Kosovo: Albanian Anti-Ottoman revolt (1690)

Many Serbian historians have assumed that this Archbishop was
Arsenije, the Serbian Patriarch;
some have argued that both men were present to greet Piccolomini;
but there is conclusive evidence that
Arsenije was in Montenegro at this time,
and that he did not return to Kosovo until several weeks later,
after Piccolomini's death.
(The confusion was caused by an early report to Vienna,
which apparently describe Bogdani not only as the Archbishop
but also as the 'Patriarch of the Kelmendi'-some early writers
mistakenly supposed that two different people were being referred
to here, and some modern historians, while assuming
that only one person was involved have taken the title 'Patriarch' as
proof that it was Arsenije.)
Those who have believed that Arsenije was the ecclesiastic leading the crowd
of 5,000 people at Prizren have naturally also assumed that the crowd
consisted of members of his flock-Orthodox Serbs. But once we recognize that the
ecclesiastic was Bogdani, the problem of identifying his followers calls for more
careful attention. According to his own report just four years
earlier, Bogdani's entire flock in the territory of 'Serbia'(by
which he meant an area very roughly corresponding to modern Kosovo)
came to approximately 1,000 households, and could yield a maximum of 3,000 fighters.
It is hardly likely that he had gathered all 3,000 in Prizren, and, even if he had, this would still not reach the
stated total of 5,000 - who, in any case, were described as inhabitants of that town.
The problem is intensified when we read, in some of the early accounts, that during
the three days that Piccolomini remained with Bogdani in Prizren (before
Piccolomini died of the plague), it was arranged that the Austrians would be supplied with 20,00 local fighters.
Count Veterani, the commander of the Austrian campaign in this part of the Balkans in 1690,
wrote in his memoirs of '20,000 Arnauts reduced to loyal obedience to the Emperor by Piccolomini'.


So it was not Arsenije Crnojevic III but Albanian Catholic Pjeter Bogdani who led a resistance against Ottomans.

The standard Serbian claims about the nature
of the 'uprising' inside Kosovo in 1689 also carry some
implications about the way that ethnic identity was
felt by individuals at the time-with Serbs supporting
the revolt, and Albanians standing mostly to one side. As
I have previously tried to show, these claims-in the strong
forms which have been current in much of the historiography-
are not supported by the historical evidence.


- Rebels, Believers, Survivors.
 
It is also mind blowing to me how this is all in the wikipedia section of 'Kosovo' and 'History of Kosovo' claiming it was Arsenije III , there should be put up a discussion there and everything should be removed and this information should be added. Some Albanian or some person that is skilled in wikipedia that could possibly help do this please and add some of this information ?

As I was once actually IP banned there and I cannot deal with the people there but this is some serious false history.
 
In this German text below from Kosovo in the 17th century they are referring to the Albanian Catholic Pjeter Bogdani who met the
Austrians in Kosovo

For his part, he continued his march and arrived on the 6th, as reported earlier, in Prisiran [Prizren], the Capital of Albania, where he was welcomed by the Archbishop (5) [36r] of that country and by the Patriarch of Clementa with their various religious ceremonies.
Outside of Priserin [Prizren] there were at least 6,000 Albanese [Albanian] troops as well as others who had formerly been in the pay of the Turks and who are known as Arnauts. When German troops marched by, they gave off three volleys of fire as a sign of their pleasure and then swore an oath of allegiance to the Emperor according to their custom. Piccolomini thus had over 20,000 Rascians and Albanese under his orders, all men of martial temperament, who were willing to undertake any endeavour, however great it should be, in accordance with the will of the General.

In Serbian history they basically claim this was Arsenije Crnojevic III but there is no mention of him. The Archbishop of Albania and the Patriarch of Clementa refers to the Albanian Catholic Pjeter Bogdani. Clementa = Kelmendi, an Albanian name.

There is also no mention of any 30,000 or 40,000 Serbian refugees.
 
Here is a repition and a summary of my post again since to make it all more simple and let it sink into peoples head. I advice all Albanians to take this and spam it all over the internet. The truth shall be known:

It's not just the fact that the bulk of the largest number of people who rallied and took part in this revolt were Albanian, it's the fact that the guy who led the anti-Ottoman resistance in this revolt and joining the Austrians was not Arsenije Crnojevic III as claimed in Serbian history but the Albanian Pjeter Bogdani also known as 'Archbishop of Albania' or 'Patriarch of Kelmendi (Clemente) who is also mentioned by the Austrians to of met them in Prizren, Kosovo. Someone has basically made a misconception here and claimed that the word 'Patriarch' is referring to the Serbian Patriarch Arsenije Crnojevic but there is no mention of him in any of these texts nor that he led any 30,000 or 40,000 refugees.


You can read the German text '1689 Kosovo in the Great Turkish War of 1683-1699' which I will link below , they do mention both Serbs and Albanians taking part in both revolts on Austrian and Ottoman side but the largest numbers of people joining the Austrians are mentioned as Albanian such as the 20,000 and the 5,000 and the 6,000 , when they mention Serbs with these large numbers they say 'Serbs and Albanians' they never mention Serbs alone but they do mention Albanians alone.

The reputation of this commander grew more and more because of his orderliness such that 5,000 Arnauts [Muslim Albanians] in Pristina [Prishtina] who had risen against the Turks and [the inhabitants of] many of the major towns in the vicinity had given to understand that they would submit to the rule of the Emperor. Thus, when he arrived in Pristina, they swore allegiance to the Emperor and at that moment, this large tract of territory came under the shadow of the laurels of His Imperial Majesty.


In this German text below from Kosovo in the 17th century they are referring to the Albanian Catholic Pjeter Bogdani who met the Austrians in Kosovo, In Prizren which they refer as the 'Capital of Albania' and where they met Albanians.

For his part, he continued his march and arrived on the 6th, as reported earlier, in Prisiran [Prizren], the Capital of Albania, where he was welcomed by the Archbishop (5) [36r] of that country and by the Patriarch of Clementa with their various religious ceremonies.
Outside of Priserin [Prizren] there were at least 6,000 Albanese [Albanian] troops as well as others who had formerly been in the pay of the Turks and who are known as Arnauts. When German troops marched by, they gave off three volleys of fire as a sign of their pleasure and then swore an oath of allegiance to the Emperor according to their custom. Piccolomini thus had over 20,000 Rascians and Albanese under his orders, all men of martial temperament, who were willing to undertake any endeavour, however great it should be, in accordance with the will of the General.


In Serbian history they basically claim this was Arsenije Crnojevic III and that these were all Serbs but there is no mention of him. The Archbishop of Albania and the Patriarch of Clementa refers to the Albanian Catholic Pjeter Bogdani. Clementa = Kelmendi, an Albanian name.


There is also no mention of any 30,000 or 40,000 Serbian refugees. Albanese, Arnaut etc is a word for Albanian. 'Rascian' was a word for Serb.


Here they refer to 20,00 Albanians alone:

His Imperial Majesty discovered that of the 20,000 Arnauts who under Piccolomini’s influence had sworn allegiance to the Emperor, only 300 remained to be relied on, because they had been so badly treated by His Grace and the other officers. Had the Duke not changed his mind when he realised the mistake, he would not have had a single one of them under his command. Even though the remaining men were marching among our Imperial forces, in their hearts they were unwilling. Whoever thinks he can subject great countries with harshness, discipline and modest forces is making a mistake. One can achieve much with an average army, but only by following the rules and taking council when mistakes are made. Holstein initially dismissed these peoples as superfluous and considered them as competition and an impediment to the interests of His Imperial Majesty. Having been persuaded by several leaders that all of these subjected peoples and those who had sworn allegiance, [43r] should pay tribute and should not bear any arms, he believed that a small force would be sufficient to keep an entire kingdom under control. Only then did he come to understand the means necessary to keep these conquered lands quiet and to incite them constantly against the Turks. When they had replenished their earlier militia, they decided to attack the quarters of the Austrians and, egged on by the Arnauts who had been badly treated by our men, returned to their earlier allegiance to the Muslims. Coming back to Strasser, he believed that he could do wonders with his haughty corps and could drive the enemy back to Sophia. By nature he was a violent man and not particularly polite. He was wont to exchange insults with the officers, both Germans and Rascian, that disgusted our men. Even Prince Carl more than once regretted having him under his command. Since Strasser was in essence a soldier, though somewhat too strict, he wanted to provoke the barbarians into doing battle with him. He therefore made the first move, trusting that his men, who in fact did not like him, would not abandon him.
[44v] When the troops had marched for four hours, they arrived at a pass, less than a mile from Caccianek [Kaçanik] which they discovered that the Turks had taken. The Colonel camped there and, when he set off at 2 o’clock in the morning, he was advised by a lieutenant colonel of the Arnauts not to advance any further because Turkish forces were too great. However, he made fun of the man and called him a potron [kitten?]. At this, the Albanian exchanged some further words. Enraged, Strasser drew his pistol and shot the fellow in the arm, wounding him severely. He also went even further and had one of the other soldiers, from amongst the Albanians, executed for some minor offence

The faithless Arnauts maintained contacts with our men. They had abandoned our side because of the bad treatment they had received from the Colonel and because Strasser had sentenced one of their comrades to death. They made it clear that, should the Germans actually attack, they would go over to the Ottoman side and assist in the total defeat of Imperial forces.






