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Thread: Albanian DNA Project

  1. #2051
    Quote Originally Posted by Chatzianastasoglou View Post
    #
    I agree with you. But how can we say what the Arvanites were, i.e. felt to be when they came to todays Greeces territories? We just know they were Orthodox and that they didn't speak Greek. If they spoke Greek they would be regarded as Romans (Romaioi). Since they didn't, had no own church and central state and belonged to the Greek/Constantinopolitan church, we must assume that they felt at least very close to the Romans/Greeks from the very beginning, although the different languages meant a difference of course. This would also explain why they fought side by side with them many centuries later for one common state. I understand the need of todays Albanians to form a history of "one" Albanian nation but the problem is the word "nation", politics gave no sh. about ethnicity back then. Modern Albanians tend to believe assimilation took place in modern times but assimilation is a general human trait that has existed since always. Also modern Albanians themselves are a product of that and so have been the Arvanites and their forefathers
    There is plenty of documentation about Albanians in Greece and in Epirus in the 14-16th centuries. They were Orthodox of course, but they were ethnically distinct from other populations. They had their own language, customs, clan system, lifestyle, leaders and political formations. The Byzantine authorities often approached them differently from other ethnicities, which were considered simply Romans as you noted. Read on these centuries to understand the real original attitudes of the Albanians in Greece, before the Ottoman centuries.

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  3. #2052
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelmendasi View Post
    If I recall correctly it was you who brought up the etymology of kisha stating that, in your eyes, it is a direct corruption of the Ancient Greek ἐκκλησία (ekklēsía). I simply refuted that statement by asserting that the term did not enter the Albanian language directly from Greek but rather via Latin mediation through ecclēsia. This is not some kind of construct of my own or ‘cherry picking’ as you accuse me of but the opinion and consensus of multiple linguists who have dedicated their time to studying the Albanian language. On the Wiktionary page for kishë for example three reputable linguists on Albanian are cited: Joachim Matzinger, Vladimir Orel and Kolec Topalli who of course also drew on the opinions of other linguists. This is the same for the other words I mentioned, linguists maintain that they are derived from Latin, your argument of ‘they often don’t really sound like it’ is not good enough or even productive to be honest.

    Actually, we know a lot more about the Albanians than you portray, but that is a different discussion entirely. You may trust oral traditions, and while some do have their historical accuracies, I personally will side with the scholars who have dedicated their time and effort in studying the history of these peoples, gaining academic recognition for their work. Every person has their biases and agendas, dare I say that even our ancestors did.
    I didn’t sy ekklesia, but ekklishia. However, as I said previously, we are talking here about theories. They might be academic but you almost always find another academic opinion that says sth different. In the end very much of the studies on Albanians is just hypothetical, especially for the time before they first appeared in sources. When I mentioned cherry picking I meant that you chose that academic opinion that you like most from your perspective as an Albanian. In the same way I pick the one that suits me best in my position as a Greek. I think we go in circles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rrenjet. View Post
    There is plenty of documentation about Albanians in Greece and in Epirus in the 14-16th centuries. They were Orthodox of course, but they were ethnically distinct from other populations. They had their own language, customs, clan system, lifestyle, leaders and political formations. The Byzantine authorities often approached them differently from other ethnicities, which were considered simply Romans as you noted. Read on these centuries to understand the real original attitudes of the Albanians in Greece, before the Ottoman centuries.
    They were linguistically different from the local Romans but I doubt they had a different identity based on their ethnic origins. I think even the average Roman did not have such ethnic consciousness, except for some few scholars perhaps

  5. #2054
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chatzianastasoglou View Post
    They were linguistically different from the local Romans but I doubt they had a different identity based on their ethnic origins. I think even the average Roman did not have such ethnic consciousness, except for some few scholars perhaps
    I tend to disagree. The Romans seem to have had a distinct identity as Romans, regional group and Roman citizens. You should not underestimate the ability of ancient people to comprehend and place themselves in the wider context of their time and environment. Especially in the context of the Roman world, a people which kept their own traditional language and culture, must have had a special knowledge about, relationship to and advantage from it. My guess is that the Proto-Albanians lived somewhere directly at the border between the Romance and Greek speakers, with no clear pressure either way, so they instead stayed neutral. Its similar to the easier penetration of first various sects and later Islam in Bosniaks and Albanians, which were just at the borderline between Roman Catholics and Greek Orthodox. That position on the borderline made an individual decision and the survival of a special case possible and even more likely, in the remote, mountainous borderline zone, among traditionally living, largely self-sufficient people.
    The real interesting question is whether something Proto-Albanian was spoken in some town or even city, by the majority of its inhabitants. I doubt that, but I don't know. Anybody else?

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  7. #2055
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverman View Post
    I tend to disagree. The Romans seem to have had a distinct identity as Romans, regional group and Roman citizens. You should not underestimate the ability of ancient people to comprehend and place themselves in the wider context of their time and environment. Especially in the context of the Roman world, a people which kept their own traditional language and culture, must have had a special knowledge about, relationship to and advantage from it. My guess is that the Proto-Albanians lived somewhere directly at the border between the Romance and Greek speakers, with no clear pressure either way, so they instead stayed neutral. Its similar to the easier penetration of first various sects and later Islam in Bosniaks and Albanians, which were just at the borderline between Roman Catholics and Greek Orthodox. That position on the borderline made an individual decision and the survival of a special case possible and even more likely, in the remote, mountainous borderline zone, among traditionally living, largely self-sufficient people.
    The real interesting question is whether something Proto-Albanian was spoken in some town or even city, by the majority of its inhabitants. I doubt that, but I don't know. Anybody else?
    I hope you know that “Roman” did not include any sense of ethnicity. To be Roman had only two prerequisites: being orthodox and speaking fluently Greek. The fact that the Greeks of the middle age did not (never!) self-identify as ethnicity shows very clearly the situation in this past world.

