Albania (placename)

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The toponym Albania may indicate several different geographical regions: a country in the Balkans; an ancient land in the Caucasus; as well as Scotland, Albania being a Latinization of a Gaelic name for Scotland, Alba;[1] and even a city in the U.S. state of New York.

Albania (Balkans)[edit]

Albania is the name of a country in the Balkans, attested in Medieval Latin. It has derived from an ethnonym, Albanoi, the name of an Illyrian tribe and their center Albanopolis, noted by the astronomer of Alexandria, Ptolemy, in the 2nd century AD.[2][3] Linguists think the source is the Indo-European root *alb-, meaning "hill, mountain", also present in Alps.[4] Through the root word alban and its rhotacized equivalents arban, albar, and arbar, the term appears as an ethnonym for Albanians in Medieval Greek language as Albanoi and Arbanitai, and also in Medieval Latin as Albanenses and Arbanenses, gradually entering in other European languages.[5][6]

Arbon[edit]

The toponym Arbon (Greek: Ἄρβων or Ἀρβών) [7] or Arbo[8] (Greek: Άρβωνα)[9] is mentioned by Polybius in the History of the World (2nd century BC). It was perhaps an island[10] in Liburnia or another location within Illyria. Stephanus of Byzantium in the 6th century AD, in his important geographical dictionary entitled Ethnica (Εθνικά), cites Polybius, saying it was a city in Illyria and gives an ethnic name for its inhabitants, calling them Arbonios (Greek: Αρβώνιος) and Arbonites (Greek: Αρβωνίτης).[11]

Albanopolis[edit]

Albanopolis was an ancient illyrian city in the Roman province of Macedon,[12] the center of the Illyrian tribe of Albani,[13] noted by the astronomer of Alexandria, Ptolemy, during 150 AD.[14] The national ethnonym of the Albanians is derived from this tribe.[15][16][17]

It was located located in the Zgërdhesh hill-fort near Kruja, central Albania.[18][19][20] The city may have a continuation with the name of the city of Albanon or Arbanon, mentioned during the Middle Ages.[21][22]

Arbanon[edit]

Arbanon, or Albanon, originally, was a region in the mountainous area to the west of Lake Ohrid and the upper valley of the river Shkumbin, in the 11th century AD.[23][24]

We[who?] learn about the ancestors of the modern Albanians in their native land as the Arbanites of Arbanon in Anna Comnena's account (Alexiad, IV) of the troubles in that region caused in the reign of her father Alexius I Comneus (1081–1118) by their fights against the Normans. Before that, in History written in 1079-1080, Byzantine historian Michael Attaliates was first to refer 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. In later Byzantine usage, the terms "Arbanitai" and "Albanoi", with a range of variants, were used interchangeably.

In the 12th to 13th centuries, Byzantine[25] writers use the words Arbanon (Greek: Άρβανον) for a principality in the region of Kruja. In 1190 the Principality of Arbanon or Albanon (Albanian: Arbër or Arbëria, Gheg Albanian: Arbn or Arbnia,[26] Greek: Ἄρβανον), became the first Albanian state during the Middle Ages.[27]

Their descendants in Greece, Italy, Croatia and other diaspora created in the late Middle Ages and onwards, have been called in various ways, with the same common root word, during the years: Arbërorë, Arbëreshë (in Albanian) or Arvanites [Αρβανίτες], Alvanoi [Αλβανοί] (in Greek); Arbanenses, Albaneses (in Latin); Arbanasi, Albanci (in South Slavic) etc.[28][29][30][31][32]

The medieval ethnonym Arbanitai and the corresponding modern ethnonyms Arvanites, Arbër and Arbëreshë have the same etymology as Albanians, being derived from the stem Alb- by way of a rhotacism, Alb-Arb- (based on the root *alban- and its rhotacized variants *arban-, *albar-, and *arbar-).[33] Compare the rhotacism of alb- into arv- in the Neapolitan dialect of Italy.

Albania (Caucasus)[edit]

Albania as the name of Caucasian Albania, a state and historical region of eastern Caucasus, that existed on the territory of present-day republic of Azerbaijan and partially southern Dagestan.

