"Moreover, you scorned our people, and compared the Albanese to sheep, and according to your custom think of us with insults. Nor have you shown yourself to have any knowledge of my race. Our elders were Epirotes, where this Pirro came from, whose force could scarcely support the Romans. This Pirro, who Taranto and many other places of Italy held back with armies. I do not have to speak for the Epiroti. They are very much stronger men than your Tarantini, a species of wet men who are born only to fish. If you want to say that Albania is part of Macedonia I would concede that a lot more of our ancestors were nobles who went as far as India under Alexander the Great and defeated all those peoples with incredible difficulty. From those men come these who you called sheep. But the nature of things is not changed. Why do your men run away in the faces of sheep?"
Letter from Skanderbeg to the Prince of Taranto ▬ Skanderbeg, October 31 1460

SOUTHERN ILLYRIA (EPIRUS), MACEDON AND THRACE

Në këtë nën-frorum do të hidhen të gjithë ato artikuj apo shkrime që marrin në analizë historine kulturën dhe gjuhën tonë. Në të nuk do të mungojnë dhe shkrime të tjera lidhur me aspekte te tjera të jetës dhe botës qe na rrethon.

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SOUTHERN ILLYRIA (EPIRUS), MACEDON AND THRACE

#1

Post by ALBPelasgian » Sat Jan 01, 2011 1:29 pm

Me poshte eshte nje permbledhje e thukte e materialeve dhe prurjeve te ArberiaONLINE ne lidhje me nje ceshtje e cila per fat te keq po vazhdon te trubullohet e mjegullohet prej helenomanise boterore. Sigurisht se kufinjte ne boten e mocme s'kishin kuptimin cfare ne ua japim ne diten tona por prapseprape ravijezimi i kufinjeve ndihmon jo vetem ne heqjen e konfuzitetit, por edhe njohjen burimore te thelbit te popullatave pellazgjike (ilire, epirote, maqedone e thrake).
Ju kisha lute sinqerisht per permiresimin cilesor te tekstit dhe anglishtes se perdorur ne te. Poashtu do t'ju lusja qe verejtjet apo sugjerimet tuaja t'i shtroni pikerisht ne kete teme me qellim te persosjes se metutjeshme te materialit ne fjale!

BEYOND HELLAS: SOUTHERN ILLYRIA (EPIRUS), MACEDON AND THRACE

One of the most contradictory questions regarding prehistoric southern Balkans is the frontier between southern Illyria i.e Epirus, Macedon, Thrace and Northern Hellas. Because of the lack of meticulous sources we are inclined to analyze in detail both of two prevalent views about the abovementioned boundaries. The northern boundaries of classical Hellas are not easy to be determined with precision because they always have changed northwardly or southwardly.

The question we are speaking off implies new problems when we take in consideration the influence of Greek culture of colonies which were found after VIII B.C onwards. It is almost evident that modern historiography is being often inspired by Phil-Hellenic attitudes of some notorious scholars, which has leaded erroneously them to exaggerate even the frontiers of classical Hellas. Especially after the rising of Modern Greek nationalism the question of northern frontiers was colored with political pretensions. The majority of Greek nationalist historians have made great efforts to prove that present frontiers of todays Greece are inherited from immemorial times or in other words that the present frontiers of Modern Greece represent in a great extent the ancient ones.

It should be noted that most of present northern frontiers of Greece are product of military expansionism that rose up after founding of ‘Megali Idea’ project [Μεγάλη Ιδέα]. Literally translated as the "great idea" or "grand idea," the Megale Idea implies the goal of reestablishing a Greek state as a homeland for all the Greeks of the Mediterranean and Balkan world. Megali Idea implied the goal of reviving the Byzantine Empire by establishing a Greek state, which would be, as ancient geographer Strabo wrote, a Greek world encompassing mostly the former Byzantine lands from the Ionian Sea to Mikra Asia (Asia Minor) and Euxenus Pontus (Black Sea) to the east, and from Thrace, Macedonia and Epirus, north, to Crete and Cyprus to the south. This new state will have its capital in Constantinople.The Megali Idea dominated the foreign policy and the domestic politics of Greece, from the War of Independence in the 1820s through the Balkan wars in the beginning of the 20th century.

