Myth of Skanderbeg

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Skanderbeg's monument in Tirana

The Myth of Skanderbeg is one of the main constitutive myths of Albanian nationalism.[1][2][3] Albanian nationalist writers transformed Skanderbeg's history into myth and thus his figure and deeds became a mixture of historical facts, truths, half-truths, inventions, and folklore.[4] The Myth of Skanderbeg is the only myth of Albanian nationalism that is based on a person; the others are based on ideas, abstract concepts, and collectivism.[5] There are two different Skanderbegs today: the historic Skanderbeg, and a mythic national hero as presented in Albanian schools and nationalist intellectuals in Tirana and Pristina.[6]

From the 16th to the early 19th century Skanderbeg's fame survived mainly in Christian Europe and was based on perception of Skanderbeg being Antemurale Christianitatis against invading Turks. In largely Islamized Albania of this period his fame faded, to be rediscovered at the end of the 19th century when the figure of Skanderbeg was brought to the level of national hero.

History transformed into myth[edit]

Antemurale Christianitatis[edit]

Skanderbeg's painting

Skanderbeg is built in part of the antemurale myth complex which portrays Albanians united by Skanderbeg as protectors of the nation and Christendom against "invading Turks".[7] In the 16th century, the "Defence against the Turks" had become a central topic in East Central and South East Europe. It was put in functional use and served as a propaganda tool and to mobilize religious feelings of the population.[8] People who participated in campaigns against the Ottoman Empire were referred to as “antemurale Christianitatis” (the protective wall of Christianity).[9] The Pope Calixtus III gave Skanderbeg the title Athleta Christi, or Champion of Christ.[10] Furthermore, during the 18th century the Myth of Skanderbeg was moulded and transformed to suit the taste and the anxieties of the British readers.[11]

Under the influence of the Myth of Skanderbeg and antemurale myth, the Albanian Catholic clergy seems to understand the figure of Mother Teresa as Skanderbeg's ideological heir who completes his task of guarding the boundaries of Catholicism and Albanianism, introducing a new era after the end of glorious era that culminated with Skanderbeg.[12][13] In contrast to the Skanderbegs' myths of Albanian Christians, the Myth of Skanderbeg of Albania's Muslim community had a positive outcome because the glory of the Illyrian era did not end with Skanderbeg, but continued into the Ottoman era.[14]

Serbianization of Skanderbeg[edit]

Serbo-Montenegrin-Greek-Ottoman occupation of Albania.

While Greek references to Skanderbeg were used up, Serbian historians, often contradictorily, used Skanderbeg as a symbol of joint Serbian-Albanian progress (1866).[15] On the other hand, forty years later, in a different political environment, the faded memory of Skanderbeg among a large portion of Albanians was used as evidence of a lack of an ethnic identity and even the said Serbian character of the medieval hero.[16] Spiridon Gopčević, a proponent of Serbian expansion in the Ottoman Balkans, claimed that northern Albanians are actually Serbs and Skanderbeg's main motivation was his feelings of Serb national injury.[17] In Montenegro, a country which had tribal structures similar to the ones in northern Albania and also had a similar mentality, Skanderbeg was celebrated as a Slavic hero, a concept which was incorporated into the movement to justify an expansion of Montenegro into northern Albania.[18] By the end of the 19th century, one could find a wide dissemination of brochures with Skanderbeg being presented as a Slavic hero along the Montenegro-Albania border.[19] The myth is particularly popular in Kuči tribe where the Drekalović brotherhood, also known as Novokuči (New Kuči) claims descent from him.[20] Serbian historiography supports the theory that Skanderbeg's great-grandfather Branilo was a nobleman from Zeta who was granted possession of Kaninë after taking part in Emperor Stefan Dušan's conquests.[21] This version was popularized again in the 1980s, right before the crisis in Kosovo, where Serb historians again celebrated Skanderbeg as "the son of Ivan, Đorđ Kastrioti, the Serbian horseman of Albania."[22]

Skanderbeg during the Albanian National Awakening[edit]

In "Istori'e Skenderbeut" written by Naim Frasheri in 1898 Skanderbeg's figure assumed a new dimension of the Albanian national hero.

Skanderbeg's fame survived in Christian Europe for centuries, while in largely Islamized Albania it gradually faded.[23][24] It was only in the 19th century, in the period of Albanian National Revival, that Skanderbeg was rediscovered in the Albanian speaking world[25] and raised to the level of national myth.[26] Although Skanderbeg had already been used in the construction of the Albanian national code, especially in communities of Arbėresh, it was only in the final years of the 19th century with the publication of the work of Naim Frasheri "Istori'e Skenderbeut" in 1898 that his figure assumed a new dimension.[27] Naim Frasheri was the biggest inspiration and guide for most Albanian poets and intellectuals.[28]

