Albaner keine Illyrer
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History of Albania
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The origin of the Albanians has been for some time a matter of dispute among historians. Most of them conclude that they are descendants of populations of the prehistoric Balkans, such as the Illyrians, Dacians or Thracians. These peoples are themselves practically unknown, and are blend into one another in Thraco-Illyrian and Daco-Thracian contact zones even in antiquity.
The Albanians first appear in historical records in Byzantine sources of the late 11th century. At this point, they are already fully Christianized and very little evidence of pre-Christian Albanian culture survives and Albanian mythology and folklore as it presents itself is notoriously syncretized from various sources, especially showing Greek influence.
Regarding the classification of the Albanian language, it forms a separate branch of Indo-European, belonging to the satem group, and its late attestation, the first records dating to the 15th century, makes it difficult for historical linguistics to make confident statements on its genesis.
Studies in genetic anthropology suggest that the Albanians share the same ancestry as most other European peoples.
Place of origin
The place where the Albanian language was formed is uncertain, but analysis has suggested that it was in a mountainous region, rather than in a plain or seacoast: while the words for plants and animals characteristic of mountainous regions are entirely original, the names for fish and for agricultural activities (such as ploughing) are borrowed from other languages.
It can also be presumed that the Albanians did not live in Dalmatia, because the Latin influence over Albanian is of Eastern Romance origin, rather than of Dalmatian origin. This influence includes Latin words exhibiting idiomatic expressions and changes in meaning found only in Eastern Romance and not in other Romance languages. Adding to this the many words found in Romanian with Albanian cognates (see Eastern Romance substratum), it may be assumed that Romanians and Albanians lived in close proximity at one time. Generally, the areas where this might have happened are considered to be regions varying from Transylvania, what is now Eastern Serbia (the region around Naissus and the Morava valley), Kosovo and Northern Albania.
However, most agricultural terms in Romanian are of Latin origin, but not the terms related to city activities — indicating that Romanians were an agricultural people in the low plains, as opposed to Albanians, who were originally shepherds in the highlands.
Some scholars even explain the gap between the Bulgarian and Serbian languages by postulating an Albanian-Romanian buffer-zone east of the Morava river. Although an intermediary Serbian dialect exists, it was formed only later, after the Serbian expansion to the east.
Another argument that sustains a northern origin of the Albanians is the relatively small number of words of Greek origin, even though Southern Illyria was neighboring the Classical Greek civilization and there were different Greek colonies such as Epidamnus and Apolonia along Illyrian coastline.
Albani, tribe in ancient Illyria, from Alexander G. Findlay's Classical Atlas to Illustrate Ancient Geography, New York, 1849.
Main article: Albania (name)
While the exonym Albania for the general region inhabited by the Albanians does hark back to the Roman era, and possibly an Illyrian tribe, the name was lost within the Albanian language, the Albanian endonym being shqiptar, from the term for the Albanian language, shqip, a derivation of the verb shqipoj "to speak clearly", perhaps ultimately a loan from Latin excipio.
In the 2nd century BC, the History of the World written by Polybius, mentions a city named Arbon in present day central Albania. The people who lived there were called Arbanios and Arbanitai. In the 1st century AD, Pliny mentions an Illyrian tribe named Olbonenses. In the 2nd century AD, Ptolemy, the geographer and astronomer from Alexandria, drafted a map of remarkable significance for the history of Illyria. This map shows the city of Albanopolis (located Northeast of Durrës). Ptolemy also mentions the Illyrian tribe named Albanoi, who lived around this city. In the 6th century AD, Stephanus of Byzantium in his important geographical dictionary entitled Ethnica (Εθνικά) mention a population called abroi from Adria Taulantii and a city in Illyria called Arbon, with its inhabitants called arbonios and arbonites.
In the 12th to 13th centuries, Byzantine writers use the words Arbanon for a principality in the region of Kruja.
Byzantine references to "Albanians"
- In History written in 1079-1080, Byzantine historian Michael Attaliates referred to the Albanoi as having taken part in a revolt against Constantinople in 1043 and to the Arbanitai as subjects of the duke of Dyrrachium. It is disputed, however, whether that refers to Albanians in an ethnic sense.
- The earliest Serbian source mentioning "Albania" (Ar'banas') is a charter by Stefan Nemanja, dated 1198, which lists the region of Pilot (Pulatum) among the parts Nemanja conquered from Albania (ѡд Арьбанась Пилоть, "de Albania Pulatum").
- 1285 in Dubrovnik (Ragusa) a document states: "Audivi unam vocem clamantem in monte in lingua albanesca" (I heard a voice crying in the mountains in the Albanian language). It is unclear, however, whether this sentence refers to the Albanian language (or to which one of its two dialects), or whether it denotes another language spoken in the geographical or political region of Albania, such as Slavic, Greek or Italian.
- Arbanasi people are recorded as being 'half-believers' (non-Orthodox Christians) and speaking their own language in the Fragment of Origins of Nations between 1000-1018 by an anonymous in a Bulgarian text of the 11th century.
- Arbanitai of Arbanon are recorded in an account by Anna Comnena of the troubles in that region during the reign of her father Alexius I Comnenus (1081-1118) by the Normans.
The Albanians were Christianised centuries before their first appearance in history, perhaps as early as in the 4th century. The earliest records of given names of Albanian individuals are found in Byzantine sources of the late 11th to 12th century. All Albanians in this period already bear unambiguously Christian names. The name of Komiskortes, an Albanian ally of the Byzantines in the Battle of Dyrrhachium (1081) is in fact a corrupt rendition of a Byzantine court title, κομης κορτης (from Latin comes curtis).
Around 1200, the names of members of the ruling family of Arbanon are recorded as Progon (Προγονος), Gjin (Ιωαννης, i.e. John) and Demetrios (Δημητριος), all derived from Greek. In 1253, the vassall in Arbanos has a name of Slavic origin, Goulamos (from golem' "great").