Consequently, Greek nationalist historians based on some truncated cultural elements advocate the Hellenic being of southern Illyria (i.e Epirus), Macedon and coastal Thrace. This line of thought has persistently considered that the frontiers of ancient Hellas reached as far as Shkumbi river in central Albania and Paeonia (modern Republic of Macedonia), although all available ancient texts says decidedly the opposite. Before we examine the frontiers of Hellas by sifting ancient sources, let remind to the reader a plain fact: the western historiography (except some Phil-Hellenic biased historians) unanimously acknowledged southern Illyria (i.e Epirus), Macedon and Thrace as being inhabited by a non-Hellenic race, which is most likely to be Illyro-Thracian.

Ancient sources constantly prove the non-Greek being of the above regions. All of them constantly excluded those regions from Hellas territory. Then how come that this problem still continue to cause troubles, disagreements and confusions? It is not improper to say that when politics interferes deep in the field of history or when history gets politicized all studies fall in the darkness and weird. To have a more concrete idea of Pan-Helenist tendencies regarding frontiers of ancient Hellas let serve ourselves with the below paragraph taken from Mogens Herman Hansen’s book ‘Polis: an introduction to the ancient Greek city-state’:

Hellas is not just 'continuous Hellas', ie roughly modern Greece and the west coast of Asia Minor, where all poleis were Hellenic, but is also the whole colonial world…” (2006: 33).

He is dead wrong. One may wonder how a reputable historian damages his authority by being extremely biased and pro-Hellenic. Actually there is no solid proof to indicate that ancient Hellas corresponds roughly with Modern Greece and the west coast of Asia Minor ‘where all poleis were Hellenic’. As we said earlier, present frontiers of Greece are modern products of military growing of Greek state and not inherited from the very ancient times. In the following paper we are going to reveal exclusively ancient authors how they saw the northern frontiers of Hellas.

TO START OFF, the ancient Greeks had a somewhat vague conception of the northern limits of Hellas. Thessaly was generally included and Epirus excluded; some writers included some of the southern cantons of Epirus, while others excluded not a n only all that country but Aetolia and Acarnania. Generally speaking, the confines of Hellas in the age of its greatest distinction were represented by a line drawn from the northern shore of the Ambracian Gulf on the W. to the mouth of the Peneus on the E. Macedonia and Thrace were regarded as outside the pale of Hellenic civilization till 386 B.C., when after his conquest of Thessaly and Phocis, Philip of Macedon obtained a seat in the Amphictyonic Council (Encyclopædia Britannica 1910).

THE inhabitants of Epirus were scarcely considered Hellenic. The population, in early times, had been Pelasgic. The oracle at Dodona was always called Pelasgic, and many names of places in Epirus were also borne by the Pelasgic cities of the opposite coast of Italy. But irruptions of Illyrians had barbarized the whole nation; and though Herodotus speaks of Thesprotia as a part of Hellas, he refers rather to its old condition, when it was a celebrated seat of the Pelasgians, than to its slate at the time when he wrote his history. In their mode of cutting the hair, in their costume, and in their language, the Epirotes resembled the Macedonians, who were an Illyrian tribe (Anthon 1871). In Acarnania and Aetolia the Hellenic character is always dashed with barbarism ; in Epirus this barbaric element increases ; and in Illyria true barbarism prevails (Latham 1862). Aetolia (in the Roman sense of the name) had not been greatly affected by Hellenic civilization when the Romans conquered it. Five Aetolian cities, evidently Hellenic and distinguished, figure in Homer. But Thucydides and the Greeks of the classical age regarded the Aetolians as barbaric. […] They extended their rule over tribes to the north whom the Greeks of the great age looked upon as savages. In the pages of Livy, Philip V of Macedon is made to admit the Hellenic character of some Aetolians, but to deny that the greater part of those who bore the name were Greeks. The Aetolians were natural enemies of the more civilized Greek people (Reid 1913).