Albanian nationalists needed an episode from medieval history for the centre of the Albanian nationalistic mythology and they chose Skanderbeg, in the absence of the medieval kingdom or empire.[29] The figure of Skanderbeg was subjected to Albanisation, and he was presented as a national hero.[30] Later books and periodicals continued this theme,[31] and nationalist writers transformed history into myth.[32] There was significant effort of the Albanian historiography to adapt the facts about Skanderbeg to meet the requests of the contemporary ideology.[33] Although the Myth of Skanderbeg had little to do with the reality it was incorporated in works about history of Albania.[34]

Authors borrowing from the national epics and nationalisms of Greeks, Croats and Serbs of Montenegro (like those of Gjergj Fishta and his Lahuta e Malcís) contributed to the creation of Skanderbeg as the Albanian national hero.[35] The religious aspect of Skanderbeg's struggle against Muslims was minimized by Albanian nationalists because it could divide Albanians and undermine their unity as Albanians are both Muslims and Christians.[36][37] Because of the insufficient primary sources it is difficult to pin down the "hero of the Albanian nation" status of Skanderbeg.[38]

Exploits of Skanderbeg's figure[edit]

Skanderbeg's name, horse, and sword summarize exploits of his figure:[39]

  1. Nomen est omen is used in the exploitation of Skanderbeg's figure by connecting his name with Alexander the Great, who defended his territory, and implying that Skanderbeg also struggled to defend his territory from the Ottoman Empire.
  2. The sword used by Skanderbeg was a present of the sultan and was endowed with magical powers.
  3. The horse connects the mythological hero with both earthly and spiritual powers, also making the hero look taller. The neighing of Skanderbeg's horse caused terror among his enemies.

At the dawn of the 20th century, the figure of Skanderbeg as the Albanian national hero took another dimension through the appearance of pretenders to the throne who claimed his descent.[40] Being aware of the myth of Skanderbeg, many pretenders on the Albanian throne, like the German nobleman Wilhelm of Wied and several European adventurers, named themselves and their descendants after Skanderbeg.[41] Both Zogu and Enver Hoxha presented themselves as heirs of Skanderbeg.[42][43][44][45] One of the important reasons for the regime of Enver Hoxha to emphasize the interest in Skanderbeg's period was to justify the building of a totalitarian dictatorship.[46] Albanian historians intensively mythologized Skanderbeg during communist regime to give legitimacy to the policy of the government.[47]

The main components of various interpretations of the picture of Skanderbeg are still present, except that communist ideological components installed by Hoxha's regime have been replaced by nationalist ones. In some historical and commercial publications, Adem Jashari (1955—1998) is portrayed as the new Albanian national hero in a historical succession of Skanderbeg.[48][49]

Transformation of Skanderbeg into a national symbol served both national cohesion and as an argument for Albania's cultural affinity to Europe because the national narrative of Skanderbeg symbolized the sacrifice of the Albanians in "defending Europe from Asiatic hordes".[50] Pro-European public discourse in modern Albania uses the Myth of Skanderbeg as evidence of Albania's European identity.[51]

Consequences[edit]

Since Skanderbeg occupies the central place in Albanian national myths, it complicates his critical analysis by the historians.[52] Those who performed a critical analysis of Skanderbeg, as Vienna historian Oliver Jens Schmitt did, would quickly be accused of committing sacrilege and sullying the Albanian national honor.[53][54] There is a danger of emphasis on Skanderbeg's struggle as symbol of the unitary state because it no longer refers to the territory of the Republic of Albania, but to the whole of the Albanian area of settlement in the Balkans.[55] The myth of Skanderbeg represents the main ingredient of the debate about future aspirations of the Albanian nation.[56]

Scientific research of the Myth of Skanderbeg[edit]

Myth of Skanderbeg was included in the program of the following academic conferences:

  • The Role of Myths in History and Development in Albania, held in London, Great Britain, on June 11—13, 1999[57]
  • The myth of Skanderbeg, held in Palermo, Italy on March 29, 2007[58]
  • A living Skanderbeg, the multidisciplinary analysis of the myth, historical facts and current knowledge about George Kastrioti Skanderbeg, held in Lecce, Italy, in March 12—13, 2009[59]
  • The lexicon of identity and exclusion, held in Palazzo Chiaramonte, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy, in October 13—14, 2009 with The Hero and the Nation: On the Various Interpretations of Skanderbeg’s Myth[60]
  • George Kastriot Skanderbeg: the history and image held on May 28, 2010 in Durres, Albania[61]
  • Recycling Myths, Inventing Nations, held in July 14—16, 2010 at Gregynog Hall, the University of Wales Conference Centre, UK[62]