It is only in the mid 19th century national awakening and literary revival (Rilindja) that given names taken from the native Albanian vocabulary begin to replace the loaned Greek and Biblical names. Examples are mostly female given names, such as Lule "flower". This tendency becomes extreme in Communist Albania after 1944, where it was the regime's declared doctrine to oust Christian or Islamic given names. Ideologically acceptable names were listed in the Fjalor me emra njerëzish (1982). These could be native Albanian words like Flutur "butterfly", ideologically communist ones like Proletare, or "Illyrian" ones compiled from epigraphy, e.g. from the necropolis at Dyrrhachion excavated in 1958-60.
The word Shqiptar, by which Albanians today refer to themselves since the Ottoman times, was recorded for the first time in the 14th century, and it appears to have been a family name (Schipudar, Scapuder, Schepuder) in the city of Drivast.
First attestation of the Albanian language
The first document in the Albanian language (as spoken in the region around Mat) was recorded in 1462 by Paulus Angelus (whose name was later Albanized to Pal Engjëll), the archbishop of the catholic Archdiocese of Durazzo.
While Albanian (shqip) ethnogenesis clearly postdates the Roman era, an ultimate composition from prehistoric populations is widely held plausible, already because of the isolated position of the Albanian language within Indo-European.
The three chief candidates considered by historians are Illyrian, Dacian, or Thracian, though there were other non-Greek groups in the ancient Balkans, including Paionians (who lived north of Macedon) and Agrianians. The Illyrian language and the Thracian language are generally considered to have been on different Indo-European branches. Not much is left of the old Illyrian, Dacian or Thracian tongues, making it difficult to match Albanian with them.
There is debate whether the Illyrian language was a centum or a satem language. It is also uncertain whether Illyrians spoke a homogeneous language or rather a collection of different but related languages that were wrongly considered the same language by ancient writers. Some of those tribes, along with their language, are no longer considered Illyrian. The same is sometimes said of the Thracian language. For example, based on the toponyms and other lexical items, Thracian and Dacian were probably different but related languages.
In the early half of the 20th century, many scholars thought that Thracian and Illyrian were one language branch, but due to the lack of evidence, most linguists are skeptical and now reject this idea, and usually place them on different branches.
The origins debate is often politically charged, and to be conclusive more evidence is needed. Such evidence unfortunately may not be easily forthcoming because of a lack of sources. Scholars are beginning to move away from a single-origin scenario of Albanian ethnogenesis. The area of what is now Macedonia and Albania was a melting pot of Thracian, Illyrian and Greek cultures in ancient times.
See also: Illyrians
The theory that Albanians were related to the Illyrians was proposed for the first time by a German historian in 1774. The scholars who advocate an Illyrian origin are numerous. There are two variants of the theory: one is that the Albanians are the descendants of indigenous Illyrian tribes laying in what is now Albania. The other is that the Albanians are the descendants of Illyrian tribes laying north of the Jireček Line and probably north or northeast of Albania.
The arguments for the Illyrian-Albanian connection have been as follows:
- The national name Albania is derived from Albanoi, an Illyrian tribe mentioned by Ptolemy about 150 A.D.
- From what we know from the old Balkan populations territories (Greeks, Illyrians, Thracians, Dacians), Albanian language is spoken in the same region where Illyrian was spoken in ancient times.
- There is no evidence of any major migration into Albanian territory since the records of Illyrian occupation.
- Many of what remain as attested words to Illyrian have an Albanian explanation and also a number of Illyrian lexical items (toponyms, hydronyms, oronyms, anthroponyms, etc.) have been linked to Albanian.
- Borrowed words (eg Gk (NW) "device, instrument" mākhaná > *mokër "millstone" Gk (NW) drápanon > *drapër "sickle" etc) from Greek language date back before the Christian era and are mostly of Doric dialect of Greek language, which means that the ancestors of the Albanians were in Northwestern part of Ancient Greek civilization and probably borrowed them from Greek cities (Dyrrachium, Apollonia, etc) in the Illyrian territory, colonies which belonged to the Doric division of Greek, or from the contacts in Epirus area.
- Borrowed words from Latin (eg Latin aurum > ar "gold", gaudium > gaz "gas" etc) date back before the Christian era, while Illyrians in the today's Albanian territory were the first from the old Balkan populations to be conquered by Romans in 229 - 167 B.C., Thracians were conquered in 45 A.D. and Dacians in 106 A.D.
- The ancient Illyrian place-names of the region have achieved their current form following Albanian phonetic rules e.g. Durrachion > Durrës (with the Albanian initial accent) Aulona > Vlonë~Vlorë (with rhotacism) Scodra > Shkodra etc.
- The characteristics of the Albanian dialects Tosk and Geg in the treatment of the native and loanwords from other languages, have lead to the conclusion that the dialectal split preceded the Slavic migration to the Balkans which means that in that period (5th to 6th century AD) Albanians were occupying pretty much the same area around Shkumbin river which straddled the Jirecek line.
To propagate the connection, the Albanian communist regime adopted a policy of naming people with "Illyrian" names. The reverses of three Albanian coins depict Illyrian motives: an Illyrian helmet in the 50 lekë coin issued in 2003, king Gentius in the 50 lekë coin issued in 1996 and 2000, and queen Teuta in the 100 lekë coin issued in 2000. Gentius is also depicted on the obverse of the 2000 lekë banknote, issued in 2008.
Arguments against Illyrian origin
Recently, the theory of an Illyrian origin of the Albanians has been seriously challenged by linguists.
- The Illyrian tribe of the Albanoi and the town of Albanopolis (mentioned in Ptolemy's Geographia) could be located near Kruja in central Albania, but nothing proves a connection to the Albanians, who appear in the historical record in Byzantine documents of the 11th century. Moreover, by late antiquity, the ethnonym Illyrians was an archaism that had ceased to refer to a distinct Illyrians people (e.g. it was later used by Byzantine historian to refer to the Serbs). 