Here an explanation from Noel from his newest book regarding the confusion about the Patriarch and Archbishop:

Many Serbian historians have assumed that this Archbishop was
Arsenije, the Serbian Patriarch; some have argued that both men were present to greet Piccolomini;
but there is conclusive evidence that Arsenije was in Montenegro at this time,
and that he did not return to Kosovo until several weeks later,
after Piccolomini's death. (The confusion was caused by an early report to Vienna,
which apparently describe Bogdani not only as the Archbishop
but also as the 'Patriarch of the Kelmendi'-some early writers
mistakenly supposed that two different people were being referred
to here, and some modern historians, while assuming
that only one person was involved have taken the title 'Patriarch' as
proof that it was Arsenije.) Those who have believed that Arsenije was the ecclesiastic leading the crowd
of 5,000 people at Prizren have naturally also assumed that the crowd
consisted of members of his flock-Orthodox Serbs. But once we recognize that the
ecclesiastic was Bogdani, the problem of identifying his followers calls for more
careful attention. According to his own report just four years
earlier, Bogdani's entire flock in the territory of 'Serbia'(by
which he meant an area very roughly corresponding to modern Kosovo)
came to approximately 1,000 households, and could yield a maximum of 3,000 fighters.
It is hardly likely that he had gathered all 3,000 in Prizren, and, even if he had, this would still not reach the
stated total of 5,000 - who, in any case, were described as inhabitants of that town.
The problem is intensified when we read, in some of the early accounts, that during
the three days that Piccolomini remained with Bogdani in Prizren (before
Piccolomini died of the plague), it was arranged that the Austrians would be supplied with 20,00 local fighters.
Count Veterani, the commander of the Austrian campaign in this part of the Balkans in 1690,
wrote in his memoirs of '20,000 Arnauts reduced to loyal obedience to the Emperor by Piccolomini'.




So it was not Arsenije Crnojevic III who led a resistance against Ottomans in Kosovo but the Albanian Catholic Pjeter Bogdani.


Here is some more from Noel:

As for the fighting men who
subsequently brought the total
(at least in theory) to 20,000, some of these may also have
been inhabitants of Prizren (which
in 1670 had a population of roughly 50,000)
but the evidence suggests that others
were drawn from further afield. Contarini's account
refers to Piccolomini, on his sickbed in Prizren,
receiving 'the chiefs of the neighbouring peoples, who came
to pay tribute to the Emperor with oaths of fealty.
If, as seems likely, some of these chiefs
had been summoned by Bogdani, we might expect them
to have included leaders of Catholic clans in
the nearby parts of the Malesi; and, indeed,
an Ottoman document written in February 1690(just three months later)
does refer to a large group of mostly
Catholic clans from that area ( including the warlike Fandi)
who had allied themselves with the Austrians.
But the pledge of the total of 20,000 may well have included other
Albanians from areas close to Prizren
who were no longer Catholic, having
been converted to Islam within the previous two or three generations-for example,
the Shulla or Has region, where as Mazrreku reported in 1634,
there had previously been 50 Catholic parishes
but were now only five. Mazrreku also noted that the
conversion to Islam was quite superficial; in 1671
another report on this area stated that
'28 years ago there were many Christians[sc.Catholics]: now
there remain 300 women and very few men, the rest
having abjured their faith in order to escape impositions and taxes.








The point here is not that such people nursed
a burning desire to restore,
one day, their Catholic identity(this may have been true in some cases,
those of the crypto-Christians, but these
seem to have been few in number); rather, it is that
recent attachment to Islam may not have involved
anything like religious conviction, and that it is therefore wrong to assume that such
people would have felt any special duty to support
the Ottoman state merely because they were Muslims.
What was going on in the mind of any local person when he or she
decided to support the Austrians is difficult to reconstruct,
and impossible to prove; but a modern approach which
converts religious identities automatically into some sort of equivalent
of national identities, and then expects blocks of people
to have behaved along those fixed lines, is unlikely to give us a true picture of seventeenth-century provincial Balkan realities.
The very small educated elite-the Christian clergy, above all-may have understood what Austria was,
and what coming under its rule might mean; but ordinary
people, including clan elders, probably had only haziest idea.
Their recent experience of Ottoman rule was(contrary to what is implied in Stanford Shaw's account)
extremely negative. Taxes and other exacations had, as always, risen sharply during the anti-Habsburg war;
and, what is more, in 1687-9 the beylerbeyi of Rumeli, Yegen Osman
pasha, had treated the territories under his rule as a personal fiefdom
to be milked of its riches, and had employed armies
of personal retaines to plunder it. That
many local people might have welcomed as an alternative
a largely unknown power-one that promised to respect
their local rights, and one that was being
promoted by a local figure, the Catholic Archbishop,
whose moral authority extended beyond his own flock-should
not greatly surprise us. However, when we recognize that such attitudes could cut across
religious distinctions, this does not mean that we should fall back
into the categories of most nineteenth- and twentieth-century Serbian
or Albanian historians, with their axiomatic assumptions about a 'national' identity
that always strove to throw off Ottoman rule. That
many Albanians continued to serve in the
Ottoman forces opposing the Austrians should not surprise us, even though we cannot
reconstruct the precise combination of factors (economic interest, personal loyalty, local affiliation,
codes of honour, and so on) that may have been involved.
Similar considerations may apply to the case of the Slav Orthodox villagers of the Lume region
South-west of Prizren, whose villages were burnt down by Holstein
because he regarded them as hostile. One early account
described Mahmut Begolli's army as consisting of 'Rascians' as well as Albanians;
some of these 'Rascians' may also have been Orthodox Slavs.



In the Serbian version of this history, Serbs are depicted as some rebellious people that since the battle of Kosovo 1389 constantly fought to throw off Ottoman rule, while the Albanians were constant Ottoman collaborators. Basically there is no evidence that this was a Serbian revolt , that 30k or 40k refugees left Kosovo or 100,000's or that Arsenije III led a Serbian resistance against the Ottomans.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pjetër_Bogdani
http://www.albanianhistory.net/1689_Kosovo-Turkish-War
 
Actually I am not even interested in being a nationalist. I am interested in nationalistic myths and the Serbian-Kosovo thing is a nationalistic myth. According to Croatian historian Ivo Banac and British historian Noel Malcolm, Kosovo being central part of Serbian nationalism is a 19th century nationalist invention.

During Serbian national awakening in the 19th century etc Serbs were claimed as the chosen people, that constantly had fought for 500 years to throw off Ottoman rule, the Albanians were accused all of having been Ottoman collaborators therefore. Albanians were turned into arche enemies. Historical facts were manipulated. The Serbian version of Kosovo has become internationally accepted. You see this repeated all over Western media and by Western Historians, Kosovo is claimed as the cradle of the Serbs where the Serbs had constantly fought to fight off the Ottomans until it was settled by 'Alien' Albanians that murdered and plundered the Serbs. Some of these western historians have adopted the narrative of a ethno-nationalist conflict going back to the ancient period.

Restoring the former Serb medieval empire became central to Serbian imperialist dreams in the 19th century where Kosovo would serve as a center therefore the Serbian 'Colonization of Kosovo' was seen as justified in what they claimed they were taking back what was rightfully theirs.
 
Actually I am not even interested in being a nationalist. I am interested in nationalistic myths and the Serbian-Kosovo thing is a nationalistic myth. According to Croatian historian Ivo Banac and British historian Noel Malcolm, Kosovo being central part of Serbian nationalism is a 19th century nationalist invention.

During Serbian national awakening in the 19th century etc Serbs were claimed as the chosen people, that constantly had fought for 500 years to throw off Ottoman rule, the Albanians were accused all of having been Ottoman collaborators therefore. Albanians were turned into arche enemies. Historical facts were manipulated. The Serbian version of Kosovo has become internationally accepted. You see this repeated all over Western media and by Western Historians, Kosovo is claimed as the cradle of the Serbs where the Serbs had constantly fought to fight off the Ottomans until it was settled by 'Alien' Albanians that murdered and plundered the Serbs. Some of these western historians have adopted the narrative of a ethno-nationalist conflict going back to the ancient period.

Restoring the former Serb medieval empire became central to Serbian imperialist dreams in the 19th century where Kosovo would serve as a center therefore the Serbian 'Colonization of Kosovo' was seen as justified in what they claimed they were taking back what was rightfully theirs.

The narrative of being first is completely useless especially for the west. Normally is who is last who has claim and right, and if that claim was established by war is even more substantial.

Look at US, everybody knows who was first it happened in last 500 years but nobody cares. Instead of playing victim, prepare for war in order to have peace.


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The narrative of being first is completely useless especially for the west. Normally is who is last who has claim and right, and if that claim was established by war is even more substantial.

Look at US, everybody knows who was first it happened in last 500 years but nobody cares. Instead of playing victim, prepare for war in order to have peace.


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I agree. I am just talking about nationalistic myths in general.

Of course in the Serbian narrative they claim they lived there first but that does not explain the presence of Vlachs and Albanians in Kosova documented by medieval Serbian scriptures themselves.
 
I agree anyway that who lived first or who got there first is all useless. We know Illyrians, Thracians etc lived there as the first Indo-European people. What happened to all the Illyrians and Thracians we don't know.

My theory is we served the Ottomans when we had too, many Balkan people preferred the Ottomans for personal interests or other things, while others revolted against them when they had the chance to due to heavily taxes and other personal interests. These were not things based on national unity. But in many Balkan nations this is basically the whole narrative, that these are all nationalist conflicts going back to the ancient period.

19th-20th century some Albanians were pro-Ottoman, others revolted against Ottomans for more rights. There was also a more push for independence. Albanian revolts weakened the Ottoman Empire which allowed for Serbian imperialists to occupy Albanian inhabited lands.