The key question in scientific research of the Myth of Skanderbeg is not its historical basis, or whether it has one at all, but the investigation of its meanings and purposes.[63]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ King, Russell; Nicola Mai, "Social Exclusion and Integration", Out of Albania: From Crisis Migration to Social Inclusion in Italy, Berghahn Books, p. 212, ISBN 978-1-84545-544-6, ...three main constitutive myths at work within Albanian nationalism ...Secondly, the myth of Skanderbeg, ... 
  2. ^ Steinke, Klaus. "Recension of the The living Skanderbeg : the Albanian hero between myth and history / Monica Genesin ... (eds.) Hamburg : Kovač, 2010 Schriftenreihe Orbis ; Bd. 16" (in German). QUELLE Informationsmittel (IFB) : digitales Rezensionsorgan für Bibliothek und Wissenschaft. Retrieved March 24, 2011. Im nationalen Mythus der Albaner nimmt er den zentralen Platz ein,... 
  3. ^ Nixon, N., Always already European: The figure of Skënderbeg in contemporary Albanian nationalism, National Identities, 12, March 2010, Routledge, doi:10.1080/14608940903542540, retrieved May 3, 2011, (From abstract) … Through the figure of Skënderbeg, Albanian nationalism produces an image of the nation as a seamless continuity of 'Europeanness' from the fifteenth century to the present. … It constitutes, it is argued in this article, a misdirected appeal to Europe - driven by a desire for future European Union membership - to recognise Albania as always already European. … 
  4. ^ Schwandner-Sievers, Stephanie; Bernd Jürgen Fischer; Roderick Bailey; Isa Blumi; Nathalie Clayer; Ger Dujizings; Denisa Costovicova; Annie Lafontaine; Fatos Lubonja; Nicola Mai; Noel Malcolm; Piro Misha; Mariella Pandolfi; Gilles de Rapper; Fabian Schmidt; George Shopflin; Elias G. Skoulidas; Alex Standish; Galia Vatchinova (2002), Albanian identities: myth and history, USA: Indiana University Press, p. 43, ISBN 0-253-34189-2, retrieved March 24, 2011, The nationalist writers... transform history into myth ... As with most myths his figure and deeds became a mixture of historical facts, truths, half-truths, inventions and folklore. 
  5. ^ Free, Jan, "Skanderbeg als historisher Mythos", Von den Schwierigkeiten historischer Bezugnahme: Der albanische Nationalheld Skanderbeg (PDF) (in German), Düsseldorf: Mythos-Magazin, p. 14, retrieved March 25, 2011, Betrachtet man die Gesamtheit der albanischen Nationalmythen, so ist offensichtlich, dass es fur Albaner mehr als nur den Skanderbeg-Mythos gibt und dass nicht nur auf diesem Mythos die albanische Identitat beruht. Es gibt noch weitere wichtige Mythenfiguren, doch diese beziehen sich auf Vorstellungen, abstrakte Konzepte und Kollektive, aber nicht auf Personen. 
  6. ^ Jens Schmitt, Oliver. "Skanderbeg Ein Winterkönig an der Zeitenwende" (in German). Retrieved 7 April 2011. Heute gibt es zwei Skanderbegs - den historischen und den zum Nationalhelden erhobenen Mythos, wie er in albanischen Schulen und von nationalistischen Intellektuellen in Tirana oder Prishtina dargestellt wird. Beide haben weniger miteinander zu tun als entfernte Verwandte. 
  7. ^ Endresen, Cecilie (2010), Oliver Jens Schmitt, ed., Religion und Kultur im albanischsprachigen Südosteuropa, 4, Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, p. 249, ISBN 978-3-631-60295-9, The antemurale myth and Skanderbeg: A built-in part of antemurale myth complex is Skanderbeg... united Albanians in the fight against invading Turks and that his primary motive was defence of the nation (although the churchmen equate that with defence of the Christendom) 
  8. ^ Maner, Hans–Christian. "The "Repelling of the great Turk" in Southeast European Historiography". University of Mainz. Archived from the original on October 22, 2009. Retrieved 31 March 2011. ...“Defence against the Turks”, that had already become central topics in East Central and Southeast Europe in the sixteenth century, ... was also put to functional use... also a propaganda function, .... mobilising religious feelings 
