The Balkans And The Albanians (II)

Part I

The Indo-European Illyrian population inhabited West Balkans and some regions to the north-west of the Balkan Peninsula.[1] They never developed the letter and thus did not enter history by their own means. Almost all we know about them came from the Greek and Roman testimonies – names of tribes, rulers, kings, and queens.[2] They were regarded as hardy and violent people, engaged mainly in plundering lowlands and the Adriatic Sea piracy. The Romans raised several times massive offensives in order to suppress piracy.[3] When they conquered Illyrians, the Roman emperors used to make use of them as a military barrier against other barbarians. Henceforth, the entire Illyricum (Roman Prefecture in the Balkans) served as a bulwark against attacks from Central and East European peoples. Because they played a prominent role in the military sector of the Roman Empire (they were employed as a praetorian guard, for instance),[4] during turmoil times, when military leaders used to seize power, a number of these emperors, like Diocletian, were of Illyrian origin.[5]

When in the 6th and the 7th centuries AD, according to the mainly forged official historiography of the Slavs, they invaded Balkan Peninsula from the north, they pushed the local population into mountainous regions, we call today Dinaric area. Present-day Dinariods (Yugoslav and West Balkan highlanders), Slavophone and Albanophone alike, are supposed to be with an Illyrian origin, although it comes mainly by implication rather than by direct evidence.[6] In the absence of material artifact which may be attributed to Illyrians with certainty, what remains in making links with this ancient tribal population appears inevitably of conjectural nature. In particular, the mental structure of modern Dinariods matches closely the anthropic features one attributes to Illyrians. Language and religious differences among Balkan Dinariods are of minor importance, compared with the principal common attributes just mentioned. One of these features is their notorious stubbornness and inflexibility. As many psychiatrists testify, in particular, those dealing with convicts, it appears practically impossible to “reach their mind”, unlike other patients.

Mixing of reality as it is and as they want to be (as they fancy). One of the ensuing effects have been numerous demands in politics and otherwise, based on false images of history or actual political situation. The lack of appreciation of the state as an institution. This has come as a consequence of their millennia of living at the margins of existing states, foreign or not. They never experienced states as their own and always tried to take advantage of its marginal position and profit maximally, without feeling any responsibility for the common welfare. There is an extreme impulse for striving for power among all Balkan Dinariods including Albanians as well. Since the male population of Dinariods, as the dominant familiar and social factor, was never engaged in production and used to be engaged in plundering and stealing, they feel strong repulsion towards manual work and always try to rule the surroundings instead.

Weaponry cult is strongly present among Dinariods and appears particularly prominent with ethnic Albanians. This cult of guns deserves particular attention, for it will play a decisive role in the coming historical events. It can be quoted a few examples as an illustration of the point. For instance, when the Serbian army, in its retreat from Serbia in the autumn of 1915,[7] before the powerful German, Austro-Hungarian, and Bulgarian and armies, was crossing Albania,[8] many of them lost their lives because they carried guns. Not only they were killed by Albanians while the exhausted soldiers were crossing Albanian mountains, but some of them were assassinated while sleeping in Albanian houses. The latter instance bears particular weight to the point, bearing in mind the Albanian traditional hospitality, in particular, their cult of protecting guests.[9] When receiving guns at the beginning of their military service in the Yugoslav People’s Army (the YPA), many ethnic Albanian conscripts used to kiss the rifle.[10] The rifle is considered by the ethnic Albanians as a precious tool and almost the best friend. The same tradition was present among the Montenegrins too, as the many instances in the dramatic mid-19th-century poem Mountainous Wreath (Gorski vijenac) by the Montenegrin ruler Petar II Petrović Njegoš testify.[11]

When the scandal of the so-called pyramidal bank affair took place in Albania in 1997, it caused such a revolt of the deceived Albanians that the Government of Sali Berisha was at the brink to collapse. The latter then decided to resort to the ultimate means in the attempt to save the Government (and life, for that matter). The Government decided to have the army magazines open and the crowd rushed in and took all the weaponry out. The regime was saved, and the majority of the weaponry found its way to KosMet where it was used against Serbia’s authorities by a notorious terrorist organization – the Kosovo Liberation Army.[12]