However, unlike the names of the other two European countries, this name was an exonym given to them by the Romans, as no one knew what these inhabitants[which?] called themselves. Compare also the land in Caucasus called Iberia, with the Iberian peninsula in Europe.

Albania (Scotland)[edit]

Alba, a Gaelic name for Scotland, may be related to the Greek name of Britain Albion, Latinized as Albania during the High Medieval period, and later passed into Middle English as Albany. Some recent scholarship has however connected it with one of the early names of Ireland, "Fodla", which is taken to mean (land of the) "going down" (of the Sun), in contrast to Alba which means (land of the) "rising" (of the Sun). This is consistent with one of the ancient emblems of Scotland consisting of a rising sun crossing the horizon, a symbol laden with much significance.

Albion (Great Britain)[edit]

Albion (Ancient Greek: Ἀλβίων) is the oldest known name of the island of Great Britain. Today, it is still sometimes used poetically to refer to the island. The name for Scotland in the Celtic languages is related to Albion: Alba in Scottish Gaelic, Albain in Irish, Nalbin in Manx and Alban in Welsh, Cornish and Breton. These names were later Latinised as Albania and Anglicised as Albany, which were once alternative names for Scotland. New Albion and Albionoria ("Albion of the North") were briefly suggested as possible names of Canada during the period of the Canadian Confederation.

Albany (New York)[edit]

Albany is the capital of the U.S. state of New York and the seat of Albany County. The name originates from the Scottish Duke of Albany, whose title comes from the Gaelic name for Scotland Alba.[34]