  9. ^ Maner, Hans–Christian. "The "Repelling of the great Turk" in Southeast European Historiography". University of Mainz. Archived from the original on October 22, 2009. Retrieved 31 March 2011. ...Contemporary accounts already used the topos of the defence of Christian Europe...others claimed the title, too...antemurale Christianitatis 
  10. ^ Elsie, Robert (2010), "Skanderbeg", Historical dictionary of Albania, Maryland: Scarecrow Press Inc., p. 401, ISBN 978-0-8108-6188-6, retrieved October 18, 2011, For his defence of Christendom against the Muslim hordes Pope Calxtus II (r. 1455–1458) awarded the Albanian warrior the title Athleta Christi. 
  11. ^ Marshall, Louise (2010). "Scanderbeg, myth, heroism and the eighteenth-century stage" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 2, 2012. Retrieved March 27, 2010. Through the representation of a Christian/Turk hero and his struggle against the Ottoman empire I will consider the ways in which the mythology surrounding this ambiguous historical character is moulded and transformed to suit the taste, and the anxieties, of eighteenth-century British audiences. 
  12. ^ Endresen, Cecilie (2010), Oliver Jens Schmitt, ed., Religion und Kultur im albanischsprachigen Südosteuropa, 4, Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, p. 250, ISBN 978-3-631-60295-9, The Catholic clergy seems to understand Mother Teresa as Skanderbeg's ideological heir, who completes his holy task of guarding the boundaries of Catholicism and Albanianism. In these myths the two figures symbolize transition: Skanderbeg is culmination of glorious era, while Mother Teresa introduces a new one. 
  13. ^ Alpion, Gëzim I. (2007). Mother Teresa: saint or celebrity?. New York: Routledge. p. 64. Retrieved April 4, 2011. Albanian media, the Albanian Catholic Church, the political establishment in Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia and numerous intellectuals were trying to present Mother Teresa as Albania's modern "national hero", something of contemporary kindred spirit of Skanderbeg 
  14. ^ Endresen, Cecilie (2010), Oliver Jens Schmitt, ed., Religion und Kultur im albanischsprachigen Südosteuropa, 4, Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, p. 250, ISBN 978-3-631-60295-9, Compared to other Communities' Skanderbeg myths, that of ulama had a happy ending... In their myths, the glory of Illirian era does not end with the death of Skanderbeg but continues into the Ottoman era 
  15. ^ Schmitt, Oliver Jens (2008). Skënderbeu (in Albanian). K&B. p. 437. ISBN 978-9995666750. Ndërkohë që pas 1900-s referimet greke ndaj Skënderbeut erdhën duke u shuar, propagandistët serbë në strategjitë e tyre, shpesh kontradiktore, e përdorën Skënderbeun si simbol të një ecurie të përbashkët serbe-(shqiptare) (1866) 
  16. ^ Schmitt, Oliver Jens (2008). Skënderbeu (in Albanian). K&B. p. 437. ISBN 9789995666750. në anën tjetër, dyzet vjet më vonë, në rrethana të ndryshuara politike, kujtimin e zbehur për Skënderbeun në shtresat e gjera të popullsisë shqiptare si dëshmi për mungesën e ndjenjes së identit etnik madje dhe për gjoja karakterin serb të heroit mesjetar 
  17. ^ Schmitt, Oliver Jens (2008). Skënderbeu (in Albanian). K&B. p. 437. ISBN 9789995666750. Propagandisti i ekspansionit serb në Ballkanin osman, publicisti Spiridon Gopçeviç, thoshte për shembull se të gjithë shqiptarët e veriut janë në të vërtetë serbë dhe motivi kryesor i veprimit të Skënderbeut ka qenë ndjenja e tij lënduar nacionale serbe 
  18. ^ Schmitt, Oliver Jens (2008). Skënderbeu (in Albanian). K&B. p. 437. ISBN 9789995666750. Në Malin e Zi, që i kishte strukturat e veta fisnore shumë të ngjashme me ato të Shqipërisë së veriut, çka sillte edhe një afri në mendësi, Skënderbeu u kremtua si ideali i burrërisë heroike, si luftëtar sllav dhe mishërimi i një shtrirjeje politike të Malit të Zi në Arbëri të veriut. 
  19. ^ Schmitt, Oliver Jens (2008). Skënderbeu (in Albanian). K&B. p. 437. ISBN 9789995666750. Aty nga fundi i shekullit 19 në trevat e sotme kufitare shqiptaro-malazeze gjetën përhapje të gjerë broshura të vogla që e paraqisnin Skënderbeun si hero sllav 
  20. ^ http://montenegrina.net/pages/pages1/istorija/plemena/drekalovici_porijeklo_vojvoda_drekale_m_miljanov.html
  21. ^ Babinger 1976, p. 333