The Serbs had tried earlier before the Albanian revolt of 1912 to go south into Kosova, Macedonia etc but they were unsuccessful due to resistance from the Ottomans.
 
I agree anyway that who lived first or who got there first is all useless. We know Illyrians, Thracians etc lived there as the first Indo-European people. What happened to all the Illyrians and Thracians we don't know.

My theory is we served the Ottomans when we had too, many Balkan people preferred the Ottomans for personal interests or other things, while others revolted against them when they had the chance to due to heavily taxes and other personal interests. These were not things based on national unity. But in many Balkan nations this is basically the whole narrative, that these are all nationalist conflicts going back to the ancient period.

19th-20th century some Albanians were pro-Ottoman, others revolted against Ottomans for more rights. There was also a more push for independence. Albanian revolts weakened the Ottoman Empire which allowed for Serbian imperialists to occupy Albanian inhabited lands.

The Serbs had tried earlier before the Albanian revolt of 1912 to go south into Kosova, Macedonia etc but they were unsuccessful due to resistance from the Ottomans.

Albanians were ruled by the Ceaser/Kaiser/Car of Constantinople for more that 1000 years. Mehmet took Constantinople and Proclaimed himself Caesar of the Roman Empire (Ottoman Turkish: قیصر‎ روم, romanized: Qayser-i Rûm).
After initial hard resistance, Over time Albanian recognized his authority. It was a continuation of the same. While Serbian were the first one to be subjugated sending their princess to please the Sultan, similar resistance deserves to be noted and praised.



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And I am not really playing victim.


If all these conflicts in the Balkans is some kind of conflict as the result of who lived there first and someone else came there after then how come there was no ethno nationalist conflict when the Slavs came and settled in these lands ? They also settled Albania and many other lands. Albania was under the Serb and Bulgarian empire. So just like Slavs settled in these lands, Vlachs and Albanians had done and did the same.


How come there was no ethno-nationalist conflict in Kosova in 17th century ? These texts I have provided
do not speak of any kind of nationalist conflict regarding Kosova in the 17th century between Albanians and Serbs.


There were also some Albanians and Vlachs mentioned in these lands together with Slavs in the pre-Ottoman period.
They have been quarreling together with Slavs since Slavs arrived probably. Some people were assimilated and vice versa.
Regardless of who lived first in what region specifically. Ancient inscription mention 'Albanoi' dating back to the Roman period
in Skopje for example and in Southern Albania. So if we came from that tribe or not, it shows such movements among Illyrian lands occurred even back then. Kosova and Albania had originally an Illyrian/Thracian population that was closer to Albanians than the Slavs, racially, linguistically and genetically also.


The demographic growth of Albanians in these areas was a slow proccess over many hundreds of years
and as a result of high birth rates. Yet in their version they claim there was a sudden mass settlement of Albanians who are depicted as Ottoman transplants, the Serbs are depicted as rebellious people that constantly fought off the Ottomans. And this is all depicted as a ethno-nationalist conflict going back to the early Ottoman period supposedly ? But when one looks at the historical evidence it's all rubbish. They seem to mainly be the product of 19th-20th century nationalism. Regardless of
who lived first there.


This version of history, which has been accepted by the Western world, is an extremely racist version that depicts Albanophobia etc. Depicts Kosova as some kind of permanent Serbian territory. Despite it was a battle ground of various empires. Albanian principalities like Dukagjin, Kastriot operated around these mountains.




How do you explain the movement of Vlachs into Greece such as the Aromanians for example ? How do you explain
the origin of the Romanian language and the presence of Vlachs in Kosova, Herzegovina, Montenegro etc ? The presence of Vlachs in Western Bulgaria also and in South/Eastern Serbia.




The Serbian narrative that supposedly ''Albanians started coming there and it all started conflict'' is completely rubbish even if movements from Northern Albania did speed up in the 18th century, they were actually slow process and not sudden huge populations filling up vacuums. And as shown by this thread, there was already a large Albanian population. And there were Slavs from Montenegro that also came there. In one version they claim huge population movement happened in the early Ottoman period, yet absolutely no evidence.


Movements and battles in these lands have been occurring since the ancient period. It does not make sense because demographic went against the favor of the Slavs in some of these areas that this supposedly triggered ethno-nationalist conflicts. One could say the same thing when the Slavs came to the Balkans with that logic. In fact, many of these conflicts in the Balkans are started by Balkan Slavs and their imperialism and are the result of 19th-20th century nationalism. They cannot take that demographics went against their favor so with historical falsifcation, false accusations and myths they started an ethnic conflict in lands where Albanians had lived for hundreds of years, and if we go back to Illyrian period it's possible it contained an Illyro-Albanian population.




Which means like you said, let's prepare for war, because at the end of the day it does not matter!


Lets also not forget the Serbs came into the Balkans thanks to hundreds of years of Roman occupation which eventually destroyed Illyria and allowed for the Slavs to settle. So Albanians as native Balkan people, would of lived in these lands first regardless. We would be quarreling with some related tribes.
 
Bogdani being referred to as 'Patriarch of Clemente/Kelmendi' can also maybe be explained that it was a name for Albanians,
not neccessarily because he came from that tribe or led it.

Kelmendi is mentioned as early as the 14th century and as a territorial tribe it developed in the 15th century. In the Balkans, it is widely known historically for its longtime resistance to the Ottoman Empire and its extensive battles and raids against the Ottomans which reached as far north as Bosnia and as far east as Bulgaria. By the 17th century, they had grown so much in numbers and strength that their name was sometimes used for all tribes of northern Albania and Montenegro. The Ottomans tried several times to expel them completely from their home territory and forcefully settle them elsewhere, but the community returned to its ancestral lands again and again.


They were quite the 'loyal Servants' as you can see :LOL:
 
As for me playing the victim once again, I don't know if you meant me or in general. I am trying to show here that a lot of this Kosovo thing is based on false history which some historians such as Noel Malcolm also agree with. Therefor they should be quiet about their whole historical narrative as it is completely nonsense not backed up by any kind of historical evidence. Although their version has become famous. If they wanna still go to war over it of course be my guest but at least they should shut up.

They are claiming that the Albanian Catholic Bogdani who led a resistance against the Ottomans was supposedly Arsenije Crnojevic III. It is completely nonsense. Hilarious! :LOL:

'Great Migration of Serbs' , sounds like some complete fairytale :LOL:
 
For example Albanians in Kosovo are constantly depicted as Ottoman transplants be it before 1690, at the start of the Ottoman period or after, yet when we look at events before 1690 for example the Albanian Catholic Mazreku writing in the early 1600's regarding the Catholics in Kosovo reported:

the Shulla or Has region, where as Mazrreku reported in 1634, there had previously been 50 Catholic parishes but were now only five. Mazrreku also noted that the conversion to Islam was quite superficial; in 1671 another report on this area stated that '28 years ago there were many Christians[sc.Catholics]: now there remain 300 women and very few men, the rest having abjured their faith in order to escape impositions and taxes.

Opoja also had a Catholic population, majority Albanian in 1591. They do not speak of any kind of Ottoman transplants.
 
Here is regarding even earlier in the Ottoman period, from the book 'Kosovo: A Short History' ,

Serbian historians explain the growth of an Albanian population in Kosovo during the early Ottoman period in terms of physical immigration: it is suggested that Albanians from the Malesi were encouraged by the Ottomans to settle in Kosovo, that many of these turned to Islam to gain the advantages of superior status, and that those Slavs who became Muslims were not merely Islamicized but, sooner or later, Albanianized as well.

The Ottoman officials usually noted which heads of family were new arrivals in their places of residence; out of 121 new arrivals in the nahiye of Pec in 1485, the majority had Slav names. In the sancak of Prizren in 1591, only five new arrivals out of forty-one bore Albanian names; and in a group of Kosovo towns in the 1580's and 1590's there were twenty five new Albanian immigrants and 133 with Slav names - several of them described as coming from Bosnia. This evidence counts strongly against the idea of mass immigration from northern Albania. Other more general arguments against that idea are based on relative population sizes and rates of growth. The population of Kosovo during this period was much bigger than that of northern and central Albania, and its rate of growth was actually lower. This is not what one would expect if a large overflow from the Albanian Malesi were flooding into Kosovo.

By the time the Patriarchate was re-established at Pec, the town of Pec itself may already have gained an absolute majority of Muslims. At the same time, there is an increasing evidence that parts of Western Kosovo had a significant ethnic Albanian population, evidence which goes beyond anything that can be demonstrated for the medieval period.

For example Opoja in 1591 in Prizren area which also recorded almost no immigrants already had a majority Christian Albanian population in 1591. Some towns in Kosovo in the early 1600's had Albanian majority also. These were about btw the only immigrants that were recorded more or less. Yet they claim there was a mass immigration.
 
[FONT=&quot]Certainly, a tabulation of all the personal names mentioned by these medieval charters shows a majority of Slav Orthodox names. In the earliest charters, the majority is strong, but not overwhelming: Stefan the First-crowned's charter for Zica, of c.1210, gives 154 Serb names and fifty-four non-Serb, most of which are clearly either Albanian or Vlach (such as Mik, Doda, Bukor and Sarban). This ratio gradually changes: in the Banjska charter of 1313-14, for example, it is 444 Serb to 117 non-Serb names. The scholar who first presented this evidence drew the natural conclusion that it represented a steady process of Serbianization[/FONT]

In the grant (around 1280) by his wife and queen, Helen of Anjou, which confirmed the grant given by Stefan Vladislav to the Vranjina monastery, the Vlachs are separately mentioned, along with Arbanasi (Albanians), Latins and Serbs.