- Although some Albanian toponyms descend from Illyrian, it was proven by one of the great specialists on the Balkan languages, Gustav Weigand, that the Albanian language itself is not of Illyrian stock. Many linguists have tried to link Albanian with Illyrian, but without clear results.
- The theory of an Illyrian origin for the Albanians is weakened by the lack of any Albanian names before the 12th century and the relative absence of Greek influence that would surely be present if the Albanians inhabited their homeland conitnuously since ancient times. The number of Greek words borrowed in Albania is small; if the Albanians originated near modern-day Albania, there should be more.
- The lack of clear archaeological evidence for a continuous settlement of an Albanian-speaking population since Illyrian times. For example, while Albanians scholars maintain that the Komani-Kruja burial sites support the Illyrian-Albanian continuity theory, most scholars reject this and consider that the remains indicate a population of Romanized Illyrians who spoke a Romanic language. It is unlikely that a pastoral population such as the proto-Albanians would have developed an urban civilization bearing many Roman and Byzantine characteristics in the early Middle Ages in an area that had been heavily Romanized. Recently, some Albanian archeologists have also been moving away from describing the Komani-Kruja culture as a proto-Albanian culture.
- According to linguist V. Georgiev, Illyrian toponyms from antiquity do not follow Albanian phonetic laws.
Thracian or Dacian origin
Albanians in the 5th-10th centuries according to the Dacian theory.
Aside from an Illyrian origin, a Dacian or Thracian origin is also hypothesized. There are a number of factors taken as evidence for a Dacian or Thracian origin of Albanians.
The German linguist Gottfried Schramm (1994) suggests an origin of the Albanians in the Bessoi, a Thracian tribe that was Christianized as early as during the 4th century. Schramm argues that such an early Christianization would explain the otherwise surprising virtual absence of any traces of a pre-Christian pagan religion among the Albanians as they appear in history during the Late Middle Ages. According to this theory, the Bessoi were deported en masse by the Byzantines at the beginning of the 9th century to central Albania for the purpose of fighting against the Bulgarians. In their new homeland, the ancestors of the Albanians took the geographic name Arbanon as their ethnic name and proceeded to assimilate local populations of Slavs, Greeks, and Romans.
Albanian shares several hundred  common words with Eastern Romance, these Eastern Romance words being part of the pre-Roman substrate (see: Eastern Romance substratum) and not loans; Albanian and Eastern Romance also share grammatical features (see Balkan language union) and phonological features, such as the common phonemes or the rhotacism of "n".
According to linguist Vladimir Georgiev, Latin loanwords into Albanian show East Balkan Latin (proto-Romanian) phonetics, rather than West Balkan (Dalmatian) phonetics. Combined with the fact that the Romanian language contains several hundred words similar only to Albanian, Georgiev proposes the Albanian language formed between the 4th and 6th century in or near modern-day Romania, which was Dacian territory. Georgiev suggests that Romanian is a fully Romanised Dacian language, whereas Albanian is only partly so.
Cities whose names follow Albanian phonetic laws - such as Shtip (Štip), Shkupi (Skopje) and Niš - lie in the areas once inhabited by Thracians, Dardani, and Paionians; however, Illyrians also inhabited or may have inhabited these regions, including Naissus.
There are some close correspondences between Thracian and Albanian words. The phonetics of the bulk of the Albanian lexicon are moreoever of Thracian origin. However, as with Illyrian, most Dacian and Thracian words and names have not been closely linked with Albanian (v. Hemp). Also, many Dacian and Thracian placenames were made out of joined names (such as Dacian Sucidava or Thracian Bessapara; see List of Dacian cities and List of ancient Thracian cities), while the modern Albanian language does not allow this.
There are no records that indicate a migration of Dacians into present day Albania. However, Thracian tribes such as the Bryges were present in Albania near Durrës since before the Roman conquest (v. Hemp). An argument against a Thracian origin (which does not apply to Dacian) is that most Thracian territory was on the Greek half of the Jirecek Line, aside from varied Thracian populations stretching from Thrace into Albania, passing through Paionia and Dardania and up into Moesia; it is considered that most Thracians were Hellenized in Thrace (v. Hoddinott) and Macedonia.
Apart from the linguistic theory that Albanian is more akin to eastern Romance (i.e. Dacian substrate) than western Roman (with Illyrian substrate- such as Dalmatian), Georgiev also notes that marine words in Albanian are borrowed from other languages, suggesting that Albanians were not originally a coastal people (as the Illyrians were). The scarcity of Greek loan words also supports a Dacian theory - if Albanians originated in the region of Illyria there would surely be a heavy Greek influence.
The Dacian theory could also be consistent with the known patterns of barbarian incursions. Although there is no documentation of an Albanian migration (in fact there is no documentation of Albanians per se until the 11th century) the Morava valley region adjacent to Dacia was most heavily affected by migrations of Goths and Slavs, and was moreover a natural invasion route. Thus it would have been a region whose indigenous population would naturally have fled, for example, to the relative safety of mountainous northern Albania.
ren -- re
leh--lind (lehem in Geg)
Even our names are ILLYRIAN:
Zitat von bumbum
Bin deiner Meinung, der Titel des Themas ist irreführend, den sein Einleitungstext sagt nicht aus, dass die Albaner keine Illyrier sind, im gegenteil :
Aphilons Einleitungstest : .... allerdings bietet die Illyrer-Albaner-These eine plausible Erklärung für die Existenz des modernen Albanischen, als einem isolierten Glied der indoeuropäischen Sprachgruppe, wie auch die griechische Sprache eines ist. Denn nur auf der Basis einer älteren Sprache konnten sich solche Sprachen entwickeln ....
Bitte um Titel änderung, danke ..