    Branilo Kastriota UrGroßvater Skander-Beg's ist der älteste, uns wenigstens dem Namen nach be kannte Vorfahre des Volkshelden und, wie sich die Forscher einig zu sein scheinen serbischer Herkunft,...

  22. ^ Schmitt, Oliver Jens (2008). Skënderbeu (in Albanian). K&B. p. 437. ISBN 9789995666750. një interpretim që gjëlloi edhe në vitet '80 të shekullit 20, e pra në prag të krizës së Kosovës, kur propagandistet serbë e brohorisnin Skënderbeun si "bir të Ivanit, Gjorgj Kastrioti, kalorësi serb i Arbërise" 
  23. ^ Ursprung, Daniel, Stefan der Große – Krieger, Landespatron und Heiliger Ein mittelalterlicher Fürst als moderne Erinnerungsfigur (PDF), In Humanistenkreisen im westlichen Europa zu grossem Ruhm gekommen, war die Erinnerung an ihn im albanischen Sprachraum im 19. Jahrhundert weitgehend verschwunden – erst die Wiederbelebung des Skanderbeg-Mythos durch die albanische Nationalbewegung hat ihn im Verlaufe des 20. Jahrhunderts wieder zur Erinnerungsfigur gemacht. 
  24. ^ Bartl, Peter (2009), Bartl, Peter: review of: Schmitt, Oliver Jens, Skanderbeg. Der neue Alexander auf dem Balkan (in German), Sein Nachruhm als heldenhafter Türkenkämpfer sollte im christlichen Europa die Jahrhunderte überdauern, während er im weitgehend islamisierten Albanien allmählich verblasste. 
  25. ^ Bartl, Peter (2009), Bartl, Peter: review of: Schmitt, Oliver Jens, Skanderbeg. Der neue Alexander auf dem Balkan (in German), Erst in der Zeit der „Wiedergeburt“ wurde er wiederentdeckt und zur nationalen Symbolfigur für alle Albaner, ganz gleich, welcher Konfession sie angehörten. 
  26. ^ Kraft, Ekkehard (March 18, 2009), Wer war Skanderbeg? (in German), Zurich: Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Der albanische Adlige, der als Geisel am Hof des osmanischen Sultans zum Islam übergetreten war und dann rasch Karriere gemacht hatte, wechselte 1443 die Seiten, kehrte zum Christentum zurück und kämpfte ein Vierteljahrhundert gegen die Osmanen. Von der albanischen Nationalbewegung war er seit dem Ende des 19 Jahrhunderts zum nationalen Mythos erhoben worden. [The Albanian noble... with the Albanian national movement from the end of the 19th century has been raised to the national myth.] 
  27. ^ Clayer, Nathalie (2007), Aux origines du nationalisme albanais: la naissance d'une nation, Karthala, p. 441, ISBN 978-2-84586-816-8, Avant 1896, une image de Skanderbeg heros de l orthodoxie Grecque s'etait largement developpee dans les regions meridionales tandis que, dans le regions proches du Montenegro, en 1897 encore, des poemes epiques dans lesqueles il etait celebre comme un guerrier slave etaient de plus en plus difuses. Meme s'il etait egalement deja apparu dans la construction d'un passe national albanais (en particulier Arberesh) , dans les toutes dernieres annes du XIX siecle, sa figure prit une nuovelle dimension. 
  28. ^ Elsie, Robert (2005), "Writing in the independence period", Albanian literature: a short history, London: I.B. Tauris in association with the Centre for Albanian Studies, p. 100, ISBN 1-84511-031-5, retrieved January 18, 2011, major source of inspiration and guiding lights for most Albanian poets and intellectuals 
  29. ^ Schwandner-Sievers, Stephanie; Bernd Jürgen Fischer; Roderick Bailey; Isa Blumi; Nathalie Clayer; Ger Dujizings; Denisa Costovicova; Annie Lafontaine; Fatos Lubonja; Nicola Mai; Noel Malcolm; Piro Misha; Mariella Pandolfi; Gilles de Rapper; Fabian Schmidt; George Shopflin; Elias G. Skoulidas; Alex Standish; Galia Vatchinova (2002), "Invention of nationalism: Myth and amnesia", Albanian identities: myth and history, USA: Indiana University Press, p. 43, ISBN 0-253-34189-2, ..an episode taken from medieval history was central for Albanian national mythology. In the absence of medieval kingdom or empire the Albanian nationalists choose Skanderbeg.... 
  30. ^ Clayer, Nathalie (2007), Aux origines du nationalisme albanais: la naissance d'une nation, Karthala, p. 441, ISBN 978-2-84586-816-8, L'une des evolutions les plus remarquables fut l'albanisation de la figure de Skanderbeg et sa mise en avant en tant que heros national 
  31. ^ Clayer, Nathalie (2007), Aux origines du nationalisme albanais: la naissance d'une nation, Karthala, p. 441, ISBN 978-2-84586-816-8, La parution en 1898 de l'Historie de Skanderbeg, un poeme epique compose par Naim Frasheri, y contribua beacoup. Mais, d'autres ouvrages et periodiques mirent aussi l'accent sur celui qui etait de plus en plus largement considere comme le "heros national". Faik Konica rassembla des materiaux sur Skanderbeg, afin d'alimenter les pages de l'Albania. 
