Sunday, October 04, 2009

The "Albanian myth" from William Maxwell.

With a great surprise I have read a amazing historical quote that concern many periods from the European history that came from William Maxwell and contained in an article with the head name “Journey to Albania” ( This quote says:
The Albanians are universally acknowledged as the descendants of the Illyrians who gave the world Alexander the Great, Emperor Constantine, several other Roman and Byzantine Emperors, one of the popes of the Roman Catholic Church, several Grand Vizirs of the Ottoman Empire, Muhammad Ali Pasha, father of modern Egypt, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of modern Turkey, as well as Mother Teresa destined for sainthood because of her services to the poor of India. Albania was also the only country in Europe that protected all the Jews, i.e. the only European country where the Jewish population was increased during WWII.
I will try to analyze step by step the accuracies of the above quote. Not all of them because I am not expert of all these that William Maxwell wrote such as the Ottoman history.
Albanians are universally acknowledged as the descendants of the Illyrians…..
This myth systemically cultivated from known Albanian centres that promote the historical revisionism and extreme nationalism in the Balkans. Albanians are not universally acknowledged as the descendants of the Illyrians. This confirms from several studies and works such as “Illyrians” by John Wilkes, several works from the expert of the Albanian history Mrs Miranda Vickers, Albanian identities: myth and history by Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers and Bernd Jürgen Fischer, global wide collectively works such as the ancient, modern and medieval history of the Cambridge and Oxford Universities e.t.c.
…Albanians are universally acknowledged…who gave the world Alexander the Great…
This is one from the most historical revisionist argument; similar with this that Alexander was a Slavonic origin as circulate from the Slavmacedonians in the neighbour FYROM State. Thousands historical works and tens of writers(Hammond, Worthington, Borza, Stoneman, Ulrich Wilcken e.t.c.) have agree that Great Alexander was born in July 356 (Arr. 7.28.1, Plut. Alex. 3.5), was the son of Macedonian Philip’s fourth wife Olympias, a princess from Epirus, situated to Macedon’s west. None of them mention that Alexander was Illyrian and the most inaccurate…Albanian as William Maxwell quoted. Macedonians according the same sources were a mix of Greek and older ancient tribes or were just Greek or unknown origin (Borza). Epirotans according the same sources were Greeks and the most known tribe was the Mollosian. None of them mention that was Illyrian or Albanian.
…Albanians are universally acknowledged…who gave…Emperor Constantine, several other Roman and Byzantine Emperors (were Albanians)…
Emperor Constantine and several other Roman and Byzantine Emperors were not Albanians as William Maxwell claim. Byzantine Dynasties were Greek, Armenian, Roman, Anatolian origin. This confirmed from tens of writers and experts of the Byzantine history like George Ostrogorski, Paul Stephenson, Cyril Mango, Joan Hussey, John Norwich as also from global wide collectively works like European medieval history of the Cambridge, Oxford and Michigan Universities e.t.c..
…Albanians are universally acknowledged…who gave…pope in the Roman Catholic Church…
Catholic Encyclopaedia (, the most known source it doesn’t mention that one from the Pope was…Albanian. Where William Maxwell find this thing is …unknown.

… Albania was also the only country in Europe that protected all the Jews, i.e. the only European country where the Jewish population was increased during WWII…
At the 30s and 40s and according the Albanian sources only 200 Jews lived! Jewish population actually grew during the Axis occupation; it is estimated that there were 1800 jews in Albania at the end of war but the small Jewish community (200 souls) of Vlore was expelled from the country at the Nazis concentration’s camp. The recorded numbers of 1800 were Jews from the neighbored occupy Greece that has returned with the end of the war.

Albania at the WWII also as is known was allied of the fascist Italy and thousands Albanians were enlisted in the known SS regiments (SS Division Skanderbeg and Handschar Division.

There is an Illyrian myth, with which Albanian culture has been flirting for at least 150 years, and as a myth it can't be questioned for it has all the answers. There is also a very tentative Illyrian science, based mainly on archaeology, and on some data transmitted by Ancient Greek and Roman Historians. Those who are ready to accept that Illyrians and Albanians were one people, should have a look at the Messapic inscriptions, in Puglia. 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.