During these riots, Albania was practically deprived of the state as an institution for several days. After the riots were over, the state was reinstituted formally, but practically it has never recovered again. In principle, a society with armed civilians cannot have a real state, as it is the case with the USA,[13] for instance, for the very reason that the Government in such cases possesses no real control over its (armed) citizens. As for the revolt of the gamblers towards their authorities, it was partly justified. What concerns the authorities, they not only knew what was going on with those quasi-banks but in all probability, the authorities have been directly involved in the organized robbery of their naïve citizens. This was certainly the case with S. Milošević’s regime in Serbia, which played the role of the partner both to Dafina Milanović’s Dafiment Bank and Jezdimir Vasiljević’s Yugoscandic Bank. The gray eminence behind Dafina Milanović turned out to be certain Clara Mandić, an obscure figure,[14] with close relationships with the Milošević’s family. She made a company to Marko Milošević, son of Slobodan Milošević, when he was visiting Israel. It was surely a part of the whole scheme, for both Dafina Milanović and Jezdimir Vasiljević fled from Serbia to Israel, with the money, of course.[15]

The Albanians: Land, people, language

The ethnic Albanians entered Balkan history in 1043 when they have been from East Sicily settled to present-day Central Albania by the Byzantine authorities.[16] Their ethnic origin remains still very vague and no historical consensus has been reached on the subject until now. As it is already mentioned, the Albanians became aware of the importance of being “nation” late, compared with other Balkan ethnicities. This handicap, however, the Albanian nationalist leaders tried to turn into an advantage. Since a number of the European historians offered a variety of (hypo)theses on the subject, they could adopt those which suited their political and nationalistic purposes the best.

As it is mentioned before, regarding similar problems which the Croat 19th-century nationalists faced with the acute lack of relevant ingredients for forging the nation, what they needed were: land, people, and language. Let now take into consideration each of these items separately.

Land. The present-day Albanian land used to be part of several empires and kingdoms during the previous historical periods, from the Roman and the Byzantine Empires, to the Serb rulers, the Venetian Republic, the Ottoman Sultanate, until the independent Albanian state was founded (practically) by Austria-Hungary in 1912, as a barrier between Serbia and the Adriatic coast. The Albanian nationalists had thus to resort to acquiring some historical state as their predecessor. The Balkan Illyrians and their states seemed to be the best offer on the market,[17] for good reasons. They vanished from the historical scene a long time ago, and thus could not complain. Second, their language was extinct and could be safely declared as proto-Albanian. The principal archeological find which is supposed to support the claims about Illyrian-Albanian continuity is the so-called Koman Culture, which stretches from Skadar (Skoder) to the Ohrid Lake.[18] In order to dismiss claims of the Yugoslav archeologists that  this culture from 7th−8th centuries AD is of Slavic or Roman-Byzantine character, Albanians simply wiped out all traces of the Slavic presence in the area, mainly by the policy of Albanization of the local Slavic population and  toponyms in the area of North Albania, during the rule of Enver Hoxha (1945−1985).[19] Similar to this case of cultural cleansing, this is what is actually going on in KosMet during the last 20 years under the “protection” of the UNMIK and the KFOR (Kosovo Force).[20]

People: The Balkan ethnic Albanians used to present since 1043 a population that was concentrated predominantly in the regions of today’s Albania. The present-day number of this population should not deceive modern historians and demographers, for, at least, two the following reasons:

  1. There has been a demographic explosion of the ethnic Albanians, starting at the beginning of the 20th century, which has dramatically changed the relative proportions of the existing ethnic communities in the area populated by the Albanians and other ethnic groups: Slavic and Hellenic (KosMet is, in this case, the best example).
  2. Since the Ottoman rule on the Balkans, a noticeable Albanization of the Slavophone people has been carried out that was followed, in addition, by an extensive conversion of the Albanophone population to the Muslim religion, partly by force, partly voluntarily.

