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Scanderbeg an epirote?

Printed From: History Community ~ All Empires
Category: Regional History or Period History
Forum Name: Post-Classical Middle East
Forum Discription: SW Asia, the Middle East and Islamic civilizations from 600s - 1900 AD
Printed Date: 18-Aug-2022 at 09:26
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.56a -

Topic: Scanderbeg an epirote?
Posted By: Scanderbeg
Subject: Scanderbeg an epirote?
Date Posted: 05-Nov-2005 at 08:39

I have to write this seminar, and the subject is "Why did Scanderbeg say he is an epirote, not an albanian"?

I did some research, but found only one, possible answer, which says that it was the greeks who called him an epirote, because he fought for the greeks too(that is to say against the ottoman empire).So do the serbs say he was a serb, because his mother was serbian.But, not any document would say that Scanderbeg, himself said that he was an epirote.Maybe some of u ahve read "History of Scanderbeg's life" by Marin Barleti.I suppose it's he(marin barleti) who said that Scanderbeg was an epirote...

So anyone who has a clue, please, reply

Posted By: erci
Date Posted: 05-Nov-2005 at 17:09
as far as I know the man called himself as Albanian so thats what counts imo.first time i've heard he called himself an epirote

"When one hears such music, what can one say, but .... Salieri?"

Posted By: Scanderbeg
Date Posted: 06-Nov-2005 at 09:36
Thanks, but that isnt very helpfull.


Posted By: Alkiviades
Date Posted: 07-Nov-2005 at 04:34
Georgios Kastriotis was a (Greek) Epirote, not an "Albanian". At his time there wasn't even an Albanian national identity anyway, but his father was an Epirote and so Kastriotis (Skederbeg) was an Epirote as well.

Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 12-Nov-2005 at 02:19
At his time Ottomans called Albanians as Arnavuts, that qualifies for identity

Posted By: Phallanx
Date Posted: 12-Nov-2005 at 11:24
Hmm, interesting topic with a couple of versions...

Son of the Prince of Emathia Ioannis Kastriotis and the Sebic origin Voisava Tribala, the Kastriot family was originally named Mazarakis, a name that actually depicts his Epirotan/Arvanitic origin. So the question now, is who were the Arvanites ?

Mazaris in his work 'Epidhmia Mazari en Adou' makes a clear distinction between the Albanian and Arvanitic population of Peloponessos, which obviously points to a different 'tribe/race' of people.

Anyway, to some of many accounts of him being Epirotian and not Albanian..
Anna Komneni in here Alexiad clearly mentions Arvanites and not Albanians desending in 1100 and it isn't untill the 13th cent that we find any reference to Albanians desending which is again evidence of a difference between them.

While in book 6 she says:
"as Robert was being worried on all sides by the so-called Albanians and by the natives of Dalmatia sent by Bodinus."

Interesting she'd call them 'so-called' and make a clear distinction between the Abanians and the natives..

In the letter of Jacomo Barbarrigo towards the Germans in 1479 where he mentions:

"The Arvanites and the Hellines are nothing more than the same people that hate every foreigner"

and the Venetian Senate in 1471 that declared :

"The major part of our mercenary troops are Hellines and Arvanites Hellines"
The Albanian historian Marinus Barletius Scodrensis (known in Albanian as Marin Barleti) wrote his 'History of the life and deeds of Scanderbeg, Prince of the Epirotes'
In Disraeli's book "The Rise of Iskander"

The battle scene during which Iskander calls upon his men,
"All who love their country, follow me!" and, with his five thousand Epirotes horsemen, abandons the battle and takes flight.  Iskander returns to Croia which he takes by a ruse.
The town is liberated to cries of "The Cross, The Cross! Liberty! Greece! Iskander and Epirus!"

"Iskander was the youngest son of the Prince of Epirus, who, with the other Grecian princes,
had, at the commencement of the reign of Amurath the Second, in vain resisted the progress of the
Turkish arms in Europe."
( 2.1)

"The despots of Bosnia, Servia, and Bulgaria, and the Grecian princes of Etolia,
Macedon, Epirus, Athens, Phocis, Boeotia, and indeed of all the regions to the straits of Corinth, were tributaries to Amurat"
( 2.3)

"His Turkish education could never eradicate from his
memory the consciousness that he was a Greek;"

Interestingly enough in his whole novel the word Albanian occurs only once. In a early description of the hero's clothes: "He wore also a full white camese common among the Albanians."

You can find his work online here:


Letter from Skanderbeg to the Prince of Taranto:

Giorgio, gentleman of Albania, to Giovanni Antonio, Prince of Taranto, greeting.

Having made a truce with the enemy of my religion I have not wanted that my friend remain (fraudato) of my aid. (Spesse?) times, Alfonso, his father, invited my help while I waged war against the Turks. Therefore I would be very ungrateful if I had not resisted (listesso?) service to his son. I remember what your king did because now (non deve vedere succedergli?) this who is his son? You adored his father, and why now do you try to throw out his son? Where did this power come from? Who has the power to set up the King of Sicily, you or the Roman Pontiff?