Many Vlachs interesting enough seem to of migrated out before the Ottoman period.

An article provides that in the case of conflict between villagers it is punishable with a fine of 50 perper, while among Vlachs and Arbanasi of 100 perpers.[11] Another article, on the Vlachs and Arbanasi, prohibits the overnight stay by other shepherds in villages of Vlachs or Arbanasi, and in case they did, have to pay for the amount their herds graze.[11] The protection of Slav peasants by the Dušan's Code forced many Vlachs to migrate from Serbia.[5] Dušan's charters of the Monastery of the Holy Archangels and Hilandar mention duties of Vlachs regarding shepherding and annual giving away of either sheep, two horses for the purpose of transporting salt and other monastery needs, mowing hay, compensation in 30 perpers or construction workers.[11]

The first mention of "Vlachs" in Serbian historical sources is the Hilandar founding charter (1198–99) by Stefan Nemanja. 170 Vlach families were mentioned in the Prizren area,

According to Croatian-Albanian historian Zef Mirdita, despite the fact that the "Vlach" exonym partially meant shepherds as a socio-professional category (regardless of ethnos), the individuality and identity of the Vlachs are seen in the Banjska and Dečani charters, as well as in Dušan's Code (1349).[11] Therein is included a prohibition of intermarriage between Serbs and Vlachs

In 1330, King Stefan Dečanski granted the Visoki Dečani monastery with pasture land along with Vlach and Albanian katuns around Drim and Lim rivers of whom had to carry salt and provide serf labour for the monastery.[11][12][13]
 
Here is regarding even earlier in the Ottoman period, from the book 'Kosovo: A Short History' ,





For example Opoja in 1591 in Prizren area which also recorded almost no immigrants already had a majority Christian Albanian population in 1591. Some towns in Kosovo in the early 1600's had Albanian majority also. These were about btw the only immigrants that were recorded more or less. Yet they claim there was a mass immigration.

Sure, some of these new Albanian immigrants might of contributed to a demographic growth, with the group of Albanians that were already there. But it still counts strongly against the idea of mass immigration or Ottoman transplants which is the whole Serbian narrative. Not to mention there were a bunch of Slavic immigrants. Vlachs disappear entirely out of the records. They were recored as tax payers in 1480's and eventually Serbianized, the Islamised ones were Albanised eventually.

It's interesting because before the Ottoman period they do not speak of Serbianisation of Vlachs.
 
[FONT=&quot]For a tribal population with a fairly low level of material culture, reaching the line of the Danube and looking south was the equivalent of a hungry man pressing his face against the window of a grocery. The Balkans, fully restored to Byzantine control under the energetic Emperor Justinian (527-65), contained many flourishing towns and cities, supported by productive agriculture and active trading routes. The Slavs were not the first to cross the Danube in search of better things. Germanic Goths had done so (with Byzantine permission, at first) in the fourth century, and had gone raiding as far as Greece and the Albanian coast thereafter; Huns, under Attila, had attacked in the 440s, and Bulgars (a Turkic tribe) had started raiding at the end of that century. [2] But none of these earlier invaders left any imprint on the Balkans comparable to that of the Slavs. Indeed, by the time that the Turkic-speaking Bulgars came to settle permanently in the Balkans in the seventh century, the Slav element was already so well established there that the conquering Bulgars were eventually to lose their own language and be absorbed by their Slav-speaking subjects. [3]

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[FONT=&quot]The first major Slav raids took place in the middle of Justinian's reign. In 547 and 548 they invaded the territory of modern Kosovo, and then (probably via Macedonia and the Via Egnatia across central Albania) got as far as Durres on the northern Albanian coast. [4] More substantial invasions took place in the 580s, bringing Slavs deep into Greece. Historians used to think that it was only these later invasions that involved any permanent settlement; but there is evidence of Slav place-names in the Balkans - particularly along the river Morava - by the 550s, which suggests a more continuous process of infiltration. [5] One factor which may have turned the southward movement of Slavs from a trickle to a flood was the arrival, in the north-western part of the Balkans, of an especially warlike Turkic tribe, the Avars, who subjugated or coopted some Slavic tribes but drove many others away. By the early seventh century the Avar armies were raiding as far as the walls of Constantinople, and threatening the very existence of the Byzantine Empire.

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[FONT=&quot]It was at this point, in the 610s or 620s, that the Emperor of the day (according to a detailed but somewhat confused account by a later Emperor-cum-historian, Constantine Porphyrogenitus) invited the Croats to come down from central Europe and deal with the Avar threat. [6] This they did, bringing with them their neighbours, the Serbs. Both populations then settled in the territories abandoned by the Avars: the Croats in modern Croatia and western Bosnia, and the Serbs in the Rascia area on the north-western side of Kosovo, and in the region of modern Montenegro. In some of these areas they supervened on an already existing Slav population, which, as a result, must gradually have taken on a 'Croat' or 'Serb' identity. The Serbs did not have anything like a state at this stage, but they developed several small tribal territories, each called a zupa and ruled by a tribal chief known as the zupan. [7]

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[FONT=&quot]By the mid-seventh century, Serbs (or Serb-led Slavs) were penetrating from the coastal lands of Montenegro into northern Albania. Major ports and towns such as Durres and Shkodra held out against them, but much of the countryside was Slavicized, and some Slav settlers moved up the valleys into the Malesi. By the ninth century, Slav-speaking people were an important element of the population in much of northern Albania, excluding the towns and the higher mountainous areas (especially the mountains in the eastern part of the Malesi, towards Kosovo). [8] Slav-speaking people lived in the lowlands of this area, gradually becoming a major component of the urban population too, until the end of the Middle Ages. [9]

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[FONT=&quot]What had happened to the local populations of the western and central Balkans during and after the Slav invasions? Something is known about the urban inhabitants, but much less about the people in the countryside. Despite the apocalyptic tone of early Byzantine writers, who give the impression that all civilization came to an end here in about 600, there is good evidence that the main cities survived (or were revived), just as they had done after earlier sackings. Refugees from central Balkan towns such as Nis and Sofia fled to the safety of Salonica at first, but many must have gone back home later. [10] The main towns on the Dalmatian and northern Albanian coastline, too, retained their Latin-speaking populations and stayed under Byzantine rule. (For naval and commercial reasons, Durres was the most important Byzantine possession on the entire Adriatic coast of the Balkans.) [11] But outside the major cities there are signs of decline and contraction; typical of the seventh to ninth centuries are the remains of small townships based on hill-forts, such as the one at Koman in the mountains of north-central Albania, where a Christian and probably Romanized (Latin-speaking) population must have led a rather limited existence. [12]

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[FONT=&quot]As for the rural population, which was also mainly Latin-speaking in most of the territory of Yugoslavia and north-western Bulgaria, it is assumed that large numbers of people were driven southwards by the Avars, Croats and Serbs. Some evidence from place-names suggests a flow of such refugees down the Dalmatian coast into northern Albania; and a folk tradition set down by a later Byzantine writer referred to a large movement of native people southwards and eastwards away from the area of the Danube and the Sava - that is, from northern Bulgaria, northern Serbia and Croatia. [13] No doubt Latin-speaking peasants and farmers continued to live in many of these areas, especially where they were in contact with a large town or city. But sooner or later the majority of them were Slavicized, and the towns in the interior of the Balkans filled up with Slav-speakers too.

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[FONT=&quot]Only the remnants of a Latin-speaking population survived in parts of the central and west-central Balkans; when it re-emerges into the historical record in the tenth and eleventh centuries, we find its members leading a semi-nomadic life as shepherds, horse-breeders and travelling muleteers. These were the Vlachs, who can still be seen tending their flocks in the mountains of northern Greece, Macedonia and Albania today. [14] The name 'Vlach' was a word used by the Slavs for those they encountered who spoke a strange, usually Latinate, language; the Vlachs' own name for themselves is 'Aromanians' (Aromani). As this name suggests, the Vlachs are closely linked to the Romanians: their two languages (which, with a little practice, are mutually intelligible) diverged only in the ninth or tenth century. [15] While Romanian historians have tried to argue that the Romanian-speakers have always lived in the territory of Romania (originating, it is claimed, from Romanized Dacian tribes and/or Roman legionaries), there is compelling evidence to show that the Romanian-speakers were originally part of the same population as the Vlachs, whose language and way of life were developed somewhere to the south of the Danube. Only in the twelfth century did the early Romanian-speakers move northwards into Romanian territory. [16]

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[FONT=&quot]Finally, before turning to the most mysterious problem of all - the origin of the Albanians - it is worth looking once more at the pattern of settlement in the Kosovo area during the early Slav centuries. Kosovo did not fall within the Serb territory of Rascia, which was further to the north-west: the Serbian expansion into Kosovo began in earnest only in the late twelfth century. About the other early Slav settlers in this part of the Balkans we have much less information. Byzantine sources just referred generally to 'Sklaviniai', Slav territories, in the Macedonian region; in the few cases when they made more localized references they often used names derived from rivers, so that it is not clear whether these were the names of Slav tribes or just geographical labels. The 'Moravoi' or 'Moravlians', for example, who are first mentioned in the ninth century, lived somewhere near the river Morava, but that is all we know about them. Historical map-makers, who do not like leaving too many blank spaces, place these Moravlians over much of south-eastern Serbia from as early as the sixth century, with arrows showing them passing into Kosovo; real evidence for this is lacking. [17][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Obviously some Slavs did spread through all these areas sooner or later. But there is one intriguing line of argument to suggest that the Slav presence in Kosovo and the southernmost part of the Morava valley may have been quite weak in the first one or two centuries of Slav settlement. If Slavs had been evenly spread across this part of the Balkans, it would be hard to explain why such a clear linguistic division emerged between the Serbo-Croat language and the Bulgarian-Macedonian one. The scholar who first developed this argument also noted that, in the area dividing the early Serbs from the Bulgarians, many Latin place-names survived long enough to be adapted eventually into Slav ones, from Naissus (Nish), down through the Kosovo town of Lypenion (Lipljan) to Scupi (Skopje): this contrasts strongly with most of northern Serbia, Bosnia and the Dalmatian hinterland, where the old town names were completely swept aside. His conclusion was that the Latin-speaking population, far from withering away immediately, may actually have been strengthened here (and in a western strip of modern Bulgaria), its numbers swelled, no doubt, by refugees from further north. These Latin-speakers would have thus formed 'a wide border-zone between the Bulgarians and the Serbs'. [18]