Nevertheless, such historical development finally made the Muslim Albanians more loyal and trust-worthy Ottoman subjects, which provided the latter with a privileged position with regard to the Christian population, the Greek Orthodox and the Roman Catholic alike. In the following paragraphs, an instance in point is going to be presented.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the forced conversion of KosMet’s Serbs was strengthened. The Serbs complained to the Russian consulate in Priština and asked for help from Russia. The latter intervened at the Ottoman Porta in Istanbul, and the conversion was interrupted immediately. This resulted in a situation that, for instance, half of a village was Serb and half Albanian, though the entire village was ethnic Serb, in fact. Even after WWII, there were Albanian families where grandfathers did not speak Albanian, but Serb only.[21] However, the strongest and most successful Albanization of KosMet’s Serbs was in the 19th century.

The remnants of this shift from a Slavic to an Albanian ethnicity sometimes show up in strange phenomena. Many frescoes in Serb Christian Orthodox churches and monasteries at KosMet have been damaged in a strange way. Namely, the eyes of saints and Serb kings (donators) have been dugout. The scholars have interpreted this as instances of wildness and vandalism of the Muslim Albanians, but the more profound explanation of the case is much subtle.[22] It is widely believed by common people that the plastic from the saints’ eyes could help cure the blindness. But, at the same time, true believers would never commit such acts of primitivism in holy places. Only those who believe the magic power of the fresco eyes, but are not committed to the relevant church, dare to commit such a superstition, blasphemous misdeed. These are presumably recent Muslim proselytes, former Christian Orthodox Serbs but, however, the cases of the Albanian involvement in the affair cannot be excluded as well. The ethnic Albanians, who were converted from Christianity decades and even centuries ago (since the beginning of the 15th century), still retain the memory of their previous faith, as a sort of archetype.[23]

The situation just described above resembles a much similar one with the case of Croats and their endeavor to form a respectable nation. During the so-called Independent State of Croatia, a puppet Nazi-fascist construction during WWII, Croat-Bosniak Nazi-fascist nationalists Ustashi had a plan for how to strengthen the Croatian nation and a state of Greater Croatia. The plan consisted, as Dr. Mile Budak, Minister of Religion and Education of the Independent State of Croatia, put it, in converting one third of Serbs into the Roman Catholic faith (as the preliminary stage of the complete Croatization),[24] one third would be banished from Croatia and one third exterminated (on the most brutal way).[25] The plan has been carried out with considerable success.[26]

The politics of Albanians at KosMet followed closely this WWII-Croat-Bosniak Ustashi tactics, especially during WWII, when the biggest portion of KosMet was part of Greater Albania, protected firstly by fascist Italy and since September 1943 by Nazi Germany.[27] The irony of this enterprise was that many of the Serb victims of Ustashi slaughter and violence, were, in fact, descendants of the Serbs fled from KosMet centuries ago and settled in West Balkans in the territory of the Austrian Empire with numerous ecclesiastic-national privileges given to them by the Austrian authorities.[28] And when in 1995 a Croat neo-Ustashi Government banished Krayina Serbs, about 250.000 of them, from Croatia,[29] arrived again to Serbia. The overwhelming majority of them were settled in Vojvodina, a smaller number in Central Serbia and a small part at KosMet. The reaction of local Albanians was so violent, that almost all refugees were to be withdrawn from the province of KosMet and settled somewhere else in Serbia.