  32. ^ Schwandner-Sievers, Stephanie; Bernd Jürgen Fischer; Roderick Bailey; Isa Blumi; Nathalie Clayer; Ger Dujizings; Denisa Costovicova; Annie Lafontaine; Fatos Lubonja; Nicola Mai; Noel Malcolm; Piro Misha; Mariella Pandolfi; Gilles de Rapper; Fabian Schmidt; George Shopflin; Elias G. Skoulidas; Alex Standish; Galia Vatchinova (2002), "Invention of nationalism: Myth and amnesia", Albanian identities: myth and history, USA: Indiana University Press, ISBN 0-253-34189-2, The nationalistic writers...subjecting him to that laboratory that serves to transform history into myth. 
  33. ^ Nitsiakos, Vassilis (2010), On the Border - Transborder Mobility, Ethnic Groups and Boundaries along the Albanian-Greek Frontier, Berlin: Lit Verlag, p. 213, ISBN 978-3-643-10793-0, OCLC 700517914, Even a quick look into the historiography of those times suffices to see the effort to adapt the story of Skenderbeg to contemporary ideological stipulations. 
  34. ^ Bartl, Peter (2009), Bartl, Peter: review of: Schmitt, Oliver Jens, Skanderbeg. Der neue Alexander auf dem Balkan (in German), Dieser Mythos hatte mit der historischen Realität wenig zu tun, er fand aber nichtsdestotrotz Eingang auch in die albanische Geschichtsschreibung. [This myth had a little to do with the historical reality, but it was nonetheless included in the Albanian history too.] 
  35. ^ Detrez, Raymond; Pieter Plas (2005), Developing cultural identity in the Balkans: convergence vs divergence, Brussels: P.I.E. Peter Lang S.A., p. 220, ISBN 90-5201-297-0, Even the creation of national hero is largely due to such borrowings.. trough both channels, the Southern and the Northern one. 
  36. ^ Nitsiakos, Vassilis (2010), On the Border - Transborder Mobility, Ethnic Groups and Boundaries along the Albanian-Greek Frontier, Berlin: Lit Verlag, pp. 210, 211, ISBN 978-3-643-10793-0, OCLC 700517914, The case of Skanderbeg offered Albanian nationalists a basis to develop a national rhetoric and ideology of national resistance,.... adapted for the purposes of national myth... and religious dimension of his identity is eluded. 
  37. ^ Nitsiakos, Vassilis (2010), On the Border - Transborder Mobility, Ethnic Groups and Boundaries along the Albanian-Greek Frontier, Berlin: Lit Verlag, pp. 210, 211, ISBN 978-3-643-10793-0, OCLC 700517914, retrieved October 18, 2011, ... Albanian nationalists ... against enemy who is threatening the integrity of the fatherland and unity of Albanian people. The case of Skanderbeg... the selective use of the elements of his story...the image of the Skanderbeg is painted with materials of national myth... 
  38. ^ King & Mai 2008, p. 62: "Skanderbeg's true status as a 'hero of the Albanian nation' is hard to pin down, due to the lack of primary sources."
  39. ^ di Miceli, Francesca; Zef Chiaramonte; Franca Cuccia; Giuseppe Barbaccia; Ernesto Schiro, Miti e Cultura Arbereshe (PDF) (in Italian), Italy: Centro Internazionale Studi sul Mito Delegazione Siciliana, p. 5, retrieved March 24, 2011, Un nome, una spada e un destriero quindi compendiano le gesta di Giorgio Kastriota...Nomen omen ...Infatti come l’eroico macedone Alessandro Magno aveva lottato contro i Greci per proteggere la sua terra così l’albanese Giorgio Kastriota lottava contro i Turci a difesa dell’Albania mettendo ...possedeva poteri magici...ma uno dei ruoli che maggiormente la caratterizza è quello di guida dell’uomo nei mpondi superiori...il suo cavallo e ciò avrebbe scatenato un enorme terrore fra i turchi 
  40. ^ Clayer, Nathalie (2007), Aux origines du nationalisme albanais: la naissance d'une nation, Karthala, p. 441, ISBN 978-2-84586-816-8, A l'aube XX siècle, la figure de Skanderbeg comme heros national albanais prit egalement une autre dimension a travers l apparition des pretendants au trone qui se reclamerent de sa descendance. 
  41. ^ Jazexhi, Olsi (2002), "Another approach towards certain ‘exported’ myths on Albanian historiography between Occident and Islâm", Africana (PDF), Pisa, Italy: Edistudio di Brunetto Casini, pp. 93–101, The Europeans that pretended to ... like... Wilhelm von Wied, who being aware of Scanderbeg’s myth, named his son and daughter Skender and Donika...Other European adventurers who aimed on getting the Albanian throne and playing on the Scanderbeg’s myth...named themselves Scanderbeg and worked out on creating their own historical connections with the said man. 
  42. ^ Schwandner-Sievers, Stephanie; Bernd Jürgen Fischer; Roderick Bailey; Isa Blumi; Nathalie Clayer; Ger Dujizings; Denisa Costovicova; Annie Lafontaine; Fatos Lubonja; Nicola Mai; Noel Malcolm; Piro Misha; Mariella Pandolfi; Gilles de Rapper; Fabian Schmidt; George Shopflin; Elias G. Skoulidas; Alex Standish; Galia Vatchinova (2002), Albanian identities: myth and history, USA: Indiana University Press, p. 47, ISBN 0-253-34189-2, retrieved March 24, 2011, ...both Zogu and Enver Hoxha tried their best to present themselves as heirs of Skanderbeg. 