Zitat von bumbum
CAUCASIAN ALBANIAN (ALUAN)
The Language of the ‘Caucasian Albanian’ (Aluan) Palimpsest from Mt. Sinai
and of the ‘Caucasian Albanian’ inscriptions
A tentative interpretation of 2 Cor 11,25-27 (specimen of the Caucasian Albanian (Aluan) Lectionary) and of the Aluan inscriptions
[Based on the transliteration by Zaza Aleksidze, re-read and corrected by © Wolfgang Schulze and © Jost Gippert 2003]
[Select UNICODE!] Comments: Please mail to W. Schulze
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2. Specimen of the text
2.1 Linear version
2.2 Glossed version
Addendum: The ‘Caucasian Albanian’ (Aluan) inscriptions
See http://titus.fkidg1.uni-frankfurt.de/armazi/sinai/2kor.htm#start for the documentation of the original text, Zaza Aleksidze’s interpretation, and for background information.
See http://www.lrz-muenchen.de/~wschulze/Uog.html for a description of Udi as the descendant of the language of the Caucasian ‘Albanians’ (or: Aluans).
http://www.lrz.uni-muenchen.de/FGU.htm for details on the Udi
Udi represents an endangered language of the Southeast Caucasian (Lezgian) language family. Currently, it is spoken by some 4.000 people in the village of Nizh (ni%z^) in Northern Azerbaijan as well as by some 50 people in the neighboring village of Oguz (formerly Vartashen). In addition, a significant number of Udi speakers (~ 200) dwell in the village of Okt’omberi in Eastern Georgia, a settlement founded by Vartashen emigrants in 1922. Since long, Udi has met the interest of both linguists and historians. On the one hand, the language is marked for a number of typologically salient features (see Schulze 1982, 2000, Harris 2002, Schulze (forthcoming)). Historians usually consider the speakers of Udi as the descendants of one of the peoples of Caucasian Albania, a ‘kingdom’ located in the northern and western regions of now Azerbaijan (100 BC – 700 AD).
A famous passage in the Armenian patmowt`iwn (ašxarhi) ałowanic (History of the Albanians) by Movsēs Kałankatuac`i (or Dasxowranc`i; 7th century (?)) tells us that the Armenian scribe, monk and (later) missionary Mesrob Mašt`oc` (362-440) has “created with the help [of the bischop Ananian and the translator Benjamin] an alphabet for the guttural, harsh, barbarious, and rough language of the Gargarac`ik`“ (Pat.Ał. Book II, 3, compare Dowsett 1961:69). The Gargarac`ik` represented one of the peoples of the kingdom of Albania the name of which is already attested in Strabo XI,5,1 and which can be associated to the Armenian toponym daštn Gargarac`owc`, a region southeast of the central part of the Kura river (compare the contemporary river name Gargar, a tributary to the Araxes). Most likely, the Gargarac`ik` whose habitat was located to the east of the Aluan province Utik` played a crucial role in the state’s administration at least by the time of conversion to the Christian faith. Although the ‘Albanian’ state started to disintegrate soon after 705, the Aluan script seemed to have been in continuous use until at least the 12th century. For instance, the Kilikean historian Haython (Hethum), a nephew of the Kilikean king Hethum I (1226-1269), reported in 1307: “Literas habent Armenicas, et alias etiam, quae dicuntur Haloën” (Haythoni Armenii historia orientalis, quae eadem et De Tartaris inscribitur, Coloniae Brand. 1671:9). The existence of an Aluan alphabet has been confirmed by two (re-copied, in parts corrupt) alphabet lists that have survived in medieval manuscripts (now kept in the Matenadaran museum, Erevan; M 7117, f 142 and M 3124, see Abuladze 1938:70, Kurdian 1956). In addition, a small number of inscriptions on candleholders, roofing tiles and on a pedestal found since 1947 in Central and Northern Azerbaijan (see below) illustrate that the Aluan alphabet had in fact been in use.
Until 1996, little had been known about the language used in connection with the Aluan alphabet. The earliest word said to be ‘Albanian’ or Aluan documented so far stems from the fragment of a lexical list ascribed to a certain Heracleides. This list is included in the so-called Oxyrhynchis Papyri (100-200 AD). The relevant passage reads: μιληχ γενειον υπο Αλβανιων των ομορουντω[ν] (‚milēkh – beard according to the neighboring Albanians’, Pap. Oxy. 180265 (Grenfell & Hunt 1922:158), I thank Bill Judge for this reference). Although the word at issue has a Lezgian ‘look’ (compare Archi muz^ur, Tabasaran (Dübek) midz^ri, Rutul me^c^’ri, Lezgi c^iri (> Kryts dz^iri), Tsakhur muc ’ri, Budukh mic^’er, Khinalug mic^:äs^), it is difficult to relate it to any of the candidate languages (in Udi, the Lezgian term has been replaced by k’adz^ux). A list of so-called Albanian month names surviving in a number of medieval manuscripts gave the first clue to the language of the Aluan. Basically, we have to deal with the manuscript ‘Paris Arm 114’ (Brosset 1832), a list of month names compiled by par Anania Širakac`i, variants which occur for instance in manuscripts by Hovhannēs Imastaser (~ 12th century, Armenian) et Sulxan Saba Orbeliani (18th century, Georgian), see Schulze 1982:284-5 and (more importantly) Gippert 1987 for details. Obviously, at least parts of the month names are clearly related to Udi. As a result, the long-standing hypothesis has emerged according to which the language of the Aluan people represents an older variant of Udi.
This hypothesis has been supported by a number of co-arguments. For instance, the Udi are the only Christian group in Azerbaijan. According to their own tradition, they once had been part of the Albanian Church which had been abolished by Tsarist authorities in 1836 (re-established in 2003). In addition, names obviously related to the ethnonym udi had been constantly referred to by ancient sources when speaking of the Caucasian Albanian region. This region had been known in Classical times under the name ’Αλβανίαor ’Αλβανίς, in the Armenian tradition the term Աղուանք (ałowank`) had been used (Georgian რანი (rani), probably derived from Arabic الران (ar-rānu), which again had been borrowed from the Armenian toponym Առամ (ar̄an)). Caucasian Albania represented a rather heterogenous ‘state’ that had been christianized as early as the 2nd or 3rd century (according to the tradition by Ełišē (Eleusius), said to be ordained by James, the brother of Jesus, see Mämmädova 2003). One of the provinces of Aluan had been Uti, the population of which is referred to by the name Udini (or Utidorsi) in Latin sources, and by the name Οὐίτιοι in Greek sources. In Armenian, the terms Ուտիք (owtik`) or Ուտիացիք (owtiac¢ik`)) had been used. The province of Owtik` was located between the middle course of the river Kura and the Mountain Qarabakh region, thus south of the actual habitat of the contemporary Udi speakers. Most likely, the inhabitants of Owtik` at least in parts spoke a language related to or equal to that of the Gargarac`ik`, mentioned above.