From me and in the real world there are no examples of ancient Illyrian literature surviving (aside from the Messapian writings if they can be considered Illyrian), it is difficult to clarify its place within the Indo-European language family. Albanians first appear in the historical record in Byzantine sources of the late 11th century. At this point, they are already fully Christianized. Very little evidence of pre-Christian Albanian culture survives, and Albanian mythology and folklore as it presents itself is notoriously syncretized from various sources, showing in particular Greek influence. Albanians are and have been referred to by other terms as well. Some of them are:

--Arbër, Arbën, Arbëreshë; the old native term denoting ancient and medieval Albanians and sharing the same root with the latter. At the time the country was called Arbër (Gheg: Arbën) and Arbëria (Gheg: Arbënia). This term is still used for the Albanians that migrated to Italy during the Middle Ages.

--Arnauts; old term used mainly from Turks and by extension by European authors during the Ottoman Empire. A derivate of Arbër, Albanian.

-- Skipetars; the historical rendering of the ethnonym Shqiptar (or Shqyptar by French, Austrian and German authors) in use from the 18th century (but probably earlier) to the present, the literal translation of which is subject of the eagle. The term Šiptari is a derivation used by Yugoslavs which the Albanians consider derogatory.

There is not any historical record as regards the connection of the Illyrians (that were last mentioned in 7th century AD, during the Slavic migration to the Balkans) and Albanians. Also there is not any linguistic connection of the unkonwn Illyrian language with the Albanian language that initial recorded in 208-page parchment mansuscript written by Theodor of Shkodra, dating 600 years after.

William Maxwell must be more cautious when write these things as regards the history. Historical revisionism and historical ignorance has a close border line that either goes to the legitimate scholastic correction of existing knowledge about an historical event, or goes to the illegitimate distortion of the historical record such that certain events appear in a more or less favourable ligh.


  1. Your Post/Opinion here, mister anonymous "Macedonian" person, is as corrupt and full of hatred as your encyclopedia. Seriously you should stop with this, is not working nobody believes your BS. By the way If Mister Maxwell is not an expert, who/what makes you an expert of the Albanian history. seriously?

  2. Your Post/Opinion here, mister anonymous "Macedonian" person, is as corrupt and full of hatred as your encyclopedia. Seriously you should stop with this, is not working nobody believes your BS. By the way If Mister Maxwell is not an expert, who/what makes you an expert of the Albanian history. seriously?

  3. Ceni first of all I am not a Slavmacedonian from FYROM but a Macedonian from Greece.

    Second I am not playing the expert as Pr. Maxwell played in his article and particularly in History. That's why I am posted sources from several writers, works and Universities in order to support my writings.

    So if you have any oposition as regards my thesis in the points of Maxwell quote, you can post your arguments and we see who is right and who is wrong. If you think that Illyrians, Great Alexander or Constantine were Albanians, then...prove it.

  4. slavic liars - whether albanian, skopjian, bulgarian they all live in a dreamworld or ancient glories that their people never had.
    Creating modern day myths of a history they wish they had all to compensate for a very severe case of inferiority complex.

  5. I believe, we all came here: Albanians, Greeks, Macedonians, Montenegrin, Serbians, etc. When, is not anymore important.
    And we should live together; this is and has always been the price...

    A few rows from Encyclopedia Britannica, to make this clear:

    Ancient Greek civilization

    Historical region, Eurasia

    The period following Mycenaean civilization, which ended in about 1200 bc, to the death of Alexander the Great, in 323 bc. It was a period of political, philosophical, artistic, and scientific achievements that formed a legacy with unparalleled influence on Western civilization.
    The early Archaic period
    The post-Mycenaean period and Lefkandi
    The period between the catastrophic end of the Mycenaean civilization and about 900 bc is often called a Dark Age. It was a time about which Greeks of the Classical age had confused and actually false notions. Thucydides, the great ancient historian of the 5th century bc, wrote a sketch of Greek history from the Trojan War to his own day, in which he notoriously fails, in the appropriate chapter, to signal any kind of dramatic rupture. (He does, however, speak of Greece “settling down gradually” and colonizing Italy, Sicily, and what is now western Turkey. This surely implies that Greece was settling down after something.) Thucydides does indeed display sound knowledge of the series of migrations by which Greece was resettled in the post-Mycenaean period. The most famous of these was the “Dorian invasion,” which the Greeks called, or connected with, the legendary “return of the descendants of Heracles.” Although much about that invasion is problematic—it left little or no archaeological trace at the point in time where tradition puts it—the problems are of no concern here. Important for the understanding of the Archaic and Classical periods, however, is the powerful belief in Dorianism as a linguistic and religious concept. Thucydides casually but significantly mentions soldiers speaking the “Doric dialect” in a narrative about ordinary military matters in the year 426: this is a surprisingly abstract way of looking at the subdivisions of the Greeks, because it would have been more natural for a 5th-century Greek to identify soldiers by cities. Equally important to the understanding of this period is the hostility to Dorians, usually on the part of Ionians, another linguistic and religious subgroup, whose most famous city was Athens. So extreme was this hostility that Dorians were prohibited from entering Ionian sanctuaries; extant today is a 5th-century example of such a prohibition, an inscription from the island of Paros.

