weakened by a lack of any Albanian names before the 12th century and the relative absence of Greek influence that would surely be present if the Albanians inhabited their homeland continuously since ancient times.[62] According to Georgiev if the Albanians originated near modern-day Albania, the number of Greek loanwords in the Albanian language should be higher.[63]
  • According to Georgiev, although some Albanian toponyms descend from Illyrian, Illyrian toponyms from antiquity have not changed according to the usual phonetic laws applying to the evolution of Albanian. Furthermore, placenames can be a special case and the Albanian language more generally has not been proven to be of Illyrian stock.[61]
  • Many linguists have tried to link Albanian with Illyrian, but without clear results.[61][64] Albanian belongs to the satem group within Indo-European language tree, while there is a debate whether Illyrian was centum or satem. On the other hand, Dacian[64] and Thracian[65] seem to belong to satem. However, more recent research suggests that there was a process of satemization by which non-satem languages slowly acquired characteristics, and this characteristic has found parallels in the modern development of many Western European languages.
  • There is a lack of clear archaeological evidence for a continuous settlement of an Albanian-speaking population since Illyrian times. For example, while Albanians scholars maintain that the Komani-Kruja burial sites support the Illyrian-Albanian continuity theory, most scholars reject this and consider that the remains indicate a population of Romanized Illyrians who spoke a Romance language.[66][67][68]

Thracian or Dacian origin

Aside from an Illyrian origin, a Dacian or Thracian origin is also hypothesized. There are a number of factors taken as evidence for a Dacian or Thracian origin of Albanians. According to Vladimir Orel, for example, the territory associated with proto-Albanian almost certainly does not correspond with that of modern Albania, i.e. the Illyrian coast, but rather that of Dacia Ripensis and farther north.[69]

The Romanian historian I.I. Russu has originated the theory that Albanians represent a massive migration of the Carpi population pressed by the Slavic migrations. Due to political reasons the book was first published in 1995 and translated in German by Konrad Gündisch.[70]

The German historian Gottfried Schramm (1994) suggests an origin of the Albanians in the Bessoi, a Thracian tribe that was Christianized as early as during the 4th century. Schramm argues that such an early Christianization would explain the otherwise surprising virtual absence of any traces of a pre-Christian pagan religion among the Albanians as they appear in history during the Late Middle Ages.[71] According to this theory, the Bessoi were deported en masse by the Byzantines at the beginning of the 9th century to central Albania for the purpose of fighting against the Bulgarians. In their new homeland, the ancestors of the Albanians took the geographic name Arbanon as their ethnic name and proceeded to assimilate local populations of Slavs, Greeks, and Romans.[72]

Linguist Eric Hamp on the other hand posits that Albanian is more closely relate to Baltic and Slavic rather than Thracian.[73]

Cities whose names follow Albanian phonetic laws - such as Shtip (Štip), Shkupi (Skopje) and Niš - lie in the areas, believed, to once inhabited by Thracians, Paionians and Dardani; the later most often considered Illyrians by ancient historians. While there still is no clear picture of where the Illyrian-Thracian border was, Naissus is mostly considered Illyrian territory.[74]

There are some close correspondences between Thracian and Albanian words.[75] However, as with Illyrian, most Dacian and Thracian words and names have not been closely linked with Albanian (v. Hamp). Also, many Dacian and Thracian placenames were made out of joined names (such as Dacian Sucidava or Thracian Bessapara; see List of Dacian cities and List of ancient Thracian cities), while the modern Albanian language does not allow this.[75]

The Bulgarian linguist Vladimir Georgiev posits that that Albanians descend from a Dacian population from Moesia, now the Morava region of eastern Serbia, and that Illyrian toponyms are found in a far smaller area than the traditional area of Illyrian settlement, and that the Albanians originate from the Morava region in Moesia (nowadays eastern Serbia).[1]

According to Georgiev, Latin loanwords into Albanian show East Balkan Latin (proto-Romanian) phonetics, rather than West Balkan (Dalmatian) phonetics.[60] Combined with the fact that the Romanian language contains several hundred words similar only to Albanian, Georgiev proposes the Albanian language formed between the 4th and 6th century in or near modern-day Romania, which was Dacian territory.[63] He suggests that Romanian is a fully Romanised Dacian language, whereas Albanian is only partly so.[76] Albanian and Eastern Romance also share grammatical features (see Balkan language union) and phonological features, such as the common phonemes or the rhotacism of "n".[77]