Language: The Albanian language appears to be a distinct part of the Indo-European family, as one of the eastern branches, together with Indo-Iranian, Armenian, and Baltic-Slavonic languages (the Satem-group).[30] It has two dialects, the Gheg (spoken on the North) and the Tosk (practiced in Central and South Albania). It is an admixture of an authentic language and the corrupted Latin, Italian, Turkish and Slavonic (mainly the Serbian) ones. The claims of the Albanian nationalists that their language is derived directly from the ancient Illyrian one has never been supported by proper linguistic evidence. As the British linguist Potter put it:

“Some would associate it with extinct Illyrian, but in so doing they proceed from little known to the unknown. As Andre Martinet has sometimes shrewdly observed, fashionable researchers into Proto-Indo-European favor either the Illyrian or the laryngeals, and we really know precious little about either. Albanian has two dialects: Gheg in the north and Tosk in the south. As a result of successive domination by Venetians and Turks, its vocabulary is mixed. Unfortunately, we know little about its history because, apart from legal documents, no literature survives that is older than the seventeenth century.

In this respect, Albanian presents a marked contrast to Greek or Hellenic which vies with Hittite and Sanskrit for the place as the most antique of all Indo-European tongues. Recent decipherment of Linear B Mycenaean script (page 93) has antedated the beginnings of Greek by three centuries back to a time long before the sack of Troy (1183 B.C.) described by Homer in his Iliad.”

Since ancient Illyrians never left any trace of literacy, their language appears totally unknown. The claim of modern Albanians to have inherited Illyrian language can be neither proved nor disproved. It cannot have a scientific character therefore, for it does not satisfy the basic criterion of forgery, in the Popperian sense. Here, the quote of another (Albanian) author on the subject is:[31]

“The picture which Albanian science makes about the early history of their own nation is simplified, uncritical and appears contrived. Linguistic proofs about Illyrian-Albanian kinship are almost absent.”

Potter’s comments were provoked by various hypotheses launched by some Western authors. Thus, late 19th-century Austrian philologist Gustav Meyer argued that the contemporary Albanian language was a dialect of the Illyrian language, more precisely, its latest development. From a hypothesis to the theory there is but one step, which modern Albanian nationalists were ready to make, linguists or non-linguists alike. If one may appreciate the motivation of the Albanian nationalists to project their newly contrived awareness of national Albanian identity, similar claims by non-Albanian authors cannot be considered by intellectual extravagances. Thus, the zealous Yugoslav Communist leader, a Montenegrin Milovan Đilas[32] wrote:

“The Albanians are the most ancient Balkan people – older than the Slavs, and even the ancient Greeks”.

However, if these words by one of Montenegrins, who consider themselves (at least some of them) to be of the Illyrian origin, may be understood as claims for their on antiquity,  thesis due to Andre Marlaux, who wrote: “Athens was, alas no more than an Albanian village”,[33] had surely different rationale. The author might have had intentions to shock readers, as every title of his book corroborates, but one might think of more serious motivations, albeit subconscious ones. Athens meant something to the European (and world’s) culture and civilization, which was bothering some Christian intellectuals, especially religious ones. The idea of an illiterate Balkan tribe to be the progenitor of the European culture[34] could not be more cynical (and extravagant for that matter), though one cannot exclude the possibility of self-irony.[35]

The problem is that in the hands of frustrated intellectuals those extravagances are taken to be serious. If the Albanians are descendants of the ancient Balkan Illyrians, why not of some even more ancient inhabitants of the Balkan Peninsula? Since it is generally believed that the most ancient Balkan people were the Pelasgians, some Albanian authors launched the thesis that both the Illyrians and modern Albanians descend from them. This claim nicely matches A. Marlaux’s conjecture (sic) about Athens, since some scholars believe that the Athenians were of the Pelasgian blood, as the latter were the indigenous population of Attica.[36]

The Albanian “retrospective optimism”, as outlined above, is not a unique Albanian phenomenon at all. We saw above about the same Croat “project” of the Croat-Illyrian movement in the first half of the 19th century. In a similar fashion, some Serb nationalistic authors argued for the Serb ethnic antiquity. The book entitled The Serbs: Most Ancient People was abundant during S. Milošević’s era but experienced it renaissance after 1999.[37] One author from Chicago, Dr. Jovan Deretić, (not to be confused with Professor Jovan Deretić from the Belgrade University) claimed in his book on the same subject, that the ethnic Serbs were, in fact, the elite force in the Macedon army of Alexander the Great and thus responsible for his victorious conquering the world.[38] The rationale of all those claims was the noticed similarity between modern Serb and ancient lexicons, like Greek, Sanskrit, etc. But all this appears modest compared with the fancies of some Albanian authors. According to them, Alexander the Great himself and his Macedons were the Illyrians and, therefore, automatically ethnic Albanians. Aphrodite was spared neither (her name appears symphonic with the Albanian mirdita, Drita, etc.). Generally, the past appears very prosperous for some Albanians in that respect.