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[FONT=&quot]Kosovo's protective ring of mountains would have been useful to them; and the Roman mountain-road from Kosovo to the Albanian coast - along which several Latin place-names also survive, such as Puka, from 'via publica' - might also have connected them with other parts of the Latin-speaking world. (The hill-top town of Koman, mentioned earlier, is only a few miles from Puka, and may well have had a Latin-speaking population too.) If this argument is correct, we might expect many of the ancestors of the Vlachs to have been present in the Kosovo region and the mountains of western Bulgaria; it may have been in these uplands that they developed their pastoral skills.

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[FONT=&quot]Only in the ninth century do we see the expansion of a strong Slav (or quasi-Slav) power into this region. Under a series of ambitious rulers, the Bulgarians - a Slav population which absorbed, linguistically and culturally, its ruling elite of Turkic Bulgars - pushed westwards across modern Macedonia and eastern Serbia, until by the 850s they had taken over Kosovo and were pressing on the borders of Rascia. Soon afterwards they took the western Macedonian town of Ohrid; having recently converted to Christianity, the Bulgar rulers helped to set up a bishopric in Ohrid, which thus became an important centre of Slav culture for the whole region. And at the same time the Bulgarians were pushing on into southern and central Albania, which became thoroughly settled by Bulgarian Slavs during the course of the following century. [19]

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[FONT=&quot]Kosovo was to remain under Bulgarian or Macedonian rulers until 1014-18, when the army of the Macedonian-based Tsar Samuel died, his empire broke up, and Byzantine power was fully re-established by a strong and decisive Emperor, Basil 'the Bulgar-killer'. For nearly two centuries after that, Kosovo would stay under Byzantine rule. [20][/FONT]


http://macedonia.kroraina.com/en/nm/kosovo.html ..........
 
It has been established that the territory of nowadays Republic of Northern Macedonia presented zero interest for the invading Slavs (they just rushed through it "transit", plundering and scorching).The steady settlement of Slavs began rather late,in the IXc . Whatever of the populace survived was hiding behind castle walls or somewhere uphill). The "Slavicization" of the said territory was a result of the deliberate (!) policy of Pliska and Preslav (transfer of people in the beginning, strenghtened linguistically and confessionaly after the adoption of Christianity and the implementation of the newly forged literary Slavonic language ). I guess Kosovo in the beginning was equally non-appealing to them fussy Slavs... This policy (of Slavicization) will continue after the Christianization, St.Clement wanted to rest after so many years of proselytising and teaching...the answer from Preslav was rather blunt : "Sorry, we still need you there". He was transferred a bit east from Macedonia, to what is now Western Rhodopes.
Linguistically there is some sort of a "wedge" covering the territory of Macedonia...as in Albania among the Slavophones one would find many characteristics of the Eastern Bulgarian dialects which today cover the vast territory from the Thessalonica plain up to the Black Sea, while N.Macedonia speech exhibits the traits of the W.Bulgarian ones.
 
Source: https://www.amazon.com/Kosova-Albanians-Yugoslavia-Historical-Documents/dp/0961360100
K O S O V A
The Albanians in Yugoslavia in light of historical documents

By Dr. S.S. Juka

edited in New York in 1984

Part: One | Two | Three
Footnotes

Part One

At present, nobody would think of considering the Slavs as the descendants of the Illyrians. Nonetheless, in the first half of the 19th century, when the nationalities problem - which before Napoleon was practically nonexistent - acquired a preeminent importance, the belief that the Illyrians were the ancestors of the Slavs was very strong.1 This conviction, which persisted in some circles until the turn of the century and even beyond, evoked at that time much fervor and exaltation. These feelings may be conveyed by a passage taken from Edmund Spencer's "Turkey, Russia, the Black Sea, and Circassia" (London, 1854):

How flattering must it have been to a people (i.e. the Slavs) so long the bondsmen of the Tatar and the Turk, the German and the Magyar, to be told in their own language (by the preachers of panslavism) and in their own journals, that they were the descendants of those illustrious Illyrians, who won by their valor the glorious epithet of the Slavon (men of renown)2 from the great Macedonian chief - the conqueror of the world. But all this was necessary - and much more that is fabulous and fanciful in their history - to inspirit, to awaken a pride of race among a people who had been long sunk in abject slavery ... (p.43).

In "Travels in European Turkey" (London, 1850): E. Spencer gives an account of the Illyrian Empire:

...The Illyrians founded an immense empire extending from Epirus ... to the Danube and the Black Sea and comprehending the whole of the maritime coast of Hungary to Venice and Triest, with Istria, Carnolia, Carinthia, Styria, and Friuli... History and tradition affords us many interesting details of the battles of the Illyrians with the ancient Greeks and the Romans... Napoleon was well versed in the history of these people when he flattered their national pride...(Vol. I, pp. 93-94)

* * *

As indicated by E. Spencer, the Illyrians fought, in fact, for a long time against the Romans, who eventually conquered the whole of Illyria in A.D. 9. Many Illyrian soldiers, who susbsequently served in the Roman army rose to high positions. Some became emperors and viceroys: Claudius II, Aurelian, Probus, Diocletian, Maximilian, Constantius, Valens, and Valentinian. Mention should also be made of Saint Jerome, one of the greatest scholars of his time. The Illyrians gave to Byzantium three of its greatest emperors: Constantine, who officially accepted Christianity; Justinius, who built Saint Sophia; and Justinianus, famous for his Code of Laws. The philologist Paul Kretschmer went so far as to maintain that the Illyrians actually founded Byzantium.

* * *

Proud of what they considered their heritage (see E. Spencer, Travels... I, p. 94), the South Slavs became eager to recreate ancient Illyria by forming a union among themselves. Napoleon, who following the Franco-Austrian War had formed the short-lived (1809-1814) Illyrian Provinces, inspired in them the idea of calling their state-to-be Illyria. This state was to comprehend Croatia, Slovenia, the Dalmatian coast with its hinterland Bosnia and Hercegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Thrace.

However, by the time the dream of the South Slavs came true, i.e., by the time two great Empires were overthrown and the South Slavic state was created on the ancient Illyrian soil, it was evident that the country could no longer be called Illyria. For, by that time, it had become obvious that the descendance of the Slavs from the Illyrians was but a myth. Irrefutable historical documents demonstrated clearly that the Slavs were latecomers in the region inhabited by them.

With the myth that had connected the Slavs with the Illyrians withered and died also the legend of the mighty huntress Illyria who had given birth to three sons: Tcheck, Leh, and Rouss (see E. Spencer, Travels... I, p.92). Yet the fact remains that the Illyrian myth had kindled among the South Slavs the national idea by inspiring in them self-confidence and pride.

* * *

Illyrism originated in Croatia. The Austro-Hungarians used to consider it as a movement inspired and supported by the Russians. The latter, however, often regarded its propagators as Austrian agents.3

Russia, who was planning to exercise her own influence in the Balkans was brought, at various occasions, into conflict with Austria. Owing to this fact, she could not fully accept Illyria as the dynamic symbol for the unification of the South Slavs. Instead, she found it more appropriate to make use of another term; she coined Great Serbia.4

Great Serbia was to comprise roughly the same territories as Illyria, but to these was to be added North Albania.

Russia's role in the formation of the Balkan states is paramount. It has been rightly remarked that without Russis's aid none of the Balkan nations would have probably achieved independence. Albania is the only nation to have stood desperately alone in her struggle for freedom.

When considering the problem of the Albanian borders, it is essential to be aware of the dominant role played quite early by the Russians relative to the Balkan nations. For it is a very common error to think that the unification of the South Slavs is an idea that emerged after World War I and that the Albanian borders would probably not have been quite what they presently are, had they been discussed with respect to Yugoslavia and not in regard to Serbia and Montenegro, as was the case.

* * *

In 1878, at the Congress of Berlin, the idea of Great Serbia, which goes as far back as the 18th century, served as a guideline relative to territorial claims, but it could not, of course, be disclosed and openly discussed; it would have been premature. Indeed, even for the sake of the future unification, it was much more appropriate to be first concerned with the revindication of the South Slavs as single states and not as a group.

At the Congress, it was thus merely insisted that Serbia be aggrandized and that a seaport be given to Montenegro, which was very poor.