Besides this extensive use of the word, as the land of the Hellenes, Hellas was also employed in a more restricted sense to signify all the country south of the Ambracian gulf and the mouth of the river Peneius, as far as the isthmus of Corinth. In this signification it is called by Dicaearchus and Scylax Continuous Hellas, by modern writers Hellas Proper. The two former writers stated that Continuous Hellas commenced with the town and gulf of Ambracia on the Ionian sea, and extended as far as Mount Homole and the month of the Peneius, on the opposite side. Ephorus, in like manner, makes Hellas commence at Ambracia. (Scylax, p. 12, ed. Hudson ; Dicaearch. 31, f. 3; Ephor. ap. Strab. viii. p. 334.)

According to these accounts, the northern frontier of Hellas was a haw drawn from the Ambracian gulf upwards along Mt. Pindus, and then at right angles to the latter, along the Cambunian mountains, to the mouth of the Peneius. Epeirus consequently formed no part of Hellas; for, though there was a mixture of Hellenic blood among the Epeirot tribes, they differed too widely in their habits and general character from the great body of the Hellenes, to bo entitled to a place among the latter. The same remark would apply, with even still greater force, to some of the mountaineers of Aetolia, who are described by Thucydides as eating raw meat and speaking a language which was unintelligible. (Thuc. III. 102.)

The countries of Macedonia and Epirus are thus excluded, as being non- Hellenic states, or, in other words, not inhabited by Hellenic races (Anthon 1852). Thrace, Macedonia, and the southern portion of Illyria, stretched across from the Black Sea and the Bosporus to the Adriatic; countries inhabited by non-Hellenic races, but closely connected with the history of Greece (Smith 1885). It would be better to notice that all of those kindred races are represented by modern Albanians:

“We are able to trace with tolerable certainty the long series of historical transformations by which ancient Epirotes, Illyrians, and Macedonians were reborn during the Middle Ages into the modern Albanian race” (Ridpath 1916:209).

In a more restricted sense, however, Hellas signified the country north of the isthmus of Corinth, extending northward as far as the Ambracian gulf in the west, and the mouth of the river Peneius in the east. These boundaries of Hellas proper, as it is sometimes called, however, do not mark the exact lines by which the Greeks or Hellenes were separated from the non-Greek or barbarous tribes; for both Acarnania and Aetolia were inhabited by peoples which are expressly said not to have been Hellenes, while, on the other hand, some writers even excluded Thessaly from Hellas, extending its boundary in the north-east only as far as the Maliac gulf (Schmitz 1855).

[Strabon Geografia , 008.001.001] μετὰ μὲν οὖν τοὺς Ἠπειρώτας καὶ τοὺς Ἰλλυριοὺς τῶν Ἑλλήνων Ἀκαρνᾶνές εἰσι καὶ Αἰτωλοὶ καὶ Λοκροὶ οἱ Ὀζόλαι·

After the Epeirotes and the Illyrians, then, come the following peoples of the Greeks: the Acarnanians, the Aetolians, and the Ozolian Locrians; and, next, the Phocians and Boeotians.