The hypothesis of the Illyrian origin of the modern Albanians has been seriously challenged by a number of modern authors, in particular, linguists. The most convincing of the alternative hypotheses was that of the Dacian ethnic origin of the modern Albanians. According to this theory, ancestors of ethnic Albanians came to present-day Albania from the Roman Province of Moesia Superior (present-day Serbia), situated around the River of Morava, around 1000 BC. In ancient times this region was the zone of Dacian ethnicity. Hence, the modern Albanians can be of the Dacian, but not of the Illyrian origin. Linguistic support for this hypothesis comes from the terminology of the Albanian language referring to littoral terms, which appears borrowed from the surrounding people, testifying that the Albanians were not originally coastal people (as the Dacians have not been but the Illyrians were).[39]

The same rationale applies to South Slavs, who borrowed more (for sea) from the Latin (mare), vino for wine as well, etc. As for the Greek language, it turns out that surprisingly few ancient Greek loanwords exist in the modern Albanian language. Hence, the original homeland of the Albanians should be searched in present-day Romania or Serbia. According to some investigations, the modern Albanian language is a semi-Romanized Dacian-Moesian tongue, just as the Romanian language is Romanized Dacian-Moesian one.

The Albanians, patriotism, and organized crime

Why is it so important to convince the world that present-day Albanian tongue is the Illyrian one, or at least derived from it? As it is known, the whole Balkan Dinaric region appears to be of the Illyrian origin, at least in a great part.  Since the ancient Illyrians were spread over a vast area of the present West Balkans, it is not only ethnic Albanians who may claim the status of the „indigenous population“. There is a difference, however, between Slavophone and Albanophone Dinaroids in this respect. In the former, the Slavic element prevailed, whereas, in the latter, the Albanian language remains distinct from the surrounding people. The situation appears similar to the case of the Basques, whose language is unique in Europe[40] (and otherwise), as the Georgian turns out as a unique tongue on the Eurasia continent.[41]

Regarding the very term Illyrian, one should note that during the time of the Roman Emperor Diocletian (284−305) the whole West Balkans was organized as Praefectura Illyricum. It is mainly due to this administrative name that the term Illyrians was preserved and given to people living there, including South Slavs and Albanians. This name disappeared in the 7th century, in the time of the returning Slavic migration back to the Balkans from North-East Europe. As for the term Albanian, according to the official pro-Albanian Albanology studies, it  was derived from the name of one of the Illyrian tribes Albanoi, which was subsequently ascribed to all Illyrian tribes but, in essence, the name of this Illyrian tribe and the tribe itself have no proven connections with ethnic Albanians who originate in the Caucasus. The Albanian language, as spoken tongue, was, accordingly mentioned for the first time in a manuscript from Dubrovnik, as lingua albanesesca, only in 1285. Some Bizantine sources from the 13th century called the region between the Drim River and the Skadar Lake Arbanon (Arber). Both the Turks and the Serbs called people settled in Albania: Arbanasi. As for the Albanians, they called themselves, before subjugated to the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century: Arbërësh/Arbënesh.