It should be noted, however, that none of the three names (Udini ~ Οὐίτιοι ~ Owtik`; ’Αλβανία ~ Ałowank`; Γαργαροί ~ Gargar(ac`i)k`) can be safely etymologized with the help of contemporary Udi. There is a slight chance to relate the term udi (also used as a self-denomination of the contemporary Udis) to the ethnonym qūtīm which labels a gentile group having ruled over Central and Southern Mesopotamia (2200-2100) and said to stem from the northern regions of the Zagros mountains. Urartian sources mention a river Uduri said to be located at the border of the land Etiu (e.g. Meščaninov 1978:319), and it may well be that one of the two ethnonyms can be equaled to the term udi. The term ’Αλβανία ~ Ałowank` probably reflects a form *aluan which is sometimes paralleled to both the name of a village in the Shah-Dagh mountains (Alpan) and to the name of a pre-Islamic deity in Lezgistan (Alpan). However, this proposal neglects important historical facts and should be taken with great caution.
In sum, both direct and indirect evidence suggest that the ‘major’ language of Aluan (i.e. the language of the Gargar(ac`i)k`) must have been an early variant of Udi. This assumption saw confirmation in 1987, when the Georgian scientist Zaza Aleksidze discovered a palimspest stored in the Mt. Sinai monastery.
In 1996, the Georgian scientist Zaza Aleksidze – while doing documentary work in the St. Catherine monastery on Mt. Sinai – discovered two Georgian palimpsest manuscripts (conventionally labelled N/Sin-13 or M13 and N/Sin-55 or M55) that contain in their lower, heavily washed layer texts in Albanian script (see Aleksidze & Mahé 1997, 2002 for a detailed presentation of the manuscripts and a preliminary discussion of the language of the lower layers, http://armazi.uni-frankfurt.de/armaz3.htm for a presentation of the Sinai project). Meanwhile, the pioneering work of Aleksidze has been continued by Jost Gippert (Frankfurt) and Wolfgang Schulze (Munich). For the time being, nearly the totality of the readable folios of both manuscripts has been deciphered and interpreted. Aleksidze’s assumption that we have to deal with a rather old lectionary used in the Holy Service turned out to be correct. For copyright reasons, I cannot go into the details of the whole corpus (see the projected publication in Aleksidze & Gippert & Mahé & Schulze (forthcoming)). Hence, I have to restrict myself to more general remarks.
In sum, the two manuscripts consist of roughly 180 folios (recto/verso), in parts heavily distorted and only fragmentary. They show the Aluan text in horizontal lines crossed by the upper layer of Georgian text in vertical lines (see http://armazi.uni-frankfurt.de/sinai/albanica/m13.htm for images). The Aluan text is strongly washed out. Its characters have (in major parts) merged with the Georgian letters of the upper layer. The original Albanian text was written in two columns (22 to 23 lines per page) which 15 to 20 characters per line. In addition, smaller characters were used to add commentaries relevant for the use of the lectionary in the Holy Service. At the end of M13 n63, the scribe seems to have added a ‘personal note’.
The bulk of the lectionary is preserved in M13, whereas M55 is much smaller and more fragmentary in nature. It is not quite clear whether both manuscripts had been written at the same time. Perhaps, M13 is older stemming from the 5th or 6th century, whereas M55 has been written in the 8th century (see Aleksidze 2002). Nevertheless, it comes clear that both manuscripts originally represented a single ‘book’ which contained passages from the New Testament as well as at least one passage from the Old Testament.
2. The Specimen
The following passage from Sinai M13 n75 (Folio 76r-77v, column B) helps to illustrate the language of the Palimpsest (original reading of lines 6-22 by Zaza Aleksidze; re-read and corrected by W. Schulze and J. Gippert):
2.1 Linear version
owq’abiyayza(x) : Xib
zak’owg^oxoc : mar
sownxc’ayax : mar
is^ebaxoc : marak’e
c^ar : bowsinown(i)g^i
2.2 Glossed version
This passage contains a translation of 2 Cor 11,5-2. A linguistic interpretation of (16) is given below. Note that the glosses are derived from the system applied to Udi by Schulze (forthcoming). A preliminary translation of 2 Cor 11,26-27 had been prepared by Zaza Aleksidze. Here, a revised interpretation is given on the basis of the corrections and additions proposed by W. Schulze and J. Gippert):
[…1] xib-om n%az^iz^-ac-E h-E
three-coll shipwreck-lvass-perf lv-perf
‘Thrice I suffered shipwreck’
 zow g^i own s^ow bAwg^a  (y)~i-g^-ox marg^(i)-zow-h-E
I day and night middle-dat depth(?):dat2 suffering-1sg-lv-perf2
‘A night and a day I have been in the deep.’
 Laq’-m-ox avel-om c^ar
way-pl-dat2 much-coll fold
‘Often on the roads’
 marak’esown-owx t’(=k ?)owr-m-oxoc
‘in danger of rivers’
 marak’esown-owx abazak’-owg^-oxoc
‘in danger of thieves’
01.08.2001 / Revised Version 07.09.2003
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‘in danger of the compatriots’
ma(r)ak’esown-owx  het’anos-owg^-oxoc
‘in danger of the gentils’
 marak’esown-owx kalak-a
‘in danger in the town’
marak’esown-owx  k’%aban-a
‘in danger in the desert’
‘In danger in the sea’
marak’esownowx a[c/]pE  is^eb-axoc
danger-dat2 false brethren-abl
‘in danger of false brethren’
<27> marak’esown-owg^-on own borzown-owg^[-on]
danger-pl-erg and labor-pl-erg
‘with dangers and labors’
nowg^owr  bowr-es[own-en av]el-om  c^ar
wake stand-masd-erg much-coll fold
‘in watches often’
bowsin own ig^(e)
hungry and thirs[ty]
‘in hunger and thirst…’
‘depth, deep’, dat2
Udi dat2 -ox
‘thief’ (pl., abl.)