  43. ^ Sindbaek, Tea; Maximilian Hartmuth (2011), "Diverging images of the Ottoman legacy in Albania", Images of imperial legacy : modern discourses on the social and cultural impact of Ottoman and Habsburg rule in Southeast Europe, Studien zur Geschichte, Kultur und Gesellschaft Südosteuropas, Berlin: Lit, p. 45, ISBN 978-3-643-10850-0, OCLC 742964326, ... the Skanderbeg myth was remodelled: in their unwavering struggle to secure Albanian self-suffiency and seclusion against the oppression of malevolent foreigners. Hoxha and his partisans were the moral and political successors of Skanderbeg 
  44. ^ Jürgen Fischer, Bernd (2007), "King Zog, Albania's interwar dictator", Balkan strongmen : dictators and authoritarian rulers of South Eastern Europe, West Lafayette, Ind.: Purdue University Press, pp. 48, 49, retrieved October 12, 2011, Zog also effectively used the myth of Skenderbeg...not only to found national ideology but to extend it to his own person. 
  45. ^ Schmidt-Neke Michael (1997) Nationalism and National Myth: Skanderbeg and theTwentieth-Century Albanian Regimes, The European Legacy, Published by Routledge, UK, vol.2, No. 1, pp. 1-7.
  46. ^ Maner, Hans–Christian. "The "Repelling of the great Turk" in Southeast European Historiography". University of Mainz. Retrieved 31 March 2011. For the Hoxha regime it was... central to elucidate the topicality of the Skanderbeg period,... to historically justify the building of a totalitarian dictatorship. 
  47. ^ John Breuilly (1 March 2013). The Oxford Handbook of the History of Nationalism. Oxford University Press. p. 19. ISBN 978-0-19-164426-9. Retrieved 10 June 2013. The medieval national hero George Kastrioti Skanderbeg was intensely mythologized by communist historians. 
  48. ^ Schwandner-Sievers, Stephanie; Maria Todorova; Zsuzsa Gille (2010). Maria Todorova, ed. Post-Communist Nostalgia. Berghahn Books. p. 108. ISBN 978-1-84545-671-9. Retrieved 20 July 2011. Today, Adem Jashari, who died in 1998, is situated in line with Skanderbeg and his death is perceived as testimony to the existence of the Albanian nation. 
  49. ^ Schwandner-Sievers, Stephanie; Ulf Brunnbauer; Andreas Helmedach; Stefan Troebst (2007). Schnittstellen: Gesellschaft, Nation, Konflikt und Erinnerung in Südosteuropa. Festschrift für Holm Sundhaussen zum 65. Geburtstag. Mit Beitr. in engl. Sprache (in German). Oldenbourg. p. 567. ISBN 978-3-486-58346-5. Retrieved 20 July 2011. Die historiographischen Veröffentlichungen und die an der neuen Pilgerstätte entstehende kommerzielle Literatur feiern den neuen Nationalhelden als "Legendären Kommandanten" in historischer Nachfolge von Skanderbeg....The historiographical publications and forms on the new commercial literary pilgrimage to celebrate the new national hero as the "Legendary Commander" in a historical succession of Skanderbeg... 
  50. ^ Schwandner-Sievers, Stephanie; Bernd Jürgen Fischer; Roderick Bailey; Isa Blumi; Nathalie Clayer; Ger Dujizings; Denisa Costovicova; Annie Lafontaine; Fatos Lubonja; Nicola Mai; Noel Malcolm; Piro Misha; Mariella Pandolfi; Gilles de Rapper; Fabian Schmidt; George Shopflin; Elias G. Skoulidas; Alex Standish; Galia Vatchinova (2002), Albanian identities: myth and history, USA: Indiana University Press, p. 43, ISBN 0-253-34189-2, ... transformation of Skanderbeg into national symbol did not just serve national cohesion... in the national narrative Skanderbeg symbolised the sublime sacrifice of the Albanians in defending Europe from the Asiatic hordes. 
  51. ^ Kraft, Ekkehard (March 18, 2009), Wer war Skanderbeg? (in German), Zurich: Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Kadare ist die Galionsfigur des im öffentlichen Diskurs Albaniens dominierenden nationalistisch-proeuropäischen Lagers, dem der Skanderbeg-Mythos als Beleg für die europäische Identität Albaniens dient. [Kadare is the figurehead of the natioanlistic, pro-European camp which dominates the public discourse in Albania. The Skanderberg-myth serves this political camp as evidence for the European identity of Albania.] 
  52. ^ Steinke, Klaus. "Recension of the The living Skanderbeg : the Albanian hero between myth and history / Monica Genesin ... (eds.) Hamburg : Kovač, 2010 Schriftenreihe Orbis ; Bd. 16" (in German). QUELLE Informationsmittel (IFB) : digitales Rezensionsorgan für Bibliothek und Wissenschaft. Retrieved March 24, 2011. Im nationalen Mythus der Albaner nimmt er den zentralen Platz ein, was die kritische Auseinandersetzung der Historiker mit ihm erschwert. 