Whether the Albanian language is linked with the Illyrian one or not, the fact that it is completely unintelligent to other neighboring (and otherwise) people has resulted in further isolation of this mountainous community. This isolation has further accentuated the conservation of the traditional society character of the Albanophone highlanders. It is worth mentioning here that their dialect, the Gheg, is intelligible to the rest of Albanians, who speak Tosk, but with difficulties.[42]

The uniqueness of the Albanian language has promoted a number of features of this population:

  1. Since very few people outside the Albanian community were ready to learn the Albanian language, the communication with the external world had to be made through those Albanians who spoke other languages, like the Serb, Greek, Italian, etc. This gave the Albanians an advantage of possessing „a secret code“, which in some affairs, like smuggling, mafia-like activities, political movement, etc, proved to be of the crucial importance. It is partly for this effect that the Albanian mafia appears so efficient and almost impossible to be broken. It competes successfully with the Italian mafia, Chinese and other organized crime societies.[43]
  2. The other important feature required from mafia to be unbreakable is the blood lineage of the members of a mafia unit. This prerequisite has been amply provided by the fis (tribe) organization of the Albanian community. One fis may comprise a hundred members, who can supply tens of guns and drug and weaponry smugglers, drug dealers, etc. They may communicate among themselves freely, without fear that the business is broken. It is true that similar situation appears among the Sicilians of the same trade, but the Italians have been fully incorporated into the American society and many the FBI’s members are of the Italian origin.

If we notice that  this criminal business is almost inevitably associated with the political aims, and thus has a façade of patriotism, then the inwardness of the mafia organisation of the Albanian diaspora appears quite „natural“ and „understandable“ with the final task to realize the program of the 1878 Prizren League – a Greater Albania (ethnically cleansed from all non-Albanians).[44]

Reposts are welcomed with the reference to ORIENTAL REVIEW.


[1] An Illyrian tribe occupied territory close to the present-day Vienna.

[2] A. Stipčević, Iliri: Povijest, život, kultura, Zagreb: Školska knjiga, 1989, 7−14.

[3] М. Ростовцев, Историја Старога света. Грчка и Рим, Нови Сад: Матица српска, 1990, 268. There were two “Illyrian Wars” launched by the Romans: The First (229−228 B.C.) and the Second (219 B.C.)

[4] On one of the Albanian websites it is proudly (and out of context) stated that Albania provides military support to Americans in Afghanistan and Iraq.

[5] This situation will repeat many times during the Balkan history, in particular during WWII and civil wars in Yugoslavia (1991−1995).

[6] However, there is no single evidence in historical sources that present-day Balkan Albanians are of any Illyrian origin as they came to the Balkans only in 1043 from Sicily. Originally, they are from the Caucasus where in ancient times they had their state – Caucasus Albania. On this issue see the book [Кавкаски Албанци лажни Илири, Београд: Пешић и синови, 2007].

[7] The estimate is that around 350.000 Serbians, soldiers, and civilians alike, lost their lives during this retreat through Albania. The crossing is known as the Serbian Golgotha [P. R. Magocsi, Historical Atlas of Central Europe, Revised and Expanded Edition, Seattle, US: University of Washington Press, 2002, 123].

[8] With permission of the Albanian local Muslim leader Essad-pasha, a great friend of Serbs, whom the latter had helped in his political activities in Albania [Д. Т. Батаковић, Косово и Метохија у српско-арбанашким односима, Друго допуњено издање, Београд: Чигоја штампа, 2006, 201; M. Radojević, Lj. Dimić, Serbia in the Great War 1914−1918, Belgrade: Srpska književna zadruga−Belgrade Forum for the World of Equals, 2014, 194−204].

[9] In some cases, the Serbian soldiers retaliated for these murders, like setting houses to fire.

[10] When a captain asked such a conscript why he kissed the gun, he obtained this remarkable answer: “I will need it some-day”.

[11] The last chapter of the poem, which concerns the broken gun of Vuk Mandušić, is a true apotheosis of weapons. About Petar II Petrović Njegoš and his works, see in [Проф. Др Лазо М. Костић, Сабрана дела. Четврти том: Његош и Српство, Београд: ЗИПС СРС, 2000 ].