  8. #2056
    Quote Originally Posted by Chatzianastasoglou View Post
    They were linguistically different from the local Romans but I doubt they had a different identity based on their ethnic origins. I think even the average Roman did not have such ethnic consciousness, except for some few scholars perhaps
    It depends how you define identity, but that is a far broader discussion which is not very relevant here. What is clear is that the Medieval Albanians in what is today Greece were a distinct ethnic group. They were easily distinguishable by foreigners, and they were very much aware of their ethnicity themselves. Once again, read some articles on the pre-Ottoman Albanians in today's Greece and you will see it was rather different from today.

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  10. #2057
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chatzianastasoglou View Post
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    I agree with you. But how can we say what the Arvanites were, i.e. felt to be when they came to todays Greeces territories?
    Probably not much different from their fellow contemporary Albanians who lived in other territories, whether it be in Albania proper or further north. They spoke the same language, used the same tribal system, usually occupied the same "way of life" i.e pastoral and warlike. Same ethnic attire, culture, names (there are even Arvanites with typically Gheg surnames) and so on.
    Sure, there wasn't a national identity in the way we have it today, but that goes for the contemporary Albanians in the other regions as well (and for every single modern ethnicity), however we still call them Albanians, not because they had some sort of modern conception of a national identity, but rather because of their spoken language, history (origin) and customs/tradition. Your argument becomes quite absurd because it would imply that even the other "non-Arvanite" Albanians couldn't be called Albanians because they didn't have that modern conception of a national identity. Honestly, the entire argument about national identity is quite weak anyway in the first place considering it was something adopted rather early specifically by Albanians thanks to Skanderbeg.

    We just know they were Orthodox and that they didn't speak Greek. If they spoke Greek they would be regarded as Romans (Romaioi).
    That's right. I read a few years ago that they actually even used the term "Shkije" for the Romans/Greeks, which roughly translates to "foreigner", i.e a non-Albanian. Sort of like the word Gaijin that Japanese use for the non-Japanese. I think that this alone shows that they did have some sort of identity that could be properly called Albanian, because they did not use this term towards other Arvanites. Today, that word is mostly used for slavs or specifically Serbs.

    Since they didn't, had no own church and central state and belonged to the Greek/Constantinopolitan church, we must assume that they felt at least very close to the Romans/Greeks from the very beginning, although the different languages meant a difference of course. This would also explain why they fought side by side with them many centuries later for one common state.
    I'm honestly not sure what you mean by felt very close to the Romans/Greeks. I imagine the fact that they belonged to the Orthodox church definitely had something to do with it, and also the fact that the Arvanites migrated there upon being invited in the first place. I do think some Albanians like to downplay the religious attitude medieval Albanians had towards religion. I don't think that they necessarily were very ambivalent towards it as it is often portrayed. Skanderbeg himself was viewed as a Christian hero, and his own father died as a monk in Mt. Athos.
    Last edited by olive picker; 10-13-2021 at 12:00 PM.

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  12. #2058
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chatzianastasoglou View Post
    I didn’t sy ekklesia, but ekklishia. However, as I said previously, we are talking here about theories. They might be academic but you almost always find another academic opinion that says sth different. In the end very much of the studies on Albanians is just hypothetical, especially for the time before they first appeared in sources. When I mentioned cherry picking I meant that you chose that academic opinion that you like most from your perspective as an Albanian. In the same way I pick the one that suits me best in my position as a Greek. I think we go in circles.
    You state that there are academic works that assert the opposite of what I have been presenting, but yet you have not presented a single work or paper supporting this. And no I have not chosen an academic opinion that I 'like most', you seem to have an issue of assuming people's opinions based on their ethnic backgrounds. I have chosen the opinion of academic consensus, the opinion that is most supported by evidence and sources be it linguistic or historical. Again, if you have evidence supporting your arguments, please present them.
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  13. #2059
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    Quote Originally Posted by olive picker View Post
    That's right. I read a few years ago that they actually even used the term "Shkije" for the Romans/Greeks, which roughly translates to "foreigner", i.e a non-Albanian. Sort of like the word Gaijin that Japanese use for the non-Japanese. I think that this alone shows that they did have some sort of identity that could be properly called Albanian, because they did not use this term towards other Arvanites. Today, that word is mostly used for slavs or specifically Serbs.
    The words shkla and shklerisht are still used by the Arvanites to denote those that do not speak the Arvanitika variety of Albanian, and in modern times is particularly used for Greeks or the Greek language since of course they are in closest contact with Greek-speakers.
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  15. #2060
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelmendasi View Post
    You state that there are academic works that assert the opposite of what I have been presenting, but yet you have not presented a single work or paper supporting this. And no I have not chosen an academic opinion that I 'like most', you seem to have an issue of assuming people's opinions based on their ethnic backgrounds. I have chosen the opinion of academic consensus, the opinion that is most supported by evidence and sources be it linguistic or historical. Again, if you have evidence supporting your arguments, please present them.
    Im afraid you still cannot or rather don't want to distinguish theories from evidence. The works you are talking about which you haven't presented yet yourself, includes theories, no evidence of anything. Finally, you yourself stated above that everyone has his agenda. Don't be sanctimonious towards me.

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