Albania is perhaps the least-known region in Europe; and though more than a hundred years have passed since Gibbon described it as "a country within sight of Italy, which is less known than the interior of America," but little progress has yet been made towards a scientific knowledge of this interesting land and its inhabitants.
The highland region of northern Albania is divided into two portions by the lower course of the Drin; the mountains of the northern portion, the Bieska Malziis, extend in a confused and broken series of ridges from Scutari to the valleys of the Ibar and White Drin; they comprise the rocky group of the Prokletia, or Accursed Mountains, with their numerous ramifications, including Mount Velechik, inhabited by the Kastrat and Shkrel tribes, Bukovik by the Hot, Golesh by the Klement, Skulsen (7533 ft.), Baba Vrkh (about 7306 ft.), Maranay near Scutari, and the Bastrik range to the east.
Also, simply having a Facebook friend in Albania will tend to make you more interested in the events of Albania.
The wild and inaccessible character of the country, the fierce and lawless disposition of the people, the difficulties presented by their language and their complex social institutions, and the inability of the Turkish authorities to afford a safe conduct in the remoter districts, combine to render Albania almost unknown to the foreign traveller, and many of its geographical problems still remain unsolved.
North-eastern Albania forms part of the Turkish vilayet of Kossovo; the northern highlands are included in the vilayet of Shkodra (Scutari), the eastern portion of central Albania belongs to the vilayet of Monastir, and the southern districts are comprised in the vilayet of Iannina.
The name Albania (in the Tosk dialect Arberia, in the Gheg Arbenia), like Albania in the Caucasus, Armenia, Albany in Britain, and Auvergne (Arvenia) in France, is probably connected with the root alb, alp, and signifies "the white or snowy uplands."
Central Albania differs from the northern and southern regions in the more undulating and less rugged character of its surface; it contains considerable lowland tracts, such as the wide and fertile plain of Musseki, traversed by the river Simen.
Southern Albania, again, is almost wholly mountainous, with the exception of the plains of Iannina and Arta; the most noteworthy feature is the rugged range of the Tchika, or Khimara mountains, which skirt the sea-coast from south-west to northeast, terminating in the lofty promontory of Glossa (ancient Acroceraunia).
The mountains of Albania are said to be rich in minerals, but this source of wealth remains practically unexplored.
Tobacco is grown extensively in southern Albania, especially near Berat and in the upper valley of the Viossa, but the quantity exported is small.
The only wealth of the mountaineers of northern Albania; large cattle are found only on the plains.
The lakes and rivers of Albania abound in fish.
The population of Albania may be estimated at between 1,600,000 and 1,500,000, of whom 1,200,000 or, ioo,000 are Albanians.
The large number of Slavonic local names in Albania, even in districts where no trace of a Slavonic population exists, bears witness to the extensive Servian and Bulgarian immigrations in the early middle ages, but the original inhabitants gradually ousted or assimilated the invaders.
The tribal organization in northern Albania is an interesting survival of the earliest form of social combination; it may be compared in many respects with that which existed in the Scottish highlands in the time of the Stuart kings.
The tribes of northern Albania, or Ghegeria, may be classified in seven groups as follows: - (1) The Mirdites, who inhabit the alpine region around Orosh to the south-east of Scutari - the most important of all in respect of numbers (about 17,000) and political independence.
Since the time of Ali Pasha, who broke the power of the local chieftains, southern Albania has been subject to the central Turkish power; before that period the mountaineers of Suli and Khimara enjoyed an independence similar to that of the Gheg tribes.
In the vilayet of Scutari they form about 55% of the population; central Albania is almost entirely Moslem; in southern Albania, however, there is a considerable Christian population, whose limits practically coincide with those of the Greek-speaking districts.
In southern Albania there are Greek schools in the towns and a large Greek gymnasium at Iannina.
Albania abounds in ancient remains, which as yet have been little explored.
After the division of the Roman empire, the lands inhabited by the Albanian race became provinces of the Byzantine empire; northern Albania from Scutari to Berat formed the thema or province of Dyrrachium (Durazzo, Albanian Dourtz), southern Albania and Epirus the thema of Nikopolis.
In 640 northern Albania was invaded by the Serbo-Croats; it continued with interruptions under Servian rule till 1360.
Southern Albania and Epirus fell once more under Byzantine rule, which, however, was shaken by numerous revolts.
Southern Albania and Epirus remained under Byzantine domination till 1204, when, after the capture of Constantinople by the crusaders, Michael Comnenus, a member of the imperial family, withdrew to Epirus and founded an independent sovereignty known as the Despotate of Epirus at Iannina; his realm included the whole of southern Albania, Acarnania and Aetolia.
The Servians again installed themselves in Upper Albania about 1180, and the provinces of Scutari and Prizren were ruled by kings of the house of Nemanya till 1360; Stefan Dushan (1331-1358), the greatest of these monarchs, included all Albania in his extensive but short-lived empire, and took the title of Imperator Romaniae Slavoniae et Albaniae (emperor of the Greeks, Slays and Albanians).
- After the death of Dushan and the break-up of the Servian empire, a new epoch began when Albania fell under the rule of chieftains more or less of native origin.