[12] It has been estimated that about 700.000 weaponry was “taken over” by “revolting civilians”, with the majority of them sold to Kosovo “civilians”. About the Kosovo Liberation Army from the Western political perspective, see in [J. Pettifer, The Kosova Liberation Army: Underground War to Balkan Insurgency, 1948−2001, London: UK: C. Hurst & Co (Publishers), Ltd, 2012].

[13] On this issue, see more in [T. Diaz, Making A Killing: The Business of Guns in America, New Press, 2000; L. A. Eargle, A. Esmail (eds.), Gun Violence in American Society, Lanham, USA: University Press of America, 2016; D. J. Campbell, America’s Gun Wars: A Cultural History of Gun Control in the United States, Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2019].

[14] She turned out to be a nymphomaniac.

[15] They both returned to Serbia and were arrested. D. Milanović died of cancer in 2008.

[16] Several written historical sources from different cultural environments (Byzantine, Arab…) clearly say that the Albanians arrived at the Balkans in the year of 1043 from East Sicily and that the original place of living of the Albanians was the Caucasus Albania which is mentioned in several antique sources as an independent state with its rulers. The Caucasus Albania was neighboring the Caspian Sea, Media, Iberia, Armenia, and Sarmatia Asiatica. The most important source in which it is mentioned that the Balkan Albanians came from East Sicily in 1043 is the Byzantine historian Michael Ataliota [M. Ataliota, Corpus Scriptorum Historiae Byzantine, Bonn: Weber, 1853, 18]. This historical fact is recognized and by some Albanian historians like Stefang Pollo and Arben Puto [S. Pollo, A. Puto, The History of Albania, London-Boston-Hebley: Routledge & Kegan, 1981, 37].

[17] For the alternative offers, like Dacian one, see for instance in [V. B. Sotirović, „The Fundamental Misconception of the Balkan Ethnology: The ‚Illyrian‘ Theory of the Albanian Ethnogenesis“, American Hellenic Institute Foundation Policy Journal, Vol. 9, Spring 2018, 1−12, online:].

[18] On the Illyrians, see more in [Stipčević A., Every Story About the Balkans Begins With the Illyrians, Priština, 1985].

[19] About the pro-Albanian history of Albania, see in [N. Costa, Albania: A European Enigma, New York, 1995].

[20] Kosovo’s Albanians proclaimed the independence of this autonomous province of Serbia in February 2008. On Kosovo’s independence, see more in [N. Giannopoulos, A Critical Overview of State-Building: The Case of Kosovo, Private Edition, 2018].

[21] The Islamized and Albanized KosMet’s (former Christian Orthodox) Serbs are called the Arnatus. It is estimated that some 1/3 out of today’s Albanian-speakers in KosMet are, in fact, the Arnauts [Д. Т. Батаковић, Косово и Метохија: Историја и идеологија, Друго допуњено издање, Београд: Чигоја штампа, 2007, 31−52].

[22] See, for instance, the fresco of Serbian King Milutin in the vestibule of the Church of Bogorodica Ljeviška (the first half of the 14th century) in Prizren [М. Јовић, К. Радић, Српске земље и владари, Крушевац: Друштво за неговање историјских и уметничких вредности, 1990, 59].

[23] About the phenomenon of Crypto-Christianity and the process of the Albanization of KosMet, see in [Д. Т. Батаковић, Косово и Метохија: Историја и идеологија, Друго допуњено издање, Београд: Чигоја штампа, 2007, 46−52].

[24] About the Catholization of the Orthodox Serbs in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina in WWII, see in [Dr. M. Bulajić, Ustashi Crimes of Genocide. The Role of the Vatican in the Break-Up of the Yugoslav State. The Mission of the Vatican in the Independent State of Croatia, Belgrade: The Ministry of Information of the Republic of Serbia, 1993, 111−165].

[25] A minimum number of exterminated ethnic Serbs on the territory of the Independent State of Croatia by the Ustashi regime is 500.000 [Ч. Антић, Српска историја, Четврто издање, Београд: Vukotić Media, 2019, 270]. It is a well-known open message by M. Budak to the Cristian Orthodox Serbs: “Either bow yourself or remove yourself” [B. Petranović, Istorija Jugoslavije 1918−1988. Druga knjiga: Narodnooslobodilački rat i revolucija 1941−1945, Beograd: NOLIT, 1988, 45].