In fact, when the French savant Ami Boue visited Montenegro in 1836, he was struck by its poverty, claiming that it would be doomed to remain for a long time without resources because neither Turkey nor Austria would be willing to conquer rocks; adding, however, that Russia could have used her influence to induce Austria to ceding to Montenegro the seaport Cattaro which was of no great importance to herself.5

Yet, forty years later, at the Congress of Berlin, there was no question of allotting Cattaro (Kotor) to Montenegro. She was awarded, instead, Antebari (Tivar) and, a little later, Dulcigno (Ulqin), a harbor which from 877 to 1560 had been the see of a Catholic bishopric. It had practically never been under Slav rule. Moreover, its population was 95% Albanian.
But the Principality of Montenegro, which was made up of rocks, did not merely need a seaport; it also lacked pasture land. It was thus awarded Podgorica (recently Titograd), Shpuza, the rich valleys of Plava and Gusigne, Hoti, Gruda, and Triepshi, which were Albanian strongholds. As pointed out by Justin Godard, after the Treaty of Berlin, Montenegro's territory doubled (L'Albanie en 1921, Paris, 1922, p.9.). Montenegro, on account of her small size, was in an excellent position to extend her territory at Albania's expense and at the same time come closer to Serbia, i.e., toward achieving her goal of unification. As for Serbia, who was much pitied for her lack of access to the sea, she received, in compensation, Kuršumlija, Leskovac, Vranja and Niš, a region whose population was mainly Albanian.

These important acquisitions made by Serbia and Montenegro were to be added later to the greater nation that tese single states were planing to form.

* * *

The Albanians became alarmed when the preliminary Peace Treaty of San Stefano had created a huge Bulgaria, which was to include territory nominally under Turkish rule, but inhabited by Albanians. Since 1330, when the Bulgarians lost their independence, there had been no noticeable uprising in the Balkan nation. In all probability, Bulgaria's independence would not have come about without Russia's assistance.

Although the Albanians did not have anybody to back their claims, they reacted very rapidly. In the fall of 1877, they formed a committee - Le Comite central pour la defense des droits de la nation albanaise - whose purpose was to denounce the states that were planning to expand their territory at Albania's expense.

The committee invited the neighboring countries to a peaceful coexistence, but added that it was determined to defend Albania's national rights.

Albania was at that time a domain of the Turkish Empire comprising four vilayets or provinces: Shkodra - which included the Dukagjini Plateau (Metohija), Monastir (presently Bitolja), Janina, and Shkup (Skopje), presently in Macedonia. This latter province was more readily called Kosova by the Turks in memory of the victory of a battle on the Plain of Kossovo, the "Campo dei Merli" of old Venetian maps. The capital of this province had at times been Priština.6

* * *

Owing to the efforts of the committee headed by A. Frasheri,7 80 delegates representing all four provinces convened at the city of Prizren, in the Vilayet of Shkup (Kosova) in June 1878, three days prior to the opening of the Congress of Berlin, whose purpose was to reconsider the decision reached by San Stefano's preliminary Peace Treaty. The assembly of these delegates was henceforth called The League of Prizren. Its task was to defend Albania's rights.

Kosova became thus for the Albanians the center of their resistance and they have ever since regarded this territory as a symbol of their struggle for independence.

* * *

Various letters, telegrams, petitions, and memoranda signed by Albanians inhabiting all four provinces were dispatched to heads of state and ambassadors. Their reading reveals the exasperation and bitterness of the Albanians, who, judging by their messages, preferred to be annihilated rather than to be included in a Slav state.

Below are excerpts of a long memorandum; they convey some of the feelings experienced by the Albanians:

...To annex to Montenegro or to any other Slav state, countries inhabited ab antiquo by Albanians who differ essentially in their language, in their origin, in their customs, in their traditions, and in their religion, would be not only a crying injustice, but further an impolitic act, which cannot fail to cause complaints, discontent and sanguinary conflicts...

...notwithstanding their longing to escape the misfortunes which Turkish rule has inflicted on them for five centuries, the Albanians will never submit themselves to any Slav State which Russia may attempt to put forward; race, language, customs (...) national pride, everything, in a word, is opposed to such a state of things; and it is neither just nor prudent to free them from a yoke only to place them under another, which would in no way ameliorate their social position.8

Yet despite all the requests sent to heads of state by so many Albanians, Albania was not granted autonomy. Similar to Metternich who once claimed that Italy was merely a geographic expression, but that there was no Italian nation, Bismarck declared that "Albania is merely a geographic expression; there is no Albanian nation.9

* * *

Whereas Moslem Bosnia was assigned to Austria, Serbia (proclaimed an independent kingdom by the Congress) and Montenegro were allotted regions whose population was purely Albanian.

As soon as the Serbs occupied the ceded territories, the Albanians were asked to evacuate them. With respect to the Albanians inhabiting those areas, Mr. Gould, Consul of Great Britain in Belgrade, wrote to the Marquis of Salisbury, Secretary of the Foreign Office of Great Britain, on Nov. 26, 1878:

I hear that the Servian Government has behaved with great and unnecessary harshness, not to say cruelty, toward the Albanians in the recently ceded districts. If my information is correct, and I have every reason to believe it to be so, the peaceful and industrious inhabitants of over 100 Albanian villages in the Toplitza and Vranja Valley were ruthlessly driven forth from their homesteads by the Servians in the early part of this year. These wretched people have ever since been wandering about in a starving condition in the wild country beyond the Servian frontier. They have not been allowed to gather in their crops on their own lands, which were reaped by the Servian soldiery... I ... casually stated to his Excellency (Ristic) that these facts had come to my knowledge, and that should they be confirmed I felt certain Her Majesty's Government and the majority of the Great Powers would call the Servian Government to account, and insist upon strict justice being done to these unfortunate people, whose only crime was their belonging to an alien race and another creed...10

Yet the Serbs did not stop their harsh measures against the Albanians. Tens of thousands were brutally forced to evacuate these areas inhabited by them from time immemorial without receiving any compensation for their losses.

The Servian government confiscated all property owned by the Albanians despite the articles 35 and 39 of the "Berlin Negotiations" stipulating that the Albanians living in the regions ceded to Serbia would have the same civil rights as the Serbs.

As to the number of the Albanians inhabiting those territories, various statistics and extant documents give contradictory figures. According to a note of the administrative divisions dating from 1873, the district of the Sandjak of Niš had about 100 000 Albanians. As regards the number of refugees, the figures given by Prof. J. Cvijic for those who settled in Kosova is 30 000, that furnished by English documents, 100 000. According to Turkish sources, the number of the Albanians who were forced to leave the region amounted to 300 000.

On June 3, 1978, Rilindja (p.7), published a letter addressed by these miserable people (who were deprived of all means and many of whom were sick) to the European Powers requesting that at least a commission be set up to look into their serious problem.11

Leaving these helpless refugees to their sad fate, the Serbs colonized the region with astounding rapidity. Referring to the colonization of the area by the Serbs, V. Cubrilovic stated in his "Memorandum" (about which more will be told later) that "Toplica and Kosanica, once Albanian regions of ill-repute, gave Serbia the finest regiment in the wars of 1912-1918".
* * *

Since these territories forcibly annexed to Serbia belonged nominally to Turkey, the Albanians could not oppose a marked resistance on account of the fact that they did not have a state of their own and, consequently, were not provided with an organized army. However, realizing that after the disintegration of the Turkish Empire, which was imminent, land that had been theirs would remain under Slav domination, they felt very bitter. They were thus quickly organized and armed by the League and despite every difficulty defended heroically the districts that had been adjudged to Montenegro. As a result, the latter failed to take them by force. These territories were to be ceded by the Great Powers to Montenegro in 1913.

As for Ulqin (Dulcigno), it was quickly occupied by Albanian troops (which the League had managed to organize in the meantime) as soon as the Turks evacuated it. The resistance of these troops in that city was so fierce, that the Great Powers had to send seventeen war vessels in order to compel the Albanians to yield, giving them a delay of three days. Paying no heed to this naval threat, the Albanians resisted for more than two months. The Turks dispatched, then, their own troops numbering eight battalions. As a result, the Albanians found themselves encircled on all sides. After a desperate battle, they surrendered to the Turks, who, after taking possession of Ulqin, handed it over to the Montenegrins in June 1880.

In regard to Ulqin, M.E. Durham wrote: "The naval demonstration was instigated by Gladstone. Dulcigno remains a monument of diplomatic blunder...it is a constant reminder to the Albanians that they may expect no justice from Europe, and it has enhanced their hatred for the Slav". (High Albania, London, 1909, p.9).

Owing to the passionate and tenacious resistance of the Albanians, the battle of Ulqin received much attention in Europe and elsewhere. Some of the numerous reports published in French newspapers as well as in the New York Times in 1880 are interesting to read. Below are merely two passages picked at random:

...There are said to be 8 400 Mohammedans and 4 000 Catholic Albanians in the district with a sprinkling of Slavs and Gypsies. These people are not on the friendliest terms with their Montenegrin neighbors, but they hate the Turks quite as much...The Albanian League declares ... that the territory of Albania is sacred... (NYT, Sept. 13,4:3).

Dulcigno12 humorously described...

... That sweetly named town, as is well known, belongs to Albania, which in turn belongs to Turkey. The Great Powers of Europe, after a pleasant consultation in Berlin, in Prince Bismarck's back parlor, decided that it should be a good thing if Montenegro, an independent principality which from lack of seaport has hitherto been compelled to restrict itself to brigandage instead of piracy, were to have a convenient seaport like Dulcigno... (NYT, Sept, 4:5).13

* * *

The Catholics resented their annexation to Montenegro just as much as did the Moslems, if not more. The loss of Ulqin inspired the Franciscan Father Ndue Shllaku to address the population of that town in terms the reading of which still moves Albanians to tears.