When New Netherland was captured by the English in 1664, they changed the name Beverwijck to Albany, in honor of the Duke of Albany. This was a Scottish title given since 1398, generally to the second son of the King of Scots.[35] Albany is one of the oldest surviving European settlements from the original thirteen colonies[36] and the longest continuously chartered city in the United States.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Price, Glanville (1992). The Celtic Connection. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 104. ISBN 978-0-86140-248-9. Retrieved 17 December 2013. Indeed, Eire might well have become the Gaelic name of Scotland as it is that of Ireland. But it was Alba that finally won as the vernacular name while Scotia survived as entirely a literary term 
  2. ^ Lloshi 1999, p. 277. "The Albanians of today call themselves shqiptarë, their country Shqipëri, and their language shqipe. These terms came into use between the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th centuries. Foreigners call them albanesi (Italian), Albaner (German), Albanians (English), Alvanos (Greek), and Arbanasi (old Serbian), the country Albania, Albanie, Albanien, Alvania, and Albanija, and the language Albanese, Albanisch, Albanian, Alvaniki, and Arbanashki respectively. All these words are derived from the name Albanoi of an Illyrian tribe and their center Albanopolis, noted by the astronomer of Alexandria, Ptolemy, in the 2nd century AD. Alban could he a plural of alb- arb-, denoting the inhabitants of the plains.
  3. ^ Malcolm 1998, p. 29. "Nor is there any mystery about the origin of this name. In the second century Ptolemy referred to a tribe called the 'Albanoi', and located their town, 'Albanopolis', somewhere to the east of Durres."
  4. ^ Malcolm 1998, p. 29. "Linguists believe that the ‘Alb-’ element comes from the Indo-European word for a type of mountainous terrain, from which the word ‘Alps’ is also derived."
  5. ^ Elsie, Robert (2005). Albanian literature: A short history. London: I.B. Tauris. pp. 3–4. "Their traditional designation, based on a root *alban- and its rhotacized variants *arban-, *albar-, and *arbar-, appears from the eleventh century onwards in Byzantine chronicles (Albanoi, Arbanitai, Arbanites), and from the fourteenth century onwards in Latin and other Western documents (Albanenses, Arbanenses)."
  6. ^ Malcolm, Noel. "Kosovo, a short history". London: Macmillan, 1998, p. 22–40 "The name used in all these references is, allowing for linguistic variations, the same: 'Albanenses' or 'Arbanenses' in Latin, 'Albanoi' or 'Arbanitai' in Byzantine Greek."
  7. ^ The general history of Polybius, Tome 1,"and escaped to Arbon"
  8. ^ Polybius, Histories, 2.11, "Of the Illyrian troops engaged in blockading Issa, those that belonged to Pharos were left unharmed, as a favour to Demetrius; while all the rest scattered and fled to Arbo"
  9. ^ Polybius, Histories, 2.11, "είς τόν Άρβωνα σκεδασθέντες"
  10. ^ Strabo, Geography H.C. Hamilton, Esq., W. Falconer, M.A., Ed,"The Libyrnides are the islands of Arbo, Pago, Isola Longa, Coronata, &c., which border the coasts of ancient Liburnia, now Murlaka."
  11. ^ Ethnica, Epitome, page 111,line 14, : Αρβών πόλις Ιλλυριας.Πολύβιος δευτέρα, το εθνικόν Αρβώνιος και Αρβωνίτης, ως Αντρώνιος και Ασκαλωνίτης.
  12. ^ Ptolemy. "III.13(12).23". Geography
  13. ^ Mëniku & Campos 2012, p. 2. "In the second century AD, Ptolemy, the Alexandrian mathematician, astronomer and geographer, used the name Albanoi to refer to an Illyrian tribe that used to live in what is now central Albania. During the Middle Ages the population of that area was referred to as Arbanori or Albanon. It is clear that the words Arbëresh, Arvanitika, and even Albanian and Albania are all related to the older name of the language."
  14. ^ Madrugearu A, Gordon M. The wars of the Balkan peninsula. Rowman & Littlefield, 2007. p. 146
  15. ^ History of the Byzantine Empire, 324–1453 By Alexander A. Vasiliev Edition: 2, illustrated Published by Univ of Wisconsin Press, 1958 ISBN 0-299-80926-9, ISBN 978-0-299-80926-3 (page 613)
  16. ^ History of the Balkans: Eighteenth and nineteenth centuries By Barbara Jelavich Edition: reprint, illustrated Published by Cambridge University Press, 1983 ISBN 0-521-27458-3, ISBN 978-0-521-27458-6 (page 25)
  17. ^ The Indo-European languages By Anna Giacalone Ramat, Paolo Ramat Edition: illustrated Published by Taylor & Francis, 1998 ISBN 0-415-06449-X, 9780415064491 (page 481)
  18. ^ Richard Talbert, Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, (ISBN 0-691-03169-X), Map 49 & notes.
  19. ^ Robert Elsie (2010), Historical Dictionary of Albania, Historical Dictionaries of Europe, 75 (2 ed.), Scarecrow Press, pp. 497–498, ISBN 978-0810861886 
  20. ^ Ancient Indo-European Dialects: Proceedings, Henrik Birnbaum, Jaan Puhvel - 1966 Page 98