[26] About the policy of extermination of the Serbs by a Croat-Bosniak Nazi-fascist regime with considerable support by the Roman Catholic church in the Independent State of Croatia, see in [M. Aurelio Rivelli, L’ Arcivescovo del genocidio, Milano: Kaos Edizioni, 1999.

[27] Here, it has to be mentioned the case of an Albanian political leader from KosMet, Ali Shukria, whose mother tongue was Turkish and the Turkish language was spoken at his home, but who considered himself as an Albanian. Nevertheless, ideologically, B. Mussolini’s Greater Albania was founded to a great extent on a propaganda-hypothesis of the Illyrian origin of the Balkan Albanians [Д. Т. Батаковић, Косово и Метохија у српско-арбанашким односима, Друго допуњено издање, Београд: Чигоја штампа, 2006].

[28] On this issue, see more in [Историја народа Југославије. Књига друга од почетка XVI до краја XVIII века, Београд: Просвета, 1960].

[29] J. Guskova, Istorija jugoslovenske krize (1990−2000), II, Beograd: ИГАМ, 2003, 232−253.

[30] West branches consist of the Greek, Italic, Celtic, and Germanic languages (the Centum-group).

[31] Peter Bartl, Albanien, von Mittelalter bis zur Gegenwart, Regensburg: Verlag Friedrich Pustet, 1995.

[32] About this notorious Communist criminal with blood-hands from WWII, see in [J. Pirjevec, Tito i drugovi, I deo, Beograd: Laguna, 487−564].

[33] A. Marlaux, Anti-Memoires, New York, 1968, 33.

[34] About the Balkan culture in the European context, see in [T. Stoianovich, Balkan Worlds: The First and Last Europe, Armonk, NY−London: England: M. E. Sharpe, 1994].

[35] To be noted here, in the same context, a statement of a Byzantine author, who claimed: “Serbs are the most ancient people, I am quite certain about that”. Needless to say, this statement has been very popular among some Serb scholars.

[36] See, for instance [R. Graves, The Greek Myths, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1966; G. Schwab, Die Schönsten Sagen des Klassischen Altertums, Leipzig−Weimar: Gustav Kiepenheuer Verlag].

[37] This is a book published by a Ph.D. dissertation holder defended it at the Sorbonne University in Paris: Др. Олга Луковић Пјановић, Срби… народ најстарији, I−II, Beograd, 1988.

[38] This claim is based on the writings of Dubrovnik Baroque poet Ivo Dživo Gundulić (1589−1638). About the historic origins of the Serbs, see in [М. Милановић, Историјско порекло Срба, Друго допуњено и проширено издање, Београд: Вандалија, 2006].

[39] The Dacian term hot designates highwayman. This term is very often in the Albanian language and even one Albanian tribe has named after this term.

[40] About the Basque language, see in [A. Tovar, Mythology and Ideology of the Basque Language, Reno, Nevada: Center for Basque Studies, University of Nevada, 2015].

[41] About the Georgian language, see in [H. Lewis, A Traveler’s Guide to the Georgian Language, Edinburg, VA: American Friends of Georgia, Inc., 2013]. The Japanese language is likewise unique, though it has a great resemblance to the Korean one.

[42] About colloquial Albanian, see in [I. Zymberi, Colloquial Albanian, London−New York: Routledge, 2000].

[43] On the Albanian organized crime, see in [J. Arsovska, Decoding Albanian Organized Crime: Culture, Politics, and Globalization, Oakland, California: University of California Press, 2015].

[44] On this issue, see more in [V. Sotirović, Serbia, Montenegro and the “Albanian Question”, 1878−1912: A Greater Albania Between Balkan Nationalism & European Imperialism, LAP Lambert Academic Publishing, 2015].

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