  53. ^ Steinke, Klaus. "Recension of the The living Skanderbeg : the Albanian hero between myth and history / Monica Genesin ... (eds.) Hamburg : Kovač, 2010 Schriftenreihe Orbis ; Bd. 16" (in German). QUELLE Informationsmittel (IFB) : digitales Rezensionsorgan für Bibliothek und Wissenschaft. Retrieved March 24, 2011. Wer es dennoch versucht, wird, wie der Wiener Osthistoriker Oliver Jens Schmitt erfahren mußte, schnell in der albanischen Öffentlichkeit zum Buhmann, der ein Sakrileg begeht und die nationale Ehre beschmutzt. 
  54. ^ Kraft, Ekkehard (March 18, 2009), Wer war Skanderbeg? (in German), Zurich: Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Ein vermeintliches Sakrileg am mythischen Nationalhelden versetzt Albanien in helle Aufregung [An alleged sacrilege on mythical national hero put Albania into a frenzy] 
  55. ^ Maner, Hans–Christian. "The "Repelling of the great Turk" in Southeast European Historiography". University of Mainz. Retrieved 31 March 2011. What is explosive is the emphasis on Skanderbeg’s struggle against the Turks as the symbol for the creation of the unitary state which, differently to under Hoxha, no longer just referred to the territory of the Republic of Albania, but to the whole of the Albanian area of settlement in the Balkans 
  56. ^ Gorani, Dukagjin (April 2012), Orientalist Ethnonationalism: From Irredentism to Independentism. Discourse analysis of the Albanian ethnonationalist narrative about the National Rebirth (1870-1930) and Kosovo Independence (1980-2000) (PDF), Cardiff, United Kingdom: Cardiff University, p. 199, OCLC 795108866, The myth of Scanderbeg represents the centerfold ingredient of the discourse about the nation, its history, culture and, specifically, its future political aspirations. 
  57. ^ Schwandner-Sievers, Stephanie. "Bericht über die internationale Tagung "The Role of 'Myths' in History and Development in Albania", 11. bis 13. Juni 1999 an der School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) in London" (in German). Switzerland: Schweizer Zeitschrift für die Zusammenarbeit mit Albanien - Informationen für an Albanien Interessierte. Archived from the original on March 24, 2011. Retrieved March 24, 2011. ... in einen großen Bogen als albanische »Schlüsselmythen« (von Illyrianismus über Skanderbeg ... 
  58. ^ "Conferenza prof. ssa Francesca di Miceli: "Il mito di Skanderbeg"" [The conference of professor Francesca di Miceli: "The myth of Skanderbeg"] (in Italian). Centro Internazionale di Studi sul Mito, Delegazione Siciliana. Archived from the original on March 24, 2011. Retrieved March 24, 2011. ...una conversazione sul mito di Skanderbeg, evidenziando il processo attraverso il quale un personaggio storico assume la dimensione mitica e l’importanza di questa figura per la definizione della identità nazionale degli Albanesi nei vari periodi della loro storia. 
  59. ^ "Scanderbeg vivo — Una riflessione interdisciplinare tra mito, storia e attualità sulla figura di Giorgio Castriota Scanderbeg" [A living Skanderbeg, the multidisciplinary analysis of the myht, historical facts and current knowledge about George Kastrioti Skanderbeg] (in Italian). Osservatorio Balcani. 2009. Archived from the original on March 24, 2011. Retrieved March 24, 2011. 
  60. ^ "THE LEXICON OF IDENTITY AND EXCLUSION" (in Italian). Palermo: Università degli Studi di Palermo. 2009. Retrieved 30 July 2012. The Hero and the Nation: On the Various Interpretations of Skanderbeg’s Myth 
  61. ^ "Convegno internazionale "Giorgio Castriota Scanderbeg: la storia e l’immagine" a Durazzo" (in Italian). Italy: dirittodicronaca. June 1, 2010. Retrieved March 29, 2011. Il 28 maggio 2010, nella sala delle conferenze dell’hotel “Adriatik” a Durrazzo, l’Università “Marino Barlezio” e il Centro di Studi Albanologici di Tirana hanno organizzato il convegno internazionale “Giorgio Castriota Scanderbeg: la storia e l’immagine”..." avvolta nel mito".. 
  62. ^ Marshall, Louise (2010). "Scanderbeg, myth, heroism and the eighteenth-century stage" (PDF). Aberystwyth University. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 2, 2012. Retrieved March 27, 2010. Scanderbeg, myth, heroism and the eighteenth-century stage 
  63. ^ Free, Jan, "Skanderbeg als historisher Mythos", Von den Schwierigkeiten historischer Bezugnahme: Der albanische Nationalheld Skanderbeg (PDF) (in German), Düsseldorf: Mythos-Magazin, p. 14, retrieved March 25, 2011, Doch die entscheidende Frage in Bezug auf einen Mythos ist nicht, was die historische Grundlage des Mythos ist oder ob er uberhaupt eine besitzt; was fur einen Inhalt er hat und auch nicht, wie die Wirkungs geschichchte dieser Erzahlung war oder ist. Notwendig ist eine Beantwortung der Frage, wieso an Skanderbeg uberhaupt geglaubt wird, warum Albaner sich auf ihn wie selbstverstandlich beziehen und welchen Zweck der Skanderbeg-Mythos hatte und hat. 

Literature[edit]