Apart from the linguistic theory that Albanian is more akin to East Balkan Romance (i.e. Dacian substrate) than West Balkan Romance (i.e. Illyrian/Dalmatian substrate), Georgiev also notes that marine words in Albanian are borrowed from other languages, suggesting that Albanians were not originally a coastal people (as the Illyrians were).[76] According to Georgiev the scarcity of Greek loan words also supports a Dacian theory - if Albanians originated in the region of Illyria there would surely be a heavy Greek influence.[76] Lastly, Georgiev also notes that Illyrian toponyms do not follow Albanian phonetic laws.[76] According to historian John Van Antwerp Fine, "these are serious (non-chauvinistic) arguments that cannot be summarily dismissed."[76]

Hamp, on the other hand, seems to agree with Georgiev in relation to Albania with Dacian but disagrees on the chronological order of events. Hamp argues that Albanians could have arrived from present day Kosovo to their current geographical position sometime in late Roman period. Also, contrary to Georgiev, he indicates there are words that follow Dalmatian phonetic rules in Albanian giving as an example the word drejt 'straight' < d(i)rectus matching Old Dalmatian traita < tract.[78]

There are no records that indicate a major migration of Dacians into present day Albania, but two Dacian cities existed: Thermidava[79][80][81] close to Scodra and Quemedava[81] in Dardania. Also, a Thracian settlement was known to have existed in Dardania, ar Dardapara. Phrygian tribes such as the Bryges were present in Albania near Durrës since before the Roman conquest (v. Hamp).[75] An argument against a Thracian origin (which does not apply to Dacian) is that most Thracian territory was on the Greek half of the Jirecek Line, aside from varied Thracian populations stretching from Thrace into Albania, passing through Paionia and Dardania and up into Moesia; it is considered that most Thracians were Hellenized in Thrace (v. Hoddinott) and Macedonia.

The Dacian theory could also be consistent with the known patterns of barbarian incursions. Although there is no documentation of an Albanian migration, the Morava valley region adjacent to Dacia was most heavily affected by migrations of Goths and Slavs, and was moreover a natural invasion route.[76] Thus it would have been a region whose indigenous population would naturally have fled,[76] for example to the relative safety of mountainous northern Albania.[original research?]

Genetic studies

Further information: Genetic history of Europe

Various genetic studies have been done on the European population, some of them including current Albanian population, Albanian-speaking populations outside Albania, and the Balkan region as a whole.


The two haplogroups most strongly associated with Albanian people (E-V13 and J2b) are often considered to have arrived in Europe from the Near East with the Neolithic revolution or late Mesolithic, early in the Holocene epoch. From here in the Balkans, it is thought, they spread to the rest of Europe.

  • Y haplogroup E1b1b (E-M35) in the modern Balkan population is dominated by its sub-clade E1b1b1a (E-M78) and specifically by the most common European sub-clade of E-M78, E-V13.[82] Most E-V13 in Europe and elsewhere descend from a common ancestor who lived in the late Mesolithic or Neolithic, possibly in the Balkans. The current distribution of this lineage might be the result of several demographic expansions from the Balkans, such as that associated with the Neolithic revolution, the Balkan Bronze Age, and more recently, during the Roman era during the so-called "rise of Illyrican soldiery".[82][83][84][85][86][87]
  • Y haplogroup J in the modern Balkans is mainly represented by the sub-clade J2b (also known as J-M12 or J-M102 for example). Like E-V13, this clade is spread throughout Europe with a seeming centre and origin near Albania.[82][83][85][87]

Common in the Balkans but not specifically associated with Albania and the Albanian language are I-M423 and R1a-M17:

  • Y haplogroup I is found mostly in Europe, and may have been there since before the LGM. Several of its sub-clades are found in significant amounts in the Balkans. The specific I sub-clade which has attracted most discussion in Balkan studies currently referred to as I2a2, defined by SNP M423[88][89] This clade has higher frequencies to the north of the Albanophone area, in Dalmatia and Bosnia.[87]

The other most common Y haplogroup in the Balkans has strong associations with many parts of Europe:

  • Haplogroup R1b is common all over Europe but especially common on the western Atlantic coast of Europe, and is also found in the Middle East and some parts of Africa. In Europe including the Balkans, it tends to be less common in Slavic speaking areas, where R1a is often the most common haplogroup. It shows similar frequencies among Albanians and Greeks at around 20% of the male population, but is much less common in Serbia and Bosnia.[87]

A study by Peričić et al. in 2005[90] found the following Y-Dna haplogroup frequencies in Albanians from Kosovo with haplogroup E1b1b and its subclades representing 47.4% of the total:

N E-M78* E-V13 E-M81 E-M123 J2 I R1b R1a P
114 1.75% 43.85% 0.90% 0.90% 16.70% 7.96% 21.10% 4.42% 1.77%


Another study of old Balkan populations and their genetic affinities with current European populations was done in 2004, based on mitochondrial DNA on the skeletal remains of some old Thracian populations from SE of Romania, dating from the Bronze and Iron Age.[91] This study was during excavations of some human fossil bones of 20 individuals dating about 3200–4100 years, from the Bronze Age, belonging to some cultures such as Tei, Monteoru and Noua were found in graves from some necropoles SE of Romania, namely in Zimnicea, Smeeni, Candesti, Cioinagi-Balintesti, Gradistea-Coslogeni and Sultana-Malu Rosu; and the human fossil bones and teeth of 27 individuals from the early Iron Age, dating from the 10th to 7th century B.C. from the Hallstatt Era (the Babadag Culture), were found extremely SE of Romania near the Black Sea coast, in some settlements from Dobrogea, namely: Jurilovca, Satu Nou, Babadag, Niculitel and Enisala-Palanca.[91] After comparing this material with the present-day European population, the authors concluded:

Computing the frequency of common point mutations of the present-day European population with the Thracian population has resulted that the Italian (7.9%), the Albanian (6.3%) and the Greek (5.8%) have shown a bias of closer genetic kinship with the Thracian individuals than the Romanian and Bulgarian individuals (only 4.2%).[91]

Genetic Ancestry

In a University of California, Davis study in July 2012 regarding the geography of recent genetic ancestry across Europe the genomic data of 2,257 Europeans (including 9 samples from Albania and 15 from Kosovo),were analysed.[92] The results of the study suggest that a "reasonable proportion of the ancestors of modern-day Albanian speakers are drawn from a relatively small, cohesive population that has persisted for at least the last 1,500 years", as the samples of the Albanian speakers exhibited the highest levels of IBD sharing. The levels of common ancestry with neighbouring groups suggest the existence of a small group rather than an isolated one. Also the "Greek samples (and to a lesser degree, the Macedonian ones) share much higher numbers of common ancestors with Albanian speakers than with other neighbors, possibly due to smaller effects of the Slavic expansion in these populations" and that the "Italians share more common ancestors with Albanian speakers than with other populations". However, the common ancestry between Albanian- and Italian speakers may reflect more recent migrations as common ancestors of the groups are found in the last 1600 years. As for the origin of the Albanian population the results of the study are consistent with the view that the Albanians "descend in large part from the Illyrians (Wilkes, 1996) who populated the eastern side of the Adriatic sea and part of modern-day Salento (Italy) during Roman times".[92]

Obsolete theories

Caucasian theory

One of the earliest theories on the origins of the Albanians, now considered obsolete, identified the proto-Albanians with an area of the Caucasus referred to by classical geographers as "Albania", which roughly corresponds with modern-day Azerbaijan. This theory supposed that the ancestors of the Albanians migrated westward to the Balkans in the late classical or early Medieval period. The Caucasian theory was first proposed by Renaissance humanists who were familiar with the works of classical geographers, and later developed by early 19th-century French consul and writer François Pouqueville. It was rendered obsolete in the 19th century when linguists proved that Albanian is an Indo-European, rather than Caucasian language.[93]

Pelasgian theory

Another obsolete theory on the origin of the Albanians is that they descend from the Pelasgians, a broad term used by classical authors to denote the autochthonous inhabitants of Greece. This theory was developed by the Austrian linguist Johann Georg von Hahn in his work Albanesiche Studien in 1854. According to Hahn, the Pelasgians were the original proto-Albanians and the language spoken by the Pelasgians, Illyrians, Epirotes and ancient Macedonians were closely related. This theory quickly attracted support in Albanian circles, as it established a claim of predecence over other Balkan nations, particularly the Greeks. In addition to establishing "historic right" to territory this theory also established that the ancient Greek civilization and its achievements had an "Albanian" origin.[94] The theory gained staunch support among early 20th century Albanian publicists.[95] This theory is rejected by scholars today.[96]

Italian theory

Laonikos Chalkokondyles (c. 1423–1490), the Byzantine historian, thought that the Albanians hailed from Italy.[97] The theory has its origin in the first mention of Albanians, made by Attaliates (11th century): "... For when subsequent commanders made base and shameful plans and decisions, not only was the island lost to Byzantium, but also the greater part of the army. Unfortunately, the people who had once been our allies and who possessed the same rights as citizens and the same religion, i.e. the Albanians and the Latins, who live in the Italian regions of our Empire beyond Western Rome, quite suddenly became enemies when Michael Dokenianos insanely directed his command against their leaders..."[98]

See also



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