Armenian abazak, Udi pl. -ux, abl. -oxo
‘much’ (ordinal form)
Udi ordinal -un < *-um
‘in the middle’
Udi be^%g^, dat. -a
‘load’ (pl., erg.)
Udi plural -ux, erg. –on
Udi busa ‘hungry’, erg./instr. -in
‘stand’ (masd., erg.)
Udi masd. -esun, erg. –en
Arm. cov‘sea’ (?), Udi dat2 -ax
Udi abl. -uxo
Udi perf2 –ey
‘gentile’ (pl., abl.)
(Greek >) Arm. hetanos‘gentile’, Udi pl. -ux, abl. –oxo
‘brethren’ (pl. tant., abl.)
Udi abl. –axo
‘open field, desert’ (dat.)
Udi k’%ava%n‘wilderness, open field’, dat. -a
Arm. k`alak` , Udi dat. –a
‘way’ (pl, dat2)
Udi yaq’, pl. -m-, dat2 –ox
‘suffer-see’ (masd., dat2)
Udi ak’sun‘to see’, dat2 –ux
‘suffer-see’ (masd., pl. erg.)
Udi ak’sun‘to see’, pl. -ug^-, erg. -on
‘suffering’ (1sg, perf2)
Udi 1sg -zu, perf2 -ey
‘shipwreck’ (mp, perf2)
Udi mpast -ac-, perf2 –ey
Udi q’a-n ‘and’
‘river’ (pl, abl)
Udi kur, pl. -m-, abl. –oxoc
‘three’ (coll., ord.)
Udi xib, ord. -un < *-um
The ‘Caucasian Albanian’ (Aluan) Inscriptions
(© Wolfgang Schulze 2003)
There exists a small corpus of so-called Caucasian Albanian or Aluan inscriptions the most famous of which is the Mingečaur inscription found in 1949 during excavations in the Mingečaur region in Central Azerbaijan (see . Although we cannot exclude the possibility that one or two of the (often fragmentary) inscriptions are fakes, we can still maintain that the major part of this corpus is related to and stems from the Old Udi period. Bascially, we have to deal with three types of inscriptions: a) a longer, running text on a pedestal; b) short texts on candleholders and roofing tiles, c) parts of Aluan alphabet lists. None of the texts has been safely read and interpreted so far. Nevertheless, those parts that are open to a linguistic interpretation clearly show that the underlying language is a variant of Old Udi. The following documentation of the inscriptions does not aim at a full interpretation. Rather, I will refer to those parts that evince an Udi origin (see Murav’ev 1981 for a description of the corpus).
T 1 (= Mingec^aur Pedestal, serving to carry a cross (Schulze) or throne (Gippert)) [ca. 60 x 60 cm]; Probably7th century AD.
See Gippert (in press) for the most recent and most detailed analysis.
1 (q’)iyas BE be(s)(i)(n)?o(l)o arah/c^Ene ei/n
?:dat3 God:gen ?:gen LOC verb:lverf2:3sg ?
‘For the X of God LOC X placed(?)’
2 h/c^Al yE owsena xosroo(w)_
? 27 year:dat Khosrow[:gen]
‘[…] in the year 27 of Khosrow’
4a __Aw/s. h/c^os/b/% (i)(n=p’?)isk’ap’osen bi
PN bischop:erg makeast
The present reading deviates in minor parts from the up to now most comprehensive and most reliable interpretation of the Mingec^aur inscription (Gippert (in press)) which also aims at situating the contents of the inscription into the clerical history of Albania. Here, I cannot discuss in details Gippert’s highly promissing and methodologically well-founded approach. Nevertheless, the reader should note that Gippert’s analysis for the first suggests an interpretation that seems to be coherent with both historical data and the findings related to the language of the Palimpsest. The following segments of the Mingec^aur inscription can be safely related to Udi or to the language of the Palimpsest:
q’iyas (Gippert: miyas) Obviously the now lost Old Udi -s-Dative (‘dat3’)
BE Abbreviation of ‘god’ or ‘lord’ (= Palimpsest)
-hEne (?) = Palimpsest h-E-ne (be-perf2-3sg:foc)
owsena = Udi usen-a ‘in the year’
[s]er[b]- = Palimpsest serbaown ‘first’
-en = Udi ergative -en
biyay = Palimpsest biyay (doast)
T 2 (Candleholder, Mingečaur) [8 x 5 x 5 cm]
(Trever 1959:Tabl.35, new reading © W. Schulze 2003)
The four sides of the candleholder are not fully aligned. Hence, the restoration of the original lines is somewhat problematic. Nevertheless, a possible reading is:
za yog gokar(e)XE naibow b~E et’owX be(c)e
I:dat ? be=ungodlyerf2 servant God:gen this(?):dat2 begerf(?)
g^ahak’ hAwk’e q’a(g^).(x) biyay
? joy:3sg ? makeartast
The following elements can be identified:
za = Udi za ‘I:dat’
gokar(e)XE = Palimpsest gokarXE (Perf2), derived from Pal. karXesown
‘to save’, meaning of the preverbially
marked form probably ‘ungodly’ or ‘humble’ (< ‘not saved’ ?).
naibow = Palimpsest naibow ‘servant, slave’
b~E Abbreviation meaning ‘god’ or ‘lord’ (genitive or ergative)
hAwk’ = Palimpsest hAwk’ ‘joy’
biyay Palimpsest biyay (doast)
T 3 (Fragment of candleholder (?), Mingečaur) [16 x 4(,5) cm]
(Murav’ev 1981:275, new reading © W. Schulze 2003)
1(?) zow va ba(l)a oa[_____?]
