History of AlbaniaAlbania



Many scholars believe the Albanian people are the direct descendants of a group of tribes known as the Illyrians, who arrived in the Balkans around 2000 BC. After falling to Roman authority in 165 BC, modern-day Albania remained under the control of various foreign powers until the dawning of the 20th century. Following the split of the Roman Empire in 395, the Byzantine Empire established its control over present-day Albania. It was during this time (11th century) that the Byzantine Emperor, Alexius I Comnenus made the first recorded reference to a distinct area of land known as Albania and its people. Ottoman supremacy in the Balkan region began in 1385 but was briefly interrupted in the 15th century, when an Albanian warrior known as Skenderbeg united his countrymen and fought-off Turkish rule from 1443-78.

Upon the Ottomans' return, a large number of Albanians fled to Italy, Greece and Egypt and many of the Albanians who remained (about two-thirds of the Albanian population), converted to the Islamic faith. At the end of the 19th century, efforts by the Turks to suppress Albanian nationalism failed. Albanians had created The League of Prizen, attempting to unify Albanian territory and established the current-day Albanian alphabet. Following the conclusion of the First Balkan War, Albanians issued the Vlore Proclamation of November 28, 1912, declaring independence.

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