  21. ^ Mëniku & Campos 2012, p. 2. "In the second century AD, Ptolemy, the Alexandrian mathematician, astronomer and geographer, used the name Albanoi to refer to an Illyrian tribe that used to live in what is now central Albania. During the Middle Ages the population of that area was referred to as Arbanori or Albanon. It is clear that the words Arbëresh, Arvanitika, and even Albanian and Albania are all related to the older name of the language."
  22. ^ J. J. Wilkes, The Illyrians, 1992, ISBN 0-631-19807-5, p. 279: "We cannot be certain that the Arbanon of Anna Comnena is the same as Albanopolis of the Albani, a place located on the map of Ptolemy"
  23. ^ Studies in late Byzantine history and prosopography Volume 242 of Collected studies Variorum reprints ; CS242 Volume 242 of Variorum reprint Author Donald MacGillivray Nicol Edition illustrated Publisher Variorum Reprints, 1986 ISBN 0-86078-190-9, ISBN 978-0-86078-190-5 page. 160
  24. ^ Ramadan Marmullaku - 1975, Albania and the Albanians - Page 5
  25. ^ Comnena, Anna. The Alexiad, Book IV, p.8; Book VI, p.7.
  26. ^ Fialuur i voghel Sccyp e ltinisct (Small Dictionary of Albanian and Latin), page 4, 1895, Shkodër
  27. ^ Clements 1992, p. 31 "By 1190, Byzantium's power had so receded that the archon Progon succeeded in establishing the first Albanian state of the Middle Ages, a principality"
  28. ^ Lloshi 1999, p. 277. "The Albanians of today call themselves shqiptarë, their country Shqipëri, and their language shqipe. These terms came into use between the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th centuries. Foreigners call them albanesi (Italian), Albaner (German), Albanians (English), Alvanos (Greek), and Arbanasi (old Serbian), the country Albania, Albanie, Albanien, Alvania, and Albanija, and the language Albanese, Albanisch, Albanian, Alvaniki, and Arbanashki respectively. All these words are derived from the name Albanoi of an Illyrian tribe and their center Albanopolis, noted by the astronomer of Alexandria, Ptolemy, in the 2nd century AD. Alban could he a plural of alb- arb-, denoting the inhabitants of the plains (ÇABEJ 1976). The name passed over the boundaries of the Illyrian tribe in central Albania, and was generalised for all the Albanians. They called themselves arbënesh, arbëresh, the country Arbëni, Arbëri, and the language arbëneshe, arbëreshe. In the foreign languages, the Middle Ages denominations of these names survived, but for the Albanians they were substituted by shqiptarë, Shqipëri and shqipe. The primary root is the adverb shqip, meaning "clearly, intelligibly".
  29. ^ Liakos 2012, p. 230. "The term "Arvanite" is the medieval equivalent of "Albanian." it is retained today for the descendants of the Albanian tribes that migrated to the Greek lands during a period covering two centuries, from the thirteenth to the fifteenth."
  30. ^ Kamusella 2009, p. 241. "Prior to the emergence of the modern self-ethnonym Shqiptarë in the mid-16th century (for the first time it was recorded in 1555 by the Catholic Gheg, Gjon Buzuku, in his missal), North Albanians (Ghegs) referred to themselves as Arbën, and South Albanians (Tosks) Arbër. Hence, the self-ethnonym Arbëreshë of the present-day Italo-Albanians (numbering about 100,000) in southern Italy and Sicily, whose ancestors, in the wake of the Ottoman wars, emigrated from their homeland in the 14th century. These self-ethnonyms perhaps influenced the Byzantine Greek Arvanites for ‘Albanians,’ which was followed by similar ones in Bulgarian and Serbian (Arbanasi), Ottoman (Arnaut), Romanian (Arbănas), and Aromanian (Arbineş)."
  31. ^ Demiraj 2010, pp. 534. "The ethnic name shqiptar has always been discussed together with the ethnic complex: (tosk) arbëresh, arbëror, arbër — (gheg) arbënesh, arbënu(e)r, arbën; i.e. [arbën/r(—)]. p.536. Among the neighbouring peoples and elsewhere the denomination of the Albanians is based upon the root arb/alb, cp. Greek ’Αλβανός, ’Αρβανός "Albanian", ‘Αρβανίτης "Arbëresh of Greece", Serbian Albanac, Arbanas, Bulg., Mac. албанец, Arom. arbinés (Papahagi 1963 135), Turk. arnaut, Ital. albanese, German Albaner etc. This basis is in use among the Arbëreshs of Italy and Greece as well".
  32. ^ Zbornik za Istocnjacku Istorisku i Knjizevnu Gradu 1940, p. 745. "Арбанас, арбанаски, арбански и арбанашки и све остале од исте основе изведене речи постала су од Arbanus. [Arbanas, arbanaski, arbanski and arbanaški and all of the same grounds derived words have come from Arbanus.]"
  33. ^ Elsie 2005, pp. 3–4. "Their traditional designation, based on a root *alban- and its rhotacized variants *arban-, *albar-, and *arbar-, appears from the eleventh century onwards in Byzantine chronicles (Albanoi, Arbanitai, Arbanites), and from the fourteenth century onwards in Latin and other Western documents (Albanenses, Arbanenses)."
  34. ^ In: E.G. Cody. The Historie of Scotland. Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons; 1888. OCLC 3217086. p. 354.
  35. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (Albany, Dukes of). Encyclopædia Britannica Company; 1910. OCLC 197297659. p. 487.
  36. ^ Larnard, J.N. In: Donald E. Smith. The New Larned History for Ready Reference and Research. Vol. I (A-Bak). C.A. Nichols Publishing Company; 1922. p. 195.

References[edit]