The other fights with Montenegro were sung by Father Gjergj Fishta, a Franciscan, in his Epic The Lute of the Highlanders, one of the great masterpieces of Albanian literature. In this strong and moving work, Fishta shows the Albanian Catholics side by side with their Moslem brothers in their fight against the Montenegrins.14

Yet the admirable contribution of the Catholics to the national cause was completely ignored by the West, as had been the numerous petitions sent to the Powers by Catholic tribes, who begged not to be annexed to Montenegro.

The Albanians, who had reacted in a most courageous and dignified way were to find out that their heroic fights for the national cause were described as a resistance of Moslem fanatics to Christianity and to Christian civilization and that the League of Prizren was presented as being supported by the Turks. For propaganda purposes, Slav Orthodoxy, chauvinistically national in character, was equated with Christianity and its universal values.15

Whether the Albanians had any premonition that the decisions of the Berlin Congress would constitute for them only the beginning of a series of other iniquities and humiliations, is hard to say. The admirable activity they displayed in the years that followed, suggest that they kept believing in human justice.16

* * *

To be sure, there were, among foreigners, individuals who considered the plight of the Albanians in an objective way and who tried to assist them. Thus Lord Goschen, British Ambassador to Constantinople, wrote to Earl Granville, Secretary of the Foreign Office of Great Britain, on July 26, 1880:

... I venture to submit to your Lordship, as I have done before, that the Albanian excitement cannot be passed over as a mere maneuver conducted by the Turks in order to mislead Europe, and evade its will. Nor can it be denied that the Albanian movement is perfectly natural. As ancient and distinct a race, as any by whom they are surrounded, they have seen the nationality of these neighboring races taken under the protection of various European Powers, and gratified in their aspirations for a more independent existence. They have seen the Bulgarians completely emancipated... They have seen the ardent desire of Europe to liberate territory inhabited by Greeks from Turkish rule. They have seen the Slavs in Montenegro protected by the great Slav Empire of the North with enthusiastic pertinence. They see the Eastern question being solved on the principle of nationality and the Balkan Peninsula being gradually divided, as it were, among various races on that principle. Meanwhile, they see that they themselves do not receive similar treatment. Their nationality is ignored, and territory inhabited by Albanians is handed over in the north to the Montenegrins, to satisfy Montenegro, the protege of Russia, and in the south to Greece, the protege of England and France. Exchanges of territory are proposed, other difficulties arise, but it is still at the expense of the Albanians, and the Albanians are handed over to Slavs and Greeks without reference to the principle of nationality. (Public Record Office, London, F.O. 424/100 pp.31-34).

This is but a brief passage of a long letter which shows Lord Goschen's admirable insight relating to the Albanian question and hence to the Balkan problem. In this letter Lord Goschen points out that the Turks were using, in regard to Albanians, "cajolery" and "every other means but the promise of independence" because, as he remarks, "if the Turks lose Albania, they lose their cause in Europe". Lord Goschen adds that on account of this fact and since the Albanians are very eager to detach themselves from Turkey, it would be a blunder on the part of the Western Powers to overlook the Albanian nationality. In his opinion, a large Albania would "facilitate the future settlement of the Eastern question in Europe". Lord Goschen feels sorry that Kirby Green, Consul of Great Britain in Shkoder, failed to understand the Albanian problem. Above all, he is indignant as to a ruthless plan worked out by Captain Sale who proposed to tell the Albanians that if they rebelled against the decisions of the Great Powers, "their villages would be uprooted and they would incur a further penalty in the contraction of their boundary". Lord Goschen is convinced that the Albanians do not deserve such treatment "because, after all, in their attitude of resistance, and in their deep-rooted objection to a portion of their countrymen being handed over to an alien rule, they are simply acting on the same principle of nationality as have formed the basis of the recent treatment of the Eastern question".

Referring to Captain Sale's memorandum relative to the plan already mentioned, Lord Goschen remarks in the same letter:

...as the memorandum contained the suggestion that a British agent should be employed to influence the Albanians by fear as to the private and not only the political consequences of resistance, and as this memorandum will remain on record amongst the Archives of the Embassy, I have thought it my duty to record my strong protest against the plan it contains.

Similar to Lord Goschen, others were equally disturbed by the iniquities to which the Albanians were subjected, but their efforts to assist them were thwarted. With respect to Kosova's population, Lord Fitzmaurice (British representative on the Eastern Rumelian Commission created by the Treaty of Berlin to work out an agreement with the Porte) wrote to Earl Grey:

The extension of the Albanian population in the north-easterly direction toward Prishtina and Vranja is especially marked, and is fully acknowledged even upon maps such as that of Kiepert, generally regarded as unduly favorable to the Slav element, and that published by Messrs. Stanford in the interest of the claims of the Greek Christian population... the recent Albanian movement has a more vigorous hold on this eastern district than perhaps upon any other ... The vilayet of Kosova with the exception of a Serb district extending eastward from Mitrovitza, may be said to be Albanian. (May 26, 1880).17

The iniquities committed in regard to the Albanians are occasionally acknowledged even by Slavs. Thus N. Todorov writes:

The Albanian people who had also risen in armed struggle, were denied the right to self-determination and were abandoned to their fate against the vast human and material resources of the Ottoman Empire, as well as the encroachments of their neighboring Balkan states". (Todorov, The 0Russo-Turkish war of 1877-1878 and the Liberation of Bulgaria", East-European Quarterly, 1980, Vol. 14, No. 1, p.15).

* * *

The Great Powers eventually left the Balkans in the hands of Austria and Russia. The influence of the latter, however, grew stronger as time went by.

In regard to Kosova, Russia sent priests to Serbian monasteries situated in the region exalting, together with the Orthodox faith, heroes and deeds pertaining to Serbian legends.18 They opened schools which were hotbeds of Slav propaganda. Clearly, her purpose was to colonize the province where the Serbs were but an insignificant minority.

The West knew little at that time about the Balkan states. In fact, the ignorance was such that some missionaries who went to Macedonia to support the Bulgarian cause confessed that formerly they had been ignorant of the fact that there were Bulgarians in the Peninsula; they had thought that only Greeks lived there. Practically nothing was known, of course, relative to the Albanians; those unfamiliar with the question could be told anything. Thus, when two Russian consuls in Kosova and Monastir were killed by Albanians (who acted in self-defense), these acts were described as being committed by 'Moslem fanatics'. The two propaganda agents were presented as martyrs; their funerals were grandiose. Since Christianity was equated with civilization and Islam with backwardness, the Christians were regarded as the allies of the Great Powers. Thus the Catholic Albanians who are animated by patriotic feelings were ignored by design. The Albanians were depicted merely as backward Moslems and as allies of the Turks.

* * *

Many books and articles were published by the South Slavs for the purpose of showing the ferocity of the Albanians, their backwardness, their despicable behavior, their lack of discipline, etc. Vladan Djordjevic, former Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Serbia, went even so far as to claim that until "as late as the 19th century", there had been Albanians with tail in their rear! Djordjevic even referred the reader to J.G. Von Hahn's scholarly work, Albanesische Studien, where, he asserted, he had found the information.19

The purpose of all these writings was, of course, to draw a picture that gives to the non-specialist a very poor idea of the Albanians so that these, by dint of being despised by others may, in their innermost soul, start to despise themselves.20

* * *

To be sure, there are established scholars - be they geographers, historians, anthropologists, or serious travelers and explorers - who have expressed opinions of a very different kind: H.N. Brailsford went even so far as to maintain that "from Byron's day downward it would be hard to find a Western European who has learned to know the Albanians without admiring them" (The New Republic, March 1, 1919). In fact those who had nice words on behalf of the Albanians were so numerous that the Serb S. Protic (Balkanicus) considered the tendency to praise the Albanians as highly ethical individuals and to describe them as "unusually gifted", to have become a fashion.21 The fact remains, however, that the latter writings were not accessible to many. The influential French daily Le Temps, published merely articles favoring the Slavs and Greeks, for France was then Russia's ally.22

Unknown or misunderstood by the outside world, the Albanians had to fight, under the most difficult conditions, both their neighbors and the Turks without being supported by any great power.

* * *

In order to achieve national unity with a delimited territory, the League had requested the Porte, in July 1878, to turn Albania into one vilayet. The request had not been granted. As a consequence, the Albanians, under their gallant leader Isa Boletini, a native of Kosova, openly took a stand against the Turks. All their activities were centered in the Kosova region, which became the cradle of their national struggle and thus acquired a special meaning for them.23

In 1912, when the Albanians seized Shkup (Skopje) and were about to enter Monastir (Bitolja), the Turks called a truce and granted them autonomy uniting the vilayets of Shkodra, Janina, Kosova, and part of Monastir. As a result of this Albanian victory, the government of the chauvinistic Young Turks Party was overthrown. The weakness of Turkey became thus evident.

The Albanians had administered a heavy blow to the Turks and rightly hoped for approval and sympathy, for, as Lord Goschen had rightly pointed out back in 1880, if the Turks lost Albania, they would lose their cause in Europe. Instead, the Albanian victory triggered the Balkan wars, the purpose of which was the annexation of Albanian-inhabited territories that were under Turkish rule.

At that time, Montenegro had been free from Ottoman rule for over forty years; Serbia and Greece for over eighty. These states, being independent, had their regular armies. When attacked on all sides (by the Greeks, the Montenegrins, and, of course, by the Serbs, who entered Kosova), the Albanians, aware of the great danger, hastened to raise their flag and declared their neutrality.