The northern portion of the "kingdom of Albania," including Durazzo and Kroia, was ruled by the family of Thopia (1359-1392) and afterwards by that of Kastriota, to which Scanderbeg belonged; the southern portion with Berat, by the Musaki (1368-1476).
The advance of the Turks into Albania began with the capture of Iannina in 1431.
About 1760 a Moslem chieftain, Mehemet of Bushat, after obtaining the pashalik of Scutari from the Porte, succeeded in establishing an almost independent sovereignty in Upper Albania, which remained hereditary in his family for some generations.
A similar agitation on a smaller scale was organized in southern Albania to resist the territorial concessions awarded by the powers to Greece.
In the spring of 1903 serious disturbances took place in north-western Albania, but the Turks succeeded in pacifying the revolted tribesmen, partly by force and partly by concessions.
Similarly, in regard to Albania, Visconti Venosta exchanged notes with Austria with a view to the prevention of any misunderstanding through the conflict between Italian and Austrian interests in that part of the Adriatic coast.
BUTRINTO, a seaport and fortified town of southern Albania, Turkey, in the vilayet of Iannina; directly opposite the island of Corfu (Corcyra), and on a small stream which issues from Lake Vatzindro or Vivari, into the Bay of Butrinto, an inlet of the Adriatic Sea.
- Spain, Italy, Albania ., Croatia, Hungary, Hesse, Hanover, Transcaspia, Algeria, Florida, Alabama, California, Mexico, Peru, Victoria, New Zealand.
Their opportunity came in 1820, when the Porte was striving to repress the insurrections in Moldavia, Albania and Greece.
Vliona), a town and seaport of Albania, Turkey, in the vilayet of Iannina.
So far as geographical description is concerned, the separate articles on Asia Minor, Albania, Armenia, and other areas mentioned below - constituting the Turkish Empire - may be consulted.
The latter years of Murad's reign were troubled by the successful resistance offered to his arms in Albania by Scanderbeg.
The Turks continued to press the Venetians by land and sea; Albania, which under Scanderberg had for twenty-five years resisted the Ottoman arms, was overrun; and Venice was forced to agree to a treaty by which she ceded to Turkey Scutari and KroIa, and consented to pay an indemnity of ioo,000 ducats (Jan.
England and Holland now urged their mediation, and after negotiations the treaty of Passarowitz (Pozharevats in Servia) was signed (July 21, 1718); Venice ceded the Morea to Turkey but kept the strongholds she had occupied in Albania and Dalmatia; Belgrade, Temesvar and Walachia as far as the Olt were retained by Austria.
Crete being thus removed from the scope of her action, Turkey found ample occupation in the almost constant turbulence of the Yemen, of Albania and of Macedonia.
Most of its members were military officers, prominent among them being Majors Enver Bey and Niazi Bey, who directed the propaganda in Albania and Macedonia.
In Albania serious discontent, resulting in an insurrection (May-September 1909), was caused by the political rivalry between Greeks and Albanians and the unwillingness of the Moslem tribesmen to pay taxes or to keep the peace with their neighbours, the Macedonian Serbs.
PARGA, a seaport of Albania, European Turkey, in the vilayet of Iannina, and on the Ionian Sea.
Equal terms with their imperial rivals for the possession of Dalmatia, Rascia (the original home of the Servians, situated between Bosnia, Dalmatia and Albania) and Rama or northern Bosnia (acquired by Hungary in 1135); but on the accession of Manuel Comnenus in 1143 the struggle became acute.
The Pan-Serb section of opinion in Belgrade, encouraged in this instance by some of the army chiefs for strategic reasons, has always coveted northern Albania: and the Montenegrin Unionists, led by Radovie, made every effort to secure the adoption of their full claim by the Yugoslav delegation.
Thus the advocates of an unscrupulous " deal " on the lines of " Skutari for Fiume " failed to assert themselves, and Yugoslavia pronounced in favour of an independent Albania, merely reserving her right to share the spoils if it came to a general partition.
Yugoslavia's relations with Albania, though simplified by this decision, have been affected by the Albanian counterclaim to Pee, Djakovo and the plain of Kosovo, where since the middle of last century the Albanian element had grown steadily stronger at the expense of the Serbs.
The murder of Essad Pasha (June 1920) deprived the Serbs of their chief supporter in Albania: and friction was increased by the bad administration in the Sanjak and Macedonia, by the inability of the Durazzo Government to prevent continual armed raids against Serbian territory, and by the encouragement given from some Serbian quarters to the Mirdite rising in the summer of 1921.
(c. 728) 2 states that Nerses, his predecessor, had chastised the sect, but ineffectually; and that after his death (c. 554) they had continued to lurk in Armenia, where, reinforced by Iconoclasts driven out of Albania of the Caucasus, they had settled in the region of Djirka, probably near Lake Van.
In Albania they were always numerous.
In his second campaign (624-26) he penetrated into Armenia and Albania, and beat the enemy in the open field.
Albania, the traditional claim of France to protect Roman Catholics in the Ottoman Empire has been greatly impaired by the non-religious character of the Republic. Like Italy, she is now regarded by Eastern Catholics with distrust as an enemy of the Holy Father.
For instance, if you have a Facebook friend Abigail in Albania whom you only met once at a rock-paper-scissors competition years ago, you will generally regard Abigail's first-hand account as authoritative, even though you don't really know Abigail all that well.