I came to aid Ferrante, son of the king and seat of the Apostolica. I came opposing your unfaithfulness and innumerable great betrayals in this kingdom. (Ne?) will you ever be unpunished for your perjury. This is the reason for my war against you. I merit this no less than I merited making war against the Turks, nor are you less Turk than them. (Imperocche vi sono alcuni?) that guide you in a straight line not to be of some sect. You my opponents the French and the names of those people, and those for the religion wage grand war.

I do not want to dispute ancient matters with you, matters that perhaps were much less than what was told about them. Certainly in our times the Aragonese armadas have often coursed the Aegean Sea, have plundered the Turkish coasts, have (riportata?) the prey of the enemies; and even today the Aragonese armies defend Troja from the jaws of the enemy. Why do I remember the old things and leave the new parts? If they change the family costumes and the plowmen of the kingdom, and the kings of the plowmen return? (Ne troverai nobilita piu antica della virtu.)

Nor can I deny that you are not with the obnoxious French nation, (imperocche) you being mainly in aid of King Alfonso, you hunted the French of this kingdom. I do not know now what new virtue shines in this. Perhaps it is some new star that you have now seen among the French?

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. My elders were from Epirus, 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?

In the past the Albanese have (fatto?) experience if the Pugilese were armed; (ne) I would again find some who would have been able to aspired to my nature. I have well noted from the back how many of your soldiers are well armed but have never been able to see their helmets or (tanpoco?) the face except those that have become prisoners. (Ne?) I seek your house (Bastandomi?) my own. Besides, it is well known that you often would have shot your neighbors for their possessions, as now you would force out the king of your house and your kingdom.

(Che se?) If I fall in the difficult task I have embarked on I will be buried as (mi vai?) wishing in your letter, will bring back my soul as a reward from the Chancellor of the universe, of God. Not only will I have perfected my intention, but also I will have planned and attempted some distinguished deed.

Good bye....

Anyway.. while I generally avoid to use wikipedia since anyone can edit, I did find the list of authors all refering to Kastriotis as an Epirote quite interesting.. - LINK

Hope this is of some assistance..

To the gods we mortals are all ignorant.Those old traditions from our ancestors, the ones we've had as long as time itself, no argument will ever overthrow, in spite of subtleties sharp minds invent.

Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 29-Dec-2005 at 08:27
At his time Ottomans called Albanians as epirots no to mention Arnavuts, that qualifies for identity basicalli

Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 24-May-2011 at 11:11
Basically in these times there was neither Albanian nor greek national identity. Therefore claiming that he was albanian or greek  does not stand. He received turksih education therefore he was Turk lol.
frankly from what i read from a guy above i think he had a greek name but was from albania.

Posted By: Nick1986
Date Posted: 04-Jul-2011 at 21:21
These spambots are getting really tiresome. Can we not make this homework help section members-only?

Me Grimlock not nice Dino! Me bash brains!

Posted By: Castriot
Date Posted: 24-Jan-2016 at 21:49
What a confusion! I think that some basically concepts are being confuted here.

First, Greek or Hellenic ethnos is distinct and the same ethnos. There is no need to confound with the term which described Epirotes, Macedonians, Thracians, Mysians and others which are NOT Greeks. Greeks are those who spoke Greek language. In the past, there were some states in Greece, like Athena, Sparta, Teba, Corinth and so on. All those were Greeks. Also, there were Illyrians; there were some Illyrian states or kingdoms, like Macedonia, Epirus, Taulantes, Dardanes, Adrianes, Dalmatia and others, all with the same descent – Illyrians. It is known that Demosthenes called Macedonians barbarians, i.e. not Greeks. The same is for Epirotes and Moloses. The truth is that Macedonians, Epirotes, Moloses, Dardanes, Taulantes and other, talked with each other in the only language, the Illyrian.   From this Illyrian ethnos had raise Albanian people on early medieval ages. This is a process that occurred on the other peoples, too. For example, Germans have their descent from Teutonic tribes, and many other cases have, too.

Albanians call themselves “Shqipëtar”, but in other languages are called respectively in different names, like Albanian in English, Albanien in German, Albanezi in Italian, Albanjec in Russian, Arnaud in Arabic, Arnavut in Turkish, Arvanitas in Greek and so in many languages. The same may be for other peoples, too. For example Germans are called so in English, but they call themselves Deutch, Italians call them Tedesci, Russians call them Nemci, and so on. Nobody could say that those different names used for them, are for different peoples. The same situation is for Albanians, nobody could say that different names used in different languages, are for different peoples.

In the Renaissance epoch up to modern times, the use of antique names was a common way to express high level of culture. If somebody call themselves or someone as a Epirotes, Dardanian or Macedonian, it is clear that this claim is for Illyrian descent. That’s meant that is for Albanian, or Arbër or Shqipëtar.

The question of name of Scanderbeg: in Greek this name is Jorgos, English – George, Italian – Georgio, Serbian – Djuradj, and Albanian – Gjergj. He is the same person. The form of writing the name is not a reason to claim for ethnicity of person. It would be nonsense that an English scholar to claim that Scanderbeg is Englishman, because their name in English is written George.

Scanderbeg is an Epirote and an Albanian, too. Both are the same.

Posted By: Centrix Vigilis
Date Posted: 28-Jan-2016 at 15:35
And your sources and references were?

"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"

S. T. Friedman

Pilger's law: 'If it's been officially denied, then it's probably true'

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