I you:sg doart:fut ?
2(?) ……biya(y) [_____?]
3(?) ?iye bowq’ana [____?]
Old Udi segments are:
zow = Udi zu ‚I’
va = Udi va ‘you:sg:dat’
bala = Udi/Palimpsest b-ala ‘do-fut2’
biyay = Palimpsest biyay (doast)
bowq’ana = Palimpsest bowq’ana ‘beloved’
T 4 (Candleholder, Mingečaur) [18 x 11 x 10 cm]
(Murav’ev 1981:279, new reading © W. Schulze 2003)
The meaning of ki(W)pe [phonetically ki(dz)pe] is obscure. Obviously, we have to deal with a ‘simple’ perfect (-e) added to the light verb –p-. The initial form zow corresponds to Udi zu ‘I’.
T 5 (Roofing tile (?), Mingečaur) [10 x 10,5 cm]
(Murav’ev 1981:273, new reading © W. Schulze 2003)
1 zow m[_________]
2 bAwg^a[_______ ]
3 h~k’e zow[______]
4 (b). hel(i)[_______]
[do] soul:gen …
This fragment shows the following correspondences with (Old) Udi:
zow = Udi zu I’
bAwg^a Palimpsest bawg^a ‘in midth’ (Udi be^%g^ ‘middle’)
h~k’e = Palimpsest h~k’e, an abbreviation meaning ‘because’.
hel = Palimpsest hel (> Udi (pl.tant.) el-mux) ‘soul, spirit’
T 6 (Roofing tile (?), Mingečaur) [16 x 4 cm]
(Murav’ev 1981:281, new reading © W. Schulze 2003)
The interpretation of this passage remains unclear.
T 7 (Candleholder, Mingečaur) [11 x 7 x 7 cm]
(Murav’ev 1981:277, new reading © W. Schulze 2003)
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This inscription contains the first 10 letters of the Aluan alphabet. In addition, two words appear in vertical lines. i(s)i remains unclear, whereas g&ar undoubtedly means ‘son, child’ (= Udi/Palimpsest g^ar).
T 8 [Tablet, Verxnyj Labkomaxi) [10 x 5 cm]
(Alphabet; Murav’ev 1981:283; perhaps a fake)
Abuladze, Il’ja 1938. K otkrytiju alfavita kavkazskix albancev. EIMK moambe 6:69-71.
Aleksidze, Zaza & Jean-Pierre Mahé 1997. Découverte d’un texte albanien: une langue ancienne du Caucase retrouvée. CRAI 1997:517-532.
Aleksidze, Zaza & Jean-Pierre Mahé 2002. Le déchiffrement de l’écriture des albaniens du Caucase. Comptes-rendue de l’Académie des Inscription, Paris XXX.
Aleksidze, Zaza 1998-2000. Remarques sur le déchriffrement de l’écriture albano-caucasienne. RArm 27:423-428.
Aleksidze, Zaza & Jean-Pierre Mahé & Jost Gippert & Wolfgang Schulze (in preparation). The Caucasian-Albanian Palympsest from Mt. Sinai. Edition and interpretation.Monumenta Paleographica Medii Aevi. Turnhout: Brepols [prévue].
Annasian, H.S. 1969. Une mise au point relative à l’albanie caucasienne. REArm VI :299-330.
Dirr, Adolf 1904. Grammatika udinskogo jazyka. SMOMPK XXXIII:1-101.
Dowsett, C.J.F. 1961. The History of the Caucasian Albanians by Movsēs Dasxuranc¢i. London: OUP.
Gippert, Jost 1987. Old Armenian and Caucasian Calendar Systems [III]: The Albanian Month Names. AAL 9:35-46.
Gippert, Jost (in press). Ein iranischer Personenname in kaukasisch-albanischer Nebenüberlieferung. Festschriftbeitrag.
Grenfell, Bernard P. & Arthur S. Hunt 1922. The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, part XV. London: Egypt Exploration Society.
Harris, Alice 2002. Endoclitics and the Origins of Udi Morphosyntax. OXford. OUP.
Hewsen, Robert H. 1964. On the Alphabet of the Caucasian Albanians. REArm I:427-432.
Karamiantz, N. 1886. Einundzwanzig Buchstaben eines verlorenen Alphabets. ZDMG XL:315-319.
Kurdian, H. 1956. The newly discovered alphabet of Caucasian Albanians. JRAS 1956:81-83.
Mämmädova, Färidä 2003. Qafqaz albaniyasında xristianlıq. Bakı: NHE.
Mes^c^aninov, I.I. 1978. Annotirovannyj slovar’ uratskogo (viajskogo) jazyka. Leningrad: Nauka.
Murav’ev, S.N. 1981. Tri ėtjuda o kavkazsko-albanskoj pismennosti. EIKJ VIII:222-325.
Schulze, Wolfgang 1982. Die Sprache der Uden in Nordazerbaidžan. Wiesbaden: Harrasssowitz.
Schulze, Wolfgang 2001. The Udi Gospels. Annotated Text, Etymological index, Lemmatized Concordance. Munich
Schulze, Wolfgang 2002. The loan layers of Udi: Armenian. W. Bublitz et al. (Hrsgg.). Philology, Typology and Language Structure. FS Winfried Boeder, 211-223. Frankfurt a.M.: Lang.
Schulze, Wolfgang (in press). Das Alte im Neuen: Sprachliche Überlebensstrategien im Ostkaukasus. P. Schrijver & P.-A. Mumm (Hrsgg.). Sprachtod und Sprachgeburt. Schriftenreihe des Zentrums für Historische Sprachwissenschaft, Univ. München.
Schulze, Wolfgang (in press). Towards a History of Udi. G. Authier & B. Balci (eds.). Papers of the IFEA Round Table on the languages of the Caucasus (Istanbul 2003).