[Herodotus, [VII.176.1-2] 176. [1] Then secondly, the entrance into Hellas by Trachis is, where it is narrowest, but fifty feet wide: it is not here however that the narrowest part of this whole region lies, but in front of Thermopylai and also behind it, consisting of a single wheel- track only both by Alpenoi, which lies behind Thermopylai and again by the river Phoinix near the town of Anthela there is no space but a single wheel-track only

ἡ δὲ αὖ διὰ Τρηχῖνος ἔσοδος ἐς τὴν Ἑλλάδα ἐστὶ τῇ στεινοτάτη ἡμίπλεθρον. οὐ μέντοι κατὰ τοῦτό γε ἐστὶ τὸ στεινότατον τῆς χώρης τῆς ἄλλης, ἀλλ᾽ ἔμπροσθέ τε Θερμοπυλέων καὶ ὄπισθε, κατὰ τε Ἀλπηνοὺς ὄπισθε ἐόντας ἐοῦσα ἁμαξιτὸς μούνη, καὶ ἔμπροσθε κατὰ Φοίνικα ποταμὸν ἀγχοῦ Ἀνθήλης πόλιος ἄλλη ἁμαξιτὸς μούνη.

Strabo makes known that after Epeirotes and the Illyrians, come the following peoples of the Greeks: the Acarnians, the Aetolians, Locrians etc. The exact boundary which separated southern Illyrians (Epeirotes) from Greek peoples was marked by Ambracia bay. While Herodotus in his account expressively considered Thermopylai as the ‘entrance of Hellas’ (ἔσοδος ἐς τὴν Ἑλλάδα).

EPIRUS. The rude tribes of Epirus were not reckoned among the Hellenes, and the northern borders of Hellas proper was a line drawn from the Ambracian gulf to the mouth of the river Peneus (DUYCKINCK 1873: 374).
MACEDON AND THRACE. [Strabo, Book VII, Chapter 7] “Then, beginning at the Ambracian Gulf, all the districts which, one after another, incline towards the east and stretch parallel to the Peloponnesus belong to Greece; they then leave the whole of the Peloponnesus on the right and project into the Aegaean Sea. But the districts which extend from the beginning of the Macedonian and the Paeonian mountains as far as the Strymon River are inhabited by the Macedonians, the Paeonians, and by some of the Thracian mountaineers; whereas the districts beyond the Strymon, extending as far as the mouth of the Pontus and the Haemus, all belong to the Thracians, except the seaboard. This seaboard is inhabited by Greeks, some being situated on the Propontis, others on the Hellespont and the Gulf of Melas, and others on the Aegaean”.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

1. Mogens Herman Hansen 2006 'Polis: an introduction to the ancient Greek city-state'.
2. Hugh Chisholm 1910 'The encyclopædia britannica: a dictionary of arts, sciences, literature and general information, Volume 12'.
3. Charles Anthon 1871 'A Classical Dictionary: Containing The Principle Proper Names Mentioned In Ancient Authors'.
4. James Smith Reid 1913 'The municipalities of the Roman empire'.
5. Charles Anthon 1852 'A manual of Grecian antiquities'.
6. Philip Smith 1885 'History of the World From the Creation to the Fall of the Western Roman Empire (Volume 1)'.
7. John Clark Ridpath 1916 'With the world's people: an account of the ethnic origin Volume 4'.
8. Leonhard Schmitz 1855 'A Manual of Ancient History, From the Remotest Times to the Overthrow of the Western Empire, A. D. 476'.
9. Evert Augustus Duyckinck 1873 'History of the world from the earliest period to the present time, collected and arranged from the best authorities, Volume 1'.
Ne sot po hedhim faren me emrin Bashkim,
Qe neser te korrim frutin me emrin Bashkim!

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Re: SOUTHERN ILLYRIA (EPIRUS), MACEDON AND THRACE

#2

Post by ALBPelasgian » Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:19 pm

Do iu lutesha sinqerisht qe gjithe forumisteve qe kane qasje ne kete teme dhe kategori te kene nje cike vemendje sa i perket materialit te mesiperm! Ndihma juaj jo vetem qe eshte e mireseardhur por edhe e domosdoshme!

Iu kisha lute edhe Jay-Albanophile qe te jap kontributin e tij sidomos rreth anglishtes se perdorur ne artikull!
Ne sot po hedhim faren me emrin Bashkim,
Qe neser te korrim frutin me emrin Bashkim!

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