* * *

The atrocities perpetrated by the Serbo-Montenegrins during the Balkan wars on the Albanian population were acknowledged by the Serbian socialist Dimitrije Tucovic (1881-1914) in his book Srbija i Albanija (published in 1946):

The bourgeois clamored for a merciless extermination and the army executed the orders. The Albanian villages, from which the people had made a timely flight, were burned down. There were at the same time barbaric crematoria in which hundreds of women and children were burned alive...24

Brutalities committed by the Serbo-Montenegrins are also described in the Carnegie report. They may be best summed up in two short paragraphs taken from Mary Edith Durham's Twenty Years of Balkan Tangle (1920):

No Turks ever treated Armenians worse than did the two Serb peoples treat the Albanians in the name of the Holy Orthodox Church (p.235).25

As for the Balkan Slav and his vaunted Christianity, it seems to me all civilization should rise and restrain him from further brutality (p.238).26

It should be reiterated that the unbelievable massacres were in no way committed as a result of a struggle between Christians and Moslems, as it was at that time believed by Gladstone and stressed in his speeches.27 They were solely motivated by the desire to decimate the Albanian race. Not only Kosova was coveted, but all of North Albania.

During World War I, Albania's neutrality was not respected and mass massacres continued.

At the turn of the century, the reports of the Ohio journalist J.A.Mac Cahan concerning the Bulgarian uprising, had shocked the West; as known, Russia used these accounts as a pretext to march against the Turks. By contrast, the Albanian cause did not benefit from the Carnegie report, nor by the frequent and moving declarations of philanthropists and journalists who, like M.E. Durham, were eyewitnesses to
mass massacres of women and children, simply because it was not in the interest of the Great Powers to take Albania's defense.28

* * *

The well-known Swiss geographer H. Hauser, rightly pointed out that the principle of nationality, like all other principles, cannot be applied in a strict and equitable manner given the fact that most places constitute, with respect to the population inhabiting them, a mosaic.29

This mosaic of nationalities was particularly striking in the Balkans. Here, more than anywhere else, there was need for what H. Hauser suggested, namely: good will, compromise, and a fair system of guaranties. It is an undeniable fact that relative to Albania no appeal was ever made to compromises and good will; and no system of guarantees was ever applied to her. The expediency of her neighbors prevailed. No matter what the problem at stake Albania was always the loser.

In 1878, Lord Goschen and Lord Fitzmaurice had been in favor of a large Albania comprising the Albanian-inhabited territories of the four vilayets.30 But, at the Congress of Berlin it was decided -as already pointed out - that territories indisputably Albanian be handed over to Montenegro and to Serbia. Places connected with Albanian history and national pride, like Janina, Arta, Preveza, were allotted to the Greeks, who within a relatively short period of time were to exterminate the overwhelming Albanian population inhabiting them. No system of guarantees was applied. Albanians, numbering hundreds of thousands were to be forcibly sent to Turkey.

The manner in which Albanian territories were ceded to neighboring states clearly indicates how arbitrary decisions that make history may be. And one cannot but agree with Mircea Eliade (The Myth of the Eternal Return), who, with respect to the theory that valorizes historical events, to which the 19th century attached so much importance, pertinently remarked that such a theory could have been established only by thinkers who know nothing about injustices and miseries caused by history.

Also, in 1913, those in charge of assigning to Albania her borders gave no consideration to the very problem of her survival. The fertile pasture lands, the regions rich in minerals and other resources, where nearly two-thirds of the Albanian population lived, remained outside the borders assigned to her.31 As Lord Fitzsimmons rightly remarked, "Albania was to start her career as a state mutilated from her birth". Indeed, as a nation humiliated in her pride, she had no place among her sister nations. She was doomed to poverty, bitterness, and complete isolation.

In regard to Kosova, a territory where Albanians displayed their most important activities for the independence of their nation and a region which, as some scholars contend, is the cradle of the Albanian people, the principles of ethnicity and self determination were not observed. Nor had they been taken into account when districts indisputably Albanian had been allotted to Montenegro and Serbia by the Treaty of Berlin. At that time, the principle of history had been ignored as well.

* * *

When, following World War I, the Dalmatian question was discussed, the fact that the West Adriatic coast had previously belonged to the Venetians, Austrians, Hungarians, and - in parts - to the Turks, and that, moreover, Slav colonization of the Coast was a relatively recent event in history (for, although the Slavs had settled in some parts of the Coast already in the 7th century, colonization was still going on as late as the beginning of the 20th century),32 did not have an adverse effect relating to the claims of the South Slavs. According to M.R. Vesnic, ...except for historical arguments... no present day consideration would authorize Italy to spell out such pretentions. Economically, geographically, and from the point of view of morale, these shores are inseparable from the hinterland which is Yugoslavia.33

Thus, disregarding historical considerations, Yugoslavia was allotted territories that were vast beyond her wildest dreams: to her devolved the beautiful Dalmatian Coast, where the Slavs had not ruled before, except for brief periods of time (a claim contested by the Hungarians) on some portions of it; to her was ceded Macedonia where the Serb population was insignificant and to which the Serbs had no claims before 1885;34 to her was allotted the Vojvodina (Banat) where a certain number of Serbs had been hospitably allowed to settle in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. The newly created state of Yugoslavia also retained territories which, regardless of the principles of ethnicity and self-determination had been previously granted to Serbia and Montenegro by the Treaty of Berlin and forcibly annexed by them.

* * *

Yet when the Albanian borders were delimited in London in 1913, problems pertaining to economy, geography, ethnicity, morale - in short, to all those important factors to which so much attention was to be accorded after World War I with respect to Yugoslavia - were not taken into account. The problem of Albania's survival as an independent state was thus completely ignored by those in charge of tracing her frontier.

Relating to Kosova, history - that very factor which in regard to the Dalmatian Coast was not to be considered weighty - eventually acquired such decisive import as to make it seemingly compelling for the Great Powers to disregard completely the principles of ethnicity and self-determination.

With respect to the principle of history, the term Stara Srbija (Old Serbia), employed by the Slavs toto designate "Kossovo", proved very effective.

* * *

Faust, when translating the New Testament into his mother tongue, rendered with "action" the meaning of "logos", thus writing: "at the beginning was action".35 As prototype of modern man, Faust did not believe in the fascination and power of the word, as traditional doctrines do. Since then, however, sociologists and anthropologists, especially Frazer, have pointed out the magic that not merely traditional doctrines, but also the so-called primitive peoples attach to certain words and names, the use they make of them in myths, and how these myths affect them. In his turn, Freud has rightly remarked that the primitive mind is contained in all of us. We are impressed by words. Indeed, the suggestive power emanating from some particular words and names that affect our unconscious, especially when used in myths, surpasses action. More exactly, words may become dynamic symbols; they automatically generate action owing to the very magic contained in them.

In fact, Old Serbia acquired for the Serbs a magic power similar to that contained in Illyria.

a. It was asserted that Stara Srbija was the cradle of the Nemanjis, the Serbian kings. Special emphasis, in this regard, was laid on the Glorious Empire of Stefan Dušan.

b. Of foremost importance was considered the Battle of 1389 against the Turks on the Field of Kosova. It was somehow implied in various writings that Czar Dušan's Empire was sacrificed on that battle which was said to have been fought by the Serbs alone to protect Europe.

c. The Serbs who wanted to prove that the Albanian-inhabited region had formerly been ethnically Serb, underscored and proclaimed widely what it became known as the Serbian Exodus or the Emigration of the Serbs to Hungary. It was stressed that the Serbs, as a result of the Austro-Turkish wars of 1690 and 1735, had been obliged to evacuate the region and emigrate to Hungary under the leadership of their bishop, Arsenije III Crnojevic. And that, subsequently, the land, once vacant, had been colonized by the ferocious Albanians assisted by the Turks. The Albanians inhabiting Kosova were thus considered as recent settlers who had no right to be there.

These important issues which played a paramount role in the delimitation of the Albanian borders shall be discussed in PartII.
 
Actually I am not even interested in being a nationalist. I am interested in nationalistic myths and the Serbian-Kosovo thing is a nationalistic myth. According to Croatian historian Ivo Banac and British historian Noel Malcolm, Kosovo being central part of Serbian nationalism is a 19th century nationalist invention.

During Serbian national awakening in the 19th century etc Serbs were claimed as the chosen people, that constantly had fought for 500 years to throw off Ottoman rule, the Albanians were accused all of having been Ottoman collaborators therefore. Albanians were turned into arche enemies. Historical facts were manipulated. The Serbian version of Kosovo has become internationally accepted. You see this repeated all over Western media and by Western Historians, Kosovo is claimed as the cradle of the Serbs where the Serbs had constantly fought to fight off the Ottomans until it was settled by 'Alien' Albanians that murdered and plundered the Serbs. Some of these western historians have adopted the narrative of a ethno-nationalist conflict going back to the ancient period.

Restoring the former Serb medieval empire became central to Serbian imperialist dreams in the 19th century where Kosovo would serve as a center therefore the Serbian 'Colonization of Kosovo' was seen as justified in what they claimed they were taking back what was rightfully theirs.

I'm sure those historians aren't biased at all :rolleyes:

the modern Serb identitiy formed in the 1400s, centered around the Kosovo myth and anti-Ottomanism.

this is recorded in many historical sources. for example, Benedikt Kuripečič noted the widespread Kosovo myth among the Serbs in his itinerary from 1530.

Danilo I in his letter from 1714. calls upon Montenegrins to sacrifice their lives "like prince Lazar did in Kosovo", and claims the Montenegrin tribes originate from Serbs who had to flee Kosovo because of the Ottomans.

etc.
 

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