    MLA Style:
    "ancient Greek civilization." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 06 Oct. 2009

  6. Anonymous 3:08 pm,
    Balkan people need to realize that their conceived ethnogenetic dogma, extending to classical antiquity, encroaches upon the Greek cultural heritage and the identity of their Greek neighbours to the south, it threatens to ignite a clash of pseudo-identities in the region as a whole.

  7. For anonymous who has access to an online edition of an encyclopedia:

    Greeks are an indigenous tribe and yes it does matter who arrives later (slavic people hundreds of years later) and tries to claim our history our culture our lands.
    If Greeks do not stand up to the liars and those who wish to take over our lands we will end up like the Native Indians (Mohawk, Ojibway, Apache etc) virtually wiped out and given some "reservations" to live on.
    Is that what you want the extinction of Greeks to appease the politically correct fascists so as not to offend the non-Greeks?
    slavic people have some sort of history that they should be proud of but it does not include Greek history as theirs after they occupied ancient Greek (tribes) areas.

  8. Encyclopedia quoter:
    Macedonians were/are/will always be a Greek tribe NOT a separate ethnic group as you say in your attempt to legitimize slavic propaganda!
    serbs, albanians, montenegrins, bulgarians are slavic tribes (accepting different religions/political allegiances does not change their ethnic make-up).

  9. @ all...

    Can't you all come to the XXI century?!

    Modern world is arranged into states; economic, politic and military unions and alliances.

    Ethnicity, tribe, etc. are past definitions. And more and more, even "state" will become a past definition.

    No one can still Greek cultural heritage, since it is worlwide known and admired and are this kind of paranoiac attitudes that threatens our coexistence.

    P.S. Macedonian people are not a Greek. Albanians have never been neither Slavic, nor Greeks. They are Albanian.

    And Hellenistic culture belongs to a much wider area than Greece, and I believe any Greek should be proud of this.

  10. Anonymous @ October 7, 2009 12:49 PM,

    I would suggest ethnicity even in the 21st century plays a pivotal role to even the people who attempt to deny this.


    Macedonian people are Hellenes (Greeks).

    The Slavs who attempt to use the name "Macedonian" to identify themselves are NOT Macedonian, they are Slavs. With the communist style propaganda perpetuated on these Slavic people in this region, they now think they have some thing to do with the Ancient Greek Macedonians. The truth is that they do not. They really need to rediscover their real ethnic roots, which they will NOT find with Ancient Greek Macedonians, but with their Bulgarian brethren.

    These people are simply Slavs, we Greeks are Macedonians, just like we are Corinthians, Thebans, Cretans, Thessalians, Athenians, etc.

  11. Can we come to the XXI century?
    Judging by your lack of historical knowledge et al. it is obvious you lack the intellectual capacity to grasp that Greeks = Macedonians = Spartans = Athenians etc.
    Greek tribes and regardless of the present political map drawn up with the help of imperial powers Greeks are Macedonians.
    albanians, bulgarians, serbs, croatians, montenegrins are ALL SLAVIC and have no relation to the Greek tribes. Whether they were exposed to Hellenic culture (Egyptians, Persians etc were at one point in history part of a Hellenic empire and were exposed to Hellenic culture DOES NOT make them Greek) does not make them descendants of Greek tribes and will never be even if there is one EU nation or a million small nations.
    Greeks are separate people from the slavic, gaul, germanic tribes no matter the political map you wish to use to cover up your false historical propaganda regarding the albanians and skopjians and their slavic roots.

  12. keep talking crap....... in 10 years macedonia is going to have a ALBANIAN PRESIDENT


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