Schulze, Wolfgang (forthcoming). A Functional Grammar of Udi.
Trever, K.V. 1959. Oc^erki po istorii i kul’ture kavkazskoy Albanii. Moskva & Leningrad: Izd. AN SSSR.
keine angst jungs, jeder kommt dran!
Caucasian Albanian Script
by Zaza Alexidze and Betty Blair
Also spelled Zaza Aleksidze
1 Caucasian Albanian Alphabet: Ancient Script Discovered in the Ashes - Zaza Alexidze and Betty Blair
2 Udi Language: Compared with Ancient Albanian - Alexidze
3 Albanian Script: How Its Secrets Were Revealed? - Alexidze and Blair
4 Zaza Alexidze. Decipherer: Glimpses of Childhood - Blair
5 Caucasian Albanian Script: Significance of Dechipherment - Alexidze
6 Udins Today: Ancestors of the Caucasian Albanians - Zurab Konanchev
7 Heyerdahl Intrigued by Rare Caucasus Albanian Text - Alexidze
Albanian (from the Caucasus, not to be confused with the language and country of the same name in the Balkans). The Caucasian Albanian language has been identified as the ancestor of the language spoken by the Udi people, who primarily live in present-day Azerbaijan. The alphabet dates to the 5th century A.D., possibly earlier. It is not known for certain who created this alphabet although Old Armenian sources suggest Mashtots (5th century).Language FamilyCaucasian Language Family: Dagestani Branch: Lezgian Group.Discovered and Deciphered by
Dr. Zaza Alexidze (1935- ), Historian and Director of the Institute of Manuscripts in Tbilisi, GeorgiaWhere the Manuscript Was Found
In St. Catherine's, an Orthodox Monastery on Mt. Sinai, Egypt. The manuscripts due to a devastating fire in 1975 in which hundreds of manuscripts were discovered that had been stored in a forgotten basement cell. So far two Georgian/Albanian palimpsests have been discovered, totaling about 300 pages. (A palimpsest is a manuscript with one or more scripts penned on top of the original text; in this case, after the scribes had tried to scrub off the Albanian, they wrote Georgian on top of it, leaving the Albanian barely visible).Alphabet Characteristics
Albanian has 52, possibly 54, letters (graphemes). Exact number can be determined when equipment will be available to see clearly. All letters are written as capitals in a continuous line of text. There are no separating spaces between words and no punctuation at the end of sentences.When the Script Was First Seen
1990. But the Albanian letters were barely visible on the lower layer of two manuscripts as scribes had attempted to scrub off the parchments in order to reuse it for a new Georgian text.When the Script Was First Identified
as Albanian1996. Prior to that time, specialists in Caucasian Studies were not even sure that a written form of the Albanian language even existed in the form of an extended text. They least expected to find such manuscripts in Egypt.First Word Deciphered
2001. The word, "Thesalonike", referencing the Biblical teachings of Apostle Paul directed to the Christians who lived in Thessaloniki, Greece, in the 1st century A.D.Manuscript Content
On the lower layer is an Albanian Christian Lectionary, possibly one of the earliest, if not the very earliest Lectionary, that exists today, judging from the simplicity of its church calendar. This Lectionary dates to the late 4th or early 5th century A.D. The top layer contains a Georgian Patericon, containing biographies and writings of some of the Church Fathers. It may have been prepared around 10th century after scribes tried to scrub off the Albanian text.How the Caucasian Albanian Script
Historians suggest that the disappearance of the Albanian state and its written script occurred over several centuries due to various political influences in the region. First came the Arabian invasion and the process of Islamization (7-10th centuries) followed by the invasion of Turk-Seljuks and assimilation with them (11th century).
In addition, they believe that fundamental differences in Christian doctrine between Armenians and Albanians dealt the final blow to the Albanian written language. Armenians are Monophysites, meaning that they believe that Christ had a single nature - only God. Albanians were Diophysites, insisting on the dual nature of Christ-both God and man.
When Armenians gained religious power over the Orthodox communities in the region, they forced Albanians to give up their beliefs. Albanian sacred and liturgical documents were burned or destroyed as heresy. Consequently, the Albanian alphabet, so closely identified with the church, disappeared from use.How the Albanian Manuscript Ended Up
at Mt. Sinai, Egypt
Perhaps after the Albanians were forced to become Monophysites, some of them left for Palestine to the St. Saba Monastery in Jerusalem. In the 10th century, Georgian monks left St. Saba and went to Mt. Sinai. Perhaps among them was an Albanian monk, who carried this manuscript with him.Contacts
Dr. Zaza Alexidze, Institute of Manuscripts in Tbilisi, Georgia: firstname.lastname@example.org
or Betty Blair, Editor, Azerbaijan International Magazine in Los Angeles: email@example.com
Die Illyrer waren natürlich Makedonen
Edit: Aulon... poste mal was neues o.O
Eher du wurdest jetzt so richtig durchgenommen.....so und geh jetzt hausaufgaben machen.
Zitat von LouWeed
"Die Sprache der kaukasischen "Albaner" hat übrigens nichts mit der der Albaner auf der Balkan-Halbinsel zu tun"
LINK-> Kaukasisch-Albanische Texte vom Sinai entziffert
ALbaner sind zu 100 % Illyrisch !
das wurde schon Genitsch bewiesen!
Haplogroup E ! das einzigste Volk auf dem Balkan mit der DNA !! und mal ganz abgesehn von der Sprache die als einzigste mit der Illyrischen übereinstimmt!
hier ein beispiel: YLL - STERN BARDH- WEIß usw..
Zitat von LouWeed
Sorry, aber du bist einfach zu dumm für diese Welt, das ist einfach ein anderer Artikel als dieser Hier, in allen geht es um den schriftlichen Fund dieser albanischen Sprache aus dem Kaukasus die eben auch beweist dass die völlig anders ist als das albanische aus dem Balkan.
Zitat von bumbum
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